Yearly Archives: 2005

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand… break!

Wonder of wonders! (No, no that one. He’s on His way, though.) It’s the Friday Five — on a Friday evening!
1) What word irks you every time you hear someone say it? Societal! People, the word “social” means exactly the same thing, and it doesn’t sound so made-up. Save me a cringe.
2) What is your favorite word? Are you kidding? I like the word “juxtapose” a lot. Something about a word with a J and an X draws me in. I also like “verisimilitude” and “lovely”.
3) What does it mean? Juxtapose: to place side by side. Verisimilitude: the quality or state of having the appearance of truth. (Oh, M-W, why are you so wordy?) I’m not defining “lovely” for you.
4) What word do you say far too often? Erm, “lovely.” I also have a thing for using SAT words whenever I can in ordinary conversation.
5) Name three words you think other people overuse. I can only think of one: literally (and they use it incorrectly most of the time).

Hana’s birthday dinner was really fun. We met at the Metro shuttle stop to start our long ride: me, Megha, her boyfriend Eric, Scott, Andrew, Hana’s exchange student friend Joyin from Hong Kong, Dan, and Sara. Guy met us at the Metro station, since he lives off-campus. While we waited for Megha to show up, Scott noticed that we had exactly five girls and five guys, so Hana decided we should pair off. Megha had Eric, and Joyin chose Scott, I picked Guy, and Sara had Andrew, which left Hana with Dan. All that really influenced was our seating pattern on the trains and in the restaurant, but it was still kind of cute. And I hardly ever get to see Guy, so it was great to talk to him so much.

After a very long ride (all the way in on the Green Line, then back out on Red), we got to Maggiano’s to find it absolutely packed. We waited around for a while and eventually got a table for ten when that big group left. We decided not to order family-style because it was so expensive, so we just got big bowls of pasta and shared them. It was like we do at Adele’s, only on-purpose and classier. Hana got these cool long, thin candles in some yummy lemon cookies as a birthday treat from the restaurant, so we got sing to her.

The train rides back were pretty uneventful, though very cold. We all split up to change, then Guy, Hana, Joyin, Sara, Scott, Andrew, Dan, and I all met back up for some more gifts and games. Hana, Sara, and Rebecca had bought Dirty Minds to give to the blond boys. They got Hana sweetened condensed milk for her birthday. She asked for it. I love my crazy friends. We started playing Dirty Minds, but it wasn’t as fun as we’d anticipated. I think it would’ve been better had we not all been so sober. We switched to Taboo, which was awesome. Joyin did really well toward the end with the English words she recognized. All of Dan’s clues started with the F-word. When Scott said, “Okay, uh, she had a lot of drug problems,” I immediately yelled, “Whitney Houston!” Hana started every card by guessing, “Wildebeest!” It was a good time. I went to bed around 3am.

Church was kind of bittersweet, since I knew I probably wouldn’t see any of those people until the end of January. Maura and I were almost late, but we got there on time, though I was wearing no jewelry. I don’t know why I was so slow, my late night notwithstanding. I wished Chris a happy birthday afterward, then had breakfast with Maura (and possibly someone else I can’t remember). Then I came back to study for my Comm final the next afternoon.

I got up earlyish Monday morning, around 8. I’d forgotten to pick up my paycheck on Friday, so I went over to Benjamin to try to track it down. Alice (the grad student working with the program) sent me from the Dean’s Office down to the Business Office, where the vaguely rude woman told me I hadn’t done my paperwork properly. I ate lunch, then went to take my exam. My TA was playing videos from Launch, like he did before the midterm. Quite unconventional, that Art. I think I did okay with the media clip we had to analyze. He said it was one of his favorites. On my way across Hornbake Mall, I suddenly realized I’d forgotten to go back to a multiple-choice I’d skipped, and therefore may have also left one of the blanks unfilled. I was trying to avoid that thing I do where I second-guess my answers after I’ve chosen. (That driving school final thing still irks me.) I feel so-so about it, like I do about all my exams.

I gathered up my books and trekked out to BookHolders. On the way, I passed the UBC tent and decided to at least price the five books I had to sell. (So different from last semester’s, like, fifteen.) They gave me $35 for my Comm book and $7.25 for The New York Trilogy, which I’d bought from BookHolders in good condition for $40 and $10 respectively, so that worked out well. The rest I gave to BookHolders; we’ll see how that goes. They’ve done fairly well with my books so far. I’ll have to try the Book Exchange next semester; I hear they give better prices than the Book Center.

I spent the rest of the evening prepping to come home. My dad was supposed to pick me up Monday morning, but the rugrats’ activities made that really awkward, and he has Tuesdays and Wednesdays off anyway, so we switched it to Tuesday morning. I happened to have one more clean pair of socks; yay for foresight. I kept a lot of worksheets from Spanish I never looked at again. I kept almost everything from 280. It was such a cool class. Again, I felt like I was packing up half of my stuff, but I’ve never quite understood packing light. What if I need something? I had dinner with Hana, Scott, Andrew, and Dan. I miss group dinners already.

I got up and kept packing Monday morning. Hana came over to say goodbye, since the rest of the Woo-Hoo Sisterhood had already left. She helped me and my dad carry stuff downstairs, which was really nice of her. We definitely have to get together over break with Rebecca and Joyin. My dad and I went to the BX, where I got a picture frame for my mom’s second present, since I wasn’t around for her birthday. (I signed her card at Thanksgiving and left it in my closet for my dad to retrieve.) We ate lunch, then came back. We had teriyaki chicken for dinner, which was awesome. It’s my favorite. I actually managed to write about it for one of my last Spanish essays. (FYI, “teriyaki” does not translate, but “soy” does; it’s “soja.”)

I realized that if I’m going to get another OfficeTeam assignment next month, I’ll need dressy clothes for work. I don’t own a lot of dressy clothes, and had absentmindedly left most of them behind, remembering only the five Sundays when I’ll need church clothes. My dad agreed to drive me back to campus on Wednesday to fetch dressy clothes. I also grabbed the two dresses I wore this semester (astonishing, I know) to wash here. I have a feeling the machines in QA would destroy my purple gown. We went to Target, where my dad got a cute bracelet for my mom. I think she’ll like it, if it doesn’t turn out to be too small for her wrist. I would have tried it on for him. We went to Giant, then came back. I like spending time with my dad, but not too much, you know? That was just about right.

That night, I helped Ryan with his math homework. It reminded me why I don’t like math, but he can totally subtract fractions with unlike denominators now. He had basketball practice on Andrews, but my sister was finishing her game at her middle school around the same time, so she asked me to take Ryan to practice. (The rugrats got all the athletic talent in the family. I’m heavy on academics. Ryan’s got a nice balance going, though.) Reasoning that she could walk back from the school if necessary, she left me drive her car to take Ryan on base. I haven’t driven since August, but I’m not sure she knew that, since her car is less than a year old. (It’s an insurance settlement from the accident she was in.) I got us there intact, though. My parking was bad, as usual. Ryan had to help me with the power windows, since I only realized just outside the gate that I don’t know how they work. He’s very mature for an almost-ten-year-old. I tried to read during his practice, but then they started shooting at the basket I was sitting behind, so I figured I should pay attention. I thought I lost my gloves (again), but found them in the car (again) after walking around looking for them.

I didn’t do much that day, either. I tried to watch my Deluxe Edition Men in Black, but I was tired, so I fell asleep several times.

Yesterday, my dad paid me $10 to wrap all his presents. I would have done it for free. I should donate the money the next time someone solicits me. I wrapped the presents I bought, then wrote a sonnet for my mom and wrapped that. It’s not a very good sonnet, but it took more effort and thought than would something I bought for her just for the sake of buying it. I watched two more episodes of Joan of Arcadia. Wow, I love that show. I also realized I never found out what Pat thought of my scene for Buffy class. I’ll have to ask; maybe he’d be interested in using a Joan clip sometime next semester.

Today was also a nothing day. I watched Camp Nowhere this morning, which brought back third-grade memories. I’m going to dinner with some people from high school in a few minutes. Greg’s supposed to be there. I can sense the awkwardness now.

