Seventy-six days in the first semester, and three days of finals.
Start your engine.
0 - Summer ends tonight, although it isn't such a sudden transition seeing what a pain in the ass summer reading has been lately. The worst storm I can remember being in thunders outside, pulling the limbs and slapping the leaves of the trees and, like my assbackward summer living schedule, isn't doing much to help me fall asleep. I could be optimistic and be happy that I'll catch up with all the season's disappearing acts and like things at first, but this is like enjoying the car ride to a proctology exam: It might be nice, but it's pointless to try and ignore where everything is really going.
1 - Nothing starts out a school year quite like being called to the Dean's Office while halfway to the sophomore-junior quad and entering to find that Chris O'Connell, who you explained to plainly and clearly that you would taking his top locker, which resides above yours, while giving him plenty of opportunities to keep it, had asked for a new combination and given your name to the principal. The degree to which that kid owes me became quite clear as I tossed out coffee filters and filled the dishwasher while listening to small talk in the teacher's lounge. Not that my twenty minutes of punishment in there didn't teach important lessons about cleaning and the fact that, yes, there are teachers who manage to be just as boring outside of class, but it's the principle that's got me pissed. Write after me: I will not sell out my classmates. Not even for a Choco Taco.
16 - I think there was a break somewhere in between all that cramming for summer reading and now, where the year is starting to get moving. I've started counting down the days of school left to see how much we've gotten done. It's a depressingly tiny little percentage, but then again I feel like I've hardly done anything but I've gotten somewhere. Hopefully this keeps up for awhile, because this little honeymoon period will be what gets me through the semester.
23 - I can't complain too much about a school that despite countless instances of dislocated shoulders and chest stigmata still continues its twisted little tradition of the Spirit Week Belly Flop Contest. Jamie redefined how the world thinks about both belly flopping and the coordination of white people with his now patented Gainer Flop that won the junior class the competition. The whole week of strange events that entertain and demonstrate that seniors are the best no matter what led up to the Holy Bowl, which fun if a little bland. The same could be sad about the night afterwards, which really wasn't a big deal despite holding many expectations. Then again, a fun, eventful night that falls just below high expectations is better than most Saturday nights I know.
28- Meeting new people ain't too bad, especially when in a moment of desperation they invite you to their homecoming. Rio's dance was gone in a blink, heartbeat and picture flash, but I definitely had a good time. Anna Marie, and most of these other new Rio girls I've met, are interesting and relaxed; a nice change of pace from what's been the standard attraction in the past. School seems to have started wearing on me, but I've been prepared for this. This isn't a sudden burnout, but rather the feeling I can't last like this forever. Not unscathed.
35 - The mysterious cancer that ate away at Scott's free time and made him nonexistent outside of school hours appears to have been Hillary. I suspect this because Scott has suddenly appeared on the weekends just after Hillary was recently removed in a painful surgery (Despite becoming malignant, she did not spread to the lymph nodes). With him, Scott has brought his friends Nina and Kim, who, despite Winston's wishes, will probably be making many appearances in the future. Tonight I pulled in the garage at 11:59, the last possible on-time minute, with Colin as my witness. Fun stuff.
45 - Two descriptions seem to sum up Halloween pretty well: "fun" and "motherfucking cold". Between In 'n' Out, Scott's house, the "post office" and the fact that you can now find nearly a bag's worth of fun-sized Twix bars in my car, I can't say it was a bad year. Definitely better than last October, when I was pissed I had to do an Other Places show but no one ended up getting anything together anyway. Not sure how I'd compare it against freshman year cross dressing with the Rio girls, or the great night during 8th grade before everything with everyone slightly went to shit, but it definitely continues the Halloween tradition of mixing things up. I stayed at Scott's, and as the sun was about to hit the horizon I realized that I want change in my life, but I can't force it. I came close to trying to, and I'm glad I didn't.
50 - Reconstructing the night of Nina's birthday party took me some time. The night and morning can pretty much be divided up into dinner-eating, omelet-making, camping out, Walgreen-running, and Denny's. Basically, it was completely nuts and I loved it. I also got a chance to hang out with Cara, who's real good friends with Nina and Kim but hasn't been able to make the time commitment to drive around aimlessly with all of us every weekend. I started talking to her online sometime after I met her at Phil's birthday party (but was too busy mooching snacks and hitting on Alexis to really get acquainted).
