Tuesday, December 28, 2010

challenge #2: living a cultured life

I have always loved books. And while I enjoy reading them, the joy of books to me lies in the actual physical objects themselves, not necessarily the stories. It is not a surprise that I have never wanted a Kindle, Nook, or iPad to enjoy these books on. While it is practical, convenient and probably the same cost, I have never liked reading on a computer or screen nearly as much as I have liked holding a book (although I did break down and put the free Kindle application on my computer and phone...just in case I'm stranded somewhere without a book).

Recently I have discovered a new section of the bookstore previously unvisited by me--the cookbook section. After a quick love affair with the Food Network began in August, I have collected 10 new cookbooks...and about 10 skill points toward the art of cooking. It is safe to say that I am one of the worst cooks in the world. Hands down. I have minor difficulty following a recipe, although can usually (with some help from my mom/roommate/fireman) make it through the recipe without any major slip-ups (such as this lovely concoction) and an edible dish.

So in an attempt to culture myself, I have decided that challenge #2 is going to experiencing the finer end of three things I hold close to my heart: books, food and alcohol.

1. Read for fun at least 20 minutes every day
Now this one seems weird, because in this blog I have mentioned books/libraries at least 10 times. But the problem with the semester is, I am forced to read so much for school, that I neglect reading for fun. I am either too tired of it, or I feel that if I have the time to read for fun I should be reading school work. This semester I think I managed to complete 5 books, which is about the number I've managed to complete this winter vacation. I used to read all the time, and I always enjoyed it. It just gets a little hectic every day when there are so many other things I need to be doing. So, in conjunction with actually getting my school work done, I am forcing myself to enjoy a 20 minute tidbit of a book every day this year. If it's more, well then more power to me (because my reading list keeps expanding), and if it's not more, then at least I will get 20 minutes a day to enjoy myself and not think about school.

2. Learn how to cook.
There is a big part of me that has denied the urge to learn to cook for years. However, sometimes I enjoy it. Or at least, I enjoy thinking about it. It's when it gets hectic and time consuming that I usually give up. I have managed to skate by on not knowing more than how to heat things up in the microwave due to the fact that as a member of a sorority I have meals provided to me twice a day and lived in the house where the most advanced appliance I was given access to was a George Foreman grill. But now I am about to depart for the unknown and I can't afford to live on Ramen for the rest of my life. I have been trying out some meals, and here are some of the most recent dishes I've prepared:

Neely's Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon and Potato Chips (a big hit)

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Salmon with Mustard Potato Chip Crust from the New Best Recipe

3. Learn about alcohol
Between this and the title, it may appear that I do nothing else with my life but drink. That is not even close to true, but as I approach the end of the era in which liquor from a plastic bottle is appropriate, I have become fascinated with the different varieties and nicer forms of alcohol available. My dream would be to go to Italy and watch the entire process of making wine, but I will settle for working on creating the perfect drinks. Talk about a science--it took me several tries to concoct my perfect bloody marys, which are now a huge hit with my friends. I am currently working on the perfect martini, and I hope to one day be able to create drinks easily and with a supreme knowledge of what it is I am working with.

4. Blog about it
While not mentioned previously, a huge part of my enjoyment of this process is writing about it. I have always loved writing, and while I certainly have room to refine my style, I want it to continue to be a part of my life. I intend to start keeping a journal as well, much as I have every year, although this year with the help of the Happiness Project I will aim for one sentence a day...and go from there.

Challenge #1: School

Being that this is the last semester I may ever be in school (although probably not), it is about time that I started doing it right. My first challenge for change is to become a better student. I am taking a lofty 13 credits this spring, and I intend to make As in every single one of those classes. Not only that, but I am also going to take classes I am interested in, and actually gain knowledge from the material.

My resolutions for this include:

1. Develop a study schedule.
I have several breaks during the school day that are long enough to accomplish something major. I am going to set out a schedule of work for each week and stick to it, with rewards if I do and punishments if I don't. This is the last chance I have to do this right, and if it's not then it will help me out later in my school career.

2. Go to class.
This one seems obvious, but I am terrible at attending class. Online classes normally work better for me, because I have a short attention span and get antsy sitting for too long. But, this semester I am going to attend class unless there's an extreme reason I can't. Every. Single. One.

3. Make good use of the time you have.
This means doing school work instead of napping, not instead of being social. I will not allow school to disturb my friendships or any other activities, so when I have a moment when school work is the only thing to do, then that's when I will do it.

I know that this one will be the toughest, but the happiness that will come from getting good grades and doing well in school will be the most valuable happiness I can achieve from my four years in college. Instead of just sliding by as I have been, I will apply myself and learn to balance the things I don't like with the things I do. This will be challenge #1.

Monday, December 27, 2010

new name, new year, new life

Today I decided to change the name of my blog. It has something to do with changing my outlook on life. It occurred to me that at this time next year, I will be somewhere completely different...a master's student, a working girl; in orlando, tampa, athens, san diego? Who knows? But I have one more semester of no rules. One more semester of Monday Fundays. One more semester of believing that it is appropriate to enter a bar at 11 am and leave it at 2 am.

In the self-reflecting phase that accompanies the end of any year, I began doing some minor alterations to the lifestyle I had developed in hopes of turning it toward the lifestyle I intended. Buying a new planner and perfecting it. Organizing graduate school applications. Setting realistic goals. And thinking about New Year's resolutions. Fortunately, a lovely book fell into my lap called The Happiness Project. It only took a short two pages for me to realize that this was exactly what I needed right now. For those who may be unfamiliar, The Happiness Project is a book about a woman who took a year to tweak her life in certain ways to become happier. So I decided to take her advice, and work on making myself happier in the next semester, hopefully creating a lasting attitude that can follow future Emily to her new destination.

The title came from another source of my happiness. A couple months ago, one of my sorority sisters invited me over to her house and showed us her "woozies" or wine coozies. On black Friday, I picked one out for my mom to give to me for Christmas that said "why limit happy to an hour?" Not being patient, I returned to the store 3 weeks later to find that they were not only out of this particular woozie, but they were out of all the woozies that had fun quotes on them. So I forgot about it until today, when my mom found it in her car and apologized for forgetting about it. How serendipitous for my woozie to remind me that there are 24 hours to be happy every day? And while wine does make me happy, the blog title is about reminding myself not only that we have created an hour in which to relax and be happy, but that I can be happy for more than just that hour.

