11.02.2007

am i listening to christmas carols?

YES.

seasonal anachronism aside, i've been having ultra-crazy-stupidly busy times lately. allow me to provide a briefing.
  • NYCTF position: secured. and possibly more work and i'd really like it to be. though i do have an ambassador colleague, so i'm not all on my own.
  • italian class: freakin' tough! but, i did get a B on the last test (not what i'd like, but perfectionism can wait for when i'm rearing my children, right...?) the oral test that's coming up, though.. that should be a "treat."
    >american novel class: midterm = PWNT. i got a 100% on the midterm and a very complimentary comment on my essay.

    Amanda,

    You have good control over your prose, so I’d like to see you take more risks with your arguments. Dig a little deeper…on your longer paper I’d like to see you tackle a topic that requires arguments and not just observations. Really interrogate the texts, analyze the passages you choose to quote, and make an original contribution to scholarship. I am hoping you’ll write your longer paper with an eye toward the spring conference I mentioned.


    in-class exam: 10

    take-home essay: 10

    midterm: 20/20

(any formatting/font/color issues: blame the prof. also, share in my glory - that test was tough).
  • 20th century poetry: currently putting off the last entry for my annotated bibliography (read: HATE exemplified). funny story - one of the article authors changed her name after publishing the article. i emailed her, after tracking down the new name, to make certain that it was actually her article.. otherwise, i just totally lied in my annotations.
  • neuroses: relatively under control. i'd really like to see someone about my anxiety, which has been.. leveling out, but at a high level. but, i just don't have the time or resources. ::sigh::
  • weekend plans: busy. TAPS all afternoon tomorrow and then to kiamesha's party. then back to load-in on saturday and some library time for listening to a freakin' cassette tape of one of my tutoring sessions. then, more load-in. maybe i can still finish pledging for thespians by the end of this semester? maybe.. ::crosses fingers::
  • weather: it's hatefully cold up here. WHY!? i'm freezing. and i loathe it. i need to invest in these. want want want. i actually already have one pair (courtesy of gramma). they are heaven and i want more. i am a glutton for divinity.

in other news: good night! happy, belated, halloween (and all saints' day) (and 41 months for me and mr. matt). ^_^

10.19.2007

busybusybusy!

today has been the busiest day of my whole life. oh - em - gee!
let's preface, first. matt decided, in all his awesome sweetness, to visit me tuesday into wednesday. he arrived around 1:30am wednesday morning and was gone in just over 12 hours. in the meantime, we made kissies and a big breakfast and made our ipods makeout. it was pretty good.
unfortunately, it meant that i bagged my lab yesterday (well, wednesday) morning and didn't get any homework done for the other two wednesday classes. amy's class - no big deal. english 458 is a challenging class, but our assignment deadlines are flexible and we were doing the same poet (actually, poem) for the second day. no new readings. my film class was another story. i forgot to do the project proposal - the 100 point assignment leading up to our gigando 500 point end-of-semester project. i've decided to do a film about queers on campus. it should be pretty sweet, but i only decided that.. late last night? i talked to the instructor and she gave me a deadline extension for the proposal. i spent all day today thinking about it (while ignoring class) and much of the previous night thinking of awesome shots to use. i'm pretty psyched. ^_^ you can check out the proposal on my dork-blog here.
today, i was incredibly productive. not only did i make up that lab and finish the proposal, but i also had a second phone interview for the NYCTF college ambassador position (refer to the same dork-blog for my application to that) and this site for more info about the program. it's a pretty awesome program and i hope that i can be their ambassador.. and not just for the dollars. mm, dollars. in any case, the basic premise of the program is that new york needs more public school teachers, so they've set up a teach-for-america style alternative-certification program that takes non-education majors and makes them worthwhile. with stipends. my job, should i get it, would be to hype it up at penn state and meet some recruitment goals. sounds pretty awesome and i look forward to promoting a program that i can really get behind.
aside from lab and the interview, i managed to attend an LAUC meeting for the first time, attended a Ralph Ellison symposium (which was fairly good, but a bit dull because it focused on biographical content more than literary work), and finally made my spring semester actual. i emailed sanford schwartz about adding his already-full hitchcock course and he said i could do it and i'm ridiculously, run-on excited. extra good news: the thursday class will be shared with graduate students.. the discussion should run extra awesome. huzzah!
i did some other exhausting stuff today, too. but, i don't feel like talking about it. i also, literally, collapsed upon arriving back in my room. i sprawled across the bed (i didn't say that i have lousy aim in collapsing) and drooled on the covers for half an hour before i could even move again. it was a very long day.

tomorrow should be a little easier. even though i have an italian vocab quiz for which i am *not* prepared, i should be able to just take things a little slower. and then go to the drag show. yayayayayay! anita and i are going to go in drag. break out the chest wraps, we're dressing up! also, tomorrow starts the national conference on peer tutoring in the writing center (or something to that effect). i'm moderating two panels on saturday after doing a practice GRE. wish me luck!

hope everyone's having a great semester thus far -- luck with midterms!

10.01.2007

bentoooo!


i forgot to mention: i've been heartily enjoying cooking lately.
having my own kitchen has really brought out my desire to have a good time in it. now i make wonderful dinners (that i usually don't eat for some weird reason) and adorable lunches. the lunches, of course, are strongly aided in cuteness-factor by my two new bento boxes and by some ideas that i've picked up from cooking cute (a very helpful bento site) and other sites.
there's nothing not wonderful about cookie-cuttered sandwiches and precious little portions of rice, edamame and carrots. i even bought some delicious organic baby carrots and baby peppers at the farmers' market. yay: healthy for me and the environment! it's really fun to make my lunch, which would normally be a pretty bland affair of leftovers in an awkwardly large insulated lunchbox, into something cute and pleasant. i now take even the simplest things, like a peanut butter and marmalade sandwich, and make it cute by using mini cookie cutters (anita had some spring themed ones and i got some autumn themed ones at wal-mart for only $1.76 for a pack of six). the resulting sandwich maintains all the good parts and only leaves off the crusts, if i'm careful. any leftover pieces i just eat while i'm preparing the meal, so i don't waste anything.
the bento box also encourages me to eat healthier. it's so easy and cute to pack some fresh rice and edamame into the container that vacuum seals itself (the heat sucks the lid down), i do that more often than pack unhealthy, exhausting leftovers. or spending money buying lunch at the HUB or someplace downtown.
access to the farmers' market has also encouraged me to eat in an overall healthy way: i buy produce that's locally grown using, at least relatively, sustainable methods ... i basically just go and pick out what looks most appealing. i got a zucchini roughly the size of my calf -- we're making zucchini cake (a variation on carrot cake) with it, if we ever get around to it. otherwise, we'll probably just freeze some and make stir-fry and other things with it.
so, yeah, i'm settling in nicely to the whole "i have a place called home" thing. it's temporary, but it'll do for now. and then i'll have a real home.. based, hopefully, on love. and hopefully in l.a.

9.30.2007

quick update


so, i've been out of the blogging habit for a while now. my sincerest.

not really in the mood for updating, but i feel bound to do so, so let me give a (very) brief summary of my weekend with matt.

he arrived late thursday and we snuggled and fell asleep after watching half of "children of men" which is interesting, but i'm willing to bet the book is better. it's got great cinematography (matt says it's very polish), but that's about all that it's got going for it. combining lousy dialogue with flat characters and mediocre acting doesn't create good cinema. *frown* we eventually finished the movie. good ending. pleasantly ambiguous.

friday came pleasantly enough. i only had two classes while matt hung out in panera playing with his compy and/or reading "free culture." i don't know how keen i am to read that -- seeing as i am certain it will only upset me. we left campus.
we returned to campus to feast at the corner room (yum!) and then to proceed to "synergy" the talent show sponsored by the thespians. the acts were all very good and it put us into a great mood to go see cirque du soleil on saturday. (!!!).
we retired, after the show, to the diner for some delicious stickies. (round one of ice cream for the weekend).

saturday we bagged the game (sorry, al!) and slept in and hung out with anita and returned my rainboots (too big!) to target. soon after, we headed off to see the most amazing human spectacle i've ever seen: cirque du soleil's saltimbanco. it was ... well, spectacular. the stunts were amazing, but the beauty was really what took me - they were meticulous in their work: even the shadows were breath-taking. there was a perfect mixture of fun/foolish clowning (all in good taste and pleasant, but not over the top), brilliant acrobatics, and sensuous/rhythmic pairs of acrobats. this is the kind of circus i can get behind - where i know there aren't unhappy elephants and lead-poisoned clowns behind my pleasure (clown make-up used to be made with a lead base).

