Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thoughts on Valentines, belatedly.

**We wanted to do a Valentine's related post, and Sam actually had it to Kassy on time, but this time Kassy was the late one (back to normal) so here 'tis, a day late.  And social networking commentary still coming soon.**

Sam: Happy Valentines Day!!! I’m probably the least qualified person to be writing a Valentines Day post. Seriously, my 10 year old nephew has more going on in the romance department than I do. (Sad but true) But since I’ve been MIA for a little over a week and I feel guilty for abandoning my blogging and friend duties, I’ve decided that I’ll do a v-day post.

Now, I won’t go ranting about how Valentines Day is a holiday produced by big business to boost sales of candy, cards, and other love related products.

*ungracefully crawls off soap box *

What I’ll say is this: much like New Years Resolutions, I support the idea of Valentines Day. What’s not to like about a day set aside to tell the special people in your life that you love them? But I always feel that when millions of people celebrate something, it cheapens it (Twilight, anyone?). Celebrating your love for someone special in your life should be done on a day that has personal significance for you, like on an anniversary. You shouldn’t wait for a national holiday to tell someone that they’re important to you.

Kassy: I agree. (Whoa, wait, what?)  Yes, I did just say I agree.  And not just because this is the first Valentine's day I've spent single since I was fifteen, but because I never really liked Valentine's day even when I did have someone to share it with for exactly the reasons Sam just said.  There's this huge hype around the holiday--if people don't have a date, they're depressed or preach "Singles Awareness" ish, and if they do, they make sure to let you know they got flowers, chocolate, (insert other cliche gift here). Furthermore, there's no real basis to the holiday itself.  "Saint Valentine" (or so two minutes of Wikipedia research informs me) was really a few different Saint Valentine's who had absolutely zero connection to anything romance (unless you consider being murdered romantic).  So, truly, Valentine's day is a fabricated holiday exploited by, well, all the people who make buku bucks off of it.

That being said, I think the idea of a day celebrating love, shouldn't necessarily just be dismissed.  Like Sam, I support the fact that you shouldn't wait for Valentine's day to show people you care about them, and that it is likely to mean more on a day individually special.  Love is not a subject I enjoy discussing these days, particularly considering its disintegration from one of my surest beliefs to something that now endures the brunt of my cynicism; however, its importance is unquestionable.  There are so many different forms love can take, ways to love a person, and more power than we could imagine in this complicated emotion.  It is something that I believe should always be expressed, no matter what way, and should never be underestimated.  I may not be romance's biggest fan right now, but LOVE in all of its forms is something, commercial or not, that should be celebrated.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Have you seen this girl?

Missing: OTHER HALF.
Height: SHORT.
Hair: CURLY.
Last seen wearing: A SUNDRESS.
Inaccessible via: INTERNET.

REWARD OFFERED.  If you have seen this girl, please contact roomie.rambles@gmail.com.
((Or if you just want to say hi.))

*   *   *

(( In other words, Sam is currently unable to access the internet, thus she could not send me her part of our latest post, which had been scheduled to go up Sunday.  So stay tuned for our thoughts on facebooking & social networking coming soon! ))

♥ ♥ ♥

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Self-fulfilling prophecy, subconscious & karma (related?)

Kassy: When I took Sports Psychology, there were about forty exercise-something majors and maybe seven psych majors.  So, us psych majors ended up doing a lot of correcting/being the only ones who really knew what we were talking about whenever one of the seven of us had to answer something.  All of this to say, there was one thing we always came back to in that class: the "self-fulfilling prophecy."  It was particularly relevant in sports psych, but I've been wondering just how much it occurs in every day life.

People all around me are forever telling me to stop being so negative (i.e. "If you say you're not going to get into grad school, you won't get in.")  Now that, I can't entirely buy.  The good folks at the three programs I've applied to haven't got a damn clue whether I'm sitting at home the most confident person in the world, or if I'm just a regular ol' negative-Nancy.

