Hiiii My name is Gill (that's Jill, only spelled with a "G"). Well Gillian really, but s’all the same! I used to live in New Orleans, but now I live in The-Middle-of-Nowhere, NJ. I graduated in May with my Bachelors in Environmental Science, and I am currently serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer focused on improving watershed health. I'm looking forward to a new adventure once my program ends in July!
Ask me ANYTHING. Really.
Off from work today, so I took myself on a little date! I wore cute fall clothes and some spiffy red lipstick and I walked around in this cute little town admiring the landscape and the leaves. I didn’t have to talk to anyone, and I wore a smile the whole time. I even sat on the Old Friends, Book Ends bench which made me think of Simon and Garfunkel and my own best friends in faraway places.
Sometimes I forget that I need days like this where I don’t have to share myself with anyone. I’m pretty great company, if I do say so myself.
My very precious sister came to visit me. I sent out a plea for furlough chocolate and reinforcements, so she flew out to hand deliver Lindt and Hocus Pocus.
Twelve hours after she landed and about 20 minutes after we started mountain biking, she landed again. On her clavicle. And broke it. Oh, Gilly. Oops.
She pinky promises that she was having a lot of fun before she crashed. And that she would mountain bike with us again! She is such a trooper. Despite her pain, she was mostly just upset because (1) we felt bad that we had broken her (“Don’t be upset! I know I can’t make you NOT be, but I wish you weren’t”) and (2) that her broken body threw a wrench into our adventuring plans. We had planned on mountain biking Saturday, rock climbing Sunday, Moab Monday.
So we went back to the drawing board and brainstormed. “Don’t coddle me!” She still wanted to adventure, so adventure we did.
We woke up early and headed for Moab, land of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. As we were driving, Anders suggested that we take a detour for the high point of Carbon County. At 10,452’, it would be the highest land that Gillian had ever laid foot upon. Without a real itinerary, it seemed like a mighty fine idea. So we made our way upupandup.
We stopped for Jamocha shakes from Arby’s, I dangled Gillian off the edge of a 2200’ canyon wall in Canyonlands, and we hiked to Delicate Arch for unreal late-afternoon vistas. We spent most of the day in the car, laughing until tears streamed and having Canyon Real Talk in the Nest of Security. It was a perfect day.
On Monday, I made Gillian some salted caramel mocha cupcakes (because she is a brainwashed Starbucks barista and DEMANDED them). We went to the art museum and the dinosaur museum, because we needed both culture and science. We introduced my Mormon men to the beauty and seasonal perfection that is Hocus Pocus.
I don’t really have photos from Monday or Tuesday. We were too busy enjoying each other’s company and drinking coffee.
There is never enough sister time.
She forgot to say that I was also (and still am) upset that I can’t do anything about my poodle hair. Life is hard.
They were the best of times and they were the best of times. It’s not everywhere that there are people who make you feel at home.
A+, would go again. And also my sister is better than your sister.
My favorite part of your blog us how terrible your life is. Haha it sustains me. I guess it's because you're "an unfortunate millennial." You're probably a "rape" victim too.
My favorite part of this ask is how terrible your spelling and grammar are. Ha ha, and of course, that I can put it up and publicly address sexual health issues.
It’s one thing to call me an “unfortunate millennial,” when in actuality, I don’t find myself to be unfortunate at all. I find myself to be quite the opposite. The voice that I use to write this blog is an extreme caricature, one used in humor (even if only a small demographic find me humorous). If this blog isn’t your cup of tea, I suggest you’d be more welcome here.
Aside from trying to insult my blog (which I could care less about, people insult my blog all the time on the internet/to my face/at the dinner table), RAPE is never to be joked about. If you refer to something as “rape,” or “probably rape,” it makes me think that you (whomever sent in this message) are a “rapist,” or “probably a rapist.” And by “rapist,” I actually mean just a rapist. Like, as in, sexually violating others.
I take sexual health super seriously, as should most people, as it results in disease, or a worse disease: children. All jokes aside, rape is rape. No means no. Adequate protection is needed if you (my readership/or anyone for that matter) do not know the person that you are engaging in sexual intercourse with. Don’t just try to play it cool and casual because most guys huff and puff about condoms. If anyone ever gives you a hard time (no pun intended) about your sexual boundaries, then DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH THEM. If you are extremely intoxicated, or the other person is extremely intoxicated: DO NOT HAVE SEX. If someone does something to you that you feel is uncomfortable, or dangerous, tell them to stop or DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH THEM. You never should feel uncomfortable or violated. Ever. End of story.
And so what if I did happen to be a rape victim? Would that make me any less of a person? Would that make it okay to be degraded by anonymous people that are too scared to show their identity on the internet? The answer is NO. Every single person deserves respect and dignity, and if you feel the need to deprive people that right to feel better about yourself, then I really pity you because that is a horrible way to live.
So all-in-all, being an “unfortunate millennial rape victim" has taught me to be a better person, and not leave messages in the tumblr ask boxes of others, in-turn making them spiral off into rants about how to go about not violating the sexual rights of others. I think whomever sent in this ask should “re-evaluate" the way they treat their sexual partners, if they consider rape a term that needs quotation marks.
And remember kids, get tested regularly and spay and neuter your pets.
