Monday, September 24, 2007

So, I went away this weekend for another meeting, which was pretty enjoyable, and I walked away with a good several things added to my to-do list, but I guess that's what happens when you're the one who gets the paycheck. No complaints, and we actually have some things lined up that should go well, and as usual it was great to see everyone, and we had some crazy times. haha.
It was at the Lucerne Inn, which is up in the mountains and is absolutely beautiful. The accomodations and food leave some to be desired, but I guess you just pay for the view.
But anyway- before we departed on that venture, my mom got an email from one of our theater friends who was moving. She needed to get rid of her beautfiul, well behaved beagle before they could move. My mom had been contemplating getting another dog, but she just said, "when it's the dog we're supposed to have, it'll be brought to us." so sure enough, this dog sounded just like what we should have. So my mom made the phone call (and called my dad of course...) and yesterday Lizzy the Lemon Pie beagle arrived at our house.

We all have to retrain ourselves to have a nice dog. I'm left alone with her during the day and this morning I even let her lay in bed with me and I didn't care, but we've sort of just been staring at each other, because she doesn't know who I am and i'm like "I pet you and you just sit there, without growling. Weird." But I'll admit it is pretty cool to have company during the day again, and you know... company I'm not terrified of and have to avoid...

Anyway- so that's another huge change in our family. There's definitely been a lot these past couple of months. But it's so good! I'm happy

Now playing: 10 Years - Autumn Effect
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, September 20, 2007

NFI Grantee Meeting:

So I just got home from my first business meeting ever. It was a D70 Grantee meeting, which means it was all other states who receive the grant that we have and we discuss what we're doing with it and the varying progresses.
It was amazing. It was completely mentally exhausted, but equally exciting. My mom and I flew into DC Monday afternoon, and I was reminded of how I love flying so much! I think being above the clouds is one of the most amazing things ever, and it was such a literalization of how far I've come and how I really am "above" Farmington, and everything I've gotten through. I felt like I was in a movie.
The meeting wasn't until the next day, so we had some time to go shopping around the city and get dinner. We went into American Apparel, and there was a little Australian Shepherd puppy who wanders around the store wearing one of their T-shirts, and he was absolutely adorable.

Then since it was just the two of us, we had a sushi dinner and toasted to a new business venture. After dinner, we went back to the hotel, got changed and met Patti in the lobby for drinks with "the national folks." We had come home. All of these people had been in "the system" for years and we're finally at this point where we can get together at a national level and discuss the changes we've made. We shared stories and experiences of challenges and successes and my mom got to talk to so many different parents that had been in similar situations. As she said, "it was like drowning for so many years and then finally coming up for air."

The next morning was the actual meeting and we wanted to take our time getting ready, so we ordered breakfast in the room and I had a divine croissant and authentic cappuccino, which was he perfect start to the day. After going downstairs and finally figuring out where I needed to go, I got registered, with my official name tag and title which was pretty cool, and we had some time to meet other people and chat. then we went to our first breakout session which had various states talking about their parent to parent programs they have, and although they didn't mention youth until we asked them, it was a pretty good session.

It was weird to realize that I was the only "youth" there. Everyone talked about their Youth Advisory Committees (YAC) but I'm truly the only youth to be hired to do this full time and actually be the voice of all the youth that aren't in positions, or can't speak up. It's pretty intense. But I'm proud to be that voice. Everyone was so excited to have me there and told me all about their youth counsels and what they're doing or hope to achieve and how I can help. It was awesome to be so respected and treated as a professional equal.

After lunch we had our breakout session about our youth involvement, and I actually spoke to everyone about how I got involved and everything we've done as far as planning conferences and everything, and what our next steps were. We presented with Arizona (who's reps were so awesome and had cute bags! One of them looked like Britney Spears and had started a Coach girls club at our table), and North Carolina and everyone had really good programs going. It was a great presentation.

It was a ridiculously long day, but after all the focusing mom and I went out with Deb and Toni and one of their friends Beth, and we sat in the bar for awhile, where they were playing the entire Michael Buble CD so I pretty much died. I've decided I love him a lot.

Then we hit the town and had dinner at Macaroni Grill which was divine, since my ultimate love is pasta! And while we were waiting, Toni and I went across the street to Ulta, which is like a Sephora, but it has drugstore brands too. It was awesome. I'm so going back in October!

After the next sessions the next day- we took a cab to the airport, and we shopped, and I finally bought the Vera Bradley bag I had debated about all through college. I finally have a stable income and it was time to reward myself. It was just meant to be that I bought it in a DC airport instead of Farmington!

Now I'm home and exhausted and leaving again tomorrow for our Family/Youth Advisory Council meeting, but at least that's in Maine. But I'm busy...and Happy!

so is life! I'm a business woman now!!! what what!!!

you know you love me!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

It’s starting to feel like fall. I guess that makes sense, since it’s almost the last week in August, and you know…this is the first time in years I actually don’t mind! I’m actually sort of looking forward to fall this year. Being home and warm, enjoying pumpkin spice lattes all week, instead of just on the weekends… all the little things that make fall good, without the stress and misery of going back to school.

My nails are French manicured, I have a pink sapphire on my finger, showtunes in my heart (not that that’s anything new) and slowly, I feel the remains of Farmington leaving me. Not the people, or the memories by any means, but I feel the new “grownup” Mal emerging. I’m content with my job, and my life and the fact that I have things to look forward to. Seeing Les Mis after fourteen years of knowing it and living with it, really solidified a happy release and sense of closure, and now it’s like I can just go forward. Or I’m just a nerd who finds too much symbolism in everything. Oh well, either way.

ANYWAY- the trip!

On the Way!
We left for the city on Sunday, August 12th, in our van that did not have air conditioning. It broke a week before we were supposed to leave and we can’t invest that much to fix it when the car is ready to go anyway, but we were silly and took that car anyway so Mais and I could each have our own long seat instead of bringing my van with AC. We realized that mistake when we entered about
Connecticut and it was 94 OUTSIDE. I thought I had heatstroke… but we’d just stop and rehydrate and when we got to the city it didn’t matter anyway. OH- and before we even left, we called the hotel to confirm our reservations, and they had them for the wrong day! So we wouldn’t have a room til Tuesday night…but we called my aunt and she told us to go ahead and leave, and by the time we were out of Maine she had called us back and said everything was all set and gave us someone to talk to. Phew. We were set!

