Wednesday, April 24, 2013

in which there are few words, but many trailers

Out of all the side effects this post-terrifically sick business has brought me, I'm thinking the loss of the ability to take liver-destroying mood stabilizers is the worst. And that's saying quite a bit, since I've also pretty much given up eating food during daylight hours. You live every day like it's shark week, I'll live every day like it's Ramadan. And, okay, also shark week. 
What I'm saying is, we're back to square one of my having an absurd amount of feelings and no idea what to do with them. Seriously, how do people deal with emotions in a healthy way? This is a legitimate question. I've taken up running, which is effective, but I can't spend every waking moment pretending to be chased by zombies. I mean, I could, but I feel like at some point the asthma would kick in and most of my inhalers got stolen out of my suitcase on the way over here, so that ultimately would not end well. So again I wonder, am I falsely assuming the general population functions without harmful vices, or is everyone else just that much better at life than me?

Anyways, when I'm not berating myself for not knowing how to be filled with emotions without attempting to drown them in nyquil, I'm usually crying.

I cry all the freakin' time now. It's ridiculous.

I cry at homeless kids and ruined clothes and any time Jeff Buckley comes on my work playlist.

I am Bedazzled's Ellitot vs. that darn sunset.

Coincidentally I also sing the dolphin song on a fairly regular basis.

The other day I was explaining the end of Brigadoon at the dinner table when the very thought of Gene Kelley losing his soul mate to the Scottish mist made me tear up. And I don't even believe in soul mates, guys. So that made me cry, then someone noticed I was crying and said "Oh crap, did someone bring up the titanic again?" (The Titanic has a history of bumming me out. Don't ask.) Which made me think of the Titanic, so then I started crying harder, which led to the following bit of dialogue:
Dad: Wait, are you crying because you're sad about the Titanic sinking, or about the movie Titanic?
Me: *sob* Well, both, now...THEY WERE SOUL MATES *sob sob sob*
Dad: Lis, if Leo had gotten on the door with her, their combined weight would have caused it to sink.
Me: *sob* no *sob* it *sob* wouldn't have *sob sob* they proved *sob* it *sob* on  *sob* MYTHBUSTERS!!!

So that happened.

To be clear, I'm not knocking on crying, wear your tears like salty badges of emotion or whatever, I'm just saying it's really weird for me. Usually I only cry when I'm thinking about dumping someone or watching a particularly good movie trailer. Not a movie, mind you, but a movie trailer- the pinnacle of all that is good in the editing world. So for your viewing pleasure, I'm linking some trailers that have made me well up even when self-medicated to my preferred state of almost dead inside.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Confession: I was not actually terribly impressed with this movie. Damn good trailer, though.

I cried when: "I TOO CAN COMMAND THE WIND, SIR! I HAVE A HURRICANE IN ME!!!" I know you do, Cate Blanchett, I know you do.

The Great Gatsby
I love Baz Luhrman, I love the Fitzgeralds, and as was implied earlier, I love me some Leo. Throw in that soundtrack and I am sold. (I mean, Jack White covering Love is Blindness? j'adore, j'adore, j'adore.)

I cried when: It varies. Some days it's as soon as Gatsby steps in from the rain, but I'm always crying by the time Daisy wishes she'd done everything on earth with you. Too beautiful! Too doomed! Too much!

Whip it
It's like six different cliches, but I just can't help myself.  I love Ellen Page, I love Drew Barrymore, I love Roller Derby, I love Weezer, I love COMING OF AGE in awkward places, I could go on and on and on.  Basically, great book, great movie. I now own and watch this one frequently, despite its setting unrealistic expectations for making out underwater.  Additionally I would still like a
 T-shirt that reads "Final Slut Pro," but will probably never get one because I broke up with the dude who promised to have one made before it ever materialized. AND LET THAT BE A LESSON TO US ALL.

I cried when: The victorious throwing of arms in the air at the same moment the dad wants his daughter to be happy and weezer doesn't give a hoot about what you think. Followed, of course, by the pretty swimming pool sexytimes shots.

