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There are probably better ways to use my time.

You guys. I have a lot of lame hobbies. Among these, there’s looking at calendars online (not shopping for them, not printing them out and USING them.. just looking at them in awe), e-stalking this person, freaking out when I recognize actors that play secondary characters across different shows*


In my last post I posted a clip of Glee where Sandy Ryerson yells at someone for not knowing who Josh Groban is. Last weekend, I watched Groundhog Day with Ernesto and was super excited to see a young, less pastel-covered Sandy (whose name is Stephen Toboloswky IRL) hanging out with Bill Murray.


While I was looking for relevant pictures to put on this blog, I found THIS ONE..

.. and then it took like 20 seconds to find Stephen Tobolowsky’s AMA and his podcast. Which I am listening to right now. He’s talking about yogurt and heart surgery and being a terrible bowler. (!!!!)
Okay, so that unprecedented detour does a pretty good job of depicting how I spend an alarming amount of my free time. It’s an even more alarming amount now that I’m in this awkward space before school and work start again. Since Ernesto already has a life, I spend most of the day alone in our apartment trying to ignore the 3 boxes that have been halfway unpacked for the past 3 weeks and dividing my time between the hobbies previously discussed and watching old episodes of Project Runway.
At first, I was like, “Why is this the first time I’m watching this show? I should’ve listened to Person From High School Who Recommended It. This show is incredible. Omg Tim Gunn.” And thennn I realized that what I love about this show is that it’s exactly like watching episodes of people working on art projects at Carleton until 4 in the morning, had those episodes ever been filmed. It took 3 years of being in Boliou the night before (or morning of) a deadline, running on no sleep and being surrounded by 11-15 people who are freaking out, followed by a 2-hour critique where everyone tells you all the different ways they hate your piece and one part they liked about it to appreciate what goes on in Project Runway. Granted, Michael Kors is a little bit more creative with the insults he hands out, but you get the picture. So yeah, I’ve felt sort of like a veteran who can’t stop watching war movies.
In an attempt to feel less gross about myself after finishing Season 8, I started looking for new books for my Kindle. Ernesto got me The Firm and well.. okay, I thought I’d lost all respect for John Grisham when I learned he was responsible for Christmas with the Kranks. WRONG. It turns out that I still had a light at the end of my John Grisham tunnel, and that light disappeared with The Firm. I don’t think I’m even ready to talk about this yet. I’m definitely not one against trashy novels (remember sophomore fall term at Carleton, when I read like 4 Princess Diary Books AND the entire Queen of Babble series AND both of the Bridget Jones’ Diary books? If it sounds super lonely and pitiful, it’s cause it was. But at least it was enjoyable), but The Firm made me want to sue John Grisham for allowing himself to accept a spot on the bestseller list.

After that debacle, I was browsing r/kindlefreebies and THIS IS WHERE IT GETS GOOD I found this website that has a hundred free e-books.. Oh man. Oh. Man. I don’t even have the words to convey how terrible/awesome it was, so I’ve picked out a few of the most memorable titles (accompanied by the original cover art and a brief description by the author):

My favorite cover is definitely Plankton We Have Heard on High, but it’s tough to choose. Part of me sort of wants to download some of these and see if the inside is as entertaining as the outside, but I don’t want to spoil the illusion.

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22B422 Pt. 20: Notebook Excerpts

LIFE WRITING AT ITS BEST! Beat this, Anne Frank.
The first lines of each page in my school notebook:

