stagnancy

I admit, I’ve been a little stagnant on here, lately. I’m not really sure why. The initial excuse was because work got INSANE this tax season. And then I was busy with my new(ish?) boyfriend. And then I’ve been busy with moving out of my apartment. And now I’m busy with quitting my job. MY LIFE IS INTENSE, OKAY?

I think a big part of my lack of writing on here is that for the first time in awhile, I am being forced to constantly express myself to the people around me. More and more people are popping in and out of my life and wanting to say something (usually hello or goodbye) to me before I leave. And they all ask me the same questions, most of which I’m going to answer in this post.

Also I’ve been blocked on twitter at work for the last six months, which… really is where I get 90% of my material. Hopefully I can start tweeting often again soon. I really miss my twitter buddies.

So let’s try to start from scratch!

Facts about me:

My name is Brittknee, Brittneigh, Brittnooooooo. Yes, all three.
I spell my name these ways because nobody ever gets the legal spelling of my name correct anyway and also these ways are way cooler and much more me than anything else.

13/30! #me #selfie #selfies #blue #30dayselfie #ABeautifulMess
Yep, that’s me, but I bet you knew that.

I’m about to move from Portland, Oregon (land of hipsters, craft breweries, and rain) to Austin, Texas (land of hipsters, craft breweries, and heat).
I’m starting a graduate program at the University of Texas. When I am done, I’ll have a Masters in Educational Administration, which means that I’ll have a Masters degree to work at higher level administration in academia. I’ll hopefully eventually end up running a tutoring center, but we’ll see where I end up.
I have a graduate assistantship in my department and I start almost as soon as I get to Texas. I’m simultaneously terrified and excited.

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Yep, that’s Austin.

I am only taking four suitcases and attempting to minimize my life. (So far I’ve taken six loads to Goodwill, only more are to come!) I move out of my downtown apartment tomorrow and have… significantly more than four suitcases worth of stuff. Hopefully I can make a little more headway into that in the next month.

I haven’t seen my studio in Austin yet, only a few craigslist pictures. Google Maps tells me it’s a fifteen minute walk to campus / the building I’ll be doing most of my work at, so that’s a relief! I have yet to see how I fare walking around outside in extreme heat.

jump - high five
This photo is almost ten years old! I’m not in it, but I was there.

Next week I am going on vacation(BABECATION) with a group of my closest girlfriends. The plan is to sit around, read romance novels out loud to each other, and eat a lot of food. We’ll be on the Oregon coast for six days- a perfect goodbye to my beloved west coast. After that, I’m off to California to meet part of my boyfriend’s family for a few days. Hopefully I’ll get to spend some quality time with my parents in the weeks following before I move.

Man you guys. This summer is already crazy and I haven’t even done any of these things yet!!

BRITTNEIGH IS MY NAAAME-O

HOLY CRAP, YOU GUYS

(On one hand)

I AM ABOUT TO QUIT MY JOB… THIS THURSDAY!!!

freakyfriday

I GO ON VACATION NEXT WEEK!!!

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I WILL BE UNEMPLOYED FOR ALMOST AN ENTIRE MONTH!!!!

troy

I’M MOVING TO AUSTIN IN 45 DAYS!!!!

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I am SO ridiculously excited! I have prepped for three different graduate programs and never gotten as far as actually going. I’m getting rid of most of my possessions and moving and going to live in a new place and that is so incredibly cool. I’m thrilled to quit my job, not work, vacation, travel around, and pack for the next month.

On the other hand… This is me whenever I think about actually leaving.

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And saying goodbye to the people I love (even though it’s temporary).

sad cry

It’s ridiculously bittersweet. I keep feeling like I’m dreaming, you know? Like, there is no way the plans I have for next month are actually about to happen to me, rather, they must be happening to someone else. Or maybe I died? Like, awhile ago? And I’m just a ghost and I don’t know it? It’s a weird sensation to describe.

Thursday, I quit my job.
Friday, I move back into my parent’s house
Sunday, I go on vacation.
Tuesday after, I go meet my boyfriend’s family.

August 20, I land in Austin.

aaah2

well I guess I should update.

GUYS

I GOT INTO GRAD SCHOOL
crazy-dance

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But that means I have to move to Texas.

