Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 9
Today, I need to do something before breakfast.
I set my alarm an hour before I usually get up, and spend that entire hour hitting the snooze button. Since I don’t normally do that, it counts as doing something, right? I learned how my alarm clock works.
To make this all valid, I do check my email before breakfast.
Breakfast is very very tiny. A single Oats & Honey bar. It’s all I could get from the vending machine.
Last night, Mike said he was worried I don’t eat enough. I asked, so you think I’m anorexic?
He said, no, I’m just afraid you’re starving yourself.
For the record, I’m not anorexic, just poor.
I eat a huge lunch to make up for it.
Then I feel sick from the huge lunch. Blech.
My day doesn’t go well, possibly because I didn’t really do the task? Is halfway finishing these going to bring me bad luck?
I go to a doctor’s appointment, and surprise! I get a pelvic exam!
It’s not so bad, really, but it’s my first, so it’s very very awkward.
Unfortunately, it ends with plenty of time for me to go to the class I was hoping to skip. Computer literacy. At least it’s easy.
I hate this class. I sit there, completely bored. I want to tear my ears off and stop listening to this lecture, but I’m stuck. My teacher is an idiot and I have to deal with it because this fulfills a requirement for graduating. But hey, easy A.
I go to dinner after class. While I’m eating, I’m struck with this wave of homesickness. I have just over 2 weeks till I go home, and I can’t wait. But still, it’s over 2 weeks. Knowing that makes me want to cry.
Then I fall in a puddle of water on the ground and I’m humiliated and in pain. I’m definitely going to cry.
I manage to keep it together until I make it to my dorm, but now I’m here and I’m sobbing.

I was emotional a lot last year.
My computer literacy class, I do want to say that that teacher was not really an idiot. He was smart, but not the best at actually teaching.
I still sometimes skip meals or have tiny meals because they're expensive. Hey, college student. What can I do?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 8: Addiction-Free Day

Day 8
Is Tylenol addictive?
If so, I already broke today’s rule.
I’m not supposed to have any addictive substances today.
But I woke up with a back pain so severe that I’m dizzy and nauseous, so I had to take something.
I must have slept wrong. This is not normal.
I want to cry from the pain.
I also want to cry because today is the day before my period and I can’t have chocolate because it has caffeine in it.
Oh, and it’s Monday and my giant paper is due tomorrow.
This should be interesting.
I so need a massage right now.
I go to class, sleep through it. This isn’t because I wasn’t able to have coffee. I don’t drink coffee anyways. I was just tired.
I return to my room and manage to get a dorm to live in next year! Yay!
My day doesn’t seem to be dragging on that much sans chocolate. My second class of the day is cancelled and I make some plans to see Mike.
An hour later, I learn that what I thought were plans with Mike actually weren’t. He’s not coming.
So I’m crying now. I’m alone, I’m in pain, and I can’t have any chocolate. I’m upset.
Then it turns out I’m wrong about being wrong! Mike shows up (with dinner, yay) and we spend a very wonderful evening together.


I still don't know what caused that back pain.
I also still don't know if Tylenol is addictive.
I do know that it's harder to avoid addictive substances than I'd thought. Avoiding caffeine was a good start, but there are so many food additives that we don't really know what they are, or if they're addicting.
I haven't changed my eating habits. I'm a poor college student, I take what I can get. But still, it's a scary thought.

Hey other bloggers out there: can anyone tell me how to reply to comments?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 7: Masturbate at 13.56 to the following fantasy

Day 7
Today’s task is to masturbate to a given fantasy at 1:56.
…yeah, you’re not getting the details of this one.
Otherwise, nothing interesting happens today.
Oh, except I get a nasty heat rash. But soon I learn that this Suave Aloe Cucumber lotion I have cures it really fast, so that’s not even a big deal.


