One more time, with feeling!

Tis’ here will be a quick recap of my final year of college.

So much has happened since I moved away from my tiny city, to one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the United States.

Q: What prompted the “big” move?
A: I wanted to explore a different environment than the one I had been living in for the past 20 years of my life.

Q: What’s the real reason?
A: Concerts.

The latter answer to the question seems fairly selfish and maybe even stupid of a reason to leave everything you ever knew behind and move some 500 miles away to be alone. But by the honesty that I vowed to always have in these little blogs of mine here, I am not lying when I say that concerts where one of the three reasons why I decided to move to Dallas, TX, specifically.

Back home, in Laredo, TX, the artists that every play at our “Energy Arena” are Spanish artists. I’m okay with this, you know, whatever. 99.65% of the Laredo population is Hispanic and speak Spanish, so I guess that’s…good? Anyway, anytime any “American” artists try to get a show going, either 1.) They don’t end up selling enough tickets, so they end up playing to only half of a small “Energy Arena” or 2.) They don’t end up selling enough tickets, so they cancel the show altogether. Which sucks! Because clearly, if other artists see this, then they never come to us.

I love music.
I dance to it.
I sing to it.
I shower to it.
I fall asleep to it.
It’s simply the best. And if moving to a big city because I got accepted to a university here meant getting the chance to go to as many shows as I want, then by all means, let that be a reason.

~~~

Throughout my college years,  I was never the person to go out and party. I mean, if you count birthday parties, then yes. But in a way, that was a good thing? I know there are people that say that they can party and still be wide awake for their 8  AM the next day. Fully alert. No interruptions. Yeah, right. Who are you? You’re not real if that’s you!
The reason I say that I feel not being that person who sees college time as a time to let your inhibitions run wild is because I’m my mother, in a way. I believe that education comes first and that temptations should not derail you and plumb your GPA? Or maybe, I just never had the chance to do it all during my first two years when I was still at home where I was under my father’s surveillance and a curfew. I turned out okay, I guess? I did good my first two years back home. I had to deal with seeing the same people I had seen all my life for those two years. That was definitely a motivation to get out of that cycle that everyone from my graduating class had fallen into. But after those two years,  I was out.

The move to the Dallas-Fort Worth area was big. I didn’t really say much to anybody but my family about the decision to leave because I feel that if you’re going to be doing something, just do it. Don’t brag until you’ve accomplished something. Something that you’re proud of telling others about.
My first year here was scary. Lonely. Intense. Nothing really works out to your favor if you don’t have a method of transportation to all the cool spots. But then again, you can make things turn out the way you want them to if you’re willing to get on a Greyhound bus to get from here to there and back. By move out day of Spring 2015, I was ready to go back home. I had fun, but  I was ready to go back to where I came from, for a while at least.
I had initiated a friendship with a boy and we made plans to meet sometime when I got back to the DFW area. I would finally be a senior. And this time, I was going to take my car with me so I could get around, and maybe even get a job.
I was excited for what was to come the following Fall.

~~~~~~~

THE BEGINNING OF THE END:
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS CLASS OF 2016!

My year started off with a BANG! I changed my major to English with a concentration in Creative Writing. That gave me a chance to finally have a good excuse to write and read all the time. My adviser let me know that I had taken enough History classes to become a Social Science minor, so there I went, adding even more classes on to my already heavy schedule.
I finally went to down town Dallas. Visited the JFK museum and blew 300 dollars in just JFK memorabilia. Be careful if you ever go there. By the end of the tour at the famous book depository, you realize that JFK is you favorite president and that no one has come close to what he had to deal with in the 60’s. I visited the Arboretum on a very hot day. Always, always choose your outfits wisely when you’re going to visit a fucking jungle.
I went to my first senior year concert: Passion Pit at the House of Blues Dallas. And that same night I met the boy  I had been talking with for five months now.
I got my first job in the city for a very fancy hotel. And with a job now came the responsibility of having to balance work life and school life, as well as trying to squeeze in a little bit of social life.
One of the great things about getting a job where you immediately feel at home is that everyone is opened to hanging out with you outside of work. I quickly became friends with all these people that just a month before were complete strangers to me. Not even that! I was not even aware of their existence! One of my favorite things to do on weekends (or sometimes weekdays, depends on how bad of a day it really was) was going over to “FRY STREET.” This is a section just outside of the school property where the English building is that is all restaurants and bars. Yes. Perfect! I thought when I first got here. Of course, my first year here  I wouldn’t really go there with the fear of being seen my someone and having that someone think that I was an alcoholic. Well, by senior year, I really didn’t give a shit, so on a casual Wednesday or Friday or Saturday or Sunday, you would find me at Cool Beans. Cool Beans is one of the smaller bars along Fry Street. After I had my three drink and felt like it was time to go home, I would walk across over to Jimmy John’s, buy my Turkey Tom and stumble all the way back to my dorm. All this alone.
Having all these new acquaintances to have drinks and conversations with now, there were no more lonely nights of walking over to my dorm while chugging down an entire club sandwich wishing it wasn’t the next day.The bar scene that I had never experienced before arriving to the DFW area, was now a fun one.
New people. Good people. Special people.

