Saturday, January 30, 2010


As you know, Precious, the love of my life, only lived with my room mate and I for two weeks, but during those two weeks, I learned a heck of a lot about her. These were probably the funniest/most memorable things:

1. You don't walk her, she walks you. Seriously. I cannot count the amount of times she would simply lay down in the middle of the sidewalk (or worse, road) until you walked the direction she wanted you to. Sometimes she might do what you wanted if you had a treat, but not necessarily. She decided when the walk was over, and that was that.

2. She will not get up on furniture. We tried. Numerous times. We literally picked her up and put her on the couch one time, but she got all kinds of upset, jumped off, and walked away from us. I think she thought she was punishing us.

3. She is a jealous lover. One day, I ran into two other dogs. They both came up to me and sniffed me, played with me a little, then I went off to class. When I got home, Precious ran up to me, sniffed at my jeans, looked at me like she was offended, then walked away. She seriously sat down and turned her back on me, and wouldn't even turn around for a treat. I learned quickly not to cheat on my baby.

4. She watches TV, and sympathizes with the characters. I jokingly left Animal Planet on TV one day for her so she wouldn't get lonely. When I got home, she was raptly watching a story about a lion that had lived in captivity and was being released into the wild. She glanced at me when I came in, then kept watching the TV, and wouldn't come to greet me until it cut to commercial. Later, when the lion looked depressed because his friend had died, she whined.

5. She covers her eyes when she sleeps. It's possibly the most adorable thing I've seen in my life. I'm not sure if this is her way of asking us to turn down the lights, but she will remove her paws once it's dark in a room. She also sleeps right up against my bed, so that if I want to get up I have to be careful to step over her. Again, adorable.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Call It Vulnerability

Call it vulnerability, call it loneliness, call it depression. Call it whatever you want, but this post is all those things and a little more. It's not happy, okay? So if you need happy, go somewhere else.

I hate College Station.

There. I put it in print. I love the reputation Texas A&M has and the education I'm getting here, and I love the idea of the Aggie Ring and the traditions and being surrounded by good country folk and whatever else. I love everything about this school... except the fact that I feel like I have no one here. Cyndi is in Houston, Katie in Arizona, Travis at Tech, Mr Man in Dallas, etc...

It's not even that I don't have people I hang out with here. I have Ayla, I have the Stephanies, I have Dan. And I have that whole group that comes with Ayla and Dan and Stephanie.

Except... I really feel like they're not *my* friends, per se. Most of them. I feel like most of them are Ayla's friends and that they just put up with me. Like they know that I'm Ayla's room mate and she likes me most of the time, so they just deal with it. But if they can get away with ignoring me, they will.

It's not even that I want to move to Houston or Dallas or Arizona or wherever. I wouldn't. I'm not going to be clingy and follow my friends. I just want to go somewhere where I don't constantly feel like people are looking past me, looking for Ayla. I don't want people to only remember my name so they don't feel totally rude asking me where Stephanie or Ayla is.

I mean, I do have Ayla and Kassie and one of the Stephanies (the more level headed of the two, honestly) to count on. Except... I feel like I do Stephanie more harm than good. Her old room mate is angry with her right now over something related to me that Fephie had no control over. Until recently her best friend and I weren't speaking, and even though neither of us wanted to put her in the middle, she definitely ended up there. And Kassie's always so busy... working two jobs, super involved at her church, involved in school. She impresses me a lot, actually. We hang out when we can, but our schedules don't always align, which sucks. And Ayla... Well, I love Ayla to death. But it's hard to be friends with someone who you resent more and more because you feel like once she enters a room people stop paying attention to you.

I've haven't felt so surrounded by people and yet so very very alone since the end of my sophomore, beginning of my junior year of high school.

I've felt like this for months. Actually, no, I've felt like this the whole time I've lived here. It kind of went away because Fephie and I were hanging out multiple times a week last semester, and it's not as bad as it could be because I know I always have Mr Man waiting for me to "come back home," but I wish I didn't feel so alone when I was at school. I wish I didn't feel so invisible all the time.

I wish I could be like JD Salinger and have the courage to just be alone.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

RIP JD Salinger

I was going to participate in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop today, but something else has taken precedence.

