Friday, February 28, 2003

So, my passport came into the mail today. That's happy. The picture is every bit as bad in the passport as it is out. A fact that makes me even happier. Europe is getting to feel so real. I'm doing things which seem so foreign to me, like building itineraries, and checking and rechecking budgets, and running the numbers to make sure rail pass X is really better than rail pass Y. I've never done this sort of thing before, and I'd just sort of assumed a natural chaos would prevail. But so far, everything's worked out unnaturally simply. My passport is accurate; my plane tickets are right for when I want them and where I want them. Money keeps finding me, and I haven't even been hunting it down.

On a completely different note, healthcare in the US is something else. Everyone seems to get taken care of somehow, even though there isn't a real system for ensuring it. I know a few times doctors of my mom wrote off office visits or even actual procedures to charity because, in the midst of getting twenty operations in a year, and dialysis, etc., there's just no way for the average person to keep up on medical bills; and we didn't have to beg them either, it seemed standard procedure for serious cases, and they offered it freely. Today, when my sister said something about not being able to pay for the (super expensive) drugs she has to take to control her lung disease, the doctor went and rustled up a handful of free samples for her. That buys my sister much needed time for her medical card to come through.

It's easy to see the world as a nasty, horrible place. But it's unfair, I think, when there's so much good that we generally just overlook. It's curious that the human mind is so quick to fixate on anything grotesque or wrong. But it may be a good thing yet. We still, as a generalized group, seem to find the grotesque out of the ordinary. It's a sign of our incredible good fortune that we notice evil things at all. If everything were evil, evil simply wouldn't cause the outpourings of emotion that it currently does.

It's painful to be awake. It's also very cold. I don't like mornings. I really don't. Disappointing day too; hey, guess what, you can't change people and force them to do what's good for them just because it's good for them. Being able to say that neither makes you comfortable with the fact, nor capable of ceasing to try to make them do it anyway. It's a pain in the ass to sacrifice for someone who doesn't appreciate you for it. But it has its own secret pleasure, too.

Is it just me, or does Robert Blake have a certain Gollum-like quality?

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Yay! My plane tickets came in the mail today! I love you, FedEx.

It's been a long day. I had to go to school early, and I had to actually study during the part of the day I'm always supposed to be studying, and I had a test. And I had to go the store. But no matter, I can relax now, it's weekend. Right?

Wrong. I have to go to sleep early tonight cause I have to pick my sister up at 8 for a doctor's appointment. Now, I don't begrudge anybody the right to go to the doctor, but damn I wanted to sleep in. I've had to get up early so many times in the last week and a half. All I really want in the world is a good sleep. At least it's for a good cause this time. Last week's nonexistent makeup exam loosened a screw, methinks.

Still, it's good that another week has ended. Two more weeks of class, then finals, then a week of relative freedom.

Tonight, I'm thinking about the differences between human beings and other organisms. The scientific side of me isn't so sure there's much a difference at all. Philosophically I always point to the free will factor. But it seems animals have a bit of free will too. Maybe they can't accept or reject the Almighty; but they sure can do what they want to. And generally, their free will manifests just the same way ours does: Self-destructively, that is. I don't like to think that humans are capable of being studied the same way amoebas are. But that's exactly what I'm taught in school in every natural or behavioral science that I take. Fortunately, history relies on the unpredictable. I much prefer the spontaneous self-destructive act of human desperation to the droning predictability of the ant farm. I just fear that we might secretly be living in the ant farm, except, we're too stupid to behave ourselves as we ought.

Just took a massive Bio test. Think I did fairly well, considering. Know I missed at least five points. But it's a big exam, so that may not kill me.

Today sucked. Woke up to a phone ringing. Apparently, mom couldn't get out of bed this morning, and she'd tried to yell for me. But being as she can't yell very loud at the time, and I was in the midst of deepest sleep, it didn't wake me up. She tried to call my brother on the phone, to no avail. She left a message on his answering machine. When his wife got home this morning, about two hours after the call, she called us. That woke me up. I guess she's staying at the house today. This is good since I won't be home until 8, and she's a registered nurse besides. Many crazy events thus far.

But I'm feeling pretty good about my exam.

German should be fun today, nothing overly stressful. Then I'm going to do some Biology homework. All we have to do is read a couple of articles in National Geographic, write about a paragraph on each, and we get 25 points. This should bring my grade up a bit. I'm hoping for an A- by the end of the week. An A by the end of finals week.

Ahh, well, it's busy in the computer lab, and I have my usual annoying paranoiac fixation that somebody might be reading this over my shoulder. Don't ask why I care if someone's reading over my shoulder, since I'm posting to a public blog. It just bothers me, all right? It just does. So there.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

I've felt so damn unexpressive lately. I think it's just that, with all of the happenings round about, my energies are more focused on getting through than they are on reflection. Additionally, I've been really sort of tired lately, and sleeping a lot. I usually write in this thing three times a day: before school, after school and before I go to sleep. But as is, I'm falling asleep all through the latter two parts, so you're only getting one or two posts a day.

I'm having a hard time dealing with my mom being sick again. I'm not good with pain and suffering that isn't my own. My own suffering is tolerable; I can whine about that. But somebody else's suffering you can't do anything for. I feel myself cringe when I know she's in pain. But I can't fix it. I can't help anything at all. I hate not being able to make things right. I feel useless. They say it's a good thing for you to know your limitations in life. I've always found my limitations to be something of an issued challenge. So it's frustrating for me to know that I can't possibly rise to the occasion this time.

It's far too early for her to be home from the hospital. I won't get into the messy details of the thing, but I'm having to change drainage bags of blood myself. If you think it's nasty to read about, try having a stomach as weak as mine and actually doing it. And trying to smile and look happy about it, so she doesn't feel so guilty for having made you do it. Once again, I think of Mother Teresa. I can do these things for my mother because she's my mom. But could I, or would I, do it for some random passing stranger? She picked lepers off the street and carried them on her own back. She smiled, and not forcefully as I have to, but naturally and kindly, at people who were covered in their own reeking oozing body fluids. And she wasn't doing it to get paid, or to get famous. She was doing it to see Jesus in the people he's closest to; who most share in his crucifixion and moment of final suffering.

It's strange that people spend so much time covering up the base facts of their existence. Since the expulsion, we've covered up our nakedness. And we've been shy about the little body functions which govern our days. It's strange that nuns and grandmas, who are definitionally prudish, are known for not respecting ones privacy of body. My most embarrassing and awful memories of early childhood were of my grandmother seeing me naked. By the time a woman is a grandmother, she's changed so many diapers that one naked kid means nothing to her whatsoever; I have well-over 20 cousins, and you can be assured she changed all of their diapers at one point or another. So to her, it was nothing at all. But for me it was horrible. Grandma's are supposed to be proper, you know, and you don't want them to know you can ever be naked, or have to go to the bathroom, or say bad words, or whatever else it is that everybody does that you're not supposed to talk about. I'm finding nuns much the same way. No respect for persons. All business; get down to the work of things, nudity be damned.

I wonder how God sees us. We must look delightfully silly to him, with all of our houses built on sand. With all of our endeavors which mean nothing at all in the end. All of the pains we take to look dignified and independent; like toddlers who insist on dressing themselves in the morning, in their clothing so as to look cool for their friends, but the clothing they choose is always mismatched and sometimes thrown on wrong body parts and not buttoned properly and generally inclusive of bits like tutus and cowboy boots, and often the two together.

I'm rambling. Don't know where I'm going with any of this. But I have three minutes to leave for school, so I'd better get moving.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

I think I'm having a good day. I got 15 out of 15 on my Protein Synthesis exam, which is especially awesome because you're supposed to have an automatic three point deduction just for not showing up on exam day. I'm not sure if she forgot to dock my points, or if she only uses the three point deduction as a deterrent and never actually enforces it, or if she didn't take off because she thought I had a legitimate excuse, or if she decided not to take off on account of having forgotten me on Friday when I was supposed to take my makeup test. In any case, it makes me happy. I'm not doing as well in Biology as I'd like, though I'm doing better than I was before. I've learned to stop listening to her study pointers, and it's helped me quite a bit. Next

My German test went moderately well. There are a few questions I know I missed. There are always a few that I miss that I didn't know I missed at the time. But on the whole, I feel a lot more confident coming out of the thing than I did on my last exam. Plus, I think my group did pretty well on the groupwork thing he's apparently adding in as part of the grade. This is good because German is supposed to be an easy class. It's still possible for me to pull off a 4.0 this quarter, and I'm going to kick my own ass until I get there, or damn close to it.

Mom had a day less pleasant. I called to check up on her, and I guess she got in a fight with some nurse. Now, knowing my mother's temper, it could very easily be her fault. Especially as she's on morphine, and is in pain, and has never been particularly good around hospitals in spite of having had to stay in so many of them over time. But having spent a day or two around this particular hospital myself, I wouldn't be half surprised if it really wasn't her fault at all. I guess she pushed to come home today, and they're letting her. I don't think this is likely the best idea. If she's still on morphine, it sounds to me that she damn well ought to still be in the hospital. But I'm not a doctor, so what do I know?

I have to clean up before I leave since she's coming home. I had the oddest premonition my passport was going to come in the mail today. It didn't. All I got was my credit card bill and my Time magazine. They shouldn't bother sending me a bill when there aren't any charges. It's a waste of trees, man. I mean, it really is a bit early to be getting my passport. But I want it, by God. And I want my plane tickets too. I think they'll come by Saturday. Exciting stuff, I say. I got to feel the travel expert today, telling folks where to buy cheap plane tickets, and getting to brag about my June purchase of under $400.

Monday, February 24, 2003

My great-grandfather was an odd man. I never met him myself, though he was the only grandparent my father ever knew growing up, and so my dad has a lot of stories about him.

