Monthly Archives: May, 2005

“Breakfast, Anyone?”

Friday Five
1. What was your favorite breakfast cereal when you were a kid? I tend to stick with just one cereal for years at a time. The earliest I remember was Cocoa Krispies. I liked how it turned my milk chocolate. (I still love chocolate milk!) It always got soggy when I was drinking the milk around the rice puffs, though, and soggy rice is gross, so many Krispies wound up in the trash can.
2. What is the best toy/prize you ever got in a box of cereal or because of sending in UPC�s? I don’t think I was ever allowed to send in UPC’s. There were some very cool prizes, but I don’t remember any.
3. How do you take your eggs (scrambled, over easy, egg beaters)? Scrambled, always. Sometimes with cheese, sometimes in ham-and-cheese omelette form, but scrambled is my favorite. Any kind where I can see an intact yolk just looks gross. I never wanted to eat the yolk from a hard-boiled egg, which is why my mom stopped boiling them for me.
4. What is your favorite breakfast meat (bacon, ham, sausage)? Bacon. I actually like turkey bacon a lot, but the regular kind is good, too.
5. What is your favorite spot (local or chain restaurant) for breakfast and where is it located? I’m almost never out at breakfast time. I had a McGriddle from McDonald’s once, and it was yummy. I usually have IHOP for dinner — which is fine by me. Breakfast is good all day long.

I have spent most of the beginning of this break right here, in front of my computer. DSL is so wonderful.

I slept through church on Sunday. I woke up around 10, realized what had happened, and felt terrible. I’d been doing so well, going every Sunday since the beginning of Lent. I enjoy going to church now. When we lived in Germany, my mom and I started going to church. I was in classes to make my confirmation in two years, so we figured we should show up in church. Our initial stimulus for going may not have been the best, but we went, and we enjoyed it. Father Pat’s homilies were a lot like Fr. Bill’s are. When you can laugh and worship at the same time, that’s when church becomes fun. I’m not big on getting up early on a weekend morning, but I can deal. So, all of that is what made me feel so bad. And the Gospel was John 3:16; I would’ve liked to hear someone’s homily for that. I read a few I found online, but it’s not the same.

On Wednesday, I drove Megan and Stephanie to see Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I wanted to see it, and being out early meant we could go in the middle of the day. Hello, matinee price. It’s embarrassing to admit, but we were actually in the wrong theater for a long time. Stephanie thought to check her ticket, so we made it to the right theater before the movie started. I’d been busy killing time explaining some Star Wars basics to them. I don’t know a whole lot, and I don’t remember much of Return of the Jedi, but I have seen them all now. Anyway, Revenge of the Sith was cool. I hated Hayden Christensen’s hair. The longish, guy-bob haircut works on a lot of guys, but not him. It just looked messy. Not even just-rolled-out-of-bed, tousled, fashionable messy. Just regular messy. I also disliked the continuity. It’s one thing to wrap up all the loose ends in the last movie of a series, but Sith is meant to segue directly into the original, A New Hope. I keep thinking of the next generation. Someday, our children will watch all six Star Wars movies, all in a row. Half the mysteries from the original trilogy will be completely obvious. They’ll know Luke has a twin, Leia, who was adopted by Senator Organa. They’ll know Darth Vader is Luke’s father — not because “I am your father” is pop-culture, but because they saw it in Sith. It’s fine that they’ll know what happened to Padme and why Vader wears the costume and wheezes like that (which was so creepy), but revealing the twins and the patrimony too early unsettled me.

I finally finished the book I started over winter break, The Year of Secret Assignments, by Jaclyn Moriarty. It was nice, especially after a semester of stodgy European literature. I managed to read an entire book yesterday, The Writing Life, by Ellen Gilchrist. I checked out a stack of books from the library for my annotated bibliography, so I figured I should read them while I have them. I at least skimmed them all for my paper, but the goal was to actually read them.

