The end

It’s been 30 days. I have posted every single day. Some of the posts have been bad. Some have been good. Some have been so good that they temporarily launched my blog into superstardom. And then the bad posts brought it back down to the “who’s that girl” status I’ve grown accustomed to.

I have to say, I surprised myself. I didn’t think I’d get through this. Honestly, I’m just scraping by considering my lackluster last week of posts. But I’m still proud.

I have definitely learned a lot about myself this month. I can be funny. Other people think I’m funny sometimes. I have a lot I want to do in life. And I am very easily distracted.

Originally I said I’d buy myself a domain if I successfully completed NaBloPoMo. I think I’m going to wait until Christmas to make sure I don’t abandon this out of sheer exhaustion.

Thank you to everyone who stuck with me and is still reading this thing. I’m going to give myself a break for a few days, but I promise I will be back with quality material.

PS if anyone has experience with blog design/purchasing a domain/being awesome and would like to be paid in baked goods in exchange for your services, please let me know!

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I’m the next Scorcese

I am a multi-talented kid. I am a songwriter, a stand-up comedian, and a renowned Sculpey artist. But two of my greatest hidden talents are my skills as a director and videographer.

You all know I’m a terrible matchmaker and ended up stealing a boy from my friend. Well, Kyle and I were together until the night before high school started when he broke up with me over AIM because his mom wanted him to concentrate on school instead of girls. I’m fairly convinced the real reason was that he hated Disney World and refused to plan our imaginary Disney wedding. But this is all in the past.

Fast forward a couple months and we still have a great deal of mutual friends. He has a new girl (proving my Disney world theory), but it’s okay because I had moved on to older men. We were in the same English class along with all of our friends and our teacher Mrs Hayes assigned a group project. We had to team up and recreate Romeo and Juliet using any medium we preferred.

We ended up with about 12 people in our group for some reason, including Kyle. We decided to make a modern movie version of Romeo & Juliet. We began casting roles and everyone wanted Kyle to be Romeo since he was tall and good-looking. I was pushed to be Juliet because of my acting experience (I was the only freshman cast in the high school’s fall play and one of two freshman girls in the spring musical. I was kind of a rockstar.) However, due to our history, I refused to partner up with Kyle. Another girl played Juliet and I chose to move behind-the-scenes and took on the role of director and videographer.

Our group was a bunch of type-A honor roll kids, so of course the production was a huge deal. We wrote a script, had costumes, set design, and everyone memorized their lines. We got together almost every day for two weeks to work on everything and film. Most of the filming was done around my house and neighborhood since it was close to some of my groupmates homes. We filmed the balcony scene with “Juliet” leaning out of my bedroom window.

The climactic scene of our movie was the lovestruck couple meeting at a bridge and planning to run away together before they are caught and they jump off. This was the last scene we needed to film and we had spent all day on it. There was a little bridge over a stream in the neighborhood next to mine, so we filmed there. We were having a hard time getting it right and everyone was getting antsy.

We finally got the take we needed and wrapped filming. My mom drove down to pick us and our equipment and props up to bring us back to my house for pizza and a screening of our masterpiece. We came in, put everything away, and settled in to watch.

I plugged in the video camera and suddenly noticed something was wrong. Instead of the opening scenes, all I saw was what looked like the inside of a car. I could hear my own voices and my friends’ voices in the background. I tried rewinding and fastforwarding, but couldn’t find anything we had filmed.

I had forgotten to turn the camera off after the last scene and somehow ended up taping over everything we had filmed the last two weeks.

Everyone was absolutely pissed. I nearly broke down into tears, but there was no one else to blame. The group quickly tried to figure out a time for everyone to get together to re-film the entire movie. Someone proposed doing it that weekend, but I was going to be out of town for a dance competition and said I couldn’t make it. No one seemed to care that the girl who had ruined the entire project couldn’t make it, so they decided to get together that weekend anyway.

