~Forgotten Wings~

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30 November-- Cleaning out this house is like an archaelogical dig. The really ancient stuff, of course, is out of the dozens of boxes we brought from my grandfather's apartment after he died, with things like his diaries from when he fought in World War II and papers from his relatives from the turn of the century. But on a much less historic but more personal note, we keep finding all sorts of things, like little stories I wrote when I was 4 or 6, or cards my sister and I gave to our parents.

Some of the most interesting things are audiotapes. When my sister and I were little, my dad went on a tape-recording kick, getting us to say cute things to save for posterity. On one of them we listened to tonight, a four-year-old me dictated an intricate story to the tape recorder, while my much less verbal sister, less than 2 years old, attempted to get attention by sort of yelping in the background and eventually by pulling my hair. On a later tape, my dad started out by explaining the physical surroundings, and I was so excited by the concept that I spent the next 15 minutes begging, "Talk to the 'listening audience' again, Daddy!"

Another tape I found was a recording of my 7th grade band and choral concerts. It's really quite bizarre that as I listened to the tape, I felt a sort of buried sense of familiarity with most of the music we played and sung, given that it was 8 years ago. I kept suddenly remembering which part came next just before the notes played, or remembering which was the French Horn part or which bit I was singing.

I can't quite believe we're actually moving out of this place, and that next time we want to stay in New Jersey, we'll need to stay at either friends' houses or a hotel . . .

29 November-- Wow.

Today is the day after Thanksgiving, so for the fourth year in a row, my high school friends and I gathered at Val's house to eat and catch up and hang out. It's a giant, crazy, hectic experience, packed with high school folks and an ever-growing group of friends and significant others. I expected it to follow the trend of the past few years-- fun, but with a sense of increasing distance and estrangement, and a feeling that that's sort of the way it should be.

But instead, I found the desire to renew many of these friendships, a returning sense of closeness, at least towards some of the people. This, I'm sure, has quite a bit to do with the unique feel of the gathering this year..

One of my friends is engaged. Jill, who I've known since we were six, who I went all the way through elementary school and high school with, is getting married. Yes, the wedding won't be for several years, but nonetheless, it's sort of an amazing thing. And that's not all. There's a really significant number of other friends who are practically engaged, who are having marriage discussions with their significant others. People I knew as kids are thinking about wedding plans and married life.

The influence of this really incredible climate on me is something that could take some time to talk about. But suffice it to say that I felt a kind of warmth that had seemed to be sort of slipping away for the last few years, and a genuine desire to actually work to keep in touch with people instead of just paying lip service to it-- a whole handful of people, not just the usual one or two. I don't know if it will actually last. But I do know that while a week ago I was really disappointed that I had to go home and miss celebrating Thanksgiving in Evanston with my college friends, and thought, "Well, I'll just try to convince my parents not to make me come home next year," now I'm very, very glad I came back, and I can't imagine missing next year, either.

28 November-- Another family gathering, another day centered around my charming little cousin Michael. He's 3, and more verbal than ever, chattering away the whole time he was here. He seems to have grown in leaps and bounds every time I see him. He's as silly and energetic as ever, knowing exactly what kind of games are fun and not a bit shy about ordering other people to do exactly what he wants. He knows his letters, and was able to enjoy a version of Boggle in which he picked a cube out of the box, asked, "What's M for?" ("M is for Michael!" "R is for Uncle Ricky!" "I is for ice cream!") and put the letter in the grid. Of course, he's not quite advanced enough yet to know that when you hide something and want someone to search for it, you don't immediately run over to the place where it's hidden and say, "Don't look in the piano! You can't look in the piano!" (Well, actually, you've got to give the kid credit. It's effective at keeping someone from actually seeing the object. It just kind of cuts down on the suspense.)

And his younger sibling, due in March, is going to be a girl! Yay! (Michael apparently insists on referring to her as Frank.)

You would think that, with 4 hours to kill this evening in a house without television or internet access, I would have accomplished more than 45 minutes of reading, since I have two papers to write and work-study stuff to do. But of course not . . .