after the show, we had a lovely time picking up anita and trekking around downtown state college to find a reasonably priced dinner that would not take forever to wait for -- with hour waits at green bowl (which is not reasonably priced except on weekdays for lunch) and rotelli (which also has better deals for weekday lunches). we ended up "settling" for pitas at the pita pit. they were amazing! go, eat their food. pay them your monies. the pitas are gigantic (screw you, tiny pitas from the supermarket) and stuffed full of delicious things. fresh meat and/or veggies and tons of toppings to choose from make this a pretty healthy, but also hearty meal. with a reasonable price, too. about $5-6/person for being totally full at the end. good deal. then we took matt for his first experience of the creamery. we were very impressed with the sandusky blitz (banana ice cream and other goodies) and the pumpkin pie flavor. the palmer mousseum was also delisch, but i preferred the pie. later we had even more food, courtesy of anita: vegetable fried rice (delicious, easy and cheap!) and miso soup (equally easy and relatively cheap, but not so yummy -- our tofu was gross. nasoya = lose).
this morning, we got up pleasantly late and went over to the waffle shop on atherton for some absolutely fabulous breakfast. i had iowa corn pancakes.. i will never be able to look at a plain 'ol wheat pancake the same again. i am a changed person. the meals were delicious and as reasonable as the pita pit. go there. eat their food. but, bring cash 'cause they don't take credit or debit and their atm (suckers!) has a $2 fee/transaction. suck.

after gorging ourselves on breakfast food and kisses, matt finally left to go home around 1pm. i miss him already. 'cause i'm a wimp.
i have spent the rest of the day doing homework and doing meetings and boring stuff. this has been a simply wonderful meeting and i am so happy and full of lovey-doviness for matt because he made it all possible - he bought the tickets and paid for the delicious meals and just general helped me recover from remaining malaise of sickness and sympathized with my pulled foot muscle. he even put up with me talking about moving in with him next summer after i graduate. what a sweet, patient, tolerant baby! ::loveysnugglysappybullshit::

so, yeah. great weekend. and now it's october. yay! yay autumn and yay classes still not sucking too badly!

6.25.2007

brief update

i've been very lazy about updating lately -- please accept my apologies.

plans have changed a lot since the last posting, some for fun, some for suck.
allow me to explain: instead of visiting doug and jaclyn, matt went to see his dad (a much needed and helpful to the healing process visit) in california while i stayed home and cleaned the bejeesus out of my room. it's still in progress, but coming along nicely. one of the major accomplishments for my room is convincing gramma that she won't miss them if i sell her enormous masses of barbies (that live in my room, of course). i posted them on craigslist and hope to get a reasonably good price for all of them. (buy them. pleeeasse!)

speaking of gramma: she's back in the hospital. she's.. not doing that great, i think. her body is starting to shut down from the relative inefficiency of dialysis (vs. actual kidney function). the remainder of her organs are starting to deteriorate. ::sigh:: i never want her to go, you know.. but i hate for her to be in pain. i feel about gramma similar to the way i felt about dad: that maybe it's better for her just to go quietly before the pain progresses anymore. obviously gramma's situation is slightly different, but.. the similarities are striking. i really don't want to have to deal with another death before this year is over. it's completely selfish of me, i know, but it's been such a hard year with gramma stephanie (dad's mother) dying in january and then dad going and so much stress about matt's dad being sick.

on a brighter note, matt and i spent a wonderful weekend in atlantic city. we gambled a bit (spent $5 and won $10) as well as hit the beach (sea isle city). i'm sure a picture post will come soon. ^_^ we had a great time hanging out with aunt tressa and her fiance, p.j., as well as my cool cousins gianna and connor. these cousins are the younger siblings of my cousin micheal who just recently left for coast guard basic training (see previous post for slightly more details). one of the big highlights of this trip, though, was p.j.'s mother who lives with aunt tressa. this lovely woman, judy, is a shopaholic. thing is, she never uses her purchases so, instead of just letting them sit there helping noone, judy gives away her purchases as loving gifts. i, of course, made out like a bandit when i showed an interest in knitting and handbags. i came away not only with some lovely hand lotions, but also with a very nice vera bradley bag filled to the brim with about a million of all the knitting needles i'll need for the rest of my life. DPN's from size 0 - 10 along with adjustable size circular needles as well as a whole set of straight needles should keep me well stocked for a very very long time. i am so impressed with her generosity and the value of the things she gave me. gifts she's made to someone she has known for only a few days ... easy equal around $200.

so, an overall success, the trip to atlantic city was marked by a little tension, but a lot of fun (and great tans). we definitely hope to do it again in the near future. this weekend, though, holds all the fun and excitement of going to my grampa's wedding (what wedding gift do you give to two old people? all suggestions are incredibly welcome) and just generalized hanging out. also perhaps some very vanilla tiramisu kahlua cupcakes..? we'll see.
i miss everyone very much. ::hugs everyone:: please call! or write! facebook?

6.11.2007

"ready, steady, go"

in the roughly two weeks since i last updated, a lot has been going on.
not only have matt and i passed the official three year mark, but we also celebrated my 20th birthday. yay!
we spent our anniversary with a quiet evening at home dining upon roughly the same meal we've shared for the past two anniversaries: homemade pasta sauce served over spaghetti and accompanied by a delicious salad and yummy bread. we had some awesome coffee over ice cream (a la "white") and exchanged gifts. he, very sweetly, gave me a beautiful pair of earrings (dangly and shiny and picture forthcoming if i'm properly reminded) and a copy of song of songs, everyone's favorite epic, biblical love poem. he's so sweet. i gave him a copy of "the fountain" which we later watched and loved as much as the first (and second) time(s).
the day after, we went over to the pauls' house for some wonderful partying complete with great food and even better times with friends (even making some new ones in the process). it was great to be able to see doug and jaclyn again and i can't wait until we go down to visit them this weekend. *squeal*
oh, man.. i had a great birthday. matt was very sweet and gave me a copy of "zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" which i very much look forward to reading. anita, of course, came through with an amazing gift: a chicken! just what a wanted!! it's not the living, breathing, torture-worthy creature i was hoping for, but i think ceramic will do just fine. it will also be a great addition to our apartment kitchen.. maybe holding teabags? she also gave me a really pretty pillow with a matching throw -- excellent additions to the couch, i suppose. the presents were rounded off with a hand-me-down (pretty pink 4gb) ipod courtesy of my mother and fabulous headphones thanks to curtis. yay for sweatproof!
we had a great dinner at cheeburger cheeburger and spent the rest of the evening catching up on "house" and conversation. i'm glad my friends are so laid-back. it's nice to be able to just chill at someone's house and pet kitties while watching the tube.

right now, though, i'm at work. i'm only here for another 2 hours or so and i've only dealt with ..maybe 10 customers? it's pretty slow here, but that means that i get to make friends with blogger, digg, and many webcomics that i lurve.

in upcoming events:
-- dinner tonight with aunt penni?
-- visit doug and jaclyn this weekend(!)
-- grampa's wedding june 30th (!!)
-- and some other stuff in between.

this summer, though it's had its very rough moments (like matt's dad's hospital stay about which we're still praying), is getting off to a pretty good start. hope everyone else is enjoying.

5.29.2007

i am not 5'3"

i finally got a real id card. not a driver's license, mind you, just an id, but now i can actually positively identify myself without looking like a creeper or a schmuck. ^_^ the card, lying little thing that it is, says that i am five three.. now, we all know that i am not that tall. or that matt is that short: it says he is five three, as well. *grin* i guess they just don't care that much. ::shrug::
also, i got back my grades from last semester (well, a little while ago, now). a's in all my english courses (yessss!) and a b in italian. i'm pretty disappointed about that b, but i know i'll be able to bring it up in the fall. it was a really hard semester and i'm still pretty displeased with the professor. in any case, though, i am pretty excited about upcoming semester. tons of fun/difficult english courses (three: one is peer editing, one is 20th c. american poetry, and the other is american modernist writing). these will all be pretty tough courses, i think, but i'm really looking forward to them. you can look at my schedule here.

once again, i'm making this update while at work. it's pretty dull since i haven't done enough training to actually handle money. seeing as this is a bank and money is all you can really do here.. well, there's nothing except dull regulations and uninteresting documentation for me to work with. blugh.

so, because i need to get more dull reading done, i'll leave off here. hope everyone had a great memorial day weekend!

p.s. our three year anniversary is this friday. congratulate us!
p.p.s. my birthday is next monday. bring me presents!

5.25.2007

"we're building you a better bank!"

so, here i am.. sitting at work. a real office type job, the likes of which i won't see again for some time, i'm sure. instead of boring toil at wawa (or lion line, for that matter), sore feet and coffee smells included, i sit comfortably in front of an internet-accessing computer with only minimal restrictions placed on my web surfing (provided it doesn't interfere with my work). right now, i can't really do anything. i haven't even started training because i haven't finished up all my compliance testing (i'm putting the remainder of those off as i type this very entry), but the work seems as though it will be easy and pleasant with few customers and even fewer coffee smells. *gringrin*
i was officially offered the job over the phone by one of the human resources ladies.. while standing in boston. in the coop at harvard square. it was a good day. *grin* and from there i finished up touring boston with matt and had a lovely time spending the remainder of that weekend with him and partly with his family. it was nice to have the agency to visit him with really minimal parental involvement -- i felt like a real person.
while i'm not going to bother to post a full analysis (as if you'd want to read that) on my boston excursion, i will encourage you to check out my c(r)avedrawing based on the flight and also encourage you to bug me for any details in which you're interested.
for now, i'm happily employed (this branch closes on july 14th.. got any jobs for me for after that?) and happily enjoying matt's temporary unemployment (he gets to spend the time during my workday doing the things that he wants to do.. meaning that i get to spend non-WoW time with him after i get off). we've been throwing together graduation gifts and birthday gifts and certain house-warming gifts (!!) and immensely enjoying Lost (which christine and zach are demanding we watch) and just, in general, settling in for what appears to be shaping up into a very pleasant summer.

