Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Day's Worth of Drama

Today my friend tried out for a role in a play, and I went along for moral support. It was weird--I used to be somewhat of a theater nerd, so to see all these actors but not be one of them was kind of like going to a high school reunion; sure, it's nice to catch up, but you know you don't belong. And while auditioning for a role is one of the most frightening experiences you can have, sitting there watching others try out is relaxing. It's a strange sort of pleasure to watch other people put themselves on the line.

From what I saw and what I remember from high school, there are two types of people who audition. You really see it with the dancers. First you have the person who's nervous about her routine. While she's doing her splits and showing off her legs, she stares out into space, maybe looking at some point in the back of the auditorium. She's not thinking about anything in particular except what the next move is; she is entirely self-focused, and once her routine is over you see her jolt back into the moment, like she's just woken up. She'll maybe sheepishly smile or wipe her brow, and if you ask her how her audition went, she will tell you she thinks it went fine. The truth is that she doesn't really know because she wasn't really paying attention to how she appeared; she got through it, and that's all that counts.

Then you get the girl whose insecurities run deeper. She is entirely focused on the impression she gives--she really wants to impress the judges. She'll maintain eye contact with whichever of the judges she feels is most sympathetic to her cause, and even during her twirls, she's looking at that person. She is ambitious, perhaps to a fault. She'll look at that judge for some sign of amazement or admiration, but she won't get one, because the point of being judge is that you appear impartial the whole way through. That's what always bothered me the most about auditions; you really don't know what the judges thought until they post the cast list, and even then, it's a passive-aggressive way of letting you know how you did, like they didn't have the courage to say how you did in person. That may be an unfair assessment, but that piece of paper, that listing of who made the cut and who didn't, is so final and yet so unsatisfying. And this dancer is thinking about that piece of paper, to the point where she may mess up a step or two; after her routine, she'll watch nervously as the judges take notes, and she'll make a self-deprecating about something she did wrong, but you can tell it really bothered her. She will tell you exactly how she did on the audition; even if she says it went fine, you can tell her in eyes how happy she was with the performance. It is truly acting, on numerous levels.

I could tell that the main judge liked Danny, one of the male dancers. The way he was looking at Danny, staring through his clothes. And Danny had the perfect wardrobe, a tight-fitting t-shirt and a pair of compression shorts that were tiny enough to reveal some thigh but modest enough to leave the viewer wanting more. And that judge wanted more. I'm curious to find out what his part is in the show, for while he was admittedly cute and charming, his routing wasn't that impressive, at least compared to some of the steps I saw. I don't know if this is going to be one of those cases where the judge is hoping that a good role is payment for a future hookup, but I hope not, because that judge had to be in his thirties, and it was painfully obvious that he's done this sort of thing before--and failed, the series of failed come-ons having pushed back his hairline a couple of inches. He's the kind of guy who never quite made it in New York, who desires to be friends with all the kids but also wants to maintain an air of authority, to justify his otherwise unsatisfying suburban job. I think Danny's gonna get a sizable part.

As for my friend, she did well. She's not ready for a lead, but she'll probably get a part in the chorus. Thankfully, she's a good person, grateful for any opportunity and hardly ambitious. Emotionally she's an Ophelia, but in terms of talent she's a Player Queen. I think she knows that. After the audition we went to a diner, and I really felt East-Brunswick-ian. It was a nice feeling, though. It's nice to know that no matter what else changes in my life, auditions will always be nerve-wracking and the Seville Diner will always charge too much for bacon and eggs.

-Josh

Friday, May 16, 2008

Agyness Deyn Can (Unfortunately) Do No Wrong

I should hate this because it's another example of hipsters trying to take over the world, but Agyness Deyn is just so damn CHARMING. I see her all over New York riding her bike and she's just so lithe and 80's and adorable, that it's difficult for me to find fault with anything she does, and this music video is no exception.

The song is way different than I thought it would be - I was picturing the Yeah Yeah Yeahs meet Justice, but it's much more acoustic and poppy than that. Easy to swallow. I'm not ashamed to admit it's going on my treadmill playlist. And the video, which is obviously supposed to cater to London-bred and London-imitating LA hipsters with its synthesis of black and white and color, the 80s outfits and the cigarette smoking, is surprisingly just as captivating:

Who


-Jess

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gay But Not Happy


I should be happier about this. The California Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved gay marriage ban. Despite the threats of social conservatives and the Christian right to overturn this decision in the November elections, now is a time of joy for same-sex California couples who have waited for years to receive equal treatment under the law.