So I'm looking at this fantasy again, and it's not really even that good.
Also, it's kind of funny that the girls have 5 paragraphs and the guys have 3 sentences.
but come on, I can write better porn than that in the book.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 6
I’m sick today.
Just a little cold, but I really need to fight it off before the next week, when everything will be insane with final papers due and studying for my one final test.
Today, though, my task is easy. I have to write the opening line to my debut novel.
But which of my novels will be my debut?
Dear literary agents: PLEASE pay attention here! I want to be published!
From Anne, a science fiction story about how babies will be born in the future:
“Mommy, where do babies come from?”
From While Beauty Sleeps, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty:
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess.
Those are the only two full novels I currently have written. (hint to those literary agents: Anne is better).
I’ve written a bunch of short stories, but I won’t give you those opening lines—they’re not novels.
But they are good stories. Know that.
I’m not focusing so much on the book today, I’ll be honest.
Arguing with my parents over what kind of room they’ll pay for next semester, finishing my papers, fighting off this cold…it’s insanity.
Also I should be doing laundry and dishes this weekend. Sigh. I’m so busy.

Actually I've been working on another novel since then, which I actually like.
so, any hypothetical literary agents? Etcetera. "Alice survived her freshman year."
yeah. I really can't remember this day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 5: Mass Social Experiment

Day 5
Today, I need to put an Out of Order sign on something that’s working.
While I’m going to class, I scout out places I could put it. I choose the bathroom at the dining commons—it’s notoriously gross and under-maintenanced. I think it’ll be interesting to see how long it stays there.
The book says to cut the sign in there, but I just can’t. I have this thing about cutting up books.
I try twice to scan the sign, but apparently my scanner hates me. Rather than waste ink on a third try, I grab a scrap paper and a Sharpie and make my own sign.
I head down to the dining commons, and when I enter the bathroom, someone’s in there. This is insane, no one ever uses this bathroom. It’s gross.
She’s standing at the mirror, preening over herself. I use the toilet and wait for her to leave. But she’s taking so long trying to be pretty that I give up and leave.
There’s another bathroom in the dining commons. More commonly used, but still gross.
So I head there. There’s a girl at the sink, so I stand at the mirror and pretend to look through my bag for makeup or something. She leaves, but another girl enters. I duck into a stall and pretend to use the toilet till she’s gone.
I quickly pull the sign out of my bag and stick it on a stall door, then dash out of there. I feel guilty, even though really, I did nothing wrong.
I head down to the bus stop, firing off a quick text to Mike about why I’m going to be late. I’m going to meet him at the mall—we’re going skating with his youth group.
I’m excited. I want to learn to skate.
I actually beat him to the mall, and I hang around for a while waiting for him to show up. He finally does, with 5 kids in tow.
I rent some skates, put them on, stand up, and panic.
Now here’s something you should know: I get panic attacks easily when I get scared. They’ve been happening less frequently lately, but one came today.
I sit down, and Mike sits beside me, telling me that it’s okay, I don’t have to skate. I think he feels guilty for bringing me to this, and I don’t want him to feel bad because I’m freaking out. I tell him I’ll be fine, I’ll just sit at the side and he can go skate.
He does. He comes back to visit me often, which I appreciate. He lends me his phone so I can play a game on it. He has a really awesome version of Snake.
I’m thinking after this, I’ll go back to my dorm and get dinner at the dining commons, see if the sign is still there. But instead, he announces we’re all going for pizza.
Pizza is delicious. I’m having fun hanging out with Mike, even hanging out with the youth group.
Too bad I can’t bring Mike back to my dorm tonight. We figured out we can’t see each other for a week, and I really wish I could spend more time with him.

Skating is still terrifying. I like having balance, not clinging onto something for in fear because there are wheels on my feet.
I'll never actually learn to skate. I still remember being at a skating party when I was 8, happily pulling my way along the wall of the rink, and then suddenly, all beginners were to leave the rink and I was still slowly moving along the perimeter. One of the employees came out to get me.
I now know the names of those in the youth group. I already knew Mike's sisters at this point actually. but the other ones were total strangers (even though I saw them just before playing games with the Alzheimer's patients. I can't remember names at all).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 4: World Coloring-In Day

