Let’s Go, Sophomore

So, I’m just sitting here, in my little home in Bon Air, listening to punk-reggae and perusing Facebook when I see an advertisement that says Starbucks is going to be offering those pumpkin spice lattes early this year. Ew no gross why would you do such a thing it’s still summer? And then it hits me: uh hello, Claire, classes start on Thursday so to some people it is fall. 

Wait what I actually have to go to school, with real people? I registered with classes six months ago and now I don’t even remember what I’m taking. Can I just find another cute, chai tea-loving boy in Starbucks and follow him  to his nine am and pray it’s the same one I signed up for? 

With all the students returning for the fall and the new fresh babies for their first taste of college in the area, that means good ole Cary Street Gym is going to be overcrowded with those overly fit guys that intimidate me out of using the free weights, and I’m praying that I won’t have to fight to get a spot in the sunrise yoga class I love so dearly. Oh well, I guess new people means new hot guys showing off their arm muscles and tattoos to stare at as I pretend to work out. 

As if the gym wasn’t bad enough, let’s add a bunch of strange people!

Honestly here, I was feeling pretty Continue reading

“I’ve grown as a Person”

As I’m sitting outside (in this be-ay-you-tiful RVA summer weather), I remind myself that my sophomore year of college is about to start and I can’t help but to think about where I was mentally a year ago, about to start my freshman year. This kind of reminiscing and ruminating typically calls for the phrase: “I’ve grown as a person”

Man I hate it when people say that. “I’ve grown so much as a person since I’ve met you/did that thing/got a new job/went to college”. Growing as a person doesn’t mean in height, which would make sense, if you took the phrase literally. It means mentally, emotionally, psychologically, you know, all those things that only you can measure. I could tell you that I “grew as a person” when I started working at the pharmacy but what I really mean is that I improved my social skills with customers and learned the names of drugs and how unhappy people can be when they don’t have any refills on their prescriptions. Weird little things I know you really care about.  Continue reading

Blogiversary!

So, i open up my Word Press account on Monday to a little orange trophy, which said “hip hip hooray congrats on your one year blogging queen status!” (something like that). 

I can’t believe that it’s been one year since I started posting all of my thoughts and feelings online for strangers and friends to read. I’m so happy that I decided to blog though, I think four gazillion people have run up to me saying “OMG I love your  blog!” and half the time I’m like hey cool, who are you? but 100000% I smile, my heart’s warmed, and I feel happy and fluttery that someone likes what I have to say and cares enough to read it. 

I’ll let you in on something, I felt like a fish in high school, kinda swimming by, seen but not heard, and talked over a lot. I’ve always had a lot going on in my mind, but never really had it in me to ramble on like Led Zeppelin. There a few things I just wanted to say, didn’t know how to or who to tell, finally I ended up with a blog. 

I can’t believe what this blog has done. I’ve gone from three random fellow WordPress user followers to having my pages read over 35,000 times, joined a blogging network and a Facebook page of 65 “likes”. But, I didn’t do any of this by myself (even though I think I’ve checked out the blog page 35,000 times today). And I’d like to thank some special people out there who’ve helped me out:

