1-year anniversary of ‘Stranger in the Basement’

strangerAt the bottom of the basement stairs, behind a locked door, lived a man named Jeremy. For months, Jeremy lived in secret. He didn’t know his roommates, and his roommates certainly didn’t know him.

So goes the famous story of “The Stranger in the Basement.” 

(Click link above to read full story)

The Scarlet Scoop

For some women, slapping on a coat of nail polish before a night out could now mean the difference between returning home safely and ending up in the hands of the wrong person. But some experts said it’s still not so simple.

Firefighter Struck by Lightning Breathing on Own, Upgraded to Stable

COLUMBUS (Chelsea Spears) — Lt. Stu Tudor, the firefighter who was struck by lightning at Crew Stadium late last month, has been upgraded to stable condition, Battalion Chief Tracy Smith said in a written statement Saturday.

In an email, Chief Smith said Tudor is breathing on his own and opening his eyes to stimuli. 

“The family wanted to express their appreciation for the continued support, thoughts and prayers our members, media and community have shown Stu and the family during his recovery,” Chief Smith wrote.

Lt. Tudor was off-duty when he was struck by lightning in the parking lot of Crew Stadium on June 28. 

Don Lewis witnessed the lightning strike.

“There was a loud flash and a loud boom – a bright flash,” Lewis said. “I mean this bomb went off. I knew it hit right next to me or right behind me or something. I had no idea that it hit somebody.”

54-year-old Tudor was knocked to the ground. An off-duty EMS was there to help in the immediate aftermath until more emergency crews arrived at the scene.

The emergency crews took Tudor to OSU Medical Center in critical condition. He was later upgraded to serious condition.

Tudor has since been transferred to the Select Specialty Hospital from the SICU at OSU Medical Center, where he will continue his rehabilitation process, according to a statement from Chief Smith.

See the full article here.

TBDBITL marching forward after Director Jon Waters dismissed

THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY (Chelsea Spears) — TBDBITL is without a leader after The Ohio State University terminated Marching Band Director Jon Waters due to an investigation revealing “serious cultural issues and an environment conducive to sexual harassment within the Marching Band,” The Ohio State University website states.

The website says a two-month investigation concluded Director Jon Waters was aware or at least should have been aware of these problems but failed to end the behavior, prevent it from reoccurring and address its effects.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our students,” President Michael Drake said in a written statement on the website. “We expect every member of our community to live up to a common standard of decency and mutual respect and to adhere to university policies.”

Waters graduated from Ohio State in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. He was a member of the Marching Band from 1995-1999. During the 2000 and 2001 seasons, he served as the band’s graduate assistant. Waters then went on to get two master’s degrees from OSU; one in music education and one in conducting. He was named director of the Marching Band in October 2012.

The investigation into Waters and the Marching Band’s environment began on May 23, 2014 when a parent of a Marching Band member reported information about the band’s sexualized culture to the Ohio State Office of University Compliance and Integrity. The parent said members were sworn to secrecy about objectionable traditions and customs.

In addition to the investigation that was already conducted, Ohio State has also appointed former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery to lead an independent task force to further review the matter.

The website says the band season will continue under new leadership and that steps are being taken to identify a new interim band director.

Read the full article here.

Goodbye, Love

goodbye pool

I’m just happy I felt love again, if only for once more.

Now it’s over, and I’m finally ready to say goodbye.

So:

Goodbye, Love.

I will always love you…

…in a goodbye kind of way.

In our own, special, goodbye kind of way that I loved so much.

That I will always love so much.

Goodbye, Love.

 

     Tonight was the night I didn’t cry.

Black and white classic

(Author’s Note: After a few weeks of sitting on this post, I decided to publish it. It originally was going to remain a draft forever, but I loved it too much.)

My dad sees everything in black and white.

I’m not sure I’m the same way.

pinterest rain

I think there are shades of gray and pallets of color and blurred lines and fuzzy socks. I think there’s cookie dough that’s meant to be eaten and rules that are bound to be broken and nights that are meant for no sleep.

I think it’s this palette of gray that can make a bad decision seem reasonable and a good choice seem foolish.

I think that’s what love does to you.

If I were to tell you my life – and particularly, my love life - you would most likely tell me, “Chelsea, you’re wrong. You are flat-out, 100% wrong.”

Some people would even say I’m a terrible person.

But there’s a part of me that knows – a part of me that says maybe, just maybe – if you knew my story – if you really truly knew it and you knew the whole story – that you’d be on my side. That you would see a heartbroken, 21-year-old girl who doesn’t really know if she believes in good and love and hope amidst all the brokenness and shatters of glass.

That maybe you would see the girl who doesn’t see everything in black and white.

My dad and other black-and-white enthusiasts would say I should end this horribly twisted relationship I have in my life right now. That it’s not right, and that we’re not compatible for each other, and there’s a huge age difference, and he has a girlfriend, and…it’s just not right.

