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I lived at the shore for three years. Im not afraid of a little hurricane. And Im fully prepared for a big one. Settle down, PA. Unless you live in an area prone to flooding, the worst that can happen is your power goes out.

However, Im thankful to have off school Monday and Tuesday. Go ahead and overreact all you want, city of Philadelphia!
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Both [livejournal.com profile] midnight21 and [livejournal.com profile] zeegeek have done this so far. I was avoiding it, but since I've had such a hard time writing stuff, I've given in. I'm sure I can manage to be wordy when asked questions about myself. Some of these questions are pretty intense, but at least not the first one!

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.

1. I have lots of nervous habits, some of which can be very destructive, mostly to do with scratching and picking at myself. This is actually somewhat of a secret, so don't tell anybody. I was just trying to come up with something I haven't said already.

2. When people see me around family members, or even photos of my family, they always remark how we look EXACTLY alike, no matter which side of the family it is. So something about my genetics causes us all to look EXACTLY alike? I mean now that we're both grown up I think my sister could easily pass for my twin - some identical twins don't look perfectly alike but still are identical - and I think I've always been able to pass for twins with my cousin because we're the same age.

3. I read super fast. I read The Hunger Games trilogy in one day. And still managed to do a few other things with my time as well.

4. I have a violin and am considering taking violin lessons.

5. I have an iPhone 4 now. Not a 4s. I'm afraid of Siri.

6. I also have a super!bling case with a peacock on it.

7. Speaking of peacock, I'm working on a drawing of angel wings made of peacock feathers. The girl Mimi who dragged me to a bar (only once) wants to show it to a tattoo artist. I am happy to oblige. I like to draw and I love peacock feathers!

8. I have new TV shows. I still don't watch live TV, but I now watch Homeland, Revolution, Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad in addition to 30 Rock and How I Met Your Mother.

9. I haven't touched my guitar in ages.

10. I am friendly acquaintances with a very unusual person who takes the bus when I do.

11. I have no idea how to spell acquaintance without spell-check

12. I am really good at insulting people without realizing it until after I close my mouth.

13. When I am old I want to have flower-arranging and hat decorating as my hobbies.

14. I am too lazy to carve my pumpkin for Halloween.

15. Actually I think I might eat my pumpkin. It's a squash, right, and squash is food?

16. I take my shoes off and switch chairs when I come home from school. I feel like Mr. Rogers. Actually I put on a cardigan too. I AM Mr. Rogers!

17. I did the coolest thing at the Renaissance faire, I improv'd a silly song with some traveling minstrels. I even mimicked their accents! Screw having a professional career. Can't I be a traveling minstrel?

18. I am terrible at baking. I make the worst cookies and cakes. If you come over for dinner, bring dessert!

19. I need two blankets when I curl up on the couch - one to put over me and one to pet.

20. I hate movies and TV shows where dead people come back to life. ...zombies and vampires don't count. I mean ACTUALLY come back to life. Miracles are shit.

The questions )
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Well... yesterday I did put away my laundry, and I did do some more laundry. I went to the garden store, but I didn't do any gardening. I didn't clean up my girly clutter. I DID to a lot of studying and school work. I didn't cook anything.

Today, I will try my best to do all the garden things that need to be done before it's cold enough to plant bulbs. I also went to the supermarket with the car (so I could get a bunch of stuff) and got a bunch of stuff. Here are the things I will cook:

Wasabi-crusted pan-seared tuna steaks with sauteed asparagus and rice cooked in dashi stock

Hamburgers made with lean ground beef, bacon, shallots, and horseradish cheddar on garlic toast with boston lettuce and tomatoes and roasted potato wedges

Baked pesto chicken with golden potatoes and green beans

Potato gnocchi with alfredo sauce, leftover chicken, and broccoli.

Rice cooked with leftover chicken, lettuce, cucumbers, and ginger-garlic-fish sauce (this is some kind of Chinese food. Jason is teaching me to make this)
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After writing and deleting several entries over the past week, here is what I will do today:

I will go to the garden store and purchase garden things, and then do work in my garden(s) this morning. I will have coffee, because I finally replaced the coffee maker. I will eat something for breakfast/lunch but I will not make or acquire this meal myself. My boyfriend folded my laundry, even though I'm supposed to fold it myself. I will put this laundry away. Then I will do more laundry. I will clean up all my girly clutter off the bathroom sink. I will request again that another, lower shelf be hung in the linen cabinet. I will cook dinner. Tonight I will study.