Les Miserables
I know I'm hardly alone in saying this, but Les Mis is primarily responsible for getting me through the super awkward years. I would say Les Mis taught me how to feel, but obviously I still don't know how to do that, so that's clearly a lie. Suffice it to say that in the eighth grade, newly chemically imbalanced Lissa used to walk alone at night in suburban DC listening to "On My Own" on her walkman, because 13 year old Lissa was a) brimming with musical angst,  b) very, very stupid. For years I've loved the book, loved the musical, and the day it was announced I knew I'd love the movie- and I did.
(But I wouldn't be too sad if Cosette was the one who died, because ugh, Cosette, guys.)

I cried when: Honestly, it was straight up ugly cry time from the opening notes onward.

Too many feels, guys, just too many feels.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

In which I jepardize all of my future relationships by revealing my true morning-time colours

So for the past hour and a half, I have been deeply concerned that I am, in fact, a whiny-butt.

This stems from a comment made to me that I complain about living in Africa a lot, which I totally do, have you guys been here? IT'S LIKE THE WHOLE CONTINENT IS A LISSA-SPECIFIC DEATH TRAP.
Granted, I'm sure the comment was not intended as the criticism I interpreted it to be, but since I'm about mid-way into a pretty obvious down cycle I'm taking everything personally then dwelling on it for unreasonably extended periods of time.  I'm just a sucker with low self-esteem, oh yeeeeeeahhhh, yeah, yeah yeah, yeaaaah yeah yeahhhhhhh.

What I'm saying is, may God have mercy on your soul if you as much as suggest that these jeans make me look fat. 

Anyways, that's why I've been obsessively combing through everything I've recently written on the internet in an attempt to determine if I am actually a big fat complainer.  I know I'm no ray of sunshine (I thought about it just now, and in the world of weather-based personality metaphors, I think I'd be a desert thunderstorm) but I'm pretty sure I'm not that bad, comparatively speaking.


After excessive perusing and analysis, the conclusion I've come to is this: while I may not be a complainer, per say, I am absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, not a morning person.
In fact, I'd venture to say I'm basically the quintessential anti-morning person.

There are but few people I know who actually look forward to getting out of bed in the morning. I once had a roommate who continues to communicate solely through a series of grunts upon waking. Identifying one's self as not being a morning person is not exactly uncommon.

But in all of my 21 years of living, never have I encountered a fellow suffer-er of morning rage.

I say this honestly: there are few things in this world that piss me off quite as much as waking up. No joke, by the time I've managed to grope my way to my alarm clock, I'm frequently seeing red. I've tried several things to combat this- getting more sleep, increasing the natural light in my room, getting less sleep, changing alarm clocks, using different pillows, decreasing the light in my room, drinking tea, meditation, prayer- all to no avail. Sadly, this isn't something I can blame on meds, either- I've been this way for as long as I can remember.

Really, the only thing worse than being woken up by my alarm clock is being woken up by a fellow human being who is physically capable of receiving punishment for their wrong doing. Basically, if you wake me up, you are releasing the Kraken. And not the fun Juno Kraken, either. I'm talking old school sea monster Kraken, here.  Don't bring that on yourself, friend.

(How this relates to my being a whiner is coming, have patience.)

I once read an article online that had surveyed several women as to their morning routine- and I was surprised how similar most of the answers were. Wake up, meander into the shower, put on a pot of coffee, cuddle with a significant other, check phone for messages, etc, etc.

This is how I start my morning:

Wake up. Curse Florence + The Machine (my current wake-up band) until I can find my iphone and beat it into submission.
Then I get on facebook and wait for the innate fury to dissipate.

So, that's where most of my complaining comes from. I choose the absolute worst time of the day to arm myself with a keyboard, and then I attack with reckless abandon. Over the years I've developed the slightest of filters, which is good because I'm sure people would get tired of me virtually screaming "RAWRRR I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL," every day. But yeah.

Sadly, on top of that, lately I've been rising still tired and in a fair bit of pain, because evidently you don't just wake up better from serious illnesses. This just means that the situation escalates from some light morning grumbling to a full-fledged producers worthy freak fest. Basically every day.

I'm in pain and I'm still hysterical!

And now, a brief interlude where I speak directly to the ghost of boyfriends future:

Dear boy I have yet to love: if you have read this blog in it's entirety, you now know that in I'm a wee bit cray cray and also sometimes I eat worms. However, both of these (in my mind) pale in comparison turn-off wise to the all encompassing morning rage. Have no fear, though, for I have some words of advice for you-

If you are reading this in the future and we're already dating: this totally falls into the category of things that can be fixed with some light hair petting and a brief monologue about how pretty I am. On that failing, it can also usually be bribed away with frozen chocolate beverages. Ain't no thing.

