A place for this imaginitive, ambitious, sensitive, strong college student to write about her adventures, trials, and successes.

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What can I say? I'm an eclectic mix, a proverbial 'mixed bag'. A lot of fun and A LOT of excitement.

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Monday, November 22, 2004

Giving Thanks!

I was surfing through blogexplosion the other day when I found a site that truly touched me: Three Beatiful Things. Every day this woman records three things that have given her pleasure. This is amazing. Though it seems like only a small thing it is a huge accomplishment. By recognizing what has made her day worth living she has managed to make it so. You see, mankind, Americans especially, take life and all it's beauty for granted. The only reason life seems so dreary is because we do not take the time to see that it isn't so hopeless and void. Recognizing how beautiful life really is can also help us to live life more day to day (refer to my earlier post on time: "Tick, tick, tick..."). So in lieu of Thanksgiving, in this post I would like to attempt this nifty little trick. If I am successful I would like to continue to recognize at least one great thing about life in every post. Here goes!

Things I am thankful for today:
1. My 9am psych class was cancelled and so was my 3pm Spanish lab. Woohoo!
2. Tomorrow I leave to spend the rest of the week giving thanks with my mom and my boyfriend.
3. I had breakfast this morning (a blueberry bagel and a glass of sierra mist-not much but more than usual)
4. I'm listening to Metallica, 'Sad but True'
5. I have half of Billy's Christmas shopping done
6. There are only 3 weeks left of this semester
7. There is a nice autumn-y overcast looming outside- it's rather uplifting for being overcast!
8. The Patriots are playing tonight
9. I get to watch all 3 CSI with mom this week
10. Mom now has not 1, but 2 jobs! Go mom!
11. The tree might be here in time to decorate it after all!
12. I'm giving thanks!

Ahhh... that felt good! You should try it!

Happy Giving Thanks!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Is heaven hell?

So I've come to the conclusion that heaven cannot be a good place to live. There are two general ideas of heaven. In the Christian's version of heaven (one in which only they can attend) you spend the rest of eternity serving, worshipping, praising God. Okay, wait a minute, isn't that what you're supposed to do to get into heaven? Now I thought heaven was supposed to be a reward for doing those things in your life on Earth. Shouldn't you be rewarded by not having to do those things anymore? Just a thought. Sure it's all nice to live forever and all, but that in itself isn't necessarily a reward unless it is enjoyable. What's the sense in wasting your whole life living for God in order to live forever when that's exactly what you're gonna do in the next life? Shouldn't heaven be a reprieve? Okay, nevermind, maybe I'm insane... perhaps I should live a selfless life on Earth so that I can live a selfless life in heaven, too. Seems to me the only difference between the two would be the lack of temptation to live for yourself in heaven. Oh yay! I don't want to write religion off completely yet, but I have a lot of questions. Anyways, moving on, the other popular idea of heaven is that it is a place without sin, or bad things-just a pretty place where you get what you want. Now at first this seems like a lovely choice, but with furthur investigation it is not without flaw. We complain that the world is a horrible place to live, with all kinds of evil and hardships. But I challenge you to REALLY think about what life would be like without the evil. How would we even know what good was if there was no evil? There would be no comparison. If we always got whatever we wanted, we never got sick, no one died life would be boring to say the least. Getting that lousy flu is what makes you appreciate being healthy. A broken heart makes yearn for love. If nothing ever went wrong there would be no goals, no reason to strive for anything. There wouldn't be a reason to get out of bed in the morning. It sounds strange, I know, to think of living a 'perfect' life yet being depressed. I challenge you to think about it, you'll see what I mean. In order to learn what something is, you must learn what it isn't. Now can you see the flaw with heaven? Eventually you'd wish you had died. When I think about dying it weirds me out a little, I'll admit, to think of not existing, but then again, I won't know I don't exist so I shouldn't worry about it. Anyways, I'm not trying to offend anyone, or denounce religion. I'm just thinking. Someday I may even embrace the belief of heaven, but for now I will keep asking questions. After all it is my job, I'm a college student. I'm supposed to challenge my beliefs and the beliefs of others-I'm not supposed to be sure what I believe in. I think I'm doing my job quite well, thank you! Exercise those brain cells, don't accept everything- challenge it. We don't accept scientific theories unless they've been tested time and again, so why do we just immediately accept religion or history or anything else we've been taught. It's our right and responsibility to think for oursleves.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Forces in the North are witholding 'tree of mass importance'

