Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Please stand by.

Stephanie is experiencing some difficulties and her writing will be delayed.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

In the mean time, enjoy the muffins and tea we've left out in hopes that you will not stake her with your fury.

Back to your regularly scheduled posting when Stephanie's immune system is not totally failing her.

Good day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ashley's 18th First Day of School

Hello friends, here are some pictures I took this week:





So anyways, I liked your last blog post Steph, I miss yo ass too. I already miss home and it’s only been a couple weeks. But with school starting yesterday I don’t think I’ll be having very much time to sit around thinking about how badly I want to go to Apple Hill during Halloween-time and shove my face into a trough of apple pie.  There is nothing sexual about that statement — I just really like Apple Hill. For those of you who do not know of the vacuum of holiday greatness that is Apple Hill I will briefly explain. IT’S SO GREAT BECAUSE THERE ARE GREAT PUMPKIN FARMS AND APPLE FARMS AND CRAFT FAIR FARMS AND EVERYTHING IS APPLE OR PUMPKIN AND IT’S GREAT.

Now allow me to tell you about my first day of school. It was ALMOST as great as Apple Hill. Before my first class I spent approximately one hour trying to figure out how to print in the library. But now I know how to print in the library like no one’s fucking business so it worked out.

The first class I had was a workshop where basically we all read and critique each other’s work. It also happens to be my earliest class — it starts at 2 p.m. …



And it was pretty great. We had already been sent two of our classmates’ stories to read for the first week and they simultaneously made me feel better and worse about my writing. And I won’t say who’s made me feel which way because that would just be rude and, as you know, I always put other people’s feelings above my own …

Afterwards I went to the cafeteria with my course-friend Helen (who has a very posh British accent which may or may not make me feel inferior) and my other course friend Alex (who has an American accent which may or may not once again make me feel superior) and we talked about our upcoming Craft and Experimentation class. It was then that I realized I was completely unprepared for said class, as I had not seen that I was to read an entire novel before attending said first day of said class. They both reassured me that he would probably not condemn me just yet seeing as it was the first day — but I was not convinced. I mean, I knew he was Jamaican so I was prejudicially hoping that he would be laid back and um … “influenced” by certain outside chemicals … but I couldn’t be sure.

Turns out he wasn’t pissed or baked so it all worked out for everybody. He explained to us upon our arrival that since he did not tell us directly that we had to read the book, we would put it off until the next week (Ashley 1, University of Glasgow 0). As he took the rest of the class to explain to us what we would be doing (experimenting with language), I fell more and more in love with the degree I had chosen. 

Example of experimentation: we learned about a writing movement called OUPIO that basically ties one hand behind the writer’s back while they write. Some examples of the example: writer is not allowed to use the letter “i” in any part of the story, writer has to replace all nouns with the seventh word after it in the dictionary, writer has to translate a foreign language poem into their native language using words that rhyme with the foreign words (supposing they do not know the foreign language), etc.

ANYWAYS, that was my day. This may easily be the best two years of my life. I will leave you with the experiment I had to do in class. I’ll let you guess which one of the OUPIO variations I chose … Just a warning though, OUPIO often sounds like nonsense. SO ENJOY.

The embrios trembled in a large bed,
While the festival of the roses went slow,
They tortured their mother during the day,
In the cinema they solidified the friendships they’ll know.

Their palace and mother were divorced,
As they cruised in the angry odor of destruction,
And travelled through the dirty embrio,
At the cinema, they came to a truce of obstruction.

But oy, during their passage a mountain with a director,
It was large, hot and completely cold,
It was dormant and huge and as fore mentioned,
It’s land was white and its cadavers were sold.

They trembled at night in the humid bed,
Located in the electrical components,
But their method of heroism was divided in their dreams,
As they embarked on the festival of roses.

They argued in the middle on the external,
They paralleled over the body and the brawl,
While they were sick over her soul,
They went fast and they went slow,
Whoever had the energy to see what they saw.