Some Awesomeness, and Some Shininess, and Then Stressfulness

An interesting Friday Five, considering I’m in my dorm:
1. What is the oldest object in the room with you? I’m going to say Maura or the bed frame, but we have the newer desks and dressers, so it’s probably just Maura. Haha.
2. What is the newest? This pink CD Andrew burned for me with pictures from the Prom for Parkinson’s.
3. What is your favorite object in the room with you? Ooh, the pretty new necklace Rebecca gave me for Christmas.
4. What is the most valuable object? Mine and Maura’s computers.
5. What is the ugliest object? Ha. Our room is pretty cute. I’ll go with our odd-colored carpet or the trash.

I like how Facebook wall message emails come from wallmaster at facebook.com. That made me smile.

Last Saturday, I went to Arundel Mills with my mom and the rugrats. We had so much trouble finding a parking space. My mom seriously drove around for like fifteen minutes. It was insane; some heavy-duty trucks had pulled into the spaces that still had snowdrifts in them. We eventually found a spot though, then got a little lost in Outdoor World trying to find the exit into the mall. We escaped, though, and shopped for ages. I spent a long time in Five Below getting parts of Maura’s present. Why have I never been in that store before? They have some cute cheap stuff. Everyone else had lunch, but I had a milkshake since I’d already eaten breakfast/lunch. (Always breakfast. Never brunch.) Then the ice cream place ran out of milk, so they couldn’t get milkshakes. It was yummy, too. I got Full House: Season Two on DVD for Sara, and the rest of Maura’s present (which I can’t describe because I haven’t given it to her yet). We went in a bunch of other stores, then Wal-Mart, then we stopped at Checkers before my mom brought me back to campus. I spent a lot of time with my lovely crazy family, which was fun, and I was so productive. Instead of coming back having bought only two presents, I came back with only two left to buy (which may be less than that, actually). I also got my dress for Tuesday.

Monday was okay. Last review in 280. Lunch with Andrew… and maybe Scott, too. I don’t remember. Definitely know Andrew was there, though. More review in Spanish. In Comm, we went over the final and talked about speeches a little. I went totally formulaic and conventional on my persuasive speech, so I expect a better grade this time around, but I’ll know on Monday. We watched some good clips, though. I like his clips. I watched 7th Heaven again, hoping it would turn out better now that it’s being canceled. It was actually really good. Rose was as despicable as ever, but it was just the right kind of Christmas episode.

I did not want to get out of bed on Tuesday. On the other hand, it was the last day of classes for the semester, so I got up knowing I wouldn’t have to get up early for class until late January. (n.b. “for class”) We had the last of the Frankenstein presentations in 301. Anne M. said she would have skipped if she hadn’t had to present; hers was pretty interesting. I’d heard of the Illuminati, but never knew anything about them. I came back to the dorm and wasted some time, then went to lunch and Spanish class. I came back and Sara drove us out to Target to get an iTunes giftcard for Hana. I got that and tissue paper; she got candy. It was a very productive trip. I had dinner with Scott, Andrew, and Rebecca, then came back to get ready for the NotProm.

Sigma Alpha Iota, Maura’s music “fraternity for women,” sponsored a benefit formal, the Prom for Parkinson’s, for the National Parkinson’s foundation. I hadn’t worn my dress from Jessi’s wedding since then, and it still fit, so I decided to go. Scott, Andrew, Jonah, and Andrea (more Wicomico people) went, and so did Rebecca. Her grandmother died Tuesday, but she decided to go anyway. Take her mind off it, I suppose, since she couldn’t fly out to Maine until today, I think. It was an awesome time. Scott took a zillion pictures (okay, like a hundred, but that’s still a ton!), and I danced with both blond boys, and there were two live bands. And I did lots of dancing and twirling around in my lovely billowy skirt. Afterward, though, I had to go straight to bed.

Wednesday morning, I got up with the sun. I went with the other teachers from the Scholars program around Anne Arundel County to visit the schools we’ll be teaching at. It was so cold that morning! I had to stop halfway to the Union to put my headband on! And then Alice had to go back briefly, so we didn’t even leave on time. The drive out there was really long. I hope hope hope I don’t have to change my schedule. The class is 1-2:30 on Wednesday, but I have class until 12:50 and again at 3:30 that day. I couldn’t get a Wednesday gap and manage to fulfill the requirements I need. Argh! I can’t quit this job, obviously, (… just now remembering I should have picked up my paycheck yesterday… crap), but I have to take classes sometime. Oh, the stress.

We went to the first site, the one I’ll be at. We wound up in the hall during passing time, but we survived. I seem to remember my schools being way worse than that. One teacher was really enthusiastic about helping us out any way possible. She was a shortish blond woman with a really firm handshake. I had to squeeze hers back to keep her from hurting mine! The vice principal gave us a tour. I’ve only been asked for a hall pass maybe twice ever, so it was weird to see her randomly stop a girl for hers as we were walking. Then we went to the AACPS Board of Education office to be fingerprinted for legal whatnot. It was weird. When the fingerprint guy had to do four fingers at once, he kind of slanted mine. I think it was to help them fit in the box, but my middle fingerprint was totally hanging outside the lines. Then he gave me this gross-feeling green hand cleaner to get the ink off. It worked really well, but it felt so squishy and horrible and gritty. We left there and drove to the second school. The principal gave us a tour there. That was a really nice school. I feel like it’s better than the one Irene and I chose, but whatever. It’s not about the school, since we’re not really teachers. It’s the kids. I hope we get good kids. I’m excited.

We got back in early afternoon. I got lunch, then came back and wasted some time before writing a few Christmas cards and going to the CSC. We were almost late for the Rosary, and it was so cold I sniffled for a while, but all was good in the end. I was glad I didn’t lector when the readings were different. They should have a calendar or something of the feast days the CSC celebrates. It’s hard to be prepared to lector anytime when I don’t know what I’ll have to read. The CSC is a silent study hall every finals week, so there wasn’t as big a dinner as usual. They ordered Jerry’s pizza for us, and since no one was actually studying over pizza, we ate in the Great Room anyway. It was kind of sad doing that for the last time this semester, but there’s always next semester to look forward to. And Fr. Bill said, “You know, you are a very perceptive girl,” in response to my Christmas card’s praise of his homilies and awesome, awesome priestliness.

On Thursday, I got up at 8am so as to get something done before church. No such thing. It started snowing that morning, so I walked to Mass with my umbrella and a bag with Christmas presents in it. I read at Mass, then went to the Diner to meet up with Sara, Hana, and Rebecca. As I was getting a drink, I wondered where they were, then thought they might be waiting around for me in the breezeway. That, of course, is exactly where they were. We always meet for lunch at the tables, but for dinner in the breezeway. So I started eating before they even got food. We ate, then exchanged presents. Sara’s mom sent us turtle sculptures from Florida, and Sara knit us all scarves. I love mine; it’s dark blue, so it matches all my winter gear. And she got me these itty-bitty cross earrings, which are super cool, because I have managed to not amass a single pair of cross earrings until now, despite my abundance of jewelry. Hana gave me some long dangly earrings that make me look very sexy… in a chaste sort of way… and a pretty hair barrette. Rebecca gave me this gorgeous cross necklace; it has pink stones on the ends, and a pink heart wrapped around the cross. I had admired one like it on our shopping trip for Hana, actually, but didn’t buy it, and she remembered. Yay for remembering. Lunch took forever, as usual, but it was great fun.

I spent the rest of Thursday studying for my Friday exams, then went to bed super-early. Maura came back from her date at 11:30 and was so confused to find me in bed. I’m sure she understood when my alarm went off at 5:30 the next morning. So I dragged myself out of bed and went to my 8am 301 exam. I don’t feel great about any of my exams so far. I had trouble with the passage IDs, but with only a sentence to work with, who can blame me? I think I finally got a coherent enough Frankenstein essay for him, though. I came back for a bit afterward and IMed Scott, then went to lunch. It was really crowded. I had cookies to try to cheer up; they were good, but didn’t work. I left way later than I’d planned, so most of the rest of my Spanish class was already in the room for that exam at 1:30. I felt so late; our teacher walked in right after me. I’m pretty sure the last verb I used in my writing section was conjugated wrong, but I did what I could. At least I understood everything. I managed to completely blank on the second person plural imperfect of “ir,” but I worked my way around it (I think.) Then dinner and studying for today’s exam.