My issue with this is not the Supreme Court ruling, of course. It's that...well, you know, they overturned a voter-approved decision. The people of California, or at least a majority of the voting populace, didn't want this. And as much as it pains me to say this, we are a nation founded on the wishes and principles of its people, and changing the law won't change people's minds about this issue.

Back in 1954, when Brown beat the Board of Education, public schools across the nation were required to admit both black and white students. But not everyone accepted this law; for instance, in Virginia, the state Senate initiated a Massive Resistance that served to preserve its state's educational segregation. In other parts of the country, race riots and racial violence exploded. In 1957, Eisenhower even had to send federal troops to Arkansas to enforce desegregation.

Obviously, the Court's ruling was a major landmark for civil rights and social equality, and obviously they made the right choice by actually enforcing the new laws. But to say that the country, especially the South, was suddenly racially tolerant is naive and just plain wrong. The struggle for civil rights continued well into the 1960s, and indeed remains in the present day.

Well, what about gay rights? Sure, California passed this new law, but the people might try to overturn it in a few months. And even if these conservatives don't manage to overturn it, homophobia--both personal and professional, and every level in between--will remain. If a state's Supreme Court has to force tolerance down its citizens' throats, then there is clearly still much to be done to educate and encourage tolerance. I truly hope that gay-rights activists, while celebrating this legal milestone, can see that in the scheme of things, the state court's ruling is but a minor victory, and that it will take more than just laws to make ours a truly tolerant nation, with liberty and justice for all.

-Josh

In Defense of the Millennials

Radar just posted an article railing against the "Millennials," the generation of us born between 1982 and 2002, which includes me and assumedly you, dear reader. Lanham's article seems to be a composite of deeply entrenched generational contempt for the Baby Boomers, who gave his Generation X a name which implied anonymity and unimportance. He comes across as a jealous and "misunderstood" whiner, just the kind of person the Baby Boomers categorize as a Gen Xer. Lanham argues that the Millennials are coddled, and "think updating a spreadsheet while simultaneously posting to a Twitter account about the latest gossip on perezhilton.com is an essential corporate skill." (Hello! Multitasking takes WORK. And that's where our "addiction to adderall and Red Bull" comes in)

I have to disagree with Lanham, though as a Millennial, obviously I'm a little biased. The Millennials are more plugged in than ever, with 80 million people blogging, and an obsession with Facebook and online media (like, ahem, RADAR) that sets us apart from generations before us. But are we really to blame for this? Gen X invented the internet. Lanham even concedes that they gave us Google and Myspace and Gawker. So if being an internet whore is a disease, we have the Gen Xers to blame for infecting us all.

And though I wail a lot about the creepy nature of Facebook, has there ever been a website that has so profoundly defined a generation? Everyone has a Facebook, regardless of what year you were born. It's used for work, school and social networking. It allows you to define and market yourself in a way that was both previously impossible and now arguably undeniably necessary. And we have a Millennial to thank for all that. Lanham himself even has a Facebook:

My generation has allowed itself to be defined by the internet, a bordering on sick obsession with celebrity culture and the monster of reality TV. We are self-important and naive in a lot of ways, because the internet has given us an alternate route that leads away from news stories like the death toll in Iraq or thinking critically about what tragedies like 9/11 actually meant to us.

But it doesn't mean we care any less about global situations or life in general-- we are simply using the internet in a different way than Gen Xers and their predecessors. Blogs are a medium we use to express our outrage - just today, a video of a 16 year old girl in Florida surfaced showing her begging for help in taking criminal action against her rapist. She says it herself: "I didn't want to do it this way, but this is the only way I know how." Is this a dumbing down of our generation- introduced and perpetuated by the Gen Xers's internet they invented and marketed - or is it simply a cultural shift, where Youtube becomes the new self-help radio show, and blogs become how-to guides and newspapers?

