cats

Halfway There

This past Friday was officially the end of my sophomore year.

My mom drove me to the train station on Thursday and told me, “Can you believe you have two years of college under your belt?” And later, on Friday, my friend said, “Madi, you’re technically a junior!”

Oh my, I really can’t even believe it myself! Those people who warned me to enjoy every bit of college were right, it does go by so fast!

I’m trying to absorb everything about college and sometimes sitting down and writing about it really helps. Actually, it’s rather hard because I have to think of all that I have done and what I’ve accomplished.

I was really hoping to make honors and the Dean’s list this year. Last semester, my Trig course brought my GPA down. Let me be frank, I understand I need to be a well-rounded student, but please tell me what journalist ever used parabolas and radians to conduct an interview?

Miraculously, I got all A’s (well, one A- and all A’s) and I am so happy! This hasn’t happened since middle school! Not to mention, most of my classes require a hefty amount of reading and writing, and on top of that, I work about 30 hours a week. Thanks for letting me take a nice break from blogging, WordPressers, you can give me a virtual pat on the back if you would like!

This last semester has been great, but difficult all at the same time. Thankfully, almost all of my classes were major-related, so nothing was a worthless GenEd course (except for Modern History of Western Societies, sorry Prof.!).

The literature course I took was extremely difficult for me. I’ve never been that good at figuring out themes, analyses, or applying outside knowledge to the texts. I’m more of a “give it to me straight” kind of girl. The course, overall, was mostly fun since we got to look at graphic novels and the theme of heroes and villains. You would think it’s all, “Oh yay Batman!” but the course really gave me a whole new perspective on comic book agendas and heroes in general.

I had a news reporting class (seriously, how cool does that just sound to you!) which gave me the chance to meet some fantastic friends in my major. I have convinced a good handful of media and communication students that we should all start working on having a school newspaper, and this summer our advisor and myself will be working towards just that! I do believe my willingness to get this going should make me some sort of editor, what do you think?

Speaking of my advisor, this year I had the chance to really get to know him, and he could probably say the same thing about me. I didn’t want to be another face in the crowd, so I’ve really been reaching out to try to improve things at the college. Our major is really unappreciated, and while I sense a lot of exciting things will eventually happen, it’s hard to keep your head up in the meantime, knowing a lot of people at the school don’t really think of your department as important. That being said, what does keep me going is knowing that all the professors in the English and media and communication department care so much about the students. When I say they care about the students, I don’t just mean they occasionally stay in their office a bit later, or they wait after class for me. I mean they let me text them with final exam questions at 11 p.m., they read my blog, they hand me jobs for working on campus, they mentor, teach and act as a guiding hand towards my success.

Alright, now you may just be thinking I am trying to sweeten them up for a good grade (did it help??) but I’m being completely serious. Sometimes I think about transferring to a school in the city. I really want to try something new, and I think some of the schools in the city are great for just that. But, when I think about leaving the faculty, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Without them, I’m sure I would be having not only a miserable time at school, but I wouldn’t be the student I am right now.

My advisor in particular is probably the reason why I haven’t lost faith in my future career/plans. Reporting changes whenever technology does. It’s more than just being able to write, and I don’t think I knew that until about a year ago. I always thought in high school that because I could write, that would get me the job. My advisor has taught me that yes, I can write, but the fact that I’m driven and I’m able to adapt is what people will want. He’s helped me at all hours, night and day, answer the question I wanted an answer to. His knowledge and experiences has helped me figure out what I need to do to be successful, and I can’t wait to make some changes at the school to make him and the department proud!

