Saturday, August 30, 2014

Photo Diary: Cedar Point!

I am so terribly sorry that I vanished for a bit there. Things got pretty crazy between moving into our townhouse and classes starting up again. Hopefully that will not happen again, or at least not too frequently as the semester moves forward. Sorry again!

I finally made it to Cedar Point last weekend! Kelsey was not able to go, so I went with another of my fantastic besties, Julia. Unfortunately we ended up having to go on a Saturday so the lines were atrocious, but it was still a blast! I have now officially ridden every single roller coaster in the park save for Top Thrill Dragster because I'm just not waiting in line for hours for a 13 second ride. I am not about that life.

My favorite ride in the park remains the Millennium Force. First hill is 308 feet up with an 80 degree drop and a top speed of 93 miles per hour. I could ride that thing all day.

All of that track is bright blue in real life and I have absolutely no idea why it is so dark in the picture. I think it was just too sunny for my phone to handle. 

Here are a few more pics from the trip for your viewing pleasure. You can track our progress through the day by how terrible my hair gets from one picture to the next. The Wicked Twister finally did it in- fortunately it was the last ride we hit so I didn't have to walk around with it looking like that for too long. 

Julia and I in line for the Millennium!

This is the Wicked Twister. This is the one that officially turned my hair into the hot mess you'll find below.

Please pardon the terrible quality of this last one. I just really wanted to get a Nerdfighter picture in since I was rep'n a shirt from

The great thing about Cedar Point is that even though you never really want to leave, by the end of the day you are so exhausted that you can't even be mad about having to go home. Especially if, like us, you have a 4 hour drive before you get to your bed.

And that was the last hurrah for the summer before I found myself back in classes this past Monday. Did you do anything fun for the end of your summer? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Rest In Peace Robin Williams

I am sorry that I've been a bit M.I.A. this week, friends. It has been rather crazy and exceptionally sad and I just have not been able to collect my thoughts enough to write anything. But I'm going to try today.

When I got on Facebook Monday night and saw that "Robin Williams death" was trending, I thought certainly it must be a hoax. After all, how many celebrities has Twitter "killed" in the past 5 years? So when I clicked on it and read what had happened, I was shocked. And very, very sad. 

My Facebook feed filled with "Oh captain, my captain!" Joe and I listened to "Friend Like Me" from Aladdin. It didn't feel completely real, to be honest. Aside from the passing of Maya Angelou, most celebrity deaths I've read about recently have been names I hardly recognize, certainly not anyone who had had a real impact on me. But Robin Williams was Genie. He was Mr. Keating. He was hilarious and inspiring and knowing that he committed suicide breaks my heart.

Since Monday there has been a flood of responses to his death, many of them very respectful, but equally as many of them show just how little people truly understand about depression. Many people who don't understand depression, who are lucky enough not to suffer from it, have developed the unfortunate idea that it is something that can be concurred through sheer willpower. People who suffer from depression are often considered weak, and those who succumb to it are considered cowardly and selfish. 

This is the truth: suicide is not selfish, but the way our society responds to it is.

All too often the immediate response to a person's suicide is "how could they do this to their family/friends/etc." People insist that the person should have considered what this would do to the people around them. Do you see the problem with this? We as a society take a person's pain and suffering and immediately make it about us; the people left behind. Instead of asking what we can do to stop this from happening to someone else, we insist that it is the fault of the victim that it has happened at all. Rather than seeking for ways to combat the disease that took them, we insist that they are weak and selfish for allowing themselves to be taken. 

Depression is not the same as sadness. It is not the same thing as how awful you felt after your last breakup. It is not a response or reaction to something that has happened or to a situation you have found yourself in. It is a disease. The wealthiest most privileged person in the world could still suffer from depression. You cannot blame someone for their depression anymore than you can blame another for their asthma. It is not something they are choosing for themselves; it is something that is being done to them because something in their brain is not working the way it is supposed to. 

I do not know what depression was like for Robin Williams. But I know what it is like for me. And honestly, in terms of people suffering from depression I am extraordinarily fortunate. Mine is closely linked to my anxiety which means it is not constant. Whereas many people have episodes that last months, mine last days. And those days are awful. Those days are damn near impossible. So I cannot imagine what it must be like to have that horrifying voice in your head every single day. I cannot imagine how terrifying and painful it must be to have your mind leading a murderous mutiny against itself every single day for months on end. I am not saying that suicide is ever right, but I do understand why it happens. I understand how someone could feel like that was the better option, the only option. And telling them that they are weak, that the others like them are selfish, that does not stop suicide from happening. It encourages the already dangerous stigma that is preventing people from receiving the help that can save them.

