Sunday, April 22, 2012

Popcorn

This is a metaphor that Zoe Leanza used to make my life feel better.

In high school, each of us were popcorn on black carpet (this prompted by my intense need to vacuum my room).  Pretty darn astounding and attention-grabbing.

Here, at Mac, we are popcorn in a bowl of popcorn.  No wonder we feel average, sometimes mediocre.

But I say that being a kernel of popcorn in a bowl doesn't necessarily make that kernel less valuable.  I also say that all my kernel needs is a little extra butter to make it stand out.  And I get there day by day.

What I learned from Drag Queens (and Kings)

There was a drag show to commemorate Day of Silence at my school on Friday night.  The performers were super cool and lots of fun.

I watched each one- of different body types, styles, lip-syncing ability, talents, personas, costumes-shaking what they had (or didn't), singing and telling funny jokes.  A particularly curvaceous woman looked fab in leotards and sparkles and fishnets and everything I thought I could never wear.  They flirted with the few males in the audience, and the males flirted back.  They were hot.  The drag king danced so well he made even me feel attraction, though he was short and chubby and biologically female.

And I sat there, dumbfounded, realizing that it doesn't matter if you are overweight or "too skinny," or short, or "weird," or biologically (and by identity, in some cases) a MAN.  You can be hot and fun and wanted and cheered as Nicki Minaj or a 50s stewardess or even a crazy cat lady.  You can wear what you want, sing songs written for females half in falsetto and half as a deep baritone while wearing a dress, you can drive the audience wild by being who you are and by being whoever you want to be.

All it takes is confidence.

Mostly, I'm still looking for mine.



An addendum:  Confidence never means everyone will like you.  It can be really hard to be who you are.  Whether you are transgender, a gay man who likes women's clothing, you hold values different from your friends or the society that surrounds you, your skin isn't lily white (or it is, depending on your situation), you do things differently than most people, you are socially awkward, you're female, you're male, you don't identify with a gender, or anything, anything, anything else, it isn't easy to be who you are in this world.  People are always going to want to change you.  We sure liked the drag queens, but I know a lot of people who do not.  But I think that is something even more beautiful.  Confidence isn't about being who you are in order to be cheered for it.  Confidence is about being cheered because you are who you are.  It takes the most confidence to be who you are when you know you won't be cheered for it.  But when people are cheering, they'll be cheering all the louder.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Things that are True

1) Today? Not actually a holiday.
2) This time of the semester it doesn't matter how much you like your friends, or PFs, or sleep.  You must work.
3) I am very hungry.
4) PF males have been proven to be 75-99% more likely to like me romantically than Macalester "men."  I am still trying to figure out what this means. (Said PF males do not necessarily end up going to this college, and are regularly considering Carleton.  Hmm.)
5) It already smells like pot.  A lot.
6) Stress relief = Call me Maybe.
7) I wear dresses when I haven't done laundry in so long I have no more clothes.  (Guess what today is?)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Let's Play Good and Not-So-Good (Mis(s)adventures!)

It was Friday the 13th today, which I tend to think of as a slightly dangerous, but actually lucky day.  Or just any other day.  Today proves all of the above.

Starting from this morning...

Sleeping through class- Not good.
Finding out class was cancelled- GOOD!
Having already sent an email to your professor in apology- Not so good... and awkward.
Eating lunch with PFs!- Good. :)
Stress over final projects which have no guidelines, no rubric, no nothing that all fall at the same time- Not good.
Major miscommunications over group meetings for said projects- Not so good.
Anger/Sadness/Stress buildup- Not good.
Dinner (because when my blood sugar is low I am CRABBY)- Good!
Having family support to get rides to concerts- Good.
Spending a long time waiting- Not so good.
Playing silly games with Ruth, Inga, Rebecca, Hannah, and Gina to pass the time- Quite good!
Getting to see FUN.'s largest headlining show ever (and being at my first real-real meaning we did not sit on the fancy level and eat cheesecake-concert, and sharing the experience with such wonderful people)- SO, SO, SO GOOD! <3
Getting elbowed a lot- Not all that good.
The fact that the band was just as excited to be there as we were- SO GOOD!
The fact that if that was the largest headlining show Fun. has played, so, so many people are missing out- Not so good.
Two encores (and the energy of the room, and when the band made us turn and meet someone new/ music bringing people together)- SO, SO GOOD! :)
Having ordered a taxi for the exact perfect time without knowing how long the concert was- Quite good.  (This is me giving my organized self a pat on the back.)
That one time drunk people tried to steal our taxi and then made fun of us for being young- Not so good. But very funny.
That the taxi driver kicked them out and played great music that we all sang to- Good.
Finding out my sister was in a rollover car accident- Not good. Not good!
Finding out everyone was okay- VERY, VERY, VERY good.
Finding $10 on the ground to contribute to cab fare- Good. :) (And pretty cool of me, I might add.)
While talking to my father on the phone about the drunk people that tried to steal our taxi, some other drunk people  on campus thought I was talking about them, and proceeded to tell me that they were 24, not 20 or 21-Good??? (It is your call guys, I am really not sure about this one...)
Water- Good.
Sitting- Good.
Remembering I have chocolate- Very good.
Reflecting on QUITE a day- Good.

