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State of the Paulina, Pt. 1

Paulina spots a look-alike:
1D logic: Zayn, you don’t know you’re Uncle Jesse! That’s what makes you Uncle Jesse!  
OneDirection/FullHouse are straight-laced, wholesome boy bands/families that have ONE black sheep. As you can tell from this GIF I found on a 1D tumblr, the interchangeable black sheep is Zayn Malik/Uncle Jesse. THEY ARE IDENTICAL. I keep waiting for Mary-Kate or Ashley to come out from the water on this beach scene. 

Paulina is disappointed: Following the extraordinarily sexy 30-second “preview” (<- notice the quotation marks dipped in sarcasm, they’re important) of JustinBieber’s Boyfriend video, I spent over a week in eager, eager anticipation for Youtube to release the complete version of JB music video gold. After all, if the remaining 2 minutes and 23 seconds of the video were remotely related to the first 30 seconds of blue-filtered, icy-hot tantalizing scenery, Boyfriend was shaping up to be the most seductive coming-of-age video since Jesse McCartney came out with Leavin‘. When fifty gazillion JB followers started announcing that the video was finally up, I jumped around, politely asked/ordered Ernesto to turn off whatever he was watching, clicked on the link on Twitter and took a deep breath before pressing play.  Things seemed like they were off to a good start when the video started with the scenes from the preview; the slightly frozen gears were turning (I can only assume they’re a metaphor for the love machine within JB starting to awake), the two dozen hands were reaching from nowhere to grab JB’s chest, the MJ silhouette was looking fine as ever, and THEN THE VIDEO STARTED OVER. It didn’t smoothly merge with the next part, it just started over from the Orca mating calls. And a 2:53 minute long, warm-filtered, rooftop summer days story that has NOTHING TO DO with the so-called SNEAK PEAK took over. What?!! Do you know what “sneak-peak” means?!! You don’t promise someone an ice cream cone and then give them a chili dog.

Paulina travels time: Apparently my house has Boomerang now? (It’s not a question, but I’m just so stunned that I’m questioning everything now.) Natalia and I watched a solid hour of Cartoon Network shows from way-back-when, like Dexter’s LaBOREatory and Cow and Chicken and I Am Weasel. Oh man. Do you guys remember how NOTHING LOOKED GOOD IN THE 90s? I thought I had fond, fond memories of Cartoon Network, but it turns out there were just a bunch of shiny butts and gross-looking noses all over the place. 

Paulina is proud to be an American: Last Wednesday, President Obama became the first standing U.S. president to announce his support for same-sex marriage. AND I GLADLY STAND UP! NEXT TO YOU!  #lezbehonest #thatsprettyneat (p.s. did you know there’s a groovy Beyonce version of Proud to be an American?! There ain’t no doubt, I love that woman. )

Paulina is not trendy: What the heck does ‘yolo’ mean??

Paulina hasn’t graduated yet: I’m going to just stop going on Facebook until June 9th because all I ever see are statuses and pictures of CONGRATS Class of 2012 at Anywhere But Carleton College and it’s the most depressing thing. akfjlsjdlkfjdlsdkj whyyyyyy are there still 3 weeks left of school?! why why why why why? But the bigger question is how are 400+ students and their families going to fit in the grassy spot behind Olin?! I expect a miracle, Carleton.

Overall state: B/B+


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22B422 Pt. 14: Panino

On April 17, 1992, my mom gave birth to the tub of lard that would grow to be my best friend (after our rough period involving knife threats and borderline mental abuse). Here’s a list of some of the memories I like to reminisce about now and then involving the best broooother in the world.

Look at this kid in his tulip costume. What’s not to love?! Let me tell you. This picture was taken DAYS before this little bundle of joy sat on my Olympic gymnast Barbie, squishing her hips and destroying her tumbling career. 
This is at his 5th birthday party, where he got Space Jam as one of his presents. We would watch it and laugh nonstop whenever someone said the word “butt” and when Daffy Duck asked to stay home and bake cookies. The movie came with the soundtrack (his first ever CD!) and Francisco would also get really teary during “For You I Will,” by Monica (his favorite song for YEARS). Such a sensitive soul. 

I don’t really have a memory associated with this picture, I just think Francisco looks hilarious. On a separate note, our dad made that ginormous flag, I never cease to be impressed by it. 

Francisco had chicken pox on this trip, his face looked the color of mayonaise for days. 
This is during Francisco’s train phase, where he (and I) would watch Thomas the Tank Engine and the gang mess things up for Sir Top’em Hat allll day long. You can’t tell in the picture very well, but this was also the phase when he was in love with Lucky Sumale, his primary teacher from church. The day she got married, he refused to shake her husband’s hand. 