56 - The old millennium countdown clock I've retooled to tell me the number of days until school gets out is saying there are two hours until I can put another day under my belt, but I'm pretty sure finals aren't ending at five in the morning. I do have just over 181 days to sort that one out, though. 181 days that will make up the rest of the toughest year I'm going to go through for awhile, in and out of school. Once it's over, I'll have two summers and senior year to rest up and have a great time before I go to college and have more fun. At some point I get my life on track, but that's pretty far down the line. The fact I have to show up for 167 days a year is no longer the mostly challenging part of school. I'm not cruising through each year anymore, but I am kind of skating through life. For the most part, everything's been great, but a good rut is still a rut. I feel like maybe I need to stop going through the motions and take some risks, even if I come up empty. Maybe I've just been ignoring all kinds of different opportunities I've had. Maybe I'm talking out of my ass.
I think the reason I hardly ever update anymore is I've gotten out of the habit of schizophrenic, unfocused entries. I mean, I wouldn't need to jump from subject to subject if I had important things going on in my life right now, but I don't. Right now it's all about getting by and having fun. Maybe I need something more than that, but aside from knowing I don't have it, I'm not clear on what that thing is. Of course, if I knew what that was and had it, that might take the fun out of everything. Well, actually, probably not. I could go with immediately ending up somewhere nice and comfortable, but then I wouldn't know how I got there. It's not like I can really make up experience.
I actually do feel like I'm headed somewhere though. Not directly, no. I'll twist and ramble and get off track, but that's kind of the point. I can't expect myself to get perfectly situated and get it down the first try. That's as good as impossible, and maybe my problem has been failing to accept that.
59 - When I don't get to bed until 3, calling the state I operate in during the morning "consciousness" would be a serious exaggeration. So when came in to do my French presentation after staying up that late working on it. I was in a bit of a haze. I also wasn't quite together when Father John "Hitler" McGarry called me into his office to tell me he found my article Fun With School Policy hurtful and offensive. I was a little too dazed to tell him that the fact that the school newspaper is currently effectively a parent newsletter and publicity tool is hurtful and offensive to me. Not that the degree of bitterness I express my opinions in could possibly break the cycle in this man's life that is obviously causing him to age at twice the rate of your average Joe.
64 - The whole Plank thing has become somewhat of an inside joke at school. Lots of faculty, especially Mr. Carrigan (who read it to both his regular English classes), the Roses, and the Phongster himself openly support me. The part I love most is the rift opened that shows the deep, two-sided divide through the entire staff. I'm happy to have gotten an article out there that was read and given feedback, and even happier to see I've stirred some shit up. You were right, McGarry, it is good to get involved.
68 - Thanksgiving vacation has come and gone, and not without a few big changes. This week has been a little insane and drawn out. I'm now realizing taking chances also means making mistakes and dealing with consequences, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. Maybe it's not worth it to the people those mistakes could affect, but hey, too bad. I'm sick of living a life in stasis, no matter how good or comfortable it is. That said, I'd definitely be happy if things calmed down just a little. I feel there's hardly anyone I can talk to about everything that happened, but I seem to be sorting the whole thing out alright by myself. Hoping for some kind of conclusion as well as the fact I won't have to be so goddamn vague about the entire thing in the future.
71 - After two fun dates last weekend and a King's game tonight, Cara and I are now officially "going out". There is apparently no smooth transition from dating to dating, so I purposely made the transition as unsmoothly as possible. With cotton candy I didn't even pay for. And I don't regret that. Sort of represents the fun loving and easygoing but still meaningful relationship I'm going for.
73 - School has been wearing me down to the bone the last month. I didn't make callbacks for the musical today. I spent an hour working on my history outline next to the door at Bella Bru and consequently froze my ass off every seconds on the minute when someone entered, and then two hours forced to do two hours of math at tutoring. And as I walked out of the dark, dinghy apartment complex my tutor manages to keep an amazingly tasteful place in, knowing I still had about an hour of work left to do, and you know how I felt? As good as I have in weeks, and I have no idea why. I guess it's just a shift in perspective. I guess I just have a hard, cynical shell and a chewy, candy, optimist center. School just can't get me to me anymore, just because finals are going to kick my ass in less than a week doesn't change that life is good. With all this work and late nights and administrative bullshit, I should be broken by now. But I'm not. Maybe I've finally got some hope. Maybe, again, I'm just talking about of my ass.
74 - I had a great night at the Rio dance, which without Cara and the whole group would have been the worst I've ever been to. But it's easily in my Top 5. And I think that says a lot about where things are going. Because I'd be content just with the fact that things are going somewhere, so the fact that they're going there well is great news. I just have finals to get through and a few things that need to be worked out and then we can all be skipping down the yellow-brick road with sunshine, lollipops, and motherfucking rainbows. And I can't imagine asking for much more at this point. Bring it on, finals. Here's to the future.
There, now you can all retroactively stop bitching at me for not updating for the last four months.