Have you guys seen these Harlem Shake videos that are the latest thing to take over the internet? I hadn’t until last week, because ever since graduating college I’ve gotten exponentially lamer by the second (seriously, Evan teaches me new abbreviations every time we talk). Anyway, the basic concept is that it’s a dance video that is super easy to replicate, which is probably why it’s taken off so quickly. One person wearing a helmet dances by themselves, then a lot of people wearing crazy clothes dance around really spastically together. That’s literally it.
I think this is the original:
But here are a couple other good’uns. Here’s a Norwegian army troop:
And some random office workers:
The best part is finding the most random “dance move” in the group, like the person flopping around in a sleeping bag in the army one or the dude punching the inflatable giraffe in the office one. This is why people say our generation is getting stupider.
But you know what? Sometimes it’s fun to wear weird costumes and dance around with your friends. And it’s even more fun when you get to dance around on the tallest sand dunes on the east coast!
A few of us grabbed the goofiest clothes we had and headed over to Jockey’s Ridge yesterday to Harlem Shake it with the local radio station, who was organizing the whole shebang. We parked, confused a lot of drivers by crossing the street in our getup, and climbed the dunes.
This was for sure the weirdest little parade I’ve ever been a part of. I wish I’d gotten a picture of the dog wearing a Jack Sparrow wig.
Then the Easter bunny went paragliding by real quick:
And then it was time to shake!
I’d give the radio people an A+ for enthusiasm and about a C for execution. We all agreed that the effect would have been way cooler if everyone had spread out on the dunes and they’d shot from below – we could’ve filled up the entire area with crazy dancers! But they wanted us sort of lined up in one place, and it was their plan, so we rolled with it.
The only one of us you can really see well is my friend Chris, way in the background of the video. He’s the one in the cow costume, naturally. If you look close, you can catch a glimpse of me a couple of times, all the way over to the left next to the beach umbrella. Just look for my sombrero.
In the end, you can hardly see anybody except for the people in the front row, which was the big problem with this setup. But I repeat: it was still fun to dance around on the dunes with my buds on the nicest day we’ve had in weeks.
It’s days like this that make me appreciate my beach life so incredibly much. There aren’t many places where adults are allowed to act like this! Shake responsibly, my friends.
The new year is usually thought of as a time of change. Making resolutions, adjusting habits, moving forward… it’s all about switching things up, and that’s certainly true for my family right about now! Over our Christmas vacation, my parents decided to move out of the house they’ve lived in for 17 years and into a new one.
I always thought I’d be much more traumatized when my parents sold the house I grew up in, but I’m not… and I probably would be if they were moving out of Rexford, but they’re not.
I’m mostly excited for them, and a little wistfully reflective. While my parents have been in one place for a while, it feels like I’ve moved around constantly for the past few years, and I started thinking about all the different homes that have figured in my “a girl with too many homes” tagline.
My First Home
Location: Alplaus, New York
With: Mom & Dad
I don’t remember living in this house at all, but I do know that it was blue then, not green. We moved to Vermont less than a year after I was born. We also had our two awesome kitties, Tweeg and Fob, and some sweet boxes to play in.
Location: Montpelier, Vermont
With: Mom, Dad, & Paul (1992-)
Even though I was only five years old when we left, I have such vivid memories of Vermont. It really was the perfect place to grow up. I know it’s just because I was a little kid, but I remember Vermont as this happy little bubble that my family was in, where my dad would take me on hikes every day after work and my mom would put on the Dancin’ Magic CD for Paul and I to bop around the living room to every single Saturday morning.
Maybe I was just so happy because I was busy sportin’ a turtleneck and baby mullet.
Location: Rexford, New York
With: Mom, Dad, Paul, & Camilo (2007-2008)
I wrote 2007 because that’s the year I went away to college, but I still completely consider this “home.” When I was in elementary school, I really wished that my family lived in a neighborhood development so I could be near my friends, and when I was in middle school I daydreamed about our neighbors with a gigantic house asking us to switch with them… but I love this house. My friends love this house, too – mostly the twisty staircase and the rec room basement – all through high school, my house was the place that everyone always ended up hanging out.
