2 years

Wow! A whole lot can happen in 2 years. Like, just about everything you can imagine:

  • C moved from Oregon to Texas to live with me
  • We lived in a 400 sq ft studio together for A YEAR and didn’t murder each other (and actually came out of it pretty happy and wow, that is just crazy, isn’t it?)
  • We moved into a bigger apartment with a dishwasher and also FEWER COCKROACHES
  • We got a cat??? I never thought I’d own a cat. But he is orange and cranky and full of purrs and my little lion friend. IMG_20161113_201450.jpg
  • I somehow survived and also graduated from my Master’s program?????!
  • I somehow had a tan when I came home for the summer
  • I have a full time job in my career field now??
  • I saw DOLLY FREAKIN’ PARTON LIVE and my life has changed for the better (more glitter, always)
  • UT got a new Bevo, a BABY BEVO and he’s adorable and I love him.
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But seriously. So many things have happened, and I’ve really missed this silly space! I’m not sure. I miss having some searchable record preserved in the internet about my life- I think grad school is the first era since before junior high where I haven’t kept any form of online blog (I’m not sure if Twitter really counts), and I really, *really* have missed posting photos and lists and talking about my life. So I am thinking that I’m back.

Of course, this space is going to continue to be what it is, and that is a mish-mash jumble of jokes and free-writes and nothings and lists and stupid things I feel like posting, because I’m not sure i have the attention span for anything else. So to all of my new friends, hello! I hope you enjoy my writing, even if you already see a lot of my life on twitter. And to my old friends, hello! I miss you dearly.

That’s it. I think. And more to come.

BRITTNEIGH IS MY NAAAME-O

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Being a bad blogger

Man, I SUCK at keeping this updated.

Here are a few lists of things I have been thinking about:

Tower.

THINGS I HATE ABOUT TEXAS
cockroaches the size of a tennis ball
mosquitoes everywhere
mosquito bites
the itching that goes with mosquito bites
the swelling that goes with mosquito bites
smelling like bug spray & SPF 50
forgetting to put on bug spray
forgetting the bug spray at home

Yessssss!

THINGS THAT ARE GOING PRETTY OK
I don’t have a dishwasher and I am doing ok at doing dishes every week!
I don’t have a washer/dryer and I am doing ok at hand washing everything I own every week!*
I have actually been going to the gym 2X a week!
I am not completely sucking at being a student!
I really like the BBQ here!
I worked** a football game and had a FIELD PASS and that was pretty okay!
I have been DRIVING in AUSTIN and that is AMAZING OKAY REALLY
I also made spaghetti last night and that was great
I have been going to happy hours with class mates and I have met some really really awesome people
I got an ENORMOUS couch and it is gray and I have yellow throw pillows and I love it.
I have been decorating my house and it is really coming together and I love my apartment so much. ❤

*minus jeans, slacks, and bedsheets, but you can't win them all.
**By worked I mean I stood on a corner and Looked Official and then went home. It was GREAT.

No, really, Texas is fantastic. And I’m not only saying that because I haven’t had a cockroach in my apartment for five whole days now. Count them. F-I-V-E. I’m sure I just jinxed it and there is now a spindly icky enormous cockroach wriggling its way into my apartment right now and that when i come home it will probably be somewhere terrible, like my bed, but whatever. I’m on a heckuva good streak right now and that is basically the best.

Classes are good. I’m in the midst of a multi-week series of Giving Presentations Every Five Minutes and that really sucks but it’s do-able… even though I am already reverting into being a Terrible Student again and I need to find a way to focus even though I feel burnt-out and braindead.

Like I mentioned earlier, this weekend I was a staff member at the UT v Baylor football game and while losing really sucked, it was fun to be on the field, watch the game happen live, and also to stand in front of Bevo the bull and wish with all my heart that I could pet his nose, just once.

BEVO!!!!

ISN’T HE ADORABLE!??!?!?!

