Sunday, December 26, 2004

white, white christmas

Hello. 'Tis been such a long time. When I finally left Murray what seems like so long ago, I opted to leave the broken-down computer here, thus the no blog activity. And like the rest of the Midwest, I've been snowed-in. (And I'd like to note that I fully believed the word snown existed until just now when I checked ol' It's kind of sad that it doesn't. I liked it, too...) Anyway, after something like three-days of taking up semi-permanent residence on the couch, I decided I was leaving Poole if it meant pick-axing my way to Calvert City. And when we left on Christmas Eve, we literally had to pick-axe our way out of the driveway after Dad stuck my car in a snow-drift--twice. Three hellacious hours later, we arrived in Calvert to the most different, most wonderful Christmas ever. I don't really have time to recount it because we're getting ready to brave the weather by setting out from Murray in just a little bit, but I'll hit the high-points.

This was one serious white Christmas, indeed. It was the first Christmas Eve that I can remember, which is just about all of them, that I didn't go to Uncle Pook's for our normal family thing, and I didn't miss it. This was the first Christmas Victoria knew the truth about ol' Saint Nick. This was Kathryn's first Christmas. It was the first Christmas I woke up and didn't have my presents under the tree; they were still in my trunk. I was up with the adults drinking coffee in the kitchen at 7 am and waiting for Victoria to rouse up in a Christmas morning fury. Victoria and I read Shel Silverstein poems to one another for an hour or so, which was a lot of fun. Randy made us snow cream. In the afternoon, Mom, Dad, and I came back to Murray. We ate at the wonderful Asian Buffet. We stayed the night here. I finally took my first shower in a couple days, and now I need to dry my hair. But I tell ya, it's good to be clean.

Okay, there's my first and last (stream-of-consciousness) post for a while. I'm again choosing to leave the computer here. It's just not worth the hassle. But for those of you that I only have contact with online, I love and miss you. I got the dial-up number off this computer, so I might venture to dig out the really old and crappy desktop and get online at home. Maybe. But until the next time we talk, take care. And happy new year. May 2005 bring you great joy.

Monday, December 13, 2004

forgive me

In honor of the fact that it's finals week and I need to study and the fact that my apartment's upside down and I need to clean, I'm going to do this survey that went around a while back. Figured I'd save it for a time such as this.

First best friend: Ashley Wallace.

First real boyfriend: Still waiting on this.

First real memory of something: I think that would be when I broke my arm when I was three.
We'll discuss this later on in the survey.

First real date: Any time now, right?

First real kiss: *taps fingers on table*

First screen name: Oh, something very stupid like sassy_rene or something, but that lasted like three seconds. I'd say the first real one was cassarole220.

First self purchased album: Going way back to the cassette tapes, eh? I don't really remember, but I did have Billy Ray Cyrus' Some Gave All. Yes, that's the one with "Achy Breaky Heart," but other than that song, it wasn't so bad. Sweet mother, listen to me...

First pets: So I had this dog, but I can never remember if her name was Trixie or Roxie. 'Tis is very distant memory.

First piercing/tattoo: I got my ears pierced at some childhood age when I was still young enough to sit in the cart at WalMart. Yet another fuzzy memory.

First enemy: I was never really much of an enemy maker. Kelly Marshall and I didn't really get along in fifth grade, but we became big buddies in sixth grade when Mrs. Boswell put her in my group because we were doing a project on Kwanzaa. Hmm, maybe Holly and I were enemies in sixth grade with that whole "I know what you said" playground incident. We see how that turned out. :-)

First big trip: Like, vacation? I think that would be the horrendous trip to Daytona Beach when I was, like, five.

First detention: Ah. Junior year. I had already gotten one unexcused tardy because I kept pushing the getting-to-school-on-time envelope. Then one day, like, my ignition broke in my car and there was no one anywhere around to get me to school on time. By the time I got there, I almost got away with the second unexcused tardy, but alas, I was caught. Coach Hogg would not be stopped as I pleaded with him to consider my situation excused. He did not, and therefore, he wrote me my one and only detention slip. I wish I could find it.

First heartbreak: When John Montgomery was supposed to accompany me at the basketball banquet in fourth grade but had to go to his grandfather's birthday party instead. Heartbreak, I tell you.

First time breaking a bone: I was three and at Clay Days. Some other little girl basically shoved me off backward from the top of the slide. I'm still not sure which arm I broke. Left, I think.

First sleepover: It was either one of the two infamous Heather Powell nightmares or my own in third grade.

First hangover: No hangovers for me.

Car ride: Back from my WalMart adventure.