So my own happiness project, or semester of happiness, or whatever it is I want to call it, begins January 3 (I will be in New Orleans until the 2nd, but normally I am a stickler for timeliness). I have made a list of resolutions and more importantly, goals to help me through the semester of building a better Emily. Unfortunately, it will be a work in progress, and I will probably be constantly changing and refining. But Gretchen Rubin started planning hers in April, I decided this 5 days ago.

The idea is to start on all the habits I'd like to have as an adult, while I still have the irresponsibility of college. Then in 10 years, perhaps I will value exercise in my life, because of the habits I'm creating now. So here's to 2011...the year of change.

For further reading on happiness:
The Happiness Project
Seven Daily Reasons
Eat Pray Love
The Year of Living Biblically

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 30-a picture

Day 30...the epic conclusion to this month of challenging blogging, and the theme is a PICTURE?!?! I have posted several pictures throughout this month (ok, really it was 2 months) of blog challenges, and now I am asked to end it all with a picture? Well a picture of what? And of whom? And how am I supposed to narrow it down to one picture?!?!?

Well fortunately, it happens to be Christmas Day, so I'll share with you the joy of the PHrathouse.
Have a very Merry Christmas, enjoy the greatest day of the year (ok second to my birthday), and enjoy the great traditions that this holiday has created.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 29-3 Wishes

Isn't the number one rule of wishes that you're supposed to wish for more wishes?

1. I wish that I would end up with no regrets in life. Having experienced, traveled, done, helped in every way that I could, and there was nothing that was ever out of my reach.

2. I wish for a library in my future living quarters. A huge one beauty and the beast style so that I can always enjoy books.

3. I wish for a world that has a future...


P.S. this is my 100th post

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 28-Something that stresses you out

Well this is an easy one...everything. But more recently, I'd say my future stresses me out. Collecting the necessary parts of grad school applications, writing personal statements, deciding on the right program and the right next step in life...all of these things cause me copious amounts of stress.

The end of college is an interesting time in life. Turning 18 and going directly to college was the obvious answer; I was simply supposed to choose where. Graduating from college is entirely different. For the first time there is no obvious next step. And unfortunately whatever I choose will be highly specialized and specific, and I may have to face the fact that I chose the wrong thing. Getting a B.S. in Psychology is essentially BS; I have no desire to enter into any field of psychology. But in college, that was ok. In grad school there are no extra courses, and wasting money is twice as bad as wasting money in undergrad. Getting a job is essentially the same--minus that waste of money, which I guess is a perk. But you face the adult world, something no one is ready to do yet.

Of course, all this stress doesn't even begin to incorporate those other big life steps--marriage, family, settling down. Those things get no place in my current stress. They are definitely something future Emily is better equipped to deal with.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 27-Pets

I feel like a person who has had millions of pets. Fish, cats, dogs, the bugs I picked up off the ground when I was little...it just never seems to end. Recently I discovered the fostering program at the Alachua County Humane society. That landed me with this pet:

Callie. My love.

Callie was in a litter of 4, none of whom lived. I fostered her in early 2008 and we instantly fell in love. Freshman year, Callie would sleep on my shoulder every night, and had a little bed on the other side of my bed. She has a chronic cold, and you can hear her coming all the time. She has a tiny white tip on the end of her tail that I think is adorable. She acts like a dog, and loves to clean my face. She still sleeps with me, although now that she is not a kitten she has to sleep around my head instead of on me.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 26-Picture of your family

My mother's side. Me and my sister singing the blessings at her bat mitzvah while my mom and Bill watch.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

At the current moment my ipod is in the car. But a few days ago I knew this post was coming up, I tried it to see where it would go and here's where we ended up:

1. Undo it-Carrie Underwood
"You stole my heart now I want it back, I'm starting to see everything you lack. Boy you blew it, you put me through it, I wanna u-u-u-u-ndo it!"

2. Leaving on a Jet Plane-The Armageddon Version
"Already I'm so lonsesome I could die. So kiss me and smile for me, tell me that you'll wait for me. Hold me like you'll never let me go"

3. Man in the Mirror-Michael Jackson
"A willow deeply scarred, somebody's broken heart, and a washed-out dream. They follow the pattern of the win ya see cause they got no place to be that's why I'm starting with me"

4. Taking Chances-The Glee Version
"You don't know about my past and I don't have a future figured out, and maybe this is going too fast, and maybe it's not meant to last."

5. Wannabe-Spice Girls
"And as for me, ha you'll see. Slam your body down and wind it all around!"

6. Need you Now-Lady Antebellum
"And I wonder if I ever cross your mind, for me it happens all the time"

7. California Gurls-Katie Perry
"Sun-kissed skin so hot we'll melt your popsicle"

8. Dynamite-Taio Cruz
"I wanna celebrate and live my life"

9. Can I Have this Dance-High School Musical (not embarrassed)
"Won't you promise me that you'll never forget to keep dancing wherever we go next"

10. Let's go to the Mall-Robin Sparkles
"it'll be just him and me, but don't forget the robot"

I think it's safe to say that this is a fairly accurate soundtrack to my life. Let's go to the mall even came on when I was driving to the mall (Total Barney Move). Most of these songs are from this summer, representing the turbulent times I went through leaving people for one place and then leaving those to go back home, returning to a place that had managed to keep moving when I had not. Many of these songs are from camp and remind me of the painful end, while some are from the fall and represent a happy time of roadtrips and vacations (I think it's safe to say that Dynamite was played over 100 times between here and New Orleans). But this is also accurate because it shows my extreme varying tastes in music (all we're missing is some Mozart). Music is a huge part of my life, and though some would claim that I am not into searching new music and discovering new artists, I am always very happy when a song speaks to me or for me.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 24-Something you've learned

I think for more elaboration you should see my post on timing.

Furthermore, I have learned that you cannot control the things that have happened or the things that will happen. They are all just things that help you get to the point you are at, whether you want to be there or not. I have learned that it is easier to look from the outside in than the inside out, and that when you are on the inside the path to the outside looks like it has no end. But one day you will find yourself in a completely different mental place; a new career, a new love, a new passion, a new life path, or maybe a new physical place, and you won't be able to remember what it was like to be inside looking out anymore.

Day 23-Favorite vacation

Dream vacation or real vacation? I'm going with dream for the moment.

I would love to travel across Europe and see all of Italy and all of Greece. Two years ago when I started Latin I had this grand dream of reading the classical works in the countries they came from. I would love to travel around and learn all about the history and the food. For a long time; a nice break from reality.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 22-Favorite city

I assume this refers to a city you have visited, not just a city that you dream of visiting. So I guess I'll have to go with my new default, Charleston, SC.