In short, the self-fulfilling prophecy is "an initial expectation that is confirmed by the behavior it elicits" (Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology). That, in itself, has been proven in various ways.. BUT what about your subconscious?  For Freud, it was the unconscious, but eventually the term "subconscious" was popularized, and now we all have at least an idea of what that means.  So, here's my first question.  Have you ever blamed something on your subconscious? You know, "Oh, I left my notebook at home--I guess that's my subconscious way of saying I don't want to take notes today."  Stuff like that.  Well, is our subconsciousreally driving these things or is it just a convenient excuse?

When I began applying to grad school I did NOT want to.  I felt like I had no other choice, it was what was expected of me, it was what I was supposed to want, and it was what I suspected my closer-to-graduation self would be glad I had done (true).  But in the moment, I hated every second of it.  Since then I have experienced "little thing" after "little thing" go wrong with my application submissions.  Needed TWO transcripts--only sent ONE.  Teacher recommendations due on date X--turned in a week and a half later.  And the most recent, discovered yesterday, one month after my final submission.  I never sent my transcript for the ONE class I attended at State over the summer.

All of this has led me to ask myself... was this my subconscious way of sabotaging my graduate school apps?  Now that I really REALLY do want to go, I've already messed up my chances?  Or is it just circumstance and my own lack of proper brain organization?

How much influence does the self-fulfilling prophecy really have?  Can a pro ball player psych himself into or out of a shot?  Does believing I will/won't do poorly on a test affect my grade? How much power do we really have over the things in our lives?  Are we really in control of our own destinies or do we use things like our subconscious to make ourselves feel better--to loosen the fear, and strengthen our perception of control?  Is the self-fulfilling prophecy a self-fulfilling prophecy in and of itself?  We believe in its ability, its effect, and thus when we think it works, we attribute the results to it, thus CREATING its power?

Sam: I read The Secret for the first time several years ago. Since then, I've read it almost every year, which is a testament to how much I like that book (the only other book I read that often is Style from A to Zoe). (English majors everywhere are weeping.) The whole premise of The Secret is that like attracts like. Basically, it looks at how positive thoughts will attract positive things in your life and negative thoughts will attract unpleasant things.

I am one of those people who constantly tells Kassy to stop being so negative. In part because I have about as much compassion as a pile of toe nail clippings, but also because I am a firm believer in cosmic justice. To me, cosmic justice is a lot like karma or the self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe that the actions you do, whether they're external actions or internal thoughts, will lead to another action. Life is not static. It is not just a series of unrelated events. If you do something bad, something bad will in turn happen to you. It may not happen right away but I think that before you die, the universe evens out the bad deeds you've done with bad things that happen to you. The same goes for good thoughts or actions.

So, if you believe that you're going to fail whether it be grad school applications or a job interview or sticking with a diet during the holiday season, then you will. If you put negative thoughts out into the universe, then the most probable outcome will also be negative.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Putting Life into Boxes

Sam: I’m no stranger to packing. In fact, packing and I go way back. In the past four years, I’ve lived in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, London, and North Carolina, and I’ve traveled to even more places. Since I went to college far away from home, I have to pack up all of my belongings at least twice a year.
As annoying and time consuming as it is, one of the best things about living a nomadic existence is the packing.

There’s something about taking everything that is spread out in a room and placing in boxes. It condenses everything. It makes everything organized. Everything has a place. Packing prevents clutter from building up.  No matter how chaotic or disorderly my life gets, whenever I have to pack all of my stuff, I feel a sense of calm when I stop everything in my life for a few hours to go through all of my possessions and put them in boxes.

Packing also forces me to prioritize my most important possessions. Every time I pack, I save my most important items for last so that they’re easily accessible. Right now, my toiletries, books, and computer are the sole survivors in a storm of boxes and bubble wrap. I guess they’re my “deserted island items”.
Now, as I begin the process of moving all of my belongings out of my room in preparation for a remodel, I remember just how much I love the order and calm that comes from packing.

