Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Gifts received from family:
glasses/contacts (from mom and dad)
Shower gel, chapstick, lotion (from nieces)
Borders & Waldenbooks gift card (from brother/sil)
French book & scrapbooking stuff (from sister/bil)

Gift received from significant other:
turquoise/gold bracelet, very Egyptian-looking (if they used turquoise, that is)

Gifts given:
beautiful old book (to John)
JFK memorial record (you know, like a biiiig black cd?)(to John)

(p.s.: the items I gave to John were things that I had procured long ago; I didn't have time to go Christmas shopping this year, so the gifts to my family are still forthcoming.)

(p.p.s.: actually, there's another gift to John - I'm not telling him that my IQ is nine points higher than his; no, I'm not vocalizing this, just having a fun old time partying it up inside. Woohoo!)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I was homeschooled.

I was homeschooled.

Over the past while, JBK has been continually amazed at how little pop culture I was exposed to when I was growing up.

Today, over lunch:

"How about 'Cheers'?"
"No. Never."
"Never seen 'Cheers'?!"
"Wow. This is like discovering an Indian tribe that evaded the White Man and his influence."

Monday, December 12, 2005

I'm on my way . . .

The past couple of weeks have been absolutely brimming with emotions. Frustration, stress, bliss, comfort, annoyance, panic, contentment, and the knowledge that everything is exactly as it should be. (Except for this nasty cold . . . And the karaoke.)

My door is shut against the sound of my dorm floor's Christmas party (Bah, Humbug!), my drawing utensils are scattered about me, making a halo of chalks and cray-pas to my prostrate body, as I lie on my stomach, gazing at a blank sheet of 9x12 paper.

I have to stare at the sheet for a second, poring over every square inch of white perfection. It always intrigues me, takes away my breath for a minute. It's beautiful in its very newness, yet I wonder what it will become. It's pure potential.

(As are we all.)

It's times like this that my senses are heightened, that I love even more the feel of the chalks between my fingertips; I revel in the chalkdust leftover on my hands, the dust caught on my carpet or desk as I gently blow the loose particles from my drawing.

I've organized my drawings in this end-of-semester frenzy, realizing that I need eight more before the end of the week is up. I've been drawing steadily through the semester, but I'm too much of a perfectionist, and that's my hangup. If I had realized earlier, my teacher doesn't care what it looks like. She exclaims over a few stray coloured marks across a sheet of black paper -- the squiggles must speak to her. But I'm clinging tenaciously to my belief that my drawings should BE something, something I recognize. At this point, it seems that for me to resort to churning out Modern Art, well, it seems like a cop-out.

So I'm here tonight, listening to Shivery, staring at reflections of Christmas lights, and catching a glimpse of random snowflakes as they lazily waltz past my window.

I'm distressed. Christmas Eve has always been my favourite of the Christmas holidays, for Christmas Day holds memories of hot, dry air, blindingly bright sunlight, and a tangle of emotions, including being on edge, frustration, confrontation, and being rushed. I love preparing for Christmas Eve -- I love anticipation, preparation, the excitement of looking forward to something. And this year, I'm being robbed of it. My last final is on December 23rd . . . which means that I'll get to my parents' house either the night of the 23rd or morning of the 24th. NO TIME TO PREPARE ANYTHING.

I feel as though I'm robbed of one of my favourite parts of the holidays. And that makes me so sad. I think it might be the culmination of a ton of things on my mind, but I cannot wait to have a place of my own, a house, with a husband, with some colour other than BEIGE on the walls. I want to slather indoor semi-gloss paint onto blank walls (and revel in the colour and smell of the latex paint), pin up some of my artwork and photography, arrange furniture, bake, cook, do dishes, organize my spice rack, go grocery shopping together, lust after baby clothes at the mall (oh, wait, I already do that . . .), make the place a home, comfortable and welcoming.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Things I've done in the past 10 days:

Things I've done in the past 10 days:

- made four batches of cookies
- taken two naps
- taken a wintery hike and numbed my mitten-less hands
- worked
- made a paper snowflake
- done dishes (not my own)
- watched "Back to the Future" for the first time
- gotten another A (!)
- killed the battery in my replacement vehicle (way to go)
- been having wheat again
- been mocked
- bought carrot cake for my roommate's birthday
- not changed the month on my calendar
- had the opportunity to study abroad in South Korea for free
- rewatched "It's a Wonderful Life" and decided I don't really hate it
- cried during "It's a Wonderful Life"
- laughed a lot
- drawn for my class
- listened to much Christmas music
- discovered that when transcribing an interview recorded in a crowded Starbucks(?), it's sometimes easier to discern the interviewee's voice when I cover the speakers with my hands or arms or other appendages.

yeah, he's a keeper...

yeah, he's a keeper...

The first time he saw me after I got back from Thanksgiving break (aka "Gorge yourself on anything you want, because after all, it's Thanksgiving, and it doesn't count! Have another cookie -- or two, or four, or thirty-seven!"), he hugged me, picked me up, and said...

"Wow, did you lose weight?"

Friday, November 25, 2005



I usually get inspired to compose blog entries when I'm behind the wheel of my car, traveling alone. I keep the radio on for company, and tonight during a 2-hour drive, I listened to part of "This American Life," one of my favourite shows on public radio. Something about the personal aspect of the show inspires me to write down my own thoughts, but I'm always traveling when I hear "This American Life," unable to access a keyboard or notebook. I try to hold onto the thoughts, the great openings to fantastic entries, until I reach my destination, but they're slippery and I lose my grasp on them within miles.

Other times, I find myself outlining the day I had, while lying in bed at night, just before drifting off to sleep.

Neither of those repeated scenarios are conducive to blogging.

Perhaps the problem is that I have too much fodder for entries, too many thoughts on my mind, too many beautiful scenes around me, things I don't like to inscribe for the world to see. These, I write down for myself, filing them away, to be looked at later.


I could write about my Thanksgiving weekend, how I had been looking forward to it for a month, but over the past couple of weeks, grew rather apathetic about it, and now am just wishing it was over.

Or I could write that the sunset tonight was amazing, and lasted for the better part of an hour.

Or I could say that I tried to make fudge tonight, and I was pretty confident about it because really, how hard could it be? Answer: VERY hard. I have an 8x8 greased baking dish full of dry chocolate crumbles.

Or I could write about the fact that when I came home for Thanksgiving, I accidentally left some important information back on the desk in my dorm room, and had to make a special four-hour round-trip back there today to retrieve it. It wasn't so bad, though, because I got to spend a little time with JBK, watching Seinfeld, eating soup, then drinking hot coffee and dunking homemade spritz cookies in it, talking about things from our childhoods. I adore how comfortable everything is with him; how any situation is, if we're together, natural and unthreatening. Big social events? No longer a problem. With him by my side, I feel protected, safe, and complete. Today, I got there a few minutes before he did, and when he arrived, he took the stairs two at a time and immediately folded me in his arms, and it was as though I was finally home.

I'm unspeakably blessed.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

There is a plethora of reasons I am thankful this year:

For my family - it's good to not be living at home anymore (darn right), but I love my family to death.