  • Thanks to Sarah, for encouraging me to apply to the Her Campus Blogging Network
  • Thanks to Brayden, Colin, and the Red Eye Cookie Company for supporting me and the blog (also a thank you for perfecting the red velvet and espresso cookie)
  • Thank you to WordPress for being a functioning and free blog supporting website. Without you, I would probably be on BlogSpot. 
  • Thank you, Hannah, for being one of my biggest fans, reading and supporting me from the start. 
  • Thanks Cailyn, for being the blog’s number one fan. I don’t think anyone shares posts as much as you do. I’m so grateful that you like it so much!
  • Thank you to Alison, Brad, Jasmine, Luke, Janey, Phoebe, Jenna, and Elizabeth for being such loyal and awesome readers! 
  • Thank you Sean….even though you didn’t read my blog for months, you eventually started and and encouraged me once to switch to YouTube vlogging so I could get paid. 
  • Thanks to the random guy who Facebooked me once telling me how much he liked my blog. You have no idea how much that means to me, Because people like you are exactly what keep me going. 
  • And just an overall thank you to everyone who has ever read any of my posts, smiled, laughed, shared, and simply enjoyed it. It’s you guys that keep me going. 
  • Thank you Bon Air Library, which encouraged my passion of books that fed into my passion of writing 
  • Thanks to Urban Farmhouse, who posted my blog on their Midlo location once on their Facebook page
  • Thanks to anyone and everyone who shared my “You’ve Experienced Richmond If..” post 30+ times, I’m still in shock over how much people enjoyed and connected to it. 
  • Thanks to VCU, for having such weird but extremely awesome people, places and situations to write about as well as pool of hot guys to fantasize about. 
  • Thank you Richmond, for nurturing me, being my home and my heart, giving me such amazing things to experience, write about, and showing me the beauty of a tight knit small-big city
  • Thanks to my brain, who is creative enough to enjoy writing and crazy enough to do this for a year
  • Thanks to my teachers, past and present, elementary school to middle and high school to college, who gave me the tools to be here and encourage me to keep going. (Shoutout to Mrs. Gallo, Ms Benere, and Mrs. Hoggatt!)
  • Thanks to Clare, my fairy godmother, for being an awesome fellow writer/blogger/lover of food and supportive sweetheart (with a pretty great name)
  • Thanks to my grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins who constantly encourage me and send nothing but love
  • Thanks to my godfather, who bought me a laptop, my nifty little tool that a majority of my blogging has been done on
  • Thanks to my brother, whose way of showing support is saying “Your blog is awful. No one reads it and you should stop”. 
  • Thank you Daddy, Uncle Peter, Grandpa and Grandaddy for watching over me and being my guardian angels through this little journey. 
  • And a special thank you to Momma G, who has been behind this blog 100% since I first told her the big idea. Thank you for always reading, encouraging people to read, sending my posts to your friends, talking it up, pretty much being the blog’s PR. If I was getting paid for this, I would give you a portion, but since this is free, why I don’t I cook dinner?

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(#) Summer Blogger Challenge 6

There’s only one other thing that could quite possibly top last week’s summer blogger challenge prompt. Well, two, if you count my dream husband, who arrives majestically on his surfboard, long blonde hair flowing in wind, a cup of coffee in one hand and chocolate cake in the other, with a PharmD degree to his name (I’m sorry I’ve seen a lot of cute guys in the past couple of days). So, what could this prompt really be?

Summer Reads!

*Insert witty intro about how I’m reading ingredients on the back of Oreo boxes, the prescriptions you hand me, and those pointless emails VCU sends every day* Here’s what I’ve sincerely been reading this summer!

  1. Do you like short stories? Check. Do you like magical realism? Check. Do you like women? Check. Aimee Bender’s Girl with the Flammable Skirt has all of the above! I first saw this book on a Buzzfeed article earlier this summer, and being a lover of short stories, I grabbed the book from the library and finished it in two days. The unexpectedness of the magical realism kept my interest the whole time, and all the stories connect with an overarching theme of women (one of my favorites is about a woman whose husband is the Benjamin Button of evolution). 
  2.  “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle see you the blue center light pop and everybody goes, ‘Aww!'”. Are you still rereading that quote, ten minutes later? Are you still sucked up by Jack Kerouac’s godly writing skills? That’s just enough reason to read On the Road. I’ve been interested in this book since I saw Kristen Stewart on the Daily Show a couple of years ago talking about the film version, and now I am falling in love with Beat Generation writer/vanguard Kerouac (hope my grocery store boyfriend won’t mind!)
  3. I wake up every Thursday-Sunday morning, ecstatic. Why is a college student happy to wake up in the morning, and only on those days? One Thurs-Sunday, we have the Richmond Times-Dispatch to go with coffee! The newspaper, a physical newspaper, is just one of those true and good things about life that I don’t think I can ever let go of. Even when I was young, I would read the comics as my parents read the “boring” parts over our breakfasts together. A couple years back I told my mom that I would exercise my right to be an informed citizen and start reading the paper again, and she reminded me that that wasn’t a part of the Bill of Rights.  I just said “whatever” and grabbed the Metro section. Moral of my story? Read the paper. Smell the ink print. Get the Sunday issues, they’re the best. Buy the Washington Post if you’re fancy (which you so are). 

I will just come out and say it: STYLE WEEKLY IS PERFECT. Did you see last week’s issue about the Bob McDonnell trial, told as an activity book, including a maze to get Johnnie Williams to the Governor’s Mansion, Bob and Maureen McDonnell paper dolls, and a search to find the Antabloc? Maybe you checked them out in May when they released the “Best of Richmond”, my dear favorite printed issue of the year? And you’re checking them out for the “40 Under 40″ later this month? Don’t even think about answering “no” to any of those questions, Style Weekly is 100% free and found in those little red huts on street corners, at coffeeshops, grocery stores, any where that good vibes can be found. I’ve read a few other books, magazines, and whatnot, but these have been my favorites for this summer. Man, as much as I want school to start back to see everyone/thing/History Now!/hot boys/etc, I’m not looking forward to being so busy that I won’t have time to read anymore. Well maybe with the new Urban Farmhouse opening in the spring, I can grab a cup of their coffee and a Style Weekly for some morning downtime before classes.