Kassy: I hate packing.  For me, it's how much can I shove into this bag, and where can I fit all these little odds and ends?  Socks... tucked in the empty corners of the duffel.  Meds, chapstick, misplaced earrings... drop 'em in the purse.  Random scarf?  Throw it on top of the books and art supplies.  Shoes?  Er... stack 'em in the hamper (or for travelling, stick 'em in the sides of the duffel).  A calm sense of order?  No way.  Packing is visible chaos.  So, Sam and I were thinking... Could this possibly be representative of our brains and the way we process.  I definitely think it may be.  Any thoughts?

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Kassy: Everyone’s talking about them, only some people are actually doing them, but when the calendar flips, they’re pretty much everywhere.  Yeah, I’m talking about New Years’ Resolutions.  I never really made resolutions in the past.  And if I did, I didn’t keep them—willpower is not my strong point.  Last year, a friend posted a list of 100 things she wanted to accomplish in 2010.  Her list ranged from the number of books she wanted to read to simple lifestyle changes and larger accomplishments.  I liked it, so I decided to create my own.  Not nearly as ambitious as she, I went for 25.  How many did I actually accomplish?  A few.  I got my alwaystattoo.  I drew more… and started painting, too.  I began to truly try to (and continue to) embrace my number 19: Be genuine.  And I succeeded in making (and so far keeping) more than one new friend.

Looking back on last year’s resolutions I realized that most of them are still idealistic goals in the back of my mind.  If they improved in the last year, they can certainly continue to improve, and if they didn’t… well, they’re still on my to-do list, so to speak.  At the beginning of this year, I set only one goal for myself.  My single resolution for 2011 is something that was on my list last year, but I completely failed to do: a combination of numbers 8 (Panic less) and 16 (Be fearless).  Despite that resolution, fear is something that sort of took over my life in 2010.  Things that used to just bother me (like spiders) suddenly made me panic.  And I got to know really well that heart-fluttering gut-wrenching moment of pure fear—in the most absurd and UN-SCARY situations.  I’ve come to not only hate that feeling, but to fully realize how exhausting it is.  So, in 2011, my graduation year, I am going to CONQUER FEAR.  Okay, probably not.  Especially because I’m scared of, well, a LOT.  But even if I can overcome just ONE fear, I could eliminate all of the stress it would cause every time I encountered it for the rest of my life. 

Last week, I made a list of the biggest things I am afraid of.  Things like heights and the dark, but also things like driving at night, and going out on a date (Yeah, unfortunately, I’m not kidding).  Then, I burned it.  (Then I panicked about my mother asking me why the kitchen smelled like a campfire when she got home from work.)  Possibly, burning a piece of Campbell stationery I got at orientation three and a half years ago will do absolutely nothing to change my list of fears.  But I like the idea of watching the flames eat away at the paper, the way panic eats away at me.  Because see, the paper WAS the panic, and now, it has been officially burned away.

Sam: I’m a list-maker. At any given time, I have several lists scattered throughout my room. There’s the urgent list by my alarm clock next to my bed. The less-urgent-but-still-needs-done-in-a-timely-manner list written in marker on my mirror, the clothes shopping list on my ipod, the grocery list, and the I’ll-write-this-down-but-I’ll-never-actually-get-around-to-doing-it list at the bottom of my purse. Like I said, I’m a big fan of lists.

That being said, I rarely make New Years resolutions. I support the idea of people bettering themselves, but in order to keep a resolution, the decision has to be made because the person wants to make it, not because everyone else is making resolutions.

Resolutions made on New Years are inherently unreliable. Come February, you’re back to smoking, running shoes lay forgotten under your bed, and you’ve only read one book from your reading list.
My resolutions usually come at the beginning of the school year (a true testament to my nerdiness). To me, renewal always seems to come once I start another year of school. It’s where a majority of my friends are. It’s where I work (as a full time student), and where I play (not often, but it’s been known to happen). I always feel slightly different when I head back to school. I left as an underclassman and now I’m coming back older, wiser, and tanner. It’s a chance to change, and for me, there’s no better time to make a resolution (or twelve).

Now that I’m done with school, I’m not exactly sure when I’m going to make resolutions. I guess I’ll just have to make them whenever I deem a change is in order.

