Saturday, December 31, 2011


I have now had an entire year and I still write two zeros after the 2 when I go to write the year.  Last year this was incorrect, but not a problem cause I could sneak the one in between the zeros and I can no longer do that (haven't been able to for a year, but still haven't learned) so maybe now I'll learn.
In the past year:
1 - I wrote a senior thesis. Theo was a healthy 38.5 page history thesis on the National Korean War Veterans Memorial.(yes i named my paper, don't you name your papers?) We had a love/hate relationship. I was still typing memoiral instead of memorial, even on the last page because my right hand is always that much faster than my left.
2 - I graduated from American University.  There were bagpipes and awful robes and a really old scientist lady left us with the parting wisdom that one day aliens will visit, but we will be dead by then, so we should have children.
3 - Ally Gator turned one.  Granted I did not actually do this, Ally is the one that actually accomplished this, but I was there and there was cake and cuteness to be witnessed and I witnessed it.  Along those same lines of this not actually accomplished by me, Daphne Elizabeth was born. (what a pretty name) she has an abundance of cuteness as well.
4 -  I did KettleBells all year and now I swing a 44 and press a 22. I'm so strong. Not really, but I am stronger than I was last year so that's something.
5 - I was Program Director for the girls' weeks of camp. I didn't sleep much, I worshiped NyQuil (just a little), I conquered the boss-level-sudoku that is the rotation schedule, and I kept most of my staff sane and campers safe.
6 - I was one of the five people in the whole world who was officially allowed to run the camp's zip line.  An honor bestowed mostly based on availability for the training, but that's ok I can tie beautiful P.H.B./ double-figure-eight-on-a-bite-knots. Clip, check, chat, call, clear.
7 - I spent my golden b-day in Chicago.  I love that city. It is super pretty and awesome so I went out there and turned 22 on the 22nd. It was awesome.
8 - Danny and Ning got married.  It was epic.  Lots of fun, beautiful flowers and location and dresses, swords, and awesomeness.
9 - I took a road trip up to TMC with Jamie. It was great and it involved baby goats, wine, dancing, and plenty of Thomas Morons.
10 - There was a lot of swing dance and the opening of Mobtown and it was great. I had my purple-haired friend to go with all fall when everyone else was off at school so that was pretty great.
11 - I worked at Starbucks all year and I had my last day one week ago.  I  very much enjoyed it although I still don't like coffee.  And I've actually never tried a caramel macchiato.
There were important dates/anniversaries like 9-11 and 12-7 as well.  Because things like dates seems more important when they are divisible by 5 or 10. And a whole bunch of revolutions and overthrown dictators which was awesome to see.  I got to see the middle school level posters where Danny works and try my hand at nannying and see an ultrasound of my heart as well, which were also cool points of the past year.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shelley and Excitement

Actually happening ... really soon...wait really? Yup really ^_^ like next week ...woah...really? ...are you sure?

That's a little how my brain goes whenever I think about Ireland this week.  It still has not actually sunk in that I will be in Galway next week. Next week!

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited -seriously excited.  But it just still seems mostly unreal.  If I won the lottery I would travel, there wouldn't need to be any thought put into it, that's what I would do, with friends.  So while I haven't won the lottery and I have accepted the fact this little adventure may well leave me totally broke at the beginning of next summer.  It's exciting, a little like winning the lottery exciting (as well as slightly unreal still).

I'm getting closer to being ready to go.  I think I have everything I need now and I just need to pack and clean up my room.  I have actually started packing already!  (And if you know me well, you know that this is an impressive feat for me.  Seriously.  I didn't pack anything for Freshman year of college 9.5 hours away until after midnight the night before I left, luckily I had awesome friends there to help me.)