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scurr

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IN the meantime, I have housing to find, an apartment to downsize, jobs to get, and life to live. I’m excited to leave the Pacific Northwest but also terrified of moving and living in a new place, even though I’m also reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally looking forward to it.

It’s all terrifying and awesome! Work has been crazy lately and I just haven’t had much to talk about. Well, I have, but every blogger knows the blank slate feeling.

What’s in a name; A Rant

If you try to find me through google, chances are, you have to pass by this article:

“Brittney, Brittny and Brittneigh on What’s in a Name” NYTimes.com

I have a weirdly hard time with some of the comments in this article. They are equally disparaging of unusually spelled names, and frustrated with common and typically spelled names. I also have been seeing an increase of memes and comments on places online (coughREDDITcough) that really put down people with unusual or non-traditionally spelled names. This really rubs me the wrong way.

Unique names are not a personal affront, and if you don’t hire or want to talk to someone because their unique name makes you uncomfortable… guess what?

YOU’RE A JERK!

Most of the population doesn’t choose their own name, they simply roll with what name their parents picked out. And honestly, parents typically don’t pick out names to personally affect YOU. So shut up. Be considerate of someone else and stop rolling your eyes at their name. That five year old kid has ZERO CONTROL over whether his Mama named him “Chase”, “Chayce”, or “Chaise”, and don’t you dare take it out on him. It’s rough enough internalizing the constant misspellings and weird looks you get when you habitually spell your name instead of simply saying it at every function you attend without dealing with people getting annoyed by something that PROBABLY affects them for less than five minutes of their day.

That being said, I have a non-traditional name and sometimes I really hate it.

The top 10 reasons why I dislike my non-traditionally spelled name:

1) There were four other girls with “Brittany” variated names in my classes growing up, none of us spelled them the same.
2) I have to spell out my name completely, emphasizing the last three letters to prevent billing errors, every single time I go anywhere or sign up for anything. This is frustrating when the person in line in front of you is named “Bob Johnson”.
3) 9 out of 10 professors I had never spelled my name correctly in correspondence even when my full name was in the email, subject header, and signature of the email.
4) Strangers will occasionally insist on pronouncing the “A” in BrittAny when they address me. There is no “A” in my name.
5) I got called “Britney Spears” from 6th grade to 8th grade, which was kind of horrifying to a super awkward, conservative and chubby kid.
6) I hated having a common name and sharing it with 5-6 other people growing up. Now I don’t know any other Brittany’s! It is STRANGE.
7) Sometimes I short my name into “Britt” to avoid dealing with spelling it out and the frustrations that always follow that, which means that people THEN proceed to call me “Britt-Britt” which is the stupidest nickname in the history of ever PS never call me that I WILL END YOU.

Uhhh so I can’t come up with 10 reasons. SO I CAN’T HATE IT THAT MUCH.
I have also passed on the idea of changing it. I daydreamed about that for a long time, and when a good time for it came, I passed.

Having a non-traditionally spelled name is a pain in the rear. I get frustrated by it sometimes, but because of my name, I learned how to take ownership of it and turn it into an identity I can love and be proud of, something I’m not sure that everyone has to or gets to do, at least as early as I did.

…Even though I don’t really identify with my name and even disliked being called by that. I typically much prefer a “hey-you” to my actual name.
…Even though I typically go by BrittKnee, BrittNeigh, BrittNooooooo. That’s simply because they are way easier to remember than my legal spelling.

And really, BrittNeigh has been my name for over ten years. It’s pretty much here to stay.

When it comes to the babies I will someday have, I will probably go with a traditional spelling. I will probably look at record books and try to not pick the #1 baby name of that year. But when it comes down to it? I have no say in how students will make fun of my child’s name, how people will misspell it because of some new celebrity that hasn’t reached their peak yet, or how it will be a super common and annoying name in ten years. And it certainly won’t be my kid’s fault. Just like it’s totally not mine.

In conclusion: let’s all just accept everyone’s names and identity for what they are. Theirs. I feel like our society is way too opinionated about other people’s choices. Let’s just let it go, realize that identity is none of your freaking business, and move on.

future dogs

Hi, I love dogs. I always have. I’m not sure why.

OH WAIT NO, I TOTALLY DO KNOW WHY.

It’s because they are hilarious.

Stupid.

Silly.

Cool.

And by personality, they typically love you.