When we got into the city, it was about a thousand degrees, but even with heatstroke I nearly jumped out of the car when we drove by the Neil Simon Theater and Hairspray was letting out and the cast was outside. Obviously we didn’t stop, but it was just the introduction to the excitement. Oh, and we drove by Gershwin and I’m pretty sure I saw Fiyero walking down the street with his boyfriend in tow (although I’m not sure who’s playing him right now, but he LOOKED like Norbert, so I would’ve casted him!)

Our room was small, but had two beds, and we really weren’t there all that much anyway. The beds were COMFY (not W Hotel comfy…but good nonetheless). After we got settled in (and showered and changed since we were sweaty and melted) we ventured into Times Square to find dinner. We ended up at a pan Asian place called Ruby Foo’s which was pretty yummy, and had a great atmosphere. We chatted with our waiter Doug and learned that he was only there for about a week more before he began the national tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels! Naturally we got his autograph, haha. We’re dorks. We were still totally wound up after dinner and we didn’t want to waste a minute so we walked around Times Square for awhile, just to see what we wanted to hit before we left! The crowd was soooo intense since all the shows were letting out and apparently Sundays are nuts, which is funny since in Maine it’s like “oh look, Sunday. The world is closed!” It was amazing.

Day 1
There was definitely no trouble sleeping. Maisy didn’t even end up sprawled across the bed, so I slept great, and we woke up bright and early at 8 the next morning! We asked our bellhop where he recommended for breakfast and we went to the Applejack café which was really good. We ate quickly, and then ventured to Madame Tussaud’s. I went when we saw RENT in 03, but obviously they get new stuff all the time, and Maisy had never been before! We all had a blast, and it definitely was updated a bit since the last time we went. On the first floor alone there were like four people we had met in real life! It was pretty sweet.

When we got to one of the last floors there was an American Idol exhibit where you could pretend to audition for the show, but it was really karaoke, my mom went to pose with the pretend Simon (cause she loves him…) and clearly Maisy and I found the book of songs and told the lady to sign us up for Out Tonight. Two little girls went and sang Bop to the Top from high school musical (Maisy enjoyed every minute of it!) terribly (well duh, cause they’re like five but it was cute-ish) then Mais and I got to go, and we had our “audition” photo taken, and then we sang, like we do and by then an audience had formed and we actually got a huge applause, and the lady running it said “Whoa, I think that is the first time people didn’t even glance at the words!” Naturally. Now we can add NYC to our karaoke repertoire! Bout time!

After that adventure, we moved next door to Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditoreum. This definitely was not as fun, but it made you go “whoa…” and there was a lot to look at. I got to stand next to the world’s tallest man (was over 8 feet at age 15….and I thought I had it rough!) and it was a great opportunity to take some fun pictures!

By the time we were done there, the day was only half done and we got an amazing lunch at a deli that had absolutely delicious salads for really cheap. Good eyes Mal, good eyes!

After substantially refueling on wonderful salad goodness, we crossed the street to the Hello Kitty Store. Yes folks, a STORE. I am so going back there when I get an apartment! It was so much fun. You can do an entire baby’s room in Hello Kitty, and they had bikes and jewelry and you name it. I didn’t get anything, but it was definitely a fun store!

We headed down to fifth avenue where the real fun began. Granted, I didn’t shop that much, as I didn’t exactly feel like laying down $300 on a pair of sunglasses when it really came down to it. Plus, the ones I want are Coach and I need to give our wee Portland store my business, but it was awesome just seeing huge Prada and LV stores and Gucci ads the size of an entire building…Mmmm. And the place we did end up at was nothing to sneeze at.

Did you know the doors of Tiffany’s look like doors of a vault? The elevator is the same thing. Yes there’s an elevator…because the stuff I can afford is on the third floor, but if you really want a $35,000 diamond encrusted bumblebee engagement ring, first floor is where you should be! I however was not in the market for that (nor would I ever be if I even had 35k to spend…) so we went upstairs in the marble elevator, and on the third floor, Dad and Maisy hung out in the comfy couches in the “living room” of sorts, by the window and mom and I searched the counter. I knew I wanted sterling silver but there were a couple I was torn between a few. After a little while, and trying on a few rings (I’m actually a 5 ½ in Tiffany’s… who would’ve thought) but when the lady pulled it out… I knew. I had seen it online but it looked a tiny bit better on my finger!

It’s a pink sapphire! I’ve wanted one like since I knew they existed, and I’m absolutely enamored with it! The lady was absolutely superb and treated me wonderfully. She wrapped it all up (even though I wore it out I still got the box and the little bag) and wished me congratulations on graduating! Lovely.

By now Maisy was pretty much exhausted, so we began to head home, but FAO Schwartz was right nearby and she wanted to stop, so we did. You’re never really too old for that place! They had a huge section of one floor devoted to Harry Potter, with an entire line of Madame Alexander dolls of all the characters, and I had to force myself very firmly to not buy a stuffed Crookshanks kitty. I do have a weakness for orange kitties.

It was pretty much 1000 degrees after this, so we took a cab back to the hotel to get changed and freshened up for dinner (of course somehow we ended up sitting in Central park for an hour so Maisy and I could get our portraits’s mom’s “treasure…” )

Dinner was at our favorite place in the whole city- Ellen’s Stardust Diner. The wait staff is all aspiring actors who are either between jobs, or waiting to get their “big break” and they sing while they wait. The food is amazing too. The entire time we were there it was like they had planned a customized playlist just for us. The first waitress, (Lea) sang Like a Prayer. We always would get to know the people and see what they had done/were doing, and it was really cool. The waitress we had that night was in training at the restaurant but had just finished touring with Chita Rivera in A Dancer’s Life, I was like “oh my god! I love her! We did a show together in 98!” That gets their attention. Once they realized we knew our stuff and were huge showtunes freaks (even though we’re from Maine) they basically performed FOR us. Our waiter, we found out had just done the national tour of RENT, so the trainee, April was like “he says he’ll do something from RENT for you.” Sweet! We figured he’d do Seasons of Love, or something that anybody would know, UM NO. He got another waiter (Scooooott), and they did What you Own. Of all the songs in the show. I died. He gave Maisy and me his Myspace (we’re Myspace friends with the entire wait staff) Later that night, we were looking at it on my Treo. Um yea…he was Mark. In the national tour of RENT. Sweet.

After that, we were obviously too wired to go to bed (like every night) so we adopted the routine of just walking around Times Square before bed. That night we ended up at the world’s biggest Toys R Us, and Maisy and I bought Aquadots, and played in Barbie’s house. It was so randomly fun!

