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I’ve had a wonderful weekend. We celebrated Thom’s 21st birthday, where I danced to Lady Gaga and sang really loud, among other things. Alex and I went out driving yesterday, and it took me three times, but I think I’ve got the hang of parallel parking.

Not too much else going on. We hung out with friends, and Jess is visiting her family for the next few days. So, I’m all alone here until Wednesday. Not sure what I’m going to do besides class, work, and working out, but I’m sure I’ll figure out something.

Also – I got my hands on The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer so I can finish watching Twin Peaks. That book is the craziest piece of writing I’ve read in a long time. Of course, seeing as it is related to the show, I shouldn’t be surprised, but still.

Anyway, I’ll probably write more at another time, but I should probably go do homework or make cookies or knit my sweater or something. This house is just a little too lonely now that my love has gone home – I did interview him today for my English project, though, and that was great. We were really cute with each other. I’d share it, but for one thing, I’m stupid with technology, and two, it’s private.

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This has been a good week. I’m back to my usual shifts at work, where I’m there in the morning. I have to get up early, but that’s all right. I have class at 11:00, and then I’m usually done around noon. My new class is also better. I get to read, write, and hone my creative non-fiction skills.
The power went out at work on Monday. It was only for a minute, but then later, in the afternoon, it went out again. I had stopped by to print a document when they announced it. Power was out all over campus, so even though Sarah and I originally planned to go to the gym, we couldn’t.

Jess and I had our roommate date Monday afternoon. We went to see Toy Story 3. Jess said it wasn’t her favorite of the Toy Story movies, but we both agreed that it was very good. I was surprised to see it be so adult, philosophical, and intense. It was funny in some parts, and I really enjoyed it, but my face and shirt were wet with tears the majority of the time.

The reason why I cried, I believe, is because when Toy Story came out in 1995, I was six. I don’t remember who I saw it with, but I know I saw it in theaters – because I never owned a copy in my childhood, that’s for sure. I had a small Woody doll, and I’m fairly certain I lost it in the airport when I went to visit my dad.

I saw Toy Story 2 at the age of ten. I don’t remember much else about that experience, but I have seen both movies multiple times thanks to my younger brothers, who are now ten and seven. The younger one even dressed up as Buzz Lightyear one year for Halloween. My brothers would play the Toy Story films multiple times, and I would notice something new about them each time. I grew appreciative of the films on another level, since I was older.

So now, with the final film, it’s strange. Andy is seventeen, and going to college. I have been in college for three (going on four) years, and so I remember how it was when I first left home, and how I have matured. I find myself relatable to Andy, and Woody, Buzz, and all the other toys represent all those toys that I had as well, so really, this last film was not only Andy saying goodbye to his toys, but me, saying goodbye to these characters I have loved so well.

In fact, this is my equivalent of Woody. His name is Max.

I got him for Christmas one of the first years during my parents’ divorce. I don’t remember who gave him to me, but I adored his fuzziness. I used to put him in my suitcase whenever I had to travel. I got a bit older, and he sat in my chair for a long time. When my mom and stepdad were going through a messy divorce during my sophomore year of high school, Max became my confidante. Some days, I even snuck him to school, and just knowing he was near made me feel better. I no longer need him in that way, but I do bring him to school and have him sit nearby.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen Toy Story 3 yet – go!

Tuesday, Sarah and I began our exercise program. I was sweaty and out of breath when we finished, but it was worth it. I am excited to get in shape. After the workout, I took a shower and hung out at Lemmy, Dom, and Pete’s house. We watched Firefly and ate Chinese food. Then I went home and hung out with Jess and Kelly for a bit.

Wednesday, Sarah, Nick, and I did David Carradine’s Tai Chi workout. The library has it on tape, and even though it is hilarious to see, it was actually quite effective. Sarah and I made stir-fry, and then we watched Borat with Thom. I had never seen it before. Yeah, I know, I’ve lived under a rock (not really, but I just never got around to it. I still haven’t seen Avatar yet, either, for your information).

Sarah ordered our concert tickets yesterday, too. Oh, what concert, you say? Well, the other day I was reading the paper and saw that DEVO was coming to town. Sarah loves DEVO with the same passion I have for Depeche Mode. I let her know, and she wondered if I wanted to go. After much deliberation about whether or not we can get down there, we decided that we were going. So yeah! Completely unexpected, but wholly welcome.