But first I will get up. I slept way in today.
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There's a daffodil in my garden.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN???
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We Are Having Winter This Year.

I can tell because I have dandruff in my eyebrows and horribly dry-yet-breaking-out skin everywhere else. This always happens when the seasons start to change for the colder. It didn't happen last year. Because it never got cold.

...I'm kind of scared we'll get like... TWO winters or something. *shudders*

Wow Cool,

Sep. 30th, 2012 12:55 pm
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Everybody on my f-list who never updates updated this weekend! (You know who you are... all of you...)

Thing is... I have nothing to report about my life. I'm just not in the mood. It's nice to read about all of you though!
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Swear to God I was standing in line behind Draco Malfoy, attitude, accent, and all.
exhilaration: (impossible things)
30. Look back on this last month and talk about it.

Well I started this meme in January, actually, as something to give my journal a little structure right after my birthday. I said that if that day was the last day of my life, I'd be disappointed because I felt like I wasn't living my life to it's full potential because I wasted too much time being miserable - so miserable that I had actually written and deleted an entry that answered the question differently: I said that if that day had been the last day of my life I'd have been happy because at least it would mean it was all finally over.

Since then my outlook has changed quite a bit - and I've worked very hard to change it, but I don't know if my hard work really meant anything at all. Maybe I'm just less depressed because it is summer, so it's not dark and cold all the time and I have so much more sunlight, and because I'm doing so much better being independent now because I'm much better recovered from surgery finally, and because I've got my hands on some decent drugs that do control my pain enough that I can function fairly normally.

For the most part, though, I feel much better when I stay away from self-reflection.
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29. If you could be doing the same things you do now, only in your own way, how would a normal day in your life go?

The same way it does now.

Honestly.

You know, change one thing, everything changes, and I don't want that.
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28. Would you rather someone tell you the truth up front but gently, or be lied to to spare your feelings?

I don't want to be lied to to spare my feelings. I have a huge paranoia about that. Like if I say, do I look okay like this? And you say, oh YEAH, you look GREAT! And then I feel good and confident, but what if you lied to me? What if everyone who sees me things, oh, that is just so sad, look at that girl, she thinks she looks sexy like that...

Just tell me the truth please. I'm a big girl, trust me, I can handle it.
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26. Talk about a moment where you were truly happy. What was happening? Who were you with?

Just recently I was sitting on a beach - it wasn't a terribly beautiful beach, but the ocean was stunning. It was the morning after a tropical storm and the water and the sky were gorgeous. It wasn't too hot or smelly (I'm used to the beach smelling horrible after a storm, cause NJ is dirty like that, but we were in DE) and I was quite comfortable sitting in the beach chair just enjoying the spectacular view. Bevan, Jason, and Minh and I were spending a long weekend at the shore before school started for me, and right at that moment there were so many pleasant thoughts running through my head that my overall disposition was just "everything's ok." Not "it's going to be ok." "It's ok NOW. Exactly how it is, everything is ok."

It was a really nice feeling. I still feel like that. I hope it lasts!
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25. What do you think it means to be a good parent?

Well... I guess a good parent teaches his or her children to be good people, to sum it up.

A good parent wouldn't have much in common with my own parents, either.

Everything I can think of involves teaching your children: teach them why we do the things we do, why we have bed times and why we can't just eat candy all day long, why we have to go to school and why we have to play nice with the other kids. I didn't really enjoy learning these things as a young adult/older teenager. And you know... teach them what to do when they don't know what to do. Who to go to. Where to look. What their resources are. Everything else I can think of really should go without saying: a good parent doesn't tell constant lies to their kids - it will mess them up forever. A good parent doesn't isolate their kids - AND a good parent allows their kids to have boundaries. Not any boundaries they want, it's ok if the parent sets the boundaries even, but once they're in place, a good parent will respect them.

Good parents feel bad when they fuck it up.

Bad parents make the kid feel bad.

And that's all I'm going to say on that.
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I took a small vacation right before school started, and I was very excited for it and it was really quite nice and relaxing. I don't know, which would you rather hear about, school or vacation? I've had all my classes now - I have one class Mondays and Fridays and two classes Tuesday Wednesday and Thursdays. I feel pretty good about them. I recognize a few people in a few of my classes, even though it's such a big school, so that's kind of nice. I also managed to bring some sand with me to school and I felt pretty cool about that :) I mean, I guess it harkens way way back to when I was a kid and thought the beach was THE COOLEST PLACE EVER (and it's also the only place I'd ever been on vacation, ever, because my dad's family lives there so it was a very cheap vacation since we would stay with my grandparents) but yeah, I felt pretty cool looking down at the floor and being like, oh look, sand from the ocean, MY BAD, THAT MUST HAVE COME FROM ME, SINCE I WAS JUST THERE YESTERDAY YOU KNOW!

