June 16, 2009

I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine.

June 14, 2009

Make up your mind slowly; Think on your feet

I'm sorry for being a terrible, terrible blogger. I never claimed that I would adhere to any schedule, though, so I don't feel too terrible.

Major changes have taken place since my last update. I have house full of completely different people- wonderful people. My roommate is Kelsey from Florida, and she is awesome. We both clean together, and last night I cooked her a delicious dinner. (It actually was delicious- honey and lemon chicken with broccoli, shells, and Alfredo sauce. Mmmmm) She's laid back, and oh-so-easy to live with. I also live with three other boys.

One is Stephan, the unlucky one. He turned 21 right before moving here, and mistakenly got stuck in the underage house. Even though he is 21, he's not allowed to drink in the house because underage people live here. He's really neat though- I swear there is not one thing he doesn't do. He's a massage therapist, is going to study marine biology, is scuba certified, runs the challenge course, and is half French. What girl can say no to that combination?

There's also William, who lives like a King across the hall from me. He's a really sweet lad from Chapel Hill, although he's spent the past 6 years or so going to school in Virginia. He is definitely quite the character. He talks really slow, and has a lovely drawl. He can making anything out of anything. Right now he's crocheting plastic bags into a reusable shopping bag. He wears tall socks, and currently has two turtles living in his room. He claims that he is going to kill them and make turtle jerky with my housemate Chance, who you will soon learn about, but I doubt it. We're not allowed to have pets on the ranch, so he says they are "livestock." One of them broke into my cabinet and ate some food (or at least that's the story I prefer) and they currently are either in his closet or under his bed. Turtles aside, he's a great guy. He's extremely laid back, and is great to just stand out on the front porch with.

Last, but certainly not least, is Chance. I had heard tons of stories about Chance during Spring, and was a little weary when I learned that I would be living with him. He got dropped off by his father and had a military-style pack and a cigarette behind his ear, and another hanging out of the corner of his mouth. This frightened me more than the stories did, as I thought they might be true. But I soon found out that Chance is great. He has a THICK Arkansan accent, and despite his small frame has a very large presence. He's wiry and seems to never stop- but when he does, he crashes hard. The first day he was here he completely rearranged his room (which he shares with Stephan) so that his head was in the closet. He claimed that he couldn't sleep in the same room as someone else: he would spend the entire night awake staring at the other person defensively. Soon he realize that his arrangement would just not do, and called for a house meeting. I was a little weary, since previous house meetings had brought up ideas such as Naked Thursday, but this one turned out to be harmless. He simply wanted permission from our house to move into the storage shed in the back yard. So yes, now Chance lives in the shed. He's kind of like our friendly neighbor now, and there are far fewer awkward instances where he forgets to put on pants to head to the kitchen (I did mention he brought up the idea of naked Thursdays, yes? He seems to be a bit of an exhibitionist.) I could write volumes about this chap, though. He has a really kind heart and the can-do attitude that I would expect of an Arkansas gentleman.

Really, I think I hit the jackpot with my living arrangement this season. We're an interesting dynamic, and seem to get along. We all pile onto a love seat and chit chat sometimes. There's nothing like cuddling and conversation.

Besides that, not a whole lot has changed except for the weather. While there are monsoons up north, the thermometer reaches above ninety here. Monday there was a heat index of 104- and it's not even July! Gah! I know that it will just continue to get more hot and more humid, so I should stop complaining, but man. 104!

I did have my first friend visit a few weeks ago, though. My friend Jared whom I vaguely knew from UMKC decided to spend part of his vacation here on the ranch. He brought his friend Mike and we enjoyed all that the Natural State has to offer. It was really one of the best weekends I've had since coming here, and I was really thankful that he came to visit.

This past weekend was quite eventful, too, but for different reasons. A severe electrical storm ripped through the area Friday afternoon, and our electricity went out. At first we thought "no big deal, it will be back on soon." But no, it was a big deal. It wasn't until Sunday evening that our power went back on. It was interesting to see how people reacted to the lack of electricity. On the ranch we pride ourselves of being one with the land, and doing with the excess. Yet when people were without their a/c, refrigerators, and computers blood came out. I've begun to develop a strange relationship with technology lately, and that incident seemed to strengthen my confusion. I love, love, love technology for all that it does, but am beginning to realize that although it does keep old friends in touch across the distances, it creates such a divide with the ones who are right here. In fact, William is sitting on the couch across from me right now, and we haven't even spoken. I'm too busy typing away here, off in another world. He's curled up, pondering whatever thoughts he has in that wonderful brain of his, and I'm staring into a screen. At least I'm providing a good playlist to his thoughts.

I have exciting news about my future endeavors. I have signed a lease, and will be living in Harlem come August. Not only do I have a signed lease, but I also have a one way ticket to New York, New York. You have no idea how lovely that feels to say.

I was talking to a very, very dear friend last weekend about the upcoming transition. I've been feeling slightly detached from my current situation. I feel as if my time here is winding down quickly, and I'm trying to prepare myself for my new life. I realize that this is a terrible practice, as I'm not fully appreciating the beauty that is surrounding me. But I also know that I need to start preparing myself or else the change will be completely overwhelming at first. I'm going to visit my friend John in New Jersey over the fourth of July, and was saying how I'm glad I get to head to the East Coast once before making the move. He came to the conclusion that, much like you would an egg, I am tempering myself. I think that it was this entire ranch experience has been- The move from Rolla to NYC would probably have been harder. Here I've been able to be independent in a very supportive community. I've been able to figure out what matters most to me at the moment, and have set forth some goals to strive towards. If I reach them is an entirely different matter, but at least I have them now. The Ranch was serving its original fucntion: much like with the animals, it was a holding place for me; I received immunizations to doubts and anxieties and was quarantined from the naysayers as I prepared for my journey afar.

Speaking of goals, I completed the ACT test last weekend. Having not been in a classroom since September, it was pretty difficult to sit through a five hour test. I feel like I did well, and hopefully the scores reflect that. They are pretty crucial to the goals I have.

There is so much more to be told. I've caught a snake, experimented with food, fixed a toilet, killed a rabbit, organized political forums, married off a brother, put together a boat team, and cut down on my Mountain Dew consumption. Really, I've been fairly busy. So please do not think I've neglected you, I haven't. I've just been out making memories. I now suggest you do the same.