The Stupid. It Burns!

Back in my first post, I mentioned how I had hoped to someday soon become the equivalent of a B- in terms of being a functioning human.  Well, that may have turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy.  While I am still at about a C in that regard, my GPA is definitely reaching that “goal” this semester. This week I was bombarded by mediocrity in pretty much all my classes, day after day. So many B’s.  While part of me is relieved that my grades are finally demonstrable of my true level of intelligence (I will take this moment to brag about my 3.94 GPA last semester), I liked feeling that I was tricking GW/my transcripts into displaying me as the smartest kid in all the land. knowledgeable. Not anymore!! I guess there’s still time to turn things around, but motivation has been lacking, and I’m already starting to get into a summer mentality (as in my mind is starting to shut down). Doesn’t help that the weather here has been so ridiculously amazing that the prospect of sitting inside, writing a paper or studying, just seems like the most outlandish thing I could possibly do.

Speaking of beautiful weather, this week wasn’t completely saddening.  I went with my friend to the Cherry Blossom Festival and now have some pretty ridiculous pictures of me posing with trees!

This really is the most beautiful time of the year here, and I’m glad I decided to give myself a break for a change and do something non-school/work related. I just wish the trees could have waited a couple weeks to bloom so my mom/sister could have gotten to see them when they visit me in April. Oh well. More time for them to go shopping while I dutifully sit in stores pondering how/why my life led me to that moment!

Also, seeing The Hunger Games this weekend was fantastic. I was worried that it wouldn’t be, that a PG-13 rating would take away from some scenes or that there would be the dreaded Twilight love-triangle emphasis that wasn’t really a factor in the first book. Luckily none of that happened. I came to some pretty strange conclusions while watching the film, like Peeta looks so much better when he’s covered in dirt and blood then when he’s dressed nicely with gross slicked-back hair. Or there’s my friend who couldn’t stop thinking about how Canada fit into everything that was going on in Panem. Craziness.

That’s it for now! Thanks for reading, and I will leave with a song from the Hunger Games soundtrack (thank God there was no Taylor Swift actually playing during the movie).



A Week Off, A Week of Pizza

Ahh…Spring Break. A week off from school and work came at a pretty wonderful time.  This semester has been so chaotic in recent weeks so I’m definitely grateful for this reprieve to recharge and get ready for the coming weeks.  Time has been flying by, which I’m not complaining about too much, but this just means that I really have to start getting my life together with a couple classes.

So my vacation started with a visit from my father and his girlfriend to DC. I hadn’t seen my dad in a couple months and he was asking about coming to visit me so I figured the first weekend of spring break would be ideal. Overall the weekend was pretty fun, mixed with the usual awkwardness that follows me everywhere I go and with anyone I come into contact with. I mean, it is kind of weird to spend an entire weekend with your father’s girlfriend in a hotel room…with no door separating their bedroom from where I slept in the living room sofa bed. I guess  I’ve slept in worse conditions. I also couldn’t stop thinking about how my life is turning into “Modern Family” (oldish, kind of embarrassing father with his more attractive and fun Colombian girlfriend ).

Regardless, we managed to have a pretty great time. We wandered around the National Gallery and managed to witness an arrest by the Washington Monument on our way to visit Abe. Crazy shit. The craziness continued that night after dinner at Nandos ( <33333) when a young drunken couple decided that the street would be a great place for a brawl. Lots of slapping, lots of yelling, lots of amazement. Before heading back to Long Island we got to have brunch with our cousins who live by my school, which was pretty great since I never get to see them.  Hopefully that will change.

The rest of the week can be summed up with PPP: Pizza, Paper, Planned Parenthood. Seriously, the amount of pizza i consume whenever I come home is borderline disgusting.  Within a 24 hour span I believe I had pizza for 3 meals. I kind of hate myself for it, but it’s so hard for me to go without decent pizza for so long. When Dominos is the best option, that just makes me sad. I’m looking at you, D.C.!

