Breaking News

I am a paper snob.
I work at two newspapers, I do not own an e-reader, and I journal in a notebook. However, even I must admit that when it comes to breaking news, despite all my pretentious, old-fashioned instincts, I have become dependent on Twitter.

I marvel at the speed that international news is delivered to the palm of my hand. When legendary sci-fi author Terry Pratchett passed away, I knew within six minutes of the announcement leaking out to the world by, of course, his Twitter account. I was amazed. Just 20 years ago when you died, it would probably take until several hours later or possibly the next day for the public to know, and now, billions of people can know in mere minutes. There are countless online news websites that are updated every minute of the day, and social media can spread news faster than I could even write it down.

As a journalist (and snob), I admit that this radical change of how news is delivered and absorbed is daunting. I am stuck between my love of the smell of newsprint and the thrill of seeing my own words on a page, and the fact that I run three blogs and that my work portfolio for my first job outside of college will be a website, and not a folder of clippings.
I know that online news is not just the way of the future—it’s already the way of the present. The thing is, I still love reading papers, but simply for different reasons than online news appeals to me. Papers are fantastic for profiles, features, and in-depth information on stories you can get in brief articles or 140-character blurbs. Papers have character, unique thought, and a design completely different than a web page. And frankly, there is something very satisfyingly permanent about seeing your name in print, whether in a story or a byline.

I will continue to read and work for print publications until either they or I cease to exist, whichever comes first. But I now accept the internet as my primary breaking news source with open arms. My mind can be at peace knowing that print newspapers and online news sources are not in competition, they are simply two different animals. And I am both a dog and a cat person.

Back in black

Dear Followers,

I am honestly, truly, completely shocked that 66 of you have stuck around this whole time despite my inactivity. I truly appreciate it because I definitely want to get back into blogging, hopefully to slowly get down a path towards being able to write freelance after college until I can land a job at a respectable publication. Probably will post a lot of feminist rants and photos and things. May or may not lose a few of you along the way. We’ll have to see.

I could write a “what’s new with me” list, but what’s the point, really? You guys don’t care that I got a job at a real newspaper where I live (a name I’ll withhold for the time being), got a promotion to layout editor at my school’s paper, or that I’m back in black because, as the great and inspiring Jim Gaffigan once said, “I’m wearing black because it’s easier than working out.”

R&R

Left school for the weekend despite being invited to things, events happening, and having work to do, I needed to get away from it all for a little bit. I was doing fine, even considering telling my parents “sorry, I’ll have to come home another time” because of everything that was going on, but then on Thursday I just started feeling…ill.  

I hate that since my life has gotten to the ideal place that I’ve wanted it to be in for awhile, yet I can’t seem to handle it. I have a lot of different friends, I’m an editor on the school paper, and literally just landed my ideal part time job working on an actual, real newspaper. My weight could be better, but I’ve been getting a lot of positive attention for my looks lately, which is definitely weird. I am not at all used to getting compliments based solely on my appearance from strangers. In fact, it pretty much never happened until I got back to college three weeks ago.

This is such an in-between place in life, even more so than high school, I think. In high school you’re still a kid, for the most part you kind of know what your next step will be, and you still live under someone else’s control. In college/around college age (at least for myself and many other people I know), you’re caught in a strange place. You still identify with teenagers and teen culture, you’re not totally financially independent but you’re almost…transitioning into it. You’re in a learning environment, yet many professors will treat you more like an equal than a kid they’re babysitting. You start looking for real jobs, wondering about your career, wondering about if casual dating could become a serious relationship, or maybe not.

It is kind of overwhelming. I’m an adult. I can vote, I do not live with my parents, I have a real job in a real office. Yet I still go to school. I still only can work part-time because of school, so I’m still dependent on my parents financially, yet I no longer have to follow their rules or constantly try to meet their expectations. 

I wonder where I’m going.

In-Between

I am in such an in-between stage in my life, it’s so strange. Now that my second semester of college is ending, I’m kind of..finished, mentally. I will continue to do all my work and such, but I suppose I’m just sort of..finished.

