Rainy Day Mood: Another Stream-of-Consciousness Observation Post

Deciding to take a break from lake of homework and studying I’ve been slowing muddling my way through for the past three and a half hours, I look outside as it starts to rain.

The sprinkle has been building a bit all day, but has now quickly become a typical Florida afternoon downpour. I sit in the corner of the second floor of the library and look at the people twenty feet below me, as the confident, umbrella-toting ones saunter their way to class while the less fortunate students to get caught between buildings make a run for it, pulling hoods over heads and covering papers with their shirts. A group of boys “studying” on the west library patio makes a lot of noise. I am silent besides the sound of my rapid typing and the occasional pen scribbling sound of me writing notes. 

A man confidently rides his bike down the brick sidewalk. He obviously doesn’t mind the rain very much. I love rain, personally. I am looking very cute, but not exactly the most well-dressed for the weather, as I would have liked to sit on the rainy porch and do my work, but my sleeveless shirt and skirt betray me. The temperature has dropped as the rain moved in, making it an unexpected 10 or 15 degrees cooler outside since this morning, when sped-walked to class in my favorite new sandals.  So I stay inside.

The farthest part of the western patio has the best view of the center of campus, with the old, beautiful fountain and what we call the Palm Court, a pentagon of paths leading between two main academic buildings, the library, and the fountain in the center that are lined with tall palm trees. On nice days, lots of people lie out in the grass or in hammocks and enjoy the sun. Today everyone just wants to be inside as quickly as possible. A short girl walks by in a silly looking plastic poncho that looks like it’s made of grocery bags. I smile at her, but she can’t see me.

The rain is beginning to slow; Florida rainstorms rarely last more than a half hour to an hour. It’s enough to thoroughly wet everything and cause flood puddles on the campus green, which becomes overwhelmed with water very easily, being completely flat and whatnot. It was not made to just be an open field of sod grass, it was once the place where the oldest dorm on campus stood. The school tore down the building a couple years ago because it was far out of safety codes, apparently. (My building is from 1893, but nobody is tearing it down anytime soon). So now there is just a nice open green space, which is attractive but easily waterlogged.

Should I eat my second snack? Today for lunch, I got a greek yogurt with honey and granola, and also bought a cup of chopped fruit and a tiny bag of Ruffles as snacks to keep me held over all afternoon. Dinner is in just a bit over an hour, but I’m hungry. Didn’t eat half the fruit because the melons tasted like dirt. Pity.

I think later tonight I’ll post something in regards to my skirt, because I’m incredibly proud of it. Adorable, navy-blue flouncy skirt with a print of small polka dots and alphabet letters. It reminds me of alphabet soup, the way the spots and letters are scattered around. I bought it in New York last summer and am finally now wearing it. 

The rain has stopped, now only trees and ledges drip along with all the hurried footsteps.

A Year in Photos: On Flickr

For everyone who follows my blog and is interested in photography (or more specifically, my own photography), I am doing a photo-a-day series that started on my 19th birthday that will conclude on my 20th birthday.

The link to my regular flickr page is here.

Also, here is a direct link to the photoset.

Thanks everyone!

Today’s Amazing Thrifting Finds

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Okay so I’m really excited about all of these.  I’m going to start posting more personal fashion related posts, because my clothes are something I’m a wee bit obsessed with. I like looking cute, and I love looking cute on … Continue reading

Old Friends and New Friends

When I got to college, I had a lot of expectations and ideas that turned out to be different from reality. That is not necessarily a bad thing at all, because it’s only my second semester at this school and I have a close-knit group of female friends. This is something that growing up I never, ever had. I always had one or two close friends and then a slew of school-based acquaintances. Now I’m part of a group of six girls, which is kind of crazy. And for once, I’m not the least important friend. That feels great.

Honestly I’m pretty proud of myself for being able to reach out and make friends. That’s something I never thought I’d be able to do in high school, so it’s kind of like one big stepping stone passed. I have five really cool, different, silly friends that I really love. I also have other friends outside the group, but I could use more of those. I need to not be afraid to introduce myself to people. I had this weird friendship-hungry rush of adrenaline or something the first week of school and was introducing myself left and right. Now that I have a secure friend group going, it’s harder to put forth the effort to meet other people, especially because I really like being alone. Last week and most of this week is going to be spent by myself in the library because I have an overwhelming amount of work to do, a midterm to study for, and a speech to prepare. Anyways.