JD Salinger, one of my favorite authors, passed away yesterday at 91. I'll be honest, I wasn't a *huge* fan of Catcher in the Rye, but Franny and Zooey, 9 Stories, Raise High The Roofbeam Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction... Those stories were fantastic. I even wrote my own story, Taylor, that was inspired by a combination of the chapter "Franny" in Franny and Zooey and The Awakening (Kate Chopin, another favorite). There are rumors of a posthumous collection, which I really hope is true, but even so this is a huge loss to the literary world. :(

Salinger, who remained an enigmatic figure after giving the world only one novel and four collections, taught me a lot through his characters -- it's okay to be an angry, disaffected youth: It's okay to want something different, it's okay to want the world to change, it's okay to take every day by the horns, and it's okay to think for yourself. He may have refused to give a lot of interviews or to come out of his self-imposed seclusion, but I think that's part of his legacy and we have a lot to learn from him.

"Just because I'm so horribly conditioned to accept everybody else's values, and just because I like applause and for every else to rave about me doesn't make it right. I'm ashamed of it. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody. I'm sick of myself and everybody else that wants to make some kind of splash." --Franny, Franny and Zooey.

I hope to have the courage to be absolutely nobody.

Do any of y'all have a favorite author that taught you a lot?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weekend Update

Wow. This past weekend was intense. I went home and it was so incredibly full of things happening that it's going to be hard to remember it all to tell you.

Friday: Got out of class late and didn't get to hit the road until seven. Encountered four wrecks between my apartment and the highway. :( Finally got home and went to my friend Jason's 23rd birthday dinner. We all went to a really cute Italian restaurant and sat around chitchatting until past one.

Saturday: Had to take my laptop, my baby that isn't a fur-baby, to the doctor (Apple Store) because the CD drive stopped working. :( But later I got to have lunch with Sydney and her fiancé (I told y'all about them on Wednesday, remember?) and that was awesome. They're really quite perfect for each other, and I'm really excited for them. :) After lunch, we watched the movie Up! (Seen it? It's kind of sad, but good.) That night I met my friend Melissa for dinner and coffee, which was awesome. We talked for hours and had a lot of fun. :) We used to be incredibly close but had a brief -- 9 month long -- falling out, so we're still getting back on our feet and regaining all our trust from that. After that was when the really intense part of the weekend started. I dated a guy in high school for a year and a half and ever since we broke up we've been trying to be friends and have been hanging out occasionally but it's been awkward and difficult. Well, to make a really long story short, I hung out with him on Saturday night, we talked for about five hours (about why we broke up in the first place, why things went so badly after we broke up, etc.) and decided to get back together! I know, it's kind of hasty, but we both admitted that our feelings had never changed and we really want to give this another try. So, if I refer to Mr. Man, that's who I'm talking about (I've decided not to use his real name).

Sunday: I went out for brunch with some family friends and exchanged (incredibly late) Christmas presents (I got a gift card for a massage! Hooray!). We had a lot of fun just catching up. Both the girls are in high school now, so it was refreshing to finally be able to talk to them like they're people, not kids (I've literally watched them grow up). I saw Mr. Man once more before leaving, which was nice because this is going to be long distance (he's in Dallas, I'm at TAMU), but I unfortunately had to leave Precious back at the house (that's the emotional thing I referred to last week) because she's much happier there. She wasn't eating much here because she was depressed and missed her fellow dog-friends, and I just couldn't do that to her anymore.

How were your weekends? :) <3

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

And So It Begins...

Disclaimer: I LOVE WEDDINGS.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way...

I knew that the day was going to come when one of my close friends got engaged and I had to prepare myself for her wedding and possibly being a bridesmaid or at the very least buying her a gift and attending all the showers and all that.

Holy crap, I didn't know it would be this soon.

I am jumping the gun a little bit -- one of my oldest friends, Sydney (yes, of this story), announced just last night/today that she's engaged! Which is really really really exciting because I know she's going to be happy with Eric, even though I've never met him. That's how many wonderful things I've heard about him (not just from her). So, even though I've already told her, I'll put it down in writing too: congratulations to her!

But wow I'm already feeling the pressure that weddings bring -- the whole 'If I go, will I have a date?' thing. (I say 'if' because she and I have kind of lost touch a bit recently and I'm not honestly sure I'll be invited). If I go, are people going to be saying 'don't worry, it'll be your turn soon!' Or wondering why I'm not getting engaged? I don't even have a boyfriend, how am I supposed to be getting engaged?! Why don't I even have a boyfriend? Am I not good enough? Is something wrong with me?!