27 November-- When you're cold, and you're tired, and you're hungry, coffee is an indescribably beautiful thing. It is this that sent Malavika and me dashing deliriously towards the coffee shop just outside the turnstiles at Clark and Lake where we were supposed to transfer, as a pre-caffeinated Chris followed in amusement. (Malavika has even more of an excuse than I do; the poor girl didn't sleep at all. At least I got 4 hours.)

Man, it was worth it. Life is so much nicer after a big hot mocha warms you up, wakes you up, and fills you up. So we proceeded to sing Christmas carols the rest of the way to O'Hare. Taking the El is noticeably more enjoyable when done with friends.

Now, of course, it's much, much later, and after a nice long 4+ hour drive from Maryland to New Jersey, I'm stuck in my freezing cold, empty house, waiting for the heat to start kicking in, and without internet access! It's sad how disconnected this makes me feel.

Time for sleep, and tomorrow there will be warmth and food and family, if still no internet . . .

26 November-- I let myself have a night of relaxation this evening, not worrying about finals and final papers until I get back to Maryland and then New Jersey. It was quite nice, although I think that my brain sort of spaced out and went about as far away as the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But you don't always really need your brain around, do you?

I'm leaving PARC at 8:45 AM tomorrow to get to O'Hare in time to catch my flight to DC. So I should really sleep now. I don't know how often I'll be able to update in New Jersey, but I'll be back to Evanston on Monday.

25 November-- So much I could talk about... what to say?

Being free from ear pain is good. Forgetting that it's time to take your thrice-a-day antibiotics, due to the lack of pain, until 3 hours later is bad. (Since, as the doctor, two pharmacists, and both my parents reminded me, I need to take the antibiotics until they're all gone!) So much for my precise planning in an attempt to get the every 8 hours schedule to adjust to me going home on Wednesday.

Finishing my paper is good. Friends helping me improve my paper are good. The paper itself is neither good nor bad, but it's done. The title, however, is bad. But I've decided not to care.

Gnucleus is very, very good. I am so pleased to be downloading music again.

Forgetting that I'm out of conditioner and need to go to Osco is bad. Stealing conditioner from the shower caddy of one of my suitemates is bad, but necessary, considering my hair. Besides, someone in my suite used some of my disposable razors, so I'm just evening out the the suite bathroom karma.

Sleep is good.

24 November-- Between when I woke up at 2 today and when I went to exec board at 9, interrupted by maybe 45 minutes of lunch, I slowly, achingly grinded out 2 2/3 pages of my 8 to 10 page paper, due Tuesday. Then after getting back from res board at 10:30, I made it to the end of 5 pages by midnight, and since I got back upstairs at 1, I've added on another page and done some substantive revising. I don't understand how these things work.

Ear update: much better. Oh, there's still some pressure, and I certainly can't hear through it. But I didn't take any Aleve today, and there was only a total of maybe 20 minutes during the day that I regretted that. Antibiotics are my friend. Thank you, amoxicillin!

23 November-- Well, the pain in my ear waking me up 4 or 5 times last night did not give me reason to be hopeful about today's prospects, but on the whole my ear felt a lot better than yesterday. There were still a number of "Ow ow ow ow ow!" moments, but there were noticeably fewer and they were shorter as well. Hopefully this means the antibiotics are already starting to help, and I can hope for more improvement in the future.

I had a really fun evening downtown tonight, even if it did take up six hours of potential studying time. I really don't get into Chicago as much as I should've, so that made it especially nice. (And I must admit, the PARC-subsidized El passes were a big plus as well-- yes, it's sad, but $3 matters!) We had yummy Ghiardelli's hot chocolate, I got to feel like a 6-year-old sitting on Derek's shoulders to watch the parade, the fireworks were great, we wandered around various stores, and after noting the long line at The Cheesecake Factory, we ended up having dinner in a diner.

There is much, much work to be done tomorrow, so I should really get to bed ASAP.