November brought forth one of the hardest times in my life. My grandmother suddenly got sick and passed away on the Friday the 13th of the month. It was too sudden. And it happened without me being there during her last days. The amount of guilt that raged inside of me cannot be measured. It was too much and still weighs heavy on me when I think of it. I began to really think why it was that I decided to leave my family and come all the way here to be alone, making it difficult to run home whenever it was needed. 500 miles seemed like 1,000.
Christmas time came around and I had never appreciated the chance to be with my family more than I did the week I went home.
And then the count down began: Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One…….HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I really do not like when people say, “New Year, New me!”
Like, no. New year, same you. Only, if by “New Me” you mean a better version of you, then do it every day. Try to be a better person that you were the day before. Don’t just start at the beginning of 365 days.

It was finally the beginning of my final semester as a college student. I woke up the morning of the first day of my last semester and I realized that it would be the last time that I would get that nervous feeling. The feeling of walking into a classroom and not knowing who your classmates would be. The feeling of having the chance to start over and take better notes and sit closer to the front of the class and finally ask questions that everyone else was also thinking.
More shows. Fun shows. Different shows.
My class schedule is composed of two English classes, one History and two political science courses. It’s crazy reading about completely different things and having to write about completely different things. It gets hard sometimes to actually have sometime for myself to do things that are considered a luxury in the life of a college student like, taking myself out for a movie or dinner, or shows, now with how tight my time is compressed. I always knew that it would happen. That there would come a time in my now busy life when I would have to choose to either read and do homework that is not due for another week, but that must be done ahead of time, or go out and socialize. A time when I have to choose sleep after a long day of school and work, back to back, or homework. It gets tough. But here I am. Using some spare time that I have from my final Spring Break to write about stuff that has been going on since I last wrote back in September.

Sometimes it’s nice to stand against a wall and take a look at all the things that I have been able to do since my big move to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It’s also heartbreaking to know that I missed out on some great times with my doggy, Duke, before he passed away a year ago. The times that I could have gone over to my grandma’s house and hugged her and have a last conversation with her before she left from this world.
My cap and gown sit in my closest, ready to be used when the time comes. I walk over to it sometimes, and I know this may sound pathetic, but I like to wear it and pretend that the day is here. But really, the day is near.
It’s Saturday, March 19th, 2016. I only have a month and some weeks left here, in the comfort of my dorm, walking distance from campus. A campus with a cool bar street right on the outskirts of it. Where I get to have drinks with friends when I have time. The time is near.

Graduation day is Saturday, May 14th, 2016.
I’ll see you after I walk the line.

 

END.

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Senior year shows I have attended so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

Damn it.

I didn’t get to write as often as I wish I would have this summer.
Quick recap of everything that happened:

People get really excited for about five minutes when they haven’t seen you in a while. They want to get in on the hype of “OMG she’s coming home after so long! yay!”….after the five minutes of excitement are over, they just forget about you.
When you’ve been away from home for the first time, and in a long time, going back home you want to try and enjoy and appreciate your hometown because you know that no other place is like it. In my 20 years of living there, I had never noticed just how beautiful my city really is. Yes, there are parts of it that still need improvement, but its growing into a pretty little thing.
Then you meet people that, out of nowhere, turn your life around. In a small but significant amount of time they change everything up. And just as it begins, its over. But for some reason, you get to smile at everything that happened, and you bit it farewell.
Summer jobs come and give you something to do. They also force you to interact with people…so that’s always FUN! (level of sarcasm: 8/10)
Summer school to get ahead of your school game. It also serves as a good excuse to get out of awkward gatherings. Seriously! I got to say, “Sorry guys! Gotta run! This homework won’t get done by itself…see ya!”

So you didn’t miss out on much. You’re good.

Its 11:17 postmeridian.
AND it is the night before my last year as an undergraduate college student! WHOOO!