For health - everyone else's, as well as mine.

For traveling - a year ago today, I was in London.

For church - it is so beautiful.

For Autumn - it was long this year, and glorious!

For books - and for the people who take the time to write them.

For professors - who encourage critical thinking, instead of spoon-feeding

For friends - with whom I can pick up right where we left off, even after a year.

For snowstorms - with big, fluffy flakes.

For walks - while it's snowing, walking in the unblemished snow, late at night.

For drinks - coffee and tea late at night, warming up after those walks in the snow.

For music - lately, for Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" CD most of all.

For Kristen and Troy - because without them, we wouldn't have met.

For opportunities - and having the right to decide for myself whether I should pursue them or not.

For vocabulary - working "extrapolate," "monotony," and "nefarious" into conversation on a regular basis.

For extra quilts - I love waking up in a cocoon of blankets, snugly warm in a freezing room.

For him - for being cared for by the most amazing, wonderful man I've ever had the privilege of knowing. For being more myself when I'm around him than with anyone else. For feeling at home, finally. For this.

Yes, I have much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

the highlight of last week:

when we finally kiss goodnight
oh i'll hate going out in the storm.
but if you really hold me tight,
all the way home i'll be warm!

the fire is slowly dying
and, my dear,
we're still good-bye-ing!
but as long as you love me so,
let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

one of the highlights of the last week: finishing coffee at Perkins at 1 AM, walking through the early-morning snowstorm, waiting in the car for the engine to warm up, for the heater to kick in. we listened to Bing Crosby crooning Christmas songs, watching the snowflakes swirl around the car, seeing the festive sparkle of city lights from across the lake; his arms around me, my head on his shoulder, his lips occasionally brushing my forehead as we quietly talked to each other.

something that never ceases to amaze me is how we connect on so many different levels. there's overwhelming mental and emotional attraction and stability, as well as physical attraction; we each delight in the fact that the other is intelligent, that we have so many similarities on which to build a broad, stable foundation for this relationship, but enough differences to keep conversation interesting, to always have something new to bring to the table.

one of our favourite things to do is, when everything is quiet, fantasize about where we're going to travel someday. "where are we?" i asked the other evening, out of the blue; without having to ask me what i meant, he grew thoughtful, his arms around me.
somewhere in middle-Europe; Germany or Austria, thought my mind, and i couldn't wait for him to answer, to see if he felt the same thing.
"vienna," he said, and my mind relaxed, happy; "we're staying in a townhome bed and breakfast, and it has wooden floors; at the foot of the bed, there's a fireplace."
"and no animal fur," i added, referencing another trip we had pictured the day before.
he laughed quietly; "yes, no animal fur."
"what did we do tonight?" went to a concert, went to a concert, i chanted mentally.
"we just got back from the opera," he replied.
"and it's snowing, and our gloves and scarves and long coats are drying by the fire," i said, getting caught up in the mental imagery.
"yes, it is. and right after the concert, we went out for wine."
my mind laughed, remembering our professor who got wasted in Europe; i opened my mouth to say, "except there's no wine, because karl drank it all," but he beat me to it.
"but karl's along, so there's no wine left."

it's still over a month to Christmas Day, but already, this is most amazing Christmas i've ever had.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The time of my life

We take late-night walks around town, wandering for miles, keeping each other's hands warm in the 27-degree weather, discussing everything, enjoying each other's presence. I am more at ease, more comfortable, more complete than I ever have been. It was reassurring this weekend, when we were at my parent's house and it felt as though he fit in - as though he belonged there. My parents think he's wonderful, and are so delighted that we found each other; his mother said that, amongst other things, I'm the sweetest girl he's ever known. He's someone I can be proud of; someone with convictions and morals, someone who has amazingly deep respect for me. We spent the weekend together, hours and hours of travelling in a car, and never tired of each other's presence. Yesterday, we were separated for 12 hours and couldn't wait to see each other again, so we met at 11:30pm and went for a walk. I love that his face lights up when he sees me; that he shows affection in front of his friends; when we're together and he's talking to someone else, he reaches over for my hand, just to let me know that he's still aware of the fact that I'm there. We meet for coffee in the mornings, and it's such a beautiful way to start the day.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I won't be posting much over the next while; life has gotten so busy. The main catalyst is that I've had late midterms last week and this week (four papers due this week alone, as well as some last week), and it has created havoc and destruction, making it difficult for me to stay on top of what is usually a normal load. I've fallen behind in my work-work because of it, and that's driving me crazy.

Add in the fact that I'm completely enjoying someone...and the end result is that my schedule is bursting at the seams.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

it's been a while...

it's been a while...

...since I've posted. It's not that I have nothing to say; my brain is overflowing, but I don't want to say anything here yet.

I'll share soon. I promise. But for now, just be content to know that life seems like a beautful dream - but better than a dream, for I don't have to fear waking up and finding that it vanished.

Friday, November 04, 2005

From one of his friends: (haha)

Message: 11.03.05 12:50pm B: You are cordially invited to the upcoming student senate meeting. A John K. has informed us that you are a prospect of his and that he would like you to see him in intellectual action. He'll probably stay awake if you're there too. I know he seems a little pedantic, but give him a chance. It's not a bald spot, it's a solar panel for a sex machine.

Reply: 11.04.05 1:59pm Danika: I would like to extend my sincere thanks and convey my deep appreciation for the cordial invitation to the upcoming student senate meeting (which I accept, of course). I am delighted to be considered a prospect of a John K, even though he has a funny last name; and from what I've seen of his intellectual action, it's pretty hot, even after a few drinks. And have no fear; to me, pedantic=really, really, really great.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


The First (and will be the last, for a while, anyway) All-Nighter I've Had in a Long Time

He likes that I'm articulate; he appreciates my vocabulary and my ability to state what I think (apparently. you can laugh, if you want). He loves the fact that I'm gentle, and thinks I'm entirely appropriate. He couldn't believe we met because of his roommate.

We talked from 10 pm until a quarter after five this morning, about politics, religion, school, health, having children; music, beds, reincarnation, the topic of If We Could Be Anyone from History, Who Would We Be?, board games (he was always Professor Plum; I was always Miss Scarlet), food, growing up, "Is there anything really bad about you that I should know? Because if there is, please tell me now", and travelling, while relaxing on the futon.

Nothing happened, nothing uneasy or forward; instead, it was beautifully comfortable, yet exciting; a time of amazing conversation that could've happened anywhere; lying under the stars, or on a walk, but we were both tired from a long walk and a little alcohol and everyone else was sleeping, anyway.

We talked and laughed -- at one point, just after our Board Game episode of the conversation, he sighed, "I'm going straight to Hell," to which I giggled and replied, "Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200," and we both found that insanely funny for a few minutes -- and then we talked about how strange it is that we have managed to not meet for the past semester and a half, when we have the same majors and freakishly similar interests (hello, Big Band Music?).

When he had walked into the room, I was introduced to him, then stayed and sat on the floor and talked with him, because somehow I knew that of all the people there, he was the one I would want to talk to, want to get to know.

