taking just a moment

I'd like to take just a moment and say that I'm happy. Really happy. Life is good. I'm blessed; I'm grateful; I'm hopeful; I'm confident. Right now, my life is beautiful.


more quasi-adulthood

One of the things I need to do to better secure my place in the quasi-adult world is to find a job, a real job, a career (gasp!). So I went to the career fair on campus today.

Armed with my Viva Glam V lip gloss and a stack of resumes, I made my way to the Wilkinson Center Ballroom and entered the crazy hubbub of recruiters and students.

The thing about editing is that it's not limited to magazines and publishing houses; many companies' HR departments have editors who work on their literature and other such things. However, these companies, when they come recruiting, don't always advertise for those kinds of jobs: they promote their engineering, accounting, and programming positions, not their HR editors. I went around to several booths and got to state, "Hi, I'm Charlotte. What is your company?" And then I'd say, "I'm an editor. Is there anywhere I'd fit in your business?" Sometimes the answer was no, but I got a few brochures and handed out a resume or two. If anything, I felt more proactive and less scared about impending "real life."

And you know, if all else fails, at least I have Kraft, the maker of my all-time favorite college food. I'm glad to have a back-up plan.

good intentions

I was walking through the Wilk and saw a sign for blood donations—good idea, right? I'm a proponent of donating blood when you can, and I've done it several times before. This was a spur-of-the-moment decision, and so I went up to the room indicated on the poster, answered all the questions about where I've been in the past ten years and any sexual encounters with homosexual men (what the?), came out clean, and donated my blood for the good of mankind.

Imagine how surprised I was when I sat down to eat some pretzels and fill out the Red Cross survey and passed out. Very. I haven't passed out since the sixth grade when Mom was putting hot rollers in my hair. I woke up half lying on the chair next to me with a couple donations workers gently trying to wake me up. I then lay on the chairs for about five to ten minutes feeling woozy and hot and sick to my stomach before I felt able to sit up and eat some pretzels. . . . And then I almost passed out again—sitting mind you—but I caught it in time to just lie back down.

Weird, no? I've done this several times before and have never passed out. After a few more pretzels and a small can of chilled orange juice I felt able to be on my way. I've felt a little funny and pretty fatigued this afternoon, but no more fainting spells to report. Needless to say, I will not be donating more blood in the near future. I had good intentions, but clearly those didn't see me through today.



Signs that I'm progressing to quasi-adulthood:
  • I'm reading through health care plans
  • I have the utilities in my name
  • I deal with mistaken loan disbursements and resulting exorbitant charges from the school
  • I make sure that my prescriptions are filled where they need to be
  • I'm considering a Roth IRA
For the record, I do do my own laundry. I've been doing this for a while, but it's a crucial step to quasi-adulthood. I feel I should put that down.

And yet, despite impending quasi-adulthood, I still find myself listening to HP in the mornings.


Operation Superhuman Reader: Cormac McCarthy

I'm in a Cormac McCarthy class, and yes, I do remember my negative McCarthy experience from last summer, but I'm ready to give him another shot. We'll be covering all of his books and reading about six of them. I'm optimistic that my opinion will improve.

The Orchard Keeper The Orchard Keeper by Cormac McCarthy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The plot for this book was hard to follow, and by the time I finished it I realized that the book was about the land and not the characters; thus McCarthy's priority was not making narrative sense. I found myself stunned by the beauty of his prose at parts. McCarthy describes the land with breathtaking detail--that was the most enjoyable aspect of this book for me. While not my favorite book I've ever read, I am gaining a deeper respect for McCarthy and his work.

