Writer's Lament: Part the Last

Well, I realize that by now this is sort of anti-climactic, but I turned in my senior thesis on Monday.  In fact, I actually finished the thing last Thursday.  After seven months of sleepless nights and ripping up drafts in frustration, you'd think I would have been a little more excited about being rid of it.

"The End."  Now, shall I orders carrots or peas with the braised lamb tonight?

So now it's been a whole week since I finished it, and some of the excitement has worn off a little bit.  Other seniors have turned theirs in, as well, but many won't be turning their projects in until next Monday, right before the I.S. parade.  Until then, I am on campus during Spring Break with little to do for the rest of the week.  Naturally, I have amused myself by lounging about the room in my slippers and silk robe, fanning myself delicately and EATING EVERYTHING.  I am going to run out of food soon, and then my friend will regret asking me to pet-sit her frogs over the break.  Ha.  Ha, ha-ha.  Ahem.

In an effort to curb my boredom and appetite, I gave the bathroom a thorough cleaning today.  Everything was going swimmingly until I realized there was a spider behind the trash can - after it had already crawled onto my hand.  I made a noise like "Yaiheeewaamblegiheh" before scampering out of the bathroom and generally behaving as if I had just escaped the grips of a hungry lion.  I still don't know where it is.  Of course, this uncertainty led me to leave the cleaning stuff in the toilet way longer than the ten minutes the bottle suggested I wait before flushing again.

So that's a lot of fumes there, I guess.  On the plus side, that should make things a little more exciting around here.

Image via Nina Pierce.


Things I Like

Living alone.


I grew up in a family of six children, which meant that no matter what, someone was always around.  Now, my three younger sisters and I live with my mother in a two-bedroom apartment.  I usually sleep on a mattress on the floor for the few weeks I'm home out of the year, but my bed is currently being occupied by my oldest sister, who is staying with us for a few months.

After I graduate this May, that little two-bedroom apartment is going to be pretty dang crowded, and I won't be able to afford rent on my own in California for a while.  I'm considering toting some couch cushions out onto the balcony and sleeping there.  It'll be like camping, except instead of a tent and campfire, I'll have the disapproving stare one gruff, old neighbor across the way who waters his begonias early each morning.

That being said, this two-week Spring Break has been the most experience I've ever had living alone, and I love it.  As an introvert who is very passionate about dancing about in various states of (un)dress, I'm somewhat concerned about how much I like having a place to myself.  What if I never want to shack up with someone?

Most people seem to worry about never finding a mate.  I'm more worried I'll find one, but demand that we live in separate houses for the rest of our lives.  Like sea horses.  Or a 50s sitcom taken to the extreme.

Whoa there, Ricky.  You just keep to your own bed there, pal.
Via The Smoking Jacket


"Kids, It Was the Spring of 2011..."

Dammit, Trudy!

I could tell you a lot of things about going to visit B. this weekend.  I could tell you about how my friend S. and I drove for six and a half hours just listening to the radio, or about this cool wall that we saw while driving, or about how road signs in Pennsylvania sound like Aunt Bee shouting matronly advice (Buckle up next million miles now, hear?), or about this completely out-of-place Cajun restaurant that served alligator and hush puppies in the middle of Amishland.  But instead, I am going to tell you the story of how I kissed B. a little bit.

And by a little bit, I mean that after we had some surprisingly delicious vodka-infused pineapple, there were two surprisingly nice, vodka-pineapple-infused kisses.

Huh, I thought.  We've never done that together before.*

Before there could be any more kissing, I had a very small, private freak-out inside my head, as just what was happening really sunk in.  So, instead of talking about it like a normal person, I went to go “check on S,” as he had been in the bathroom for a while and I suspected he was feeling sick.  I could have handled the situation much more gracefully, I know, but I have the social competence of a sea slug.  So yeah, if you want to judge me, that's cool.  I kind of judge myself, too.

We did end up talking about it the next day (briefly, because when have I ever been good at communicating my feelings?).  He waited for S. to take a shower, at which point my insides seemed to solidify inside me.

We were sitting on the couch next to each other, watching a '90s-era Kathy Griffin dressed in a ridiculous heart ensemble as she introduced comedians.  As soon as we heard the water turn on, B. said to me, “So, last night….”

