Just To Say Hello

I don’t have anything to say today, I just wanted to say ‘hello’, and I sincerely appreciate all of you.

So, hello there, and I wish I could express my admiration of all of you. It is rare for me to find anywhere else where such honest, kindhearted human beings can be found.

Love,

–Hannah

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Nothing To Be Admired

So, there I was, cheerfully slicing apart a sheep brain and rattling off information for Jenna to scribble on the notepad given to us by Teacher Madame, when a thought occurred.

“Hey, Jenna?” I asked, aware that the pool of formaldehyde was beginning to make me a tad light-headed.

“Yep?” She looked up, her eyes framed with the required goggles.

I couldn’t believe the words that came out of my mouth as I finished the cut directly posterior of the hippocampus, “This is freaking awesome!”

Jessica, who had been nearly silent this entire time, stared at me as though I was a madwoman, “You’re not serious.”

“How are you guys not ecstatic right now? This doesn’t exactly happen everyday! Heck, look!” I held up the newly severed portion of brain, the cerebellum hanging limp like a little, pink, squiggly half-tennis ball connected to the brain by a few layers of tissue.

“Oh, gosh!” Jenna put down the notepad and walked away for a moment to compose herself. It was then that I realized I should give up on trying to get my classmates excited over slicing and dicing the organs of a dead animal.

A note about me: I love the brain. I love the entire setup, the symmetry, the utter oddness and complexity. I used to constantly read about psychiatric drugs (still an excellent book to have around: The Consumer’s Guide to Psychiatric Drugs, also, Anatomy Of An Epidemic.) But then, I love anything about the head in general. Facial muscles, bones of the skull and face, the eyes. So when I came into a&p on Friday and discovered we were going to dissect a sheep brain and eye, my entire world lit up.

Jenna, so we discovered, has a rather weak stomach. As soon as I completed the cut around the eye (I ended up doing nearly all of the hand work while the others observed and took notes,) she coughed and gagged. Not that I could blame her, I had to turn my head away (my hands were still poised over the eye, my gloves dripping with formaldehyde and vitreous humor, so I couldn’t exactly excuse myself) because of the piercing odor being emitted from the eye.

“That’s so gross!” Jessica turned to face to the window behind her (Teacher Madame had opened every window in the classroom, thank goodness.)

Melanie, the only other person who showed any interest in the dissection, and the wonderful human being who helped me remove the very unpleasant fatty tissue (the color, thickness and overall texture of which reminded me of an uncooked chicken) surrounding the sclera, stood and leaned over the table to better view the retina. “Ooh, pretty colors!” She commented. Teacher Madame, pleased at our interest, came over to our table and explained the layer covering the back of the eye.

Madame noticed the anatomy booklet I brought along that contained photographs of cadavers in various states of dissection. She flipped through the book and we spoke for a moment on the contents of the booklet.

“Please tell me you’re going into medicine.” She said.

Cue giant smile. The band of my goggles started slipping off of my ponytail and I had to ask Jenna for help to fix it.

After class, I was still high on the experience (maybe it was all the formaldehyde, there’s no way to know for sure,) and walked to the cafe with a skip in my step. Claire (the world’s greatest barista) was behind the counter finishing up with a customer as I stepped inside, Kyle was behind her refilling a water bottle. She glanced up and smiled the smile that never fails to light up a room, “Hi girl!”

“Hey!” I said, I looked over to Kyle, who looked up to see who Claire was talking to, “Good afternoon, Kyle.”

He nodded as he passed by, “Good afternoon.” He nearly mumbled, he didn’t make eye contact. I’ve started to get the sense that I unnerve him for some reason. This disappoints me. As I mentioned in a recent post, I was looking forward to establishing a friendship with the fellow. He’ll watch me for a few moments while restocking a shelf in the bookstore, or when he needs something from the cafe, but he never initiates conversation.

As soon as I shut the car door I started a ramble about class, but was quickly interrupted by my mother. As I mentioned before, my mother is what the Taoist monks would call a Fire person. She likes having fun and keeping conversation light, she loves to daydream about a different life and plan shopping trips. The last thing she wants to hear is a long-winded description of a sheep brain (and how freaking awesome it was.) Halfway home she suddenly asked, “What’s that smell?”

“Oh,” I said happily, “That’s just formaldehyde.” Teacher Madame had told us that the scent would stick to our hair and clothing.

“Formaldehyde?”

“From the brain and eye.”

“What brain and eye?”

“From class.”

“Oh.”

Last night (Saturday) me and mom took a stroll around the lake down the street from our home.