But somehow – amidst all of the completely illogical circumstances surrounding us – somehow, it just feels right.

And somehow, we’ve come to love each other.

Somehow, we’ve found that real, passionate, heart-racing, maddeningly frustrating, completely illogical type of love that makes you want to dance in the rain and play on a playground and hold each other’s face until your eyes fall asleep before the rest of your body does. The type of love that makes you want to memorize the scruff on his face and the brown in his eyes and the sound of his voice and the way he holds your hand and the way he looks at you. Because he loves you and you love him and it’s the first time you’ve felt this exhilarating type of love in the history of ever.

It’s the type of love that you would give everything to.

Everything.

No, I mean everything.

And I almost did, but he loved me too much.

And despite what everyone says, despite what my friends say, despite what the strangers say…I love him. I love him, and I think I always will.

I love you, Nameless Man. I love you.

But this will never get published. Because we are a love that’s in color. And it’s not meant for the black and white.

Fairytales and glass slippers

Love stories typically have good beginnings, but they’re known for their happy endings.

glitter shoes

I don’t know that I have either.

Hell, I’m not even sure I fall into the love story genre.

I don’t know because my story hasn’t ended yet. Or at least, I hope it doesn’t end here. Otherwise that would be a terribly, terribly awkward ending.

Because this year – this year of turning 21, of getting my first real job, of making international headlines, of changing and evaporating friendships – it’s been a transition, and it’s been hard. I wish I could say it’s been magical instead.

But I don’t have much fairy dust left in my hands, and the wind seems to be blowing the rest away in puffs of glitter.  I can’t seem to find my once-upon-a-time heart anymore – I’ve seemed to have misplaced it. And by far the worst of it all: the glass slippers no longer fit.

I’m growing out of the glass slippers, instead slipping on those pinchy, too-tight high heels that guarantee a post-wear limp and practically scream, “I’M NOT A GIRL ANYMORE!”

I’m losing the slippers, and I’m losing my innocence, and I’m becoming a woman instead.

I don’t know that I like it.

I’m expected to grow up now and hold myself together like a classy lady. To act like I can take on the world with sheer sassiness, confidence and that coming-of-age quirky independence. To handle all the hardships in life with grace and wisdom. And to make the right decisions. Always.

No one ever tells you just how hard that will be.

If you tallied them up, I think I’ve made more wrong decisions than right ones this year. I’ll be the first one to admit, my story – and this chapter – has a lot of mistakes. It has a lot of torn-out pages, crossed-out words, scribbles, scratches, bruises and tears.

It has a broken heart.

I’ve been that dumb girl – the girl who’s fallen for the wrong guy. The girl who’s believed that the illogical could maybe…probably…surely be sensible. The girl who’s hoped and prayed and waited around for months…for nothing. The girl who’s been naive and vulnerable and hopeful and stupid. The girl who’s fallen in love, and the girl who’s been hurt.

The girl who’s let herself believe in fairytales and glass slippers.

I’ll never be that girl again.

I’m not allowing myself to be that girl again. I’m a woman now. I have my high heels and I’ve given up my slippers and I don’t believe in fairytales anymore.

Those stories are simply words for me to tell my children.

Choosing to live in Beauty.

I had a summer that changed my life once.

roses

It was a lovely thing, wrapped in that airless, buoyant kind of hope that only a college girl would be dreamy enough to dream.

When I think back on it, I think of roses and summer nights and fireworks and rain.

And then – somewhere beneath that swarmy fog of happy memories – I dig deep enough to remember the depth of that summer. The hard nights spent alone in my bed. The 2 a.m. wake up calls that became a little too unhealthy. The spontaneous late-night roadtrip to West Jefferson with a wonderful, beautiful friend – just to get away. The hours spent alone in a coffee shop trying to write through the tears. And more than anything else that summer, the overwhelming, overriding feeling of aloneliness.

Yes, I’m aware it’s not a word, but somehow, it just feels right.

Aloneliness.

In the midst of aloneliness – in the thick of it – you begin to discover a side of yourself you never wished existed. A dark side. A side that’s so hard to escape, it makes you forget pieces of yourself.

Sometimes people say it’s hard to forget the bad things in life – the people who do you wrong, the hurt that has left scars so deep you don’t think they can ever really heal. I was one of those people once.

I was one of those people just two weeks ago.

But sometimes – sometimes, you can surprise yourself. Sometimes you’re stronger than you think and stronger than you believe. Sometimes all it takes is a diet coke, a long-lost friend, and a good heart-to-heart before you realize you want the tears to stop and the flowers to return and another iced coffee with extra sugar because you’re 21 and you’re allowed to do that.

Sometimes it takes time, and sometimes it takes effort. Sometimes it takes remembering the roses and summer nights and fireworks and rain instead of the tears.

Sometimes it takes choosing to live in Beauty, rather than the aloneliness.

I’m choosing to live in Beauty.