If you're reading this in the present and you used to think that you might want to date me but now you're not so sure, because ain't nobody got time for that, etc: I get it, I do. So to even things out, you should probably know that I have it on good terms that I am an exceptionally talented kisser. I also like to think of myself as being in possession of a mind like a diamond and eyes that burn like cigarettes, which I'm told are also things boys like. So. Let that marinate on your mind a bit.

Anyways, most days by the time I've put my lipstick on and then consumed something of the food variety, I've about overcome the angryness. Just in time for the next morning feels to kick in: paranoia.

Guys, pre-noon Lissa is fairly convinced the terrorists are coming to get her.

In her (and my) defense, we do have some terrorists here. Like, more than one might prefer and stuff.
And yet I seem to be the only one in my family who is concerned by this.

More than once I have tried to convince my dad to translate and memorize the Taken monologue in French, but every time I bring it up he pretends like he doesn't know what I'm talking about.
I can only hope that when the time comes, my non-slutty attire will inspire my kidnappers to put me up for sale in an auction instead of letting me die of a drug overdose in a makeshift  brothel.
Either way, bet he'll be wishing he knew how to tell people he has "a very specific set of skills" in French then.

For the most part, however, my anti-terror regime predominately takes place on the walk to work.  Don't get me wrong, we follow most of the OPSEC stuff you're supposed to, varying time and route and what have you, but guys, I'm convinced the terrorists are sneakier than all that.

Plus the fact remains that we dress like total Americans. This can't be helped, to an extent. But then there are my shoes:

 "HELLO," they say, "HELLO I AM A TARGET."

Guys, the only culture that chooses to wear running shoes when not engaging in sport is ours. This is a fact. You can totally tell Americans by their shoes.

And, you know, if that weren't true, the fact that I pair them with a cocktail dress and a giant military backpack probably isn't helping anything.

But the fact of the matter is I have yet to master both walking through sand in five inch heels AND keeping up with my long-legged walking companion, so this is my only solution. So while he bounces along listening to NPR on his ipod, I am on self-appointed terrorist watch.
Basically I give the shifty eye to anybody who I think is following me. I have no idea what to do when somebody actually follows me, as I learned last week courtesy of some random creeper guy.

"DAD. Did you notice that guy who followed us practically the whole way here?" I asked.
"Huh. No. Well, if you see him again, then we'll be concerned," he replied.


Probably for the best, though. I mean, I have no idea what I would do with a terrorist once I caught them. Is there a hotline I can call for this? Do I bring them into the embassy? Because I can pretty much imagine how that would go down...

Marine: Is that the colonels' daughter? What's her face? Dragging a homeless guy in here?
Marine: Wha- How did you even do that?

I gave him a HA! And a HI-YA! And then a OUU-WA! And then I kicked him, sir.

Me: Well, here you go!
Marine: That is not a terrorist. That is a homeless man. Speaking very angry French.
Me: ...I don't speak French.

These are the things I think about, guys.

Anyway, my point here is that I'm like 57% sure I'm not a super complainer.

And now I'm going to go google how to catch a terrorist. That should yield some pretty concrete results, I think.

Monday, April 1, 2013

in which I offer more life advice for the barely-functional

I think technically today I don't quality as barely-functional, since I'm on my fifth episode of Grey's Anatomy and I have no plans of stopping soon. It's also four PM and I'm still in my jamjams because they are comfy and smell like laundry soap and I've given up on shame. Additionally I've found myself unable to form a coherent thought over the past three days that wasn't wildly offensive, so, there's that.

Here's a picture of a puppy being scratched on the head by my phantom hand. Alas I did not find this activity particularly rewarding, not sure if it's because a) I have no soul, or b) it's not a kitten.

But you know what they say, those who can't do, teach.

So here's another tip for the barely functional:

"Shathing," or as I prefer to call it, "Vesper Lynn-ing."

Baths have long been a happy pastime of the barely functional.

