Hot Chocolate in LA

I wish I were more acquainted with the floor. It seems to be everybody's best friend. Stare at the floor. Count the tiles. Avoid the cracks. But whatever you do, don't make eye contact with the person walking towards you. The person with a personality. The person with a religion. The person with a history. But the ground those people walk on is always more interesting. 

I've been in the LAX airport for 48 minutes now. I walked around for a bit and tried to find a coffee shop that sold hot chocolate.

Okay. First off. Rant. Tangent. Social kenundrum. Nobody sells good old-fashioned hot chocolate anymore! It took me 17 minutes to locate a hot beverage that wasn't coffee!

Then I sat on a ledge that overlooks an escalator, munched on a warm chocolate muffin, and sipped away at my hot chocolate. Yum. Who wouldn't be smiling? 

So I'm smiling. Honestly, I haven't been able to stop smiling all morning. I'm in Los Angeles, which is gorgeous. Overcast, warm, and calm. I'm going to see my best friend for the weekend and I kind of can't hold my pants on because I'm so excited. I'm in a smiley mood. 

So far, two stewardesses and three pilots have returned my smiles. Everyone else is fascinated with this carpet! It really is nice carpet, but it's a shame that living, breathing people don't render the kind of response that the floor receives. 

My brown paper bag with gooey chocolate muffin lining the sides will smile back at me. 


A Fresh Batch of Fun Underwear

I'm standing in line for my last final of freshman year right now. 

Yes, in line. Yes, I've been in line for a while. No, I won't be getting in anytime soon. So I'll blog. 

About underwear. 

You know how you have your favorite pairs of underwear? The most comfortable ones. The ones that make you feel fancy. The ones that you wear with a smile because even though nobody else will see, you know that you secretly look really hot right now. Wear it with pride. 

Ooh! The line just moved. 

It just makes you feel cool to feel hot underneath. 

Yesterday, Leanna turns to me and says, "I need to do a batch of fun underwear. Do you have anything I should throw in?" And that's when it hit me - exactly how much I'm going to miss my roommate and best friend. Because she knows that fun underwear makes a difference in your day. 

And because without her, I wouldn't have my favorite underwear on right now.

But I do. 

Which means I'll get at least ten points higher on this final. Proven fact. 

That is, if I ever actually make it to the front of the line...


The Best Day Ever

A friend asked me the other day how I can be so happy when I spend my free time studying something so dark. After all, I am in school to study suicide. It's not always an easy subject.

Without hesitation, I explained that every morning, I get out of bed and say to myself that today is going to be the best day ever. It then becomes a game to convince myself that today truly was the best day ever. Unbeknownst to them, even my friends and family play along, just by simply asking me "why?" when I explain to them that I'm having the best day ever.

Some days it's an easy response: "I just aced a test, a friend surprised me with my favorite Jones soda this morning, and I have a hot date tonight. Today is the best day ever."

Most days I focus more on the little things: "I didn't have any nightmares last night, my hair is brushed, and I have ingredients for cookie dough in my fridge. Today is the best day ever."

Once in a blue moon though, the best day ever may only be categorized as "I got out of bed this morning. It's the best day ever."

The best day ever is redefining happiness, potential, and success to tailor your experiences.

A little while back, I asked family and friends to define happiness, potential, and success. Here were some of the responses.

Happiness is knowing your goals, what you want in life. Potential is having the means of achieving those goals. Success is reaching those goals, no matter what obstacles you may have to face.

Happiness is love. Potential is our ability to purely love. Success is loving as best you can now. 

Happiness is family. Potential is the ability to be the best. Success is finding joy in every thing, good or bad.

Success is exerting your potential. Potential is something you can only use if you're happy. Happiness is being successful, in even the tiny things.

Happiness is a choice. Potential is exponential but limited. Success is loving completely without expectation of it being returned.

Happiness is great. Potential is in everyone. Success is based on perspective.

Happiness is attainable. Potential is often unrecognized. Success is worthwhile.

Happiness is chocolate. And Harry Potter. Potential is life. Success is career.

Happiness is a choice. Potential is tantamount to growth. Success is what happens when you allow yourself to grow.

Happiness is a choice. Potential is endless and within us. Success is living true to what lies within us.

Every single one of these responses could make me sit and think for hours. Even the one about chocolate.

To me, happiness is recognizing not only that you have the potential to be successful, but that you have already been successful.

I believe that rising above anything is success. And some days, rising above the urge to stay under the soft, warm covers may be the hardest thing we've ever done. It's a cold world out there. You will inevitably make mistakes out there. Success is getting out of bed and saying "I'm ready to start the day."

And today is going to be the best day ever.


I Play the Wallflower Instrument

My hands have recently said goodbye to my viola. My calluses are gone. My fingers are nice and smooth. I haven't had to super-glue my bleeding fingertips in months. I have hit the hardest phase of withdrawal yet: the sickening realization that you can't live without the thing you just gave up. My baby is 236 miles away, in a cold, dark case.

The last time I saw her, I was leaving her along the back of my wall. Only now do I realize how poetic the placement was; the viola, wallflower instrument.