Day 4
Today, I have to color in a map of the world.
Not a big deal, but I don’t have crayons or colored pencils or really anything besides black pen.
Good thing I’m heading to Mike’s house later. He’s probably got crayons.
Classes drag on. I laugh with Ariel in the House class, and that’s pretty much the highlight of it all.
Then I head to Mike’s house. Before I can ask him about crayons, we head out with his youth group to play games with old ladies.
I learn that the ladies we’re going to meet have Alzheimer’s. Interesting.
We play Hangman with them. It’s fun.
There’s one woman who calls out “A-E-I-O-U!” for every letter. I like her.
It’s interesting that even though these ladies sometimes forget the rules of Hangman mid-game, they’re able to guess the words every time.
It makes me a little less scared if I ever get Alzheimer’s.
We return to Mike’s house. Mike finally gets me those crayons, and I color in the map.
Green is where I’ve been. USA and France.
Yellow is where I want to go. Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Egypt, India, Japan, Australia, England, Spain, Italy, Greece, and France again. I want to go back to France.
Red is where I am perfectly happy never setting foot in my life. That’s the rest of the world.
It’s kind of sad that red is most of the world. But that’s not places I never want to go to—I just won’t be crushed if I don’t go there.
Then Mike takes me back to my dorm. What we do then is private.

My thoughts today:
eh. I still want to go to those places. 
so yeah. that's it. I barely even remember this day.

Hey, Mike, I know you're reading this. Comment. Please.
Steph, you too.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 3: Today throw away something that you like.

Day 3
Today, I am to throw out something that I like.
I haven’t decided what yet.
I read a book while eating breakfast today. I finish the book right before I leave.
I liked this book, so I decide to fulfill today’s task. I leave the book behind.
Maybe I was supposed to actually toss it in the trash, but I can’t do that to a book. Someone else may pick it up and read it.
When I return to the dining commons at lunch, the book is gone.
Mike texts me and invites me to go skating with him and his sisters. I have to decline, as I still have that long essay to work on.
I feel bad about saying no, but hey. Mike’s something I like, and I’m tossing him out—but only for today! There’s no way I’m dumping him.
I take out the trash from my room. I finally throw out the roses Mike gave me a few weeks ago. They’re dead and black now, but I kept them because when Mike had left them at my door, they were beautiful and I was speechless. No guy had ever been that romantic before, and I’m not sure any guy will ever match up.
But as I was saying, now they’re dead and need to go.
I frost those cupcakes Mike and I baked a few days ago.
Usually when I make cupcakes, I give them all away. I like to make things but not to eat them. But this time, I’ve promised them to Mike. So they will sit in my room until I see him again and tempt me with their deliciousness.
Oh they’re tempting.
I need to share the deliciousness. So I take cupcakes to my friends down the hall, Annette and Fiona. I talk with them a few minutes, then return to my room.
As I do, I note the “Things I Will Miss About Butterfield” board next to my door. Two people have drawn arrows towards my door and written things about me.
“This bitch” and “Loser”.
I kind of want to cry.
I give in to the cupcake temptation. After all, they’ve got M&Ms on top, and M&Ms cure everything.

Oh wow, I forgot about people writing that about me. A year later, it doesn't even matter, you know?
The roses, yes I know that any guy could give me roses. But it was really sweet. Still one of the sweetest things he's done for me.

I wish I'd written down the title of that book. it was a good book.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 2: The Love of Your Life