In any case, Frank T. was a rather odd man. One of my favorite stories about him, had to do with his insistence on calling people by their wrong names. Actually, it wasn’t only people, it could also be products, or place names, or whatever else. No one was sure whether he did it on purpose, or if he was just always a bit off, his whole life. But it was a longtime habit, and so ingrained in his personality, that he even did it with his best friend.

His best friend had the rather memorable name of Lemuel Lybarger. His friends, barring old Frank T., always called him Lem. But my grandfather insisted on calling the man Glenn Lombard. Keep in mind that this was the old man’s best friend in the world; the only guy he ever really socialized with in his old age.

Well, being as Lem was his best friend, one day old Frank T. had to call him for one reason or another. And so he called and said: “Is Glenn Lombard there?” And the voice on the phone said: “No, I’m sorry, you have the wrong number.” So grandpa called back. “Hello? Is Glenn Lombard there?” “No, sir” replied the voice, “there aren’t any Lombard’s here.” And grandpa was furious. He was seriously angry and storming around. “I know damn well Glenn Lombard’s there! What’s wrong with these people?”

Another favorite old Frank story had to do with his birthday present to my father. My dad was about to be shipped off to Vietnam. And Frank T. wanted to give him a birthday present. This was rather a surprise to everyone because, in no one’s experience, including that of my grandfather, Howard, who was the man’s son, old Frank had never given anybody a present in his entire life. So there was sort of a big deal made out of the giving of the present. And dad showed up, and it ended up old Frank had given him a burial plot, next to Frank’s own spot. Though it was perhaps a bit of a morbid gift to be giving a young man about to be shipped off to war, my dad remembers it fondly, if only for the fact that it showed the old man had a certain liking for him, even old Frank was sort of generally mean fellow.

An example of which was the time that, after having surgery on his ear, the nurse who was supposed to be taking care of Frank was making a bit of noise in the hallway. Frank had a sore ear, and the noise was bothering him. So he picked up a shoe and lobbed it across the hallway at her. My poor grandmother, who had to live with the old man for years after she married grandpa, always told that story with particular poignancy. Grandma is undoubtedly the kindest human being to have ever walked the face of the earth. But she always tells that story, and another one about a potato she didn’t fix to old Frank’s liking, and you see a bit of fire in the poor woman’s eyes.

But that being said, he wasn’t a horrible guy. I don’t want to paint that picture at all. In fact, my other favorite story about Frank, was the time he took in the orphan kids. After my grandpa Howard’s mother died in an influenza epidemic, the family took up roots and moved to a really rather rough and nasty part of Buffalo. Well, Frank had a car, which was rare enough in those days. And some street kids decided to try to steal it. But Frank and grandpa heard them trying, and Frank yells loudly to grandpa: “Howard, get your gun! Shoot the one that doesn’t run!” So, both kids took off at a sprint, and old Frank found it terribly funny. The incident had the effect, consequently, of giving grandpa a good image in the neighborhood. “Ahh, that Howard, he’ll shoot you soon as look at you.” In a tough neighbor, it was a good thing. But anyway, it didn’t take them long to figure out the identities of the culprits. But Frank wouldn’t turn them over to the police, because they were orphans, and Frank had a soft spot for orphans, on account of his dad had been one. So Frank ended up raising the kids for a while, which, while seemingly in contrast with the rest of his nasty temperament was actually perfectly in character according to grandpa.

I don’t know why I’m telling these stories about Frank tonight. I’m guessing because I realized today that I always call a kid at school I know and rather like by a name that isn’t his. And though I realized it, I think I’ll still call him by the wrong name. And I’ll probably act damn indignant if he doesn’t answer to it. Because the old ways are the best ways, I think, and I’ll always do my best to keep them up.

Mom's okay. Surgery went off without a hitch, though she had a bit of trouble waking up from the anesthesia and they had to give her breathing treatments. I didn't get to visit long. And I feel a bit bad about not being able to go see her tomorrow either. But she seems okay. Maybe a little more out of it than usual after a surgery. But she said to me, while half asleep, "This wasn't so bad after all. It was really not so bad." And I'll take her word for it. I just hate having to be in school while she's in the hospital.

In any case, other things worked out well today. My German exam was moved to tomorrow, out of the goodness of the good Herr's heart. I really should study tonight. I will, I think. But maybe instead I'll just go to bed really early and get up rather early too. Though, to be fair, that never seems to work out.

I had an incredibly lucky day on a number of counts.

Poor neglected blog. The business of last week hasn't slowed as yet. It's slowed my thought process, my reaction time, my ability to reason; but as yet, it itself is yet to have slowed. So I write this in the midst of my frustration.

Today, I have a Biology quiz over material I missed on Thursday, while I was at the hospital. I can't complain about this really. I'm in college; I'm responsible for stuff, even when it can't be helped that I missed. I then have to try to reschedule my Protein Synthesis Exam for Tuesday, because I really want to leave straight for the hospital after class today. German class, that is. In German, I have an exam that I'm not ready for at all. I don't know how to give directions, and I'm still screwing up basic sentences. I can't blame anybody for the fact that I missed review except myself; but I missed the damn review for mom's surgery, which as you know, she ended up not getting. So now I'm in overdrive, trying to catch up. And it's not working. These tests aren't going to be my usual easy A's, just because I can't think coherently. I'm too busy being, to be thinking.

I can't wait for this quarter to be over. It actually feels like it just started, but looking at my Biology folder, it appears we've only three weeks left to go until finals. That seems like a long stretch of time from the perspective of this writing, but come finals time, it won't have seemed so very far past.

I just want magic from the sky to possess my brain and help me to do better on these exams than I deserve. Is that really asking too much?

So, mom's getting her surgery today. And I'm worried about it, even though I know I can't help anything at all, so I might as well just sit back. I'm not wired for that. In fact, my stomach's doing turns enough that I think I shouldn't eat anything. But then, if I don't eat now, I may very well not get another chance - again - to do so until maybe nine or ten at night. It's all very frustrating. Everything's messy.

But I have to go, my exams demand my attention. Will try hard to post tonight, though it will likely be quite late, what happens to my mother at the hospital.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

This past week has been such a flurry of strange and unusual happenings that my head’s still sort of spinning. I haven’t been able to think coherently for a while now. I don’t mind it overly. But I know it isn’t great for blogging.

Speaking of which, I told Jasmine and Nikki about my website today, so there’s a remote chance they’re reading this. Allo! Sorry my site is messy. I’m going to overhaul the whole damn thing one of these days when I’m feeling a bit more ambitious.

But first, some stories.

Or not, I have company. Grr, good blogs on the horizon. Someday, I promise.

Well, I’m feeling pretty good.

Amanda, Angela and I did some stuff today. Got food, stuck a dvd in, got more food, played some Catchphrase. Good times. Angela bought some really nasty Orange Cream vodka stuff, which I ended up bringing home to the rents (ahh, it’s good to be the underage kid with the cool parents). Made cookies; ate an ice cream and cool whip sandwich. Then had cookie covered in ice cream with cool whip. Wicked day for a fat girl, I must say.

Came home and found cheap tickets to London. Bought the buggers for a grand total, after taxes, of $370, which is, well, wicked. I have to email Jody here in a minute to tell her. We’re flying from New York, which sort of sucks. But meh, for the two hundred bucks it saved me, it’s worth it.

Too tired to type. Have good stories for next waking blog, I promise.

Friday, February 21, 2003

I am such a reject.

I had to take a makeup exam this morning. Or I was supposed to, anyway. But the Prof. didn't show up to administer the exam, so I came home. I wrote her an email. Entitled: "Photosynthesis Exam." Problem here being, I was supposed to be taking an exam on "Protein Synthesis." I'm sure she's going to think I studied long and hard for this one. Ahh, to be young and stupid.

So, yes, I feel like a reject.

Driving down High Street yesterday, I was thinking: "So, this would be my college town, if I wasn't such a loser, stuck at the branch." I think I'd sort of like bumming around High Street. Lots of wonderful, filthy-looking, ethnic restaurants.

But then, as the stress test scare of last night reminded me, I like being home too. I'm very fond of my family, really. I was thinking last night, about how my sibling relationships are so weird. I've never really fought with any of my brothers and sisters; in a family of five kids, that's pretty unheard of. But being the youngest, with my nearest sibling all of six years older than me, and the oldest of my siblings being sixteen years older than me, I really didn't grow up with them the way that a lot of folks grew up with their siblings. My brothers and sisters do nice things for each other, for no reason other than that we like to make each other happy. It's a nice way to be when you think about it.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Rough day today.

I didn’t get to sleep last night until after three or so. I had to get up at 7:15. So I didn’t get a lot of sleep. Lack of sleep is annoying on its own. It may also help to explain a lack of eloquence on my part in this blog. Sorry, but my brain is only maybe .5% functional or so, at the moment.

So, we arrived at the hospital an hour early. This is typical in my family. We’re all chronic get there early types. So we arrived early, and waited. Finally, we were registered and sent up to pre-surgery. Mom was hauled away for pre-surgery testing. We waited.

Mom came back two hours later, quite furious. They’d cancelled her surgery because she was “fatigued.” Or that was the excuse they gave us anyway. We think probably the anesthesiologist was covering up for the doctor, who didn’t bother to schedule all of the necessary tests for someone as high risk as my mom. So there was anger, followed by a trip upstairs, followed by more waiting.

After another three hours, mom was scheduled for a stress test. Keep in mind, that there’s been mass confusion during this time period, and every damn nurse told us something different, and would repeat back the things we said to them all wrong. Quite irritating. So, cut to the chase, mom goes to get her stress test.

We go to the stress test place. They send us down to nuclear radiation, no kidding. Nuclear radiation sends us back up to stress test, because they had nothing to do with any of it. So back up to stress test. Mom gets her stress test; dad and I sit in the hall. Starts off quite nice. Then mom starts coughing. Much coughing, lots and lots of coughing; choking sort of sound. Doctors start rushing in, nurses rushing out. People running in and out saying: “Do we have any antidote? Have we got any antidote? Is it in the closet? Which closet?” Mass confusion.