In semi-related news, I have yet to invest in any form of taxidermy while I’m here, but I still have time. I’m somehow going to get me a set of long horns even if it means I don’t get to eat for a month.

But really. Things are great. While I’m still occasionally overwhelmed by how distant everything I know is, I’m doing awesome and having a fantastic time. I’m thankful that I have Thanksgiving & Christmas break to look forward to, but in the mean time, everything’s coming up longhorns. Or roses. Or something.

HOLY CRAP, YOU GUYS

(On one hand)

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

freakyfriday

I GO ON VACATION NEXT WEEK!!!

lucille-bluth-flail

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).

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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.

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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.

aaah2

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.

stuff and things.

It’s getting colder in Portland.

Thankfully we haven’t hit our wet season yet: the cold is dry and not quite as soaking-into-your-bones-mildewing-your-spirit as they tend to get mid February.

But it IS very cold.

This week I had the tiniest housewarming party ever, in which I got drunk, played Cards against Humanity with some of my closest friends, and took zero photos.

This week I had the world’s best hot dog at Kenny and Zuke’s.

This week I got an electric blanket and took stupid selfies with my giant stuffed lion.

It’s a pretty good week so far.

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.

idiosyncrasies

If I am alone and there is a spider, I freak out: flailing, shrieking, heart poundingly terrified of a 3 millimeter by 3 millimeter, 8-legged arachnid.

If someone else is in the room first, and they see a spider, and freaks out before I do, I have zero problems with taking care of it- squishing it or setting it free (depending on it’s crimes).

It’s like, as long as someone freaks out about something first, I am somehow then released to respond to a situation without emotion. Until that release happens though, I am just as paralyzed and helpless as anyone else.

This doesn’t make any sense to me.

Extroversion, and not being daring

As my life is a never-ending series of self-revelations I learn to articulate, this week I realized that I am extroverted, but not outgoing.

Is that possible?

Experience and knowledge of labels and how nebulous they are tells me yes. But this is difficult. Most of the definitions these words use the other to describe their meaning. This makes it nigh impossible to truly articulate WHAT EXACTLY I mean when I say this.

But I can try!

Outgoing: Sociable and responsive to others; friendly (thefreedictionary)
Openly friendly and responsive. SEE ALSO: Extroverted (merriam-webster)

Extrovert: “a gregarious and unreserved person” (merriam-webster)

One could say that I am definitely both of these things. I prefer to be out in a crowd or with someone one-on-one than alone at home (though my alone time is very important, too much of it gives me the sads) and really enjoy learning about strangers and meeting new people!

About.com actually has a fantastic article on the meaning of Extrovert:

    Most people believe that an extrovert is a person who is friendly and outgoing. While that may be true, that is not the true meaning of extroversion. Basically, an extrovert is a person who is energized by being around other people. This is the opposite of an introvert who is energized by being alone.

In a way, I lose brain power on my own. I’m a blob, a lump of jelly, a single-celled organism that can only think about reddit and puppies. I think OUT LOUD and am straight up not motivated to turn cogs without someone around to throw ideas back at me.

If I have a friend over, I’m much more likely to improvise stir fry, bake cookies, suggest an event, or look for something fun to do than if I’m alone. I live for (at least, I really enjoy… and HOPE that I live for) moments when I can make someone else smile, or give them something new.

But people assume (often, all the time, constantly) that because I am extroverted, I am game for things that are daring! They are shocked and appalled when I decline, often pointing out that Person B, who is VERY SHY, is totally willing to do said daring thing! Why wouldn’t BrittNeigh! BrittNeigh who totally will corral a group of 25 women in public! BrittKnee, who has no problem singing songs from Oklahoma while walking down a highway! BrittNooo who makes friends easily and has social plans almost every night of the week!

Introversion & Extroversion don’t really apply here.

Yeah, I’m okay with introducing myself to a stranger, but it really doesn’t compare to launching myself off a cliff or jumping off a plane.

