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It has been eight days since my last bout of uncontrollable crying. So… progress! I am also happy to report that this is not the result of any prescription, but is completely natural. I have not felt sad. I’ve felt a little angry because of some things that are happening at my job, but not sad.

It has been a good past week. Last Sunday, I got to visit with Jennifer and her newly adopted kitty, Sadie, before Jennifer had to return to school. It was so great to see her, because I hadn’t since my Labor Day party. We just sat and talked for a few hours (and I fawned over her Sadie because I really wish I was in the position where I could adopt an animal right now), and I think that’s some of what I needed – just some social interaction.

Alex came up last Monday after he got off work and stayed the night. I made turkey broccoli fettuccine and garlic bread, we watched television together, played Words with Friends on his phone, and ran out to get Blizzards from Dairy Queen. I accidentally fell asleep on the couch with him, and I ended up going to bed at 10:00. Again, I was sort of lame and we didn’t do much, but all I needed was to be around him, and I felt better.

Tuesday, my day was pretty normal. I hung out in my pajamas, watched television, and knitted. I laid down for a nap around1:30, aiming to sleep until 4:30. I woke up at 5:00 when Mom came home. I had enough time, though, to take my shower and get dressed.

We had dinner at IHOP, where I had pumpkin praline pancakes with eggs, bacon, and hash browns. Then, Mom and I went to the movie theater to see The Muppets. The clerk said we had missed the first twelve minutes because there is a discrepancy between the times on the mall website and a normal Google search, apparently. We still took the chance (and got a discount on our tickets), and it was perfect. We didn’t miss any of the movie, just the previews and the Pixar short before it. There were only two other people in the theater. And the movie? It was magical. I would say that if you are a person who has ever enjoyed the Muppets, you would enjoy the new movie. They’ve done a wonderful job of mixing the old material with the new, the cameos were great (Neil Patrick Harris, Alan Alda, and Jim Parsons FTW) and there were several times where I was in a laughing fit. I am certain that I was grinning from ear to ear the entire film.

At the end of the movie, there’s a bit that might make you tear up a little. Not because it’s sad, but because it’s such a display of how the Muppets will always be in the hearts of those who grew up with them in their households (like my mom and myself), and there is room for them in the hearts of generations to come. I could hear my mom sniffling next to me, and I reached out to pat her leg, as I understood what she was feeling. Then I shed a few tears myself, because I felt like it was okay to. These weren’t tears of frustration, pain, and sorrow like they have been, but tears of love, for beloved characters I was glad to welcome back

The rest of my week has been pretty decent. I’ve wrapped the majority of my presents and put them under the tree (why yes, I am an overachiever), Mom and I have figured out what Christmas goodies we are making, and then we took our Christmas card picture. Yes, that’s right. We have a bunch of Christmas cards with photo frames, and since this might be the last Christmas my mom and I have while living under the same roof (as I’m hoping to move out next year), we took a Christmas picture together to put in our cards for the first time EVER. Yeah, this Christmas season has been full of weird twists this year, and it’s not over yet.

My nights at work have been okay. We haven’t been too busy. I loathe Thursdays and Fridays, but once I get over that little hump, I only have to work Saturday night until I’m free. This past Saturday night was a nightmare. We were not only full, but a lot of my co-workers on other shifts neglect to pass messages on to other shifts, or they don’t pay attention and it trickles down to our shift. I was so glad when my relief came in on Sunday morning. It was one of those mornings I was surprised I made it home because I was so tired, and I’m surprised I just didn’t lose control of myself because it was just such a long night.

When I came home, Mom just pulled monkey bread muffins out of the oven. Even though I probably shouldn’t have, I ate three and then went to bed. I woke up in the afternoon, got ready, and Alex showed up. We ran to Goodwill because I was trying to find something for a project with no success, and when we returned to my house, we had dinner. We didn’t do much, but I did have him try on the sock that I’ve been knitting for him and finally figured out how I can make them fit him. I will try finishing that up today so maybe I can actually finish the pair of socks before our anniversary – or, even better, before the end of this year!

Alex and I cuddled and played one of the games we used to play when we were first dating – a line of questions. We went camping once and walked around in the woods, just tossing questions back and forth about our favorite childhood memories and books and Thanksgiving traditions. This time, we asked Christmas-themed questions, even though we knew some of the answers already. However, I think we were meant to be when I asked him what his favorite Christmas movie was and he said that it was Love, Actually though he also likes the original animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas. My sentiments exactly.

