~Forgotten Wings~

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31 December-- I was on five different types of public transportation today, not to mention 3 different cars. My mom woke me up at 8:15 and drove me to the Metro, which I took to Union Station, where I boarded an Amtrak train. My grandmother met me at Penn Station in NYC, and we took the Long Island Railroad to Queens. My grandfather picked us up and drove us to their house, where we spent about 3 hours, before he drove me back to the subway. I took the subway to Times Square and walked underground to the Port Authority bus terminal.

(Do you realize that now, when people ask me "Have you ever been to Times Square on New Year's Eve?" I can now say yes? Sure, midnight is implied, but nonetheless I have been to Times Square on New Year's Eve . . . at 6 PM.)

Of course, when I got to Port Authority, I had enough trouble finding the ticket windows that by the time I got there it was 6:15. Consdering my bus was scheduled to leave at 6:20, I was a bit panicked to see the long lines. I realized that if I waited on line I'd have no chance to make my bus, so my only option was a mad dash for the bus itself. I ran in a direction that seemed like it might be familiar, and sure enough, I found the Lakeland Bus gates. And the big signs, "No tickets sold on board."

Luckily, below that sentence were the words "Tickets may be purchased at ticket windows or at any vending machine." Vending machines? Sure enough, there was a vending machine right behind me, and despite the fact that there was a man ahead of me using it, he kindly let me go ahead when I explained my predicament. So I hastily entered the information, swiped my credit card, waited for my ticket to print out, and ran for the bus. I had a whole 45 seconds to spare before the bus pulled out.

So I made it to Newton, and Rich picked me up and gave me a ride to the Howerings', and I saw many friends, and eventually saw the ball drop. And there was sparkling apple cider, and not much sleep. And that is why the first entry for 2003, and tales of even greater transportation woes, will be slightly delayed-- my eyes will no longer stay open!

30 December-- I spent a couple of hours on the phone today, much of it on hold. First, I was trying to get the health insurance company to pay one of the two $300+ bills resulting from my car crash in August 2001. I thought it was all taken care of, until I got the letter in the mail saying that they were going to take legal action against me to collect the money. (Which, you know, wouldn't look so good on my credit record.) So when I finally got through to Blue Cross Blue Shield, after being transferred about 3 times, they told me that they never had this bill in their records in the first place, and I should call the hospital to have them send it if they want it paid. This would've been nice to figure out sometime in the last 16 months.

Then I called Dell, where they told me that I could send my laptop in to them, and they'd look at it and decide whether they'd cover replacing my screen. Apparently they'd send it back to me on them if it's not covered, which seems nice of them , and thus I'm going to doublecheck if it's right. I'm pondering whether the likelihood of them fixing it under the warranty is worth the hassle of being without my laptop for 3-4 days. Any input is appreciated.

I then called the bus company, to confirm that the several buses that I'll be taking in the next two days will actually be running when I think they will. I'm going into New York tomorrow morning, then into New Jersey tomorrow evening for a New Year's Eve party, then back on a bus from Sparta to Wayne, NJ on New Year's Day, then in my grandparents' car all the way back to DC Wednesday night.

I also called a prof about a fireside, and a couple of landlords (I spent hours looking at apartments online again today). And, yes, I even did an hour of work-study, despite it having nothing to do with the phone. Hey, I've got to stock up on productivity now, since I'll be gone for the next 2 days.

See you in 2003!

29 December-- And at the end of the day, I've accomplished nothing. Just another day of watching football, but a pretty sad one in the end, although of course Alex is more upset about it than I am. But for the first time in my life, I can probably tell you who won all the games today, and who all the playoff teams are. (Although for the life of me, I can't figure out why Cleveland beat out Miami for the wild card when the Jets won, but if the Jets had lost Miami would have beaten Cleveland for the wild card. Football. Sheesh.)

I did try out my new smoothie-maker for the first time, though, to look on the bright side of the day. Of course, I managed to put the stirrer in the top backwards, resulting in it getting caught in the spinning blades and cracked. It's only cosmetic damage, but boy do I feel silly! I also learned that it is quite noisy. But the smoothies tasted good!

28 December-- I spent another hour doing work-study today. Only one hour, you ask? Well... well... there were other important things that had to be done! Like watching Trading Spaces! And football! (Yes, me, football. I don't know what's become of me. Although I must say that I don't know if I'll ever stop being irritated by watching plays happen and then the referees coming out and saying, "That doesn't count because of some random violation." It just bothers me. Penalities are so not cool.)

