Finally, it's happened to me right in front of my face

Work is fun and crazy like the day before Christmas in an elementary school.

I am a little too distracted by it all to really think of anything that I've been pondering. I'll have to do that tomorrow.
I have to get my Illinois drivers license,
and since I'm from out of state,
I have to take the written test. It's funny,
because I haven't studied for this type of thing since I was 13. I'm actually learning a lot. I know the rules, but there are a lot of suggestions on safe driving that I should keep in mind.

– If your gas pedal becomes stuck, hook your foot behind the pedal to free it. If it is still stuck, shift into neutral and brake gently to slow down. (I wouldn't have thought of shifting into neutral during that panicky moment.)

-If you are in a crash that involves a power line or power source, stay in your vehicle. If you must leave (say, because the car is on fire), jump away from the car with both feet. Do not touch the car and the ground at the same time.

-" … whistles and bells are allowed <em>only on authorized</em> emergency vehicles." Kids, this means that you cannot add fancy-schmancy bells and whistles like neon undercarriage lights or sunroofs. This is not true. The manual is referring to actual bells and whistles. It's just funny that the two words are also a phrase my dad uses.

– "No motor vehicle may have a television set that is visible from the driver's seat."

There you go.
I finally found an online group of Young Adult public librarians. I joined their listserve,
appealed for their help in finding a masters program,
and today was flooded with suggestions of colleges based on attendance in the '70s.

I was hoping the overwhelming consensus would be that U of Hawaii was the only way to go. As it turns out,
midwestern schools are where its at.

Now I just have to calm down and not freak out about purposely going forward in life with a plan. It's kind of nerve-wracking. I'm not used to it, and I feel like a skittish pixie. Long-term planning freaks me out and makes me want to run in the opposite direction.

Let's see- the opposite direction of a YA public librarian would be … scamming old people out of their pensions?
<P><FONT color=#663366><EM><FONT size=5>Adventure:</FONT></EM> <BR></FONT><BR>Last night Jason and I went to the close-by movie theatre to see Blade III,
or Ocean's 12. By the logic of starting times, we narrowed our choices down to the first two, and then logically decided that we'd rather engorge ourselves on the first two Blades before ravaging the third. We came to this consensus outside (it was 5 degrees) because that was the only place the movies were listed. On the frontis of the building were the ticket booths. There were scarily dressed mannequins with newscaster wigs sitting to attend to us. We walked inside, and learned that we purchase the tickets (and by 'tickets' I mean 'receipts for popcorn') from the concessionaire. She radioed back to her co-worker to see if Alexander was going to be played. She warned us that the Alexander theatre was "one of the colder theatres". Jason and I had both worn hats and such, and decided to go. </P>
<P>Little did we know that the temperature of the room would hover at 45 degrees for the duration of the movie. </P>
<P>Factors that did not help:<BR>1. We were the only people in the theater and our body heat was sucked upwards to the cavernous ceiling.<BR>2. Alexander is 2 hours and 56 minutes long.<BR>3. We could not snog and grope each other because we were wearing too many layers of clothing and could not maneuver.</P>
<P>I looked like a ninja all wrapped up, and we were both sitting on our hands to keep them warm. I didn't even have the heart to eat my generic sour patch-type kids.</P>
<P><EM><FONT color=#663366 size=5>Abstract view:</FONT></EM></P>
<P><FONT color=#000000><STRONG>Theory or Possibly Fact: Duress makes some situations more tolerable.</STRONG><BR>Example One:<BR></FONT><FONT color=#000000>If Jason and I had to sit in a cold cold room for a half hour, we probably would have stayed 15 or 20 minutes before deciding to leave. Knowing that a three hour movie was our goal, we sat with a surprising amount of&nbsp;patience. </FONT></P>
<P>Example Two:<BR>Allison&nbsp;and I went kayaking, and after two days of self propulsion and mosquitoes, we&nbsp;had hardied up the ability to handle&nbsp;a higher level of duress. As the rain we paddled in turned into a storm, we calmly and without complaint hauled&nbsp;our awkward equipment&nbsp;in trips up a muddy path with nettles and a steep incline&nbsp;to wait, in the above-mentioned rain,&nbsp;for our ride.&nbsp;</P>
<P>Example Three:<BR>There&nbsp;were several times during AmeriCorps*NCCC that I found myself amazed at my ability to persevere. Firefighting, with smoke-filled lungs and bleeding hands; building a metal shed, with high winds and freezing temperatures; cutting back trail in WV, hiking for miles and miles and miles each day hacking at rhododendron and mountain laurel. I look back and can hardly believe I completed my tasks. </P>
<P>Perhaps this comes as a shock after having spent a large portion of my life thinking that I didn't have to do anything I didn't want to. I thought the punishment&nbsp;from failure would always hurt less than the daunting task. Thanks to the brain, which continually amazes me, I've learned that I can handle a lot more than I estimate.</P>
<P>This theory was brought to my attention again by watching a documentary on the Burning Man Festival. Those who plan for months and sacrifice to spend time in the hot, dry desert enjoy it much more than those who fly in.</P>
<P>There ought to be more short stories based on this theme. If anyone writes one and posts it as a comment (200 word minimum, you harpies) I'll knit them a pair of mittens.</P>
It's the moment (often with a tummy drop) when you realize that the friendly benifits routine you've had with your friend has reached the acme point. Often,
this point is lost on those in this situation, because they've already been deluding themselves about the situation. There are certain assesments you can take, keeping you in reality, that will show you the righteous path (to a sig oth, or the choice of friends or ignoring for at least six months – a year if you live in Iowa City).