Yes. These questions are legitimately running through my mind. I think they wouldn't be so bad if so many bloggypeople that I follow weren't getting engaged/planning their weddings too (Teacups in Peony, Katelin, etc...). But I suddenly feel like I am surrounded by diamond rings and white dresses and flowers and wondering why the hell I don't even have a boyfriend!

I know, I probably need to just step back and take a breath and focus on just being really really happy for Sydney and Eric. :) Because I AM really really insanely happy for Sydney and Eric.

But holy crap, I'm freaking out.

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Jr Day

In celebration of the holiday, I thought I'd share my favorite MLK quote with y'all! :)

Cowardice asks the question -- is it safe?
Expediency asks the question -- is it polite?
Vanity asks the question -- is it popular?
But conscience asks the question -- is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position
that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but
one must
take it because it is right.
--Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Broken-Heart Letter

"Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now."--dmr

Dear Boy A,

First and foremost, I'm pretty glad that you don't know I have this blog. I talk about you a lot. Most of it is good, but this letter might not be so much.

You broke my heart. Period, end of story. But you know that already.

We were good together, in every way. People say that no one falls in love in high school, but we did, and we knew it. Everyone around us knew it. Even our parents were preparing themselves for us to get married. I never told you this, but when we went prom dress shopping my parents joked that I should just buy a white dress so I could wear it again for our wedding everyone was sure we'd have in two years. Not only that, we took our relationship seriously and actually talked about getting married after a few years of college.

And then one day... we broke up. I don't know why, to be honest. When people ask me why, I say it was because we were going off to college, or we were bored, or we needed a break, or we got in a stupid fight and were too proud to apologize.

But, none of that's true. I think part of it was that we both got cold feet. I think we realized we were 17 years old and were already with the person we thought we were going to spend the rest of our lives with and it scared us. We didn't know how to handle what everyone around us already "knew." I think the pressure was too much.

However, why isn't really what broke my heart for so long. The point was that we were apart, and that sucked. But what was even worse was what happened after.

Not speaking to me for three months? That was lame.

Dropping out of school, starting to drink and do drugs, and basically become someone that most of the people I know from high school are disappointed in because you had so much potential? That is really lame.

Becoming a total jackass though? That was entirely uncalled for. You were always sarcastic and rough around the edges, but a nice guy I still can't believe half the shit you put my through. You gave my phone number out to people, even ones you barely knew like your managers, and encouraged them to call me when they were drunk for kicks and giggles. I got a phone call about how much you missed me from another unknown person every holiday for over a year, and I could hear you giggling in the background. Do you know how hard it was to sit there, Christmas Eve, and listen to someone I didn't even know tell me that you still loved me and were on your way to my grandmother's house, when I knew that was you in the background laughing? That was beyond jacked up. I got voice mail after voice mail like that, most from people I didn't even know. When I finally got up the guts to call you and tell you to knock it off or take me out of your phone since you clearly weren't taking the let's-still-be-friends part of our break up seriously, you apologized and acted like a nice guy again, but you were just playing me, which I found out pretty quickly.

I cannot believe you told a bunch of the people I went to high school with that you were just using me the whole time we'd been together; that you cheated on me and I really meant nothing to you; that you wanted to see how long you could play the smart girl for a fool and how bad you'd break her heart after. Sometimes, in my most self-doubting moments, I believe it. I really believe I was the stupid girl that fell in love with a boy that never cared. But I know, I know, that's not true. You don't take a girl you're using for sex ring shopping and apply to all the same colleges and spend every waking minute with her. You don't stay up late to watch her sleep or talk about your future together and let her hang out alone with your mom and sister and offer to dig her car out of freak snow storms in March. You don't look at her the way you looked at me and you don't defend her against your friends the way you did for me and you don't waste a year and a half on her. I know nothing you told them was true. So why the hell would you say it?

(This post has been brought to you in part by Mama Kat's writer's workshop. Mosey on over there and see what everyone else wrote about!)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

6 Months to 20

In exactly six months, I will be 20 years old. TWENTY YEARS OLD.