(#) Summer Blogger Challenge 5

Yas. Yas. Yas. 

Finally. In my deep excitement in this week’s summer blogger challenge prompt, I have forgotten how to pronounce my e’s as I cheer for this week’s prompt, something that connects to my life well enough that I don’t have to mesh and morph into something that mildly works. I’m so happy I could run to the grocery store and kiss the cute worker that I’m currently in love with!

“Paper or plastic?” 

Gives kiss on the cheek, lays money on the counter, grabs purchases and runs out of the store and heads home to blog

Okay so the thing that’s making me so happy. Only a prompt that combines many strong aspects of my life and asks me to share them with my blogging people could stir such emotions. “What are the best restaurants of your city?” No, but that’s a good idea. “Who’s your history boyfriend?” Sorry but this isn’t the time to talk about Thomas Jefferson. “How much cooler are local and independent businesses than chains?” Oh man I think I’ll spare you from that rant.  How about something that includes my deep passion for my favorite season with the power of one of the best art forms: “What songs are you loving this summer/Summer playlist?”

  • Okay guys I know this song came out like five years ago, but remember, I’m a history major, I live in the past! I recently rediscovered this song a few weeks ago and have kept a Youtube tab of it open on my computer at all times. Iration’s perfect reggae beat and feel, combined with the love song keeps me happily bouncing around, smiling, and pretending that the bag boy loves me back. 
  • Oh, Bad Suns. A lovely hip and indie band that alternative radio station 102.1 The X brought to Strange Matter last month captured my heart with “Cardiac Arrest” (a song about “high voltage” love, not a heart problem). They have great acoustic songs on their channel, and get plus points for being cute, too ;) If you like that (why wouldn’t you? You’re fun, hip and cool just like them), I suggest their other songs, “Salt” and “We Move Like the Ocean”. 
  • Let’s hit the mainstream with the next choice: “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers, a project by one of the guys from fun. who is not lead singer Nate Reuss. Bleachers shares fun.’s quirky, almost Queen-like sound, and talks about a theme everyone experiences at some point: wanting to get better, because hey, aren’t we all a little not right? This is a must listen to anyone who has ever “trained themselves to give up on the past”. I give this song the Claire seal of approval of blasting in your car while driving. Side effects may include strange looks from the other drivers, though. 
  • OHMIGOD IF YOU IGNORED THE OTHER SONGS LISTEN TO THIS ONE RIGHT NOW YOU’LL BE DANCING AND SINGING LIKE ITS THE 1940’S I’M TELLING YOU THIS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. Thank you il mio amico Sean for introducing me to The Mowgli’s during his hipster music binge. Their beyond upbeat and lively tune keeps me dancing and smiling during the whole song. The good vibes don’t cease with these kids, and since song is named after one of my favorite cities to eventually visit, I give them extra points. 
  • With the same kinda sexiness that lives in Arctic Monkey’s “Do I Wanna Know?”, Big Data’s “Dangerous” keeps you rocking and grooving. Sorry if you’re in the car with me when this comes on, because I’ll shush you and turn the music up. Mi dispiace. 
  • Sara Bareilles was (so far) my only concert of the summer, so it’d be a shame to not talk about her. Since depressing music seems to be her thing and I’m so drawn to “1000 Times” with it’s high emotion and music that pulls you in, it might as well go here. 
  • This came on my Pandora station one day and I immediately fell in love. Maybe it’s my thing for California, reggae, or listening to love songs and pretending that I’m the girl that they’re singing about, but regardless, Pacific Dub has me swooning in infatuation and pretending that I have a California boy singing this to me (Or a VCU boy. Those are cool too). 
  • Welcome to my all time favorite song, the very essence of summer, “Lay Me Down” by the Dirty Heads. A Bonnie and Clyde kinda love story, I can’t help but smile as I sing/try to rap the words. I could and have listened to this one repeat for hours on end, maybe it’s the story or the acoustic guitar in the beginning, but something here grabs me and doesn’t let me go. If you liked this, check out their new hit “My Sweet Summer” or another favorite,“Cabin By the Sea”

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