I said I’d do this…

September 29, 2008

These are the explainations of the objects in my book for the final project in Foundations.  I hope these shed some light on the otherwise random objects I’ve compiled—

Camera-est. 2007

In Fall 2007, I decided to establish a Fine Arts minor, focusing on Photography.  I have had a love for this form of art for many years, but have never worked with developing and enlarging in the darkroom.  This camera was given to me by my boyfriend’s father as something for me to use throughout the rest of my college career.

Backpack -est. 1998

This backpack has traveled with me from elementary, junior high, senior high, and now college.  I have always loved the color yellow and as a child, my mother believed that Jansport backpacks were given to humans by the grace of God and his understanding that most backpacks didn’t hold up beyond a year of being drug down the stairs of my Catholic elementary school.  Despite the zippers being faulty (but luckily, they come with two on each track) I have been able to utilize this backpack.  Although I sometimes substitute it out for other bags-more interesting, more colorful, and not of the backpack variety-it seems that I always return to the durability that I can rely on.  With its padded straps, many storage pockets, and bright yellow color, I have always found this to be something that can be counted on in my academic life.

Blankets-est. 1989

My blankets.  For those who know me, this would be the single identifying object that I still have within my possession.  Nothing has been able to come between me and them in my (nearly) 20 years.  I arrived home from the hospital wrapped in their delicate knit weave, wrapped as warmly as I still try to become now.  Although they have ripped, faded, and aged immensely, I still find a comfort in them that I have not been able to find from anything else.  They remind me of a less stressful time in my life, the safety and security of home, and my family.  I am often asked if I will give them up when I myself have children and I quickly answer with a definitive “no”, as I am convinced that I would steal them back from time to time.

Soy milk container-est. 2006

In Summer 2006, I decided that I would no longer eat red meat.  From there, my diet progressed; I slowly eliminated poultry and fish shortly after.  Now, living with my vegan boyfriend, I have realized that I barely consume any animal products or by-products.  Although my turn to vegetarianism was originally diet-motivated (I was looking to lose weight), it has now become focused on environmental awareness.  For me, Chocolate Silk perfectly represents my love affair with a vegetarian diet.  This is a treat that comes into my apartment once a week and is typically consumed within just a few hours of being purchased.

Ballet bag/shoes-est. 1995

I have never been athletic.  As a child, I attempted every sport-karate, little league, soccer, basketball, gymnastics-and failed miserably.  As an attempt to get me involved in something, my mother enrolled me for dance lessons at a local ballet studio.  Once a week, I took ballet, tap, and jazz lessons.  I have now been dancing for over ten years, and have been trained classically in ballet, tap, and Pointe ballet.  As a college student, I now participate in the campus dance organization and have branched out to other styles of dance.  This is something that has allowed me to grow in grace, patience, and discipline.

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency-est. 1992, 2005

After watching this film as an adult, I realized that it may not have been the cinematic masterpiece I once hailed it as, but nonetheless, it holds a special place in my heart.  This movie was first found during a trip to the local Blockbuster when I was a child.  My mother, a stay at home mom caring for me and my younger brother, often took us to find new movies to keep us occupied in the afternoons.  This became a staple in my house and finally, we purchased it.  After moving several times during my childhood, the tape became lost and I was unable to find it for many years.  Three Christmases ago, my best friend (and now boyfriend) bought it for me as a surprise gift.  I was thrilled to have it back in my life and constantly subject my friends to the 90 minute experience that is The Hoboken Chicken Emergency.

Seashell-est. 1999

When I was young, I often longed to go to the beach.  As my brother, sister, and myself finally grew older, my mother thought it would be great to take our annual camping trip to the Delaware shore instead of the campgrounds that we had grown very accustomed to.  The summer trip quickly became a family tradition, and each summer the four of us made the four hour and eleven minute journey to the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware area.  After years of staying at the same campground, it closed its gates and our family trip ended.  It has been seven years since I have been to the shores of Delaware but every time I visit the beach with friends, I recall the summers that I spent digging in the sand with my brother or riding bikes along dirt trails with my sister.  They were summers that I will never forget and always recall fondly.