Silence. All of a sudden, ten people come flying out of the room. I weakly hold up her inhaler. A nurse takes it in. Silence; that is, except for rushing feet, and the everpresent, unescapable beeping of machinery.

A few minutes later, the nurse returns with the inhaler. Mom’s fine, she says. Just had a bit of a bad reaction to the whatever it is stuff they use for stress tests. No trouble at all, she says with a laugh.

Then another nurse comes along, “She scared the life out of us there!”

Yeah, uh, us too.

So mom comes out in a wheelchair. Guess the doctor heard something in her something artery. Has to get it checked out, because if something’s wrong with the something artery, that can give you a stroke. Lord knows all we need is a stroke. So, we head down to nuclear radiation. Waiting. More waiting. An hour passes.

Mom goes in, lays in some funny contraption. Dad and I wait for an hour while the test’s being done. Back up to stress test. More of mom getting tests, and dad and I waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

And finally, we come home.

So, on the whole, no surgery done. It’s rescheduled for Monday, and I can’t go on account of I moved all my tests from Thursday to Monday, and I can’t push them back again. This pisses me off massively because I have absolutely no trust in my mom’s doctor, and I’d feel better if I could be there to watch over the thing. I know I’m pretty helpless on the whole, but still. I can keep them from trying (for the third time) to stick dye into my mother’s system, which can’t handle it, which anybody who’s ever worked with kidney patients (as they claim to do "all the time!" there) would know.

Irritated. Hate doctors. Hate hospitals.

Oh yeah, to top it off, I didn’t want to eat in front of my mom this morning, because she had to fast, so I didn’t eat breakfast. I figured I’d get to eat by twelve, so it would be no big deal. But because of the utter incompetence of the hospital, even though I waited for hours and hours, I was never allowed to know what was going on, so I could never leave to get any food. So though I woke up hungry, I didn’t get to eat until 7:30 at night.

I’m so massively annoyed, and worried, and sick of stuff in general. I’m also exhausted. And I have a test in the morning I’ve yet to have studied for. Have to wake up early AGAIN tomorrow, which, may drive me insane yet.

Whining, I know. I apologize. But if you think I’m bad, you should see my dad right now.

I had a really terrific time today. I feel pretty damn lucky in general. My life is really quite nice, when I stop worrying about the many ways it could derail at any moment, without notice. I'm exhausted though, and have to be up in five hours, so I guess I'll sleep now. Think happy thoughts for my mom's surgery!

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Sorry about the lack of blogs lately. Between being incredibly busy and being sort of incredibly moody, it’s been difficult.

But I had a lot of fun yesterday. Jazz concert was quite good. Afterward, Jody came over to look over plane tickets. I’ll buy them tonight before I sleep. I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing going to Europe. But I’m excited; I do know that much.

Today, April and I are getting Greek food and then heading to Columbus. Could be fun. Could be not so fun. We’re both pretty ambivalent about it at the time. But I think it’ll be fun in the end.

First, I have to get through Biology and German. Boring, boring classes, but what can you do? I got a 97 on my Art History Exam. Yay! At least I’m kicking the ass of one class.

I had a sort of strange experience last night. I felt like I could feel my tongue forming words, but I wasn’t talking – at least not consciously. I was probably just really, really tired. But it freaked me out pretty good. Truth be told, I did talk in my sleep some when I was little. So maybe that was all that was happening. Really, it was even worse than when your hand or something moves involuntarily. Somehow a hand is external, even if it’s your hand. But your tongue is in your mouth and that’s rather on the personal side. Disturbing.

Sometimes I feel like a failure going to the branch. People all expect me to be at an Ivy or something, and no, I’m at the damn branch. I kind of like the branch, to be honest. I like living with my parents, usually. I like that I can be around to help my mom when she comes home from the hospital. But then, too, it’s the branch. And I still live with my parents. And that’s failure somehow.

I’m having a hard time adjusting to the idea of going away. When I was younger, I wanted nothing more than to get the hell away from here. But especially because of my mom being so sick, I’ve just grown so accustomed to being here. I didn’t transfer to Columbus for the sake of being here for my mom. I have second thoughts about Europe because of my mom. I worry about going away for grad school because it seems my place is here, fixing my parent’s cracked relationship, making sure my mother takes her medicine on time.

It’s hard to imagine me out of the context of this silly little non-town in Nowhere, Ohio. But I have to go. My life, for at least a little while, I think, is going to be somewhere else. Europe will help me decide. I’m so self-conscious that if I leave, for even a month, things are going to fall apart. But Europe will force me away for a time. Maybe they’ll grow to like not having me around to nag at them all of the time. Maybe they’ll start pushing me out the door.

Have to get ready for school.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Well, I managed to move my exams on Thursday, so I can go to the hospital with my mom. Unfortunately, that means I have to take an exam at 10:30am on Friday morning. That sucks. A lot. But, meh, it's worth it.

Supposed to get my Art History exam back tonight. Not overly excited about it. Afterward, I guess Jody's coming to school to hear the OSU Jazz Band, and I'll likely stay a while. Not overly excited about that either. It could be fun, but then, it could also be, erm, not so much.

I'm feeling a little better today in general. I can't complain, after all, about a two-day school week. Though I can complain about the nine or so inches of snow I had to forcibly remove from my vehicle today. And the 20 minute walk I have to take every day into the building. But as I told Corwin today: "I'm not going to get up 40 minutes earlier, just so I don't have to walk for 20 minutes. Waking up is totally even worse than exercising."

Funny moments from today: 0.

Monday, February 17, 2003

::squeals:: No school! No school! No school! ::squeals::

This is the first time in three years I’ve had a snow day. Hurrah!

I’m a little worried about my mom driving home, on account of she’s always nervous about bad weather, and the roads must really, really suck if school got cancelled for me. I don’t think they’ve closed in a decade anyway, so it must be really bad. She’ll be alright. She’ll make it and everything. It’s just that she might drive 10mph the whole way, and not actually walk through the door until late afternoon.

In other news, I seriously have the best neighbor in the world. He’s plowing our driveway for us. He’s a wicked nice guy. I mean, he’s really quite old, and it’s really quite cold out, so you’d think he’d just stay home. But he’s out working, making our lives a little easier. Good man.

As for me, I plan on going back to bed in a few minutes. I only woke up to check the radio to see if school was cancelled. When I heard that it really was cancelled, I was too excited to go back to sleep. But lack of sleep is starting to catch up to me now.

I love days like this. Days when you can honestly say that hell froze over. Hell froze over and you got a break.

::squeals:: No school! No school! No school! ::squeals::

I’m on a regular emotional rollercoaster. The other day I was possibly as euphoric as I’ve ever found myself, today I’m talking myself out of jumping off a bridge. Now, I have good reasons for feeling the way I do. I’m not mindlessly floundering emotionally. It isn’t as if I’m out of control, or mentally unbalanced. Or, at least, I’m not particularly so. It’s just that I spent a long time sowing the seeds of my own dysfunction. Now, like it or not, I have to reap what I’ve sown. Pretty much all of the pain I’m feeling at the moment is quite self-imposed. I deserve it; so I don’t want to take it out on the world. But it’s hard to fight a good whine every now and then.

The only thing worse than having to pay for your sins, is possibly, waiting to pay for them. It’s hard to understand that you deserve to suffer, and even to some extent to want to suffer for the purpose of purification, and yet to fear that suffering with every fabric of your being. It’s selfish at the root. But it’s also selfless to an extent. I can’t stand the idea of hurting anyone. By the time this is all over, I will undoubtedly have hurt a lot of people. But I didn’t mean it. I’m just so stupid and backward sometimes. I do things so incredibly wrong; but I swear, I never meant to hurt anyone, ever. All I’ve ever wanted is to love, and be loved; all I wanted was good story, good friendship, good times. But I messed up by being selfish and stupid. I ruined the thing I loved most.

I’m lonely and frustrated right now. I wish I had someone to talk to. But I don’t and I can’t talk to anyone really. I’m hoping that school gets cancelled tomorrow. Main campus is closed. But my chances of getting out of school are approximately nihil, unless we get out of class just because main campus does, which I doubt. We never close. Guess I ought to get up early tomorrow. And that means I ought to have gone to bed early. Oh well.

Tomorrow’s my dad’s birthday. I haven’t gotten him anything yet. We celebrated today. I thought everyone was going to wait until tomorrow to give him their presents, but they gave today. I told him I was a jerk, and he’d have to wait until his actual birthday for his present. Really, I was just stalling. Why does he have to be so damn difficult to buy for anyway? He may end up with something homemade if we get snowed in. heh, maybe I’ll give him his set of Lord of the Rings back. Or maybe I’ll let him have my old Father Brown stories. We’ll see.

Snow, please, please, please keep accumulating. Until there’s no way anyone can drive. And school gets cancelled. And I can wallow in self-pity all day, if I like. Please, please, please.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

What exactly does it mean to be happy? Are human beings ever really happy? I was asking myself these questions last night, because it seems, I have found myself decidedly stuck in the realm of lasting unhappiness, so-called.

The truth is that I cannot even really define happiness. I do not know whether happiness is active pleasure, or if it only denotes a lack of suffering, or if it is some sort of mystical transcendence of suffering, or if it is something else altogether. But while I have not yet seemed to have fully developed the concept in my mind, I am most sure that I do not have happiness. Or rather to say, I have some happiness, but I do not have Happiness, the ideal.

