My life right now in five bullet points

Lists are fucking everywhere these days. Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, everywhere. They’re getting quite annoying. And headlines these days! Everything’s gotta be composed of “10 Things That Will Blow Your Mind” or something similar. I’m over it, people. Please stop posting them all over my News Feed.

Anyway, to be a complete hypocrite I’m going to compose a list of my own here. Pardon me.

  • I have no money. It’s really starting to feel like it. I don’t know how this came about. I blame my family, I blame the world, I blame myself. Bills, loans, car payments, etc. Believe me when I say I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten most of my spending under control. I don’t shop anymore. I try limiting my expenditures when I go out, ever since I blew $120 in one night at American Junkie. But alas I still feel like I’m drowning.
  • I’m getting quite obsessed with Iggy Azalea. I don’t know why she fascinates me so much. Maybe it’s the Australian thing. Her voice can get a little annoying, but I love the way she says “I hate you so much” on “Black Widow.”
  • I’m rereading Bridget Jones’s Diary for the umpteenth time, just because. One of my co-workers teasingly joked that women only read it when they’re depressed though. Huh.
  • But I’m not bored. A couple of months ago I felt like my life was in despair, empty and hollow. Now I’ve replaced it with alcohol and random shenanigans with people. Because of that, I haven’t been able to work on my list of “Life Things to Work On” (a list name I just came up with right now). Kind of feeling in despair over that, but at least I’m having fun. Over the next week I have the following: overdue reunion with my old college roommate who’s just returned from Israel, girls night out planned for in the city on Saturday, HOPEFULLY seeing J. Cole on Monday for his Dollar and a Dream 2014 tour (for ya’ll who don’t know, they’re $1 shows at an undisclosed location, first come first served…so gonna have to get with it on Monday!), actually seeing Beyoncé and Jay Z (meaning I’ve got tickets) at Soldier Field next Thursday, and then flying off to Baltimore to visit my other old college roommate. WHEW.
  • Too lazy to come up with a fifth bullet point. I’m done.

Good night.

Bonjour, nouvelle année

It’s week 4 of 2014 and I came to the realization recently that this is the first year in a while that I do not already have vacation plans set. Last year when 2013 started I had a flight to London firmly booked and plans in motion for the Eurotrip I did last fall. In 2012, my girl friends and I were set to go to Costa Rica. In 2011, well, I was just fresh off studying abroad so I didn’t necessarily have plans per se going into the year, but I ended up going to the Philippines for half a month in the summer so that was something. But nope, this year I have nothing. (Mind you, a long time ago I set the goal of going to Brazil for the World Cup this summer. Alas, I fear I do not have the funds nor the traveling companions to do so, so I’ve unfortunately let the plan go.) Strangely enough, I feel completely fine about it. It’s kind of a relief to go into a year with nothing major planned. No trips, no weddings to stand up in, nothing. I feel I’m free to spend my money now however which way I want to (which I guess means thinking of more spontaneous trips to go on! LOL). Or, rather, I can now take the time to rein my spending in and really figure out what to do with my big-girl money, because it’s been three years since graduating college and I should probably slow down on the “I’m young wild and free” mentality. Right?

So what have I been doing with my time? For one thing, I’ve been slowly putting up grown up decor around my room to make it seem less like a 12-year-old’s (my boyfriend had been making fun of me for having a poster of the Seven Dwarfs from the Disney movie hanging on my wall). I’ve now got a couple of souvenir prints of Barcelona and Paris up, and a calendar from Paris also hanging. Funny how much in love with Paris I am now, and how much I don’t really admit it to people. Everyone knows me as the Anglophile and that London is sometimes my favorite city in the whole world (it alternates with Chicago, of course). And everyone knows that Anglophiles are not into the romantic French thing like most girls are. For most of my life London was my ideal city, not Paris. I did not like French food, pop culture, the language, the history. And then I went there and secretly fell madly, deeply in love. It just truly is a magical city! I loved London and all last year, it was exactly what I thought it would be, but man oh man Paris just felt more alive when I was there. I blame this wholeheartedly on the fact that the Seine > the Thames. That has to be it.

I’ve also been catching up on my reading. Finally started on Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and I’m loving it so far. It’s really the first book I’ve read that truly intersects the multiple facets of race and immigration. It’s not just about black people and white people. There’s black Americans and blacks from the Caribbean and the “authentic” Africans. And it’s not just about immigrants in America. I love how it offers a comparison of immigrating to America versus to the U.K. All that good stuff.

Man, I should probably stop gushing and just finish reading the book.

London calling

Wow. No idea how it is I let more than a month slip by like that. Makes me feel like November was quite exciting when in fact, it was…well, maybe it was.

Thinking about it, I was stressed out a lot in October. So I drank a lot to counter it. Not a good thing, I know, but it was always with friends at least, and during social situations. Although the time I threw up in my kitchen after a girls’ night in my basement did make me really reconsider my consumption habits. But any rate, after Halloween I was determined to A.) Stop drinking so much, and B.) Stop wasting gas and money driving to the city all the time. And it worked…for about 3.5 weeks. During that time I finally read This Is How You Lose Her and re-watched all my favorite Colin Firth movies (mainly Bridget Jones and The King’s Speech—oh, and Girl With A Pearl Earring!). I also started on NW by Zadie Smith and did some housecleaning.