I just wanted to get a picture that captured his Hair Phase. This was also during his Vans phase (which has only sort of ended) and his Motion City Soundtrack obsession. I’m not sure what’s going on in this picture. Is he about to punch me in the head? We both look ridiculous, but Natalia looks like a freaking rock star here. 
And Francisco looks like a freaking rock star in this one (though Alexia should take most of the credit for that). Which rock star does he look like?
Quit stealing J-Bieb’s swag(gie). 

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Danke Schoen

If you are like me, you spent no less than an entire hour verifying that Wayne Newton, the person who sings “Danke Schoen” is actually a MAN. Just listen to that voice, that is not a man’s voice. Only it is. This is really similar to the way I was convinced for months/years that Adele and Duffy were black, only to find out I was very wrong. The moral of the story, I guess, is not to judge a singer by the very convincing qualities of their voice. The other point of the story is that I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned “Danke Schoen” at least five times in this blog, and I want this post to spend a little bit more than six words talking about what the song is about.

1. I’m thankful for the journals that have been piling up in my room since I was 6 that let me travel back in time and allow me to be simultaneously embarrassed and entertained. Sometimes, I feel good knowing that I’ve grown a lot since 5th grade. Most of the time, I just see that most things have stayed the same. Ten years ago, for instance, I STILL 1) never knew what date it was, 2) used too many exclamation points, 4) made everything into lists / bad poems, 5) wrote too much about food and TV, and 6) had terrible cursive. It would be a lot of fun to make this post into a list-poem for old times’ sake, but I’m already up past my bedtime and I don’t think I could come up with something meaningful for V that isn’t velcro (… Vinny Guadagnino?). Anyway, I’m thankful for my mom, who gave me my first journal (a bunch of colored index cards) and told me to write. 
2. This is sort of a cop-out because it’s an extension of number 1, but I’m thankful for National Novel Writing Month. A month ago, I told myself to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, and that novel is officially finished as of Nov. 30, 2011. It’s a terrible novel that probably needs 30 months of editing, there are plot holes and continuity errors all over the place, random lists of Crayola colors and magical candles, and a couple of characters with no first name because I’d run out of good ones, but according to the creators of National Novel Writing Month, it’s a capital N Novel and I am so happy. I couldn’t have done this without the teachers who taught me what it meant to write and what it meant to love it, particularly Mrs. Barbara Bonday in 2nd grade, Dr. Rebecca Koelln in 10th grade and Prof. Greg Smith in my third year of college. And (duh) I’m thankful for a very patient and understanding husband who encouraged me the entire time, and was willing to put up with late dinners, leftovers and a lot of Basil’s pizza while I typed away. 
3. I can’t tell you enough how thankful I am for Christmas music, and that it’s finally socially accepable to listen to it all I want. ALL I WANT. (yes, Ernesto). Panino and I grew up listening to a “Frosty The Snowman” album that taught us Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and Up On the House and ten other essential songs. I love that there are entire radio stations dedicated to Christmas music, I love that there is a Christmas song for every occasion, I love that Celine Dion recorded O Holy Night, I love watching Love Actually just so I can sing along, I love that there are about 10 bajillion Christmas-related excuses to listen to Christmas music (baking cookies, decorating the tree, cooking a huge meal, washing the dishes after eating a huge meal, ice skating, Christmas Charaoke (or Kristmas Karaoke), wrapping presents, writing Christmas cards, all of it). MOST OF ALL, I am so thankful that two of my favorite singers have re-made one of my favorite songs. 

Danke Schoen, Justin and Mariah, for saving Christmas.

       I spent this past Thanksgiving in El Paso with Ernesto, his parents and his sister, and it made me feel very lucky to be a part of their family. Naturally, I missed being at home, which reminded me of how lucky I am to have a family that I love enough to miss and that loves me enough to save me some cranberry mold leftovers for when I got back. I am indescribably thankful for Ernesto, who constantly rescues me from the towers that I build for myself.
     The past two months have had a pretty fair deal of challenges for me, for Ernesto, for my family, for our friends and for our neighbors, and throughout it all, I’ve felt so lucky to be surrounded by people with such an impressive capacity to love and to persevere. Wayne Newton sang, “Thank you for all the joy and pain,” and to that, I’d add that I’m thankful for all of the people in my life who have made the joy worth remembering and the pain worth enduring.