I seem to have made no progress at beating the cold-- well, primarily, the cough-- that's been plaguing me for days now. My throat isn't too painful, which I'm quite grateful for, but it would be nice if I could get a few moments' peace, especially when I'm trying to fall asleep, without coughing. Ah, well, I'll live.

27 December-- Against the odds, I was actually pretty productive today. Of course, it was channeled in the least productive of ways. So I only made it through an hour of work-study data analysis on my computer before deciding this site absolutely had to be updated. And what was the first priority? Well, of course, putting old Deep Thoughts entries from the Geocities server into this template. Then it was time to update the Friends page, which is indeed something I've been meaning to do forever. I tweaked some parts and left others for later, but I did go ahead and finally put Malavika in. After all of that updating, I could finally get around to writing a new Deep Thoughts entry.

Some people would say one hour of work-study and several hours of extensive site updating don't equal a productive day. But I prefer not to pay any attention to those people...

26 December-- Well, despite the calendar, today felt a good deal more like Christmas than yesterday did, complete with more than 9 hours round-trip driving. There were relatives, and a Christmas tree, and presents, and a floor full of wrapping paper, and food, and my cousin MIchael, who I'm realizing is really not a toddler anymore but actually a little a boy-- amazing. But now I'm tired, and shall say no more.

25 December-- White Christmases aren't all they're cracked up to be. Especially if you live in a place like Maryland which, apparently, doesn't understand the concept of plowing snow. At least not promptly.

Which is to say that we got up at 8:30 this morning, trudged through the thick snow and slushy parking lot to the car, got out onto the road, slipped and skidded around for 10 minutes at about 15 miles an hour, and headed back. By the time the roads were clear, around noon, it no longer made sense to drive all the way up to New York. So we're going tomorrow for the Second Day of Christmas, Christmas Take 2, Boxing Day, or whatever you want to call it.

So it was a pretty uneventful Christmas, after all that, since we had our nice dinner and our presents last night. We sat around, read the paper and books we had gotten as gifts, and in the evening we watched some of the hours of special features on the Fellowship of the Rings Extended DVD set my sister got for Christmas.

And now, it's time for me to go to bed, since we're getting up before 8 tomorrow to drive to NYC.

24 December-- We did our Christmas celebration tonight, since tomorrow morning we're leaving to head up to NYC very early, and we won't be back until Thursday night. It was sort of subdued, in that whole "don't-know-where-Dad's-next-paycheck-is-coming-from" sort of way, and gifts were pretty minimal. But along with a book, a CD, a framed copy of my picture with Paul, and my $5 dress, my parents got me a smoothie maker, which I thought was pretty darn nifty. It was also a complete surprise, which was good, since the running joke was that everyone knew exactly what they were getting from everyone else.

So we had a nice dinner tonight, opened presents in front of the burning Yule Log on TV, and then wrapped presents and prepared food for tomorrow. If the snowstorm that's supposed to conveniently cover our driving route doesn't stop us, the plan is to get to my aunt and uncle's about 2, eat, exchange presents, spend time together, and then my sister and I will spend the night and the next afternoon at my grandparents' (my mom's parents) while my mom and dad stay at my aunt and uncle's. Then we'll pile back in the car and hope to get back to Maryland not too late on Thursday.

So until then, take care, everyone, and have a very merry Christmas!

23 December-- I got four Christmas cards in the mail today. Ah, these good people, who dutifully sit around writing, addressing, and mailing cards. Perhaps someday that will be me. The me of the present, on the other hand, sent e-cards back to these four thoughtful souls. May I in the future be a little less lazy!

I've also gotten the pictures back from a roll of film I got developed, and I'm pleased. Not only does it have a couple of cute pictures of my cousin, and a family shot, but loads of great pictures from Halloween, as well as from when Matt, Katie, Derek, and I went downtown. (See Britt on Katie's back! See Britt on Derek's back! See Britt on Derek's shoulders! Can Britt see the parade now?) Many of the pics are quite scannable, and will have to be put up shortly. And I should use a couple of them in my Historianly Duties. (Yeah, yeah, I've failed at that thus far.)