The other class I thoroughly enjoyed this semester was my Theory of Writing class. Never have I had a class where at the final exam, a professor would bring in chips and salsa and have us casually sit in a circle and read aloud a final paper. It seems like a fun time, but it was more than that. It wasn’t a professor giving us an easy way out. He wanted us to sit and express something greater than any 12 page test could do. The point of the assignment was to write a series of snapshots (known as crots) that would explain how far we have come with our writing (I will post my paper later!). These snapshots could be anything from theorists excerpts, short stories, poems, lyrics, letters, text messages, thoughts, experiences—heck, you oculdn’ve even used a fortune cookie message. We had about four or five students cry while reading their papers, and most of us were teary eyed listening. What they had written, what we had written, was so moving that only by reading it aloud could we see how expressive we all are. This is what the class had taught me. That through writing, you can do more than just get a good grade or become a person who “writes well.” You can make mistakes and still get your point across. You can say, screw the conventions, and just write a series of blurbs to make an essay come alive. You can make meaning of what you are writing. I did all of that and more with this class, and it’s one that I never want to forget.

"The definition of liable is..."

“The definition of libel is…”

My professor who taught that class is more than just some salsa-loving guy who wants us all to sit around and cry over our words. He wants us to do something greater with writing, and I think we all have learned that. He’s the reason I no longer write with some silly five-paragraph essay, and the reason why I try to write in my own voice and not someone else’s. He also asked me to be a writing tutor next year, and I’m so excited to be a part of that team! It’s great to see my development as a writer is recognized.

Overall this semester has been so many things, and I don’t think I can say it all in just one post. Technically speaking I can, but I think you all would start to get bored. I’ll just leave it at, sophomore year has been great but I am happy for it to be over with.

My summer is looking great. I have an internship at my college, where I will be working in the marketing and communications department. I will also be keeping my job at the library, I can’t leave the House of Books (as my friend calls it). So again my summer is working 10 hour work days, which is fine by me! I love to stay busy. I also joined a gym so you will be seeing posts about me actually being active. I plan on reading a lot too, and maybe I will even pick up a new hobby! Who knows, life is full of possibilities, and if I learned anything from this year, I can make things happen!

How about I put that on a t-shirt!?

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Sleeping with Lions

I am constantly amused and, in most cases, distraught, at the way my cats behave at night.

I have probably mentioned several times that I have two cats. Florence is only a little over a year old, and Zooey just turned one year.

Cats are nocturnal, which is rather unfortunate for any human who wants to get a full nights sleep. Dubbed house-cats, they certainly have not lost their wild-animal behaviors. They go on the prowl, snoozing all day and stalking at night. The use their fangs and claws, to show they mean business, and they are always ready to save me from a dangerous ant or fly.

They nap a good 16-20 hours a day, sleeping in hidden locations so they cannot be seen by other predators (the vacuum and brush being a common threat).

Then, at night, the hunt begins.

To start, Florence will be napping in her usual 11 p.m. location, which is either one of our couches or under a desk. Zooey comes to wake her partner-in-crime up, typically by going into the kitchen to get a snack before their late-night escapades.

I can respect their sleeping schedules, now why can't they reciprocate the favor? No worries, their cuteness makes me forget.

I can respect their sleeping schedules, now why can’t they reciprocate the favor? No worries, their cuteness makes me forget.

Upon hearing this, Florence wakes up, does some pre-romping yoga and will typically trot around until Zooey is done.

And, just when I think everything will be normal, just for once, they start.

They chase each other back and forth, from the front of the house to the back, clambering into anything that may have gotten in their way. They run up and down the stairs; thump thump thump thump THUMP and then launch themselves around the corner to do it again.

Then they roll around. Zooey will pounce on Florence, and Florence will lunge at her like two lions fighting for the last bit of zebra. As they tussle, toss and turn on the floor, they meow and hiss and growl–and then stop for a brief moment, just to lick each others fur out of their toes.

It’s all good fun, for them at least.

I’m glad they like playing together, but if they could understand human-talk, I would plead, “Do you have to do this at 12 a.m.?” I snuggle into my bed at somewhere around 1 a.m., hearing silence that I have been longing for. But then, Zooey decides to go to the “watering hole,” which in my house is either the leaky sink or the fish tank. This makes more noise, either the clanking of dishes in the sink or the glub glub glub of the fish tank filter being unplugged.

Zooey also picked up a wonderful habit, which includes leaping from a chair and latching onto our hanging basket plant. If I didn’t fear the safety of the plant and ceiling, I would say this Tarzan move is hilarious.

