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Autumn Weather

 Autumn is my favorite season. And today's weather made me remember why.

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This morning, I got out of my Korean class much earlier than usual. Normally I have an hour to kill before my Oceanography class but getting out of Korean early gave me an extra half hour.

I sat down outside the hall my Korean class was held in where there are lots of trees. Dead, dried leaves were scattered everywhere and the persistent gusts were sending them around even more. This morning on the way to my Korean class, there were all sorts of things falling from the trees and piling up into the streets. I even witnessed an employee beginning his long task of scooping them all up with a rake.

I love feeling these gusts of wind kissing me. The chill it leaves on my skin, especially on my cheeks where it's the most exposed. My biggest affection for wind comes from feeling it through my hair. I love the way it feels. I love the way it looks. I love the way it reveals physical traces of a person that you don't normally get to see, beautiful, hidden traces like covered skin that's usually framed or colorful eyes normally veiled by bangs.

The temperature was pretty cold too, enough for me to feel it numbing my bones. Alot of it was due to the wind. But I was too busy enjoying the wind to care about how cold I was. Odd, since I get cold easily and get really bugged by it sometimes. But when it's the wind, this strong wind, it's easy to overlook.

Same thing with everything blowing around. There were leaves hitting me, dust blowing in my eyes, but I didn't care. The wind was too magical for me to care.

The sunlight was also just right. Cloudy with enough gold to brighten up the world and cast all sorts of tree shade on the ground. The kind of sunlight that you get when you wake up in the morning, shortly after sunrise, and lasts throughout the day, never getting any brighter or dimmer.

Right after my Korean class, pondering over how to kill all this time before my next class, I pulled out Eat, Pray, Love. I figured that's what I could do other than using up much needed laptop battery power for my next class. But I was barely paying attention to it, reading it much slower than usual when normally I'm fairly absorbed in it. The feeling of the wind was too distracting and interesting. When it blew through my hair, it was practically telling me "Hey! Pay attention to me!" So how did I kill all that time? I sat there and just enjoyed the weather, something I wish I did more often and wish people in general did more often.

This weather is how I kind of remember elementary school being like, a time of unadulterated fun and innocence. This nostalgia is just another reason I love this weather so much.

Also, I initially fell in love with autumn because of how it looked in media. But that's East Coast autumn, with similar weather that I described only much more colorful. Perhaps that's the reason I love reds and yellows and purples so much. Or maybe I like autumn so much because I like those colors. I don't know. When I looked around me today, I wasn't as disappointed at not having these colors. The shades of green were a comforting reminder of where I was. And the old architecture only added to it since old architecture, for some reason and perhaps in a disillusioned way, reminds me of the East Coast.

Perhaps the reason I really liked this school when I first visited is because I pictured myself doing what I did today: being amongst these kinds of scenery.

As I walked on to my next class, I could smell all these things in my hair, the distinct smell of autumn wind. The kind I wish I could bottle up and put in my hair everyday like they seem to do with ocean water, another scent I adore. I think I'll leave it in my hair for a little while longer, just to remember how uplifting and euphoric I felt just from this ideal weather of my favorite season.

Jealousy/Envy

 I’ve found myself being quite jealous/envious of my best friend lately.

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She’s got life going so great for her right now, despite her continuing constant struggle of trying to pay her bills. She’s got a great guy that she’s casually dating and seems to be falling for, and before she went on a casual date with three different guys. She’s got a job. She hangs out with people all the time now. She’s lost a lot of weight. She’s so optimistic about everything. She’s just so damn happy.

And although I’m really pretty good right now, when I look at myself in comparison to her, I falter. I’m jobless, perky but with much more cynicism and sarcasm, nearly a hermit, eating like a pig, and trying not to even think about the guy I’m still mourning over. I’m definitely not as optimistic as I used to be. I don’t feel fulfilled anymore.

When I remember how good my life used to be, when I see it in how happy she is, it makes me sad. We talk almost every day now and she’s smiling all the time, constantly talking about her guy especially. And I can’t help but cringe, wishing she would just stop talking about him. It rubs salt in the wound when I hear her talk about it. And I hate feeling that way. I want to just be happy for my best friend without this self-pity nonsense added to it.