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Try Again

A year ago on this very day, my dad dropped me off at the DMV so I could try for a third time to pass my driving test. The first time, I hadn’t turned on what was allegedly a turn-only lane. The second time, I had knocked a cone coming out of my perfectly executed parallel park. On the morning of the third attempt, the roads were covered in three inches of cold mush and I decided that if I made it out alive to see the DMV guy circle the FAIL on my sheet, I would spend the rest of the day wallowing in the safety of my self-pity while watching the O.C.

And then by some seasonally appropriate miracle, I passed! I don’t remember actually driving during the test, I just remember getting into the car and then parking at the end and hearing the guy next to me say “Well, you passed,” before listing all the things I did wrong. It’s likely that everyone at the DMV could tell I was shocked about passing, considering that I looked like a deer in headlights when I got my picture taken.
So, happy birthday, Driver’s License!
Another notable accomplishment that required several attempts is getting through a Stephen King novel, which instantly became a priority starting in 9th grade when I learned that he was a Red Sox fan. Deciding to finish a novel by the nation’s most celebrated horror book writer was a big deal, considering how I was too scared to keep my eyes open during this scene from The Princess Bride until I turned 13.
And so:
Cujo, 9th grade, stopped reading after the 5th page
The Stand, 9th grade, stopped reading after the first person died
Insomnia, 11th grade, stopped reading after second chapter
The Shining, last summer, fearlessly finished entire book! (It may have helped that I’d seen the movie 10 years ago and sort of knew how things ended. But still.)
Moral of the story: Dreams really do come true! All it takes is a lot of nagging from your parents about how you’re the only person left in high school/college who doesn’t drive, or consistent teasing from your best friend for not wanting to watch The Ring 2.
So, take that, world! I’ve read a scary book and I get to drive myself back to Northfield in two weeks, what up?

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Hi, my name is Mainstream.

On the first day of our computer class in 7th grade, the teacher thought it would be fun for everyone in the room to introduce ourselves by saying our names and our favorite musician. Which was great for 26 of the 27 people in the class, because it quickly became apparent that most people had similar tastes in music:

“I’m Heather Martinson, and I like Jay Z.”
“I’m Jade Williams, and I like Jay Z.”
“I’m Tater, I like Jay Z.”
Which eventually turned into,
“Tyler Brody, Jay Z.”
“Zac, Jay Z.”
“Nicole, Jay Z.”
So it was really fun to have no idea who all these people were talking about, and say, “I’m Paulina, I like Michelle Branch.” Who the heck was Jayzee? Did these people even listen to KROC? Because I did, and I’m pretty sure that “The Game of Love” and “Everywhere” were played at least 50 times a day. And if anyone was having a rough love life, didn’t they all listen to “All You Wanted”?
Apparently not.
Fortunately, my college education is filling the gaping holes left behind from my time in public school. Seven years after I first heard of this so called Jay Z, I auditioned for what I thought was a hip hop dance company. It turned out to be a misnomer for Carleton’s Jay-Z Appreciation Society.
New Life Goal: Pay someone in Olin to build a time machine, go back to the first day of 7th grade, and when it gets to be my turn to introduce myself, say:
“I’m Paulina. I know you all think Jay Z’s current stuff is great, but it pales in comparison to his songs in near future. “On to the Next One” will be overplayed just because everyone will make a big deal about all the Satanic stuff going on in his video, but “Empire State” won’t be played enough. And yeah, it’s kind of cheap that he thinks he can just reword the title of “Young Forever” and get away with the first verse of the original song, but in my opinion, his verse in “Swagger Like Us” is punny enough for me to let him get away with it. And “Run This Town” just gives me chills, but that’s partly because Rihanna is so good at making my life feel dramatic. But since I’m not popular enough to like him right now, I’m gonna keep listening to my soft pop for a while longer, because it doesn’t swear as much, so my mom won’t get mad when I sing along.”
In other music-related news:
– Somebody Still Loves You, Boris blablaweirdlastname is coming to Carleton, which means that I’ll go see them, sing along to the four songs that somehow got into my iTunes library, and leave before the concert gets too obscure and indie.
-Stop making fun of Justin Bieber. He is a successful single mom’s kid from Canada who has an obnoxious haircut (but who doesn’t these days?) and who melts people’s hearts when he sings about love. LOVE. It’s not supposed to be deep, just let the catchy take you away and sing along.
-Reason #abillion why I like Ernesto: He is taking me to see Fun! Because Rodrigo and Gabriela cancelled their show. So.. “Awwww,” and “Yay!”

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People Who Never Had My Permission To Grow Up

but did it behind my back, anyways.