It seems that I read all of the great books at precisely the worst time in my life to read them. I have a depressed outlook on more things than I ought, perhaps because my greatest influences were allowed no greater power than to shape my unhappiness. For instance, I think I have Buddhism all backward. I can understand it when the Buddha says that “Life is suffering.” It’s a concept I can relate to. But I must admit I’m somewhat baffled when I think that the Buddha then went on to live a rather happy life, full of good laughter and good friendship. I’m not totally baffled. It seems a wasted revelation that only brings tears and sorrow, so I understand that he might find a middle way. But as that fine old Toad the Wet Sprocket song used to go “Life is suffering, tee-hee, ha-ha.” I trip up on the tee-hee, ha-ha, and I’m conscious of the fact.

What I better learned from Buddhism was to be extremely uncomfortable with my own position and station. I remember scribbling down a quote from a Buddhist text I was reading while stuck in a hospital waiting room waiting for one of my mother’s many surgeries to be over. I didn’t cite the source as I wrote the quote, and I wish now that I knew where it came from, but it’s had a bit of an influence on me over time. The quote went “Being in point of fact comes into being only when it becomes conscious of itself. As long as God is content with himself he is nonexistent; he must be awakened to something which is not himself, when he is God.” I do not agree with the quote; my theology is utterly other. But somehow, that quote wormed into the back of my brain, and made me fear contentment horribly.

Last night, for instance, someone on the one of the boards I frequent was saying that he didn’t want to go to heaven, because he wanted to be able to have sex with his girlfriend whenever he liked, and no heaven could be better than that. I said that it reflected a serious lack of imagination on his part. That it was analogous to saying: “A billion dollars better than my shiny new penny? I think not, sir. A billion dollars, whatever that is, certainly couldn’t trump the joy that I derive from my shiny new red penny. So you can move right along with your billion dollars, thank you very much. I’ll keep my penny!”

At the same time, I know there’s something to be said for being glad enough with what you’ve got. As my grandmother always put it: “’Tis better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.” And while I don’t think I’m ungrateful for the things in my life, or at least excessively so, it seems only natural and right to want more. The Buddha was all about extinguishing desire. But I’m not. I understand the Bodhisattva’s call to save all mankind before he attains salvation. But I do not understand dispassion. Apathetic though I often am, it’s a concept quite foreign to me.

But in any case, I can’t imagine Happiness. I can’t even conceive of the idea, so I have little hope, I should think, of accidentally stumbling upon it. C.S. Lewis was surprised by joy. I should think I would be horrified of it if it jumped out at me. I have a half developed metaphor in my mind, of a sort of cave of my soul. And when the violent light shines in, all of my beloved little hobgoblins are sent running, and rather than appreciate the exorcism, I whine of feeling empty. It’s true that a person can be in love with their own suffering. Dostoevsky wrote in Notes From the Underground: “Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately in love with suffering.” And I know I’m often guilty of it.

But I don’t want to sound like a broken record, angst filled adolescent goth, with self-esteem issues. I am an optimist at heart. I believe there is something better than chaos and despair. Thomas Merton once wrote that: "Despair is the ultimate development of a pride so great and so stiff-necked that it selects the absolute misery of damnation rather than accept happiness from the hands of God and thereby acknowledge that He is above us.” I do not, and will not, choose despair.

So what is the alternative? I do not understand dispassion. I only understand passion. And I know that passion is intricately linked with suffering. I understand suffering, and I understand passion, and therefore, I believe I understand love. Love is a great mystery and I am allowed to know only a fraction of its depth. But that fraction may be enough to save me yet. As Peter, following the Proverb, wrote: “love covereth a multitude of sins.” As St. John, my first real Christian influence, was reputed to have said: "Little children, love one another. If you would do only this one thing, it would be enough." I pledge, as ever, to find love; to be a servant to love, to love in spite of appearance, to love tirelessly, to love and have hope in spite of everything, to even be naïve if I must, all for the sake of love.

On the last day, I don’t think we’ll be judged for all of the mysteries. We can’t comprehend what we can’t comprehend. But a great deal is given to minds of men, and the things which we understand, we will be held accountable for. I may see yet “in a mirror dimly,” but I am not blind. I want to take responsbility for what little enlightenment is given me. I want to work out my salvation.

Today I love the mystic, the beggar and the thief; I love them as if they are one being. Today I feel responsible for all sin, and yet I do not feel ashamed or humbled. Today I feel love. Love as a reality and not as an abstract. I feel the Holy Fool and am thankful for the fact. I love the Earth, and the sky, and the little birds and the blades of grass. Today I feel as close to Happy as I may ever feel on this mortal coil. And my inner being can utter but one prayer: Guide all souls to Love. Let it be!

Sort of an interesting day today. Woke up and had the urge to read. So I read a few Old Testament prophets. Geez, God used to be mean. For instance, God says to Hosea: “Go and take unto thee a wife of whoredom.” And that poor wife of whoredom’s name was Gomer.

Other funny events of today. I don’t usually advertise my last name on the internet, but in this case I will, for the sake of the story. My last name is Close. Today, the fact was rather funny, because my dad was dialing up a pizza place. The woman on the line asked if it was pickup or delivery, and dad said he’d pick it up. She asked, “Are you Close?” And he said: “Yes, about 10 or fifteen minutes away.” And she laughed; ahh how she laughed. And he felt like a dunce.

But he made up for it later. I felt like I was getting sick at the grocery store. And, for the record, people in my family walk incredibly, incredibly slowly. So the old man was looking for these stupid sausage link things, and they weren’t where they usually are. So he circles the meat stand once, twice, a third time. The whole process was probably 15 minutes worth of circling a meat stand that is, I estimate about five feet long. So, finally, exasperated, I said: “Can we hurry this up a little? I don’t feel well.” And he said: “Are you kidding? I’m practically running! I was about to suggest we slow down!” And the really beautiful bit was, in his mind, we totally were almost running. This probably explains my distaste for shopping, by the by.

Jody and I went for hot chocolate tonight. She was excited about Europe again, which made me happy.

My mom and dad went to Columbus today. My mom's getting surgery on Thursday.

Nothing much else going on.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Today in Art History, I noticed that the middle aged lady who sits in front of me hides a magazine in her textbook and reads it throughout class. I nearly laughed out loud as my gaze shifted from the projected image of Donatello's David to the article the woman was reading entitled "Reality Shows are HOT! HOT! HOT!"

Snippet of humor from German class. Apparently the word for vacuum cleaner in German in a separable prefix verb which translates literally into "dust sucker." While translating German sentences into English, someone made the mistake of translating just a bit too literally. Instead of translating properly that "Josie vacuums the floor," he translated the more literal "Josie sucks dust." Then someone had to translate a sentence that went something along the lines of "The picture is small but pretty." Bronson starts busting up and repeating all class: "I too am small but pretty!"

It must suck to try to teach a foreign language to American university students. Our assignment the other day was to come up with two sentences using a two-way directional verb, one using dative case and one using accusative. While I believe the rest of the world would have just come up with pretty basic sentences, my class came up with wonderful sentences like: "The silverwear is dancing on the floor," "The car drove in front of my outdoor couch," and my group's couplet of "My pen is behind the dishwasher. I placed my pen behind the dishwasher." Our sentence was based around the aesthetic beauty of the sounds of the key nouns "Kuli" which means pen and "Geschirrspulmaschine" which is dishwasher. Guh-shear-shpool-machine-uh.

I find it funny that the 700 Club gives children in foreign countries, where they have missions, English names. Jose, after that fine fellow St. Joseph, just isn't good enough. No, that sounds all foreign. Instead, we'll call this little fellow Alan. Much more appropriate, indeed.

Yesterday's Poetry in Motion Entry:

Summer's dreams are fading fast
As if they race the sunset.

It's been a long day. Had a huge Art History exam tonight. Am 99% sure I got an A. Yay! German grade is looking up I think. Biology too. I'm supposed to be getting an extra credit sheet in there, that if I do well on it, I'll have an A- in the class overall. That's not perfect. But it's getting there. Guess I'm feeling a little better about school in general. Thursdays are hard though, and I'm pretty tired. Have a headache from clenching my jaw all day.

I've been pretty damn stressed lately. It's starting to have a real effect on me. I discovered, today, I think, that my hair's falling out. It shouldn't be falling out, on account of, neither of my parents, nor aunts, nor grandparents, etc. are bald. We're not bald people, so it's not genetic at all. So, there's got to be something wrong with me. Between the fact that I've had anemia for years, which can make your hair fall out, and the fact that I don't eat much meat since I'm allergic, which can also make your hair fall out, and the fact that I'm nearly as stressed as the underwear gnome kid on South Park, which can definitely make your hair fall out, it's surprising that all my hair hadn't actually fallen out before I hit adolescence. Still, disturbing.

I'm hungry and tired. Need to find some food. Signed up for a fieldtrip to the Cleveland Museum of Art in a few weeks. May be fun. More likely will suck. Still, free trip to Cleveland, that's sort of fun.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

I think I should maybe start making myself go to sleep at 12:30. It's kind of amazing how much a half hour's sleep affects my ability to pry myself from my warm covers. My mother turns the heat down in the house overnight, so it's always terribly cold when I wake up. Today, I made myself kick off my blankets, thinking: "Well, you'll get cold soon enough and have to start moving." I was right. But not in the way I expected. Rather than make me move out of bed, it made just long to move under my covers again. I wish I could explain to you how I reason with myself when I'm half asleep. It's sort of like my head is full of dreaminess and static, and part of my brain keeps nagging in a rather quietish alarm clock sort of way, "get out of bed, get out of bed, you have to get out of bed." But then a more seductive voice slithers in. "You don't have to get out of bed just yet. Ten minutes more won't hurt. What if you were a few minutes late to school? Would that kill you? No, but getting out of bed might. Seriously, these things have been known to happen. Say, you don't need to go to Biology. You really don't. Just lay back and sleep. Warmth, sleep, love...."

I had a really annoying dream last night. I dreamt that my Spring Break plans were ruined because a friend of mine decided to be bitchy and cancel on me, to get back for the fact that I couldn't do something with her in the Summer, on account of I was going to Europe. I woke up angry. While I don't hold people responsible for their actions in my dreams, I guess the dream is likely just a reflection of some anger issues I've had in general lately. These need to be fixed.