Day 2

I actually slept really well every night. I think it helped to just go until we dropped because otherwise I would’ve gone crazy. We were up at about 8 every morning. The next morning, I had a lovely raspberry mocha courtesy of the dad once again then we headed out to breakfast. We didn’t feel like thinking of a new place to go, so we just went back to Ellen’s since we loved it and it was right around the corner from our hotel. Scott was still working, and he was our waiter again. Maisy was completely star struck from the night before, so he made a special point to serenade her and I don’t think I’ve ever seen her turn so red. It was perfect. And I had the best real and true cappuccino ever!

Then my favorite part of the day (and one of the highlights of the entire trip) occurred. We took a cab to Henri Bendel’s where the MAC studio. This store brought shivers to my spine and I think I had a storegasm…that Tiffany’s didn’t even cause. The entire first floor was different cosmetic brands, and there was a blue velvet staircase lined with Chanel sunglasses. It was like a Disney movie created just for me! I was completely in awe, and we didn’t have that much time, so I sighed and bypassed all of that, and went straight to the MAC studio since that was what was on the itinerary. Now this is the part that blew my mom away I guess, but it worked. A good friend of mine said “walk in like you own the place.” And so my motto has become “Walk in like you own the place and they’ll treat you like you do!” Before I even got to the MAC counter, I was just walking around and a guy from another counter said “How’s it going sweetie? OH MY GOD I love your eyeshadow!” Tres fabulous. It made me skip, and I just replied, “Thanks! Off to buy more!”

The MAC lady asked me if there was something I needed and I said “Yes! This lovely lady is starting high school next week and she needs a look that is basic and age appropriate but makes her look as gorgeous as she is!” And poof! A lovely makeup guy came and whisked a wide-eyed Maisy away and did exactly what we asked for! She loved it, I loved it, mom approved, and it was easy enough for her to do herself in the morning before school. Mission accomplished. Then of course it was my turn and I said “show me how to use my purples!” And he did, and I bought a few things, and we both looked stunning for our show that evening! In and out, easy as pie! Now mom is intrigued and I’m going to take her to the lovelies in Portland! Yay for being a MAC Family!

After being MAC’ed (that sounds like a bad thing…) we headed over to the Met for the afternoon. It was actually very interesting. There was an impressionist exhibit, so we saw Monets and Renoires and a Van Gogh (although nothing too good of his), and there was a greek art exhibit of all ancient artifacts which was really fun! It definitely a different experience and more culture than we’ll ever get in Portland. I’m really glad Maisy got to go (even though she was a bit cranky in the beginning). We also took pictures on the steps and basked in the sun for awhile a la Gossip Girl.

We had a few hours to kill before we needed to leave for the first show we were seeing (Chicago) so we ate an early dinner. We were going to just try a random sushi restaurant by the hotel but as we were Taking a cab home we realized we were going to go right by our favorite place by Lincoln Center where Maisy really wanted to eat so we just stopped there. It was just as amazing as we all remembered!

After eating, we grabbed a cab back to the hotel, and I almost died, but mom saved me. I grabbed the handle of the cab to get in (cause it was like a mini van kind) and the handle came clean off and I would’ve skull splatted on the pavement if mom hadn’t been behind me. That would’ve ruined the entire week.

BUT I didn’t die, and we made it back to the hotel. Maisy, mom and I went to a store nearby that had adorable clothes and accessories for way too good prices, and I got four pairs of earrings for $15! They were buy 3 get 1 free and they were all $5, and Maisy got a whole new wardrobe for school.

Back at the hotel, we got glammed up, and headed over to the theater where Chicago was. Ironically it was across from Spring Awakening and we all got a little emo, but we got over it. We took proper care as tourists and posed by the posters before we went inside. The theater was cute and small, and did you know theaters have bars? They do. And you can pre-order a drink for intermission. Lovely, although I didn’t. I wanted all my theater experiences to be entirely pure and remembered. They also have “booster seats” now, which are velour cushions that match the seat so it is entirely classy and conspicuous. I proudly took full advantage. I’m not going to pay for Broadway tickets and then not see to the best of my ability when there’s a way that I can, that’s silly!

As soon as the overture started I remembered, “oh my god I love theater!” I just got ridiculously excited. The show was good. It was very funny, and the cast was super talented. Billy Flynn was not James Naughton, and Velma Kelly was not Chita Rivera, but just the same it was a really fun show. It was really cool though, because I had done the ’98 gala with Chita and Jim, and realized after seeing the real show they had USED some of the real choreography in our All That Jazz number! Eek! If I knew then what I know now! Haha!

After the show, we went to ELLEN’S! I had an amazing white chocolate martini, and they didn’t even question my ID (yay MAC makeover!) Again the wait staff was amazing, and one of the waiters asked “who just saw Chicago?” So of course we squealed and he proceeded to sing Mr. Cellophane! Again, we got to know our waitress (Amanda!) and she said she’d do something Broadway for us. She got up and said “Does anyone like Wicked” We sat in silence.

KIDDING! Just keeping you on your toes!

We shrieked and jumped in our seats, and she and another waitress (Jen) did a killer rendition (and I don’t say that about just anyone, you all know that) of Defy Gravity, and I almost go teary, but they made it funny (Jen! Come with me!, “I can’t! I have to bring these people their milkshakes!”) and she even got a broom at one point. It was just perfect. Then Amanda did The Wizard & I by herself, just for us!

This was the first night we just went home after since it was already like midnight, and the next day was our big Les Miz day! We woke up a little later and took our time getting ready for brunch at Tavern on the Green. We all looked quite fabulous, and we took a cab over to Central Park. They didn’t open til 11:30, which is when our reservations were for, so we took awhile just hanging out taking pictures, and Maisy was into the carriage horses. She had been in quite the mood until we got there and she saw horses, then her mood was transformed. Soon it was time to go in, and we walked through the inside, underneath the amazing chandelier and were brought out the garden where we were going to eat because it was another perfect day! The food was absolutely wonderful. Even the bottled Fiji water (yes, they served us Fiji water. Amazing) and selection of bread and rolls we had was delectable! It was so much fun, and we felt completely at home (much of how we felt all week). After the best meal of smoked salmon I’ve had in my entire life, and a dessert of crème brulee maisy and I didn’t even have time to take a picture of before we devoured it, we caught a cab back to the theater for Les Mis.