We had to present our projects in the class the next week and I tried every trick in the book to get my mom to let me stay home. I ran the thermometer under hot water and did as much fake coughing as I could to no avail.

English was last period and I spent the whole day dreading it. I was afraid the video would turn out terribly, we’d get a bad grade, and it’d be all my fault.

It finally came time for class and I purposely sat in the back corner away from the angry glares of my group mates. One of them popped in the video as I turned white from nervousness.

It actually turned out well, almost as good as what we had originally filmed. Our teacher was amazed at how far above and beyond we had gone and immediately rewarded each of us extra credit.

Everyone in the group eventually forgave me, but I was never trusted with a video camera again.

Penelope’s Turn

As previously mentioned, I grew up dancing. From ages 5-15 I spent 90% of my time in my dance studio taking hours of class, rehearsing routines, and traveling across the Northeast for dance competitions. By my sophomore year of high school, I no longer wanted to devote all of my time to dance and chose to pursue singing and acting instead. I was lucky to attend a high school with a great dance program and continued to take dance as one of my classes during the day with one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, Miss P. Without her and that class, I would have never survived high school.

My last dance recital with my studio was super stressful. I had a lead in our annual production and was really nervous about it. Every year, our studio came together to put on a play-musical-dance production hybrid that we performed in the middle of each recital show. In years past we had done Cinderella, The Lion King, Grease, The Wiz, and many more. The high-level class of each age group would perform to one song of the show and the leads were cast from the senior class and the stand-out junior dancers when needed.

My first year as a member of the advanced senior class coincided with my freshman year of high school. This was the year that my dance teacher, Miss Millene, chose to write and choreograph an original production for the recital. There was a lot of talent in the senior class and she wanted to create parts to match it.

She chose to pen a coming-of-age story about a nerdy girl named Penelope who goes on a crazy adventure with her family in NYC over summer vacation, gets lost, and becomes a star. It was honestly the weirdest thing ever. In one scene, Penelope gets lost in Chinatown and is attacked by a dance troupe of Chinese dancers dressed in traditional garb.

I was cast as Penelope’s best friend and had to perform a duet with the girl playing Penelope to Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful. The worst part was that I had to dress like a total geek. I was at the age where I thought I was hot stuff and wanted to show off in tiny pretty costumes. We were allowed to shop for our own costumes since we were playing high school students and I ended up getting my entire outfit at Limited Too. I went for the “still dresses like a five-year-old” look with a tacky bright skirt, huge pink-framed glasses, and obnoxious scrunchies.

It was definitely a crazy experience, but I’m so thankful for having dance in my life. If anything, looking like a total dweeb in front of hundreds of people has taught me to never be ashamed and that you should do anything for a laugh.

Wearing a Minnie Mouse dress makes everything okay (The story of Nuonkey)

This week has been a shining beacon of hope amidst a month of tough times and I like to think it’s mainly because my brother is home.

While I was super excited about getting tons of new music from him , I’m really happy to see Michael.  We’re pretty close and I really look up to him, even though he’s three years younger.

We haven’t always been friends.  The day he was born, my dad came up to me and told me that I had a new baby brother.  My three-year-old-self was not pleased.  I screamed “WHY IS GOD PUNISHING ME?!” and threw myself to the floor for a tantrum of epic proportions.  Dad let me wear my Minnie Mouse Halloween costume to the hospital to meet this little stranger and I finally calmed down.  The first picture of us together is me poking him in the face and laughing (this will be indictive of our entire future brother/sister relationship)

Growing up we fought a lot.  Indian burns, pinching, nail digging until one of us bled.  This is why I have garnered a successful career as a cage fighter.

We also spent a lot of time having fun together.  We’d team up to wreck havoc against our babysitters.  We’d play Santa Clause in our garage in the middle of July.  We planned surprises for our parents.