Getting up before the sun two days in a row is depressing. Yes, it’s winter, so the sun rises later. Tell that to my tired eyes at 6am. The water was conveniently already hot yesterday, so I was disappointed to have to wait for it this morning. I made it to the exam though, 280 at 8am again. I don’t feel great about that one, either. My notecard didn’t help much. There was an excerpt from “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” but I couldn’t think of a second reason why it was Contemporary Modern English. My first reason was “because it’s Lewis Carroll and that is what he wrote in,” which wasn’t very good, so I couldn’t answer that question. We got to choose 10 of 12, though, so I was okay. I got stuck with trying to explain the Great English Vowel Shift, but I think I got fairly close to enough information on there.

I came back before lunch with… well, a ton of people: Hana, Sara, Maura’s friend Olga, Adam, Scott, Andrew, and Megha just before I finally left. More awesome conversation. Meals at home just aren’t the same. I mean, I wouldn’t want to talk about Testicle Face Man with my family, but you know what I mean.

Hana’s birthday is Monday, but Sara’s leaving for Florida in the morning, so we’re going out to celebrate tonight. We’re going to Maggiano’s, an Italian restaurant in Friendship Heights. And we are taking the Metro, and I have to change clothes, and I could use more cash, so I am going to go (grr) iron now.

One more final Monday afternoon, then home for winter. The mediocre semester will finally be over. Here’s hoping I don’t commit GPA suicide (which, for me, is anything under 3.2, because I’ll jeopardize my scholarship… and possibly HH, too). Gah.

Water is Water

Look, everyone it’s the Friday Five — on an actual Friday!
1. What did you want to be when you grew up? The first thing I can remember wanting to be is a nurse. By “remember,” I mean “view pictures and preschool sentences of.” Then I realized nurses have to deal with sick people and blood. Not so cool. Then I think I wanted to be a teacher, then a writer. The writer thing held on for a long time. Wait, who am I kidding, I still want to be a writer. But I sort of already am…. I confused myself more than is sane.
2. Did you follow through? If not, what happened? I should read ahead when I do these. Like I said, the nurse thing petered out. I decided that, though I fully intend to publish something in real book form, I will settle for making money studying and teaching about books until I get to publish one.
3. Is your life turning out the way you thought it would when you were a kid?If not, is it better or worse? I didn’t think much about being an adult when I was little. I used to walk around in my mom’s high heels a lot. My mom has never been big on going to church, and my dad is only recently Catholic, so there wasn’t any talk of (religious) vocations at all. And I stapled together the pages of my sixth-grade journal entries, so I don’t know about those ambitions.
4. Paradoxes aside, if you could time-travel back to when you were 10 years old, what would you tell your 10-year-old self? Be patient. You’ll get back to God soon, and that will be amazing. I don’t know yet if you’ll ever be that cool grandma with long gray hair and stories to write and tell, but even if you don’t, you will find some way to make the world better in the course of your life. Just hang in there through the awkwardness and the sadness, and it really will turn out okay.
5. Do you think the child you were, would like the adult you’ve become? Yes. My goals in life are to be happy and to love and serve God. The child I was wouldn’t be crazy about the God part, but I think she’d be good with the happy part. I still write, and I have awesome friends, and I feel… fulfilled. And I like kids. So I think she’d like me.

I would say Saturday was mostly homework, but I really don’t think that’s true. Saturday night was the CSC Volunteer Christmas dinner. Despite the cold and wind, I decided to wear a skirt. It was a long skirt, though, and Maura started getting ready so late we were walking fast anyway, so my legs were fine. We went to Mass first. Maura would have gone to Mass anyway, since she had the last day of her show on Sunday afternoon. I went because it was just easier. Tim (our Bible study leader and one of my small group leaders from First Timers’ Retreat) played the drums in the two-guitars-and-drums choir. Father Bill gave a great Advent homily, but all his homilies are great. After Mass, we met up with some other people we know and found a table in the Great Room for dinner. Maura had to run after hors d’oeuvres (I tried to spell that like seven times (checks dictionary) and still got it wrong, dangit), and Ali left quickly, too. The rest of dinner was actually really fun. I sat with Deacon Drew, Alan, Jim, Estefania, Lyzii, Kaitlin, and Chris after Ali and Maura left. The food was really good. I volunteered to join the group leading Christmas carols, which was energy-filled and fun. Except when we sang “Adeste Fidelis,” which is “O Come, All Ye Faithful” in Latin. I can’t sing in Latin. I walked back to the dorm with Lyzii and Jim. It was a good night.

I got to sleep in just a bit on Sunday. I didn’t have to get up for church, so I decided to try to be ready for breakfast early. That didn’t work out so well. I wound up getting to the Diner about ten minutes before I usually would after Mass. I ate with Sarah and Laura, then came back and didn’t work until Sara picked me up. We circled around until Hana came down, then picked up Rebecca in Lot 2 and headed out to Annapolis. Sara missed her exit off I-95, so we took the next exit and she attempted to turn around, but really just wound up going the same direction. So we got off at the next next exit and waited at Wendy’s to assuage Sara and Rebecca’s hunger. We finally got to the mall later than we’d planned, but with plenty of time left. We split into pairs for the first hour; I went with Rebecca. I managed not to buy anything during that time. I’m naturally indecisive, and I usually shop by myself, so even though I managed only to buy an Inuyasha calendar for my sister (such a thoughtful gift <end sarcasm>), I had fun.

Then Sara called, saying she’d lost Hana. I say everything went downhill when she stopped holding her hand. We met up with them near Santa, then switched pairs, so I went with Hana. We wound up in the Hallmark store, where I bought my second and final gift of the day, a glass rose figurine for my mom. She has this thing about decorating. We have very few bare surfaces. Every Christmas, it looks like the North Pole exploded in our house. (The key is that her birthday is Dec. 18. She was nearly literally born for Christmas.) Hana got her mom this adorable Swarovski baby panda. Then we all came back to campus. The ride back seemed way shorter than the ride up, probably because Sara didn’t get lost. Driving directions should not consist of a few letters and words on a Post-It sized piece of paper. We parked in Lot 2, then we missed the Blue line back to North Hill, so we went to the North Campus Diner for dinner. It was weird being back there for the first time in six months. I got real food, Rebecca and Sara got drinks, and Hana decided to head back to her dorm by herself. The three of us walked back, shadowing Chris most of the way. He was on his way to Mass; I think his disappearance was partly due to being late for Mass and partly because we were all hopped up on adrenaline and girl time, so we were crazier than usual. We went to the Commons Shop, then I came back.

Monday, of course, pales in comparison to Sunday. So pale, in fact, that it has faded almost completely from my memory. I spent that evening working on my Frankenstein presentation for 301. The made-up project had no guidelines other than a combined time (25 mins.) and the topics and subtopics. I wasn’t even sure whether my group would be presenting on Tuesday morning or not. So, I had to focus and write an outline for my part of the presentation, on contemporaneous reviews. It was an easy topic; I’m glad I snagged it. I kept getting distracted researching for my Comm speech. I just dislike 301 so much. It’s hard to focus on things I don’t like. With a boring reading assignment, my mind wanders so much. When I sit down to blog, I can focus until I’m done. Also, it snowed. Early snow means a miserable winter for Lindsay. I like the smell of winter, but I hate being cold. I had to take my umbrella to dinner. Hey, snow is precipitation. Water is water.

On Tuesday morning, I got up about ten minutes early and went down to McKeldin to make copies of my handout before class, since we didn’t have nearly enough snow to get cancelled or delayed. I was all prepared to be upset because I’d miss breakfast, but I had time for a bagel. As class progressed, I realized that, much to my chagrin, we would not be presenting that day. Tired and frustrated, I went to the library to study, then to Spanish. After Spanish, I dropped off my books and went to Adoration for a little while. I went to dinner with Hana and Dan. I’ve been discerning (my vocation) since September. I had a really fulfilling Adoration experience, which I shared with Hana and Dan. I don’t think I’m ready to tell anyone else, because I’m still working it out myself. I try not to intentionally withhold information from my blogging, but there are some parts of my heart I’m not willing to let bleed here for all to see. I spent the evening working on my Comm speech.

