Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"You are a Person of Culture, Cultivate It"

It's the festival of Hecate At the Crossroads, today. You may have heard of Hecate, but if you have, it's probably as the witch-goddess because that's how disaffected Hellenistic Neopagan teenagers like to see her, so they can call her their patron goddess and dress all in black and pretend to communicate with the dead. Or maybe you've just read Shakespeare's Macbeth. But in reality, while she was goddess of witchcraft and necromancy, that wasn't the most important aspect of her.

As goddess of crossroads, Hecate was depicted as having three faces- a young woman's, a middle-aged woman's, and an old woman's. Three masks would be placed on a pole at the crossroad (a Y-intersection) so each faced a different direction. This festival honored that aspect of the goddess-- as a deity of the wilderness and untamed areas. Travelers left her food as offerings to ensure safe passage through dangerous areas-- especially women who were traveling alone.

If you go onto Hellenismos discussion boards talking about who people feel is their patron god or goddess, a lot of people claim Hecate. This amuses me because half of them haven't a clue what she's about except that the witchcraft connection will annoy their parents.

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Last night at lab I switched partners, but I swear it wasn't because the girls kicked me out. My new lab partner just joined the class and she knew me from Classical Mythology last semester. I'll mention her enough to name her, I guess... Her name will be Maritima ("Of the sea," because she's studying marine biology). Anyway, the lab thing worked out anyway, for last week-- turns out the group section of the lab wasn't that big a deal.

In other lab news, turns out I don't have to worry about lab reports for Biology. You have no idea how happy I was when I learned this. I was dancing. On the inside, because I was in Chem lab.

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Today's Bio lab took forever. I was so proud that I left yoga early enough to get there on time, with enough time to make sure I looked reasonably presentable and didn't smell (which meant five minutes early). But then I was looking at bacteria and protists for hours and I had to squeeze the wood-digesting bacteria out of a termite's butt, and the first time I didn't do it right and the second time I squeezed too hard, killed it, and still didn't do it right, so the professor had to do it for me on account of my lab partner being adverse to the squeezing of termites. The professor didn't even try to be humane, like I had been- he just disemboweled the little bug and tossed him aside, without even crushing his head so he'd die fast. And the professor didn't even do it quickly enough! Termite butt bacteria-- which, in case you're curious, are the things that make it possible for termites to digest wood-- can't survive long exposed to oxygen, and he waited too long before he put the cover slip on so the bacteria was dead anyway. I mean, we saw them, but not for very long.

Plus Maritima, who is also in Bio, was asking for a partner for this project we're doing on phyla, and I thought to myself, "I'd love to, as long as we aren't expected to work with our regular lab partners" but it came out as "Well, uhm, okay, but I have to, uhm, ch-check with my lab partner, but if she doesn't, like-- if she doesn't want to work with me, then I-- I mean, I guess..."

At that, she said, "Oh, okay, it's cool," and then another guy came up behind us and said, "Maritima, I don't have a partner for the project" (except he used her real name). So she partnered with him, on account of his actually being able to talk correctly, and then I learned that my lab partner already had a project partner and I would up having to wait around until everyone else partnered off. Luckily the girl who wound up without a partner was my lab partner last semester, so it's not a total stranger. Or a guy.

I really do talk like that, by the way. And Maritima's a girl, so it's not just guys that make me stammer. If I don't know someone, or I only know them a little, or I feel uncomfortable around them for any reason, it comes out peppered with "uhms" and half-finished sentences trailing off into new phrases. I basically have to have my words prepared ahead of time, in my head at least.

I wasn't exactly expecting Maritima to ask me to work with her right after she asked Incredibly Hot Guy (who's best friend, Flirts With TAs, is in the class so he had a partner already). I mean, like, hell of a comedown. Thus, I was hopelessly unprepared.

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Anyway, lab had plenty of awkwardness, for me, and it let out at 4:45, giving me fifteen minutes to run back to my dorm, get my personal statement for the Healthcare seminar thing, and run back to Dimond Library for the 5:00 meeting. Then I read my stupid personal statement on "Why I want to be a doctor--" you know, I had the worst trouble writing that, because I honestly haven't a clue why I want to be a doctor. But that's an issue for another day. I spouted off something about fascination with human physiology that made me sound cold and a great deal like Dr. House, and then ran back here at 5:30 to quickly change my shirt and go to dinner with Loquatia before swing class.

I was tired and under dressed-- I was still wearing workout pants and I'd just thrown on a T-shirt in my rush, and everyone else looked like they were going to class-- when I got to Swing, and emotionally, I was completely frazzled. Add in the fact that this week, the numbers of attractive guys without pre-determined dance partners (I don't know if they were single-- but they didn't have dance partners) was double last week's number and that we were learning new steps very quickly, and you have me stammering and stumbling around for an hour, watching the clock and wishing my hands weren't sweating so much.

Great.

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What is it about Wednesdays? They sucked last semester, too.


My Social Anxiety Level: 68%

"You have high social anxiety.
You have a pretty serious social phobia, and it effects your life more than you may realize.
It's possible that you've made yourself comfortable by avoiding situations you dread.
But don't be fooled - you still probably need professional help." Yeah, well, tell me something I don't know...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."

In the year 9 BC, on this day, the shrine commissioned by the Roman emperor Augustus was dedicated to Pax, the goddess of peace. It was erected in Rome's Campus Martius (heh, irony) and consisted of a marble altar in a walled enclosure, with many beautiful sculptures representing scenes from Roman legends and the dedication ceremonies. It's still there, apparently, at least in part, and is considered to be among the finest examples of Roman art.

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So I've been reading up on Scientology, just out of morbid curiosity, and I have something to say:

XENU??? ALIENS??? HYDROGEN BOMBS IN VOLCANOES??? What the HELL? I mean, I know that the whole Xenu thing is a less important part of the church's doctrine and that Hubbard was drinking and popping painkillers when he wrote the whole Xenu story, but come ON. This is why sci-fi authors shouldn't be allowed to start religions!!!

I mean, honestly, who converts to Scientology knowing that these beliefs are part of the doctrine? Plus anyone with a modicum of science education can see big ol' holes all through their "scientific basis" for the faith. I mean, at least I can see where the Christians were coming from, even if I don't believe- their religion was founded when there was need for explanations. We didn't really need to refute the Big Bang theory in the 1960's by saying that Dark Lord Xenu killed a bunch of people by exploding a volcano with an atomic bomb and then stealing their souls to brainwash them.

The scientologists combine all the crazy dogma of a cult with the annoying proselytizing of the worst evangelical Christians. If, for example, the auditors didn't often use the counseling as a mere excuse to push teachings, there would be good in this faith, but too often everything just becomes a chance for the church to get more power.

And that business about silent births? Personally, I'd rather I had an imprint in my "reactive mind" of joy and celebration at my birth, noises of laughter and happy and relieved tears, than of silence and forced calm. I'm just saying.

All right, I'm shutting up now. At least about Scientology.

I took an online quiz- a reputable one, too- on religion that said I was closest in my beliefs to Reform Judaism (actually, it said I was 100% Reform Jew, but that's because it didn't ask the kind of questions that would have shown the difference). It's said this before, pretty much every time. Unfortunately, the same thing differs me from Reform Judaism as differs me from every other religion- I believe that every faith comes from the same divinity, and the variations in faith come from either God backtracking and trying to correct the failings of free will, or from human interpretation gone terribly wrong. I guarantee you won't find many a faith that says "Every religion comes from God, the same God, but anything you hear in any religion is tainted by mankind's interpretation- including this one."

Basically, I believe that we're all going to be a little wrong no matter what and learning the truth is a question of learning as much about religion as possible, and finding the things in common- because if something is a common truth in all religions, chances are it didn't come from man, but from God's original message. Like "thou shalt not kill-" you'd be hard pressed to find faiths that condone murder of human beings. Thus, we can pretty much assume that that's not been mucked around with too much in the translation.

I'm sorry I keep leaking my faith out into this blog. I just got to thinking about religion today because we were talking about the concept of special creation in biology class. The professor's talking about opposition to Darwinian theory and he kind of had to address it. He seems to relish debunking Creationism and ID, though.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in evolution. Completely. I think that's how God created us. Not my point. See, the professor has this way of speaking about it that doesn't just say "Creationism and ID are religious viewpoints that are completely contrary to evolutionary evidence and can't be scientifically proven," but rather, "Creationism and ID are idiotic, antiquated viewpoints that deserve to be thrown out completely in favor of scientific theories, and anyone who believes them is an uneducated fundie redneck." Oh, and he refers to the special creator (in most religions, God) in a tone that so obviously says that he's an atheist, and he's going to think less of someone who chooses the divine explanation.