At least I have a best friend who doesn’t get pissed off when I tell her these feelings. She just tells me that I need to be happy with what I have. And I wish I could be. I used to be, but that’s when I had what I wanted. But it all slipped from my hands and I guess I’m still crying over it (not literally at the moment).

I want to know that I will emerge from this a better person with better things ahead. I want to see it. But there is pain in my heart that’s keeping me from feeling that way.

My Lolo and Lola

I've been thinking about my Filipino grandparents a lot. And it has me thinking mainly about family and my Filipino heritage.

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So two main events triggered this.

The first: my roommate's grandfather passing away. She was devastated and although she seems to be passing the days quite normally (or at least saving face well), I know how much she misses him. Her grandfather means alot to her and she was really affected by his passing.

The other: My Filipino organization's recent general meeting, centered on our families and traits that they have and how they relate to Filipino history. For example with my family, things like not being able to speak Tagalog (and in my case, not even being able to understand Tagalog, as quite a few of my Filipino friends seem to be able to do) and learning about my grandfather's past racism relates to American colonization. Or how my Spanish last name is an example of Spanish colonization. There was also the discussion of how today, we are losing our culture and we need to find ways to preserve it.

I kind of wish I was closer to my grandparents. I mean, I know I'll feel very sad and upset when they pass on but I don't feel like I'm as close to them as my roommate is with her grandfather. I learn new things about my grandfather every time I visit family, it seems, things that I feel like I might've known had I spent more time with him. And my grandma, well, I was babysat by her for nine years but I was too busy eating food she cooked for me and having fun with my brother and cousin to really know her. But they, along with my paternal grandmother, are really my only grandparents. This is the grandma that I grew up with and have been closest to and this is the only grandpa I have/know. I know some people have multiple lolos or lolas or friends of lolos/lolas that you call 'Lolo/Lola' or grand-aunts or grand-uncles. But they are really my only grandparents and I'm going to feel that loss greatly when they pass. I just kind of wish I was closer to them so I could truly understand that loss that my roommate feels right now.

Also, my grandparents are the greatest link to my Filipino culture. My family has talked about this before. At family reunions, Grandma's Filipino food, the sound of my grandparents chatting in Tagalog, and (when they're on TV) Pacquiao fights are familiar, trademark settings. My grandma is the only one who knows how to cook all these Filipino dishes and it's the way she makes the food that we look forward to most. My grandparents are the only ones in our family who know how to speak Tagalog. Are these things going to just dissipate when they pass? My family can't imagine reunions without Grandma's Filipino food or not hearing Tagalog around their house anymore. It's a very scary reality that everyone in my family will have to face one day. I can't imagine how our family will be like afterwards except very, for lack of a better term, American. And losing this rich part of our family is something I don't want to happen.

So how to preserve this culture in my family? One that my family has already planned but still needs to be done is recording my grandma cooking. Having the recipes on paper isn't enough, especially because there's so much unique stuff she does from memory. I love the idea but I really want me and my family to get to it instead of constantly talking about it before it's too late. And I hope we can get all the dishes recorded. Another is that after that GM, I'm all the more inspired to learn Tagalog. I don't know when I'll get the opportunity but I want to learn. I'm learning from my roommate who's taking a class but she's a beginner at it too and until she becomes more advanced, there's not too much I can learn right now.

I want these things to continue in our family so that my grandparents and what they brought from the Philippines won't be lost.
 I have a list of topics that I wrote down to write about as the inspiration for each one came but I need to stop procrastinating.

Another Eat, Pray, Love inspired journal entry about the power of prayer and the ability to choose thoughts.

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One thing that I agree on is that you can't just keep praying. You eventually have to take some initiative yourself. Throwing yourself in helpless desperation before God isn't going to solve anything. You can't keep praying to win the lottery; eventually, you're going to have to go out and buy a lottery ticket instead of praying about it.

Destiny is the same way. Half of it you have no control over. I like the metaphor that Elizabeth Gilbert provides. All your life, you're balancing on two speeding horses. Under one foot is a horse called "fate" and under the other is "free will." Everyday, you ask yourself which one is which? Which one is the the one you need to stop worrying about and which one do you need to have more control over?

