So, do you want to hear about the last couple insanely exciting weeks of my life first, or do you want to hear me drone on about how I'm going to quit biting my fingernails and get my body back in shape? Recap of life first? Mmk. ('Scuse me, I need to get some more water.)
The Best 36 Hours Ever, Part I
The Graduation Day
Okay, think back to when you were little and it was Christmas Eve and you knew Santa was coming and you couldn't sleep. And then, you woke up the next morning really early and tried to go back to sleep, but you couldn't, so you woke up your family so you could go down and open all the presents. You remember all of that? Well, December 19 sort of felt like this. Except, I slept fine because I may have drank too much the night before, so you woke up a teeny bit hungover. And no family was around until later. And then we ate Japanese food. Yeah, but the feeling was there, along with tears. I gave my parents my thank you card for getting me through it all and there were more tears. And then I donned The Dress and the Cap & Gown and we were off. The ceremony was a blur- particularly the moments when I was brought on stage to be recognized for graduating with Honors and of course when they recited my name and I floated across to shake hands with the Dean and get pinned, smiling one of those smiles you feel through your entire body. I'd made it! I could go on and on about it, but then I'd get all sentimental and mushy and this entry is not about the mushy. I can get all nostalgic and weepy later. For now: I'M A FREAKING COLLEGE GRADUATE!!
There's something very special about grabbing your single carry on, still in The Dress and flip-flops, and hopping into the car to get to Sky Harbor Airport just hours after the above mentioned. Once arrived, I downed a bagel and some much-needed coffee before saying goodbye to my parents and disappearing into the terminal. I caught up with Coco and we tried to wait as patiently as we could, as our plane was an hour behind. We would still make the banquet, which was more than Jameson and Jessy, whose flight was delayed until 5am the next morning. I boarded, alone for the first time, suffered through take-off, and tried to make the most of the hour flight.
The Band Banquet
We landed and ran off the plane, ran through the airport, was hit by incredible damp coldness, and ran to a cab, "CIRCUS CIRCUS!" And so it began- the lights, the shiny, I was gone. There would be no more hope for me. We found the banquet hall without much trouble to find that we'd only missed the Band Day video, everyone was in line for food. I took minimal pictures and can hardly remember most of the next hour. While it was nice to have it go so quickly, it never really felt like it should. Next thing I knew, I was listening to Rees make his emotional last speech that I would hear, tears pouring down my face.
Sal and me
Emily, Terra, and me
The buses arrived at the Venetian and everyone headed upstairs to change. However, I would just be wearing The Dress, my peacoat, and flip-flops. No heels for me. I stuffed some cash and my ID in my cleavage and willed my exhausted party to get some Strip time. We spent an hour or so exploring Las Vegas before they ended up sleepwalking back into the Venetian (Tangent: HOLY SHIT that place is GORGEOUS. How the hell did we get to stay THERE?!). But I couldn't go upstairs. Sleep was not an option. I had just graduated. I had just landed in Las Vegas. There were lights everywhere and money and crazy people and too many things to see and my feet were frozen but it didn't even matter and I had this vibrating feeling that had consumed my body and brain- why would I go to sleep?! Thankfully, I ran into Jeremy and another drummer, getting cash out of the ATM. While deciding which game to play, we ran into Chris and decided to run next door to Casino Royale to play some cheeper games. A few games of Blackjack Switch later, I was $5 up, $2 of which I ended up losing at Roulette. Now, let me tell you something. The 3 minute walk back to the Venetian was the coldest I have ever been in my life. I had left my coat with my roommates, so I was only wearing The Dress I'd had on for over 24 hours and flip-flops in what was most like 28 degree weather. It was after 2:30am by the time I got back to my room, getting ready for bed in the privacy in the bedroom-sized bathroom, wishing it wasn't so late so I could take a bath. I curled up in the best bed and sheet combo ever and willed myself to get some sleep. It wouldn't come. 3:00. 4:00. 5:00. There must have been some moments when I had actually fallen asleep, but it was sporadic and never deep. When 6:45 rolled around, the second part of my weekend had begun.
The site of the mischief
Honestly...what is this place?
...to be continued...
For now, my 2009 New Year's Resolutions.
1) Work out more. Get back into the shape I was in last March. Running over 3 miles again and getting strength back is more important than losing weight. If I can get looking awesome again, I'll be perfectly happy no matter what the scale says.
2) Stop biting my fingernails once and for all. Seriously, it's unattractive and sort of disgusting.