Movie seen: Haven't seen any movies in a while. Maybe what part I saw of A Walk to Remember on satellite over Thanksgiving break.

Swear word: Hmm. I pointed out that Jenny's BarbCobbTakeHomeExam (BCTHE) closely resembles the word bitch.

Beverage consumed: A little milk to go with the toffee that I just made.

Person you called: Mom, of course.

Person you danced with: Dance? I don't do much of that. Ah, Kathryn, to try to get her to quit crying.

TV show watched: I caught the tail-end of John Mayer Has a TV Show the other day.

Shower: This mornin'.

Shoes worn: When I remembered to go to WalMart, I changed and put on my Vans.

Item bought: My WalMart purchases include water, margarine, Hershey bars, oranges, peanut butter crackers, and a tin to put my toffee in.

Annoyance: The fact that I'm hot with the heat on and cold with it off.

Web page visited: Jenny's journal to make sure the E in BCTHE stands for "exam."

CD you listened to: The compilation CD that I made and named "Sprachgefühl." And because of it, I have "Big Yellow Taxi" in my head.

CD you bought: I bought three Christmas CDs over Thanksgiving break. Two really cheap ones, bluegrass and celtic, that are pretty good and one more expensive one, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, that definitely did not live up to my expectations. Way to go, cheap.

What song do you swear was written about you or your life? As stupid as this sounds, I think the answer to this question is "Why Georgia."

What's the most embarrassing CD you own? Hmm, that'd be a toss up between Millennium by the Backstreet Boys, Spice by the Spice Girls, Middle of Nowhere by Hanson (which I'm not too embarrassed by, actually), and maybe that Kenny G Christmas CD I have.

What's the best CD you own? Room for Squares will always have a solidarity that won't let me down.

What song do you absolutely hate? I don't harbor an absolute hate for most any song, but there is one song that makes me groan quite loudly and emphatically change the station. That's Uncle Kracker's "Drift Away."

Do you sing in the shower? Maybe I used to, but I definitely don't anymore. I always have a song in my head when I'm in the shower, but I'm waaay too tired to be doing any singing.

Best Love Song?: I haven't really thought about this. But the most recent song that I've heard and thought, "I'd really like to have this sung to me someday," was Bebo Norman's "Try."

Song that gives you the chills when you hear it: Alison Krauss' version of "When You Say Nothing at All" always does that to me.

Song that makes you cry: Matchbox 20's "If You're Gone" used to strike quite an emotional chord with me.

Song that puts you in a good mood: Counting Crows' "Mr. Jones."

Song that's always stuck in your head: For the past couple of days, it's been between "Feliz Navidad" and Natalie Merchant's "Wonder." Yeah. I don't know either.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

finals eve

O, finals eve. The night the library is still decidedly teeming with stressed folks at 10:30 at night. Gets me right there. I kind of like finals week. It's a nice segue from the rest of the semester into the non-semester. It's enough schedule change and classlessness to feel like a break, maybe. And nothing marks the night before finals like Midnight Breakfast. I forgot it was tonight, but when I was leaving Hart, I could smell the bacon. It was then I remembered. I won't be going to that this year. I think I've been twice in my college career. I've never been really impressed with it because it's not the typical wonderful Winslow breakfast fare, but it's the concept that counts, right? And Michael Smith in a Santa suit.

My finals week benchmark, as I have mentioned before, has always been getting Winslow to-go, especially breakfast. It's a little sad that it won't be happening this year. But it's not because I'm not living on campus. See, the tradition is to get Winslow on the way back from an 8:00 final. The only 8:00 final I have is Shakespeare, but I have the BarbCobb final right after that. So there won't be any hopping in my car, driving to Winslow to get breakfast, and bringing back to my apartment as I would have done if my schedule had allowed for it.

Now that I've successfully written two paragraphs about Winslow breakfast, I think it's time to call it a night.

Friday, December 10, 2004

los profesores

Today is the last day of classes before finals. It is quite difficult to believe. I've already finished all my big things. Nothing really due today, so I tried to do a little bit of celebratory napping yesterday afternoon. That didn't work so well. Even though I didn't get much sleep the previous night, I guess I didn't need any more. That celebratory nap turned out to be only thirty minutes long. So after TNT, I went to WalMart and got stuff to make macadamia nut cookies. I figured doing a little baking would be rewarding enough. I brought the bulk of them with me to work this morning. Guess I'm trying to spread a little end-of-the-semester and holiday cheer.

I still do have a wee bit of homework to do, but it's nothing too serious. I have to finish up my Spanish workbook. And thrice on the trot (Jenny, I couldn't resist.), I'm going to do my reading assignment for BarbCobb.

