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A few times when I visited my Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave, my aunt took me to a pottery-painting place. It has since then closed, but I still liked taking the chance to make a standard ceramic item into something I could treasure.

I found out that we have a place like that in Muncie called The Artist Within. I wanted to go there sometime last semester, but I didn’t have much time. Finally, during finals week, I had a whole day free, and I took a trip down there. They were doing a special for students, so my studio fee was waived, and I had a coupon. Anyway, I spent three hours and painted two tiles. I picked them up when I got back to school after break.

The text is from e.e. cumming’s “I carry your heart with me.” I didn’t write the text myself, but I tried once – and messed up. You can’t tell now, but I did. I think they look really nice, and I’d like to go back and paint some more pottery sometime.

I left my knitting bag over at the boy’s Thursday night, and I didn’t get it back until last night. I’m up to three days without knitting, and going crazy. The good news is, I wrote my Ginsberg paper yesterday and I think it will turn out all right. I have to work on my rough draft for another class, but I should be fine. Everything that happens, will happen, you know.

It’s been a quiet weekend, but better than I thought it would be. Alex and I went to Dairy Queen (or “the Female Sovereign of Dairy Products” as I exclaimed in the car yesterday) and had tasty Blizzards, and then we went back to my room and watched movies. We watched Slumdog Millionaire and Seven Pounds. I really liked Slumdog Millionaire, and even though it had a lot of sad moments, it had a happy ending. I wasn’t so sure if I’d like Seven Pounds or not, but the ending was incredibly emotional. At the end, I turned to him and said, “I am very sad now.”

“I think we watched them out of order,” he said.

“I think so, too,” I said.

I’m not exactly thrilled that tomorrow’s Monday and it’s the beginning of a new week full of a packed schedule – including a blood drive and interview – and it’s the beginning of a new month. Oh goodness, how fast time slips through one’s fingers…

More later – I’ve got another thing to cross off my list to write about. As for now, my fingers are itching to knit.

I have been meaning to post recently, but I guess I got caught up in the beginning of the new semester, so I haven’t exactly thought about writing.

It is nice to be back at fifteen credit hours; I haven’t had the luxury of that since my first semester. I never want to go back to eighteen hours; so unfortunately, I think summer school is in the cards. My major is really just stressing me out, despite the drop in hours. I love the English, but I am rather apprehensive about the teaching. It is a little too far for me to change my mind, though, it seems. Alex and I have both been thinking about life after college. I think we both are just trying to find happiness, and presently, we are a little afraid of what the future holds.

My classes are going moderately well, I’d say. I’m taking an educational psychology class that is somewhat interesting, and then a class about teaching writing in middle and secondary schools, and honestly, it’s a snooze. However, the rest of my classes balance out – I’ve got a fiction writing class that I’m taking with Lauren, and we criticize our classmates; a gender-issues class that’s all about the Beats, and we have already read Kerouac and Ginsberg; and then I have a young adult literature class taught by one of my favorite, most helpful professors. The young adult lit class is my first (and hopefully only) night class, and we just finished reading The Book Thief – it is INCREDIBLE.

Work is also going well, despite some of the problems with co-workers not discharging or misplacing items, but I’m not getting further into that. I get to have every other Saturday off, and though at first I wasn’t sure how it was going to be, but I love it. I’m actually off this weekend, and I’m glad – I have a paper over Ginsberg that I have to write, and it’s freaking me out. I at least have some time to sort it out.

Besides class, assignments, and my work at the library, I have an adequate amount of free time. I have wanted to find time to work out, but I have been lacking motivation. Instead, I have watched the entire second season of The Big Bang Theory, knit a giraffe, worked on my blanket, and had the opportunity to hang out with my friends (and actually celebrate my bar-legal status!)

Some big things have been happening for me as well. Last Sunday, Ruu, Faryn, Jessi, and I signed a lease. It should be a nice apartment, It will be cheaper, I will be able to cook, share a bathroom with only three other girls, not have to worry about stupid girls on my floor (it’s pure hell), and I still get to have my own room! Also, I have applied to student teaching, and my interview is next week. I hope it goes well. I want to stay in the city so I can continue my lease with the girls, but if I have to leave, I hope I will be close enough to where I can just stay at my house with Mom.

Perhaps the thing I’m most excited about is learning to drive. After five years of (half-assed) attempts, failed tests, expired permits, and extreme anxiety, I’m kicking myself into gear. I need this license. No more excuses. I explained my issues with Alex, and he’s been so helpful. He’s never had a problem with driving; it comes naturally to him, so he hasn’t had the easiest time trying to teach me, but he’s making a great effort. Over the past week, we’ve been out to practice three times, despite the snow and ice. He says I’m getting better.

I’ll try to post again soon, but as you can tell, I have been quite occupied. But that’s what happens when you’re living.

(By the way, how about them Saints? I’m living in Colts territory and I’ll probably get my ass kicked, but I couldn’t think of a better match for the Super Bowl. It should be exciting!)