5.08.2007

my normal approach..

after staying up last night (this morning) until around 4am (only 3.15 or so on purpose.. curse you, computer induced insomnia!), i'm pretty tired, but looking forward to a rousing day of working ridiculously hard on two papers and turning in at least one of them.
ideally, i would like to be able to hand in my english 456 paper to kelly at the final today at 2.30.
also ideally, i would like to be able to finish my english 497C paper by tonight so that i don't have to rush to finish it tomorrow morning before the deadline of 12pm. wish me luck!

my room smells wonderfully of tulips, but i can't wait to get home. seeing friends and relaxing without having to go to bloody classes.. ah! and i'll get to see gramma and all that family that i love so much. yay! family = heart!

and just as a general update: gramma has been in a nursing home for a few days now. it's actually working out well. she's being taken care of as if she were a person, not a dishrag, and she doesn't hate it. mom visits her frequently and a physical therapist is helping to get her legs into better shape.
also: my cousin brian ships out for marine corps training may 14th (holy crap that's soon!). good luck and God bless to him!
also also: my cousin michael ships out for coast guard training on may 29th (also soon!). similar well wishings to him.
and now: back to my own version of a paperchase. hopefully i don't get blisters!

5.07.2007

"lift you up over everything..."


"...to light up my room."

i just got off the phone with my aunt gina. she and my dad were pretty close -- he lived at the house that she shares with my uncle and her three boys. she told me about a dream she had: my dad, wreathed in flaming sparkles and smiling (she likened it to a cartoon character "powering up" ...like popeye with spinach. but with sparkles). accompanying this vision, she had an "indescribable" feeling. the sum of the vision/dream: dad's doing ok. and we all should too.

now, i'm a little skeptical about visions and whatnot and i'm one of those pessimistic people that usually thinks "oh, you had a vision ...got it." but.. i honestly believe that my dad reached out to my aunt to relieve her cares, to let her know that we don't have to be sad anymore.

on a similarly bright note: matt's parents sent me a beautiful vase of flowers. they're beautiful and i'm so appreciative. his parents are so supportive.


on an academic note: i did my english 221 final (maybe a B.. it was tougher than expected). i did the last italian exam for the semester (probably about a B for that one.. probably about a B for the whole class). i still have an english 456 exam tomorrow (should be.. hard, but manageable) and a paper due for english 497C and one for english 456 (they're both ten pages or so and should be easy enough). so, i should be ok.. stressed but, ok.

enough of this.. i'm going to qdoba!! yum, burrito!

5.06.2007

"if i could..."

"...sleep forever"

today is the (aftermath of) cinco de mayo and it is obscenely early in the morning - i have not yet been to bed.
and, while i am quite inebriated, i am sober enough to say ...


i still miss you daddy.

it's only been a week, but i feel like you're a million years away.
nonetheless, i still miss you and love you every day. and i know you're doing the same.

5.01.2007

"i'm haunted"

to those of you who don't know yet (because you've been living in a facebook deprived rock, i see).. my father died early saturday morning, between 6 and 7 am. he died at peace and at home and that's all he really wanted.
his funeral was earlier today (tuesday) and it was beautiful, though as painful as anything. it was wonderful to see my family and to again see aunt julie's precious new baby (born only a day after dad died), but awful to see them under such sad consequences.
i don't feel like going into detail right now. just know the baby is beautiful and fat -- 9lbs 15oz at birth and named ryan stephen (stephen was my father's middle name and also akin to my gramma stephanie's first name. she died in january).

so, sad stuff aside -- i love my family and i'm so glad and grateful that i got to know my dad before he passed. it hurts so much worse than it would have had i never known him, but.. i helped him to know he was loved.

4.19.2007

so much hate..

on monday i joined a facebook group lending penn state's support and prayers to virginia tech. the summary of the group includes the number of victims -- originally at 33, but a member asked that that number be reduced to 32: thus discounting the killer.
i argued this. in a post that, i believe, has now been deleted, i argued that the killer is a victim too. isn't he?
this morning, i checked my personal messages to find an attack had been levied at me. and here it is.

boy i don't know: The killer does not deserve to be remembered. He was not a human being or a person worthy of anyone's respect. Please take that Bible toting bullshit elsewhere.

my response: excuse me, but i didn't attack any of your beliefs in saying that a person is a person. my "Bible toting bullshit" has nothing to do with my feelings about a killer being a person. commission of a crime does not strip a person of his humanity. what about that kid's poor parents? he's got 'em too. and i bet they're hurting just as much as anyone else's.
everyone deserves to be remembered -- even people who hurt others, even those who can't find it in their hearts to forgive.
in this time of tragedy and mourning, we should pull together - not fight about who's feeling the worser hurt. i understand your views, but i don't agree with them.
please don't message me again if you can't be respectful of my opinions.


it is so upsetting to find that so many people can't seem to understand that humanity is immutable -- nothing human is foreign, right? or is it that nothing foreign is human? we argued that in high school and it's still an enduring debate. i, for one, am not about to shun a member of the species for one act of pain and horror.

4.17.2007

general update

because i've been overly philosophical/meandering lately, i haven't been a very good general update-er.
so, here goes.

though i've already covered this somewhat, going home for easter was great. i left state college thursday afternoon and spent a pleasant few hours on the greyhound alternating between speaking with an enlightened pro-lifer (yes, they exist!) and sleeping/reading/knitting. i finally arrived in king of prussia around 5pm and waded across several lanes of very scary kop traffic before stopping at the chili's and waiting, impatiently, for mike paul. *squeal* mike paul!
we had a wonderful time hanging out before gathering matthew from the airport. and i had a quite pleasant experience in the ladies' room in the airport marriot (mostly, it was clean and well-stocked with soft toilet and facial tissues). matt's flight came in on time and we all headed home to be dropped off by wonderful mike paul and spend some quality snuggle/movie watching time in matt's basement. it was good to see my baby. and, yeah, he thought the socks were sweet.

fast forward a few days and i'm again departing state college on a thursday, though this time early evening and accompanied by a friend of anita's and nick: andrew. he was headed toward tekkoshocon in pittsburgh and made for pleasant conversation along the road to 'toon town. we, unfortunately, had to strike up a talk with a rather bigoted (and possibly nutty) older gentleman who insisted on telling us about his UFO experiences and ..other things that i'd rather forget.
upon reaching altoona, i ended up riding the local inefficient bus system for about three hours (not exaggerating) until i could finally get to the campus where i had some nice coffee along with a mediocre sandwich. i also caved and bought a cookie. and realized that i "lost" my keys (turns out i actually just forgot them in my room in state college.. thank goodness!).
kira came and collected me and we went to her house, made a beer run, stayed up late.. in general, had a good time.
the conference went very well, but since i've already bored you with tedious details.. it was good. i presented (arguably better than any of my peers), was recommended for submissions to gertrude, a queer literary magazine, and praised for my criticism. my friend/acquaintance/peer cameron (of "medea" fame.. he was jason) said that he expects to read my criticism sometime in the future in some vastly published journal. he requested, in fact, that i take it easy on his works (he's going for an m.f.a. in poetry). it impressed me that someone, a peer, could recognize my worth like that and project such impressive things for me. needless to say, i was in a perfectly fantastic mood after that.

saturday, i went home and dealt briefly with a very unpleasant hispanic girl from philly. she insisted on tapping her foot in the air. the foot, raucously clad in 4-inch heeled, patent leather (read: shitty and cheap), squeaked everytime she tapped. i caught her eye and let her know that it was squeaking and she says "so, what about it?" in the meanest tone she could conjure. "could you please stop?" and her response? "well, it's a habit, so ..no" in similarly bitchy fashion. it was really uncalled for. i was very polite, i think and she just.. grrr. made it seem like i was asking for something completely ridiculous. i don't understand why people can't just be polite. i was trying to read for goodness sake! and she was squeaking!