If you’re wondering about the title of this post, it’s my nickname for Michael. The summer after I turned 11, my family went to a balloon festival. My brother was being super annoying as usual and trying to make me laugh as I attempted to swallow a pill (Tylenol for a headache) for the very first time. I was spitting out water and cracking up and went to call him a monkey. However, it came out as nunkey (I spell it Nuonkey because I’m a complete weirdo) and the name just stuck.

I grew up dancing and my mom was always dragging my brother along to pick me up from dance class.  When I was 8 and he was 5, my studio started a boys-only class.  My mom signed him up and he was a natural tapper.  He was picked to do a duet with a cute little girl to “Ain’t She Sweet”.  It was pretty much the cutest thing ever and they did so well that our dance teacher decided to bring them along when we competed at our national dance competition in NYC that summer.  Both of our dances ended up in the final round for under 13 dancers.  At the awards ceremony, my dance placed 4th and his placed 1st.  He got a trophy taller than he was and $6,000.  I didn’t talk to him for the rest of that summer.

I stopped dancing competitively when I was 15: I love to dance, but to be great you can’t do anything else.  I wanted to move on to acting and singing and boys.

I’m so proud of my brother: he danced until he graduated high school and got better every year.  I saw him do his first contemporary solo when he was 15 to Round Here by Counting Crows and it moved me to tears.  He’s won lots of awards and has been selected to do master classes with some of the best dancers in the world.

As we’ve gotten older, we’ve grown a lot closer.  We spent a lot of time together this summer and I like that our relationship has grown so much as adults.

 

Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match

When it comes to dating, I have no idea what I’m doing. I am the opposite of a love guru. My ineptitude dates back long before I even began my foray into the world of romance.

Despite never having a boyfriend, I decided to take on the esteemed role of matchmaker in the fall of 8th grade. My friend Liz had a crush on a boy in our class named Kyle. Kyle was the smartest guy in our grade. He was in band, he was tall and cute, and he was really nice. Lots of girls liked him and he had plenty of female friends. My two best friends were close with him and I was beginning to get to know him better as well.

I started out by talking to Kyle at lunch and trying to work Liz into the conversation. We soon exchanged AIM screennames and began chatting every night. We developed inside jokes and spent tons of time together at school. I found myself falling for him, despite my promise to Liz to get him to like her.

I denied my feelings at first. I’ve always been someone who puts her friendships before boys, so I refused to acknowledge my growing crush. I tried my best to shift the focus to Liz and include her in our conversations and activities, but Kyle did not seem interested at all.

Finally, the night of our Halloween dance, I planned to ask Kyle outright if he thought Liz was cute and if he would consider a date with her. I approached him on the side of the dance floor when suddenly one of the popular girls came up to us. She cooed over how cute a couple we were and Kyle looked at me with a shy smile on his face. I froze, no idea what to say, and ran away (this is how I effectively deal with all men).

I sprinted to the cafeteria where Liz was anxiously awaiting Kyle’s answer. I burst into tears and told her that I was afraid he might like me. She was not happy about this. She yelled at me for being a horrible friend and stormed off.

My friends found me and told me Kyle wanted to talk. I hesitantly agreed and we met in a quiet corner where he confessed that he liked me and had no interest in Liz. I continued to deny my feelings since I felt terrible for betraying my friend.

Over the next two weeks, Kyle kept trying to convince me to go out with him and even talked to Liz a couple times to try to smooth things over. She finally forgave me and gave us her blessing. The next day was Halloween, and Kyle asked me out while dressed like a hippie.

And that’s how I got my first boyfriend by stealing a man from my friend and being the worst matchmaker ever.

The Real American Horror Story

I lived alone for a couple weeks during the second semester of my freshman year of college. I’m convinced I scared off my first roommate from returning to Ithaca with my collection of High School Musical posters. I had a new roommate lined up, but we had to deal with the bureaucrats of Res Life and there was some delay before she could move in. I made the most of having a Towers corner double to myself: I pushed the beds together, hosted a variety of events and slumbies, and enjoyed plenty of pantsless Broadway karaoke.

