Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week

Archive for the ‘My Life’ Category

Last January, Lisa and I sat in my living room and developed The List, all the things we had to do in our last semester at Cornell.  We were determined to make our last semester our greatest ever, and I think it’s fair to say we lived up to our goal. I was a very good second semester senior.  So good in fact, that I’m still in Ithaca now.  I did manage to graduate (somehow, not exactly sure how that happened considering my less than stellar academic motivation last spring) but I decided to stick around Ithaca for a year while I figured out what to do with my life. I figured this would also give me a chance to impart some of my wisdom to my younger friends.

The other day, my undergraduate advisor (who no longer advises me about classes but is still great at important life decisions, which is what I really need help with) asked me how I felt about starting my last semester here. I realized I had an opportunity that many people never get: I get to have a second last semester. My first last semester was pretty great, and there’s no reason that this one can’t be as amazing. It might have to be toned down a little bit because sleeping until noon every day is no longer an option, but as I told a senior friend: this is a perfect opportunity for you. You can do all the stupid things you want and call me to pick you up at 2:30am, and I can’t be mad because I remember what it’s like to be lost in the middle of north campus in winter without a coat in the middle of the night!

I’ve been thinking about this all week, so tonight, Annabel and I sat in the Chapter House for two hours to start The List, version 2: things we need to do before graduation that aren’t as stupid as all the things I did last year. Because let’s face it, we did a lot of stupid stuff last year. (See: spring break, the week before spring break, Tuesday of senior week, and Slope Day Eve to name a few dumb experiences.) This year’s list is a little different: everything on here is a realizable goal. These things all can, and will happen. We left certain things off the list, so we wouldn’t taint the sacred document, and we have already started to work on crossing items off.

The List

  1. Ski at Greek Peak, and also go snow tubing.  (This does not mean Rachel will teach anyone to ski, but she will drive them to the mountain and buy them hot chocolate for being a good sport and not forcing her to stand there for an hour as they attempt to go down one slope)
  2. Wine tours! We did a few last year, but there are some wineries that we have not reached yet. Bonus points for visiting a certain Seneca Lake establishment (shoutout to a certain winemaker that everyone who took Understanding Wines and Beers last year has an opinion on)
  3. Go to happy hour at least once a week to catch up on life. Visit every bar in Collegetown as we complete this goal
  4. Play pirate minigolf (and/or galaxy golf)
  5. Get enough people to go paintballing
  6. Race go-karts. (Note to self: wear pants, not skirt)
  7. Visit Canada, just because.
  8. Successfully complete a powerhour or try Rachel and Heather’s 24 in 24. Both of these sound like bad ideas, but that’s what last semesters are all about
  9. Have “pretend your another person” night. Come up with a crazy story and see how long it takes people to realize that you were not raised by wolves in the Alaskan wilderness before becoming a world champion ice fisher and attending Cornell on a dog fighting scholarship
  10. Forget Collegetown- go out on the Commons for a night
  11. Karoke night! “Singing” Journey at 12:55am doesn’t count.

Overall, not a bad list in comparison to last year. A little more tame, but I’m a year older and wiser now, so adjustments need to be made. While I hope my senior friends have an amazing time developing their own aversions to lime jello and tequila, I have already learned these lessons, and I’m happy to watch some activities from the sidelines.


As many of you know, I’m not really into sports.  I do like winter (as long as it’s not too cold) and snow in small doses, and I’ve managed to take up a few “winter sports” along the way.  I love skiing and I’m trying this whole ice skating thing again.  I took a few years of lessons as a kid, but that doesn’t really mean too much.  I tried to play intramurual hockey last year, and I was on the ground more than the puck.  So this year, I’ve enlisted Becky to give me skating lessons, and I am going to try again.  My first lesson didn’t go too badly, but I know once I put on all the padding and hold a stick, I will lose all of my ability to skate around in circles.

I haven't fallen yet!

I haven't fallen yet!

Imaginary hockey stick

Imaginary hockey stick

Snow Angels!

Snow Angels!

Just a quick update, as it is still way too early, and I have some things to do before I actually wake up and start my day. Last night, I found myself reading old e-mails as I searched for a specific one to share with a friend going through a similar situation to one I dealt with. I was amazed to see how many not so great things had happened that I have completely forgotten about. I remember all the big stuff, and when I saw the old e-mails, memories came back like they had happened yesterday.  I was just shocked to see how easy it was to forget the small stuff: the complaints about classes and stresses, too much work and not enough play. This applies to the other side as well. I enjoyed reading about the fun times that I’ve had; remembering moments with old friends when they were still new friends.

So to all my friends, expect some forwarded e-mails from me featuring your past selves. I’m also considering posting the best ones here (identifying information redacted, of course!) so the whole world can see how fun/crazy/dumb/irrational/amazing… we were and still are!

Now I’m off to fight with Mr. Coffee and the hot water knob in my shower.

Classes are back in session at Cornell University, and for the first time in seventeen years, I will not be sitting in a classroom with a blank notebook thinking this year is going to be different and I’m not going to procrastinate. Yes, this year will be different, because I will not be sitting in a classroom at all. It’s a strange feeling.