I cooked dinner last night. I use the term “dinner” very loosely. I can’t really cook, so when I get conned into doing it, it’s either breakfast or something very easy, and always food I like. I have to make it, so I’m going to at least make something I want. I went with waffles and scrambled eggs. Relatively quick, very easy, and I learned not to overfill the waffle iron. We were going to have a “fend for yourself” night (where everyone makes whatever they want, or gets someone to make it for them, in Ryan’s case), but I was only reading, so I said I’d cook. I figure, if I volunteer before my mom decides I’m “not doing anything,” she’ll be more likely to leave me alone.

I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation with my dad on Monday, forgoing Buffy. FX had already made it through seasons six and seven, so they were showing Chosen, and I just saw that in ARHU. Now they’re back to season one, and I’ve seen those rerun at least three times, so I’ve been watching ST in my usual Buffy slot. I haven’t seen any of the ST series in a long time. My favorite is Voyager, but Spike TV’s syndication rights for that don’t start for another year, so I have to be content with TNG and Deep Space Nine. Lots of Worf the Angry Federation Klingon. Anyone else find it a little offensive that the angriest race in the galaxy is composed (almost?) entirely of black people? So I watch Dawson’s Creek, then TNG, then I get on with my day. It’s weird having days that begin in mid-afternoon, but I prefer it to getting up before the sun. (The summer sun rises early, but still.)

I’ve continued on my mission to make a personal archive of all my online journal entries. This is an ambitious task. I’ve had this blog for almost three years. My Blogger post count has been stuck on 365 for months. Adding in the private entries I occasionally post to my LJ, I have over four hundred entries to spell-check, download, and format into the little viewer I built. I’m also considering piling them into yearly ASCII files, for long-term storage. The Washington Post’s Sunday Source had an article a while ago about how to save various formats for future generations, and they suggested going with the simplest file format that’s still accessible. It’s the same concept behind converting home movies on VHS to DVD. My archive project was originally meant to make all my entries accessible even when I wasn’t online. Now that’s not as much of an issue, but I hate leaving things unfinished. Except novels. But that’s another problem entirely.

Not Unscathed

This last week was madness, I tell you. So much so that I missed the Friday Five. But I am creature of habit.

1. What made you happy this week? Walking out of my women’s studies final, knowing it was my last exam of the semester.
2. What made you sad? Looking at the clock all day yesterday, knowing that my annotated bibliography for HH was definitely not going to be finished on time.
3. What made you angry? My lack of good choices. I’d done so many other things and wasted so much time that I didn’t get to study for my three-fer exams as much as I’d wanted to.
4. What are you looking forward to in the next week? Not having any more school assignments until August. It’s just like winter break. There is absolutely no schoolwork for me to do between now and the fall. It’s so liberating.
5. What are you not looking forward to? Job-hunting. I need to find something to do where people will pay me. I’d prefer something related to education so I can build letters for my official entry into the College of Education, but there’s time.

So, finals are over. I survived my first year of college — not unscathed, but I survived!

Sunday: I got up and went to church, then to the Diner, as usual. Then I studied like mad. I had about twelve lit books from which to draw quotes for my lit final. I realized that, if I prepped notes and chose my quotes carefully, my quotes cheat-card would help me remember my prepared answers. I spent at least six hours on the five questions, but I felt so prepared.

Monday: All my studying paid off. I was fully prepared for all three questions that showed up on the exam, with quotes to support my answers. I’d been terrified of a repeat of the midterm, but yeah, studying? It helps. The exam was at 8am, but I was curiously not tired. I came back and went to brunch with my floormates.

Tuesday’s not ringing any memory bells. I think I chose to slack, simply because I (thought I) could.

Wednesday: I went to the library for books for my annotated bibliography. They didn’t have King’s On Writing, but I’d taken notes in my little notebook, so I was fine. Yay for not having to lie. I’m proud of my integrity. I spent a lot of time finishing up my script for ARHU. I also packed up a bunch of my stuff to send home with my dad. I studied for a few hours that night, but I didn’t get to do women’s studies at all. I made bad choices about what to do and when to do it this week, and I paid for it by losing study time.