I'm an evolutionist and I think that creationism shouldn't be taught in schools. At least not public ones. But honestly? I was kind of offended. He's being completely intolerant! Some people are in that class because it's required for their major, and they might really be a creationist or in favor of ID. Most of that class probably at least believes in a higher power of some sort. I know he needs to explain that Creationism is not a valid counter-theory to evolution, but he could do it a little more tactfully. I never thought I'd be offended by pro-evolution comments.

My high school biology teacher had a good way of dealing with it. She said, "In this class I'll be teaching evolution. If you believe in creationism, that's your choice. I'm not asking you to believe in evolution, I'm asking you to understand the concept and it's importance to what we believe we now know about biology. If you feel concerned about something, bring it up with your religious leader and they should set you straight in regards to your faith-- I'm teaching what scientists believe."

I don't know. Maybe I'm being too sensitive about the whole thing-- I mean, you really can't understand modern biology if you don't believe in at least some parts of evolutionary theory. But he's got a bunch of freshmen, a good chunk of whom probably came from small towns that feared lawsuits and taught really crappy science, and he's asking them to completely flip everything they know on it's head, stop believing in what they've been told all their life, and do what he says, and he doesn't even have the decency to refer to their religious doctrine without scorn in his voice.

The least he could do is quit talking like God is a concept we should have given up with the Abominable Snowman and the Tooth Fairy.

Oh, and if you're curious, here's Penn&Teller's Bullshit on creationism in our schools: parts one, two, and three. Be warned, though, while they're interesting, they mock creation science at times. Then again, they're a show aimed at people who believe in evolution. If you want creationism or ID to be taught in public high schools, it's officially required reading.

Showing off

Woot! Check it out: I got third place in the Comeback Challenge over at the Dating Profile of the Day. Which means that contrary to what my sister claims, I can be funny on purpose. Sometimes.

Monday, January 29, 2007

"Never Throw Caution to the Wind"

Today is the Nativity of Pax, goddess of peace. It's a celebration of the birth of the essence of peace, and a celebration of peace in general. Not as big as her festival on the 3rd, though. But have a peaceful day.

Pax was the Roman equivalent of Eirene, one of the Horae and the goddess of peace and spring. She was the daughter of Jupiter/Zeus and Themis, a Titan.

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Daddy asked me this past weekend to look up the son of one of his colleagues, a man he worked with a while ago. He and the man were talking and the man mentioned that his son also goes to UNH, and is majoring in Biochemistry, so I might have run into him; Daddy promised that he'd ask me about it. He repeated the kid's name to me and I gave him a blank stare, because quite frankly, I've heard hundreds of names since I got here and I retained like, ten of them. I promised I'd check, but reminded him that there are 17,000 students at this school, 11,000 undergrads, and even if he as also in the COLSA program (which I think Biochemistry is), the chances of my having met him were slim. Since I don't leave this room.

Nevertheless, to humor him, I looked the kid up on Stalkbook and discovered that not only have I met him, he lives upstairs, next to Libentra, and hangs out with Libentra and some of Loquatia's friends that I met the other day. In fact, I'm pretty sure he was in a class with me last semester. Go figure.

Daddy wants me to go up to him and say, "Hi, my dad knows your dad, and I'm supposed to say hi to you because this gives us some important connection. And your dad wants you to call home more often." I'm thinking not so much. Most people at school are trying to get away from their families, it's not a great conversation starter...

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In other news, Facestalker has enabled me to learn that I AM A STEREOTYPE AFTER ALL! This is exciting, as I always figured I wasn't a stereotype because I don't really fit any of the stereotypes in high school- too artsy for a geek, too academics-minded for an artist (though I might have been the artsy kid except none of my friends were artsy), not weird enough for a loser and too friendly once people got to know me to really count as a shy loner kid. I'm sure people classified me as various things based on what aspect they saw the most or what I was compared to them but I never really found a stereotype I thought I fit into.

THE SILENT, STRAIGHT-LACED GEM

"This girl is rather shy, quite studious, probably pretty conservative, and usually somewhat attractive in a sort of clean, traditional, classic way. Sometimes, her quietness or straight face may be misinterpreted as indifference or the "get away from me" look, but once you get to know her, she is actually quite nice and makes a decent friend. She doesn't drink or smoke - not because she's a "goody two-shoes", but because she genuinely has no desire to. This girl may end up a loner if she's not careful - spending countless hours locked away in her dorm room, reading, or (if she pushes herself a little) can be found actually socializing. Gets along with most people, has a decent social circle, but holds just a few close friends. May need a little push to get involved in activities. Makes a reliable friend. Is a hard worker, but can enjoy having fun too." ~Group: "Summary of 99% of the people you will ever meet in college"


See, like, wow, that basically totally describes me except for the conservative bit, I'm not really conservative. Other than that, it's me. Damn. I wasn't aware that I fit so perfectly into a stereotypical group. It's kinda freaky, I'm not gonna lie.

Gotta love Facebook groups. I'm pretty sure it's the only place on earth where you can find over 500 groups devoted to the worship and/or hatred of cheese, dairy products, or cheese-related musical groups.

Artsy Kid

"Whether you were a drama freak or an emo poet, you definitely were expressive and unique."

"You're probably a little less weird these days - but even more talented!"

Sunday, January 28, 2007

"You Will Come To Realizations In Your Life That Change You Forever"

Do you have any idea how hard it is to contact your lab partners and apologize for flaking on them when all you have is one girl's first name-- no last name, no name at all for the other girl-- which you aren't even positive about, and the vague idea that one or the other lives in Scott Hall?

And when the girl whose name you might know is not on Facebook, which as how I solved this problem last semester (though admittedly then I knew the full name of my classmate)?

I find the fact that I was able to locate her email address and her phone number to be extremely impressive (and, quite honestly, creepy in the "how easy would it be to stalk someone?" sense). At least, I hope it's hers. I wasn't positive about the name and there are two girls by that name in that lab period, though the other girl is on Facebook and I can tell by her picture that it's not the one I'm looking for.

I am an idiot. But I am the MASTER of internet manipulation.

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Isoamyl acetate TOTALLY smells like banana!

I said it smelled like banana in Chem lab, when we were trying to tell what things smell like. But both the other girls smelled nail polish remover, so I let them have the majority. But turns out that the bottle next to the banana oil contained ethyl acetate-- the scent-producing chemical in nail polish remover-- so that's what they were smelling, and they totally thought that that one smelled like sweat when I was guessing something sharper and more acidic- like remover.

See, my nose is pretty damn strong. I also picked up on the similarities between the floral chypre scent of 2-methylundecanal and the spicy floral scent of linalool, and I didn't confuse "cigarette smoke" with "sweat and chocolate," either. Plus I could tell the difference between R-carvone, which smells like spearmint, and S-carvone, which smells like caraway. But the banana one was really bugging me, because I knew, so clearly, that I had smelled banana, and I couldn't understand why they thought it was nail polish remover.

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Daddy called me this morning to tell me, very excitedly, that he had recieved a notice from the school congratulating me on making highest honors. I reminded him that with a 3.91 GPA I'd've been stunned if I hadn't made them. Still, he was very excited, much more excited than I was about the whole affair. Getting straight As was a lot more exciting before I realized that Daddy will expect this next semester, and the semester after that-- and that if I maintain these grades though all of college, it basically means that I will continue to have no social life.

Great.

I Should Rule Saturn

Saturn is a mysterious planet that can rarely be seen with the naked eye.

I'm perfect to rule Saturn because like its rings, I don't always follow the rules of nature. An abomination of nature, if you will.
And like Saturn, to really be able to understand me, someone must delve beyond my appearance. Which, if you've been paying attention, is completely unnatural.

I am not an easy person to befriend. Unless you actually like, tried. However, once I enter a friendship, I'll be a friend for life. Unless I get screwed over really, really badly.
I think slowly but deeply. I only gain great understanding after a situation has past.