22 November-- You want the good part first, or the bad part?

The good part is that we had a really awesome evening tonight. Cashing in our $300 Date Auction date, Colleen, Scott, Matt, Kathy, and I caught a cab down to Guy's apartment. Guy cooked a great meal, we had some good discussion, played a couple of fun games, and generally enjoyed ourselves. (For some reason, they all seem to think I'm ridiculous for dipping forkfuls of cheesecake into my wine-glass of cranberry raspberry juice. They didn't expect me to eat cheesecake straight, now, did they?) Guy has a nice cozy apartment, and it's really fun to hang out in. We were all sorry to have to leave eventually, even after six hours, and now are trying to figure out ways to get back over there and hang out again without imposing on a 28-year-old who might not pick hanging out with undergrads as his top choice for spending his free time.

The bad part is that I officially have an ear infection. And it hurts. I've started to take the antibiotic I've been prescribed, which will hopefully clear up the pain after a few days. In the meantime, I just have to take as many painkillers as I'll let myself take. And it seems like no matter what painkillers I'm on, I still have these cycles of acute pain where all I can do is grab my ear and wince and hope it will go away soon. I just have to hope that I'll be able to get into one of the not-so-painful periods when it's time to fall asleep in a few minutes. It's certainly not feeling likely now...

21 November-- Do you know how weird it is only to be able to hear out of one ear? It was kind of funny early in the day, when it didn't hurt so much. Then it just got to be really painful, and when it started feeling like it was about to explode, I thought it was time to do something. The nurse at Searle said it was either a result of congestion, wax build-up, or an ear infection. I took some Sudafed to no avail, so that's one down, two to go. Tomorrow I'll skip class at 2 (hey, the other option was 8:30 AM!), and they'll clean out my ear and see what the problem is. In the meantime I've spent a great deal of time with either my finger, a wet warm washcloth, or a bottle of beer in or against my ear. I still claim an icicle would be ideal.

(No. No, I didn't get much work done tonight. I spent less than an hour on linguistics homework, and a half-hour on reading the book that I have to write an 8-10 page paper on for Tuesday. Yes. Yes, I am once again getting less than 8 hours of sleep. Oh, you shut up.)

20 November-- For all of you who are concerned, the black spots on my computer have shrunk and disappeared. No, I don't understand this. The large crack running through the middle of the screen is, sadly, still there. But for incomprehensible reasons, perhaps the little black crystals have leaked back into the screen. I'm not confident that they won't leak out again, so I'm trying to be careful about moving the screen. But man, it's just weird.

This week (okay, after Monday night) is so far an utter failure at either getting significant work done, relaxing and having fun in any meaningful way, or getting enough sleep. Maybe this will change tomorrow night, but I'm not hopeful.

19 November-- Apparently, not only does my room have a carpet (it's gray), but my desk has a desktop (it's-- surprise!-- wood) and my fridge has a top as well (it's white). In other words, yes, I cleaned my room today. For some people, this would not be an event worthy of note, but since it happens for me maybe four times a quarter (when I'm being consciencious), it's something to be proud of. Besides, it cuts down on the risk that I or any of my many illustrious visitors will trip on the junk and die.

The fireside tonight was actually surprisingly well attended (10 people) despite the fact that I was busy/put off/forgot to publicize it until yesterday, and then the listserv didn't go out last night and most of the 25 signs put up last night had disappeared by morning. Of course, there were still large quantities of Israeli food left over at the end. I wonder how many people would've come if I had publicized well?

18 November-- I knocked down my laptop and cracked the screen last Thursday, but figured it would leave nothing more than a small, annoying indent. Until today, when suddenly black patches started showing up on my screen. Some quick research told me that they're caused by the leaking of liquid crystal that puts the LC in LCD, something that's irreversable and will eventually black out my entire screen. Also, that I would be extremely lucky if I could get it replaced for $500. As you would expect, I'm rather depressed, and fearful to change the angle of my screen even a degree for fear of the leakage spreading. I'm actually considering clearing off my desk and having the laptop there permanently when I'm in my room, which is pretty drastic considering that I have used my laptop at a desk maybe twice since I got it in May. Can I tell you how much I really, really, really don't want to spend hundreds of dollars repairing my six-month-old computer?
17 November-- I'm tempted to write a "Why do I fail at getting work done?" entry here, but you've all heard that way too many times before. And today isn't even a particularly dramatic example, it's mostly just the last 4 hours. But now the pressure's on for tomorrow . . .