Midday Wednesday, I found out that Joan of Arcadia has officially been canceled. I was so upset. I barely had the heart to finish my script. I’m disappointed I didn’t get into the show earlier. I know there is little hope of a canceled show being resurrected. I know Family Guy returned from the dead just a few weeks ago after a four-year hiatus, but it’s animated, so there are few actors tied to it. I know many of the show’s actors, including Amber herself, seem pleased at the opportunity to pursue other work. I know I didn’t even watch the majority of the show. But I also know that I loved it. I know that, for the first time ever, I am actually considering buying tv on DVD (the first season was released just last week). I know that I’ve sent a comment to CBS and signed all the probably-worthless petitions I’ve found. I know that if I do nothing and it doesn’t come back, I’ll feel worse than I do already. I’m going to miss American Dreams, another of my shows that got canceled, but I think I’ll miss Joan more.

Thursday: Astro exam, 8am. I had a granola bar on my way to the lecture hall. I got there early. One of the guys from my lab commented on how tired I looked. I didn’t feel it, though, thank God (and I mean that literally). The exam was not fun, but doable. I had to draw a diagram of the solar system: the Sun, all nine planets with orbits (getting Neptune and Pluto to cross properly was tricky), the asteroid belt, and the Oort cloud. I left ten minutes before the end time and went to sit in front of the CSS building, listening to my CD player to study. Honors music history seminar exam, 10:30am. I think I did okay on the listening section. I blanked for a second on one, but then I (think I) got it. Our professor had doughnuts; I had one of the twisty kind. The fill-in-the-blanks were a lot easier this time. I totally forgot the names for the parts of sonata form, but I think my other essay went well. I left there early, but only because the exam was short. I went to the Diner and took notes for my women’s studies essays while I waited for my ham-and-cheese omelette. It was greasy, but yummy. I kept studying while I ate. Ali gave me a hug. Women’s studies exam, 1:30pm. When I got to Woods, half the class was sitting outside, allegedly waiting for the exam before ours to let out. Turns out the only people in the room were my other classmates. The exam wasn’t quite as bad as last time. We had double the work from the last exam, but it didn’t take twice as long, probably because we got the essay questions in advance. I left in kind of a stupor. My eyes were so bleary from three exams, but I wasn’t tired.

After dinner, I sold some books to BookHolders. By “sold,” I mean “gave to for consignment/online selling.” I don’t need cash right away, and I’d like to get as much money for them as possible (especially considering their fabulous condition), so I decided to try that route. It was a very long walk though; BookHolders is across Route 1. I stopped by the library to see if I could pick up my lit exam, but my TA wasn’t finished with them by then, so I planned to go back. The season finale of ER was nice. People hate Ray (Shane West’s character), but in that episode, he was so awesome. It’s like the redemption of Pratt (Mekhi Phifer). He went from being the angry black guy (reminds me of Buffy class….) to just the black guy, since they sent Gallant back to Iraq. As far as unexpected mass accidents go, I think the writers pulled off a collapsing porch a lot better than a helicopter crashing in the ambulance bay.

Friday: I should have gotten up early, but I felt like sleeping in after my three-fer exam day. I woke up around 10:30, showered and dressed very quickly, then packed liked mad. (I did most things “like mad” this semester.) Joelle’s mom showed up, so all three of us were packing until Joelle left for her exam. I was glad I kept so many plastic shopping bags; they came in handy. I managed to secure everything in bags and boxes, preparing to not get a cart and have to carry it all. I went all the way back out to BookHolders to sell the rest of my books, then stopped by to see my lit TA again. She wasn’t there, so I left after about fifteen minutes, as did my classmate who was there at the same time. I got back before my dad, and continued to work on my annotated bibliography. I’d emailed Tanya around 11am to let her know I’d probably be late. She never responded, so I’m not sure what happened with that. It took four or five trips up and down the stairs, but my dad and I managed to get everything out of my room and crammed into his car. I was so glad I’d thought to send stuff early. I never would have been able to take everything in one go. Never. It’s amazing how much stuff I had, even in a neat dorm room.

I got home and delayed packing while I set up my computer for Verizon (yay DSL!), then worked more on my bibliography. My family went to IHOP for dinner (more yay!), then I came back and worked a little more. I gave up, and wound up going to bed around 2:40am.

