Monday, April 27, 2009

Lessons Learned

In just under 3 weeks, I will no longer be a first year at St. Olaf College. Upon realizing this, I created an extensive list in my journal (which is mostly just a slew of inside jokes, wrongly placed newspaper notes, French verb practice, and interesting conversations) of things I've learned in college. While I now know more about Abraham Lincoln, Machiavelli, French ANYTHING, and the covenants of the bible than I'd ever care to, I also feel like I've learned a few things worth putting up on here, if only for my own benefit/sanity.

1) For the most part, I love people. And, if pressed, I would probably define myself as a "people-person". However, human beings, for a lot of the time, really suck. They're awful, they lie, they manipulate, they gossip, and they let you down again and again and again. But, every so often, you'll find an exception to this rule. And it's these people that make it all worthwhile. So love them, let them love you, and everything else will fall into place.

2) Every. Single. Thing. happens for a reason. I've been living with a hippie for the past year (love.) and--besides the knowledge that I'm horrible with plants, that sometimes (supposedly) primal noises are apparently needed to alleviate stress--she's taught me that absolutely every little thing happens for some greater purpose. And, although the first or second dozen times she told me this I just laughed it off, she's totally right. Every disaster along the way, every earth-shattering piece of drama, every break-up, every failed test, every fight, EVERYTHING happens for some greater purpose. So wallow in self-pity, vent to your bestie, and move on. You'll understand later.

3) Apparently, itunes has this thing called "shared libraries", allowing everyone in your general vicinity to see your music. This can be either a very good thing (instant coolness), or a very, very bad thing (fact: very few people want to chill with the guy who listens to nothing but bad hip-hop and Nickleback. Actually, on second thought, there are some people who would. And most of them live in my dorm...) As the girl who has college a capella and 80's one-hit wonders interspersed with her indie/alt rock, I learned the hard way to make sure you "unshare" your library. (Yes, never be ashamed of who you are, blah, blah, blah. But somethings are better left a mystery.)

4) Staying up for literally days on end may SEEM like a great idea at the time but, I promise you, it's not. You--and your sleeping schedule--will pay dearly for it. (And it explains why this is being written at 3:00 am on a Monday morning.)

5) Sometimes, your closest friends are the ones who live the furthest away. Although there's amazing people on the St. Olaf campus--people who I am ridiculously happy to spend my every waking moment with--there's also a reason why I've kept in contact with so many people who live far away: I love them. Dearly. Which explains why I aim with Julia every single morning, why I text Katie whenever anything even remotely interesting happens (and expect her to do the same), why I run straight to Caitlyn the second I need advice/analyzation/someone to talk to about ANYTHING, and why I routinely talk to Kelley for hours a night. So the lesson here is, as difficult as it may be to maintain a long-distance friendship, it's always worth it.

6) Don't mess with the Caf ladies. They will find you. And make the rest of your meals for the duration of your years at school awkward/scary as heck.

7) You will mess up. And people will talk about you. And it sucks, and you'll want to transfer and just completely escape everything. But, as dire as the situation may seem, they'll get bored and move on to someone else. And you'll be left a stronger--and probably a more interesting--person. (This one's probably especially true at a small school like Olaf, where people literally at times have nothing to do but homework, Facebook, and gossiping. And usually a combination of them all.)

8) EVERYTHING you do will somehow lead to a Harry Potter reference. Maybe it's Olaf's uncanny similarities to Hogwarts (Fact #1: We're not freshmen, we're "first years". Fact #2: All dorms fit perfectly into the Hogwarts houses.), maybe it's simply because we all grew up right alongside Harry and the gang. Either way, I strongly recommend brushing up on your HP trivia before college. You'll definitely need it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The World's Best Break-Up Songs, pt 1.

As two of the most cynical people to ever survive southeastern Minnesota/theater camp/driver’s training class, we have long been compiling playlist after playlist of songs about failed relationships. (Fact: Caitlyn’s personal motto is “Every single relationship ends. Ever. So whatever you do, it doesn’t matter. You were doomed from the start.” Paula, on the other hand, simply doesn’t believe the male genders exists and are actually a myth, much like unicorns and El Chupacabra. Therefore, it’s impossible to ever get hurt, because one can’t be broken-hearted by a figment of rumors and urban legends.) So it’s only logical that we spend our spare time compiling the best break-up songs ever. Over the next week or so, we’ll be posting our list up here on Paula’s blog. (And we’re going to attempt, someday, to actually put MP3’s of the songs up with them. Yessss.)

So go dig out your pint of Ben and Jerry’s, crawl under the covers, and blast these songs from your itunes. You’ll feel better after, we swear.