22 December-- I saw The Two Towers today with my family, finally. It was really good, although I liked the first one better-- which probably has to do mostly with the books/stories themselves. I did think the Frodo/Sam/Gollum interplay--and the character of Gollum/Smeagol itself-- was done very well. And it was suitably dark and creepy and twisted. (I was also pleased by how well they worked the lighter, comic relief bits into the generally dark movie.)

It was interesting for me, since although I've read all the books in the trilogy, I remember The Fellowship of the Ring far better than The Two Towers, and thus was much less able to remember what was going to come next or compare things to the way they were in the book. (Unlike my sister, who came out saying all sorts of things like "Keeping the Ring never occured to Faramir! It's a blight upon his character!" Not sure if blight is exactly the word she was looking for...)

21 December-- Today we went shopping, and it was good.

I had two finds-of-the-year today. One was a very nice blue dress that fit me perfectly that was on a clearance rack for $5. The other I can't describe here, in case the person for whom it was bought stops by. Suffice it to say that I think it may be the must amusing and unique gift I've ever purchased. E-mail me or IM or comment or something if you'd like me to tell you about it; I want to, or I think I'll burst!

I managed to take care of some other gifts, too, which means that I need just one more present by Christmas day, and two more (and I know what each will be, I just need to pick them out) by the time I go back to school. Not bad, eh?

Oh, and in the Toys R Us, shopping for my three-year-ld cousin, my sister and I came upon this amazing globe. It has pictures of animals and landmarks all over the world, and you have a pointer you can use to select them. It can give you information, play music from all different regions , teach you words in different languages... I swear, Shauna and I spent 20 minutes playing with it, and begged our parents to get it for Mikey. But it was $70, and we're not quite in the financial position to splurge on it for him now. I think we were most disappointed because it meant we couldn't play with it at the house for the next few days!

20 December-- My goodness, today at work was so crazy and hectic! Not only was it the last Friday before Christmas, and the place was busy all day, but we had to finish up a special order of 600 Trio boxes of truffles, each of which had to have a gold ribbon tied on by hand. They were supposed to be done last night, and there were 150 to be done when I left; when we got in this morning, there was a note from Andrew (who has a cute Scottish accent, but is not the world's most responsible or thoughtful person), saying "Can you finish the boxes? There are 103 more. And restock, too." I don't know why on earth he couldn't restock when he closed, but we certainly couldn't. With the crowds, the two of us needed to be working both registers 90% of the time, and every spare second was spent tying bows onto boxes. We couldn't restock the shelves, we couldn't go out on the floor to talk to customers, we couldn't clean up the mess we were making with little snips of ribbon everywhere. We had to keep ringing people up, trying to keep the lines manageable, while trying desperately to finish the boxes before they were picked up "between 2 and 3."

Someone who was supposed to work at 2:30 was called in early at 1. I must say, it didn't feel a bit less hectic, but I suppose more work got done. That was the only way we managed to finish the boxes by around 2:15. Then, at least, there were a few moments to straighten up, get more stuff out onto the floor, and attempt to ring people up by hand. (Did I mention that by this point, one of our registers, which had been acting up all morning, was refusing to work? So one girl was on the phone getting tech support for it, while I tried to deal with the ever-lengthening lines by doing hand sales. Of course, we didn't have the key to the register, so when I tried to make change, I had to wait for the other register to open for a transaction.)

It wasn't any less crazy when I left at 2:45, but another girl had arrived so there would be three of them to take care of it. I shudder to think how this weekend will be. I'm not back to work until Monday...

19 December-- I've had all these days this week with nothing to do all afternoon, wishing I could somehow get more hours in at work, figuring making money is more productive than watching random junk on TV. So of course the day my boss asks me to work a few extra hours is the one day I actually have somewhere to go. I worked from 10 until almost 5 today, and thus arrived at the Wellstone office holiday party a bit late.

It was up on the 9th floor of the Hart building, where I'd never been before, in a room with huge windows showing a beautiful view of the Capitol. There were all sorts of folks there, and though there were some sad moments and definitely sad qualities to the event, it was much more cheerful than the last time I'd seen everyone, at the memorial service three weeks After. (Evidenced, perhaps, by the fact that people could answer, "Good," "Well," or "Pretty good" in response to the question "How are you doing?", instead of solely "Okay," "I'll be okay," "Getting by," or "Better.")