This morning, I crashed until almost 11am. I woke up, watched tv while I ate cereal (in bed, yay!), then got dressed and went back to work. I finally finished my bibliography and sent it in, then ate Cluck-U.

So now it’s almost midnight. I’m IMing Mark, and I still have to unpack. And I don’t know if my dad’s going to church; I might have to drive myself.

Andrew directed me to a free image manipulation program, the GIMP. Think PSP/Photoshop, only free. Download here. I played with a photo of myself last night. It’s not easy to learn, but it’s way better than MS Paint.

And so I depart.

Cookies and Milkshakes

Friday Five
(1) What do you picture when you think of lawyers? Briefcases, suits (the kind with a suit jacket and those longish skirts), and thick books.
(2) What do you picture when you think of accountants? The old-fashioned kind, with those green plastic visors, long-sleeved striped shirts, and that armband-thing.
(3) What do you picture when you think of clergy? I got this image of an old-fashioned priest, too, in a long black robe with a white collar. Nothing like the awesome Fr. Bill.
(4) What do you picture when you think of garbagemen? Dark blue jumpsuits and baseball hats. And the way they hang on to the back of the truck while they’re in the neighborhood, so they can just jump off to grab the trash cans.
(5) What do you picture when you think of a best friend? Smiling. That’s the first image I saw when I thought “best friend,” a smile.

The HH formal was fantastic. I wore an old dress, but I still felt cute. All the guys cleaned up nicely, too. We were “fashionably late,” which was new for me, but fine. For reasons I’ll never understand, we had a Southern hoe-down type theme, so the band played some country-sounding songs. The food (barbecue) was good, except that the cookies were hard. I had great fun dancing. Oh, I love to dance. I want to go to a club sometime, but I’d need sober people I trust to go with me. That’s part of why I didn’t go to Platinum last semester. Anyway, I danced a lot and had fun. The end.

We ended women’s studies discussion early on Monday, so that was nice. I was really chatty and animated during workshop. Once I find my comfort zone with people, I enjoy interacting in class a lot more. I went outside after that. I laid on the mall to read, moving out of the sun when I realized just how hot it was lying there. To my left, two people started speaking Italian to each other. That was okay; I kept reading. After a little while, I hear German. “I’ve finally snapped,” I think to myself, but no. A German class has come out of Jimenez and is practicing conversation directly behind me. It was weird, but before it bothered me too much, I had to go to astro discussion anyway.

It was nice that Tuesday was my last horrible Tuesday. I stayed totally awake during lit class. Maybe my body knew it was the last time I’d have to fight fatigue, so it gave me a break. Even my honors seminar went okay. The group presented on women in rock, and I identified Stevie Nicks and Joan Jett just by their songs. Okay, when I heard the beginning of “Edge of Seventeen,” I totally thought, “Destiny’s Child?” but still. In Buffy class, we read more scripts aloud. Andrew’s episode of The Simpsons was quite funny. I read for Ali’s new show, which was interesting. I had to make up a whole character to be able to deliver the lines right. I also found out that the end to my Joan of Arcadia episode is apparently “chilling,” not cheesy. Yay me. Then we watched the series finale, “Chosen,” and had more free pizza. Astro lab was fine. I totally blew my independent labs, of course, but I aced the in-class lab. It was sad seeing everyone for the last time. I’m going to miss my astro shuttle-riding buddies.

Tuesday night sucked. I had two things to do: my astro homework and my English workshop portfolio. The astro homework only took until around 12:30. The portfolio took all night. I pulled my first all-nighter. Joelle was up all night, too, but she went out to work with some friends. I discovered that I write fairly good poetry around 4am. My short story revision kind of sucked, but I had such a strong idea for the story, I didn’t want to change much. Once I got past the initial exhaustion (which actually came during my astro), I was good. I drank a lot of water, ate some Ritz; it was all good. I finished just in time to get ready for class, which is disturbing. Not even an entire night was enough for me to finish my work at a normal pace.