Charleston appears to have it all to me. It is about the right size, falling around 300,000 (not too big but not too small either). It sits on water, making it much more temperate than other inland cities. Most importantly, Charleston is a beautiful southern city with the right kind of houses and the right kind of people. In Florida, it is difficult to find a real southern city on the water, because the coastal cities, and especially south Florida, lose some of that southern charm. But Charleston is full of places that cook good food and the atmosphere is pleasant and cheerful.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 21-Picture of yourself

Didn't we do this on the first day?
Oh well... here's me with our fine italian cuisine that my roommates and I cooked up one night...in our onesies.

Day 20- Nicknames

I actually haven't been given a lot of nicknames in my life, something that has always made me upset. There's been the occasional Jonesy, EJ...but nothing that ever sticks. My roommate calls me Emmie sometimes, but its normally in a baby voice. Every so often I get Em, which ironically I've found only comes from males, never from females (except sometimes, that same roommate). I've been called EJo after JLo coined that, but it also never really went anywhere. At one point a group called me Jew-Lo but that also had no lasting effect.

I guess it's kind of hard to nickname me because I have so many different groups of friends that don't converse. Thus any name has no lasting effect because it is only promulgated by the group it begins in.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 19-Something you miss


I miss reading the newspaper. I miss walking into starbucks and adding one to my purchase.

I miss reading quickly. Being able to sit around for hours and finish a Harry Potter or a Narnia book in one sitting. I miss being able to read for hours on end and see a substantial difference in where I was in the book when I finished.

I miss having all my books with me. Seeing them over Thanksgiving break was a huge tease, and I'm ready to install a bookshelf large enough to cart them all over here.

Buying books, and going to the bookstore to peruse for hours.

Reading for fun and not for school. Or at least having time to do both.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 18-Something you regret

My college resume is dotted with things that I regret having not done in college. It would be difficult to show, as my resume looks full and complete, but it takes a true insider to be able to pick through what is there and what isn't.

The first mistake occurred when choosing a college. Don't get me wrong, there is no part of me that regrets going to UF. But the attitude that spawned that decision, one of indecision and lack of effort in pursuing the right school, is one that I am not proud of. The outcome happened to be one of the best things I have ever done, so I was lucky on that account.

The second major regret I have is not having lived in a dorm freshman year. Not only did I miss out on really being a freshman, but I lived so far away I missed out on most social gatherings and rarely went to class. Being that separate from the campus did not benefit me in any way.

Going into rush with a negative attitude, much like that of college, was another thing I regret. Again, the outcome was more than favorable, and I can't imagine myself anywhere else, but I wonder if it would have had an impact on my future in the chapter I'm in if I had gone in really wanting to be in a sorority.

I regret that I never attended a FL/GA game. Though this was a personal choice in my last two years, I wish that I had foreseen my involvement in the Speech and Debate tournament and gone my first two years. I don't regret a single moment about joining Speech and Debate, except perhaps that it didn't occur earlier, but I wish I had at some point made the effort to see the largest cocktail party.

I regret not having attended more school events. My Tradition Keepers book is lacking, and I am going to have to make a major push to fill it before the impending graduation occurs.

I regret never applying myself to one thing, but spreading myself out too thin. I sometimes have felt that I had to pick and choose where I would succeed and it is only through my eyes that you can see those places lacking.

Most importantly, as a spring graduate, I regret having no idea what I want to do with my life, and the feeling that I wasted four years in a meaningless major and that I might have to do it all over again.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I've been saying this all along

"A longitudinal study of Boston-area college students provided some interesting findings on courtship. In oppoisition to the stereotype, the researchers found that men had more romantic notions than women and more often initiated a relationship with the hope of falling in love. Men were also more likely to "love" more than women in the relationship. When relationships ended, the demise was more likely to have resulted from the woman's misgivings than from the man's and the men were more devastated."

Rubin, Z. Liking and lovingL An invitation to social psychology.New York: Rinehart & Winston.

Day 17-Something you're looking forward to

The end. I know it's stupid because I should be treasuring this, but I'm looking forward to the end of college. I am done with homework and reading. If I've learned anything in college it's that you can learn more from real world experience than from a classroom. I am looking forward to working and the real world, as much as it scares me. I am looking forward to leaving all this behind and making another new life for myself, keeping only the things I want from this one and ditching the rest, just as I did in high school. I am looking forward to my own place; a grown up place. I am looking forward to new adventures, new ridiculousness, and new stories, because my life will always be full of them. I am looking forward to living for myself, and not for how people want me to live. I am looking forward to a new season of Florida football, because this one was far from exemplary. I am looking forward to the rest of my life, because this certainly isn't it.

But despite all of that, I am also looking forward to coming back, to visiting, and to being a new person here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

But today is so delightful...

1. Hot Starbucks. It makes it so much better when you're not forced to drink cold coffee because of the sweating factor.

2. Onesie weather.

3. Accomplishing a lot this morning, leaving room for a lot of free time this afternoon.

4. Flowers from my little :-)

5. Having a really good hair day

6. Tacky Christmas sweater parties

7. One more week of school left!
Mobile blogging...now I really don't need a computer.

baby it's cold outside...

thanks to the wonderful guy at starbucks for decorating my drink...it's the little things in life

Day 16-Dream house

Well, first and foremost, it is large.
Has a library in it.

Is a very simple, country style. Nothing modern or fancy. No spanish or greek style anything.

Has a huge yard for multiple animals to run around in.
Hard wood floors and lots of windows to make it spacious.

A kitchen with an island, a gas stove and lots of storage.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 15-Favorite Bible Verse

Let the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing in your eyes, O Lord, my strength and my salvation.
Pslam 19:14

Monday, November 29, 2010

seven daily reasons

Why today is generally good. Stolen from one of the more inspirational women I have ever met, this affirmation may be necessary on multiple days throughout the next two weeks.

1. Never being too old to appreciate the importance of the most important day of 2010...and having a good friend to do it with

That is Kayla and I at approximately 5:51 on November 19th after attending the 3:15 a.m. showing of Harry Potter 7 (yes, they show that late). And might I mention...fully dressed in wizard's robes.