A pretty typical response that I get when I first make mention of my viola might follow the lines of, "what's a viola?"

Allow me to enlighten you.

The viola.

Basically, a violin on steroids. I like this video because it shows off a bit of the range. We can go lower than a violin. And we're way bigger so we can smash your violin into the ground.

But most people have never heard of us. No, it's fine. We're just the ones that make the rest of the orchestra sound good. Whatever.

Can't wait to see my baby next week. Forgive me, Viola?


I Left My Popcorn Bowl At Taylor's

Okay. I take it back.

Leanna and I had four goals.

4. Eat healthier. Eat more vegetables, more ingredients, more flavors, more proteins. Less cookie dough.

Have we kept this goal either? Of course not! Cookie dough will never stop being an essential. And we college kids like to stick to our four main food groups: junk, junk food, less junky food, and junk our parents wouldn't approve of. Sorry, Mom.

Yesterday I was better! I ate half a pineapple. My tongue still hasn't forgiven me.

Then I realized I was in the mood for something salty. Pasta and sauce takes too much effort. Toast involves more than one ingredient and therefore wasn't worth it either. Popcorn was the obvious choice.

I sat there, watching a show, absentmindedly texting and blogging, and eating my popcorn. Then Taylor called me and invited me to lunch.

Not quite finished with my popcorn, my first instinct was to finish it along the way. I grabbed the bowl and walked to Taylor's. We talked to some friends for awhile and when it was time to leave, I figured I'd be back, so I left the bowl on the counter.

I didn't realize until last night at 11:47 while Taylor was indisposed that I hadn't retrieved her. At 11:46 I attempted to make a bowl of popcorn for Savanna, J-Lo, and I and realized that my perfect popcorn bowl, the one that fits the entire bag so perfectly, was not here.

I haven't seen my bowl since. Poor girl. Just sitting there, all alone. Unappreciated. Laying in her own buttery filth. Nobody to wash her, clean her, lick the salt off her. I'll come for you, Genene! If it's the last thing I do!

If anything good has come out of this, I suppose it would be my realization that I need to rely a little less on popcorn. And eat healthier. And make a goal that I can actually reach.

Maybe tomorrow. For now, I just want Genene back.


Leanna and I set three goals this semester. 

1. Be more social. We decided we would go out at least once a week and invite one new friend over for Sunday game night or something. 

2. Go to bed at a more reasonable hour. After last semester, going to bed at midnight because of our Lost marathons was no longer an option. Bedtime for this semester, we decided, will be 11:15. 

3. Wash the dishes right away. Okay. I'll admit, this was my personal goal. Leanna's always been good about dishes. I've never been very good about washing plates until it is absolutely necessary. 

How are we doing?

Well, the one or two weekly outings quickly became at least fourteen outings per week, except for the one day this entire semester that we went to bed before 1:00. Literally. And only because I was so sick. I was out cold before the clock even hit nine. 

Which covers the second goal. Even with a 7:00 class three times a week, my head will not hit the pillow until well after midnight. 

And as far as my goal on washing dishes goes, it's no longer super applicable because my roommates this semester like to use the dishwasher. So just twice a week or so, we wash all the dishes and throw them in.

That's how we're doing. And I am exhausted. 

Yes, I am perfectly aware that there are ways to fix this exhaustion. Ways to cure the social bug I've caught. Ways to fix my relationship with my mattress. But I choose not to.

It's just too difficult to part with routine! For instance, the typical evening goes something like this:

4:00   Finish up homework on your own.
5:00   Make/eat dinner with roommates. Complain about your day.
5:30   Meet up with everyone. Run off to volleyball practice, spinning class, and/or the pool.
8:00   Come home and shower.
9:00   Meet up with guys for a movie/bid adieu to the girls with dates.
11:55 Say goodbye to the guys. Make plans for tomorrow.
11:56 Squeal with delight as you get the glorious 30 second run-down of each girl's date.
11:58 Go into detail about each date, beginning with the one that sounded the most exciting. Stay up until 1:00 discussing how tonight went, complaining about guys' inability to just make the move already, and ferociously plotting how tomorrow's dates should go.

For instance, now. It is 12:48 on a Thursday night. Savanna and I finished our movie at roughly 11:56, just in time to see two dates come through the door. Savanna and I at this point were able to determine how each date went by looking at the faces of each girl and guy that came in. Roommate Number One was kissed by her friendboy for the first time tonight (totally called it!) and Roommate Number Two held hands with her friendboy all night (nailed it!). Naturally, it has taken the full 48 (now 51) minutes to hear each rommate's analysis of the date, the guy, and the relationship. Only 19 of those minutes were deticated to freaking out that Number One's date made the first move.

Maybe it's just boys that are our problem. Nothing to do with classes or busy schedules. Just boys.

And now it's 12:54. Sounds about right. Mattress, here I come. Maybe next semester we can make one or two new goals and actually stick to them.

Once upon a time there was a girl named Lizzie, who may be exhausted, but it's totally worth it. She's living the dream. Roommates, galfriends, guyfriends, food, dating, college. What more could a person want?