Friday, February 22, 2013

Pros and Cons of Being Sick

  • You feel like your throat and your ears drums are about to explode every minute of every day.
  • Eating becomes a necessary evil.
  • You have to chug a glass of Alka-Seltzer Cold Medicine every few hours.
  • Each sniff or swallow produces searing pains throughout your brain.
  • You walk around in a daze because you are simply not capable of any serious brain activity.
  • After getting off work, you feel completely justified laying on your bed for the rest of the evening, putting in movie after movie until you fall asleep at 8:35 PM.
  • In a medicine-induced stupor, you come up with amazing ideas for novels.  (I plan on publishing two books by the end of this year, as a result.)
  • You feel okay about putting off doing your homework or exercising because too much mental or physical exertion is detrimental to your already unstable health.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

An Uncommon Name

I have been at Cal State East Bay for six months now so, today, I thought it was high time to obtain a student ID card.  I went into the administration building and gave the middle-aged woman behind the counter the necessary state-issued photo identification card.  I nonchalantly looked out the window for a minute to see if the wind had picked up outside when I heard a rather audible intake of breath which quickly drew my attention back to the lady behind the desk.  She was looking at me incredulously.  I saw her hand come out to grasp mine in a hand shake.  In the split second before my fingers touched hers, the thought occurred to me that this woman was going to excitedly exclaim that I was the 750th student to come to the counter this quarter and that the debt-ridden, mismanaged state of California was somehow awarding me with $500,000.  That rather ridiculous notion left my head quickly, however, when, instead, she excitedly exclaimed, "Your name is Celia!  That's my name!  You are now the fourth person I have ever met that has the name Celia!"  Having never come across another living, breathing human being with my name before, I was also quite enthused by this news.  What I thought was going to be a quick run-in to pick up a simple ID card ended up being a thorough discussion on both the benefits and the woes of having the unique name of "Celia."  We listed all of the different names we had been called throughout the years (Cecilia, Cecil, Sylvia...).  We talked about its pronunciation and she nearly convinced me (not really) to start pronouncing my name the Spanish way rather than the English way.  We stewed over the idea that the name Sally is supposedly considered an English equivalent for Celia (to which my Dad commented, "You are not a Sally.").  We discussed how Celia comes from the word "celestina" which means heavenly (as already stated in my blog description to the right of this post).  After contemplating together the life of Celia Cruz, "La Reina de la Salsa," I left the office feeling slightly deflated that my wild thought of winning $500,000 did not come to pass, but I also found myself inexplicably satisfied with the encounter.  While it used to bother me that my teachers never pronounced my name properly in school and that my name has bred nicknames like Seal throughout the years, I am pleased that I have a unique yet not overly abnormal-sounding name.  It stands out without being over the top.  It commands a certain level of attention.  It has a nice ring to it.

My name is Celia.  Not many people in this world can say that, and I find that kind of cool.
(I am using this image strictly as a visual.  I am not suggesting that you read this book.  I have never heard of it, let alone read it. :) )

Friday, February 1, 2013

I'm an 89er!

I was born in 1989.  Maybe that doesn't sound too remarkable to you right now but after some explanation, perhaps you will understand and wish you were a fellow 89er.

Though I am only 23, I have the privilege...nay, the pleasure, of saying that I have lived and breathed during four different decades/eras.  Let's go through the greatest characteristics of each one, shall we?

The 1980s
With my infant-eyes, I saw my older siblings wear the neon colors and thick scrunchies of the 80s.  While I can not say that I was entirely aware of my surroundings during this time, the effects of the era definitely carried over into my early childhood.  As the youngest child out of six, my formative years were spent watching "tubular" 80s cartoons my Dad had taped off the TV and playing with some of the "totally awesome" cast-off toys of my older siblings.  If you didn't have a popple or a glo-worm (or, in my case, a glo-turtle), you seriously missed out on some good times. 

I would often watch my brother play Super Mario Brothers and Simon's Quest on the original Nintendo that you had to blow into every time it stopped working.  And you might just be an uncultured swine if you have never witnessed the original versions of Strawberry Shortcake or if you have never seen a single episode of Rainbow Brite.
(The was a strange decade.  After watching those TV shows again, I kind of wonder how anyone came out of it as a reasonably normal human-being.)

The 1990s
Though I was technically born in the 80s, I am most definitely a 90s kid.  I was making my way through elementary school at the height of the boy-band era.  (In case you are wondering, I like the Backstreet Boys more than N'Sync.  That isn't to say that you won't find me rocking out to "It's Gonna Be Me" any given day.)  I became aware of fashion when the cool thing to do was roll out of bed, throw on the baggiest flannel T-Shirt you could find, and head to school in hopes of being the grungiest person in the class.  Once in a blue moon, we kids looked semi-decent.  I felt especially attractive when I wore my extremely fashionable hat that had the flower smack-dab in the front.  Wouldn't you agree?
I showed off my Polly Pocket collection at a Show-And-Tell in 2nd Grade.  The boys and my teacher didn't think it was all that exciting, but the girls in my class thought it was "all that." I so had this exact one!
Girls with colorful Lisa Frank folders and erasers would pretend they were the Spice Girls during recess.  We would wake up early on Saturday mornings to watch Nickelodeon, making sure to watch the forbidden shows (Power Rangers and Rugrats) when Mom was not home.  My Tomagotchi was Salem, the cat from Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.  My sister Brittany was so accommodating whenever we wanted to use her Easy-Bake Oven..."As if!"  (Haha, I'm kidding, Brittany.  I just wanted to throw that phrase in there somehow.)  The 90s...another interesting yet awesome decade.

The 2000s
In the early 2000s, I headed into the awkward years of middle school with the lyrics from songs by the Dixie Chicks, Michelle Branch, and Avril Lavigne in my head.  I wore my jean overalls to school for as long as the fashion world would allow and thought I had hit the pinnacle of greatness when I finally managed to get my hands on a visor.
I think I kind of lost my grasp of popular culture during this decade but that doesn't mean my friends didn't try to pull me back into it a time or two.  I reluctantly took part in the viewing of the cheesy yet melodious phenomenon that was High School Musical.  I thought it was so cool when I was able to upgrade to an MP3 player after carrying around my old-fashioned CD player for years. I got my first cell phone when I was a junior in high school and, with it's tiny screen and limited uses, I hardly picked the thing up.  I went from writing my papers on my sister's old once-revolutionary iMac to writing them on my beloved Mac Mini which still serves me well to this day. 
I graduated from high school and headed off to college where methods of communication included some face time, Facebook, texts, and the sharing of YouTube videos.  The, how the world has changed over the last decade.

The 2010s
We are now a couple of years into this new decade.  I think we have yet to see what its defining qualities will be.  However, the trends I am noticing are these: This is the age of the iPhone and the age of social media.  In fashion, girls are looking to the 1940s and the 1950s for style tips.  Music still draws upon the techno age of the 1980s, but we are also starting to see a rise in popularity of music that is a little more "folksy," (yes, I just made that word up) getting some inspiration from the songs of the 1960s.  Beyond that, I have no idea where the next few years will take us.  Twenty years from now we will, no doubt, look back at these years and wonder, "What the heck were we thinking?"  I know I look back at the 80s and wonder how the mullet was ever cool or how the Grunge-look ever made it into popular culture in the 90s.  So what will be the defining characteristics of the 2010s?  I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

So, though my lifetime is like a drop of water in the bucket of time, I have actually been privy to quite a number of eras/cultures and events.  It's amazing to think about all the things that have happened and changed in the last 23 years.

See!  Don't you wish you were an 89er too?  :)