2. Knowing that I have another semester left, but only 2 weeks of this one left.

3. That starbucks exists in the Reitz providing caffeine pre-tour without an extra stop.

4. A new How I Met Your Mother, which can always make a Monday better

5. Inspirational messages from Ruthie every Monday

6. Still having some of these leftover:

7. Thinking about new year's in New Orleans.

Day 14-A picture you love

Dolphin stadium after the gators won the national title in 2008. One of the defining moments of my college career and my life as a gator fan. We're definitely in a point where I have to remind myself, in all kinds of weather, but win or lose I will be a gators for life.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I've been watching Sex and the City recently and there was an episode about timing. Carrie asks the question with two answers, is timing everything? It made me really evaluate where I am in life. Timing-wise, I'm about at the point where I choose a career, settle down in a new place, re-create the friendships I've spent 3 1/2 years perfecting, and begin the progression toward adulthood. Reality-wise I've changed my major four times, have three different life paths I might like to pursue, live in an apartment fully furnished with a twin bed and have no better handle on my future than I do on controlling the post-Thanksgiving break traffic back into Gainesville. This last year has been all about timing--being in the right place at the right time, and finding the right things at the wrong time. Discovering the UF offered an interdisciplinary major that exactly suited what I was interested in, 2 years too late to do anything about it. Putting off pursuing a business minor until my last two semesters, making them much more intensive than I needed for a senior year. Creating the perfect summer groups of friends, turning 21, and then leaving it all behind to pursue that other important part of my life, being a life-changer. Being the right person for someone who is so wrong for you. Mentally feeling ready to leap forward, but being impeded by societal beliefs about age and experience.

My personality psychology professor mentioned the other day that the most important factor in deciding to build a relationship with someone is propinquity. Is it more important than timing? Do we really have no soulmates, but simply reach out for the closest thing we can touch? Is it fate that I majored in Psychology, or was it simply because it was the only major at the school I happened to be at that held my interest? How do we make the large, life changing, soul shaking decisions we do, if really our decisions are simply based on what is around? Are we all just existing simultaneously in the same life, with the power to travel somewhere else and establish the exact same niche?

If life is all about timing, I think it's safe to say I'm stuck in a different time zone than my body...


“Life is all about timing... the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable... attainable. Have the patience, wait it out It's all about timing.”
-Stacey Charter

Day 13-Goals

What an ironic day to land on as I sit here procrastinating the large pile of work sitting next to me.

Goals are interesting because the general ones linger, but the specific ones change on a fairly regular basis. I guess I'm about at a point where my goals are going to become my reality soon, or that is the ideal, but I don't know how to classify them.

I can say with certainty I have the general goal of making a difference in the world. At one point, I wanted it to be a measurable difference. But as I looked back on my recent volunteerism, I think it's safe to say I am well on my way to achieving this one, or possibly already have. In more specific terms, I would like to look back on my life and think that I have had a positive impact on the world. And while not really more specific, some ways I have thought this would play out were Doctors without Borders, pursuing public health policy, working for a non-profit, and most recently perhaps doing Americorps or the Peace Corps.

I know that it is my goal to see as much of this world as possible. This goal worries me the most, because the world is constantly changing and there is so much of it. I have the goal of visiting all 7 continents before I die, and all 50 states before I turn 50 (a goal my cousin and I set when we were younger). There are places all over Europe and Asia that I would like to visit, as well as several places in Africa. I purchased a copy of 1000 places to see before you die last year, and I was overwhelmed the moment I opened it. Many of the places will never be within my reach, and so at some point I will need to narrow this one down so that it becomes more attainable.

I would like to do a climb for cancer and scale the seven summits. Fortunately, these goals can be combined, as well as working towards my goal of reaching all 7 continents (by the way, I have 4 down). This goal is my highest reach (no pun intended), as I would have to overcome several obstacles to do so. The first, unfortunately, is financial. These climbs are not cheap, especially Everest, which costs around $60,000 for supplies and oxygen. The second, is the fact that I am nowhere near in shape for this, and am only getting older. Living 121 feet above sea level does not quite prepare someone for any part of this climb, and although I have found alternate routes for trying to train, it is not something I would be able to try for several years (see previous blog posts for more on this goal).

I want to have a library in my house. Think a la Beauty and the Beast. Filled to the top with all kinds of books; I have started this goal and am well on my way to finding books to stock it on a regular basis. The closest I have seen is this, in my friend's house a little south of here:

I want to be successful in all ways, happiness and financial stability included. I want to figure out where my niche is and reach it, in a job that is flexible with my need to climb mountains and see the world. I think it will take a couple tries to get there, and so I am very comfortable with the idea of multiple jobs. I'm just not sure where to start.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 12-What you believe

I believe in God.
I believe that the ocean is better than the mountains.
I believe that we were given the opportunity to experience as much as possible, and so we should. For me I believe that means seeing the world, but for other I believe it is different.
I believe that I was put here to do big things.
I believe that people 6 years younger can change you just as much as you can change them.
I believe that I love shoes.
I believe that I have some of the best friends in the world.
I believe in constant communication.
I believe that there are holy places.
I believe that caffeine and alcohol are medicinal.
I believe in the power of thought.
I believe in the Gators...in all kinds of weather.
I believe that college is 4 years...for a reason.
I believe in Greek Life.
I believe there is more to this.

The Bloody Mary quest

On the way to the perfect bloody mary...
Stopped in Mississippi on the way back from New Orleans. Had spent all weekend craving bloody mary. Saw a jar of cajun dill beans from The Shed. Upon inquiry, I learned that the secret of the great bloody marys of the gulf coast is their use of these special beans in the drink. Obviously purchased said dill beans, knowing upon return to Florida I had to share these with the general population.

Stopped at grocery store. Bought tomato juice, V8, worstechire sauce, hot sauce (also 4 bags of candy but that had nothing to do with the bloody marys).
Attempt 1:
Too much vodka
Tomato juice and v8
Not enough worstechire sauce
Not enough hot sauce
2 cajun dill beans

Realized I forgot lemons. Good but needed more of the aforementioned "not enough" ingredients.

Attempt 2:
3/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup tomato juice
enough worstechire sauce
TOO MUCH hot sauce
2 cajun dill beans
still no lemons
added minced onions...not sure it made a difference

One major issue I'm having is that of the vodka separating from the tomato juice. My mom says that I should get the mix because its designed to stop this from happening, but I don't believe in mixes...that's the point of this quest.

I also believe that if you use v8 and get your full serving of vegetables, bloody marys are good for you.


Substitute celery salt for regular salt. Add a quarter of a lemon. Never substitute cajun dill beans for anything else. Add olives if desired.

Day 11-Favorite tv shows

This one is easy because the list is short.