Although domesticated and living in the comforts of our little abode, I can say these felines will never truly lose their wild side. The question is, when will my lions ever let me have some rest?

The Beginning of a Somewhat Spring Break

There is so much I want to say in this post, but I fear two things; no one will bother reading it and, my hands will fall off due to how much typing was done.

I apologize for everyone who actually reads what I write. I told myself a resolution would be to write almost everyday, but we all can see how that went. That is why I do not believe in resolutions. They are half-hearted attempts at bettering your life. If you truly want to do something you don’t need a resolution, but I digress.

Zooey and I, pondering over an essay written by Jane Tompkins. It was a good discussion.

Zooey and I, pondering over an essay written by Jane Tompkins. It was a good discussion.

That being said, I have been away from blogging due to the immense amount of work. I know, I know, I said I wouldn’t use that as an excuse but here I am. The stress level has been at an ultimate high, what with my juggling of papers due every day and work bogging up my brain, I’m surprised I have any sanity left.

Good news is, I have spring break (even though it is the least bit spring-y outside) and I can relax and catch up on my work. No Florida trips for this chick, I think instead I will catch up on my P90x routines and read a good book (currently in the midst of How the French Invented Love and She Matters).

I’ll end this post here, since it’s simply the prelude to something better to read (maybe..)

Thankful for Thanking

Although I try to value the little things in my life everyday, it is nice to have a holiday devoted to thankfulness.  It’s great to gather with friends and family and realize the things that matter the most.

So, for all of the people who are near and dear to me, this is for you (and perhaps other fellow WordPressers can find enjoyment out of this post):

Throwback! My sisters (twins). I also have a brother, who is not pictured.

I am thankful for all of the necessities I have.  Food, water, a house, and my health.  You don’t really think about how all of that is important, but it isn’t a right that everyone has.  There are the less fortunate that may lack food or water, which some of us waste everyday.  I try to not waste food or water because I know that there are those out there would jump at the opportunity to have what I have.

I am thankful for my friends and my family.  When I have a rough day or I feel under the weather, I know there are those special people waiting for me to feel better.  Sometimes when I feel a bit sad, a hug from my mom will make it all better.  My boss knows I am coming straight from school and I don’t have time to eat, so she will sometimes bring me in a snack.  My friends always listen to my stories, no matter how long and boring they will be.  There are people out there who may have a rough home life, and they may not have loving arms to walk into after a rough day.  Some people may not have close friends to get them through the day either.  I am happy that I have both.

I am thankful for a strong relationship with my boyfriend.  I am thankful that he only lives an hour away instead of being in a

Goofiest couple there is.

different state or country.  I am happy that he has helped me on my journey to becoming a better person.  He is not only my boyfriend, but my best friend.  I know not every girl can be as lucky as I am, but I am thankful everyday for what him and I share.

I am thankful for my kitties, of course.  I know it sounds weird to be thankful for them, but they are the best pets a girl can ask for.  When you don’t have a human around you for comforting, they are there ready to comfort you.  I am thankful for the fact that I am even allowed to have a pet, and I value their warm little presences every day! Meow!

Florence and Zooey

I am thankful for the fact that I can further my education with college.  I know that not every young adult has this option.  I know that at one point I was not sure if I would even be able to go to college.  Although some days I dread going to class or I feel overwhelmed with what I have to do for school, I am thankful that I can look forward to a brighter future.

Lastly, I am thankful for my jobs.  The economy is rough, and blame whoever you want, but those of us that have jobs (no matter how small) should be thankful.  There are some people out there who struggle to get by with what they have, and I am thankful that my two small part-time jobs are helping me pay for what is important to me right now (which sometimes may include coffee in excess).

Five years later, she’s still my best friend.

These are the most important things that I am thankful for.  I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving can have a wonderful day filled with what matters the most (okay, pumpkin pie can count).  If you are in a place that does not have this holiday, I hope that you can take the time to at least think about what you value, and let them know.

 

Text This, Tech That: Where’d the Conversation Go?