Wednesday started out blah. I had lunch with Guy, Dan, Seth, Scott, and Andrew. I saw both Catholic Dan and Jewish Dan within about two minutes of each other, which was interesting. We had fun conversation. Scott was playing with his leftover tortellini, which he arranged into the shape of the Chinese character for 7 (Andrew studies Chinese). I joked that he should take a high-contrast black-and-white photograph of it and sell it for millions. Then Andrew did — take the photo, that is, not sell it. It eased me up for my speech, though my dressy clothes were quite uncomfortable by that point. We all left at the same time and walked the same direction for a few steps before Andrew and I veered off toward Taliaferro, as usual. Scott asked, “Is that way faster?” since he and Andrew both go to the Computer Science building after lunch. Andrew replied, “No, not really.” I explained, “But there’s more Lindsay this way!” So we split up, and Andrew said, “Yeah, there’s really no other reason.” Yay for Andrew.

I managed to completely forget my Spanish homework. Most of the class did, which greatly upset my teacher. Yet another sign of my mediocre semester, methinks. That put me in a bad mood on my way to Comm. I hadn’t practiced this speech as much as my informative HP one, and I was unsure about the time limit and the pace of my speaking. Plus, I had to go last that day, so I had the entire class to be nervous and not pay attention to anyone else’s speeches. My throat was getting dry right before it was my turn, which was terribly inconvenient. I think I got through it okay, though. Most of the class looked like they were listening (I have the eye contact thing down pat), and I don’t think I ever saw the one-minute warning. My PowerPoint was fine, as far as I can tell. I read from it once, but it was a long quote.

I came back and changed clothes after Comm, then did… something I can’t remember until it was time to leave for Mass. Maura came, yay. There were a lot more people there this week than usual. We had a Vigil Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I got to read, which was really cool because I got more compliments and got to read from Genesis. Another awesome homily from Fr. Bill, who was decked out in his gold chasuble. After Mass, Maura and I got in the (slightly befuddled) line for Confession. Fr. Bill had invited five other priests to help him cover everyone who showed up. We didn’t have to wait long. I randomly got Monsignor Malloy, which was cool because it was completely random and I’d confessed to him before. Somehow, I don’t mind confessing to priests who know who I am. He recognized me, but couldn’t remember my name. Then again, I don’t think I’ve ever told him my name. I don’t mind being known as the black girl with the hair like this (accompanied by an appropriate gesture) that does the readings all the time. And I don’t think I’ll mind if he can’t remember my name in the future. He’s supposed to be constantly forgetting, anyway. Yay for the Seal. After I finished penancing… being penitent… praying, Maura and I got dinner and sat down to chat. We always sit with the same people, which kind of diminishes the social interaction part of Wednesday Dinner, but I’d rather have a couple of CSC people I know sort of well than a bunch I’ve met once or twice. There was this guy named Joe (I think), though. He counts as diverse. Sort of.

On the way back from the CSC, I got halfway back to the dorm before I remembered I meant to get the ARHU movie while I still had time. There were two guys in the lounge when I got there. I’m pretty sure the blond one said he was a second-year named Ben, and the other was a freshman whose name I promptly forgot. I came back and watched the movie, Boys Don’t Cry. Oh, dear. It was violent and explicit, but in some way not as much as I was expecting from Andrew and Scott’s assessment. Taking it back over to Wicomico and coming back, I felt both uneasy and very cold. I started one of the accompanying articles, then started dozing off, then gave up and started another, much more practical article before bed.

Thursday morning was a bit nervous, since I knew I’d have to present first in 301. I think our “panel” went well, though. Ira, the sole guy in our group, got the class listening again halfway in by revealing that there is a porn movie called Frankenpenis, which just barely related to his subject. It was awkward, but I bet everyone will remember that during the final. And knowing Auerbach, he probably really enjoyed hearing that.

I had such a hard time figuring out what to do until ARHU. Thursday was the actual Holy Day, so I didn’t go to noon Mass like usual. I got lunch, then came back and tried so hard to finish the ARHU reading, but the theoretical article was just so boring. I really was falling asleep trying to comprehend those horrible, complicated sentences. So I gave up early, then finally went to class. It was long and not very interesting. Last week with just Tanya was much better, and I don’t even like art history.

I had dinner with Maura and her friend Janet, since Andrew and Scott were going out with Guy for his birthday. I came back for Bible study, which was good but not as good as last week. I came back and forgot about Everwood, but then I caught the second half and ER. I was so upset with Hannah. I’m like, “No, Hannah! Don’t shower with Bright! Be more like me! I liked it when you were like me for a while there! Stupid tv.” And then they made Shane sing badly on ER, so I was like, “Aww, it’s okay, Shane. I know you can sing better than that. You’re just not a Christmas carol kind of guy.”

This morning, I stumbled out of bed, turned off my alarm, and decided to look out the window to see if we got the snow they’d promised us. Sure enough, the hill was white except for the pathways. Instantly more awake, I got my glasses and looked out with Maura. She checked online, and found us closed until noon. I was stressing last night about my mediocre grades this semester (I know I’ve said that three times; school is very important to me), so it was nice to not have to go to my borderline class. I got back in bed for an extra hour, but I was so busy thinking that I didn’t sleep well. I left for lunch at noon, met with Andrew, then went back over to their dorm to visit Scotty. He was very tired, having been up since 7:30am playing video games with Guy. The three of us walked over to Jimenez. I managed to slide once right outside the Diner, then almost again over by McKeldin. My Spanish teacher seemed very frazzled. Comm was fine. One girl gave a pro-GM foods speech, which I liked because that’s one of my smaller pet causes.

I came home and checked my email a few dozen more times, then went out for an early dinner with Hana, Andrew, and Rebecca after I returned the library books I barely read. Hana went to her church thing, but the rest of us hiked over to CSPAC through ice and snow to see Sara’s play. See, Sara, we love you enough to risk breaking our necks! I had some super-slip-n-slide moments, but I managed not to fall down. I slip a lot, but (knock on virtual wood) I don’t usually fall. The play was pretty interesting. They had two groups do the same one-act play, but in different versions. The first was experimental and so crazy, but somehow cool. The second was more traditional and so different from the first. I had a good time. Rebecca drove us back to this side of campus, after Sara insisted on trying to clear the snow off her car with her sleeve. There was more sliding and I was very loud. Great fun.

Going shopping tomorrow with my mom. I hope I can manage to be more productive, as Christmas is approaching. And now I am very tired, so I think I will go to sleep early. W00t.

Finally, my life really IS just a tv show!

Friday Five
1. Who is your favorite superhero? I don’t think I really have one. I liked the Spider-Man movies, and I love Smallville, but I only know those incarnations of Spidey and Superman, so I don’t think that counts. Ooh, how about Ghostwriter?
2. If you were a superhero, which one would you be? I don’t know. These questions are obviously for a type of nerd that I am not.
3. Justice League or Injustice League? There’s an Injustice League?
4. Which supervillain would you be? Mirage, from The Incredibles, was pretty cool. I know, she was just the supervillian’s sidekick lady, but I’m doing the best I can here.
5. If you could have superpowers, what would they be? Teleportation, perhaps? Invisibility is cool, but it’s not intangibility, and I could see myself forgetting that part.

So I wound up doing nothing last weekend. I’ll have to catch up with the twins over winter break. Mom, Ryan, and I went to St. Ignatius on Sunday. Our guest priest was young and gave a good homily. He looked a bit like Guy, actually. It’s Advent, so the official color of linens and the chasuble and such is purple, which I love. He was wearing blue, unfortunately, but it was a very pretty blue, so I was good. We went to Cici’s for lunch afterward. I will only start the day with lunch when I’m out with my family post church. And their cinnamon buns (made from pizza dough) are really good.

I finished my laundry and packed, and my mom drove me back to campus. We’d brought her Shark sweeper, since Maura ha cleaned a bunch and our floor was all dirty. It de-charged after about a minute, so we went to Target and she bought me a less fancy version. It had exactly one screw, though, so I just charged the base and made a note to ask around for a screwdriver.

