Behold: My Future

photo_3.jpgWarning: If Christina Crapanzano is reading this — Fear The Worst.

It was a cute joke this summer.  Down with the man.  Buy a [explicit] cat!  We joked on and off about moving around the country and working at newspapers to come home at night to one of two things:

1.)    A Cat.

2.)    A Kennedy.

So how about a cat named Kennedy?  All right, all right.  I know this will technically make me a cat lady at the ripe old age of 22 (thanks, Dad, for pointing that out), but it’s really not like that.

My grandmother bred Siamese cats for most of her life.  And even though my Aunt Pam isn’t really a fan of them, she has continued on the tradition since Grandma passed away last Christmas.  So there I was, sitting at Aunt Pam’s kitchen table when a beautiful Siamese cat landed on my lap.  What’s a girl to do?  I had to pet the thing.

And we entered into a 30-minute long snuggle fest.  While I was taming one of the world’s prissiest animals, my aunt noticed that we had hit it off and remarked, “If you ever want a Siamese, just let me know.”

After a couple glasses of wine at Christmas Dinner last night, this “let me know” turned into “I have a litter of Balinese being born near your birthday in March, which will be ready for launch around graduation.  The pick of the litter is yours — do you know what color points you want?”

Which means that when I move to [insert city, state here], I will not be going alone.  Instead, I will be packing up a precious little kitty for the ride, and making a new BFF.  I’m not sure yet whether I’ll get a boy or a girl — I don’t really have a preference.  And as far as what color points I’m going to look for… um, I think I’ll just point to one and say “Pretty.”

My other aunt, Auntie M (who is, by the way, the textbook definition of a southern belle), told me a Siamese is my first step toward becoming a real lady.  Siamese are apparently a gateway drug.  This will lead to harder things, like a pair of poodles like Auntie M’s.  She would also like to see me with blonder hair, serving tea from the family’s silver with fresh baked goods (Auntie M’s recipe of course).

A gateway drug indeed.  This cat could stomp out every bit of feminism in my body.

Or could it just be a cuddly new addition to my life?

Now for the real question: What to name it?  Is Kennedy the best bet?

Top Ten Reasons I Have Not Been Working On My Thesis

10.) I may have — accidentally — wandered the internet the other night, stumbling upon the ABC Family Original Series “Greek.” Then I may have — also accidentally — proceeded to watch all 10 episodes in a two-day period of time. And I have to say that while I am usually the Evan type (see: my love for Logan Huntzberger) there is something about that Cappie guy that simply rocked my world.

9.) Thesis writing is hard work. Procrastination is not hard work. Ex: I have finally updated my blog (twice) since I returned home Monday night; I baked two dozen holiday cookies; I even wrote out all my holiday cards and hand delivered them to the post office instead of sticking them in the mailbox at the end of my driveway.

8.) The mall owns my soul. I’ve been working at Aeropostale for the past couple months, and I transferred to the one in Crossgates for the two weeks I’m home. Of course we have to factor in not only the time I spend actually working my shift, but also the hour round-trip to the mall, and the 40 minutes or so it takes to find a parking spot.

7.) I think I have changed my facebook picture twice since the end of the semester. If I get any closer to beginning the intro of my thesis, I have a feeling we will see lucky number three.

6.) My dad got a new dog a couple months ago, and he is pretty much my BFF, so I spend a lot of time rough housing with him (see: my swollen, blue ring finger and the giant scratch on the right side of my face). Don’t get me wrong, the dog and I get along very well, he’s just got a lotta spunk — which I, of all people, can appreciate.

5.) The phone rings every five minutes in this house, something that didn’t bother me much as a child, since it just seemed completely normal. Now I see that it’s just an inordinate amount of phone calls, half of which Dad never returns, and all of which he is never here to answer. Translation: Secretary Duty.

4.) Speaking of the phone… I don’t really talk to many people from my hometown any more, after all, it’s been four years since I loaded up Mom’s SUV and decided to rarely, if ever, look back. So being here means I’m not around my good friends. In other words, my cell phone is almost always in use and my screen name is running on overdrive.

3.) When searching for inspiration to write my thesis on Monday night, I googled “writing quotes” and proceeded to look through about 150 inspirational quote about writing. It really did inspire me, but by the time I was done reading them all it was time for bed.

2.) I’m not really in a rush when I’m here. Usually at school it’s: wake up early; class; class; meeting; class; class; meeting; work; homework; shower; bed; up early… Here it’s: sleep until I’m done sleeping; shower; leisurely prepare for work; drive/find parking for work; work; home; “Greek”; bed.

1.) Maybe it’s because I haven’t had enough caffeine in my system the past couple days, and my body is in a state of confusion?

The Impatient Kayaker

lifesaver.pngI have a little problem with patience. I blame one of the kids I went to elementary school with. He and I were always battling to see which one of us was a little bit smarter than the other. After a couple years, we realized we got the same scores on just about every test we ever took, so we began competing to see who could finish the test first.

Of course I wish this had never happened, because to this day, I have to be the first in the lecture hall to turn in my Scantron sheet. 100 multiple choice questions — that should take no more than 15 minutes, right? And three essay questions — that’s 40 minutes tops.

I have only recently begun to allow myself to re-check my test after I’m done filling in the bubbles, applying hints the professor might have accidentally left in the end of the test to correct mistakes I may have made on the first couple pages. And I don’t turn in first drafts as papers any more. They may be A material in high school, but it only took one semester at SU to learn that they’re B+ at best. If nothing else, there’s always going to be a careless typo on the third page. Despite this realization, I still like to bang out a 10 page paper in no more than four hours.

I suffer from severe and chronic impatience. Being last, for me, was just never an option. So you can imagine how distressing it can be to feel like one of the only seniors at Syracuse University with absolutely no clue what I’m going to do after graduation. All four of my roommates have their plans all made up in their heads. They know the want to do Teach For America, or graduate school, or which area they are going to move to after graduation so they can dive into their chosen field.

I don’t even have a time zone figured out. Alaska sounds nice. So does Alabama. Not to mention my overwhelming love for Washington, D.C. — what I wouldn’t give to go back there, or another top market like Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, or New York. But what are the chances of that for someone fresh out of journalism school, battling against the hundreds (more like thousands) of recently unemployed journalists who have lost their jobs due to buyouts and budget cuts.

I look at my friends who have already applied to fellowship programs, law schools, and top-notch jobs and wonder how they decided their choices were for them. Don’t get me wrong; I know I want to be in the journalism field. I’ve known for… well, forever. I want to work as an editor and move my way up the ranks, but the question is, where do I want to start? Does it matter?

vacationclub.gifPart of me wants to do something exciting, like pack up two suitcases and drive my station wagon out to Montana for a three-year stint at a newspaper in the middle of nowhere. Another part wants to move to the city on a wing and a prayer. Still another part wants to stay within a two-hour radius of at least one of my best friends, so I don’t have to go on this new adventure all by myself.

But while it’s exciting and invigorating to think that six months from now I could be anywhere in North America, it’s also scary to think that for the first time in my life I have no idea what the next step is. And it’s even scarier to think that I might be in last place for once — the undecided boat is quickly emptying out, and before I know it I’m going to be paddling alone to God knows where.

In the mean time, I guess I’ll just learn to swim in case of emergency.

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