I told him this morning that when I first saw him, I felt as though I knew him; no, that it was more a feeling that I should know him.

"That's the perfect way to describe it. It was the same way with me," he said.

Later, I said something brilliant about growing up, becoming one's own person, thinking and believing and having likes and dislikes because of yourself, not because anyone else wants you to; being able to develop without succumbing to peer pressure. And then there was silence, as he took a deep breath.

"what?" I wondered about the sudden deep inhalation.

"you gave me butterflies. I looked over and saw you, and got butterflies."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Teacher's Pet

teacher's pet

In my favourite class, we have been discussing/critiquing various memorials dedicated to WWII's holocaust. Today one of the critiqued memorials is a monument in the Ukraine, dedicated to around 2,000 Jews who were slaughtered there. It's a beautiful monument, but there's a funny twist: Nowhere on the monument does it mention that the victims were Jewish; instead, they're listed as "Citizens of the Soviet Union."

My professor asked if there's a problem with that, with not recognizing the victims' Jewish heritage; for, when we separate people into different categories, are we not adhering to some aspect of Hitler's beliefs - that people are not inherently the same?

I raised my hand, unable to sit still; the professor looked at me.

"Yes, but the problem is, they weren't killed because they were Soviet citizens. They were killed because they were Jewish."

And thereafter commenced the following conversation:

d: I love it when I get the answer right.
k: And the way he looks at you when you do...
d: Totally. It's all, "You. Me. My office. Now."

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Hallowe'en

Happy Hallowe'en!

Jme: "I ran out of real candy, but here; you can have a candy cane or string cheese."
kid: ". . ."
Jme: "Here, take the string cheese, but be sure to refrigerate it when you get home!"
kid: "Fiiiiiine."

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Grand Finale (oh deer).

Grand Finale.

"Hell of a way to end your weekend," remarked the trucker as the wrecker's bed slid towards my car. I looked at him; the glaring lights of the tow truck lit up the pitch-black darkness and illuminated tiny flakes of snow swirling towards us.

I agreed with him, a dry laugh working its way out of my mouth. "Yeah, I know. The Grand Finale." I gazed at the bits of drying animal flesh pasted onto the hood and side of my car; the smashed hood, the puddle of fluid under the car's body. I'd always hoped that if I ever were to hit a deer, I'd hit it hard enough to kill it; the memory of the deer appearing in front of me, then the massive thud, the sight of pieces of animal flying across and over my car, landing far away in the ditch, assured me that there was no chance it could be alive.

I swallowed hard, trying not to connect the delicate beauty of the animal with the horror of the scene in front of me. My neck ached and my pulse thudded in my head. It had taken forty minutes for the police and wrecker to get to the scene; forty minutes in which I shook and listened to the hissing of the radiator, trying to contact someone to help me. I had pulled out my phone and dialed 911, and the phone, even though on silent, played music as I hit "send," a sweet chime that assured me that help would be on the way.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Girl Problems

Girl Problems

roomie: It's because, you know, I have PMS. Well, not PMS. More like MS.
me: Oh no! You have Multiple Sclerosis?
roomie: Yes, that too.



There are so many times I don't post; I write posts, yet don't publish them. It's not that I find my thoughts particularly disturbing; instead, there are a few topics which, if I write about, make me feel naked. Those posts, I save as drafts to be re-read over and over by myself. Many of them are about someone; the posts about him I was hesitant to publish, mainly because I didn't like having a public electronic record, in case things don't work out. But lately, I'm realizing more and more that even if things don't work out the way I'd like them to, these thoughts are still here and won't change. Will I always be able to remember that I loved spending time with him? Yes.

There are a few random snippets I am okay with sharing, though.

There are so many students from Japan here this semester, living in my dorm. They're all so small and skinny, with tiny jeans and cute shirts and feathered, highlighted hair, and always ALWAYS cheerful, smiling and bobbing their heads whenever someone walks past. "Good morning!" they chirp, dipping their heads and grinning so hugely that it seems strange they don't have a ton of smile wrinkles yet.

In dance class...his arm around my waist, my hand on his shoulder, his fingers on my ribs tapping out the beat, and our bodies moving together as though they can speak a language of their own, one in our subconscious; we waltz like Cinderella and the prince, only closer; Cinderella in a short denim skirt and tights, and the prince in gym shorts and a t-shirt.

I walk alone on my side of the pavement, dodging the uneven parts, remembering a conversation we had, and my eyes look up and to my left, expecting to find themselves met by a pair of intent, calm eyes, anticipating seeing a brown knit cap and a ready smile.

I was a bit anxious about our last dance class, the one after The Talk. But I shouldn't have worried that it might be awkward. Instead, everything was perfect, and we danced together better than we ever have before. Rather than awkwardness, there was comfortableness; instead of being overly careful to maintain distance between ourselves and not touch each other, we were relaxed and close; I gave him space, but his arm drew me closer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

immaculate conception

Immaculate conception, Take II

Tonight I was reading a history book about Genghis Khan, and found out there are myths surrounding the circumstances of his birth. One is that his mother was "impregnated by a ray of light." I did a double-take and snorted, then read it to my roommate.

D: "...impregnated by a ray of light." What an excuse. Can you imagine? "So who got you pregnant?"
M & D: 'Oh, it was, you know, a ray of light.'

Is there really a parent dumb enough to fall for that one?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005



J. was my best friend two years ago. I met him at my other college, and we were together nearly 24/7 for over a year and a half. I felt more comfortable around him than anyone else I'd met up to that point, and then we moved to different colleges and grew apart a bit. This spring when my dad was in an accident and I was home alone, I didn't want any of my other friends with me, or even the guy I was seeing at the time; I just wanted J. Not to talk to, particularly, not to cry on, but just to know that he was there.

There's a guy here in one of my classes, who reminds me overwhelmingly of J. Not in amazingly similar looks, but in the shaggy hair and the sweatpants, the laid-back attitude, and the habit of slouching around most of the time, then catching you off-guard with some deep, philosophical thought. It's funny, how I've transferred the feelings I had for my friend, onto this complete stranger; I feel comfortable around him, like there's a piece of home with me in each class we have. Last night, our class watched a movie, and I sat on the floor; this guy came in late (as would my friend) and lay down; I had an overwhelming urge to give him a hug and to lie there, too, sharing a backpack as a pillow.

Until I saw this guy, I didn't realise how much I miss my friend.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

i'm too sexy for my shirt...

There are many people I find attractive (I think almost everyone is beautiful), but there are very few people I'm attracted to. Actually, there are only a couple people I've ever been really attracted to. Therefore, I don't go around commenting on people's sexiness because, hello? I don't find them sexy.

Tonight, however, I saw someone who has been one of The Ones for quite a while. I was talking to one of my friends, and when I leaned over to whisper a reply to her, something about plans for next weekend, the only thing that came out of my mouth was, "Hot. Hot hot hothothothothot."

Someone, please slap me.

(tangentially related: I didn't know facebook was going to turn out to be used as a dating service. I've gotten offers/invitations from italians, argentinians, and some U.S. guys - I haven't taken any of them up on it, but it's flippin' sweet.)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

That time of year...