I had lunch with Andrew, Scott, Anita (a pleasant surprise) and Age for a bit on Monday. I went over to borrow a screwdriver from Scott (I knew he’d have one), then went over to Jimenez for Spanish. As soon as I got upstairs, I listened to my nervous classmates and realized I didn’t have to be there. I’d already done my oral interview, so I had that hour off. I turned right around and came back over to the dorm to put the handle on my sweeper. (Despite the quick usage, I still didn’t manage to get that screwdriver back to Scott in any way until yesterday.) I… did some stuff, then went to Comm, which was uneventful, since I don’t really remember it.

Dinner was fabulous. It was Maura, Rebecca, Hana, Scott, Andrew, Sara, Seth, and me. We got into this insane conversation. I think I heard the word “testicle” more times than I have in the entire rest of my life. And that is all the detail I’ll write here, but if you know of Sara’s LJ, she had a great abbreviated transcript. It’s hilarious because it’s true.

I watched most of 7th Heaven this week. There were two episodes, but I was pretty much gone during the second. Everyone knows about Martin and Sandy’s baby now, and Ruthie’s still boy-crazy, and so on. I used to like that show so much. I have very little sense of what is “good” and what is “bad” tv sometimes, but I can’t help but think 7H is now, indeed, bad. So much for going out on top… or even just above the middle.

I was running so late on Tuesday that, yet again, I stayed in for breakfast. We were discussing Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape,” which is one of the strangest plays I’ve ever read. I was so tired during discussion that I was fighting to stay awake. I hate it when that happens. When I did manage to wake up, however, the discussion was suddenly really interesting. Yay for personal connections to literature.

I went to Adele’s (my last time this semester, I think) with Rebecca, Sara, and Hana. We had to wait about fifteen minutes, but we had a good time. Good talks. (I love you, Hana!) My burger was rather burnt, though.

Wednesday was such a busy day. I woke up, had a late morning finishing my lesson plans, and went to 280. I missed my post-280 chat with Danielle because I had to high-tail it to Cole Field House for a Scholars meeting. (It just now occurred to me that I don’t think I’ve written about the Scholars Program yet. Remember that job interview I had a while ago? I got it, yay. I will be coteaching a class similar to HONR100 to juniors at Severna Park HS.) They actually started late, which annoyed me because I’d been in such a rush to get there on time. Stupid punctual instinct. My boss loved the lesson plans, which is good. Irene (my coteacher) and I did College Planning, which I think I picked good activities for, and I did Service Learning by myself. I hope this job will be fun, especially since it’s firsthand experience at what I want to do for the rest of my life. I also found out that on the 14th, when we go to visit the schools, we’ll get to register to become official substitute teachers! So cool! I’m not sure if it’s with the state or the county, but I never would have thought of subbing for money over break. Yay for experience!

After the meeting, I dashed over to Jimenez for Spanish class, then to Plant Science for Comm (don’t ask me why it’s there; it just is.) We’re doing persuasive speeches in Comm now, so we actually got out around 2:45. I hadn’t had lunch, so I went over to the Union to use my free Chik-Fil-A coupon from Dining Services. Yay for free food. I ate, then walked over to Woods for my required Comm study. It was just a survey, so it was really boring, but I finally got that out of the way.

Maura and I went to Mass after I got back. It was the feast of St. Andrew, so when Fr. Bill was like, “We pray for the gift of St. Andrew the apostle and all the other people named Andrew,” Maura got all excited. And then I got all excited and couldn’t concentrate. I was like, “Focus, Lindsay!” Dinner afterward was pretty good. I enjoy pasta and free food, especially when they meet. Michelle (our pastoral assistant) volunteered us all to help decorate the CSC’s enormous Christmas tree. Maura climbed up the ladder to hang ornaments on the very top. I stuck with the middley parts, except when people kept breaking ornaments and I picked up the pieces because I’m just like that. We stayed pretty late, but it was so much fun.

I came back and wrote another story for ARHU. I don’t like that one very much. I think I’ve exhausted this semester’s creativity.

I was so proud of myself Thursday morning. I was so on time, I got to have breakfast with Julia, and we talked about our 301 projects on Frankenstein. We met with our groups through the class period, and mine finished early, so I got out of class fifteen minutes early. I wandered back to the dorm and thought about working on ARHU, but didn’t. I went to Mass and read, then to lunch with Hana, Rebecca, and Sara. I yielded to ARHU and left lunch fairly early to skim the readings and try to write another story. I only got the story half-finished, and barely skimmed the readings. I don’t know what it is about ARHU that doesn’t make me nauseous when I don’t finish the work, but it just doesn’t bother me somehow. I gave up long ago.

The class itself wasn’t horrible. It was art history week, so we had lots of pretty pictures to look at, though my neck got tired of twisting so far for so long. I went to dinner with Maura, Scott, and Andrew, but Scott and Maura got separated from us, so Andrew and I just sat together for most of the time. We went over to their room so Maura could sell them tickets to her music sorority formal in a few weeks. We met everyone in the basement for Bible study, but there were people in all the rooms we could find, so we wound up coming upstairs to use the lounge on our floor. Ali was there this week, so it was super cool being around so many people I know and am getting to know. We also discussed whether Jesus ever went on a date, which is very interesting. I mean, there’s a lot of important time between twelve and thirty years old. Were there some nice Nazorean girls that went out with the Messiah?

Today was an okay day. I got up early to do my laundry. My 280 teacher got laryngitis, so class was cancelled. It gave me time to take while getting ready this morning. I met Andrew for lunch, where Dan later joined us, then went to Spanish and Comm. Comm was so short, the speeches only took thirty minutes, so I got to start the weekend a little early. I chose to celebrate by spending an extra half-hour parked in front of my computer.

I went to dinner with Hana, Dan, and Hana’s exchange student friend Joyin, then Seth and Andrew showed up later. After maybe twenty minutes of our usual crazy mealtime conversation, I asked Joyin if she wished she’d found less crazy American friends. She replied, “No, it’s like watching a show.” I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. Hana and I went to see Just Like Heaven for free after dinner. It was really cute. So very chick-flicky, but a very good chick-flick. She stuck around to karaoke with me, in the tagging along for moral support kind of way. I sang three times, then finally left. It wasn’t as much fun as last time, but I do enjoy singing, so all is well.

Everyone Else Is Pigging Out

Friday Five: Turkey Talk
1. On what day do you celebrate Thanksgiving? The last Thursday in November, same as the rest of the country. Thanksgiving isn’t like your birthday. You can’t just celebrate it on the weekend because the real day was a school night.
2. How do you traditionally celebrate this food-filled holiday? Since we moved back stateside, we’ve gone to my grandma’s house to meet up with some other extended family.
3. How do you like your stuffing cooked (in the bird, separately in a dish, store bought, etc.)? I don’t like stuffing, actually.
4. What is your favorite dessert to eat on Thanksgiving and who makes it? I like cake and ice cream. I’m good with store-bought cakes as long as they’re not frosted.
5. Can you name five things you are thankful for? God, being back at Church, my awesome friends, Harry Potter, and my infinite patience.

I didn’t do much of note last weekend. I unexpectedly got to lector on Sunday. I don’t know whose turn it was, but I don’t have any more Sundays until next semester. I was totally unprepared, but there were no difficult words, just really long passages. Thanks for not letting me stumble, Holy Spirit.

This has been a strange week. We haven’t had a day off since Labor Day, so everything seemed all topsy-turvy this week. I’d forgotten I didn’t have to go to 280 on Monday, but I stayed for the review session anyway. I had a question and got it answered, and then I had lunch with Andrew and Jen, so all was not wasted.

On Monday, I went with Sara, Grace (Sara’s GoF trip friend), Scott, Andrew, Hana, Dan, and… the last person, who’s name I can’t remember, to Adele’s. Sara had a ton of points to blow, since theater keeps her from eating at the Diner. It was an awesome time. I love my friends.

Apparently all our audience analyses for Comm sucked. He had them scored, but decided not to give them back so as to not crush us all. I thought I did better on this one than my last one. I avoided analyzing the audience as “twenty-four eighteen- to twenty-one-year-olds,” so there’s a point in my favor. The biggest problem I have with not getting them back is that I don’t know what exactly I did wrong. How can I do better if I don’t know what to do better than?