In my opinion the all time best show that was ever on television:

Friends is the show by which all other shows are judged, in my opinion. It is extremely difficult to get me to laugh out loud at something happening behind a glass screen, and this show is the first I can remember having that effect on me several times throughout a 30 minute show. We used to joke that everything in our lives could be related to friends, and although the effect has faded out since it has become less prevalent in my life, the jokes will always be funny and the lessons always relevant. When Friends ended, I cried for about an hour after it ended before pulling myself together and reminding myself that emotional attachment to a television show was ridiculous. But it has never been outdone in my opinion.

My current obsession:

This show is second only to Friends in its ability to make me laugh out loud. Although I think the quality of the show began to fade a little in season 5, and I am still frustrated that we haven't met the mother, this show remains a constant part of my life, and is never overdone. My biggest regret is that Neil Patrick Harris isn't readily available, while my favorite episodes continue to be the Thanksgiving episodes, beginning with Slapsgiving, the episode that originally sucked me in.

I can't even explain this one:

While I am currently have the Food Network on 24/7, nothing can excite me more than turning it on to see my favorite Italian chef cooking up something in her beautiful California home. Giada has become a household name at the PHrathouse (my apartment), and my roommate and I watch in awe her simple grace in the kitchen. Although I can't cook, nor do I ever intend to become the perfect chef, Giada makes me want to be a better cook and work to create my own special recipes. She is an inspiration.

My Guilty Pleasure:

Yes Spongebob. Spongebob has been there for me for years, and since Nickelodeon still faithfully plays it far more often than any other show, I use it as background noise, as the catalyst for a great afternoon nap, or for stupid entertainment on a weekend morning. No I'm not kidding...no I'm not embarassed.

Day 10-Something you're afraid of

This is an easy one. I am terrified of flying. The very thought of airplanes causes me anxiety, and being in airports can send me into a panic attack. I have never been very fond of the idea of falling out of the sky, but this fear escalated around 8th grade. Flying home from Brazil that summer, I experienced the only real turbulence I have ever felt before. Since then, I have learned to take numerous cocktails of anxiety reducing and memory erasing (legal and prescribed) drugs to alleviate this fear. However, it is far from being gone.

One of the funny things about being afraid of flying is that it is almost impossible to bring it up without sparking an irrationally long discussion about everyone else's bad experiences on planes. It never fails that one mention of my dislike for airplanes brings up some of the most horrible stories I have ever heard. I've always wondered why this happens, as when someone mentions their obscene fear of spiders I don't tell them about the largest spider I've ever seen. These conversations leave me even more shaken than I was before them, and I'm often compelled to leave the conversation.

I guess this is ironic, because the job that I would love to have next year requires me to be flying across the country almost weekly. I have a hope that this constant exposure will alleviate my fear, and if not I always have the wonder of modern medicine, and the airport bar. I have, by no means, stopped flying either. I simply find ways to make the trips more pleasant, such as only flying certain airlines and certain size planes. I have, since the main incident, traveled to Europe and Israel, as well as places in the middle of the country and across the country. And I have no plans to quit flying.

Day 9-A picture of your friends

Falling a little behind in this...but here goes

This one would be caption "My Fwendz (minus Charnele)." These girls have become my saving grace in the last 3 1/2 years of college. Even though I technically only live with two of them, I spend enough time with the four of them that we should live together just to save driving time. Lauren, Jen Ren, Ruthie Tootie, and Kim (and not pictured because she has taken sabbatical in D.C. is Charnele) and I have formed a core group of friends that I know I will bring with me wherever I go from college.

Meg. The only friend I've remained in contact with from high school. I have no words for this girl, because I use them all each day bbming with her.

And Ginnie. My best friend since 8th grade. Ginnie and I started our relationship 13 years ago in a very different form...sheer hatred. It wasn't until being forced to sit near each other for 6 years that Ginnie and I did a 180...forming the closest and only lasting friendship I have ever had.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Midnight Showing-ers

So while I am a little concerned at this particular group of people, I'd like to come clean right now and admit that there are a few movies that I would never miss a midnight showing for. Timing wise, you might guess that one of them is Harry Potter. On that list have also been Spiderman, Lord of the Rings, and Pirates of the Caribbean. However, considering that LOTR is over, Spiderman is not as good anymore, and Orlando Bloom is not in the next Pirates movie, it's safe to say that I may now be contained to Harry Potter.

Which fortunately, is an idea that I am completely ok with. I have never been ashamed of my intense obsession with the Harry Potter series. I can remember exactly the moment when I was first handed the books, over 10 years ago when only two were in existence. I was an avid fan long before it became "cool" to be a fan, and for the first 6 weeks after the premiere of the first movie refused to see it because "it would not be good enough." However, as I have matured I have become almost as emotionally attached to the movies as to the books, and so I feel obligated to share with the world the types of people who I have encountered on these trips.

The Avid Fans (me): These people come in costume down to teasing/dying/creating a wig for their hair. From the genuine robes to the props accompanying (snitch, glasses, scar, broom etc) these people feel a strong emotional connection with every aspect of the movie (book premiere). To them, the thought of NOT seeing it at midnight is painful, and it is stressful enough knowing that in earlier parts of the world the movie has already premiered (the only time Central time one-ups Eastern time). These people will shush you in the movie, and expect you to be ushered out if you do not comply with their shushing. Do not question or push these people, they may snap fairly easily.

The other fans: Second to the avid fans, these may show up in one simple piece of themed clothing--ie a tshirt, or a blanket with the logo of the movie imprinted on it. While these people would never wear normal clothes to a midnight premiere, they are certainly not willing to compromise the color of their hair or their forehead skin for something that will last approximately 3 hours. They are, however, just as intense about not being able to see it the moment it premieres in the first region of the world, and have probably doodled their names in hearts with the name of the main character more than once as well.

The friends of the avid/fans: These people are recognizable by their lack of costume--ie they look like normal people who happen to be at a movie. Friends are normally seen texting, making fun of, or generally disdaining the avid fans, who in turn feel equally negative towards the friends for NOT showing up in costume. Whether or not they are the first people to see it is irrelevant, however anyone who shows up to a midnight premiere does not want the movie ruined for them.

Those others: Others are my least favorite people. In cases like Harry Potter, they are people who have perhaps never been to a midnight premiere of HP, or worse, have never even read the books. These are the people that will be shushed and perhaps assaulted by the avid fans, for talking, making inappropriate comments, laughing at the pain of a character, or otherwise ruining the overall aura created by the avid fans in their costumes. Should not be left alone with an avid fan, and hopefully will fall asleep early on in the movie so as to stop their incessant noise-making.