I

I listened to mom talk about what she missed most about California, I commented here and there, asked questions I knew she would want to answer, and threw in the equal advantages of going to the university I want to go to. She still wants me to go to college in California, and I haven’t changed my mind about going to the other side of the country. She announced yesterday morning that as soon as a legal matter clears up, she wants to move. Not a month goes by that she doesn’t mention her dream of ‘moving back home’, and after I told her about an article I read in Psychology Today that explained the number one regret of the dying is that they didn’t have enough courage to live the life they wanted to when they had the chance, she seems to have a greater drive to return to California. I get my stubbornness from my mother. That fact alone is enough to let me know how serious she is.

This morning I woke up bright and early for church with Heather Madame. This week we tried out a church in North Richland Hills.

We were once again the youngest people there by our own free will. Hundreds of eyes watched us when we stepped inside the building, we quickly made our way to the sanctuary, which was nearly empty ten minutes before the service.

After the sermon we high-fived out of the success of surviving yet another dull church experience, and made plans to try yet another new place next week. Today we never found ourselves in deep conversation, even when we were sitting back at Starbucks sipping our overpriced beverages. We’ve both been so stressed out that a day of nothing but an uneventful church service and sitting in a Starbucks with nowhere to be was a much-needed therapy. On the drive back to my house I found myself starting to talk about the same old things, but I let it die out, it wasn’t worth it.

Alright folks, tomorrow is Monday, and so we shall do it all over again.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/ Classic

P.S. I do realize the dryness of this post. My every spare moment as of late I find myself writing down any truth about myself, about everything I feel. Because I’m afraid of discovering I’m a fraud, the truth about how I feel about every single person and event in my life, I feel the need to just write and leave in the open. And so tonight when I found myself writing out a post, I found nothing to discover or despise. Any lies that I’ve told myself I have cleared up, any notion to deceive the people I care about is gone for tonight. I want to be an open book, and I want to be fair in my judgement, this post ended up being nothing more than the residue of my creativity, and it is nothing to be admired.

Lovely (Encrypted) Letters

Silly me, I thought I was going to be able to sleep without writing a post.

I got a letter today from Heather Madame:

It takes about a month for any letters from my pen-pal in Spain to arrive, so it’s always a fantastic day when an unexpected letter arrives, especially from Madame. So I grabbed a sheet of my favorite paper, sat down in front of Royal (my typewriter that currently sits on the floor by my desk) and started tapping away. I text-message Heather every day, so there was nothing really new to say, except for the obvious, but that never matters. I also added in a favorite little game of sorts to the message. I read once about secret lovers in the 1940’s who would hide messages to each other in their letters by putting a tiny dot below certain letters, so when the intended recipient got the letter, they would write down all of the characters with a dot below them, in order, and reveal the actual message. I had nothing to hide, so I just came up with something we always ask each other in our notes, anyway, and scribbled random french words here and there while I was at it (learning french is on our 20 before 20), ‘le lard!’ means ‘bacon!’:

In case you’re a new reader, you may not know that my “ongoing war with my thyroid” is referring to my hypothyroidism. Oh! Also, here the code I mentioned. We created a nomenclator using some greek characters and the original nomenclator used between Gilbert Gifford and Mary Queen of Scotts while Mary was imprisoned by Elizabeth (if you don’t know the down-low between those folks, grab a copy of The Code Book by Simon Singh, I’ve read that book a half a dozen times and I still love it):

Heather’s letter was exactly what I needed today. As soon as I saw her name on the corner of the envelope I went skipping up the stairs. I only read and write letters while sitting at my desk. You would understand if you saw my desk. I bought it from one of my favorite antique stores, it was simply made for reading and writing letters… as for the skipping, I found this to also be essential to the perfect letter-reading experience.

Alright, it looks like writing every single night is going to become routine, no matter how much I tried to avoid becoming a daily writer. You shall never wonder what I’m up to, because I’ll always return here, and I will be unable to stop myself from telling you all every little thing about what I think.

So, same time same place tomorrow, then?

Until I Write Again,

–Classic/Hannah-Elizabeth

Suppose I’m Crazy…

Like a light switch.

That seems to describe my decisions as of late. I was awake late last night, thinking. Just thinking. Changing my mind about one little decision, and then another. Asking myself questions that I thought I had answers to. Eventually I just started pacing, my mind spinning like it did when I was so infatuated with Josh. But over so many little things.

Until the first of June I’m afraid I’m going to have to keep a secret from all of you. Part of the reason I couldn’t sleep was because I knew I wasn’t going to write about it here, I couldn’t. I can’t. Because this decision will entirely alter where my life goes from here, and I haven’t even told Heather my real reasons for doing what I’m going to try to do. Because it’s complete and utter insanity.

