Monday, September 27, 2010

Living in the Library... the black hole of my life.

I have been sitting in my Universities library for over six hours. I feel almost dizzy with the amount of book shelves that surrond me.

Even my eyeballs feel exhausted.

The library is my alternate universe. It is the black hole in time. I have been sitting here for hours, and it almost feels like time has not budged. It´s one climate and always bright. Its like time does not move here.

I am so tired my eye balls hurt. I apologize if this post does not make sense... It is the murmurings of an exhausted brain.

I am trapped in a cubicle. A human being is not meant to be concentrated for this long. Best part about it? I am not even studying for an exam. I do not even have an exam. Just projects and writing portfolios. At this point, I would prefer a big fatty midterm exam than a mid term project. With an exam, at least you have a limited amount of things to study, with a project one can work on it forever.. forever trying to better it.

And on top of everything my Ex Boyfriend I will nickname Poland is being a stage five clinger. And has decided he wants to get back together with me. After a year of not speaking. I hate boys. They are such A-holes.

And on top of that lovely detail, my best friend Sober (the one going through drug and alcohol treatment.. in the middle of a college town) had a freak out relapse and chugged a Costco size bottle of Listerine. I spent Friday night in the ER with her waiting on test results to make sure she wasn´t going to die.

If what she did wasn´t just so pathetic I would have killed her.

I am exhausted. And it´s Monday. My Sunday had already felt like my Monday considering I woke up at 8 to go to my first job then straight to my second job, then got home at 9 pm. Shoot. Me.

I just want to lay on the floor in the middle of the library right now and take a cat nap.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Como te extrañooo tantooooo

I am coming up on the two month anniversary of my return to the United States from Chile. However not a day goes by where Chile does not absorb my thoughts.

I have started going over my journals and blogs from my first few months in Chile as well as my pictures in order to start writing essays about my year there. Re-reading and reviewing the beginning of my experience there makes my heart physically ache. I had started to fall in love not only with my Chilean sweetie, but with another language, culture, another family and another way of life.

You learn a lot about human nature and communication when you are in a situation where you do not know the words to express how you feel. You have to learn how to communicate through means. Smiling, hugging, laughing, funny faces. I used anything I could to try and become apart of my Chilean family. It was difficult and painful but in the end it was worth it. And I have a ton of relationships to show for it.

For the first time in my life, I realized that some things are meant to happened. I do not know why, but I was in the right place at the right time.

In my first two months there I had written "I miss knowing the words to express how lonely I actually feel".

Now I know the words, in both languages, but it does not make me feel better.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The good, the bad and the ugly.

A few days ago marked an anniversary of the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my life. It was the day when I realized bad people really do exist in this world and they would not think twice about causing harm to another human being.

A year ago, I had just recently arrived to Chile. I could hardly speak Spanish or understand it (at least the Chilean dialect). I was naive, like most foreigners who go to another country "aware" of the dangers but not completely understanding them.

I am going to re-post my blog entry from a year ago here:

"So I recently made the decision to start training for a 5k race in the Andes. I have never run a marathon or race of any sort, but I have trained for a racing sport: Rowing. It is a different sport, but training for a race; the mentality is the same. The problem with Viña del Mar, Chile is that where I live there is good place to run. There is a median where people walk their dogs and run, however on either side is five lanes of traffic, so the pollution really bothers my lungs. I had heard from other Gringos in my group, that along the beach is a good place to run because it is fresh air off the ocean, a nice view and PLENTY of space. The issue is that the length of the boardwalk, begins in Valparaíso, the sister city of Viña del Mar. It is a poorer city in general, and known to not be not as safe. However I had been meaning to try this route out so yesterday I took the metro to where my university was, and the office of my study abroad program so I could drop off my coat there along with my metro card. So I start running, with my ipod, because I love running for a long amount of time and it is INCREDIBLY BORING to run with out music. As I am running I see there is a TON of other people walking, running and biking, and a lot of them are listening to music.