The 3-am movie attenders (also, me): This is an interesting crowd. Anyone willing to see a movie that begins at 3 am and is known to be over 2 hours long should fall into the avid-fan-who-did-not-realize-the-midnight-showings-were-sold-out crowd, but unfortunately also attract other weirdos as well. The 3 am crowd can consist of a mix of the earlier groupings, of which only the avid fans will make it all the way through the movie without falling asleep once and will continue to feel adrenaline until the final credit has rolled and the movie has been thoroughly dissected. These people also include others who thought a midnight premiere of a super-cool movie might be fun, but also missed the boat on getting tickets, as well as a group of weird people who I assume do normally function during these strange hours.

Day 8-A place you've traveled to

The most recent traveling I did was last December when I went on a birthright trip to Israel. It was one of the most life changing experiences I have ever had. I was extremely hesitant to go on the trip, assuming that since the majority of people attending would be from south Florida I would have a lot of trouble getting along with them. However, I had three friends who I only grew closer with during those amazing 10 days. Here are some of the highlights:

The view in Haifa. Thought Haifa was to the north and located several thousand feet above sea level (which set off my altitude sickness), this view is almost unmatched. The gardens here are kept perfectly preserved overlooking the beautiful water. I am always drawn to water, and so this coastal city was my favorite northern destination.

The desert. Going into the desert was a new experience for me, and I didn't realize how ignorant I am of the natural world until this visit. We hiked through the desert mountains, played in the desert streams, and I wore a sweatshirt the entire time because I am unnaturally sensitive to cold. The hot, dry, desolate, flat images I had in my head were completely erased as I found complete solace in this natural beauty. The picture I posted a few days ago is of a scene that I cannot recreate with digital photography, but I will say that after this visit I have a lot more appreciation for the dry, desolate areas than I ever did before.

Riding a camel is one of the quintessential Israel experiences. Although I am not sure that any of this is genuine anymore, the camel escapade was followed by one of sleeping in bedoiun tents "as the nomads do" and hiking to the top of Matsada to watch the sun rise over the desert. I can assure you that camel travel will never be popular again as camels may be the least graceful of God's creatures.

Second to the desert, Jaffa was my favorite stop on the journey we took. Jaffa is an old biblical city linked with Tel Aviv, the modern entity of Israel, that teems with history. While the smell of pigeons overrides any other pleasant odors that may mingle with it, Jaffa was one of the only times I branched out of my niche and ate authentic Israeli food besides hummus. I came back only able to talk of two foods I liked, and one is the tomatoey goodness of Shakshukra, which is apparently extremely famous in this one small place in Jaffa.

I got mine with sausage because I firmly believe all food is better with protein.

And of course, no visit to Israel is complete without visiting Jerusalem. Jerusalem is pictured here with the desert behind it. The city is a complete melting pot of different cultures stirred together with the extreme modern influence of the tourists. It was quite interesting to visit the most holy place in the Jewish faith in the same day as a visit to the local bars, but the importance was not lost on our group. I learned more here than I did in any other part of Israel about the culture of the Israeli people. Walking around Jerusalem at night I felt safer than I ever had. It occurred to me on the last night that no one had ever told me to watch my purse or not walk alone, and in stark contrast to my visit to Europe I never felt the need to grasp on tightly and stay confined to the safety of my bedroom at night. The overwhelming sense of security is something foreign to me while back in this country, and I am confused by the fact that I am more comforted by the openness of their guns than I am concerned that there are guns out in the open. It was nice to feel what life can be like without constant worry, which I always thought was a constant concern in Israel.

This is a picture I took in the soldier's cemetery while attempting to be artsy. At the time I didn't realize how beautiful and representative it really was to me. I considered very hard the thought of moving to Israel after this trip, and while that may still be a possibility in the future, this picture reminds me that there is both hope and loss, and wherever I go those two things will continue to co-exist.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 7-Favorite movies

This is difficult because I have so many.

The top spots have to go to my two loves:

and of course:

(2 days)

I'm a big fan of action movies. I do not like romantic comedies. I'd say that some of my favorites to watch over and over include Pirates of the Caribbean and the Austin Powers movies. I don't like crying in movies, only laughing. I HATE horror films.

But this one really takes the cake:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy

This is a picture of the desert in Israel. It is a large crater in the natural environment, and this picture doesn't even begin to do it justice. It was one of the most peaceful places I have ever sat.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 5-Your siblings

I only have one sibling and her name is Rachel. Rachel and I are related only through our mother, but we were raised together as if we were sisters. We are 8 years apart, which has made it difficult for us to relate to each other, although recently since I moved out and started growing up we have become a lot closer. Rachel is way cooler than I will ever be. She makes her own clothes, has actual style, and likes to be barefoot all the time. While my wardrobe consists of mainly black, hers consists of pieces of clothing that used to belong to other people (like me) that she mixes in a way I could never figure out, and wears with a confidence I just don't have. At 10 years old, she told my roommate she was an "agnostic" and defined it correctly, a feat I wouldn't have been able to accomplish until at least 17. People often call her an "old soul" and I do think she is mature for her age (although having a sister 8 years older than her might account for that too). We are polar opposites on some things--she is quiet, reserved and doesn't blurt out the first thing in her mind. I compared us at her bat mitzvah in certain ways, such as my affinity for buying shoes and her affinity for not wearing them. While we are very different, our interests overlap a lot, and I am very impressed with the person she is becoming.

Friday, November 12, 2010


The other day I was walking to class and I noticed a couple hugging each other as if the world was about to end. It was one of those scenes you see at the airport where one person is flying halfway across the world for 6 months and they won't be able to speak because they'll be 7 hours apart...but in the middle of my sidewalk. And all I could think to myself was, really, you've probably spent the last 3+ hours together, and you now have to go sit in a room for 50 minutes where you have complete ability to whip out your phone and text the whole time, and you're going to cry about it?

So today's award goes to THOSE couples...the ones who can't stand to be apart for an hour and want everyone in public to know it. It doesn't matter that they spend every waking moment together and have lost sight of their friends, their teachers are interfering with valuable memory time that they could be making. And the public displays of affection...people are only bothered by them because they WISH they had a boyfriend/girlfriend to make out with in front of everyone else. So what if I shed a few tears each time we leave...I LOVE him/her! Even though our age probably still has a "teen" tacked on to the end of it, he/she is the ONE!