I know, I know!
“Happy about almost finishing? Wait till you get out there in the real world! It’s gonna be tough finding a job right away! You have to pay back the monies you borrowed!” Blah Blah Blah. I know!
But look, this is a real exciting thing for me because there is so much that is going into me graduating from college.
As the first child of an American Dream, there has always been this pressure in the air about what would be of me. I had to set the example to my siblings and be the beckon of light for my parents and their hopes.
Graduating from college is a big deal to me. I’m proving to myself that if I set my mind to anything, regardless of the many obstacles that may have once laid in my path, that I can fucking do it. I don’t plan on stopping. I want to keep on going. I want more!
But let us get through this final year of undergrad first. So here we go!!!!!!

Pictured below is my not-so-fancy view of my campus. But look at that sunset and the way that through the gray clouds, shines on and makes the evening sky look majestic.

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Go to bed!

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with listing my favorite things. I kept an index card with all my favorite foods folded in my wallet, just in case anyone asked me what they were. Then people walked away, I imagined they’d say: “Whoa, Gaby is so cool and self-actualized. Pizza is her favorite food, and she was able to tell me right away.” I was prepared for all kinds of potential fun situations when I was a kid. I kept a bathing suit in my backpack in case I went anywhere where there was a swimming pool. I grew up in a town that has only 4 public pools for the community, but still, I planned excessively.

When I started getting into comedy, my listing became even more important, because I thought having my favorite comedy moments on file said so much about me. I thought it’d be fun to share my favorites.
This list is pretty mainstream, so other comedy nerds will be made I didn’t include alternative comedy stuff or 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s stuff. That’s yet to come! This list also doesn’t include stand-up, because that would be its own can of excellent worms. I know there are probably glaring omissions. Come on guys, I’m not a professional list maker. Just be cool.

1. Will Ferrell Shouting from the Phone Booth in Anchorman

Anchorman is a strange little miracle of a movie, with some historic comedy film significance, too. It put together an all-star team of comedy actors that includes Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and David Koechner. No other pairings of these guys would ever be as funny as this. I’m sure I’ll go see and really love, Uncle Retreat or whatever movie comes next, but it won’t make my mouth drop like Anchorman did.

When Ron Burgundy- amazing names in this movie, by the way- believes his dog has been killed by an angry motorist (Jack Black, used perfectly), he is so overcome with grief, he can’t do the news that night. He calls from a phone booth, in one of the funniest, most theatrical displays of grief I’ve ever seen. It’s like grief with a capital G.

There’s a heightened style of acting that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay employ in their movies that is incredibly difficult to pull off. If done poorly, heightened comedy acting can seem like you’re watching an inadvertently campy kids’ production of 12 Angry Men. But it is Will Ferrell’s sweet spot. He has made a career of making unlikely things not only totally work but also be the funniest things I’ve ever seen. (I’m of course referring to the movie Elf, whose premise reads like the ramblings of an insane little kid drunk off Christmas egg nog.)

2. Liz Lemon Crying Out of Her Mouth on 30 Rock

Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy Convinced Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon to get eye surgery on she’ll be more TV-friendly for her new talk show. Unfortunately (and fortunately) the surgery makes her cry out of her mouth. I believe this joke is a perfect joke. Funny in theory and thinking, and even funnier in Tina’s execution. Plus it is hilariously visual. I’m jealous of whoever wrote this.

3. Chris Farley as Matt Foley

The best parts of the great book Live from New York, by Tom Shales, are when performers like Chris Rock, David Spade, and Adam Sandler talk about Chris Farley. They speak of their friend in the most reverential ways. Chris Rock says that when anyone ever asked him who was the funniest of the group there, it was always, always Chris Farley. I totally get it.

Matt Foley, the motivational speaker, is probably my favorite recurring Saturday Night Live character, ever. The level of commitment from Chris Farley is astounding, almost disturbing. The famous one, when he picks up David Spade like king kong, and then later falls and smashes a coffee table, is one of the deliriously funny things I’ve ever seen in my life.

4. Amy Poehler as Kaitlin

In just the past ten years or so, Amy Poehler has produced a life time’s worth of awe-inspiring performances. Her hyperactive eleven-year-old Kaitlin is my favorite. There’s an innocence to the performance that is such a surprise. Kaitlin’s adventures with her subdued, kind, put-upon stepdad, Rick- played with the perfect amount of listlessness by Horatio Sanz- make me laugh but also make me want to take care of Kaitlin. One of my greatest pet peeves is women who infantilize themselves in real life, but I have a special place in my heart for women who can play little girls convincingly. Amy, all awesome, all woman, kicks ass as a little girl.