Oh and I got stung by a bee today. Right in the hand. It hurt. Much like you would expect.

Love,


Ashley

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Finding California in Pennsylvania.

(Disclaimer: this is one of those vaguely serious posts.  You may skip if you want to wait for what Ashley has to say in her usual, somewhat amusing manner.  Somewhat.)

And by my title, I don't mean I'm finding a million California license plates or a Starbucks every couple yards or anything like that.  (And I've yet to find a single item embroidered with Ed Hardy, although that's more of a Southern California thing.)

What I mean is that there are these little things that I keep noticing that remind me of home.  And that's what I need to find.  For someone who lives in her own nostalgia, finding little things that remind me of my California days is what keeps me happy.  And it's not even that these things I am finding are specific to home.  They're simple things, like a field of three leaf clovers (oh, the quest for that elusive four leaf clover) or the smell of a campfire or the way the sun hits the earth so that it reminds me of how my early summer days used to bleed into each other.  There is constantly this smell of flowers and it reminds me of how I used to think flowers were butterflies and butterflies were flowers.  There are mornings that are soaked in rain and I lie in bed with tired eyes and listen how it softly patters against our windows.  Lazy California mornings.  I miss them, but they're not so far away.  Pennsylvania has presented me with hidden attics and overgrown staircases and creaky floors in the morning when everything is quiet and the faint smell of cigarette smoke that sometimes rises up through our window shades and rain that brings out everything that I love. 

There are things that I'm missing. 
I miss getting coffee with Ashley.
I miss how you could step outside and practically feel the weight of the world be lifted off your shoulders. 
I miss driving around with no intention and yet with every intention in the world.
Quiet mornings and loud nights.

I'm determined to find those things here.  I cannot replace the people, but I'm finding new ones.  Getting to know a whole new batch of people is an exhausting but thrilling task.

And I don't know if I'll stay here for a while or if I'll journey elsewhere after I graduate.  I don't know if this is the place for me or if I've yet to find a place I can be happy in for a while.  I talk about Iceland a lot, but I can imagine myself in somewhere like Oregon or Washington or maybe even New Zealand or England (adventurous, I am).  I dream of landscapes dotted with tiny buildings and full of early morning fog.  Back home we're surrounded by a whole lot of nothing, and it's something I've come to appreciate.  I think living in a large city would kill the part of me that craves long drives in warm cars.  You either walk or you let someone bus you around.  I suppose there's a romantic quality about it, but I'm happiest when I'm driving somewhere.  My earliest memories are of driving.  I remember things in flashes of colors and rain streaked stoplights.  I don't have that here, but I think there are other things that are keeping me content.

Anyways, my point is that I'm acclimating to this place.
And that's good because I'm happy.

One point for Pennsylvania.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Anniversary of the Worst Day of My Life

So Hurricane-fucking-Katia is right outside my window right now and tomorrow is Stephanie’s birthday … so I just figured BIRTHDAY/HURRICANE/WHATEVER-I’M-JUST-BORED-AND-WANT-TO-WRITE-SOMETHING BLOG.

So let’s go back in time, a simpler time when Stephanie was just a wee (<-- hey steph, that’s how they say “little” over here … WEIRD RIGHT) annoying sack of skin.

I will now give everyone a brief history of our childhood. When our maternal parent was pregnant with the little demon seed, I was like, “HEY BITCH YOU BETTER HAVE A GIRL ‘CAUSE I WANTS TO PLAY WITH THAT BITCH.” Just kidding, I didn’t talk like that when I was three … I wasn’t that sophisticated. And then nine months later, there she was — a little raisin in the sun. When I saw her I remember thinking “Now just how in the hell am I supposed to play with that?” To which my mom replied, “ASHLEY STOP SQUEEZING HER NECK.”

