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Melanie

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March 3rd, 2010

I had a pretty rough fall quarter. I skipped classes that I shouldn’t have skipped, I spent my time feeling sorry for myself, and was a downer to everyone around me. Then after one of the best winter breaks in a long time, I came back to school feeling refreshed and ready to face another ten weeks. Usually around week 6 or 7 is when the aforementioned issues have started kicking in, in past quarters. So I expected the same thing to happen this time. For whatever reason, it didn’t. I made a promise to myself at the beginning of the quarter that I was going to stay positive no matter what, and I truly think that starting with a good attitude set the tone for me, and I’ve been able to keep it up. I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.

There are a few reasons why this might be. First of all, my amazing choir here at UO. I’ve been in the same choir for 4 terms now, but I never really felt like I was a part of the group until this quarter. This time, I started talking to more people, instead of just making do with the people who came to me while I sat quietly in my corner before class. Nothing is ever gonna come close to the friends I made in NG or even CCCC, but having people that I can talk and laugh with in class has made a world of difference. After our concert last night, Chris, our director, gave us the rest of the term off. And for the first time in my life I’m sad class has been cancelled, because I’m gonna miss my choir girls.

The same thing goes for my Italian class. At this point I’ve had classes with most people in the Italian circulation, but the combination of people in this current class is by far the best yet. I don’t like going to Italian class because the class itself sucks, but there’s a reason I’ve had fewew absences this quarter than in all my previous quarters.

Another reason I’m feeling more chipper is a general renewed outlook on life. Because when it comes down to it, I don’t have a lot to complain about. Sure, my classes might be a pain sometimes, and I might have a bad day for no reason every once in awhile, but all in all, things in my life are good. I’m done with my gen-eds, which means soon I’ll get to take classes about things that I’m passionate about, not classes I take because I have to. With every passing day, I feel better and better about my decision to be a Comm major, which in turn just gives me an overall excitement about life after college. Whereas a few months ago thinking about the future caused me intense stress and worry, now I’m just excited to see where life leads me.

Like I said, I have no reason to be mopey, and every reason to be happy. My parents and I get along better than we ever did when I lived at home. I’m happy at school, and I get through even my worst classes without them causing me to have a terrible day. And of course, a big reason for my happiness is my girls at home. I don’t really have a name for that group, a la “The Band” of old, so I guess Cullens will have to do. My Cullens. My neighbor. My first ever friend at NG. My favorite Burden. I’m thankful every day for my friends. And that’s the truth.

Bad days and shitty situations happen to everyone. We’re kidding ourselves if we deny that. But where we DO have a say in the matter is in how we react to those bad days. I guess that’s really what I’m trying to say.

Happy March, one and all.

November 12th, 2009

Sleepless In Seattle

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So. Halloween weekend. Hands down one of the best weekends in recent memory. I’ll start from the beginning.

I left Eugene at about 2 on the…28th? Whatever that Wednesday was. It should have been about a 4 hour and 10 minute drive, but of course right as I was getting close I took a wrong turn and ended up on the other side of Seattle. I was supposed to go to Seattle University to meet Michelle, with whom I was staying. However, by the time I managed to turn around, I was practically at UW, where Cris goes to school. And it was dark. And it was raining. However, delays aside, I eventually reached Michelle. We parked my car in the guest parking lot and went to dinner in her dining hall. It was so so so nice to see her. She and I got super close during my last year of high school and I miss her a lot when we aren’t both home. Anyway, back to the story. Her dining hall is the nicest dining hall I’ve ever seen. The food is delicious, and I felt more like I was at a hotel than at a college dorm. Then we hauled my stuff up to her room, where I met her roommate, who seems nice enough. I didn’t get much of a chance to talk to her. After dinner we took part in the trick-or-treating that was going on in her dorm, and I met some of her friends. They all seem very nice. We stayed up late chatting and gossiping, which was really fun.

The next day was Thursday. I got breakfast in the fancy-ass dining hall with Michelle, then she went off to tutoring and I went back to her room and just…chilled. I might have gone back to sleep, I don’t really remember. After that we both took our time getting ready, then went to meet up with Heather and Cris. Heather was visiting from Portland. We decided that in order to give her and Cris some bff time that I would stay with Michelle for two nights rather than with Cris the whole time as originally planned. It definitely complicated logistics a bit, but it was fine. So we met up with them and hung out downtown for a bit, before Michelle went back to SU for class and I went back to the UW side of town to hang out with Heather and Cris for the evening. Michelle had tons of studying to do, so we all decided it would be best if I removed myself from her company. Heather and Cris and I did our usual act of not being able to decide what to do. Eventually we ended up just getting Chipotle and heading back to C’s apartment to hang out. We watched part of the Lion King, and just kind of enjoyed each other’s company. It was nice. The three of us used to hang out a lot when they were seniors and I was a junior, but we haven’t done so for a long time. And I must say, the group dynamics have not changed much, even after three years. It was and evening of pure fun. Later, Michelle called, saying she was done with her studying. We went back to SU to pick her up, and since none of us felt like being inside an apartment, so we drove around in my car, listening to Disney music and thrusting my plastic sword through my sun roof. Yeah, that’s the kind of thing we do for fun. Even at home. Eventually we ended up back at C’s apartment, where we all hung out until Michelle and I got tired and returned to SU, where we went to sleep pretty much right away.