That time of year...

It's October, and the feeling I was anticipating has finally struck.

This is the "I want to chop off all my hair" feeling, when I long for any radical change to my hair. Usually when this feeling strikes, I go somewhere and get something done to my hair -- I've weaned myself off cutting my own hair (for the most part).

So I did something different this time, instead of giving in to my scissor-happy fingers, since I'm letting my hair grow long again: I dyed it. I've dyed my hair several times before, but this time, I dyed it purple (and I love it!).

That was a few days ago; today, I saw "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" for the first time, and felt as though I belonged. I loved her hair.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Needing therapy:

D: On a lighter note, a motorcyclist tried to pick me up yesterday afternoon.
G: Did you play 'hard to get' with him too?
D: You mean, like not hop on the back of his bike and go with him? um, YEAH.
G: You're so frigid.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


D: I love this song. It is so OCTOBER to me.
M: *silence*
D: You ended up with a really weird roommate, didn't you?
M: Yeah, pretty much.

Well, at least I don't dust the top of my box of garbage bags...

Friday, October 14, 2005

Today's Shopping Receipt:

$0.33 worth of roasted-salted-in-shell peanuts
2 pounds fresh green beans
2 bags of brown rice
1 bag of puffed brown rice
1 butternut squash
3 Roma tomatoes
1 avocado
1 4-pack Exotic Berry flavoured Malt Beverages *
3 lbs. McIntosh apples
2 cucumbers
12 small flavoured caramels from the bulk candy section

* My first purchase of alcohol (all the other alcohol [haha, I said "all the other," from which it could be implied that there was a TON OF IT] was given to me), and the clerk didn't even card me. HOW ANTICLIMACTIC.

Today is one of the days I'm homesick; not for my parents' house, but for my own; a house on a quiet street, with golden leaves in the yard and a concrete sidewalk, wet from the rain. A house with my own kitchen, in which I could take my time creating amazing food, listening to Vivaldi today, filling the house with the wonderful smells of cinnamon and nutmeg; a house with colours slathered on the walls, with my art pinned up in the rooms, with wonderful books on the shelves, with my instruments resting in the corner. I drove around a lot in the residential areas of town today, as I ran my errands to the library and supermarket; and as I wove my way between the parked cars lining the narrow streets, I wished that any of the houses were mine.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

An msn message that helped alleviate the crapidity of this afternoon:

you don't have to answer,
I just wanted you to know
you're absolutely WONDERFUL
smile cuz we all love you

Collection of Equally Random reasons I feel Slightly Guilty:

1.) I have had far too much chocolate over the past 48 hours. But I alleviate my guilt by reminding myself that I get these cravings only a few days each month (the same days I'm tired and depressed and an emotional mess). And, it's not craving, so much, because craving sounds so specific -- I'm not picky about what I'm shoving into my mouth, as long as it has a high sugar/fat content/carb content. RAVENOUS might be a better word. So, basically, just give in already.

2.) I haven't completely finished the readings for this week's classes. I feel guilty that I don't feel MORE guilty about this - particularly regarding my WWII class.

3.) I looked at the nutrition panel for the bag of Organic Puffed Rice cereal I bought on...ummm... Tuesday (how sick is this, I couldn't remember which day it was, until I thought about the shirt that someone I saw was wearing?!), and it said there are ten servings per bag. They could've fooled me - I thought there were, like, four. Apparently.

6.) Yes. Six. My homeschool-raised brain skipped right over 4 & 5, perhaps in a subconscious attempt to avoid typing or thinking about the five, since I have a horrible aversion to that number. Aaanyway.

7.) I baked an 8x8 (only inches, not feet, unfortunately; otherwise I would've jumped into it and eaten my way out) apple crisp last night. It was only three apples, and it wasn't very crisp. But it was really good (do you notice all the usage of past tense?).

8.) I am currently eating Smucker's Natural peanut butter out of the jar. Off a knife. For an explanation as to why I feel only Slightly Guilty, refer to #1.

9.) I just washed my dishes, only because I ran out of silverware. Yesterday and today I had to resort to eating off knives. I told L. I was going to wash them last night, and then I didn't, and when he asked me later if I had, and I TOLD HIM NO AND HE CALLED ME A BUM, yes, I felt guilty.

10.) I feel guilty for not feeling guilty about slightly losing my temper today. It wasn't a big deal, the losing of the temper, because when I lose my temper I get really cold and quiet, but today I let my book fall onto the floor. And I enjoyed the resounding thud it made.

Collection of random, perhaps meaningless (not to me), and certainly disjointed thoughts:

1.) Currently, my most hated word is "frick." Just say the actual word, people. It's not like we don't know what you mean, and certainly not like God doesn't know what you really mean.

2.) The other night I was on my way from my art class to another building, wearing my crinkly broomstick skirt and corduroy jacket, fingerless mittens, and carrying my sketch pad under my arm. I had to walk by a parking lot, and there must've been a concert, for there were many people out sitting in their cars, smoking their last cigarettes before having to run to the building. One car, a ford focus, windows rolled down, was occupied by two young women; as I walked past, I could hear their voices through the still night air:

"Have you ever noticed that people who are, like REALLY SERIOUS about art, they wear weird clothes? I'm serious - it's cool - they look different than everyone else. Look at her funky skirt!"

3.) What happened? Why do I have this knot of unease in my stomach? We need to talk; I need to know what happened; why that comfortability became strained overnight. If you're scared of getting into a relationship, being vulnerable again, please, please don't be. I won't hurt you. I don't get really mad easily, but the thought of someone ever hurting you, makes me horribly angry. Weeks ago, when there were those creepy people walking right behind us at night, carrying tire irons, in that not-so-nice part of town, I watched them - I was incredibly tense, for I knew if they hurt you, I would want to rip them apart, and I didn't even have my pepper spray with me.

4.) I have a job. I begin sometime in the next few days, and it scares me to death. I didn't want this job; I have so much on my plate right now; but I have to have it. I wish days could've continued on the way they were; full of school and homework, yet having a couple nights a week that were free for other things (like spending time with people. What a novel idea!). Now, the only days that I don't have school booked solid, I'll be working.

5.) Okay, that post I'd written before, the one about loneliness? It sounded all great, and I totally believed it when I was writing it; heck, and I'm sure I still do believe it, somewhere. But the past few days, loneliness has totally sucked. And it wasn't even loneliness for a guy, a few evenings ago, but flat-out loneliness for human company - I took a long drive and sat in the car, tears falling down my face, needing to talk to someone; but not having anyone to talk to.

6.) I don't really have a sixth thing to write; but I couldn't end this on an odd number.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

duck, duck, GOOSE

Let's play a new game!

The title of this game is, "How many different shades of brown clothes Dänika can swathe her body in this morning?!"

Five. Possibly six, but I think that would be waaay over the top.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Hop on cop

I've always been scared of getting a speeding ticket. And therapists say that you're supposed to face your fear. Right?

Today I faced my fear (ON THE WAY TO A JOB INTERVIEW) and it's costing me $169.