We got there fair enough in advance, but still had to wait in line. We bought a program to flip through and were bursting with so much excitement it didn’t even feel like we had to wait. When we got inside, we were escorted to our seat, in THE 2ND ROW. I literally could’ve reached out and poked the conductor of the pit. It was so surreal. For the beginning of the first act the people in the first row weren’t even there, so it was literally me, then the stage. We made eye contact with the actors.
as soon as the show began, I knew it was going to be intense, not just because we were there and it was live, but I had been dreaming, and waiting to see this show for about fourteen years. I remember the week it closed on Broadway. I was trying to figure out a way to get there and see it, and be back before my senior prom, so every note and song was laced with so many memories, and represented a chapter of my life. I almost began crying at the second scene, but held it back. The second act began with On my Own and that was pretty much all she wrote. By the end I was just sobbing. I always end up next to my dad when this happens, and he’s just so great. He tried to make contact with me, and I just smiled through my tears and wouldn’t look at him, I didn’t want to miss a second, then he patted my leg, like he does. He was just as into the show as we were, and talked about it for days after. During curtain call, I literally was able to walk up to the stage, and as I sniffled, and nodded with approval, the little boy who played Gavroche just looked at my tear streaked face and smiled. I just felt this immense sense of closure and appreciation for all that had happened and the fact that- here I was, seeing a show I grew to love when I was eight, and finally, after graduating college it had happened, the battle had been won and I could move on. It was time for a new chapter, and another show. My whole family was there, together, sharing this moment of accomplishment, love and intensity. It was just so perfect. It sounds silly, I guess I can’t really explain, but it had powers beyond the stage…or as much power as any stage can.

After we bought Tshirts we left the theater and began to try to hail a cab, but there weren’t many around. Maisy pointed down the street to the exit of the theater and said “What are they all doing?” To the crowd of people huddled by the theater.

I told her, “They’re waiting for the cast to come out.” She just looked at me and I said, “We don’t have anywhere to be, LET’S GO!” so we went to join the group and after my mom’s initial “omg be careful speech,” I said, “thank you, but seriously, I’m 22 years old.” My sister hung around waiting for something to happen and I said, “oh no Babe, you gotta shoooove your way up there!” And we did!
We ended up right on the gate where the actors were coming out, and we got to chat with most of them. Maisy even caught Lea Solonga, and we have her autograph on one of our programs (who- I recently discovered is the singing of Mulan and Princess Jasmine. Whoa!) We met Marius, Gavroche, the Inn Keeper and his wife (the inn keeper was Roger
DeBris in the Producers Movie, and his wife was Ann Harada, Christmas Eve from Ave Q!!!!) As the crowd started to disperse since all the actors had mostly come out, we left the gate and went to see mom who had just sort of wandered off to do her own thing. As I was walking up to her, she approached me and said “Hey, Valjean and I were just talking and he wants to meet you.”

Wait… he wants to meet me. My mom had totally waited at the end of the crowd til everyone had done the meet and greet thing and was just hanging out with Valjean on the sidewalk and apparently she had told him about me. He was super nice, and we talked for a bit and compared tattoos. He has one on his arm and wanted a wrist one but was afraid it would hurt. I told him to suck it up it didn’t hurt and was totally worth it. Now we’re MySpace friends.

After awhile, everyone went on their way and we caught a cab (well, I caught our cab) back to the hotel. The entire thing was so exciting and surreal; it was weird to see it end. Fourteen years and poof, it was done.

We got back to the hotel and freshened up for dinner with the family from CT. They had trained in for the evening and we had a huge dinner all together at the hotel restaurant. It was good to catch up with everyone and tell them about our week. The food wasn’t the best we had, but the bread and company was good!

After dinner, we didn’t want to waste our last night going to bed early so we hit up times square again and randomly went to the M&M Store which was like three stories tall, then my one request was to go to the Virgin Megastore! So we finally did that! Three floors of music and media = Whoa…There was even a Michael Jackson dancer/impersonator who was really really good! We took great advantage of the $10 CD sale (spring awakening, jersey boys, Hairspray oh my!) then we headed back to one last night in our Times Square beds!

The final morning consisted of a final breakfast at Ellen’s where the waitstaff praised us for our patronage and bid us farewell musically, and we packed up the car and drove home. The four days felt like minutes, but not a single one was wasted, and none will be forgotten. We’re already planning our next trip (although…because of my job our next vaca may be in Miami!!!) …The Little Mermaid hits Broadway in November! ;-)

All the pics...just in case you haven't seen them!, part deux, part tres, foooour., The end?

Now playing: Avril Lavigne - Keep Holding On
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I got my first paycheck today. I'm so excited. Let's just say it's more than I've ever gotten in a refund check or anything...and I'm set for NY (and probably some prep before then)!
I just love my job. I had a video conference this morning when I had just woken up and was still drinking coffee and it was so laid back but awesome. My new desk is all set up, I met with my supervisor (one of them) Patti, at my Starbucks (she loved it) and I'm finally feeling productive. I think I'm still high and in love from last weekend is just amazing right now. I bought Hanson's new CD The Walk and I seriously have not stopped listening to it since I got last Monday...or something. It's amazing. I need to stop being in love with them...again. I ended up seeing Hairspray last week too. Maisy and I were at the pool hanging out, and Matt called to tell me he didn't blow off my Text from the night before. He let me go to read Harry Potter (omfg #7 please come in the mail tomorrow!!!!), but Maisy told me to call him back and invite him over. So I did...and he ended up coming over and going swimming for awhile.
We had fun, and when we were hanging out, drying off, we got talking about Hairspray and concluded we should all go see it. So we did. Maisy and I were the cool kids that sang all the songs we knew (but we're good, so it's ok....and we didn't just pretend to know the words)

But it was WAY better than I expected and I'm in love with Zac Efron, and I'm not ashamed to say it!!!!! OR that I bought a "high school musical: ON STAGE" T-shirt when I ushered for it at CLT! (mostly cause it had the CLT logo on it).
(even though that was really...different...and I miss my generation of theater kids...)

So I dunno... I just needed to write and say how awesome things are. I'm SO effing happy. I write when there's trauma and tragedy, and I'm being emo, but I figured I'd do some random updating. Yay for that.

Here's a couple more random things of late (aka what has Mal bought):

~ Starbucks' iced raspberry mochas rock my world.

~My MAC order and HP 7 should be here any day now

~ I just got another MAC eyeshadow (creme de violet- YES) AND lipglass (elaborate) for less than full retail of either one from an LJ sale... so I'm pumped!
~I caved and bought AIM for my treo. uh ohhhh. :)

That's all for now. I'm going to go read and sleep in the AC! Yay.

♥ the Mal

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Saturday was basically going to go one of two ways...and well... it was amazing. Everything was perfect from beginning to end. Do you know how rare that is?