Friday. Michelle and I went to Pike Place Market, which is one of my favorite places in Seattle. We hung out there for a few hours, taking pictures and enjoying the market. Michelle got ahold of my camera and took about 50 pictures of random seagulls, which she kindly deleted before she gave the camera back. Then back to SU, where Michelle went to choir and I stayed in her room and packed up my stuff. When she got back, we hopped in my car and drove over to Crissy’s apartment where we were to stay for the rest of the weekend. I don’t remember what we did for dinner.

This is when the fun really started. We had a party to attend that evening, costumes mandatory. Cris was Dorothy, Heather was Nosferatu, Michelle was Lady Gaga, and I was the Queen of Hearts, Michelle spent about two hours curling my hair and then doing my makeup for me, and I have to say, we all looked pretty damn fabulous. We were pretty late at this point, but we were having fun so no one really cared. After we were all ready, Cris busted out a pipe and asked if anyone wanted to smoke. Heather, Cris and I, all aware of how lat we were, smoked a bowl faster than I’ve ever seen anyone smoke. It added to the bustling atmosphere. It was great. This was only the second time I’ve smoked, the first being with Heather in Portland about a month ago. It definitely had more of an effect on me this time, although I didn’t get as high as Heather, who was sitting in between Cris and me and took two hits for every one of ours. The party was fine, a little weird at times. Cris and Heather smoked some more at the party, but Michelle and I chose to just observe. Everyone loved Michelle’s costume, and she totally loved all the attention. Not to say she’s an attention whore, because she’s not, but she definitely started to act more and more like the attention-loving Gaga as the night went on. It was very amusing to watch.

After the party, we went back to the apartment, put on some comfortable yet strange clothes, because it was Halloween weekend and we didn’t give a flying fuck what we looked like. When we finally got back to the apartment, we chatted for awhile before we finally went to sleep.

I realize that there is still a day left of the trip to talk about, but I don’t have time to do it right now. I figured something was better than nothing, so stay tuned for Saturday’s recap! Probably won’t happen til next week, as I have a shitload of stuff to do tonight, then I’m headed off to Portland for the weekend to see All Time Low/We the Kings/Hey Monday and hang out with Michelle, Cris, Heather, Alison, and Natasha. Don’t worry, I’ll have even MORE stories when I come back.

October 4th, 2009

I have totally forgotten what I said I would write this about.  I believe I promised to recount the story of my journey up to Oregon.  Here it is.

Anita and I planned to leave at around 8 am on Friday the 18th.  But by the time we got gas and Starbucks, it was 9.  We were already an hour late, which stressed me out no end.  I’ve done road trips before, but never anything like this on my own.  I wanted to get there well before dark, and every hour counted.  Things went pretty smoothly until we hit Redding, where we planned to stop for lunch.  Our goal: In and Out, since we wouldn’t have the chance to eat it again until Thanksgiving.  However, the In and Our in Redding must be the least accessible In and Out in all of California.  It is nearly impossible to find.  We pulled into some parking lot right off the freeway and I picked up my gps, with the idea of finding it that way.  Only to find that my gps hadn’t been working for several hours.  5 hours left in the trip, and no way of getting directions.  Not good.  At first I thought it was the gps itself that wasn’t working, but when I went to plug my phone into the same jack, I found out that it was in fact the jack that was faulty.  We were about half an hour ahead of my parents, so we waited for them in the parking lot of In and Out, which we were lucky enough to find with help from my phone.  My dad tinkered with the fuses for awhile, and eventually got the jack to work again.  Success!  Accept not quite.  My phone charged just fine, but the gps…not so much.  Once again we were without guidance.  Luckily between the two of us we were able to figure out how to get here, despite our lack of technology.  From Redding to Eugene, it’s literally a straight shot up the 5 until you get here.  Pretty simple. 