Wednesday was my last day of class. I was behind from my all-nighter, so I had to carry out breakfast to astro lab again. My body started fighting me again, but I had to keep going. I made it through several workshop stories during my midmorning break, though I wasn’t all there. Workshop was fine. I was just glad to get that slaved-over portfolio off my hands. I made it through women’s studies lecture only because she didn’t… well, lecture as much as usual. After being up for 33 consecutive hours, I came home and crashed. I woke up at 6:40, just in time to grab dinner and eat before floor meeting. Move-out was described as “just as hectic as move-in, only no one’s excited.” Should be lovely.

I woke up fairly early yesterday, considering I didn’t have to go to class. I went to breakfast with Sara and Maura, but Maura had to go. I was waiting for a long time, but I finally got another of those awesome texas toast sandwiches like the one I had last finals week. They must only do them on weekdays, and I’m never around at the right time. Yum. I studied some. In the evening, I went with some floormates to the pool to watch the dive-in movie (oh, the pun), The Incredibles. Just seeing the movie again was worth missing the first part of ER. It was freezing out there, and I was the only one who didn’t swim (not up for half an hour of hair-drying), but I had fun. If I didn’t love Nemo so much, that would be my favorite Pixar/Disney movie.

I studied more today. I didn’t get breakfast because I was a little later than yesterday, but it was still okay. After worrying mid-semester that I’d run short, I managed to back up my diner points again. Cookies and milkshakes for Lindsay this week, yes indeed.

After struggling with some Greg-related issues, I went to see the Faux Paz’s a cappella show. It was, again, fun. They had a guest band, Somebody’s Closet. Their songs were crazy long, but it was pretty good music. The Faux Paz did a good version of “Let Go,” and a great boy band spoof as a tribute to their departing female members.

I feel compelled to study again. My lit final is at 8am Monday, and I have yet to even think about the essay questions, let alone start prepping my answers. We shall see.

Lilith

Friday Five
1.) Do you believe in love at first sight? Why or why not? No. You can’t love someone you just met. You don’t even know that person yet.
2.) What physical feature attracts you the most (romantically) to another person? Nothing, really. I mean, I notice overall, not anything specific. I do like light eyes, though, probably from seeing mainly brown eyes my whole life.
3.) What do you think is the biggest benefit of being in a romantic relationship? Companionship. Someone to talk to, someone to do things with, someone who’s there for you.
4.) Biggest downside? It takes so much work. You have to have a lot of time and energy to spare to put into a relationship if you want it to last.
5.) Has your idea of love and romance changed? If so, how? I have some experience now, so yes. I don’t want to get into it, but I definitely feel like I’ve learned a few things.

Last Saturday was Maryland Day. The organizations, etc. on campus have special demonstrations, performances, and info sessions for the community. Of course, this year it was cloudy all day, and it rained in the morning. I’d volunteered for one last Honors info session, so I trudged through the rain to Anne Arundel. There were actually a lot of people there. I got a free Maryland Day t-shirt, and a free lunch. Nothing special, just a sandwich and stuff, but free food is free food. I remembered to wear my non-leaky shoes, so it wasn’t nearly as bad it could have been. And I rain into Meery at a locator booth near the Computer and Space Sciences building. I spent the rest of the day studying.

I went to church with Maura on Sunday, then we walked back to the Diner. I was determined to get a Testudo waffle, but the line was way too long, I was too hungry, and I didn’t want to hold up Maura. Then I worked some more.

Monday wasn’t bad. My short story was up in workshop. I got some really good comments to use for revision. Some of the flaws are probably from writing at such a breakneck pace, but most of the people in my small group liked it. For the final project due Wednesday, I have to revise that and two of my poems from the semester. Tell me, how do you revise poetry? Part of poetry is that it comes from a certain place. How am I supposed to get back in that place on demand? You can’t force creativity, you can only encourage it and hope.

Tuesday was horrible. I woke up a bit late, so I had to rush to get ready. I had my English advising appointment, which was fine. Susquehanna is a long way from my dorm, but I left early enough to be there on time. I used the downtime to cram in more reading for lit. It was actually a really interesting book this time, Italo Calvino’s If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler. I came back, ate, and went to lit class. I came back, finished and printed my Buffy class assignments, then went down to class. We broke into groups to read some final project scene drafts. I read for Ali’s new show. One group read out loud; they did a great reading of an episode of Seinfeld. Once class was over, we ate free pizza and watched the Buffy musical, “Once More With Feeling.” Ali and I sang along.