As for my old friends, I let go of a lot of people when I left high school, but I guess that’s just the way it goes. I still see my oldest and dearest high school friends (who graduated two years before me) from time to time, they’re just those type of relationships that never go stale, even when you all live in different places. Months can pass, and it’s like nothing’s changed. Those types of friends are hard to find, so I’m glad I have a few of those. One of my high school friends who I really only got close to my senior year is still one of my best friends and I’m always really excited to see her. 

Then there are some old friends, one in particular, that I’m not sure what to think about. Our whole friendship we always lived a half hour a part and would go months without seeing each other, but we’d talk on facebook or on the phone every day. Ironically, we now go to the same college and finally live a mere five minutes walk from each other, yet we communicate even less than before. I still love her, but it feels like we have really little in common all of a sudden. We’ve been friends since first grade, yet I feel like the length of our friendship is one of the only things keeping it together. I don’t know if she really cares about me anymore. 

One more thing to mention again: I really would love some more new friends, and internet friends definitely count as real friends. I don’t know almost any of you who follow my blog personally, but I would love to be your friend.

This Week’s Self-Portrait in Music

It’s rare to see me walking around campus, at the gym, at the library, or even doing dishes, without headphones on or earbuds in. I love having a soundtrack to my life, even for the most menial of tasks. This … Continue reading

Documentaries of the Week

So I’ve decided to do one of these posts every week (or two weeks, depending on how busy I am) because I love documentaries, and want to share what I’m watching and what I think of them here for all the world to see. I even gave them little grades! c:

This week’s documentaries were:

Hungry for Change
It’s a Girl!
Whore’s Glory

Obviously I’ve bit on a bit of a binge this week. Here’s what I thought.

(A)sexual (A-) It was really good. It (like Bronies) was something I watched because it was a topic I was really curious about. I know very few people who are asexual, and it was something I really wanted to know more about, so I’m glad I watched it. It included a lot of really great information from a variety of asexual people who were interviewed about their lives. I think anyone who is wondering about asexuality should definitely watch this, it’s a great way to become more educated on it.

Bronies (B+) This movie explains what bronies are, and documents various bronies from around the globe, and shows a lot of what happens at “BronyCons” in America and in the UK. It also included interviews with the creator and writers of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and two of the principle voice actors (including the lovely and talented Tara Strong, who is amazing in every way), which was great because you got not only the perspectives of the bronies and their friends and families, but also what the people who work on the show think of the community. The one issue I had with this documentary is that it does not include the cons and the dysfunction of the fandom. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against bronies in particular; every fandom has its dark side, and the MLP fandom is not exempt. I like things. And I think it’s great when people like things. “To each his/her own” is my mantra for fandoms in general.

Hungry for Change (C) This was a well-done piece about the issues within the food and diet industries. However, I gave it a C because it took me a few days to finish; I kept stopping because of some personal issues I had with it. It’s main purpose was to ingrain the evils of the food industries using lots of scare tactics, and all the interviews were with people who used to be very unhealthy, but had turned their lives around. I’m not sure what it was, but something about it kind of grated my nerves. I’m not sure if it was because I feel insecure about my own body, or what. It kind of just took a lot of negative things I already knew and shoved them in my face. However, if your family isn’t addicted to Dr. Oz like my mom is, you could probably learn a lot from it.

It’s a Girl! (A) I loved this one. I think everyone should watch this once. It focuses on the gendercide of girls in India and China as a result of son-based cultures. Many people in each countries see daughters as a burden, and millions of baby girls are killed/female fetuses are aborted, often by force, especially in China where the one-child policy enforced on a very extreme level. Honestly, I had no idea about how bad this was. It’s pretty grim subject matter, but also highlights some of the families who refused to give up their daughters even under threat from the law, and even some who adopted abandoned girls. It includes interviews with many women for both countries, great narration, and illustrations for the retold accounts rather than actors doing an interpretation, which was really unique and made the movie even more interesting.

Whore’s Glory (B-) A fascinating look at the everyday lives of prostitutes in Thailand, India, and Mexico. It was definitely interesting subject matter, and I learned a lot about the sex trade that I didn’t know. Definitely a piece you have to pay a lot of attention to, because there is no narration and very few of the people in the film speak English, so it’s entirely subtitled. Instead of the interviews mixed with experience footage most documentaries have, this one is just like the cameramen weren’t there. They simply recorded the interactions and events and are really rarely referenced to by the subjects. Overall interesting, but a little slow.