This is why I don't pray and pray and pray throughout the day. My prayers are reserved for the nighttime, before I go to sleep, when I'm done with activities for the day, and at times of great distress when I might need the power of prayer most. If I just pray, what gets done? I pray for strength. I pray for God to allow things to go my way. But I need to do my part to make them happen too.

Another concept that she brings up in this chapter (this is Ch. 58 by the way, in case you're curious...) is choosing thoughts. I was always sketchy about this concept until I read this chapter. I never thought you had the power to control your thoughts, therefore you don't have the power to choose them. The method that Liz Gilbert describes in this makes me question whether it should be called "choosing" thoughts.

This process is not about repression or denial of thoughts you may have, but of understanding where these negative thoughts came from and dismissing them with forgiveness. This has helped me a little better with not being sad. Yes, it's about Jeremy, how did you know? I love him. I miss him. God knows how much I do. I felt myself relapsing into thoughts about him yesterday and today and of course I felt sad. I need to bring my "choosing thoughts" powers up to speed. They were working really well before. It helped me not to dwell. I felt more of a presence of that voice I need in my head. When my heartbroken voice cries "I love him. I miss him. I'm so sorry. I want us to start over. God, if you see it fit, please bring us back together in the future," this voice that I've been needing is able to speak up so much more clearly and say "Okay. You miss him. You love him. You want to be with him. But honey, now is not the time to dwell over this." There's no pondering over it with things like "If he really loves you and wants to be with you, he'll come back" or "You don't even know if he cares about you anymore." It's a point-blank "Move on." And it's helped me, more than I realized, to be happier.

I'm annoyed to the point of anger today.

 So let me vent it out.

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First thing. Naomi’s tweets that are forwarded to my phone. Normally I get a few from her a day and they’re always about Heechul. But this weekend, they were fucking INCESSANT. I checked my phone on the bus as the it was taking us to the stadium for us to march into our game against Berkeley and I have 126 new messages. ALL from Naomi’s Twitter. ALL about Heechul. It was ridiculous. And then on the bus back home, I checked my phone and found 63 more messages waiting for me. Naomi just tells me to quit getting her tweets forwarded to my phone (which I did) but she is my friend and sometimes I do get real life updates. But now I’m just annoyed. She has a life beyond Heechul and she knows that, she’s got a good head on her shoulders, but this weekend was unnecessary.

Second thing. People bashing religions. Normally I see this all the time and just blow it off but I think the Twitter thing has put me in an especially hot-tempered mood today. Particularly, non-Christians/Atheists/Agnostics bashing Christians. I have friends who openly say they love God on FB/Twitter. But when I see their supposedly open, non-believing friends saying shit like “God is like Santa Clause for adults” or “I don’t believe in that. Shut up” it pisses me off. You’re allowed to believe what you want and express yourself. Bottling stuff up isn’t good for you and expression is essential not only for humans but for life in general. Expression keeps us from building up unhealthy walls and meltdowns and for sharing emotions and moments with others. But if you’re truly open, you don’t have to say anything or you can appreciate that they’re feeling especially loving towards God at the time and feel glad for them. If it particularly bothers you, you can DISCUSS it, not have a bloody war about whether God exists or not. When you bash them like that when they weren’t even doing anything directly to you, you’re just attacking them and before you know it, you’re the bad guy. It’s unnecessary. Just do the exact same thing they do and post how much you love not having a God or like the “Atheist” page on FB or something. The Christians are probably not gonna like it, but most of the time, they don’t seem to say anything about it like the non-believers seem to.

I love my closest friends because they don’t harbor judgment for those kinds of things. We’re all very accepting of each other, regardless of our beliefs. Another reason why this is annoying me is because in this depression I’m having, faith is one thing that’s getting me through it. I’m not reading the Bible everyday or going to church or whatever, but I’m praying a lot. And I’d rather have friends who are supportive of me for doing that and being glad that it’s helping me become happier instead of saying “Why the hell are you doing that shit? It’s pointless.” It’s just another thing that makes me feel a little unsafe for being myself and I’m sick of that bullshit after seven years. I’m on my way to being a stronger person and point-blank, if you’re going to bash me for bettering myself even if it’s through means that just piss you off that much, then fuck you.