Glasses-est. 1994

After years of squinting and thousands of headaches, my mother took me for an eye exam when I was in kindergarten.  At first glance, I felt extremely cool in my new specks.  After a few weeks, however, I quickly realized I was the only child in class with glasses and relegated them to my pencil box and continued squinting.  Three years later, my eye sight became so terrible that I had no other choice but to wear the glasses.  I am now legally blind in my left eye and becoming quite close in my right.  I wear contacts to correct my vision, but sometimes opt for the more classic black frames that I bought during high school.

Sandals-est. 2006

I found these sandals on sale in the winter of 2006.  They quickly became my favorite and I vowed to wear them every day during the summer of 2006.  The wear and tear soon overpowered the construction of leather and foam cores, and tears became evident in the suede soles.  This past spring, despite the holes, I wore them during my journey to India.  I photographed my feet several times, documenting the travels that the shoes had become such an important part of.  Although my mother and friends constantly begged me to get new shoes (and after being forced to purchase new ones) I still continued to wear my old ones until they broke.  Sadly, on September 17, they finally broke, leaving me to my new leather sandals.  I have decided to hold onto these as they became a huge part of my typical wardrobe and are an important souvenir of my trip last spring.

Jeans-est. 2002, 2006-2008

These jeans are not representative of a love of fashion or an obsession with denim; they instead are of various sizes, ranging from girls size 14 jeans to juniors size 2.  In the past seven years, I have struggled with my weight.  Entering junior high school, I weighed 140 pounds.  During the summer between seventh and eighth grade, I lowered my weight to 110 pounds.  While at summer camp that July, I saw several teachers who were afraid that I had become ill.  I soon balanced back out and became healthier.  As I progressed into high school, my battle with weight took a backseat to a busy academic and social life.  After entering college in 2006, I once again became obsessed with my body.  I lost weight rapidly; by the spring of 2007, I was 82 pounds.  I had other ailments that became apparent as a result of my disorder-irregular heartbeats, constant fatigue, hair loss, and change in my skin tone.  After seeing my mom at my dance recital, she decided that something would have to be done.  I moved home in May and, under the constant watch of my friends and family, began gaining weight.  By the following fall, I was 100 pounds and in much better health.  This year, under the recommendation of my doctor (and to the delight of my family), I have balanced out at 110 pounds.  The struggle with my weight has been something that I always fear and has been difficult for me to confront, but with the constant support of those close to me, I have been able to defeat my illness and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Violin-est. 1999

I have always loved music and became involved with my local Philharmonic at a young age.  As soon as a strings program became available at my school, I begged my mother to allow me to join.  Since I was not involved in any athletic teams, she thought it would be a great opportunity to find an activity that I enjoyed.  At first, I was drawn to the cello, but because of my size, I was encouraged to instead try the violin.  I have been playing the violin for almost a decade; I have participated in school ensembles, pit orchestras, community symphonies, and university orchestras.  After moving to Glenside, I have not been playing nearly as often as I have in the past, but I hope to once again revive my love for music.

Mother-daughter necklace-est. 2007

I often hear people who describe their relationship with their mother with disdain.  I have honestly found my mother to be my best friend.  Growing up as the oldest child in a single-parent family, I often found myself in role of friend and supporter instead of daughter.  I have now found myself growing closer to my mother in the years since I moved out, looking to her for support in my life and relationships.  She has helped me in the worst times of my life and we have both succeeded in the face of adversity.  I look to her for love and compassion when others just do not seem to understand me.  She’s helped me grow into the young woman I am now and I appreciate her wisdom.  This necklace was my Christmas present to her last year, with my sister also receiving one.  We wear them as reminders of each other and that no matter where we live, we are always bound together.

Ruler-est. 1989

This ruler isn’t symbolic of a love of lines; instead, it symbolizes my height (or lack thereof).  As a child, I was always one of the tallest kids in my class.  This soon changes as many people hit their growth spurts in fifth or sixth grade.  I, instead, stopped growing, and leveled out at four feet, eleven inches in the fourth grade.  Since then, I have remained relatively the same size.  Although I’m the oldest of three, I am shadowed by my siblings, who are 5’10” and 5’7″, respectively.  My size is typically the topic of jokes about my age-I’m often asked if I need a children’s menu when dining out with my parents.  While I may be small (and occasionally need a cushion to see over the driver’s seat), I have learned to embrace my size; children’s clothing is much more inexpensive!