Need tree. Need tree to survive! The holiday season, that is. When Christmas is you're favorite holiday, a year without a tree just won't do. Perhaps a visitation embargo would work, maybe threats of war if the "tree of mass importance" isn't handed over... THE TREE IS A MUST! This "group of folks" must surrender or action will be taken. The Santa Clause and a day of hustle and bustle at the mall is simply not enough. Though they are essential to the process, they do not create the atmosphere of Christmas cheer. That is the job of the traditional tree. I know it may seem that the mother unit and I are going a little postal about the Christmas decorations, but you must understand. This year has been especially hard for us, we have had to adjust to all new conditions. When we have the opportunity to do something that reminds us that not EVERYTHING has changed (like celebrating Christmas- believe it or not, there is still Christmas even when you start a new life), we're gonna jump on it like a sale at Victoria's Secret. Don't get me wrong, we would probably be just as mad-crazy-insane in the current situation at any given holiday season, however, this year is crucial, this could be our demise. So even though I would never wish to do anything inapropriate to my sweet grand units, I may be forced to do it if they refuse to release the tree. A Christmas without a tree is like a birthday without a cake, a banana without a peel, a boy without his dog. We are assembling our troops as we speak- this isn't gonna be pretty. Pray they surrender.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Tick, tick, tick

So my Monday was pretty dreary. Since last week was rather laid back in the workload/stress department obviously this week must make up for that. It's really not that bad, just a test on Wednesday and a paper due Friday (plus the usual overabundance of spanish work). I assume that it just feels this way because I am anxious for Thanksgiving break. This weekend was great, spending time with Billy and Mom, sans her ex. But you know, two 4 and half hour trips separated only by two nights of relaxation really isn't satisfying. Granted, Thanksgiving break is only 3 more nights, but it is the longest break we've had since the semester began. I'm excited for the yummy turkey dinner! Not only will the dinner be super, but the company will be amazing! No obligations or expectations, just a good time with those I love. There has even been mention of braving the crazed masses at the mall on Friday. That is one of my favorite traditions. You should try it. Go to the mall with a friend or someone that you can laugh with, the day after Thanksgiving. Go with no intention of actually buying anything, maybe just some window shopping. No stress! If you go completely laid back and watch all the other people scramble around it gives you a pretty clear metaphor for what your life is usually like. Enjoy the fact that you are not one of them. Smile at people, be especially courteous, and take your time. It's truly therapeutic. Of course this is not the only tradition I am looking forward to. Perhaps everyone has their own way to transition into the Christmas spirit, but mine is especially enjoyable-in fact, it can be considered another stress-relieving activity, that is, if you have a good sense of humor. The Santa Clause. One of my FAVORITE Christmas movies, second only to the Grinch. It's a great family movie that really puts me in the Christmas mindset. I'm smiling just thinking about it. "Up on the roof there arose suchak ladder" Good times! So if you don't have any traditions of your own, I would suggest trying these. Anyways, I digress. What I really wanted to talk about deals with time. Because I'm looking forward to next week, I have painted myself into a stress corner, trying to get everything done and fill up my time until that event. As I get closer and closer to being a "real" adult (I am18 but I will admit to not even being close to adulthood yet- my parents are still paying a great deal of my bills) I notice that time goes by faster. I'm sure you've all noticed this also. It's unnerving I think. I remember when I used to get bored because I had nothing to do. Now I wish for those times- those times when Christmas would take forever to get here. Now it's here and gone in the blink of an eye. A gentleman in my english class made a point about this in a speech he gave. He said that it is because we are always planning for the future today. We all have our date books and our to do lists. We are looking so hard at tomorrow that we don't even see today. Tomorrow ROBS us of today! Everyone has heard the worn out phrase "live for today". Well, honestly, I try, but you know what ruins it? School. Due dates. Homework. Think about it. It is mainly school that has instilled this wonderful cycle. You go to class to prepare for the next class, which prepares for the next, which prepares for the test. How can I live for today when I have a paper due tomorrow? I have to think about tomorrow, I may even have to dwell on it. While I'm at school my mind is consumed by what I need to do for tomorrow. The future is not limitless because tomorrow will soon become today, and today is already yesterday. It's fierce and even depressing to think of it this way. Luckily, when I go to Mom's I cannot see this campus, so tomorrow fades a little and today is a little clearer. That is why 5 measly days at my mom's is like heaven. That is why I count down the days (feeding the ugly cycle still) until that fast-as-lightening couple of days where I can get a taste of living in the now. I wish there was a way to conquer tomorrow so that we might enjoy today. Teachers suggest making schedules for yourself. But isn't scheduling your free time just the opposite of what we are trying to do? Is there a way to live in the moment? Really?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Going "home"