One pizza outing was mixed with a magical trip to Planned Parenthood with my best friend to go snatch some brochures for her research project.  Surprisingly our attempt at being discreet failed miserably. Granted, we shouldn’t be surprised that the ladies who work there would be suspicious of a young duo strolling into the waiting room without saying anything and rummaging through their pamphlets. Long story short, we were accosted by a very pleasant lady and ended up being lectured on the truth behind condoms and STDs. Just another ridiculous experience to add to my list with this girl.

Won’t say much about the paper since I don’t really care about it, but that consumed a couple days of the week. Other than that, the week included ice cream with wonderful friends, lots of tennis watching (Maria <3), even some tennis playing =), and a trip to NYC. A day that started so well ended tragically with the demise of 6 Georgetown Cupcakes that I bought in SoHo. I opened the box and it was if some kind of Frosting Volcano had erupted inside. So much carnage. But I spent $16 on those bastards so cupcake pudding had to suffice. (It was still pretty fantastic.)

For whatever reason I’m kind of looking forward to heading back to school tomorrow. Maybe it’s knowing that the semester is coming to an end soon, or that the weather in D.C. is just beyond beautiful now. Or I’m just ready to get out of my house again and be back on my own. But then I look over at my dog sleeping by my feet and the thought of leaving that guy behind again just…sucks. I really took those 5 years of being with him daily for granted. But May is coming pretty quickly, and so much is going to happen between now and then. Hopefully I’ll know where I’ll be in the Fall pretty soon (Ghana vs Uganda), or if I’ll be going to Israel with Birthright this Summer. Hopefully things will continue to go well at USAID and they won’t declare me incompetent, and hopefully my indifference towards my grades this semester won’t be too catastrophic.

To finish off this post, I thought I’d share a beautiful song by Corinne Bailey Rae, called “The Sea.” The lyrics are so amazing, especially the final verse, and I’m positive that she wrote this about her husband who passed away. Just another example of a song that I probably shouldn’t love so much, yet suits my taste perfectly.

My musical taste? Sadness. But not always!!! But usually….

Thanks for reading! =)

Ann Coulter…and Other Drivel

Well, it’s been a while. I knew it would be harder to update this after I started my internship with USAID, but I’m really gonna try for a once a week thing.

So, this evening, I was blessed with the opportunity and honor to witness a debate at my school between the always classy Ann Coulter and  that other guy I’m not nearly as interested in Lawrence O’Donnell. Now, last year I saw Ann Coulter speak to a room full of mostly Republicans, so I knew that today she wouldn’t be facing as many supporters. Needless to say, she spoke a lot of nonsense (which is what I was hoping for), and a lot of booing was involved. This is what my face looked like for a large portion of her time talking:

I attempted to take down as many quotes as possible throughout the debate on my phone, and thought I’d share a few of the highlights of the night:

  • The Moderator immediately brought up Rush Limbaugh’s comments about the Georgetown law student being a “prostitute” and a “slut” for her contraception beliefs.  A Republican spectator cheered at those words, and most of the audience booed him. This was literally within 5 seconds of starting.
  • On whether insurance should cover contraception, Ann uttered: “insurance is supposed to be for unexpected disaster.” Um…so what about check-ups, lady? Are people not supposed to check to see if they have cancer until they’re half-dead? Yikes.
  • Ann says that Occupy Wall Street participants are “pro-Mao.” I laughed out loud at that one!
  • Here comes my favorite part of the night. The Moderator asked for comments on the voting and drinking age. According to Ann, people should not be allowed to vote until we are able to pay for our own health insurance or until we are 26. And women shouldn’t be allowed to vote AT ALL!! Women are why the Republicans lost all the elections (supposedly). She said, “If the rest of my gender didn’t vote I wouldn’t miss it at all.” Then came my favorite moment. The audience booed her after her voting comments, and the Moderator asked her to respond to it. “Why, because people who shouldn’t have the vote are booing me?” Good lord, woman. You are just insane if you think you can get away with saying that at The George Washington University.

So yeah. I didn’t really pay attention to that other guy in the debate. Whatever. Bitches be crazy.