Planner-est. 2006

I never carried a planner until I entered college.  In the past, I often looked to Post-It notes to organize my work schedule, the hectic life of extra-curricular activities, and upcoming test dates.  My planner is now filled to the brim with meeting times, project due dates, work hours, and the schedule of my boyfriend.  I often spend more than half my day on campus, where I’m involved in a hectic academic schedule paired with work and clubs.  I have tried to stay involved throughout my time in college, but often found that it means limited time for my self.  This can sometimes be a burden, but, I have found joy in participating in various organizations, such as For the Women, Ambassadors, and Knight Club.

Drumline shirt-est. 2003

Three weeks before the start of my Freshman year, I moved to a new high school.  As a way to meet new people, I thought it’d be great to join the high school marching band.  Since I only had a background in string instruments, my band director thought I would fit well in the drumline.  As I had never picked up a drum in my entire life, I was scared.  Before I knew it, I had a set of cymbals strapped to my wrist and I was learning to march.  My high school had a competitive marching band, performing weekly at different competitions around the state.  Band was not only an activity; it was where most of my friends were made.  Now, three years since I graduated, I have realized that the only friends I have kept in touch with were those made during my first few weeks at my new high school.  Band gave me an amazing outlet for my musical creativity and a chance to learn new things; by the end of my high school career, I had played bass drum, learned marimba, performed as a cymbalist, learned clarinet, and even served as the Colorguard captain my senior year.

Track shirt-est. 2006

As previously mentioned, I have no athletic talent.  I wasn’t surprised by the reaction I had when I told my friends that I was joining the track team for my senior year.  Many people were confused; my brother and sister laughed.  They had both been on for their entire high school careers-my brother was a distance runner and my sister ran hurdles.  I trained hard and by the end of the semester, came within three points of receiving a varsity letter.  The only thing that stood in my way was my last meet; I accidently led my entire relay team to the wrong side of the track, resulting in us missing the race.  Needless to say, I was embarrassed, but very much satisfied with the accomplishment of actually doing something that I didn’t think I could.  This was something that I did to prove to myself that I could succeed if I tried; even if it was something that many people didn’t believe could happen.

Graduation shirt-est. 2006

I entered high school in fall of 2003 and graduated in June 2006, in just under three years.  When I arrived at Berwick, I had been inspired to accelerate my high school career.  Throughout my schooling, I had been pushed beyond my grade level and had even attempted to skip a grade during elementary school.  After being turned down by my small catholic elementary school, I settled for what was available to me.  Once I realized that it would be possible for me to graduate high school in three years, I began my petitions.  I  had to write letters to school board officials, the superintendent, and high school leaders.  Many people opposed my idea and felt that I should not try to “grow up” sooner than I needed to.  I had been offered a chance to take full-time courses at a local university, but I knew in my heart that I wanted to begin at the university that I would graduate from.  After endless phone calls, letters, and even tears, I finally had my way.  I walked in my graduation as sixth in my class and as an honor graduate, achieving a 98.2 GPA.

Keys-est. 2002

My keys are symbolic of my independent life.  I have recently moved out and rent my own apartment.  I also have my car key-I drive a 1997 Subaru Outback that has become a very big part of my life since crashing my Jetta in 2005.  My keys are the lifeline to everything that is near and dear; I can’t get home without them, and I can’t travel anywhere if I misplace them.

Foot tattoo-est. 2007

I have an extreme fear of needles, so I wasn’t surprised when many people laughed when I said I was getting a tattoo.  My mother doubted me even after I sent her a photograph of my fresh ink.  The phrase, “Nothing is worth more than this day” was engraved on a bracelet that my mother gave me on my high school graduation day.  It was meant as something to inspire me and to constantly remind me to live for the moment.  The bracelet, however, was too big and I was never able to wear it.  I chose it as my first tattoo because of the connection I have with my mom and because I thought it would be something that I would love to carry with me every day of my life.