in any case.. i'm back from that conference and i've been trying to catch up. italian studying (i have an oral exam thursday) is going well and reading is going equally well: finished the vulgar streak and working on mr. sammler's planet along with the puttermusser papers which i much enjoy. cynthia ozick = HEART. "paradise lost" is, unfortunately, not faring so well and i find myself uncomfortably relying on sparknotes.
today, i had an interview for the peer tutoring class. it went very well and i'll be scheduled for the class very soon. yay!
shortly after that, i studied for the italian oral exam with a classmate. we spent a great deal of our time together with me teaching her, through various methods, how to pronounce italian. it was fun for me to teach and i definitely helped her. it was also good to get a little practice with the language. while christine didn't help me, really, with my italian.. it was exceedingly flattering for her to praise my teaching ability and for me to be able to see her progress in her pronunciation. i'm proud of myself.

later today, i went to see janet lyon, english honors advisor who finally got back to me about applying to the honors college. she recommends i go ahead, though it'll be tough. after a brief conference with her, though, we both realized that it won't really be that much work: just 14 credits, 3 of which will be my thesis. so, 11 credits (roughly 4 classes) can easily fall into the two regular semesters i'm going through. if accepted (and i think i will be ::crosses fingers::), i'll schedule one honors course for next semester and hopefully honors option my peer tutoring class into counting for honors credit. otherwise, i'll hopefully work out other options. the thesis i can complete over the summer. yay! i even have a basic idea for it. something that i think will be both enlightening and wonderfully fun to work on.



this morning i was accosted by a squirrel. but, for the readers who may be faint of heart, i'll leave out the details only to say that i defended, verily, my bagel and did not catch rabies.

so, not that i've spent far too long typing this and wasted way too much of your time.. back to work! (links to come as edits later)

is death the road to awe?

i've been trying to relax by listening to some clint mansell. the fountain soundtrack is a beautiful piece of alternately soothing and inspiring music which matches perfectly any aspiration to studying or sleeping. in the wake of yesterday's violence, though, i am really pondering the idea of death leading to awe. first of all: how do we define awe? according to dictionary.com, the archaic/obsolete definition is fear or dread. i think we can safely say that death, or at least the possibility of it, brings humanity, as a whole, a great deal of fear or dread. the more modern term awe brings along with it "an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful" -- a subtle, but remarkable change.
as i sit here listening to both "death is the road to awe" and some weird rap played by my roommate, i wonder about that distinction. what causes, i wonder, admiration, reverence, fear?
yesterday we were all awed by the power of death over our peers at virginia tech: one man killed, including himself, 33 people. just one man. we won't forget him. is that awe? was this death really the road to awe for him? as we think on how fearful and upset we are, should we not also think of what sort of society promotes death as a road to awe? should we study and discuss serial killers or is that encouragement for those seeking fame through death? should we allow our news to cover the tragedies that take place all over the world -- war, school shootings, violence in so many forms. where is the morality and should morality even play a role in media? how vital is a moral to a reporter (as a professional, rather than as a person.. let's not pick on the media for doing the job that our culture has assigned them).

tomorrow is something called the day of silence. you can read more about it here, but, basically, it's a day in which (except for a few moments -- like my italian tutor helping me out) i and many others will remain silent to undermine the silence that keeps gays in the closet or allows violence against them to go on. tomorrow, i'll be silent in protest of the violence and in sympathy with the sufferers. maybe tomorrow i'll also be silent for the victims of one gunman and one culture at virginia tech.

along with everyone else with a heart..

my thoughts and prayers are with those suffering from the attack at virginia tech. both victims (those in the hospital and those not) and the shooter himself. pray for their families and for their friends and pray that whatever horrible derangement tormented the killer enough to become that.. well, pray that it's an isolated issue.

as you go through your day, are you telling those that you love that you are, indeed, still loving them? are you making sure that every conversation ends with a kiss? if not.. maybe you should start.

4.16.2007

"in sunny santa fe"

not quite in santa fe, but los angeles?

so, i'm still seriously considering usc as a grad school. trouble is, i think i might not be good enough to get in. it's a hard school to get into and quite pricey.. something around/above $35,000/year. now, if i get in, i stand an excellent chance of receiving a fellowship to cover tuition costs and maybe even provide a stipend, but.. what if i don't get in? could i be happy working as a high school teacher? is it possible for me to quit school to go to work and then get back into it as an older student? ..would i be able to handle kids alongside ph.d work?

is this really even the appropriate time to get into this line of questioning?


on another note: should i apply for the honors college. it has a few perks and a few extra demands. thing is, i don't think i have enough time to finish up the 14 credits it demands or the thesis itself. frankly, though, i'm more interested in the thesis than in the courses. the larger environment of regular courses isn't really a problem for me and earlier scheduling, while nice, isn't really necessary for me since most of the classes i want i can schedule (yay for having tons of credits) and the guaranteed fabulous housing is both on-campus and unenticing. so.. the only real perk is the ability to graduate with honors and the idea of doing a thesis and having it be awesome. i wonder if there's a way i could do a thesis only. hrm.

more to come, hopefully, later in the week. things about the conference (it was lovely) and the conference this weekend. and maybe a little bit about lyle the crocodile.

4.11.2007

the sea and the river

this has been a long week.
and it's still only wednesday.

easter was wonderful! matt and i got home friday evening and got to hang out a little bit with mike paul (HEART!) which was wonderful and then we went back to matt's house and hung out with his mother for a bit before watching legally blonde.. which we chased with a whopping dose of se7en and x-men. we watched a great deal of movies this weekend.. if you couldn't tell. in fact, we watched x-men 2 and fog of war on saturday, both of which were very good, if not a little too dry for late night watching (of course, here i refer to fog of war.. about robert mcnamara.. who some might call an adorable old guy). through watching all these movies, i developed a much more profound respect for two things: david fincher (director for both fight club and se7en) and ridiculous movies when you're in a good mood. legally blonde, a movie that i was not really prepared to enjoy, turned out to be really fun to watch and, while not something that i'll rave about critically, is a film that i will definitely watch again with friends -- if only for the sake of annoying matt.
i also decided that kevin spacey is possibly the best bad guy ever (sorry, ian mckellan, you're great, but serial killers > magnetic dudes).

so, movies aside, we had a great weekend. we got to see my dad and uncle on saturday afternoon for a little while and we got dad some pretty little baby daffodils from the boy scouts. they're adorable! (incidentally, we also got gramma some pretty tulips from the same scouts.. she really loved them. go buy flowers for your loved ones. now!).
my dad is looking a lot worse. he's living now with his mother's husband (so, dad's step-dad, bill, who is actually a really nice guy) and my uncle gus (because gus doesn't want to live in the house that he and his now ex-wife shared). dad can't even say a whole sentence without gasping for air and coughs hard enough to shake the house. i'm so glad that we were able to stop by on saturday, though, because sunday morning we went there for brunch after church (which, frankly, sucked. contemporary services blow) and dad was feeling really lousy. i tried to talk to him but i could barely hear him and i really didn't want to get in his face because i'm sick. blugh!
he's so sweet, though. he got me a great easter gift bag with some salt water taffy from the shore and some pretty pieces of jewelry and a little teddy bear holding a star that says "daughters are angels" .. it's all really adorable, but i can't help but think of how bad he must feel.. he missed my childhood and now he's sort of trying to make up for it, but can barely move without his oxygen tether and physical exhaustion.

i don't even know how to feel anymore... just a lot of regret that we couldn't be a family when i was younger.

all right, i'm cutting this already quite lengthy post short. hopefully, i'll find time to make a happier post later in the week. but, if i don't.. i'm at a conference all weekend -- wish me luck!

4.04.2007

"if i could sleep forever..."

...i'd probably sleep off this awful sickness.

about 100 different varieties of pills and one revisited banana later, i'm heading to bed with little intent of going to morning class and only slightly more attention to showing up at italian tomorrow afternoon.

on a brighter note, i finished baby sock number one. yay!
this isn't mine, but this is using the same pattern i used.
incidentally, if you follow the link, the other pair of socks there is using the same color variegation as the yarn i used for my socks.
the finished one is absolutely adorable and i've already cast on the next. i altered (with the help of alison) the pattern somewhat, so it looks slightly different from the picture above, but you get the basic idea. when i eventually get photos, i'll post them. yay, photo posts!

in the meantime, leave me some feel-better sweetness.