At this point I turned to him and muttered something noncommittal, like a stroke victim trying to sound casual.

“That wasn’t anything, right?” he said.

I quickly shook my head.  “Oh--no!  No.”

“You sure?”  He tilted his head and scrunched up his face a little, the way people do when they’re asking if you’re sure you don’t mind looking after their drunk, vomiting cousin after a party while they go off and have loud sex.

My eyes widened as I nodded my head vigorously, which I realized seconds later could have been a little bit insulting.  You want to think about that for a minute?

He gave me a fuck-yeah-just-friends-type hug, which, because we were sitting next to each other on the couch, meant that he pulled his free arm around me and we pressed our cheeks together.  Unable to cope with how uncomfortable I felt, I desperately made some sort of joke about it, calling attention to the very awkwardness of the moment.  A moment later, however, I ruined my air of casual humor by sitting up to shift and fluff the pillow I was leaning against, using utmost care and minute precision to mold it just perfectly.  Then I leaned back again, my skin hot with embarrassment.

“By the way...” he said after a moment, a little suggestively, as he held up his hand for a high five.

I slapped his hand, and then I probably giggled a little too loudly, and then I started mumbling again.  I'm pretty sure I was channeling Frankenstein’s monster. 

I probably should have told him that he was a good kisser, too.  You know--after my vehement insistence that the entire incident meant less than nothing to me. 

Instead, we just sat silently watching Kathy Griffin’s out-of-control hair bob around her face.

Thinking about it still makes my stomach seize up in shame.  But, on the bright side, it’s all in the past, right?  The next night, after one of the many stories and jokes we all told each other, I made an off-hand comment about how I am so incredibly awkward.  B. assured me that I’m not as awkward as I think I am, which was probably unrelated to this little episode but still made me feel better. Maybe in the future, when he thinks back on that vodka-pineapple-drenched night, he’ll only remember that I am a good kisser, not that I handle romantic situations about as well as a zombie first-grader.

*B. and I went to college together, along with S; both of them graduated last year.  B. and I were in an improv group together, which has a loose policy of NO DATING WITHIN THE GROUP.  Only drunken hook-ups.  Even without this policy, I had a boyfriend for those first two years, so this was really the first opportunity for any kisses to occur, you see.  Okay, back to the action.

Image from How I Met Your Mother, via Fanpop.



Even though it's the last day of classes and I'm going through my customary frantic-pre-break-scurry-to-finish-a-paper-which-I-left-until-the-last-possible-moment ritual, it still feels distinctly un-Spring Break-like.  Perhaps that's because we had another snow storm last night that left all the trees frosted.  Or maybe it's because I'll be staying here all break, finishing up my senior thesis.  Like that scene in A Christmas Carol when Scrooge watches all his friends having a grand old time, while he's hunched over his desk writing down numbers or counting gold or something.  Except my two weeks will feature much more booze than Scrooge's.

I am Jack's failing liver.

Speaking of alcohol, I am going on a "Spring"* Break road trip (woo)!  This afternoon I am driving on over to Pennsylvania with a friend to spend the weekend with another good friend, who says he is making us vodka-infused fruit salad (I'll let you know).  Then, on Monday, I come back and start the harrowing final revisions of my year-long project.  The fun just never stops.

So I just wanted to take a break from my week-long marathon of work to stop in and say a quick hi.  I may post more interesting things when I get back and start actually going a little loopy from the stress. 

Also, regarding all three hundred or so people who found my blog after searching for that Mardi Gras picture I put up, HELLO TO YOU.  Looks like I finally found the secret to attracting readers: post a whole lot of photos of half-naked women.  So, in the spirit of Spring Break, here ya go, interwebs:

Awww yeah.  Work it, ladies.
Via Boys, Toys, and Noise.

You are welcome.

*I'm so bitter about the snow.  But apparently I'd be going home to a tsunami in California if I didn't stay in the Ohio snow, so I guess you have to take what you can get, right?


International Women's Day

Does anyone else find it strange that International Women's Day falls on Mardi Gras this year, the one day above all others when women are encouraged to take their tops off in exchange for beaded necklaces?