Chest tattoo-est. 2008

After having my first tattoo, I realized it would not be long until I had another.  I loved the idea of having a permanent work of art with me at all times.  After coming home from India in Spring 2008, I decided that I would get at tattoo to commemorate the trip that changed my life.  I have always been fascinated by peacocks, and while there, found numerous pictures of peacocks painted in a traditional manner.  After arriving back in Glenside, I had my friend compose a drawing using several parts of many drawings that I had photographed during my time in India.  This was then turned into my tattoo.  While I do not see it often, it reminds me of an amazing trip and the change that it brought into my life.

Piling Up.

September 23, 2008

The book-binding process has begun.  Yesterday I purchased somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 worth of materials to begin working tonight on creating a hardcover book.  Tomorrow I plan on photographing my objects during class, printing, and inserting pages.  It’s going to be a process but I’m extremely excited about working on it.

I will be adding a written component to the blog that explains each image. I will post it Monday evening (after the book is presented) so interpretations can remain open during the initial presentation.

Beyond that, the week is going to be very busy.  I have four prints due Monday (and they aren’t even started), this book due, work, two hours of dance, and a life to attend to.  I also have a roll of film due Monday that hasn’t had the chance to be worked on yet.

What a week already.

Looking Up

September 21, 2008

Alone, night two.  My things for my final project for foundations (can I believe I’m nearly five weeks into the semester? NO!) are on their way; I think I have decided to either do some type of bound book, or a display.  Either way, there will be a typed handout to correlate with the presentation.

I lost yet another roll of film today.  It’s a complete heartbreat; although it wasn’t the entire thing, it was more than a third.  It’s upsetting to put so much time and effort into one thing only to see it fall apart within about fifteen minutes.

Which happens to families, and marriages, and friendships everyday, so I guess I can’t complain much about a roll of film.  Except that my grade hinges on it.

So to celebrate (or try to hurry along) my last night alone, I’ve curled up with some snacks–despite my body honestly not needing them–a laptop, and soon my bed.  It’s been the weekend from hell and I can honestly say I’m looking forward to tomorrow for an array of reasons.

To Clarify..

September 21, 2008

As I re-read the last post, it sounds angry toward people who don’t deserve it.  My relationship (the one with him) is perfect and the only problems lie in the ones that have been made in this town.  I feel completely bewildered at how yesterday’s events played out and in all honesty, I’m tired of being the one who has to fight to work it out.  I will no longer worry; instead, it’s going to have to just be this way.

Nights like tonight don’t help me at all.  I don’t feel I was at fault by any means; plans were changed by someone who wasn’t included and I am to feel as though it was my fault.  It’s unfair to be thrown into a position like that.  I feel like I have no one to rely on, or if that one person (beyond my immediate family) is two hours away.

And then the emotion pours.  Like water through a colander.

We had the talk–the one that goes something like “I wouldn’t be with you if I didn’t want to be” and on and on, but there’s simply something that won’t let these words settle with me.  Something that unnerves me.  And it really gets me thinking when I realize that there’s no one trustworthy.  There’s no one who sees it like I do, and no one who will run when I walk out the door.  I worry that I’m just not enough of something–whatever it may be–to hold on to one of the few remaining relationships that weather all problems, big or small.  The one who doesn’t leave when things get tough, but instead grasps on tighter.  Someone who I don’t have to explain my problems to because he already knows.  The one who I don’t have to worry about including because it’s already him and me.

I’m just not that needed, I guess.  And I suppose I can’t blame them; I was the one who left.  For once in my life, I want to be followed by someone that I actually want to follow me.  I want to be pursued by an interest, I want to be needed by someone I need.  Too often I feel replaceable, and that might just be my insecurities.  I’ve been trying my best to get beyond them, but more often than not, I feel miserable at the thought of not being the type of person you want around; instead, I’ve fallen into being the person that you hope doesn’t show up.

When did I become that girl?

I honestly hate the times I feel this way; I’m fulfilling the typical “angry teen” persona, but in all truthfulness, it does not always come out as something pretty.  Writing is better than taking it out any other way, and this is what I’m left with:  a mess of words that sound like complaining and two nights spent alone in my two story apartment. These better not be the best days of my life.

