Monthly Archives: December 2012

Birthmas Wishes From Argentina!

So I made you guys a video!  I tried to keep it short (and only sort of failed!)  but I had a lot of video clips and things to show you.  I wanted to use some music from here but I didn’t :(.  Just don’t make fun of me for using Ke$ha, she fit the video too perfectly and I’m actually really proud of it 🙂

Happy 22nd birthday to my brother!  I love you so much and I really miss you 😦  I will spend your next birthday with you, I promise.  Only one more birthday in the army–can you believe it!?  I’m so excited for you and hopefully I won’t have to miss you miserably as much after that, as long as I don’t do anything too crazy and go rogue traveling or some such nonsense 😉  I can’t really beat last year’s birthday wishes 😛  I was going to try to reminisce with photos but remember I couldn’t find my camera and I was using Clell’s old Droid so I didn’t have a reliable photo machine? (I am building up quite a record of cellphone neglect…) I only have the one picture of us from that trip taken at four in the morning in the airport after days of celebration and needless to say it’s not worthy of posting on here.  Hopefully we can keep a small tradition we began last year over Skype this year and neither of us gets too crazy 😛  P.S.  I think you look better with hair.

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So tomorrow is Christmas.  Well, actually Christmas will happen today because it’s very rare to go to sleep before midnight here and it’s not going to happen with this chickadee for sure.  Christmas.  Yep.  That means New Year’s is around the corner and I’m feeling incredibly introspective, sitting here dripping with sweat and wishing that NesCafe tasted good cold.  I’ve developed a strong addiction to caffeine over the past year.  Does that make me an adult?  Grownups drink coffee….not Autumn.  She’s always been the baby, the one who gets to draw first when playing Sorry!, the one who was allowed to go trick or treating until well past the acceptable age.  Surely just having a two in front of your age doesn’t make you an adult.  I mean, I still miss my mommy, I still can’t keep secrets, I still play dress up and get a thrill about staying up past bed time. 

But I’ve been feeling increasingly grown up lately.  My bank raised my credit card limit because apparently I’ve been financially responsible (cough cough.)  The fact that I even HAVE a credit card seems weird to me.  When people ask me how old I stutter and get the same urge that I had when I was seven to look up at my mom with scared puppy eyes wondering what age I am today.  Maybe I’m a special case–being 20/21/22/23–but I’m beginning to think that there’s no such thing as growing up–there’s only growing into yourself. 

That gives me the image of someone’s arm growing the wrong direction and turning itself inside out, nesting in his/her rib cage and leaving a strange looking skin covered tunnel where an arm would usually go.  That’s not what I meant.  I meant that I’m still the little girl that used to sleep with books instead of stuffed animals and wanted to be a Whale Trainer at Sea World (potential next major change?)  The only difference is that I’ve grown boobs (sort of), drink coffee, have a credit card, and have surrendered to eating apples with the peels still on them (you think I’m picky now…) 

I opened my email a while back to find a message from one of the most peculiar people I know–myself.  There’s this brilliant website I discovered five years ago that lets you compose emails to yourself and sends them down the road–like a sort of online time capsule.  Anyways, I will share the letter with you because I think it demonstrates my point quite nicely:

Dear Future Me,
So I guess I’ve always wanted to do this. I will make this one to send in like, ten years how bout and the next one in five and the next one in one 🙂  Maybe there should be one to send to me in one year too… i don’t know but it sounds good to me.