In the past few years, Christmas has made me miserable with everything we’ve had to do and all the presents I’ve had to make, but this year, I think it has brought me a sense of comfort that I’ve needed for a while. I look forward to the next few weeks full of Secret Santa trades (OMG SOCIALIZING WITH MY FRIENDS!), actually allowing Christmas music in my car, holiday baking, and finishing up the rest of my gift buying/making and wrapping. Before I know it, I will hopefully be in Lexington, celebrating with my family.

This girl’s not a Scrooge this year, that’s for sure.

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Suck suckity suck suck. That’s how things have been feeling lately.

I hate to feel so negative. It doesn’t make me feel good. But I don’t know, necessarily, how to make myself feel better. I’m trying, but due to the fact that I don’t have a job yet, it’s rather limited.

I miss being a student, and having goals to accomplish at that level – papers to write, assignments to read, professors and fellow peers to have intelligent conversation with. I used to have a job. It was minimum wage and I couldn’t work over twenty hours a week, but I had great supervisors and nice people as coworkers. I was a hard worker, and even though it didn’t pay much, but I worked hard, and I was happy.

Of course, I’ll admit that I’m happier now than I ever was during student teaching. I don’t have to deal with constant bullying and ridicule from over a hundred students a day and my supervising teacher. I can actually spend time being myself. Sometimes a little too much time to myself, anymore.

I miss my friends. When I lived in Muncie, most of them were a walk or a bike ride away. Now, it takes forty-five minutes to get there and forty-five to get back. Therefore, I don’t get much social interaction anymore.

I know, the job market is hard. It’s even harder knowing that there are just so many positions that I’m not qualified for. I’ve had two interviews since graduation. One went all right, and it was in a very upscale area, but I didn’t get the position. I don’t know why I always get my hopes up. When I found out, I told Alex. He had an interview that day, and it went well. About an hour later, the doorbell rang. There he was. He didn’t stay very long, but I appreciate that he wanted to console me.

I had another interview last Friday. It wasn’t one I was particularly looking forward to, especially since it seems no one really wants to give you the information you need, like what sort of position you’re interviewing for. I spent more time in the waiting area than I actually did in the interview – which lasted five minutes. Let us just say that I bombed that interview, big time. But for the record, they wanted a salesperson and should have said that up front. I’m not a salesperson. I can’t sell things. One time in high school, my mom just wanted me to pay for a fundraiser., rather than sell candy bars. I wanted to prove her wrong, so I tried to sell, and failed. Unfortunately, the fact that I can’t sell things has really limited my career options at the moment.

In the meantime, I do try to keep myself busy. I workout (though it would be better if I could go to a gym), read, and write. I’ve been working some interesting writing projects, and I’ve been reading the thirty books I discovered that I own but I’ve never read before. I’ve also been knitting a pair of socks and re-watching Nip/Tuck. I’m currently on the second season. So, when it comes down to it, I spend a lot of time sitting on my ass.

I want a job. I want to move out of the house. Living with my mother again after being in college for four years – and not returning to P-town for the past two summers – is sucking, to put it so bluntly. None of my friends live around here – or well, one of them does, but she’s currently in London for the next two weeks. I’m lonely. My mom comes home from work and doesn’t even ask me how my day is. I understand that it may not look like I do anything at all, but still, it would be nice to be appreciated. I cook, I clean, I run errands. I wake my mom up when she falls asleep on the couch while watching television or in between work and schoolwork. She never asks, though, and she just complains about her day. Living with my mother has started making me resent her. I love her dearly, and I don’t know what I would do if she wasn’t in my life, but right now, living with her is hurting me and my relationship with her.

I think that Alex and I have both strengthened our relationship through our mutual unemployment and living with our parents, but it’s still not as good as it could be. No income, therefore, no big dates – but that’s not really my problem. When I lived in an apartment with three other roommates and I only got to see Alex every other weekend, I’d say things were better than me living with my mother (despite being only a half hour away now) and getting to see him maybe twice a week. I at least saw Alex for at least two to three consecutive days with the former situation. One of the times we see each other is when we go up to Muncie together and he plays Dungeons and Dragons with the guys while I knit and chat with Krista, so it’s not even like we’re alone anymore when we see each other. I look forward to Sunday evenings when he stays the night – even though it is for such a short while.