What are you holding out for?

September 18, 2008

How is it that just when you think everything is under control–your relationships, your academics, your life in general–something really unbelievable happens and sends it tumbling?  I’ve been asking myself this for about a week now.  After disproving some rumors and getting my life seemingly back to normal, something happened to send it out of control yet again.  Now I’m playing a waiting game, hoping that everything settles down within the next two weeks.

This is why I often don’t get too settled in any situations.  It’s also why I have a horrible fear of losing people.

I have always had difficulty getting close to people without becoming clingy.  I’d like to blame this on something awful from my childhood, but honestly, the only person who ever left was my father.  I just find it extremely difficult to try to open up–really let someone get to know me–without a great fear that they might not be there in the future.

I’ve had that problem with every relationship I’ve tried to keep up.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve thrown Zach into the obligitory role of problem-solver because I have a meltdown about something that is at least five years in the future.  It’s not as though I’m not happy with the here and now; it’s just the idea of losing what I value.  I become attached while remaining independent; I worry while I stay strong.  It’s quite the destructive cycle.

So, in the next few weeks I wait (and hope) that life gets back on track.  That I can focus on the five art classes that fill my day, the job that occupies my time, and the apartment that has fallen into disarray.    If anything, the last week has taught me to appreciate the quiet times in my life.

And to be careful for what we wish for.

When all else fails…

September 17, 2008

The last few days, at best, have been miserable.  After being awake for 36 hours to finish an art project that I delayed, I have yet to fall back into a normal sleep cycle.  I am exhausted, moody, and nauseated (for something like nine days now).  School has been overwhelming; the projects keep coming no matter how many I already have and my planner is loaded up until the end of October.  Once again, I’ve filled my plate beyond what is reasonable and I’m trying to be involved in everything.

I love to overextend myself.

The last few days have really shown me what matters though.  My close friends, my family (always), my wonderful, wonderful roommate (and boyfriend), and–believe it or not–me.  I’m trying to give myself a bit of time now and then and really pay attention to what my body is (or isn’t) telling me so I don’t end up sick again.  It takes something really big, and sometimes even somewhat unexpected, to really put things back into perspective.

My Foundations professor has been working with me on establishing a final project concept.  Today I decided it would be semi-chronological and a collection of 20 items that could define my identity.  So far, these are the ideas.  Each will go year-to-year in my life (I hope)

  1. my blankets
  2. a picture of my first house (?)
  3. my mother-daughter necklace
  4. childrens’ books
  5. my ballet bag
  6. my bicycle
  7. a picture of my second house (?)
  8. The Hoboken Chicken Emergency
  9. my violin
  10. 3-4 pairs of jeans
  11. my yellow backpack
  12. a picture of my third house (?)
  13. my camera
  14. picture of a church
  15. picture of my new apartment
  16. picture of my car (and possibly old car)
  17. tattoos
  18. my glasses
  19. my refrigerator
  20. my ipod (?)

so this is tentative for now–most depends on what I can get collected from home over the weekend while Zach goes back to our lovely NEPA hometown.  Until then, I pray life settles down, I get a moment to just r e l a x and that I can keep sight of what really matters.  Life might not always go according to plan and til it gets back on track, I’ll simply run with it.

These Complete Me.

September 15, 2008

There are a few things that simply have to happen or that I must have in order for a day to work out.  Not even for it to be a good day–a few weeks ago, I tried to mix up my morning schedule, and it took all afternoon for me to get on the right page.  I have learned that over the years I’ve adopted a morning routine that must be followed precisely.  It goes a little something like this:

 