As I am running there are a ton of men, and all of them that watch run past them, whistle or yell at me ¨AYYY GRINGA.¨ Which is nothing new, so I ignore it and keep running. I do notice as I run past three teenagers, they all stare at me as I run by but say ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, which was very out of the ordinary. However, I keep running and forget about them. After about 20 minutes or so I turn back and start running in the other direction, because the way the boardwalk is set up, it is incredibly wide in most parts, about a city block or so, which made it easy to avoid other people but the only way to get off the boardwalk is to take overpasses over the metro line and about 6 lanes of traffic, so it was pretty obvious that I would have to retrace my steps in order to return back to my university. So after about 30 minutes of running, and after about 10 sets of stairs I start heading back to wrap up my workout. As I get within about 4 city blocks or so of my school there is a part of the boardwalk that gets really narrow because it is sort of like a corner, so the people behind, and the people ahead cant really see anything. As I am nearing this corner the same three boys step out from behind it as I get close.

At first it just looked like they were moving over to let me pass but as all three of them turn to face me I immeadiately realize that they had been waiting for me. They start staggering themselves in a manner that wouldn´t allow me to pass them. The first one yells something in Spanish at me, to try and trick me into stopping to talk to them but I start to instintively move away from him, and lunges towards me. My first reaction was to hit him as hard as I could in the face, with the same hand that had my iPod in it. So hitting him stops him in his tracks so I dodge him AND I get past the second guy. However the third guy, who was standing further back lunges and grabs me around my rib cage and pulls me close. The second guy comes up then and starts to grab my hand but gets ahold of my headphones and rips them out of my ears and out of my ipod. He then swings and tries to hit me in my face, which breaks my sunglasses. At this point I am screaming my head off in english at them and thrashing and fighting as hard as I could. The second guy tries again to grab my hand, which is the same hand I am usuing to try and hit him in the face with. He is also simultaneously kicking and punching me in the ribs and stomach. The first guy kind of joins in, but is holding his face, and clearly is wary of my flailing arms and legs. At first, when all three of them came at me, I didn´t realize what they wanted was my ipod, because they didn´t go for my ipod, they tried to grab me. I did not realize they were trying rob me, I thought they were trying to attack me. The adreline I had for the past fourty minutes during my workout revved up and I just start kicking and hitting whoever I can. I couldn´t feel when the second guy was kicking or hitting me, and the only thought in my head was my uncle telling me before I left that is something happens I need to fight for my life. So as the second guy is hitting me over and over then i kick him as hard as I could in his nutsack and he falls over on the ground and starts crawling away from me. So I am thrashing and screaming and the third guy still won´t let go of me. I push him back against the railing and try and slam him repeatidly against it to get him to let me go. He is yelling too at his friends and at me ¨¨CONCHA DE TU MADREEE¨, which is the chilean version of saying ¨fuck¨, but translates literally to ¨Your mom´s vagina.¨ I start punching backwards to where his face is behind me with the same hand that has my ipod in it. I am doing over and over again until he grabs my hand to probably stop me, but also in part to try and grab my ipod. So I start biting his hand as hard as I could until he let me go. I take off sprinting for about 20 feet then turn around to see them running in the opposite direction so I slow to a walk.

After about thirty seconds of complete shock I realize as I look at my ripped headphones that the entire time they were after my iPod so I quickly shove it in my bra so it is out of sight from everyone else. No one saw the three of them attack me except one chilean guy who was REALLY far in the distance and as I pass him he tells me ¨Bien Hecho Gringa¨, which means good job white girl.

As I am walking, I realize the back of my leg is wet... and I smell like pee. Because apparently the second guy peed his pants while I was punching him in the face. I truly cannot imagine the level of embarrassment those three little shitheads felt after what happened. One of them probably had a bloody nose, the other could barely walk because I kicked him in his babymaker, and the third had a distinct mark of piss down the front and back of his pants. What on earth could they possibly say to eachother to make themselves feel better about getting their asses kicked by ONE WHITE GIRL.