I know, I know. A lot of you out there are already 20 or older. And you're probably grumbling right now about this silly teen you're reading who needs to chill the heck out because 20 isn't old.

But right now, it sounds old. It sounds very old. It would be okay if there was some kind of reward for being 20. You know like... 16, you get your driver's license. 18, you get to vote, buy cigarettes, and look at porn. 21, you get to legally drink.

But 20. At 20, you get nothin'. Zilch. Just that "oh hey, look, you're not a teen anymore, why don't you grow up?" look from everyone.

I don't want to grow up!

As you can see, I'm sort-of-kind-of in crisis mode about this. I am almost 20 years old and I have accomplished NOTHING. People used to establish empires and take down armies by the time they were 16! There are all kinds of people today who did something awesome and successful before they were 20. I HAVE NOTHING.

Ugh. What am I going to do?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cookie Monster? Not I.

When I started making my 101 in 1001 list, one of the things I really wanted to do was try a bunch of new recipes. Well, there have been a few I needed to try more than once to make right, but there is one that has failed me every time:


Any kind of cookies -- chocolate chip, sugar, snickerdoodle... Any kind I have tried to make I have pretty much failed at. I don't know what I'm doing wrong! I follow the recipe to the letter every single time. But every single time they totally suck! Sometimes they just burn, but other times they legitimately don't even taste like cookies (which was what happened last night when I tried to make some sugar cookies my friend gave me for Christmas).

Now, once, just once, I succeeded. There is a picture of my lovely roomie demonstrating that the cookie was okay to eat for your verification needs. But I had help that time, so I kind of feel like it doesn't count!

Oh cookies. You are the bane of my existence. You're so delicious, I just want to cook you and eat you. Why do you make my life so difficult?

Do you guys have trouble with any recipes in particular? Do you have any ideas explaining why I'm such a Fail Monster instead of a Cookie Monster?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Potential Puppy Playmate!

Okay, once upon a time, I posted this: Potential Puppy Playmate? My friend's dog was having puppies and I was thinking about adopting one. I didn't end up doing so (even though they were so stinking cute I just about died), but... I have a dog!

Well, I've had one for about ten years. I think I mentioned that in that other post. She, Precious, is a border collie/blue heeler mix. She's 12-13 years old (we're not sure about her DOB) and she's stinkin' adorable.

It took most of the break to convince my parents that I needed to bring her back to school with me, and I've just about almost convinced them! Right now we're kind of having a probationary period. If, at the end of the week, I think I can handle this, I can keep her down here. If not, I have to take her back to the 'rents. It's been less than 24 hours but we're doing good so far.

Other than having to clean up after her... ahem... messes twice already.

But we went for a walk today! Here are some photos that I took with my new camera! (That's right, #54, done!) :)
Almost the whole time we're on our walks, she sniffs the ground. It's cute...most of the time. :)
Her favorite thing to smell. :( We stood there for about a minute. That doesn't sound like long, but it is when it smells. :/
We discovered a pool that I didn't even know we had! But...
So we had to keep going. We made our way back to the apartment and encountered the other problem that may keep her from staying. That's right. The stairs. She hates them. I've already had to carry her up them about five times. In this photo, she's protesting them. Just standing there.
She gave them a try, this time. We'll see if this trend continues. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Writer's Workshop: 2010

Mama Kat does a wonderfully fun writer's workshop every week and in celebration of the first Thursday of 2010, this was one of the prompts: 3.) What do you predict will happen this decade? (You can be funny or serious if you like).

I predict that the world will not end in December 2012. The Mayans were right about a lot of things, but they were also wrong about a lot of things.

I predict that my mother will be begging me to get married before 2020 rolls around (she's already said that 24 is the optimum age... that's 2014 for me!). I predict her to be planning my wedding all the time and to hear the oft-repeated phrase, "Valorie, if you don't use your baby maker soon, it'll stop working." Not so subtle, Mom.

I predict that I will eventually graduate from college. Maybe. Hopefully. 2012 for undergrad, 2014 or 2015 for grad? Maybe I'll get married and graduate all at once! (Not.)

I predict that Britney Spears will commit another scandal for the media to popularize; the recently married Jonas brother will get divorced; and another celebrity that was "the best" in their field will pass away.

I predict that marijuana will be legalized in at least most of the US. I also predict that by then we'll have invented a new drug to "fight war" against.