It is safe to say that a majority of people have cell phones.  At&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint; they are huge companies for a reason.  Snail-mail is beyond dead.  We have the fastest way of staying connected, and it is something we should value.  One would think that because communication has become easier, staying in touch with friends and family would be simple.

Well, it’s not.

I’ll have to start at the beginning.  There are some people that I know, most of whom I do not speak with anymore, who cannot stay in touch with me even though their cell phones are glued to their hips (as the older folks say).  They have these fancy phones with huge screens, chic cases, and they are always tap tap tap-ing the day away.

It certainly is a challenge to try and strike up a conversation with people like this.  I try to make eye contact with them, but instead their eyes are popping out of the sockets to look at their tiny screens, nodding at the appropriate time just to make me think they are paying attention. 

Since the person appears to be readily available to answer a text, call or an email, you would assume getting a hold of them would  be a walk in the park.

No answer.

Maybe then you try again?

No answer.

After frantically typing profanities or calling them endlessly, you give up.  They finally realize you exist and reply with something like, “Lol sorry I didn’t have my phone on me :D”

You would think that since the person always sesms to have their phone out at any social gathering, meeting, school, or car ride, answering you would be no problem.  Yet, they seem MIA when you try to get a hold of them.

Have you known someone like this?

I have had acquaintances that groan to me about how “we never text anymore.”  Since I care about the relationships I have, I had decided to text my “friends” more often.  Yet when I would reach out to them, their messages were so mundane I wanted to hurl my phone across the room and never speak to another soul again.  We didn’t even talk about  anything.  It’s just “hahahah” this and “omg i know” that.  What is the point of making my fingers work for no reason?!  I’m tired of hearing that we don’t text anymore.  What about conversing face-to-face?  Where did it go?

I guess perhaps the reason I am so disgruntled with the texting world is because my major requires a somewhat platform of communicating with others properly.  I believe in correct grammer and work choice, and it’s a shame to see what is becoming of me because of my texting.  Everything is abbreviated and slang, and all we do is laugh.  I normally don’t “hahhahahaha” to all of my friends, but what else is there to say in the text-o-sphere?  I have no desire to waste my time talking to someone who won’t talk back.  “Lol,” “haha” and “okay,” is not a conversation in my book. 

Like my dad always says in his old-man-manner, “Cell phones are ruining the generations.  No one really wants to talk to each other, they just can.”

Dad, I may have to agree with you.  All we care about is what is happening online, or virtually, and when it comes time to talk face to face, everyone seems clueless.  Believe it or not, there is a world outside.  All we need to do is look up from our phones every once and a while.

An Award? For Me?

Well I knew I was going to write something tonight, but little did I know that it would be thanking the academy, my parents, and Jesus.  Oh wait, wrong speech…

I am thanking the one blogger who nominated me for this thing called the “Very Inspiring Blogger” award.  Blogger “B” from Rambles, Rants and Raves has awarded me this award.  This concept is new to me, but I am always open to receiving things like gifts, candy, back massages, and virtual awards.  Please check out her blog (I’m assuming she is female because there was one post of Ryan Gosling shirtless…..let’s be serious.) because the posts are witty and easy to relate to, and I love people that rant.

So, there are some rules to accepting this award.  I better follow them.  Whoever is nominated needs to:

-Thank the blogger that nominated you/gave you the award

-Put up the award on your blog page

-Tell the world seven wonderful things about yourself

-Nominate 15 bloggers.  Tell them that you nominated them and how to accept the award.

Decided to put a happy kitty picture (inspiration: B) to set the mood.

Kitty love!

I posted the award at the end of this post.  I just thought it looked better that way.

I need to say seven things about myself.  Well, what to say.

1. I love cats.  Like, if I didn’t have a boyfriend, I would be considered a crazy cat lady.  Actually, it doesn’t really matter that I’m dating.  I am still a crazy cat lady.  But I don’t care, look at my kitties and tell me you wouldn’t be crazy about them. 