I went to the police station with the director of my program and filed a report that pretty much signifys absolutely nothing. The police officers there, were impressed however, that one gringa fought off three people, and everyone in my family and all my chilean friends could really believe it. I really can´t either.

I understand I was incredibly lucky. The best thing to do when you are getting robbed, is to give up what they want, because my life is far more important than my ipod. However I did not realize what they wanted, because they grabbed me, not my ipod. At the same time, three arrogant 15 year olds who saw me as an easy target were put in their place. I am not a strongly religious person, but I truly belief that I had a guardian angel then. Because in reality one girl, fought off three boys, who had planned an attack and were essentially the same size as me. Adreline played a huge roal, because I truly was fighting for my life, not for my ipod.

The mistakes I made which lead to this attack was obvious, I should have run been running with my iPod in my hand, I should have been by myself, and I should have been more aware of my surrondings... However there is no way to predict I would have been attacked in the middle of the day, in a public location.

My program sent out an email warning others of what happened to me... However I could help but get upset when I read it. It made it sound like I stupidly fought the theives for my ipod, when in reality I thought they were trying rape me or beat me up. The way they grabbed me, and way they lunged towards me didn´t look like they wanted my iPod. I would hope, that any female who was in that situation would react like me. Because there was no blatant way in the way the approached me that indicated they wanted to rob me. They tried to attack me. And I reacted as if they wanted to hurt me, because as far as I know, they might have."

Now this experience would have sent most people packing. After a year of reflection I have realized that this event has completely changed life, but not in a bad way. After my near robbery my chilean host mother did everything she could to help me recover. I suffered from post traumatic stress and cried everyday for about week. The following weekend I had planned to go travel with some fellow Americans to Mendoza, Argentina, but after this event I was too stressed out to have the desire to go. My host family suggested I spend the weekend with them, as there were several birthday parties or something.

That weekend completely turned my experience in Chile around. I feel like it was the definitely moment for my Spanish because after that weekend it got better by leaps and bounds. I finally bounded with my host family and I began to realize that I wanted to be in Chile for more than just simply 4 months. It started the process of me staying there for a year.

Me being there a year completely changed me as a person what I wanted in life. I know I am 21, however I have to say that Chile has been the best decision of my life. (ps. I never ended up running the marathon.. I was far too traumatized to continue running.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Greek Life.

I am not greek. At the university with the largest greek population in the United States.

I never had the desire to rush for a sorority despite the fact my best friend and room mate is greek, along with several of my other good friends. I spent my freshmen year with people who were nearly all greek. And I was definitly that freshmen who went to frat parties. Far too much.

It makes sense I always went to party at frats because I wasn´t 21 until very recently. Still, looking back at it I can´t help but find it somewhat embarrassing.

To me, there is no point in being part of the greek system. My roommate will swear to you that it is proven in a professional setting to give people an advantage. For example, if you have an interview with someone who is greek, they are more likely to hire you if you are greek as well.

When I informed my dad of that tid bit of information, he responded with "Well, yeah, anything is true if you say it out loud enough."

Even if it is true, I am not planning on working at Nordstroms or a tanning salon, so I am not worried too much about it. And plus if I don´t get hired somewhere because I am not greek, it will probably be a blessing in disguise.

I do not mean to imply people who are greek are stupid because I personally know that is not the case. I just think idea of sororities are stupid. Plus, if you talk to a sorority girl about her sorority, the majority of the time she will bitch about it. Complain about "nationals", dry rules and other girls in the house.

Another thing that bothers me about sororities is they always wear the same shirts. Yesterday I saw at least 50 blondes walking around wearing the same shirt (I am assuming they were told to, or there was an event in the evening.) But let´s be honest, since when was it cool to match your friends? Fourth grade?