I love my room at home, too. It was always colorful and usually messy, but it was so comfortable and it was really my space. I had photos, art projects, and classic rock posters papering the walls (because I was cool and retro, obv). I had sleepovers and birthday parties in this house, family holiday parties and dinners in this house, and got ready for junior prom in this house. It holds a lot of good memories.
Freshman Dorm Room
Location: Livingston 1A314 – Geneseo, New York
With: Carly (and the Transformer and the Sun)
This was my first time living away from home. My mom was extremely worried that my dorm room would be a pigsty (like my room at home usually was during high school) and that my new roommate would get fed up with me. Carly and I met through the Geneseo Class of 2011 Facebook group (and not on eHarmony, as many of my family members like to say) and had a lot of our room planned out before we even got there. We were going for “a very colorful, organized jungle,” which is pretty much exactly how it turned out. 1A314 was comfortable, full, and a perfect mishmosh of Carly and I. We had decorations for every major holiday up all year long and an awesome Mary-Kate and Ashley rug, and there were always fun things going on.
Some of my favorite memories of this room are the nights of Enrique dance parties, and coming back from class on Friday afternoons to find Jon Hoose laying on my bed, eating my homemade granola out of the jar and watching America’s Next Top Model. Even though I had a lot to learn about living on my own and with a roommate, I had the best freshman year I could have ever imagined. There are still days where I wish I could be back in this room with Carly, snuggled in our beds with the blinds pulled down and napping for hours in our “cave.”
Sophomore Dorm Room
Location: Steuben A106 – Geneseo, NY
With: Well, you know. And Sam and Brianne – unofficially.
My time in this room was interesting, to say the least. The first semester may not have been my most enjoyable at Geneseo, but looking back, I really grew up a lot from having gone through it. And hey, what college student’s experience is complete without a wacky roommate story? Second semester was much better – the gigantic bed, the nook (!!!), and lots of nights with my very wonderful neighbs.
Even though A106 was technically my room, A104 and A106 were really treated as one giant conjoined room that Sam, Bri, Katie, and I all shared.
Year: 2009 (August-December)
Location: Wyoming A2C – Geneseo, New York
With: Liz, Sierra, Kate, & Drea
Sometimes I almost forget about this suite when I think back on college. Kate and I had been close friends since the first week of freshman year, and by junior year, all five of us were friends and chose to be suitemates. It was really busy and none of us spent too much time there – it was my first semester as an RA, Drea and I were finishing our requirements to study abroad, and we were all prepping for the GREs or other tests.
The semester may have been a whirlwind, but it was a good one.
Year: 2010 (February-June)
Location: Flat O-119, Ilam Apartments – Christchurch, New Zealand
With: Sarah, Laurie, Mikaela, & Chelsea
Oh, how I still long for O-119! I LOVED this place. It was a great little flat with a perfect kitchen and living room for hanging out (and Gumping) all together, but we each still got our own spacious bedroom and super comfy bed. Oh, and by “we” I mean my four flatmates and I, who were assigned completely randomly to each other and ended up being the best of friends.
Chilled-out movie nights, crazy dance parties, international girls’ night dinners, Scrumpy hands… there was always something fun going down in this flat. I miss it so much!
It’s strange to me to remember how bummed I was when I first moved in to Allegany – all I wanted was to be back in NZ – because in the end, I loved it so, so much. We scrapped a lot of random stuff together to furnish the common room… most notably the cheap Walmart futon that we all lived on and the lighthouse bookshelf, nautical barrel stool, and amazing vintage rocking chair we got from a flea market one of our first weekends at school. Nights in were just as common as nights out because of how much fun we all had hanging out together on that futon watching Conan O’Brien or John Hughes movies.
Yup, Jordan’s in there somewhere. It was comfortable and inviting, and once again, I lucked out like crazy with my roomies. All of my suitemates were younger than me and randomly assigned, and I was worried they’d all think of me as the lame old RA, but we ended up getting along SO well and they’re still some of my closest friends!