Ever since I got that expensive piece of paper last May, I’ve been a little confused about, well, everything. The summer seemed to pass pretty quickly and not much differently than the past few summers. I worked, I spent time with friends, I picked up a new hobby (furniture refinishing!?!) that I grew tired of quickly. There was ice cream and beer, picnics and rainy day indoor picnics. Overall a nice break from life. But while yesterday was (technically) the last day of summer here in Ithaca, today is no different for me. I didn’t have to put together a new schedule and plan the best route to take between classes. I just got up and went to work, the same way I always did.

It’s not like I’m done with school forever. The nineteen law school applications I have in progress will be submitted in the next few months, and a few months after that I’ll be making plans to start the next phase of my education. For now, I’m in a weird academic limbo. Working in the same place I went to school is both a good thing and a bad thing. It almost feels like I’m still going to school here, with basically none of the stress that Cornell seems to pile on, but it is also a little confusing. I think I like it though.

So while everyone’s Facebook status says first day of classes!!!11, mine will say, anyone want to hang out later, (with the exception of law school applications,) I’ve got no academic obligations for the next twelve months.

(Side note: I have like a week of pictures to post. That will happen when I come home tonight. Now I’m off to my first non-student first day of school!)

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I have a serious question. There’s something that has been bothering me since Friday night, and now I will ask you to think about it. When I was 16, was I as pathetic as I think the 16 year olds of today are?

Rewind to Friday night. Some friends and I were walking down the block to go to another friend’s party, and we pass a group of kids who were probably 16.  These kids looked more like Ali Lohan than Dakota Fanning. (Aside: both of those girls are the same age [14] although I’d believe it if you told me Ali Lohan was really 45.) We push past the crowd on the steps and head upstairs to the party. When we get in, someone tells us that the young crowd we passed on the street was most likely the same group that tried to crash the party to steal beer. Now that is classy. Well played high schoolers.

After grabbing our jungle juice and Franzia (nothing says class like boxed wine) my friends and I left the oven-like apartment and moved out to the porch. All of the sudden, we notice an increase of very young looking party crashers, dressed in very interesting outfits, leaving little to the imagination. My friend hosting the party used the term “dumpster slut.” I was going to provide a link for you, but I googled it and I think it’s better if you don’t look at the webpage. I am now scarred for life. There were some girls that were wearing what looked like shrunken pillowcases with a slit on top. I was concerned that they would get an STD if someone just looked at them wrong. I’m pretty sure that people have gotten pregnant wearing more clothing than that.

My favorite moment of the party was when a 16 year old ran up to the porch. I’m not even sure how to describe this kid. Future deadbeat dad is probably not far off from reality. This kid is wearing a Cornell t-shirt (strike one), iPod earbuds (strike two), and holding a lit cigarette that he keeps blowing INto. Strikes three, four and five. It was already amazing, but it got even better. Kevin Federline (as I’ve nicknamed him to make this story even better) goes up to a guy nursing a can of Keystone and offers him $2 for a sip of his beer. It was almost the first time that I fell over at a party while being (almost) completely sober.

We didn’t last too much longer, but we did come back to the party a few hours later. It was still a popular hangout for all of the high schoolers that had just finished their summer program, so it was still amusing. Then, in a not-so-surprising turn of events, I found myself feeling like I was 16 again as all my friends piled into my car so we could make a 1:00 AM Taco Bell run.

The moral of this story: don’t be Kevin Federline.

Well, we like our internet slow, ok. We can turn it on, walk around, do a little dance, make a sandwich. With DSL there’s no dancing, no walking and we’d starve. It’d be all work and no play. Have you not seen The Shining, Mom? – Lorelai Gilmore

I feel like I’m living in 1997. The apartment in which I’m living this summer does not have internet yet, and I am doing the whole wireless stealing thing. I currently steal internet from either the laundromat I live above, the pizza place I live next door to, or the guy a few houses down with an unprotected network. None of these connections works particularly well, which is why I switch between them multiple times just to download my e-mail. It’s a lot of effort for offers of penis enhancement and useless messages from mailing lists I’ve been to lazy to unsubscribe to, but there is the occasional important message that makes it worth it.

I have a desk in my bedroom. I had intentions of sitting at it and using my computer, but right now it serves as a storage area for receipts and dvds. I tried using it a few times, but I gave up after my computer angrily informed me that there was no wireless connection. I have been resigned to laying on my bed, my feet at the head, because the foot of the bed is the only place I can pick up the connection.

It takes a lot of effort to get online, and when I finally do, the connection crawls along so slowly I think it’s going backwards. Forget about streaming video, I can’t even load Facebook! This lack of internet has caused me to get out and see the world offline. I’ve been averaging 22 dvds per month from Netflix, finally getting a chance to watch some things I never got around to seeing. I’m reading books for the first time since high school. It’s not all bad.

They’re coming to install internet here next week, but until then, I’ll be the girl carrying the laptop around the room as I attempt to sign on to AIM.


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