Eat, Pray, Love: Yogis

 “Different schools of thought over the centuries have found different explanations for man’s apparently inherently flawed state…The Yogis, however, say that human discontentment is a simple case of mistaken identity. We’re miserable because we think that we are mere individuals, alone with our fears and flaws and resentments and mortality.

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We wrongly believe that our limited little egos constitute our whole entire nature. We have failed to recognize our deeper divine character. We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme Self who is eternally at peace. That supreme Self is our true identity, universal and divine. Before you realize this truth, say the Yogis, you will be in despair…Yoga is about self-mastery and the defecated effort to haul your attention away from your endless brooding over the past and your nonstop worrying about the future so that you can seek, instead, a place of eternal presence from which you may regard yourself and your surroundings with poise” (122).

I remember when I told my best friend that I felt broken, that I didn’t operate like a “normal” person, that I was frustrated that I didn’t seem as happy or confident or determined as the people around me, she told me that everyone’s just as broken as I am. We’re all doing the same thing: just moving on and trying to make it a day at a time. I talked with a peer counselor today also and he asked me what I think someone would think of me if they were to see me for the first time. I honestly wasn’t sure, except for that I’d be someone in the background and didn’t talk much since that’s what I’ve typically been seen as. But he said if he were to have seen me for the first time, he’d see me as a happy, smiley girl. Yet I told him all these things about my raging depression, stuff about this happy, smiley girl that he wouldn’t have known about had I not told him. And this divine self part, I’m not exactly sure what to make of it. But in contradiction to the immature parts I feel sometimes, I’ve felt my wise soul many times, a soul that is wise, beautiful, with great peace and faith in the world and her place in it. I like to believe that these are my true colors. When I feel this soul, I feel empowered and happy and simply okay. Even though I’m scared and depressed these days, I want people to focus on this side of me. I want true friends of mine to focus on this side of me and not make this depression what I’m all about just because I write to relieve it. Overall, this part of Eat, Pray, Love adds to the reminder that I’m not the only one who’s broken and that I’m not the only one struggling. And the idea that perhaps I should start practicing Yoga :P

There’ve been quite a few parts of Eat, Pray, Love that I really like. I don’t feel like posting them all in a bulk post so maybe I’ll do one daily or something :)

Eat, Pray, Love

 Well, this was only gonna be a little thing, as short as a Tweet, but hell, I'll write more than I intended.

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I'd do the 30 day challenge that Cory and Joey are doing on Tumblr, but I'm afraid for me it'll only bring up sad feelings. I'm at a point where I'm trying to avoid, maybe even deny, anything that gets me down, even though Jeremy coming across my mind doesn't seem to stop no matter what. I don't have any more strength to confront them. I'm not as sad anymore because of it but I still found myself tearing up today. And I bet that only means I'm going to explode into tears when I make that first appointment with the psychologist this week. Great.

I keep imagining my life in three different ways: if Jeremy comes back and decides to give us another chance and spending my life with him, meeting someone new and seeing where the adventure takes us, or just being alone for the rest of my life like I am now. I don't really feel like going into details but in each of these ways, I end up smiling but also in tears at what I'll gain and what I'll lose.

Mid-paragraph, I was thinking that being able to use Jeremy's name openly like this now is probably a good thing. I know when Nick left me being able to say his name was too hurtful for me. It took me a long time to go from not speaking his name at all to calling him Senor Douchebag to actually referring to him by his name. To this day, some of my friends are surprised that I'm able to refer to Nick by his name.

So right now, I'm reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I feel slightly sad reading it, which is what I'm trying to avoid, but at the same time the book is comforting to me. I feel like as I'm on a journey with her, like what I'm doing is paralleling what I'm reading. Feeling hopeless, crying, praying in her own style, feeling comfort and pleasure in simple things, and, today in particular, eating without a care in the world (even though I'm not in Italy like she is in this part of the book).

