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If one day, for some unknown reason, someone had to dig through my belongings and figure out what went on inside my head during class, they would find a goldmine in my notebooks.

I’ve been cleaning up my room a little bit today, among other things – although I guess I should say the other things (knitting, bumming around)  have had dominance. I decided to go through my notebooks, and this is what I found:

On the left page: Notes from my EDFON 420 course – I took it this past summer (May/June). In the bottom left corner are random poetic musings. What you can’t see on this page is the subtraction and division I made in the upper margin for who-knows-what and, in the upper left-hand margin, a list of things I wanted to knit.

On the right page: A grocery list I scribbled out (and probably would rewrite multiple times elsewhere), notes on Wuthering Heights from my ENG 365 class that I took this past semester – note my scribbing where I refer to Linton as a “super wimp” –  a drawing of an onion, and a silly little drawing of a person dressed up as grapes (because I had been reading Octopus Pie‘s Halloween special comic at the time, therefore giving a date to around the time I drew/wrote on that page).

Yeah… all my notebooks are like that. I can’t honestly say that it’s too efficient when it comes to studying…

I have been caught in a holiday whirlwind for the past few days, though I’m sure many people have been, too. I’ve enjoyed it all, though. No major accidents, no tears, all good.

I drove to my (paternal) grandparents’ house in Richmond on Thursday. I made it there without a problem, blasting Devo all the way. I was the first family member to arrive, and I got to spend about an hour with my grandparents before my dad, Cindy, and my brothers showed up. I went out shopping with my grandma, dad, and Cindy, and when we returned, my aunt Cathy, uncle Rob, and cousins Kaity and Jack had arrived, and my aunt Jeanne, uncle Steve, and cousins Christopher, Matthew, and Brian had come over for dinner (they live close by). We had spaghetti, and it was a scramble for chairs.

As usual, I slept in the living room with my cousin Kaity. I don’t usually pull rank, but I sort of did this year. I hate sleeping on air mattresses, and I didn’t want to sleep on the floor, so I called the couch – which isn’t nearly as comfortable as one would hope, but it’s still a place to sleep. I said, “Merry Couch-mas” to Kaity when we were going to bed, due to our past Christmases; once, we shared one giant wraparound couch with my cousin Brian on Christmas Eve and that was interesting.

On Christmas Eve, we did a lot of hanging around the house, watching television and talking. I worked on a scarf for my mom. We went to Christmas Eve mass, and everything went well, though I started feeling sick because I went nine hours without having anything to eat. We came home and had beef and noodles for dinner.

In previous years on Christmas Eve, Kaity and I have been kicked out of the living room so last-minute wrapping of presents can take place and the adults can hang out without being bothered by the kids. We usually sit around, watching movies or something. Well, this year I had a bright idea – why don’t we go out and see a movie instead? I had been itching to see TRON: Legacy, since I bought the soundtrack a week ago – it’s effin’ amazing! Kaity hadn’t seen it, so we pitched the idea to our parents. They agreed. So after dinner, I got directions to the movie theater, and the two of us got to escape the craziness for a while. I even got to play a little Electric Six for her.

The theater was nearly empty and we got our choice of seats.  It was great. And then the movie – oh, the movie! I LOVED IT. I know it has its flaws, I really do (Penny Arcade pointed many out), but I can appreciate the film for what it is, and how it relates to the first film. Even if the plot isn’t the best, I think people can at least agree that it is visually-striking and the soundtrack is totally boss. I feel like the geekiest person in my family for how excited I still am about this film, but whatever. We spent a major part of Christmas Day watching and discussing the original Star Wars movies – we are a family of geeks.

After the movie, we left the theater to find it was snowing. The big, fluffy flakes were gorgeous. We got back home around 10:00, but I stayed in my car to talk to Alex. When I got back inside, I found everyone had gone to bed except Kaity, who had just changed into her pajamas. In addition to this, I was left without a blanket and pillow. I had to wake the little boys up (my brothers and my cousin Jack) in order to find at least one blanket to cover up with, but I was still left without a pillow. It was hard to sleep. When I was trying to get David to go back to bed, he told me, “Don’t you think that tonight is just the longest night of your life?” I know we were thinking of different reasons, but I couldn’t have agreed more. I didn’t sleep much at all.