The way time is passing along, it will be next semester in no time. We’re already picking classes out, I already have a new roommate and room for next year (such an upgrade from my current room, so that’s nice). I just have this weird, anticipatory feeling in my chest that I can’t seem to shake. It’s the feeling of want. I want so many things, and it’s bothering me, because I don’t want to want them.

I want to move on to new classes.

I want to start looking for summer jobs.

I want to expand my friendships.

I want to move into my new room with Aaliyah.

I want to lose the 20 pounds I gained over the past six months (so badly).

I want to have graduated college already and move on.

I want to write something that will get me noticed.

I want to move up in the world.

I want to constantly buy thrifted clothes even though that’s not financially feasible.

I want Alex by my side (so, so badly).

Alex is something I struggle with wanting more than anything else. Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only person who is wishing really badly for another person to be by their side in the middle of the night, but I know I’m not. One visit to tumblr will reveal a whole ocean of people whose other halves or broken ends are floating around out there in other beds.

He’s my biggest in-between of all: we’re so far but so close, and my life seems to be marked off by the days we’re together, and measured by the thin tape that spreads slowly over months that we’re apart. I’ve lost the words on how to make him real when he’s not here.

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.

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.

My First Stream-of-Conciousness Post

Okay, here we go. I have actually never written anything in this style before. Sometimes I like reading books this way, though.

My friends are taking seemingly forever to finish their movie. I wish I didn’t have to be that prick who actually needs to lug her ass to the school library to get work done for real. My room is just too distracting for some reason. The library is nice and serene, and I concentrate a lot more on what I’m doing than if I’m lounging in my room. If I’m in my room I’m going to want and sit naked and eat noodles and watch The Office on netflix, and none of those things get me any closer to finishing whatever thing it is I have do tomorrow.

There are so many people constantly coming in and out of this shop. Some of them are acquaintances I guess, but for some reason I have these moods where I’m either super shy and put my headphones in and while I’m in an obvious public place, it’s like I’m hiding. Other times I’m quite extroverted. It’s a constant back and forth, really. The same kind of back and forth that goes on about the thoughts I have on my own body which can fluctuate in positivity (and negativity) literally several times in an hour. It’s ridiculous. Is this because of hormones? Damn everything.  Jesus Christ, I don’t even know if this is actual stream of consciousness or me just typing on and on without actually pausing to think deeply or correct anything. Am I wasting my time? Someone answer this for me.

Everybody here has people with them. I am alone. I must look strange because I am typing furiously and painfully sculpting my facial muscles so I don’t have to constantly display my chronic bitchface to the world. I’m not sure what I want. I don’t want to be in my room right now. I should spend less time in my room, because being in my room only results in me sleeping, not getting anything done, eating too much, or all of the above. I’m not actually doing anything ACADEMICALLY productive right now, but at least I’m not stuffing my fat face with lean cuisines like they’re snacks.

I have to preserve my lean cuisines because I am insanely stupid and spent all my money. I need to actually physically write down a budget or I am going to officially fail at adulthood. Or go into debt. Both. God. My mom said using cash instead of my card would help me spend less, but that doesn’t work for me for some reason. The ease of having the cash on hand just helps it slip through my fingers faster. But on the other hand, with cash I can’t online shop, which is a bad problem of mine. So either way, until I learn control, I’m really screwed.

That’s what I’m going to do this week. As soon as I get my paycheck I’m going to figure out if I can cash it or deposit it here in town, and then I am going to write myself out a budget plan for it because I am a ridiculous idiot who cannot seem to make good financial decisions otherwise. There will be nice, neat little categories for food, gas, and a tiny little one for shopping. There will be special ones too depending on what’s happening that month, like I’ll have to set aside some money to help Alex on our trip and set aside special spending money for New York.

I wish I hadn’t blown through all my money so fast. I almost cried last night because I felt so goddamn stupid. I was spending a lot when I had my card, but not like this. I’m telling you, the cash is making it worse.

These kinds of things make me feel like a failure. All the instances I ever feel like a failure are because I have no control. I cave and spend a bunch of money I shouldn’t. I cave and order food and stuff myself even though I know it’s making me fat. No self control or willpower. Am I stupid?