Then we had to get gas.  Which was disaster number 2 of the day.  We pulled off the freeway at one of the big cities between Ashland and Eugene.  And by big I mean about the size of Walnut Creek, maybe.  I have since forgotten its name, as I have vowed never to go back there again.  Anyway.  We get off the freeway to find this huge tailback at the very first intersection.  At first I thought nothing of it, crediting it to poor Oregonian city planning.  Then we pulled into the first gas station we came to, only to find that it was closed.  I asked the guy who worked there what was going on, and he informed me that the entire city was out of power, because it was all on the same power grid and a circuit had blown.  Or something technical like that.  He suggested we try another gas station about a mile down the road, but we were given the same story there.  This guy told us to try going to a gas station on the other side of THE main road that runs through the nameless city.  Once again, no luck.  By this time we are completely on the other side of town from the freeway exit, and still in need of gas.  Not only were all the traffic lights down, but the entire city seemed to be under construction, with very poor detour markings.  Once we left the third gas station, it probably took us 45 minutes to get back to the freeway, when it should have taken no more than 10.  Not good for a car in need of gas. 

We finally got out of the disaster city, and managed to get gas about two miles later.  I breathed again.  Of course by this time, I was completely ready to throw in the towel and quit driving.  Which naturally was not an option.  Tired, stressed, and in need of a bathroom, we eventually made it to our apartment, about two hours later than we had originally intended. 

Another thing about the drive that annoyed me was that I couldn’t pump my own gas.  I hate having my gas pumped for me, but I guess it’s the way of the state of Oregon, so I am going to have to get used to it.  I haven’t filled up since I’ve been here, and that definitely has something to do with it. 

I’m all settled in my new apartment now, if not totally unpacked.  I doubt I will ever finish all the way.  But it’s definitely livable.  I have four days of classes under my belt, and I’m loving my open schedule.  Two online classes work wonders on my sleeping habits.  It means I can sleep in and nap to my heart’s content, almost.  Next order of business: finding a job.  Ugh. 

I’ve also been busy making plans to get out of Eugene for a weekend here and there, because last year I just felt so trapped sometimes.  Having my car this year makes it much easier.  This coming weekend I’m headed up to Portland to hang out with Heather and go to a concert.  I have also set plans in motion to got up to Seattle for Halloween, and spend it with Michelle, Crissy, and Heather.  Finally, I have another Portland weekend planned for November, which will feature a concert, as well as seeing Heather, Crissy, Michelle, Natasha, and Alison.  More about that closer to the time. 

This concludes today’s LJ entry.  Sorry Caitlin, you’ll have to get your Oreos from somewhere else. 


September 14th, 2009

I love going to concerts.  I am a huge fan of live music, and would gladly spend my whole life attending shows of my favorite bands.  I can't remember who it was, maybe Cris or Jenny, but someone suggested I use my LJ as a forum to write about my various concert experiences.  As Caitlin will be the first to admit, I suck at updating this thing.  Anything that can get me to do so more often is a good idea in my books.  So without further ado, the first of the Melanie Conrad Concert Series.

Last night, I went to see Blink 182 at the Shoreline in Mountain View.  Getting there was an adventure in itself. The show started at 6.30, and it takes about an hour to get there.  Natasha and I left at around 5, thinking we would get there with about an hour to spare.  We were wrong.  About half an hour into our journey, she informed me she had to pee.  I glanced down at my gps, which told me we had about another 40 minutes to go.  She said that was fine.  An hour and a half later, we're still stuck in traffic on the freeway. Yikes.  So Natasha spends some time debating with herself about whether or not she should just hop out and pee on the freeway.  Eventually she decided that was the only option.  In the pouring rain, traffic at a halt, Natasha made her escape.  She returned to the car after some lewd comments from the car behind us, but at that point she didn't care, because she was just so relieved. 

We finally arrived at the Shoreline at 7.37, after missing the first two openers (Chester French and Taking Back Sunday.)  We were fine with that, because neither of us had even heard of Chester French, and I had already seen TBS once.  And, as we agreed later, we wouldn't have wanted to stand out in the pouring rain anyway.  We made it to the lawn for the last half of Weezer's set, which was surprisingly entertaining.  Surprising because I've never been much of a Weezer fan, but their set was so fun and energetic that I might just change my mind.  Natasha and I spent most of the set pushing our way through the HUGE crowd, trying to find a spot where we could actually see the stage.  Eventually, we found one, and firmly planted ourselves.  At this point, it's pouring buckets, and we're both soaked to the skin.  We're both so cold numb that we just give up caring, and focus on enjoying the show.  The arena staff played "It's Raining Men" for us between sets, and the entire crowd got way into it and sang along.  It was great.  Tom DeLonge, Blink's youthful guitarist/vocalist, quoted this to us later.