I know I touched on this a little in my post 'On Love', but I would like to re-emphasize. Sometimes, no matter how settled in you are to a new environment, you just need to go where you are most loved: home. It took me a long time to settle in here. I generally like change, but it doesn't always come easy. Especially not when it involves moving almost 1000 miles away from the home that I had just recently come to love, not to mention almost ALL of my family. I like to pride myself on being independent, but during the first few weeks after moving into my college dorm I began to think that I had been fooling myself all this time. Sunday nights were the WORST. With Monday looming ahead I was already depressed. Then, on top of that, I was stressed out, my roommate and I weren't really compatible (she goes to bed between 9 and 10 at night), and I missed my family. I just didn't feel at home, despite the close friendship my whole floor hares. I was (am) surrounded by the friendliest, most down-to-earth, intelligent individuals this school has to offer. How could I not feel at home? I couldn't understand it. I am even lucky enough to have my best friend (oh yeah, and she's also my mom) 4 and a half hours away. Which isn't bad considering the 13 hour trip to Maine to see the rest of my family. I always had (have) a great time when I go there. But then there is coming back to school after having a taste of comfort. It was often even harder after spending the weekends there. As much as my biggest complaint was how this wasn't home, that I didn't want to live at school, that what I really wanted was to leave school at the end of the day and go HOME, I wasn't really seeing the problem. After 13 years of being able to leave school after classes to go where I felt most comfortable to be surrounded by those that I love, it has been VERY hard to accept that after classes, I'm still at school. I still eat at the same places that I do during classes, walk by the same buildings. My stress follows me everywhere on campus. On my way to take a break from my work I would pass by the building that housed the very class that I needed to do work for. I couldn't escape it! You know how I found the solution? I ran out of available funds. Without gas money, it's a little hard to get anywhere. But this forced me to adjust. It seems escaping to my mom's EVERY weekend wasn't the solution, even though I always felt better while I was there. Since my roommate goes home every weekend, I had the room to myself. I had a chance to watch television whenever I wanted to, stay up (and in the room) as late as I wanted, leave the door to my room open with my music blaring... all the things I don't normally get to do but that I always want to. I had the chance to make it feel as much like home as I possibly could. Of course it will never be HOME, because my family is not here, but I can be comfortable. This weekend I am returning to my mom's for the first time in a few weeks. I thought I would wait til Thanksgiving, but now I'm just plain getting bored. It also doesn't help that almost everyone here is a resident so they all go home for weekends. Things have been looking up though. I don't get sooo depressed Sunday night anymore, and my roommate and I are getting along great. Turns out that she isn't as anti-social as I first thought! Accepting change is about forcing yourself to do things that make you feel uncomfortable. Otherwise, how will you ever be comfortable?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Paris in all her glory. Posted by Hello

Hilton who?