Day 2
Today, I am supposed to look at everyone I meet and consider falling in love with them, spending the rest of my life with them.
I automatically rule out all the girls I see. Yeah, this is Massachusetts, but I’m straight.
This will hard for me, I can already tell. I really love my boyfriend, I don’t want to look at other guys. But the book says to, so I will.
I start my day with a brutally early 9:30 AM class. I check out all the guys, and instantly decide I couldn’t spend my life with any of them. (To clarify, I hate all but two people in this class. So it’s not like I’m being wicked judgmental here.)
A girl comes to class completely stoned. Understandable. It is 4/20 today.
I sit through this class, agonizing about how it’s unbearably long, but then it finally ends.
My next class is awesome. It’s about House, as in that awesome TV show that everyone watches. Technically, it’s a medical ethics class, but everyone calls it the House class.
I sort of pay attention to the guys here, but mostly I talk to my friend Ariel. The only guys I notice are Ariel’s boyfriend (an obvious no) and the guy that we secretly call Asshole, who’s stoned today. (of course he’s a no. We call him Asshole, seriously.)
Today’s topic is mandatory vaccinations. For the record, I’m all for them.
As I tell you what happened in this class, I must warn you first that Ariel and I have nicknamed almost everyone. I don’t actually know their real names.
Redhead is arguing for those who are immunosuppressed and need to be protected from diseases.
EMT Bitch and Poodle are arguing for mandatory vaccines.
Smoker Chick is against mandatory vaccines, but I think she is for vaccines in general, except new ones. She wants better studies on those. I think. I kind of tune her out, because I just don’t like her.
Lesbian is the sole crazy idiot who doesn’t believe in vaccines. She says there’s no reason to get them just because everyone else is getting them. Ariel and I pass notes that basically call her a stupid crazy bitch.
I know for sure Asshole would be chiming in on this conversation, but he’s too stoned today.
After class, I go to lunch. I take a look at all the guys who pass me and I realize I’m not interested in a single one.
As I’m eating, I pull out my phone and look at my pictures of Mike. That’s the guy I want to spend my life with. I can imagine us together at 80, holding hands as we sit in our rockers and watch the sunset together.
But the book says to look at other guys, so I will.
I head up the hill to my dorm and pass this guy I vaguely know. I realize I don’t know his name, but I think he lives in my dorm. He’s also a no.
I should learn his name, really. But I didn’t bother to stop and ask him.
I watch my Angel DVDs in my room. David Boreanaz? Yeah, I could spend my life with him.
I have to leave my dorm again for another class. I see that guy again and I still don’t know his name. I still don’t ask.
I head to class. I go to class, turn in my paper, and leave before it actually starts. Not that I skip class often, but I’ve got a gigantic paper due in a week and I need to work on that.
I walk back up the hill, again, and I pass by people sitting out on the grass doing the obvious thing you do on 4/20.
I don’t look at any of the guys. I don’t want a pot-smoker.
But I do accidentally breathe in the smoke from someone’s joint. I’m not quite sure what’ll happen next.
Apparently, nothing. At first, anyways.
Then I get kind of mellow and really into the music I’m listening to. The headache that I’d had fades away. I don’t know if I’m high, but this is kind of awesome.
I try texting Mike, and find that I can’t type right. Maybe I am high.
But the feeling lasts just a few minutes. My headache returns even worse.
At dinner tonight, I resume my guy-watching. I see this guy I know and like, Greg. He was in my acting class last semester. I think maybe there’s a possible future there, but then I remember that he’s probably gay. So I only nod and say hello to him, then pass him by.
And even if he’s not gay, my best friend Stephanie is semi-dating a guy named Greg. We don’t need two Stephanie-and-Gregs here, that’d just be weird.
The only highlight of my night after this is watching Glee. The Madonna episode. I’d probably enjoy it more if my whole dorm didn’t smell like pot.


So, apparently I was a bitch last year!
No really, I just thought that the nicknames of the people in my House class were funny, and I wanted to share. I know now you don't care.
I still love Mike, but apparently I'm not in that honeymoon phase anymore. I wouldn't mind being with him forever, but it's no longer constantly at the front of my mind. My thoughts back then were really mikemikemikemikemike.
Oh and that high? I later learned it was all in my head. I still do not know what being high feels like, but I do know that pot is still everywhere on campus around this time of year. "Extravaganja! today it's legal!" "4/20! hehehehehe" "Earth Day! Marijuana is totally natural!"
and for the curious, Stephanie and Greg have moved from semi-dating to actually having a relationship, good for them. they're pretty much not mentioned again here. (Well, Steph is, Greg isn't. I haven't met him.)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 1: Warm-Up