Friday the 13th was like my life.  I'm not sure whether to say it was lucky or a mess, but I do know it was wonderful.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sometimes I Wonder

The PFs are here!!!  (I love PFs.)  While mostly I've just had to do my homework and pop in and out of parties of tons and tons of students and prospective ones, I got to thinking-  this is probably because it is 1 am.  I always think about this when people talk about the college search process:  I only applied to three schools.  And now I wonder.  I love Mac, love, love, love it, and the truth is, I probably could not have picked a better school (for me).  This is in terms of price (I get a tuition benefit from my mom's job), location (my family is kind of big on living close to one another, plus I they are there when I need them but not if I don't), fit, academics, people, etc.

Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if I'd gone to college in a different environment, a more conservative one, for example.  Would I question my faith as much?  Is this challenge a good thing?  Is what Macalester has to offer what I need?  Academically, spiritually, etc?  I am very aware how much college is shaping me- so significantly.  And I am also aware of the effects of my environment.  True, it is one of the wonderful qualities of humans that we can adapt, but it is also scary for me that it is easier to believe in God at home with my family than at school.  Shouldn't some things stay with you no matter what?  I came to Mac to be stretched, but I don't want to be too malleable. (We're talking like cold clay before you start working with it versus silly putty here.  I'd rather have aspects of me be cold clay, and I think they are.)  But mostly, truly, I just enjoy my life here.

Another thing I wonder sometimes is what it'd have been like to go on a big, fancy school college search.  I want to know if I can get into an Ivy League or the University of Chicago.  I want to travel and visit schools.  Heck, I want a rejection letter.  (Well, not really.  In an ideal world, I'd turn down Harvard and come to Mac... not that I think I could get into Harvard, but I do have qualifications that look good to colleges beyond Mac.)  I wonder if, if I'd done that, I would have ended up somewhere different.  I saw Harvard and truly wasn't all that impressed.  I was more impressed by quirkiness and individual attention and super cool people and parents that don't hound the tour guide.  But who knows, maybe Stanford would have won my heart.  I want to know if I am even qualified- when I was looking at schools, I was afraid I wouldn't get into Mac.  I laugh at that now, but I want to know what I was capable of, even if it makes no difference.  I wonder if my college choice has the potential to change my future, or if it is what you make of it no matter what.

But then I stop wondering.  And even though I can't share the stories of having applied to 15 schools, I am so happy.  Because I applied to three.  And I found one.  One where people love the flower in my hair and draw funny things on the chalk boards and embrace social awkwardness.  Where the professors know your name and give you extensions when you are sick and you care and you learn and you grow.  I found a place I am happy, even if everywhere I go I am going to be a little "different" from the average.

And the only thing I keep wondering is how those kids even had time to apply to that many schools and why everything takes me so much longer than the average person.

And then I realize I am on the Internet again.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Tougher Days

Sometimes, really all I want is to be told that I am beautiful and everything will be all right.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Manners (A Rant that May Count as Advice)

It probably makes me judgmental to be thinking these things.  But in this case, I seriously don't care.  And since I'm sure no one wants to hear it in real life, I will complain here.  No one reads this thing anyways.

Dear World, whatever happened to good manners?  I'm not asking for anything big or significant or difficult.  I am talking about the silly little day to day things that make you not a jerk.

For example, if it is one in the morning, and you are drunk and going to a rave, that is okay.  It is even okay to comment loudly on the light show as you walk beneath my window.  However, it is not okay to have a conversation so loud that I not only need to put in ear plugs, but also shut my window.  After which I can still hear you.  If you want to have a conversation so loud, do it at the dance, or on the lawn, not right up next to a dorm.