So here is a little about myself:
1.  My last name is Standing.  I know… it’s kind of a bummer last name.  I often tease myself about the fact that I am “Fall Standing”  HA         HA.
2.  I have two dogs.  Sanchez and Lipton.  Lipton will be going back to Guide Dog school soon.  He is eleven months.  We are looking for therapy work for Sanchez…unsuccessfully.  But we found out today that Christine, his mom, is gonna have more puppies!!!  I can’t wait to get one.
3.  I am in the tenth grade.  I’m just gonna say:  it pretty much sucks.  I have no friends that I count and I pretty much don’t talk all that much to people, even though I am quite a social person.
4.  I have brown hair.  All over my body pretty much.  I hope it doesn’t turn gray by the time you read this, but it’s pretty scary, I found a gray hair the other day, which means that I definitely need to worry about turning gray.
5.  I watch three shows on television.  American Idol- I hope that David Archuleta or David Cook wins,  House- It starts up again in ten days cuz of the stupid writer’s strike, and Biggest Loser- they just had the finale last Tuesday for the couples.
6.  I have a pretty busy schedule.
7.  I have a ridiculously large wardrobe of summer skirts and skanky shirts.
8.  My cellphone is ancient.
9.  I am quite a whiny person.
10. I like to write.  Journals, books, accounts of my escapades, etc.
11.  I don’t have a boyfriend.  I really have a tendency to get obsessed with the first boy who likes me and then he doesn’t really like me all THAT much.  Maybe I’m ugly.
12. I’ll talk to you later ok?
Love,
Autumn
PS Phone numbers and other important numbers are as follows:
home-206-4446
ryan’s cell-216-3616
dad’s cell-210-2194
mom’s cell-217-8223
my cell-556-1566
address-3125 gatlin st.
delia’s phone number-226-6901
anni’s phone (even though she’s not my friend)-377-0832
etc.
PSS. Happy Birthday!  It’s 11-11-11 haha

Here is how things have changed:

Dear Current Me,

I am in Argentina right now and when I am in a state of reverie I begin to think about how much my life has changed  since being born, is changing, and what all that means.  I still believe that my stuffed animals and dolls come alive when I close the door behind me.  I genuinely feel bad every time that I think about this because right now I think those dolls and animals are buried under feet of snow in freezing cold weather in my mother’s shed. 

So here is a little about myself:

1. My last name is still Standing.  That’s not going to change anytime soon because, unlike Married In A Year, I prefer an extended version of Patti Stanger’s 12-month action plan (Men respond to photos!  That’s why the real estate agents ALWAYS get the guys.)

2. I have one dog.  Sanchez, b
ut I miss him very much.  Dio, although he isn’t my dog I miss him just as much as if he were 😦

3. I am in the fifteenth grade.  I’m just gonna say: It pretty much rocks.  I have so many friends who I love very dearly and I wouldn’t be surprised if scientists found out that they’re the reason the sun comes up in the morning.  I’m super social.  Sometimes I talk too much…ok who am I kidding?  I always talk too much.  I also drink too much and party too much and stress too much.  I am a girl of excesses.

4. I have brown hair.  All over my body pretty much, but I try to keep most of it maintained using various sharp objects and syrups.  It’s turning gray and I don’t really care.  It’s kind of pretty 🙂

5.  I don’t have time to watch television really.  I am too busy enjoying real life.

6.  I have an incredibly busy schedule.  But it’s all things that I like usually so…menos mal.

7.  I have too many clothes. I don’t ever get rid of them because I’m convinced that even if they’re no longer usable I can cut them up and use them for something.  This is called the first stages of hoarding.

8. My cell phone is ancient.

9. I whine a lot. 

10.  I like to write.  EVERYTHING ❤

11. I don’t have a boyfriend.  I don’t think I’d know what to do with one if I did have one.  Make him buy me coffee? I think I’d sound full of myself if I said I’m pretty, so let’s just go with not ugly 😉

12. I’ll talk to you later, ok?

Besos,

OtoñitA

P.S.  I am not really sure that you need all of my phone numbers and other “important information” because I’m pretty sure that you have that stuff memorized still.  You’re awesome with numbers, congrats!

P.S.S.  Merry Christmas!  It’s freaking 99 degrees out (and that’s not exaggerating, it really is 99 right now), I’m going to the pool.  Hasta la vista, baby!

 

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I Wish I Weren’t a Muggle

So, I really shouldn’t be on here talking to you guys.  I have SO much to do today; SO much to do this week.  We decided to leave for traveling on Sunday and I seriously don’t know how I’m going to get everything done.  I’m REALLY excited though, I can’t even tell you!!!  Last night, we outlined a tentative route and made a list of things we really wanted to see and it pumped me up so much I stayed up till 3 AM researching it. Baaaaad idea says the white sheep. 😦  This is how my day is planned….:

7:30 AM–Alarm rings

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Reason #1 I Wish I Weren’t a Muggle: I could totally stop time to sleep more and I think I’d be a much happier, less stressed person.

9:00 AM–After resetting various alarms, making timers, etc. I finally surrender to obligations of the day and go shower. 

9:20 AM–I’m irresponsibly talking to you

10:30 AM–Free Yellow Fever shot at this place my ingenious friend, Ike, told me about.  Isn’t this just the prospect you’d want to wake up to after four and half++ hours of sleep?! 🙂 Yay!