It reminded me in some ways, although in others of course so different, of the other annual office party in "Wellstonia" that I'd been to, this year's summer barbeque. At that one, of course, Paul and Sheila were there, mingling and chatting like everyone else. Paul was a little late, I remember, because that was the day that he introduced the amendment barring corporate tax evaders who relocate off-shore from defense contracts. He was tremendous on the floor, going on and on, and I had a huge grin on my face all afternoon. I kept ducking into Brian's unoccupied office to peek at the TV and watch him. But he made it back to the party to spend time with us all, hanging out with staffers, interns, and family. He would've been at this one, too, if he could; instead, people spoke of how happy and proud they were to have been a part of the office, and prepared to finish cleaning out the office tomorrow.

I found this link about the suicide event we went to the day I shadowed Paul on 16 July , which I wrote about on the day he died...

18 December-- A whole long day with no work and nowhere to go, hours with nothing to do but plow through my Winter Break To-Do List. So much time to accomplish so much.

But this is me we're talking about. So despite a long list of things I wanted to get done, I spent 15 minutes thinking about my senior thesis, and maybe an hour looking at apartment stuff (which was not actually on my to-do list, but I have to be generous in defining productivity, because there's not much of it). I'm not going to list all the things I should have and could have worked on; it's too depressing.

Instead, I spent 2 hours watching an E! True Hollywood Story on "Growing Pains." (In case you're wondering, I don't think I ever saw a single episode of that show.) I also watched a special on Sex in the City (nope, haven't seen it either), a couple hours watching the Discovery Health Channel, the second half of a very old version of A Christmas Carol, a sports show, countless hours about Trent Lott, Janeane Garofalo talking about Iraq (she rules!), and to top it off, a one-hour story about someone who was born a boy and raised as a girl as a result of a circumcision gone horribly wrong.

TV. It eats up your life. It's dangerous, dangerous I say!

17 December-- Work was pretty crazy today, mad busy most of the time, ringing up people who'd been waiting on long lines, barely getting a chance to help or speak to anyone on the floor at all. I did get to work an extra half-hour when the girl coming in after me was late; hey, every half-hour counts, since work hours will be hard to come by after Christmas.

But tomorrow I have off. Which means I can actually sleep in tomorrow morning.

I got my photo of me with Paul Wellstone today. Or rather, I got 5 copies of it. My dad asked if they could make us 3, and Jen just ended up making 5. That's nice, because the photos are really important to me, so this way I don't have to do the whole guard-it-with-my-life, hyperventilate-if-it-somehow-gets-misplaced thing. My parents are going to frame one of them and give it to me for Christmas, and I'll frame one and give it to him, as per his request.

I remember the moment in the office the photo was taken, the whole summer, and just Paul so vividly...

16 December-- My sister is taking finals this week. This has the practical result of making me feel happy (aren't I a horrible person?) in two ways: first, that I am done with finals. And second, that as bad as my study habits are, hers seem noticeably worse. (Likewise with general tidiness around the house... the apartment is such a wreck. I'm staying true to my roots when my room looks like a disaster area, dammit!)

The alarm's set for 9:30 again tomorrow. This morning I was so groggy when I got to work that I forgot to give change to the first customer of the day, shut the drawer, and wondered why she looked at me funny when I gave her the receipt.

A random note: It seems my car accidents from the summer before last are actually serving me well, after all. At least it feels that way when I hear from numerous friends about early morning chauffeur duties. Nobody expects me to drive them anywhere!

15 December-- Well, you (or I) can't say I did nothing today. I got up at 10 and went to work for 5 hours, making myself some money along the way. I got back a little before 4. Then I did nothing.

I slipped back into the swing of things at work pretty well, considering I'd been gone 3 months and had worked all of about 25 hours there (total, not per week!) over the summer. There are all sorts of cute, fun things there for the holiday season! You know, maybe I'm a moron (yeah, I hear you, "maybe?"), but it never occured to me until this morning that the fact that I'll be spending hours in a chocolate store chock-full of Christmas gifts, armed with an employee discount, might be useful in my holiday shopping. Yeah, shut up.

It was pretty busy today, although not "Aggggh, too hectic, everyone's going crazy" busy. But busy enough that I couldn't sit down and rest my legs while the store was empty, because there was no "while the store was empty" after about 11:15. Hence when I got home afterwards, I collapsed onto my bed for many hours. Hey, it's the perfect justification! Why get up and do things when you can lie in bed, rest your legs, and use your computer?