I am guilty too. When I was nine I liked to wear the same clothes as my best friend. We even would call each other the night before to coordinate our outfits (which was usually overalls with a blue shirt of Winnie the Pooh eating a watermelon.)

What is the difference between a 10-year-old wearing the same clothes as her best friend and an entire house of girls wearing the same stuff? A 10-year-old looks cute. 22-year-old looks stupid.

My room mate has told me she has met some of her best friends through her sorority. Cool, I have met ALL of my best friends without being in one.

I once lived in a house with three other girls. It was horrible. I cannot imagine living with 50. My dad says that when you put too many rats in a cage they eat other. The same goes for girls.

The best part about the greek system is if you are not greek, they judge you. If you are greek, they will judge anyway, depending on what house you are in.

One sorority is known as "Sigma Cows" instead of Sigma Kappa.

Alpha Delta Pi, more commonly called A-D-Pi, is or otherwise known as Eighty-Pound-Thighs.

There is another frat whose letters are SAE (Sigma Alpha Eplisilon). There nickname is SAE. Sexual-Assault-Expected. Lovely.

Each frat and sorority have their own reputation. The fat girls. The snobs. The losers. The half-gay guys. The assholes. The ugly chicks. The weird guys.

Who wouldn't want a label like that?

The week before classes start is Rush Week for the sororities and fraternities. Recruiting for the frats include inviting guys over to smoke hookah and drink. For sororities this week entails a strict schedule and lots and lots of rules. Rules about the way to dress and the way act. There is strictly NO DRINKING. All week.

It used to be that at 12 pm on Sunday the Rush rules would lift for all the girls and everyone would go crazy. People would go so crazy, the university had to change the rule. Two years ago they had a record number of people sent to the hospital for alcohol poisoning and overdose. Along with a record number of people who recieved MIPs (Minor in Possession).

The one time I enjoyed this day of heavy partying and drinking was my sophomore year here. All my friends were greek and insisted I go out with them. At noon.

And this was also the day I went to my last frat party. I met up with my friends and we went to the first frat house where they scooped me a cup from a bucket of "Jungle Juice". Jungle Juice, can be whatever you want it to be, so long as it is fruity.

Now my mom had always told me a million times to not leave my drink unattended or accept any mysterious liquid from guys I don't know. And I always swore I would be smarter than the girls who end up getting too drunk and taken advantage of. However, since I had spent my entire freshmen year doing just that, accepting strange drinks from a bunch of frat guys I did not know, I did not even think twice to accept this cup filled with juice made in a storage bin. After all, it was not like I was by myself, I was with five other girls.

However, being the some-what responsible drinker that I am, I asked the guy what was in it. "Oh, you know, vodka... some cans of frozen juice, sprite. Stuff like that. But don't worry ladies, it's not too strong."

Our plan, as it always is, was to drink the free booze, and if the party is lame, or the guys ugly, we would drink fast, get drunk, and leave. So we did just that. I nearly chugged the first glass and drank half of the second.

Now, for a girl, I have a decent tolerance and I can hide my drunk well. As we were crossing the street to the next frat, I literally felt a wave of alcohol crash into me.

I remember grabbing my friend's arm and saying "Oh my god. I just got so drunk."

To be honest, it was a miracle that I did not black out that day, because I have never felt that drunk without blacking out at least somewhat. About five minutes into the next party I realized that I needed to go home, I was far to drunk to function. My friend said she felt the same way and she did not understand how she got so fucked up got so quickly. When we left and we saw our friends smoking hookah across the street so we went and sat down and waited for the drunkness to wear off a little.

After I was able to coherently walk again, I went home. The next day I found out that in the frat that served me the Jungle Juice, they had used Everclear in it. Which I am pretty sure is illegal in half of the States because it is far too powerful. What a bunch of fucking douchebags.