Labeled as "stoic," what Lanham and his fellow Gen Xers fail to recognize is that, as I pointed out earlier in this post, my generation is also using the internet in order to develop personal identities. There is nothing wrong with blogging, especially if it means figuring out who you are through writing, as opposed to the Gen Xer's mind-expansion-through-drugs method. (We still use drugs, but not for the same purpose - we are addicted to drugs like adderall that aid success, not curtail it) The point is that we are much more in touch with our feelings, and much more capable of articulating them because of the internet and blogging. Ask a Gen Xer - like my father, for example - to parse complicated emotions, and their faces fall flat and ghostly. The ability to recognize, analyze and discuss our emotions with each other sets us apart from the stoicism of Gen X, who invented the means for us to do so, but didn't properly take advantage.
Many coin Millennials as lazy and unrealistic about the "real world," but that could be said for everyone under 25. Let's not forget that if being a Millennial means you were born between 1981 and 2001, the oldest among us are only 27 - and the youngest are 7! Furthermore, we have a lot to be disenchanted and removed about: our parents and grandparents ravaged the earth, leaving us to have to pick up the pieces. The cost of education is only growing. The American government left us in a particularly fragile situation as we continue to remain at the crux of world disgust. We are frequently the product of broken marriages, feeding us with inaccurate and unfair relationship expectations, and leading us to place more value on consumerism and workplace success than romantic ventures. And if we were bred on TV and junk food and leniency, we have only our parents, the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, to blame for that. If we are thoughtlessly brand conscious, and "worship at the altar of Steve Jobs," then we can only blame the intensive marketing campaigns showered upon us by the Gen Xers that made us that way.

Millennials have their handful of fuckups that allow us to be branded as dull and drug addled and nonchalant. But what generation doesn't? The Gen Xers had Anna Nicole Smith, for fuck's sake!
Lanham and his fellow Gen Xers have a reason to be scared - not just of the millennial masses, which outnumber them by 50 million, but because of our drive, savvy and emotional connectedness. If workplaces and schools are catering to Millennials, it's because they should be - we are strong, resolved and ready to tackle this world, one Facebook login at a time.

-Jess

Spotted

This morning while walking to work I had the pleasure of spotting none other than Marc Jacobs outside his New York digs, the Mercer Hotel. He was sitting in the back seat of a silver hummer SUV (not very environmentally conscious, now are we, Marc?) fiddling with his Blackberry. Though I was temporarily blinded by the couplet of huge diamond studs hanging from his tanned earlobes, I got a good hard look at him, then promptly got vertigo, broke out my cell and texted practically everyone in my phone book. Almost as good as my Mary-Kate Olsen sighting! Almost.

-Jess

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Does This Surprise Anyone?

From Gawker:
When the researchers were questioned as to why they thought the amount of neuroses was so high in New York, they simply responded: Jessica Roy and Josh Becker live in New York. You do the math.
-Jess

Boys Will Be Boys, and So Their Balls May Suffer the Consequences

Jezebel just posted an article analyzing CNN's lovely story entitled, "Catcalls - Creepy or Complimentary?" Hey, CNN - allow me to answer that question for you, since as a PYT living in New York, I am constantly the victim of bordering-on-sexual-harassment-catcalls.


Guess what? They stop being complimentary when they start being creepy - and they are ALWAYS creepy. The kind of guy I want to date - a confident but reserved pseudo-asshole - wouldn't have the balls, let alone the desire - to vocalize which body part of mine he likes best while I'm walking down the street. Not only is it creepy, but it's objectifying and downright annoying. I have never once stopped in my tracks, looked at my perp in the eye, sincerely thanked him and then handed him my number.

So why do men continue to catcall? Is it in their genes? Is it a cultural thing, since many of the men who vocalize appreciation for my "beauty" tend to be Hispanic and African American? (Though, yeah, some are white - and many of them are asshole Wall Street guys). I don't think the fact that I am a posterchild for the minidress should subject me to merciless catcalling when I'm simply trying to get from apartment to job. It's a feminist issue, but it's also a human issue. Why have so many women simply accepted this kind of harassment as part of the female job description? I never fear that men who catcall me are going to then drag me into a back alley and rape me, but there's definitely something unnevering about having countless pairs of eyes survey your body like you're nothing but a sum of your luscious lady parts. It doesn't matter what I'm wearing, either. I've been hit on on my way home from the gym, red-faced, pony-tailed, wearing sweats and coated in a sheet of sweat (er, excuse me - glistening). Perhaps part of this can be chalked up to the age old sentiment "boys will be boys;" but then - perhaps a retaliatory sentiment would be simply turning around and lodging a roundhouse kick to the balls... though I'm not sure I have the energy to kick 20 people in a day. Fuck. No wonder I'm currently boyfriendless.