5. The Racial Draft on Chappelle’s Show

If you watch this sketch, you can’t believe it actually aired on television. The sketch portrayed all the races as professional teams, picking celebrities from a draft pool of all races to form the strongest race. Chappelle’s Show did consistently edgy sketches that pushed the envelope with political and racial comedy but was so funny that it never got in trouble.

6. Paul Rudd in Wet Hot American Summer

Paul Rudd plays the funniest dick boyfriend of all time in this movie. The scene in which he refuses to pick up a tray is the moment when Paul Rudd transformed in my eyes from handsome comedy in a handsome guy’s body. His past performances as nice guy in Clueless and Romeo + Juliet make this turn especially unexpected and fun.

7. Ricky Gervais as David Brent

Only people who have seen the British Office will remember the moment when David Brent says, “I think there’s been a rape up there” in a sensitivity training seminar he is holding. With the character of David Brent, Ricky Gervais guaranteed that he would live in the pantheon forever, even if he did years of terrible, mediocre stuff. (I’m not saying he will, but he could if he wanted.) He’s like Woody Allen, and the original The Office is his Annie Hall.

8a. Frank the Tank Getting Shot in the Neck with a Tranquilizer in Old School

Sorry, so much Will Ferrell. I just love this guy so much. This series of moments is a masterpiece of editing and excellent blocking choices by Todd Phillips. Here’s the sequence: Frank the Tank gets hit in the neck with an animal tranquilizer meant for a petting zoo animal. Groggy and heavily drugged, he meanders around a yard, knocking over a child’s elaborate birthday cake He then immediately falls into a pool- and while he’s under-water, the movie is scored to the somber and dulcet Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence,” in homage to The Graduate. It’s just a dense brownie of sweet comedy.

8b. Tied with Will Ferrell stabbing his own thigh with a knife to prove he’s paralyzed in Talladega Nights

Just amazing.

9. Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids

Sometimes you watch something so funny you realize after the moment is over that you’ve stopped breathing. You’re actually breathless. That’s how I felt the first time I saw Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids, in the scene where she first meets Kristen Wiig’s character and tells her she hasn’t been doing so well because she “fell off a cruise ship,” and then “hit every rail down,” and finally “has several metal pins in her leg” from the experience. You don’t often hear the words captivating and gross used to describe the same character in a movie, but Melissa McCarthy managed to evoke both in the very best ways. I could not keep my eyes off her.

10. Michael Scott Hitting Meredith with His Car on The Office

There are many moments in the history of the The Office that I appreciate for the level of wittiness and writing style. However, one moment stands out. I believe the top, single funniest moment is when Michael Scott hits Meredith Palmer with his car, just as he’s talking about how much he loves his employees. I have seen some amazingly funny acting on the show, but when Michael Scott screams as Meredith’s lifeless body hits his windshield, I just don’t think anything that has been done is as purely funny as that. I think tribesmen in a remote jungle in the Congo would find this moment funny.

Battle station. Doing my research. Telling it slant. Eating good greens.
An example of my battle station. Doing my research. Coming up with lists. Telling it slant. Eating good greens.

Away

Tomorrow will be three years since I graduated from high school.

Older folks laugh at me saying that three years is nothing in the scheme of life. My life as a public school, 8 am to 3 pm, quiet, shy, introverted, student is far behind me as summer camp.

Moving away from my hometown, was both a feeling of both freedom and independence, but it was also a feeling of wanting to stay behind, and take the easy way out of the life that still lays ahead of me.

He looks at me blankly. There’s just me, him. Us.
The next morning I leave at 8:00 am. Driving through town, I see my memories plainly.  There I am in the cafeteria, not satisfied with the small, designated portions of food served on my Styrofoam plate, asking for seconds. There I am during gym class, afraid of being picked last because of my physical appearance, and those big, faded pink glasses that dominate my face. There I am falling in love by the bike rack. There I am slowly realizing that my bike has gone missing from that same rack, stolen while I stayed behind in class, helping the teacher put up the classroom chairs. There I am calling my father from the steps of the library. There I am, half listening to my speech teacher when she tells me I need to start attending class more regularly, and disregard the fear I have for public speaking.

If I had known how much I would miss these sensations I might have experienced them differently, recognized their shabby glamour, respected the ticking clock that defined the entire experience. I would have put aside my resentment, dropped my defenses. I might have a basic understanding of European history or economics. More abstractly, I might feel I had truly been somewhere, open and porous and hungry to learn regardless of everything. Because being a student is an enviable identity and one I can only reclaim by attending community college late in life for a bookmaking class or something.
I’ve always had a talent for recognizing when I am in a moment worth being nostalgic for. When I was little, my mother would come home from work, her hair cool from the wind, her perfume almost gone, her lips faded red, and she would coo at me: “You’re still awake! Hiii.” And I’d think how beautiful she was and how I always wanted to remember her stepping out of the elevator in her pea-green wool coat, 27 years old, just like that. Sixteen, lying on the dock at night with my camp boyfriend, taking tiny sips from the bottle of beer. But high school was so essentially repulsive to me, so characterized by a desire to be done.

