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goodbye 2013

I hardly post on here, but the one sure way to get me back on track is to do memes. And I always like filling out this one because it gives me chance to look over things that I may have forgotten. So, here are those end-of-the-year questions:

1) What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
I graduated from college. Honestly, that might have been the biggest thing? I feel like it kind of overshadows everything else that may have happened, because it was the end of my "adolescent" life and the start of my "adult" life (which has been going swimmingly, might I add). Yeah, I really can't think of anything else, so I'll just leave this for now.

2) Did you keep your New Year's resolutions for 2013? Will you make more for 2014?
I don't remember what my resolution was for 2013, but I'm sure it was something along the lines of trying to be more confident and less anxious in my every day life. That resolution still stands. Besides that, my number one goal is to get a steady paying job so I can start paying my own bills/rent and begin paying off my loans and not being a burden to my parents. The second thing would be to write more, as much as I can, and submit my work to any and every place and basically just immerse myself as much as possible in the literary world. Those three will be my main focus for this year, but I'm sure other smaller things will come up that I'll start working on.

3) Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not really. A girl who was in one of my writing classes just had a baby, but we're not super close. I wish we were, because she was always nice to me and I enjoyed hanging and talking with her during class, but she moved to LA and we only keep in touch through Facebook. But that's probably it.

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lol remember me?

I've been completely neglecting LJ and I always mean to properly update it, and then I don't. This isn't going to be a full post or anything because it's 4am and I literally am in class all day from 1pm until 9:30pm and I have to get up in like three hours anyway because I need time to shower and finish the homework I still have to do. BUT I'm just giving a heads up that I will be making an entry that is personal and whiny and emo and lol basically what I use my LJ for. Because I will admit that I have become quite addicted to Tumblr as of late, but I really only use it as a place for me to goof off and have a good time in fandoms like I'm a dumb teenager. I know a lot of people use it as their personal blogs, but I don't feel like making long giant sad entries about my troubles on a blog that's going to get sandwiched between posts about kittens and anime. It's just weird, idk. But I have been struggling for a while with some things and have been meaning to talk about it, but just never sat down to do it. I'd do it now, but like I said, I should try and sleep. So just giving a heads up to expect another one of my awesome personal entries! I know everyone looks forward to them. :D

One real-life entry, then a meme.

That's usually the pattern I fall into, I've noticed. To briefly mention what's been going on since the last entry, I flew home last Saturday and as of right now I'm going to stay home for the summer. I'll only be returning to Chicago if I happen to get an internship, but it's not looking likely that I'll find anything for the summer. I'm sending out some stuff tonight, just in case, and if nothing comes up, then I already have a head start for the fall. Also, my sister is graduating this week, so this coming weekend we're having her graduation party at our house, and it's been nothing but major DIY renovation and cleaning. I'd like to think Karl Pilkington would be pleased.

Okaay, so between the last paragraph and this one, I went out to a barbeque and had a bit to drink, so apologies if I do any tipsy typing. Here we go!

First, name your top 12 bands. (Taken from my Last.fm)
1) Metallica
2) Opeth
3) Dethklok
4) Amon Amarth
6) Rammstein
7) Alice In Chains
8) Mastodon
9) Eluveitie
10) Apocalyptica
11) Slayer
12) Rush

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And now for the last bit:
FINALLY, name you favorite songs by each band.
Band 1: Metallica - Fade To Black (probably the only song on this list that is legitimately my FAVORITE from the band, this song is like MY SONG and it just speaks to me and sdajkhgjljksjfasklfa)
Band 2: Opeth - Hope Leaves (listen closely and you might be able to hear the part where my heart cracks into a million tiny little pieces)
Band 3: Dethklok - Bloodlines
Band 4: Amon Amarth - Slaves Of Fear
Band 5: OOMPH! - Burn Your Eyes
Band 6: Rammstein - Weisses Fleisch
Band 7: Alice In Chains - Nutshell
Band 8: Mastodon - The Czar
Band 9: Eluveitie - Grey Sublime Archon
Band 10: Apocalyptica - Ion
Band 11: Slayer - World Painted Blood
Band 12: Rush - The Weapon

what is even going on with my life?

lol seriously. I have been so bad with keeping up with LJ and updating and stuff. Part of it is because I've just been really busy this semester with school work and other things. The other part is that I've actually just become seriously addicted to Tumblr and forget that I still have a LJ lol. It's actually kind of ridiculous, it's turned me back into a total 13 year-old fandom dweeb and I'm kind of seriously embarrassed by it. Ugh. Oh well. Hopefully I'll grow out of it eventually.