-Jess

Rampant Hormones or a Chemical Imbalance - What's the Difference If You're Really Fucking Sad?

In high school, I was the sad one AND the drunk one


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released a study today claiming that 1 in 10 teenage girls suffer from clinical depression. As a (formally teenaged, since I'm now 20) girl suffering from and medicated for depression, whenever groups do these studies, I'm always left to wonder who my fellow depressives are. Because it seemed to me that, in high school, none of my other friends locked themselves in their room for days at a time, crying and listening to Dave Matthews Band. I never witnessed them have colossal meltdowns because they couldn't get a necklace untangled, or couldn't find their car keys. Perhaps, unlike me, they hid it well. But mental diseases are often just as hard to conceal as physical ones. I cried in the bathroom at school all the time, and it was obvious when I would reemerge red-faced and bleary-eyed that something was up. The handful of my friends who (inevitably) developed eating disorders were always super obvious about it, counting carrot sticks and treadmill miles. And the anxious among us, namely me, would get visibly freaked with a mere schedule change, and popped Xanax like tictacs in the school cafeteria. If 1 out of every 10 teenage girls is depressed, why did I feel so isolated and alone in my struggle against sadness? Why weren't there more of us huddled in the bathroom stalls with the heaviness of life crashing down on our already overburdened shoulders?

I'm not saying these statistics are false - there are a number of reasons girls develop depression at higher rates than boys. I can think of a few obvious ones right off the bat: the pressure to be perfect, the media, hormones, the fact that girls overanalyze way too frequently.

But the problem is that every girl experiences hormone-induced ups and downs that might potentially be labeled as "depression." There is a difference between staying in bed one night watching Law and Order: SVU reruns and staying in bed for an entire WEEK doing so. There is a difference between bursting out into tears in a public setting after your boyfriend breaks up with you, and crying everywhere and anywhere for NO REASON WHATSOEVER except that life is just so chillingly SAD.

I stopped blaming my hormones when I threw a champagne bottle against the wall in a hotel room in Rome because I was in Europe and couldn't understand why I couldn't just BE HAPPY. I scared my friends. I scared my family. That was when I knew it was more than just a little PMS.

I mean, it doesn't really matter what chemical, or lack thereof, is causing you to be sad, if you're sad anyway. But if it is just hormones, there's no way going on Zoloft or Prozac or any of the other antidepressants aggressive drug company shove down your throat is going to help you. I owe a lot to my Zoloft, namely um, my existence. But there's a difference between PMS and depression, one that may be potentially difficult to recognize in teenage girls who are walking hormone bags anyway.

-Jess

The Best Thing To Happen to Food Since Drunkorexia


My roommate and I recently discovered Tofu Shirataki, the most genius food ever invented. It's faux-spaghetti made out of tofu. Before you start gagging: it's delicious, fat-free, carb-free, gluten-free and vegan friendly, super filling and only 20 calories. It's like eating pasta, but without all the guilt! In New York, you can pick it up at Gristedes or Whole Foods. It's great for dinner, and you can put whatever sauce you want on it because the pasta itself is only 20 cals. Hungry Girl has some really good recipes for it. If you're an obsessive calorie counter like I am when I'm not stoned, it's def worth checking out, and only about $2/package.

-Jess

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Facebook: Creepy and Self-Validating!

Gawker discovered a neat little trick, that has since been disabled, that allowed you to view the five people who view your profile the most. All you had to do was click on the search box and press the down error on your keyboard, and the five creepers popped up. My list included my three best friends, and two ex-boyfriends. GOD that feels good. Facebook is giving a whole new meaning to the term my "Fav Five."

-Jess

Summer Reading List

So far, my schedule for the summer is as follows:

Work 11am-5pm, Monday-Friday
Go to the gym
Make dinner
Get high
Watch TV

Without homework, and a lot of my friends leaving for the summer, I feel like I need other things to occupy my time. Some of my friends and I are doing a writing workshop every Friday, but I think making a reading list might be cool too. Tell me your favorite books! I have a few I'm thinking of starting off with, but I'd really like some good suggestions.

Enjoy the super old pic. I frequently bathe in books.

-Jess

Why I will Never Watch The Hills Again (At Least Until Next Season)

The season finale of "The Hills" really fucking pissed me off.

First of all, Lo, my old favorite character, morphed into a maniacal, manipulative super-bitch who barely masked her disdain for Audrina. (Fig. 1) I could almost see her brain churning, attempting to piece together ways to force the wedge between Audrina and Lauren in even tighter.