It was fun and relaxing. I'll have to do a beach trip entry sometime soon, before it loses all the freshness in my memory. I feel like I'm fully in the swing of school mode already, which I guess is a good thing, but it makes it seem like my trip was ages ago and I'm losing all the random exciting little thoughts that occurred to me while just sitting around and relaxing. Now all my energy is taken up by school logistics, getting there, carrying stuff around with me, getting around while I'm there and what to eat while I'm there and how to get myself socializing without being that annoying person who like tries to bust into a closed social circle and is entirely oblivious that nobody wants her there... I have good feelings about this year though.
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1. I can't find my driver's license anywhere. I never drive, but I do purchase alcohol from time to time and not having a photo ID is kind of a problem.

2. My pharmacy gave me the wrong medication. Yes, they really did. I couldnt believe it. It never really occurred to me to souble check that the right stuff was in the bag - its a pharmacy, these are drugs, they dont screw things up like that! It took me over an hour of waiting to get the right drugs, and neither the techs not the pharmacist apologized or showed any concern or sense of urgency to get the mix up fixed. I couldnt believe it. Im used to being given shit at the pharmacy - shit like, oh, we dont have any of that, we wont be able to fill this until next week (when its a prescription that must be re-prescribed monthly on THE DAY it runs out) and if that means youll go into withdraw we dont care, oh and by the way we flagged you, so dont bother EVER trying to pick up a schedule II here, we'll always be "out." That kind of shit. Ive never been given the wrong drug before. IMO they should all be fired. Someone could die that way. And they didnt even care - the tech was even snotty with me, makin sarcastic comments about me to the oharmacist right in front of me. I dont even. Wtf.

3. Me and Bevan did some beach/back to school shopping, cause thats what we're doing for the rest of the month. Im all set: sunscreen and beach towel, insulated cooler pouch, case of coconut water for the beach, lunch bag, laptop case, and capri pants for school, good to go! Im excited for school this year cause I finally feel like Im making some progress with this degree. Dont expext to hear from me too much cause Ill be busy busy busy!
exhilaration: (impossible things)
24. Are you more social or independent? Why do you think that is?

I was a little puzzled at first to have "independent" be the opposite of "social." I think I have a pretty independent personality. I mean, I am not one of those girls who goes to the bathroom in a pack, you know, that kind of thing. I like to be left alone a lot of the time - I don't like people bothering me (or "helping" me) when I'm trying to do things like shop or run errands or ride the bus, or that kind of thing. I even got, like, the BIG headphones cause I thought that would be a clearer visual signal that I WILL NOT ENGAGE YOU. It works some of the time.

I've also got horrible social skills. I have a terrible time making friends and I've tried to sort of work on how I relate to people, but even still a lot of social situations are kind of a mystery to me. But... I think at the end of the day I AM a social person, because I WANT social contact and I ENJOY it (when it's not super awkward and unpleasant... you know, I like social contact with my FRIENDS) and ultimately, I think most things are BETTER when shared with people who are important to me, because I really enjoy having another person's perspective around on just about anything. Sometimes I get very stuck in my ways and opinions, and it's a really nice thing to see things from other people's view sometimes. So I'd say I'm more social than independent, cause it's not that I relish being alone - I just don't like to be BOTHERED, and my friends don't bother me.
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Front yard: The little blue flowers Bevan planted last fall that bloomed last winter have come back! Well, the flowers didn't come back, but the leaves are back! After a google-fest, I concluded they must have been Muscari, because those bloom in late winter and then disappear, but the leaves come back late summer and are evergreen through the winter. However... I also have some mysterious non-weed looking leaves sprouting and I can't figure out what they might be. They're near tulip bulbs, but they don't look exactly like tulip leaves. Hmmm.