Yesterday, we went up to Muncie, but Alex had trouble with Domino, his car. When he went to get dinner, Tanner had to go jump his car later. When we tried to leave, the car wouldn’t start again; they tried to jump it, but it still didn’t work. Luckily, Tanner’s a nice guy and drove me home, but Alex stayed in Muncie. One of the only times I get to see him anymore, and it was cut short. I was so sad last night. I hated myself for being so selfish, since it was more important that Alex has reliable transportation and that we are both safe, but my heart ached.

I had to come back home, though. I have an interview at 5:00 today. I’m a bit more optimistic about this one than the last one, but still nervous. I just feel like I’m nothing, or a little kid, to these interviewers. It does wonders for my self-esteem (not).

I hate being in this limbo. I wonder how I am supposed to be an adult when I’m back where I started from four years ago – I may be older now, but four years ago, I was still hanging out at home, doing the same thing I’m doing now. Being here is killing my love life, my relationships, my sanity, and my self-esteem. I’m trying my best to get out, but I feel like it is a force of nature that’s keeping me from being where I want to be.

The rest of my short trip to Lexington was great. It was a struggle for me to leave.

Thursday, Alex, David, and I jumped on the trampoline and played outside, and then I got the guts to drive around Lexington, so we went to the park. We had a snack, then flew kites. I made them play on the playground and get some energy out, though David argued with me the entire time, since he’s not the “imagining” type like Alex is – who I had to brush woodchips off and wash dirt off of before he got back in my car.

On Friday, we made Cookies and Cream Bars. Alex and David never get into the kitchen, can you believe that? David wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and I made him do it himself while I supervised. He’s eleven. He should be able to manage that by now…

The three of us went to the children’s museum, and it was a lot of fun. It’s small, and it’s not like, say, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, but it was still entertaining and the boys enjoyed it.

Not much else went on with my trip – just a lot of relaxation and spending time with my family.

I also finished knitting my giant squid, Squidot. He’s definitely an attention getter.

I drove back on Sunday and stopped by Alex’s house for dinner. It was nice to see him, and it broke up my trip a little bit. Then I came home for a day.

I went back up to Muncie because I had an interview on that Tuesday, then another the next day. It looks like I have a job, though I don’t know when it will be starting, since I have to wait for the company to get all its new hires in at once. I just have to hang out and work on getting things in order at home until then.

Mom’s had me running errands, I stuffed and mailed all of my graduation invitations, I had doctor and dentist appointments, and I’ve seen Alex a few times, too. Mom likes having me home because I also cook for her. Funny story about that.

Friday, April 15th, I made salmon with a couscous dish on the side. It was tasty, and impressive, considering it was the first time I have cooked salmon. I can’t be certain as to whether it was my first time eating it or not. We tried to go to bed early, since we had to be up at 5:00 to go to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. However, I couldn’t sleep. I was worried about my future, about my life, and then… I started coughing. I couldn’t breathe easily, I was itchy, and I felt a slight puffiness in my face. Mom had to make a 1:00 a.m. Benedryl run. All ended up well in the end, but apparently, I might be allergic to salmon, but I don’t care. I think I’m just going to make sure I have Benedryl in my purse wherever I go, because I’m getting sick and tired of surprise allergy attacks.

Even though we only had about four hours of sleep, Mom and I went to the Race for the Cure. I had never done it before, but I think that 1) it is an important cause and 2) I needed the exercise. It was bitter cold and rainy the whole day, but it was still fun. Seeing the survivors in their parade was inspiring, and the walk was fun. We went with Peggy and Mike, and I met Peggy’s daughter and son (though he wasn’t at the walk). It was nice – again, despite the cold – and I think I’m going to participate in it next year, too.

Also, there were Ghostbusters doing the walk. I forgot to mention that. That was cool. I’ll get a picture up when I can of that.

After the walk, we went out for lunch. Mom and I made it back home by 3:00. I was in bed again by 3:30, and slept for a while.

Nothing big happened last week, and then I went up to Muncie last weekend to enjoy the company of others. It was a good weekend. I watched Tideland with Sarah, did some knitting, watched Tron: Legacy with Alex, played some Telephone Pictionary, and went bowling for Tanner’s birthday.

This week, I’m working on cleaning my room and preparing it for the return of my stuff from the apartment. I’ll be living there during finals week on practically nothing, but I wanted to spend time with people before graduation.

Perhaps the most exciting bit of news is that I graduate in 10 days!