I guess what I’m getting at is that self reflection and change shouldn’t be reserved for January 1st. It should occur throughout the year.  That being said, in the spirit of New Year’s, I can’t have a reseolutions post without a resolution.

So.  If I had to implement a resolution right now, it would be to indulge more. This seems strange because most resolutions deal with gaining more self control. But I’ve come to notice that I rarely (if ever) indulge myself. 98% of the time, my mind is in the future. What do I need to do tomorrow? Will I ever get a job? Will so-and-so like me? I spend so much time trying to anticipate the next step that I rarely allow myself to enjoy the present. Why not spend time journaling tonight? Why not go for a run? Why not buy those amazing shoes? If I don’t learn to enjoy the present when I’m young, debt free, and unattached, there’s no way I’ll ever be content. Structure and order only go so far. Then comes human nature. And the desire to indulge is at the core of human nature.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

the WHY

Sam: A blogger I am not. The idea of having anyone read what I've written makes me uncomfortable. Truth be told, I don't even update my Facebook status for the same reason. If knowledge is power, then allowing a stranger (or someone I know) to read my thoughts gives them power. Make sense? No? I didn't think so.

But somehow through a barrage of pleas and puppy dog looks (and quite possibly a bit of black magic) Kassy has convinced me to join forces with her and start a blog. She's the creative genius of the pair (note the awesome banner, background, font, ect. It's all her.) I just write (and sometimes not even well.) It's a common misconception that English majors are always good writers. I'm not a fantastic writer (subject, verb. Anything beyond that is an added bonus.) I can't spell either (husband, huspand?) I studied English because I love to read. Not because I can write.

Er... What was I saying?  Oh, right. Why we're blogging.

Over the past 3 and a half years, Kassy and I have done a lot together, but we've never tried a creative collaboration. So, since I've graduated and we no longer live together, we've (and by "we" I mean "Kassy") decided to try blogging together in an attempt to stay connected in another way besides the usual texting, letters, and emails. After all, you've got to keep the relationship fresh.

Kassy: Just the other day, I remarked to my sister that if anyone ever read Sam and my text messages, they would either think a) we’re insane or b) we’re totally shady people.  Which, we’re not… I don’t think.  Anyway, it was a conversation kind of like this that first sparked the idea.  Now, my memory is not the most crystalline, however, I’m pretty sure it went something like this…

Sam: Blah blah.
Kassy: Blah blah blah.  *pause, ponder*  You know, we have the best conversations about things.
Sam: *blank stare*
Kassy: Like, we have enough in common to not COMPLETELY disagree (most of the time) but we still manage to have fairly different opinions on stuff.
Sam: *blank stare*
Kassy: You know what we should do?  We should blog together!!!!  I follow this one amazing and hilarious blog by these two gals who are friends and who blog together… we could totally do that!
Sam: *classic Sam look*
Kassy: Come on, pleaseee!  It would be so much fun!  It’s not like you’re going to have anything else to do being all graduated and stuff…
Sam: *rolls eyes*  [insert sarcastic comment of (sort of) acquiescence here]

So, under the belief that this conversation is not completely fabricated by the goo that is my brain/memory, this is how the idea to blog together was born.  The actual conversation probably also included some points about how English majors are supposed to like to write… and questioning whether Kassy was going to be able to keep to a schedule… and what on Earth we were going to talk about… etc.  But the idea was there, and I was going to run with it.  I mean, since I can’t knock on her door a hundred times a week, I had to find another way to annoy ramble at her.

the WHO

Sam & Kassy.

Two roomies.

Also, best friends.

One with an English degree.

The other wishing she had her degree... in Psych.



Lovers of tie-dye, good music, and painted nails.

One likes chocolate.

The other likes any and everything gummy.

Both from the North.

Both now living in the South.

Two totally different personalities.

Almost always different ideas and views.

But they say things at the same time far too often to be normal.

Who are we?

Sam & Kassy.

Roomies. Best Friends. Authors of this awesome blog.

To find out more, check out our bios under the *meet the roomies* tab.