14 December-- What did I do today? Nothing.

I woke up a little after 3, which isn't that late, considering that by the time I went to bed last night, my body and my computer's clock (I should change that) said it was 5:30, but the clock in the kitchen on EST said 6:30.

After waking, the only things I've done that could be considered productive are eating, showering, and spending about 10 minutes browsing BN.com. Unless you consider IM conversations or reading enjoyable materials of both electronic and paper natures productive. I mean, sure, I could've worked on a Protest article, or done reading or thinking about my thesis, or gotten dressed and gone out to do some gift shopping, or straightened up the house, or written a Deep Thoughts entry for here. But why waste a perfectly good Saturday like that?

I'm sure I'd get tired of lounging around like this eventually, but luckily(?) I won't get the chance. I'm working at 10:30 tomorrow, and at 10 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. So I suppose I should get myself on a sleep schedule that involves going to bed before 6:30 AM, no?

13 December-- Luckily, my 12-2 exam today ended at about 1:30, which gave me time to do all the things that needed to be finished before the cab came at 2. Else it would not have been a pretty picture. But it all worked out, and I split a cab to O'Hare three-way, which is a pretty good deal.

My flying fears were worse than ever on the landing tonight. It was foggy, so I couldn't see a thing out the window (and was sure the pilot couldn't, either), and there was some turbulence on the landing, and I kept hearing noises or feeling shifts in the plane that I was sure were horribly foreboding. The thought usually crosses my mind that we might crash, but I think this may be the first time I was actually surprised to be alive when we landed. (One of these days, I'm going to have to act on the "I'm going to die! Why haven't I given anything meaningful to the world in my life?" thoughts that happen with every flight.)

And now, my family's gone up to New Jersey (for the last time, before the tenant moves in on Monday), and so I've got this apartment to myself until Sunday evening. My plans for tomorrow? Sleep.

12 December-- Dear God, I bought so much food today. It was quite insane. In my end-of-the-quarter spend-bonus-bucks-before-they-disappear-into-the-abyss splurge, the majority of which happened today, I've bought 28 granola bars, 12 packages of sandwich cookies, about 30 bags of chips, 24 bottles of soda, a $23 "coffee and peppermint gift set", about $35 worth of loose candy, and at the end a box of 18 bags of Combos and a box of 10 Nutrigrain bars, neither of which I particularly like, but because I couldn't think of what else to buy. Usually it's really simple-- I just buy a box of 36 Butterfingers and a box of 36 Hershey bars (or a box of Starbursts), and that's most of it right there. But this quarter, they didn't have boxes of candy. And this is what happened.

In other news, my room has now been rearranged to a rational, space-maximizing design. Not only was the original layout ridiculous, but it was designed solely so that my desk would face the window and I could look out when I sat at it. Key words being "sat at it," something which did not happen once the entire fall quarter. So thanks to lots of hard work by Alex, as I stood around trying to push my end of the bed with absolutely no results, there's all sorts of floor space and stuff.

And I packed all my stuff up for the journey home. Oh, yeah, and that studying thing, too. For the exam tomorrow. I did some of that.

And tomorrow night, I shall be far away from Evanston, not to return for 23 days.

11 December-- I've been quite the good girl today. I finished The Great Big Japan Book, I mostly finished cleaning my room (for the first time this year, there are clothes hanging in my closet, instead of lying on the floor of the closet waiting for hangers), I made a bold attempt to try to sell some of my books at Norris and came back with $18.50 in cash, I called home, I cleaned out my inbox and sent a number of e-mails I'd been putting off...

And I don't have anything more interesting than that to say. Sorry.

10 December-- I've had a pretty productive day.

Let's pause for a second, shall we, and consider that I can call today productive when I didn't start being productive until approximately 11 PM. Many, many people in this world are in bed by 11 PM. But me? I'd been up for 9 hours, with 6 more ahead of me.

I didn't do much all afternoon besides carry on several IM conversations, although I did send a few e-mails that were on my to-do list. I had my dining services committee meeting at 5, got back near 7, spent a full two hours debating with Colleen (on IM, of course! you don't think I would actually talk to her face-to-face, do you? she only lives downstairs...), hung out in Alex's room and kept him from much-needed studying, and got back to my room right around 11.