So far I have started packing clothes and sheets and towels (really the single most important thing to bring while traveling, cause you could survive with just a towel, although a hitchhikers guide would come in handy).  And it looks like I should be about to fit everything in one suitcase.(happy dance)

For Christmas from my family peeps I got a snazzy new netbook laptop.  It is super awesome and weighs less than half of what my MacBook weighed.  Plus it has not become my arch enemy by crashing the hard drive and deleting twelve hours of work on my senior thesis the night before it is due, so far my little netbook, Shelley, is still on my good side so let's hope it stays that way.  And I also hope to avoid the whirring-hissing-almost-gasping-for-breath-noise that my macbook was becoming increasingly fond of, cause that didn't seem too healthy.  So instead of the nemesis-macbook I'm taking my new tiny Shelley with me to Ireland so I can blog and post tons of pictures!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How this trip came about (kinda)

"You should run away with me to Ireland next spring" - Star

I think that she was joking when she said it, but details like that aren't really important, right?
Star is one of my best friends ever from camp (hence the name -- it is short for Alkali Shooting Star, logically)  She is a Jr in college and spending the semester abroad at the National University of Ireland Galway.  On the other hand, I am recently graduated (this May in reality, this August on paper -- gotta love my school).  Since I do not have one of those legendary grown-up jobs, I figured I might as well have a-not-grown-up-job in Ireland.  To be honest I am of the opinion that anything which ends with in Ireland is at least 60% less bad than it would have been anywhere else, particularly in Maryland.   Nothing against my home state, there a lot to love about the Old Line State if you can get past the humidity, but there is a distinct lack of castles chilling in Maryland so it is clearly 60% less cool.  

Although I am not huge on that whole make-real-plans-for-the-future-thing, I formed a general plan-ish-thing last year going into my senior year.  It involved three basic parts: survive school and graduate, work over the summer and fall, move to Europe after Christmas.  There was all sorts of great things that happened within this basic outline, such as working at camp as PD, my brother and sis-in-law getting married, visiting friends, and a good bit of swing dancing cause that's what I do for fun.  So it was not a crazy entirely new plan my bosom budding Star was suggesting when she said I should run away to Ireland with her.  I was basically heading in that direction anyway.  It might have been Italy or Romania or somewhere else, but I was planning on hopping the ocean anyway.  And taking Galway by storm with Star sounded great.  Now it's really happening -- WooT w00t.  In less than a week! 

My big bro and I went to Galway when I was visiting Ireland with him after his semester abroad in 2005.  We had a week and traveled to a bunch of different cities and towns, it was great.  We rented bikes and biked around Galway and it was wonderful.  I can't wait to be back. Star's dad was slightly surprised when he realized we were serious about me moving to Ireland while Star was there, yup we're serious.  Because why not? When else would I be able to pack up and go like this?  If I spend all of my saving on food and rent in Ireland I'm cool with that and I will just start saving again when I get home.  Or I will marry an Irish boy with a castle.  And then at some point later I can start looking for a grown-up-job. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blogging 'bout Ireland

I'm moving to Ireland in 20 days! 
I leave Jan 2 then I'm living in Galway until the end of May ^_^ Excitement doesn't begin to cover it -- more along the lines of giddiness and nearly non-stop urge to happy-dance.  Although there is still part of me that I think will be slightly surprised when I actually board and plane or when I touch down and actually really arrive in Ireland.  Right now I think this feeling has a lot to do with my internal-calender knowing that I leave one week after Christmas; said internal-calender knows that Christmas cannot be very soon, because it is barely chillier than sweat-shirt-weather most days still.  However this is a trick that our dear Maryland weather is playing on my not-so-overly-reliable-internal-calender.  Because as it turns out the real calenders all agree that Christmas is only 12 days away and I'm leaving quite soon in reality. 
The countdown is really happening now with lots of things: I only have 4 more shifts at Starbucks, 5 nights for swing dancing, and 2 more paychecks before I head out.  
These facts bring out a reaction of equal parts: YAAYYYYY *EXCITEMENT* and also AHHHH *STRESS*.  But hey, fear and excitement feel the same in your body - same twist of nerves, it is just that one seems fun and the other doesn't.  It's all about the stories we tell ourselves. 
I'm super pumped about the stories I'm going to have from this adventure in Ireland and I hope you will enjoy them too. I have had this blog for a while and I used it some in the spring, but I went and hide all of those posts because those posts are really only interesting for me. (Although I didn't deleted them, because I want them still, just unpublished them cause they are mostly school-stress-rants anyway). 
I will be posting as often as I can about prep-stuffs before I go and being-in-Ireland-adventures once I'm there (IN LESS THAN THREE WEEKS!)