Today was also a good day. I finished Breakfast of Champions – I love Vonnegut! – and I worked out with Sarah. I had the day off, so before I went to class, I got my hair cut, and it feels and looks better. I’m also on the front page of the Daily News online, and I will be getting my license next week.

Also, tomorrow I get to see my love!

I love my life.

Just some of gems last night. Also, singing “Tik Tok” with your mom late at night is odd and fun at the same time. Good times.

“I’ve never understood you and libraries. Well, I guess you always were a bookworm. I just never understood it.”

“How old are you?”
“Twenty-one.”
“I’m going to go get a beer. You want one?”
“No, that’s okay. I had some wine earlier. No one saw me drinking it, though.”
“Well then it didn’t happen, did it?”

“You got a boyfriend or something?”
“Yeah, two years.”
“Well why the hell isn’t he here?”

“That’s my grandma! No, you’re not dancing with her!”

“How many years do you have left at school?”
“This is my last one.”
“How long have you been there?”
“Three years.”
“No shit. I thought you would have been there less time.”

“You’re in the Honors College, right?”
“No, never was.”
“Huh. Must have been the glasses.”

“Wow, you’re getting tall!”
“Um, I’m pretty sure it’s the heels.”

The following takes place between myself and a member of my graduating class whose name I didn’t recall at the time. He seemed slightly inebriated and didn’t seem to recall who I was or how vastly different we were in high school. In fact, he had never uttered a word to me until this reception, and he waited until we were cleaning up to make his move.

“How’s the family?”
“Uh… good, yeah. How are you?”
“Good, good.” At this point, he’s leaning in really close. “So…you’re like, the only other person here my age.”
“Yeah, I guess that’s right.”
“So…”

Awkward silence. “Well, I’ve got to go say goodbye to some other people. It was good seeing you!” Cue running away.

My mother met her best friend Cheryl when she was eighteen years old. My mother was young, rebellious, and to a point, she still is today. Cheryl’s boyfriend and later husband Marte managed the grocery store where my mom worked. They were great friends and so on and so forth.

Cheryl and Marte married, and they had a son, Brandon. A few years later, they had twin sons, Sean and Cory. In 1987, my mom and dad married, and I was born on January 1, 1989. Our families were close, real close. I spent a lot of time growing up with Brandon, Sean, and Cory. When I was two, I gave Sean a bloody nose. They our parents made the rule that the boys could hit back, but only if I hit them first. It may seem slightly barbaric, but how fair would it be if I could just wail on them and they couldn’t do anything about it? No matter. The boys were my protectors, when it came down to it. They always seemed like cousins or some sort of blood relative to me. We had fun playing football, wrestling, playing video games, swimming in the pool, riding bikes – I used to sit on the seat while one of them pedaled – playing paintball, and lighting fireworks. We got in trouble together, or evaded trouble, whether it was the time we went trespassing, killed a bat, or jumped off the garage roof into a giant pile of leaves we raked up.

When my mom and dad divorced, Cheryl and Marte were there to support my mom, even though they had moved to Indiana. Later, my mom and I moved to Indiana, too. My mom had met Cheryl’s uncle, Paul, and they decided to get married. I won’t go too much into it, but we had our good times and our bad times, and after nine years, Paul and my mom divorced. It created some tension between our families, since my mom had always been a good friend of Cheryl and Marte, but Paul was a blood relative. As for the boys, they grew older. They got cars, jobs, girls, and beer. I… less so. We didn’t talk much, but we still knew the important bond between us.

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve seen all of them. Sean graduated from Ball State  last year, and Brandon and Cory had their own lives and jobs. I saw them, and everyone else in the family, for Sean’s open house, but not since then. Earlier this year, Brandon got married. Married! It’s unbelievable to think that he’s now married, you know, since I can remember the days when we played with Power Rangers toys. He and his bride, Christi, had the reception last night. My mom and I went, and while we were nervous about it at first, we ended up having a really good time. I got to talk with Rhonda, Connie, and Sandy – other friends of the family – about college and just life in general, and I got to catch up with everyone. I felt like I was saying the same speech all night, but I didn’t mind: Yes, yes, I’m still at Ball State. I’m going there for English education. Yes, I think everything will work out just fine. Yeah, I do have a job. I work at the library! I only have one year left! I’m twenty-one. Yeah, I know, crazy, right? Brandon laughed when I mentioned I still worked at the library. “I’ve never understood you and libraries. You always were a bookworm, though, I guess.”