I predict that there will be some kind of reform in the education system. Hopefully, it will include ending this abstinence-only method of teaching sex ed. Helloooo, clearly it doesn't work.

I predict that President Obama (if he isn't assassinated or dies in a freak accident) will be re-elected in 2012, then that we'll have a Republican president (or just not Democratic, since I think the Republican party may be slipping down a slope it can't recover from) in 2016.

I predict that the Twilight fandom/cult will fade (hopefully quickly), that Harry Potter #7 Parts 1 & 2 won't be as good as the book, and that something else will come to fill those voids. I also predict (at the very least) talk of another Star Wars remake by 2020.

I predict the global warming obsession to fade (since the global cooling obsession in the 70's and 80's did); I predict Al Gore won't get off his soap box though -- he'll just say he was given bad information then find something else to preach about.

I predict that something bad will happen in North Korea, and that things will not be fixed in the Middle East.

I predict that I will have been to China at least twice, and will have risked my life going to church there more times than my parents will ever be comfortable with.

What are your predictions for the decade? :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Forever, Judy Blume

Today, I sat down and read Judy Blume's Forever. It's number three on this list of 50 banned books that last September I added to my list of 101 in 1001. :) I'm going to be right up front with you -- I didn't really enjoy it. It wasn't bad, or anything; it was a good story, one most girls can relate to. But it was definitely written to be aimed to young teenagers (we're talking 15, 16, maybe 17), and definitely written with a low vocabulary so anyone can relate. Complaining aside though, I can tell why it was banned. Beyond the few drug references and the underage drinking (though, I don't know if 18 was already underage when the book was written back in the 70s), the book deals very bluntly and heavily with sex. The story is about a girl's first love -- they meet as seniors in high school, fall in love, and start talking about having sex. He already has, but she's still a virgin and wants to wait. Most of the rest of the book details their parents' interference, how their physical relationship develops and her thoughts on whether or not she wants to have sex. Of course, the fact that they're seniors in high school comes into play, and a big conflict (if you can call it that) is how they'll stay together after graduation.

All in all, that book is very plain-jane in terms of the style of writing. Any senior in high school could have written it straight from her diary. I don't know if I'd recommend it, except to maybe a girl already on Katherine's train of thought who needs advice but won't listen to her parents or any other real person.

Have any of y'all read it?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hellooooo, 2010!

My first blog entry of 2010! I wish I could tell you that it's going to be amazingly deep and witty and brilliantly written, but I fear I may let you all down once again. Can you live with that? I hope so.

I've just gotten back from a wonderful place called California. Perhaps you've heard of it? I arrived there on the 30th (yes, my last entry was written there. I would have written more but it's such a hassle to type up a whole entry on my phone) and only got back last night. We spent some time with family south of LA, ringing in the new year with them. (This is the same family I went to San Diego with.) It was a bittersweet New Years though. My mom's only brother, my Tio, was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's and I can already tell it's taking it's toll on him. He looks so much older than his age and even though he's met me hundreds of times it took me reminding him whose daughter I was for him to recognize me. It was tough. His moments of clarity are still more frequent than his moments of forgetfulness, but they're obvious and my Tia doesn't look like she's taking it well. No one in my family is taking it well, really. He's not even 65 yet! He's not old enough to be getting Alzheimer's. Such is life, I suppose. Que sera, sera. Hopefully God's reason for all of this will be shown to us.

The other half of our time was spent with my mom's best friend from college, Mandy (who we went to Munich and Prague with). She showed us all around downtown LA, Malibu, Hollywood... all the touristy stuff that I've never done despite having spent significant time in the area once or twice a year since I was born. It was quite an action packed trip. But of course there was time of shopping, both boutique and giant chains alike, and I was able to rekindle my love with Forever 21. After so many attempts at shopping there and being overwhelmed by how disorganized it was, our relationship was falling apart and we needed the reinvigoration. :) I would love to show you some of the pictures I took, but my laptop is currently being rather tempermental, which is why it's going to the shop here in about 20 minutes. Because I can't take this anymore! I got a new camera (read: the Canon Rebel XSi I've been talking about since JUNE) but I can't set it up if my computer refuses to read the software!

Well, I've rambled on long enough. How was everyone's New Year's Eve? Did you ring it in in style?