Ah, but then I dutifully cleaned a large portion of my room, and settled down to grind through the 450-page book I need to read for my Friday final. I'll finish it tomorrow, along with hopefully taking care of a dozen other errands on my to-do list.

One thing I failed at, however, was calling home to wish my sister a happy 18th birthday. I meant to, really I did. I should've put it on the to-do list! So Shauna, if you ever read this, happy birthday.

9 December-- Today was my big day in terms of exams and papers, so after putting away my my linguistics final at 9 and taking a 2 hour nap, I spent a couple hours revising my paper and trying to trim it close to the 7-page limit. Then I spent the next approximately 4 hours studying for my women's history final, getting more and more stressed and panicky as I realized that I was quite incapable of writing essays on 3 of the 7 topics we were given to study. It was up to chance whether or not I'd be screwed. But to my immense joy, three of the four topics I was most confident about were on the exam for me to pick two from. So I was very, very happy when I first received the exam at 7 PM, and even happier by 9 when it was all over.

And then? Then I lay on my bed, largely motionless, for about 7 hours and vegetated. And man, was it good. Yes, I have plenty of things to do this week (I made a to-do list!), including doing a whole half-quarter's worth of reading to prepare for my one remaining final on Friday, but it was just so nice to have this evening off, to relax without it being procrastination since I wasn't attempting to do work. And now I sleep.

8 December (sort of)-- Yeah, I fail. I'm aware. But since I got bed at 3:30 last night (ie, the actual 8 Dec.) and didn't fall asleep until 4:30, prior to this morning's 9 AM final, I'm not apologizing for missing the update last night. I didn't even think of it until it groggily floated into my head at the vicinity of 4 AM, but I'm not sure I would have bothered even had I remembered.

I actually did spend lots of time working on my paper yesterday, after finally nailing down the topic at around 3 in the afternoon. It took me 12 hours, but I got a first draft finished before bed.

Now that I'm back from my 9 AM final, I've got 8 hours before my 7 PM final to study, seriously revise (yeah, my revising is always serious!) my paper, and, oh yeah, compensate for the 4 hours of sleep I got last night. In fact, the compensating sounds pretty good right now. See, I'm writing this before I go to sleep!

7 December-- A day with such very different halves!

After waking this morning at about 2ish, I was over at Norris by 3 to eat and study. I spent more than 4 hours of pretty darn productive time there, doing the majority of the work to prepare for my Women's History final on Monday (the memorizing will come later). We got back at around 7:30, and after a bit of enjoying my very nifty Secret Santa gifts, I settled down to do all the Linguistics reading for the second half of the quarter, and by 10 I'd done all the studying that will be done for that class.

And then? Then I decided I needed to start on the paper that's due Monday. But first, of course, I needed a thesis statement. If you read what I wrote on Thursday, you won't be surprised about what happened next. Yes, from 10 PM until now, 4:27 AM, I have been trying to come up with an argument for this paper. There are some tricky things about it, especially having to do with the fact that I'm not supposed to write about what I've written about in earlier papers for the class. And the prompts are designed to make you think about Big Ideas in recent Latin American history, which is pretty much my primary academic interest, and so I'm being way too picky. But still. There's no way it should be this hard.

But I'll really come up with the topic before I fall asleep. Really.

6 December-- After some fun with account ledgers and receipts at SOFO this afternoon, I headed out with a large bunch of PARCers to the Adler Planetarium, where we got to basically do whatever we wanted from 5-10 PM. There was a lot of nifty stuff, including their spiffy digital interactive planetarium shows (in which the major benefit of interactivity, it seemed, was to give us the ability to control the direction our "spacecraft" was going, and bump into the surface of Mars repeatedly). What does it say about me that despite the plethora of shows (including a short but highly entertaining 3-D one), extensive interactive exhibits ("Booooooo." "Yaaaaaay!!!" say the Peruvians), and fancy expensive equipment, the most fun part of the evening for me was decorating a little gingerbread-man cookie with icing and candy? All in all, though, it was quite enjoyable. (The cold weather, not so much.)

As you can see, I've decided to at least temporarily install a comment feature here. Because, you know, they're cool. And everyone else has got them. And despite this fact that this is a journal, not a blog, I can have comments if I darn well please!

But if y'all are as lame as I have a sneaking suspicion you might turn out to be, I'll have to take this feature away.

So don't be lame.