I’m not going to go jumping off of a bridge or join a cult, I can assure you that those would make for far more interesting posts than the one that will be posted June 1st, but it’s still something I can’t get off of my mind, and you can’t blame a teakettle for whistling a bit under pressure. I’ve flung various rants throughout little notes in my books and blogs, because the fact is that last night I discovered there is no way I can stop writing how I truly feel. It is part of my very being. I need to tell the world what I think, know and learn. I suppose we all know what this means:

1. I can never join fight club.

2. I can never be trusted with matters of national security.

I react too strongly to people, to their presence in my life. Everything they do and say I take into account, I think on it, a lot. I tell people who I care about that I care about them, it feels unnatural not to.

But I react much too strongly. Like the presence of the earth in the cosmos, the fabric of space and time being steady and flat, until the existence of the planet causes the fabric to bend in compliance, forming a valley around which the moon dances. That is the effect that every person in my life has. A massive impact that changes my life in an instant.

I suppose this is just me trying to explain to myself why I’m doing what I’m doing.

_______________________

I think about how emotionally open and vulnerable this blog has made me. I’ve decided that I’m ‘over’ Josh, it hurts to think about him, but I have decided this, he is my past. And no matter what it takes, I am leaving Texas. My future isn’t here. My life will not be here. And for the rest of my time here I won’t be pursuing a relationship with anybody. I’m tired of being an adoring puppy, clinging to every word they speak, aware of their every move, losing sleep over them. There is someone worth it, but (and say what you may about this) I refuse to find him here.

I know that this post is senseless and I must seem at least a smudge crazy or unstable. I feel crazy and unstable at the moment. An increasingly familiar feeling of just wanting to run away from it all has returned stronger than ever.

This is just the way things are, and I know that it’s going to pass. I know that it’s all going to work out. My mind is simply spinning nonstop, as it does in times of stress, and eventually I’ll reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

I don’t know if any of this made any sense, I suppose I didn’t try very hard, but I needed to say all of this. I’m feeling so overwhelmed, I just want to walk outside right this second and go for a walk in the wonderfully cold air to the little playground down the street, and sit on the swings while staring up at the stars. That is truly what I want to do.

I try to avoid posts like this. I do write impulsively, and I do write when I’m in an emotional frenzy, but I’ve never written in this sort of state of mind before. And I have no doubt that tomorrow I’ll want to delete this. But I won’t, because it would be the same as lying.

I suppose, in a nutshell, the entire point of this post was to say that for the first time in a while I am really not alright. I’m young and I’ll ‘get over it’, but it doesn’t make my present feelings less real. I don’t like the word ‘feelings’, at least not when I use it, because it seems so immature and petty and it seems to threaten to take away any weight that my words hold.

I’m going to try to get some rest.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

The Versatile Blogger Award!

Rewind to September 2011, twice in one week I was given The Versatile Blogger Award! I promised to continue the giving of said award, and then promptly forgot about it… Well, nearly six months late, here I go! According to the rules of Madame Adeeyoyo and Madame Kathryn, I must:

1. Tell you all five things about myself and

2. Hand the award off to five other bloggers!

Those of you who are getting the award will not be shocked in the least, speaking as I tend to constantly remind my favorite bloggers that they are, indeed, my favorite bloggers.

Behold, five things about myself:

1. I hate happy piano music.

2. I enjoy knitting.

3. I may pretend to be reading the Economics section of The Star Telegram, but I’m really reading the comics…

4. I buy a lot of random antiques. for example, I have a war department pamphlet entitled ‘Going Back To Civilian Life’ from 1946, a book with the title ‘Controlling Human Behavior’ (it makes me feel diabolical…but really it’s just a dull behaviorist handbook.) A black blazer with a tag sewn on the inside from ‘A. Nash Tailors’ dated 3/18/1940, and a Japanese microscope with scary-looking tools that came with it.

5. I have an odd obsession with voices. I like listening to people talk just so I can try to identify specific vocal inflections that only they do, and when I start to recognize phrases and tones they use often, I feel rather proud of myself.

And the award goes to…

1. Mandii Madame from Fossi Una Farfalla!

Mandii is one of my greatest friends, not only on WordPress, but in the world. I have no idea where Madame finds so many inspiring quotes, or how she comes up with her amazing short stories, but she should be positively showered with awards by now. Mandii Madame is one of the most encouraging, most positive human beings I’ve ever known.