Let's stop this; baths are gross. Baths are essentially transforming yourself into a big tub of people stew, which is disgusting. Say no to baths.
However, I totally get the need to spend a lot of time immersed in hot water, and that standing up for a long time is really better suited to the fully functional.

Instead, let me present the following alternative:

See? Vesper Lynn-ing  
It's like everything you've ever wanted rolled into one! YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF!
(You should, though. It's really better if you take your clothes off, because then you don't have to figure out what do with all the wet clothes. Bet you didn't even think of that, huh?)

Plus, if you stay in there long enough, someone might come along and give you a cuddle!

James Bond delivering on the awkward head cuddles. That's nice and all, but clearly what the girl needs is a full body cuddle that could more accurately described as "wearing a skin suit" than "a hug." But that's just my interpretation.
Equally effective after a bad case of murder-shock, ala our good friend Vesper, as it is after a bad day.
Plus, hygiene is absolutely a great step on the path to being a functional human being.  Bring some shampoo and a toothbrush in there with you and you've won half the battle already.

Mkay, well, I'm going back to the Grey's Anatomy now. Interns are secretly removing each other's organs. Those crazy kids!

Friday, March 22, 2013

in which I do three things

Guys, I think I should write a self-help book. It will be called "How to not suck at life (even when your life sucks): a guide for the barely functional." It will be marketed to those of us beyond the point of saving by the seven habits of highly effective people, or whatever. The main demographic of purchasers will be well-meaning relatives who give mildly insulting gifts. Like, the same people who buy you gym memberships you don't ask for. Those guys.
And then after the raging success of my book, I'll follow  it up with a workplace speaking tour entitled "Teamwork, B*tches." It will be equally successful, of course.

Nah, I'm just kidding. I'm pretty sure if you move back in with your parents and switch from a four year university to community college you kind of take yourself out of the running for writing self-help books.

But if I were to write one, this would be among the primary advice given: do three things you're proud of every day.
They don't have to be big things, or resume worthy accomplishments. Just...three things that you yourself are proud of. If you can do that, the day is not wasted.

On the super dark days, when playing the role of self-loathing wrapped in misery, brushing my hair, brushing my teeth, and changing into daytime pajamas totally counts as those three things. If you've been there, you know what I'm saying.

So, with today being on the lower end of mediocre, here are my three things:

1. I finished making a baby blanket. I'm planning on donating it, so double bonus points for me there.

2. I went swimming.

Obviously instagrammed photo of my feet and the pool. And yes, my toenails really do sparkle. That's why God made diamond shine topcoat, friends.
Everyone should swim. SCIENCE DEMANDS IT.
So that's technically a minor exaggeration, but I read a study once that stated the meditative benefits of both running and swimming, and it's totally true. The quiet and repetition of movement clear your head like nothing else, plus it's a killer workout. Okay, I've been told running does the same thing, but running just makes me wheezy and sweaty and gross and it's pretty impossible to prentend to be a mermaid while running, guys.
 (Also I swam 80 laps which is 2 kilometers. DID YOU SWIM TWO KILOMETERS TODAY? NO? GUESS I'M JUST AWESOME.)

3. I wrote this blog post which was both uneventful and unfunny and I un-care, because BAM three things.

So. Today is officially a success.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

In which there is an excess of projectile vomiting.

So, quick medical background info: my insides are still kind of a pill. I mean, I'm pretty much living my life normally now, complete with an excess of JUST DANCE 4 and running up stairs like freakin' Rocky. Occasionally throughout the day it feels like a small animal is trying to tear its way out of my stomach ala the movie Alien, but since it's only occasionally I can totally deal.
The only thing that is not back to normal is eating- I'm still having a crazy hard time with food. Anytime I eat anything, or even drink anything that is not water, I know sucky times are on their way. So right now I'm pretty much living off of two fist fulls of food a day, and that seems to be (sort of) cutting it.

I've also decided to go vegetarian- not that big of a deal for me, I was veg all through high school and vegan in most of middle school. I have several reasons for going back to this lifestyle- first and foremost, if I'm only eating a lil' baby bit, I dang well want to get the most nutrition out of those calories. I personally can accomplish this easier when vegetarian. I'm also pretty paranoid eating anything out of Africa, but as man cannot live by imported doritos alone I figure I can cut down on my parasite risks by cutting out the meat. Additionally, I've been reading a lot on how a plant-based diet can help bring down cancer, and while I'm not entirely sure I buy into it I'm dead serious about getting my 20+ years of living time, so I figure I'll give it a try.
(It should also be noted that when your boyfriend says he's got beef, I'd like to tell him that I'm a vegetarian and I'm not freakin' scared of him without it being a lie. So there's that.)
So I'm once again a fully fledged, menu-planning, sprout-growing, meat-abstaining vegetarian. Yay.