~My Lifestyle Goals~

As I promised I’d post earlier, here are a list of small things I want to change about my lifestyle that can actually make a big difference. In no particular order:

1. Wean myself off of any kind of sweeteners in my coffee. Sugars not great, artificial sweeteners like Equal aren’t really better. Going to try to get on coffee with skim milk only.

2. Cut down to washing my hair every other day instead of every day. I’ve already started this, and it makes me happy because my hair is much healthier and I can now get away with it because it seems like I’m finally growing out of my ever-greasy teenager hair that I had to wash daily just to keep looking clean. 

3. Start drinking smoothies. Not talking about the smoothie shop kind, I mean the kind you make at home in your blender with no added nonsense.

4. Limit ordering pizza and going for Chinese to once a month, not one or two times a week. This seems like it should be easy, but those are two of my biggest cravings aside from chocolate, so they’re going to be harder to kick than I’d like.

5. Related to the last one, learn to manage my cravings better. I tend to carbo-load at night and overdo it on sugary foods, because honestly, desserts and sugary drinks are like a type of drug with how addictive they are. If I can learn to eat healthier things and kick my cravings, I’ll feel a lot better about myself.

6. Don’t eat frozen dinners as snacks. And on that note, being a small girl and not a huge burly hungry man who needs to eat 3000 calories a day just to keep kicking, I should probably quit eating both the Hot Pockets at once. 

7. Go to the library more often. I feel like my grades are going to improve so much from this. I focus and get a hell of a lot more done when I set aside the library for work, and my room for relaxing (and Netflix). 

8. DRINK MORE WATER. I’m really bad about this because I have a really small and overly efficient bladder, and whenever I try to get the daily recommended eight to ten cups, I pee an obnoxiously large amount. It gets annoying when I have to get up and go during and between every class. But I guess I’ll just have to learn to suck it up and train my bladder to hold water without being a little bitch. 

9. Moisturize more. Since I have relatively oily skin I tend to not do that much, but it’s best to start now while I’m young.

10. Learn to accept myself more. This one is probably the most important, and also requires the least amount of explanation.

Body Liberation

So doing a lot of investigation into why I put on weight over the last half a year (as well as a ton of Americans all the time), and what I’m getting out of all my research is that sugar is a huge weight-gain cause. I feel like I am l great example about what I like to call sugar overload can do to your body.

Getting to college gave me the freedom to eat what I wanted, when I wanted. After growing up in a very health-conscious home (not saying I was ever really “skinny,” I have a naturally curvy hourglass figure so it’s in my genes not to be model-thin), my mom is an extremely healthy cooker and never let junk food into our house. So when I moved out to the world of “you can order pizza with your school meal plan,” “there’s a bagel shop on campus!,” and “you’ll be eating dinner in a buffet-style cafeteria every night,” I went overboard. Which is a common problem.

My main two issues:

1. I overdid it on desserts and at dinner almost nightly. It was bad. The desserts aren’t even that high of quality: they’re just very tempting, and they will “hijack your brain” like a drug and make you want more and more of them once you start.

2. I made best friends with Dominos and carbo-loaded WAY, WAY more than was necessary at night. Carbs from things like white bread and pasta are just sugar in a clever disguise: once you eat those things, your body turns them into sugars to use as energy, unfortunately, it’s way more sugar than your body needs.

Those two combined has made me into a very bloated, very unhappy girl. I haven’t been getting nearly enough vegetables, or healthy forms of dairy. I used to drink milk almost every night, and after getting to college that habit went kablooey, mostly because I was just busy and didn’t have time to relax with a glass of milk at night, or drink one at breakfast. That’s changing now too. I’m not saying DRINK A TON OF MILK YOU’LL BE SKINNY because obviously overdoing it on anything is going to mess you up, but dairy is really good to have in your diet, in healthy forms such as Greek yogurt (which after battling with for three years I have finally come to love), and skim milk.

Regardless. My problems were apparent: too much cheesy-stuffed cheesy bread, not enough nearly enough vegetables. So after a small mental breakdown on Monday night after my body felt worn and sad from the way I’d been treating it, I decided to finally make a lasting change.

