In Which I am an 80’s Teen Movie Character

It’s the end of my senior year of high school. I should be celebrating, having a fantastic time, throwing my arms in the air and screaming, “Woohoo!”

But it’s also absolutely terrifying and I find myself wondering about the future. Which of my friends will stick around next year? Who will want to hang out with me still? Am I going to have a good time at college? How will my Mom be when I’m gone? Who will take care of the house? I feel very much like Molly Ringwald’s character in “Pretty in Pink”. Excited but nervous.

Daniel will be gone away across the sea at Cambridge, partying it up without a roommate or a job. I will be a couple hours away from my family, near my step-sister, learning to be an English teacher and probably working my ass off on both school and a retail job.

But for now I want to cram in all those movie moments. Kissing Daniel in front of a sunset, going to the local drive in and packing in time with all of my friends. I want to drive with the windows of my piece-of-shit car down and blast music out the windows.

Summer is going to be the ending scene in Say Anything. Sure, I’m not going to be on the plane heading to Cambridge with Daniel and I won’t stay behind in my hometown to support my friends in their high school careers because loss is natural. But I am going to do everything I possibly can to do well in my last bit of high school and someday look back on my John Hughes senior-year summer with a smile.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Ducks

Daniel and I have had a rocky couple of weeks, but it finally looks like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for us. Today was better than yesterday, hopefully tomorrow will be even better than today! That’s all I can hope for, as I sit and wait for him to handle the problem he’s having.

He’s been very excited and worried about Cambridge, which is totally expected. My little future archaeology major with an intent to teach (thus the Indiana Jones). What a cutie.

So why the temple of ducks? Let me tell you something amazing that all girls should have: a microwavable duck. For our one-year anniversary Daniel got me a stuffed animal duck. It’s amazingly soft and full of flax seed and lavender (so it’s mildly scented) which are helpful sleep aids. It is microwavable! It’s A HEATING PAD!

I have horrible cramps from Hell on most of my periods and this duck helps them so much! I adore Daniel and I adore the duck, whom I have named Gwen.

So other than a magical life-saving duck and my darling Indy handling some problems and getting over relationship hiccups, life goes well for me.

The Roseville Fair (A Story I’m Writing)

(This is a story I’m currently working on. I haven’t enjoyed writing this much in a long time)

The fog covering the Brooklyn docks in May was thin and made the world look three shades greyer than usual. The sight was something Fionn McMillan was used to seeing every spring morning, and something he looked forward to every cold winter morning. May mornings were the most comfortable in all the twelve months, and as he pulled on his worn black work-boots, he thanked God for the cooling fog to combat the shoulder-to-shoulder human heat of New York City. He pulled his worn blue suspenders over his shoulders and exited the bunk-room of the boarding house; the rustle of waking boys had just amplified behind him. Fionn loved lonely May mornings at the docks more than anything, even if it meant waking up an hour before anyone else to be the first to get there.

His walk was short. He stopped at the large brick building marked World Newspaper Distribution Center Number Three and bought his papers to sell for the day. He hurried down to the docks as soon as he had the papes in his hands, almost running the whole three blocks. He immediately sold half of his papers to the educated dock managers and spent an hour watching the fog burn off the surface of the water. The main reason for Fionn’s ritualistic morning visits was the fact that the experience filled him with deep, yearning nostalgia. These mornings with the fog and the pale, warm yellow sun rising over the edge of the city reminded him of his home in Ireland. He could almost feel something akin to waking up on the family farm and looking out the window at the pasture, the deep grey of the gloom contrasting starkly against the vibrant greens of the patchwork landscape.

Fionn ached for home more than anything in the world. He missed his parents, of course, and he missed Moira (replace name, Bridget? Maureen?), his childhood sweetheart; most of all though, he missed Ireland.

New York was so compact and crowded and impersonal. In Ireland he had known all of his neighbors and their children and families. He knew Farmer O’Reardan’s sheep apart from each other and always had enough room to run down the street without being jostled or almost run over by carts or carriages. Not in New York. Brooklyn was a bustling mess of crushing crowds and people always rushing to be somewhere they currently weren’t. The only reason he was here was the famine, of course. Half of his country was in America because of the famine. Most of them remained trapped in New York after their hellish stay on Ellis Island, too new and curious to want to leave just yet.

Only his Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Joseph had managed to get out of New York right away. The only reason for the family’s escape being his Uncle’s steady job laying railroad tracks. Fionn, too thin to build railroads and too clumsy to work in a small grocery store had become a newsboy. He peddled papers for a penny each all over the city, but usually he stuck close to the docks. All sorts of people came to the docks and most of them (except the boat hands who were only good for the grunt work of loading and unloading cargo) could read decently enough to want a paper every morning. Hell, some of the illiterate ones bought papers because they could afford it and it made them look a smidgen more intelligent. Some of them, he knew, only bought it for the race reports from over at Sheepshead Bay.

“Oy, bucko,” a familiar voice called from the Blue Star Line cargo dock, “Bring them papes over ‘ere.”

“I’m coming, Greg, calm down,” Fionn laughed, jogging over to his friend. The grey-haired man with spectacles kept diligent reports of two things: Blue Star Line’s food rations and the Sheepshead Bay reports for a horse named Clover Brand. “Alright, that’ll be one penny, sir.”

“Knock it off with the fancy words, bucko,” Greg chortled, tipping his flat cap back and out of his range of vision, “Ye know me well enough te stop with the ‘sirs’.”