The hardest part about it, though, was keeping my mouth shut. The cop's name badge said, "D. Seuss," and I had to bite my tongue to keep from singing, "I do not want a ticket, I don't! You surely will not write one - you won't!"

The agony.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


I had my first cup of coffee last week . . .

. . . and three today. Two cups of regular; one espresso.

Dänika, meet Vice.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Ricecake Addiction

Over the past four days, I've eaten an entire package of Quaker Peanut butter and Chocolate Chip ricecakes. There were fourteen ricecakes in the package, so you'd think I was averaging a bit more than three a day, right?

No. That's what a sane person would do. Well, to be honest, a sane person might not even think of eating more than one a day. Or maybe one a week.

I, however, was averaging five one day, half of one the next, then four, then one, then three, then the other half.

And then licking the crumbs out of the package so I wouldn't miss any of those little, crunchy, carmelly, peanut butter, chocolate chippy calories.

But at least they're gone now, so they won't tempt me.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Fully expecting to receive a long comment from C. regarding this post and automated spam:

I hate spam. I do. It makes me laugh; it makes me utter disgusted sounds; it wrecks that moment of bliss when I think that a Real Person e-mailed me, and then find "DIAPERS ON US FOR A YEAR!" waiting for me.

But the thing I really hate about spam is that I don't get any on the weekends. How twisted is that? I hate the absence of spam, because I don't want the spammers to enjoy their weekends; I don't want them to have free time. If they're going to fill my inbox with garbage, I'd rather they slave over it all the time; not just do it in a modest 20-40 hour work week, then kick up their feet and sip a beer, watching MTV and drooling. I want them to be working at it ALL THE TIME. If they're going to make me miserable; I want THEM to be miserable, too.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

100 things...

Taken from this blog (which took it from somewhere else): Make a list of 100 things you like in no particular order. Avoid the obvious (significant other, cake...) and be completely honest with yourself. If you try to think of things that you are curious about and inspired by, you'll end up discovering a lot about yourself and in doing so developing a sort of bank of your interests and ideas.

1. new water bottles
2. grocery shopping
3. bright colours
4. cooking
5. taking photographs
6. the smell of coffee
7. daily planners
8. the smell of tires
9. candles
10. wine
11. wearing a knee-length skirt and tights
12. autumn
13. red shoes
14. dancing
15. the Beatles
16. long walks
17. birthday cards
18. solid-colour mugs and bowls
19. hot tea
20. Wednesdays
21. lakes and oceans
22. strings of white lights
23. Christmas trees
24. waking up in a freezing room, curled up inside a cocoon of quilts
25. black&white photography
26. English literature
27. travelling
28. watching movies in the dark, and seeing the light from the tv flicker across the faces of the other people in the room
29. finding surprising amounts of money in my checking account
30. Target
31. Macintosh apples
32. "Amélie"
33. the smell of fresh-baked bread
34. Cathedrals
35. Renaissance music
36. succeeding
37. plants
38. good shampoo
39. corduroy
40. aerobics
41. laundry detergent (Tide or Gain)
42. Andes mints
44. acting in plays
45. playing the piano
46. finding a kleenex box with a pattern/pictures I like on it
47. dark brown shirts
48. dangly earrings
49. the stars
50. someone who stops whatever he's doing to look me in the eyes and give me his full attention when I'm talking about something serious
51. good blog designs
52. the produce section at good grocery stores
53. my sunglasses
54. gluten-free bread with natural peanut butter, drizzled with honey
55. apple anything in the fall
56. waking up before my alarm goes off, cherishing those last few minutes of peace
57. anticipation
58. seagulls
59. waves crashing on huge rocks
60. finding the perfect pair of jeans for under $20
61. the Tchaikovsky violin concerto
62. squash, sprinkled with brown sugar
63. receiving packages in the mail
64. sending cards
65. reading blogs
66. getting that 'spark' of creativity, when suddenly a story appears in my head
67. the "Emily" books
68. getting a voicemail from someone when I least expect it
69. things working out without my trying to make them work out
70. drawing with charcoal and/or chalk
71. getting my hands messy with the charcoal and/or chalk, then scrubbing it off
72. not worrying about the future
73. spacious, clean kitchens
74. soymilk - Silk; vanilla or chocolate
75. wooden cutting boards
76. beautiful hands
77. loveseats
78. rather bright solid-colour walls and fabrics
79. my burgundy clogs
80. little boys dressed in plaid and khaki or corduroy
81. my old, falling-apart sweatshirt
82. losing weight
83. Latin
84. <-- that number, as well as 26
85. choral music
86. 'le fableux' soundtrack from "Amélie"
87. stationery
88. the smell of asphalt after a good rain
89. cinnamon
90. Pentel R.S.V.P. pens - fine point - black ink
91. playing guitar
92. receiving comments on my photos or blog
93. classical guitar music
94. calendars
95. dawn dishsoap
96. British sitcoms
97. people in London
98. doing better on a test than I'd expected
99. bras from Victoria's Secret
100. temperature in the 60s

Saturday, October 01, 2005

(ongoing) to-do list for Fall:

slow down
take more night-time walks
make spiced wine
enjoy my new fingerless glove/mitten things*
drink more tea
make good soups (wild rice, chili, leek and potato)
drink more water
keep the 4.0
try to forget that I've Discovered Coffee (only decaf, but still.)
make applesauce
keep up the good work with all the fresh veggies and organic stuff
not lock myself out of my car or dorm

* purchased today; I'm wearing them right now just because I enjoy them so much. They're that lovely, fally, burnt-orange colour, and just the colour by itself makes me want to spend days outside, bundled up in sweaters and corduroy.

** Related to the whole slowing down thing, two posts ago. Certain things will work out the way they're meant to; I don't have to strive to make them turn out a certain way. That became evident to me a couple of nights ago; things don't turn out the way I plan; sometimes, the times I don't plan, they turn out even better.

The first of October (can you believe it?)

I'm ushering in the new month by eating Rice Krispies with vanilla silk and brown sugar, my window flung open to the mid-60s temperature. First, I have to get this out of my system. What is up with this weather? The high today is 75. SEVENTY-FIVE. Two days when I woke up, it was thirty degrees out. After this weekend, the weather is going to be back in the low-fifties, where it's supposed to be.

The dorm is still under "quiet hours" until noon, but I don't feel bad this once, that the people next door can probably hear my music (the Beatles, again); the other night, they were partying until 2 AM.

(slightly related: The wind is blowing from just the right direction that I can smell the Chinese restaurant that's a few blocks away. Yum!)

Friday, September 30, 2005

Don't you give up now...

There is so much to look forward to. I haven't been this way before, anticipating what the next day could bring, loving being in the moment, loving the right-here-and-now, but I so am.

It's not been easy. It's been a gradual process, oh, so slow, learning to live in the moment; not to be so absorbed with the future that I lose touch with reality. There have been too many times in my past when things don't feel real; when I think back, and can't remember for sure if something actually happened, or was just a dream. I hate that feeling. I'm learning that I can have a focus (graduating in a year and a half) without it being overwhelming; that I need to soak up every moment of my life now. I try too hard sometimes, I work too hard, and it's destructive because I've felt my life passing by...but haven't felt as though I was truly living it.