That's it. That's all. There are more goals (#3 was going to be related to passing the NCLEX), but this year is the beginning of a brand new life. The main goal is to get through it alive! And preferably happy, with friends, and coming out of it with a better idea of what I want to do as a nurse, a Wildcat Alumna, and a temporarily music-less clarinetist. It's my first year as a real adult and I want to prove to myself that the best years of my life didn't just end. I think I found my third resolution.
3) Prove that life can rock after college.
Hello blog! More of an update tomorrow. For now, here it is! My 2008 recap of joy. Or something. I'm mostly just happy to start a new year. I'm so over 2008.
1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Most notably, graduated from college.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My single resolution was to be happy, and for the most part, I think I handled that one pretty well. Mostly. Minus the entire month of October and a little bit of last winter/spring.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No one I'm close to, but a friend or two and a cousin.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
Las Vegas! Oh, that's not a country?
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Uhh...money would be nice. My own car, a new apartment. A couch without holes in it.
7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
When I got my job(s), when I graduated, Band Day, the ASU Game, Las Vegas Bowl.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Bachelor's of Science in Nursing from the University of Arizona
9. What was your biggest failure?
Letting a certain member of the male species get to me and allowing it to spoil other possibilities. Not enjoying every second of my last year in college.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had pretty much one cold and a few minor things. So no. My immune system is massive.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Eight seasons of television on DVD? Uh, maybe not.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Well, that's an easy one. Also, my Honors Advisor
14. Where did most of your money go?
Gas. Except for today, when it was $1.45 a gallon. And to television on DVD. Whoops.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Hey, guess what! I GRADUATED! :) Also, finishing the Honors Thesis, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Arizona Football.
16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2008?My OneRepublic CD and Continuum Album by John Mayer, among others
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- i. happier or sadder? Probably happier.
- ii. thinner or fatter? Less thin than last year, especially right now.
- iii. richer or poorer? I'm basically broke. But that shouldn't last for too much longer.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Studying, enjoy college, reading
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Studying, hangovers, maybe all that TV watching?
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Spent it in
22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And because they'll be jealous if I don't mention them: Angel, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, The Office, 30 Rock, and my very special honorable mention, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No, less people actually.
26. What was the best book you read?
Atonement. And perhaps On Chesil Beach. And Oryx and Crake.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
John Mayer. Dancing tunes that aren't really all that good but are catchy and fun to move to.
28. What did you want and get?
A degree with honors. A winning bowl game. Umm...
29. What did you want and not get?
To win big in Vegas. That one guy, shoot.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
GAME DAY!! Against Toledo. I had the biggest "birthday love" ever after morning practice and partied it up in Arizona Stadium on my first day as a 23 year-old.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I can think of a list of things, but nothing that really would have made THE difference.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
The usual. A lot of work-out clothes, Pride of Arizona uniform, College of Nursing uniform, teal scrubs, and the jeans/shirt look.
34. What kept you sane?
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Barack Obama. David Boreanaz and James Marsters. I still can't choose. Also? Jamie Bamber and John Krasinski among others.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
In case you have not heard, there was an election this year and a black man won. And he was a Democrat, too. :)
37. Who did you miss?
Oma- and always will.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
Raise your hands! It's probably you.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Life is in the pursuing. Enjoy it while it lasts, because it's going to be over before you're ready. What a pursuit it's been.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
So what? I'm still a rockstar...
K, fine. Bring on the cheese.
I’ll taste every moment
And live it out loud
I know this is the time,
This is the time to be
More than a name
Or a face in the crowd
I know this is the time
This is the time of my life
I've been (mostly) good this year. All I ask is that I take the NCLEX once and pass it, get used to being a nurse SUPER fast, and go on more than one really good date.
And maybe some Buffy seasons 4, 6, and 7.
That is all.
A car would work, too.
Plane ticket on my parent's tab = $128
Money lost on roulette = $17
Hours of sleep in the Venetian = maybe 2
Graduating, experiencing Vegas, and watching the Wildcats win in their first bowl game in 10 years for my last game as part of the Pride of Arizona Marching Band in 24 hours...
A very obnoxiously detailed account of the trip to come. Just let me get a good night's sleep that's not on a bus or in the middle of the day.
I just wanted to savor this final moment.
Okay, done savoring. Almost time to PARTY!