4.03.2007

"Nothing will come of nothing: speak again"

whew! what a busy few weeks i've had.
spring break was a blast (post with pictures upcoming.. eventually) and then i dove right back into schoolwork. the first week was pretty easy -- pleasant reading for classes, interesting poetry and whatnot. last week, though, was a nightmare. oh, sure, it was fun, but i hardly slept, i ate garbage (read: more candy than i've had since halloween age 10) and spent all my time not doing homework and hanging out with gay cowboys (and crew) instead.
that said: Crazy for You was amazingly fun and i can't wait to get involved in the next Thespians show. until now, my membership has been pretty ..lousy, but now i've grown really interested and i'm going to pledge more diligently and be more involved. yay, theatre! i think that, when i eventually get a teaching position somewhere, i'd like to work not just in the english department, but also with the theatre program. i love putting on shows, in any capacity, and would love to be involved with shaping shows at the high school or undergraduate level. *heart*

the cast party was crazy. after a whole week of running and exhaustion and wonderful shows, we ended up doing strike until 4am (or so) sunday morning. so, we postponed the party until sunday night (yes, that's the night preceding monday.. but morning class was canceled, so i felt ok going). it was, in a word, fabulous. we danced and drank and played kings and had a generally wonderful time. we drank a lovely beer (cheap and quite mildly delicious) called lionshead and knocked down a little bit of jim bean whiskey (which would be better if you had a sore throat, as it numbs the tonsils).
we also had an interesting stop on the way home: schwab for peeing. ::chuckle:: at least we had a key.

this week is shaping up to be a little more mild (read: no theatre), but no less wonderful. with challenging and pleasant books for class and very tough but learnable italian lessons, the scholarship angle is going well. work is going ok, too. making some decent bonus and able, so far, to get the mandatory shifts in (only need one more. c'mon thursday!). then.. i'm going home! friday afternoon i'm catching a greyhound and heading home to see my baby! more details on that to come, i'm sure, but right now i'm suffering dreadfully from what looks like either the beginnings of a cold or wicked allergies (hopefully the latter!).

to bed for me. enjoy your days, lovelies.

3.25.2007

"why sometimes i've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast"

just started stage crew tonight for "crazy for you." it's tough and crazy and demanding, but it's really fun, too. the people are great and i'm having a good time working with them and i'm sure, as we learn the scene changes better, the experience will calm down and we can all just relax a little bit.
i know a few of the cast members - rob, mike, and kendall are all in the chorus. it was fun and shocking to realize that these people that i know from a whole 'nother world (altoona, that is) are working with me up here. small world, much?

i was in the theatre for over 6 hours -- from ~4.45 to 11.15 or so. soooo tired! and i'm looking forward to another looong day tomorrow, but it should be fun and enriching, overall. i don't really know why i enjoy working in the theatre - maybe i miss performance? maybe i just want to create something with a group of people. i don't worry about it too much.. i just know that, even though i loathe some parts of it, the waiting, the hurrying, the dealing with actors.. even through all of that, i still love the theatre and i don't want to ever have to give it up. i hope that, when i eventually start working with a university, i'll be able to get involved with the theatre program. i'll never be able to work for a school that has no theatre, has no program for students to create a living, visual, sentient environment for their peers and community.

i find theatre to be the impossible beauty that everyone can participate in - not everyone can act beautifully, not everyone can sing with grace, but everyone can enjoy theatre, whether it's from backstage, the orchestra pit, or the audience.

3.24.2007

secrets.

after a long day and a long night (both of which were arguably excellent).. i felt terrible.

and now i feel so clean.

i'm finally sending in my secrets.

3.20.2007

"i'm haunted"

before i bother to make a post-spring break update detailing our fantastic shenanigans, i thought it'd be just as nice to have a brief, friendly post about how lovely the weather's been lately.
over break, it got up to around 60 degrees and then.. the sky decided to freeze. and fall.
sky, you suck.
up here, it's still cool, but has significantly warmed since the sky started plummeting snow-barf upon us. and i am, consequently, in a significantly better mood. *glee*

and henry green.. no, he doesn't use articles (except for rare occasions). no, he doesn't use all the commas he needs to and, no again, he doesn't use quotation marks but, nonetheless, he's growing on me. i went into class this morning loathing his unconventional ways and nonstandard punctuation, but since speaking about his and learning to have a little respect for his method, i've started to enjoy the book. peer pressure triumphs again! it's still frustrating and confusing, of course, but it's not nearly so bad as when i thought he was just being mean for the sake of pissing off innocent literature students.
i look forward to finishing this novel.

3.07.2007

"how we found the same old fears.."

while listening to depressing, yet beautiful, covers of older music by lovely rasputina, i remembered that i had good news to spill onto the blogosphere.

:several weeks ago, i sent in a paper for a conference. i only did this semi-seriously. the conference in slippery rock (read: bumble) and i wasn't sure that my paper even met the topic of the conference.
now, that i'd all but forgotten about that submission, i got an email: congratulations! you're more awesome than you thought!

so, basically, i submitted a paper only for the sake of doing so.. and got in. no revision, no real thought (plenty of work went into that paper.. it was damn good) but only changing the format from .odt to .doc and attaching it to an email.
why is that so easy?
their response/congratulations email said that this conference, hosting students from the entire state (not just psu like the last conference i went to) only accepted 50 papers.. and my completely effortless submission was one of them. wtf?
whatever, though. i get to present at a conference and be a big-league undergrad. it's pretty exciting to go to conferences: the last one was really fun. yeah, there were some boring papers/people, but the majority of the experience was wonderful and enlightening. this conference will also have me not staying at home. i'll be out of my comfort zone (all but in ohio, actually) and i'll be forced to speak to people that i have no school ties with. it should be exciting.

i like excitement. but, as i've said before and as i'm sure i'll say again.. when is this going to get harder? and when it does, will i be able to handle it?
i guess we'll see. *smile*

"and is this my final chance...?"

just shy of three weeks ago, i gave a copy of one of my most recently "awesome" writing samples to janet lyon (head of english honors advising) for perusal to decide whether or not i'm eligible for the honors college. since she hasn't yet gotten back to me.. i'm going to assume that i didn't make the cut and i don't have the distinct pleasure/terror of having to write an undergraduate thesis.
of course, that particular pleasure is undercut by the worry that i'll start on my dissertation with no work longer than 20 pages under my belt.
that undercutting, though, is further undermined by my determination to participate in this year's NaNoWriMo, but not in november. instead, i'll be doing it in july.. like all the cool kids. like, uh.. that awesome guy that i called at lion line tonight! i talked to this guy for 50 minutes just shooting the breeze, swapping funny drinking stories (his were, admittedly, way wilder than mine) and talking about computers and writing. he was a really cool guy (freelance writer) who was both refreshing to speak with and full of interesting ideas and tips for getting into both grad school and the professional writing world. and, not only was he cool, but he also pledged $100 on a credit card. sweet half hour bonus! also, he complimented me to my supervisor - this can only lead to good things. the best thing he did, though, was remove me from an entirely draining evening of calling lousy prospects and receiving angry hang-ups instead of scholarship-supporting pledges.

i'm so ready for spring break. my yarn hasn't arrived yet (so i'm dreading tomorrow's 3 hour english class and another 3 1/2 hour shift at work with nothing to do) and i have no motivation to study for my midterms (i read, so i'm good.. all i need to do is not mix up spenser and wells. should be pretty easy), nor do i have any desire to work on this paper due tomorrow. i've got it halfway done, i've got strong notes, and a potent ability to bullshit my way through, but... the act of writing with no real interest is just.. not holding my interest?

on a brighter note, even though i'm pretty sure i'm not in the honors college, i'll still be able to schedule some pretty sweet english classes next semester because the available ones are looking awesome: stuff like "the american novel 1900-1945" and american poetry of the same period. also, some scary/enjoyable stuff like "the english novel to austen" which would have me read fielding and sterne.. but in a more mature way.

my father sent me a valentine's day card. i don't really know how i feel about my relationship with him: i'm so glad to finally be able to see him and tell him i love him and call him dad, but.. on the other hand: am i setting myself up for a ton of pain? he's got very aggressive cancer - will it kill him before i can see the pride in his eyes as he walks his only daughter into a traditional wedding? i guess that's sort of a take-off from my positive rantings just a moment ago. i have the card he sent me strapped to my corkboard, the little enclosed piece with my name and a quotation from psalms sits in the front of a picture frame holding my matthew-pirate. i see both my father's love and my matthew's very different love whenever i sit at my desk.
i hope they both can stick around for a long time. ::kicks mortality::
::and fickleness::

3.02.2007

"money, it's a gas"

work finally paid me last night - yess! so, what did i do? the obvious, of course: bought things! not only did i order the yarn that features in the last post (purchased 7 skeins in hollyberry), but i also bought some fabulous needles at michael's (thanks for taking me, alison!). i bought a circular needle for doing the main body of the pretty sweater and a set of double-pointed needles (DPNs) for the sleeves and whatnot. they're so wonderful and i'm working on learning how to use them. using some of the lousy acrylic yarn i have left over from past projects, i figured out how to use the DPNs and my next learning time will include figuring out how to use the circular needle without throwing the whole project on the floor in frustration/clumsiness.
so, today is "state patty's day" and not only are there tons of people wearing green today (myself included) but there are also people *conspicuously* missing from my classes. my 1pm italian class was missing a full half of the people so, for the second day in a row, we didn't do anything. this week has been so great - completely unproductive - but great. monday we just sort of bummed around and went over homework, tuesday we had fun silly italian guys come in and we sang and danced the tarantella with them. wednesday there's no class and yesterday we just talked about how the professor used to teach in georgia and couldn't understand anyone in the town. apparently, savannah is as backward as any other place in the south. today the only thing we learned was a few swear words. *gringrin*
i've been listening to flogging molly all day. i'd forgotten how great they could be when you were having a nice sunny day - i've mostly been listening to them when i need a pick-up, not when i'm already feeling good.
and why am i feeling good? well, i finished another book today (a walker in the city) and i'm finally heading back to under western eyes and we're sooooo done with "faerie queene" of which i was very much tired. we're picking up a more profound book in the jewish lit class (malamud's the assistant) and i finished reading "the laramie project" which nearly had me in tears with its strength. i suggest everyone read it: it's definitely worthwhile, especially as a quick read (i read it in, maybe, two hours).
i feel like, even with midterms quickly approaching (one on monday and wednesday and another on thursday and a paper due wednesday), i've got more free time than i've had recently. it's a good feeling.
also, tonight (right after work), anita and i are going to shamrockapella, an a capella concert to benefit veterans recovering from war trauma. it's not just a good cause but it'll be friggin' sweet music. i'm definitely looking forward to it (especially as it follows only 2 1/2 hours of work, instead of the normal 3 1/2). we're also planning on going to see "in pursuit of happyness" at the HUB tonight. i've heard good things about that, and it's got will smith's cute little boy in it, so it can't be too bad.