Note to all who seek to plan social events for PARC: don't plan an event which has no consequences for signing up but not going for a Sunday night. In retrospect, the power of the "Damn, I haven't done enough work this weekend, hockey sounds like fun but I really shouldn't go" dynamic should have been obvious.

I wish I could harness the power of alcohol to wake me up before noon on a weekend, alert and ready for the day. It's quite bizarre.

16 November-- I did good.

I went to Shannon and Tamica's party, and I had fun. I had a moderate amount to drink, and I enjoyed myself, and I did things like dancing without caring about who saw me and what I looked like, something I can't do when I'm 100% sober but which makes it a lot more fun. I laughed at drunk people like Nick who were amusingly ridiculous, and danced, and talked, and generally had a great time. And I knew exactly what the alcohol was doing to my body, and had control over exactly what I said and did, and let myself get acceptably silly and happy without doing a single thing I'd regret.

To sum up: I had fun. I enjoyed myself free of some of the hang-ups that I really ought to train myself out of yet currently have not. I did not do anything even remotely stupid or regrettable.

It's snowy and beautiful outside. I'm a happy girl. I'm going to bed.

15 November-- This will be an interesting weekend: a mix of some really enjoyable things and a serious amount of work that needs to get done. I did well on the fun side of things tonight, and really enjoyed "Harry Potter" and the company of the people I saw it with. The writing of my first paper, which needs to be done before tomorrow night's party so that I can start the next paper on Sunday? Well, not so much. But I did get some of it accomplished. Just not as much as needs to be done tomorrow, without the use of those late-night hours that are often my most productive. Wish me luck . . .
14 November-- I went into the Wellstone office this afternoon before I flew back to school. It just felt like something I should do-- the folks in that office have been through so, so much, and I wanted to be able to help in any way I could. I think I was at least a little helpful; I did some filing for a couple of people, and if that makes their burden a little easier, that's good. It was hard, though, to see so many of the people I really liked from the office so sad, including one of them who just burst into tears for no immediately apparent reason as I was standing there. I've been thinking about the people in the office a lot since it happened, and I was glad to get a chance to come back and see them, but it's such a sad place there.
13 November-- The memorial service tonight was very good, really beautiful and moving.

But despite all the people and the speeches and the songs and the candles and the video montage, I think it was just as meaningful for me to be able to walk through the office today as the service itself was.

It was the first time I'd been back there since my internship ended two and a half months ago, although it feels like much longer than that. (Of course, I was also startled to realize that it's been less than three weeks since the crash; it feels like a lifetime.) It had that odd sort of feeling that places do which are full of familiarity and memories, yet you know you don't really belong.

I sort of meandered around at first, saying hello to people, looking around at the flowers and half-packed boxes, walking solemnly and quietly down the staircase that I used to thump down as I dashed across the office. But there's only so much wandering you can do, and I felt silly walking past the same people over and over again, and I didn't want to be in anyone's way.

So I ducked into Paul's office, his big warm personal office at the heart of the two floors of desks and cubicles of staffers that make up the whole Wellstone office, and there was no one there. No one but me and the familiar furniture and pictures and artwork and bookshelves which were starting to be emptied into the boxes that lay around. No one but me and the quiet and memories. And I could stand there and look out the window, turning my head from time to time to look around the office and smile as another scene popped into my head. There are so many wonderful vibrant memories of that office, of weeks of our morning meetings with Paul with his delightful stories and his unending interest in us and respect for us, of his meetings with Minnesotans when he grinned and made the little boys sit in his desk chair for the pictures, of our summer party when he and Sheila were so nice to my mother. There's something about being physically in the right spot that makes memories live more, so that you feel like you're somehow breathing them in or that they're soaking into your skin through the soles of your shoes on the carpet.

I stood there in peace for a long, long few moments, and somehow it felt, in a way it had not before and I don't think will again, that I was alone with Paul there. And a few minutes later, they called me, and we got on the bus to the synagogue, and the memorial was moving and touched me in a completely different but good and important way, one that I may not be doing justice to here. Because as beautiful as it was, it was something for all of us to share, to come together to mourn. But today I had a moment that was mine and Paul's alone. And to all of the memories of him I'm not going to ever let go of, I think I've added another one.