However it was enough for me to learn my lesson and not be trusting of strangers. (Gee, imagine that line of thinking.)

While I was sitting there on the lawn smoking hookah. I saw girls trip, fall and stumbled down stairs. When I was walking home, I saw people walking their nearly passed out friends on their backs. I also saw a girl just laying in a lawn. My other friend told me that she passed out in the middle of a conversation and fell flat on her face. (This is the same friend that is now in rehab for alcohol and drug addiction. She is 21.)

I understand being greek means different things for different people. However for me, fraternities usually signify a group of guys that encourage each other bad behaviors and to essentially fuck girls and get drunk. And sororities signify FAR too much estrogen in a house.

Greek life? No thanks.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome back to college life.

I got a strong reminder of what it is like to be in college when I got home from my trip from Arizona and I opened up my fridge and there was more cheap beer in there than actual food.

In the morning it did not really matter because I was still hungover (from two nights ago... awesome.) so I could not bring myself to eat anything anyway. Although just looking at the beer made me want to puke. In the afternoon I had to work and I ended up eating the food at my work that they were about to throw in the garbage.

Not only that, I open up my wallet and realized I have two dollars. Thank god my friend invited me out for dinner tomorrow.

I am working on a longer post about my experience in Arizona... It was NOT what I expected at all. And to be honest not that fun. I basically hung out with a bunch of bros all weekend. And when I say bro, I mean big, beefy, and dumb. There is a reason why I don´t have friends like that. However I cannot complain too much because they paid for all of the alcohol (and they don´t drink anything cheap) so when I say alcohol I am talking Crown Royal, one bottle of Jagger three bottles of Patron, and four of Grey Goose. Yikes.

Anyway, more on that tomorrow. I am drowning in homework and reading.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The land down under... or maybe just Arizona.

So I must say, I am off to a decent start about this blog. It is actually relieving to have this to do at night right before I go to bed. It gives me some mental peace about my life. Also, throughout the day I find myself doodling ideas down for cool blog ideas and what not.

This semester I am taking three English classes and it already has me stressed. On top of that, I am starting the process of writing my honors thesis (which is a WHOLE other post in itself).

This weekend I doubt I will get much online time, Joey (the Australian millionaire, who´s name is NOT actually Joey, but when I was trying come up with nickname for him it was the only Australian word I could think of), bought me a plane ticket to go with my roommate to visit him in Arizona. The whole situation is rather weird, however my friend assures me that he is a gentleman and really nice and doesn´t want me to miss out on a good time just because of money. I have only met him once, and it was via skype, so technically speaking I haven´t actually met him at all.

Our weekend plans include drinking, drinking, drinking, and then some more drinking.

My roommate keeps telling me how excited Joey is to meet me because he thinks I am super cute. I am a little hesitant about this whole thing (and just a smidge annoyed) because I did not exactly get a choice in this matter about going... I was just bought the ticket. Not only that he bought me a first class ticket. The price was $600 dollars. I almost choked. That is like a month and a half of rent. I hate excepting things from other people, I think it was because my mom raised me to believe I "don´t need a man" to provide for me. I felt really awkward telling my parents about the situation I was afraid they would find the whole idea of some rich guy buying me a plane ticket for no particular reason awfully strange.

My dad however thought it was a fantastic idea. He informed me I will never get another opportunity like this again. Because he sure as hell was never going to buy me a gift like that.

I then told my guy friend, who I expected would scold me or give me a talking to about this whole thing sounded like a booty call, but no, he´s response was "You are going to be a writer. Writer´s don´t make money. Plus you won´t be beautiful forever. Might as well enjoy it while you can." Thanks bud. Words of wisdom.

I think I am just conflicted about how I am going to react when I get there. A millionaire bought me a ticket to go visit him. He is not bad looking, Australian, and thinks I am cute.

This can either be a very good thing, or a very awkward one.