Also, yesterday was sort of a heavy day. I ended up lashing out at Aime for always flaking out on me and for some grudges I held against her that ended up hurting both me and Jeremy while we were together. She ended up crying. I didn't know what to do. She said she'll try harder and asked me to be patient with her. I ended up in tears though too. My rant at her happened while we ate brunch in the dining hall. We walked to my class and sat in the shade of a tree in the afternoon. I broke down in front of her eventually, overcome with the absence of Jeremy, wondering if he was trying to erase me from his life, hoping that he's doing what I'm doing (not talking to him unless he talks to me first, because it hurts too much, and reducing talking so we can strengthen ourselves before coming together stronger). I kept simply saying, "I miss Jeremy. I miss him so much. I wish he was still here. We barely talk these days." Wishing that we could just start over without worrying so much about what issues we have as people, wishing he still cared, wishing that he'd want to just press 'reset' too, wishing that he believed like I did about us being able to work it out and mature together, wishing he had as much hope and motivation as I did. I broke down so much in front of her, in public, in front of other students waiting for our Oceanography lecture. I really do miss him alot. And I hadn't been able to express that to anyone. And I'm honestly too...the only word I can come up with is 'afraid' but that doesn't express what I'm trying to say right...to say it to him. It wouldn't change anything. It wouldn't convince him to come back.

I cried in Aime's arms, something that I want often and something my friends often offer, but they're never there when I need to cry it out. And I've found myself building a wall, too afraid to cry or express these depressing feelings to people, maybe partially because I'm either given judgment or advice when all I want is to skip to the part where they tell me "It's gonna be okay" or "I'm here for you" or "Everything will work out" or just do something to cheer me up. Judgment just makes me feel bad about being myself and advice sometimes bothers me more if it's something I might not want to do. I just want to know that someone has me in their prayers and someone loves me. I hope some of you are keeping me in your thoughts/prayers because I'm in a weak state right now, too weak to muster up all the strength to stand up on my own. I hope you can oblige me by channeling some energy, love, and hope in my direction.

Then Aime did something no one had ever done for me: she prayed for me right then and there. She had never even done it herself but she took my hands and we bent our heads and, with both of our sobs growing, she asked God to watch over me and guide me and dispel any grief I'm carrying in this harsh time. I thought it was the sweetest thing she'd ever done for me and I hope He's still watching over me. I'm not religious necessarily, but I am spiritual and hope someone's watching over me and leading me to a good place.

I was gonna write more but now I just don't know what I wanna talk about anymore.
I kinda wish I had read this book before the break up. Otherwise, maybe, just maybe, we could still be together.

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I really liked this book and the author claims it has saved many people's relationships. I think it would've helped alot and although I hate feeling regret, I feel twinges of it thinking that if both he and I had read it, we wouldn't have had such fights. Or we would've at least been able to deal with them better and treat each other more lovingly and respectfully whenever there was a problem.

On my part, I wish I could've been more direct with him in asking for support. I also wish I had not freaked out so much when he seemed distant. I wish I had just left him alone. I accepted him and I wish I could've shown it better, how much I accepted him and loved him and appreciated him. Although I felt liked I loved him to the best of my ability, maybe it really wasn't enough.

On his part, I wish he wouldn't have invalidated my feelings so much, always saying things like "What the hell? We just spent all day yesterday together" or "You shouldn't feel that way" or "I didn't feel like it was important." By the end of it, and what I feel it has come to, is that all he can think about now is himself. I felt like over time, he began to not care what was important to me. Even now, although he's the one who requested to come up to LA to help me move in the first place, he's backed out because it's not important to him. It doesn't even matter to him that it's important to me.

I also wish he had understood that love changes. The last chapter and talking about how love is seasonal kind of got to me. The book says that spring is when love is passionate and innocent and everything seems perfect and forever. But when it hits summer, it's much harder to keep it up. I feel like this summer (even literally, considering we broke up this summer) was too much for him. The minute passion was gone, he got scared and ran. And he still doesn't think he took me for granted which hurts me. Although is mindset changed three days later, he believed at one point after we broke up that we could actually mature together. But he's lost it. He dropped me and now, although I've gotten myself back up for the most part, my knees are still a bit wobbly. And a part of me still hopes he will mature and come to his sense and come after me. At this point, I feel that motivation and keeping that motivation (which is sometimes his problem) would be enough for me to take another chance on him.