My mom's nagging me for the computer. Irritating. My nephews and nieces are so irresponsible. The eldest of my nephews, and the middle niece, have both borrowed money from my mom that they haven't paid back, and don't seem to plan on paying it back. I can't imagine ripping my grandma off. Ridiculous.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

I think it’s surprising that I’ve always been a reader.

I am an insanely impatient person. I’m one of those annoying folks who can’t sit through commercials or lulls in a show, so I’ve always got to have a controller in my hand, flipping through the channels. While I’m not a particularly poor student now, I am the sort of student who sits in the back of the room for the ultra-geeky purpose of being able to sneak and read another book while I’m taking notes. I draw cartoons and write stories throughout, and I conjugate verbs in foreign languages in my mind, and sing myself songs in my thoughts, and write bad poetry. And above all, I shake my leg and watch the clock until class, even if it’s a class I like, is over. In high school, I slept a lot; I mean, like every day in classes that I didn’t have someone good to talk to. It’s surprising that I can sit long enough to read.

I read books in an impatient manner. It’s difficult for me not to be able to absorb all of the information at once. I want to get to the last page right away. While I never cheat and just sneak the last page or two in, I’m rarely past page 20 or so before I have to start flipping to the end to find out how many pages I have left to go.

My grandmother, and my father too, I believe, read books to relax. I do not find reading relaxing. I fight with books. I wrestle with ideas contained in the text. While, especially when reading assigned texts that I do not enjoy, my mind has been known to wander to more pleasant storylines, in general, reading has often facilitated me in reaching a state that’s almost unprecedented elsewhere in my experience. It’s akin to meditation, or certain sorts of prayer; it’s the ability to focus only on one thing and one thing only and to clear the mind of all other thoughts. But that being said, it isn’t an unconsciously receptive state. It’s more like, when you’re in a physical fight, you’re able to concentrate fully on your opponent, searching him for his weaknesses.

The other day, at the library I asked my dad: “What if I hadn’t read so many books when I was little? I probably would have ended up all normal.” He said: “How boring!” Indeed, old man, indeed.

Tangential Observation:

Why is it that the ability to sit perfectly still, in an uninhibited sort of manner, is present in only the most physically beautiful human beings? Is the stillness a mark of their beauty? An extension of physical perfection? Or is it just a mark of dullness? Of a lack of challenge, also often found in the most physically beautiful humans?

As for me, I never sit still. I’m told, not even in my sleep. It’s fitting.

Actually, having seen videos of me acting generally like me, I’m not sure why I’ve not yet been locked up. I move funny. Sort of like a constant nervous energy, even when I’m not nervous. I look disturbed. I slouch, but not in a way that suggests that I’m unaware or lazy. If I didn’t know better, I think, on seeing myself walk down the street, I’d chalk myself up for some sort of crazy type. But I don’t move oddly by means of conscious exertion. I am simply odd.

That being said, I’ve known odder.


I think I really quite like the show Miracles. Sure, it's just the old formula played out for a tv audience. Indeed it's a bit simplistic. But that's how I like my horror. Corny writing, obvious use of the light and dark metaphor, and the occasional loud noise that makes you jump. I like how they ripped off the face directly from the Exorcist. I like how their human characters seem, well, mostly human. To be fair, it reminds me of a rather softer Anne Rice novel. Speaking of which, the only Anne Rice novel I ever really loved was the rather unmiraculous Feast of All Saints.

I went to sleep early last night. Like at 11:30 or so. I woke up at my usual nine. Nine and a half hours of sleep on a school night is ridiculous. I have insane energy today. Not that that makes me feel like going to school any more than usual. It's so damn cold out.

I went to the library last night. Got a book on the Canon of Scripture, which I think I already regret, since I've invested over 100 pages worth of reading in it and it seems to have a strong Protestant bias. Perhaps not so much that it totally obscures the issue. But the bias is enough to be distracting. I also got a book on the History of the Gnostics, which I'm finding unenlightening so far, because it seems that my History of Christianity professor must've had the text and based half her lecture on it, so it's mostly review so far. I think it's cute though, how the author slams Irenaeus and Tertullian for being "mindlessly" anti-Gnostic. I guess you get what you give, though Irenaeus and Tertullian are massively more influential than Professor What's-His-Name who wrote this book. I also have a book of Gnostic scripture. Now, the readings I did of Gnostic scripture in Christianity class were godawful. But I've heard so many people say that such "speaks to them" that I think I must have accidentally read the least charismatic and most unappealing bits. Also, there's no such thing as a forced pleasant read. So I'm going to give it a go. I had a book of "Lost Books of the Bible" when I was about fourteen that proved oddly influential in my religious development. I recognize that most of those texts were likely Gnostic, now. I'd like to read them again to put them in better perspective.

Though this may be somewhat self-evident, vitamin C drops and orange juice taste really good together.

Bah, I don't want to go to school today. I don't know why the day after Biology exams is always so hard. Must get ready, really must. Must. ::weeps and kicks things:: I don't want to! Must go, must go.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Desparate attempt to fix a broken blog.

Had a Biology exam today. I think I did pretty well for once. I like genetics. If, for some strange reason, I was ever forced to be some sort of scientist, I would want to be a geneticist. I think Jody said it best when we were talking about learning other languages. It isn't the language which is interesting, it's the people who speak the languages, and who created them, who are interesting. One of the things I've found that really intrigues me about German is that children are gender neutral. While I haven't done a lot of reading about how objects in language are generally given gender, I think it's interesting that an adult female is feminine, and an adult male is masculine, but a child of either gender is neutral. My sociological imagination tells me that it's because people, at least German people, at one time thought young children undifferentiated - or, essentially so, anyway. I know that in days not-so-long ago, little English and American boys wore dresses when they were quite small, and getting ones first pair of short pants was rather a big deal. Though our modern culture is supposedly much more gender inclusive and all that, I sort of wonder if we're not actually much more gender stereotypical toward very young children than our great-grandparents were. It's terribly important to get a little boy blue things these days, and a little girl pink things, but only a few generations ago, not only were things not quite so color defined, the infants were all expected to look basically the same.

Anyway, about genetics. Sometimes I wonder if my calling wasn't really to become a doctor. I come from a long line of women who were primary medical care providers to not only their families, but their entire villages. I remember that when I was rather small, nearly all of my experiences with getting doctored up were in the family. We went to the doctor to get medicine for what was wrong, or because something was seriously messed up or broken or bleeding, but most of the diagnosing and treating happened in the home. My grandmother could spot 95% of childhood ailments on a grubby toddler, twenty feet away. I remember that when I was still really quite small, I regularly studied anatomy and medical texts just for fun. So maybe I was supposed to be a doctor, and my hatred of studying plants in Biology class scared me away.

Oh yeah, speaking of children, my niece Brianne found out today that her baby is a boy. Yay! I prefer boys, first of all. And second, I guessed it would be a boy in the baby-guessing game thingy. Now if the child will only be born on the tenth of June (nearly an entire month early though it may be), I'll be a winner. I've already beat out over 50% of the entrants, based on gender selection alone. Woohoo! For the record, I'd prefer the child be born after the 10th. I chose the 10th on account of its my birthday, and I'm egocentric.

Still don't know what I want to do with myself after graduation. More school? Get a...::gasps::...job? Sometimes I think it would just be easier if the government had assigned me a career when I was nine or ten, like they do in the civilized world

Oh yeah, I want to sell my plasma! Dad was telling me the other day about all the fun he had trading blood for beer when he was in the Navy. The Red Cross used to set up places where you could donate a pint of blood in exchange for a pint of beer, I guess. But these days they worry about sissy health nut fixations like dehydration and such. Well, I can't get a pint for a pint, but I can think of no nobler calling than the selling of ones body parts for a pittance, so I've got to find one of those plasma donation places. Call me a whore for Mammon, if you like. I like it, if you don't, so I'll be referred to that way in the future anyway, thank you very much.

Got a B- on my German exam. That's the lowest grade I've ever had on a German exam. My grades are sucking this quarter. Going to study like mad for my Art History Exam on Thursday.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

It's tax day at my house. Yay!

My brother's annoyed because he took an education credit three years ago, that the government's trying to retroactively tax him for now. Way to go, IRS. Get 'em coming or going.

My procrastination is such a pain for me. I don't know why I do the things I do sometimes. I've been pushing off paying off my credit card bill forever. I got the check all in there, and the stamp on the bill, and I have for like a week and a half. But now it's down to the wire, either I get it in the mail tomorrow, or it's late. I have this bizarre premonition that I'll "forget" to do it again, and I'll have to rush all over hell to get it in the mail tommorrow. It would not be the first time that I've done this. I do this practically every time I have a credit card bill to pay. Why? Because I'm so damn lazy, is all I can figure. I'm so damn lazy that I give myself more work.

My brother's such a dink! That is, double income, no kids. I just found out he made last year between himself and his wife. My Lord. Rich boy! I totally deserved better Christmas presents this year. No wonder he says things like: "I don't feel like driving you to New York. How about I just buy Jody and you train tickets?"

My Instant Poetry entry for yesterday sounded like a bad pick up line in a French submariners bar:

"You're like dreams of a wasteland
No way to catch my breath."

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Seriously, folks, most fun ever.

The Infamous Worm Game.

High Score Thus Far: 1475.
Attempts Thus Far: 7.

Back to the game.

Friday, February 07, 2003

Looks like I'm coming down with something. Just woke up from an evening long nap. Coughing, general disorientation. Great.

I posted on Mark Shea's blog today. I almost did the first time I was ever there, but I have a general principle against posting on strange blogs. You never know, until you've really read a blog for a while, what the hidden context is going to be. So, I finally posted today, in response to Mark's question, how would you feel if it was suddenly proven to you that God exists.