I've been spending more time outside lately than ever before, loving this weather -- some of the last perfect weather we'll have; snow will be coming all too soon. And I'm savouring every moment I spend with wonderful people, imprinting these beautiful moments into my memory. My week has been a series of beautiful moments, wonderful memories, and anticipation for what lies ahead; which beautiful moment is right around the corner?

I'm in my room, with the little plastic globe lights on above the window, glowing balls of light against the blackness of the night; listening to the Beatles -- the "Abbey Road" album -- and the quiet wave-like sound of traffic, and mulling over beautiful moments from last night...

...sitting crosslegged on a futon, knees almost touching, eating delicious food and drinking wine...watching a video that was dubbed -- and never should've been dubbed. There were times in the movie, even (especially?) the most serious parts, where he and I couldn't help but dissolve into laughter, because the dubbing was so horrendous. I discovered that he isn't a Movie Talker, thank goodness, but just does the same thing I do; no running commentary, but comments occasionally on things that strike a funnybone...being enveloped in soft fleece...surreptitiously gazing at his hands as he played with his empty wineglass; maybe it's because I was trained as a musician for so long, but I always notice hands, and he has beautiful hands; strong hands, with long, slender fingers; hands that play the guitar, work out, and cook really, really great food.

I love that there is nothing at all pretentious about him. He's open, utterly real, with no scheming or trickery - and that is something that drew me to him in the first place; those eyes, they're so honest. He is very calm, which is amazingly nice; there are times I'll stress out over an assignment, but when he walks into the classroom, all my stress evaporates. It's as though he radiates calmness, and most moments, that's exactly what I need.

Thursday, September 29, 2005



See, Cass? So much better than Lunchables. ;)

Ye have been warned:

...or suffer the consequences.

Tangentially related, I have no outdoor plants, but I have two here in our dorm room; Florence, an ivy I bought from Target, and Freddie, a spiky/grassy/palm frond-ish plant I got for FREE.

Florence thrived for a while under the wonderful sunning and watering I lavished on her, but now she's dying. 3/4 of her leaves are all shriveled up, and even the main stalk that was flourishing, is exceedingly limp. This makes me very sad, because I thought I was doing all the right things -- and now, this.

Apparently this has had a negative effect on Freddie as well; he's looking rather yellowish and droopy, too.

WHAT IS WRONG?! I'm putting Freddie up for adoption today (open adoption; I want to be able to visit his in his new home, see if they're killing him, too). I know he can have a better life somewhere else; but I'm still confused and hurt.

MARY, did you have something to do with this?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

one two three, four five six...

(one two three) Stepping forward, following back; traveling. (four five six) Spinning, twirling, stepping back. (one two three) Clasping hands, arms around each other. (four five six) Separating, dipping, coming together again. He suggests the moves; he leads; I follow. He's good at guiding; light pressure from his hand on my back guides me in the right direction; I'm good at following. We are comfortable in our respective roles, moving together. (one two three, four five six)

(one two three)

He suggests another move: "Should we travel again?" (four five six)
"Why, yes. (slight rest) Where should we go this time?" (one two three)
"The South of France, perhaps?" (four five six)
"Ah, along the Mediterranean?" (one two three)
"Yes. I hear it's great this time of year." (four five six)

The American Waltz. I swear I will have the rhythm stuck in my head -- and in my hips, in my feet, in my back -- until the day I die.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

O! Ye Drunken Sloth

So tonight my brother-in-law asked if I was drunk yet. I said no, for that was at 7, and I hadn't had a drop yet - that I was aiming for around 9. I flipped back to my Chaucer (Canterbury Tales) text online, and this is what was staring me in the face:

A lecherous thyng is wyn, and dronkenesse
Is ful of stryvyng and of wrecchednesse.
O dronke man, disfigured is thy face!
Sour is thy breeth, foul artow to embrace...


I wasn't a "dronke man," or even a "dronke" woman; I was a woman who went out tonight with one great person and talked and laughed over one tall amber beer for hours.

And I found out that one tall glass of beer is enough to make me want to TALK FOREVER. So I kept my mouth shut when I got the urge to tell him every single thing about me or about my family or about my neighbour's kids, the ones with the dog.

Silly me, I was so excited about spending time with him tonight that I, um, forgot to eat supper. So that beer was on an empty stomach, after walking a mile or so. We sat and talked and laughed forever, and after that, we walked some more and we played pool and talked and made more plans.

And now I'm tired - but it's a good tired. The "I just had the best birthday of my life so far" tired; the "I just spent the evening with one of my favourite people" tired; the "I had the most wonderful day, ever, and now I have to set my alarm for 6:30 AM - that is SO inhumane" tired.

Someone pinch me. I must be dreaming.

Monday, September 26, 2005

On my mind:

It's fascinating to me how, if you had a room full of people, each person is, potentially, attracted to a different person than another person is. Of course, there are the "I hEaRt BrAd PiTt" people, but that's another story.

I love watching people, couples; watching them interact with each other, wondering what it was about the other that attracted them to each other. I love seeing plain, ordinary people completely in love with each other -- and, more than that, just completely LIKING each other.

I used to think that would never happen to me, that I would never find someone I would choose above all others to spend time with; whom I would never tire of seeing; whom I could respect and admire and love and find completely endearing; whom I could spend time with, and with whom all silences would be comfortable, not awkward.

Reading Heather and Jon's sites helped me a lot - helped me believe that ordinary people do find That Person. That Heather isn't Leslie Ludy or Shannon Harris helped a lot, made it more real. I love this post of hers; it helped so much.

I don't despair anymore.

Party like, it's my birthday! & St[a]ir Crazy

I make myself laugh sometimes. Hey, it's free -- and usually clean -- entertainment.

Every day, I notice beautiful little things, or special little things, but on my birthday, I notice them even more.

For example:

"The sunrise! Look at the sunrise! It's so beautiful. Well, it's my birthday, after all. Thank you, God, for the sunrise for my birthday!"

"I get to shave with my Intuition today! For my birthday! Yay!"

Then I got to my contacts; my right eye felt awful with the contact sitting on it. "Come ON, eye. WORK WITH ME. It's my birthday, remember?"


The stairs here are a killer. It's crazy, how mcuh doing hundreds of stairs a day can change one's body so much. This weekend, I was at Mom and Dad's putting on my shoes, and my hands ran over my calf -- and I shrieked. There, on my leg, was a defined muscle. On MY leg, there was a defined muscle. On my leg, there was a DEFINED muscle. On my LEG, there was a defined MUSCLE. (insert reverent pause here) And then after I had lots of good food for my birthday, I had to check to make sure it was still there, that the extra goodies I had consumed hadn't made it go back from whence it came.

Seriously, though, there are SO MANY STAIRS. The other day, I went up a flight, and another flight, and another flight, and another flight, and finally I got to where I just stood still and LOOKED at the stairs that were left, willing them to disappear. A guy behind me started laughing, "You know, it DOES go faster if you take them two at a time."