– a model
– Do I know George well enough to write about this?
– turned into a commentary on effects of
– 4/10 is timeline invasion day on Facebook
– leaves with new understanding of people, generally normalizes them
– Autobiography/Personal/Psychology
– general journalism lecture: solve problem of SCENE first
– farm stand in high school (high school or old woman?)
– he wants to win the lottery/rob a bank/ change his name/ donate to charity
– … therefore becomes a hero to win BUT
– … therefore he successfully frames liked hero to take his spot, BUT
– Sotheby’s, appraisal orgs
– antiques capital of Connecticut?
– rituals and benchmarks
– structure of schooling and the boundaries of adolescence
– (Rousseau) assumes people are innately good
– make every working man a scholar and every scholar a working man
– Milner: status determined by beauty/physique
– Erikson/Marcia’s so-called universal theories don’t consider the implications of race
– Louder Than A Bomb questions : poetry in curriculum?
– 2000 writers’ collaborative
– Personal Narrative: what’s the purpose of telling a story?
– Doug Foxgrover and posters
-The role of social networks on adolescent identity development
– retain the inalienability of status because status is located in other people’s minds
– in high school could explore the two identities by creating
– Last weekend, Ernesto and I visited Ann Arbor, Michigan
– Oliver Sachs and how to approach life writing
– Salem’s Lot 4:23:21 at 59:45
– scholars and leaders in professionalism
– low scoop/arms side/ knees low/ cries low
– legs take it out in stride

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22B422 Pt. 19: Things Currently On My Coffee Table

– A thing of nail polish in “Spring Fling,” which looks peach-colored in the bottle but gold and tacky on my fingernails.

– A milkglass vase with flowers from last summer’s wedding

– A Swingline stapler

– One green mug with a sad little puddle of Coke Zero at the bottom

– One compostable plastic cup 1/3 filled with trail mix I took from the junior art show opening

– One unwrapped box of chocolate-covered macadamias

– Ernesto’s unused Lagniappe

– One Glade candle that smells like “Clean Linen” or “Fresh Cotton” or something similar to give the illusion that any laundry ever gets done in this apartment

– Half of a chocolate chip cookie from Sayles

– One Energizer battery charger

– One new copy of “A Century of Revolution” by Grendin & Joseph

– One used copy of “Keep it Real” by Lee Gutkind

– One used and battered copy of “The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager” by Thomas Hine

– A teal-colored ceramic Sun/Moon that I haven’t found a nail for

– A framed print of Paws/Pause

– One used copy of “The Motorcycle Diaries”

– The Spring/Summer Northfield community ed catalog

– A Victoria’s Secret catalog

– One copy of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” that is property of John Marshall High School

– One sealed envelope addressed to the Mayo Scholarship Plan

– One printout of a reddit IAMA thread titled, “I transport exotic and unusual shipments for FedEx. AMA”

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I spend a lot of time

– daydreaming about baking cookies with the fake vanilla extract I bought two weeks ago.

– trying to wash the printmaking ink out of the corners of my fingernails, failing, and looking like my hands just came out of a zombie movie.

– listening to “Set Fire to the Rain” on the radio, as in hearing it four times on three (THREE) different radio stations during the 45 minute drive from Nofo to Roch.

– trying to convince myself that saying “Nofo” and “Roch” doesn’t make me sound like a tool.

– pretending to be Ryan Gosling from “Drive” whenever I’m driving to Rochester/Northfield/Cub Foods. The ice cold fear that starts running through my veins whenever I have to make a left turn probably isn’t very similar to the fear Ryan Gosling’s character (who doesn’t have a name, fyi, if you haven’t seen the movie, in which case I feel so bad for you because that movie is basically the fuel that keeps me running day after day, and not even because it stars Ryan Gozlin’ but because it is a work of Capital-A-Art, and I can say that without the least bit of contempt or cynicism. Was that long enough of a run-on fragment for you? Sometimes I think that the fond, fond memory I have of watching that movie in Dallas with Ernesto probably accounts for 80ish percent of the reason I want to move to Texas.) what was I saying before? I’m aware that my adventurous left-turns in rural Minnesota – the kind without a green arrow at the intersection – are not exactly up to par with Ryan Gosling’s mind-blowing escapades (LITERALLY) (you could hear brains actually squelching/splashing onto the walls) (P.S. spoilers.. sorry). But pretending to be Driver makes me feel elated, so I do it all the time.

– reminding myself that I need a haircut, then remembering that I don’t want to spend fifteen bucks to walk out of Cost Cutters looking exactly the same as when I walked in, then aimlessly browsing DIY haircut tutorials on Youtube until I get distracted by better Youtube things.

– feeling depressed that all the people I admire are probably jerks.

– wishing there could be a bookmark for my audiobook on iTunes so that I could occasionally take a breaks and listen to music without losing my place, then the plot, then the book, then I swear.