Like everything else in a third world country, maintaining a vegetarian (or any!) diet is hard. I've been back in country for five days now, and the thing I miss most so far, other than my new Germany friends, of course, you guys are awesome and I love you, is the grocery store. O! Commissary, with thine aisles of delectable treasures! May your bounty never run dry!

Getting food here remains to be expensive and a general pain. No news there.
But yesterday.....yesterday, we found broccoli.
You guys, I freaking love broccoli. I'd write a short poem about how much I love it, but  I feel like after that bit about the commissary it would be overkill. So suffice it to say...I really really love it.
As I've mentioned before, broccoli here runs super expensive. The last time I think we had it was on my birthday, because it tends to sell for between eight and ten dollars a stalk. Multiply that by a family of seven and it adds up fast. But this broccoli was a mere six dollars, so we decided to splurge.

I'm not going to lie to you guys, it was delicious. I had a massive helping. B decided she was not feeling the greenery, so I greedily scooted her serving onto my plate.

That's about the point when I noticed the worm.

I love you, so there will be no worm pictures. Instead, here is my face of abject horror/hiding in my shirt picture. Unrelated note, I can't stop wearing my ugly comfy clothes and it's making me feel like a huge hypocrite but they're just so comfy?

Still being on the parasites will kill you/worms are nastay freak out train, I had a little baby melt down with some swearing and out loud wondering if this continent is trying to kill me, etc. Admittedly cursing at the dinner table in front of the impressionable little babies is not a cool move, but I did apologize and in my defense I still think it was dramatically less cussing than the situation actually merited.
So: to sum up, ate some broccoli, it was delicious, found a lil' baby worm, had a lil' baby freak out, calmed down.

And that's when we noticed the rest of the worms.

The broccoli, for lack of a better word, was infested. At this point my darling father nobly launched into a speech about how in parts of this very continent, worms like these were a delicacy! Many a time had he eaten such worms before!
He also went on to purposefully eat some worms, theoretically in an attempt to normalize the situation and convince the rest of the family (we were all freaking out at this point) to please not abandon him in Africa like we're always threatening to do. In reality I think he just did it because he's a boy and boys like to do things to make girls squirm, regardless of age.

However, I missed most of this because by then I'd realized just how much of the broccoli I had eaten and was projectile vomiting up the entirety of the food I'd consumed today. I've said it before and I'll say it again, generally I'm a pretty graceful lady-puker. I could probably give lessons at this point. Tonight, however, was a holy-crap-I-hate-myself-and-also-Africa-and-also-worms-which-I-ate-so-gross-ew-ew-ew fast and furious, out through the nose upchuck. Never before have I thrown up so violently, and hopefully I never again will.

The moral of the story here, guys, is that sometimes when you think you've given up animal protein, the universe surprises you with juuuust a little bit more.

Also I replaced the lost calories with some old-fashioned FDA approved Ritter Sport, because feelings, guys.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

in which I briefly touch on my body issues

27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?

This is so awkward- I've literally started this over three times now. 

I have no idea how I feel about my body. 

Let me just say that this is not a thinly-veiled request for compliments. Don't get me wrong, I love it when people say nice things to me, but now is not one of those times. 

I just..I don't even know. I regard my physical appearance with a mixture of apprehension and confusion.

For one, I cannot remember what I look like.
The way my brain processes visual information simply does not allow that to happen.
I can describe myself on paper very easily- my waist to hip ratio will always be drastically different from my waist to bust ratio, my middle and pinky toes point into each other, there is a scar on my bottom lip, a birthmark on my right forearm, a freckle on my left cheekbone, less eyelashes on my right eyelid, etc, etc, etc. I know all that. I can visualize each of those statements as they actually appear on my body. However, I cannot string them together in a way that I can remember. And because of that, each time I look in the mirror I'm genuinely surprised by what I see. Ultimately this oddity proves more uncomfortable than anything else: I can't look at myself for any period of time without feeling like I'm having a staring contest with a stranger. It's just...uncomfortable. There is no other way to say it. Anyone who's ever witnessed my getting ready may recall that I cannot do so without cocking my head slightly to the side; I do this because I feel it gives me a more nonobjective, disembodied viewpoint that makes so much mirror bonding time possible.