2. Melanie from The Past to the Present!

Melanie’s blog has always been wonderfully entertaining. There are always impressive photographs, amusing lists, bits of conversation from her daily life and posts regarding life lessons learned on this Madame’s blog, I have yet to find a single post that is anywhere near dull.

3. Jennifer from JenniferKoman!

There are so many things to love about this blog. Starting with the fact that this woman is in law school! She posts beautiful photographs from her everyday life, including shots of her fantastic outfits (this woman has a runway-worthy sense of style,) deliciously healthy foods, and glistening city streets.

4. Caleb from Priority & Default!

Addictive writing style, impressive music remixing skills, and star of the highly amusing Fake Trix Project. Sir Caleb’s blog has been a favorite of mine for some time. He may not post often, but when he does, it is always memorable, thought-provoking and worth a second read (or if you’re me, a third read…or forth read…or fifth read…)

5. Alannah Madame from Alannah Murphy!

There is so much to say about Alannah. Her writing is incredible (anyone who has been keeping up with her blog is already attached to her boy, Julian, the main character of her novel.) Her journey through writing her novel, and her everyday life described in her blog make the reader emotionally involved in the whole bit. I have no doubt she’ll become a bestselling author, because determined, hard-working, sensible, kind-hearted human beings like Alannah Madame cannot go throughout life unknown to the world.

_______________________

Alright, then! If you have been given the award you know what this means:

1. You must tell your readers five things about yourself and

2. You must hand off the award to five other bloggers, and comment on their blogs to inform them of their success!

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

Better Than I Know Myself

“It’s quiet.” I whispered. Everyone had wandered into the study hall, leaving me and Kyle alone in the cafe. Show tunes could be heard being sung by Claire (the world’s greatest barista and an old friend of mine.)

He grinned and took a seat nearby, “I know. Theatre people.”

“They’re grand fun, though.”

“They are. So,” Piercing blue eyes looked in my direction, “Why are you here this evening?”

“Anatomy and physiology.” I realized I was resting my head against the wall and sat up properly. “I suppose it’s obvious why you’re here.” I gestured to Kyle’s name tag, he grinned again. Today was the first day that an opportunity arose to have an actual conversation with the fellow. Eighteen or nineteen if I had to guess, and a former boy scout if I had to guess. Blonde hair of a sensible length, broad smile, strong jaw, symmetrical features. Overall nothing notable, except that he was wearing a gray v-neck long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows and casual pants (my previously mentioned favorite look on a guy.) Oddly enough, when I noticed this I almost laughed out loud. I was so accustomed to seeing Kyle in his signature white button-up shirts and robot-like stiff movements that seeing him dressed so casually was enough to make me double-take.

We spoke for about half an hour before my mom pulled up in the Fit (on a side note, I drove us to The Center today and I managed to not kill anybody!) As she was walking towards the door he suddenly stood and opened it for her.

I smiled at her, “Hi, mom!”

Kyle looked over at me, then my mom, then back again. I grabbed my things and made my way to the door.

“Nice meeting you, Kyle.”

“You as well.”

We shook hands and as I stepped out he added sincerely, “Have a wonderful evening!”

I glanced back, “You too!”

As I shut the car door I realized this meant I had a new acquaintance, I smiled the rest of the trip home.

The rest of the day has been rather dull, tea and cappucinos with mom, reading an old Star Telegram (I personally prefer The Dallas Morning News,) and catching up on a few favorite blogs that I’ve missed out on as of late. I’m currently plotting how to make my mother play chess with me. I love chess, but mother madame finds it too tedious.

I honestly don’t know what I’ll do if I end up staying in Texas. I’ve started having dreams about the drive out of state, and writing down potential playlists for a long trip whenever there’s a pause in activity. It’s my petty impatience, I just know it. I could never wait for Christmas morning before opening at least one present, and I was always the annoying child who always asked ‘Are we there yet?’ In my defense, those drives to Disneyland felt like they never ended, the drives seemed so long that it feels like a part of me is there still. Clapping and yapping and bouncing around in anticipation.

I suppose, whatever the result, it will be a lovely state of existence when I at least know for certain what the future holds.

I must say, I’m rather disappointed in this post. ’tis a rather dull one.

I know, I know, a writer (even a simple blogger) is supposed to never be disappointed in that they write if it’s from the heart. But folks, let’s face it, this wasn’t exactly prime entertainment. It would be lovely to always say that I’m proud of what I write, but many times it’s an embarrassing, teeth-pulling-esque process and I know that my writing at times is downright crappy. I don’t say this with pride, I just say it so that I know I’ve said it.