I’ve been long overdue for an update – a real update, not the “oh woe is me” blurb I posted a few days ago. However, the timeline has gotten quite hazy for me, so I will try my best to relate what has happened to me in the past month or so.

You know the beginning – March 18, I left Central for good. I went back to P-town. I formally withdrew from my student teaching courses, and then freaked the hell out. It took me about five days before I realized that my entire life, I’ve always thought I knew what I wanted to do. Turns out, I don’t. I would have been miserable as a public school teacher, unless I was in a district that reflected my small-town upbringing. Plus, I had the added pressure from my mother, who told me when I was in middle school and high school that I could not make a living as a poet/writer… I understand her intentions to encourage me to have a more profitable profession, but it was rather disappointing to hear.

Enough of that. Speed up to April 5th. To be completely honest, I don’t remember anything notable between March 18th and April 5th. A lot of recuperation, really. But then, on April 5th, Alex, Tanner, and I went to see Electric Six play at Birdy’s. It was so nice that they were performing only about an hour and a half away this time, rather than three and a half hours. I managed to drag Alex and Tanner into the crowd with me, and I finagled my way up to the front of the stage. We met some people who were also at the Covington show, including a couple. The woman asked me, “When did you first hear about Electric Six?” and I said, “Well, I was in eighth grade when Fire came out…”

She said I made her feel old. Haha.

It was even better than the last show. They played “Pink Flamingos” and “Clusterfuck!” and I went nuts. It would have been even better had people not decided to start moshing during “Gay Bar.” I know it is one of Electric Six’s best known songs (besides “Danger! High Voltage!” of course), but moshing? Really?

At least I didn’t almost die this time, and we got out a little after midnight, compared the Covington show. I swear, if their ticket prices are always this cheap, I will always go see Electric Six when they come to town.

I drove Tanner back up to school since it was a Tuesday night, and then I crashed at my house. Mom woke me up before she left so she could see me for a little bit. I smelled and felt like I had smoked an entire pack of cigarettes the night before, and my legs ached so much from all the dancing I did, I wanted to amputate them. I still had a smile on my face, though!

Later that day, I drove down to Lexington. Three and a half hours to my dad’s. It was my first solo road-trip, and my first time seeing the new house after Dad, Cindy, David and Alex moved during the summer before my sophomore year. My trip was long overdue. My brothers were on spring break, so I decided I should come down and hang out with them. I made it there by the early evening on Wednesday.

After dinner, we went to get dessert at a frozen yogurt place called Orange Leaf, which I had never heard of before but was immediately smitten with it. When we were leaving and I was singing the praises of delicious frozen yogurt that I pay for buy the ounce and mix flavors and toppings when my little brother, Alex, said, “If you like it so much, that means you’ll visit more often, right?” Cute kid. The story gets better.

Dad and I took a separate vehicle and went to Half-Price Books. Laugh at me all you want, but I had never been to a Half-Price Books before. I wanted EVERYTHING. Luckily, I kept myself in check. But I still wanted it all. I ended up getting a knitting book (Pretty in Punk), Ender’s Game, Something Wicked This Way Comes, a collection of Rudyard Kipling horror tales, and a live Depeche Mode CD I didn’t have (Songs of Faith and Devotion Live). Heaven.

We came home, and Cindy said that Alex had spent the car ride back creating a plan for me. He said that I could come live with them, since there is a spare bedroom, and I could either work in a school or a library or go to school at University of Kentucky, and then I could spend more time with them.

My eight-year-old brother came up with this. At first I laughed about how cute it was. But later that night, I looked up University of Kentucky; they have a library science program, and were accepting applications. My only problem was that, since my original plan did not include graduate school, I hadn’t taken the GRE, so I will need to take that sometime in the next few months and then apply for next year, as well as apply for a graduate assistantship.

But what matters here is that it is a viable plan, and I’m considering it. It sounds a lot better than anything else I’ve tried to figure out for myself. It will probably be a year or two before this plan comes to fruition, and it will be a greater distance for me and Alex to deal with in our relationship, but I think I’d be happier and stronger for it. I’ve missed a lot of my brothers’ lives, and of my dad’s life. It might be about time for me to change my scenery, anyhow.

Happy New Year! It’s unbelievable that yes, another year has gone by. Part of me is saying, “Hey, slow down, world, let me enjoy my time!” and the other part is saying, “Slow down after my graduation! I want graduation to be here as soon as possible!” No, but really – I’m 22 now. It’s weird. I mean, not like it matters much, anymore. I think the only memorable birthday after 21 is probably 25 – because isn’t that the age when you can rent a car? Anyway, it’s still weird whenever you turn another year older. Sometimes, I slip up and say I’m the wrong age – not because I want to lie about it, but because I forget how fast time has passed.