12 November-- I don't like flying. Oh, I'm not paralyzed by fear or anything. It certainly has never kept me from taking a flight. But it always bothers me, fills my head with thoughts of crashing during takeoff and landing which are happy to come flying back whenever we hit turbulence, or even just at random movements when my mind's wandering. It's stressful and disturbing.

Today, though, was good. When people ask, "How was the flight?" I say things like, "Oh, it was perfectly on time," or "No bad weather or turbulence." But it was a good flight. I sat on the aisle, not at the window, because no matter how many minutes of enjoyment I get from looking down at cities from above, it's usually canceled out by the consciousness of height I get every time I look out, even if I don't like to admit it. (And it's not like I've never seen Chicago or DC from the air before.) So this time I sat on the aisle, and I put on my headphones, and for once found a good in-flight radio station, which was playing a whole bunch of great U2 songs that made me bounce my feet and probably accidentally sing aloud. I dug into my reading and spent a solid two hours trying to absorb a difficult book that demanded every bit of my attention, commandeering the spaces in my mind that had no room to wonder about what would happen if the engine cut out just about now. I had a big cup of tomato juice, something I almost never drink on the ground but almost always have on planes, and it was rich and cold and the flight attendant gave me the whole can instead of just pouring me a cupful. And before I knew it, we were landing in Washington DC, and I'd only spent maybe two minutes the entire flight thinking about the fact that I could die any second now.

That's good, since I have to do the whole thing all over again the day after tomorrow.

11 November-- For some reason, my head tonight has started to fixate on depressing thoughts, sad thoughts, not particularly coherently related, about all sorts of problems and sadnesses in the world. It's jumped from watching some stuff on TV about mental illness and thinking about how awful it is, to encompassing all of the huger, broader issues that always get me down when I think about them. I've been trying actively to distract myself for the last week, and it's mostly worked, but tonight not so much.

There are new strains coming into this repeating cycle of frustration and anger and sadness, things that I want to work through and think out and write out sometime soon. But not now. Now, I need to sleep, and hope that I'm tired enough that sleep will drown out thoughts for the time being.

10 November-- I am tired, and cannot think of much to say. The combination of frustrations in exec board, and criticism from outside, is really not so much fun. Schoolwork is progressing, but slowly. My women's history reading indicates that the women's movement was full of bad puns. And although Matt may not think it's quotable, I think that his "Show me the monkey!" outburst this evening needs to be noted somewhere.
9 November-- You have no idea how disorienting it is to wake up in the dark, lie there fore a couple of minutes, look at the clock and see it says 4:45, think, "I wonder what woke me up in the middle of the night? Better get back to sleep," and only then realize that you went to bed past 4:45 AM and that it must actually be 4:45 in the afternoon.

Yes, I slept through all of the sunlight today. I fell asleep almost an hour before the sun rose at 6:30 AM, and woke up just past the sunset time of 4:35 PM.

I suppose the fact that I slept for 11 hours, while not common, is not too rare; nor is going to bed in the vicinity of 5:30, although again, it's not routine. But when those two things combine, especially on a day when the sun sets before 5, it's just really, really weird.

I guess I really needed the eleven hours' sleep. The only night this week I'd gotten more than about 6 1/2 hours was Thursday night, and those 9 hours were interrupted about three times. I just wish I'd convinced myself to go to bed early last night so that it wouldn't have been quite so silly!

8 November-- This morning I was supposed to get up, go to section at 11, have lunch, go to section at 1, and then to the following section at 2. Instead, I skipped the first, the second was canceled, and I woke up at 1:50 and almost slept through what was supposed to be my third class of the day.

My grandfather called at about 11:30, could tell that he had woken me up by the sound of my voice, and sounded shocked and vaguely disapproving. I wonder what he'd've thought if he'd called at 1:30?

I actually got a couple of hours of reading done tonight, although much more awaits me this weekend. And there was enough mention of Betty Friedan and Susan Brownmiller in the three hours of "Sex in the Twentieth Century" that we watched on the History Channel to count that as studying for Women's History, too. What? You're not buying that?