I was up early, too. By 7:00, everyone was up and I was seated at the dining room table with a cup of coffee. We were unwrapping gifts by 8:00. I think this Christmas was perfect. My family was happy with the gifts I gave them, and I was happy with mine. Dad and Cindy got me a GPS so I’ll stop getting lost when I go places I’ve never been or aren’t familiar with. That was a nice surprise. I also got The Fantastic Mr. Fox (the movie), and a bunch of books on my Amazon Wish List I haven’t read before. I have a lot of reading to do. I also got gift cards and money to help support the growth of my “professional wardrobe” since I have very little to choose from when I go into the schools. If all I could wear were t-shirts and awesome graphic/band tees, I’d be set, but sadly, that’s not the case.

We had our traditional Christmas breakfast after opening gifts – pigs-in-blankets and scrambled eggs. Dinner was two hams, a turkey, green bean casserole, cheesy potatoes, sweet potatoes, applesauce, and rolls. No one will ever go hungry in my family – if they do, it’s their own damn fault. Like I said before, we watched Star Wars, episodes 4 through 6, but we also watched Scrooged and Despicable Me. Also, I learned how to make buckeyes! Grandma said we might run out, and since they are popular at Christmas, I told her that if she had the ingredients, I would make another batch of them. I was so honored to learn how to make them, and my grandpa even took pictures to commemorate the event.

It was a nice Christmas, and I was glad to see everyone. On Sunday, my dad, Cindy, and my brothers went back to Kentucky. I left around 2:00 and met my mom and (maternal) grandparents at the nearby Applebee’s. They had me open my presents in the restaurant. I got a nice blouse, gas cards, a holiday ornament shaped like car keys (ha!), and – drum roll please – a crock pot! I can’t wait to try it out!

We had a good meal, and then we parted ways. I drove my mom home. She’s been having back pain, and was on medication, so she shouldn’t have been driving anyway. She hadn’t been in my car before, either, so that was interesting. The only thing that sucks about having her in the passenger’s seat is that she critiques my driving, or she’ll be giving directions and say, “Go left!” and I’ll go left, and she’ll say, “No, I said go right!” and I’ll say, “You just said left!” and we’ll get into an argument about that…

I had to finish making my mom’s gifts before we could exchange them. I had to eventually finish the scarf in front of her, but she was so happy about it, she didn’t mind. She got me a doughnut pan, among other things. This is also another kitchen gadget I can’t wait to try out.

Yesterday, Mom and I went shopping. We spent some of the gift cards we received for Christmas. I usually don’t like spending mine all at once, but since I’m teaching in a few weeks and I need to expand my wardrobe, I can’t exactly wait around. I found some good deals, though. I found a turtleneck, a v-neck, two t-shirts, a cardigan, a brown skirt, and a purse (I’ve never carried a purse before! So weird!). That was only at two stores, too! Mom and I also stopped by Paradise Bakery for muffins and browsed Borders. Then, we went to see TRON: Legacy in 3-D. Yeah, I had to see it again. I’ve never seen a 3-D movie before, but I was curious, since it seems like that film would be amazing in 3-D. I won’t say it was bad, but I definitely won’t be seeing another 3-D film again. The glasses are too awkward over my real glasses, and then my eyes hurt mere minutes into the film. I had to close my eyes at times just to have them rest. I was still happy to see TRON: Legacy again – still amazing!

We came home, ate dinner, and watched Hellboy II: The Golden Army, since Mom got it through Netflix. While we watched that, I worked on a knitted Kindle cover for Alex, since he got a Kindle this year for Christmas. He is super excited about it, though I still prefer my physical, paper books. There’s just no feeling like the turning of pages in your hand.