Whatever. Not griping. I just didn’t want to have a big celebration. I didn’t even want to do it last year, but Alex thought that since I was turning 21, it would be important for me to have a birthday party.

What happened was that Alex came up to visit, we had fancy chicken-cranberry-Brie pizza and taught my mom how to play Settlers of Catan. Much to my chagrin, Mom beat us. I was sincerely hoping I’d have a chance of winning a game.

Scott came up after his shift, and then we proceeded to get drunk. We had those silly cracker things that have toys in them, and we wore the crepe paper crowns from them all night. We watched the ball drop, toasted with Champagne, and we had birthday cake – homemade triple-layer funfetti cake with buttercream frosting.

Oooh, doesn’t that look lovely? Yes, it was definitely as good as it looked.

Of course, something went a little awry. We popped our second round of crackers, and I began to feel sick. Not nausea – it wasn’t related to my drinking, surprisingly. No, I’ve had this feeling before – when having an allergy attack. I’ve had two notable allergy attacks (to some sort of spice, we’re thinking, but we really can’t be for sure). In the past during this attacks, my eyelids and lips have swelled up and I can’t breathe, among other things that happen to my body. In this case, I definitely couldn’t breathe. I kept coughing and wheezing, but there was really nothing I could do except drink water and struggle through it.

That is how my 2011 began. Despite the fact I couldn’t breathe, it was good. I got to celebrate with the love of my life, my mother, and one of my good friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Like I said, we had cake, and I opened up the majority of my gifts. I only opened one of Alex’s, and saved the other one for the next day. The one I did open that night was a book – a graphic novel, pop-up version of Dracula. It is seriously cool, and as weird as it seems, very fitting for me. I had never seen it before, and it made me laugh so much I was gasping for breath, thanks to the allergy/asthma attack. Additionally, Scott got me this terrible, not even considered B-movie called The Corpse Grinders II. Oh, dear. My friends do know me well for my fondness for bad movies.

We went to bed shortly after. I was still sick, and nearly frightened that I might die in my sleep – but too inebriated to stay awake.

I woke up feeling better. We had a nice breakfast and then bummed around for a while. Scott left around noon, I think. I opened up my other gift from Alex – The Third Season of The Venture Bros. We watched two episodes and then he left.

My birthday remained quiet. I read more of The World According to Garp; I had been reading it all break and not getting much accomplished. I began a new goal for the year – to add to my 101 Goals, or well, to help some of it – and that is to write each day. I’ve picked up my habit of writing at 750 Words again. Let’s hope it lasts.

Mom and I watched When Harry Met Sally and Love Actually after dinner – which was spaghetti. I felt a little kid again. It was just nice to relax, though.

Yesterday, Mom and I went to see Black Swan. It was much more compelling than I originally thought. It was equal parts beautiful, insane, and terrifying. After dinner, around 9:00, I went over to Jennifer’s and hung out with her, Austin, Nick, Krista, Robin, and Chris. It was nice to see everyone again. I enjoy the fact that now I can actually go visit my friends and have a lot more freedom thanks to my driver’s license and car. Just think about all that I had missed before! Anyway, we played Telephone Pictionary, and it was hilarious! I was reduced to tears laughing so hard.

I came home around 2:00 am and had a slice of funfetti cake. Because I could.

Today was another quiet day. I finished reading The World According to Garp, finally. I have many more books to finish reading before I go back to school. Only six days left until my return. I will enjoy it as much as I can.

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.

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!

I have to go back to Muncie in a few hours, but it sure doesn’t look that way at my house. None of my belongings are in the car. The house is a mess. There’s still laundry in the dryer.

I don’t want to go back.

I have been fortunate, enough, to have such a great Thanksgiving Break. Enough food in my stomach that I’m sure I could hibernate for the winter and be fine, a big cozy bed that actually has a bed frame, a shower that I don’t have to share, and a kitchen that is big enough to support all my cooking/baking endeavors.

Mom and I went to my grandparent’s house, where my Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave were there as well. I worked on my unit plan most of the day, but I took breaks to chat and snack. That could sum up our visit, really. My pie and cheesecake were hits, and we came home with leftovers, which my mom is sending with me back to Muncie.