2.  I have two jobs, which are amusing and busy for the most part.  I am a “librarian’s assistant” at a library, and at my college, I work in the Marketing and Communications department. Basically, I am surrounded by computers, books, and writing.  Three of my favorite things!

3.  I am trying to be a decent cook, so I have been collecting cookbooks and stashing them in my attic for when I move out.  I have made some pretty okay dishes like Fettuccine Alfredo and Butternut Squash Soup.  My all-time favorite book (that I want to buy) is Martha’s American Food.  Every single recipe makes me go, “MMMM.”

4. I always enjoy meeting new people.  I talk excessively and when someone talks back and shares the same interests, I dub them my friend.  Sometimes that works out.  I met this super spectacular guy at the library.  He always checks out Shakespeare books or classics.  He has a great personality and my night is not-so-terrible when he comes in to say, “What’s up.”

5.  I have a collection of Winnie the Pooh merchandise.  Books, mugs, stuffed animals, a kite, PEZ dispensers, and mini statues.  A.A. Milne would be proud.

6.  I’m sure most of you know the next fact…but I cannot live without my coffee.  House blend, dark roast, light roast, Pumpkin flavored, Hazelnut, French Vanilla, gas station coffee, home brewed, Keurig cups, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks….you name it, I will drink it.  I typically spend half of my paycheck at Dunkin Donuts.  Caramel coffee with cream no sugar.

7.  When I do math homework I don’t understand, I get so worked up that I start to hyperventilate  which also includes me pulling my eyelids and yelling, “MATH IS STUPID.”

There are seven more facts you probably didn’t care to know but read anyway.  Now, for the people I nominate.  These are in no particular order either.

1.  Fed Up Food:  The best blog if you want to hear someone rant about food.  He rants, and gives recommendations about all kinds of food.  Some people don’t really care too much about what they are eating or where they are eating.  Some of his posts really make me laugh, and some really open my eyes to the important world of eating.

2.  Mae’s Beauty Reports:  I love doing art on my nails, and the best way to get tips on how to do so is on Mae’s blog.  She claims to be no professional, but her nail art looks like something you would have to go to school for in order to perfect!  Stop by her blog for great tips on nail art, makeup, and also accessories!

3.  Bucket List Publications:  You know when you sit around with your friends and say how much you want to travel and experience the world?  Well, this blog shows how one woman doesn’t just talk about it, she actually goes out and achieves her “wildest dreams.”  From rock climbing to skydiving it seems to me this woman has done it all, and the fact that she doesn’t plan on stopping makes me continue to stop by her blog.

4.  The Life and Times of Nathan Badley:  This was one of the first blogs I followed, shortly around the time when I started my own blog.  I love his writing because it is about random things that are both funny and relevant.  A recent post about cupcakes really had me “Lol.”

5.  Sarah Smiles Awhile:  Also another hilarious blogger.  I love her humor and her usage of lists in her about me section.  I too, love lists!  I think I always smile when I read her post, and I know you will too!

6.  The Urchin Movement:  I really enjoy reading the posts of the Urchins.  They provide a topic of conversation for any ordinary human being.  Their categories range from politics to art.  Stop by if you want something a bit more serious.

7.  Misanthropology 101:  First found this blogger because he had a post about his cats.  As you know from my seven facts above, I love cats.  So therefore, I love this blogger.  Okay, that’s a stretch, but his posts are amusing, and he writes about some of my favorite things (I am talking things other than cats).  Check out his blog because I feel like I am not doing his writing justice.

8.  Disphotic:  He uses photography and writing on his blog.  His writing includes a variety of topics, and I enjoy the fact that he is a photojournalist.  Stop by his blog and prepare to be amazed!

9.  Canadian Hiking Photography:  They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  This guy has a passion for both photography and hiking, and you can see some pretty magnificent photographs, and even purchase some (which trust me, you’ll want to).

10.  Vintage Vicar:  Another thing I love is fashion.  I am always trying to find funky outfits to wear to school, or work, or for whatever! I really enjoy this fashion blog.  It is apparent she loves clothing of all kinds, and I like to look at her posts when I am need for something different to add to my own outfits.