Upon taking her home, I told my parents I wanted to play with her every second of every day and I will always remember the words that came out of my mother’s wise mouth, “Yeah that’ll fade in about a week.” She was of course wrong. After I realized all she could do was drool and sit there like a meatloaf I was over it in about three hours.

And our relationship only blossomed from there. From our endless hours spent wrapping ourselves up in sleeping bags so we could play giant leech and giant slug, annihilating her at Mario Party, forcing her to act out my screenplays, beating her ass whenever possible/mom was out shopping, her beating my ass right back, watching The Nightmare Before Christmas 10 billion times, watching her put on a ballet tutu and moonboots every day for a year, dressing up like a witch while she dressed up like a ballerina for four consecutive Halloweens, to just being better than her at everything ever.

Yeah it’s been a pretty great twenty-year relationship — and this is the new chapter. Congratulations Stephanie, you’re a twenty-something now. Welcome to the worst ten years of your life. Seriously though you thought the last twenty were bad … SAY HELLO TO HELL.

Nah just kidding you’re going to do great.

Happy Birthday little one. I made you a video.


video



And a picture. You're welcome.






Ashley

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Stephanie is growing roots. Like a tree. The metaphor is pretty bad.



I feel like it's been a while.  Has it been a while?  I don't think it has, but it feels like it.
I strongly believe in the theory of Pennsylvania Simultaneously Slows Down And Speeds Up Time. 
I think it might actually be a theory and I am just now stumbling across it.  I think Wikipedia is lying to me when it says 'no search results'.  All of my friends agree, it feels like we’ve been at Chatham for two months, not two weeks.  But it’s not a bad thing. I can literally feel the roots of, dare I say it, adulthood settling in my subconscious.  I mean, they could be poisoning me but I'M PRETTY SURE it's a maturity thing.

Watch as I stop wearing my super awesome tiger socks that I got from the San Diego Zoo and start reading the Wall Street Journal in some vague cafe while saying 'Yes, quite.'  Nah, someone shoot me in the face if I ever do that.  (But someone please buy me a monocle, good god that is one classy piece of glass.)

I don't know if you, our dear readers, have noticed but Ashley and I established one rule for this blog.  Only one.  Fairly easy to follow.  Or so I thought.
We alternate entries.  But what ho! Ashley decided to do a DOUBLE entry.  She cheated, Ashley's a cheater.  We were discussing the state of the blog on Skype the other night and she impatiently encouraged me to write an entry so she could write hers.  She threatened a double entry.  I said I would try to write one but I couldn't guarantee it.  I actually DO THINGS now.  (That's what I tell people anyway.  When they ask me if I'm busy I just say "I am doing so many things, you don't even know")  So, a day went by, I didn't write one, and then I see that she posted an entry.  Readers, my sister is a cheating cheater pants on fire pumpkin-eater cheater.  Turn on her.  
So, besides Ashley's Scottish blasphemies, I suppose I should discuss things that have been going on with me.  Besides my roots/adulthood metaphor, which was kind of silly let's face it.
I will detail my life in the past week in bullet form because bullets are super fucking exciting.
  • I sketched and glued a leaf into my sketchbook and was graded on it.  /artschool
  • I attended a scorching hot Pitt game with my roommate and her family.  Literally.  I think it was Pitt vs. The surface of the Sun.
  • Thought about exploring the campus a bit more with my camera.  Watched Community instead.  /photographymajor
  • I probably showered at some point.
  • Some food was probably involved as well.
  • Someone invent a shower kitchen.  That sounds really great.
  • I can shampoo my hair AND make a sandwich?  Sign me up!
  • Sneakily got my commuter friend into my dorm so she could spend the night.  It was not a big deal.  We literally walked right past an RA and our GRD and the amount of fucks they gave was second to none.  
  • Packed for California which took, like, a single throw of clothes into my duffel bag.
And so concludes Stephanie's life in bullet point super fucking awesome form.


p.s. I'm pretty sure there are at least two cocaine addicts in this terminal.  And they're getting on my plane.  That's good.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Tale of Glasgow






Hello Steph-town 5000 and three of the best followers anyone could ask for if they so chose to ask (ß grammar? Sp? Fuck it? Yeah). So I made it to Glasgow and it’s eh … AMAZING-uh.