In Memoriam

I finished that paper for English. Let me know what you think! (Or, family members- if I screwed something up!)

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My six-year-old sister sat in the navy blue leather seat, grasping the arms tightly. Our two cousins, E---- and J-----, took off, pushing the seat’s back, and [Shrewd] went flying down the hall, giggling uncontrollably. I laughed and ran alongside them. “Me next!” I cried.

They stopped right before they careened into the wall, and I climbed up onto the seat as soon as it was vacated by my sister. I braced myself for the ride, excited. Just then, my mother came out into the hall.

“What do you think you’re doing?” she cried, confiscating our ride. “Your grandmother’s wheelchair is not a toy! Get back into the room before you wake everyone up!”

I know, even if I don’t remember, that I was four years old that day. I’d picked out my pretty Easter dress that Mummy had made me, with the big flowers. [Shrewd] had a matching dress. She remembers when we got these dresses, and how excited she was about the whole affair. She wore her dress to school, despite our mother’s cautioning, and had tripped on the playground and ripped it. Luckily Mummy was good at fixing dresses as well as making them.

You can see in the pictures that my short, curly hair was in pigtails, like always; I wore pigtails almost every day because my hair was too short and sparse for anything else. I remember that I liked pigtails, but I wanted thick, long hair. We were at my grandmother’s nursing home, having my birthday party, because Grandma was too sick to come to our house in Epsom. Grandma couldn’t even leave her bed. We were all gathered in her room, Mummy and Daddy and Aunt J---- and Uncle D-----, and my little tow-headed brother who was not yet two, and Grandpa [my last name], of course. All because it was my birthday.

I remember the wheelchair was returned to it’s proper location, and I climbed up and sat in it like it was a chair, because I hadn’t been allowed to ride in it. [Shrewd] rode in it, but not me, and that wasn’t fair because I was the birthday girl. But Mummy shooed me over to the bed. “It’s time for cake, pumpkin,” she said, “I’ll put it on Grandma’s tray so she can see it, okay?”

I used the arm rest as a handle and pulled my white knee, covered in tights, up onto the hospital bed sheet, then crawled over to curl up next to Grandma. Her hair was very thin and I could see dark spots on her scalp, like scabs or something. She was very pale, because she was sick and stuck in the hospital room. There were flowers, and balloons because it was my birthday, but it still felt and smelled like a hospital. Grandma smiled at me, and I smiled back, and Mummy set the cake down on the TV tray. It was so pretty! I was born in October so the big rectangular cake had a beautiful fall tree with red, orange, yellow, and brown leaves, and all the leaves were M&M’s with just those colors, and some of the M&M leaves had fallen to the ground around the tree’s base. There were five candles on it, four because I was four and one to grow on. Everyone gathered around and sang, and then Grandma helped me blow out the candles.

I didn’t know then that she was in the nursing home because she had brain cancer and only had a short time to live. I didn’t know she was going to die, and it would be the first time my sister would see Daddy cry and ever after she’d have problems with death; I didn’t know that [The Brother] would never remember her, and I didn’t know that I would have only one memory of her, ever, and that would be of sitting next to her in my beautiful dress that my mother made and of her helping me blow out the candles on my big, beautiful birthday cake with M&M leaves.

Musical Dreams

In last night's dream, I was an infant, probably about 8 months old- standing and crawling, but not walking.I was with two women who were trying to get me to play the piano, and while I was doing pretty well for a complete lack of motor skills, they kept pushing me and pushing me, making me play more music and harder music, stuff that my infant hands wouldn't reach for another ten years. Then they gave me a new piece and said "play this," and I looked at it and it was just the lyrics, no notes. "That's not music," I said, since playing the piano that young probably means talking as well. "Yes it is, play it." "It's just words, there's no notes." "Play it," was the reply, fierce and dangerous. She grabbed my pudgy little baby's hands, and placed them on the keys, holding them there. Luckily I was saved by the alarm clock before I had to slap a child-abuse lawsuit on her...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

"You have a strong and sensitive personal nature."

It's the last day of the Feast of Bacchus/Dionysus, god of wine. Well, wine, viticulture, imbibing, hallucination and ecstasy, fruit, reincarnation, choral songs, plays, homosexuals and the effeminate. I love the Greeks.

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So I didn't mention it yesterday, but I discovered plastic shrink-wrap in my lasagna at lunch, which was gross. I stopped eating, but I was in a rush and didn't mention it to anyone who worked there.

Then last night at the Olive Garden? There was totally a piece of porcelain-- like, a chip from a plate-- in my bread stick. Like, baked in. I banged my tooth on it! I complained, and the waitress apologized and mentioned it to the cook. I was annoyed-- two meals in a row!-- but was ready to chalk it up as coincidence. But this morning, I was eating at TJ's, the restaurant place in town, and there was hair in my omelette. Like... eww. I mean, at least I knew that the porcelain and the plastic wrap didn't come from someone's body (hopefully). But that's three times in a row!

Someone's picking on me...

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Every time I go home I come back with more stuff. Last weekend it was the rug and this weekend, it was a microwave. I didn't even ask for it, because I honestly was just planning on using it for popcorn and I don't even eat that much of that. I have a hotpot thing for hot water, so I can have soups and tea already. But Daddy mentioned that I should look for the old turntable for the microwave, so I looked and found nothing, and then he decided when I asked to get something to block the draft that comes through the window that we might as well get me a new microwave.

I'd complain about it but hey, I get popcorn, and that's one more appliance I won't have to buy myself when I get my own apartment.

The weatherstripping worked better than I thought it would. It doesn't solve the problem, but it blocks a lot of the draft coming in though the window. I should offer the leftovers to Mistake. She was having issues with drafty windows-- she's got towels blocking the edges right now.

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I got to hold a ball python today! We stopped by the pet store and were looking at the animals, and Daddy asked the man to take out the python to let me hold him and pet him. They curl around your arms and hands, for the warmth, and they feel so cool. I kinda want to have one as a pet when I get my own place, but parrotlets hate snakes, and between the two, I'd rather get the parrotlet, because parrotlets don't need to eat mice.

Personally, I think mice are too closely related to me for me to eat them, and while the snake doesn't have that problem, I have issues feeding a whole mammal-- which I won't eat-- to a reptile-- which I'd have some issues eating, but more in the "weird" sense than the "immoral" one. Of course, I'd feed an animal meat products, but a whole mouse is a little disturbing, dead or not.

But they're really, really cool!

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A friend of Loquatia's came up to visit her, and brought a whole bunch of her friends. They were admiring the room and the fish and trying to name all the X-men on my poster. All together only missed Stryker and Lady Deathstrike. They were nice, though I, naturally, felt awkward. That's become a bit of a constant for me. But one of the girls was talking about going to the midnight showing of Star Wars: Episode III and how there were all these people dressed up as characters. So I smiled and said, "Hey, I dressed up for the midnight showing of the second Pirates movie."

She laughed. "Well, I was going to say what dorks they were and who would actually do that, but now I feel bad!"

Heh. Oops.

They also liked my spinny-wheelie thing on the door that says where we are. That thing is a great conversation-starter. If I became an RA I'd probably have to make them for my residents, albeit cheaper, photocopiable versions.

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Speaking of which, I need to complete my application...

Random Dreamings

I had the strangest dream last night. My brother and I walked over to the neighbor's house, like we used to do when we were little. WE were the same age as now but everyone there was younger, like they were years ago before we stopped playing with them and their parents got divorced.

We rang the bell, but no one answered, yet the door was open, so I said, "I guess they're around back." This used to happen a lot when we were kids- they'd be playing out back and wouldn't hear the bell. So we walked out back, and I was confused- because they weren't there, yet there were signs of them everywhere. There was a plate of still-warm cookies on the table. I headed back to the front of the house, and my brother followed- but when I turned around, I noticed he had a cookie he was eating.

"What are you doing?" I cried. "You can't eat that, it's not yours!" He shrugged and then went back to ignoring me. Suddenly the mother of the family, a woman who doesn't even live there any more since the divorce, came tearing out of the house screeching at him. "You stole that! You've been stealing our stuff! EVery day I come home and something else is missing!" My brother took off like a shot across the lawn, headed for our house, and she turned to me, still yelling, though clearly she wasn't mad at me. "Your brother is a little twerp! He's been stealing our things and breaking into the house when we aren't there, and he let a rat out in the house--" Suddenly I had this very vivid (fictional) recollection of having had two pet rats who went missing. "Wait, what happened to the rat?" I asked. "Well, we got him," she replied (with the clear indication that that meant he was killed), and I exploded. Ignoring her, I took off after my brother, finding him in my front lawn. When he saw my face, he started to run, but I jumped on him, dragging him down. I was about to beat the crap out of him when I woke up.