I was running insanely late on Tuesday morning. Luckily, 301 was in the library, so I could stay in for Honey Nut Cheerios instead of trying to run to the Diner for a bagel and then back around to the library. I live far too close to McKeldin for that kind of mad dash. It was also raining that morning, but class in the library was vaguely interesting. Auerbach invented a group presentation for us to do on Frankenstein. I’m covering contemporaneous reviews, which doesn’t sound hard at all. Then again, I got another B on my last paper, so I’m pretty much guaranteed a B in that class. I can live with that, but it’s frustrating to have done (what I think is) good work and get straight B’s. I feel like I haven’t even improved.

Tuesday night I went on yet another Adele’s trip. Most of us opted out of focus dates this semester, so we got a $40 spending cap for the last few weeks instead. It kicks in on Sunday, so the people with huge surpluses rushed for their last chance to take half a dozen friends to Adele’s. Sara covered Monday, Dan had Tuesday. Guy came on Tuesday, which was awesome because I finally got to see him. I hate losing track of people over time. We had ten people that time. As it turns out, Adele’s doesn’t seat groups over eight, so we split into two tables of five. My table had Hana, Dan, Guy, and Nick (a first-year from Wicomico). I finally had something other than a cheeseburger, since I’d had that Monday. I like habits; they’re comfortable. Again, dinner was an awesome time.

Wednesday was an odd day. I stayed on campus, but I didn’t leave my room until about noon since 280 was canceled outright. I met Scott and Andrew at the Diner, where we also ran into Cassie and Nick (from my astro lab last semester). Then Cassie’s boyfriend and Guy joined us. I never would have thought I’d like being with big groups so often, but group meals are some of my favorite times, period. I bought lunch for Andrew and Scott, which put me back on track since I’d spent no points Tuesday. We had to cut lunch short because I had to get over to Jimenez for my Spanish interview.

The interviews were up on the fourth floor, in my TA’s office. Man, that was a lot of stairs after a fast walk. The first interview took a while, which made me nervous. I went second. I was nervous, and told her that (in Spanish!), but I could tell she was impressed. So I nailed it. Yay me. (Does that translate?) Andrew came over after I got back and packed my last few things. He’s the first non-relative I managed to rope into watching Joan of Arcadia with me — and he liked it! We were in the middle of the second episode when my mom showed up. He helped me carry my things down, though I’ve managed my mammoth bags by myself before.

I got back and unpacked a bit. My mom, the rugrats, and I went to Ruby Tuesday for dinner. Our server reminded me a lot of Greg’s friend David. It started to snow while we were eating. Of course I left all my heavy gear at school when it got frigid down here. Campus is not that far north of here!

Thanksgiving was the perfect lazy day. I woke up late, found some breakfast, and got dressed around 1pm. We left for my grandma’s house around 3:30. The food was fabulous, as always. My grandma can cook. I’d had a feeling my mom would try to talk me into saying grace. She’s done it every single year, except last year, and then she picked on my dad because he was in RCIA. She tends to volunteer other people to do things. That’s not to say that she never volunteers for things, but I get tired of her volunteering me. At least my intuition is aroused easily lately, so I was prepared.

Yesterday, I did some homework so I wouldn’t feel I’d wasted the whole weekend. Megan and Stephanie are home for break, and wanted to do something, but they couldn’t figure out what, so I went out with my family… again. We had dinner at IHOP (so much yay!), then went to see GoF… again. I’d never seen a movie more than once in theaters, but I knew I didn’t quite get GoF the first time, so it was a good chance to break that habit of mine. It was so much better the second time. I cried. Since I already knew the major things, I had a chance to look around and listen for things I’d missed the first time. My family enjoyed it. Ryan was really tired, but not scared. I wrote a personal review for my LJ (if you’re not on my flist, or on LJ, go do it, and let me know so I can friend you). Now, about that series re-read….

I have done mostly nothing today. I cleaned my bathroom and did another load of laundry. I hate chores, but I love being clean and having clean things, so I do them anyway. I really like Nickelback’s “Photograph” and Gorillaz’s “Feel Good, Inc.” but I am hearing them far too often on the radio this weekend. Nickelback gets seriously overplayed. I like the radio, but there should be more variety than that among the four stations I listen to.

Thursday night, I think, I decided that, since the Good Ship redesign is finished, I should go back to my personal blog archive project. I only got through about 200 entries, but it’s just copying and pasting now. The problem is the framework. The GS redesign was my first attempt at XHTML, so now I intend to use XHTML all the time. That means I have to convert almost 200 files. I knew there had to be something I could download to do it for me, so I Googled and discovered HTML Tidy… but only as a Linux program-type-thingie. (All I know about Linux is it’s an OS and has that cute penguin logo.) So I did some more Googling and discovered HTML-Kit. Oh, dear. I was IMing Sara at the time, but I was very interested in our conversation, so I pretty much drowned in it. HTML-Kit, as I told Sara, is the Firefox of Notepad. It is at once the simplest and most complex source code editor I’ve ever seen. I love it. It has HTML Tidy, so it’ll convert my HTML files to XHTML with only a few mistakes. I still love Notepad, but whoa. It can do everything for you, or only what you want it to. It’s just… I’m geeking out. Check it out for yourself.

No plans for tonight, but I might give Megan and Steph a call. Or maybe I will watch Finding Nemo. Decisions, decisions.

HARRY POTTER SQUEE!!!

Friday Five
1. What do you do for fun? I love to read, but I do so much of that for school, I don’t get to do it for fun very often anymore. I spend a lot of time on the computer, but I try to balance as much as possible by actually going out to see people sometimes. You know, other than Maura sitting next to me at her computer while I’m at mine.
2. Is there a person from your past you would like to talk to again, even if it would be a potentially painful conversation? I haven’t talked to Mark in a very long time. I’d really like that.
3. What is your favorite comfort food? Ooh, mashed potatoes! It has to be in moderation, though. I had mashed potatoes in the Diner recently, but the server gave me such a huge mound, I got sick of them. Or maybe that’s just what happens with Diner food. It could be so much worse, though.
4. What is your preferred form of self-expression? (Do you dance; or express yourself through music, conversation, etc.) Writing, of course. I would still blog even if no one read it, and I love my stories and rare poetry. I’ve become better at conversation, though. Come out of my shell a whole lot. Thanks, Greg.
5. You just received $5000; what do you spend it on? Spend? Coming up is the time of year when I have, like, no money. Christmas and everyone’s birthday all the way through the end of February. That’d go into the bank, saving toward my loan payments. Le sigh.

You know, I always say I should blog more often, yet I never actually do it. I’ve fallen into this Friday habit. It’s like Windows Update Tuesday, only more like Lindsay Blogging Friday. And that’s not even consistent anymore; I’ve had Saturday afternoon and even Sunday now and then. So the weekly roundup continues. Prepare yourselves: this post is spectacularly long, even for me.

Fr. Bill was back on Sunday. It made me realize how much I’m going to miss not having him around once I graduate, whenever that is (see previous posts re: BA or MA). If I’m still in Maryland if/when I get married, I want him to officiate.

I have not been watching 7th Heaven lately. This season is about consequences, and I’m tired of SexyAndBoyCrazy!Ruthie and Martin, the Boy Who Won’t Admit He’s Going to Be a Father. I haven’t minded missing it… two weeks in a row. Smallville, I miss. Anyway, I didn’t watch because I was busy working away on my last paper for 301. My thesis was kind of eh, but my organization was so tight. I gave every paragraph a subject/title so I’d remember to keep it all straight. Yay for obsessive neatness. I really don’t want a B in 301. (I accidentally typed “C” when I wrote that, then panicked and thought, “NO! That was not a Freudian slip! No no no!” only very quickly as I do not always think in nice sentences like that.) Right after I finished writing the body and went to spell-check, my computer froze. Thankfully, I recovered the body entirely because I save every paragraph. Then it froze again, so I had to edit partly by hand. I managed to get it printed in the morning, so no crisis for that one.

Side note: Jenny sent me a very lovely grammar book, Woe Is I, for my birthday, which I retrieved when I went home a few weeks ago. It is very helpful and witty. I love it.

I had lunch alone on Tuesday, so I was finished by 12:30. I knew I should read for Spanish at 1, but I really didn’t feel like it. Suddenly I remember that there’s Adoration in the Chapel every Tuesday and Wednesday, so I decided to go. Lacey has the first shift on Tuesdays; she waved at me when I entered. I prayed for about 15 minutes. It was very nice chatting with Jesus, but my knee was hurting again. Then I hustled to Spanish class.