Just somethin' to think about.

That little girl in the red sweater is me.  I am also that disapproving old lady behind her.
[Photo by Mark Velasquez]


Things I Like

Dear Future Paramour,

If you do not like coffee, then I'm sorry, but it will never work between us.

Unless you look like a young Clint Eastwood, in which case you can dislike any dang thing you want. 

Except me, of course.

Good-looking, that is.
[From The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Via Living at the Movies.]

Fond regards,
Tracy Thunderbolt, Future Love of Your Life.

PS: Here is another Clint Eastwood picture, because I just can't quit him.

Why you gotta be so cute, Young Clint?
[Found here.  Not sure where it was before that.  I apologize, blogosphere.]


This post is about hair.

Yesterday, A Cup of Jo featured a hair tutorial for a cute, three-bun hairstyle that is supposed to look like this:

(Photo by Jamie Beck, via Cup of Jo)

This is what it looks like on a not-as-gorgeous person with less-than-well-behaved hair after several hours:

My neck is not actually that freaky in real life.  It's just that it was difficult to crane my arm around to take a picture from that angle, and it sort of gave me Alert Gazelle Neck, that's all.

These few hours consisted of sitting, walking across campus, sitting some more, walking back home, starting to change clothes, underwear dancing because my roommate is gone for the weekend, finishing changing clothes, buying a Twix from the vending machine downstairs, eating said Twix,  doing laundry, and sitting some more. So if your schedule looks like that and your hair is also thick, frizzy, and grown out just to your shoulder blades after your most recent self-administered haircut mishap...then by the end of the day, this is how the hairstyle will look on you!

Maybe I will keep all the bobby pins just where they are, and tomorrow I can post some really authentic pictures of how this hairstyle looks after taking a shower, wrapping my hair in a towel turban, and wriggling around like a fussy infant as I sleep.  It'll be like an exposé!* 

*I need to find a hobby!

"Well, Alright! It's Okay!"

Doesn't Zooey Deschanel just seem like she is the most fun ever?  Shouldn't we all learn this cute little dance?  And wouldn't the world be much better if everyone carried around a hula hoop at all times? 

She & Him - In The Sun from Merge Records on Vimeo.

The answer to all of these is YES.

On another note, Hey!  Tomorrow's the weekend.  So that will be awesome.


The Saddest Little Blog Post

...for the saddest little blog.

Let's be frank, shall we?  Statcounter tells me that the only reader to stumble across my blog in the past week was the company who owns Nyquil, and they were probably just scanning the entire internet for any mention of their product's name to make sure nobody was saying anything lewd, like OMGZZZ NYQUIL MAKES THE BEST LUBE EVSSSS <3<3<3.*  In all of my posts, I have only received one comment (well, really I have two, but one of them was my response to that comment, so it really doesn't count).

It's really bringin' me down.  I would ask my readers what I can do to make my blog more appealing, interesting, entertaining, or useful, but I don't have any readers.  So you see, I am in a bit of a pickle.  I could just keep trying different things to see if one of them attracts readers.  You know, like, if I put more pictures on.  Or changed the font.  Or actually had a consistent theme, like cooking or weddings.  Or if I put up a lot of music.  Or gave you twenty dollars every time you came to my site.  Or maybe if I made fewer lists.

One possible tactic to get more (by which I mean any) readers, and one that I feel I will eventually succumb to, is to post the url as a status on Facebook and put it in my information under websites.  However, the problem with this approach is that then lots (by which I mean some [by which I mean maybe two of my best friends.  And my dad.  And the weird guy who keeps asking if I cut my hair yet - so that's four, yay!]) of the people I know would come here!  And read my thoughts!!  And bring their negative views of me!!!  And maybe tell me that I am the least funny person they have ever met and also that I am not pretty, nor am I good at sports!!!!**  Plus, my mom is my friend on Facebook.  I don't want her reading weird things on the internet, like that lube comment up there.

And then, after all that mocking and judging, they might reveal my true identity.  And then laugh at the fake name I've used.***  Yes, I've just gone through my entire list of Facebook friends (because who cares about homework?) and I didn't find a single person who would not at least snicker or raise a big fat judging eyebrow if they knew that I write a blog under the name Tracy Thunderbolt.

