ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)

I was privy to a conversation today—by which I mean I eavesdropped like nobody's business while pretending to be reading printouts as the printer kept spewing out paper—that essentially consisted of the office crew in my residential college remarking how the students this year are very uninvolved and how the same pool of twenty people or so are continuously the ones involved in pretty much everything.

Besides agreeing wholeheartedly—credit where credit's due—, I had to bite my tongue (literally!) in order to not begin screaming (OK, maybe just frustratedly speaking) about their complete cliquish behaviour since the moment I arrived back a month ago.

One of them keeps looking at me as if I'm personally offending her with my very existence. Another looked pained that she made a pre-party invitation available to a group I was coincidentally part of. This other guy just seems perpetually confused by my presence, though he goes with it as much as he can.

I try not to be the "new girl" all the fraking time, but, even after a month and one major event I participated in fully, it appears I won't be anything but until the moment I graduate.

It's neither a nice nor a pleasant position to be in, but I'm not sure I have a choice in the matter. I feel awkward and embarrassed, and now I have a stupid crush on top of everything else. The group that's complaining about lack of participation is doing nothing to facilitate integration, and, honestly, I'm just not willing to put in the emotional effort I could be using for something truly useful. I'm all for getting to know people and becoming friends and participating in anything that raises the profile of the college, but I just can't do all the work here; I'm past putting everything of myself into it without receiving anything back.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)

I haven't had a genuine crush on someone in a while. I can confidently say I have not had any degree of interest in anyone for a very long time.

And tonight is the night I realised that has possibly changed.

This realisation came accompanied by a knowing smile from a girl I know not very well, but whom I can confidently say probably thinks I'm an idiot and very obvious in my newly-discovered crush. Which just caused even more distress because I was the odd person out. I'm awkward enough as it is without feeling vulnerable and being put on the spot emotionally.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this post. I'm partially in shock about this entire thing, so maybe I'm not making a whole lot of sense. Also, it's three in the morning and my judgement is not very sound.

I need to think on this. There's a lot of potential for badness and continued awkwardness, and, honestly, I think getting over it swiftly and quietly is the best course of action.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)

What is truly troubling and mind-boggling is having to explain to intelligent, liberally-educated young adults living in the year 2015 in one of the most developed and knowledge- and information-rich countries in the world why being a homophobic transphobic sexist asshat is not OK.

Then again, this is the same university campus that a professor recently commented upon as being a "toxic environment".

I should not be surprised, genuinely I should not be, and yet I'm still shocked sometimes by the things I hear. Or am told. To my face. With a cheeky smile to accompany the matter-of-fact statement.

This would be a prime example to cite when being "questioned" as to why I do not socialise.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)

This all started when I found a vegan muffin recipe and decided that instead of topping the muffins with walnuts (my parents have a walnut tree in their garden; it's close to sacrilegious to purchase whole walnuts at the supermarket when they have literally bags and bags of them) to use a new muesli breakfast cereal thing I just discovered existed in my local supermarket. It's protein-enriched, however, making it the only non-vegan ingredient, as the protein comes from whole milk.

However, any topping works as long as it can be baked. Obviously. Baking never lets me down, even with the ever-present threat of potential kitchen-destruction. )

As this entire endeavour was a success, I will definitely repeat it and prepare better for next time, though I'll probably end up using vanilla-flavoured protein powder instead of vanilla extract, I just know it.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)

On Friday morning I had the distinct displeasure to realise I was going to be useless during the pre-lunch two and half hours double-session course scheduled for that morning. Because mornings. Enough said. )

Which would bring us to today, and the mediocre cup of coffee I had in the morning, followed by one good cup at around lunch time. With the exception of a few sips of Coke Zero throughout the day, I've managed to survive a tiring day with limited artificial stimulation.

I'm not done tweaking my caffeine levels and recording what happens, but I do have to say today was physically exhausting, yet it took longer than expected to feel mentally tired. My focus could be benefiting from this new arrangement, though it's too early to say if this can be sustained, or even whether other factors might not have been hugely influential.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)

You know how you sometimes forget what you look like until you see a picture someone took of you? Even staring at yourself in the mirror cannot properly prepare you for the stupid, silly faces you make when you cannot control what your face is up to.

Yeah...

So now I'm apparently starring in a short film. Because of reasons. Those are not particularly good reasons, but reasons nonetheless. I think they might have something to do with this odd, foreign concept of "fun", though mainly it seems to involve a lot of giggling, an immature script, lack of chemistry between the leads, and DIY Batman masks (Don't ask!).

Shooting on Friday evening took for ever and a day, but I did get some champagne for my troubles. Friday was generally a hellishly busy day, even though I got a tremendous amount done, so it's natural that by the time we were shooting in the evening I was too exhausted to mentally engage like a well-adjusted person.

Today's shoot was light by comparison, but I didn't feel on my game as much as I thought I'd be by this point. Then again, at least the male lead and I are becoming slightly more comfortable with each other. Too bad we don't really have any other scenes together, as far as I can recall.

I sometimes forget the final product is not supposed to exceed eight minutes. I keep anticipating hours and hours of shooting...

One thing I do know for sure, though: the awkwardness of watching myself on screen will transcend any and all expectations. I kinda can't wait for the train-wreck of it all.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)

It's been a long (and I mean long) day, both physically and mentally tiring for a variety of reasons, and this post might reflect said raggedness. However, as with most things I chose to write about at odd hours of the night, it is necessary to record the immediate reactions I had.

(Holy shit! It took me for ever to write this out. What?!?)

I've only just arrived back from the type of event I've been wanting to attend for some time now. It was good, very promising; it was a chance for a dialogue in a safe space where conversations about gender and sexuality and social perception and sex and many other messy human issues can be started without fear of negative (i.e., judgemental) social repercussions.