This spring Bevan planted a few spring bulbs - some were irises and some were these other purple flowers, and those have both bloomed and finished. There were also these tall spiky things that are blooming now, making little white flowers with purple centers. This fall I am going to dig up those bulbs and move them to the back of the garden because they are so tall. He also planted Dahlias, and while it was cool to see them bloom in MAY, I totally failed at taking care of them. Maybe seven was too many to plant, too, cause they totally took over the whole garden, they're huge and sprawling and google says I should have been pinching them back as they grew, and they should have grown with stakes. Well... my bad. I seriously cut them back this morning. We had a few rainstorms the past few days and the storm wrecked up the garden anyway. He also planted lilies that he bought at a garden store - only a few of those bloomed. I ordered a few things from a garden catalogue - the lilies I ordered all bloomed and are absolutely gorgeous. I also ordered daisies, and they're pretty. I also bought anemones and crocosmia - I got a few anemones but no crocosmia at all (unless... that is the mysterious thing thats sprouting near the Muscari... I can't remember exactly where I planted everything... MY BAD AGAIN)

Oh and my little basil plants... well, I kept pulling the flowers off, because when basil flowers, it starts to taste bitter instead of delicious. Apparently doing that makes the basil grow bigger and bigger and bigger, so I've actually got two huge basil bushes now! I'm going to make pesto from all this basil soon, cause I need to cut the plants down cause they're blocking my other plants from the sun. I had no idea they could get that big, they're like as big as I am almost! Like seriously, up to my shoulders (sitting down - they're not THAT huge, lol. Still it's like more than three feet!) The pesto can go on some homemade pizza with potato slices... yummy...

The ornamental grasses Bevan planted are gorgeous, and so is the flowering bush! Over all it's still lovely, so I decided to use my (small amount) of extra money on garden things, and ordered more things to plant in the fall. I'm excited for things to start arriving (Sept-Oct depending on what they are) and I've found that I really do like crawling around in the dirt digging things up and burying things. In fact, I kind of love it! It's exciting!

Back yard: Everything I planted next to the fence on the left failed. No anemones lived, no daisies lived, and the lilies that were in pots sprouted but didn't flower (these were the ones from the store) and same with the lilies in the pots on the back porch. The lilies next to the fence on the right did sprout, but something ate one of them! Probably the same thing that ate my strawberries... strawberries are hardy though and they've since come back and have been making berries all summer. The berries aren't that tasty but the plant looks cool. Also my lemon balm is big and beautiful. Oregano is big and beautiful. Rosemary is big and beautiful. Thyme is short and wide and beautiful... my dill I guess is an annual and I DIDNT pull the flowers off (except for a few cause I cooked them and ate them!) and it's about done for the year. My tomatoes... they are doing what the Dahlias are doing in the front yard. I didn't know I had to stake them (and neither did Bevan I guess) cause they are cherry tomatoes so I thought they would make a small plant. Nope, they make a big plant with small tomatoes. So they're all crazy and over the place. There aren't any other plants near them though (except the oregano) so they're not really bothering anything, they just look crazy.

Next year, I'd like to plant my dill and cilantro near the fence where everything failed, because it's cool and shady over there and those plants like the coolness and shade, and also they're annuals (which I didn't know much about when I planted them) so maybe I can try to get them to reseed themselves over there. In their spots I want to stick sage and tarragon, which are perennials, and also I want to try to grow zucchini and chiles. My jalopenos get eaten by birds, so I'm also thinking about putting my strawberries and hot peppers in a cage or something. My room mate (who has a pet bird) says birds taste spicy things as sweet and are eating my peppers cause they're like candy. So a cage should work, right?

The plants I ordered from the catalogue are lazy susans, peach-colored poppies, and red and purple daylilies (I have some daylilies now and they are easy and awesome - they just keep making flowers!) I also got two big re-blooming irises and lots of spring irises, some big tall blue puffball things, and some more tulips and daffodils and hyacinths. I'm excited for fall! I used the money I was kind of setting aside for shopping, you know like clothes shopping, because I had it in my head that I really wanted more clothes, but actually, all the stuff I bought last year still fits me. I haven't changed size, and everything I already have is fine. I don't really need any more clothes, I mean I kind of already bought everything I could possibly need. I guess I was just planning on omg what if I change size again? Then nothing will fit! I guess I was hoping that I could lose weight, but I didn't, and I didn't gain so much that my new clothes don't fit. SO I BOUGHT FLOWERS INSTEAD. So... maybe I will get lots of exercise digging around in the garden or whatever.
exhilaration: (impossible things)
22. How do you think people see you? Be a little negative and a little positive.

Well... I use a wheelchair, and I do think people see that first. I am also a girl, and I think people see that next. My hair, right now, is brown with purple stripes on the sides and in the front, and that, I think, is very noticeable. So, I think people see me as the girl in the wheelchair with the purple hair.