But today? At about 2:10pm after I completed my Honors Thesis Defense and Presentation when I walked downstairs in the Nursing building to meet two of my friends and sister who came to support me, I was completely content. Seriously, who has friends that actually are willing to take time out of their busy days to sit through a presentation of a boring research project? (And there were more that wanted to/could come! WTF?) Following the musical number I performed on the way to the car (no really), we went out and I downed the darkest beer I've ever consumed (seriously, it was a meal), and ran to band. No, I did not break any rules. Psh. Shut up. And then we talked about Vegas and I found out that I'm not going to miss a bit of the banquet and after the banquet we can roam the Strip so long as we get some sleep. And then I got hugs from people and they're doing Aerosmith for the show next year and it's going to be so fun to watch. Seriously, life doesn't get much better when you feel this loved and when you have finished your honors thesis and have turned it in and presented it. And graduating and going to Las Vegas next week.
No seriously, I need a damn good dress now.
Last Saturday, I marched in my final game in Arizona Stadium. Like, the LAST ONE. It was against our rival school...I forget the name...something about devils. Anywho. We WON for the first time since my FRESHMAN YEAR. God, that's a long effing time ago. I mean, we crushed them. 31-10. I got to do the Tuba Dance and play in Skybox Band and we did KANYE and it was the ultimate game experience. And I took about 100 pictures, no joke. But seriously, we won, which meant that the team would go to the Las Vegas Bowl on December 20. Honestly, we played Viva Las Vegas 50 times that night.
That was exciting and all. And sad. Really sad. Because, I would never get to do it again. Ever.
Except, you know, AT THE LAS VEGAS BOWL. Turns out, athletics has agreed to take the entire Pride of Arizona. They're leaving Tucson on Thursday night just in time to conflict with my College of Nursing graduation on Friday afternoon. That evening, they'll be possibly having the Band Banquet and staying the night at the Venetian. Seriously, people. The Venetian. Then, the following day will be filled with tailgaiting fun and the bowl game at 5pm, the same day as my massive Commencement Ceremony. We have time to perform at pre-game AND half time. HOLY!
Decisions, decisions. I made them.
I'll be going to my nursing graduation and walking, hitching a ride with my amazing parents to the airport and flying to Vegas, grabbing a shuttle of some sort to the hotel, and walking in dressed to the nines fashionably late to the banquent. I'll be missing my big Commencement and I've heard reactions from "you're stupid" to "you've seen it already" to "your dad and I never walked". But, to be completely honest, it's not that difficult of a decision. I've been to many a winter commencement and I'll be graduating in a more intimate setting the day before. Sure, I won't be throwing tortillas that I've hidden in my bra, but I'll be screaming my head of for the team I love with my favorite people in the world. I'll also, sadly, be missing part of the banquet (if they decide to do it then) even with the time change thanks to travel issues. But, in the words of Jeremy Young, I've gotten MVP already. Whatevs. They just better save me some food. Venetian chocolate cake probably trumps the Union's any day.
So, turn on your television at 5pm (Pacific Time!) to ESPN and watch the Wildcats take on BYU and know that I am there probably having the best couple days of my life.
Crap, now I have to find a dress worthy of The Strip and to hide under my cap and gown.
As I put my lovely Shembob (that's my clarinet's name) away this evening, I promised it that this would not be the last time I would see it. I've seen it happen all too often. College or high school ends and they never play again. Not me, my lovely readers. No, not me. I'm going to be that crazy 95 year-old who's still playing in a mediocre concert band and coming back for the Alumni's Pre-Game portion at Homecoming. In fact, you never know when a career change might be in order. There are, after all, Master's in clarinet performance and education to be had and enjoyed. After I make a hell of a lot of money.
As silly as it may seem to become a pile of emotional mush at my final band concert, it's been one hell of a ride these past 13.5 years, and the last 4.5 of them have been a little bit extra special.
After what's supposed to be a restful weekend, I feel all jittery and have a bad case of the Blahs. I feel gross about my participation with a group project, but it's not like they really left anything for me to do for this weekend- and I did not want to meet tonight of all nights. I have no desire to finish up my honors thesis, which is basically written, but not really good enough to send off for some editing. It needs to get out tomorrow. I have three classes and band tomorrow when all I want to do is spend the day with Buffy in my pjs. And, I feel crappy about my financial sitch (the mom bought my boots) to top it off. And I'm in desperate need of some alone time.
I feel so lame. Cheer me up?
Shoot. What a great way to end the month. Good riddance November 2008.