Here's how it plays out:

1. Tummy drop. Oh no. You've just realized that they do do weird things in bed. Why didn't you notice it before? Other tummy-drops can come from realizing that they're using you for sex, sleeping space, heat, textbooks, Netflix (or cable), your car, or the worst – boredom.

2. Paradoxically, you're also realizing that you are having relationship feelings. Not love, silly. Jealousy. If you get upset because he mentioned a past sexencounter, that's your fault. That means you're past total deludinoid, take a left at real relationship, and park directly in front of "you're supposed to be cool, and getting upset over mentioning sex with anyone is verboten in the cool handbook" (unless it shows that they cheated on you).

3. On the upside, the negs may actually be your ally. As you get more relationshippy (read: snippy about actions, words, looks, exes) this is your best chance to take these cracks in the cake and pull them apart into pieces, then rearrange them into a cake has the word "Friendship" frosted on it. Dig? This is your chance to get out without a mess! You're starting to bicker, you two now have a past – it's time to own up to the relationship that has appeared, or get the fuck out.

4. I need some cake.
I got got got got no time. I'm starting to feel the pressure of two vacations in a row. When I leave my home on Wedesday,
I must take with me everything I'll need until January 2. That includes my passport and such. First I got to Iowa, then I go to Ireland.

Things I really ought to start thinking about:
Should I buy all the Harry Potters in English english?
How much underwear should I pack?
Should Evelyn come with me, or should I just take a boring suitcase?
Temperature – what is going to be the temperature?
Camera, film, lighting?
Naked pregnant friend. Check.

I'm listening to the Scissor Sisters album over and over again today. It's hard not to seat dance.
I love today. I get to drive for three hours (but travel, not commute) to the farm to spend time with my family and newly 22ed siblings (huppy huppy birthday to them). I have two small bags that contain everything I'll need for the next two weeks. I have a car full of gas, a CD player, and the Scissor Sisters album. I have good snacky food for the trip, not shitty snacky food from the Mobile station.

I'm feeling pretty god damned smug. Now I just have to dick around with gmail and all day until I get to leave.

Last night I held a simulcast birthday party at my apartment for Anton and Alena. Jason, Kat, and I ate stir fry, drank Chardonnay, and ate birthday cake. Kat decorated the cake with a scary birthday clown.
Fun was had by all.

I may hate the outermost ring of Christmas propaganda, but deep inside I can't help liking time off of work to see my family. I really can't complain about that.

And it's interesting, you know, because red and green are complimentary colors, and they're really only known as a symbol of Christmas. The other compliments (orange and blue, purple and yellow)don't get nearly as much attention. I think of the Chicago Bears and the DeWitt Sabers. Maybe we should designate the other sets for other holidays, or maybe Festivus should be known by festive purple and yellow sweaters, socks, wrapping paper, web themes, and cookies.

I've just realized that I have no knitting project for my time at home, and my time on international flights. Fuck. I hate this – now I'll just find a stupid project to do just to keep my hands busy. I should think of something real quick, and borrow needles from Mom. Um, um, yeah.
I'm back from Ireland,
with a cold (seems to be a theme here). What can I say, Ireland actually looks like the Ireland calendar. You know, the one your aunt has.

I definitely started picking up a lilt whilst I was there, and I'm not ashamed of it. I could never 'do' an Irish accent, so I'm rather pleased.

Oh, the Guinness is so so so good there. I never liked it here, and would drink a few sips (which do taste good in a burnt chocolate kind of way) but oh, it was so good. They said it's a lack of chemicals.

Speaking of, my New Years Eve did not have a lack of chemicals. I'll leave it at that.

I saw the Cliffs of Moher, which were amazing and windy in a way that I can only describe as a natural amusement park.

Yes, it was green, and rainy. No, I didn't get in a fight. I did eat blood pudding, which I liked quite a bit.