We did the imperative tense last lesson. One of my teacher’s examples of a command was the first Commandment. I was very flustered when I couldn’t remember exactly what it says. I’m reminded of a saying: “There is no such thing as a bad Catholic. There are only those who try and those who don’t.” I’m learning. I’m trying. The first Commandment is six verses in Exodus 20 (I looked just now), but I knew she was looking for something shorter. We eventually came up with “Love God above all things,” which translates as “Ama el Dios sobre todas otras cosas” (I think). So by then, I’m thinking, “Okay, Jesus. I hear you.” Then, our activity was to give a list of commands we’d proclaim if we got to be President of the United States for a day. Examples of my class’s responses: Lower the drinking age from 21 to 18. Legalize marijuana. My first proclamation was to recycle more. My teacher told us we were all socialists.

So after class, I dumped by stuff off and went back to Adoration. I prayed a rosary that time, so that was another twenty minutes on my protesting knee. My dad called while I was finishing up, but I keep my phone off until I’m sure I can let it ring, so it just beeped once quietly. When I came home, I Googled and found an article on the debate over the appropriateness of praying the rosary during Exposition. I’d felt a little strange doing it, but I like the meditation. I do my best to focus on Jesus when I pray the rosary. My thought process goes something like this: “Hail Mary, full of grace… Coronation of Mary… Queen of Heaven and Earth… someday we’ll get to be in Heaven too… with Jesus!” Always linking back to Jesus. Reading about Catholicism and apologetics has made me aware of the Mariolatry claim, and since I’ve committed to living my faith, I avoid wandering into that area like the plague. I don’t know if I’ll ever combine the rosary and Exposition again, but I don’t think it’s wrong.

I had to get up early on Wednesday to do my white laundry. I only wear white socks. I had a few pairs left, but only just enough to last until today, after which I’d be forced to do laundry on a weekend. I’ll choose volunteering to sheer necessity any day.

I got a B- on my informative Harry Potter speech in Comm. I was expecting a better grade. He did like my “conversational style” though, so maybe over rehearsing is the way to go. I think I’m going to ask if we can see the rubric for our persuasive speeches. I started with a rhetorical question, which we were apparently forbidden to do, but he didn’t tell us that. I’m never quite sure which way to go. He strikes this odd balance between strict and liberal. He wear jeans and a baseball hat, and sits on the table to lecture and lead discussion. But when my group paper was seven pages (over the requirement of 4-6), he wrote “4-6 pages!” And he didn’t understand that I’d cross-referenced our list of works cited. For our speeches, we’re apparently suppose to stick to additional requirements that we don’t know about, but be innovative and interesting. I think it’s really boring to say, ” Blah blah attention-getter. Blah blah intro. Blah blah this is a one-sentence outline of my speech.” I guess not, since I lost points for not forecasting. I will be very disappointed if I get a B in such a pointless class. I did all this stuff in the eighth grade. And I don’t like giving speeches anyway.

I got to the CSC for Mass a bit earlier than usual. It was hell week for Maura, so I went by myself again. I ran into Estefania there, who was in my retreat group. When we went into the Chapel, there was only one guy there, and the lights were still dimmed. It was very nice for those first few quiet, dim minutes. I led a decade of the rosary, praying on my knees again. There was another lector, so I knew I’d get a chance to sit. My knee protested so much when I stood up when Mass started. The pain was insane. I could barely concentrate through Mass. I looked when I got back and found a rather large bruise, right on the top of my left knee. No more kneeling for a while.

Dinner was really fun. I decided to skip Sign Language Club, so I stayed a while to talk. There were seven or eight of us from First Timer’s Retreat sitting around having a very tangential discussion. We decided that Jane Austen is generally underappreciated by anyone without a uterus. I got to do some HP talk, so I’m sure they all now understand how crazy I really am. Good times and really good brownies.

Thursday was a very busy day. I woke up at 7am and actually left about four minutes earlier than usual, so I didn’t have to use my breakneck Diner pace. Right after I got my (well-sliced, finally) bagel, my knee started to ache, throwing me into a sudden limp. Not fun. I did finally get some chocolate milk, though, which was fun, and I recovered enough to get to class. I’d also finished the reading, so yay. We had Frankenstein this week. It was a pretty cool book. I don’t think I’ve seen any movie version of the Frankenstein story other than the bits from Van Helsing, but I’d never heard the real story before. It’s very interesting. Dracula is also on the Lifetime version of my To Read list, but it’s nice to have knocked off Frankenstein. Also, I share a birthday with Mary Shelley.

I came back after class and registered for next semester. It was tricky working out my schedule so I could have Wednesday afternoons free, but I think I managed it. I don’t think I’ll have time to eat lunch, though. I’ll work it out somehow. I really need this job for the experience. The money won’t hurt, either.

I finished registering just in time to scan the readings for Mass, then scoot over to the Chapel in time for the rosary. I led a decade, then read. It’s the Book of Maccabees right now, which I’ve never read before. The Old Testament has some really cool stories. After Mass, I met Sara for lunch. We talked for a while, but not too long.

Then I went over to Cole Fieldhouse for my job orientation. I’ll be teaching at Severna Park with a junior named Irene. I got stuck with planning the activities for the Service Learning unit. I wanted Academic Planning, but they gave that to the senior, Liz. I have no idea what to do. I’m not big on volunteering requirements, though I try to volunteer when I can. I think I’ll enjoy this job. It’ll help me bridge that problem I have with a whole room of students whom I’m expected to make learn. And it’s low-pressure, since I’ll have a partner and only fifteen students. It’s not like I’m trying to make 35 kids understand Chaucer. That will come later, I hope… I think I hope.

The meeting lasted almost an hour and a half, so I came back quickly to try to read for ARHU. There was much skimming going on, though the readings were “accessible,” as Tanya puts it. I call that “not horrible.” I was a bit behind leaving for class, so I wound up sitting at the far end of the room. I literally had a new perspective on the class. I also had another vaguely telepathic moment with Tanya, since Pat led discussion again. (She passed her defense — yay, Tanya.) Pat asked a question, and I mouthed (to myself), “I don’t understand.” She mouthed back, “You will.” So I waited, then I understood more, then I mouthed, “Oh,” and she smiled. Class ran right up until 6:30 again, after which I split for the CSC.

I was late for Fiat dinner, but another girl showed up right as I was crossing that horrible intersection, so we were late together. The food wasn’t fabulous. The chicken casserole had a lot of peas and celery in it, but I was very hungry, so I ate around it and tried not to be too conspicuous. We had cream puffs for dessert, which I’ve never had before. A bit too rich and creamy for my taste, but fun to try. I sat next to Sr. Rose, who told me how excited she was to read The Constant Gardener, since she’s from Kenya. Sr. Ann, from the Sisters of the Visitation, was our speaker. She was so lively and animated. She teaches Latin at Visitation Prep School. They’re having a day of discernment in December, but I have an Evil 8am Saturday Final, so I can’t go. Otherwise, I totally would. I haven’t met many sisters, but I like the ones I’ve met this fall.

I got back from Fiat dinner around 8pm. I did my 280 and Spanish homework, studied a bit for my Spanish test, watched Everwood, and waited impatiently for Sara. She showed up with Grace around 11:15, having driven about 100mph to get back up from Virginia after her show. We picked up another girl, Arielle, then flew out to Arundel Mills. We wound up sitting in pairs in the theater in Muvico; I sat with Sara since I didn’t know the others. We got our seats at least ten minutes before the trailers started. Sara made excellent time.