My lovely, thoughtful, intelligent friend on sexual health. I love this girl!
Things have been pretty good! I’ve been productive and I am feeling more and more confident with my “job”, so that’s comforting. I have big plans for the spring; I hope they work out! Rain barrel workshops, training people how to assess streams using biological and visual techniques, planning cleanups, creating a website for a watershed association (what? you know how to do that? LOLNOPE), maybe a rain garden or two, an EcoFair, etc. All of these prospects are super exciting to me, so I hope the ideas can translate into reality! I’ve been in touch with lots of people from lots of different organizations looking for partners in the community and such, so I am hopeful that as long as I am persistent and self-motivated, I can make some cool things happen around here!
Monday, all of the people in my AmeriCorps program participated in MLK Day of Service in Union Beach, NJ. We worked with Habitat for Humanity for the day- it was fun! My little sub-group painted a house, while others put up sheet rock, layed down flooring, and other things like that! Did anyone else serve on MLK Day??
I went to a school on Wednesday and presented to all of the students, K-8, in groups of 25ish at a time. Granted, the school was only about 125 students total, but it felt cool to reach an entire student body with some cool messages! I presented about the importance of looking at aquatic macroinvertebrates to assess the quality of our local waterways! We brought in live buggies to show the kids. They loved it! We also played a game that drove home certain points about the effects of pollution on macroinvertebrate populations and the implications that may have on us as water-users.
Today, I drove up to Camden to check out a Stormwater Management and Resource Training— that was super interesting! I learned about Camden’s issues with their antiquated Combined Sewage Overflow system, as well as things they are doing to minimize the amount of stormwater runoff as a means of preventing raw sewage from flooding homes and entering the river. (GROSS). Did you know that, through the construction of 20 rain gardens and several rain gardens, the City of Camden captures over 1.5 million gallons of stormwater every year?! That is a LOT of water. RAIN GARDENS, FOLKS. I also heard a lot about the different types of green infrastructure Syracuse, NY has implemented in order to minimize the amount of stormwater runoff. Very cool stuff!
Tomorrow and Saturday, I am attending the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education conference in Princeton. Then I have another conference in Princeton on Monday. I am a busy bee!
Also, on a personal note, I’ve gotten to spend a ton of time with Matthew recently :D Unfortunately, that has meant a lot of driving for me recently because I’ve spent that last few weekends up by him (simply due to group meeting/ events happening near him— Cumberland County, NJ is far away from everything that happens in our AmeriCorps program!), but it’s nice!! I feel lots of cheesy things. Also, I hate feeling like I’m overstaying my welcome at his house since he lives with his mother, but at the same time, it’s really nice to be around a family dynamic since I can’t easily see my family whenever I want. I like Matt’s mom a lot, and his house is starting to feel like a second home. As much of a pain I know my presence must be, his mom is always so gracious about letting me hang around, so I’m grateful.
PS, Matt gave me one of his extra laptops because mine is absolute doodie these days. Seriously though, my Mac is demented these days, so I’m so happy to have this perfectly functioning Dell at my disposal now. It works 100% of the time— what is this voodoo magic?! (I turned my Mac on the other day to check it out and it remained frozen for an hour before I got frustrated and turned it off. Thank goodness I have enough restraint not to throw it against something very hard. I just want to get photos and music off of it at this point!!) Anyway, thanks matt!
Furthermore, I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE MY FAVORITE GIRLIES IN MARCH!! I am legitimately so excited to be able to go to New Orleans and to spend time with my sisters from some other misters. I think that being given this opportunity has really lit a fire under me motivation-wise in my everyday life- the depression and loneliness that I’ve been feeling of late have waned and instead I definitely feel markedly happier in general. Just knowing that I’ll get to be in the presence of my platonic loves of my life and to experience the joys of my favorite city again soon… GOSH :D
I’ve rambled on enough for now. Today, life is nice. Minus the cold weather that I want to punch in the face, but HEY, we can’t win ‘em all.
If we were having a coffee date on this chilly summer day, I’d tell you:
I’m wearing long sleeves and long pants because holy moly, I’ve got goose bumps!
I just got back to Long Island last night (to stay for now!) and I’m content (for now!)
It’s nice to be around my family and my pup and to not have to worry so much about moneys.
I stood up for myself the other day and it felt really good.
I have a job interview next week in New Jersey (lolz), but the job is less than desirable, so I have mixed feelings about that.
I did find a really cool job opening in NY state (not toooooo too far from here), so I’m sending in my application tomorrow. It would be cool to get it.
Other than that, I’ll be applying to local part-time jobs in order to make some cash moneys, and starting to study for GREs/ looking into different grad school options.
My goal is to keep a positive attitude about this transition period and to be productive and proactive.
However, I’m worried that I won’t get to see Matt as easily/as often now that I’m in NY because of tolls, traffic, and out of sync schedules. I miss him a lot when we’re apart.
My mom just bought me some rainbow goldfish. Love her! It’s simple gestures like this that I missed while living in south Jersey on my own. I missed my humans!
I’m gonna go see my grandma soon because I missed her earlier today. I’ve got a birdhouse to give her that I bought at a festival in Jerz.
That’s enough for now. Life is good!