I only listed 10 blogs instead of 15 because I am getting tired and I am lazy.  I apologize to the Blog Award Cops.  Please don’t arrest me.  Perhaps I will add on the other five at a later date.  My laziness reminds me that I really need to start blogging every day.  I am sure the bloggers I nominated above are more determined to post everyday, whereas I am not.  I use these bloggers for motivation when I am feeling down-in-the-dumps.  Sometimes you can’t look toward your Facebook friends for inspiration.  The true passionate people are the ones on WordPress.  They blog because they have a passion for something, whether it be fashion, food, writing, or photography.  Keep on writing friends, thanks for the inspiration!  And thanks again B for my first ever award.  I’m glad my goofy rants and attempt at motivational posts are good enough for someone (other than my cats)!

Hooray!

 

 

Staying Drunk on Writing (Somewhat of a Celebratory Post)

As you are reading this, you must know that it is my 50th WordPress post.

*Applause*

Thank you, thank you.  I have been blogging since March of 2011, which to me seems so very far away!  I have definitely improved as not only a writer, but a journalist, and an individual.  But, I have still kept the backbone of who I am and who I will always be.

I thought about what would make a great 50th post.  I know it’s only 50, but I started out with a meager one-post-a-month a year ago.  Now, 54 followers later, over 7,000 hits, a Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr account to boost my ratings; I’m fairly satisfied.

Without anymore stalling, I decided to celebrate this mini stepping stone, and to do so I will enlighten all with the many interesting facts of Madi (that’s me by the way).

Let us begin…

I was named after the movie Splash.

I used to not eat bananas because a girl told me the little brown parts in the fruit were actually spider eggs, and they would hatch inside my brain.

I have three Pillow Pets.

I have a huge obsession with Winnie the Pooh, which I show with a homemade “Pooh’s Corner.”  I have stuffed animals, cards, Pez collectors, all of the books, puzzles, mugs, snow globes and paintings (I’m really an adult, I swear!)

I snort when I laugh.

I am currently reading A Game of Thrones, Franny and Zooey, Martha’s American Food, Dare Me, Shiver, Peanut Butter and Jeremy’s Best Book Ever, A Brief History of Thought, and The Consolations of Philosophy. 

I commute to college, and work part-time (even though it feels like full-time) at a library.

I love to meet new people, as long as they aren’t going to potentially kill me, stalk me, etc.

Lists are my friends.

I probably should be diagnosed with some form of OCD.  I am always organizing things, especially Colin’s room (which he never keeps clean).

I LOVE KITTIES.

Pigs are my all-time favorite animal. And manatees.

I’m really loud, laugh a lot, and of course, talk a lot.

I am addicted to coffee, and to fuel that addiction, I have a collection of mugs from a variety of places (I’m over 50 mugs!)

I want to be a reporter, work for a newspaper, and write for as long as I live.

Before deciding I wanted to write forever and a day, I wanted to be a marine biologist.  Then I got a C in biology….that career choice defused quickly.

I hate constructive criticism.

I am a girly-girl.  I wish I could wear dresses everyday.  Although, yoga pants would suffice.

I love my boyfriend Colin with my whole heart!  And all of my very close friends who read my blog and put up with my shenanigans.

I wish I could sing, paint, take amazing pictures, and could solve a math problem without crying.

I think I’m amusing.

Fin?

“I’ll show you all that I am.”
-Rob Thomas

No matter where I go in life, I will remember these weird quirks and traits I have.  I think whenever someone asks me, “Tell me something unique about yourself,” I freeze up.  What do you mean unique?  What does that mean?  So, I tell the person what they want to hear, not the funny facts like I listed.  Some people are good at sports, others science and math.  I just think I’m a charming girl a majority of the time.  Someone who is always kind to others, even when they don’t deserve it.  Someone who loves to talk, and meet others who share the same passions.  But mostly, I’m a girl who loves to write, and even at 50 posts, I know I’ll never stop.

Cheers to those who have been here for me every step of the way.  I couldn’t do this without you.