I had a negative experience with Continental Airlines, but I'll use the voucher they gave me anyway.

Oh – I spent Christmas Eve on the farm, sitting around a bonfire with my brother and Maceo (el gato) while a light snow dusted us. It was wonderful.

Plans for '05? I'm going to try to find a life path. Either sink myself into librarianism, find a job that pays exorbitantly so I can retire and do what I want, or give in to the fact that I'll never have a job for longer than a year.
Good morning,
Good morning,
More than once I've stated that cleaning ice and snow off my car is the worst task ever. This morning I quite enjoyed it. Breathin' in air,
moving the limbs about, I guess this is the closest to playing outside I've done all winter. I really need to find a sled and a hill.

Where is my mind?
I am currently back in the mindframe that I don't really want to go to graduate school for library science. In fact, I can't seem to get excited about doing anything. I have the ability to get excited about anything, but as far as long-term life plans go, I don't know what to do with myself. When I called home to ask my dad to tell me what to do, he pointed out that I might still be under the effects of jet lag, and I should just put it all off until next week. Exactamaugh.
<em>I guess if life wasn't complicated every once in a while,
I'd become one of those drama-inducers to keep myself amused.</em>
Hence the need for soap operas, and an explanation for those we know who stir up drama on purpose.

<em>Do you think that parents who've named their child something kind of standard, like "Joe", feel slightly different, or more comfortable when they refer to someone else by the same name?</em>
I've noticed a co-worker says one of our colleagues' name different than everyone else. I doubt she's having an affair with this person. He just happens to have the same name as her son. If you think and say a name over and over, with incredible love behind it, does it feel weird to call someone else by the same name?

I'm not an expert, coming from a triumvirate of unusually named children.
I'm keeping a list of the <a href="">books I read</a> and as I was recalling <em>The Alchemist</em>, I was hit over the head with the book's theme.

As far as this particular facet of my life is concerned,
it is certainly more pleasurable to be following my dreams than worrying about following my dreams.

OK, the sticky part is that I can't commit to one dream, and they don't really mesh together. Short-term dreams? Is that awful?

Either way, I'm worrying way too much about my plans, instead of just filling out applications and worrying about it after I'm acceptd/denied.

Yeah yeah.
Last night Jason and I watched <em>Napoleon Dynamite.</em> The whole way through the movie,
I was mildly uncomfortable because of the sheer recognition of every prop,
costume, and hairstyle (remember those fishbone braids?), and because the actors were acting not unlike myself at that time (although the actual date is a little squidgy, if music is any indicator). The style of language was dead on. It's not as exaggerated as a valley girl accent, but it was definitely different than how I think I speak today.

The big epiphany was that this movie was entertaining and incredibly realistic, without using sex or profanity. There was a little violence- Kip volunteered at a Rex-quan-do class and was biffed in the head a few times. Kip and Napoleon slap back and forth in the beginning of the movie, but just like my sister and I did. It was all within the realm of the reasonable, and it wasn't used for sensational value.

So that's that.

Today I discovered (via a Guardian article, via the Stitch 'N Bitch offline yahoo group) a website that has a sweater generator. It's a sad discovery, for I had set for myself the goal of creating a sweater generator website. I'm cheered, however, because the site creates <a href=>sweaters for PETS</a>. Yes, your favorite animal can now have a sweater created just for it's own tubby self.
Last night,
and I do mean it was the last night, I wrote my essays for the graduate application for the U of Illinois that is due on Saturday. I've always been a wait-till-the-last-minute person, which provides pressure to get it done, and a sense of panic that feels kind of good. Plus, if it isn't that great, I can always say I did it at the last minute, and I have a scapegoat.

This was no exception. I had two essays to write. I had nothing else planned for the evening, Jason wasn't coming over, and there was no reason to neglect this task any longer. Somehow, having four hours to spend on these essays seemed too long. I was tired and cranky, and I thought about napping for an hour or so, then writing the essays with a fresh face.

I may be a procrastinator, but even to me that was a bad plan. I'd wake up around 11 PM, and have to type into the early hours of the morning just to get the essays done. No, I had to buckle down. I wrote for a while, then started thinking about all the other stuff I had to collect for the application packet. This freaked me out enough to unleash the hell-dog of doubt.

Why even bother. These two crappy essays were going to be the only indicators of my fine self, and I wasn't sure if I even <em>wanted</em> to go to graduate school, and I didn't have a resume ready, and they probably never got the letters of recommendation, and on and on and on.

Then I remembered how melodramatic I can get in this situation, and how I will never look back on it with as much emotion as I was feeling just then, and if I didn't want to go to grad school, I didn't have to; but I should finish the God damned essays, crappy as they were, instead of bucking the whole thing and going to sleep.