– listening to Josh Ritter and trying to rearrange my organs so that more of me could be filled up with his music.

– catching myself about to quote someone’s blog, then realizing it would probably be creepy if they knew I even read their blog because we’re in that weird limbo between being fringe acquaintances (where the other person probably doesn’t remember that we had that one conversation at that one event) and actual acquaintances (where I nod at the other person on my way to class and pretend I didn’t just read their really dumb contribution to Carleton Facebook Memes). Do you have a blog? I probably read it. And pretend I don’t read it by self-censoring myself whenever I want to reference it.

– saying I want to make this blog look sexier, but in a dignified way. Like, Meryl Streep sexy. Just kidding. I know she’s the Lara Croft of actresses, but Doubt totally obliterated any chance of my finding Meryl Streep sexy. I haven’t ever played Tomb Raider, but every life-size cardboard cutout I’ve seen walking by Gamestop leads me to assume that Lara Croft is the most unstoppable human force the world has ever known. Probably accurate.

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Adventures in Interviewing Myself

It is a typical February afternoon here in Northfield, MN. The floor of Paulina Lopez’s studio in Boliou ( the neglected warehouse that functions as Carleton College’s art building) is covered in newsprint, chalk dust, plastic curlies from her relief blocks and the Death Blanket that she made last week for Advanced Sculpture. Much like Bill Watterson’s Calvin might spread his peas around his dinner plate to make it seem like he has been eating, Paulina has spent the last 8 weeks of Winter Term spreading her crap around her studio space to give the appearance of passionate art-making. Is it working? Why doesn’t she just work on comps instead of writing about comps? Will she ever finish the “It” audiobook she’s been listening to since last year? The answers to these questions and more are revealed in this exclusive interview.

Paulina 1: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet. As I’m sure you’re aware, I’m running out of ways to put off my ever-increasing mountain of homework, and this interview has just made that so much easier. 

Paulina 2: I’m happy to oblige.

P1: Let’s get down to business, shall we? Tell me, how exactly does it feel to be done with the GRE?

P2: I’m so glad you asked. It feels GREat. .. I’ve been sitting on that one ever since I walked out of the Prometric place at Edina/Eden Prarie (what’s the difference, right?) but I didn’t want to say it until I got my scores back and could say with a fair level of surety that I wouldn’t be retaking it soon. WHICH I WILL NOT BE DOING. BECAUSE I GOT MY SCORES TODAY AND BOY DOES PASSING BY WITH BARELY ABOVE GROUND COLORS FEEL GOOD.    ..Wouldn’t you aGREe?

P1: How many more terrible GRE puns do you have?

P2: I could only think of those two. Forgive me, I was too busy recovering from all the PEMDAS review to go crazy with the wordplay this time. Sooo anyway, I’m done with the GRE. Booyah. .. I bet you’re GREen with envy. (Sorry, I just thought of that one now.)

P1: Are there any other recent accomplishments you want to share?

P2: Oh man, YES. I recently found out that Carrie Underwood and Colbie Caillat are two different people. Who’da thought? (not sure whether I spelled that right) But seriously, consider my paradigm shifted. All this time, I’d been skipping over Carrie’s tracks in Pandora because I thought she’d be singing about cute bubbly gingerbread dreams or whatever the actual Colbie Caillat sings about. Two weeks ago I was off my game (thank the lord) and “Before He Cheats” started playing before I saw Carrie’s name on the computer screen. Have you heard that song?!

P1: Well, it came out in 2007, so.. 

P2: I know, I’m still recovering from the fact that I’ve gone 5ish years (yeah GRE math!) without knowing this song. It could’ve come in handy for all those times I wanted to ruin someone’s pretty little souped up 4-wheel drive! Which add up to about zero, because Mark Irish’s twenty year old Explorer wasn’t pretty or souped up, and besides, the only car I’ve ever envisioned beating to death belonged to the Northgate Driving School during my second (and last) practice driving hour in eleventh grade and wasn’t pretty, souped up, or a 4 wheel drive. It was one of those cars built with an extra set of brakes in the shotgun seat, which I’d always assumed were fake and just there to give the student driver a reassuring sense of security. Speaking from personal experience, I can assure you that the extra brakes are actually very, very functional.