1) I Can’t Make You Love Me (Cover)—Denison Witmer
C-It’s the epitome of pain, because when you break up, you just want to sit in a dark room and listen to painnn. It’s so excessive—so overdone, so tortured, so depressing, and so perfect. It reminds me of this afternoon 2 weeks after a break-up when I had taken a nap because I was so depressed and I woke up and could just feeeeeeel the dispair in the room. It’s right in that point when you’re clinging to depression, because that’s all you have left of a relationship. At this point, you SHOULD be getting over him, but you can’t because you’re too focused on how sad you feel. THAT is what this song is.

P—YES. This song is so emo, it hurts. Also, Caitlyn, that leads to an interesting question. Do we listen to break-up songs to help us get over the jerk, or do we listen to them to cling to the pain? Hmmm…

2) Dog Problems—The Format
P—Best break-up line ever—“B is for believing you’d always be here for me/E is for everything, even when we’d see it though/C, C is for seeing through you, you are a fake which brings me to A, because, because you always run awayyyyy”. It really helps if you yell that as loudly and angsty as possible. Plus, Nate Ruess wrote the entire album of “Dog Problems” to get over his girlfriend. So there is literally not a better soundtrack to your own personal break-up. Ever. \

C—Plus, who doesn’t want a break-up song that has a full brass band behind it?

3) That’s It, I Quit, I’m Moving On—Adele
C—It’s so easy. And vindicating. It’s exactly what you want the guy to see in you, whether or not it’s true. Even if you’re spending your days in your room crying on the floor, all you want him to feel emanating from you is “That’s it. I quit. I’m moving on.” So you wear your best clothes, do your hair perfectly, and hit on all his friends. =)

P—Exactly. I think this song is for the moment when you realize the guy you’re with actually really, really sucks. And you have no choice but to break it off, regret that you wasted three months of your life on him, and delete the number from your phone.

4) Testament to Youth In Verse—New Pornographers
P—For some reason, this was THE SONG of my last break-up, even though it has more to do with the radio than with relationships. Maybe it was the kick-arse drums, the “No, No, No, No, No” chorus, or the brilliant line “When You Play like a fool/then like a fool you get played with” (which, I’ll admit, was my Facebook status for an embarrassingly long time.) Seriously. Turn on this song, walk to the place that you KNOW you will see him at, and I promise that you will feel like a vindictive character from a lame romantic comedy.

C—“Testament”, I feel, is kind of like your sassy best friend who just won't take your moping anymore. Its like "Seriously? This guy was a douche and you fell for it. So feel like a fool, accept it, and get over it."

(The World's Best Break-Up Songs will continue to be posted sporadically throughout the next week)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

By the flagpole. 3 o'clock. Be there.

Why yes, I just fought a man in an effort to defend my Anderson Cooper. That actually happened. With fists.

Happy Sunday, kids!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

To Squiggles Bennet

Dear Squggles Bennet,

We're leaving school. Both of us. We're dropping out, moving to the Pacific Northwest, and buying a small-time newspaper. And we'll spend all of our days selling ads and creating layouts and reporting on insignificant events like school board meetings and quilt shows (I've worked from tiny newspapers. Those are basically the only stories you get.) Then we'll walk around town and make fun of the other dogs/the people who aren't us, and we'll tweet about their awfulness. And we'll live in a tiny house on the beach--just me and you and Ernie. And we'll turn most of the rooms into guest rooms so Free Spirits (real and honorary) can drop by and visit for however they'd like. Our refrigerator will be stocked with Voss and Polaroid film (because it needs to be refrigerated) and Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream.

And we will no longer have to deal with shoddy college journalism, stupid dormitory rumors, dropped cell phone calls nightly, or awful long distance friendships. It will be epic. And amazing.

I love you!

Friday, April 3, 2009

"WHAT THE HILL?!?!?!?!"

The Playlist from the April 3, 2009 episode of "What the Hill?"
*Special thanks to Katie and Chris for their contributions to this week's show!

This is the show that made history, ladies and gents. Gus and I broke the universal record for "number of times inncorectly saying the word 'galaptosaurus' in one minute". It's legitimate, and we're famous now. We'd like to thank the little people.

1) What I Want is a Proper Cup of Coffee--Trout Fishing in America
2) Bohemian Rhapsody--Queen
3) Nothing to Worry About--Peter Bjorn and John
4) Zero--Yeah Yeah Yeahs
5) Little Pieces--Gomez
6) Violet Hill--Coldplay
7) Say--John Mayer
8) Make it Rain--Fat Joe featuring Lil' Wayne
9) Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)--Digable Planets
10) Billy Brown--MIKA
11) Good Day--Jukebox the Ghost
12) Closing Time (Dedicated to Katie Lannan)--Semisonic
13) Furr--Blitzen Trapper

Note: You can listen to "What the Hill? With Gus, Dave, and Paula" every Friday at 5 pm (CT) at .WTH? brings you a weekly infusion indie/alt/classical/showtunes/a capella/Neil Diamond/folk/comedy/Indian instrumentals/goth punk-rock/coffee related ditties/singalongs/terrible hip-hop/Disney pop hits/all-around awesomeness