Anyway, I'm not even sure what to say. There isn't anything too important going on, but I felt the need to kind of check in and just attempt to mention a little bit about what's been going on.

First of all, I finished my semester last Thursday. I also came down with a really bad cold that night, so even though I was pissed that my body waited until the very second my semester was over to shoot me down with some illness, I'd rather it happen then instead of the start of my final week, because I know it would have been a pain in the ass to get myself out of bed and make the thirty minute trip to campus. I had to go into the Loop on Friday anyway to clear up some last minute things, and I was hopped up on DayQuil because it was all that I had, and I felt like a stumbling idiot, my head was so congested and everything was just fuzzy. I stopped into Argo Tea to get my drink, and the guy was like "What kind of milk would you like?" and I just kind stared at him going "Uhhhh....what?" and he just kinda looked at me and then I was like "OH UH 2% PLEASE" and he was like "Okay, anything else?" and AGAIN I was like "Uhhhh...what? Oh, no, that's it." I was so out of it, I don't know how I managed to function that day, lol. I'm feeling a little better now, the cold's just starting to make its way out of my system so I'm just sniffing and blowing my nose and cough constantly, but that's the way it is.

The past two year, when I finished, I immediately went home. Mainly because I lived in a dorm and they have a specific move-out day and time, so now that I'm in an apartment it doesn't matter. I guess I still thought I was going home right away but I checked my email like last week and saw that I had a message confirming my flight back home for May 19 and I was like WAIT WHAT so I called my mom and she was all "Oh, yeah, we decided you should stay for a couple more weeks to get everything together, and that'll give you more time to look for an apartment/internship/job" which totally makes sense, but I just didn't know and my mom was all I THOUGHT YOU KNEW so she got all upset because I guess I called kind of startled, but it's not that big of a deal, it's kind of nice actually to not have to be rushing around trying to get my shit out of here by a certain time.

But on that note, I have been looking for an internship for the summer. I started looking over Christmas break, but then my spring semester started up and I got too busy with my other work so that fell to the wayside. I've started it back up again, but it's probably too late to get something for the summer, so I'm seeing if I can find anything for the Fall, and if not, then I'm trying to find a job. If neither of those work out, then when I go home I'll just be staying there until the Fall semester starts up, because I'm only coming back out to move all my stuff out when my lease goes up, but I'll stay if I have a job/internship here. The search in general has been incredibly frustrating, and the thing I hate is that I most likely won't be getting a job, so I will literally have no work over the summer, and no way to make money. As I've mentioned before, I sort of got laid off from my summer job at the YMCA, and for a while I was able to pick up some extra hours with their Babysitting Department, but she didn't ask me to come in over Christmas break, so I doubt she's holding out for me for the summer. So unless I can find something, all I have is the last couple paychecks from my tutoring job coming in, and that's it. But I've still got rent and bills to pay before the lease goes up, and I'll have to go grocery shopping sometime in the near future, and it's just incredibly stressful because I know my parents will have to step in and help me out a bit but it makes me feel so irresponsible and humiliated that they have to do that. They don't really have the money either, but they're doing what they can and I just hate that there's nothing more I can do for them.