This dream was really weird, because besides the inconsistencies with the neighboring family, my brother's entire history of theft was stealing a handful of brass buttons from a store- each of which was worth about two cents and, due to the size of his hands at the time, there were only about four of them. He was like, five. Plus I really can't imagine him letting an animal loose in someone else's house. Especially not now, he's sixteen and a good kid.And there's the fact that even if I could catch my brother running, there's no way he wouldn't just be able to win a fight in like, five seconds. It was completely bizarre. Very vivid, though. The cookie smelled freshly baked and the grass was wet with dew.

"Good day to make as much goulash as possible." ~Humorscope

It's the third and last day of the Paganalia, and today we're to offer spelt cakes and milk to Tellus/Gaia and Ceres/Demeter. On a much more interesting note, it's the second day of the Feast of Bacchus. Have some wine, celebrate! Tomorrow's your last day!

You know if you look up most of the more obscure Roman holidays, like the Agonalia Indigeti, this blog shows up as like the third resource on the list? Good thing I do actually look this shit up before I spout it.

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You know it's cold when:

-You can't breathe through your nose because the snot froze and it sticks the nostrils together.
-You pop in a piece of gum and have to hold it in your mouth until it thaws enough to chew... and it was just sitting on your windowsill all night.
-You don't want to open your mouth to breathe because it makes your gum start to get cold and hard.
-Crossing College Road to get to class calls to mind images of the Yukon.

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So I'm at home right now. We all got together to take the Brother to dinner and give him stuff, since it was his birthday last week and last weekend, when my sister and I were home anyway, he was post-tooth-removal and not in the mood for celebration. I saw the teeth. They look cool. You can see the line on one that marks where it had burst through the gum line... well, come on, this stuff is interesting to me!

I'm coming back to school tomorrow. The Brother liked the gloves and ear warmer I got him.

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Amishav, the writer of Chai Expectations, did a neat little list of what he needs from the woman he'll marry. It's pretty reasonable-- things like being Jewish (which is VERY reasonable if you're Jewish) and having the time for a relationship. I actually thought it might be a good idea for me to do one myself-- or rather, two; one for what I want, and one for what I expect. Since I'm very cynical. I wrote the easy one first-- what I expect. The other comes later, when I decide if I want to share it or not.

What I expect:

1. He will be male, have been male since birth, and always have identified himself as male. I'm pretty adamant on this one. I have nothing against transsexual people but I really REALLY don't want to be surprised by one.
2. He'll be attracted to me, in some way, even if it's just "oh, female, maybe I can get laid."
3. He won't use illegal drugs. If he drinks heavily, he won't do it around me and if he smokes, he also won't do it around me and he'll pop tic-tacs like candy.
4. He will be interested in something I like, even if it's just comic books or mocking bad movies.
5. He'll be able to understand me when I talk as long as I don't start discussing like, mythology or biological processes. As in, he'll have a decent enough vocabulary to understand me.
6. He won't hit me, unless I hit him first, and then he'll never hit me harder than I hit him. Relative to size, that is. If I'm dating a football player (yeah right) and I sock him hard in the stomach, he can't sock me back since chances are that'd leave a massive bruise. Even if he uses the same amount of force that I did.
7. He'll respect me enough to know when no needs to mean no.
8. I can't catch anything from him more serious than mono.
9. My one shallow requirement- he has to be at least 5'8". Any shorter than that and my self esteem starts to tank- not because of the guy, but because of the Amazonian feelings that I get.
10. He will not be suicidal and or into self-mutilation. A little depression or anger management issues I can deal with, but I refuse to handle a suicidal significant other.

Basically, I'm only barring people who are female or of indeterminable gender, potheads, sports fanatics, kids who play World of Warcraft all day, abusive types, rapists, the STD infected, the suicidal, cutters and short people. Hmm. I've only ever had three guys, my entire life, express the slightest interest in me... Maybe I should shorten the list.*


*That was a joke, kids. There's truth in it, but it's still a joke.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Be on the Alert For New Oppourtunities"

Today is the second day of the Paganalia. Don't forget to pray to Ceres/Demeter, goddess of harvest, and Tellus/Gaia, goddess of the earth, that the birds don't eat your seeds. Or something.

It's also a Feast of Bacchus, which means you have justification for getting drunk. Have fun.

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So there are 2,191 people with my first and last name together. My first name is the 36th most popular name, and my last name ranks #25.

There's 1,048 people named James Bond and 113 Harry Potters; 503 George Bushes and 31 Emily Dickinsons. Absolutely no one in the US today is named Hermione.

Mistake's name is really uncommon. She's one of the only people with it, though both her first and last name is common. My sister shares her name with 769 people, and Closer's one of 305. Only 49 KTMacks, though. I totally win for the most boring name.

There are seven Clark Kents and nineteen Charles Xaviers. Yes, I looked it up...

How many people share your name?

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It seems that my plans to become an RA are already helping me socially. At least, they're offering me a bit of practice. First my RA and the 2nd floor female RA (it took me WAY too long to figure out that they've set it up so there's one girl and one guy per floor) talked to me and Loquatia about it, and then tonight the 2nd floor male RA stopped by on his rounds. I was sort of impressed that he not only remembered that I was at the RA meeting, but that I seemed apprehensive about it and that I used to read poetry at the coffeehouses (he mentioned this because he thought I was an English major).

It's nice that they're so interested (though none of them are continuing as RAs so I guess it's entirely possible that I would wind up as one of their RAs, therefore making it in their best interest to get people who aren't crazy or power-hungry... little do they know), but at the same time, you can only say "I'm going to apply and hopefully things work out" so many times.

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I was translating from English to Latin as a part of a grammar exercise, and may I say, grammar exercises always have the weirdest sentences to translate. Honestly, "Incenderunt pontem in quo pugnamus"? "Agricola cui dedi pecuniam factus est socium meum?" "Sagittae delectaverunt Marcum?"* I don't know who Marcus is, but he needs to stop playing with his arrows, and I have never paid a farmer to be my friend. I have nothing against farmers. I have lots of stuff against paying people to be my friends. They charge too much.

And this Marcus, through the course of the assignment, was established to be a foot soldier, got paid, saw a girl, got a gift from the king, and was delighted by his arrows. An excellent day for him. I wish these people would remember that Caius and Cassius and Brutus are also excellent names and Marcus doesn't have to do everything, and they should stop before they have to pay him overtime.

You can tell I'm sick of translating when the grammar exercises get personalities.

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I finally got the rug vacuumed today. It looked very nice until about five seconds afterwards when I walked on it. Oh well. Nice while it lasted.

Today was better.


*"They have set fire to the bridge on which we are fighting," "The farmer to whom I gave the money became my friend," and "The arrows delighted Marcus," respectively.

Sleeping to Dream

I dreamed I missed the bus coming back from a field trip or something, and would up taking a different bus. But instead of taking me where I was supposed to go, I would up in a tiny little town with only one hotel and one convenience store. The hotel had one room left, and that room was absolutely disgusting, with smoldering cigarettes stuck into the bed and stains on the sheets; and the convenience store had absolutely no food or interesting little games or anything, a fact that a man with a screaming little boy was complaining about quite loudly....

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"Be Magnanimous, Be Trustful, Be Hopeful and Be Patient"

Wow. Today was... awkward.

It might have been awkward because I'm moody lately, but still. It was can't-use-first-person awkward. Which is pretty damn bad.

So imagine you're me, and you wore the new yoga pants, and, of course, they're too short for you (as in, you don't step on them when you walk), which is fine when one is doing yoga but not so cool when one is let out of yoga late, because they started late, because there weren't enough mats for everyone; it's also not so cool when one is subsequently sprinting across campus in them, and wearing them through Bio lab despite having brought pants to change into because there wasn't enough time.