Dangle a toe in that comment box and you're in over your head before you can figure out which way is up. In other words, I had fun. But Mark said something about me not being far from the kingdom of God, just because I would prefer that a loving God existed. His comment was likely mostly dismissive. But I've been told similar things in the past.

I may not be all that far from the Christian camp. I would like to believe in God. I'm having a hard time refuting Catholicism. Born Again Protestantism was easy to refute because, well, it's shallow and stupid for the most part. Catholicism is more difficult. But deep in my core, I have a confliction regarding the existence of God. And until that's solved, I won't be jumping ship. I have my doubts it can ever be solved. But I would be glad to be pleasantly surprised regarding the matter.

When I was a little kid, I believed that God existed. I believed that God existed in the same way I believed that I had to obey my parents. Namely, because that was the way my universe was ordered, and that was all. It was an unreasonable assumption of sorts. And I regularly acted against it. But I did believe.

When I was older, I realized that I couldn’t fit my mind around the concept of God. So I started to find other explanations for my reality. Most things I found ready explanations for. The things I couldn’t find explanations for, I realized could be explained away by refusing to explain them. This was at least as reasonable as supposing that God was the cause. God didn’t make sense anyway. The concept of an unmoved mover is no more reasonable to me than the concept of a universe that’s just always been there.

At heart, I’ve always worked on my sort of childish conviction that there is a God because, well, that’s just how things are. But I’ve never had any sort of relationship with God. I don’t feel His presence and I can’t imagine coming into contact with such. People who claim such special knowledge alternatingly amuse and terrify me. I have always felt as if I were talking to myself when I’ve prayed.

I would not say that there is no God because I don’t know Him. But I feel similarly constrained about saying that God exists when I really don’t know. I do not know how to balance my sort of base intellectual assumption that God probably exists, with my own personal experience which leads to the feeling that He probably doesn’t. Agnosticism may act as a comforting middle ground for me, even if, in reality, it’s not a middle ground at all.

Finished up my passport stuff this morning. In a little while, I'll scan my picture for you all. It's brilliant, it really is. The guy took three shots. Two of them were normal looking. But on the third, somebody'd dropped some glass just before he took the picture and I was in the middle of registering a look of shock when he snapped it. So my eyebrows are up really high and I have a stupid sort of semi-smile, and an oddly cocked head angle. You guys will love it. It was terrific too, because, considering that there were two normal pictures and only one really awful one, the guy chose to print out the awful one. While I tried to act annoyed for my father's sake (he was with me, and it's only fair that he got to make fun), I was secretly pleased that they picked the worst one. If I'm ever arrested for international terrorism, or killed as the result of such or something, the picture splayed all across the news will be utterly atrocious and snicker rather than sympathy inspiring.

But then, it's no secret that I'm abnormally fond of incredibly bad pictures; check my photo in this blog. Someday my kids will screw up their little faces at me and say: "Momma, how come you were cute when you were little, and then you turned into that? I'm cute and little, am I gonna end up funny lookin' like you?" And being the sympathetic mother that I will undoubtedly become, I will respond: "Yes, dear, I'm sorry. Puberty does really awful things to the children in our family. Enjoy beauty while you're young, darlings, it fades before you're old enough to start dating."

April told me last night that I have no motherly qualities at all. The comment was inspired by my dislike of the birthing process. People often call birth beautiful; I do not see it as such. I appreciate the miracle of life and all that. It boggles my mind that one tiny little cell turns into billions of them. I'm totally appreciative of the growing child in the womb. But that whole pain of expulsion bit, and the placenta, eahh, could do without it. I may have natural children yet, but I doubt the fact will change my view of the birthing process. I was present at the birth of a child once, and I did not appreciate it then. And I appreciated his circumscision even less. What's the point of that? Who originally thought up the practice? I guess it's okay enough for Jewish or Muslim folks who have religious obligations; though I'm not sure I like it even then. But for good Christians, or agnostics or atheists, what could possibly persuade you to maim your infant son's penis?

I have to go to the bank today to transfer funds to my checking account to afford my passport and credit card bill. I don't want to go to the bank. I wish I could do it online. Why can't I do it online, darn it? Getting out of the house is all hard and stuff.

Oh yes, and it sucked waking up at seven today.

My mom and dad are driving to Columbus as I speak. Hopefully the date for mom's surgery will be set. I hope it's soon because I'm sensing she could use a bit of a vacation from work. Being sick isn't worth anything at all, except the right to stay home. So I hope it works out well for her. Sister still remains undiagnosed. There's a distinct possibility of lung cancer. There's a minute possibility of Tuberculosis, still. There's a chance that it's next to nothing at all. The doctor's being super thorough, which is as comforting as it is terrifying. You want to doublecheck before you tell someone they've got cancer. But then, you probably want to doublecheck before you tell someone they don't, too.

Time is moving quickly today. I can't believe it's already noon. I swear the earth's rotation picks up speed on weekends.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

My German test sucked and I don't think I did well. I didn't fail it, certainly, but I'm not thinking A material. Why can't the Germans just say "I'm going to Paris/the airport/the store/the church/the car," etc. There's no need for so many words to describe "to," folks. Too much conjugation is a bad thing! Anyway, I have half an hour to kill before Biology lab. It might actually be fun. I guess we'll be playing with blenders and meat tenderizer and other such things. This sounds good. But I'd still rather be home sleeping.

North Korea is threatening to strike us first. Hurrah for two front wars! I told Jody that we'd probably safer in Europe than we would be at home. It's almost certain now. Of course, once you get allies in the mix, I guess it might become a bit more complicated. The White House doesn't seem all that concerned.

Think I'm going to meander about campus for a bit. Sort of bored.

I wonder if I kicked and screamed enough, if the world would stop turning, and I could skip school.

I need to find breakfast. I won't get another chance to eat until eight, so I need to find something. But here I am typing instead of finding food. Because food finding means food eating, and having consumed ones breakfast, there's nothing left to do but go to school.

Bah, I have a German test and Biology lab today. At least we get to do an experiment in lab, for once. Angela says it's fun to extract DNA from an onion. It had better be. That's all I gotsta say on that.

Anyway, last night I went to see My Big Fat Greek wedding. I liked it okay. Parts reminded me of my family. There's a great story in my family about my great-grandpa picking up my great-grandma for a date. And my French gg-grandpa is screaming at g-grandma so loudly that it goes through the door and reverberates through the hall: "That better not be that damn Irishman at the door!" And he opens the door and says politely to g-grandpa, "Oh hello, Mr. Britt."

I wish my family was more ethnic. I guess even a generation ago they were much more so. And two generations ago, clearly much much more so. It's hard to keep really ethnic though, when you're not just Irish anymore, or French, or Jewish. When you mix all of those things up and add time, you just get American.

Ahh, also, the bit about the grandmother in that movie, and her calling people bloodthirsty Turks cracked me up. This Greek friend of my dad's always gives similar advice. "Never trust them Turkeys, they're no good."

I have a massive craving for Greek food now.

Another funny bit from last night. We asked Daysi (Angela's exchange student from the Dominican Republic) if she'd ever heard the expression "Curiousity killed the cat." She was like "Oh yeah! But I heard it differently! I heard curiousity killed the mouse!" So we were busting, and she's like "No, it makes more sense! The mouse got too curious and came out of his home, so the cat killed him!" And really, you know, it does make more sense.

Also, Angela's a dope and thinks the moon is masculine just because there's a man in it. This is foolish. Everyone knows that the moon is feminine; We've got luna, we've got Artemis, we've got your moon goddesses of various sorts. The man IN the moon is masculine, but the moon itself is clearly feminine. I mean, duh. And the Sun is masculine.

15 minutes left. Must find food.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

As I walked into school today, I saw my friend Stacy. She asked me why everyone was standing around in the lobby, huddled around the tv. I told her I didn't know and asked myself, what could have possibly gone wrong now? Turns out everyone was just watching Colin Powell's speech. Now, I knew he was giving the speech today at that time, but I hadn't expected my peers to care. We're not an overly political campus, after all. I had assumed it took at least an explosion of some sort to draw a crowd, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the threat of bioterrorism and nuclear war can do the trick too.

Anyway, it was interesting. I've only seen a crowd gathered in the lobby like that one other time, and that was on 9/11. Today, kids were equally grimfaced. We listened to taped conversations. The translation appeared on the screen. The Iraqi's were hiding nerve gas. Colin Powell, the dove in the cabinet, warned us that it only got worse from then on. There was more. I couldn't stay to finish watching the speech but I really wish I could have. It would have been interesting to see if, when the speech ended, there was an outburst of anger. For the war, against the war, either way, it would have been interesting to see. Expressions of disbelief perhaps. More likely, the crowd just dispersed without any emotion whatsoever.

I'm watching everything as closely as I can these days. While I was alive for the Gulf War, I was pretty young when it happened, and I don't remember it. So, in effect, this will be the first "real war" I have the ability to pay attention to. I don't believe that war is in any way glorious. But certainly it has the occasional side effect of creating giants. Perhaps it's my pseudo-scientific mind, but I have a need to view the gestation.

I spent a long time last night trying to find decent, cheap, auctioning software. I don't want to waste $300 on an auctioning system, when I'm really pretty uncertain that this business deal is going to take off. I know everyone's fed up with the bookstore on campus. But I don't know if being tired of it is really enough to spur people into action. Apathy rules many more a life than passion, and I don't care to run around with a caddle prod trying to get people to do what's naturally better for themselves. So I found free auction software, and I'm having a rotten time getting it to work. I still have a good five weeks to get the site up and running, but I make no promises that I can get it done. Outside of going to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding with Angela tonight, I guess I have the evening largely free, so maybe I'll work on it a while.