Plus, Lauren is graduating this year, and she's going to Ringling College of Art and Design, majoring in Film Studies. It took her forever to decide on a major because she desperately didn't want to apply for a school as undecided, but I think she's really happy with what she's doing. She's always been a movie buff and they seem really nice and helpful when it comes to taking in kids who are brand new in the major, because she literally has no film experience whatsoever, but she seems pretty excited about going there, which is a huge improvement because at first she didn't even want to talk about college, so I'm glad she's starting to feel more comfortable with it. The school is in Sarasota, FL, which my parents are thrilled about (they've already decided they're going to visit as often as they can, especially during the winter), and the campus looks really nice. Also, their applications are basically a portfolio showcasing any creative work, and it doesn't necessarily have to be involved with your major, so even though Lauren is going in for film, she decided to send in a photography sample. She doesn't have a DSLR nor Photoshop or any other image programs so they're not like super professional looking shots, but I think they're pretty great (they're better than anything I could do, anyway) and she still has some of them on her Facebook, so maybe I could post a few here and see if my photo friends can lend any helpful tips her way. She had a lot of fun doing it, so I'm sure she'd be happy to try it again. In any case, back to my parents, because she's going to this school with this major, she's required to buy a certain DSLR camera and a MacBook Pro. I think they're able to offer certain discounts for the students, but we're basically paying for this stuff out of our own pocket, and I know the camera model she needs, the cheapest is like $500. And I know she's going to need Financial Aid just for the tuition alone, and I'm just really concerned that my parents are not going to be handle it once both of us are back in school. Especially because mine was being really stupid this past semester and cut a bunch of programs and raised the tuition AGAIN (there was actually a whole issue where they removed the Chair for our Fiction Writing Department and how we almost lost the program, but I won't go into that here). Basically, money is just really stressful right now for all of us and I just feel so useless that there isn't more I can do.

Besides looking for an internship/job, I'm also looking for a new apartment, because I'm definitely moving out. It's not that the apartment itself is bad, because it is really nice as far as 2 bed/2 bath places go, and we managed to find one that was somewhat affordable and wasn't an hour away from campus, but it's not in the best neighborhood, and frankly there isn't anything to do. That might sound like a bad reason to want to move out, but most of my other friends all live in neighborhoods that a lot of other students live in, so it's lively and there's stores and clubs and restaurants and basically you just feel secure where you are. Here, it feels like we're totally set off from that whole spot, and the place we do have is riddled with crime and other shit constantly going on. There was one night where a classmate of mine offered to drive me home after our night class together because she had a car and the Red Line was shut down a few stops before my own because there was A HOSTAGE SITUATION IN A BUILDING LITERALLY THREE BLOCKS FROM MY APARTMENT. There was another time where my roommate and I again had to get off at the stop before ours and take a bus the rest of the way because at our stop, some guy was apparently jumping on and off the tracks. I'M ACTUALLY NOT SURE HOW THAT'S POSSIBLE BECAUSE THE PEOPLE I HEAR ABOUT WHO JUMP ONTO THE TRACKS USUALLY DIE? But I digress. And every time I take the train from my station there's always at least one cop hanging out on the platform because there's so many drug busts that happen, I have to walk back on one side of the street after a certain time because the other street has a bunch of thugs hanging around outside the 7/11 and it's just...not the best place to be in. Like, I honestly only leave my apartment for class or some other event. As far as me going out on my own just to go out, I only ever go to the Target for grocery shopping, or the Starbucks where I usually hang out and do homework. But I never just walk out just to enjoy my neighborhood, and I'd really like to be able to do that. I see all the neighborhoods my friends live in and it just seems so much nicer, so that's what I'm looking for. Plus, the thirty minute commute is pretty difficult, so I'm hoping to find a place that's a little closer. Right now, I'm seeing if I can find a place with my friend Jackie because my roommate right now graduated so she'll be going home anyway. We've found some places, but we haven't yet gone and actually visited them, and some of them aren't even bothering because we can't move in until September anyway. But hopefully we can get around to looking at some over these two weeks that I'm here, because I can't afford to go home and basically not have anything lined up for when I come back. If things don't work out with Jackie, then I'll find a studio apartment and live there.