Further example from last night, it is okay to break a glass in the bathroom.  (Although really, I don't know why you have a glass in the bathroom at all.)  However, here is how you respond to a broken glass in the bathroom.  #1- pick up the big pieces.  #2- Get a cup of water and pour it over the sickeningly-sweet smelling drink made of sugar and alcohol so the floor isn't unbearably sticky.  #3- Do the thing you, or some good Samaritan did and put a sign up warning us of broken glass.

But especially do number two.  Because now we have gnats. And the bathroom smells awful.

Example from today on the bus- Though I understand that it was a terrible idea to have something like 100 students take public transportation at the same time, we can all do some things to make it easier on each other and the public.  Here is the order of who gets seats if standing is required (and it soooo was) #1) The general public and those students who cannot stand (I'm not sure if there were any).  #2) Those with minor injuries and those who have trouble reaching the straps to hold onto.  #3) If you are a gentleman, you may, though you are not required, to give up your seat to a lady.  I know this is loaded with all sorts of gender issues, which is why it is a choice.  If you are anyone who feels comfortable standing, you may offer a seat to anyone who is currently standing.  This is not gendered and super nice, in my opinion.

Example from in general- you don't have to like people, but treat them with respect, I mean, seriously guys, this is college, not middle school.

Okay, rant over.  I realize how much I sound like your mother.  I'm fine with that because #1) I am going to be a damn good mother, and #2) Clearly someone needs to sound like a mom around here.

On a positive note, an ADORABLE little boy who was at Mercado Central (where we went on the field trip) gave me a kiss on the cheek today.  <3 <3 <3

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thank You

I really, really love to say thank you.  I like to write cards, I like to make people feel appreciated.  But I don't do it enough, and silly things get in the way.  Since I am in a funky mood and I know being grateful will help, I have decided to write thank you notes to everyone I want to thank and haven't or can't anymore or don't thank enough or it would be awkward to in a place other than this.  If you don't make the list it means nothing other than that I always need to be more grateful.

Professor von Geldern- Thank you for always assigning us a manageable amount of reading, in which each reading has a clear purpose or takeaway message that will further my understanding of International Studies.

Alex from Food Politics class- Thank you for bringing your attractive self to class every day.  But in all seriousness, thank you for always having something really really good, and relevant to add to the discussion when you raise your hand.

Andrew Kippley- Thank you for continuing to be a model of how I should interact with the world.  You were a wonderful friend and contributed so much to your world.  Thank you.

Those closest to me- Thank you for putting up with me, loving me, always being there for me, and enjoying my weirdness.  Thank you for long talks and long hugs and the simple knowledge that you are there, even when things are bad or when I do not appreciate you enough.

Those I have gone on some weird rant in front of- Thanks for not judging too much.  :)

My Grandmother- Thank you for bringing us to concerts and supporting us as we made music too.

Papa- Thank you for dropping everything to drive me where I need to go and acting like it is nothing.

My Roommate- Thanks for being so cool and respectful, putting up with my weird friends, and letting me basically run the place.

Tommy Hayes- Thanks for teaching me about everything a relationship should be, as well as what it should not.  Thank you for your patience with me.

Uncle Don- Thank you for telling me I should keep writing and being my first fan.

Wesley Brolik- Thank you for reminding me that I am driven, and that that is impressive.

Whoever invented sweater vests- Thank you.

To those who aren't afraid to be different, so long as they are themselves- Thank you, I am inspired by you.  Keep rocking.

To the people who thought I was weird but were nice to me anyway-  Oh, I know you guys are out there.  You matter.  Thanks.

Mrs. Agerter- Thank you for believing in me, thank you for teaching me how to write an annotated bibliography, thank you for being the best history teacher ever.

The police officer who responded to my car accident- Thank you for telling me the story of when you borrowed your father's new car and rolled it over in a ditch.  You could have been mean, but you made it okay.  Life happens.

The staff of ECFC- Thank you for helping six year old me get over her separation anxiety.

Mrs. Nygren- Thank you for essentially saving my college life over and over and over again.  

Andy Berndt- Thank you for still liking me and helping me get where I am today even though you met me when I was a beyond awkward 9th grader.  Thank you for telling those girls doing my hair and makeup at the summit on my birthday "Why don't you just let MacGeiger be MacGeiger?" because even though I liked having my hair done, I also needed to know I was okay as I was.

To be continued...