Sunday, September 25, 2005

VERY Social Dance

"Partners are in the closed position, close together, standing erect, with cushioned knees. Movement is smooth, calm, and graceful, using long-reaching steps, and keeping the feet close to the floor. Movement should be continuous, with the partners striving for a feeling of oneness."

Mom: "'Striving for a feeling of oneness'?! I DON'T THINK SO."


Exchange between Roomie and myself:

d: NO! I totally just spilled squash on my laptop.
R: Seriously?
d: yeah, but it's okay - I'm licking it up.
R: eew. that's gross.
d: hey, nobody else ever touches it!



Thursday, September 22, 2005

I need to go to down to the kitchen and steam some rice so that I can have supper tonight, but first, I have to jot down some things...

I just got out of my WWII Holocaust class, and I am overwhelmed. It's a senior-level class, with an emphasis on discussion, rather than lecture. We don't focus on what the Holocaust was, the facts and figures, but instead, we focus on the memories OF the Holocaust -- how it is remembered, why we should remember the Holocaust, what we should do with the memories (or SHOULD we do anything?). There are so many times in class when I cannot write fast enough, when I cannot get all my thoughts on paper as I wait to take my turn to speak. It is so intriguing to me, and now that I am comfortable in the class, I speak my mind much more often, with no adrenaline spike or galloping heartbeat.

Today, as we did on Tuesday, we focused on various memorials to the Holocaust. We have to understand that there IS no Perfect Memorial to the Holocaust -- that it is impossible. It can't be a Jewish memorial, for Jews were not the only victims; there were Jews, yes, but there were Roma, homosexuals, 7th Day Adventists, etc., as well. It can't be a "Martyr's Memorial," for they were not martyrs, in the true sense of the word. Yes, they died for a cause, but for the Nazi's cause, not their own. Should it be abstract? Should the emphasis be on the Jews? Even the word, "Holocaust," is referring to the Jewish portion of the victims; why is the entire episode labelled with a Jewish term?

Today one of the memorials we focused on (and the one that sparked my interest the most) was the preserved concentration camp at --I believe -- Auschwitz-Birkenau. It isn't a "memorial" the way many are, as it isn't a sculpture or work of art, a slab of marble or carefully crafted bronze. Yet it is carefully created and formed to evoke certain feelings from the general public. Many people like the fact that the barracks, the grounds, have been "preserved," yet what they are getting is NOT the true Auschwitz they think they're getting; it's been carefully reconstructed. The buildings are whole, clean, and the ground outside has grass and flowers. There is no disease, no gunshots, no death. There are no guards, there are no spotlights, there are no dogs. There is no fear. It is merely a group of empty buildings, restored to evoke feelings from us. But as I told the professor, these feelings -- they are our imagination. It is not a true memory. Instead, the buildings instill in us a false sense of authenticity, making us believe that we know what it must have been like to be there.

So should the buildings be continually restored, so more generations can "know," enabled with this fake reality, to imagine the way things might have been? One member in my group stated that he likes the way they're "preserved;" that this way, people will visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, and remember the way it was.

"But," I said, "Should we? Should we remember? They are not our memories to have." We will never have the exact feeling or thoughts that the prisoners did; instead, the reconstructed surroundings give us a false sense of authenticity; we are using the surroundings to try to imagine what it could have been like. We are stealing and warping the survivors' memories, twisting them with our own biases and reactions.

Should the buildings be "preserved"? Yes, say some, for we will Learn from the Experience; keeping these buildings there will ensure that this sort of atrocity will never happen again. I have to disagree. Obviously, the world has not learned, has not bettered itself, by having the reconstructed concentration camps -- for genocides are occurring at this very minute. We will Never Forget! is the cry of people remembering the Holocaust -- yet, truthfully, they are fooling themselves; if they truly would Never Forget, they would be doing something about the genocide in Darfur, they would've done something about Pol Pot's slaughtering of people. Yet obviously, they don't want to; if they refuse to acknowledge that the genocides are occurring, they don't have to do anything about it. That is the level to which our society has stooped, and it sickens me.

Another picture showed a crematorium; the Germans had blown it up when the Allies were coming in, to try to destroy the evidence. There it is, a mound of blackened timbers and metal, with grass beginning to crawl up the sides. And I have to say that I much prefer this memorial than the reconstructed barracks of Auschwitz-Birkenau. This one, at least, is real; it is truthful; it is not adulterated, it is not altered. It is not part of an eerie, somber "Disneyland" that tries to get us to see what Auschwitz-Birkenau felt like. It's there; we know what happened, but gradually, it's being healed -- just like the people.

On my mind

It was a funny feeling last night when, for the first time ever, my DAD insisted that I call a guy.

I'm very glad he did.

And I'm very glad I did.

Because, for real, I don't know any other guy who, among other amazing characteristics, can use the phrase, "Curl up with a good book" twice in a week without sounding at all femmy.

Monday, September 19, 2005

On humanity (On, humanity!).

I hate crying, I hate being vulnerable. I guess there are just some days I loathe being human, and today is one of them. The horrid thing is, there's nothing wrong, really, nothing at all, yet I keep crying. It helps to remember that right now, on this Earth, there are millions of people who feel the same way I do.

I just finished my only class for the day, and am listening (on repeat) to Gabriel Fauré's "Pavane," played on acoustic guitar. It's amazingly lovely, and at the same time unspeakably sad. If today were perfect, I would wrap myself in a quilt, hunker down in the corner of a huge room, lean my head on someone's shoulder, breathe in the scents of coffee, organic shampoo, and laundry detergent, and just stay there for hours. The rain is pounding against the windows; the fierce, rapid heartbeat of a dreary day.


Yesterday I went to the Catholic Cathedral in town, and boy was it gorgeous. It had been under renovation for three or four years, and they just finished this spring. I hadn't been in it before, but I've always loved the way it looks so foreign, like a beautiful Andalucian tile-roofed church from the 1600's flung across the ocean, somehow ending up here in the mid-west. The inside is beautiful, not quite as breathtaking as the outside, but still nothing to be sneezed at. The service was quite nice, and I didn't feel quite as out of place as I had feared; I went with my friend Meghan, because I wanted someone In The Know to hiss "Kneel...KNEEL!!!" at the appropriate times.

I partook of the Eucharist, and when I got to the Communal Goblet of Wine, I wasn't prepared for the kick it had -- it was the Real Stuff (seven days, and I can buy my own ;) )!

It was a beautiful service...yet it's seemed as though many in the congregation were merely going through the motions, as though it's just something they do, with no meaning behind it -- like they don't take it seriously. I think L. hit it on the head the other day when he said that it seemed like it was, "All ritual, and no substance."

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Concentration (or lack thereof)

I'm finding it horribly difficult to concentrate tonight. Perhaps it's because my brain hasn't quite made the switch from the Summer Mode to the School Mode, but I find it nearly impossible to focus my concentration on my textbooks.