Then, when Audrina tries to have an honest conversation with Lauren about the state of their friendship, Lauren completely takes Lo's side! And cries like a little bitch! (Fig. 2) And basically tells Audrina that her feelings mean nothing, even though she had JUST ASKED Audrina to tell her how she feels. I used to hate Audrina. She has the same look on her face a newborn baby gets: surprised and bewildered by everything. She is perhaps the dumbest person on television, but at least she is honest about her feelings. (Fig. 3) MTV, or perhaps LC herself, have succeeded in making Lauren completely unlikable. It began with her unnecessary befriending of Stephanie, continued with her refusal to finally just patch things up with Heidi, and this interaction with Audrina was the nail in the coffin. What a DUMB BITCH!!!

But no. NO. My favorite HAD to be Heidi giving a huge fuck you to feminism and LEAVING HER JOB FOR HER PUBE-FACED ASSHAT OF A BOYFRIEND. (Fig. 4) She threw away everything she's worked towards for the past two years for a guy whose last name is a British curse word! She didn't have to choose. There was no reason she couldn't have the successful, lucrative career, and the lazy, mouthbreathing loser bf. But instead she had to leave Mr. Persian Business Man Himself, Sam Nazarian, and Mr. Closeted Rapist, Brent Bolthouse, behind without a single goodbye? Did you see that gleam in Brent's eye? SHE WILL NEVER WORK IN THAT TOWN AGAIN. Now all the little girls who watch this show are going to recognize the age old trope of boyfriend over job, and think, "Wow! That's what Heidi did! She's soooo pretty. Maybe I should do that." Not to mention that what Spencer did was not romantic in the least. It was mortifying, misogynistic, disrespectful and completely unnecessary. I get that he wanted to romantically sweep her away from the clutches of Sin City, but he could have at least waited for her business meeting to be over. Heidi was right - he has no respect for her. And yet, she still throws away everything to go home with him.

I'M NEVER WATCHING THIS SHOW AGAIN.

Fig. 1:

Fig 2:
Fig. 3:


Fig. 4:

-Jess

Diab-HO Cody

Bless those soon-to-be-fired Super Deluxe people. They've been churning out hilarious, original videos for years (which is probably why a lot of them will be laid off in the coming weeks, duh. ) And this is no exception. In the wake of the Juno backlash, screenwriter Diablo Cody has taken a lot of hits--including a particularly memorable series of jabs from her leading lady, Ellen Page! So even though there's nothing particularly new in this send-up, I still thought it was really well-done. And that actress does a great Diablo impression; I actually thought it was Cody herself for a second.

(PS--Yes, I know I'm up heinously early for Josh-in-summer time. I'm about to take that final I was telling you about. No, I'm not studying anymore.)

-Josh

Monday, May 12, 2008

Jimmy Fallon Continues To Make People Think He's Funny

Nooo! Jimmy Fallon is going to be the next "Late Night" host when Conan moves to LA to replace Jay Leno sometime next year.

Okay, Jimmy Fallon is probably the least funny of all the ex-SNL stars. He could never keep a straight face during the skits when he was on the show. After he left, he proceeded to star in such great comedies as...um, Fever Pitch and Taxi. Yes, Taxi, that awful Queen Latifah film. Check out its imdb rating--4.2, people. The Internet doesn't lie.

I don't understand this guy's appeal. Sure, he's sort of good looking, in that scrappy-guy-who-could-be-your-neighbor kind of way. But late-night hosts don't need that; in fact, part of Conan's whole shtick was that he was a super-white, dorky Irish guy. Leno has about a thousand chins, and Letterman is, well, Letterman. You know who else is a decent looking talk-show host? Carson Daly. CARSON GODDAMN DALY. Is that really what NBC is using as a basis for comparison?

I think Lorne Michaels chose Fallon simply because it was easy. As an SNL alum, you know Fallon's got ties at NBC, and rather than risk looking bad and doing a frantic search for their next late-night host, Michaels and NBC wanted to keep things easy and stayed within the company. Because I absolutely do not believe that he picked Fallon based on comedic merit. Conan was a Harvard-educated Simpsons writer, back when the Simpsons was the best show on television. Letterman had to go through a lot of crap before making it to his late-night post--at one point, he was even a weatherman, and apparently a very funny, unpredictable one at that. I really don't care about Jay Leno because I hate him. Point is, Conan and Letterman both proved their comedic worth before being offered their jobs; what exactly has Fallon done to prove he can hold down a popular talk show by himself?