in other news: i've become best friends with the humanities reading room in the library. it's a great place to go just to read in a quiet atmosphere uncluttered with distractions like the internets.. and blogging.
on that note, though, i have to get going. must feed before work and maybe even relax a little bit before heading out. yay, relaxation!

happy state patty's day: i hope you don't remember it, but in a safe way. *grin*

3.01.2007

"come what may"


i started my italian homework about 40 minutes ago, and promptly left off doing it in favor of watching "a very long engagement" - a film highly recommended by a friend and which seems both lovely and moving, but the copy i have has really lousy subtitles, so i guess i'll just have to legitimately rent it from someplace. pirating, you have failed me!
in any case, the film reminded me of something special that i was thinking this morning: matthew and i have been together (but for one brief lapse) 33 months. such an interesting number. not quite three years, but still impressive. i also love numbers divisible by eleven.
of course, today i checked out kawaiinot (which everyone should be reading) and found this lovely comic that you barely see to the left. *gringrin*
today is a loooong day (only two classes, but work afterwards and i still have to read more of "the faerie queene"). i went to bed late, but got a lot accomplished: finished to the lighthouse (yesss!) and typed up some notes that i'd written for my next paper. by 2am, i had finished pretty much all i'd wanted to accomplish for the day.
also today, i'm looking forward to going with alison to the yarn store and/or michael's (!) to pick up needles for my next project. i finished matt's hat (unfortunately, i don't have my camera up here, so no pictures until i have a picture device) and am anxious to start on this awesome sweater. ideally, i'll do it in this pretty yarn, but i'm not sure which color. sort of a toss-up between leaf, hollyberry, and slate (listed in order of preference). lettuce doesn't look bad, either. i'm looking at needing ~7 skeins to finish the sweater (extra because leftovers > running out mid-sleeve).
so, i'm looking at an overall investment of .. maybe $40 for this sweater, but it'll be fabulously soft and will procure me many useful needles along the way. yay, knitting!

that's about all for now. still have to do this italian homework that i've been putting off. leave comments about yarn color!

2.22.2007

"californication"

and, while matt is whooping it up in california over spring break, i will be home, hanging out with curtis, anita, mike, doug(?), jaclyn(?) and others and making wonderful, awesome cookies. hopefully, curtis and i will be able to churn out a delicious batch of these babies .. i liberated the recipe for them (among others) from this blog by joseph hall (i hope he doesn't mind!). his recipe repertoire also includes such goodies as ubuntu cookies and tux cookies.
hopefully they'll turn out well!

if we're really creative, maybe we can conjure up some gaiman-inspired cookies. i'd love to make a sandman dessert. *gringrin*

"the city she loves me"

before i run off to a speech at the library about *glee* comic books, i wanted to post a little blog goodness. first of all, let me mention that i'm having a great day: really busy, but good. this morning started well with coffee and class and a great discussion with kelly innes (prof = awesome) about jouissance and epiphany (which i brought up a few weeks ago and which he wanted to talk more about). tomorrow i'm going to meet him at saint's cafe (near panera) to discuss my paper due tuesday. he's holding office hours in a cafe. sweet!
in any case, talked with him, which is always awesome because he's really smart and has really interesting views. well, then i went back to my room to do the homework for him that i'd forgotten (turned into a cool reading response comparing mansfield's "marriage a la mode" to hogarth's "marriage a-la-mode" .. i thought it was ironic, the same titles, and then i got interested and found a whole bunch of fascinating parallels. yes!
then i ran off to italian and had a good class where i understood all the concepts and enjoyed myself immensely and after which i went to speak with my advisor. actually, i forgot what i wanted to talk with her about, so i ended up just saying hi and then leaving to go turn in my writing sample for janet lyon (the english honors advisor who holds my future in her hands). i turned in one of my better papers: the one i wrote about ethan frome in which i took a lacanian interpretation. i had a great time writing that one. yay!
so, my day will be moving forward in a few minutes as i hasten away to the library and, from there, make my way to work until 9:30. after that, i still have to read cantos 5&6 of book 1 of "the faerie queene" for doc rissell and i really want to work on this paper for kelly (especially since i'm going to talk with him about it tomorrow).

so, yeah.. that's my day. all 37 hours of it. *grin*

2.21.2007

not only long-winded, but also geographically disabled (i.e. lost)

today i stumbled across a website that i used to frequent in high school: rumandmonkey.com, home to silly tests (always involving obliteration of a small village) and liberal blog-goodness from before the time it became seriously cool to blog on a regular basis.

according to their "world extremity" test..
I am Challenger Deep!
Which Extremity of the World Are You?
From the towering colossi at Rum and Monkey.

..does that mean i'm deep?

today, i was quite deep... ly lost in the library. i thought, "oh, it'll be nice to go read in a quiet corner of the stacks" well.. quiet corner found, reading finished, i decided to leave the stacks. finding entrances to the stacks is, apparently, infinitely easier than finding exits. they seem designed to trap and hold the innocent reader looking for merely a quiet spot on a heartily populated campus.
of course, after finally escaping their clutches, i decided i needed to return to the depths to find some fascinating scholarship comparing dante and joyce.. how could i pass that up!? so, i went back down and, lo and behold, could not find the book i was looking for. i followed the numbers, found the ones near it, was surrounded by works about joyce.. yet could not find the one book i was looking for.. or a helpful librarian in the stacks.. or, again, an exit by which to leave the godforsaken cramped, barely space.
what joy i will have while working on my thesis (should i be accepted).. i'll basically live in the stacks while researching obscure scholars commenting on less-obscure writers. oh, i love it!

i will surely come more prepared for spelunking the next time i visit the library: backpack and library-safe mug are definitely coming along for my next excursion into that cursed den of literary sloth.. the stacks.
(and then i had a great time checking out the graphic novel display in the non-stacks area of the library and one of the galleries in the HUB which was displaying weird art about healing. quite cool, go see if you can).

2.20.2007

maybe i am a little long winded..

as my friends begin to move on with their lives i, once again, find myself feeling sort of left behind. the same thing happened in high school: i was a sophomore and all my senior friends left to go to college, moved on with their lives, lost touch with me (to a greater or lesser degree).
when i first started college, i worried that i wouldn't make fast friends, that i'd just sort of solo my way through and feel lonely and lousy pretty much all the time. while that has been true a little (i haven't made boatloads of new friends), i've cultivated the strong friendships that i developed while in high school and i feel like i'm approaching a new awareness of myself and my peers through my lonely excursions.. i feel as if my alone time has given me time to expose my own thoughts on things that i would otherwise never have encountered.
this separation from matt is killing me -- i would love to be living with him right now.. come home to him smiling after classes, prepare dinner for the two of us while he works on some class stuff, plots out a new film. i would love for him to cook us dinner while i read aloud to him. i would read him catherine mansfield, in keeping with my newfound adoration of her beautiful writing. her words are fresh and as beautiful as woolf's but without all the 2-page sentences. she is easily as delightfully ambiguous though -- reading her is like puzzling through a challenging mystery: i have to connect each detail to the next and cultivate a real sense of understanding before i can determine the thrust of the story. i'm enjoying every word and every work.

i went to the honors advisor today: she basically told me that, in order to graduate with honors over the next three semesters, i'll have no social life and i will spend what little "freetime" i have outside of my intense classes holed up in the archives of the library gorging on literary criticism and scholarship. i'm delighted! it'll be a refreshing change of pace -- i'll feel like i'm actually contributing a body of scholarly work, not just leaching off it for my own deeds. it'll be a beautiful scenario of give-and-take, if i can qualify for the honors program, that is. otherwise, i'll not write a serious thesis until grad/ph.d work.

i've downloaded a recommended reading least from stanford's ph.d program: i intend to pursue it over this coming summer and during my teaching period in japan. it should be quite interesting to work on austen, thackeray, and milton while working at a contemporary bank and while teaching children the basics of english communication. i'll be spelling words in ways that were conventional hundreds of years ago, speaking in literary tongues archaic and delicious. yum!

now, onto spenser and his lovely "faerie queene" before i retire to my junk-covered bed.