I know this quote has been going around already, but I really do think it is the best description that I have read, so I want to share it here:
The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling. --David Foster Wallace 
What Robin Williams tragic death should teach us is that even the people that seem happiest of all, the ones who bring can get a smile out of everyone they meet, are not immune from the darkness depression forces upon a person. It should bring attention to how poorly our society handles depression and how badly change and progress is needed. Because as long as we continue to blame those living with depression for their illness, we will continue to lose people to it.

I hope Robin Williams has found the peace he could not find here. I am so thankful for every laugh and smile he has given me, and will continue to give me. He will be deeply, deeply missed. Rest in peace, oh captain, my captain.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Barnes and Noble Book Haul!

“There is nothing like the smell of books, both new and old. If someone ever bottled the smell, I would be all over it .” - Tiffany King

Few feelings compare to that of walking into a book store, the smell of crisp new books washing over you the second you walk through the door. It is the feeling of knowing you are surrounded by unexplored worlds, unknown characters, and potentially life changing stories. 

Today I spent a few hours wandering around one of my favorite places: Barnes and Noble! I did not end up getting as many books as I had planned because my store did not have one of the ones I really wanted in stock and I decided to wait and order a few others off instead, but I think I still made out pretty well! Here are today's beautiful new additions to my bookshelves. 

I am super excited about adding these to my collection. Fahrenheit 451 has been on my must read list for ages and I have been hearing nothing but amazing things about We Were Liars all summer. Persepolis was a recent discovery, but I am really looking forward to diving in nonetheless.

Confession: I actually read We Were Liars today after I got home. As in all of it. I'll definitely post about it in the near future but right now I am in the post-reading shock phase and I just need a few days to process the mind blowing I was just subjected to. Stay tuned!

Have you bought any new books recently? Or are there any that you are really looking forward to getting your hands on? I am always looking for recommendations!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Photo Diary: A Writer's Simple Joys

There is nothing I love more than having a full day to myself. A day off from work, responsibilities, and the rest of the world. For me, these days mean quality time with my pen and keyboard. 
They mean smooth ink gliding across a blank page, breathing life into stories and characters that previously existed only in your mind. They mean building whole worlds and filling them with people as real as you or I with nothing but words; it means setting them loose and seeing what they do with the world you've created for them.
They mean the rare opportunity to spend a whole day chipping away at the first draft of what you are sure is definitely the one while daydreaming about seeing your name on bookstore shelves and New York Times Bestseller Lists.
They mean Pandora playlists and coffee shops where in 10 years you will say it all started. They mean drying out ballpoint pens and praying your laptop cord will reach the outlet. They mean notes scribbled in notebooks or napkins or on the palm of your hand because you have to write it down right now before you forget.

Days like this mean progress. And that is the most any writer can ask of a single day. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Final Countdown: Summer Edition


It's already August! I feel like the summer has just flown by. But, summer is not quite over yet, and there a few more things I have to look forward to before school work completely takes over my life once more.

1. Going to Cedar Point with my darling Kelsey

Earlier this summer I won 2 free tickets to Cedar Point! Kelsey and I have planned on going about 3 times already, but stuff keeps getting in the way. But we definitely have to go this month, one way or another. I haven't been since high school, and they've added a new roller coaster since then, so I am super excited to finally spend a day riding the rails!

2. Reading a few more books

I always have a hard time reading for fun once classes start. Being an English/History major means a whole lot of reading for class, so it is hard to find time or motivation to read anything else. There are a few more books I'd like to read before the summer runs out, and I wouldn't mind making it a bit further into A Clash of Kings either.

3. Trying the infamous Stella's burger

On Wednesday I wrote about the amazing night my friends and I had at Stella's Lounge. Apparently Stella's makes the best burger around, but I didn't get the chance to try it, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what all the fuss is about!

4. Moving into my townhouse

I am of course immensely appreciate Kevin for being so fantastic and letting Joe and I crash in his living room for the next couple weeks, and it has been quite a lot of fun so far. But there is just nothing quite like having your own room with your own things, you know? I am really looking forward to moving into our townhouse and getting to set up my room for the new school year.

5. Laying out under the sun to write

Probably my favorite thing about summer is being able to just lay outside under the sun. I love sitting outside; it is just so relaxing, and I feel so much better when I can feel the sun on my skin. I hate winter because I am always stuck inside and it is usually so dark and gloomy out. I want to take advantage of the sunny weeks I have left. And of course I can sit outside and do homework the first month or two of classes, but that is just not the same as sitting out and letting my imagination take over.

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