I saw Alex today. I drove down to his house and we went bowling. We exchanged gifts, and we were both very happy. He says his gift was lame, but I truly appreciate it. I just wish that I lived in a place of my own where I could have nice things and make it look like a home. We don’t have a dining room table. I would die to have a nice dining room table, rather than just eating on the floor…

Anyway, we played with the Wii for a bit, and I stayed for dinner and dessert. I left about a quarter to 8:00, and went home. I had been invited to hang out with people at my friend Chris’s house, and I went over there about 9:00. It was Chris’s birthday and he’s 20 now, so strange! We played this game called Quelf, ate chips and brownies, watched Eddie Izzard’s “Dressed to Kill,” chatted, and played with kittens. Oh, if only I could have had one of those kittens! They were so cute!

So I’m home now, for a while. I think tomorrow is just going to be a lazy day. I think I need it.

I must be having the best week ever. Seriously. On Sunday, I drop my phone in the toilet. Today, I run over a stop sign. Yeah. I’m just full of awesomeness this week.

When the incident happened today, I was close to home and turning. The asphalt was slicker than anticipated, and though I tried to stop, my car just kept going. I watched my car roll over the sign in slow motion. This man saw me assessing the damage, and he helped me get my car off the sign, so bless him. I really appreciated it. I reported the accident, and luckily, the stop sign was just knocked over, not damaged, and my car and body weren’t damaged either, so the sheriff said I didn’t need to file a report, but he took my name and address down just in case. They’ll get the sign up soon, thank goodness. I wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt.

The rest of my week has been nice, actually. I visited Alex on Monday. We saw Easy A (lots of fun!) and had dinner with him and his parents. I got a little lost in the dark and snow on the way home, but I was all right. Just another part of the “new driver experience.” Then yesterday, Mom and I got pedicures and then stopped by her friend Amy’s house and I got to meet Amy and her family; they’re really nice, and I am so jealous of the amount of books they have in their house…

Besides my stupid stop sign incident today, I was watching my mom’s friend Janice’s granddaughter (whew!) Danashee. We hung out for a few hours, I got my replacement phone, we ate lunch at Steak ‘n’ Shake, and  we were going to go see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but the next showing wasn’t for another hour. So it was a relaxing day, except for that one incident.

Tomorrow I’m off to Richmond! I’m looking forward to Christmas at my grandparent’s house. Let’s just hope, with my luck, nothing bad happens.

“Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat

How I wonder where you’re at…”

It is 3:00 a.m.

I am still awake, and so is my mom. She has to be at work in five hours.

What are we doing?

We’re baking cookies for our Christmas goodie bags. In short, we are effing nuts.

I fell asleep standing up, leaning on the overhang on our stove, mumbling things about how I’m the Yoda Master of poking holes (in our cookies) and stuff like that.

I am so tired and I want to go to bed. I’m on my second cup of coffee, but I don’t think even that will help.

Things are relatively good, though. I went to hang out at a friend’s house tonight. I brought fudge, gave people rides (now that I have a car!), we ordered pizza, watched Christmas specials, and chatted. I gave my friend a gift that she really liked, but I won’t talk about it just yet.

Something I will say was not good today was dropping my phone (which I got less than a month ago) in the toilet. I did that as I was getting dressed this evening – right before I had to pick up my friends. The good news is, it’s somewhat functional, except two of the function keys aren’t working right so I can’t access my phone’s menu and there’s a water blotch on the screen. But at least it can still make calls and receive texts. I’m kicking myself, though.

That’s all that’s going on right now. Tomorrow, I get to see my lover boy. I’m really excited – I’ve missed him! And Tuesday, Mom and I get to have some more mother-daughter bonding time that doesn’t involve baking over twenty dozen cookies in forty-eight hours.

Yeah, that’s how we do Christmas.

Sunday, I had vowed I wouldn’t go outside. It had been snowing all day, and though it wasn’t much – or so I thought – I still didn’t want to go out in it.

