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.
  • Screen Shot 2016-12-12 at 8.47.40 PM.png

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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settling in

I’m getting more settled. I’m getting more used to the heat and humidity and the pace and the not-knowing-people and knowing where I am (ish).

Moving here has really solidified my complete lack of directional awareness. People keep pointing North in everyday conversations and all I can do is smile and nod. It’s incredibly frustrating. I admit I’ve never devoted much effort in truly learning my directions, but even the little I can do feels lacking. I took a walk and attempted to retrace my path in my head at one point, thinking I had travelled in a zig-zag pattern, only to turn a corner and discover that I’d walked in a circle!

That has to be metaphorical, somehow.

Grad school is fantastic. I’m simultaneously enthralled by the subject matter and overwhelmed. Management and leadership skills intertwine with academic affairs and the like. I still don’t have a clear direction (ha! directionless) on where I’m going to end up, but I’m going to keep walking, even if it’s in a circle.

In the meantime, I’m trying to focus on school and not spend money on things shaped like Texas.

I miss home. I miss the social network, I miss understanding what I’m doing at work, even though I thank my lucky stars I no longer spend any time filing documents… so far!

But it’s all right. I’m getting settled.

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!!!

lucille-bluth-flail

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

troy

I’M MOVING TO AUSTIN IN 45 DAYS!!!!

jumanji

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.

kp

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.

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pop quiz

  • What the heck have you been up to lately?
    Man, I don’t even have any idea. In February I had LASIK surgery, which was amazing and super cool and if you’re thinking about doing it you should go do it right now, what are you waiting for. In March I was devoured by tax season, in April I was still being chewed up by tax season, and now work has slowed down to a crawl that reminds me how frustrating I find having a job that goes from 0 to 60 to 0 in less than a three week span.
  • What have you been buying lately?
    Lipstick. So much lipstick. I have too many lipsticks and I want to buy more. Someone, give me more money so I can buy another purple or black lipstick.
  • What did you do this weekend?
    This weekend I went to my parent’s house and cleaned out the remainders of my childhood bedroom, attempting to create some space for the books and trinkets I’ll be leaving behind when I move. And then I came home and cleaned my apartment. I think tonight warrants my fourth closet cleanout in as many weeks. Yeah, I’m going kind of slow, but right now I have a little time to shed excess in slow motion.
  • Are you REALLY moving to Texas?
    YES YES YES I AM MOVING TO TEXAS I AM QUITTING MY JOB AND I AM MOVING OUT OF MY APARTMENT IN JULY AND AAAAHHHHH
  • When are you moving to Texas?
    Oh man I have no idea, don’t ask me D: D:
  • What have you been reading? I just finished reading Jeff Smith’s Bone graphic novels and those were wonderful! I’m still slowly working through my Harry Potter re-read, currently about 1/3 of the way through book number 5. I took a break to read the first two books in Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive and hoooly cow those are epic and awesome and they almost never end. Can’t wait for the rest of the series, even though I have at least another year to wait for book 3. Not sure what’s next, though I have many many suggestions.
  • Anything else?
    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh no, nothing really to share. Hopefully now that I’m bored at work 89% of the time I’ll update a little bit more.

My oh My

What an insane last four weeks. I am almost unsure how I came out of them. Or if I even did? Am I even here?

I completed and turned in my grad school applications almost a full week ago. Two weeks before that, I actually visited the campus of the University of Texas, basked in the 70 degree heat and ate about three gallons of Amy’s ice cream.

Austin is a beautiful city, and my vacation there over Thanksgiving weekend gave me a fantastic break and escape from the daily grind.


Me and Darcy, who lives in Austin and that’s not fair, it’s too far away

It’s a total relief to be done and done and done with graduate applications for now. Hopefully I’ll find out soon if I’m staying in Portland, or packing up and somehow moving into the middle of the country.

For now, it’s nice to just relax, and do whatever I want.

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.

currently: November

I’m copying RubyBastille and doing her meme thing.
Because I’m busy and crazy and had a bad weekend and can’t talk coherently about one thing for long.

Current Book(s):The Lions of Al-Rassan” by Guy Gavriel Kay. It is good but super long! I keep kind of losing track of the political threads in it, but man, it is super engrossing.
[Most recently read] “House of Many Ways” by Diana Wynne Jones & “Dead Things” by Stephen Blackmoore.

Current Playlist: Studio Killers (usually “Ode to the Bouncer”), Skillex, or lately I’ve been somewhat re-hooked on “Can’t Stop” by Infected Mushroom.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Eating dollops of nutella straight from the jar.

mee

Current Color: goldenrod mustard yellow, like the sweater I bought last week!

Current Drink: hot toddies with extra bourbon.

Current Food: Tacos. All day, all the time. Tacos.

Current Favorite Show: OMG So I am totally a stupid hipster when it comes to shows, like it has to be a really bizarre mix “zero suspense” and “tacky design” and “super predictable storylines” to get me into a show. I don’t really understand my bizarre anxiety when it comes to film and TV, but man, I just started watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix and I am HOOKED. The character’s Australian accents are charming, the design is art deco, and the characters are adorable and sweet and I want to hug all of them.

Current Wishlist: A graduate program in the field of my choosing that doesn’t require a thesis that is also offered in Oregon.

Current Needs: Can’t say I need anything right now.

Current Triumphs: Not feeling this one, either.

Current Bane(s) of my Existence: Feelings, uncertainty, spoons of nutella straight from the jar.

Current Indulgence: Being snuggled up in bed with my new stuffed lion, drinking hot toddies with the space heater on.

Untitled

Current #1 Blessing: i had a terrible, awful, bad, no-good stinky weekend, and two of my awesome friends came over on Monday and brought me dinner and cookie dough and roses and held me while I cried. I’m so thankful for them (and all of my friends) and that I have such a great support group.

Current Slang or Saying: I think I’m straight up still in the “YOU GUYS” phase. Every statement is much better when it’s begun with “YOU GUYS”

Current Outfit: Black pants and leopard print shirt with gold accessories. ALL THE LEOPARD PRINT.

Current Excitement: I leave for Austin in TWO WEEKS!!! I cannot wait to go, it feels so surreal that I’m even going!!

Current Mood: Exhausted and blank, but okay. Good. Productive and focused.

flerus

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.