I have spent most of my childhood and adult life daydreaming about the dogs I am going to own and what I am going to name them. Now, I know, I know, once you are presented with a living, breathing animal, names and intentions and personalities tend to throw all expectations out the window. But seriously, a girl can dream, right?


(photo by Chris Mallon)

If I ever bring home a Great Pyrenees, I’m naming him Aslan.
Or, possibly, a variation of ‘Tiny’.


(photo by boushh2187)

If I ever bring home some Mastiffs, I’m naming them Romeo and Juliet, because why not and also LOOK AT THOSE FACES OMG.


(photo by 5of7)

If I ever bring home a Great Dane, he’s being named Ferdinand (as in Ferdinand the Bull).

My list of dogs and names can go on and on and on and on, but the most important one to me, is my future pal:


(photo by Rayya the Vet)

Y’all, I really love Bull Terriers. I love their cocked ears and giant noses and silly eyes. I dearly await one day having a white-furred bully buddy of my own. My favorite name for a bull terrier is probably Gus-Gus. So cute! We would go on walks and he’d dig in the dirt and I’d constantly have to pull white hairs off of all of my black clothes, but man, someday, I will, and it will be great.

What’s on my mind – Week three, July

  • I got sucked into the cycle of Buzzfeed earlier this week and am dreaming about my future pipe-legged table and also a cool geometric doghouse because of this article on Home Depot hacks.
  • Last month I bought a set of hot rollers and they are THE BEST. I need to buy a secondary set because I have so much hair, but I have really been enjoying having super curly fancy hair on a regular basis. I am lucky to have super pliable hair that loves to hold curl, so your results may vary, but if you have access to some hot rollers and a bottle of aqua net, they are super duper fun.
    2013-07-04 09.06.28They are like big, bouncy noodles!
  • My featured flickr contact this week is kingqueenknave. Kingqueenknave takes AMAZING photographs of Portland, Oregon. Most of them are landscape photography, but the subjects he chooses flavors Portland with an old-school feel. I love this photo stream, you should check it out!
  • I’ve started reading Forbes.com this week. It adds a nice change to my usual routine of Facebook, Twitter, Google News and Reddit. I keep finding fantastic articles on it, too! This article, “Rethink ‘Brand You’: Find Your Authentic Self” is really worth a read. It is part of an ongoing saga of “self branding” that I have been struggling with since 2001.
  • Me, if I were a cat:
  • Let’s all be honest: My house is totally going to look like this someday.
  • This week I read Edgar Rice Burrough’s A Princess of Mars. It was fantastic and pulpy. I loved it! And because of it’s glorious cover of John Carter holding a pretty-much-naked Dejah Thoris, I’ve been looking at a lot of pulp novel covers lately. This blog is pretty fantastic, you should check it out! I wish there were more novels with pulp-style covers these days.
    bat
    I mean, REALLY!
  • Me, whenever a random guy interrupts my train reading to hit on me.

R.I.P.

Growing up I was so terrified of ghosts and skeletons that I would stop sleeping around Halloween and just hide under my covers in sheer terror at the thought of a skull-faced monster leering at me.

I’m a little bit better about it now.

I’ve embraced the fashion of bones and skeletons, and don’t hide under my covers anymore… unless I accidentally get sucked into a ghost hunter show while home alone and then have to frantically call up a bunch of friends to have them convince me that I’m not going to be… I don’t know, touched by a ghost or something? I don’t even get why I’m so terrified of the idea of a malignant spirit, but there you go! WHO SAYS I CAN’T BE IRRATIONAL.

On the subject of ghosts, though.

I really really really really really really hope I get to haunt someone. And that it’s just like being alive, only that you’re invisible.

Things I will do when I am a ghost:

  1. Steal all of your shoelaces.
  2. Go “WoooOOOoooooOOOOoooooooo!!!” a lot.
  3. Do loads of laundry when people aren’t home.
  4. Get the owners of my house to rely on me to do their laundry.
  5. Produce a red sock and dye all of their whites pink. (but only ONCE IN A WHILE)
  6. Make faces of dead Presidents appear in shower curtains, bathroom tiles, and pieces of toast.
  7. Rearrange vases, figurines, and photographs innapropriately.
  8. Produce ugly knick-knacks and leave them around the house for the owners to find.
  9. Make the walls shake when the owners get rid of my ugly knick-knacks.
  10. Write nonsensical phrases in the fog on the bathroom mirror. (“O’Doyle RULES!” / “Did you know that turkeys sleep in trees?”)
  11. Meow, periodically.
  12. Convince other ghosts to show up and inaccurately re-enact historical moments in the house, as if they occurred there.