7 November-- It seems highly unlikely that there is anyone in this world more pathetic than Matt and me.

dabugger82 (8:40:33 PM): i don't want to do work right now
risinglite (8:40:44 PM): neither do i
risinglite (8:51:07 PM): i should come down and study down there when i get off the phone, i don't feel like studying by myself
risinglite (8:55:30 PM): i feel quite certain that if i stay in my room, no studying will get done until at least 11, possibly later
dabugger82 (8:55:46 PM): i have a feeling i won't get much done tonight, period
risinglite (8:58:05 PM): i shall see you shortly, then

9 PM, I get downstairs. We actually look at our linguistics homework together for perhaps 20 minutes while half-watching a show on the Twin Towers on the History Channel. The remainder of the hour is spent talking about various things and eating Airheads.

10 PM, we stumble upon the hilarious History Channel feature, "The End of the World." Highlights include: the video footage of a mushroom cloud as the narrator explains that people are storing food and "weapons" as the millenium approaches; the guy who keeps grinning as he describes apocalyptic battles with 3 million dead; Nostradamus' excuse about not giving exact dates, which is "I could've if I wanted to."

11 PM, we find One Hit Wonders on VH1, hosted by William Shatner. We watch the countdown of the top 40. Not satisfied simply by the selections, we play more songs of our choosing during the commercials.

1 AM, we make garlic bread and interact with other people. Then we play more music, mute NUTV, and laugh at the way the music matches up to the images.

2 AM, we watch the replay of "The End of the World," coaxing Kim downstairs for the beginning of it. We make sure to write down all the projected dates for Armageddon.

3 AM, we make it twenty minutes into an infomercial for a home vacuum seal product before Matt manages to turn off NUTV and I manage to climb upstairs.

This may be one of the most ridiculous nights I have ever spent. Ridiculous nights like these are good.

6 November-- Oh, the ups and downs . . .

I was pretty damn depressed and sluggish and upset all morning and through the afternoon, to the point that I was considering not going out to dinner with Howard Zinn because I didn't feel like I had the emotional energy. (Although the feeling of being emotionally exhausted probably has some roots in the actual lack of sleep.)

But I went, and it was awesome. There were about 10 of us at Thai Sookdee, and I ended up sitting next to Zinn, who is this great, really nice, witty, personable old man. We all talked about all sorts of stuff. Then, after a bunch of people had left to go set up, he invited us to go with Dunkin' Donuts with him and he'd treat us to coffee and donuts while we waited until it was time for him to speak. This, of course, sounded much more appealing than going to Leverone to set up tables and things like that. So I let myself cop out by telling myself that if I went with the group going on ahead, I'd just slow down the people who were speedwalking because of my short legs, and so I might as well stay with Zinn. (Someone was going to anyway, but we didn't really need four of us.) But of course, my guilty conscience kept nagging me, so I ended up leaving the Dunkin' Donuts all of 15 minutes before the others to offer just a little bit of help.

The turnout was insane. There were huge lines, still with tons of people when we had filled up all the 600 seats in the auditorium. We had to go back and tell some people there were no seats left and send them home, and still probably a hundred stayed on line and we let them in to stand. I don't think any of us expected it-- at least, I didn't. We haven't had an event this big for as long as I can remember, and hopefully it means we can do something even bigger next year. It was just crazy and amazing.

Anyhow, the speech was great and inspiring and thought-provoking and funny, although there were some weird moments in the Q&A period, like when someone from the Spartacus Youth League stood up and basically attacked Zinn's anti-war views because of the necessity of class war-- "You say that war doesn't accomplish anything, but what about 1917 Russia?" Yeah. And there were a couple of scary-looking folks wandering around, and some people asserting that the greatest act of terrorism against the U.S. was committed by the Supreme Court in 2000. But that was really a tiny minority of the people and of the way the time was spent, and in general, it was just wonderful.

From there it was back to PARC for the Date Auction, which was really fun in spots, although the bidding for me was disappointing. (Granted, it was at a pretty bad point in the auction, when a lot of money had already been spent.) And then long hours of hanging around talking, which it turns out I shouldn't have regretted, because I still had to wait another hour after getting upstairs at 1:45 to get my book back to do my reading for tomorrow. The freshman who's been borrowing it seems like a nice person, but it's getting really annoying. You'd think that if she's inconveniencing me by having my book for a full week when I keep telling her I need it back, she'd at least offer to split the cost of it instead of just mooching off me . . .