8 Reasons You’ll NEVER confuse me with Paris Hilton
Most of you probably know by now that my name is Shannon Hilton. Hilton as in Hilton Head, South Carolina, a beautiful vacation spot, or Hilton as in the chain of upscale hotels. Unfortunately, no one ever asks me if my dad owns the hotels or if I’m from South Carolina. Somehow my name links me to the least acceptable Hilton of all. The one and only Paris Hilton. How this has come about, I am really not sure. Yes our last names are the same, but I’m definitely NOT a 6 foot 2, 20 pound blonde model, and you will never see me with a rather creepy looking dog dressed in Armani under my arm. Come to think of it, there really isn’t anything besides the name that the two of us have in common. Nevertheless, the first question I am asked upon introducing myself is, “are you related to Paris?” I’m pretty sure no one that asks is really that unsure of our relation, but I suppose it could be a good conversation starter… Well, maybe if I hadn’t already been asked a million times before. For my own sake, and the sake of those of you who still cannot see the difference, I have compiled 8 reasons why you could never confuse us.

1. Money. While I spend thousands of dollars a year on furthering my education here at Longwood University, Paris is making millions. Not only does she benefit from being the heiress to the Hilton Hotel fortune, but she earns her own cash modeling and starring in reality shows. In case you were wondering, I have no fortune to inherit, except maybe my dad’s ’93 Ford Taurus and his worn out Red Sox caps.

2. Celebrity. Any time you want you can turn on the television and watch a re-run of The Simple Life starring Paris herself. Unfortunately the only time you might catch me on TV would be a picture on the local access network. And even then, all I get for that is the satisfaction of seeing my own goofy face on the screen. You can also find pictures of her plastered in magazines, on the internet, and the video store. You can find my pictures plastered all over the walls at my grandparents’ house.

3. Friends. You all must know of Paris’s best buddy, Nichole Ritchie, daughter of Lionel Ritchie. Along with her airhead companion, Paris knocks elbows with hollywood’s young and elite. She is a socialite in every sense of the word. I’m lucky if I knock elbows with a senior on campus. Forget about having good connections, she is the connection everyone wants to have. I don’t have the money or the celebrity, but I also don’t have rich, snobby, narcissistic friends. My friends are witty, fun, and down to earth. I think I’d trade her Hollywood connections for my awesome friends any day.

4. Pets. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a picture or video clip of Paris without her spoiled Chihuahua, Tinkerbell dressed in designer dog clothes and diamond studded collars. Nichole Ritchie even has a matching pooch named Honey. Apparently one must own a well-dressed, diamond-studded taco bell dog to be an IT girl. Oh well, I have 3 crazy cats: Fidget, Boots, and Koko. No Gucci or Tiffany for my felines, but every once in a while I buy them catnip-filled sacks to play with. I would say they’re living it up. They’d probably scratch me to death if I tried to carry one of them under my arm with a kitty sweater on. Even if I did own a dog it would be big and naked. Guess I’ll never be an IT girl.
5. Relatives. Complete with crazy aunts and uncles, a hippy dad with no fashion sense, grand-parents that spoil me rotten, a hipper than hip mom and the typical annoying little brother, I’d say my relatives kick butt. I love spending time with my family! Of course, they don’t nearly have the resume that Paris’s family has. Her father, Rick Hilton is a Real Estate bigwig, her great uncle Nicholas once was wed to Elizabeth Taylor, and her sister Nicky is a socialite just like herself. But wait, I forgot the most important Hilton, Paris’s great-granddad and source of her inheritance, Hilton Hotel’s founder, Conrad Hilton. While you’ll never read about my dad’s machine shop in Fortune 500 magazine, he did buy me a car and is helping me make my way through college. That’s worth more than the whole Hilton Hotel chain.

6. Fashion Sense. I go for comfort and style. She goes for whatever will cause people to talk the most. Whether it’s the dresses that cost thousands, her straight from the runway outfits, or her accessories that cost more than her whole wardrobe combined, she splurges when it comes to style. I’m not sure that I could EVER be comfortable in a dress that costs more than my car. And I thought 30 bucks for a pair of jeans was bad! I think I’ll stick to my t-shirts and levis.