I MEAN, THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS.

Life achievement: unlocked!

GUYS. I just moved out of my parent’s house!

I’m 25 years old. I’ve never lived on my own before–I stayed at home through college instead of moving out. This means that I have barely $10,000 in student loans (A BARGAIN!) but it also means that up until now I still shared a bathroom with my sister and relied solely on my Mom to ensure I had the right type of cereal for breakfast.

Today, my Mom, Dad, and my sister helped move me into my bedroom in the new apartment I’m sharing with some friends. It was overwhelming and fast, and holy cow I am done?! My roommates are still unpacking away, but I have to try to get some sleep in before work tomorrow.

I realize that my story, while unusual in terms of American culture, is becoming more and more of a norm. More young adults are still living, or moving back in with, their parents. I hope that I can stay *moved out* for now, and find more of my own independence.

My deer and I will just keep each other company for the time being.

diagnosis

I was really looking forward to this doctor’s appointment, seriously. Going on three months of hobbling around, feeling silly, and not running combined makes me ready for this to be over. I feel like every summer something stupid happens to me and I have to go see a million specialists and pursue some sort of therapy regardless of what I do.

I realize this is extremely fatalistic, but it has kind of become my life.

So I saw the doctor, had my knees x-rayed (nowhere NEAR as exciting as the MRI, let me tell you), sat in a cold examining room while he developed the films, and finally had a short chat with him.

normal knee x-ray (not mine)

normal knee x-ray (not mine) taken from trentmueller.com

He says I have Patellofemoral pain syndrome. It’s also called “runner’s knee”, and it is also called “something that ladies sometimes get especially if you are loose-jointed” (which I am). Basically, my kneecaps sit off to the side, which has ground a lot of the cartilage off of the top of my knees. And because of that I have osteoarthritis (again, both knees). He has prescribed some physical therapy, but that is about all there is to do, besides pain medications and just learning to deal with this for the rest of my life.

I realize that this isn’t a death sentence, it could absolutely have been a worse diagnosis, but still.

This is incredibly discouraging. I have to avoid high-impact workouts like running, crossfit, etc, and pick up on low-impact workouts. My knees are always going to hurt.

Now, I’m an extrovert, and the baby of the family. I’m used to and often enjoy being the center of attention. It’s a part of who I am, how I entertain and make friends, and also my job. Since I’ve started having joint issues in high school, I often get to this point in the cycle of pain and achy-ness where I get incredibly paranoid about the pain, and how people react to my pain. I essentially get to this place where I feel like a) nobody believes that I’m actually in pain and b) everyone thinks that I am talking about it/ going to the doctor for more attention.

This is pretty much where I say (more for myself than for anyone else):
I DO NOT WANT THIS TO BE MY LIFE.

seriously.

no worries

I fail at updating. I acknowledge this. Life has been keeping me busy in good ways but keeping me less than stimulated in bad ways.

I’m caught in the looking for full-time employment slog in the middle of trying to balance two jobs I’m not altogether thrilled about leaving behind (hey, guess who hates change?) on top of preparing for the craziest upcoming six months of my life (job changing, loans due, dogsitting, vacation, dogsitting, wedding1, weddings 2-8, bachelorette, best friend’s wedding dogsitting aaah ahh aahhh I AM ON FIRE WHY) so I am a bit at a loss of what to talk about on this blog without just whining

And I already know that I’m pretty darn good at whining.

I’m just not sure how all of this is going to work out.

And I know it will, but I’m a worrier, and I always have been, and I’m feeling at a loss of what my purpose is on top of the fact that every thing I feel designed for is either a) not lucrative, b) nonexistent or c) requires approximately ten more years of college.  And even after those ten years of college how easy is it going to be to get a job as a Professional Freelance Editing Rocket Crafter Knick-knack Collecting Wiz ?

So, yeah. Worries. Constant. But Things are happening. Or as I would say in a text message: THINGS are HAPPENING and that is probably GOOD but I’m still NERVOUS as ALL HELL.

which seems pretty normal.