This is what I look like today- you know, slightly cropped and from an angle.

Furthermore, this also applies to other people- I'm great with names, but I can't remember faces for the life of me. If I really like you, or if I'm attracted to you, I can generally commit one feature to memory for recognition purposes, but that's about it.

I'm also never sure if I'm "pretty" or not. This is in part because of my having been raised in several drastically different cultures: what some people consider the socially acceptable standard of beauty, many others do not. Additionally, I've come to learn that when someone says you're pretty, they are rarely stating a fact- in most cases they want something in return. That is no longer an exchange I care to engage in.

I've also noticed that most appearance compliments are based off of fluctuating features- a hair cut, a weight loss- and that also confuses me. Am I supposed to like myself better now? Or before? Do I want to lose more weight? Or grow more hair? Which parts of myself am I supposed to hate? Which parts am I supposed to like?

And then there's the inside of my body- a collection of organs and bones and blood all libel to fail at any given moment, topped off by a chemically imbalanced brain I've never trusted. I feel like a machine that can only function when properly balanced, and that balance is so hard to maintain that I'm falling apart more often than not. Even though that may be the case, I'm still amazed at what it can accomplish.

This is what my stomach looks like today- you know, slightly cropped and from an angle. Softness and scars included, I'm pretty pleased with what it does. 

So I guess what I'm saying is this: I have a body. It baffles and overwhelms me on a daily basis. So while I don't have a favourite part of it in particular, I'm glad it's there.

Monday, March 18, 2013

in which I am back in Africa

Last look at Europe.

There's something indescribably emotional about airplane rides for me. 
Well, not indescribable.   Just complicated.
Because every flight, no matter how short, has to encompass the entire process of mourning the place you are leaving, and swallowing down the apprehension you feel towards your destination. 

I've had a lot of panic attacks on planes, but not because I'm scared of flying.

Ultimately this one wasn't so bad until about ten minutes before landing, when I kind of lost it. 

Me: Dude. We're about to land. In Africa.
Me: Uh, yeah, I know.
Me: Because we live there....?
Me: Uh, no. That would be a poor life choice right now.
Me: I'm sorry, do you have a job in Utah?
Me: No...
Me: Or a husband?
Me: Or a bed?
Me: well, not exactly..
Me: But Africa is bad! It's trying to kill us!
Me: Well THAT is not a rational thought..
Me: That's an unreasonable number of consonants. Get a hold of yourself. 
Me: Oh, that doesn't mean anything. This time will be different!
Me: What is it they say about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...?
Me: You're having a fight with yourself and you want to question my mental stability right now? Really?
Me: That's impossible.
Me: [string of expletives]!!
Me: [string of expletives]?
Me: [expletive]!
Me: [expletive].

Jumping ahead to the end of this feelings-fueled Gollum freakfest, I'm back in Africa. 
The trip wasn't that bad, actually. While AirFrance seems to be the chosen airline of the French hipsters (ew.) they also have a spectacular cinematic library, so I watched a crapton of movies, including Looper (so intense!) Hitchcock (so adorable!) and The Silver Linings Playbook, which I actually did not think I'd like. I was kind of anticipating it to be J Law as the manic pixie dream girl  who rescues Bradley Cooper with like, bubbles. Or whatever. I'm kind of super over manic pixie dream girls. 
But that wasn't how it went down, so that was good. I can't think of any way to convey how much I loved this movie without giving the whole thing away, so...I don't know, guys. But now I really want to know if all bipolar people chuck books with stupid endings, or if it's just me and Bradley Cooper..?