I'll spare you the little details of the show, but suffice it to say that you wouldn't believe that Travis, Tom, and Mark are all married or divorced with kids.  They all played with the energy of a band ten years younger, constantly swapping sex jokes and poking fun at each other.  Not what you would expect from a band who broke up years ago, and as recently as last year had members who refused to speak to each other.  You could tell from watching them that this period of noncommunication was a fluke, because Tom and Mark, the two singers, clearly love each other as much as any set of best friends.  It was refreshing to see, since for the past few years, all us Blink fans have heard is how much those two hated each other.  It was great to see them not just speaking, but performing together and being totally in sync. 

It was a phenominal show.  All three members of the band are incredibly skilled musicians.  The tore through their 90 minute set, never losing momentum. 

"By the end of this song, you're all gonna be pregnant," Tom informed us two songs in.  "We're just that sexy."  While on paper this seems egotistical, it fit the mood perfectly. 

I've been a Blink fan since I heard "All The Small Things" in 1999, and it's still one of my favorite songs.  Ten years and counting.  I wasn't TOO bummed when they called it quits, because i wasn't as into the music scene as I am now.  However, watching them live for the first time last night made me realize how much I've missed them.  I used to idolize Mark Hoppus, their bassist/vocalist.  I no longer put him on a pedestal, but I still respect him more than I respect most other musicians.  Seeing my former idol come to life is a feeling I wouldn't trade for anything.  I seriously can't describe how happy I was at the end of the evening.  Yes, I was soaked to the skin and completely frozen.  Yes, I was annoyed at using so much gas being lost and sitting in traffic.  But none of that even mattered, because I will never forget the night I saw Blink 182 in concert.  

A footnote to do with the title of this entry: It's the ending line to the chorus of one of my favorite Blink songs, "Damnit." 

For the rest day, I will pack, finish watching the VMAs, possible take a nap, and then tidy up for House of Prime Rib with Alison and family.  On the subject of the VMAs, Kanye West is a douchebag.  I'll leave it at that. 

May 28th, 2009

Yay Area

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Fully aware that it has been about ten years since I have used my LiveJournal.  Sorry about that, everyone.  But I promised an entry before the end of this week, and here it is. 

I have 9 days left until I come home for summer.  9 days left as a college freshman.  Where has this year gone?  I know everyone says that about everything, but I really feel like it can’t have been more than a month or two ago that I moved into the dorms, all naïve and freshman-y.  Then, last week when I registered for classes, it told me I had “sophomore standing,” and that was a weird thing to see in writing.  I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I have so much more work to do now than I ever did in high school.  I’ve probably done more hours of homework than I did my junior and senior year combined.  It came as a shock to the system at first, but it’s definitely kept me busy, and kept time moving at warped speed.

All in all, I have had a pretty successful first year.  I have made some amazing friends, and that has definitely helped.  I definitely picked the right school.  I’m very happy year.  But what I really want to focus on here is home.  I don’t have any doubts about returning to nice green Oregon next year; I’m coming back.  However, as the year draws to a close, I am beginning to realize just how much I miss the Bay Area.  I know we all complained about it while we were stuck there in high school, but I mean, we were high school students.  It was in our nature to find flaws in everything.  Now that I spend most of my time away from California, it makes me appreciate that sleepy town I grew up in even more.  When it comes down to it, the Bay Area is a pretty damn awesome place to live.  There are small towns, if you like that, but it’s close enough to a big city that one never feels too far away from urban life. Here in Oregon, we have one big city, a 2-hour drive from here.  That has been hard for me.  I am not the kind of person who can go for months on end without leaving the zip code.  Which is why it will be wonderful to have my car next year.  I hate relying on public transport.  Anyway, in conclusion of this segment, my point is that I love my home, and I can’t think of a better place for me to have grown up. 

December 30th, 2008

Lost

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I'm watching Lost right now.  I just got back from the city, and while it was DEFINITELY the right thing to do, the car ride gave me a lot of time to think.  Things today have not been so good.  There has been somewhat of an explosion amongst my little group of friends, and it has really gotten me to thinking.  People have come to me with their problems for a long time now.  I've always been a good listener, I think, but I'm only now realizing that I am a little tired of it.   I listen to everyone else's issues, but everyone I know is so full of their own problems that I won't want to plague them with my own.  I know this sounds terribly selfish.  But once in awhile it would be nice to have someone look out for me, instead of always looking out for other people.  Like a good friend was saying the other day, I am "always sorting through stuff, kind of always multitasking as far as dealing with things in the background."  Yes, I saved the text.  But I have been thinking a lot about it, and it seems so true.  I don't want people to stop feeling like they can talk to me, but it's just that at times it's hard to know where to turn, because everyone has some kind of beef with someone else.  I hate that.  I want things to go back to how they were before, when everyone got together for playdates once in awhile, and there were nothing else to worry about.  I miss it.  Anyway. Back to my rant.  I will never deny anyone an ear for listening.  Never ever.  That is a promise.  And I won't begrudge it either.  The movie Watchmen is coming out in a few months.  It's tagline is something that hits home with me.  "Who watches the watchmen?" 