We did end up meeting quite a bit later than originally planned, but that was fine cause it meant I didn’t have to get up at 7, so yay for that. My dad and I drove do Mass and met Tori and Colin at a Cumby’s. We got snacks and drinks and departed for Boston. We only drove around in a circle once, and we listened to Hanson to get us psyched up. (and Music & Lyrics cause Colin obviously bought the soundtrack, lol). We parked in Quincy (VIP with my handicapped hanger thingy) and took the T in, which was enjoyable…between me taking pictures of brick walls and discussing sperm donation, we pretty much laughed the entire time. We also concluded we were all wearing brand name everything. Tori had a Hollister shirt, Colin was American Eagle (gasp… iiiii know), and I had Aeropostale…so we represented and it was awesome.

By the time we got into the city we realized it was like already almost 5:00, so we decided to just find the club. So we did, and it was right by Fenway. We stood awkwardly around for a bit, trying to decide whether we shoul go get food or just wait in the line (which was already pretty long, and some people had camped out on the street… hmm no thanks!) Colin had the idea to ask the guy if there was some sort of reserved seating or something so I could actually SEE the show and enjoy it instead of worrying about dying
the entire time! He said, “Absolutely” and told us to remind him when we got to the front of the line. We went to wait in line, and we were right outside of this bar by Fenway, so it was pretty much fun to watch and it didn’t feel like we waited that long. Tori and I dubbed it Real World Fenway and analyzed all the flirting scenarios that occurred in front of us. To which Colin just looked at us funny and said “how did you get that from that!?!?!” oooh boys….

Finally, after like an hour the line moved and Colin and I showed the guy our ID and got over 21 wrist bands. Buah hahahahaha When we got to the guy we talked to about better seating, he referred us to another guy, who said “yep, come with me…” and basically moved us to the front of the line saying “scuse me…coming through” So we didn’t even have to mingle with everyone else in line! He brought us up a level to the reserved seating and through the velvet rope. We had cushiony seats, our own bar, and wait staff so we really didn’t even have to get up that often and we could actually SIT to watch the show, and not worry about getting squished or suffocated! It was absolutely fabulous. Of course there was a guy who was completely sketchy and tried hitting on all of us (including Colin) and he even wrote out all his contact info for the first blonde girl he saw. Tori and I were like “yea Colin, that’s why we brought yooooou.”

There was a mediocre opening act who basically put us to sleep, but then the show started and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I haven’t been to a concert in years and I had forgotten how intense live music can be. And OH MY GOD. Taylor is literally so gorgeous its painful…every time he did that running his fingers through his hair thing I just died inside. It makes absolute sense to me now as to why he has three children. The only sadness lies in the fact that they’re not mine…

I can’t even explain it any further. I jumped, I took pictures, I almost cried. And I laughed sooooo hard. Tori is wonderful, and we had so much fun! We talked a lot, about everything, shallow and serious, and we really related on a lot of levels which was awesome as well as finishing each other’s sentences about the amazing British guy who asked us for directions at the train station!

After the show, we were going to wait to try to meet the boys, but it was already 10:00 and we still had to eat something and catch the train back and we were all getting tired so we headed started the walk back to the T and stopped at Longhorn for a quick dinner. The train and car ride back was somewhat long, and we were all tired, but it still went off without a hitch, and we laughed at the random guy who had fallen asleep sitting up….

I don’t even know what more to say. I took a chance, I brought in an old part of my life with a new, important one and definitely tightened a friendship with someone I’m totally meant to be friends with, and it all worked out. I felt stronger, matured, and just entirely…happy. Everything is different from last year, but it took something from my past to make it all concrete. It came full circle with blue skies, and good songs and I have not a complaint in the world. This definitely is going to be one of the best summers I’ve ever had!

For more videos of OUR exact show: go here!

~the malphie


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fireworks & Wine

I always go into a strange emotionally frenzy around the fourth of July. It's silly, I know it isn't like Valentine's day or anything, where I'm technically allowed to be bitter and cynical, but I get all torn between being excited because it's a big social evening in the summer, which is pretty much what I live for, and feeling completely low that I'm alone and have "nobody" to be with when like everyone around me does. But somehow, no matter how the day goes, everything seems right during the fireworks, and the day ends with some sort of closure. I've been in the hospital, but home with my family in time to see the fireworks, or I've spent the day with family just kind of floating, then by the time the fireworks came I was....well, I wasn't sitting with my family...and I guess that's part of what makes things so hard. I'm tired of that change, but I need to just get the hell over it.

Anyway. So I was really excited for finally just having a day in the sun by the pool. We all were. But of course as soon as we get there, which of course was hours after we would've liked to...the sun was gone. And it was windy. The sun appeared for short intervals, but it was never long enough to "lay out." boo. Maisy and I made mango margaritas (hers was virgin, obviously) and even those were kind of icky in my opinion. I really just wanted to drink my coconut/pineapple rum.
We had dinner... lobster but Maisy and I got Chinese cause the grandparents knew we weren't keen on the crustaceans, which was pretty cool (note to self: Mandarin buffet = good deals and good food).
But at dinner, something was said that just struck a nerve with me. I tried to handle it, but I was just pushed over the edge and made ridiculously uncomfortable. I felt like I was just going to cry, so I excused myself, and I took my wine and makeup and went to get ready for the ever popular "liberty fest."
People finished eating and I could hear everyone figuring out who was going where, when, and I couldn't even hear to be involved in a decision so I just stayed in the bathroom. and i just put my head against the tile wall and cried. I don't even know why. I wasn't particularly sad. I was confused, and hurt, I guess. I tried to be enthusiastic and I get shut down because in regards to the fireworks "well if you've seen one, you've seen them all." and the liberty fest is just "huge crowds and chaos." But if I ACT unenthusiastic it doesn't fly either, so I just gave up. And it was the first year I had to get ready by myself, knowing I'd probably spend most of the evening that way too, in a random grassy spot miles away from any civilization.
I did my thing and composed myself so I could actually put eyeliner on (basically the BEST motivation to not cry- FYI)
We got to the bridge and honestly it wasn't too bad. Once I get there I DO remember that I like the fourth of July. I scanned the bridge for people I WANTED to see, and ended up bringing Mariah back to our secret island, and Matt called when he got in and came to visit for awhile. Neither of them stayed which was kind of lame, but it definitely passed some time.
Every time I see Matt it reminds me how much I miss him, and that we need to hang out more.

They ended up shooting the fireworks off about an hour early, because OBVIOUSLY it began raining. But here's the weird thing.... it was REALLY COOL.
My grandmothers had umbrellas, and I just sat there with my hood on and just looked up at the sky. The wind picked up and the rain just came down on my face, and the fireworks were going off, and it was so intense. It was just the power of the elements and I just let myself go with it without thinking about anything else.

