Hello, it’s me (again and again and again)

It’s time for my annual “Hello all, I’m alive, I really am” check-in on this blog. It’s a blistering 93 degrees here in Chicago…in late September. No, really. A week ago I may have been in deep up in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, wearing layers upon layers in near-wintry weather while traversing Alberta’s beautiful lakes in Banff National Park, but now I’ve taken refuge at my parents’ air-conditioned abode to escape this heck of a heat wave. I never thought I would ever say this—no really, I have never been one to say no to summer conditions—but damn, where the autumn at?

Not much to update on my end here…and yet there is. I moved to a new apartment, in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Still don’t have a car, but somehow I’ve managed with public transportation for the past year and a half. Still at the same place of employment, where I’ve now been for six whole years. (Seriously, WTF? I don’t know how that happened.) Traveling just as much as ever, much to the dismay of my credit card accounts. As previously mentioned I just came back from a trip up to the Canadian Rockies, which by far had to have been the most exhilarating (nature-wise) experience of my life. And yes, even better than visiting the Grand Canyon for the first time last year (and let’s face it, no matter how busy the Grand Canyon it legitimately is one of the coolest natural features in the world). As someone who grew up in the flat lands of Illinois, to be surrounded by the tallest mountains I’d ever seen for a four straight days was nothing short of amazing.

Today is probably the first Saturday in a very long while in which I have nowhere to go and nothing to do. It is strange and amazing and terrifying at the same time. It’s like, what am I supposed to do with my time if I’m not rushing off to go somewhere for an errand or a party or a fitness class or social event? Why, I guess try to log back in to my WordPress and see if I’ve still got a blog, LOL.

I am somehow, miraculously, still alive

There’s a rumbling outside and I’ve been debating for the past few minutes on whether it is a looming thunderstorm or just a volcano making some ruckus. Loving how things like that are even options here.

At any rate, my epic adventure in Panama has now passed with a blur. It literally was just 5 straight days of awesomeness: snorkeling and swimming with fish (including jellyfish, eeks!) by day, and insane Jersey Shore-esque drinking marathons by night. I returned to San Joaquin, Costa Rica late Sunday afternoon, and have been detoxing ever since.

I have a plethora of stories to share, but considering several of them somehow involve very illegal things and other non-illegal but still very inappropriate things, I feel I must — for once — censor myself. I do, however, have several pictures to show off!


Accompanied by several Panamanian children we met at the border.

More pictures

I did manage to accomplish the following in Panama:

  • Attain free beer at the border (in what manner, I will not say…LOL)
  • Drunkenly jump into the Caribbean in my underwear
  • Get stung by a small, innocent jellyfish (I say innocent because there did not appear to be any serious harmful effects from it)
  • Barter down every vendor I performed transactions with, saving roughly $6 on the few souvenirs I purchased
  • Meet a handful of people from all over the world, including Canada, UK, Germany, Cuba, and more
  • Jump off the roof of a bar (Aqua Lounge = AWESOME) and into the sea (greatest accomplishment of the list, I must say)
  • Snorkel with some of the most colorful fish I’d ever seen (except in Finding Nemo)
  • All these, amongst others…

Spring awakening

So what was the culminating moment of my spring break? Me being childish and realizing I could fit myself inside my laundry basket.

Ah, yes, the joys of being stuck at home for an entire week with nothing to do and absolutely no contact with any human beings outside of my family. But now I’m back in Chambana, back in the cornfields, back to the life of procrastinating. I honestly don’t think I have it in me to do any more academics. I’m completely and utterly exhausted from doing nothing for a whole week. My alarm rang this morning at 8:20 a.m., but I kept pressing snooze and totally not thinking that I actually had to get up and moving. It was 8:39 when I realized I actually had somewhere to be. And even walking to class was an out-of-body experience. I forgot what it was like to be surrounded by hundreds of people your age on a daily basis. Walking from my apartment to the FLB was a total daze—I wasn’t aware of my surroundings at all (though, in all honesty, I was probably still half-asleep).

But I have to get back into the groove, back into some sort of semblance of an active college life. Look, I even got a haircut before coming back here to freshen things up before tackling the second half of this semester.

I know it doesn’t seem short or anything to a lot of people, but it feels drastically short to me. I might as well have chopped it all off. But the cut was necessary; if I’m determined to have hair like Kim Kardashian by the end of the year, then I need my hair healthy.

I guess it’s time to stop procrastinating and get back to work. It’s getting harder and harder to be so productive when the sun’s out even longer as weeks goes by. It’s 6:44 p.m. and the sun’s just now starting to set.

Sore and sore all around

I woke up today to the most curious sensation.

I couldn’t move.

I seriously couldn’t. I lifted my head and tried to shift my body, turning to face the left side of my bed instead of the right, but the ensuing pain was excruciating. I couldn’t even move my legs. I was paralyzed.

Now, hours later, I’ve managed to get up and move about in the apartment, but my body still feels at odds. It is as if the entire back side of my body (my back, my butt, my legs) is sore, while the front side (I don’t know, is this sensation even possible?) is completely functional. I can’t even walk properly without enduring some sort of pain, I basically waddle around like an old cripple.

And the worst part of all, I can’t think of a single reason as to why my body is acting this way. Yesterday, I had played in a Capture the Flag tournament, got a few scrapes and bumps, but nothing I haven’t handled before. Then later on that night I went out to a couple of bars, danced, did the usual. Nothing whatsoever that could possibly lead to me waking up at 7:41 in the morning completely paralyzed.

Sadly enough, the weather today was absolutely gorgeous. Sunny, warm, and beautiful. But the closest I could get to fully enjoying it was opening my window and basking in the warmth that would breeze through playfully. I feared that I would not even make it down the stairs to the outside world (going down a flight of stairs isn’t the problem, I’ve discovered – it’s going up the damn stairs), so I was left to bum around in the apartment all day. Hmph.

All your life you’ll dream of this

If it wasn’t so damn dangerous to be walking around campus at night by yourself, I would do it all the time.

I had to walk to the English building today for the usual Montage meeting, and it was at that time when the sun had already set but the sky was still a light sort of blue. The street lights were on, and it was chilly as hell, but it made for a nice brisk walk around campus. I had to walk through the Quad at one point, and needless to say, it is absolutely gorgeous at night. When the stars are out and the trees are swaying to the breeze… it put me in a good mood.

I also watched Cinderella today, the version with Brandy and Whitney Houston. I sang along to every song, every single word, as is my usual custom. 🙂 It’s truly my favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein musical ever. So glad I bought the DVD, but alas! I can’t seem to find the soundtrack online anywhere. Which is such a total shame, because I’d like to fall asleep listening to it tonight. Paolo Montalban’s voice is so entrancing.