Now, as previously discussed, I am afraid of everything. I have an overactive imagination and all it takes is a commercial for a scary movie to send me into a frightened spiral. Therefore, living alone was not exactly the best experience.

One night, I was up late watching Sex and the City on TBS and writing a paper. I finished and went down the hall to brush my teeth. When I came back, SATC had ended and was replaced by the opening credits for Signs.

I had seen Signs that summer and let me tell you, it was not a pretty experience. I spent the whole time hiding under a blanket because if aliens showed up, they would never hurt a girl protected by a piece of cloth. For weeks I was convinced aliens were going to sneak into my attic and I constantly kept a bottle of water by my bed just in case.

So now I was having major flashbacks. I got ready for bed and decided to sleep with my curtains open, hoping the lights from the parking lot and people wandering around would help. However, there was a giant tree right outside and its branches were scraping against my window and making creepy alien finger shadows on the wall. I tried unsuccessfully to sleep until about midnight, when I called my sneezecracker boyfriend and begged him to come stay with me or at least let me come up to his room and sleep on his futon. He refused to protect me. (Note to guys: if a girl is scared, go protect her. She will be extremely thankful and bake you things and maybe even be a little slutty).

So there I was, scared and alone, with no hope for sleep. I tried watching some Family Guy reruns and distracting myself with Facebook stalking, but I was still scared. Finally, at about 4am, my friend Jackie messaged me and asked why I was still up and online. I admitted my dilemma and she immediately invited me up to sleep in her and Kristen’s room for the night. I grabbed my pillow and blanket and booked it out of my death room to sleep on their floor for 3 hours before I had to get up for class.

And that’s why I don’t watch scary movies.

Climbing out of the hole

I’m rarely serious here and this is not exactly one of those times. I’m not sure I’ll actually post this, but then again, it is Saturday and my readership has magically shrunk back down since I am no longer blogging about the Kardashians, so who knows. Honestly if I do post this, you probably shouldn’t read it. You’d be way better off watching How I Met Your Mother re-runs or cleaning out your fridge.

Before you read anything I have to say, you should head over to Allie Brosh’s blog Hyperbole-and-a-Half and read her post about depression. It is hilarious and perfectly sums up what it’s like to be in a depressed person’s head. I absolutely adore bloggers like Allie and Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) for being inspiring, funny women and making it okay to be crazy.

I am a lazy person all of the time, but when I’m in my hole (as I so lovingly call it, like when 1950’s housewives talk about Aunt Flo visiting), I become even more so. Even the most menial task suddenly requires this gargantuan effort that I simply do not possess. Today that task was getting out of bed.

Now some mornings, I am able to hop out of bed all excited for the day. But lately that has not been the case. And today, despite a marathon 11 hours of sleep (this should be an actual Olympic sport because I would dominate), I still could not get myself up. And it wasn’t for lack of things to do: I haven’t done laundry in three weeks, my room is an absolutely disaster and there is possibly a Nutella jar hiding in a drawer somewhere, and I really really needed to pay my credit card bills. (Note: I made the huge mistake of signing up for two credit cards this summer. The first one was legit and I’ve been great with it since I only use it for gas and online purchases. However, the other one is an Amazon card that I bought on a whim because if you signed up they gave you a $40 Amazon gift card. $40! With that I could buy 8 Kindle books, the first season of Pretty Little Liars on dvd, and a napkin holder. I’ve only used the card once via Amazon to buy a textbook, but when they sent the card in the mail, it somehow got mixed up in my overflowing paperwork pile and I have yet to find it in order to set-up my account in order to pay my bill. And now my credit score is probably screwed up, so I’ll never be able to lease that Buick Lacrosse.)