Then what's not cool is coming into your first Bio class five minutes late, and thus having all eyes on you, when you're still exhausted from dashing across campus and doing yoga before that and you know your hair must look terrible and you might even smell, hard to tell. And naturally the professor notes your late arrival, the same professor whose class you idiotically skipped the first day, and probably thinks you're a total flake, despite the fact that all last semester you missed like, one Bio class and then only because that professor said it was okay.

So having distinguished yourself thusly, you then proceed to notice that your lab procedure sheet is missing, which does not endear yourself to the professor any more, though he is at least good-natured about it. Then the announcement comes that the entire class is to stand up, one at a time, and say their name and hometown and major and what they want to be when they grow up. You immediately panic, because you do not want to introduce yourself as the girl who came in late and looks like hell and probably smells, and you can't decide if you should go by your real name or your nickname because you've been using the real name more, now, rather than have to explain yourself; on the other hand, there's another girl with your real name in the class. She introduces herself, and you start to see other people you recognize, including lots of kids from the previous semester's class- including the Incredibly Hot Guy, who, you note, announces that he is a classics major but he's taking Honors Bio because he wants to go into oncology, which is SO NOT HELPFUL to the whole stupid-high-school-girl-crush thing and only serves to make him more hot, and also his attractive but short and so not quite as hot friend who Flirts With TAs, and you're about ready to kill yourself because "crazy chick who totally killed herself like, right in the middle of Bio lab" is a lot cooler sounding than "flaky girl who looks like crap and probably smells." So when it's your turn you stand up really fast and don't meet any eyes and say your name, your hometown, Biology General, want to be a physician, sit down, then breathe.

Then the professor starts talking about the lab and what you're to do, and he says you're going to test your environment for bacteria, and he suggests a bunch of places to test, including your rectum, and he explains how to test for it, and you quietly think, I do believe I'd rather be embalmed alive than stick a cotton swab up my ass and let people check out the resultant e. coli, thanks. And to be honest you don't even want to touch your hands to the agar, because you know they're probably nasty from the yoga mats and sweaty and you really don't want people to get the wrong impression of you, like they haven't already.

So you volunteer to do the roach instead, which means picking up a live, squirming, giant hissing cockroach and trying to keep him under control as he hisses and flails and tries to escape the agar that you're trying to put him on, so that he can walk around, and the first one practically jumps out of your hand so you get the smaller one but it crawls up your arm, little tiny feet, a giant bug on your arm, and you don't mind bugs but you're still extremely creeped out by the whole encounter.

Plus the TAs are taking pictures of everyone and you know that your disgusting current self shall be immortalized in Polaroid, and you can't really think about anything and you really hope you don't screw up the lab too much because you don't want your lab partner to insist on a different partner next time, and you occasionally have to remind yourself that it's bad to cry in public. The only times you should ever cry in front of people are funerals and when you get delicate body parts smashed by hard, heavy things, because otherwise people assume you are insane.

You finally leave there an hour early, which is good at least, and hurry back to your dorm to change and brush your hair and grab your dance shoes, then you run over to eat really fast and rush to the library to meet with your stupid INCO group, and you're totally not prepared for it, and the directions say "1st floor study room" and you haven't a clue what that means because you don't realize that the floor you walk in on, the one at ground level, is floor #3, not #1, and you get completely turned around and arrive fifteen minutes late and flustered, again, and they're talking about what it takes to be an MD and that just depresses you, and even though it gets out early you still have only half an hour to go back to the dorm and meet with your roommate, who you're taking to Swing Club with you and who doesn't own anything but sneakers. And you're stuck wearing your 3 inch heels that make you look ridiculously tall, because you can't spin in sneakers, and you get there and everyone's wearing sneakers or at least flats and you feel like an idiot.

And while you remember a lot, you're still miles behind everyone else, and you're so stressed out about the rest of the day and life in general and the fact that you're too tall to do the cuddle step, especially with the girls who play the guys because they're so short, and you make mistakes and slip in the stupid shoes because they're so worn, and one time that you slip you're mid-dip, so the poor guy has to catch you and he thinks you did it on purpose because you didn't understand that you're supposed to support your own weight, but you knew that, because you always support your own weight even when you're not supposed to because you're really too big to be supported by anyone else. And making mistakes is really bothering you, as is the fact that everyone is really good, much better than you are, and they're all couples. Like, every single damn one of them.

So you have a really sucky day that starts with not enough sleep and ends with seeing lots of happy couples dancing together and remembering that that will NEVER be your life. Because honestly, on the off chance that you actually get a guy to like you, chances are he won't be the kind of guy who dances with you, because honestly, he'll probably like you for your brain.

I'm not depressed. If I keep saying it it might come true...

So. Tired.

Wow.

So last night was ridiculous... I woke up at 4 AM because it was unbearably hot. Off went the covers. Then the problem arose... While I don't tend to get woken up by snoring, it does make it hard to fall asleep, and Loquatia was snoring like crazy. I tried the old standby-- opening the window to try to get her to turn over, away from the cold-- but it failed. Pillow over the head. Turning on my music. Finally I put the music pillow over my head and blasted harp music into my ear. On the upside, I couldn't hear the snoring, but I think I've lost some of my hearing...

Is there a polite and discreet way to get one's roommate to wear those Breathe-Right strips?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Stormin' Yer Brain

We're supposed to write a paper for English on "a significant event in your life, but preferably one which does not have an immediate significance that's obviously apparent and one which you don't even understand the significance of when you start writing." Wait-- if I don't understand the significance of it, how do I know it's significant at all?

But I brainstormed. I can't pick any of the really significant moments in my life because they're too personal, and the significance is too obvious. So here are my ideas:

-My fourth birthday party, which I mostly remember from stories but which I have two vivid images of-- climbing up next to my ailing grandmother in her nursing-home bed to have her help me blow out the candles on my M&M cake, and getting chastised by my mother for playing with the wheelchair.

-When my mother discovered that I thought "that's gay" meant "that's stupid" and she sat me down and explained to me about homosexuality and tolerance

-Getting my mouth washed out with soap for saying "that sucks" when I was eleven

-The daughter of Miss Martha, my daycare lady, telling me about the concept of reincarnation as we cleaned up Cheerios that were spilled on the kitchen floor, then making a sandwich with three slices of bread so it was extra big

-My now-friend, at the time just an annoying kid at daycare who was way too smart for his own good, teaching me to play chess and not explaining all the rules, so he could surprise me with them and he'd win

-Shrewd and the other older kids at Miss Martha's making fun of me, so I cried and they called me a crybaby, and left me behind on the front lawn when they went off and played together

-The first time I wrote a story about a mutant, when I was eight, and how I showed it to my grandmother and she was shocked that I'd even be interest in things like that, since I didn't seem like the type (heh)

-Going to a Catholic mass with a friend in second grade, and then afterward having my mother tell me why she didn't believe in Jesus.

Loquatia votes for the fourth birthday. Opinions?

"You will be fortunate in everything you put your hands to."

Last night was the Future RA Information Meeting, as in, they gave us information and answered questions about being an RA. I went mostly because Loquatia went; I don't need the money particularly (it's not like the money that my dad's saved to cover room and board that I don't spend will go to me directly, it'll just be saved for med school later- nice, but not crucial), and I figured I was going to be too shy to be an effective RA. But my RA was talking, and he explained that he's shy too- maybe not as cripplingly as I am but certainly shy, and he did fine.

Then the RA from the fourth floor was talking about how she was really introverted, and how being an RA kinda forced her to put herself out there and learn to interact with people and be friendly. At which point I'm quite sure my ears, despite not having the necessary muscles to perform this function, pricked up.

Because honestly, I can handle the responsibility- I don't drink or use drugs anyway, so I have no moral issues with slamming the kids who do. I can follow instructions as to how to handle situations, and I can be a good listener, when I want to be. And the time commitment-- you have to be in the hall 20 hours a week, even if it's just in your room with the door open-- is also a non-issue, since I counted how much of my time was spent in the dorm this week and it was like 30 hours during the week alone, not counting the weekends. None of that is an issue for me. But with my social anxiety I figured it wasn't worth it, I'd be too nervous all the time, and I wasn't in such desperate need of the money that I'd do it for that reason. However, if I can learn from it, and learn to be more confident in social situations, and make some friends out of it... It would be worth it, most definitely.