  • wake up:  naturally, this must happen.  I wake up within two snooze button hits (as opposed to Zach, who punctuates the morning with a terrible cell phone ring every five minutes until I leave the apartment).  If I sleep too long, I have to rush.  If I beat the alarm, I feel like I lost precious moments of sleep and relaxation.
  • head into the bathroom:  after shimmy-ing (is that a word..?) out of bed, I undress, and jump right into the shower.  As the water warms up–and it must be followed this way–I brush my teeth.  Once in the shower, there is a very, VERY strict regiment: wash my face,  wash my body, shave, wash my hair, and condition.  If I switch it up (I did at the recommendation of a friend) I feel off all day.  It is probably just a huge mental thing, but trust me, it’s better to stick to the routine.
  • get dressed:  I would never call myself a typical girl, but when it comes to getting ready, I surely take my time.  The biggest problem for me is trying to figure out how warm it will be as the day continues.  When I wake up (usually around 7:30) it is freezing, and during the warm fall months, it’s tough to imagine what temperature it will be as I ride my bike home after class and work.  
  • get breakfast/tea:  after I get showered and dressed, I make breakfast.  While it’s cooking (or while I’m just in the kitchen), I wash the dishes from the night before and straighten up anything that’s out of order.
  • pack my bag:  I double check my yellow backpack to be sure I have all of my things I need for class–although I usually leave at least five things at home.

 

Beyond my routine, there are several “must have” items that always make their way with me out of my suburban apartment. 

<—ankle bracelets:  Clearly, my feet come with me every day.  My ankle bracelets have been on since May and I normally keep them until they fall off by themselves.  I have had a toe ring since 4th grade and I’m almost positive I’ve only taken it off once in that time (for a dance recital in junior high).  

ring—>

I have always wanted a ‘nice’ ring, but I have never had the money.  I also quickly realized that I lose rings very quickly, so I’ve kept it to cheap department store rings.  I found this lovely piece of jewelry at Kohl’s during my freshman year. I always ALWAYS have it on.  It’s not for any specific reason… just a small something that makes me feel a bit more feminine.  Plus, I feel like I have “old” looking hands, and I feel like anything to distract from that might be a good idea.

<—my sandals:  yet again, another leather item that I feel guilty for owning, but based on their condition, I won’t have them for much longer.  These are my FAVORITE shoes that I’ve ever owned.  I bought them on sale (in the winter) and I have worn them everywhere (even India).  Despite my mother forcing me to buy new ones this past summer, I have kept these in my daily footwear rotation… mostly for sentimental reasons.  I have warned everyone that I will continue to wear them until they fall apart, despite many threats from my friends to destroy them personally.  Until then, they will remain my shoes.

my Nalgene bottle–>

I carry this every day.  It’s best because it means a) I don’t have to buy bottled water b) it’s yet another little thing I do that makes me feel like I’m single-handedly saving the environment and c) I like the flashy color.  I always try to remember to freeze it the night before so it’s at least a bit cold by the time I reach campus but typically forget it next to my potted plant (where the leftover water often gets used to water my half-dead plant).

<–sunglasses:  last but not least, my sunglasses.  I have a rare disorder that has left me without pigmentation on my retnias, so I am required to wear sunglasses every day–even when it’s not sunny.  I’m also a forgetful person, so despite my need to ALWAYS have sunglasses, I typically stick to cheap ones since I lose them constantly.  These are always with me.

 

These are just a few more things that shape my unique identity.  I feel like while many people may not understand, or take them for granted, they are important things that help me to define who I am.  While I would be the first to say that a person isn’t defined by the material objects that they have, I have reflected my personality into the way that I schedule my routine and the things that I keep with me.

Soon soon soon I will blog again for real… once I reign in my life again.  Back to my 100 drawings for now.

You Are What You Eat.

September 9, 2008

Identity is formed in many ways.  Often times, our identity is formed by figuring out what we’re not.  I’m not a guy, so I naturally identify as “female”.  I’m not athletic, so I’ve always gravitated to “artistic”.  It’s not saying you can’t have one without the other; simply stated, it’s easier to try to place meaning based on what you know you can’t do or don’t have.  

After digging through my drawers the other day and realizing that a close examination of something as simple as my junk in my desk can reveal a lot about me, I tried to think of something a bit more obvious.  I know I am going to document my route home–this has become quite a defining factor for me.  I’m the girl with the pink bike, the girl who doesn’t drive; it has worked its way into my “identity”.  