Short summary of the trip across the pond: Woke up at 4 am (yes, the world does exist at that time, however, it’s a much shittier version), drove to the airport with the parents, walked through Sacramento International with a 9162472836 lb carry-on (or 178247512467 kg), flew to Philadelphia, became terrified of surroundings, got on plane, sat next to two 12-year old boys, couldn’t find Tylenol PM, realized row behind me was drunk/Scottish, attempted to sleep on the tray table, got smashed when bitch-duck in front of me reclined her seat, ingested airplane food, got off airplane, grabbed the rest of my 868236481064612064102641469187249012641764011246 lb luggage, went downstairs, ordered green tea, went to pay, got confused, threw random assortment of money at cashier, got bitch-slapped with cashier’s eyes, felt like a bitch, smiled, sat down, saw another American student, attached myself to her hip, met other students, took the shuttle to student apartments, and there I was … GLASGOW.

I finally made it. I felt like someone had drug my body through hell’s steaming black gates a few times but what-the-fuck-ever, I was in SCOTLAND. As my two new American friends Katie, Gina and I walked into the main office to check in, the woman informed us that our rooms might not be ready until 4 pm (which was about 8 hours in the future). As I gazed into her Scottish eyes with a look that said, “BITCH, THAT ROOM BEST BE READY BITCH,” she looked at my comrades and said, “Oh well you two girls can move into your rooms but YOU (me) can’t until four.” And I could be mistaken, but I believe the message she was sending with her eyeballs was, “BITCH DON’T BE THINKING YOU ALL IMPORTANT BECAUSE YOU TIRED AND AMERICAN BITCH.” I could be wrong.

So anyways, we all made the executive decision to drop off our crap in their rooms and go exploring. AND EXPLORE WE DID. It was amazing, everything I had dreamed of. Also, I still felt like I was dreaming because of the amount of time my body had been awake. BUT WHATEVER. CHECK THIS CRAP OUT:



RIGHT??

OH AND THIS:



Just great. Anyways, I am beginning to figure out their barbaric culturally fascinating ways. Although I have to be honest, I went to a pub for the first time last night, watched the Scotland v. Lithuania game, had my first Guinness, had the next four Guinness’ paid for (not typical), and could maybe understand every tenth word the guy was saying. I’ll get there though, I’ll get there.

OH and fun fact: the reason the UK drives on the left side of the road is because in medieval times they needed their right hand free so they could sword fight passersby … I swear to GOD if I saw someone driving a Toyota just taking out oncoming cars with a sword I would just love Scotland so much more …

Anyways, it’s off to another pub tonight. I’ll let you know how that goes.

LOOOOOOOOOVEEEEEEE,



ashley

Friday, September 2, 2011

To Pack or not to Pack

Hey guys/Stephanie. So I'm packing/not packing for Glasgow and then I got inspired/bored. Hey Steph remember that time we were trying to figure out i-Chat and after HOURS (actual time: 2 minutes) just gave up and acted immature navigated through the intricate framework of the effects application? Because I sure do. In case you forgot ... here it is:


Ya that's right ... I SCREEN-CAPPED THAT BITCH. Or I put a cap in that screen's ass, if I may. P.S., I like how it says, "traveling sisters," in the corner. That's neat. 

Alright well I better get back to sleeping  packing. It's like, 3:30 am your time so you're either very asleep or very drunk. I shall know if it the latter as the comment section will read, "I justhajsh wanafdrt to sayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" <-- you passed out on the "y" in case you were wondering. Now that I have simulated you drunk typing, I will bid you a-dude. 

Peace bitch,









Ashley