When we got home, something else amazing happened. I checked my e-mail (duh) and I had an email from a woman in Colorado who's nephew had just been diagnosed with MID. Obviously she had done research online, and she came across me and Maisy. She wrote me an e-mail saying how I was such an inspiration, and we were the hope that told her and her family that the disease was not a death sentence and what had we done to make it where we were today? How do you respond to that? She had attached pictures of the baby, saying he's also a Gemini with a terrific smile and strong spirit. And I sort of just stared at the e-mail for awhile. I told my mom about it, and she instantly got on the phone with her, and then the mother of the baby.
But how is that for putting things in perspective? It's overwhelming. I spend my day crying because I have to spend time with my family and OMGZZ I DON'T HAVE A BOYFRIEND....
and...people turn to me because I'm ALIVE and doing things like that! I'm SO incredibly lucky to be healthy and ABLE to worry about stupid shit like boys and my nails...because I mean...Maisy and I are IT. I don't want to sound like a huge downer, but that is sort of hard to comprehend sometimes. Like we're the inspirations...
I don't dwell on it. I'll always just be me. A shallow bitch who will tell you if I don't like your shoes, and is even more cranky without her coffee, but I mean, in the big picture. I'm kind of a big deal!

It was just that sort of wrapped up my day with warmth and made me look back on everything that happened with more fondness than bitterness and really be grateful for what I have, and everything I am and everything I'm doing.
...and things are just going to keep getting better....

Friday, June 29, 2007

I went to meet with the people I'm going to be working with/for. It was incredible. First off, I had to meet with the superintendent of the Maranacook school district, since I'll be on their payroll, and it started off sort of intimidating since I've NEVER had anything of a job interview before, but it was comforting to know I already had the job, and it was basically just to prove I knew what I was doing and would be an asset to the team.
He began professional, and sort of edgy, and he asked me "So...what do you know about the Maine Support Network?"
And I proceeded to tell him, "Well, I've been involved with them for about 7 years," and he was immediately impressed and relaxed. We chatted for about 20 minutes and it ended with us talking about camp (He asked, "so do you do any public speaking...") And he closed with. "WELL. you really made my day!"
which clearly made MY day. I felt really really good about it, and the fact that he was psyched to have me on board!

Then I rode over to the MSN office with a lovely lady named Coleen, and she was wearing lime green crocs, which was only ok cause it showed me these people were super down to Earth, but when we got to the "office" I nearly died.
First of all, it's basically just an adorable house and it just happens to look like I decorated the place. Never have I walked in somewhere and had such an "oh my god, I belong here!" reaction. The first thing I saw was a Vera Bradley towel, about which I gushed, and come to find out, one of the girls' (who is absolutely lovely!) family owns the CALICO PATCH IN FARMINGTON!!! So I totally know them!
Coleen asked if I liked coconut coffee (favorite!) and she made me some, then we went to sit in another office that had THE SAME exact PURPLE carpeting as my room, as well as the purple desk chair I just retired!
A bit later, I met with my supervisor, and she asked me questions about my working/learning style, and we just chatted. Her signature colors are pink, purple (um remember my room at school anyone?) and zebra! She's amazing. She told me all sorts of things I need to get for work (they're going to give me a work expenses credit card!) and one of them is a bluetooth headset and she already had a pink one, as well as ringtones for all her coworkers. We're SO on the same page! I can't wait to start. truly.

After being pumped from all of that, I called Colin and we went to Starbucks. Sometimes we go out and it's like we both have so much that is unsaid, and it's strained and weird, but this was one of those times that was just wonderful, where we're just 100% open and comfortable, and we reminisced about old dramas, theater drama, and laughed way too hard at stuff that wasn't funny. It was good.

When I got home I realized I ached all over and didn't feel that great. People were going to reconvene that evening at Brandon's but I layed down for a couple hours, and woke up feeling warm. I had a low grade fever and I decided I had better pass and rest up since Colin's party was the next day.
I went to bed early and felt fine the next day....weird.
Mom and I went to Portland for a dr's appointment and came home to get ready for the soiree. Which was absolutely FABULOUS.
Jess was there, and all my boys of summer.
It was seriously such a great time. My parents went too and we all had an amazing time. I love all of those people.

My rents left a little early, and the rest of us snuggled in the living room warming up and telling crazy stories of our ends of college. It was so perfect.
I got home at like 11, uploaded my pictures, and went to bed.
Before long, I felt muscle twinges start in my legs, and I got cold. I snuggled deeper under the blankets, trying to will what I knew was coming, away. but it didn't work. My teeth began chattering and my body shook to the point where all my muscles were contracting. I tried to straighten my legs or curl up into fetal position, but I couldn't stop the pain of my hip joints shaking and grinding together. It hurt. I tried for a few minutes more to get the feeling to go away, but it was more than being cold, and I knew it.
I reached for my treo above my head and dialed my dad's cell phone that I knew was by his bed.
Soon my parents came down and got me a heating pad and eventually the chills subsided and I was able to fall asleep. But we all knew something was going on, and my dad stayed by my bed for at least an hour (I think he actually kept checking to see if I was breathing. It was scary shit)

In the morning, mom and I went to the lab to get blood cultures because usually that means a line infection, although, I usually would get a high fever during or after the chills and there was none, so we were a bit confused. It was a task trying to get blood, because for some reason my line wouldn't draw and my veins just suck. We went to Denny's to escape everything and eat really crappy food that was SO GOOD. I am now in love with their hash browns!
The day went on, and again I went to bed (after watching Breakfast at Tiffany's- it IS a good movie)

Saturday we were supposed to go to CT to get Maisy from camp, and for my cousin's grad party but because we didn't have the lab results back yet and I still wasn't feeling up to par, we decided it would really be a good idea to just stay home (I have good instincts by now and sometimes you need to go with your gut) So that day, dad went, and mom and I stayed home and did house things.
That night, after an amazing meal of stuffing myself with all the chinese food I could eat, I got hooked up and as I was surfing myspace I felt my legs get twingey. Nooooo.....
Sure enough, in the time it took me to put up an angry away message and get in bed the chills had fully errupted again. I tried to relax, but we decided we had to do something, so we quickly tapered my TPN and unhooked me and by then, I was able to relax but my hips and muscles still hurt to the point where I could barely walk.
From 11-2 that night, mom and I sat in the ER. We read all the magazines in the place, ate sherbet and I had more blood cultures and a chest X-ray before we went home. By this point we just wanted answers.