Food can really place a definition to a person.  One glance at the outside (and inside) of my refrigerator reveals a slew of information about me, my lifestyle… even who I live with.  So, for now (and this Wednesday’s assignment), here we go:

 <–my refrigerator:  from the front, you already see a mess of chaos.  It has homemade letter magnets for writing out fun messages to my roommate, a pirate sticker from the Sunday newspaper, a dry erase board for reminders, and Post-Its keeping me up to date with everyones’ schedules.  

  condiments —>

  As a vegetarian, food can sometimes be less than exciting.  I’ve always loved food that you can put a lot of stuff on (burgers, salads, sandwiches), so it wasn’t difficult for me to cut out the stuff that was usually found underneath the toppings (typically meat).  I learned that I was in it just for the fun stuff you got to add on top–sauces, spreads, even homemade jam.  In our apartment, we always have hot sauce (right now we have super-spicy homemade hot sauce), organic almond butter, salad dressings, soy sauce, and the basic ketchup and mustard.
<—beverages:  As previously mentioned, I’m a vegeterian.  I live with a vegan, however, so we don’t have many dairy products (aside from my cream cheese and occasional slice of cheese-topped pizza).  We always have an endless supply of Chocolate Silk (my absolute favorite), regular soymilk, and some kind of juice–this week, Tropicana Orange Strawberry Banana.   Hiding back there you can also see our dairy-free butter spread and super-huge organic tortillas–great for making fajitas and wraps.

veggie drawer—>

Typically this is a more happening place in our refrigerator.  Right now, we don’t have much produce in the fridge (both me and the roommate HATE cold fruit).  This lettuce will probably find its way into our “weekly salad”; something normally put together during the weekend and then divvied out during the week for salads that we take for lunches or snacks.

 

<—Eggless Egg Salad:  This is one of my favorite vegan concoctions.  This is made from tofu, Veganase (a dairy-free mayo substitute), mustard, and tons of spices.  It’s the best lunch ever, and my roommate makes it all the time.  We always have this in our fridge because it’s an easy fix any time of the day.

 

Sugar Free Snacks–>

These things are my “guilty pleasures”.  Once again, things like this keep me from being strictly vegan; I still can’t give up my Jell-O or yogurt.  When I moved here this past summer, I found sugar-free Jello that came in Mint Chocolate flavor and I have since been addicted.  They’re the perfect snack when you get home from a long day and are just dying for chocolate.

 

So my refrigerator is a good way to place me into a “catagory”.  It tells that I’m vegetarian, somewhat poor (by the lack of food right now!), and completely obsessed with condiments.  

Hm.  After a meeting tonight, I feel compelled to write about something a bit deeper than what I typically address.  As a woman I have always felt somewhat ashamed of my sexuality.  Growing up in the Catholic school system, I was required to constantly wear a skirt, yet hide any sign of my female body.  Heaven forbid a knee was shown or a button left undone; I was convinced that God himself would damn me to hell.  Now as an adult, I have found myself sometimes struggling with the fact that I could see my sexuality in a positive light–sometimes denying it all together.  The last year have really helped me otherwise.  

I have allowed myself to take on a role that combines a strong, (and slowly gaining) confident self as a female.  I have learned that sex isn’t something to hide and be uncomfortable with, but instead, to celebrate, to enjoy, and to be proud of.  While my sex might subject me to a cultural hierarchy that still puts women in the second-class place from time to time, I have found myself in places of prestige and in an age where my mother and grandmother were viewed as subservient to a man, I have risen to a place where equality is almost entirely evident.  There’s still strides to take, but there’s something about here and now that makes me truly feel proud to be a woman.

It has to be something about gathering in a room, overflowing with estrogen, and talking about how we’re going to make sure people hear what we have to say.

Even if it’s just a story about our vaginas.

I have allowed myself to be surrounded by people who have healthy views of what women should be, I have overcome a huge obstacle and lived to tell of it, and I have tried to live my life to what I want it to be.  I’m a skirt-wearing, bicycle riding, Veggie lovin’, peace demanding feminist.  A year ago, I might not have used that last word, due to the stigma it often carries, but I’ve learned to embrace it.  Where many simply sigh and dismiss the questions, I have learned (through the lovely teachings of professors who beg us to all be feminists) that it’s not necessarily the dirty word it has evolved to be.

This is what happens when you get me thinking at 10:30 at night.