I think I am partly just stressed about how insane this semester has gotten already (and its only the second week). And my roommate is one of those people that goes to college, but always seems to end up in the classes that don´t require that much work. I am one of those people in the opposite predicament.

However at the same time I could really use a break before things get to ridiculously crazy.

Anyway, awkward or not, Arizona, Here I Come.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Breakdown, Moving, and Hoarding.

I am little more than one week into my school year and I already had a break down last.

I don't know if it is because I just started my old job (good ol´ Starbucks) and have a difficult semester or just because I am tired of the sudden, abrupt changes that keep occurring. And then packing, and then unpacking... then having to pack up again and move... again.

A little over a month ago I moved back to the US after my year in Chile, and a little over two weeks ago I moved from my city, my home, my family (that I barely saw) to my University. I am still adjusting... And I hate it.

It was nearly a two day process packing up my two (under 50 pound) bags to come back to the states, then another two day process to unpack.. Then two weeks later I had to repack all my stuff I had just unpacked then repack all my stuff that was in my parents basement sitting there for my year abroad (which I SWEARRR my pile of stuff grew while I was away.. I dont know how I manage to aquire MORE things when I was out of the country for a year...)

I come from a family of hoarders. And I am not exaggerating. It is absolutely sickening to sit there and watch my mom and uncle get into a drop-down BLOWOUT over who really has ownership over a rock. (yes, a rock). I have a older cousin and an uncle that live next door to each other and they share a shed. They kept on getting into a fight about how the other person´s "stuff" is taking up to much space in the shed. My uncle claims that my cousin´s stuff kept "crossing" into his side of the shed so he took spray paint and spray painted a line around where her "boundary" was in the shed and wrote "DO NOT CROSS".

My cousin, on the other hand, swears that her stuff was not the problem. That actually it was HIS stuff that kept crossing the boundary into HER space.

Regardless of who´s shit is where, if you ask either one of them what kinds of things are impeding into their "part" of the shed neither of them can actually say. They just know it is happening.

About a year ago, some kids broke into this shed full of my uncle and cousin´s shit and stole some things. They called the police to file a report but neither of them could tell what was actually missing (if anything actually was).

I went in there one time, I counted 4 different tables. Why would someone need 4 tables in storage?

They don´t.

I keep promising myself that I will not be like that. That is why every time I pack up to move I fill up at least one bag full of things to take to Goodwill. Just to get rid of needless things.

I try. I really do. Then of course my mom and sister come through and take AT LEAST half the bag out claiming "YOU CAN THROW THIS OUT!".

Two years ago when I was moving back home from my University my mom came to pick me up. Since I knew it would be impossible to throw things out when she finally got there I quickly pre-emptively took out all the trash and things I didn´t need out to the dumpster. Since it was the last weekend at my university, the dumpsters were absolutely FULL of things. (Dumpster diving is fantastic to do the last week of school if someone needs to furnish their apartment.)

Anyway, when my mom got to my apartment. She first makes all sorts of comments about how I "just have SOOO much stuff... it is almost sickening". After being horrified at the amount of things that we have to fit into the truck for about five minutes she spots the dumpster. And precedes to go and pick things out (some of which were mine, and purposely placed there to try and avoid letting my mom see them). By the time she was done, the truck was twice as full. And my mom was SOO please with herself. You would have thought she struck gold.

My cousins, my sister and I made a pact together. When my mom, aunts or uncles dies from that part of the family we each get to pick 5 things out (ONLY FIVE) and then there is a three day process. Day 1, Garage Sale. Day 2, Cheaper Garage Sale/starting putting things in bags. Day 3, Goodwill runs and Dump runs till everything is gone. No fighting. We split the money evenly. And be done with it.

I already informed my dad that every year they need to get rid of 10 bags of stuff to goodwill. When he asked why, I told him because every year he gets one year closer to dying, and that is one year closer that I then have to deal with his shit. I am just thinking ahead.