So that's where we stand. An eventful day, but now I just want to sleep and not think.

5 November-- What can I say? I'm depressed. I'm demoralized. This has not been a good night. And if Mondale can't pull this one out, it's about as sad as it gets.

I should move to Sweden. Yes, I know, Canada is closer and simpler . . .

4 November-- I went to the Dining Services committee meeting today. It was rather odd. And because they have a weird emphasis on keeping things "inside this room," I suppose I really shouldn't elaborate here on my public web page. (Not that we really talked about anything important today, because we didn't.)

But I assume it can't hurt to mention that I found out that they sell to-go items, like butter and jugs of milk, up at Lisa's Cafe in Slivka. And that I told Paul Komelasky that this was a wonderful idea and begged him to make them available in Norris. If they force us to pay more than $3,000 for the meal plan, the least they can do is not make me pay extra on top of that for dorm-room snacks!

3 November-- I ought to start taking fire alarms seriously at some point.

One went off this evening at around 8, when I was lying on my bed and studying. The first thing I thought when hearing it was, "Damn, this is annoying." I sent an IM to Alex, since he was the only person who seemed to be active online, asking, "Does this mean we have to actually leave the building?" Then I sat around waiting for his response. (It never occured to me that he would have already left that quickly.) A minute or so later, I decided I should probably leave anyway, so I started looking around for socks, but I couldn't find a matching pair on my floor. I sluggishly looked around, figuring that the longer I took, the more likely the alarm would go off before I got outside. Eventually I put on matching socks, shoes, and a jacket, grabbed my course packet, and made my way towards the central stairwell, where I finally smelled smoke. By the time I got outside, everyone else had been there-- some without jackets or shoes-- for several minutes, waiting for the fire trucks to come.

Of course, it was just a grease fire that wasn't really dangerous. But this is a warning for those of you who care that I continue to stay alive-- if you ever see a real fire, I'd suggest letting me know or throwing rocks at my window or something. Otherwise I'll just lie in bed and think, "Damn, I really don't want to get up."

2 November-- My time today got mostly sucked up by apartment-hunting (although a two hour Protest meeting didn't help, nor did going downstairs to play cards with Colleen and Matt at 8:45 and not making it back to my room until 1:15). It was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster; I hadn't really done any searching before, so I didn't really have any ideas about what was out there.

There was a lot of frustration early on, as I found that apartment after apartment which looked good in terms of location was way too expensive, and that apartment after apartment that fit our price range was a long walk away. Then, I suddenly happened upon some gorgeous apartments in cute little homes like the one in this picture, pretty close to campus and affordable too! I got so excited.

But then I was informed, and it of course seemed obvious, that I was not the only one to realize what a good deal this was, and there was quite a long waiting list for these places. So of course I got all depressed again. But I roused myself from this state after a while, and tried to uncover some more places that, while not as cool, were still acceptable. And there seem to be some. So hopefully we will end up in one of them.

It's just odd that, after all this trying to get in the mindset of being an apartment tenant, I'm still in PARC for another 8 months...

1 November-- Well, I dyed my hair tonight, and it was generally an exercise in trying not to let others' opinions get to me, whether it be that it's silly to change my hair color and I shouldn't (but I want to!), or that it's stupid to test the dye on a piece of hair first (if it makes me feel more comfortable, why not?), or whatever. It really doesn't look much different to me, except up on top near the roots, which is both comforting and disappointing. Part of me wants some sort of dramatic and stunning change (not that I was going for that this time), but I'm really wary of that because of how long my hair is and how much of an investment I have in it; it's not like it'll just grow out momentarily. And I do like my hair the way it naturally is, even if I get bored and tired of it after twenty years of the same.

I'd expound on this more, but I'm exhausted, so I'll sleep instead.



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Last updated 3 March, 2003

Intellectual Property Rights denounced by Britt Gordon-McKeon, 2002