My experiences are definitely not yours, but I am kind of tired of people being shocked and nigh-outraged at my lack of desire to get on a roller coaster, or careen down a snow-covered hill at high velocity.

I enjoy being safe. Safety includes not traveling at high speeds and wearing a helmet & seat belt at all times. Safety includes staying on the ground and applauding as professionals do crazy stunts. Safety includes drinking hot toddies by the fire and keeping the cabin warm for when the rest of the crew comes back, wet and sore, from an evening out being cold in the outdoors. I am perfectly happy missing out on these fantastic events and being a spectator.

The alternative definition for outgoing is: Outgoing: leaving, departing. I kind of want to co-opt that definition and apply it to myself. I’m not good at leaving my comfort zone. I’m not that great at walking into a brand new group of people. I’m terrible at events or locations that are new to me, especially if they require any degree of athleticism (I’m looking at YOU, caving experience!) or social niceties (I am loud and often abrasive. When I’m anxious, I have a hard time not getting more so).

I’m not saying I cannot do these things. I am just not inclined to do them. Most of the time I will go out of my way to avoid them. Caving two years ago was a FANTASTIC experience! But I spent the entire time alone, in the back, scared out of my wits, trying to not have a panic attack. It’s not a situation that calls for making people laugh or baking cookies, and actually, it was a situation that made me feel socially terrible. I was such a drag! I didn’t make anyone laugh! I was too focused on being scared to be entertaining!! You have to balance and go within yourself to fully experience and enjoy it. Snowboarding? That would involve me, ALONE, CAREENING DOWN A SLOPED SURFACE. (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO)

I don’t really know what the point I’m making is, save the unfortunate fact that a lot of people misinterpret what “personality rules” determine about that person. I know a TON of people who are more introverted than I am who are 100% willing to skydive, ride roller coasters, and play paintball with a smile on their face. I’d just feel awful the entire time, it’s just not my type of fun.

But when you need a friend, man, you know who to call.

what I like about selfies

They are dumb.

They are goofy.

They’ve allowed me to actually SEE how I have grown up & changed.


I remember looking in the mirror and seeing that. I love thinking about how different I am now from that girl.

Everyone does them (don’t lie to me.) It’s a shameless pleasure.


I’ve been taking selfies regularly for almost 10 years now.

Why should you be ashamed of doing something fun, I ask?

My Saturday, in fake tweets

8am: Sleeping in is the best especially when you dream about being a part of PACIFIC RIM

8:30am: The only thing that sucks about feeding Max now is that he begs for his medicine & drools all over my hands.

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10am: Can’t get enough of My Little Pony.

11am: I would enjoy snuggling with Max more if he farted on me less.

12pm: PAAAAAACKINGGGG

12:30pm: Oh yeah I should probably do laundry I guess?

2pm: I only have like 12 bags that I packed for my week long dogsitting job. I pack too much.

3pm: Mike took me to the library! I had 10 books on hold… (already had 8 on loan)

3:30pm: Oh it’s so nice to come home to… growls from Frumples oh and also poop in the living room, hey that’s nice.

4:00pm: UNPACKINGGGG why do I have so much stuff.

4:10pm: Somehow I managed to wash all of my kleenexes while doing laundry.

5:00pm: BLEACH IS MY FRIENDDDDDDDDDD. And hey, less stinky chacos, awesome!

5:15pm: Hey, eating like five pounds of brownies sounds pretty great!

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5:30pm: Let’s refold everything in my dresser, that also sounds pretty great.

5:50pm: Why did I eat five pounds of brownies that was not great #iamsodumb

6:00pm: I feel sad and my bed is covered in brownie crumbs

6:30pm: Hey, since I’m home, I should write out all of my recipe cards!

7:00pm: My hands hurt. Going to read some Johnny Wander, instead.

7:15pm: Now I wish I drew regularly and could do slice of life comics.

8:30pm: Compromised and wrote a stupid blog post.

Don’t be jealous of my downtime.