I got so many compliments on my dress, and everyone couldn’t believe how tall I was. It’s cliche, but I swear, they said it. I’m sure it was only the heels that made me taller, but it was still nice to be considered so pretty. Everyone seems to be really proud of me, too. I was honored, and I told them I’d let them all know when my open house was. I guess that will be the next time I see everyone, but if not, there is also going to be Cory’s wedding, too. I can’t believe he’s engaged, either. It just blows my mind. And one of their neighbors/family friends who is Cory’s age has a three-year-old. I hadn’t seen her in at least ten years. It was shocking.

All in all, it was a good night. I even danced the Macarena with Cory and his kickass fiancée. I was sad to have to leave, since it was such a whirlwind trip, but I know we’ll see them again. Mary, Cheryl’s mom, told me some stories I had never heard before. I guess I didn’t realize how close she was to me, or how truly like a grandmother she’s been, but she reminisced about how my mother didn’t show  that much when she was pregnant with me, and that sometimes when Cheryl was babysitting me, Mary would be leaving and kiss her grandsons goodbye. I would reach out to her and say, “Gramma! Gramma!” and the boys would say, “Yeah, don’t forget to kiss Sammy goodbye, too!” And then when we were saying goodbye last night, Tom, Mary’s husband, hugged me and kissed me on the top of my head. I don’t think he’s ever done that before.

Last night’s reunion really touched me, and I came to the realization that no matter how rocky life gets, there is always going to be a family for you, willing to greet you with open arms. They might not be your blood, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that love is there, love is always there, and one should never forget that. I think I had forgotten that, but I know I shouldn’t, and now, I won’t.

Great weekend! Lots of fun!

Alex came up and we went to Noodles and Company for dinner, then went over to Silvertree to visit Sarah, Nick, Thom, and Krista. Nick dyed Krista’s hair, and Alex and I went to Dairy Queen for ice cream after much deliberation. We all ended up watching Ponyo. I thought it was pretty cute, but it wasn’t as good as Howl’s Moving Castle or Spirited Away.

Jennifer came up on Saturday, and Alex made us lunch. It was very sweet of him. Then he watched the England-U.S. World Cup match while I interviewed Jennifer for my senior English project. I would say it was very successful.

We were bored, and we had some time to kill before going over to Silvertree, so Alex let me practice driving. Jennifer tagged along in the backseat. We went to Best Buy because I’m still trying to get rid of my gift card from Christmas. Maybe I should stop asking for them, since it seems like they never have quite what I’m looking for…

Anyway, we went over and realized that it would be better to make pizza over there than in my tiny, cramped apartment, so we went back to my apartment to pick up the dough I made from scratch (yay!) and all the toppings, and Jennifer picked up her car, and Matt joined us.

Pizza was a success! Everyone really liked the crust, and I will definitely remember that recipe for future reference. It was simple, too.

Jennifer went home, and then we played Shadow Hunters, Matt’s new board game. It was fun. Then we just sat around talking and having Sarah read the worst fan fiction ever (“My Immortal”) and laughing about it.

Alex and I woke up this morning, had lunch, and went driving. I did really well, and now all I have to do is figure out between my schedule and the DMV’s schedule when would be the best time to take my driver’s test. I’m aiming to get my license before I leave Muncie for the summer. I know I can.

I shared some banana-chocolate bread with Alex, and then it was time for him to go. I am sad, but I know even if I have to wait two weeks to see him again, it will be okay. I just wish I didn’t have my group meeting tonight. We’re meeting at 8:00, so I will have to miss the third season premiere of True Blood. I am upset about that, but this is the last week of my class and I can’t afford to be absent from this meeting, no matter how much I want to.

Now, I’ve got pictures, as promised. That’s all the rest of this entry is, so sorry for the picture-heaviness. I love showing-and-telling!

I made this dress from a sheet, a t-shirt, and a man’s tie. The tie part was a little weird and janky-looking, but I love the swishy skirt part! I wasn’t originally going to make it a halter, either, but it works for just a simple summer dress.

These are pieces of jewelry I made recently. They were inspired by the book Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close, where the main character makes Morse code jewelry for his mother. So yes, these are messages interpreted from Morse code, and I like how they are not only unique and secret, but beautiful, too.