Thank you, THAT couple, for putting me in an even better state of mind to go to class.

"I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability." -Oscar Wilde

Day 4-Your parents

Sometimes it gets confusing explaining my parents. My mom and dad got divorced when I was very young, and since both are remarried I find myself making the general comment of "parents" to mean any combination of people who raised me.

My mother (and by association stepfather) is Susan. She is a lawyer for UF, and exactly like me in many ways. Besides being almost identical, I think it is safe to say I don't have to look far to see where I got my stubbornnes, my determination, and my firm belief that I can do anything, and hearing that I can't is just going to push me farther. She married Bill when I was 7, and they have my sister Rachel (tomorrow's post), who is almost entirely the opposite of me. My mom's biggest personality quirk is that she is addicted to crafting (a skill I did not inherit) and has been expanding her crafting collection since I was about 8 years old. It doesn't seem to mesh with her lawyer persona, and I think one day she will probably quit and go into crafting full-time (as if that is a real job). She makes really good spaghetti and has recently developed a taste for Kahlua.

My father (and by association stepmother) is J. He lives in the mountains of North Carolina (which I HATE) and lives a much slower lifestyle than I do. From him I inherit my extremely low tolerance for stupid people, something that he is learning to control while I am simply learning to blog about it. His expertise is computers, and he has recently developed a fondness for the Linux operating system, which I refuse to use because I am happy with mac. Though born and raised in the beaches of Florida, he claims that 6 years in North Carolina has made him appreciate "seasons" and "cold weather" which I cannot tolerate either. He married Kasha when I was 15 and she is from Maryland (much more of that "seasons" and "cold weather"). My dad loves fixing up old computers (and fixing mine when I overload it) and creating websites, but actually has a degree in accounting (which I am dropping this semester). It is difficult when I visit him because his sleeping hours are between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., and I never want to see that side of 5 a.m.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 3-Your first love

I don't pretend to ever have been in love. I'm 21 years old and I can barely commit to a major for long enough to graduate (psychology stuck mostly because UF stops allowing you to change after a certain point in your degree). So I think it's safe to say my first love was probably an animal, or an inanimate object that I wouldn't leave behind.

If you can love something inanimate, I will give my first love to the sheepskin blanket I was given when I was a baby. For some reason, instead of liking the wool side, I liked the scratchy other side better, which years later I would say was because it gets cold. Each edge of the blanket had a different feel, and there was one side I preferred to all the others. I remember times in life thinking I was too old to sleep with it anymore, and breaking that habit. The first summer I was at camp I cut a small corner off to carry around with me (which I immediately regretted). But even without the constant companionship of the blanket, I know that if anything were to happen to it I would be devastated.

So I guess that's love. I'll see if I can find a picture anywhere to add to this.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name

The meaning behind my blog name is both simple and complicated.

Essentially, it means In My Humble Opinion.

Last week, I was shopping for a birthday present for my best friend when I happened upon a journal called "In my humble opinion." I was intrigued by its bright orange color and catchy font, but it won me over permanently with its opening line. "Other people are so annoying."

This journal reminded me of last spring, when I began to spend a lot of time with one of the Jewish educators at our Hillel. I have never been accused of having weak opinions, but this woman pointed out to me one day that whenever I start a rant with "let's be honest," I always end up making a long, well-thought out argument about a subject that I feel strongly about. She suggested at that point that I start a blog about these feelings, and one day maybe even write a book.

That is the story behind my blog name.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge and Day 1

To push myself to blog more, I have stolen this 30 day blog challenge from one of the other blogs I have been paroozing recently. We'll see if this motivates me to be more involved in this and maybe begin a habit (which supposedly takes 30 days) that I finally dedicate a piece of time to this on a regular basis.

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name

Day 3-Your first love

Day 4-Your parents

Day 5-Your siblings

Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 7-Favorite movies

Day 8-A place you've traveled to

Day 9-A picture of your friends

Day 10-Something you're afraid of

Day 11-Favorite tv shows

Day 12-What you believe

Day 13-Goals

Day 14-A picture you love

Day 15-Bible verse

Day 16-Dream house

Day 17-Something you're looking forward to

Day 18-Something you regret

Day 19-Something you miss

Day 20-Nicknames

Day 21-Picture of yourself

Day 22-Favorite city

Day 23-Favorite vacation

Day 24-Something you've learned

Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

Day 26-Picture of your family

Day 27-Pets

Day 28-Something that stresses you out

Day 29-3 Wishes

Day 30-a picture


Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts

My name is Emily, I am a senior at the University of Florida and I have zero direction in life. Here's my attempt at 15 interesting facts:

1. I changed my major four times. (Biology, Public Relations, English, Psychology)
2. I played piano for 11 years, as well as flute, drums clarinet and voice. I seriously considered pursuing music school but...
3. I have serious carpal and ulnar damage in both of my hands.
4. I am actually from Gainesville, FL, and I don't live with my parents.
5. I struggle with a severe identity crisis--being raised both in a southern environment and of a Jewish background. These two things often clash, but I can throw back some manischewitz while listening to the best of Rascal Flatts any day.
6. I love three things in life--harry potter, gator football and hugh jackman.
7. I have been working at the same summer camp for 4 years. The people I have met there have been the most life changing of any of the people I've ever met.
8. I thrive off of my planner and being obscenely busy.
9. While my wardrobe consists of mostly black, white and gray, Lilly Pulitzer dresses are my kryptonite.
10. One day I aspire to do a climb for cancer, and hopefully scale the seven summits in my lifetime.
11. I have been seriously addicted to caffeine since I was 13 years old. I don't have any plans to get over it.
12. I set out to make a phenomenal bloody mary this fall after visiting New Orleans and this bar 3 times...and then I did.
13. My new obsession is the food network...Giada at home...and learning how to cook very well. I am coming from a background of being able to make Ramen noodles...in the microwave.
14. I am also on a quest to have a full appreciation of alcohol. The process, the different types and the ways it can be incorporated into food. I might head for culinary school.
15. I don't like the cold weather. Or South Florida. So I might be stuck here forever.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Going to the phone store

Cell phones have revolutionized the world we live in. Not only are we at all times able to reach the people that we want, but we are able to access phone, internet, voicemail and email from wherever we happen to be. All of this has caused the 20-somethings of the world to ditch the land line...why pay for it? Land lines are wired, have small ranges, cannot travel with you, and you have to pay extra for caller id and long distance.