2.19.2007

and the last man standing..

i'm pretty sure they all sat down. i couldn't see anyone standing on the floor of the BJC after they said the dancers could sit - just a bunch of relieved, sore, possibly delirious kids really happy to be off their feet.

the number alone, though.. that's enough to need a seat for. $5.2 million, a whole million over last year's number... crikey!

i went (slightly drunk) on saturday night (i sobered pretty quickly) and was kinda bored.. i was tired and nobody seemed to have much spirit. the stands were barren and the floor was not the inspiring sight i excepted. on sunday afternoon, though, i went around 3:30 for the numbers and the entire building was packed, floor to ceiling (with a few exceptions, of course). all the dancers were (amazingly) peppy and the whole crowd was into it. everyone did (or attempted) to do the line dance and, i think, that was the most moving part of it all -- seeing thousands of people all waving their arms and chanting in time. there was a primitive, tribal feeling of .. goodwill. it was lovely and unexpected.

i loved the colors. it was my first THON and i didn't really know what to expect, but it certainly wasn't a sea of neon colors competing, in friendly fashion, to outshine the rest. had everyone been much less tired, i would have expected crowd surfing. i couldn't see the floor.
the children were wonderful.. mingling in the chromatically separated groups, hitching shoulder rides and dancing like shining maniacs -- they were beautiful and uninhibited. not to be didactic, but.. we could probably all learn something from the little boys on stage who looked completely foolish, but were having so much fun. they shone.

next year, i hope to get more actively involved.. something so moving and so good.. not something i want to pass up.


and, on an entirely unrelated note, i'm getting a pair of these tights in emerald (i wish i could snag one of the models with the tights.. agh!) i expect everyone to coo and admire when i wear them. please don't let me down!

2.18.2007

"raise your glass high"

so, i'm in a pretty good mood right now.

over the weekend, i raised ~$500 for THON (working at lion line.. calling up those bitches.. For The Kids!!).

so, i feel like i've done a good thing (and i also got paid to do it.. yess!).
i'm headed off now to watch the numbers go up for the end of the dance. i'm interested in seeing how many dancers stay on their feet for the last two hours after the official dancing is over - in apparent homage to previous dances and past dancers.
i hope a lot of the kids are there. and that i can find a place where i can actually see through what i expect will be *masses* of people. all of them completely insane.

2.16.2007

i am back to save the universe

so, talked to alison today about honors college stuff -- definitely going to ask the advisor if it's possible for me to get in and whether she thinks there'll be a decent amount (read: any) honors courses offered next summer when i'll be finishing my degree.

i planned out the basic idea for my next three semesters, as per my understanding of the degree audit and credit system. here goes:

Fall '07:
  • awesome 300-400 level english
  • awesome 300-400 level english
  • lab science (maybe astronomy?)
  • humanity class (cross-listed with US cultures class)
  • italian 2
-- that should equal 17 credits (italian = 4 credits, science w/ lab = 4 credits)

Spring '08:
  • awesome english thesis class
  • lousy gen. ed. english 202B
  • gen. ed science (hopefully geosci something)
  • math of some sort (yikes! hopefully philosophy of math)
  • italian 3
-- that should equal 16 credits (italian = 4, everything else 3)

Summer '08:
  • awesome english 300-400 level
  • other things to fill up schedule
  • other things
  • other things
  • other things
-- that needs to be 15 credits so.. a schedule mostly full of deliciously easy and/or interesting classes while working long hours at some hopefully decent paying job.

so, that's the schedule i'm hoping to pursue, tentatively. will it work out? i'm hoping. really hoping.. i don't like the idea of spending the summer away from home, but ..i don't know where matt will be (probably california), anyway, and he's the person i spend most time with at home. while i'll miss gramma and all my friends, i don't really spend that much time with friends while i'm at home and i'll be 21 up here and hopefully surrounded by at least one or two people with whom i can enjoy a legal adult beverage. *grin*

so, here's hoping and leaving off the blogging so that i can get some homework done before going in to work and making money .. For the Kids! (lion line is concentrating all this weekend, starting last night, on raising money for THON and every dollar i bring in tonight will be for the kids.. which i think is better than the normal dull cases and dry donations that people normally give to nominally support "academics" .. this means so much more).

2.15.2007

"i'm staring at the asphalt wondering what's buried underneath"

what lives under roads? i remember being little and killing weeds creeping out through cracks in the driveway. i poured vinegar on them and they would shrivel sadly. it always made me sad to kill these brave little creatures, to squash their little photosynthetic lives. they always conjured up fun imaginative stories of heroic ent-beings who would swoop in (or clamber up, as the case may be) in picturesque style, capture the "bad guys," rescue the "helpless maiden" (that'd be me), and, finally, repave the driveway so that nothing else could come up to disrupt their new conquest. they would tolerate no opposition.

on a less innocently childlike note, i ignored my morning english class today to tentatively plan out my next (and last) three semesters. apparently, to finish all my degree requirements, i need only 35 more credits. to qualify for a liberal arts degree, though, i need to complete 123 credits (i've got 75 after this semester) so i need to finish 48 more credits before i can graduate. so.. that leaves me with 13 credits with which i can do pretty much anything. so, instead of thinking "easy classes, easy a's, easy GPA improvement" i'm thinking "ooh, minor in classical and mediterranean studies!" it would be easier for me to get a minor in italian, though since i'll already have 12 credits completed in the language to work with (only 21 credits to a a language minor, i believe).

so, i'll finish the bulk of my coursework in the next two semesters (fall '07 and spring '08) and then finish up anything else and take "fun" courses as much as i can in summer '08. hopefully i will be able to do the commencement exercises with the spring graduation so that i can have a nice ceremony with all the pomp and circumstance that my high school graduation was pretty free of. (i'm still pissed at mom for not taking any photos. wtf, mom?).

in other news, i'm falling behind a little in my hard english (456 - british modernism) class, but i should be able to catch up pretty easily. just need to keep plowing through another hundred or so pages of conrad while balancing all my other books, classes, and obligations.

right now, though, i need to grab an apple and catch the bus before i'm late for work. lion line... do i love you or do i loathe you? i've been working there a little over two weeks now, i guess (including training) and so far i haven't found it too bad, just a little discouraging at times. it pays $6.50/hour and you only need to work three 3-hour shifts every week. if you work more shifts, you make more money (read: get raises) and if you do certain excelling things during your shifts, you get more money. i love the flexible schedule: i make my own schedule and pick my own shifts. i can change a shift as late as 11.59pm the night before the shift and i'm surrounded by friendly people. it's an easy job and i can do simple homework tasks while doing it. ::shrug:: it's work, but not demanding and i get to sit while doing it. they also have free hot chocolate. that's a biiiiig draw. like you wouldn't believe. oh, and the fact that it raises money for university programs.. not a detractor. *grin* it also seems like a pretty good resume builder: "i raised $10,000 for scholarships at PSU" .. werd.

bloodsport

well, now that i'm exhausted and have put off sleep for too long, i'll stop putting off posting .. good deal, eh?
well, it's late and i've had an.. interesting day. last night, i played in the snow for a long time, had a good time with alison and walked around after playing a rollicking several minutes of snow soccer. it was nice to just walk in the freezing cold watching other people sledding and feeling cozy in my coat and two pairs of pants.
this morning, of course, i woke up terribly sore (when did i get so old?) and dreading the day ahead.. then i found out we didn't have classes. yess! so, i went back to bed. yay, sleeping. i didn't wake up until matt called me at 12:50 to wish me a happy valentine's day and tell me sweet things. what a good boy. *smile*
i called anita and went over to bake some cookies with her and went to alison's after that for knitting lessons. i started an adorable hat and would provide pictures except for the lack of camera and the fact that i tore out the hat because it had so many ugly mistakes. in fact, i "frogged" it. apparently, the knitting community has a whole host of adorable and/or fitting jargon terms to make knitting even more awesome than it already is.
so, even though classes were canceled, alison and i had to walk together to our class because the prof. wasn't nice enough to cancel it (it runs from 3.30 to 6.30 and classes were only canceled until 5). even though it was a pain to get there and we didn't really want to go, it was a pretty good class. al and i both knitted quietly while still actively participating in the discussion. it was nice to be in such a small class, again: of the 30-40 kids in the class, only about 10 of us showed up. it was nice and cozy.
so, after class, i came back, fed, and went to the anime club meeting.. it was going to be pretty sweet because i hadn't gone in a while and i missed the atmosphere of nutty people. well, before we got there, a fraternity had been hosting a bear-building activity and wanted us to participate before they left.. well, i agreed and made an adorable fat lion holding a rose. he's soooo cute and i went over to put it in a box and then they told me how much it cost. well.. that was nice.. considering they had no signs advertising a cost and hadn't mentioned price whatsoever until that point. of course, i didn't have any money on me and, as it was $20, i didn't want to buy it, anyway. had they told me it would've cost me.. i wouldn't have done it in the first place. so, anita ended up paying for it (i would've rather not paid for it and had them just disassemble the monster, but whatever) and i feel really mad about the whole thing. now, i owe anita $20 for a lion i wouldn't have bought in a store (and have no one really to give it to) and i feel so angry that those boys had me make this thing and then decided to tell me i had to pay for it. nothing said money. i feel so .. swindled, like it was a big con to get me to "fall in love" with this animal and then pay them for it.
the only mitigating factor involved is that the proceeds probably went to charity (likely THON), so i don't feel as bad, but.. c'mon.. $20 for a bear/lion thing? i wouldn't pay that and i really can't afford it. i feel cheated and angry and helpless.
it really ruined my day.

