Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cellphones, Texting, and Not Taking a Hint

I used to love my cellphone. The two of us had very close, platonic relationship. We shared many laughs via recorded messages and poorly-taken photos. Moreover, as I was the last of my friends to obtain a cellphone (not getting one until I was nearly a sophomore in high school), and was given a very, very strict ban on texting until I had almost graduated, I learned to appreciate it for what it was. I learned the importance of a call, whenever I would receive one, and to be frugal with the amount of texts I would send, once I was allowed to do so.

It is with a heavy heart that I now admit that through the years, the two of us had begun to drift further and further apart. First, the warning signs of the split in our relationship were subtle. I would get calls from people who were trying to contact the previous owner of my number, and would continue to receive them from the same people regardless of my informing them that they were calling the wrong number. They would proceed to leave messages for this mystery woman when I wouldn't answer, even though I had recorded myself saying who the phone belonged to in the voicemail message.  I didn't count these annoyances to be more than trifling...but of course, with time things build.

Complaints as to my wrong-number posse became complaints as to it being a pain to carry around. My model had quickly become outdated, as inconvenient and embarrassing to shove into my pocket as this dinosaur:

Would you strap this around your waist?
Yeah, I didn't think so.

Soon, my cell and I weren't speaking with one another. I hardly ever received calls from anyone I knew, thus giving me what I felt justification to shoving it out of sight and leaving it to rust.

Eventually, however, my father realized the inconvenience of me never picking up my phone (as he would sometimes come home to a very angry wife who felt her daughter was deliberately ignoring her calls), and one Christmas (not too long ago) I was given a newer, more innovative model. Sleek, slim, and dressed in a seductive red, I felt like a middle-aged man trading in his grumpy, overweight divorcee for a curvacious mail-order bride.

Needless to say, my phone and I reconciled for the time being and began to hit it off once more. I wasn't being graced with anymore spam calls, either, so it seemed I had no reason at all to call it quits with the faithful piece of technology.

This is where things get complicated. As my texting plan was amplified to 500 texts a month (unlimited for those with the same service provider), I began to get contacted more by my friends who would rather text than call. It was nice to have a reason to use my phone. It was nice to be able to keep my phone on my person and pull it out when needed.

Unfortunately, there are also "those people" in my contacts. Oh, you know who I mean: the person you met that one time who seemed pretty nice so you exchanged numbers and now he or she won't leave you well enough alone. Through the grape vine they've heard that I was allowed to text, and now they text me. Or, if I didn't give them my number, they got it from a friend-of-a-friend who had my number. Sure, it's swell and all to get a nice "how are you doing" text every so often from someone you haven't heard from in a decent amount of time...but where's the limit?

Sometimes, you just don't want to talk to someone. In person, this can often be solved by making an excuse to get the hell out of dodge (or even pretend to be busy using your phone!). When the unwanted conversation is happening through text, and he or she continues to text you even after you ignore half of their gets old. You'd think that this incessant need for conversation would fizzle out after you had shot it down so many times...but if anything these people only seem more needy for attention when they think you never wanted to talk in the first place.

I'm not an impolite person; I do believe in giving everyone a chance to get to know them, and vice verse, through conversation (whether in-person or online), but I'm just not a very talkative person when the mood strikes. And, with my stingy view on the amount I text, it irks me up and down to watch my text-alert climb in number due to a single person.

And that brings us to today. I don't want to block the number from my phone, for fear of the guilt that may follow, so once again my phone rests, forever on silent, and out of sight until I know I need it.

Forever Alone.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ross and Payless Haul

Yesterday I balanced my check book. This made me want to buy a bunch of clothes. Immediately, I found a pair of kitten-heeled floral flats to purchase online that were on sale for the low price of $25. This did not sate me. Now, before I start to sound like some sort of shopaholic, know that although I generally want to buy clothes most of the time, I only ever get the intense urge to do so a few times a year. This time, it was also sparked by the legitimate need for new jeans, as most of mine are worn thin or too big. When I brought this up, my mom suggested this morning that we head over to Ross.

Let me explain something: I love Ross. I dislike how messy and sometimes crowded it can often be, as well as the generally chaotic atmosphere...but I absolutely adore shopping there. It's like a scavenger hunt. A few tons of clothing that doesn't appeal to you in the slightest, with the occasional gem hidden in every rack. I could honestly spend hours in this store, especially considering how much money I had in my bank account. Thankfully, the time my mom had before she needed to go to work restrained me, and I gave myself a tap of $200.