View all my reviews >>

Child of God Child of God by Cormac McCarthy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I don't even know how to rate this book because the narrative itself is so disturbing but the themes thought-provoking and the prose quite skilled. "Child of God" is about a necrophiliac but it's more about the possibility of seeing someone so degraded not only as human but as a child of God. This book made me think and reexamine how I look at people and situations. "Child of God" pleads the questions, What is humanity?, Who "qualifies" as human?, and What's the line between human and animal? I wouldn't feel comfortable recommending that just anyone read this, because it's intense and deals with icky and uncomfortable subjects, but if you're looking for a more thought-provoking read--and if you can stomach some of the content--then this could a book you might want to look into. Again, I give this review with some hesitation. You've been warned.

View all my reviews >>

Next in my McCarthy assignments: Blood Meridian.

Operation Superhuman Reader: Literature of the Fantastic

My senior course this semester is about literature of the fantastic (a topic that I took primarily because it fit my schedule—ha). The fantastic is a literary genre that explores different facets of and character and reader responses to the supernatural. I could go into greater detail, but I'll spare you. I'll be reading mostly short stories, but with the books I read, I'll be posting reviews.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll by Lewis Carroll

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book wasn't my favorite; I only read it for a literature class. I've always found this story a little bizarre, and I didn't find it any more engaging in book form. (In fact, I think I might enjoy it more as a film.) This book doesn't really have a point; Alice doesn't change at all from the beginning to the end; Alice is inquisitive but isn't smart. This is definitely a book I won't read again.

View all my reviews >>


a serious improvement over last year

Remember last year's MLK Day?? Yeah, this year was seriously improved. Relaxing yet productive morning, lovely afternoon at Michelle's, and Cafe Rio and the Gateway with Josh in the evening.

And yes, in Urban Outfitters, Josh approached me with this top and said, "Hey, you should try this on." Impressed? Me too.


Making My Own Happiness: Step #1

I've been kind of down this past week--homesick, unmotivated, apprehensive about post-graduation life. And then the lessons in church hit home, and as I sat in Relief Society listening to a girl sing "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me," tears ran down my cheeks as I re-realized who I am. The lesson in Relief Society yesterday was about how we are children of God. That's something I've never forgotten exactly, but a truth that I too often lose the magnitude of. It's truly incredible that we are children of God--I am a literal daughter of a divine being, a Heavenly Father. Re-realizing who I am made all the difference for me. I can't start making my own happiness without that foundation. Again, I've never questioned that or doubted my heritage, but I don't always realize how marvelous that heritage is.

Step one to making my own happiness: "I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father, who loves me, and I love him" (LDS Young Women Theme).


one solution to 31 Mondays

Silver-gray, sparkly, hound's-tooth Converse. I wore these and felt markedly better.


31 Mondays

I had a friend once who described January perfectly: it's like a month of Mondays. Exactly. Perfectly articulated. It's Wednesday, January 13—the middle of the month—and it feels like a Monday. I look forward all day to going home and watching "Gilmore Girls" and wearing stretchy pants. During the day I'm productive and participate in my classes and do my reading—I'm not dysfunctional by any means. But I'm a little homesick, a little unmotivated, a little blue.

It feels like a Monday . . . every day.

But don't worry—Tuesday will come around eventually.


parting gift?

One of my roommates got married over the break, so prior to Christmas, the apartment was full of Mel's explosion of stuff. She had many possessions, and I was looking forward to the ever-present bins (yes, they were in our living area all semester) and scary rubber ducky gracing our mantle finally making an exit.

So I get back from break and take stock of the apartment: clean, tidy, a few new pictures on the wall belonging to my new roommate, and . . .

this. This used to be Mel's. And I couldn't wait for her to take it away. This lovely life-size, cardboard--yes, cardboard--GAP locker was one of the items I was most looking forward to losing.

And she left it. Thanks, Mel.


Operation Superhuman Reader: 2-person Bookclub

A while ago Josh and I decided to read books together--yep, it's pretty cute. We're taking the tack of reading books that neither of us have read and reading books that one loves and the other hasn't yet read. We've read three so far; here are my reviews:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'd heard of this book but never read it until now. I didn't really know what to expect, and I ended up quite enjoying this book. The writing is funny and clever, the story easy to follow yet engaging. This book is clearly a part of a series, so the resolution at the end of the story wasn't quite what I usually like at the end of a book. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an entertaining, quick read, one that I'd feel comfortable recommending.