 No, but I was actually really impressed with myself for knowing what a Louisville Slugger is when Carrie mentioned it in the chorus. I’ve gone to the Louisville Slugger museum/factory, so I think I’d know exactly how to use it on a couple of headlights. And I still owe Northgate four practice driving hours, soooooo you know.

P1: I still don’t get how you could think Colbie Caillat and Carrie Underwood were the same person.. 

P2: Don’t get judgy, anyone could’ve made the same mistake. They’re both blonde. They both play guitar.. I think. Anyway, the good news isn’t over yet! Because apart from discovering “Before He Cheats,” I also learned that Carrie Underwood is the voice behind “Jesus Take The Wheel,” which I have loved half-sarcastically, half-sincerely ever since Karen K. showed it to our seminary class in 9th grade.

P1: Any other music-related accomplishments? 

P2: Duh. Well, no. This next one isn’t an accomplishment as much as it is an opinion.. but here goes. The Spanish version of Shakira’s “Rabiosa” is way better than the English version with Pitbull. I KNOW, WHAT?

P1: But it has Pitbull!

P2: I knoooow but trust me, the non-Pitbull one is better. It may have something to do with the music video, which is the same for both versions and doesn’t show Pitbull at all, so you’re just watching Shakira flirt with this guy who is obviously not Pitbull while Pitbull is singing seductively.. it’s weird. Like, bad weird, not freakyhawt weird.

P1: Tell a little bit about your position on the Carleton College Memes FB page.

P2: I was totally for this page before it existed, because I was tired of hearing crickets whenever I browsed month-old post after month-old post on r/carletoncollege. I thought, “Oh, a Facebook memes page will be so much more dynamic and colorful and fun.” I had envisioned people investing as much energy into the page as they do writing incoherent, unfunny CLAP articles every Friday, only it would be even better because Facebook wouldn’t have an 11 pm submission deadline OR pile up on my coffee table each week. I hadn’t, however, envisioned 75% of the memes being THE SAME CONDESCENDING WONKA STOLAF JOKE. So.. back to r/carletoncollege it is. Which isn’t so bad, really, because that’s where this nugget of truth resides.

P1: What has been your most empowering experience in the past few weeks?

P2: You mean other than memorizing the “Before He Cheats” lyrics and singing it for two hours straight while I hammered away at advanced sculpture stuff? It’s hard to get more empowering than that. Buuuuut there was that moment last Sunday afternoon during a church potluck when this 6 year-old kid named Connor maniacally piled my fruit salad onto his plate while yelling “This is my favorite thing EVERRR!” Talk about a self-confidence booster. Never mind the fact that 10 minutes later, I saw him telling a cherry pie, “Ooooh, Connor likes what he sees. Connor’s gonna eat you all up.” First of all, talking to food in third person shouldn’t be so stigmatized. Secondly, Connor didn’t say Cherry Pie was his favorite thing ever, so I’d like to think I still have that special place in his heart.

P1: This has certainly been enlightening. Any last words before checking out?

P2: You mean something that will bring inspiration, personal growth, love and/or happiness to people’s everyday lives? Well, I’d like to second in saying that you can’t go wrong with any Young Money quotes. 16 out of the 29 inspirational Young Money quotes are all from Bed Rock, so you know that’s promising. BUT if you’re still skeptical, feel free to peruse this other source of inspiration/personal growth/etc. YOU’RE WELCOME.

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Read This To Feel Cooler Than Me