The movie was SO COOL. The woman next to me kept commenting, and she was a loud laugher, but I subtly shushed her, so it was fine after a little while. No spoilers ahead. GoF is my favorite book (though my one read of HBP is pushing for a takeover), so I had high hopes for this movie. It wasn’t as enchanting as the others, but I think I like that. As I told my mom when she called at lunchtime, it was less about the magic, and more about Harry’s story with some magic thrown in. It was more realistic… as realistic as a supervillian without a nose can be, I suppose. Ralph Fiennes as was wonderful as Voldemort. I was kind of scared. Not as scared as during HBP, though. Ooh, that’s gonna be a good movie. Anyway, there were some beautiful visual moments. It was literally darker. Combined with my tired, bleary eyes, I had some trouble seeing during the graveyard scene. I could have done with a lot more of the Champions, especially Krum. (Giggle. And Draco. Oh, dear.) They did very well with keeping up the characterization during all those plot points, though. The smaller scenes were the best, I think. This series has made me acutely aware of how influential the director is to a movie. I’ve never quite understand what effect the director has. But these movies all have the same writer, and the same actors, more or less, so the huge differences must be due to the director. Yay for Mike Newell. So, overall, lovely movie, go see it.

Coming back was fun, too. Sara and I were in the very back row. The people were dawdling getting out, so we decided to climb over the seats in front of us, which is how we got up there. I attempted to pull my long-legged great big step, but wound up slamming my bad knee into a cupholder. I’d also run into a velvet-ish rope pole with that knee on our mad dash to the theater, so I was not in good shape. Much pain. Sara is far more space efficient than I am, so she tried to climb down by stepping into the chair, forgetting that they rock, so she kind of fell, too. We’re so graceful. We drove back at a normal speed, then Sara and I took the last Blue shuttle back to North Hill. I got to bed around 3:45am.

I got to sleep in until 8:30, but then I had to get up for class. Maura slept in way late, which was odd. I was pretty tired, but functional enough. 280 was fine. I had lunch with Andrew, which was lovely. My knee was its worst, though, since I still have that bruise, and the cupholder left a big bump. Making my bed this morning was awkward. I felt underprepared for my Spanish test. My teacher wrote this one, so I knew it’d be the hardest, but who would have expected me to study last night with Harry Potter on the horizon? I’m pretty sure I messed up some conjugations, but we’ve done about four tenses now, so that’s expected.

I came home and took a nap since Comm was cancelled. I got up and played online for a while, then went to dinner with Hana, Rebecca, and Dan, then came back to play some more. I intended to study. I’m about 3 weeks behind on copying my 301 notes. The rest of my weekend work looks deceptively light. Guy called me last night; he, Andrew, and probably Scott also decided to go to Muvico, but I went straight to voicemail when I called him once we got there. Maybe we’ll hang out tomorrow night.

Oh, Harry Potter. How I love thee. Yay, squee, and all that good stuff.

Footloose with the Father

It’s late, and I should be getting to bed before church, but I’ll do this while it’s still Saturday according to Lindsay time.

Friday Five:
1) What is your favorite noise to hear? Good music. Hey, a weird question deserves a weird answer; failing that, a boring one.
2) If you could live in any era of time, what would you choose and why? The 80s seem fun. Not so much with the AIDS and what have you, but otherwise. Lots of fun 80s dancing tonight. Everyone do the Molly Ringwald!
3) You just found $50 while cleaning your house. Where do you decide to spend it? Bookstore, hands down. Of course, that means I’d have to wait until I need some new books… and since I have no time to read for pleasure anymore, that could be a while.
4) What magazines to you subscribe to/read on a normal basis? I used to read COSMOGirl, Seventeen, and Teen People, but now I don’t read any of them. I let my subscriptions expire. Now I read the last few CGs and the Washington Post Magazine when I can.
5) If you could witness any event in history, but not change anything about it, what would you choose and why? Either the Ascension, for obvious important reasons, or my parents’ wedding, since I’d like to see how they started out.

Oh, my week. I had to do my Comm speech on Monday. I gave it on reasons why adults that like Harry Potter aren’t childish, and I think I did well. I’d practiced so many times while writing my outline Sunday night that I nearly memorized it. We had to be between five and seven minutes, with deductions for being under or over. I’d gotten seven one time, then five exactly, and six when I rehearsed that morning. My actual speech was just over five. I got nervous when I was nearing my conclusion and my teacher hadn’t flashed the two-minute warning at me, but it turned out fine.

I went to see UMRO (UMD Repertoire Orchestra) on Monday night after a lovely group dinner. I’d never seen a live orchestra, nor had I heard Maura and Andrew play, so I was excited. I sat with Nick, one of the HH first years. It was amazing. I was so impressed. I have such awesome talented friends! And it was free!

Tuesday, I think, was pretty empty. We debated the merits of the English major in 301. Then there was some Spanish spoken, though not necessarily by me. (What a Dan-like sentence that was.)

Wednesday, as well, is drawing a blank for me. Obviously I did something besides go to class. Ah. Maura finally came to Mass and free dinner at the CSC with me. We got there just a bit behind for the rosary. I knelt again, thinking maybe last week’s extreme pain was a fluke. Nope. So I kind of hobbled up to the lectern (well, not really), and I think the pain in my knees made me stumble a little as I read. I’d pre-read those, so I shouldn’t have had as much trouble as I did. I still got compliments, though, even from a guy in my Spanish class I hadn’t known was Catholic. Also, Lyzii talked me into buying a ticket for the Fall Ball, and then we walked back to North Hill.

I missed Sara and Hana at lunch Thursday, but I did see Grant from my Bible study at Mass. Tanya decided to quiz us on the ARHU readings, so I wasn’t able to do the second half of my deliverable that afternoon. I had to try not to fall asleep over Foucault, the freak. Pat led discussion, since Tanya was worn out from preparing for her dissertation defense. Maybe it was Pat’s energy or just my eagerness to not fail the quiz, but I think I understood all the things I took notes on. I’m not sure how the quiz went. I think I answered the question (a choice from five) well enough to prove I’ve been… well, attempting to do the reading.

I also had advising Thursday afternoon with English. My advisor was very nice and pregnant, which go well together. She highly recommended Foundations of Rhetoric (or whatever it’s called), which sounded boring and scary to me, but I might go with it. I’d had some downtime before I went there after lunch, so I fiddled with Testudo in the HH reading room for a bit. I ran into Julia, Seth, and a girl I think was named Davida. Not as cool as the old study lounge, but still handy.

Friday morning, I managed to finish my laundry early enough for advising at 10:20am. I had to wait a little while after I got there, but I did see Danielle from retreat there. The Department of Education has worked out its five-year master’s program. I’m not sure if I want to do it, though. I want to get out of this school and go teach, to quit spending all this money I don’t even have yet. On the other hand, it might suit me better and be more profitable if I have a master’s degree starting out, rather than a bachelor’s. We shall see.

I had another group dinner last night, after which I came home to study. Yes, studying on a Friday night; I am a wild and crazy gal. I took a break to watch another episode of the awesome awesome Joan of Arcadia, to try on clothes for tonight, and to waste time online.

Today was pretty good. I had breakfast with Sara and Andrew. Sara’s latest play just opened, so I hadn’t seen her in a while. We’re going to see GoF next Thursday at midnight, though, so that should be fun. I will be very tired on Friday, but my Comm class is canceled that afternoon, so I can come back early to nap if necessary. Anyway, I did some work after lunch, then Hana came over. She helped me decide what to wear and we talked for a while. Lovely girl, that Hana. We walked down to the CSC to see if we could get a Fall Ball ticket for Maura, but Fr. Bill just said she could get advance price at the door regardless. We met up with Andrew, Seth, and Nick for dinner, and ran into Dan leaving with carryout, but he came back in to sit with us.

After Maura got back from CSPAC, we got ready for the dance. It was great fun because we listened to awesome music that got us pumped before we even left the dorm, and because we thanked God for being so gorgeous. Yay, God. It was cold walking over there, but the dance was so much fun. Maura and I started dancing with Kaitlin right away, since no one was really out there yet. It had started about twenty minutes before we got there, so the people just needed some warming up. Our CSC is kind of partnered with the Newman Center at Towson, so some of their people came down to join us. Oh, the dance was awesome. There was an odd string of grossly inappropriate rap songs, though. Seriously, the Catholic dance is not where you play “Get Low.” Once the supervising DJ came back, we were better. I danced with Fr. Bill for a bit, which was strange because (a) I’m not a very good dance partner, and (b) I’ve never danced with a priest before. My hair totally frizzed because I was sweating so much. The ringing in my hears is almost gone, though. My feet are still killing me, but I’ll get to bed soon and they can rest. I’m so glad I went out tonight. I love to dance. Yay for happy Catholic dancing fun.

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