But before I go, I'd like to give a shout out to my professors this semester. They've all been good in one way or another, and I haven't always been able to say that. Here's to my educators, in order of appearance throughout the week: BarbCobb, even though she drives me insane and grades papers much too harshly, is very passionate about the literature she teaches, and there is something to be said for that. Koji is the man who can do most all things including teach Spanish whilst speaking English (two languages that aren't his native tongue), draw cartoons, sing, play guitar, and milk cows. Dr. Brown amazes me because he's very much like an excited little boy and deep well of knowledge and wisdom trapped in a professor's body. He's precious, and Tessa and I have decided we have crushes on him. Even Burly gets my love, for even though he doesn't have a clue what he's doing most days and his lectures are thoroughly horrible, he's a pretty cool guy. Mrs. Ed has been one of the most beneficial teachers I've ever had. She freely offered her practical advice and invaluable experience to us future English teachers who desperately needed it. And Q is one of many graduate students I've had as teachers who were actually good at their job. Now I know my rocks and minerals... Anyway, those aformentioned folks deserve my thanks.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

farewell, 329

In all the great tumultuousness of finishing my unit plan, getting it printed, sorted, and stapled, making it to the earth science study session, and getting to my night class, I somehow overlooked that this would be the last time that class met. I knew it was the last class, I suppose, but I didn't realize it was the end.

O, Teaching English in Middle/Secondary Schools, our life together: 'Twas bittersweet. You gave me both great anticipation and great anxiety upon the foresight of teaching English to high school students. 'Twas a painful experience many Tuesday nights, but I am henceforth resolved to be more organized, prepared, and insightful because of it. You gave to me a plethora of classmates that will not soon be forgotten and many a bout of girlish giggling as I walked with fellow Bill-admirers past the steps of Lovett. Your departure did come too quickly, and I was not prepared. We had our disputes, fallings out, and other such unfriendly encounters, but in the end, how do I appreciate you. And English Three Twenty and Nine, as unexpected as it may be, I will miss you.


Okay, now that I have that over with, I should get onto other big end-of-the-semestery things that stare me down quite intimidatingly. Like the Shakespeare paper. But I tend to get terribly distracted when I should be doing such things. Like last night, I was going to read the first half of The Tempest, but in all my despair, I couldn't bring myself to do any more school-related tasks once I read most of the first act of the play. So I finished The Chronicles of Narnia. At last. It took me long enough. About a week shy of two months, it took. The whole thing, mind you, could feasibly be read in two or three days, but this semester sure hasn't been messing around, though I do find that I got the most reading done during great seasons of stress. How surprising.

I'm really excited about Christmas break. I have lots of reading planned. I've asked for several books as gifts from the parents, so since Christmas is so very near to the beginning of break, I hope to be able to read all of them before class resumes. As a disgrace to my major and most humankind, I haven't read To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, or Of Mice and Men, and I'd like very much to take care of that situation. I'm also expecting The Screwtape Letters, which I almost read (checked it out and everything) as an AC Reader book in high school, but for some reason, I decided against it. In my old age, I've come to appreciate literature so much more, and O, the wonder of C. S. Lewis... If Mom managed to not pick that one up at Barnes & Noble, I'll have to do so myself. I am most excited about this chance to read without other things dangling o'ertop my head--even though that hasn't seemed to stop me much even now. But alas, I must take care of what lies between here and there. And I must stop this nearly-archaic language. I almost wrote "hither" and "thither."

Monday, December 06, 2004

and there's not even a full moon

I do not know what's going on this morning. At all. Everything's crazy.

I suppose it began when I went to and saw that it is going to be 68 degrees today!

Trying to be all productivity this last week of classes, I was gathering up all the things I could work on while I'm at work. And quite sadly, I have misplaced the disk on which I saved my preliminary unit plan. This is a possible tragedy of sorts. But there is still a slight hope of it being found.

Next, I was trying to figure out if I'd need my umbrella--I'd already come to the conclusion that I wouldn't need the ice scraper I had in tow--when I realized I couldn't find my keys. Not in the fruit basket I keep on the table where I most always throw them as I walk in the door. Not on the couch. Not in my jacket pocket. Not in my purse. I couldn't remember where they might be, but I remembered I barely could manage unlocking the door last night, what with all the WalMart bags and such. And then the frightening truth hit me: I left them in the door. Car keys, apartment key, mailbox key, lab key... The theft possibilities right there are endless. Not to mention the fact I'd basically slept with my door unlocked all night. So I plucked up my courage and opened the door. They were still there, thank God. And I'd even had my over-the-door light on. They had been there for all the world to see...