Okay, I’m starting to knock a few more items off my list – slowly but surely. The first one of note is #34: Bake a chocolate cake, complete with frosting, from scratch. For my birthday, I made these Guinness Gasm cupcakes. Mine weren’t nearly that pretty, but they were delicious, and nearly a week after making them, they are still just as moist and delicious – Mom and I have been eating them all week. It might be a stretch, but they are cakes – just small cakes. The only thing I didn’t do on my own was frosting the cupcakes. I got really mad at the frosting when I was mixing it, so Mom helped me put it on. Other than that, my goal was accomplished. A tasty, tasty goal, indeed.

The second goal sounds a bit silly, but for the longest time, I’ve wanted to put all my videos, photos, music, and writing documents onto an external hard drive. It has become an increasingly important goal in that I am afraid that either the shared desktop computer my mom has or my Mac laptop will crash and I will lose all of those items. I asked for an external hard drive for Christmas, and my dad and stepmom found one for me, though Alex thought it would be a good gift for me, too (Oops.). I finally took the time the other day and transfer all those important files to one universal place. Yay! That means I can clean up my Mac…

Finally, the weather forecasts have predicted snow all week. It’s finally coming down. It’s been coming down all day and my mom’s classes at the gym have been canceled for tonight.

And it just keeps coming and coming…

The other day, Alex showed up at my door with these.

I don’t often receive flowers, and he hadn’t given me any in a long time, so this was a lovely surprise. He is really sweet.

Later, we ate dinner at a tapas restaurant, BARcelona. The food was absolutely delicious, and I’d definitely recommend it. Hopefully it won’t be  the last time I visit.

I was wondering, at first, how this 101 Goals project would turn out, but then I decided I would just jump right into it. I chose something I thought would be simple, so that when I finished it, I would be motivated to do more. So this is the first, and I am in the process of completing more of my goals!

This goal, #26, was to complete a crossword puzzle every day for a month, whether it was in the newspaper or online, as I did sometimes. I did them in the morning, throughout the day (sometimes during class), or right before I went to bed. The reason why I set this goal was to improve my vocabulary and solving skills. I think it worked, I felt better as I completed them, and as the month went on, it became easier to finish crosswords because a lot of the same answers are used, especially if they are short or have odd letters.

And even though December, my “Crossword Puzzle” month is over, I haven’t stopped completing them. They are fun, and they boost my confidence. Mission accomplished, I’d say!

Here is 2010, another year fresh and ready for me to make it beautiful. I, like many other people, had a rather unpleasant past year. Unemployed family members, unexpected moving on my dad’s side, overloaded schedules, lots of tears, and changes in my life in general.

I am making this promise. No matter what type of shit comes my way in 2010, it will be better. I will make it better. When I look back on what I did in the past year, it is hard for me to discern the good things and things I accomplished. This will not happen in the next year. I will accomplish things I need to do (like get a driver’s license) and things I want to do (fly kites and play video games).

I will be true to myself, and I will be happy.

Let me tell you, we’re two days in and I think 2010 is off to a great start.

On New Year’s Eve, I had some friends over. Originally, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, since New Year’s Day was my twenty-first birthday. Yeah, that big birthday where I am legal to drink. I knew many people wanted to party with me, but I didn’t want to have a big party. And since many of my friends don’t exactly get along with each other, it’s hard to plan any sort of party. I eventually gave up hope on my New Year’s plans, in a way.

Alex came to visit a week or so ago, and over lunch he asked me about having a small party. He was going to surprise me, but he wasn’t sure how I’d feel. I agreed to it, as long as I could make the cake, and it was a small gathering and there wasn’t an emphasis on alcohol.

The night was good. I missed having some of my good friends there, but I at least could see some people I hadn’t seen in a while. It was just what I needed, and what I asked for.

I kissed Alex at the stroke of midnight and I bubbled with joy. I felt the excitement and the opportunities this year would bring.

We were up until 4:00 a.m. I haven’t stayed awake that long in years. We slept until 11:00 and had sausage gravy and biscuits for breakfast. My mom gave me a present – a 50-piece set of animal cookie cutters. It might sound silly, but even though I’m twenty-one years old, I thought it was the coolest thing. It has an octopus, and a giraffe!

Even though my birthday/New Year’s Day was quite lazy, it was filled with warm wishes and lots of love.

Then today, Mom and I went to see the Princess and the Frog. I grew up with Disney princesses and all the animated classics, so I was excited, even though I was the oldest “kid” there. The previews were terrible, but the movie was decent. I wasn’t too thrilled about the ending, but it’s better than most children’s movies these days. Later, we watched Julie and Julia. I loved it, and it made me want to cook. I might just try my culinary skills out in the lovely kitchen we have at home before I have to go back to school…

So here we go – deep breath – 2010. I’m optimistic and ready for what life has to throw at me. I already know there will be some challenges ahead, but it’s also going to be beautiful. I can already feel it.