Besides all that, I am doing some volunteer work at this place called PAWS Chicago. It's a No-Kill Animal Shelter, and has both dogs and cats. The people are really nice, the place is just as nice, and the animals are precioussss. It's split up into DOG TOWN and KITTY CITY omg. I completed my basic Volunteer Orientation and the training for both a Level 1 Dog Town Volunteer and Level 1 Kitty City Volunteer, but I've only actually done one shift so far, for Kitty City. I'm just so nervous about going in and messing up, I feel like I still don't know what I'm doing even though I've already gone through the training, and I feel like they expect to know this stuff by now? Or at least not make any dumb mistakes, which I can see myself doing. So it's really stupid because I really like being there and just having some downtime with the animals, but I can't even bring myself to sign up for a shit because I'm so panicked about going in and making a fool of myself and just messing up, uggggh. But not that my semester is done and I have two weeks where I'm pretty much not doing anything, I'm going to try and fit in some more shifts and hopefully I'll get over my anxiety. I want to do one more Kitty City since I already did one of those and it's more of a chill environment because LOL CATS, but then I'll sign up for a Dog Town shift and hopefully I won't screw up. There's basically three main shifts - the morning, the daytime, and the evening. I tend to do the morning, which is 8am - 11am, because that way I still have the rest of the day to do stuff, and technically this shift is before the place actually opens to the public, so I don't have to interact with any people other than the other volunteers. The day time shifts are when potential adopters come in and look at the animals and if you're volunteering during then you have to interact with them, and there's not as much socialization time with the animals. I have no idea what to say to these potential adopters, like I'm just here to hang out with some cats and dogs, I have no idea what's a good fit for you, and I'm terrified of not selling an animal enough or misinterpreting vibes from potential owners and just ugh, more stress than I need. The evening is actually when most of the socialization happens because the place is closed to the public, and the animals are basically just settling in for the night. The morning has socialization time as well, but that also involves cleaning all the rooms and now the animals are AWAKE AND WIRED AND JUST DSJGHJDAHJDJ so it's a bit hectic, but like I said, I'd rather go and then be done before noon so that I still have a whole day ahead of me. And it's an excuse to get me out of bed so I don't sleep in, which has been a huge issue for me this year, so any way to break out of that cycle is something I need to take on.

Anyway, that's basically what I've got going on right now. The last thing is a bit of an obnoxious, self-pimp time, but I've mentioned that I was published in one of my school's literary publications, Story Week Reader. It's not that big of a deal, considering it's one of their smaller publications, but it's my first one, and I got rejected from it last year, so I'm happy I made it this time. Their big one is Hair Trigger, but it's pretty exclusive and kind of elitist so I doubt I'll be making it in there any time soon. But anyway, SWR is completely student run and we had a reading in the bookstore a couple weeks ago AND IT WAS MY FIRST READING EVER YOU CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE THE ANXIETY THAT I WAS DEALING WITH IT WAS TERRIBLE. But I got through it, and I'm glad that I have one oral reading under my belt. In any case, I'm going to post the link to this year's SWR which includes my story, but also the other submissions as well. I'm mentioning this only to make myself feel less indulgent and like HEY EVERYONE READ MY STORY JUST FOR MEEEE but there are some pretty amazing pieces in there, so I hope you guys give it a look and check out some of the other pieces. I'm pretty sure any of you reading this know who I am so there's no reason to point out who wrote what or whatever, BUT JUST IN CASE, my story is called "Ellen" (it's the last one listed under Fiction) and you can read it here.

I thin that's enough for now. I'll try to keep up to date with this if anything significant happens in my life, but this is basically what I've got coming up right now and what I'll be doing in the upcoming weeks. I hope everyone else is doing okay as well. :)
I've had a pretty shit day, so now I'm going to do the music meme everyone else is doing because it'll distract me from bursting into tears.


What is your favorite genre of music?
 Heavy metal. That's broad, but it's the most accurate answer for me. Any variations of that genre, or rock itself, will also fit.
Name your favorite band(s): Metallica, Rush, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Opeth, Eluveitie, Amon Amarth, Rammstein, Mastodon.

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Writer's Block: Backwards Day

thgin ta bonk a tae dluoc I

Write a backwards message for others to decipher.

It's the end of the fucking year!

Time to fill out the meme, which is basically the only thing I ever post on here anyway. I fail. So hard.

Post the first sentence of the first entry each month this year. 

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And the questions!

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Originally posted by ketene at WTF is SOPA ? aka The American Government trying to ruin the internet

Everyone needs to watch this.

Yes, everyone. Yes, you.

Because burying your head in the sand over this issue doesn't make you cool or interesting or show everyone how against the grain you are because you choose not to involve yourself in corrupt American politics. No, it just makes you fucking ignorant. This is serious and dangerous and if you think you're too awesome to get involved, I hope you don't have the balls to bitch and complain when all your favorite websites are shut down and your freedom of speech is completely violated.

Don't let this happen to America.

If you go here you can send a letter to your congressman, you don't even have to write it, just sign your name.

I put together a few links here that are really helpful if you want to educate yourself or pass them around.