Perhaps the biggest news I have to share from November is that I’m finally, actually, really going to London! (Yes, that sentence warranted some serious bolding and italicizing.) The decision was, mainly, spontaneous. I was surfing travel websites as usual and came across some decent $824 round-trip fares in March. Thought, why the heck not? So I booked. Four nights in the city I have dreamt about going to (with a passion) since high school. At the moment I’m going completely alone, since I cannot seem to find friends who have the money and desire to go with me. They either don’t have the money and want to go, or do have the money but don’t want to go. What a dilemma. But I don’t mind going alone. I’m seeing this trip as a complete and total solo adventure.

I also haven’t told my parents about this trip yet. Pretty sure my father would have a heart attack if I told him I was going to a foreign city all by myself for a few days—for fun. It was different when I flew into Manchester for work. This time…I have no plan. Hence, I kind of do want to find a traveling companion. If only to alleviate the pain of the lectures I’m sure to get once I share the news with my parents.

Only…four more months! Aahhhhhhh.

Reminiscing the days when I was surrounded by people who read books

Today was a day I’d been looking forward to for a few weeks. Lupe Fiasco’s latest, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album (Pt. 1), finally dropped, and while on the way to buy it from Best Buy (why yes I still buy CDs!) I decided to also pick up Junot Díaz’s new collection of short stories, This Is How You Lose Her. At Barnes & Noble I asked the guy at the information desk if they still had copies of the book, since I wasn’t able to find it in the general fiction section. While he looked it up on his computer he asked me if I had read Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, to which I responded yes. And then we just had a short conversation about it as he led me to where the book I wanted was.

New goodies!

OK, OK, I know that was a pretty pathetic little story. But while discussing the merits of the story and Díaz’s writing style in Oscar Wao, I couldn’t help but scream inside, “Holy shit I miss this!” I mean, has it really been that long since I had an intellectual conversation with someone about a book? Has it really been that long since someone wanted to discuss a book that wasn’t Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey (I still haven’t read the latter, mind you)? Not gonna lie, the feeling made me miss college, the class/homework/boring part of college, a lot.

I feel compelled now to find a book club to join.

What’s in a name?

It’s seriously amazing how much one can get done during the weekend when one does not go out. I stayed in last night, didn’t work or anything. Read my book (currently Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier, writer of Girl With a Pearl Earring), did my 10 sit-ups, and went to bed at a respectable time of 11:17 p.m. Woke up today without the assistance of an alarm clock at 8:30 a.m., and promptly started my day. Put away my laundry (that I had done four days ago) and tidied up my room. I was supposed to go rock climbing with some girls from school, but alas it was not to be. So instead I convinced my brother to go bike riding with me around the neighborhood. We had to walk our bikes to the gas station to fill the tires up, then went on our way.

That was when I discovered I am so out of shape. I was out of breath in minutes and could barely get up the hill when we found the trail through the forest preserve by our house. Looks like I’m going to have to ease into this new “must-get-into-shape” routine I’ve adopted much more slowly.

In other news, other than watching the Olympics day after day, I’m trying to figure out plans for this domain. As it is, this blog is the domain. But now that I’m a fledgling careerwoman and writer, I would kind of like to create some sort of portal for myself and dissociate my real name from this blog. As it is, if you Google my full name this domain is the first thing that pops up. It’s kind of unnerving. (In fact, if you’re reading this after Googling my full name to see who the heck this person is…well, there you go!)

When I first started blogging on the Internet 10+ years ago, I was just a kid. I knew not to use my real name, of course, so I just started calling myself Raisy all around, on message boards and whatnot. When I got to high school, I wanted to be more “authentic” (truthfully I’m not quite sure what I mean by that) and started using my real name, sometimes even putting my full name on websites. When I bought this domain after my sophomore year of college, I put my full name everywhere in a bid to sort of establish myself as, you know, a personal blogger. But now that I’m more than a year out of college, I’m coming into contact with way more professionals that I ever thought. My real full name is now not just the name of a kid tinkering around with websites and HTML, but that of a real working person. I’m having to put more thought into how I want to really establish myself to the world. Years ago I was just a Final Fantasy and Charmed fanatic. Now, I have so much more weight carried on my shoulders.

Only thing I’ve managed to do today domain-wise is finally add a title header to this design. For a while I didn’t have the name of the blog up there, and I wanted it to stay that way, but then I changed my mind. And instead of updating the background image I just went with a regular text header. Other than that I can’t quite decide what to do with my online presence at the moment. I love this personal blog—it has sincerely become my baby over the past 3 years. But I’m starting to understand that I really need some sort of splash page to represent myself professionally. But should I buy a separate domain for that? This domain name is already too intricately tied to my real full name. Should I do some radical transformation of bumplum.com and relegate this blog to a subfolder? Whaaaaat do I dooooo???