I'm relatively certain not everyone got what they either wanted or needed from this meeting, but, as I also mentioned during the get-together, it was a chance to experience the sort of dialogue that doesn't come up in daily life, and, when it does, it carries with it judgement. I could see some bafflement on some people's faces, and I do realise that one point of view on an issue does not necessarily represent the opinion of anyone else, much less of everyone present (hence the need of such a space in which to converse), but it was a positive experience in the sense of knowing that there are others who do not subscribe to a gender-binary, heteronormative, hyper-sexual world. I need to know this in my veins, almost viscerally.

I'm curious about where else this will lead.

Honestly, I'm so damn tired right now I can't even process the fact that I've just written a post. It's beyond me how I managed to be coherent.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)

I'm functioning on two latte macchiatos, a double espresso and a lot of sugar at this time, plus an extra dose of adrenaline courtesy of screwing up my audition. What am I doing auditioning for anything ever? Well, I got it into my head that acting and myself can coexist. Clearly, I was delusional, and the only reason I will get even the smallest part is because they are in desperate need of people. And I can dance and learn choreographies, which I guess might give me an edge. Then again, it probably turned out to be so bad that I won't get anything at all, and thus remain solely with the public embarrassment suffered today.

The worst part—other than forgetting my lines several times in a row? They made me sing. *cries*

OK, all right, here's the deal: I love acting, but I'm not the best at it. At least I try really hard...

It's a university production of a student-written musical. It was supposed to be fun.

I think the double espresso is where I made the fatal mistake in all of this, other than the initial mistake of thinking I can do this at all.

I've never had much empathy in the past for actors and actresses intent on pursuing a career in a field I always considered they had no business being in. Now I get a little more where they're coming from. They just love it so much they can't let it go, despite what everyone and their dog are telling them regarding their level of skill.

Honestly, right now, I just want to find a rather large rock to hide under.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)

Silly as I feel having to write on this topic, it has become necessary. Apparently.

Libraries are inherently quiet spaces people come to expecting the aforementioned quiet, as opposed to, you know, talking. Out loud. To your friends. About the party you attended last weekend.

I can completely relate with wanting to socialise and with the need for a study break to oxygenate that big brain of yours, but for the love of all that's holy—and you know by this I mean cake—go have your giggly discussion about Jell-o shots somewhere else that is not my library.

What happened to the good ol' days of shushing people without getting a gaggle of prissy privileged undergrads glaring at you in disbelief for daring to interrupt? It occurred to me as I was heading towards the Quiet Study Area (in my day, the entire library was a quiet study area, but my geriatric notions of public spaces are clearly outmoded) that, purely by coincidence, the culprits this time around were my direct peers, meaning from my year and major, who should be freaking out just as much as I am about the forthcoming deadline on Wednesday for our thesis proposals. Clearly, I am very much alone in this sinking boat of mine.

I adore libraries in part precisely due to the quietude that is vehemently expected from its patrons by its patrons. If I'm on the receiving end of fewer distractions in my dormitory room than here, then you just know the entire place is going to hell in a hand-basket.

Next time, on what's wrong with the world...

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)

As I am writing this, I have just returned from the event I am about to describe, although no words exists to faithfully encompass the sheer awkwardness of the entire thing. Also: I was kind of on my way to sloshed during dinner, though sharp enough to remain annoyed and awake, and it's basically wearing off pretty quickly. (Sad, that.)

The setting: beginning of the semester welcome back dinner for college residents.

(I would be facedesking so hard if I were in front of a desk at this very moment, don't think I wouldn't!)

The pointlessness of the exercise should not be lost on anyone, nor how immensely famished I was by that point in the day. I would have enjoyed it more had food been readily available on the spot. I treat meals with the amount of seriousness they deserve. The musical renditions by people who genuinely have no business being in the general vicinity of an open mic cannot be represented in words, nor could video, as far as I'm concerned, express the absolute sense of desolation I felt upon realising dinner was going to be beyond slow in coming.

It's not as if I enjoy being a Ms Grumpy-Trousers, but unexpected social situations are never my cup of tea, especially when I know literally no one. Being forced to attend things I totally do not enjoy? Major bummer. And anxiety-inducing. My coping mechanism? Getting progressively drunker on mimosas and cheap white wine (which totally did not go with the dubious chicken) because why the hell not!

The lack of salad was devastating, by the way. Then again, the entire menu minus the desert was a grave disappointment to my taste buds—hardly a change from the usual. Does salt severely offend the person cooking the food? Do spices represent too much of a colonial throwback and cultural appropriation that the cook resents them on principle? 'Cause I totally get it (though I doubt it occurs for reasons related to cultural sensitivity), but, man, I need me some flavour. The desert was too store-bought for words, but at least it happened to be a form of coffee cake, and thus I could hardly resists a double-portion.

I swiftly departed after asking myself Has it been sufficiently awkward yet? and getting a mental reply very much in the affirmative.

I fail to comprehend why these sorts of events are ever needed. The level of inclusiveness they strive for is never achieved. If anything, I felt the most isolated since arriving back on campus. I sat next to a girl equally uncommunicative as me, and the few words we exchanged was enough to show that we were on equal footing anxiety-wise as well. She mentioned her dislike of small talk and I wanted to weep in gratitude that someone totally got it. And that I would not be subjected to it during dinner, too.

For the love of all that's holy—and by that I mostly mean cake—how am I supposed to interact with people for the next four months in the residential college in which I reside? How did I manage it before?

There goes my Sunday evening!

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Ella Nicoară

October 2015

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