on a brighter note, i think i'll donate plasma when i get a chance (they pay you ~$25 per donation and you can donate 2x/week).. it seems like a good thing. basically, you give them a part of your blood (so it shouldn't be as exhausting as giving whole blood) and it takes a while (two hours, i think). the only real drawback is the amount of time (which isn't that bad since i can read during it), but it might also hurt. i don't want hurting! i figure i'll drop in some day when i have some free time and see how it all works. can't hurt to find out, right?
if i do donate plasma, though.. i'll be able to put that money right into my wallet just a sort of gift to myself. yarn money, perhaps? subsidizing for matthew's airplane tickets to come visit me? unfortunately, after reading some documentation on it, i realize that i can't donate until the end of march because i recently gave blood. boooo.

ugh, too tired to write more. must sleep. to bed, to bed, and hopefully to a brighter tomorrow.

1.24.2007

"we move together like underwater plants"

i'm feelin' a little bit rushed.

yesterday was a whirlwind sort of day. i hauled myself out of bed and wasted time until breakfast then had an exhilarating discussion in english 456 (including a brief one about the relationship of epiphany, moments of vision, and jouissance) and then dawdled and didn't have time to mail out the package that i need to send out by today (amazon marketplace item). i rushed off to lunch with a friend of mine and had a good time (despite the sometimes desperate lulls in conversation), but waited too long to leave for class and was several minutes late to italian. after italian, i scooted over to the HUB to buy some gum to mask the stench of tuna breath before bolting to my job interview and arriving just a few minutes late (but with a call making sure my arrival was anticipated).
the interview went well.. it was my first "real" job interview. i've only had two other jobs and interviews: one with barbara nesbitt ("amanda, you can type, right? want me to pay you to do it?") and one with wawa ("you're here? you're hired." thanks ken!). the girl interviewing me was really nice - she was a good conversationalist and answered all my questions. she asked me about my previous experience with public speaking and my ability to persuade (the job is lion line.. i get to call alumni and ask for money.. werd). overall, she was really nice and i felt pretty confident. i start training on monday. after i ultimately get hired (::crosses fingers::), i'll be making $6.50/hour flat-rate and then i have the opportunity for raises based on performance, attendance, and coming back next semester. she said that, if i just sit on my butt and make a few phone calls, i'll walk out with ~$20 after my three hour shift. if i do a good job and really work hard to convince people to gimme money, though, i can definitely get a lot more out of it.. and so will the university.
right now i'm putting off writing the rest of an essay for my english 497C class.. it's the "new york jew" course and i'm a little intimidated. i've got an essay due today for a class to which i've only been twice.. i don't know the prof and i don't know really what he wants. we haven't discussed the book and .. i think i might also be responsible for a 2-3 page reading response and class discussion today. the syllabus says that he'll just choose some people from the class to turn in the analysis and do the discussion, so i will just hope he bypasses me. thing is, the syllabus isn't really explicit about those things. it doesn't give strict guidelines or set up real duedates for them.
really, my classes are starting to get challenging and full of work. now that we've finished the fairly easy war of the worlds in english 456, we're moving onto the more difficult under western eyes which, while better written, is both longer and more verbose. tomorrow i have a quiz in that class and i've already had a quiz in english 221 (got 110%). i have an italian vocab test on friday and next friday is the first exam. i don't really feel like i've learned that much yet, though, so i'm sort of worried. thank goodness i dropped that science class!
went to my first anime club meeting last night. it was pretty fun and i watched a fun/silly anime called "please, teacher" about a hot alien babe who looks like a human with giant boobies. she and this student fall into all sorts of bad-looking, but innocent situations and have to get married to prevent the teacher from losing her job. it's pretty interesting (if ridiculous and full of fanservice) and i had a good time hanging out with banana and caz while watching it.
tonight is my first chance to go to a sci-fi club meeting. we'll be watching donnie darko and, i assume, discussing it, which should be interesting. i look forward to hanging out with a select crowd of geeks, nerds, and sundry. it's funny.. as much as i am a nerd, these people make me seem like the pinnacle of non-nerdiness. they're outrageous and physically overboard while i'm relatively docile and level-headed. when they're screaming and attention-whoring, i'm doing the same.. but in a much quieter and insidious fashion. *evil giggle* it's a fascinating thing to participate in, though, these nerd fests.. i like to witness the person that i've narrowly avoided becoming.
of course, that sounds completely arrogant. i don't look down on these people: they're fun and some are becoming my friends (if they aren't already). the thing that i find disdainful about them is their over-abundance of action. there's no reason to throw a fit when someone touches your shoulder, no reason to threaten violence if someone playfully takes your hat.

as much as i would like to dissect the possible motives behind this behavior, i need to finish up the paper i'm currently ignoring, so i'm off.. maybe to revisit the topic at a later date.

1.20.2007

"we will become silhouettes when our bodies finally go"

today is a pretty unproductive day.

i sucessfully slept until way too late and didn't go out to capture the new shoes that i want (though anita volunteered to introduce me to buses and how public transportation can now be my friend). i did get an italian hoagie (so much meat! and delicious!) and read more for classes. by tuesday, i need to have finished war of the worlds, which shouldn't be a big problem, seeing as i only have about a hundred pages left. last night i did some italian homework and read beowulf as far as i need to for another english class on monday. i've got a paper to write by wednesday and i need to hang out in the library, probably tonight, to do the science reading that i didn't bother with the other day. so, even though today has been a pretty lazy day, i'm ok -- it's my reward for being all "on-task" during the week.
went to late-night at the HUB last night. painted a cute little trinket box and got an adorable balloon animal made: unfortunately, lola the frog has become slightly handicapped through somewhat rough treatment and circumstance. poor lola. ={ i had a good time last night, though. anita and i made dinner for each other: i made pasta and sauce and she made salad with the delicious veggie treats i brought over. it was an ironically vegan dinner, actually. *grin*

nick cazaubon has invited me (coercion notwithstanding) to join his d&d group where i will be able to make friends with a staggeringly dorky group of young men. i'm looking to be a halfling pirate. argh!
tomorrow i also have a meeting for the thespian troupe on campus. i'm pretty excited about that -- especially since they have a children's show for which i would definitely consider auditioning. i would love to work on another theatre performance, though. maybe as a less powerful being than ASM, but definitely in charge of some lights or something.
i'm also looking forward to beginning to attend sci-fi club meetings as well as anime club gatherings. i should be able to create a greater friend base as well as have a good time watching weird/fun shows with weird/fun folks. so, i'm definitely working toward having a good chance at making some new friends: my lack of a glut of close friends becomes really apparent to me on weekends. during the week, i'm super busy, but the weekends are times when i'm not going out (fine by me since most "out"ings involve alcohol that i'm not into during the school year) and when i'm not really doing much except homework -- just a sort of less social weekday.
this lack is sort of an especial problem today: while i'm sitting here being both bored and lonesome, my baby is having a great time (not the problem here, i encourage him to enjoy himself). the problem lies in who he is enjoying himself with -- a girl to whom i know he's been attracted in the past. i feel almost as he must have when, after my encounters with a former stage management team member, i still had to spend a lot of time with her. he must've worried every rehearsal about what would happen during breaks, what things i might potentially be keeping from him. while i'm not terribly worried about it - i trust him implicitly - it does still worry me that he's so far from me and so near to others and having such a wonderful time when most of the time we spend together is through a crackly and upsetting phone connection or exasperating internet messaging. it's painful to keep in touch sometimes. other times it's just impossible. and he has such easy access up there... ::sigh::
the important thing is mostly not that i'm worried, really, but that i'm jealous. it's completely unfair to him to suggest that i'm worried. but, .. i dunno.. it's hard to put my feelings into words, especially since i'm not perfectly clear on them myself.


when i was in high school, i'd go to see matt in the morning with a friend of mine. we'd refer to him as "the wizard." how ironic now that, while listening to the wicked soundtrack, the lyrics to "the wizard and i" echo so prominently. what a pair we'll be.. the wizard and i!.