The general mood of my posts as of late seem to be inching further downward, as though I’m notably unhappy. Obviously there have been positive posts nestled in between the (for lack of a better word) stale ones, but, skimming through the past couple of months through my posts, I can’t ignore a pattern that seems to be forming.

Now, I have no idea what any of this really means, or what should be done/if anything should be done, but allow me to play this thought out.

Everyday I still decide on something to be happy about, sometimes it’s a person, sometimes it’s something to look forward to that day, and sometimes when I can’t come up with anything, I just settle with ‘Today is going to be a good day.’ This has lightened my overall mood considerably, I’m an entirely different person than I was when I posted my decision to try to be happy. It has changed me completely. But it’s starting to feel as though the steady tension in my life as of late is turning me back into the person I once was. Serious, overly focused, selfish and impulsive. Alannah said something to me in a comment once upon a time, because I had mentioned that I felt guilty for being too sensitive. She told me that she had always seemed to ‘feel too much’ as well, and said something to the tune of ‘When we feel so strongly for so long, selfishness is only natural, because our focus is only on ourselves.’ An invisible tug of war seems to be going on between me and the people I care about. Because a part of me does want to stay because Heather wants me to stay and I could see myself going after Josh again and meeting more new acquaintances and not having to read my mother’s face when I bring up leaving. And then the complete and utter uncertainty regarding whether I’m leaving at all being decided entirely on where I get accepted.

I’m a control-freak when it comes down to it. I love being in control of my environment and knowing that I can create order where disorder so annoyingly sits (often rather crooked or on the wrong shelf, I might add,) I love being in control of my surroundings and my future and my actions and my plans. But I can’t control the approval of Heather Madame and my mother, I can’t control where I’ll get accepted, I can’t control whether it will rain or shine and the bossy little child in me doesn’t like it one bit. All the worrying is doing is about as much as pushing against a steel door. I can wear myself down trying to shove it open, but until it opens or locks on its own, nothing will change.

I’m truly happy when I’m here, telling the truth, at least some of the time. But something that this little website has proven to me, is how blind I can be to things right in front of my face. Right in front of me. I’m sincerely afraid because of this fact. It’s part of why I’m afraid of making somebody miserable. Because I know how foolish I can be, how thoughtless I can be. I know I have a lot of love to give, but I know that, while I’m trying so hard everyday to hold back from doing anything to hurt anybody, the battle is one that will never end. We hurt people. It’s a part of life. And heck, my heart hurts even writing that. It’s my worst nightmare. I am so entirely full of faults that I know it’s inevitable. I don’t know how or when or who, I just know that there will come a day when the thought will run across someone’s mind that they will wish they had never met me.

I know I can never stop making mistakes and I can never stop being blind to obvious things until later introspection, I need to get over any sort of notion that I will somehow condition myself against human nature. The battle will never be won, because everyone is battling something, and suppose that fight dies out, another is waiting at the threshold of the morning to take its place.

…Well, alright then.

Until I Write Again,

–Classic/Hannah-Elizabeth

The First Chapter

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

–Thomas Jefferson

I have a problem. With books. Good books. Whenever I read a good book it takes me forever and a day to get through the first chapter. Because I read and re-read the introduction and the first sentence. It’s exciting for me to discover that I’m reading a good book, and I mean, absurdly exciting. Some of my favorite books of this sort are The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, What They Know About You by Bernard Asbell, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo, Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman, The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene, Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin, and The Midnight Disease by Alice W. Flaherty.

I really wish I could skip ahead past the next six months. I am a horribly, horribly impatient human being and it feels as though every hour is drenched in uncertainty, expectation and tension. Even if it sits in the back of my mind, just behind the shadows of unconscious thought, it waits until there is a moment of stillness before emerging and inquiring why I’m sitting still. I must keep moving, pacing, thinking, worrying. Because surely pounding one’s fist on a button for an elevator makes it arrive faster.

My thoughts are split in two. One half consists of taking mental notes and reminding myself how fleeting time is, and to cherish the moments I have with the people I care about. And then there’s the other half…and this half isn’t nearly as appreciative of the beauty of the everyday.

Restless, restless, restless. It never ends! I know for a fact that I have it in me to handle the things that I need to handle, that even if I fail at times in the near future, it will not be the end of the world and there will be nothing left to do but try again. And I will try again. But there also remains the idea that simple will is not enough, and suppose I’m lacking in the qualities that actually matter.

Eight minutes ’till midnight, I should try yet again to get some rest.

Goodnight,

–Classic/Hannah-Elizabeth