Anyway, I was trying to lure myself out of bed. I tried yelling at myself to get up and shower and shave my legs. That didn’t work because honestly no one is going to see my legs anyway. I tried bribery: I told myself I could have jelly beans for breakfast if I got up. That finally worked. I spent a record 17 minutes in a vertical position before I retreated back to my cozy bed, jelly beans in tow, to read all the Kindle books I had purchased.

When you’re depressed, everything feels hopeless. Usually I’m a really optimistic person and am constantly daydreaming, so being stuck in a hopeless hole sucks. It becomes extremely hard to find the motivation to do real-person things like empty the dishwasher and put on real pants (which is why I spent two days in Santa pants).

Climbing out of the hole is definitely the hardest part. You have to be extremely patient (another trait I do not possess) and let yourself celebrate the small victories. Did you make it all the way to the mailbox to get the mail today? You get a gold star! The hardest thing about doing so is everyone else out there is accomplishing amazing things. It makes it difficult to talk to friends because they are being rockstars and you are celebrating eating soup with a real, freshly washed spoon instead of drinking it out of a Solo cup.

Me: What did you do today?

Friend: Oh you know, ran a 5k, planted a community garden, saved 15 starving babies in Africa. It’s been a pretty lazy Saturday morning. What about you?

Me: I put on a bra for the first time in a week.

So yes, it is hard to celebrate these little steps, but it is extremely important. My plan is to celebrate one additional little thing each day until I once again am a real-life, functioning member of society. And also I will probably be burning the Santa pants.

Update: The second best way to get out of the hole is a Hoarders marathon. Because either a) You’ll realize you’re so much better of than these people living in garbage-filled houses and start to clean up from your pity party or b) You’ll realize you are a perfect candidate for this show and will get the help you need.

Secret fantasy

I’m a total fangirl. I have been from the moment I laid my little 9-year-old hands on my first Harry Potter book. I went to the midnight releases at my local bookstore and would read each book non-stop from the stroke of midnight. I cried through the entire 7th book, sobbed through the last movie, and devoted an entire paycheck to my visit to Wizarding World. This summer, I visited the Harry Potter exhibit in Times Square and was passed by at least 20 tour groups as I spent the entire time reading every single detail and soaking it all in.

It was not easy for me being a huge HP fan growing up. My friends here in Jersey kind of suck. Some had read the first three books and given up, others only saw the movies. I didn’t have camaraderie and had to go it alone. But this almost made it more special for me: it was all mine and I didn’t have to share with anyone.

Besides being a total fangirl, I am also a daydreamer. I am constantly inventing crazy scenarios in my head, ranging from hopping a plane to Africa to live with the giraffes to various scenarios involving my secret crushes. When I didn’t get my Hogwarts letter, my 6th grade self had to turn to other fantasies. And that’s how my plan hatched.

I wrote a letter to JK Rowling, telling her about my idea for an American school of witchcraft and wizardry. The fourth book had come out that summer, so I knew that other schools besides Hogwarts existed.

My idea involved Hogwarts teaming up with the American school to defeat Voldemort. Of course, Harry would find his love interest, a brunette American girl who would charm her way into his heart. And obviously this character would be played in the movies by myself. I’m short, so I’d be a perfect match for Daniel Radcliffe and a way better romance than stupid Cho or Ginny.

I waited patiently for a response, but it never came. I knew she was likely flooded with fan mail, but I was certain my letter would have stood out from the pack. I decided she had stolen the idea for herself and I would soon see it in an upcoming book. At that point, I would find an agent and make sure I cleared my schedule to be available to audition for this role at a moment’s notice.

With each of the last three books, I continued to hang onto the hopes that my story line would come into play. Even at 18, when the last book came out, part of me was still wishing. My moment never arrived.

I’ve forgiven JK Rowling for killing off some of my favorite characters, but I still haven’t totally forgiven this. I would have been awesome in those movies. But for now, I’ll settle for practicing my wandwork and re-reading these amazing books at least a thousand more times.