My name is Stephanie Rachel Mann.
My prettiest toe is on my left foot, the one next to my big toe.
There. I’ve completed today’s task. Two of them, actually.
Yesterday I picked up a book, This Book Will Change Your Life. I’m sort of in a rut right now, so it looked interesting. It has little tasks for me to do each day. Doesn’t seem that life-changing, but who knows? Can’t hurt to try it.
As you read this, you should know that I am writing this on April 19, 2010. You will not be able to read this until April 19, 2011. Why am I waiting a year? Simple. I want to finish the book first.
Today’s task is to pick one small task from a short list. I decide to overachieve and try to do them all.
I’m sitting in my boyfriend’s house this morning. I’d slept over the night before. (on the couch, not with him.) I pick up the book and glance over the tasks, and then inform my boyfriend’s little sister that my middle name is Rachel.
“Tell someone your middle name.” Check.
I head out for the day with Mike (the boyfriend). We’re going to hike up a nearby mountain. As he drives, I read the list aloud to him. Most of them, I plan to do during the hike.
I tell Mike which of my toes is the prettiest.
“Decide which one of your toes is the prettiest.” Check.
Mike suggests I name my breasts ‘Peaky’, and then comments that’s more of a description. I hit him.
“Give your genitalia pet names.” Check, kind of.
I then go on a short hunger strike, and jokingly tell Mike that I am striking because of health care and the economy and orphans in Africa. The minute passes quickly.
“Go on a one-minute hunger strike.” Check.
I then decide to go on a one-minute Fox News boycott because of their crazy lies. At the end of this boycott, Mike and I discuss Glenn Beck’s insanity.
We arrive at the park to start the hike. It seems easy at first, a fun, relaxed hike. We stop every few yards to kiss each other, because we’re a young couple in love, and that’s what young couples in love do.
People pass by us, and Mike reminds me I’m supposed to say “Yo” to someone. I joke that I’m too white to say that, and I really am. I’m a German-Scottish girl with blonde hair and skin so pale you can see my veins through it. I don’t say “Yo”.
But I say it, quietly, to the next person that passes.
“Say ‘yo’ instead of ‘hello’.” Check.
Mike and I pause at a tree, and I see a spiderweb. I tell it, “You’re a stupid spider.”
“Insult an insect.” Semi-check—a spider is an arachnid, as I tell Mike. He tells me I’m not done.
So when a fly buzzes past my head, I tell it that it’s lame.
We reach the top of a hill, and the trail keeps going. We go up three more hills before finally arriving at the top.
The view is worth it. I can see my school, miles away. I can even see my dorm.
Mike and I have a little picnic lunch up there, a little making out on the picnic blanket, and then we head back.
Going back is so much faster. It’s mostly downhill.
But then, my ankle locks up.
I’ve had a bad ankle for years. I don’t know what I did to screw it up, but I do know that every so often, it will lock and I can’t bend it.
Mike leads me to sit down on a fallen tree, and like a good boyfriend is supposed to, he massages my ankle. It feels better after a few minutes, and we are able to return to the car.
He drives me back to my dorm, with a stop at the grocery store on the way. We’re going to make cupcakes.
He makes fun of me for being excited about the self-scanners at Stop & Shop, but then he uses one and is fascinated by it.
We return to my dorm, make delicious chocolatey cupcakes, and then we leave them to cool while we rush back out to see a movie: Kick-Ass.
That movie definitely lives up to its name.
We get some pizza after the movie, and as we walk out to the car, we start joking.
“I am going to marry this pizza,” I announce. “Sorry, Mike, I need to dump you so I can marry it.”
He laughs, and I continue, “But don’t worry. Eventually it’s going to leave me for some two-bit calzone tramp, and then I’ll go back to you.”
We continue joking about my torrid love affair with the pizza, then finally I announce, “I need to eat this before I fall in love with it. I’m hungry.”
We finish the entire pizza before we’ve even gotten back to my dorm. It’s a good pizza.
I won’t tell you what we do at my dorm. You can probably figure it out. (Hint: it doesn’t involve those cupcakes from before. We ignore those.)

My thoughts today:
Okay, so that wasn't exactly a year ago, but pretty close. Why the discrepancy? you'll see later.
Anyways, yeah. I don't remember what exactly compelled me to publish my notes a full year later, but it's too late now to go back and change that. So, enjoy this. Enjoy reading about my exploits with the book over the past year.
Oh, and please tell your friends. I'm pretty sure right now I have two readers, and they're my best friend and my boyfriend. (and if you two aren't even reading? I fail.)
I remember this day. Pretty vividly. Probably because I wrote about it so well. (that'll change. posts get way short.)
Also, that toe is still the prettiest.