Some of you may be wondering why I even write a blog and post my deepest darkest secrets on the interwebs if I am so afraid of people reading them.  I know because people ask similar questions when I tell them I am debilitatingly shy and socially awkward, yet I can do improv onstage without puking.  I am a woman of mystery, you see. 

But really, I only want to avoid having people I know read this.  If I don't know you, come on in! Read, enjoy, follow, subscribe, tell your friends, come back and read some more!....please?  Did I mention I'm sick dying?  And not above bribery?

Yes, in fact, I will bribe you!  First person to leave another comment or subscribe to my blog will get something cool from me.  I'm not sure what it is yet, but it will be cool and not at all a hand-written note on the back of a Starbucks receipt saying THANKS A LATTE because you know how I love puns.

And now, in a fit of self-pity, I am off to write a country song called "It's Lonely on the Interwebs (When No One Reads Yer Blog)."****

*Which nobody had probably said before, but now they have.  Please don't sue me, Nyquil company.
**That part about the sports is actually true.  But sometime I will post on just how paranoid I am about other people judging me.  For now, just assume that it's a LOT.
***Tracy Thunderbolt is not exactly my given name, but I just might change it legally because I like it, even if it makes people mock me mercilessly.  The guy at the laser tag place liked it when I used it as my code name, although it was too long so he had to shorten it to THNDRBL, which is either less cool or more cool, you decide.
****If you subscribe/follow AND leave a comment, I will record the song and send it to you! SRSLY.

I just think I'm soo hilarious, don't I?

I left this note on my desk when I left the room this afternoon:

I was hoping my roommate would come home and see it after her stressful day and at least chuckle at how crazed I am, but when I got back, I saw that she hadn't even been home yet.

Still, I did make myself chuckle a little bit.


In Which I Never Get to Sleep Monday Nights

I am waaaay sicker than I was yesterday.  Really, it's like I'm made of phlegm.

Late, late, late last night I finally finished the first full draft (holy crap how many F's are there in this sentence?!) of my senior project, though at one point I thought there was going to be a situation when I ran out of chamomile tea.  It was touch and go there for a while, but I pulled through.

When I finally struggled and clawed my way up into bed at 5 AM, a little ditty started playing in my head.  It went a little something like this:

THIS time, baby, I'LL beEeeeeee BULLEEEEEETprooooof.*

And then it repeated SEVEN BILLION TIMES, because of course those are the only words I know to the song.

So that's how I only got about four hours of sleep before I had to sludge, amoeba-like, out of my bed and into some shoes to go take a midterm.  Since then I've just been growing grumpier and grumpier as my face gets phlegmier and phlegmier (which, Blogger tells me, is a word.  Webster does not agree).

And now, in a fit of desperation to stop my face from leaking, I am about two hours into my first dose of Nyquil ever.

I should explain this.  When my sisters and I were kids, my mom only gave us Tylenol in dire circumstances, like if we were bleeding out of our ears, so I don't have much experience with medication.  I wasn't really sure how Nyquil would affect me, but it's all we have in our little plastic medicine box (besides Midol and Airborne, and Bandaids), and I had a headache that...well, it was so bad it caused me to take Nyquil which made me so drowsy that I can't even think of a simile.

The point of all this: NYQUIL IS AWESOME.**  More awesome if you don't have stuff to do, though, probably.  Although it is good that I don't have to do anything like smile for a half-hour straight, because my face is pretty much numb.  All the feeling went to my tingly forearms, you see. 

While writing this, I've been playing "Bulletproof" over and over, because that usually works to get a song out of my head.  But I think this time it's just ingraining it deeper into my skull, and I want more.  This song rocks, you guys.  I NEVER WANT IT TO STOP PLAYING.  Ooh, eye's twitching.  Neat.

*I am all about La Roux, but if you're a singer who can't dance, at least do something a little more interesting in your video than refusing to smile while walking toward the camera through a neon Escher dream or sitting in different poses with yer cool gravity-defying hair.  Like maybe a cartoon or something. Or stop motion!

**Although I do understand now why my mother never gave it to us as kids.