To be clear: this isn’t a diet. I’m not cutting ANYTHING out. This is not temporary. I need to make a change in my lifestyle because if I keep eating the way I do, not only will I be unhappy with my weight, but I will be pretty unhealthy pretty fast. I am not going to stop eating processed sugars altogether because, guess what, that’s nearly impossible. They are in almost everything, from ice cream to bread to ketchup. However, I will be cutting down on them because they took up a large part of my diet and that is really just not good.

I’m still going to eat pizza. I’m still going to eat reduced-fat strawberry cream cheese on my honey whole wheat bagel from Einstein’s because frankly, that is one of my weekly treats to myself. I’m still going to eat frozen yogurt with my family and go out for ice cream with my friends. I’m still going share Waffle House waffles and orange juice with my boyfriend when we go on vacation. But I am going to stop ordering pizza two or three times a week, and definitely stop eating more than one dessert at dinner. In fact, the desserts at dinner are going to be cut out most days because frankly, they are crappy desserts and kind of a waste of calories in most cases.

I’ve been working on this for a whopping two days now (yeah I know great), and it’s been going pretty well so far. Tonight at dinner I had a very healthy brown rice + black bean burrito on a wheat wrap (with no sour cream or guac, sigh). I said no to lame-o desserts and had some pretty kickass grapes and a banana (my favorite fruit right now), and miracle of miracles: I was full. I was full without bread, without pasta, without two pieces of cake or three cookies. This has got to be an ongoing thing, because the moments of self pride I had making healthy choices was great.

I’m taking a little slogan I heard on the documentary I’m watching (Hungry for Change, I think I blogged about it earlier this week): When you change your mind from “I want that, but I can’t have it,” to “I can have that, but I don’t want it,” that’s when you’re going to really feel a difference in your life. I absolutely LOVE that idea. I am not going to stop myself from having dessert when I feel like it, or maybe eating a hot pocket for lunch sometimes because I need something really fast that’s not in smoothie form. But when I see those poorly-made desserts or the often rock-hard bread rolls at dinner, I just think “If I really want that, I can have it. But I don’t want it.” And I feel loads better. It’s great. Because when I take think about those types of thing I overeat, especially in the cafeteria, instead of just auto-grabbing them up, I realize that I don’t even really want about 80% of them. It’s liberating.

I’ll be posting about this a lot, so I hope I don’t annoy any of my loverly readers. Thank you all, by the way. I look at every blog who follows me and will more often than not follow back, because I love to read the interesting things other people have to say. I am really honored that so many of you have decided to follow me and like/comment on my posts. The little inner squeal of glee I get when a notification pops up on my phone makes me feel great about myself.

Now, I’m going to do some real studying because golly gee, looks like I’m in college and have midterms next week, how excellent. I’ll post more later about my ~healthy goals~ that should be fun. Once again, love you all. Thanks for the support. ❤

Documentary Watching and Overeating

I made the mistake of drinking a caffe mocha at 7:00 p.m. to kickstart my homework binge, and while it definitely did its job, it slipped my mind that every time I drink coffee after six it keeps me up until at least two a.m.  On the bright side, I got all of my work done, plus wrote out two thank-you notes, applied for pen pal-ship on a pen pal blog, talked to Alex, and found some documentaries to watch. And it’s only one a.m., imagine that.

Tonight’s documentaries have very different subject matter. One is Hungry for Change, about the dieting, weightloss, and food industries, which is always a subject I’m interested in. The other is Bronies, which has an obvious subject. I’ve started on Bronies, and so far it’s definitely fascinating. It’s an aspect of “nerd culture” I’ve never exactly understood, but my opinion of the Bronies (and really any other fandom) is that of to each his/her own. I’m not going to judge you one what you do and don’t like. It’s how you treat yourself and the way you treat other people that’s the most important. There’s nothing wrong with liking something or someone, as long as you don’t constantly shove it in everyone’s faces/force it upon other people. This goes for musicians and religions too, just saying. Pretty much anything. *cough*.

Not much else really going on in my life. Weight still an issue. I’m frustrated and continue to lack any sort of willpower. Is there something I can do to improve my self control? Because when I feel hungry, I want to eat. I wish I made better choices…it’s just difficult because of the limited availability of healthy but filling foods here at college.

Does anyone know of any foods that help control cravings, especially at night? That and the period between lunch and dinner are my toughest times, because I always want to snack at night no matter what I eat for dinner, and if I don’t eat between lunch and dinner (which I often don’t have time to do because of my class schedule), I will almost definitely over-eat at dinner, especially because our goddamn cafeteria is buffet-style.

Help, my readers. Help.