Now, I am at work, of course. It is insane. I got here ten minutes before 8:00, and two girls followed me in. Before I got everything started up, another guy walked in. I don't have a clue what's going on, but usually there is no one here until about twenty 'til nine. At 8:30, there are like 16 or 18 people in here. And our favorite student even made a cameo appearance. In a matter of just a few minutes, the entire lab is full. I have never seen it like this. But I have finally come to the conclusion that a professor is holding some sort of online test in here. Not exactly fair to those other students who need to come in and do other things. But I guess there is always the library.

I can't quite concentrate on anything, so there went all the homework I needed to do--at least until all this jazz is over with.

Friday, December 03, 2004

like a little velcro man

Twice I've received calls when I think my phone is on silent when it's really not. Being such a good example of the cell phone policy here in the labs, I went ahead and answered. I was under the impression that I was the only one in here, but when I noticed that someone was in here, I dropped by voice. The person I was talking to asked me if I was asleep, which I kind of thought was funny considering my answer was, "No, I'm at work." Anyway, after the call, I silenced that little booger, but I know I went through that process when I got to work this morning. I suppose I've been selecting "Normal" instead of "Silent." A lot of good that does...

There was frost again this morning, but this time I allocated my time a bit more wisely so that I wouldn't have to play blind chicken crossing Main. I still haven't gotten myself an ice scraper. I'm not sure why there isn't one floating around in my car. Maybe it's under a seat somewhere. But this more, my Racercard sufficed.

I read an article on this morning that deals with a sort of revelation I had last night. Well, it wasn't really a revelation. I think there is a difference between "knowing" something and "realizing" it. (The difference between absent-minded head-nodding and a glaring lightbulb pulsating above the head. The difference between a thought bouncing around inside the mind and a thought attaching itself to the wall of the mind like a man dressed in a velcro suit.) In some ways, I wish I'd realized this two and a half years ago, but then again, I feel blessed to have realized it before it was too late.

Looking back now with the responsibilities of a career, a marriage, two young children, a mortgage and lots of school debt, I miss many freedoms I enjoyed during college. But I also see how something I took for granted then is a true luxury now — time to learn: to read, to sit under good teachers and to spend time with mentors. You may dread the reading, writing and lectures now, but the time will come when you’ll crave those "meals" you skipped.

. . .

H. Jackson Brown says it best in his Life’s Little Instruction Book: "Don’t learn the tricks of the trade, learn the trade." Instead of looking for shortcuts, this is the best time to work at becoming an expert at something — to really grasp a field of knowledge and to learn how to apply it to people’s needs.
I am already seeing the fruits of my labors--more acurately the lack of fruit of the lack of labor. Too long I have put on a front of being a hard worker, but it's all a guise that covers nothing more than the cleverness it takes to get by without doing much. But what's the point? A piece of paper without the education it claims? I love learning. I don't know why I go into shutdown. It's all a mindset. There are times when I think I'd love to take certain classes, but the one I'm in afford me the same opportunity--that I don't take. I don't realize the value of the opportunities that I have, and that's why, I believe, my efforts to drag myself out of the pits of slackerdom always fail: I just didn't realize the benefit. Five semesters have passed in this manner, and I don't want another one to do the same. But this isn't just academics. College is somehow an almost magical time, a little window of time where I have the opportunity to cultivate so many things in my life. And I don't want to miss out on them either.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Everything today has been late. I woke up ten minutes late, which doesn't seem like much.

But Tom Brokaw was on Today, and I had to see if I could tape at least part of it. That made me leave late.

I got out to my car, and somehow wasn't prepared for the frost that had it frozen all over. If I walked to class, I would have absolutely been late for work. So I nearly killed myself crossing Main Street with windows that weren't quite opaque but not quite translucent and wouldn't even roll down. I'm not sure why I was so dead-set on getting to work on time. But figuring I didn't see any headlights coming at me I skrrrted across two lanes of traffic and hoped for the best.

I wasn't late for work. While I was there, I did my 303 paper that was due today, so it was almost late.

And I was almost late for 303 because not only my was relief at work late, but he didn't show up at all. Fifteen minutes after my shift was over, someone finally came in. Sheesh.

I had conversation class tonight, so I was going to get home too late to see Nightly News and Tom Brokaw's farewell. I taped it. Touching, it was. Maybe I should bust out the CD Tom Brokaw: A Dedication and listen to "Ignition" in his honor.

I went and saw Century Century play at the Stables tonight. Thank goodness the other bands were running late, or I might have been too late.

Now I have to work on my Quia Spanish online workbook. Or it will be late.