Lindsey Lohan: You really shouldn’t be on this list because I can only care about one set famous twins, and the Olsens have held that slot since 1995, when I started watching Full House. And I KNOW that you claim to be one person, what with the alleged camera tricks in The Parent Trap. But you’re not fooling me. You can’t Royal Flush yourself in poker. You can’t fence with yourself. You can’t cut your own hair with your eyes closed while moaning about your hair in a “fake” British accent. You’re hiding a twin, and it’s that twin who has tanned herself into a booby (adj) carrot who spends her nights going clubbing with Madonna and getting arrested for driving drunk.

Lizzie McGuire: (less commonly known as Hillary Duff) No! You’re dating a hockey player with no teeth? You had a threesome in Gossip Girl? You make jokes about not having gone to college with George Lopez on his talk show? George Lopez has a talkshow? No no no this is all wrong. You are supposed get married to Gordo and have hacky-sack-loving babies. You are supposed to continue wearing sequined jeans and butterfly clips. What’s the point of ANYTHING if sequins and butterfly clips aren’t cool anymore?

Mary-KateAndAshley Olsen: I’ll never forget the day I saw half of you on the cover of People magazine for anorexia. I’ll never forget it because, what the heck, why didn’t Ashley have anorexia, too? Just because you are both a little taller and hotter than your detective super-sleuthing days doesn’t mean that you can suddenly have separate lives. This completely shameless disregard for the principles of twindom shakes me at the core. When Mary-Kate dropped out of NYU, Ashley followed. When Ashley became CEO of Dualstar, so did Mary-Kate. There’s no “I” in Olsen.

Dora The Explorer: It’s understandable that after 9 years of Nick Jr. stardom, you might want to ditch the M-shaped hair, the tubby tummy and the talking backpack. And the velcro-strap shoes, because it doesn’t matter how old you get, shoelaces will never be fun. But why would you want to be a tween? Why? You’ll never be cool enough, not even with your matching purple headband/belt/leggings. All the other girls will start shaving before you, leaving you to wallow in hairy misery during P.E. School dances won’t be that bad if you have a literal circle of friends to hang out with, but once Enrique Iglesias starts singing “Hero”, you’ll only have a few seconds to find some spiky-haired boy to slow dance with before you lose all desirability.

0:04 ( slow guitar) – everyone has recognized the slow song
0:08 (‘Let me be your hero..‘) – circle of friends disperses, you scan the room for people on your buddy list
0:13 (‘Would you dance..) – you start walking faster, people are already pairing off
0:16 (‘..if I asked you to dance?..) – hey look! there’s-wait they just got asked. Over there- dangit they just asked someone else. If I sprint across the room I could ask- crap they just got asked.
0:23 (‘Would you run, and never look back?..) – you look around frantically for loners looking around frantically
0:29 (‘Would you cry if you saw me crying?..)- oh Lord, even Doug Lee is dancing with someone already
0:35 (‘..or would you save my soul tonight?) – whatever, you’ve really had to pee anyways. There’s nothing wrong with staying in the bathroom for the next 3 minutes and 46 seconds.

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Que du bonheur!

It’s Friday and I refuse to be unhappy, even if half the campus wants to wipe their butt with the Carl Horoscopes for all the stupid alliterations that someone (Blanky Blanky) decided to add. Unless your name is Shel Silverstein or Eminem, thinking that alliterations will make your sentence sound better is like puking on your hot dog to give it extra flavor.


1. Inching my way to the top of the Carleton College Publications Pyramid is going better than expected. I even skipped a whole level (The Carletonian). It’s like skipping a grade but it’s more rewarding and no one plays Monkey in the Middle with your lunchbox during recess. Writing/editing/fighting with (Blanky Blanky) about the Carl Horoscopes isn’t a bad way to be part of the elite few who get to call themselves editors of this school’s most respected (read:recycled) paper. Brag! Brag! Editor! Brag! Carl! Brag! Trelawney Protegee! Brag!

2. Courtney Bertchinger: Like any good friend, I was reading your Facebook info and I noticed that one of your listed Favorite Movies happens to be one that I love with most of my body and all of my soul and that has since served as my personal definition of “beautiful”. Thanks for reminding me of my definition of “beautiful”.

3. Ernesto LLano: Like any good friend, you were creeping on my Firefox tabs and noticed that I was having trouble coping with the possibility that I might never again watch Portraits Chinois. Thanks for making me extremely happy. Next time we watch it together, maybe you won’t fall asleep half an hour into it.

4. I am trying very hard not to write this all in caps but holy crap Ebony is tomorrow and I am so excited you wouldn’t even believe it a a a a a a a h h h h h h hh hhh!

5.ça fait longtemps, and it’s lovely to have this as part of my life again. I love the internet.