I didn’t drink in the essence of the classroom. I didn’t take legible notes or dance all night. I thought I would marry my boyfriend and grow old and sick of him. I thought I would keep my friends, and we’d make different, new memories. None of that happened. Better things happened.

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Evenflow

A while back I stumbled upon a list titled: “55 Movies To Watch Before You’re 30”
Now, I found some of these movie to be meant for the female audience, BUT I want to believe that the reason these were chosen to be listed is because of where they stand in cinematic history, how good they make you feel after you have watched them, or because of what they make you reflect about your own life.

Movies are the best! So here ya go…

  1. Casablanca
  2. Some Like It Hot
  3. Breathless
  4. Psycho
  5. The Graduate
  6. Midnight Cowboy
  7. A Clockwork Orange
  8. The Godfather
  9. Chinatown
  10. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  11. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  12. Taxi Driver
  13. Annie Hall
  14. National Lampoon’s Animal House
  15. Apocalypse Now
  16. E.T: The Extraterrestrial
  17. This is spinal Tap
  18. Back to the Future
  19. The Breakfast Club
  20. The Goonies
  21. Blue Velvet
  22. Stand by me
  23. Heather’s
  24. Coming To America
  25. Beaches
  26. When Harry met Sally
  27. Edward Scissorhands
  28. Goodfellas
  29. Reservior Dogs
  30. Leon: The Professional
  31. The Shawshank Redemption
  32. Pulpfiction
  33. Reality Bites
  34. The Usual Suspects
  35. Kids (1995)
  36. Clueless
  37. Walking and Talking
  38. Swjingers
  39. Goodwill Hunting
  40. Rushmore
  41. The Truman Show
  42. American Beauty
  43. 10 Things I hate about you
  44. Requiem for A Dream
  45. Lost In Translation
  46. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  47. The Departed
  48. Inception
  49. Melancholia
  50. The Artist
  51. Bachelorette
  52. Moonrise Kingdom
  53. Frances Ha
  54. Silver Linings Playbook
  55. HER
My wrinkled paper.
My wrinkled paper.

Meow

Now that I’ve got your attention by naming this very first post after the sound the domestic feline makes, HELLO! And welcome to my first WordPress blog ever! Today is Thursday May 7, 2015. It is 10:38 am. I am feeling a little under the weather, but that did not stop me from being inspired to write to a wider audience today. I have other blogs floating around in the internet, but those were more about ranting about stuff. This will be the first time I ever write to and for the people out there.

Many people might not know anything about the person writing this, so let me tell you a little about the girl behind the keyboard.

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About the author:

Gabriela “Gaby” or “Gabby” or “Gabie”….Galvan* is a 21 year old TEXAS college student, sister, volunteer, friend, confident, activist, human, who enjoys spontaneous adventures, drinking coffee, and watching TV shows that aired way before she was born. She studies Radio/Televsion/Film and Creative writing at the University of North Texas. Set to graduate May 16, 2016. Being the oldest of three girls, she grew up being a precocious child and that led to her being independent from a young age. She likes music, A LOT. She is currently working on a collection of essays for a book that will let you know what she’s learned so far, and what she is yet to.

*I have not included my ethnicity because as you can see from my picture I am obviously of Irish decent.

So this is really, really exciting for me.
You see, I am used to writing for myself (if you are familiar with my popular blogger series you understand). I am used to being like, “Me, Me, this, that, him, him, they.” But no more! If you have been following my writing from my 2010 days, let me tell you that those self-help days are not over my friend. My writing style is still up to par, and you will get more of it all once my book is published.
But for now, let’s enjoy the fun that this wordpress thingy is.

Truth be told, I was actually inspired to write for the public by a very good, nice, handsome, friend of mine. (I hope I can call you that). He has his own blog and shared it with me the other night. He began writing when he was around my age, hasn’t written for 5 years, and he is now 29. So it really must be something to go back and read his younger thoughts about certain times, and maybe reflect on just how far he’s come since then. It was just something that made me think of how interesting it will be when I am 29 and decide to unearth the old blog and be like, “did I really used to say that?”

So here we go!

It is Thursday May 7, 2015, it is now 11:23 am.
And here is my song of the day.
Have yourself a good one.