We got a phone call the next day that the second set of cultures had come back positive and we needed to go back to the hospital. Finally. At least we knew!
I got admitted and sent upstairs (after the triage guy thought my name was Nancy...psh...and I lied about my husband Tom...come on now)
I got hooked up to fluid, since I was also severely dehydrated from not getting TPN and my bloodwork was all off and some antibiotics.
Colin is the best BFF I could ever have, and since we were supposed to hang out that day before he went back to CT, as soon as I was settled in he came bearing iced lattes.

I was in the hospital for 2 days before we got back my labs got back and we had been told what antibiotics would work for the infection. I watched way too much MTV and actually got a good portion of the way through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, so I'll be set when the movie comes out! But I have concluded, the worst thing in the world is to be in the hospital when you feel OK!!!!! Even going to the cafe with Starbucks was rained on since my vintage IV pump had a battery life of .2 seconds!

BUT now I'm home on IV antibiotics once again, and hopefully that will take care of things. I start work on Monday! Excited.

So for now I am going to drink tea and read more HP! There's a week in the life... see what happens when I go like A DAY without writing!?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Sometimes I have to wonder why the Cyr family can't catch a break. I know, I understand the "everything happens for a reason" mantra and that "God doesn't give you anything you can't handle" but I mean SERIOUSLY. The extreme ups and downs are just sucking. It's not like a sunny day, then it rains, it's like, we built a mansion then a tornado came through just to say hi.

The Good:
Mom and I drove down to camp on Thursday, and it was really fun, and nice. I don't think we've spent that much uninterrupted time together in.....months? I made a huge playlist of all songs that represent everyone in our family and they were great to sing to. Then we got Aunt Annie's pretzels, which always rock my world.
Camp was beyond amazing of course. We got settled into our lodge which was gooorgeous and had some time to kill before dinner so we just sat outside and read for awhile. Then Karen found us, and we talked forever and she taught my mom how to drive the golf cart. Camp is so beautiful this time of year and it is truly so strange how while you're there, all negative or confusing thoughts just leave your mind, and you're just THERE. In the moment, being peaceful and young. I needed it more than I realized.
Dinner was a vegetarian feast of pita, couscous, hummus and everything amazing that I adore, and they had pitchers of iced chai at every table. Delish. After, of course, there was singing, and Marissa, one of Maisy's counselors grabbed me and pulled me into the circle and said "oh come on Mal...." because usually I try to keep a low profile before I speak, then I get in with everyone after. But I did join in and the first song we sang was Seasons of Love. Thanks guys. Followed by Hero (maisy recorded last summer at camp), and Can You Feel the Love tonight (first NYC moment). Gah.
We went up to the theater for a "campfire" since it was raining, and they did that whole thing...ending of course with Stars in the Sky... all of this working up to my speech. Thaaaaanks.
Before my speech, they played the camp video from 98 when I climbed the wall, which of course made me cry because not only is the video playing but the entire theater was cheering and saying "YEAAA MAL." like I was doing it again! that's camp for ya.
THEN Matty read off my intro and credentials (which did sound pretty impressive I must say) and Peaches and Hilary marched into the theater in graduation gowns singing pomp and circumstance with the biggest bouquet of flowers I've ever seen. It was amazing.
THEN I had to speak. But I did, and it was awesome and I think it was one of the best speeches I've given, like ever...
This sounds silly, but I know it's the power of that stage. Do you know all of the people who have been on that stage.... No you probably don't...cause I don't, but just of the ones I know, it's pretty amazing. And you can feel it. It's so cool to think of how many little kids will be able to be on that stage without even knowing the power of it. It's pretty unreal.

After my speech we went back to the dining hall and had ice cream and just socialized. Eventually it was just me and mom and Noodle and it so quiet except for the crickets and summer night noises and it was just perfect. One of those times you just want to freeze to carry with you when you need that kind of atmosphere.

The next day, we drove home, and felt hungover with emotional exhaustion but it was still nice to spend time with mom. I wish we could do that more often. But I guess the more time that passes, the more we have to talk about.

On Friday, Maisy had friends over, and we all went to Portland and I had a SUPER amazing shopping trip. One of those where you just get so many good deals, you go home and end up forgetting how much you bought. It was lovely.
I christened our Coach store too and the girls were SOOOOOOO sweet. I tried on sunglasses and really wanted to buy them, but they were > $100 so I decided to be good...
Maybe with the first paycheck. hee hee.
But I did get this:
(for those who don't know.. it's an amazing teeny wallet that fits all my worldly necessities)

Cause I needed a new one. My other one is from last year, and I bought with Megan. Er...time for a new one....

and there was Sushi to be had, and sales to be utilized, and it was just amazingly perfect.
Then we came home...

The Bad:
Long story short. We had the dog put down this past weekend. He bit one of Maisy's friends (the third or fourth person he's ever bitten) and she didn't clean it out (cause she's stupid and irresponsible) even though Maisy persistently asked her if she was ok. she ended up going to the ER, the cops were called. It was a drama of dramas. Later that same night, he bit Maisy. Not just nipped.

We knew it would happen eventually, and in all reality, we just bought him time. He wasn't realistic to have as a pet. He was unpredictable. We couldn't have people in our house unless my mom was home to go through the "routine." If anyone else tried...well, we know what happens.

It's a blessing in disguise (house party anyone?), but man, even though I bitched about him all the time, it suuuuucked. I woke up on Sunday morning as late as possible, and Dad had been on the phone with various vets and animal people. I came out of my room to get coffee just as he went out the door. Maisy was just standing in the hallway, hysterical. The kind where you cry so hard there isn't any noise...
I told her it was ok, and it wasn't her fault. Then we just sat on the couch and held each other and cried. She broke my heart.
After a while we were composed (semi...) and I started making breakfast, and she went to watch TV in her room (I seriously was afraid to let her go, I didn't want any emo episodes) Then dad came home. He said that was one of the hardest things he's ever done, then he went in Maisy's room and we all cried together some more. Yea, my dad cried. That pretty much did us both in again. But somehow it just seemed right that we were all together. We got it together once again and we all sat down and had brunch together, and laughed about how I'd have to get out of the habit of throwing food on the floor, and whether our cats would all move downstairs and back into our house. (still hasn't happened)

It was a rough morning to say the least, but then Maisy went to the farm to take her mind of things, Dad and I went to Verizon (helloooooo TREO) and we all reconvened at Nana's for dinner and I had a luxurious cosmo with my favoritest aunt. and we all played cards.
My mom still is pretty upset, since they were the tightest, and it is definitely way lonely here when I'm all by myself during the day. But things are easier now...sadly. And I will have my flip flops for a long long time. I guess it just ends another chapter....
but seriously? Where is the break.... we just didn't need that.