Finally, here is the Companion Cube! Alex loved it, and he was so happy to get it. It came as sort of a surprise, since he knew I was working on it, but he didn’t know I had finished it two weeks ago right after his last visit. ❤

Work, work, work.

Class, class, class. (But it ends next week!)

Read, read, read.

Knit, knit, knit.

Yeah, that pretty much sums up my life right now. I’m not interesting. I guess that’s why I haven’t posted much. Well, that, and I just have some other things on my agenda, among other things.

This weekend, I watched Whip It and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Whip It rekindled my desire to become a roller derby girl, but I loved Priscilla so much, I watched it again before I returned it.

Sunday I was just hanging out, watching Mission Hill and knitting, when the power went out. Jess was at work, so I was alone. The power came back on, but then it started pouring outside. Then – sirens. Tornado sirens. I have never been alone during a tornado warning, so I was like, “Shit!” The experience brought back my childhood phobia of tornadoes, which my brother David has apparently inherited.

I ran downstairs and around the apartment building to go to the basement. This guy looked out his door at me like I was crazy. I was the only one in the shelter of the (rather creepy) basement, and the people above me were watching television. I could hear it. The sirens stopped shortly, so it wasn’t too bad. No harm done. I laughed about it later.

Anyway, I’ve been writing again, or trying to. Todd (it sounds so weird to call a professor by his first name) pointed me in the direction of 750 Words, where the goal is to write 750 words, or three pages, a day. So far, I’m on a seven-day streak! I really like it, and it actually isn’t that hard, when you think about it.

I hope to finish my stupid dress tonight so I can wear it this weekend. Will post pictures. I also want to show off the Companion Cube, which I get to give to Alex this weekend. We haven’t seen each other in about two weeks. I’m so excited! He’s going to love it.

Not much else going on. I baked banana-chocolate bread last night. Delicious. Been working on my second sock, and watching Twin Peaks. Oh my god, I love it. I watched four episodes yesterday. Agent Cooper is one of the nuttiest characters I’ve ever seen, and I adore him. I have to be at work in ten minutes and I really just want to watch more Twin Peaks…sigh.

I’ve been working a lot this past week, keeping myself busy. I’m almost done reading Sophie’s Choice and almost done sewing my dress, and two weeks away from finishing this awful, awful class.

I met with the professor who is supervising my senior seminar project. He explained what he expected of me, I talked about what I want to write about, and he seems like an awesome guy. We got to know each other a little bit, and we talked about how cool and funny David Sedaris is, and I told him that I had actually met David Sedaris when he came to the university last year and how he signed my copy of Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

I worked for six hours yesterday, and by some crazy decision, decided to pick up Catherine’s decision for today. So, I worked from noon to 4:00, biked home to scarf down some leftover macaroni and cheese, laid on my bed, and then biked back to the library to work from 5:00 to 9:00.

My main reason reason for taking the hours was because of the money. My second reason was because Catherine was going to visit her cousin’s newborn child. I thought, hey, why not? It’s obviously important to her, despite all the hours she asks off for that I don’t take.

Well, something unexpected happened. I was in the video room, doing the VHS inventory, when Courtney came in and said I had visitors. I thought, “Eh, it’s probably my friends, come to joke around, maybe check something out from their ‘sexy librarian’ friend.”

It wasn’t. It was my grandparents, whom I haven’t seen since February, and my aunt Jeanne, Uncle Steve, and cousins Matthew and Brian whom I haven’t seen since Christmas. They came to pick Brian up for the weekend and wanted to stop by. It was fortuitous, really, that they took the chance to stop by, because usually I wouldn’t be at work on a Friday night. I would have loved to talk with them, even go to dinner with them, but my shift had just begun and I couldn’t take a break.

Anyway, Grandma gave me a bag. It had two books, one about sock knitting, and a much older one all one about crochet, and then a VHS copy of Fantasia 2000 – she knows I’ve been searching for a DVD of the original. I had to break the news to her that I might not be able to knit for a while because I have developed tendonitis and need to buy braces for both of my arms before it gets worse. She hopes I get better soon. It was really sweet to see them, and I so desired to be with them, even just to hug them, but I knew I was on the clock. Would it have been too much, to break the rules?

But then they left, and I went back to the VHS room, and I cried, the dust from the videos sticking to my jeans and hands. The rest of the shift went well, but my heart was heavy.

I go back to work tomorrow morning, 9:00.