Here I am, a full night's sleep later, smugly editing my essays at work. I'll drop the whole thing off in the mail tonight, and it will be done. I also was checking online, and it turns out I can visit UIll and have an interview with the LIS program. HA! Essays be damned, I'll knock their socks off face to face. (Socks, face, what?) Suddenly, the <em>Night of the Living Dead</em> dread I had last night seems so foolish, and so unnecessary. Boy, I'm sure glad no one was around last night to see me have such a fit …
Huh. I'm too busy to write something somewhat interesting,
but I don't want to not post. I wonder what I should do?
remember that time you were living in Munich, as an au pair, and you told Giulia's piano teacher that you "spoke a small German"? Yeah.
My weekend was low key. Like a D below middle C.

In fact,
I think I slept for 12 hours Saturday night. Maybe it was the mimosa, maybe it was Saturday Night Live. Does anyone else think Topher Grace reminds you of Kyle Carter?

I bet that last sentence makes sense to only me. Ah well.

Tonight is Blade III night! I'm so excited about watching this movie I've completely ignored the fact that it's going to be weak at best. Shh. Shhh.

So what's on the upswing? I'm trying to tear apart a picture frame, but it's glued together really really well. A screwdriver is not working as a pry bar, and neither is my pry bar. I'm over the grad-school-application stress, although I've only applied to one program, and I really ought to apply to more than one. I don't really want to. Well, I've got the application part down, I just don't want to take the GRE if at all possible, but it looks like the rest of the programs I like require it. Ew.

I'm teaching myself Dreamweaver for work, so I'm going to get back to that. I'm laying out the Declaration of Independence in the Abbott template.
Thinking while falling asleep creates strange concepts in my head. When I was in junior high and high school,
I slept with a Post it pad and pen next to my bed. As I fell asleep,
I would think of things I needed to do, or strange wonderful ideas. I'd write them down (in the dark) then try to decipher them in the morning.

Last night as I was tucked warmly next to Jason, after spending the evening eating cheesecake and showing him how to develop film (not at the same time, of course), I felt the incredible soporific effect of being in love and content. I was warm, my tummy was full, we had developed film – everything about my evening was good. As I felt my brain sink into sleep, I thought that I could kill myself.

Then I woke up a little bit. What? Did I just think that? I'm not gonna lie – I've thought about suicide before, in a theoretical context. I just usually don't think of it as I'm falling asleep. Suicide due to contentment? Is that what thought drifted by me just then? Suddenly, I was no longer sleepy. I was mildly alarmed, and confused as to why I'd be thinking of death. OK, OK, I realized that what my brain was telling me was [em]not[/em] to kill myself. I think what my brain was trying to say was that I was so content that even if I ceased to be, I wouldn't be too upset about it.

Strange, huh?

As I figured this out, and decided to be happy that I was content enough to die, I wondered if I would even remember my internal dialog when I woke up.
You know, I spend about the same amount of time at work using the internet to amuse myself. The difference now is that I'm procrastinating work, instead of having no work to do. That seems to be the key to my happiness.

My dream last night centered around the song "Midnight at the Oasis". I was in high school again, although I didn't recognize the room, and the only people I knew were Amy Strohbehn, Zach Timmerman, and Daniel Soto. We were listening to the song, and the teacher was lecturing about the song. When I wasn't looking, these three would grab my notebook, pencil, and stuff, and hide it. Then I'd have to plead, beg, threaten, and otherwise cajole them into giving me my stuff back. Then, all of the Flatmans came into the classroom – I mean ALL the Flatmans (that went to school with me). The teacher wouldn't let me get up and greet them.

This isn't surprising, considering Daniel Soto was my grade-school nemesis. I rode the bus with Amy and Zach, which might account for the added terrorism. I still remember the day Amy insinuated that my sweet hot pink jeans were actually stained (and evenly so) with menstrual fluid. I'm so glad that part of life is over.

Another strange dream.
Last night,
Jason and I finally went and saw Blade eye eye eye. The theater was <a href="">not as cold as before</a>, but I still left with numb feet.

I can't say that Blade III was the best of the trilogy. The third is never the best.
Jurassic Park III
Godfather III
Care Bears III
Beethoven's Third

I can say that Parker Posey must have spent a great deal of time with fangs glued to her canine teeth, because she didn't speak with a lisp at all. Also, she <a href="">rocked hair that was appropriate for a vampire</a> (less so for a Charlie's Angel).

Anyway, that was one of the highlights of the evening. (No hair-pun intended or achieved.)

I'm accruing the courage to apply to more grad schools. I just don't want to take the GRE. I have an unhealthy fear of it, and it's affecting my ability to rationally pick schools. I think the only way I'm going to force myself to do it is to remind myself that the University of Hawaii requires it.

Other than that, I am content.