But that night, Ruu and I were the only ones in the apartment, and I knew I wanted to get groceries the next day. I had told her I would buy her some stuff, since she was short on cash and I didn’t want her to starve. Anyway, I was about to make hot chocolate around 8:30 when she said, “I really want cookies.” And it hit me – I wanted cookies, too. I stopped what I was doing, told her to get dressed (she was wearing pajamas), and we ran out to my car. Of course, I hadn’t thought at all, so my shoes were thin flats and I was wearing them without socks – so the snow could get in and freeze my toes off, and I forgot my mittens in my other coat. So I scraped all the ice off of my car and jumped into the driver’s seat, where I let out a yell. It was really cold.

We drove to Marsh, which, on any non-snowy day, you could easily walk to in about ten minutes. The drive is no problem at all. That is, unless you accidentally hit your windshield wiper as you’re driving and smear ice all over to lessen your visibility. And then you run over a low median because it was covered in snow and therefore looked like a pile of snow. We got there and back safely, though, rest assured. My car is fine and not dead because of it, thank you very much, and I am NOT a bad driver. Anyone could have mistaken that median for a pile of snow.

Anyway, this finals week has been the most boring, yet the most relaxing, ever. I don’t have my finals until Thursday and Friday, and I’m not even worried about them. So all I have to do this week is work, and even then, the earliest I go in (except Friday) is at 1:00 p.m. So, I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping in, watching Buffy (I’m up to season six!), and knitting. It’s nice and all, but I really would like to go home. Sitting around doing nothing is not exactly my cup of tea. I’d much rather be at home, baking our Christmas goodies, or visiting my boy, whom I miss very much.

Monday, I decided to ride my bike to work. It’s crazy, but I’ve been doing it for a while in this weather. Well, I was lucky there were no cars around and it was in daylight, but even my mountain bike’s tires were no match for slush. It slipped out from under me, and I ended up landing face-down in the slush-covered road. Not fun. I’ve decided that I probably shouldn’t be riding my bike anymore, especially in the dark and on the icy, slushy roads. Now, I’m walking. It takes a half hour to get to work, and a half hour back. Not the best use of my time, but at least I’m not paying for parking (I have a bone to pick with Parking Services tomorrow), not risking my life (too much), and I’m getting (some) exercise.

And then, today. I made an omelet for dinner, since I’m trying to use up what food I have left around here. It didn’t taste funny, but the egg texture seemed weird to me, or something. I got to work, and I started to feel sick. I made it through all three hours of my shift, even though Justin and Sarah said I could go home if I felt like it. My stomach was in knots, and I thought I was going to vomit a few times, but I was able to keep myself in check. I have decided that it was either my eggs or the turkey that I put in the omelet that wasn’t so good, but I pitched them both when I got home, anyway. Nothing like giving yourself mild food poisoning, right?

I swear I don’t have a death wish, but it seems like every stupid little thing is piling up against me. Karma? Pfft. Who knows? All I want is for this week to end quickly so I can stop waiting around in Muncie and go home to have some real fun!

I had my last undergraduate class today. It hasn’t really sunk in, yet.

I also turned in my last undergraduate English paper. I hope to hell I get at least a B. I managed to get an A- on my “Mark of the Beast” paper, so I’m happy about that. The paper I turned in today was much harder.

I also turned in this project for my practicum in which we had to do this personal creative thing. I made a comic book about my experience in college and the issues with balancing multiple identities (teacher, student, etc.). I received many positive comments about it.

Last night, since I got all my work done, I went to karaoke night. It wasn’t as good as last time. I sang “Salvation” and my voice cracked, but Thom sang “Love Shack” and Tanner sang “The Bad Touch,” and that was fun. I got home around 1:30.

Anyway, so today was a good day. Went to my classes, ate free food, hung out with Sarah, and came home. I cleaned a lot. I even got my car’s filthy floor mats out of my trunk and tried to clean them. The dealership I bought it from didn’t clean my car at all, and I haven’t had time to clean it myself. Those mats were filthy. I got what I could out, but I might need something stronger than Resolve and elbow grease to get them looking nice.