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Reason #2 I Wish I Weren’t a Muggle: I wouldn’t have to worry so much about petty mortal diseases.  I could just, you know, resist them with my awesome magic-ness.

11:00 AM–Hopefully I don’t have to wait too long for the Yellow Fever shot, but I do believe that I will be running late as usual…but I’m going to try and pester the Brazilian Consulate because it’s like 10 blocks from the Yellow Fever shot place. (Do you think yellow fever shots are actually yellow?  I would like it if they were; I’d feel a lot tougher getting injected with yellow goo…more like a superhero…less like…a muggle?)  If you didn’t know, the USA makes things insanely difficult for people coming into our country from elsewhere, even just to travel.  That means we get punished with exorbitant entry fees and complicated paperwork that sometimes takes months to complete when we only innocently want to spend some time on the beautiful Brazilian coast…sigh.  I want to buy a one-way ticket into Brazil which is a bit of a problem.  For some reason they think I’m going to fall in love with the crystal clear water and decide to never leave.  Although this doesn’t seem a legitimate fear to me, I’ve never been there and it may have some weight; either way, they’re making it difficult for me to get a visa.  Poops.

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Reason #3 I Wish I Weren’t a Muggle: I could use magic to convince them to just give me a visa.  Better yet, I could just fricken apparate to Brazil and listo–no visa, no flight, no expen$ive mumbo jumbo!

12:30 PM–Meet Sol to go to the depilación place; go to the depilación place.

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Reason #4 I Wish I Weren’t a Muggle: First of all, witches are hot…well not the kind that eat children, but you know, the good kind 🙂  Glinda, in Wizard of Oz, was like super sexy.  I want her boobs. I forgive her for being a ginger.  I’m sure that witches don’t have to get waxed or worry about such trivial things.

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2:00 PM–Go say goodbye to Marianita for the summer 😦

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Reason #5 I Wish I Weren’t a Muggle: I’m sure that if I had magicalness running through my veins I’d figure out a way to make goodbyes be for less time and well…maybe I would just get rid of them all together.  I have made a lot of them this year, and even though I’ll see all my friends next year–everyone including you guys!!!–they still suck.  I want to stay here for the summer (I’ll still be back in March at the latest) just as much as I’m excited to go.  The people I’ve met here in BsAs (Buenos Aires) are so incredible and my heart has grown enough to swallow them up hole and suffocate them with warmth and love. 

6:30 PM–Partyyy far away.  Details confiscated 😉  But it includes more goodbyes 😦 See reason #5.  This will most likely be stressful trying to arrive at said party’s location but once there it will be ok.  Thing is that I will still have to be up early and tomorrow is looking just as yucky in terms of business.  Although most of these are happy things…it is still stressful trying to be super woman when I’m only a muggle.

Reason #6 I Wish I Weren’t a Muggle: Accio Breakfast!  Need I say more?

Growing Up is About Watching the Sunrise

Alright guys, I’m not going to waste a whole bunch of time apologizing for not writing lately because there’s so much to tell you!  Clearly the whole “shorter more often” thing isn’t really my style and that didn’t work.  It may be easier to read and maybe even more enjoyable, but I feel like I don’t tell you everything I want to with that.  (Ok so I didn’t give it that much of a chance but…whatever.)

It’s summer here, and I feel like a cat in so many ways.  I sleep all day, spend the waking hours of night chasing after various laser lights and continuing to expand my knowledge of the public transportation system, and drinking milk and feeling sick afterwards.  I don’t think cats use public transportation…but they seem to be able to get anywhere so maybe they have something similar.  It’s warming up quite unpleasantly lately, and I think the fan that I used to worry would tear out the ceiling and shooting star into the opposite wall seems to be losing power.  I no longer have dreams about being lost in a farm of windmills, anyways.  It feels so far away from Christmas that when I remember it’s that time of year on a few rare occasions it almost annoys me.  Not only have I not bought anything for anyone I love, but I haven’t said “Happy Holidays” to a single person, nor had anyone say such a thing to me.  In fact, I’ve kind of had an ingrained sense of excitement that fourth of July is coming soon.  Fireworks!  What???  This summer season thing is messing with my mind.  Lauti told me they actually have fireworks on Christmas usually anyways.  How exciting…but it doesn’t physically fit in my mind.  Neither do half of the images on cigarette cartons here, so I guess things are just strange.