So I intend to apply, as does Loquatia, and hopefully we'll both get to be RAs next year- maybe even in the same zone, so we could still spend time together. And if neither of us makes it, we've basically decided we want to be roommates again, rather than go into the lottery and risk getting a roommate who parties/uses drugs/goes to bed at 2 AM on weeknights/needs a TV in the room (this would be UNBELIEVABLY distracting for me, at least). The trouble will be if one of us becomes an RA and the other does not. I don't want to go with luck of the draw, because among college students, even the geeky sort you find here at Hubbard, luck of the draw tends to mean someone with habits you can't stand when you're a goody-goody like me...

Monday, January 22, 2007

"Someone you care about seeks reconciliation"

This is interesting. Apparently there was a Hellenistic Pagan ceremony at the ancient Temple of Zeus in Athens. There's a ban on having organized activities there, because it's so old, but the worshipers didn't actually try to go into the temple, so they weren't stopped. They just dressed in ancient costumes and prayed and poured libations. One of the priestesses told a reporter afterwards that "We are Greeks and we demand from the government the right to use our temples."

Uhm... Hold on. I'm all for the revival of the Greek religion, fine. That's your prerogative. But those temples aren't really yours. They're not really even sacred now. I mean, they kinda lost their sacred nature when they were a) ransacked by invaders, b) knocked over by Roman Christians, c) turned into the spot for vacationing society women who wanted to practice sketching architecture, and then d) turned into tourist attractions where you can buy an "Athens, Greece" snow globe for way too much money.

I'm pretty sure Zeus doesn't really want it anymore. It doesn't even have a cult statue. The ancient Greeks would have considered it sacrilegious to have a ceremony in a temple that was that old and run-down, as it doesn't properly honor the god. So like, go ahead, have your ceremonies, but build your own damn temple, and make it a nice one. Gaudy, like the originals. Lots of gold leaf and garish paint. Might want to use fake ivory though, considering how much of it was used in the original...

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We've now had three Latin classes, and we're still working on Themistocles. Guess how far we got in the translation. Three sentences. And the first one was "Themistocles, son of Neocles, an Athenian." And they're not even like Cicero's sentences that go on for a paragraph, it was one sentence with one clause and it took us almost two classes to go over it. I'm all for learning about sentence structure, but really. Hopefully this class will be like the Classical Mythology class I took with the same professor last semester, and will pick up later on. I'm just frustrated...

I've officially added that class, I took care of that today. I just have to meet with him for an extra half-hour on Fridays.

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Bubbly Senior Girl in my Latin class has decided that Blue Eyes, the guy she sits next to who has very blue eyes, is the Best Dressed Guy on campus. She announced this before class today. This is a common theme, as he actually dresses like he cares how he dresses and Bubbly Girl is definitely a fan of caring. Blue Eyes seemed rather startled by sudden festooning of an award but he accepted graciously. This is what he gets for being one of only two guys in a Latin class, and the only one who was also with us last semester when he was one of only three. He's very patient though.

I still have difficulty looking him in the eyes.

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I had a conference with my English professor today, discussing that paper describing a scene. I didn't use the one I posted, though, I wrote another one, about talking with Loquatia in her sleep. It came out rather well. There were a couple of points I need to work on, but she said overall it was good, funny and kept her attention. I was rather pleased.

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They had GIANT COOKIES for dessert today. This meant I was very bad and had one. But I haven't been eating that much and I mean, come on, GIANT COOKIES.

I may write more later, but I have my INCO class- the Healthcare Seminar- tonight. It's the first class so I have to leave early or I'll get lost on the way there.

Technicolor Dreams

Last night I dreamed I was at a society wedding, with lots of tuxedos. The groom and the bride, in true Romeo-and-Juliet fashion, were from opposing sides of a family feud but the families had agreed to put aside their differences for the sake of the wedding. Nevertheless, there was a lot of concern about someone starting a fight, so there were several undercover agents scattered about. Still, no one saw when a man- who wasn't a member of either family- set off the timer on a bomb in the corner. Luckily one of the agents noticed and deactivated the bomb, but not before it was seen by a member of the groom's family. Amidst cries of foul play, the men of both sides drew their ceremonial swords (whose idea was it to have ceremonial swords- sharpened ceremonial swords- at a wedding between two warring families?) and prepared to battle. Then my alarm clock went off.

I was kind of bummed. I wanted to see that sword fight.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding"

WOOT!

I'm officially on Google. I wasn't before... They might have changed their system, but it used to be that a certain number of sites had to link to yours before you showed up. Either way, now you can find Frog-Kisser's Musings via Googling. I can self-google!

Googling myself came up with a cremation site. I couldn't like to it to find out why but I'm kinda concerned...

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Mistake's roommate issue is flaring up again (it's like a rash that way). Her current roommate is withdrawing from UNH and that's the third she's gone through- though according to Housing, she says, it's been eight. I told her she must threaten people with certain death in her sleep but she seemed to think it was like bad luck or something.

Oh, speaking of which, I had an interesting conversation with my roommate last night. I came in pretty late after hanging out with Mistake and Closer, and she sat up as I came in.

"Oh, did I wake you?" I asked. "No," she replied. A pause. "How was your night?"

"Okay," I replied. She was quiet a bit and then started to look around. "Have you seen- where is it?"

"What are you looking for?"

"I can't- I can't remember what it's called. Where is it? Did it fall?"

I was trying to figure out what she was talking about when she slumped back onto the bed. Then this morning she asked me how my night was.

"Okay... Didn't you wake up when I came in? You asked me that then."

"Uhm... I don't remember that..."

She was totally asleep the whole time. She's the only girl I know who can have a conversation with me in her sleep.

Well.

For a long time (I don't know if she still does this, but she did) Mistake had one away message that she put up whenever she was upset about something. It was an excellent warning.

Away messages and buddy profiles are usually either funny, supposed to be funny, random and peppered with internet jargon and references to friends, or filled with song lyrics in an attempt to be deep. I think the choice of a buddy profile says a lot about a person, so I check them every once in a while. Today Loquatia, Mistake, Closer and I were eating at Hoco and a guy we used to hang out with at the beginning of the year showed up. He's usually one to domineer the conversation, but he seemed rather... subdued. So I was curious, and I check his buddy profile...

"There's nothing quite so vicious as a lover, unless you count the terminally ill, with whom they share many unpleasant characteristics. Both are selfish; withdrawn; manipulative; unstable; reserving all their sweetness for the loved one (or themselves) and turning on their friends like rabid dogs . . . There is a perverse satisfaction in picking at a scab. Lovers do it all the time, seeking out the most intense sources of pain and indulging them, sacrificing themselves again and again for the sake of the loved object with a dogged stupidity that poets have often mistaken for selflessness."

Ooo. Someone's bitter.

Homework

I had an assignment for English class, and as I was writing it, it occurred to me that I was writing non-fiction. Creative nonfiction. Kinda like what I do on this blog. So I might as well share it here.

The assignment was to describe a scene that happened in the last week that involved "characters you can delineate and dialogue you can remember." So I tried to think of a recent scene I remembered the dialogue for (characters aren't an issue, really, my friends have a LOT of character), and all I could come up with that was something I'd share with my teacher was something that happened like, ten minutes before. Basically, me reading my book and randomly talking with my roommate. It kinda works, because you can sort of see the relationship we have.

I was sitting on my bed, reclining really, my legs tucked up under me and my head resting on my right hand. The crumpled mess of white sheets, the neutral, beige blanket, and the wine-red comforter lift my upper body up, making me more comfortable as my left hand holds the book. Somewhere in the pile is a pillow. I should make my bed more often… but it’s so much more comfortable unmade.

I was facing away from the window, the only source of light in this room during the day. The bed runs parallel to the window, with my headboard against the wall; the bedstead is a light-colored finish that completely clashes with the darker windowsill. I’ve always wondered why the windowsill was so much darker than the rest of the wood in the room. There’s a cold chill, not quite a breeze, just cooler air that slips around the poorly insulated windowpane and penetrates the back of me long-sleeved t-shirt that’s almost, but not quite, the exact same color as the comforter. The window view is cut a little less than halfway up by the support beam for my bed frame, since the bed is designed to convert to a bunk and, without the upper bunk to complement it, the slated head and foot boards would pull apart.

My roommate sat at her desk, which is under her lofted bed. The bed and the desk and the end of my bed, which is perpendicular to hers, forms a little corner office for her. I kind of like her office, but she can only do it with the lofted bed and I’m mildly afraid of top bunks. She was facing away from the window, reading something intently. Suddenly she stood up and turned to me. “Do you mind if I turn on the radio?”

