“With Spuddies, enough is never enough!”

I cannot lie – I just got hooked on Best Vines today. Sure, I’ve seen them around Facebook, but today, I’ve watched a lot. Like, I’m back into August right now. And the beauty part is, they’re just a few seconds long each! Lots of cats, lots of people being dumb…and surprisingly, a number of people doing tricks with cigarettes.

I’ll come clean – smoking is a complete detriment. It’s one thing back in the 1800s when no one understood that the stuff you’re inhaling actually affects your health. Now-a-days, it’s just stupid to start. I’m not saying that the whole o-rings and tornadoes and stuff that these people can do with their smoke isn’t cool – just, do you have to be poisoning yourself while doing it? Go get some herbal cigarettes, like the ones that actors use in movies and TV shows. Of course, there’s still the fact that you’re inhaling a ton of stuff that was not naturally destined for your lungs, but at least it’s not addictive.

Truly, the whole drug thing is something that I doubt I’ll ever be able to understand. Can you even imagine the type of ridicule the people who say “snort/inject/inhale this” went through? And now look. Losers everywhere. It’s not illegal because the government is “mean” – it’s illegal because it is seriously harmful to your health. Caffeine in moderation, nothing bad is going to happen to you. Meth in moderation…is there even such a thing? I wouldn’t know. I’m not a meth addict. Regardless, the stuff messes you up. 

In reality, drugs (and alcohol and tobacco) are all just a few more examples of why Americans are too lazy to do work. They rely on manufactured, poisonous crap to feel better. Go workout – it feels way better, plus you get a confidence boost that doesn’t go away when your high does. Or read a book. Write a journal entry. Go pet puppies. I don’t know – find what you like to do that’s not harmful to your health. (Although, if you’re allergic to puppies, I’m sorry. Maybe some lizards want a warm hug?)

Food for thought. Sleep on it – what do you do when things get too out of control? I either workout, write, or eat chocolate (what? A girl needs her serotonin!) What’s your coping method?

TTFN, ta-ta for now.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Everyone has that movie that they forget that they love until it comes on TV, or a particular line pops into your head, and you just HAVE to rewatch that part, and you just fall in love with it all over again. For me, that movie is “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, an initially confusing movie that, on second watch, becomes absolutely lovable. Plus, can I just say “Emma Watson”? She’s, by far, my favorite actress in the history of actresses. I know, pretty epic.

The book was also lovable, but my favorite thing about the book was its size. It was one of those books that you pick up and just think, “this book is made for me to hold”. It’s the perfect thickness and length and width, as well as the perfect weight and the perfect amount of flexibility in the cover. I just loved holding it. It is so crazy, but so true.

I can’t say I’ve lived Charlie’s story, but I am definitely a wallflower myself. The difference is, I have no interest in jumping into the insanity of social circles. Honestly, it looks like too much work. The friendships I have made – the good ones, the ones that have lasted – were almost all accidental. They were parent-set up play dates, or a “hey, wanna room together on the band trip?” or a “let’s make gym class survivable” or “oh, you’re in this class, too?”. Suffice to say, I don’t think I’ve ever had to work to make friends – they just come along. 

Not to say that I reject social encounters all together. I like to think of myself as plenty friendly – if I’m walking across campus and see someone I know, I’ll say hi, maybe ask a question or two. I’m just not into the whole “my life revolves around my friends” sort of thing. I almost enjoy eating in the caf on my own sometimes. It’s that only-child in me that just wants to get out and away from other people for a while. 

One of my biggest issues with social groups is that I don’t get all of the social cues. I can’t understand the girls who go around touching up each other’s make-up (I suppose, I don’t wear make-up, so how could I?). That clever sarcastic response to something I said? There’s a fifty percent chance I didn’t catch the sarcasm. Girls going to the bathroom together – that is something that still blows my mind. Does it have to be the bathroom? I’ve been the poor girl who just has to use the bathroom, only to hear some people’s dramatic life stories from across the room. This conversation about Mac versus PC isn’t interesting to you? Well then, you should have said so, instead of trying to use body language that I can’t read. What are this, I ask of you. I suppose I know what this are, I just don’t know how to pick up on them.