“It’s just a habit, I s’pose,” Fionn shrugged. Greg tousled his hair and Fionn rolled his eyes, smiling.

“Don’t roll yer eyes at yer elders, Fionn McMillan,” Greg intoned, “If ye know what’s good for ye.”

“How have you kept your accent all these years?” Fionn asked suddenly, feeling rather naked with his Irish brogue hidden beneath not-too-shabby New York accent he’d learned at the boarding house.

“I live with a strong red-headed, red-blooded Irishwoman,” Greg winked, “I dinna live with a group of boys who jabber all day in their Brooklyn high-hat brogues.”

“So I should just find myself an Irish girl and I’ll be set for life?” Fionn questioned.

“Not just any Irish girl, lad, you must find yourself the Irish girl.”

“You mean Moira?” Fionn sputtered, “I haven’t seen her since we were wee children together.”

“Ah, but whenever this lass comes up in conversation you turn a bright shade of pink, laddy. I think you remember her better than she actually is,” Greg teased.

“Oy, she was beautiful. I’m sure she’s even more so now,” Fionn leaned against the wooden dock railing and sighed, “And she could dance like no other girl in our town.”

“See, laddy? You’ve got it worse than you’d like to admit,” Greg chuckled again. “I’ve got to get back to me numbers, but I wish ye good luck in yer search.”

“Good day, Greg,” Fionn tipped his head to his friend before rushing off to finish selling his short stack of papers to the dock workers further down.

The fine line between RUDE and FUNNY (hint, you crossed it)

I have a friend who I love dearly who doesn’t necessarily understand when he’s crossed a boundary. We were sitting at lunch the other day, chatting, when he suddenly said, “Jane, I think I know why you and Daniel  haven’t done anything (sexual) yet.”

“Why is that?” I asked, ready for an amusing but respectful suggestion. This topic came up once and awhile and I put up with it because, as horny teens, my friends don’t always understand why I haven’t “gotten laid” after over a year with Daniel. I was completely ready for a joke. I was not prepared for…

“He wants it up the ass.”

Excuse me? Did I hear you right? Okay, okay, my Dad jokes about Daniel being gay sometimes. But my Dad has made gay jokes about EVERY BOY I’VE EVER MENTIONED, including the ones he knows I have no feelings for, especially the exceedingly straight ones. This friend, who is gay and who is very vocal about it (I have heard the stories of most of his sexual exploits) just made a really rude joke. A friend who I have always tried to be kind to, even at his most irritating.

But this friend, who I have supported through his entire coming out process, just insulted my boyfriend. Just insulted me.

Yeah, Daniel and I aren’t physically intimate, but that’s our decision. Is it frustrating to me sometimes? Duh. Do I sometimes whine about it when I’m particularly hormonal? Of course, I’m a teenager.

Daniel and I are emotionally intimate and that really makes up for the few-and-far-between make out sessions on one of our couches.

Now I’m not saying that my friend calling Daniel gay is super insulting, but I could deal with “He’s gay, honey.” I could tolerate that. I hear it from my Dad, like I said, so it’s easy for me to brush off. But blatantly and loudly declaring that he wants it up the ass is just rude. Rude and mean. You know I’m sort of self-conscious about this topic, you know it hurts sometimes when people suggest Daniel simply doesn’t want me physically, but for you to say that to me…ouch. That just sucks, dude.

Musicals are way better than real life (except RENT)

I’ve been goofing around all morning listening to song from some of my favorite musicals. Some of them are Broadway popular, some I prefer the film.

Newsies, a 1992 Disney musical starring the one-and-only Christian Bale as a New York newsboy is probably one of my favorites with upbeat songs like “Carryin’ the Banner”, “Seize the Day”, and “King of New York”. It’s a perky musical and makes me feel optimistic and happy.

Then there are songs from Wicked, such as “No Good Deed”, and “As Long as You’re Mine”. Dark, brooding, and beautiful.

Of course there is also the oddly energetic Addams Family Musical with “When You’re An Addams”, “Crazier Than You”, and “Pulled”, a particular favorite of mine.

When I’m feeling bright and silly, I have Legally Blonde: The Musical and “Ohmigod You Guys”.

I really enjoy love songs the most. Songs that make you feel things in ways that regular music genres cannot. I mean, I can connect to The Mountain Goats or Tchaikovsky or even Iron Maiden emotionally, but nothing makes me feel like musical songs. If I could sing, I would sing Daniel “As Long as You’re Mine” or “I Can Do Better” (The Last 5 Years). 

There are also songs for when I feel sad, including “Think of Me” (Phantom of the Opera) or “Maybe” (Annie). I don’t know why, but musicals are so comforting. Find yourself some favorites and listen to them. Don’t be afraid to be proud of musical theatre. It’s fantastic!

There is no “I O U” in LOVE


I wrote this for my other blog that I co-write with a friend. This is relevant in my life. Yeah.

Originally posted on The Guide to Girls:

This is more of a general post and it’s all about emotions! If you’re only here for the sex, run away now.

I have this problem in my relationship, and I don’t know about anyone else, but it seems to be pretty common: you make a lot of sacrifices because you think you owe your partner something for some reason. I do it because my boyfriend (let’s call him D) takes really good care of me during depressive episodes. I think that because D cares for me, I should sacrifice something to pay him back.

To be honest, that’s not how it should work. This should not by any means be interpreted as ‘go tally up all the things you sacrificed for your partner and demand reward’. What I mean is: be aware of things that should be natural in a relationship and things that are going out of your…

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