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^^This one says that half of smokers die of tobacco…but there’s a picture of a bandaged foot.  I don’t get it.  (Ok, guys, I’m not dumb.  I know it’s a toe tag.  But I still think there should be two feet….or maybe a picture of a dead person would be a bit more effective.  Idk.  I was a Marketing major…so stop making fun of me for not understanding it! My blog’s been posted for like two minutes and I’ve already got three messages telling me it’s a foot with a toe tag. Tranquila!)

Ok so I’m being really random (don’t even try to figure out how my mind works; just go with it) and just making this post ages longer so I’ll start talking about something you actually care about:  School!

If you are one of my lucky friends on facebook you’ll have already read that I finally officially changed my major.  I’m no longer going to study Business Marketing. I still want to get my MBA but I figured that I don’t really need an undergrad in business to do that, even though it might be easier.  I am getting tired of the Business school’s stupid regulations on what I can transfer in and how hard they’ve been to work with in my double major from abroad, plus, I just find the major I switched to more interesting.  It actually reinvigorates me and makes me want to study. To be honest, I’ve been bored of school since the tenth grade, I didn’t really want to go to university but there wasn’t anything else productive I could have been doing…it was the next logical option.  That’s why I never go to class, I never study, and I get mediocre grades.  I’ve been thoroughly bored.  We’ll see if this new major helps!  It’s Natural Resources, Recreation and Tourism with a concentration in Global Tourism….so Global Tourism pretty much.  What is that?  Well a lot of work.  I will have to do an internship and an undergrad thesis (ewww) and it requires at least a semester abroad.  But it’s more tailored to what I think I want to do when I graduate and it has interesting classes that I think I’m more likely to attend.  I still have yet to find a true passion, but I’m getting closer. 

Major

^^RamWeb Official! 🙂

Another major decision I’ve made lately is that I want to go traveling.  The original reason that I cancelled my whole summer trip around South America was because I didn’t anticipate spending so much money on life here and extra costs of my program.  Now I think I can do it.  I met some people and found some websites and travel communities and I feel like it’s totally possible.  I’m not going to post all of the details here on my blog because I’ve already talked to most of you back home about it and you think I’m crazy.  Haven’t you learned yet that I AM crazy?  Plus, you worry about me too much already and I’m just fine. 🙂 So if you’re really curious then ask me about it, but be prepared and know that I have closed the application for advice… There may never be another opportunity for this in my lifetime and I know I will regret not going. 

It was a tough decision because I have such great friends here.  I don’t want to leave them one bit and I know my summer would be amazing if I stayed.  That means there’s a lot I’ll miss out on by going traveling, but then again I’d miss out a lot by not going–I just don’t know what I’d be missing out on.  It was the same with the decision to go to Argentina, and I went through a similar dilemma: leave my friends behind to go have adventure and new experiences or stay and feel comfortable and loved?  I promise to be safe though and I love you guys!

Talking about how great of friends I’m making here makes me think about things back in the States.  I’ve been really struggling with keeping up with everyone there lately and fighting a lot with my closest friends.  It’s like a secondary type of culture shock kind of.  I love everyone back home dearly but seeing things on facebook or hearing news from back home sometimes makes me feel left out and jealous.  Not only can I not share what’s going on in their lives so easily anymore, but it’s also impossible to describe my life down here well enough for them to understand it. I can tell them about all of my new friends but they still can’t really know what it’s like to go have the most delicious ice cream ever with Sol while she talks about how unlucky it would be to die by a dead person falling on you or to see Lau laugh at himself as he tells me to “get off” the “truck” so he can pull into his postage stamp garage. I have inside jokes with them now, and my friends back in Colorado have inside jokes without me.  The reason we are all friends isn’t because of the times we spend together, I know, but the fact that we can spend any time together and make it fun.  It’s still hard though.  I feel like I have two lives now and I can’t continue to try and maintain both of them; I have to let the weeds grow in my old one so that I can water the new plants here and that is extremely hard for me.  Stress :/

Img_1017^^Me hanging out with Max, a friend I’ve made here and that I’ll be going on my trip with

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^^Me dreaming about my friends coming to visit me in Buenos Aires and being excited about PhotoShop

By the way, just so you have an idea: this is Lauti’s “truck.”  Let me know your opinion on whether or not this constitutes as a truck, because he gets offended by the word jeep.  I’m thinking I should compromise and allow it to be a truck in Spanish (camioneta) but call it a jeep in English.  I’m no expert on cars but…truck seems a bit hefty don’t you think?