Ernesto has been out of town on another one of those nErD cOnVenTioNz (i.e. medical school interviews) (i.e. paths to an actual future) since Thursday, which means I’ve had the entire apartment to myself to go crazy. Carpe diem! Git’er dun! Just do it!  Here’s how I’ve seized the day so far:
1. I woke up promptly at 11, after staying up until 3:30 a.m. the night before for no apparent reason other than to watch The Office while eating choco-banana muffins.  (It was actually only one muffin.. I ate it slowly so it would last the entire episode. I’m not sure whether that makes my night more or less pathetic.)
2. At some point while singing/washing the dishes, I came up with “I ain’t no challah-back girl” and thought it was the most hilarious thing in the world.  Like, I couldn’t get past the chorus without giggling uncontrollably, which was probably a good thing because I wouldn’t have been able to come up with more dumb food puns for the rest of the song. Honestly, I still think it’s the most hilarious thing in the world, partly because “challah-back girl” conjures up this delightful image of Gwen Stefani using a loaf of challah as a track baton in a 4×400 relay, while “hollaback girl”only makes me think of Gwen Stefani in a cheerleader outfit. You decide which one would make a better GIF. 
I just got 245,000 results after Googling “challah back girl,” so it’s probably too late to use it as my original catchphrase. Under most circumstances I might get a little depressed, BUT I also found this site, where I can still feel like it’s my original catchphrase by purchasing “I ain’t no challah-back girl” business cards at the very reasonable price of 7 cents each for each order of 1000! Never mind the fact that I, 1) am not Jewish, 2) don’t have a company. The last time I checked, I live in Amurrika, where I’m free to buy 1000 business cards that have my full name printed on every line.
I’m, like, 5% tempted to actually do this just to spite Ernesto, who is probably stuffing his face with challah at some charming bakery on Brookline Ave. as I type this. You think you can just fly to Boston without me and shrug it off?! Think again, sucka. 
3. Speaking of healthy communication in relationships. Today I decided that my New Year’s resolution will be to not suck at texting. There are two specific ways in which I am the worst texter I know. The first way only applies to Ernesto, because only Ernesto would put up with it. To sum up a very long, heartbreaking story involving a comatose Blackberry to which I never got to say goodbye, my old  phone broke and now I have a touchscreen piece of crap that puts up a hissy fit every time I try to unlock it to DO anything, but somehow manages to call my house whenever the fabric of my pockets or the dust particles in the air of my apartment so much as brush by the screen. Which they like to do between 2 and 4 in the morning, at least once a week. The phone also insists on typing 5 different letters when I very clearly only pressed one, and the autocorrect is a joke. 
SO as an act of resistance, I refuse to correct my spelling whenever I text Ernesto, which may have something to do with the fact that he MADE me get this phone (yes, at gunpoint) (obviously not at gunpoint.. in case social services or someone is reading this) instead of the perfectly acceptable Blackberry with actual buttons, all because the non-Blackberry was $70 ish cheaper. Well, I can use those $70 to buy 1000 personalized business cards now, so I think we know who really won that battle. 
Well, no one won that battle, because everything I send Ernesto looks like a drunk text (see Figure 1) AND I’m still stuck with this touchscreen phone that takes 3x longer to text with than a phone with actual buttons (so if the things I text you don’t look like they’re straight out of a Ke$ha music video, FEEL IMPORTANT). Also, I still don’t have 1000 challah-back girl business cards. Lose-Lose.  
Figure 1: Paulina Lopez’s texts to Ernesto are 80% incomprehensible.
Second (and this applies to everyone), I take somewhere between one hour and 4 days to respond. Sometimes I don’t respond at all. So.. my apologies if that’s happened to you. I’m not trying to be a jerk. Usually, what’s going on is something like this scenario (my thoughts are in purple):
(recieved text) Friend: blahblah insert funny thing here
(attempting to text a response) me: hahahaha wait how many ‘ha’s are too many? just one sounds sarcastic, whatever I’ll go with three. although.. three seems a little much for something that wasn’t exactly the most hilarious thing Friend has ever said. I have to make them work for my ‘hahahas’, don’t I? Otherwise I’ll have to add another ‘ha’ onto the actually funny stuff and that’s gonna take forever to type out. lskjlfkjs ahh whatever I don’t text Friend that often anyway that’s  real funny god I sound like a hick really funny that doesn’t seem sincere totes funny wait will this person get that I’m making fun of abbreviations or does it seem like I’m actually abbreviating? Cause I’m trying to make fun of abbreviations here. I only sincerely abbreviate when I text Other Friend.. although now that I think about it, does Other Friend get that I’m sincerely abbreviating and not just making fun of abbreviating? 

Aaaand that’s how what should have been a very simple response never gets sent because I’m the most awkward person in the world. 
(relevant at this point in the post:)