TechDirt.com - The Definitive Post On Why SOPA And Protect IP Are Bad, Bad Ideas
You can also send shit to Congress from here.
A petition that has over a million signatures already.
Jesus Christ, Firefox doesn't even want this to happen.
More information about what a fucking terrible idea this is.
How this bill would violate the First Amendment.
Stephen Colbert Explains SOPA.
The INVENTORS OF THE INTERNET are against it too!
How SOPA will affect GAMERS!

I have a lot to say about this but I'm gonna just leave you with these links and if I become inspired later I'll rant and rave about it. For now just focus on the task at hand and DO SOMETHING. Seriously.

I know everyone thinks it's cool to ~hate on America~ but take a second to grow up and appreciate the fact that:
This shit didn't happen here
You can't be executed for SORCERY!
The police can't arrest you and shave your head because you have a Mohawk
The smart states like gay people. We're working on it, okay? We're not there yet but there's been progress.
At least you don't live in one of these places where HOMOSEXUALITY IS ILLEGAL.

So quit being a fucking brat and do something to help.

lol all i do is post memes

Apparently, it's like the ice-breaker I need to get back into posting for actual real entries. So we'll see if it works. :p

You can learn a lot about someone by the music they listen to. Hit shuffle on your iPod or mp3 player and write down the first 20 songs. No cheating or skipping songs that are shameful. That is the fun!

1) Arch Enemy - Taking Back My Soul
2) Opeth - Forest of October
3) Hans Zimmer - Sorrow
4) Opeth - The Twilight Is My Robe
5) Testament - Henchman Ride
6) Opeth - To Rid The Disease
7) Mello - Yoshihisa Hirano & Hideki Taniuchi
8) Novembre - Everasia
9) Iron Maiden - Running Free
10) Rob Zombie - Foxy, Foxy
11) Moonsorrow - Kuolleiden Maa
12) Hans Zimmer - Hyenas
13) Apocalyptica - Life Burns!
14) Placebo - Running Up That Hill
15) Megadeth - Lucretia
16) Metallica - Suicide & Redemption
17) Tool - Stinkfist
18) OOMPH! - Who You Are
19) Novembre - Valentine
20) Katatonia - Dancing December

Hm, I had a few repeats, so it looks like I don't have a wide variety of music. But I can assure you that I do.

Okay, time to do homewoooork.

I meant to do this earlier...

But you know how it goes. Anyway, I thought I'd mention a little bit on the classes I'm taking this semester, of which I'm already halfway through, lol. I got really busy with all the work I had that I used any extra time for catching up on sleep, so I never bothered updating. But I've got nothing better to do now, so I figured I'll get this out of the way now.

So here's what this semester has been looking like for me:

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Besides class, the other things that have happened in my life:
- I saw Devin Townsend Wednesday night. It was a good show, but there were some personal issues that came up that almost ruined the whole thing. I don't know if I make a whole entry about it, but it's just made me think over how messed up I am when it comes to certain things that I'm not familiar with and I wish I was more experienced or aware of it so these good things wouldn't be ruined for me. Ugh. Whatevaa.
- I've been obsessing over Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington and listening to all these interviews and sahfkhd it's hysterical. I've always been a big fan of Gervais/Merchant - I own both The Office (UK) and Extras and I watched The Ricky Gervais Show when it aired on HBO, but I guess just recently I've started to read a lot more interviews with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (both together and separately) and they're both such incredibly creative people that are totally inspiring to me. I absolutely adore them both for their sense of humor, and just how they view art and the creative process and how adamant they are on everyone just going for what you want to do and not compromising any bit of it for anyone else. It's totally helped me look at my own stuff in a different way and I think that's why I've started to feel more confident in my classes. I seriously could just sit and listen to their conversations all day and laugh over what they do, it's seriously the greatest thing. Your life will be a much happier and better place with these men in your life.

SO I HAVE SOME RECS: watch the shows "An Idiot Abroad" and an "An Idiot Abroad 2." The first series stars Karl Pilkington being sent to the seven wonders of the world and it's absolutely hysterical and amazing. The second series, which is still currently going, is Karl creating his own Bucket List and choosing certain events to do. But then Ricky and Stephen will throw extra shit at him that he's not expecting and it's just the greatest thing ever. If I'm having a really stressful or shitty day, I'll come home and watch an episode of The Ricky Gervais Show or listen to one of their podcasts and I immediately feel better. These three men are wonderful, I want everyone to give them a chance and bask in the job that they will inevitably give you. :D