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A third huge decision I’ve made lately (first was changing my major, second was going traveling this summer) is to stay for the rest of the year with my host family instead of moving out.  There are so many pros and cons to this that it took a lot of energy to make that decision, but I’m happy I decided to stay.  It was really stressful because I really only had a single day to make the decision and it caught me by surprise.  I had always planned on moving out since I’d dropped API because I felt like it might cross too many lines to ask my host family directly to circumvent the program and work something out on our own.  I’d asked Carmen and she told me that no, technically I shouldn’t ask them…so I took that as a “don’t do it.” 

Plus, I’m still ridiculously shy and I wasn’t really sure they’d wanted me to stay.  There are a lot of things I took into consideration that I am not going to post all over my public blog (because my host family reads it sometimes too I think :P), but when my host mom told me that she’d love for me to stay (she just thought I didn’t want to…miscommunication) I had one day to either pay a down payment on the beautiful house with the pool or stay.  I talked to people and thought about it myself and realized that I’d probably get a more authentic experience by staying.  My goals align better with staying.  Too many dilemmas lately.  But I love my host family and I’m really glad I stayed, I’m excited for the next eight months!

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So with so much stress, my two friends invited me to Mar del Plata, a summer city on the Atlantic coast south of Buenos Aires to spend a weekend partying on the beach and relaxing in the sun.  Umm…how could I pass that up?!  On top of that we’d be going in Lau’s “camioneta” and staying at Kevo’s grandma’s house so it would be very very cheap (just food I would probably spend money on even if I stayed!)  It appears I’ve made the right kind of friends here–quinta’s (house’s with pools in the country side), summer houses in Tigre, and free trips to the beach…ok, I’ll take it. 😉

It was a six hour drive there, but totally worth it.  We left late on Friday night and we got back just yesterday (Sunday) at around midnight, so we didn’t really do much except drink, eat, and go to the beach (the Argentine English accent turns this word into “bitch” and I love hearing them say it.)  We got to the city at 4 AM, ate what was in the fridge like zombies and crashed.  I woke up around noon and we went straight to the beach.  We spent way too much time trying to find a parking spot, but made up for it with gourmet salads and non-gourmet beer at a beach side cafe relaxing and talking about our plans for the night.  Kevo and Lau showed me the port and we saw a bunch of sea lions (ocean wolves in Spanish.)

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Lauti and Kevo cooked a delicious dinner for us all of eggplant milanesa and potatoes au gratin with a salad that night and we discussed all sorts of things including (but not limited to) racism, reincarnation, and whether or not we should all nap before we went out that night.  No sleep till Brooklyn I guess…because right as I was climbing under my covers in my pjs Kevs rudely turned the lights on and told me to rally.  Blah.  You only live once though…might as well spend more of that lifetime awake!

So I lethargically dragged my fully nourished body out of bed and put on my swimsuit and clothes ready to party…not.  We were all exhausted as we climbed into Lau’s jeep and set off for a brewery they told me that I just had to go to.  I had the honey beer.  It was a taste of home to be in a brewery and I realized how much I missed good beer with good friends.  I was so happy to be there with them in that moment and I truly felt lucky and content with life.  I do that a lot lately. 

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^^Lauti y yo en Antares con Kevo

After one beer we took the jeep to the beach and drove it over the rocks barricading any vehicles entering the beach (cuz we’re just those kind of dangerous, pesky twenty-something-year-olds.)  We drank rum all night, danced to music from the “truck”, talked about life, attempted to do cartwheels, ran into the water and played in the waves (ok, that is a little bit of a lie–turns out I’m deathly terrified of the ocean at night…), and watched the sun rise over the ocean together.  It was as perfect a night as could be and I love those two as much as any of my friends back home. 

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I have a lot more pictures (Lauti just got a new camera so between the two of us there are more than 800 photos…) but I don’t have them all on my computer yet.  I will make a video maybe later with more 🙂

I miss you guys!  Hope Christmas break is going swell back home and not too cold or too much snow.

Happy Holidays!

Autumn

Ready, Set, Whine!