(As a side note, as I was typing, I just sneezed and my roommate’s boyfriend could hear it through the walls. He yelled, “Bless you!” and I yelled back, “Thanks!” I just thought it was funny…)

I finally got to the end of FYTA, and didn’t know whether to be proud or horrified by that fact. Then I took a small nap. I finally got the motivation to clean my room, and it looks a lot better, now. I’ve started packing up things to take home. Of course, I don’t actually get to leave this city until next Friday, since I have one actual final on Thursday and one “we meet and discuss” final on Friday – and the latter one starts at 2:00 pm and is supposed to end at 4:00 pm. It’s like some kind of sick joke. I could be going home sooner, if it weren’t for that.

I don’t have to work tomorrow, but I have to be at the recreation center by 9:00 am. and be there all day until 5:00 pm. I’m going to get CPR certified, though, so that’s exciting! I also look forward to the next week where I will be able to sleep in, earn money, read for pleasure, knit, sew, and watch Buffy. It’s a good life.

 

I swear I’m not dead. It’s just that I thought I would be done after last week. Turns out, I’m not. I’ve got a unit plan due Tuesday, a paper due Friday, another small project I haven’t even started on due Friday, not to mention the readings I have to do, two small extra credit papers (because I really, really need the extra credit), my last week of teaching at the middle school, and work.

So, I’m not dead. But my brain is sorta dead. (And yeah, I’m an English major, and I just wrote “sorta.” If you have a problem, go stuff it.)

Oh, and it’s snowing! It’s been snowing quite a bit since the first of December. It’s pretty, but man, I’m not a fan of driving (and biking – yes, it’s happened) in it. I would much rather be curled up in my bed and staying warm, drinking hot cocoa, knitting, watching movies and all that crap…

Among all this, I haven’t had much time to work on my projects for Christmas. Bleh. I have the best of intentions – Mom even sent the sewing machine back up to school with me, even though I don’t have a table big enough for it in this entire apartment. I’m hoping that with all my free time during finals week, I’ll be able to do some craftiness.

Also, I can’t wait to lift the Buffy ban. I haven’t watched any since before Thanksgiving break. I made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t watch any more until I had my unit plan done. Although I might extend the ban until Thursday. I need to focus.

Despite things being busy as hell here, life is good. Well, except the fact I didn’t get my scholarship, so the library isn’t getting rid of me just yet – I’ll be working there on the weekends to earn some dough and help keep my finances in order. I don’t mind the work itself, I just know that student teaching demands a lot, and I don’t want to fail – I can’t fail – and throwing work into that mix is not going to be easy, and I’m tired of being so stressed out all the time. I’ve been tired of it for a very long, long time.

But anyway! Life is good! Alex came up this weekend. It was my fifth weekend in a row to see him. I won’t be seeing him for at least two weeks, now, but that’s all right. We made peanut butter blossoms. They were so tasty, though our first batch got really brown on the bottom and tasted a little burnt. We ate them all – not all on Friday night, but they were gone by the time Sunday afternoon came along.

We also watched Magnolia on Friday night. Alex had never seen it before. It’s my favorite movie, has been since the summer before my junior year of high school. I was going through a lot of identity and relationship issues, and was feeling really ostracized. I watched it at my dad’s house in New Orleans. I was crying 2/3 of the way through it. I identified a lot with Stanley and Donnie Smith – the “Quiz Kids.” I still do, to some extent. Magnolia is so beautiful. I hadn’t watched it since probably my junior year of high school, when I watched it with an ex. Every time Alex had suggested watching it before, I declined because usually I wasn’t up to a beautifully crafted, emotionally draining film that spans three hours. I finally agreed to watch it with him, though, and I sacrificed an extra hour of sleep for it. I was worried about what he would think of it. I think I’m always afraid of what people will think of my choices in movies. He enjoyed it, though, and I’m glad. I feel like, now that we have watched it together, he knows me on a deeper level – even though that probably sounds dorky.

I worked on Saturday morning, did some work on my unit plan, and we went over to our friend Leigh’s apartment that evening. It was a lot of fun, and I was glad to hang out with her and everyone else. It’s been a long semester, and we’ve all been busy. I miss socializing.

Anyway, it’s time for me to go to bed. Just a few more days, and I’m free!