View all my reviews >>

My Name Is Asher Lev My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I re-read this book recently (probably for the third or fourth time) and loved it again, as usual, maybe even more than I did before. The emotions of the characters and plot are so real and intense, especially by the end. While not a Hasidic Jew myself or an artist, I felt that I could still understand and connect in a small way with Asher. This book makes you think about heritage versus yourself and your desires and loyalty and family and what it means to love and be loved. This is a book I find myself thinking about often, one that will stay with me forever.

View all my reviews >>

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) The Maze Runner by James Dashner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is a lot like The Hunger Games, but I liked Hunger Games better. The Maze Runner is a good book about survival, adventure, and solving a seemingly unsolvable puzzle. I liked how the end of the book had enough resolution while still setting you up for another book. I enjoyed the pace and the mystery of the book. It was an excellent read!

View all my reviews >>

Next on the docket: The Road by Cormac McCarthy.


details at my discretion

I don't often explicitly talk about my dating life on my blog, and I don't feel like I need to. (Yes, you can read between the lines and learn a few things, but I'm rarely frank about it.) With that said, I'm going to be a little more direct here.

I brought a boy home over break.

We watched Star Trek.

We went to scary Colorado souvenir shops.

We Tim-Tam-Slammed.

We made silly faces.

We ice skated on Evergreen Lake.

That's all I'm going to say right now.

400th Post: A New Start

I can't believe this is my 400th post! After three and a half years of blogging, I can say that this experience has been life-changing—seriously. I look at life differently. I take more pictures of my life. I look at myself differently and can better see where I've been, where I am, and where I want to go. Blogging in many ways is a way of self-accountability for me. Yes, I love having readers and receiving comments, but really I blog for myself. I started blogging the summer between my high school graduation and my first semester of college—how amazing it is that I have a consistent and (relatively) thorough record of these important years! Because of blogging I feel that I have a more secure sense of who I am. For my 400th post, I want to introduce my word for 2010.

Last year my word was light, a word about which I was really excited at first. However, throughout the year I found myself thinking more about 2008's word, become, a word that I think will affect my entire life. So in thinking about what I wanted to do this year, I wanted to find a word that means more to me than last year's did, means just as much to me as become does.

And I came up with nothing. Until I talked to my mom.

The other day I was talking on the phone with my mom—my beautiful, incredible, loving, insightful mother—about something that was weighing heavily on my mind. I didn't know what to do, and I felt somewhat lost. My mom gave me several words of useful advice, but the most poignant and meaningful thing she said to me was this: "Charlotte, make your own happiness." That stopped me in my tracks, stopped my thoughts, my tears, my words.

While not a single word, this phrase, make your own happiness, affected me strongly upon hearing it initially, and it's been in my mind ever since. This is what 2010 will be about: making my own happiness.

2010 will be a big year for me: I'm graduating college and will enter the "real world," a world ripe with more uncertainty than what I've experienced. I don't know what else will happen this year—I'm always amazed at how so many things happen that I don't expect—but regardless, I will make my own happiness.


pictures of a Wednesday

I went back to work for the first time after break. Ugh.

Because I had no food in my apartment I opted for Tomassito's for lunch. My food-less existence was rectified tonight with a trip to Costco and Target.

And Emily and I got Big Gulps.

Not bad for a Wednesday.


hiatus over

So I'm back in the world, much to the chagrin of my lounging-lover self. I actually missed my last first day of class to stay in Colorado for my grandpa's 90th birthday. So I got back in town this afternoon, unpacked, made a grocery list, took down my little Christmas tree, and went up to campus for the one class that I could make today. Then I bought my books and headed back to my apartment for an easy night in.

And then I realized: I started my last semester of school ever. Ever. 

It still hasn't really sunk in.
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