So! Without further ado, let's check out what I got at Ross. Oh, and please forgive the quality of the pictures, as the camera is less than half functional and I pretty much just had to point, shoot, and hope that the quality was decent.

Brand: Be Bop

Brand: J Gee

Brand: Calvin Klein

Brand: 2. B W/U (To Be With You)

All in all, I'm very happy with my purchases. I probably would have bought more for about the same amount (the end total being just over $90 with tax), if it wasn't for the Calvin Klein dress--which was by a large margin the most expensive of what I bought (but I was oh-so attached to it). And those are the most comfortable jeans I've worn in a long time, especially for juniors.

The only problem? I didn't have any shoes to match the aforementioned dress! So, having a little time left, my mom and I sauntered over to Payless, which was located just a hop, skip, and a jump away from our city's Ross. Of course, Payless always has some sort of sale, so buying just one pair was not an option. The haul:

Brand: American Eagle

Brand: American Eagle

Brand: American Eagle

And that was that! My biggest problem has to be a bit of shoe-size confusion--but I seemed to be having this with nearly every single pair of shoes I tried on. My size is a 9, but it felt like everything was either running too large or too small. In the end, the white block heels I bought were a size 8 1/2, and still roomy enough that I was forced to buy a pair of inexpensive heelgrips. The black flats were likewise a size 8 1/2, although they fit fine as they are. The boots are the only shoes I bought to fit at my standard shoe size, although are a bit snug (I can't complain, though, they were on sale and the only pair of snow boots left in the entire store, as it's now summer).

The end result for Payless was a total of a little over $80. I left happy. I set my tap at $200, and I didn't go over! :D

So, in short: never underestimate the clutter of Ross. If there is a moral to this story to be had, it would definitely be for me to buy a new camera in the near future. Yikes!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Flirting, and How I Don't

Is there some sort of medical term to describe the inability to attract the opposite sex? The other night I googled "how to flirt successfully" partly out of boredom but also partly out of desperation. I read about five articles, all of which were fairly similar in context: describing flirting as an art that is primarily fueled by instinct (and common sense). Maybe I was born without this crucial human trait, because I have had absolutely no luck when it comes to flirting. Ever.

Everyone who knows me even decently well knows that I am boyfriend-hungry (I think my biological clock is a bit fast), and have been for a few years now. Of course, while it has certainly been on my mind, it didn't generally distress me throughout my High School years, not including the all-important struggle of obtaining a partner to go with me to Prom (in the end, I was one of the only girls in my large group of friends to not have a date). However, after graduation, being so-close to becoming a sophomore in college, and watching as more and more of my friends find boyfriends (or new boyfriends), it has become increasingly important to me.

I know well enough that if I want to snag me one of these elusive creatures, I need to put myself out there and work for it. In homage to this fact, I take pains to dress appropriately cute and fix my hair and face whenever I'm going to be going out to any sort of public facility. Sure enough, I usually run into at least one seemingly-single young male. This is where flirting comes in, and likewise where I fall figuratively (and sometimes literally) flat on my face.

Before I get ahead of myself, I should enlighten you to my current "strategy" to approaching bachelors.

Step 1: Look terrified, unconsciously (and unintentionally) bored, or grouchy.

Step 2: If your target seems to possibly be looking in your direction but you aren't sure, make a really stupid face.

Step 3: Avoid eye contact. Chew on lip. Act busy.

Step 4: If engaged in conversation, panic. Temporarily lose sense of humor and simultaneously insert foot in mouth.

Alright, so that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but no matter how confident I feel in a situation, as soon as a cute guy looks at me or talks to me, I clam up and get incredibly nervous. There have been times, of course, where I've actually been able to bring myself to do something fairly credible--but then either get shut down prematurely or find out that the guy is taken or gay (or both).

Today was an all-time low. Being called to come in for an extra day to work, I was too disappointed about losing my day off to bother dressing very nicely (we have a very lenient dress code), simply going to work in a plain T-shirt, a clean pair of jeans, and old sneakers.

For the first time in weeks, I encountered a seemingly endless flow of cute guys! Guys that weren't too old or young for me, no less! Equipped without any form of confidence, not even my "sly" attempts at showing cleavage by bending (as opposed to stooping) down to put books away in the lower-shelves garnered me a single glance.