**Pre-disclaimer: Gonna add some random pictures that again have nothing to do with the actual contents of this post just to entertain you all 🙂   While I spend the majority of this short post complaining about my poor luck with electronics lately, I will say that I love love love love my new camera.  It has become nothing more than an extension of whichever arm is hosting the wrist strap (so that I don’t drop it….) and it takes beautiful pictures.  I think it’s becoming a part of my personality and more than once I’ve been told, “Otooo, dejá de sacar fotos sin sentido!”  (Autumn, stop taking senseless pictures!)  They’re not senseless though.  They are memories and I know that even with the mounds of random pictures I’m accumulating on my ungrateful computer (see below), I’ll still return home wishing I had taken more.

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^^Dulce de Leche Frappuccino.  Nuff said. 🙂

Hello everyone!  I´m now officially on summer break 🙂  Do I sound differently?  More carefree and relaxed? ….I didn’t think so.

It’s surely because I am a little sick, because everything I touch lately seems to develop defects or break, and because I have a lot of things that I need to do, or should be doing, but that I’m avoiding.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely happy and enjoying myself…but that’s because I’m trying not to think about how badly I need to acquire some form of paid labor.  I’d rather read my book.  It’s a murder mystery and it’s super difficult to put down right now, but I need a break. 

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^^Summer nights spent on the terrace discussing what the apocalypse of Dec. 21st will bring ❤

I’ve been thinking about where my life has been going lately.  What is my destiny?  Where am I going to be in 20 years?  Am I really studying what I want to study?  Where do I want to live?  What’s my favorite color?  (Green.)  Right now, my host brother and my host mom are sitting at the kitchen table, having long past picked their dessert oranges from their shells and devoured the fleshy fruit with their teeth, discussing what my youngest host brother wants to study.  Right now, he’s in his first year of Psychology.  I wanted to be a psychologist once.  I find it super interesting…but, then again, I think everybody does. That’s because it has to do with all of us and we’re all curious as to why we do the things we do.  Why do I feel like I need to brush my teeth twice every night before my head hits the pillow?  Why do I sometimes talk to myself when no one else is in the room?  How come the inner dialogue in my head uses the pronoun “we” instead of I?  I’m not crazy (probably debatable depending on which ex boyfriend you’re talking to….), but psychology can potentially answer all of those questions and, let’s face it, we’re all interested in ourselves.  I got a little off track, but basically, all of this raises the question of where I am going in my life. 

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^^The longest hot dog I’ve ever seen…I know I’m a vegetarian and I just walked into a lifetime’s worth of “That’s what she said…” jokes but I couldn’t resist showing you guys

So, while these questions of my life’s direction are colliding with the plot of my serial killer novel in the chaos that’s crowding my consciousness, I figured I would tell you all about what’s been going on in my life lately 🙂  Lucky you.

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^^Lau and his adorable little sister, Caro

I started this post about three days ago because I was going to whine about the curse I seem to have with electronic things lately.  I feel comfortable confirming on my word of honor that I have some aura around me that reacts with electronic equipment and causes it to malfunction.  Four weeks ago my phone decided that I was becoming too comfortable and thought it would spice things up a bit by repeatedly power cycling every three minutes.  It would stay on for three minutes, then restart.  Three minutes isn’t much time to nurse an unhappy cell phone back to healthy, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t want to be my cell phone anymore anyways.  Then, last week my laptop got the bug.  It began a deadly love affair with its power cord and now thinks that it cannot bear life without being plugged in.  Although nothing seems to be physically wrong with the battery, Calypso (my computer) has decided to make the power cord her immortal husband and, as a show of defiance, will immediately turn off without it.  The battery seems to be otherwise fully functional (we tested it at my computer geek friend’s house and it’s just fine.)  So, my friend let me borrow his iphone that’s connected with the same phone company here to use while I send mine back to my mom so she can claim the warranty.  The iphone was just fine until it was exposed to my noxious aura.  So, whatever, I’ve had to take the 20 block trip in the sticky heat these past few days numerous times to talk to the cell phone company to reach some sort of solution to no avail.  I’m done whining though.  Maybe I’m just destined to not communicate with the world around me…serves me right for being so attached to social networking and media. (Actually, this year I’ve become an expert at surviving without a cell phone and I would estimate that, in total, I’ve spent a quarter of the year without one.  Seriously.  My friends can attest to that.)

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^^Otto trying to fix the electronics I’ve cursed 😦 

I think I’ll do a video blog soon! 🙂  Look forward to that!