5 December-- It's really amazing how much time I can manage to waste.

After I turned in the paper that was due today (and tried to ignore the uncomfortable fact that when I turned it in at 3:30, the mailbox was empty-- did I mention I didn't know what time it was due?) I reminded myself of what's next on my schedule: paper due Monday, two exams on Monday. Then I told myself, "Britt, you need to get this paper out of the way so you can study for the exams, because if the paper's not done you'll end up working on it all weekend and putting the studying off, and you'll be in trouble."

I spent six hours-- six hours!-- procrastinating tonight. Lying in bed, looking up random things on the internet (what are immigration policies for Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands? what schools in foreign countries have graduate programs Americans can take? how far in miles and minutes is it between my grandparents' house and Shannon's (2.5 and 4, respectively)? what presents can I find for people at bn.com?), and running quickly away from any ideas for a topic for the paper. The subject is close enough to what my senior thesis topic will be, so obviously I have to figure out my senior thesis topic before choosing what to write about for this 5-7 page paper which is 20% of my grade. I eventually gave up, e-mailed my prof with some questions, and decided to study for one of my finals, instead. I spent 25 minutes studying before wasting the rest of the night hanging out with friends.

Ah, well. If I keep on schedule for the rest of the weekend (ha!), this wasted night won't hurt me noticeably. And it's nice to spend at least a brief period of time without having a crappy paper in progress. But tomorrow-- after I spend 6+ hours at the Adler Planetarium having fun, that is-- I need to work hard. Really.

4 December-- Apparently, these chocolate-covered espresso beans work. I was exhausted at 1:30, and now it's 4:15 and I'm still going strong. That's good news, since they're about the only candy I can purchase at Norris with my $80 in points and 20 meals. They're expensive, and they taste kind of weird-- not bad, but weird-- but if they deliver the caffeine to my bloodstream, I can't ask for much more.

Of course, I was reminded the hard way that being awake and alert doesn't mean your mind necessarily wants to focus on your paper. Mine is still not in good shape, despite hours of work on it. Sure, it technically could be turned in, and I may just do that tomorrow if I decide I can't handle any more revising, but it really doesn't flow well at all. I think I have all the evidence in there for my argument, but despite the fact that I know exactly what I'm arguing and how I can back it up, I seem to frustratingly fail at laying it out for others (ie, my prof) to see. Ah, well. Bed beckons.

3 December-- You know, I spent a whole 15 minutes in class today, and I didn't have any meetings. Why on earth wasn't I productive?

I mean, I spent a little time this afternoon revising the paper I turned in at 4, and tonight I did some outlining and wrote close to 2 pages of the paper that's due on Thursday. But, y'know, I've had fourteen almost completely free hours today. Somehow when reading week comes around, procrastination and relaxation expand to fill up all the empty space that's created...

2 December-- This evening, I reminisced fondly about the process of getting spit out of a french horn.

When Katie suggested going over to Shannon and Tamica's, I thought, "That far? At this time of night? In the cold? Are you crazy?" But of course Katie is wise, and I was stunned by the effectiveness of taking the shuttle, getting the three of us from door to door with minimal outdoor time in about 15 minutes. (I was not quite so impressed by the Escort Service's ride back, although they did arrive promptly at the time they'd told us two hours before was the earliest they could get us.) I need to remember this, that getting over to 1200 Simpson is not so scary. Besides, I figure it gives me good apartment-visiting karma that can somehow work to my benefit next year when I'm begging for visitors.

I'm not going to talk about fun plane delays due to snow, or paralyzing fears of plane crashes. You really don't want to hear it. Let's just say I'm back in Evanston, and leave it at that.

1 December-- And so I left my house for the last time today, at least potentially, depending on whether my family ever moves back into it. But for the next year, at least, it'll be Billie Jo's. It was odd looking at it from the outside, where it already seemed so bizarrely not-ours, thanks to the fact that the wild undergrowth of bushes and weeds that had obscured the front of the house had been cleared, so that I could see places on the walls that I swear I had never seen in 16 years of living there.

I have failed at getting work done today, I must admit, despite the fact that I've had several hours in the car and a couple more since we reached the apartment. I have no excuse, so I'm not going to even try. But if I want this upcoming weekend not to suck in a serious way, I need to get things done ahead of when they're officially due, or else next Sunday night will really not be pretty.


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Last updated 3 March, 2003

Intellectual Property Rights denounced by Britt Gordon-McKeon, 2002