Who knows. Maybe I'm wrong and Fallon will be the perfect guy for the job. But it just seems like such a shame that legitimately funny, talented candidates were passed over in favor of a mediocre movie star who doesn't exactly have a great reputation.

-Josh

Doctors Jess and Josh, Medicine Women

So this morning I slept through my final. Bad! Luckily, there's some sort of senior make-up exam tomorrow morning (same time, same place), so I'm gonna take that instead. Better!

The reason I slept through my final is probably that I was up until 6:30 this morning coughing and not being able to breathe and feeling like my throat was going to dry up and crack into a thousand sore pieces. It's allergy season, yes, but I feel like something else is going on here; I shouldn't feel like I have emphysema whenever my allergy medicine wears off. It's probably just a bad cold, but it still sucks, and my Zyrtec D ain't cuttin' it.

So I ask you, the readers. Do you guys have any suggestions for dealing with bad colds? I've cut back on the smoking (I know, I know, I should stop, at least right now, but cutting back is a start, right?) and drink plenty of green tea. Also, my one tried-and-true panacea for any illness is to complain about it incessantly. But do you guys have any other suggestions? Maybe some home remedies that sound ridiculous but actually maybe work really well? There is an acupuncturist's office beneath a goth club two blocks away from my dorm. How shady can it be, right?

-Josh

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Finally

In Memoriam of Sophomore Year

Freshman year

My last final is tomorrow at 10am, and after that, I'm free. Instead of spending these last few precious hours studying, I've sunken into a nostalgic funk, spearhead by a perusal through a scrapbook from high school, and dangerously punctuated by a visit from David that turned into regaling each other with stories of freshman year. Long story short: we were always drunk and doing drugs. We fucked a lot of people. We had endless supplies of money because our parents hadn't gotten sick of us asking for it yet. We cared way too much about the scene, our clothes, the people we hung around. It was fraudulent in a lot of ways, but we don't regret it, because it's one of those things you can look back on and appreciate now that it's over. I did things I'm not proud of - bedding a hot grad student on St. Patrick's day who couldn't get it up due to too much whiskey, spending hundreds of dollars on drugs and clothes and drinks at overpriced dingy LES dive bars, refusing to care about schoolwork because this was COLLEGE, and this is what college students DO. I was irresponsible, and I reveled in that completely.

It was satisfying in a lot of ways to get it all out of my system in one year. I quit doing hard drugs in October, and I quit spending money on going out because I realized that I just didn't enjoy it anymore. I focused more on school, and on writing, and on things like this blog, which has gotten me to places I never would have even dreamed of before. I spent a handful of months dating someone who found my writing and my studiousness attractive, and then falling in love, and then going to London and learning what it's like to fall out of love again. But I came back from all that, and I'm better than ever, and I'm not regretful in the slightest. I got into countless fights with my friends over absolutely ridiculous things. My dad screamed "Fuck you!" at me more times than one. I made out with the hottest boy imaginable a few weeks ago. I went on dates, and had meetings, and went to the gym, and built my life up. I watched movies and wrote and wrote and god did I write, even if it was about pointless things, like this entry, for example. But it felt good because I was doing something with myself. I wasn't going out until dawn and sleeping until mid-afternoon and waking up and doing it all over again. I was waking up early and being PRODUCTIVE.

And it strikes me that I'm an adult now. I get the most satisfaction out of productivity and accomplishment. I should be disgusted and upset by that realization, but instead I just feel kind of at peace with things.

This year is so different than freshman year. I spent most of my nights staying in, getting stoned, writing, reading and watching movies. I spent first semester wrapped up in someone who I barely speak to now. I worked and joined clubs and challenged the President of NYU and just overall became more accepting of myself and those around me. I got out of subculture and into feminism and honed my interests to where I can actually articulate them now, and they extend beyond getting drunk and letting some creepy guy feel me up in the back of The Annex.

The best years of my life are halfway over. Four semesters in New York down, only three to go. I'm leaving this city for Paris in the fall, and there will be champagne and French boys with mop hair and accordion music, but I will miss this city, and all the fucked up things I allowed myself to get into while here. So if these are the best years, bring on the even better ones.

-Jess