Sometimes I wonder if maybe the world is conspiring against me to ensure that I stay single and alone, as every time I feel attractive and self-confident, there are never any guys around, and every time I feel like my self-esteem has been thrown off a cliff I run into a nice-enough looking gentleman every five seconds. In the end, though, it all comes back to my lack of natural instinct when it comes to flirting.

Noodle says I should just go up and talk to them. Personally, I'm too afraid of coming off as a total creeper by doing this. What do you think? Any suggestions? Stories from personal experience? Lessons learned?

One thing is for sure: I'm never dressing lazily for work again.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cosplay Groups: Are They For You?

Not very much has happened to me lately that I think is fun enough to write about, surprisingly. This more than likely has to do with the fact that I've been horribly sick all week, but lets not dwell on that. I should, by all means, take this opportunity to work on my portfolio for my Creative Writing class, which happens to be due in a week from today, but naturally I'd rather write something that isn't going to be graded, like a blog post. My friend Noodle suggested that I write about cosplay.

I cosplay. I know a decent amount about cosplay. I have a lot to say about cosplay. This was a very good idea. So I think, for a little while, I'm going to litter this blog with tips and suggestions I can give on the art of cosplay. At least until I have more things to write about. Now, I don't think I'm the greatest cosplayer, and never claimed to be, but I think that I've done it for enough years now to be considered knowledgeable on the subject.

Don't expect many pictures, though. Not that I'm shy about my cosplay or anything, but quite frankly I don't have very may pictures of my own to share...and even less that are halfway decent. Oh, and my camera is broken.

For my first installment: cosplaying in a group. I don't just mean being with others who cosplay; I'd like to assume that you're going to be with friends when you go to a convention, whether you cosplay or not. By group cosplay I mean coordinating your cosplay with a group, so each of you dresses as a separate character from the same series. I, personally, love cosplaying in a group. Two years ago I switched from cosplaying independently to cosplaying with a group, and don't plan on turning back.

Don't assume, however, that I'm implying group cosplay is sunshine and rainbows or necessarily better. True, I prefer group cosplay, but is it for you? If you have never cosplayed in a group before (or at all), there's a lot you should consider before deciding whether or not to give it a shot at the next convention.

First of all, keep in mind the character you're planning on cosplaying as. Is he or she a character that makes sense to pose with others? If your selected character is supposed to be a loner or a villain, or just a character who never seems to be seen around others in a series, interaction with an in-character group might feel awkward and disjointed. If your selected character is part of a main cast, however, or a recurring character widely known by the main cast, cosplaying in a group would be much more fun, and more people are guaranteed to be drawn to you to take a picture. In short, if you don't want constant in-character interaction, aren't much of a people-person, don't want your picture taken excessively, or any mixture of the above, I'd recommend against group cosplay.

Second of all, keep in mind that more people means the more likely there will be drama. Not necessarily that there will be drama, of course, but still worth considering, especially if you decide to form a group out of contacts you don't know very well personally. I've never made a group that didn't consist of at least some friends I'd been well acquainted with at that point, so I can't give much advice on Internet-formed groups who meet spontaneously at a con, but I know that it happens fairly frequently. Just realize that the less you know about your prospective group, the more stressful (and unpredictable) it could become. If you're going to set up a group, try and do it with people you can spend hours with for days in a row comfortably (aka without tearing your hair out). Cosplay and conventions aren't supposed to be about obligation and stress. We want to have fun when we cosplay!

Next, know your limits! If you want to cosplay in a group, you're going to need to be flexible, and also have room to be disappointed. When you play the assignment of roles game, it's very possible, especially if the anime/manga/game/cartoon/comic wasn't your idea to cosplay, or you didn't already make or buy your costume, that you won't get the character you want. The same applies for a series in general. You might want to cosplay one series, everyone else might vote for a different one. I've been stuck in a situation before where I cosplayed as a character from a series I had never seen until it was set in stone I would be cosplaying it, but still had fun in-character with my group regardless of my neutral ground on the anime. If you don't think you can deal with sacrificing your wants for a group member who's more physically suited to play that character, or dress up as a character from a series you've never heard of before or simply have no interest in, you'll cause conflict in your group, and should probably stick to an independent cosplay as the character you want.