I'm sure it's normal. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

in which there are pictures of the Mutterland

So on the off-chance you don't follow my every move on facebook, this is what's been going down for the past two months:

In January I got sick. Really sick.
As I've mentioned before, I have a delicate lady tummy and a delicate butterfly immune system, so it wasn't a huge cause to worry in the beginning. After about a week or so, though, I couldn't eat food or stand up so much anymore, so I figured I'd check in with the health unit. Basically all my organs were going to crap. So I had an emergency-ish appendectomy in Dakar, very much against my will. (NEVER HAVE SURGERY IN A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY). I did not get better. At one point I thought my intestines had turned to liquid and were coming out of my incision, which is TMI, I know, and what happens when you get a bad infection at a surgery site. So the health unit patched that up. And I did not get better. Eventually my darling mother and I medevac'ed to Germany, where it turned out my organs were still going to crap and I also had a parasite and also cancer.
So. That was mildly terrifying.
But then I had more surgery and a crap ton of meds and lost 30 pounds and now I'll probably live for twenty years or more.
(Also: if you think 20 years is a short amount of time, bear in mind that's literally the length of my life minus one year, so to me it seems like infinity. And I'm pretty psyched about that.)

Oh! And we also learned that when you take me off the cray cray pills and put me on an excess of percocet, I end up doing my velociraptor impression through the aisles of a convenience store at night. I am such a wildly good time, guys. 

So that's pretty much what happened there.

Anyways, that was really just my transition into what's really important, namely, the fact that we've been in Germany for almost six weeks.

My relationship with Germany is complicated to explain. By my father's definition, which necessitates being born and graduating from highschool in that place, I am "from" here.  However, saying I am from Germany is an inaccurate statement, in my opinion. While I speak decent German, and went to German school,  love German food and the German people, I've really only lived on American bases- which we affectionately refer to as "little America." However, I hold more emotional ties to this country than I do any other, including the one printed on my passport.

I was watching something once- couldn't tell you what now if I wanted to- where the pretentious ex-pat character said that America was their country, but Paris was their hometown.
Horribly pretentious, right?
Now that I'm old and wise and have spent more than a consecutive year or two in my home country, I kind of get it.
America is my country, but Deutschland ist meine Mutterland.

So that being said, here are a ton of pictures of our brief outing to Stuttgart. They're mostly of food, because I love food and people the most, but neglected to tell anyone we were coming.
Sorry about that, friends in the Stu. I was all full of radiation and you really shouldn't have spent time with me, anyways. I'm sorry. I love you?

In our family, if you get a vaccine without crying you can have a candy bar. If you get cancer and two surgeries and a parasite and only cry four times you get to go wild at the Ritter Sport factory.

Field between the base and Plingingen- home to lots of walking and filming and biking and other various activities. 

 Two of my favourite theaters in town- the SI and Kelley.

One of my many bus stops.

I have lived longer in this one building than I have anywhere else in my whole long life. 

 Outside the Imbiss

Getting an Elizabeth burger, AKA the best burger EVARRR. It features potato patties and chocolate sauce. <3<3<3

Favourite couch in the library. On which I have never been reprimanded for PDA. Ever.

Reading the Domino Book of Decorating (again) in the teen section of the library, aka my home away from home in high school. 
Store within walking distance of my Realschule that turned a blind eye to kids cutting class.

BEST gelato- extra dark chocolate, cherry vanilla and lemon. Under appreciated by both of these weirdos.

 Exhibiting six times more enthusiasm than I did the entire time I went to school here.

Nanu Nana!

 Engaging in the sacred ritual that is Noodling.


Basically the Mecca of toys. 

An army of Bessie the Cows.

Playing in the toy store.




Attempting to consume my body weight in Frappucino. 

 A Farewell to Stuttgart.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

I don't like this game. I've never liked this game. Because in my mind, the rule of this game is that you can only project into the future based off of where you are in the present- as if nothing in your life were to change but the progression of time. You can't give yourself dream jobs you aren't preparing for. You can't pretend that you're simply going to wake up ten years in the future well-adjusted and happy if you aren't right now.  So usually, when I answer these questions, my responses lean towards the bleaker side of the spectrum- clearly, I'm not exactly what you'd call optimistic. 

But while I usually- and generously- describe myself as a realist, tonight all my thoughts are solidly negative. 
I guess that's what happens when you have to stop taking your crazy pills. And then you get cancer. 

Tonight I wonder if there will be 15 more years. 