RIP EVIL PUPPY :(...please don't bite God...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's cloudy out and I'm alone, and it basically feels like last summer. So I went and reread all my entries from last summer (oh boy)...and now I need to write to remind myself of all the things that are wonderful, and how that is the PAST. We're in the now.

OK. So, yesterday I started my internship at mom's agency, and it was ok, but basically taught me the one thing I do not want in life is to be sitting at a desk for hours every day. Wow. I did data entry and kept falling asleep (holy crap... just typing this makes me feel better. I'm crazy for loving the sound of keys typing... I'm such a writer)

...but that also could have been because of the day before. Colin came home for my birthday and we literally spent the entire day together (we concluded it's the first time he's been home for my birthday since we've known each other). It was absolutely perfect. We did everything we've always done. He bought me lunch at Applebee's and "surprised" me with the birthday dessert routine, and of course we sang with them,'s what we do. And the staff was like "Do you guys want jobs?" (I didn't think to suggest Colin maybe should actually take them up on it. wow that was mean) And he made me another mix CD "Birthday mix 07: A 5 Year Tribute" and got me Grey's DVD's (season 1 but I'm just going to exchange it for season 2. It was so absolutely perfect. It was just us...and it hasn't been since...oh....January. And we talked a lot about life and relationships, and writing. and laughed a lot. It was very needed.

Then we saw Shrek 3 which is awesome, and we laughed through the entire thing (although I'm not sure if it was the movie or the kid behind us who kept whacking Colin in the head with his popcorn bucket) There was a part where they played the intro to One Singular Sensation from Chorus Line, and literally we were the only two people laughing in the entire theater.
After that was Starbucks, and we ended up at Bates. they still had their graduation set up, so we played "Bates Graduation." Holy irony. We kept walking around and I was like "please... I just have to do this... to realize how wrong it would've been." And I did...and it did feel wrong (beyond the fact that nobody was there, of course). It was sort of an unsaid closure...and we got to graduate together after all. Then we chased squirrels and sat by the pond. Some things never change. And I'm glad.

After that, he had to go home for dinner. But we reconvened shortly after he ate. We were supposed to wait for Brandon to call, but because I was in Lewiston all last summer when Colin wasn't, I knew he wouldn't til 10 or 11 and I remembered I had to get up at 7 the next day to go to work with mom so I called him and said, "Can we just hang out, and if he calls well fine, if not, oh well..." and really. I didn't want him to anyway. (he did call at 10:30 as predicted, only to bail on whatever we were going to do, so I called it pretty well)

So we decided that was a good idea, and I went back over to his house, and we had amazing red wine (which I usually hate) and watched Mulan. (yes the Disney movie).
After the movie we kind of just laid there, but it was already 11:30 so I decided I should go home. So he drove me home.
and I kid you not.... We saw a shooting star.

The whole day and evening were just so quietly perfect. I wouldn't have wanted my birthday to be any other way.

We're good, and I'm happy, and for now that's all I need.

Ok.. in all honesty, I feel better now. I'm going to go read more GOSSIP GIRL, CAUSE THE NEW ONE IS OUT AND I GOT IT FOR MY BIRTHDAY
and have a snack.

You know you love me,

Monday, May 21, 2007

Well.... a week ago, on May 12th, 2007 I graduated college.
Done. finished. the end.

Like all big events I needed some time to process things before I could attack it here. I haven't necessarily had any big epiphany or big life changing revelation, but I've had a lot of time to think, and everything IS different. It's all about change. And how willing you are to accept it, or go with it.

On our big day, there is nothing in those envelopes (surprise! we psyched you out!) but in our choosing to wear those silly hats and walk with our friends over that stage to take that folder, we are making the decision to accept the change that is leaving UMF. We've done our time, taken what we will from it, and are ready to move on. After that, everything really is in our hands. Like someone very important to me said tonight, "I think that is a good way to look at it, though... we got what we could from school, and now it's time to move on to what's next, except this time, it's life, not more school."

That is the absolute truth. After we cross that stage, our life is in our own hands, and it all comes down to choice, and taking risks. We can take that job that's a little outside our comfort zone, or sit at home and wait for something in our home town to fall in our laps. We can be a little scared, or feel perfectly safe and miss out on who knows what.
But in that sense, it's exactly like college. We can not kiss that boy, cause we're afraid of what might come next, or we can close our eyes and go for it...because really, who DOES know what's ever coming next?

Things had begun to change even before that last day. As hard as I tried to fight it. I got emotionally attached. I needed to make the most of my remaining time with people I might never see again...and everything else...seemed petty.
I learned to live for Farmington nights, laughing and drinking on the patio of the granary. I fell in love with every single writer in my Senior seminar class, and I learned their stories, and I had grown with them. and they grew with me. When I made the choice to read the piece I knew I had to read at my senior reading, they knew why I was crying at the end. And they hugged me for it. I fell in love with the entire class of 2007. From dressing in togas and talking on the porch, to belting out Livin' on a Prayer as a last night out, from the massive standing ovation I got from them when the president recognized me during graduation, I felt like my heart was going to burst with affection and adoration for every single one of them. They had noticed. They did know how hard it was for me to do this. but they shared in my excitement that I DID IT. We all did it. It isn't fair that we have to leave when we're really just getting to know each other.

But that's another choice we have. To keep in touch. Maybe we will...maybe we won't. Some memories we'll hold onto forever, and choose to go on and make more together. Some we'll file in the "lesson learned" pile, and call it a day. But no matter what we do, it happened, and we learned, and we did it together. And we'll always have that.

And so here we are. I'm free, and independent, and adult, and HAPPY. I'm happier than I've ever been, and it's so different from last year at this time (good lord, when I wasn't even 21).
It's going to be a different summer. But it'll be good, I can feel it!
With all the things that change, some things don't. There will always be that friend who just knows when you need to hear their voice, there will always be a welcoming bed with a cuddly kitty, and there will always be the friends and family who will stand by you no matter what, and when there is nothing else.... there is all of that.
But right now, there is that, AND everything else. I have a speaking gig at camp, and internship awaiting me, a job waiting for me, AND A BOOK TO WRITE! And I'm ready to take it all on, head first!

So class of 2007, and all of my UMF loves. Thank you. For everything.
Thanks for the memories. :-) and to all of my friends here, and everything yet to come. Well, the rest is still unwritten. So let's live it. Cheers to a beautiful summer of 07!!!!!