7. Diet. How do Burgers, fries, pizza, and cheesecake sound? Unless it’s from the dhall, sign me up! But in order to keep her gaunt figure Paris has to chomp on grass, fruit, cardboard, and tofu (maybe not cardboard, it might have too many carbs). Perhaps it’s to counteract all the cristal she’ll be drinking during her fabulous night life. Either way, I’ll take a few extra pounds in exchange for flavor.

8. Bling Bling. First of all, I’m completely repulsed by the terminology, but since I am talking about a superficial socialite, I figured it would be quite appropriate. She swims in diamonds: diamond studded belts, necklaces, earrings, and even collars for her dog. She is a walking advertisement for the diamond industry! The biggest stone I own is my pet rock. Well, to be honest, I own a couple of pieces containing my “oh so rare” birthstone, aquamarine. I’m pretty sure my pet rock is worth more. In my defense, I’m not the one inheriting a chain of top notch hotels.

So now I’ve given you 8 reasons why you’ll never confuse me with the spoiled rotten, social celebrity, Paris Hilton. Although there are many more I could name, the most important difference is that I’m here at Longwood working hard, making my own way in the world, while Paris sits on her butt and has everything handed to her. I’m in no way sorry that my last name, though it is the same, fails to link me to the hotel fortune.

Friday, November 05, 2004

My love Posted by Hello

On love

So, I’ve been reading A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters for my honors english class. In this book, Julian Barnes explores the subjectivity of history. I just finished reading Parenthesis, the “half” chapter that is Barnes’s interlude, in which he analyzes the theme of his book and love (especially love’s role in history). Reading it made my brain feel free. I know that sounds corny, but it’s the best way I can explain it. As Barnes was ‘saying’ things I was nodding my head, smiling, and highlighting the stuff I especially connected with. All this talk of love even made me evaluate my own life. I agree with Barnes that it isn’t necessary to love, but it is better to do so. If it isn’t so important to life, then why is everyone without it always searching for it? I’m not going to try to pretend that I know the first thing about love. Yes, I have a boyfriend, and yes, we are serious. We love each other. How do I know this? Honestly there isn’t one way to explain how love makes you feel. It’s just like when you go home after being away for awhile. It’s that comfortable, euphoric feeling that reminds you how much you enjoy life. Whenever I am feeling down, I always visit or call my boyfriend or family, someone who loves me. For some reason that ALWAYS helps bring things into perspective. It’s like, yeah I’m stressed and depressed, but these people love me. It’s empowering and yet comforting, too. Love is home. I’ve always been told that home isn’t just a house. I see now that home isn’t a house at all. It’s wherever or whatever makes you feel loved. I suppose no one really needs a home. A house should be sufficient, but then where do you go when things get you down, when you can’t face tomorrow? Maybe it’s not that love is necessary to live, but that it’s necessary to live happily. I know, I know, Barnes says that love doesn’t make us happy. He also says, though, that it does give us the capacity to be happy. It’s something we can run to when nothing else is satisfying us. From what I gather, wealth and success does not give that warm feeling that washes over your body, beginning first at the tip of the hairs on your head, the feeling you get when you know someone cares. Alright so I like what Barnes has to say, but I’m not quite ready to abandon my romantic ideas about life and love. I am a naïve and passionate college student, if you couldn’t tell. It’s better than being a cynical, passive old hag, I suppose. These are my thoughts on love! I thoroughly enjoyed the chapter. I will be sharing and quoting the following from it:

“Men will say ‘I love you’ to get women into bed with them; women will say ‘I love you’ to get men into marriage with them…” (p. 228) – I laugh, this is soooo true!

“ ‘We must love one another or die,’ wrote W.H. Auden, bringing from E.M. Forster the declaration: ‘Because he once wrote “We must love one another or die,” he can command me to follow him.’ Auden, however, was dissatisfied with this famous line from ‘September 1, 1939.’ ‘That’s a damned lie!’ he commented. ‘We must die anyway.’ So when reprinting the poem he altered the line to the more logical ‘We must love one another and die.’ Later he suppressed it altogether.”

“…we must love one another because if we don’t we are liable to end up killing one another.” “…we must love one another because if we don’t, if love doesn’t fuel our lives, then we might as well be dead.”