So here's what's going to happen instead:

I'm going to write something in this blog, because....because. Tomorrow I'm going to go to the hospital. Maybe again the day after that, and the week after that. I'm going to get better, lots and lots and lots of better. In a few months I'll move to SLC and live in a cheap, meaning crappy, apartment. I'll find a job that doesn't involve being yelled at all day, I'll finish my degree. I'll make friends. Lots of friends. I'll go to concerts and clubs and potlucks and parties. I'll get another job- a better one, one with people and pretty dresses. There will be bad days. There will be good days. There will be a boy who calls me pretty and laughs at my jokes and wants to hold my hand just all of the time. When we get married, I will wear my mother's dress and my hair will look great in the pictures. We will laugh a lot and we will dance in the kitchen.  We will have four children. The first girl will have my middle name. We'll move- maybe to Boston, give our children an accent and a baseball team. I'll paint the kitchen yellow and the living room blue. There will still be dancing- always dancing. There will be church on Sunday and fireworks on the fourth of July. There will still be bad days and hard times- but in the end, we'll be furiously happy. 

And that is what's going to happen.

Because that is what has to happen. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

In which I return from a month of radio silence to talk about eating cake naked.

New Rule: Anytime you switch crazy pills, you get to take a month long break from blogging. 
And on that note, I feel better than I have in years, so YIPPY KI YAY MOTHER-F...riends and visitors. 

25. If you could have a dinner party with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?

Okay, why is this such a common question? I mean, I get that it's supposed to reveal what your ambitions and interests are by the people you select, but why a dinner party? Have ya'll ever thrown a dinner party for strangers before? They totally suck.

Granted, a few of you may be thinking to yourselves "But I totally met you at a dinner party you threw!" and for you I present the following two questions: 1) did you sit on the floor and 2) did you eat some sort of mix-based soup as the main course? The answer to both of those questions is undoubtedly yes , and therefore it was not a proper dinner party. 

Also, there's a big difference between having strangers over for dinner and having strangers over for a dinner party. I'd delve deeper into that particular intricacy, but on behalf of my country, I won't. 

So I'm changing the question. Dinner Party's out.  Instead, let's do Saturday Brunch, but at like 2.30 PM because I like my sleep.  And I'm only inviting the currently living, because I do not want to spend the whole time explaining Iphones to Joan of Arc, amiright? So that being said, here's my guest list:

Brittany Gibbons, because I think she's hilarious, and I love the work she does to promote healthy body image, and she makes me excited to be a mom, and I think we'd be excellent friends.

Jenny Lawson, because I think she's hilarious, and I love the writing she does to help combat the mental illness stigma, and I think we'd bond over our mutual love of awesomely named cats. 
Elna Baker, because I think she's hilarious, and I loved her book so much that I passed it around like the village bicycle in high school, and we'd have great chats about sex and Mormonism and theater and being raised all over the world. 
(On that note, ya'll should read her book, it's just pages and pages of INSIGHT INTO MY LIFE, really.)
Lena Dunham, because I think she's hilarious, and so talented it makes me cry inside. But mostly because anyone who eats entire cakes naked in bathroom stalls before the Emmys is someone I want to be friends with. Naked cake eating is where it's at, my friends. 

And because the table reservation is leaning towards "Ovaries, party of five," I'd also invite Ryan Gosling, because...because...

Because look at that face, that's why.

BUT I would still only make reservations for five people, so when we got there, they'd be all like "Oh no! We will have to  find you another table!" and I'd be all like, "It's okay, don't worry guys, I'll just sit on Ryan's lap, problem solved." Also that way, if  Ryan turned out to be a particularly dull conversationalist, whenever he started to speak I would delicately place a single finger on his lips and say "Shhhh, sweetie, shhhhh."

Side note: I'm secretly deeply worried that Ryan Gosling is an idiot. I don't think he is, but the slight possibility is very concerning to me, because no matter how beautiful he is about three months into our relationship I'd just be very fed up with him all the time, and our conversations would start to sound like this:
 Me: "Ryan. It is so cold in here, I am freezing. In fact, if you notice, I am shivering like a delicate baby bird."
Ryan: "Baby, if you're a bird, I'm a bir-"
And no one wants that. 

Oh, and I'd also invite Kyle because that kid is my favourite, obviously.

So that's my fantasy brunch guest list, and I assume we'd all eat pancakes and bacon and drink mimosas, except for me, I would drink chocolate milk.

The End.