We came home on Friday. We had to stop in Indianapolis and ask about my car. Turns out, the service center won’t be able to look at it until tomorrow. So I’m returning to Muncie without my car, and who knows how long it will be until I’ll have it back. I am lucky that one of the girls in my practicum is willing to give me a ride to the middle school until further notice. I did a lot of crying about the whole situation, though, since I’ve only had the car for two months and now I feel like I’m right back to where I started from – depending on others for rides and feeling like a loser. It’s funny how one thing can change everything. For instance, I was looking forward to driving down to Alex’s house yesterday, and instead, he had to come pick me up. Same as it ever was.

There have been some accomplishments, though. My car is finally registered, and I now have a license plate! Ironic, isn’t it? There was also a special upgrade offer for my phone, and I now have a shiny new phone that I like, but it’s a little weird to get used to. The texting on my old phone was much easier, I’ll say that.

Mom and I also put up our Christmas tree. Let me just note that we never do this. NEVER. It’s like living in the Twilight Zone. We put up the tree and a few other decorations the day after Thanksgiving. Mom had a point, though. Last year she decorated and I wasn’t a part of it, and if we waited for me to come home from school, the tree would only be up a week before Christmas and it wouldn’t be worth it. So, yeah. We’re one of those weird people this year.

Like I said before, Alex and I got together yesterday. We hung out in Indianapolis, saw Despicable Me at the dollar theater and thought it was cute, and then had Skyline Chili for dinner. He also brought pumpkin muffins and an entire pecan pie, courtesy of his mom. I nearly cried because I know that all my months of working out are just going to go to hell this season. I retaliated by sending him home with slices of my pumpkin spice latte cheesecake, though.

It’s been quite a break and, despite my sadness, I’ve been lucky for what I’ve got. My list of things I’m thankful for hasn’t shrunk at all since last year. I’m thankful for my family, my sweet, caring, awesome boyfriend, my friends, the roof over my head and the food in my stomach, my job, and my opportunity for an education. So what if my car’s in the shop? At least someone in my practicum is willing to help me out. And so what if I only got five days off? At least I didn’t have to work, and I only have three weeks left to the semester. Next week should be difficult, but I know I can make it.

I love having a car, you know that? I don’t know why I was so afraid of driving the past five years, but I’m loving every chance I get to drive in my car. It especially comes in handy when you need to go home from college. Yesterday after I left the middle school, I went home, packed the rest of my stuff (consisting mostly of laundry), ate lunch standing up while doing dishes, ran back out to my car, and put everything in my car before I drove to work. I didn’t even take off my coat, and when I was at work, I realized that I still had my badge on for when I’m in the schools. I traded that for my work name tag, and was busy for the next three hours.

I made it home shortly after 3:00. I put in a load of laundry, had a snack, and drove to meet my mom at work. I then followed her from there to the auto repair center at the dealership that would be taking care of my car. I had separation anxiety from her, my Hannelore (Yeah, that’s my car’s name. You can guess what one of my favorite webcomics is…). We have good times. I blast Electric Six, Depeche Mode, and Devo in her, which comes in handy when I’m stuck in traffic. I’m really sad that I’ve only had her two months, and already, we’re having major issues.

Mom stopped at Starbucks and we got coffee. We got stuck in the traffic on the way home, but we got to talk a lot. At home, we ate dinner, I did more laundry, and watched Glee while Mom did homework.

I slept in until 10:00 today, and that was great. I bummed around for a bit, worked a little on some crafty projects I’m doing, and I have now made one dessert for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving. It’s a Dutch Apple Pie for Uncle Dave. He doesn’t like pumpkin, and my other dessert for tomorrow is a Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake – Thank you, Sprinklebakes! I’ve also been listening to the Electric Six albums I don’t own on Grooveshark. It’s so much fun. I hope I’m able to go to their show in April, even though it’s on a Tuesday and I’ll be student teaching…

I got a call about my car today. They sent it to another affiliated shop to specify the problem, but yeah, it has something to do with the transmission – exactly what I feared. I still don’t have the car’s title or registration yet, and it’s the damn transmission. Sigh.

I should be working on homework. I have an eight-page paper for Victorian British Lit due next week (I think), and I have a huge unit plan due in about two weeks. I just can’t get motivated. Part of me is saying, “Stop being lazy!” but another part of me says, “You really deserve this break. Enjoy what you can.” I like the latter’s point of view on all this. Besides, I know I’ll get everything done, one way or another.