At school I think people see me as a little younger than I really am, which I'm not sure I understand. I've had people tell me they'd thought I was 22-23 and even act like they don't believe I'm really 28 when I tell them. Thing is, I don't think I look younger than I am. I have wrinkles on my forehead and shadows under my eyes, and usually some grey roots showing above my purple hair (that's why it's purple - because otherwise it would be grey) and I feel like even when I'm presenting myself at my very best, just look, well, old and tired. That's how I feel, anyway. So it kinda throws me to have people insist that I couldn't possibly be the age I say I am. Maybe there is something about my expression or the way I carry myself that makes me seem younger, or maybe it's just that sitting down, I am shorter than everyone around me (and I would still be the shortest one even if I were standing, too) and people just subconsciously associate that with being younger as well.

I think I'm also seen as being a bit better of a student than I actually am. This has kind of always happened to me, and although I think it probably works to my advantage, I don't really understand why it happens. Something about me says "quiet and studious" when in reality, I'm very unfocused and although I've worked very hard NOT to procrastinate too much or get away with the bare minimum with assignments (or not even complete them) sometimes I still do come to class unprepared, not having read whatever I was supposed to or completed whatever prep work I was supposed to show up to class with or studied for a quiz or whatever. I'm a terrible study-er. I'm an awful note-taker. My handwriting is bordering on illegible. I'm not fastidious or particular or thorough about anything at all, and certainly not school, yet when doing group work people seem to think I'd be best suited to be the secretary, the one who writes everything down and stuff. And somehow in school I was always the one people who didn't study tried to sit near during a test (to cheat off of, but I usually didn't study either) or who got picked first for team quizzes and whatever.

I don't know if I've managed to shake this "very innocent" image that's followed me around my whole life, either. I mean obviously people who have continually observed me doing things like messing with drugs or attempting to explore promiscuity, they don't think I'm super sheltered and innocent. But I think when people first meet me, that must still be the impression I give. When I first moved to NJ and I started working at the restaurant, that was what all my coworkers saw me as. When I would go out to the bars with them after work they were all shocked and excited to see me drinking a beer, because somehow they all assumed I was one of those people who didn't believe in drinking alcohol. It was a very strange experience for me because it felt like going backwards in my life. Like, when I lived in Philadelphia, I figured I had finally visibly misbehaved enough for people to stop assuming these things about me, but when I moved, it was all undone again.

People also see me as a liar. I'm very hesitant to relax around new people and start talking about myself. Talk about them, yeah sure, I'd like that, talk about music or comic books or movies, yeah we can do that, but I get sort of nervous when it seems to fit in the flow of conversation for me to start sharing things about myself, because it tends to turn awkward very quickly. I've had people cut me off mid-sentence to tell me they don't believe what I'm saying, and then I've also just read it in people's expressions and change of demeanor that they think I'm just telling stories. I mean, I don't think I can trust everything I THINK I "know" people are thinking about me, but when they come right out and say it, that's pretty irrefutable. Going along with that, I think they also see me as incompetent, or that I am lying about what I can and cannot do, because most people, unless they are good friends of mine, do not seem to process "no, I do not need help with this" and either take things out of my hands/do things for me or just hover over me "making sure" I am ok when I say repeatedly that I am fine. And I'm talking about non-mobility-related things, like yes I am able to make a phone call, fill out forms, answer questions, that sort of thing. So... young, studios, innocent, delusional, and incompetent. That's more than a little negative. "Girl in the wheelchair with the purple hair" I guess can be positive, cause at least nobody mixes me up with anyone else, and being known for my hair, even if it's secondary, really ain't bad at all.

As for something else positive... I don't know. I can't think of much. Well, I think maybe people see me as lucky. I talk about my boyfriend a lot, and when people see us together then that's proof that I am NOT making him up and everything I've said has been real, and when people see us together I think they see us as lucky to have found each other, cause I've heard that sometimes from people. Also, what else? I think people see me as the most likely member of a given group to be able to provide random obscure information on command (cause I have people track me down with questions that fit that category, and then they say, see, I knew you would know something like that) And I think people see me as sort of the oddball type, because when I mention things like playing music or drawing or whatever, people are sometimes like, oh right, that so fits you, I totally pegged you for the artsy type. So, those are the positive things: lucky, wikipedia, and artsy oddball.

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Lara I.

October 2012

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