Finally, being in a group means that you've made a commitment. You might not be able to go to all the things you want to go to, because more of your group members would rather go to different events that take place at the same time. Being in a group, above all things, means making compromises to assure things work effectively. If you can't handle acting as a unit, or really have a problem with having your personal space invaded, a cosplay group may not be suited for you.

So, I hoped that my advice might help some of you who aren't sure about whether or not they want to try and form a more cohesive cosplay with a group of people. If you have a chance, though, and feel adventurous, I say go for it! If worse comes to worse, you can all just stop cosplaying together; all it takes is a change of clothes. Every experience will give different results depending on the factors that shape it, so whether or not what I say applies to you for good or bad, you can still have a great time with your friends at an upcoming convention.

Happy conning, everyone! Stay tuned for my next cosplay entry, which may or may not be about either wig choice or a little thing I like to call "the creep factor".

Friday, April 8, 2011

How the UPS Trolled Me

I recently came to the conclusion that I have an unhealthy fascination with receiving packages in the mail. There's something so thoroughly satisfying about being home to sign off a box or thick envelope or what-have-you that the delivery man brings to the door, and then being able to rip it open without reserve.

A couple weeks ago I ordered a few DVDs online, after I came home from work, and I'm pretty sure my heart stopped in the brief instant it took me to click the "finish payment" option. I'd never bought anything online by myself before. It was a glorious sensation. I felt so adult! For once, I was in control of my life.

It was not this purchase, however, that made me realize my problem. Rather, my good friend of many years informed me that she was sending me a gift (a newly released video game to be more specific) from her home a few states over, and that I should be receiving it the following Saturday, if the tracking calculations were correct.

Saturday came. Saturday went. No package.

Alright, no problem. I was going to give the UPS the benefit of the doubt and assume that they had my gift, but it hadn't been marked for Saturday delivery and therefore I'd get it on Monday.

Monday came. As you can probably imagine, I was on my toes. I even found an excuse not to go to school so I could be at home when the package found its way to my doorstep. All day I kept my ears open, listening for the sound of a truck, or of the gate--anything that suggest to me a box was being dropped off. Every five seconds I would make my way to to the front door with the utmost stealth (stealth being in this case running at break-neck speed and crashing into walls in my haste), just in case I'd scare away the elusive creature that was the UPS truck.

Unfortunately for me, by the time dinner rolled around nothing had come. A few false alarms in the forms of motorcycles roaring down the road or relatives in large cars visiting the neighbors, but otherwise all had been quiet.

I picked at my food, unable to stomach the shrimp placed in front of me. It all just tasted of bitter defeat and disappointment.

Then, as I was washing the dishes as I do every night, I spied a UPS truck from the corner of my eye as it slowly made its way down the street. I screamed, startling my family as they made small talk at the dining room table, and ran to the window overlooking the road. It was at some point whilst pressing my face against the pane of glass and banging on it in desperation with my palms, calling out for the truck to turn around (and waiting in vain for a few moments afterward hoping it really would loop back to the house), that I began to realize I had a problem.

I was irritable and on edge for the next few days, restlessly circling my home like a caged animal. Every so often I would slink to the mailbox and glower down at its emptiness.

Adding insult to injury, the UPS actually did stop a few times at our hand over packages that my father had ordered for his tennis-racquet stringing business.

I couldn't sleep. I couldn't study. There was only the package. Only the UPS truck. I was Gatsby, and this little box of wonder was my green light.

Last weekend I got the DVDs I ordered, which was enough to appease my longing for goodies in the mail and distract me away from the mailbox, but I still haven't received the gift my friend sent to me. I did, however, get from her an explanation.

The post office sent the mail back to her home because she hadn't paid for the international shipping cost to cover the distance from New Mexico to California. Apparently, our country can't keep track of its own states. Good job, America; I've never been more proud.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gas Stations

Yesterday morning I found to my dismay that the gas tank to the car I share with my mother was nearly empty. I could barely squeeze by making it to and from school for the day, let alone adding the distance it took to get to work as well as going to school the following morning. Usually, when the tank is almost empty, I try and persuade the vehicle to last long enough that my mother will be forced to tote it to the nearest station, instead of me, like any good daughter would do.

Fear gripped at my heart as I realized in horror that due to our conflicting work schedules, I was the only one who would be using the car for the rest of the week. I would have to rise and face this challenge alone.