My First Apartment
Years: Summers 2009-2011, 2011-present
Location: Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
With: Abby & Haley (2009-2010), Sarah (2011-present)
This was the first time I really lived on my own. I moved to the Outer Banks after my sophomore year of college to spend the summer working in a coffee shop on the beach before returning to Geneseo. I didn’t even know that I had a roommate until the morning I moved in, much less that she had a then-five-year-old daughter, so Abby and I still laugh about how unlikely it was that we’d end up being best buds.
Sarah moved in after Abby moved to Asheville in May 2011, right when I moved back after graduating from college. Again, another great and unexpected friendship… in general, I really have been crazy lucky with roommates in my life! The place is pretty old school (read: a wood paneling bonanza), but it’s really home right now.
That picture is actually from when I first moved in in 2009. Thankfully, we’ve since traded in the mustard-colored appliances, little table and space chairs, and funny gray couch. Actually, Sarah and I have really done a lot to make it feel like ours.
So What’s Next?
Well, for me, I’m staying put in my home on the Outer Banks until I set off on the whole grad school adventure. It’s between New York, London, Boston, San Francisco, and New Zealand… so yeah, no idea.
More importantly, for my parents, it’s this place:
A new home to make their own! I’m so excited for you, Mum and Dad!
What I noticed while I was writing this blog post is that I continually veered off into writing about who I was living with, as opposed to the place I was living itself. It’s by no means an original thought, and certainly a bit Hallmark-y, but the places I’ve called home in my life have really been defined by who I was with instead of where I was. That’s why I know my parents’ new house will eventually be as much of a home as our old one is, and why (provided my stellar roomie luck doesn’t run out), I know my grad school destination will be, too.
It’s magic, friends. I think I’ve discovered the secret to a perfectly fulfilling New Year’s Day: a super lame New Year’s Eve! My NYE was only lame in the sense that I stayed in, decided not to go see Tim Reynolds play, and went to bed before midnight (…yep, that about covers it), but I had to work at 6am this morning. It would have been terrible.
Anyway, I was so warm and comfy all night that I woke up this morning and felt instantly energized! It was the best decision ever. I had a great morning shift, I’ve been super productive all day, and I really feel like I’ve gotten a refreshing start to the year! This may be the end of epic New Year’s Eves for me.
But let’s backtrack. As usual, with all the anticipation that the holiday season brings, Christmas itself came and went extremely quickly. We had an exciting visitor at the coffee shop a few days before Christmas:
SANTAAAAA!!! I know him! I know him!!!
Kenny was such an awesomely convincing Santa Claus that Maria and I decided he needed some helpers, and spent Christmas Eve morning, spreading elfish holiday cheer to the greater Outer Banks.
If you have to work on Christmas Eve, you might as well make it fun look ridiculous and wear men’s pajamas from Kmart, right? I thought so.
Right after work, my brother and I (oh yeah! my brother was here!) hopped in trusty ol’ Perry, ran into Stop N Shop for sandwiches, and headed on down to Georgia. My parents, Paul, and I spent Christmas at my grandparents’ house in Savannah, as we have every other year since I was born! Unfortunately, I’ve somehow lost the shutterbug that I used to have and always forget to take pictures when I wish I had, so I have next to none from my few days there.
But look at how cute my grandparents / two most faithful readers are!
That was the day that we walked along River Street, one of my favorite Savannah traditions. We fit in a bunch of others as well, including lunch at The Crab Shack on Tybee Island, multiple stops at Cutter’s Point Coffee, and a rainy afternoon movie at Carmike. We saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey… and while I loved the movie itself, I was mostly focused on the New Zealand scenery!
Bret was Elrond’s weirdly attentive elf servant! Even though I immediately started whispering frantically and elbowing all my family members, they didn’t believe me until we IMDb’d it afterwards.
So, it was a brief but quite enjoyable Christmas vacation in Savannah. I love that city, and I love getting to see my family since I live so far away now.
Well, that’s about it. I’m home, almost over the terrible cold that I’ve had for a week, and ready for 2013. I spent the afternoon making new candles out of the old candle wax that Sarah and I have been saving for months. I made four, which is four more candles than I made last year, so we’re already setting new records. Cheers to that!
I hope everyone else enjoyed a holiday season and is off to a great start in the new year!