It was very quiet in the room; the only noise we could hear was our neighbors playing a violent video game and talking, or sometimes shouting and swearing. Footsteps in the hall, male and female voices communicating just softly enough to be heard but not understood… “Oh yeah,” I shrugged. “Sure.”

She flicked on the Christian-rock radio station. Her music, not really mine. Some song about the glory of God came on and I tuned it out. I was trying to focus on the reading, something about dialogue, and I finally surrendered and skimmed it. I’ll take notes later.

The music on, she took her light blue reading pillow, the sort that supports the back while you sit in bed, and placed it on the new rug I bought over the weekend. The beige and blue carpeting hides the harsh tile that boasts yet another shade of white, though the “off” of it’s description is more due to the oddly colored flecks and the general dirtiness. No amount of Pine-Sol can bring up the grime, and we used a lot of Pine-Sol. The pillow rested against the side of her orderly desk, and faced my much messier desk and chair. She went to push in the chair, then paused. “I’m just going to push this in,” she informed me, then, in a more inquiring tone, “You aren’t going to sit here, are you?”

“No, go ahead.” She pushed it in and went to sit on the floor, book in hand. It’s on food and society, for a class: she was reading interesting tidbits from it to me earlier. She’s a nutrition major, I’m in Biology, but our academic interests are similar. After a pause, it occurred to me to clarify my earlier statement. “I might sit there later, I’m just going to read this first.” I knew I had a paper to complete after I finished the chapter.

“Okay, just tell me when you do,” she replied, implying she’d move. I nodded, though I’d already decided, between the time I spoke and the time that she did, that I’d probably just take my laptop to my bed. She looked quite comfortable where she was, and I kind of like sitting on my bed anyway. I sit at a desk too much already. She paused, then glanced at the book I’m reading. “Is that- like, a novel?” she asks. “No, it’s for my English class,” I replied. Wait. English classes usually involve reading novels. Luckily she picked up my intent. “It’s like a book on-”

“Yeah, on writing and stuff,” I replied simply. She nodded and went back to her own work, and I return to reading. We often study at about the same time, or she studies, and I, being the less studious roommate (not to mention the one who actually has a computer to distract her), play computer games or write blog entries. But we’ve often spent hours like this, in simple silence, broken by the occasional movement or five-line conversation. Or the sound of gunfire from next door…

Any opinions?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Today I learned that rugs are EXPENSIVE

My trip home was mercifully brief; I say mercifully because my brother got his wisdom teeth out yesterday and was in pain (and still groggy from the anesthesia), my mom was recovering from a bug and was in pain, and my sister had her teeth cleaned and was in pain because of premature tooth decay or something. Anyway, all that pain under one roof is not my preference. Besides, I really didn't want to start out the semester going home.

So last night Shrewd picked me up and took me shopping for clothes- I needed PJs and exercise pants- and then we all watched a Jake 2.0 marathon on SciFi (Shrewd and I have decided that Jake is exactly like all our male friends would be like if they got superpowers). Our family bonding time tends to be dorky things like watching science fiction television shows that were vastly underrated. Or just science fiction television shows. We're not that picky.

This morning we went to TJ's for breakfast (sans the Brother, who is on soft foods only) and then Daddy and I went shopping. After a quick stop at Staples (where I got a new bookshelf, on which I can showcase my literary nature and look like a total bibliophile- SWEET) it was Rug Buying Time.

I have never bought a rug before. This is said in my defense. I arrived there wight a vague idea of the shape and layout of the room and measurements of the area I wanted to cover, not thinking that- duh- they're going to have rugs in set sizes, and I shouldn't assume that my size was one of them. I wanted an 11'by 4' rug. Yeah, that was going to happen. After much debate we settled on a 5'x8' rug and a smaller runner for the door, and then I pointed to the one I liked, and Daddy pointed to the price, smiled, and said, "Let's keep it under $150." Which I did. The rug I got was $80. You can see the pattern (if not the shape) at left. That purchased, I got my stuff from home and we left. There was supposed to be a windstorm this afternoon and Daddy was worried about getting caught driving in it. We managed to get up here, wash the floor (that was... ew), and confirm that the rug fit okay early enough that it wasn't bad weather when Daddy headed home.

I didn't forget anything at home this time. That was awesome! Then I realized that I forgot something in Daddy's car (poster board) and the didn't-forget-anything bubble was burst. Bummer. Oh well, I can get poster board at Brooks, and Novocaine-boy can use the stuff I got. I just wanted to put some backing on my character sketches and put them up on the wall. Not because I think they're like, amazing or anything (which I totally do. No, just kidding. I like how they came out, though), but because I want something on our walls. I already put up my X-men poster but they're still very white and boring.

And I can even make more character sketches to fill up more space, because I found my awesome sketching pencils. Nice.

So, ignoring the scathing angry email my mom just sent me regarding the state of the bathroom back home, a pretty good day...

Friday, January 19, 2007

"Tomatoes, Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), peppers..."*

I skipped yoga today. Because I need a second pair of exercise-suitable pants. Adding that to my shopping list...

Okay, so my pants aren't that dirty and I was being lazy. I think it's allowed, sometimes. Besides, I translated Themistocles instead.

This morning Ajax, the Betta fish who nearly died a few months back but who has recovered nicely, was floating perpendicular to the bottom of the tank. Like...his head was pointing down. I was understandably confused, since I'm pretty sure Bettas aren't supposed to sleep with such radically changed directionals, but I poked the glass and he moved so I figure he's just weird. I can't imagine wanting to sleep with my butt over my head like that. Maybe the extra blood to the brain makes it easier to think?

Of course, in the words of Ann M. Martin, author of The Baby-Sitter's Club and related titles, "I've been sitting down all day. I must have the smartest..."

I can't believe I can quote a line from The Baby-Sitter's Club... and it's that line.

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This post is early because I'm going home at 3:00 today and I don't know if I'll feel like writing at home...The internet appears to be down all over campus. This lack of net access is why I ate veggie tortilla chips and mild salsa for lunch instead of something with actual nutritional value and, y'know, a plate.

It was annoying.

But my dorm has internet access and electricity, unlike Stoke Hall, where Mistake was regaled with the sounds of many young women screaming in shock as the hot water died. Wow... so glad I'm not them.

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Off to Latin, then home to retrieve all the stuff I was supposed to bring last time...

*No fortune cookie. This is the label of my salsa container.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

"At 20 the will reigns, at 30 the wit, at 40 the judgement"*

Today is the Women's Festival of Juno. That's when married women or those who'd like to be married celebrate Juno, or Hera as she is known in some circles. Queen of gods, goddess of matrimony- you get the idea.

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So two days ago I realized that I had totally screwed up my schedule, and Tuesdays are not free, as I though, but rather occupied by Englishy, Biology-y activities. So I missed my first two classes. Oops. Way to go, Sherlock.

But it's resolved, and I've talked to my teachers and apologized profusely. Anyway, dealing with that is basically why I didn't post a real entry until today, and why there was the random not-related-to-reality post right before this one, the one about Mary Sues that you didn't have to read because it has very little to do with my life.

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Besides the Bio/English screw up, I have discovered more scheduling changes. Like I can go to the Communication Skills group after all, which is exciting and means that I will possibly actually learn to talk to boys without being all "durrrrr...." That starts in like three weeks.

Also, I can take my Latin class and get credit and all. This is good. I like credit. Especially considering that my father was FLIPPING OUT about the possibility that this would not be the case.

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Libentra's in some of my classes! This is a YAY thing because we thought we wouldn't have any classes together this semester, and consequently would go into withdrawal from each other after our blatant mutual overexposure last semester. She's taking Chem with me (she's Honors and I'm not, but hey, we get to sit together in lecture) and Latin again.

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Loquatia and I are most likely going to be going to swing dance classes, or maybe salsa, together. She wanted something fun to try when she can't play tennis. That should be cool. Except I have to play the guy 50% of the time, apparently. I can't do the guy's part, it requires actual thought.

I went to yoga yesterday, and I plan to go tomorrow. This out to be interesting. I left yoga feeling relaxed, and yet, sore, sort of like how I'd expect to feel if I'd been beaten all over by several thugs and then dosed with sedatives. How's that for imagery, professor?