Now, onto a completely unrelated topic. As I mentioned in my last post, I am in the process of applying to study abroad programs in Ghana and Uganda. Shockingly, my parents, especially my mother, are not pleased with this. They are convinced that I will be taken hostage by some crazy pirate and killed. Ummm…so why did you let me go to Africa like 8 months ago?! Is Botswana and South Africa way safer than Ghana and Uganda? (Well…Uganda is probably not the safest place for me. Since there’s this whole “Kill the Gays” law they’re trying to pass. Wowzers.)

Anyway, after I told my mother that I’m not afraid of being killed while in Africa, that I don’t believe that will happen, she said to me, “That’s because you don’t value your life.” I haven’t been able to get those words out of my head. I was/am so completely offended, shocked and just hurt by those words. Is that really what she thinks of me? More unsettling has been the more recent thought, What if she’s right? Is she right?? Do I really not value my existence?

That can’t be true. Otherwise, why would I bother going to class, caring about my grades, going to my internship, looking both ways before I cross the street? There is so much that I look forward to, like getting an actual job, traveling the world, owning a bulldog maybe even falling in love.  I’m always thinking ahead, and I really don’t think that’s what people who don’t value their life spend time doing.

Now, do I have this insane fear of death just from traveling to another country that might not offer all the safety and wonderful shiz that America has? No. I don’t. I am not going to avoid traveling and working somewhere just because I’m white, American, and gay. I am not going to generalize about populations and cultures. There are good people and bad people anywhere in the world, in any society and community. There is no such thing as a “bad country” and a “good country.”  There are psychos in every country. Might I have to be a little more cautious in Africa? Perhaps.

When it comes down to it, I’m a really big believer in the world not being black and white. I don’t hate a lot of things, but generalizations are definitely on that list. Like people who hate all Republicans or all Democrats. Or people who think Israel is evil or Palestine is evil. The way I see it, there’s pretty crappy people on both sides. But also some pretty great people.

Things I do fear? Climbing, and subsequently, falling. I am not the most coordinated individual (evidenced by my trip into the river and fall down a tree in the span of 24 hours in Africa). This is why I avoid climbing any kind of mountain. There’s a lot of anxiety, a lot of thinking that at any moment I’m just gonna slip and barrel down this rock formation of death. How I managed to survive all the climbing in Africa amazes me. Wearing my hiking boots probably helped (unlike in Peru when I decided that sneakers would be great hiking footwear. Down the mountain I went!!)

So no. I do value my life. I think I just need to explain to my mother that I’m studying international development, that going to these “dangerous” places  is what I want to be doing, and probably will be doing for years to come.   But the fact that I’m spending so much time thinking about it makes me wonder if I don’t fully believe it.

Maybe I don’t value my life enough. Maybe I spend too much time caring about what part of the world I’ll be visiting next, or what future job I’m going to have, or when whatever assignment is due, and don’t spend enough time caring about my life today. I think about my personal life today and…Lord. There really isn’t one. I make no effort to forge relationships with people, even in those rare times when I come across amazing people whom I would love to be close with. When it comes down to it, I just don’t know how to start friendships. Not sure what that’s symptomatic of, but it’s probably not anything pleasant. There’s one person I would to just text go up to and say “Hey! Let’s get coffee sometime when we’re both not too busy!” But, I just can’t. I know I’m going to look back and regret not having those 10 seconds of bravery. I have a list of excuses that include “Well, I’m going to be in Africa in the Fall so what’s the point of starting a friendship now?” Or “Well, he’s got like 9,000 friends in his life already who also think he’s great, so why would he even want another one?” I think I just don’t want to admit out loud that the real reason I don’t try is because I don’t think I have much to offer.

Do I value my life? Yes. My future life. That (hopeful) time when I won’t be in the way of myself. My present life is what I need to start caring about more.

Well, if you made it through this “drivel,” your reward is this beautiful clip of Alicia Keys singing “Prelude To A Kiss” in Africa. Acapella is my favorite.