Speaking of make-up, I am make-up blind. I rarely can tell if someone is wearing make-up, unless it is entirely too much or is so insane (glitter eyeshadow, anyone?) that it’s hard not to notice. That being said, I am almost terrified to put on make-up myself. My limit of make-up is eyeliner and mascara for special events – I don’t have the patience to do anything else. I draw the tiniest line of eyeliner and just a smidge of mascara, and I instantly feel like a…well, not a decent young lady, that’s for sure. Most people don’t even notice that I’m wearing anything, but the slightest bit difference in my around-the-eye coloring freaks me out. Don’t even get me started on fashion – that’s a whole other blindness/freak out thing.

It’s late, I have an 8AM class tomorrow (same as everyday), so…

TTFN, ta-ta for now.

Belmont, the Summer Camp that is totally not a summer camp

Well, I’ve officially been a college student for over two months, and honestly, I have way too much free time on my hands. My parents keep telling me to go get a job, and I probably would, if it wasn’t for the fact that all of the on-campus jobs require a work-study, and I don’t have the guts (or a car) to go around Nashville at night. So, for the time being, this could be considered a job…I know how I work. In about a month, I’ll have forgotten that I signed up for this. That’s just how I roll.

I see this blog thing, however, as a great way to let everyone back home in Wisconsin know what’s going on with my life down here in Nashville. I’d love to comment that it is 50 degrees outside right now. Apparently it’s 30 and snowing in Wisconsin. I’ll take the non-snowy climate, thank you very much!

I actually haven’t gotten out into Nashville much. A friend of mine keeps telling me that we need to take a bus to Downtown to chill out there, but it hasn’t happened yet. I’ve walked around the immediate areas of Belmont, and nothing was big and sticking out. There’s some “artistic shops”, as I think of them, full of gadgets and souvenirs that us broke college students can’t even buy, down on 21st Street, as well as Harris Teeter. I had never heard of Harris Teeter before I came down here, and I still giggle internally at the name. It’s just so…weird. That and Kroger. Publix I had heard of, at least, so I wasn’t totally caught by surprise. I suppose we have Piggly Wiggly back home…but they have them down here too. So, point is null. Must just be a Nashville thing.

Just about the most Nashville-y thing I’ve done so far was stop in two different guitar shops – Guitar Center and Corner Music. It is always great to take a look at all of the stuff you can’t afford and imagine what you would get if you won the lottery.

Speaking of the lottery, I have to make sure I run to the gas station across campus to get a lottery ticket. Tennessee jackpot is up to $216 million. Sure, chances are slim, but they’re even slimmer if I don’t buy a ticket.

One thing that I think is very interesting and different is that the Tennessee lottery goes to a scholarship fund. Whereas half of our Wisconsin ticket goes into paying the government, Tennessee’s half goes into giving college kids money for their college education. I realize we have/had the KEYS Scholarships at Kewaskum, so we weren’t entirely deprived of that, but still, if I could get Wisconsin to pay me, I’d take the money! (Then again, if anyone wants to just give me money, that’s always appreciated.)

I’m kind of running out of things on the top of my head, and the immediate need to do my chemistry post-lab is on my mind. I’m sure I’ll probably post later.

TTFN

Why anything would work properly, I suppose, is beyond me…

I like to think of myself as pretty tech-savvy. Out of experience, I’m a pro at manipulating Windows (at least, before that funky Windows 8 came out – I’ll complain about that later), and, in the past four months, I’ve developed a pretty good understanding of the Mac’s OS X system. The bottom line is, if something’s not working, I’ll figure out how to fix it, one way or another.

Well, that was before my external hard drive, with all of my Time Machine back-ups, decided to go kaput on me. Honestly, I don’t know of a worst thing that could happen, beyond the internal hard drive of my Mac burning out. The lack of security is driving me bonkers – I’ve tried just about everything I could possibly imagine, and nothing is working. Format, verify, repair, reformat, verify, repair, reformat…there just comes a point where I want to throw in the figurative towel and declare “That’s it! YOU’RE being replaced!!”