I've been thinking about the space shuttle. I vaguely remember when the Challenger blew up. I was only three at the time, so I don't think it was a big deal to me. But I can remember not being able to watch my usual television shows because the news kept breaking in all of the time. And, of course, I thought it was sad that people died. It didn't upset me much though, because, well, when you're three, these things tend to not. I'm not all torn up over the Columbia either. A lot of folks are acting like the fact that a couple of astronauts died is the most shocking story to hit since 9/11. Well it's tragic and terrible. But going into space is risky business. These people knew that when they signed up for the job. I'm not saying that the knowledge of risk minimizes their death. But the knowledge of the risk does take the edge off the shock. I always find it sad when human beings die. But it's hard to work yourself up about the death of a couple of astronauts, when you know perfectly well that thousands and thousands of people who weren't taking any risks at all, died the same day for far less noble reasons. I may be callous. September 11th might have contributed to the fact. Reading about the Holocaust and the Gulag Archipelago might have contributed to it too. But while I can feel a general sense of pity for family members of people killed, I can't recognize any terrific shock and sadness in myself. It it were my mother or father, certainly I'd feel it a tinge more and that's why I can feel pity. But it isn't my mother or father, and that's why I'm pretty calm regarding the entire matter.

15 minutes left to study my German and eat breakfast. Geez, I'm ahead of the game these days.

It's a funny thing about coats. I hate mine. I only got it because it was damn cold and I really needed one, and the one that I wanted, my mom was freaking out over me having. "I don't care if you've been wearing trench coats for the past nine years! They're bad now and you can't have one!" Coincidentally, she threw out my army jacket, and my old trench coat, which was why I never had a coat past the age of twelve or so. So my coat now is much hated, though good for keeping me warm. It's huge, and it's sole virtue is that it was also incredibly cheap. I dislike my coat. But I have little chance for getting a new one, since all I really want is my old busted up trench coat, and I can't have it cause of my mom. Anyway, it's a funny thing about coats, because, even though I hate my coat, I much prefer wearing it to not.

Coats are nice. I think the human experience is largely a testament to the fact. Throughout history most folks in moderate to cool climates have gone about wearing coats even during the warmer months. A good coat seals you in against the world. It's a shield for you. Americans are peculiar in their dressing habits, for certain. While men the world over generally still run around in suit coats, Americans feel comfortable in nearly any setting with just a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. I feel it's one of our primary points of virtue, really. But though I am fond of the t-shirt, I much prefer it with a coat.

A t-shirt is representative of a certain egalitarian openness that, while not exclusive to the American experience, is certainly a trademark of it. The t-shirt hides nothing. It bares the arms, which, upon having their glory revealed to the world, remain always taut and ready to embrace you in a great big American embrace; Full-on bear hug, that is, none of that sissy European pretending to kiss on the cheek nonsense. The t-shirt is a messenger. The t-shirt firmly believes in its place in the world; it is the harbinger of the message. The t-shirt swaggers out and ahead of its elder brethren in the most iconoclastic of ways because the t-shirt knows its strength is in its youth and daring; its divine right to existence has never been challenged and how could it be with the message emblazoned across the breast?

And, that is, in short, my problem with the t-shirt. I am guarded. I do not embrace. I am as uncertain of my place in the world as I am certain that I have no great revelatory messages to bring. I have a not-so-secret fascination with anything or anyone older than I am. I am the antithesis of the t-shirt. But because I love America and its big stupid bear hugs and crooked caps and youthful exuberance and genuine naive goodness, I love the t-shirt.

And so, my solution is simple. Keep the t-shirt, and appropriate the coat. The coat seals in all of those fine American qualities while acting as a shield to bounce back challenges from the wolves who prey on such things. Wolves who I must deal with, I find, increasingly as I become more educated and more upwardly socially mobile. The coat, even a thoroughly dislikable coat, such as my own, is a traditionalist challenge to the modern world. We still haven't found a cure for the common cold, you know, unless you count that old standby, the happily form-smashing overcoat.

Now, if we could only bring back the cape and cap, I’d be a contented kid.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

To the tune of the Blue Danube Waltz: Aus ausser bei mit nach seit von zu! It's been in my head all day. Which isn't all bad, because I'll need it for my dual German exams, Wednesday and Thursday. I can't say much for conjugation ordinarily, but anything that gives full grown adults just cause for singing poorly in the presence of other full grown adults, I've got to say, I'm down for.

I went to bed early last night. I thought an extra hour's sleep would be quite good for me. So, this morning I woke up a few minutes before my alarm clock was set to go off. That's always nice. It should be remembered that I always set my clock an hour early. While the screetch of that first alarm is enough to jolt me out deep sleep, it's never enough to get me out of bed. So I always hit snooze for an hour, and take sort of a nap until the alarm goes off again, and then I can usually handle getting up. Today, everything went backwards. When I woke up at 7:55, I reset the alarm clock for 9:00; I felt pretty good, and happy I'd missed the alarm. I went back to sleep for my usual hour's nap, but it seems that my body hadn't really fallen asleep all night, and was in fact waiting for my usual nap hour to do so, because I woke up a 9:11, with the alarm clock pounding my ears as it had been for the last eleven slept through minutes. And while I groggily managed to remove myself from my nice warm bed and stumble across the room to start the day, I now, officially feel like hell. So much for extra sleep doing me good. All I managed to do was confuse my poor body into getting even less rest.

The grandiose buzz of last night has worn off. I mean, I still kicked ass at that thing, but I've also reverted to my natural distrust of anyone who kick ass, even if it's me. Plus, I'm not naturally all that narcissistic, so I'm going over the one mistake that I made all night over and over again in my head. That's the funny thing about doing anything at all. You can be a tremendous hero and save nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine lives, and while it feels pretty good when you do it, later all you can concentrate on is the one life you didn't save. A single failure is strong enough to trump nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine successes, easily. So I feel a bit of an ass over the whole thing; debating victories are somehow less clear cut and glorious than say, sporting victories. I feel sort of obligated to go to the next meeting, but I don't really want to, so maybe I'll find an excuse to not. If I do skip though, it's likely to turn into a protesting society, and that's why I feel obligated to attend.

I scheduled classes for next quarter last night. I'm getting frighteningly close to graduation, I fear. I've got German 103 next quarter; in the fall I'll have to take 104 and then I'm done with my language requirement. I've got Physical Anthropology; that'll leave only two more lousy Science requirements. I've got some 500 level American History class that sounds incredibly boring; that'll leave me with two non-Western History courses, and my Thesis before I'm done with History. I'm taking Photography as an elective; which, of course, there really aren't any requirements for. But after all that, I've only got Statistics and my Capstone left, before I'm free to graduate. It sounds a bit daunting all written out. But what it really means is that, come next Fall, I'll have 40 required hours of classes to take, and assuming I take a bare minimum of course, 45 hours in which to do it. So I'm really sort of unusually ahead of the game.

Monday, February 03, 2003

I had the best time at Iraq thing. Pardon me to indulge my arrogance for a few moments, but I seriously ruled tonight. The debate juices were flowing, and though at the beginning of the night, I was the only kid so much as neutral on the issue, by the end of the night, I'd converted a kid or two to my non-side.

Damn. I'm reeling in my own glory. It seriously kicks ass. I mean, I know it's sad and all to be like all stoked off stuff like this, but it was great. I live for these things.

High points of the debating night:

Dissenter 1: "I'm against the war on Iraq because I don't think America's going to establish real democracy there. America always pick set up puppet dictators and that's bad for the people."

Me: "That's not an argument against war on Iraq. That's an argument regarding American policy toward Iraq after the war's been won. There's no reason you can't be for the war in Iraq, and for the establishment of democracy in Iraq following American victory. Besides, you’re wrong about Americans only setting up dictatorships. We set up democracy in Japan and Germany; we’re doing it in Afghanistan now. There’s absolutely no reason we can’t do that in Iraq. "

Dissenter 2: "I'm against the war on Iraq because we're not going up against other nations like North Korea, and Saudi Arabia, which are equally anti-American and probably just as dangerous."

Me: "There's no reason to have the exact same policy toward every country in the world. Different nations have different status. North Korea for instance has known nuclear weapons, and can use them against not only our allies, like Japan, but they can also reach Alaskan soil. There's good reason to treat North Korea differently than Iraq. In fact, we're trying to stop Iraq from having the leverage against us that North Korea has. But nevertheless, even if some of our world policies are unjust, it doesn't give us an excuse to avoid doing what we ought to do in Iraq. If it's right to go to war with Iraq, it's irrelevant to the issue at hand that it's equally right to go to war with North Korea. The point is, we still have to go to war with Iraq."

Me: "Hussein is indefensible. He's a second Hitler. And we're making the mistakes of the past all over again."

Angry Hippy: "You people are always calling everyone Hitler! He's nothing like Hitler!"

Me: "Nothing? Because both Hitler and Hussein are genocidal dictators with a penchant for invading their neighbors. Both were subject to disarmament, which they defied. And in both cases, we turned the other cheek. Are we going to continue to do so with Hussein until he's gotten the chance to build up to Hitler-like proportions?"

Angry Hippy: “That’s the whole point of inspections!”

Ex-Dissenter 1: “Yeah, but the inspections aren’t working. We know he had weapons of mass destruction. We don’t know where they went, and he’s not telling.”

Angry Hippy: “The whole world is going to hate us if we go into this unilaterally!”

Me: “But we’re not going into this unilaterally. We have all of Europe with us except France and Germany, and just wait until we’ve won, they’ll jump on the bandwagon too.”

Angry Hippy: “If we have all of Europe with us, why is it so hard to get UN and EU approval?”

Me: “Because France and Germany dominate those organizations. We know Britain’s with us. We’ve also got Spain, Greece, for God’s sake, Albania is even with us. Every, or very close to every, country in Europe has signed petitions to join us in a war in Iraq. It’s wrong to conflate France and Germany with mass European dissension.”

There was more, but probably no one gives a damn except me. Anyway, I felt all G.K. Chesterton tonight, and I loved it. Sometimes, I think I should become a political commentator or a journalist. The only problem is that I don't dress right. My All Stars scream punk liberal child, not conservative pundit. And I distrust any endeavor which requires new clothes.