I'm glad to say that for the most part, I've moved on. Although I still love him, I'm quite honestly fed up with him and his attitude and his behavior, crying over him. If he wants me in the future, he'll come get me. He already knows that I would love to be with him. He's the one who dropped me. If he wants me, he needs extend his hand. But now, I'm already hopeful for another guy, one who will treat me sweetly, hopefully have many of the same interests as me, who won't take me for granted,l and will accept my flaws and grow with me. I don't know how many more gentlemen exist nowadays (I'm a bit doubtful), but I hope I find one.

My uncle and aunt today blatantly asked what happened between us. When I was reluctant to answer, they rephrased the question: "Your choice or his choice?" And I said it was his. And I'm glad they were so supportive of me, even though we don't talk much except for family gatherings. That I'm young, boys are stupid, and I'll find someone better, whether that be a "better" guy altogether or a "better," wiser him.

And then my mom asked me if I was still hurting over him. I told her I had been hurting over him since the day he left. The only difference now is that I'm ready to move on and the tears I cry now aren't tears of sadness, regret, or despair. They're of anger and frustration that he can't see past himself, that he won't accept other people, that he stopped accepting me. I trusted him to show him my weak side, the part of me that's insecure. He made me feel safe to show him that side of me that I'm reluctant to show other people. And in the end, all he did was judge it and made me feel broken and wrong for being myself. He made me feel more insecure instead of making me feel stronger like he did before. He stopped accepting me. He told me what I wanted to hear so he didn't have to deal with drama. He kept secrets from me even though HE'S the one who wanted communication and honesty. He became hypocritical of that request. In the end, all he sees is that I'm insecure and that he thought I was gonna commit suicide when we broke up, which is why he was afraid to break up with me. I trusted him to see that I was stronger than that. And how arrogant of him to think that he's important enough for me to commit suicide over. How dare he disrespect me like that. The boy has growing up to do. And he could do it if he'd just accept other people and stop shutting himself in and being lazy and not taking chances.

I deserve someone who I won't have to write something like that about. And I hope he grows up into that person. But if not, there's someone who's much more amazing for me out there. Right now, I can't imagine someone more amazing than him, someone who I have such amazing chemistry with and interests and goals. But maybe God will surprise me.

I'm dreaming of my "perfect" guy but right now, I'm in no shape to be with anyone. So I've decided to talk to a psychologist when I go back to school. I get 8-10 sessions for free which is nice because it comes with my student health insurance. I hope I can get something out of it. I want to start actively boosting my self-esteem. I think I've gotten over this dilemma about him well enough. It'd just be nice to hear some professional ideas about it, some outside views.

Keep me in your prayers. I'm going to need it.

Vlog -- Object Sentiments



A vlog I posted today.

It's like "Toy Story 3" but with laptops.

So I have this little dresser that I use as a nightstand that I keep next to my futon and put my laptop on. With my now “old” laptop, I would set it carefully and make enough room for the two little speakers that I have to keep attached in order to get any audio from the laptop. And after transferring everything to my new laptop today, I felt guilty leaving my old laptop in the living room while I took its replacement to my room. I felt like, pardon the weird analogy, a mom who was carrying her baby to her room while the older sibling stared on in hurt that he wasn’t getting any attention from his mom anymore. I felt so guilty about putting this laptop on my desk when it seemed to be the selected spot for my old one.

I remember when I was younger too and we had this gold colored car that I used to love riding in. When my parents announced that we were gonna get rid of it and get a Honda Accord instead, I was kind of devastated. I think I probably asked them why we were getting rid of it. I was so used to riding in it and I really loved that car. I probably hugged it and said goodbye to it to.

It seems I have an attachment problem with objects as well as loves. That’s not emo.

Blah, this really does sound more emo than I meant for it to be. Really I was just kinda like “Awwwwww, I don’t want my old laptop to feel bad! I still love it!”

Lauren has always poked fun at me for my feelings for inanimate objects. For example, I was playing Clue with her and Sam one time and I said, “I think the crime happened in [insert room here] by [insert person’s name here] using the rope!” And I slammed the rope piece down on the board in the corresponding room and quickly apologized to it. Lauren laughed and said, “Why are you apologizing to the rope???”

I don’t know if it makes me weird or not, lol.