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That reminds me- I have to keep a daily journal for English. This is not really a problem for me. I'm not going to write yet another journal, though, I'm gonna print out my blog, minus the really long entries with little or no relevance to real life. Like... the previous one.

I thought about recording the one beautiful thing I make a point of noticing every day, but you know, thinking about one lovely thing is nice, but if you start listing them or recording them for posterity you start to sound poetic and I think I'd be ripping off thiel's ideas of living your poetry.

Besides, mustn't reveal my depthitude. I'm pretentious and self-involved enough as it is.


*I'm kinda tempted to make a comment about 70 and the bladder but I figure that would be mean coming from someone who's still in the "will" section of life.**

**This is not a comment like saying "No comment" is not a comment. Insert me smiling here.

In Which I Try Desperately To Defend My Own Bad FanFiction

Anyone who really doesn't care about my fanfiction is welcome to skip this post. There will not be a quiz. I promise. There are some nifty pictures I drew, though. Feel free to skip the words and look at the pictures. It'll be like kindergarten all over again!

Click on the pictures for a larger version.


Well.

I scored a 56 on the Mary Sue Litmus Test for my self-inserted character in the x-men fan-fic. Apparently, anything over 50 generates the response "kill it dead."

The trouble is, I'm not really sure if it's applicable to this character- and my character has lots of flaws that make her more realistic because hey, she's me and I have low self-esteem, she NEEDS flaws.



Okay, first of all, a Mary Sue is a fanfiction term for a character that is basically a glorified version of the author, a wish-fufillment fantasy taken to ridiculous levels. They are traditionally gorgeous, brilliant, powerful, sexy, etc, etc, all rolled up into one, and their flaws are things like "too gorgeous" or "can't be mean to people." They make reading a boring slog of "why do I care that this person's life is great" and they usually get it on with various canon characters (that's the ones that were in the original book or, in this case, comic).

And yes, I fully admit that I totally inserted myself into my x-men fanfiction, because let's be honest here, it's easier to write about a character you know. That's why the hardest part of the first three books was the research on blood and disassociative identity disorder and the hardest part of the three I'm working on now is figuring out how a man would think in various situations.

I'll even allow that there's some wish fulfillment in there, I mean, living in a fantasy world is why I write in the first place.

BUT.

I'm totally honest about myself. The character doesn't just share my interests, she shares my flaws- like she can't say no to her friends, even if it's not in her best interest or in the best interest of the world at large, and she's generally trusting of authority unless someone else tells her not to be. She's more decisive and handles scary situations better than I think I would, but that's just because the plot would kinda falter if the main character hid in the bushes for the duration of the big battle scene. AND she looks like me- flaws and all. She's not overweight anymore, like I am, but honestly, X-men have training like all the time and you can't do an hour of intense
physical training once a day for months and not either die or get some sculpting to your body. She has skin problems and her hair and eyes are a boring brown like mine, and she has a boring name and no back story because she's ME and I don't really have a back story as such, just "grew up in your typically WASP household with married parents and no real strife." She's smart but she counters that by being clumsy and not that athletic, and she sucks at the combat sessions and at using her powers because they're new to her and she obviously doesn't have them mastered yet.

I go on in a lot more detail, but I'm being nice and trimming this entry.

Of course, in all of this there's the ultimate fact that it's just fanfiction, and no one will ever read it unless I give up on my real wish-fulfillment fantasy, admit it's never going to get published in a million years, and post it on a fanfiction website. So honestly, it doesn't really matter what it says. Still. I'd hate to think of myself as a Mary-Sue writer, the bane of fanfiction readers the world over. I dunno, maybe I should find someone to check it over for me and determine if it sounds ridiculous (er, that is, any more ridiculous than X-men canon, which is pretty damn out there).

It's currently over 400 pages in Word and possibly complete drivel, for all I know. Any volunteers?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

To sleep, perchance to dream

Today is the festival of Felicitas, the goddess of good luck. It's also my brother's birthday and the day after my grandfather's birthday. This explains a lot.

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I had the weirdest dreams last night. I didn't sleep well- the room was stuffy and overheated, and I'm used to a slightly more comfortable bed. I'll get over it. But the dreams were really weird.

I was in Italy again, or rather, in the dream I was dreaming I was in Italy- I knew it was a dream, but at the same time I was exploring like it was real, and I marveled that I was having a dream that enabled me to explore new parts of the country despite never having been there myself- it didn't occur to me that I was making it all up. I kept getting lost, and I was trying to find my way back to St. Mark's (so I guess I was in Venice) but at the same time, I didn't really care that I was lost and I was happy to wander about aimlessly looking for the cathedral. This was weird because even if I don't have limits on my time I always freak out when I get lost. And yet, I was perfectly calm about the whole thing.

Then I was back working at the old daycare, the one that I went to for kindergarten and after-school care and then worked at myself when I was older. I was serving juice to the kids and then someone told me that there was going to be a reunion, of sorts, with the kids who were in the after-school care. I continued to serve juice, and coffee, to the people who came in, including the funny man that used to supervise us until his wife made him get a real job, and also the guy I had a crush on for seven years who turned into a jerk when he became the star of the swim team, and the guy I thought was a jerk for eleven years who turned into a nice guy when he learned that having two X chromosomes doesn't mean you have half as many synapses firing. This was weird because the daycare is a recurring theme in my dreams- working at it, at least. But I usually don't dream about being a kid there myself, or visiting as a former student- just as an employee.

I don't know what the first dream means- if I never have it again, probably nothing. The second dream, though, I can see where it's coming from. Yesterday I was talking to Mimi about that study at Mclean Hospital and how it made me think of my degenerate youth. She said that I should think about how that kind of childhood affected who I am today, if it did at all. I was trying to think of how my early life of crime and violence shaped me, but I wasn't certain of anything. I think dreaming of two people who I thought of one way when I was younger and then very differently when I grew up is my brain's way of gently reminding me that I'm not the same person I was back then.

Or maybe we need a fan in this room at night.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ah, power outages

Good news: When the power went out last night I had on hand plenty of candles ready and waiting for the chance to light my room to a nice, warm glow. I also had a fully charged computer battery and plenty of books, and a cell phone, too.

Bad news: The generous souls who keep giving me candles always give me the nice, scented sort. My bedroom smelled like a cacophony of pine, pumpkin, vanilla, various citrus fruits and gingerbread. I think this qualifies as nasal abuse.

On the plus side, the candles masked the fact that we couldn't flush the toilets or shower. Yuck.

It was inconvenient, but hey, that's pretty much par for the course over the last couple days. We watched the third X-men movie on my computer (the battery died right as the credits rolled, nice) by candlelight and Daddy picked up Chinese take-out after he took Alex to his drum lesson.

This morning I awoke to the beeping of my iPod alarm, which was taking the place of my actual alarm clock (which I left at home when I came to school, damn). I rolled out of bed and stumbled downstairs in the morning light to get some water so I might actually brush my teeth. Then we learned that The Brother still had school, just a delay, and he had to be roused and sent off with no shower and no paper that was due, as it was on his computer and hadn't been printed out in time. He was GRUMMMMMPY.

I spent half an hour chipping ice off my car- there was about a centimeter, or a quarter of an inch, of ice coating the vehicle, the grass, the trees...It was like they had dipped the world in molten glass and let it harden. The birch trees were all bent completely over and their tips had frozen to the icy grass, creating graceful arches. Pretty, but not fun to deal with on the car. I then removed the boxes of clothing and put them into Mummy's car, and once it was suitably loaded up we headed out.

The roads were okay, at least. It took us three times up the stairs, and Mummy's bad hip and my bruised knee protested every step. Mummy left for work, and I promptly showered and headed over to Dover to meet with my therapist. I'd called her a couple times to try to figure out when the appointment was, but the first time she called back and said she had no record of me, no idea who I was, and was I sure I had the right extension number?

Remember how I have issues with being forgotten? Yeah, this didn't help. Not one bit.

But she found my information, at least, and the appointment is set up so that I only am gone from the campus for three hours, instead of five like last semester.

Anyway, I'm all unpacked, except for my bed, which I haven't set up because we might be moving it around and I want to talk to my roommate. I have to get my books but I need to transfer money into my debit account first and then have Mummy pay me back... better take care of that now...