At this point, I'm sure you're wondering why, exactly, I seem to have some strange aversion to gas stations. It's a simple and undeniable fact that gas stations are plotting to kill me...or at least deliver a staggering blow to my self-sustainability. Naturally, being a crafty sort of system, they only strike when I'm alone and at my most vulnerable.

Because of my careful observation of the fuel meter, I had only attempted to pump gas into our car, alone, twice before.

Both ended in disaster.

The first time I attempted this was only the second time I had ever even touched a gas pump with my bare hands. It didn't help my anxiety that I had been told that gas tanks can explode if a cellphone goes off near one. Nonetheless, I didn't want to get stranded on the side of the freeway, so taking a deep breath I assured myself that it would be quick and easy; just like my father had showed me, and pulled into the first open station I found and parked.

...comically far away from the pump.

As soon as I got out of the car and realized the actual length of the gap I had left, I could feel my face heat with embarrassment. However, as I stood there, debating whether or not the pump would reach so far and if I should try to reposition the car, I noticed the man at the pump next to me.

There was something so...disdainful about the knowing look on his face. Something that shouted "I was never so pathetic the first time I went to a gas station." I quickly averted my gaze, but decided immediately I would make due with my mistake, and furthermore act as if the space didn't phase me at all!

Not having access, at this point, to any medium of exchange other than straight-up cash, I had to rely on darting away from the protective isolation of my automobile to pay for the fuel in person. So, clutching into my wallet and car keys with pride, I strutted to the cashier of the station with my head held high in a poor display of false dignity. This lasted at least until I was out of the man's sight before I glued my eyes to the floor and mumbled out the number of the pump I had selected, sliding a $20 to the girl behind the counter.

Alright. As I shuffled back to the car, I inwardly cheered myself on for getting so far. The battle was halfway over! Soon I would be cruising on my way back home and all would be right with the world.

Keeping my eyes ahead of me and away from the other snarky patron, I proceeded to stare down my respective machine like a cowboy dueling in an old western film. Grab the nozzle, select the grade, and fill 'er up. Simple! And yet, I second guessed myself, as I am often wont to do, wondering if I was mixing up the order of the process and if clicking an incorrect button at an incorrect moment would cause the entire facility to explode. Gas stations had self-destruct buttons, right?

Feeling eyes boring into my skull, I realized gloomily that the cocky son of a nutcracker to my right must have noticed my extreme hesitation and decided to have a chuckle in watching me flounder. In a sudden, uncharacteristic burst of decisiveness I mentally shouted 'screw it!', snatched the nozzle, and punched the regular grade. Take that, Mr. Nosy! I knew what I was doing!

Smiling triumphantly, I turned to bring the nozzle over to my car (it did reach, if barely), unable to help but meet the gaze of the smug man for a brief second, as if to mock him with my eyes! He thought I was going to do something silly! He thought I was going to make a fool of myself in my inexperience! Well, he was wrong, dead wrong. I joyously savored my victory.

Savored it, that is, until I accidentally sprayed gas along the side of the car.

-10 exp.

The second time I attempted to get gas by myself I was determined to park closer to the pump this time and spare me any needless embarrassment. To my endless disdain I found that this time I had committed the opposite extreme. That is, I parked so close to the machine it's surprising I didn't run headlong into it.

The routine went in a similar fashion as the last time, only instead of getting ahead of myself and acting too confident I kept my eyes peeled myopically in front of me, trying to wrestle the nozzle out of its holster and turn it around in the painfully small amount of space I had allowed myself. Again, someone was staring.

Oh, and I parked so close as to create a (small!) scratch along the side of the car when I exited the station.

After these back-to-back encounters with this entity that clearly had malicious intent toward me and my well being, I was dreading what would be in store for me this time. And oh, I knew there would be something.

Nervously, I pulled into a gas station for the third time. To my relief, the distance between my car and the pump was much more reasonable this time. So far so good. Even better, I had gotten my first debit card a few days ago, enabling me to pay for the gas without having to leave the side of the car (therefore making me glance nervously behind every few seconds like a squirrel defending its winter supply), to ascertain that nobody was attempting to hot wire my only mode of transportation and make off with it. Of course, I had never used it before, only making me hesitate even longer as I tried to make heads-or-tails of the card slot.