“Have you ever talked so well, needed less sleep, returned to sex so eagerly, as when you were first in love?” “Have you ever seen things so clearly as when you were first in love?” (p. 231-232) –Simple answer: Nope.

“Perhaps love is essential because it’s unnecessary.” (p.234)

“The heart isn’t heart-shaped, that’s one of our problems.” (p.234) –I thought about this one for a long time, and I love it! Love isn’t what it’s made out to be and that is why it fails us. I personally think it is greater than our comprehension; it’s beautiful, pure, but also exploited, used, and abused. No one knows what love is anymore because the feeling always contradicts the definition. It’s not bad; it’s just not what was expected. The word love and the feeling are no longer related.

The history of the world? Just voices echoing in the dark…;we call it history. (p.240) –Awesome!

“Even our democratic hero Kennedy serviced women like an assembly-line worker spraying car bodies.” (p. 241) –Just plain good humor! Unlike everyone else, I don’t idolize Kennedy. He was just another dickwad of a President. They’re all the same these days (*insert cynical laugh here).

The whole of page 244 I have highlighted. If I was a writer, I would want to write like this:

“And so it is with love. We must believe in it, or we’re lost. We may not obtain it, or we may obtain it and find it renders us unhappy; we must still believe in it. If we don’t, then we merely surrender to history of the world and to someone else’s truth.

It will go wrong, this love; it probably will. That contorted organ, like the lump of ox meat, is devious and enclosed. Our current model for the universe is entropy, which at the daily level translates as: things f**k up. But when love fails us, we must still go on believing in it. Is it encoded in every molecule that things f**k up, that love will fail? Perhaps it is. Still we must believe in love, just as we must believe in free will and objective truth. And when love fails, we should blame the history of the world. If only it had left us alone, we could have been happy. Our love has gone, and it is the fault of the history of the world.”

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

ME! Posted by Hello

I Caught Another Disease

Along with my mother's ridiculous obsession with scrapbooking, I have somehow also contracted the blogging bug from her. I could only take so much. Reading post after post, knowing deep down inside I wanted to give in, to create my own space to rant and babble and share my outrageous ideas. I am now broken. Here I am. Blogging. At first I wrote this off as being another one of Mom's crazy internet phases. But, alas, I have been sucked in by the creative, yet nonfictional writing whirlpool. In my defense, I did get half of my genes from her. I mean, some of it can't be helped... right? I love you, Mom.

Ah, so yes, I have created my personal space! Anytime I get to design something that reflects my personality I get over-excited, like a house on the SIMS, or even a character in my brother's Tony Hawk video game (screw the skateboard, I'm designing his clothes!), I just can't resist designing, changing, arranging. In fact, just yesterday I rearranged my side of the room. Granted, I couldn't really move much. You're somewhat limited for space in a dorm room. Plus I had to think about the cable cord reaching my TV and more importantly, the network cable reaching my laptop when nestled neatly on my desk. So I suppose this is just another way for me to design something that reflects myself. Plus, this is like the only night I haven't had homework or studying to be doing at this point, so why not do something I want to do for a change? Most college students probably wouldn't be blogging if they were in my current situation. But hell, I'm not most college students. Don't think I have no life- on the contrary, my life is full of spice! From my wonderful boyfriend to my AWESOME 3rd floor
ARC buddies, I have a great time here. But tonight is for me.

Just to clarify about the name of my blog, instead of being blunt like my older counterpart, I have chosen the 'collegiate' way to title my blog. In other words I've named it something no one else will understand and I will explain it like I'm analyzing literature. Hidden meaning=very scholarly. I did, however, notice recently that some of you are Lord of the Rings fans, so in that case you may not be so lost. If you've read (and enjoyed) the trilogy, surely you have hear of The
Grey Havens. When the journey of the Ring comes to a close, the elves, Gandalf, and Bilbo sail away on a ship to the Grey Havens. Frodo joins them later. These Grey Havens seem to me to be a place of ultimate freedom. I would like to think that this is my little place of peace where I am free to speak my mind and write about my adventures (ala Bilbo Baggins).