After that, I came upstairs to furiously try to finish my independent astro labs. I didn’t. I knew I wouldn’t. I just copied over my moon observations and rushed off to the bus stop. I wound up at the stop way too early, so I had plenty of time to be all panicky. On the way there, I found out that if I’d just emailed my TA, I would have had the star chart I needed to finish the moon lab. I had an 88 at midterms, and I haven’t been doing very well on my in-class labs since then. I’m afraid I’m going to get a C. First off, I’ve never gotten a C before. I’ve never even had a B that made it to my transcript. I could handle a B, but a C might push me over the edge. It’s a one-credit class, but if my other grades are mediocre like I expect, that could push me over the edge.

My night was pretty much ruined — and then I was up until 3:30am doing astro homework. I was just so tired. I spent a good fifteen minutes puzzling over a problem, then finally figured it out, only to realize that I didn’t even have to do that one. I just wanted to sleep. Joelle (my roommate) was actually up all night doing an art project.

I was running late for class again on Wednesday, but I carried out my bagel and juice so I could get to class on time to turn in my homework. I’d done that on Monday, but Wednesday I managed to spill my juice on my hand as I left the Diner. I went to the library to study, as usual, still annoyed that I should have been registering. I had so many workshop stories to read that I didn’t even get around to my women’s studies chapter. In women’s studies lecture, my professor mostly just read a speech to us. She’s going to give it at a conference in June, so she wanted to try it out on us. I hope she didn’t take my dozing off the wrong way. We did watch an interesting video on the civil rights movement, so that woke me up.

Sign Language Club was small. We did a review, though, so I could feel like I learned something this semester. Shannon asked me to consider running for an office, but I was hesitant. I think treasurer is still open, and I could use an officer position, but I don’t even know if I’ll be able to make meetings anymore. Didn’t finish my lit reading for Thursday, either, but I did have some good conversation in the study lounge.

After lit on Thursday, I came back to eat quickly, then went round-trip to Hornbake for a DVD. We had presentations in my honors seminar. My group did feminist music. I used a Lilith Fair 1997 DVD for my part. Sami, the lone guy in my group, made a t-shirt that said something like “male domination, oppression, sexism,” and ripped it off at the beginning of the presentation. We had major technical difficulties, so we didn’t really get to use the PowerPoint Sami made. I just carried around my laptop to show the pictures, and we had to play shorter clips than we’d planned. I think we did well, though. Our presentation was the most interesting, maybe slightly followed by the Britney and Madonna group that went on Tuesday. Also, my computer bag is very heavy. Definitely shouldn’t have let my dad have total control over choosing my computer. I appreciate it so much, but there are some downsides.

Today, I carried out from the Diner again, though I managed not to wake up as terribly late as earlier this week. I got a lid and straw for my cup this time, so no spills. I didn’t actually get to eat until I got into class, but having to concentrate helped me stay awake during the lecture. Then I went to Key for my ARHU advising. It was just more paperwork and signatures, but I finally got my advising block removed. After finding the library WAM lab packed, I went to register in the AA lab. It actually didn’t turn out as badly as I thought. I spent all of last night figuring out options, and they were all still available when I got to Testudo. As it stands now, I’m taking ENGL 301 (basic English stuff), ENGL 280 (foundations of the English language or something like that), ARHU 205 for HH, COMM 107 (basic comm), and SPAN 103 because I need foreign language credit.

I went to see Greg after I registered. I ate at South Campus, then came back to study. Thomas Mann was putting me to sleep, though, so I came back to my room for a proper nap. A thirty-minute nap turned into two hours. It felt good, though. I went to the Diner for a sandwich, watched some tv, then went back to studying.

Tomorrow night is the HH formal. Should be interesting, might be fun. Of course, there will be studying all weekend. Three more days of class, then finals. I hope I can make it through scathed only a little.

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