So yes, when my phone freezes, it is an issue.

Today's questionable human award goes out to the people who work in the cell-phone store:
No, ma'am, I cannot wait 48 hours for a new phone.
Yes, sir, it is an inconvenience to me to drive out here once you've sent me my new phone so that I can transfer all of my important data on to the next one, especially since I drove out here today for you to tell me to make a phone call.
No, it is not acceptable for you to hand me a phone number that connects me to someone in a different time zone, who cannot physically see my phone to fix it for me, to guide me through the process of fixing my phone, which is something people get paid to do, so you better be paying me anyway.
And no, I do not have 45 minutes to spare, nor do I have a place to call from, because as previously stated, I have no land line and my phone is broken!

And to the man in the different time zone fixing my phone, here's second place. Because while you may think I hung up on you out of frustration (although I would never do that because that would result in me still having a broken phone), the call was in fact dropped. And though it seemed as though you had such personal customer service, I do not know your name, nor do I have your cell phone number to call you back on.


"Hell is other people."
-Jean-Paul Satre

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


People always wonder why the donut falls frosting side down...always. Why, in a school of 50,000, one can end up in not only a class, but a group of 11 with their ex-boyfriend. How it happens that in a sea of 90,000 screaming gators, the last person you want to see in the world is not only seated in the same section as you, but 10 rows in front of the exact seat that you're in (also giving them a better seat). And also consequently, why you attend such events expecting to see the one person you want attention from.

Running the numbers and learning the physics behind it will only confuse you. The only real way to explain this phenomenon is problembility.

Problembility is most simply the probability that whatever will cause you the most problems will happen to you. Often, these situations are unanticipated. For example, not thinking that in a city of 800,000 you are going to be driving by the one boy you're seeing with another boy in the car. Sometimes, there is an obvious sign. But always, there is a high level of problem and a low level of probability.

In further news, I am thinking of asking a statistician to run the numbers on some of my funnier situations. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On the way to the perfect bloody mary...

Stopped in Mississippi on the way back from New Orleans. Had spent all weekend craving bloody mary. Saw a jar of cajun dill beans from The Shed. Upon inquiry, I learned that the secret of the great bloody marys of the gulf coast is their use of these special beans in the drink. Obviously purchased said dill beans, knowing upon return to Florida I had to share these with the general population.

Stopped at grocery store. Bought tomato juice, V8, worstechire sauce, hot sauce (also 4 bags of candy but that had nothing to do with the bloody marys).
Attempt 1:
Too much vodka
Tomato juice and v8
Not enough worstechire sauce
Not enough hot sauce
2 cajun dill beans

Realized I forgot lemons. Good but needed more of the aforementioned "not enough" ingredients.

Attempt 2:
3/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup tomato juice
enough worstechire sauce
TOO MUCH hot sauce
2 cajun dill beans
still no lemons
added minced onions...not sure it made a difference

One major issue I'm having is that of the vodka separating from the tomato juice. My mom says that I should get the mix because its designed to stop this from happening, but I don't believe in mixes...that's the point of this quest.

I also believe that if you use v8 and get your full serving of vegetables, bloody marys are good for you.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Differences Between 21s and 25s

  1. Twenty-one year olds order double rum and coke, and accept whatever is poured into their cup. Twenty-five year olds order double captain and coke, and will accept nothing on a shelf lower than that.
  2. Twenty-one year olds have a keggerator: an old refrigerator that is hooked up to drain a keg. Twenty-five year olds have a "keggerator": a nice wooden mini bar with drafts on top that can hold 4 different kinds of beer.
  3. Twenty-one year olds clean when they have to. Twenty-five year olds clean because they enjoy living in a clean environment.
  4. Twenty-one year olds own laptops, more convenient for being on the computer in bed, on the couch, or wherever else they are comfortable watching tv/eating/existing. Twenty-five year olds own a desktop, because checking your email is its own activity that exists in its own dimension.
  5. Twenty-one year olds fill their wine glasses as full as possible, to consume as much as possible, and to avoid getting up to refill more than once or twice. Twenty-five year olds fill the wine glasses to the correct part of the glass (actually a different level for white wine and red wine) and enjoy the full cup before asking if any more wine is needed.
  6. Twenty-one year olds decorate their houses with empty liquor bottles that they have successfully finished. Twenty-five year olds decorate their houses with full wine bottles that may be consumed at some point, but actually sit on the table as a centerpiece and not as a convenient way to set out alcohol.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

If I could do it all over again

Today I received a letter from myself. Five years ago at a retreat we were all told to write a letter to ourselves that would be delivered to us at an undisclosed date. So here I am five years later, working for the same company that provided me with the leadership group I wrote the letter from, and on the surface it seems as though not much has changed. I am currently at home, affiliated with this non profit, and completely unsure of what the future holds. On the other hand, it is phenomenal to me how much has changed. I know that at one point I was that girl, but to relate to her is almost more difficult than it is to relate to the entirely separate people I come into contact with every day. I am thankful to see that I have not abandoned everything that I held close to me, but curious to know what 16 year old me would feel about 21 year old me. But I wish that I could let her know that despite it all, it turned out ok.

Today I wish I was

this girl

this girl

and this girl

so that i could let her know that one day she is going to make it to be this girl

not sure where she's headed but happy and with the right people to help her along the way.

And I wouldn't change a thing I'd walk right back through the rain back to every broken heart on the day that it was breakin and I'd relive all the years and be thankful for the tears I've cried with every stumbled step that led to you and got me here, right here.
-Rascal Flatts

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Oops I did it again...

I let life catch up with me...and eventually overwhelm me. And I forgot what I wanted. And I still haven't slowed down.

This past week was "summer vacation." I spent it beginning my internship, registering/starting one of my classes, organizing my summer study schedule, working on things for all of my activities, and basically being regular old Emily. But what did I discover? That I don't want to be here for more than another year. Even if eventually I make it back to Gainesville, this place is not going to be able to hold me for much longer. And watching my friends leave reminded me that that is ok. There is so much world out there, and holding on to the things I love is always going to be difficult. So here are some of the places I want to remind myself that I wish I was...even if it's not until tomorrow.

The Medical University of South Carolina...earning my MHA.

and more importantly...

Charleston, SC

The beautiful beaches of Sarasota

Cape Town, South Africa...which I was supposed to land in today

Back with all of those who gave their lives so that I could have a land of my own...where some of my friends are currently

Climbing (tibet)

And most importantly...the place I return to consistently each year...

My favorite place of all

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac