Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bouncy Houses

For the annual Memorial Day party that The Situation's family throws, his parents rented one of those big inflatable bouncy houses for the kids to play in. They were thrilled by it, obviously-- a giant castle that you can throw yourself into without getting hurt or in trouble!-- and the kids jumped their little hearts out.

For about fifteen minutes, before they got bored and went inside to play video games.

And even though I was far from athletic as a child, and would have given anything to get out of kickball or gym class, seeing that unoccupied blow-up castle depressed me. It was so exciting! And so safe! And so available! Why avoid it?

This week, my blog has felt like the bouncy house. The Hayleylujah Chorus is like a mystical candyland where everybody gets along and is happy to see me and thinks I'm funny even when I'm boring and stupid, but I, inexplicably, just haven't been feeling up for a bounce. It's not for lack of stories to tell you, because I've been staying at The Situation's house for a week now, and we've done a whole slew of fun things, from going on cutesy dates to walking around the zoo. And it's not for lack of time, because I'm halfway through rereading The Catcher in the Rye, and about to start Jaclyn Moriarty's new book, The Ghosts of Ashbury High. There's no real excuse for not checking in with you guys. As sad as it is, I guess video games will sometimes beat bouncy houses. And in this case, The Situation is a Wii.

But enough of that! I'm here! I like being here! I don't mean to sound like it's a great hassle for me to grace you with my divine presence four times a month. You guys are the coolest people in all of the internet, and even when I don't feel so much like spewing my soul into print, I do miss you. What's up in your lives? What have you eaten today? How 'bout that soccer game, huh?*

Right now, I'm on The Situation's bed, typing with one hand and carelessly banging a drumstick on his pillow with the other. He's off elsewhere in the house, recording himself singing. His sister just walked past and touched a key on the piano in the hallway. I hear clanging noises coming from the kitchen, which means there must be food. For this, I am extremely pumped. Along with being utterly wonderful in general, The Situation's parents also have this fabulous habit of providing me with delicious meals. It's like staying in a hotel where everyone is funny and good-looking and feeding me. I feel like Little Orphan Annie.

However, if there is a downside to spending every second with my ridiculously entertaining and sweet boyfriend, it's that we have very different eating schedules. He likes to have breakfast at noon, lunch at three, dinner at eight, and a meal before bed. I start eating as soon as I wake up, and don't like to stop until I'm falling asleep with food dangling from my open mouth. I'm big on salads, and he refuses to eat vegetables unless they're deep fried or deeply hidden amongst cheese and bread and meat. I can deal with this, though, because he looks like a Disney prince. MY LIFE IS SO HARD.

Okay, on that note, my stomach is telling me (quite noisily, I might add) to get off my butt and go fill it with nourishment. I hope you're all having a lovely first week of summer (or winter, for those of you down under). Our group mission for the day (because I apparently give out missions now) is to find one of the metaphorical blow-up castles in our lives and go for a bounce, while we still can. Happy jumping!

Chipotle burritos this year: 19
Subscribers: 29,751
Nail color: Chipped and not so hot

*You can comment about soccer if you must, but I'm sorry for misleading you; I do not care about soccer.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Road Writing

Would you believe me if I told you I'm currently in a moving minivan, on a highway near Rochester, New York, somehow getting internet through some kind of crazy space machine magic? The Situation, who is driving the car and looking very, very cute in brown courds and a blue shirt that makes his eyes stand out, has this ability to make technology do whatever he wants. We're in a car. On the highway. And I'm balancing his laptop over my crossed legs, typing a blog, with full internet access. What IS this?!

Anyway, I haven't had the opportunity to blog in a couple of days because I've been too busy being friggin' sweet. I powered through my torturous exams despite having an apocalyptic cough*, watery eyes, and enough pressure in my head to turn mucus into coal. I got my school friends to help me move out of my dorm (if you've never seen three little girls and a gay boy roll a 12x12 carpet down a flight of stairs...), and had my cold miraculously cured by a long overdue bath and one amazing night's sleep in my real room. Then, with barely enough downtime to even, like, change my fish's water, I was on a plane to New York City at six in the morning. I was picked up from my bus station by Sarah (the friend whose wedding I was in last summer), and the two of us got on a train to New Jersey to see our friends Leah, Amanda and Marlena.

I thought you'd like to know that, as I type this, The Situation is using a squeegee on the outside of the windshield. I'm pretending to lick the water from inside the car. He just flicked the water in front of my face. It was cute. Moving right along.

My friends and I spent the afternoon hanging out on the Jersey shore, fist-pumping (not really) and eating deep fried Oreos (I'm serious). The shore pretty much met my expectations on the Trashiness Meter, what with the misspelled gift shop merchandise and racist paraphernalia spray painted on shacks that sell fried Pop Tarts, but it was also much prettier than it gets credit for. Marlena and I rode one of those touristy... what is it, exactly? Like a ski lift that takes you over the beach so you can get an aerial view of the guidos and funnel cakes? Yeah, we rode one of those and geeked out because it was featured in a Jessica Darling novel. All around, too, it was just nice walking in the sand with friends I don't get to see very often, breathing in that therapeutic salt.

Then, once we were thoroughly tired and I was wondering whether force-vomiting my deep fried Oreo would be borderline Bulimia or just self-preservation**, I went back to Leah's house to hang out and sleep. I got to experience her sweet family's fabled Saturday morning breakfast, and then we were off to the city once again.

I'm going to interject here to inform you that The Situation is currently vlogging (his drummer, Andy, whom I adore, is filming from the backseat), and he just said, "I find it hilarious when people are overly enthusiastic about food. That's probably why I'm dating Hayley." Haha... what can I say? BACK TO THE STORY!

I hung out in the city on Saturday morning with my friends (including Liane, Jenn, Karen, Jackie and Graham this time), before meeting up with The Situation and his band. Like a ninja, I saw my friend Zarni play a show that was twenty-one and over. I sat back with a cup of peppermint tea and giggled to my nineteen-year-old self, feeling like a badass. Not only is Zarni funny, adorable and one of the most gorgeous creatures this earth has ever seen, her music is amazing. The Situation had better watch himself. Not really. ...Kind of. Yes. But seriously; check her out.

Saturday night was a lot of fun. All my friends from the area (including TheHill88, my ultimate youtube heroine and creative influence!) came out to see Mike play, and most of them left with CD's, if not autographs. I'm not sure if you knew this about him, but when it comes to music, my boyfriend is kind of a genius-rockstar-god-amongst-mere-mortals. He's fantastic at what he does, and his band is ridiculous as well. I pretty much have to bite the side of my hand whenever he starts singing so the pure happiness and adoration doesn't spew out of my mouth in the form of rainbow-colored ooze. Not an exaggeration.

After Mike's show, his supersexytalented friend Michael Greenberg played enough songs to cause most of my female friends to walk away fanning themselves. Once again, not an exaggeration-- he kind of sounds like a warm buttery potion made out of unadulterated talent, mixed with sex. With, like, steam wafting off the top of the glass. Actually, take a second right now to listen to some of his stuff. You hear that? Yeah. I met him.

Since then, we stayed over at Michael Greenberg's house in Connecticut on Saturday night and skipped stones on the beach, then got back to The Situation's house on Sunday. We chilled there*** until this morning, and now we're on our way to Indiana to drop off Andy, the drummer, and Alex, the bassist. I'll probably talk to you guys again at some point before my adventure is over, so for now, I'm going to go. Partially because I'm kind of tired of typing, and partially because The Situation is shoving a miniature Chips Ahoy cookie into my mouth and it's difficult to see the laptop screen.

Chipotle burritos this year: 18
Subscribers: 29,409
Nail color: "Hoodoo Voodoo," OPI

**Don't get me wrong-- it was delicious. But it was delicious in the way that you sort of want it nowhere near your digestive system, for fear that you might, like, grow a second evil head.
***"Chilling" is what I call "going on beautiful hikes and having bonfires and eating awesome pasta prepared for us by his mother" when I'm getting sick of blogging and Andy's asking to use the internet plug.

Monday, June 7, 2010


This awesome girl, Katie-- one of the people I follow on Twitter-- asked an interesting question of The Situation* this evening: "Do you think that everybody has someone out there for them? Like true loves."

I smiled after reading the tweet, because I already knew the answer. Sure enough, The Situation replied a second later with, "Fate has been scientifically disproved. Don't sit around and wait for it; make it happen!"**

Then, because I'd already decided that I would be blogging on the same topic minutes later, I @replied Katie myself and stirred a bit of controversy. "If it makes you feel any better," I wrote, "I believe in fate. ;-)"

And I do. Or, more specifically, I partially do. I believe that we, as people, have to work to achieve goals, and that it discredits those who train in a particular area for decades to call them "lucky," but also that we don't control every factor of our lives, and that some things come down to outside forces. For example, my grandfather was born into poverty, but by busting his ass, he managed to live the American Dream and become extremely successful and respected in his field. He's a hero of mine, and it would be insulting to suggest that he got so far in life just because of destiny. It would have been easy for him to live up to the low expectations and fall into the same cycle that claims thousands of others, but he worked, and it paid off. HOWEVER, not everything is controllable. He was healthy. He had the (unfair, but true) advantage of being white. He was born in a country where rising above class stature is possible. Most of what made my grandpa an incredible human being was his ambition and drive, but you have to admit that some of it was, well... fate-ish.

The same thing applies to the concept of talent. It's rightfully irritating to someone like The Situation to receive youtube comments that say things like, "I wish I could play piano like that!" He's been playing the damn thing since he was born. He didn't wake up one morning and think, "Gee, I wonder if I can be a musical badass. Yep! Looks like I can! All set." Calling talent a "gift" is insulting to those who fight for it. BUT, once again, there's another side to it all. The Situation has abnormally long fingers. He has a natural predisposition to music. When he was two years old and drawn to Paul McCartney, it wasn't because he consciously decided, "If I study this now, it'll provide me with an insecure job for my twenties." Some things just happen, and some coincidences seem too big for me to write them all off as chance.

So, you may be wondering, how can two people with such fundamentally different beliefs be right for each other? Well. Call me cheesy, but just like the debate of predestination vs. freewill, this is one mystery that I don't mind leaving unsolved. The answer is that we just are. Somehow, I look up to and admire someone with a philosophy totally different from my own, and he respects and listens to my points as well. We don't think the same way, but we have an unforgeable balance between us. Maybe it's because we were both at the right points in our lives to narrow down the options and choose people with complementary attributes, and our relationship is all math***. Maybe we work because we were supposed to. Maybe it's both. What do you think?

Chipotle burritos this year: 18
Subscribers: 29,127
Nail color: "Hoodoo Voodoo," OPI

*I considered dropping the nickname, since we're all well aware of The Situation's identity by now. However, I've decided that it will probably be more beneficial to my boyfriend's career as a musician if the Google searches for his name provide links to, say, his music, rather than to exposés about his personal philosophies and descriptions of why he's lyke sUpEr hott. For future blogs, when I talk about him in a professional sense, I will use his name ("You should go see that dashing lad, Mike Lombardo, play a show tomorrow in Philadelphia!") and when I objectify him as either my capital-B Boyfriend or a nameless piece of manmeat, he will remain The Situation.
** I added the semicolon. Girlfriends are allowed to do stuff like that.
***What a terrifying sentence! Seriously. Makes me shiver.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Zebra Attack!

When one returns from a blogging hiatus, it is customary to devote the introductory section to making excuses for the absence. Therefore...

Reasons Hayley Didn't Blog in May:
1. She was being mauled by rabid zoo animals.
2. She hates you.
3. She is an idiot who thought it'd be a good idea to take classes far beyond her ability, and spent the majority of the month writing papers, studying piles of books, and repeatedly slamming her head into the concrete wall next to her bed.

And one of those is even true!

Anyway, like, hi. I'm sorry for frustrating some people; I hate not having time to write, and I miss you guys when I don't get to connect with you every day. School is just immensely more demanding this quarter than I was prepared for, I've had a couple family issues I've had to deal with, and the wounds from all my zebra attacks require constant care. But regardless, I am here. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY WEEKEND.

For the past twenty-five years, The Situation's parents have hosted a three-day party over Memorial Day weekend for their college friends and their families, and I got invited this year because my life is amazing. Basically, it was one very long food-and-conversation fest, during which I got to pretend it was summer vacation and relax with some incredibly lovely people. I finally met The Situation's brother (with whom I had a refreshingly intelligent rapport about Harry Potter), bonded more with his ridiculously sweet, funny and adorable mother, and hung out a bit with various relatives and family friends. Despite not really knowing anyone prior to Friday, I never went more than a minute feeling awkward or out of the loop-- everyone was inviting and pleasant, and either his mother or awesome little sister were always around to bring me into conversations. Not counting the few awkward pauses following questions like, "So what is it that you DO on youtube, Hayley?" the whole weekend was very laid-back, very comfortable, and fell on the very opposite end of the stress spectrum from this week back at school.

Sigh. And, on top of all the projects and tests and failing I have to accomplish before next week, Mike begins his summer tour tomorrow in Indianapolis, and I am irrationally worried about it all. What if he gets a flat tire or something? (He'll deal with it.) What if he runs out of gas? (He never lets his car get under a quarter tank.) What if he gets a speeding ticket? (He drives like an old man.) What if nobody goes to any of the shows? (They will.) What if he gets attacked by a mob of escaped exotic animals? (Well, at least you'll have something else in common.) What if I'm being silly and overly protective and need to calm the hell down!?

I don't know, guys. I'm sorry to keep silent for a whole month, then come back and yell about stupid stresses and try to make a recurring bit out of something that doesn't even make sense*. How are you doing? What have I missed since the last time we "talked?" I have to go back to facing my school life, unfortunately, but I hope to write again much sooner. Probably. Maybe. I hope. Yes.

Chipotle burritos this year: 18
Subscribers: 28,848
Nail color: L'Oreal "Mango Mango" with Cover Girl "Ruby Dust" on top

*Why, exactly, is that unseatbelted child in such close proximity to a zebra?

P.S. Happy birthday to my beautiful, talented and fantastic friend, Lauren Fairweather. I love you!