This may be the most incoherent ramble ever, but that's what I get for multitasking.

November 16th, 2008

Back In Black

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 I went to my second ever football game today.  The theme song of the game was "Back In Black," due to various Oregon spirit things.  It's been swimming around in my head all day.  I know I promised to keep consistent with this once  I got to college.  It's now been a month and a half, with no activity.  However, that's not to say that I haven't been ...blogging, I guess you would call it.  I have to do a blog for my Mass Media class, although that is structured and usually about something boring like science.  

Anyway, back on track.  Back in black.  I just can't get it out of my head.  Can't Get You Out Of My Head? Kylie Minogue? Moulin Rouge?  You see, this is why I never get anything done.  I can't focus on anything, and I procrastinate even more than I did in high school.  It makes me stressed and then I have a panic attack because I am convinced there is no way to finish it all.  One of my professors told me the other day that 90% of humans are genetically programmed to procrastinate.  It makes me wonder how that other 10% got so lucky.  All this work piles up and piles up, until I feel like there it's never going to end.  Whatever though, right?  I mean, you can't fight genetics.  

That's another thing I've been trying to change since I've been away.   A very long and lengthy ongoing conversation with one of my dearest friends recently brought to light how incredibly negative I can be about everything.  We talked about long and hard about many of my personality flaws, and it was rough to hear.  It needed to happen though.  I like to think that I have changed a little thanks to that conversation, but I can't be sure.  Only others can judge that, since one of the problems was that I couldn't see when something was wrong.  My point is that I'm trying to be more positive and accepting. 

Why am I writing all this here?  I don't know.  These are the things I haven't shared with anyone else, for one reason or another.  Mostly because my greatest confidante gets jealous whenever I bring up the fact that I have other friends.  Don't get me wrong, she means the world to me, but sometimes I miss having someone I can talk to about anything.  For despite what someone pointed out to me recently about the amazing networking skills in my group of friends from home, there are some things I just can't talk about with them.  Well, maybe it's not that I can't talk to them, it's just that the timing is never right.  

This brings me to my next thought.  I know I've only been here for less than two months, and that it takes time to make good friends.  Don't get me wrong, I have some very good friends here.  But they don't know me like my friends back home, those once upon a time referred to as "The Band."  Those people knew me inside and out, and being myself around them was something I took for granted.  I'm still in the phase with my friends here that makes me think that they will judge me on everything I say and do.  I know in my heart that this isn't true, and that I got really lucky with my friends here.  I just miss the security of having those people around who know me for who I am, and who I don't have to my on my guard when I'm with them.  I know that's a lot to ask, because it took us three plus years to reach the state of closeness we had this summer.  And like we all used to say to each other, it takes a real crisis, or several in our case, to bring people close to the extent that we were.  

Why do I keep using the past tense?  These people are still my friends, and I know that I am still close with all of them, despite the distance and lack of face to face communication.  I know that when we see each other, on random weekends or at breaks, things will be ok, and that I don't need to worry.  So why am I still so uneasy?

I don't really know what the point of this was.  I signed onto livejournal just to look around and see what's new.  Half an hour later, here I am.  I guess this is just all stuff that I needed to get off my chest.  I know it's not like I actually talked to anyone about it, but writing it all down and knowing that maybe someone will read it definitely helps.  I'm going to end this now and go work on my creative writing skills, something that my friends might have given up on but I still do in order to wind down every night.  

Despite all my complaints, I love college and I am so happy and grateful to be here.  Happy Sunday, world.

September 7th, 2008

Like Whoa

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Yep.  I'm back.  Happy, everyone?

August 26th, 2005

Let's get it started!

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Hey everyone! This is my first ever LJ entry. So I guess I will start with what I did for the past few days. So on Wednesday, I went to see Wicked with my friend Laura. It was really good. The cast was really good, about the same as the original cast, who I saw in NYC last year. We rode on BART, and I was really scared that we had missed the stop because i'm paranoid like that. well, I know you all want to know about my uber exciting life, but I have to go to registration, the polo practice. So I will keep working on this LJ thing, and hopefully get a chance to update it!
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