Pacific Northwest

In truth, many of the things I’ve been not exactly ready for were actually things I wasn’t at all ready for. But this, the picking of a second promising grad school (that I really hope I don’t dropout of this time), was something I was truly not exactly ready to do. I’d visited as much as I could, I’d spent countless hours on the websites, making pro-con lists, and researching professors and class schedules.

And when it came down to the wire, I was as ready as I could be, just not exactly ready because I didn’t know what to pick. Boston was out a few days into the week. London resurfaced hot and heavy, leading the pack–because how badly do I want to say I lived in London for a year? Real, real badly.

But not enough to pick it. It’s been raining and foggy for the last two days. I’m taking that as God’s way of saying, “Welcome to the Pacific Northwest. You have chosen wisely.” I’m headed to the University of British Columbia.

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#JamesBondJokes

I just now got the It’s true! ::giggle giggle giggle:: comment when James drops his kilt in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

FOUR BEZANTS

giggle giggle giggle

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It’s All Happening

Two-ish years ago I started to really consider graduate school again. A year ago, I made it official when I talked with my past professors, got their support, and started researching.

I was unhappy enough with my job to try for programs, even though I felt like the odds were stacked against me: My GRE scores had expired, I’d already dropped out of one program, and my most recent GPA was not only embarrassing to me, it was too low for most school’s requirements.

I researched and researched, looking for international programs that didn’t require most scores/grades, local programs that seemed cool (but not so cool that I would be immediately disqualified), and programs that had a sort of “remedial” status. I selected eight to suck away my sanity and free time as I wrote endless statements and paid endless fees for about ten months.

You know what? It paid off. I’m so humbled, and proud, to show you the shitty list that’s been on my fridge since last year. It says that every program accepted me. From the safety schools to the could-be-cool schools, to the international powerhouses and the actually incredibly legitimate programs.

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I have to make a decision by next week, and I’ve narrowed my choices to three. I’m trying not to dwell too much on it this week, as I’ve spent so much time engrossed in it during the last month that I just want to take a breather and let my thoughts and feelings organically come together. But this I just had to share. It’s incredible to me that my love of books and passion for learning literally placed the world at my fingertips.

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Thoughts on Thunderball

The women in Thunderball are just downright stellar. The plot is pretty all right (all right enough that they remade it as Never Say Never Again). And how about that theme song, eh Tom? But this has never been my favorite Bond movie.

Yet, as part of #BondADay and #24DaysOfBond–my attempts at de-stressing every day for two hours doing something I love (brushing up on Bond)–I’m watching them all.

I think I noticed a few things I didn’t give voice to previously. Part of the plight of Thunderball‘s low success in gaining my esteem is the sound mixing. There’s the scene at the casino where Bond is dancing with Domino, and yet there is no music. Sure there’s soundtrack music, but there’s no background. It’s like people are dancing to silence. And then the scene where Fiona is chasing Bond through the parade? There’s soundtrack, but not a lot of parade music noise–which you know is clamorous as fuck.

I also don’t like all the underwater action scenes with no dialogue but lots of bubbles, ambient noise, fighting music, and explosions.

And then there’s Bond’s chest hair that looks mostly like a tree, and sometimes like a mushroom cloud.

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It’s Not All Greek to Me

There’s all this stuff going on about Greek life after the super racist video hit the news. I have so many friends posting public calls on social media for Greeks to better ourselves. To find a way to stop this. To step up and be leaders. To fix the Greek problem. To those people I say:

Stop saying you were in a sorority or fraternity. You are now.

Stop saying you were a leader in Greek life. Be one now.

Stop implying this is a problem only collegian Greeks can address. Or a problem only collegian Greeks face. Face it now. Lead by example.

Stop dangerously categorizing this as a Greek problem. Inequality is not a feminine problem. It is a problem. And in this same manner, a druggy, rapey, homophobic, racist, slut-shaming, alcoholic, misogynistic, hazing culture isn’t a Greek problem. It’s a problem. It’s a problem that grows and thrives on campuses. A problem that lives on excuses and turning your head the other way. This isn’t Greek specific, is it? It’s a campus culture problem that doesn’t get better if the adults leading the way, overseeing accountability, and fostering ideals aren’t stepping up. It’s a problem that flourishes in the microcosm that is college, that is Greek life, that is any selective or open organization.

Stop feeling the need to apologize for or address how some Greeks acted and start demanding more from how collegians and adults act, period. Raise your children to know better. Expect more from the people you surround yourself with. Insist on institutional accountability from organizations, societies, and schools. Require that, and more, from the Greeks. Accept nothing but bettering the whole system. Be the change.

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Random Thought

Why would any self-respecting woman date Chris Brown? Seriously, answer me if there’s a reason that’s not fame, money, and sex. Because even that doesn’t add up to trump his seemingly heinous personality and documented anger issues. 

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Paths Not Taken

Four years ago today I started a big-kid job after quitting grad school. That was a big ol’ road not taken that I never, ever wonder about. Well, almost never, ever.

Three years ago, about this weekend, I had one momentous night. I saw a guy and told him that I loved him. Sure there was drinking and music and partying that happened between seeing him and saying it, but it after years of thinking it–and living it–I actually said it. And he said it. And we drunkenly talked about how to make it work. And I offered to quit my job. And move to his city. And I meant it. Oh, god, did I mean it.

Here I am in 2015, and the time lapsed feels like a decade. I still have the job I got four years ago. I still live in the same zip code. I’m still single. I don’t often think about that one winter night and that one path didn’t materialize. But sometimes a song or reference triggers the memory,  and instead of wondering what that alternate reality would have been like, I look at Iceland, and Norway, and England, Spain, Italy, and India. And I think about how, now, I’m choosing between moving to Vancouver, Boston, and London to pursue a new path. And I’m doubting any of that would have been possible. And I’m feeling pretty lucky.

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