I really hate buying technological things. I’m always paranoid that I’ll buy something new, and the next month, there’ll be some major update to it that makes the one I have seem completely boring. That’s what happened when I purchased my iPod Nano – not a month after, the next generation came out. With a camera. Frustration upon frustration, that was what that was. But it’s this built in, “just wait, something better will come” thing that today’s technology gives us that I find it almost impossible to actually settle on getting something. As in the case of my Macbook Pro, the only reason I finally got it was because I walked into a Best Buy and the salesman succeeded in talking me into it. I was for it, sure, but I wasn’t a hundred percent sold. I need that little bit of a nudge before going at something. (For those of you who have seen my phone, I think that testifies this – I’m completely content with its limitations, as long as it keeps up the good work.)

At the same time, I’m a poor college kid. I don’t want to dump hundreds of dollars into something that will eventually break anyways (such is the way with computers – so sad). And yes, I found the cheapest way to go – buy an eSATA USB station for an internal hard drive, turning it into a makeshift external. It’s cheaper than the typical external, plus there’s longer warranties.

I’m still holding on to that glimmer of hope that I can make my old hard drive keep pushing through. Heck, I’ll deal with Western Digital’s SmartWare software over Time Machine, if that’s what it takes to get my stuff saved down. But I have come to be so much more relieved with a Time Machine back-up, which is my entire computer’s hard drive copied, than just having my music and pictures and videos backed up.

Onto Windows 8 – I have never come across something more pointless in my life. The thing about operating systems is that, although they can definitely have changes from year to year (I’m still in love with Windows 7, a little bit), you don’t go and make all of your computers into tablets. The Windows 8 start-screen pretty much scares the crap out of me, only because I can’t figure out what I’m suppose to be doing. My roommate’s W8 is set up as close to W7 as is possible, and that’s okay with me, but DON’T make it all crazy!! W8 almost asks for a touch screen – one of my friends has such a computer, and the touch screen definitely makes it easier.

I realize that a lot of my dislike of W8 is due to being unfamiliar with it. After all, when I first had the opportunity to work on Macs, I didn’t exactly flock to it. Because I actually have a Mac now, everything it does is so intuitive, and I barely have to think about getting to anything on my Mac. It’s like an extension of myself, and I know just how to work it right. Windows, on the other hand, always involved some thinking – click Start, click All Programs, highlight what you want, click the application…you had to actively search for all of these things. Mac makes it so much easier – one hand motion, and there are your applications. I love it to death.

Speaking of Macs, I have a friend who is strongly against them – he calls them overpriced computers, and claims that you can buy a PC with better specs than by just getting a Mac. If you count the new Macbook Pros that were recently announced, causing all of them to be extremely expensive due to the no-way-out Retina Display screens, then yes, you can get a PC cheaper. I remember some teacher of mine telling my class once that, when you buy something, you’re buying the brand, not the product. The brand, in this case, is OS X versus Windows, Apple versus Dell/Gateway/HP/Lenovo/whatever else. The thing that Apple does right is eliminating all of these little differences between specs – no, they say “this is a home computer, this is for you rocket scientists that need to run extensive software”. True, you don’t get much in the custom-build say, but they keep it no frills. Could I have found a PC laptop that was cheaper with the same innards? I probably could have. It really comes down to personal preference and what you need it for. I was advised to get a Macbook Pro by one of the Music Business admissions officers. After all, there has to be a reason that Apple is so big in the music industry, right?

One of the most ironic things I see around campus is the number of Macs. I’d say that over 75% of the Belmont population owns a Mac of some form or another (mostly Macbook Pros). I’d also say that over 75% of the Belmont population is here for music business, so maybe that says something. The actual ironic thing here is that Macs only make up about 10% of all of the laptops in the United States. Maybe that 10% is at Belmont. Ha.

I definitely have developed major brand loyalty to Apple. Maybe it’s because I fell so in love with MacLion (originally it was Applion, then Mapplion. Neither really stuck. And, hey, hats off to Shakespeare!), but I would find it hard to look at tablets/computers without going to Apple first. I am happy to acknowledge that there are other things out there besides Apple (hey, I’m getting a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas. And I love it already), I just have a special place in my heart for the famous Fruit.

I could probably go another hour on how much I want all of Apple’s products, but I still haven’t done that chemistry paper yet. So, prioritize. I got this out of my system, so…I have a good twenty-five minutes worth of hard work before I have to leave to go to CRU. Maybe I’ll talk about that sometime in the future.

TTFN, ta-ta for now.