Short girl probs

I’ve always been on the short side of life. Growing up I was in the front (shorty) row of my class pictures every year. Sure, it was cute when I was little, but I never thought my height would prevent me from getting the most out of life.

I used to dream of being a Rockette. A lot of the girls in my dance class were tall with super long legs who could very well go on to become future Rockettes. My dance teacher used to talk about the Rockettes and how we all needed to learn to be in sync and match each others’ movements in our dances. Every Christmas I looked forward to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and dreamed of one day being on that stage, legs kicking high and a huge smile on my face.

That dream was dashed when I stopped growing around 7th grade. I didn’t get any taller and I still wore kids’ size shoes.

So now I’m a short girl living in a tall world. I will never be a Rockette. But that’s not the only profession that discriminates against the vertically-challenged. I will also never be a runway model, a WNBA star, or a military pilot. I don’t even meet the height requirement to audition to be Belle in Disneyworld: yet another dream destroyed.

I will never be able to reach the top shelf at the grocery store. I’m the worst volleyball player ever (well… that’s not just because of my height). Seatbelts are torture devices that choke me. My feet usually don’t reach the ground when I’m sitting and tables come up to my chest at restaurants.

I’ve tried using super high heels to add a couple inches, but my fear of heights often makes this difficult. So for now, I’ll learn to love life at this height.

What are your short/tall probs?

My greatest regret

I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life. I’ve ridden in the back of a police car four times, I’ve skipped flossing, and I’ve lied about eating the last piece of cake.

But nothing compares to the huge mistake I made as a freshman in high school.

When I was 14, I finally got to redecorate my room. I had grown up in a pink, frilly prison that my mother had so lovingly designed. I hated it. I had tried to cover up the flowery wallpaper with Broadway posters and my own artsy masterpieces to no avail. But now I finally had my chance to design my dream room.

I spent months scouring interior design websites, magazines, and stores. I had to scratch my plan of erecting Roman columns in place of a doorway, but I finally found a color scheme I loved.

I convinced my mom to let me rip up the carpet to expose the gorgeous wooden floor. I went with a clean, beachy vibe: turquoise walls with orange and green lanterns, and striped sheets. I scored an awesome papasan chair on sale. I finally picked out some gorgeous white furniture which would eventually be my first set when I moved out after college.

Now here’s where I made my mistake. Even though I hated my childhood room, there was one perk: my bed. I was the owner of a queen-sized waterbed. I don’t remember how this happened (although I like to imagine it was a Princess & the Pea scenario), but regardless, it was mine.

When picking out my new bed, I decided I wanted more floor space. And the best way to accomplish this was to downsize my bed.

Now it would have been one thing to go for a full. This would still be an acceptable bed size for adult Christine, but it would be small enough to give me some additional dance space in my current room. However, stupid me decided to take the plunge and get a twin.

My mom tried for weeks to talk me out of it. She kept reminding me that this would be my furniture when I moved out. She tried to convince me that I would never be able to fit the 8 pillows I had been accustomed to sleeping with into such a small bed.

I didn’t listen.

All my friends had twin-sized beds and plenty of room for activities in their rooms. All I could do when I had friends over was lay in my bed making prank phone calls to the boys we liked.

The twin bed was my final decision. The day it arrived, it looked way smaller than it had in the catalogue. Luckily, I was tiny and could fit in with plenty of room to spare.

Eight years later and I wish I could go back in time and kick myself in the face. After two years of on-campus living with twin-sized beds, I finally moved off and got to experience my first big bed in years. I was spoiled. When I came home, even though my familiar twin bed was still comfy with lots of pillows and blankets, it wasn’t the same. I couldn’t sleep on a diagonal angle or in any of the weird positions I had become accustomed to.

I recently asked my mom why she let me get the stupid tiny bed instead of a grown-up one. She told me it had been my decision and now I have to live with it. I secretly think it was her attempt to prevent me from fitting a boy in with me. Let’s just say that was a failed attempt and a story for another time.