On the plus side, tonight was the most honest exchange I've heard regarding the war on Iraq thus far. Of course, so far all I've heard are White House hawks versus Hollywood dopes like Susan Sarandon, so it didn't take much.

Did okay on Bio exam.

Going to get passport, then attending the "Student Conference on Iraq" at school tonight.

It'll be great. Me versus a room full of liberals. Jared said he thought about coming back to back me up, but I don't think he will. I wonder how many stupid liberal jokes I can come up with over the next hour or so.

My ride's here. Oh boy.

Well, I did go last night. But I never finished my Biology reading. I think most of it wasn't applicable to what we're doing in class. I think, and this isn't entirely mysterious, I might have missed almost nothing the day I skipped. Maybe my friend's notes weren't bad per se; it was just that there really was nothing to write. Anyway, I have to go memorize the stages of mitosis. And I have to go to school early to use their broadband to download the powerpoint crap I need to study. It's irritating as hell that they had to make it into a powerpoint presentation, rather than just doing the sane thing, knowing full well that most of the folks around here don't or, like me, can't have broadband, and just stick up a zip file of highly compressed gifs. But no. Boring.

I guess I talk a lot about school because I sort of require myself to write in here a lot, and the only thing I do with a lot of consistency is go to school. It's probably boring for everyone, but it's my life at this point, so, ::shrugs::. A lot of the other stuff I'm thinking, for one reason or another falls under the unbloggable category, on account of I found out early on, it's easy to upset people. Though to be fair, I've been walking on egg shells about a number of things, while I've seen my name pop up in certain other blogs with some serious hate involved.

My brother tells me that a lot of my friends "aren't nice people." He might be right. That may be a problem for me; coincidentally, it was a problem for him too, though he's forgotten the fact now. The problem for me is learning how to assert myself without A) becoming someone who isn't very nice; and B) losing friends that I'm rather fond of because I've "changed." But sometimes my lack of assertiveness is almost comical. I can see that as clearly, or perhaps more clearly, than anyone else. But the fact has probably saved me far more trouble than it's ever caused me, and that's why I keep on with it. It should be remembered that even if I am hypersensitive to some things, if I wear blue plants instead of black, or black boots for winter instead of my allstars, or talk about getting surgery so I don't have to wear my annoying-ass heavy glasses anymore, all of that meets pretty harsh criticism. I've never been particularly vain about appearance; I'm always fairly practical before the pressures of doing what I've always done comes in to bite me in the ass. I hear all the time that "No! You have to do thing X because you've always done thing X!" I have pictures from the first fourteen or fifteen years of my life which tend to contradict those assumptions, actually. And why should I be allowed to stop progressing anyway? Screw everybody.

Anyway, I'm in a very odd mood today. Very distant, in some respects. But more ready to deal with the world in others. I've got all my stuff together for the getting of my passport tonight. And that feels nice and progressive. And I think I'm ready for that exam today. Or I will be, come hell or highwater. So, off to meet the challenge, I go.

I have to go study for Biology. I don't want to. I want to have another day of weekend, even though this weekend was pretty boring on the whole. When you only leave the house once on a weekend, it's sort of a loss. Or that's how I see it. Though the sleep is nice.

So, good plans in the making though. I guess for Spring Break, we may pack up the car and head to Mike's aunt's cabins for a day or so. It should be cool. Depends. I wonder how many will go, and who and all that. More inclusive is generally better, but I've had a backfire or two on that recently, so we'll see.

What else?

heh, this blog is seriously just an elaborate scheme to avoid doing my Biology reading. I hate when I catch myself. Alright, alright...I'm really going this time. Really I am...

Sunday, February 02, 2003

I had fun tonight. Excerpts from conversation.

Brett: Denise got mad at me the other day because I don't like church.
Mom: Yeah, I don't know why Brett and Sarah are so anti-religious. When I met their dad I thought he was really religious.
Me: Dad? Religious?
Mom: Yeah! He was always doing this thing ::mock crosses self::. He was so weird!
Dad: What?
Mom: You prayed when you got gas! ::mock crosses self again::
Dad: Well, no wonder with the price of gas in the 70's!
Mom: I'm not kidding. We pulled into the Bonded and ::mock crosses self madly and does pious eyes to the sky::
::General Laughter::
Me: One gallon ::crosses self::, two gallons ::crosses self::, three gallons ::crosses self::, full! ::kneels and crosses self::
Dad: I don't even know what you're talking about! I don't even know which way to start crossing!
Brett: Was Tony in the car? He was probably praying his car would still be there when he got back from praying! ::crosses self right way:: ::crosses self backwards:: 'Please Lord, I promise I'll learn which shoulder to start on if you don't let the boy steal my car!'

Then later:

Mom: I'm hipper than Sarah. Today I was watching Mtv about that Notorious Big.
Everyone: ::busts up::
Mom: No! It was really interesting, what with that Notorious Big and Tupack (like tack or sac).
Everyone: ::busts up more::
Dad: I don't get it.
Me: Yeah, man, what's up with all that murder? Notorious Big shooting at Tupack; Tupack's homeys gunning down the Notorious Big.
Everyone: ::busts up more::

Then again later:

Mom: I want you to download that JLo song for me. You know that, "I'm still Jenny from the block I've got a whole lot of rocks."

I had a bit of a dance in my room, so I'm happier now. Imagine a fat geeky girl dancing to Kylie Minogue, alone in her room, and you'll feel happier too.

I'm getting somewhere on my website redesign. I have two protocol designs now. I'm not totally happy with either. But they're certainly a start considering that I never make protocols; which is, not coincidentally, why my sites usually end up messy and ugly.

I added Caravaggio's "The Incredulity of St. Thomas" to the bottom of my blog. I'm a fan of St. Thomas, because I have a similar mindset regarding the nature of proof. Plus, like any student of Art History in the last decade, I'm a huge fan of Caravaggio. But before all that's done, I need to get a rollover effect working and I'm too lazy at the moment.

I wish it was mid-Fall again, and outdoor fun could be had. I'd like to go for a walk out in my grandma's woods. But as is, I'd probably get frostbite and a cold or worse, and just be more miserable. Sometimes I remind myself of Eeyore.

Speaking of miserable, I just remembered that I have a damn Biology exam tomorrow, over Miosis and Mitosis. And since I skipped class, I have to actually read the book. And I think there's some powerpoint I have to download. Considering my lukewarm grade, I guess I better hop to.

Oh, but before I go, I remembered a lovely story today, when I was mad at my brother.

Brett and I had guns before most kids have strollers, so he really should've known better. But when Brett was probably eight or nine, he was carting around the bb gun, shooting at stuff. Well, he took aim at this big old tree we have in the backyard. He got right up close, so he couldn't miss. Only a foot or two between the end of the barrel and the tree, that is. He loaded, cocked the gun, and shot. Bzzzzp, went the gun. And then came the terrible stinging pain, right between his eyes. He hollered, and ran around a ways, but he couldn't tell mom for fear she'd take the gun away. Anyway, it seems, when Brett took the shot, his aim was right dead on. The bb hit the tree, ricocheted back, and hit him right between the eyes.

I should change the title of this blog to "Pissed Off Sunday Afternoon."

Today has been annoying. Between my mother and my brother (two peas in a pod, personality-wise, coincidentally), I'm about to beat someone.

My brother was here when I woke up today. In fact, he was the reason I woke up today, as he saw fit to go around the house screaming this message or that to my father without any consideration for the fact that it was still early morning and both my mom and I were asleep. Immediately he set in on how I should take the train to New York instead of drive, because trains are so great. And it'll cost dad $125 to drive us, and don't I feel ashamed? Blah, blah. It was highly irritating because, first of all, my father offered to drive me. I never would've looked for flights outside of Cleveland or Columbus had my dad not explicitly told me to check Airports A, B and C for flights, since they're usually cheaper. I do not feel ashamed, since I'm accepting an offer that the old man was under no pressure to give. The truth is, the brother, who just so happens to be obsessed with trains, has decided that it's very important for me to take the train because he wants to take the train. Blah, blah, blah Horseshoe Curve, blah, blah, blah Penn Station. While trains are indeed mildly interesting, I'll have a railpass in Europe and will be riding on trains every other day, so a train from Sandusky to NYC in no way impresses me. But you can't explain these things to the brother because once he gets excited about something, he's unreasonable.

Then the mother woke up. She came out and started screaming about how the house is "filthy." Well, the house isn't any more "filthy" than usual. She was upset because the Sunday paper was sprawled across the coffee table. This is typical for a Sunday, since every single person in my family reads the paper and generally fights over who gets what section when, and the general method for getting a section is grabbing whatever's on the table and bartering with it for whatever it is somebody else has that you want. This has been protocol at least since I've been paying attention to papers, or about ten years or so, that is. So it wasn't that she was surprised. She was looking for a fight.

Ahh, well, she found one. Immediately after insisting that the house jump to clean up all of the "filth," she demanded that I go clean my room so she can make dad sweep. Well, it seems that, if she wanted to demand that I clean my room, she should've done so flat out. But instead, she wanted to piss off two of us in one foul swoop. She succeeded in this. So we're both annoyed. Now, mind you, for someone swearing about their filthy house, she isn't doing one iota's worth of work herself. She's taking a nap, or saying that she is, except that, every few minutes she pops out of her room to make certain we're not slacking off behind her back.

So, screw this. I won't be bullied. I won't snap to just because she's in a foul mood. I'm not a soldier, and drill sergeant-like though she might be, she's no right to scream at me mindlessly and expect no retalliation. So I'm settling in. Not one whit's more work without a kind word, and a well-reasoned line of thought. Civility, I say, though the sky itself may be falling. Battle there'll be if battle we must. Lazy Sunday Afternoon be praised, I'll carry your banner forever.