I tried sliding the card, entering my PIN number, and taking the nozzle three times without success before I was informed that the station was out of gas--at least, all except the most expensive grade. Lucky me.

So I tried again, this time selecting the expensive grade.

Still no luck.

Now I was starting to get worried. What was I doing wrong? Was my card defective? I began to panic. I wouldn't be able to get gas! I wouldn't be able to make it home! Desperately, I swiped the card one last time, reading the screen carefully as it requested my PIN number--


ZIP code.

Five attempts to pay for a couple of gallons of gas--just enough to get me home and to school the next day--and I had nearly been in hysterics over misunderstanding the number I was being requested to input. At this point, I didn't even bother to see how many eyes were on me (but I did recognize an employee hovering nearby so she could put a "out of gas" sign on the pump I had been using), and sulked back into the car.

By the way, it had been raining the whole time. I was soaked and cold by the time I was able to leave.

Although one could argue that most (or all) of these misfortunes are a direct result of my own brief lapses in judgment, I've thought about it long and hard in the past 24 hours. Yes, underneath it all, this is subtly and craftily being plotted and effectuated through some sort of devious scheme to completely discourage me from driving...and ultimately from leaving my room at all. Slowly, discreetly, a message is being planted inside the crevices of my brain. It tells me not to go to school, not to go to work, not to visit my friends...because any or all of these decisions may force me into another confrontation with the infamous gas pump. Inevitability, I will be forced into a vegetative state.

3 points gas stations, 0 points Danielle.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It Starts

I created a blog.

The implications of this statement boggle me far more than they probably should. I've never been adverse to blogs, have read my fair share of blogs, and have several friends who have had (at least at one point in their lives) blogs.Yet, regardless of this fact I've similarly seen blogs frowned upon by several of my writing teachers as well as peers. My most recent teacher was so vehemently opposed to blogs that I couldn't help but shirk away from the idea of creating one, lest he track it down on the Internet and fail me instantly (the man was brilliant, but terrified me).

Now, being far from such detrimental influences I find myself free to read as many blogs as I wish; and that's where this one comes in. It was, to be quite honest, a spontaneous decision that I made while sitting around doing absolutely nothing worthwhile on the Internet. That, and I watched Julie & Julia one too many times. I thought hey! I'm an individual with opinions, wit, and a halfway-decent vocabulary who likes to write! Why not make a blog, then? Like many Internet dwellers, if it will give me something to obsess over in hopes of getting at least a single positive comment from a stranger, I'm in.

So I did it, obviously, and that's why we're here. I must admit, however, that it wasn't as easy for me as I had thought it would be. Naming this blog proved to be an unusually frustrating venture, more than likely because I soon came to the realization that I rarely have much to talk about. Opinions, yes, I indeed have many, but I'm not inclined to debate anything radical with my own family, let alone complete strangers. Life experience was a no-go, as well. Hardly an adult and still spinning through a mundane routine of sleep-eat-school-work-eat-sleep, I didn't initially imagine my day-to-day happenings as being enough to substantially fill a blog. That, and I couldn't think of anything that both related to me and simultaneously sounded catchy.

A friend of mine (who for all intents and purposes will be from here on referred to as Noodle), suggested "Frequently Flabbergasted". Not only does it fit me well, but immediately gave me a solution. Maybe I don't have much to talk about in regards to my life in general, but there is one aspect to me, personally, I can't deny: I get into more awkward situations--especially in regards to the opposite gender--than anyone I know. Awkward, embarrassing, funny, shameful, you name it, it's more than likely happened to me very recently (and will also more than likely happen again in the very near future). Moreover, I tend to find myself digging my own grave when faced with these troubles, and am apparently "cute" and "amusing" to watch flounder about like a very red-faced fish out of water (I blush not only visibly, but audibly).

I'm sure all of my entries won't strictly adhere to the same spiel over and over but I've concluded that, for the most part, this space would be reserved for me to talk not about my life as a whole, but those humorously uncomfortable curve balls that I tend to get thrown on my quest to be more socially outgoing (and ultimately find myself a nice boy to introduce to the family). I have a feeling that this will be fun for me, and if you so choose to follow along, I hope you enjoy reading as much as I'm sure I'll enjoy writing (even if the actual experiences that motivate the journal won't be all that fantastic for me to go through).

And so, it begins.