Or maybe it has a bit to do with the weather. My window is to my left, and the wind is blowing gustily tonight at a beautifully crisp 61 degrees; not too cold, but chilly enough to slightly numb my fingers. I can't -- won't -- close the window, for I love the breeze whistling like shrill voices through the metal screen, the smell of the outdoors, the sound of traffic and occasional voices, the caress of the wind on my body. I love waking up when it's absolutely freezing in the room, yet I'm cozy, curled up inside my cocoon of quilts.

Tonight the full moon is golden, rising in the sky behind a bank of small silver clouds, and the eerieness and wildness of it all has me itching to go do something. The only ways I want to spend tonight are these: I want to put on a sweater, call someone, and go for a walk on this wild night; to sit around a campfire by a lake, listening to the crashing of the waves, looking at the stars, feeling the brisk wind around us, yet staying warm from the flames; to sit outside in the darkness, warming our hands around cups of hot tea; or to be indoors, windows thrown open to the wind, sitting cross-legged on the floor, surrounded by plants and art and quiet light, sipping wine, writing our papers, and listening to beautiful acoustic guitar.

It's funny how normal things, when done with someone else, someone intriguing, are lovely and completely unordinary. I love school, I do, but right now, a series of back-to-back weekends with weather like this would be perfect.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


This morning I didn't need to set my alarm clock; I woke up at 8:40 to a man bellowing, "You wanna play baaaaallllll? YOUUU WAAAAAAAANNNNNNNA PLAAAAAAAY BAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL?!"

There's a football field just below my window; we don't have a football team here anymore, but the local middle schools/high schools use it for their games. Today it must be middle-schoolers -- they almost disappear under the bulky uniforms. They're totally cute. Number 41 is lying on the field right now, with a group of people clustered around him. I hope he'll be okay. :(

Last night was beautiful; L. and I went for a long walk by the lake; we got there just a bit after sunset and got to see the moon rise over the water. It was so gorgeous, a trail of diamonds sparkling their way across to the horizon.

It's really nice out today, partly cloudy, in the low seventies; really great weather, especially considering that L. has an off-road bike race today that's 40 miles long. FORTY. Like, ten more than thirty. Twenty times two.

There are times I don't know if he's amazing, or just insane. Maybe both.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Social (not Dirty) Dancing

I'm in a Social Dance class that meets one night a week. Last Wednesday night we met for the first time, and out of the 20 guys, I ended up with one who had no rhythm whatsoever, and didn't even TRY to dance the way we were supposed to.

But L.* joined the class yesterday (he really wanted to, and I really wanted him to), and, MAN, it was so much fun to dance with him. It was wonderful. There were times when we would almost get the moves, and a few magical times when everything worked perfectly -- our feet took the little steps they were supposed to, our turns were exquisite, and the teamwork was a thing of beauty. The little old lady who helps teach the class came over to us a few times and complimented us, "You two look so good!" Rock on!

* He was in one of my classes when the semester started, and then, after we started talking, joined two more. And I'm very happy. There are a few days when all my classes are with him, and it's a great way to start the day, to get to see one of my favourite people.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


"Do the chickens have large talons?"

Sunday, September 11, 2005

with a quick one-two

Tonight I was stalking down the aisles of SuperWalmart --kill me now -- in search of a fan (we were melting in our dorm room this afternoon). The layout of the store makes no sense, and it's like a Sams Club, only huger and more full of stuff -- it seems like more stuff, because it's not in bulk, it's still in little packages. It's packed with hard-to-find things like fans and salespeople. GOSH.

To get to the housewares section, I had to walk past the little-kids clothing section, and my hormones nearly grabbed a 12-Month-Boy checkered shirt off the rack and clasped it to my chest or stuffed it in my bag and took it with me. AAAHHH. It was as though my Maternal Instinct came across me in a smotheringly hormonal wave, and I wanted a kid RIGHT NOW. GET ME ONE NOW. What, they're on backorder?

Times like tonight, I can hardly wait to have a Little Boy with brown hair and blue eyes and checkered long-sleeved shirts and corduroy pants and little brown loafers; who loves to be read to, and likes bugs and dirt and guitars and frogs and watching his dad shave in the morning.

all hot and steamy

(that's incorrect; the humidity is actually 88%. THEY MESSED UP.)

Days like today, you don't even need an oven. Or a stove. Want something baked? Leave it on my desk. Here, I'll just fry up those eggs for you ON MY HANDS.

My poor roommate is sick with the flu today, in this sticky, miserable weather. We have practically no air movement in our room, even though the window and door are flung wide open, hoping to invite even the slightest of breezes. Tomorrow and the weeks following are supposed to be in the mid-60's, which is my favourite weather; maybe today is just meant to make us appreciate tomorrow's weather even more. Ugh.

Friday, September 09, 2005

High, everyone!

I spent my day in emergency rooms and two different hospitals. At the second one, I was being given anaesthetic through a PLASTIC TUBE IN MY ARM, and when it kicked in, dude, it was so totally great. I was feeling loopy, light as a feather, like I was floating. I grinned up at the nurse, and she told me it was okay to giggle.

The last thing I remember before drifting off was telling the room, "Man, DRUGS ARE SOOO COOL."

I hope they realize the drugs in question were the ones they were giving me, not, like, the four lines of cocaine I snorted last night.


(I'm okay now; I had had something sharp lodged in my throat, and the first hospital I went to referred me to a different hospital, where they got me all doped up and threaded a camera/probe down my oesophagus, past my vocal cords, through my stomach, and into the beginning of my small intestine. And I have PICTURES of it all!)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Niche marketing myself

For as long as I can remember I always wished I could fit in, to have my own little place in amongst a group (preferably without posing or pretending, but if it needed a little help, I'd do it). For a while I was in theatre, so I was in the theatre group; I was a music major for two years, so I was one of the Music Elite, and I loved that, because it was real.

I've always been fascinated by Art People; they seem so free, so themselves, interesting and unique. I never attempted being a part of the Art Crowd; when they deserted the art room, though, I'd take my homework in there and sit by myself in the huge room, the high ceilings, the enormous windows flooding the tables with light; and I'd breathe in (not too deeply, heh) the scent of oils and acrylics, the powdery, clinging dust of chalks, the sharpness of turpentine, and just revel in being.

This semester I'm taking a drawing class, and there's a gorgeous room here with tall ceilings, skylights, and so much light and air I could go crazy with the sheer joy of it. My room is messy, but it's messy with art things: huge pads of paper, Lincoln Log-esque stacks of chalks; stamps, ink, charcoals, tape, tubes of watercolours, and hairspray (a cheap fixative so the chalk won't smudge) -- and I love it so much. I've always been thrilled at the feeling of chalks, the texture of papers, the clear, smooth watercolours, but I never knew how to wield them properly. I am so excited for this semester, to finally learn how to use them all, to have my hands make what my eyes want them to.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Font of knowledge

Another thing - I always get a fuzzy little feeling of pride and contentment when I recognise the fonts used on syllabi, forms, signs, etc. My "Mesoamerica" class syllabus uses Papyrus and Times New Roman (in 12 and 10 pt font), and when I recognised that, I felt comfortably at home in the class.

Silliest thing I heard today:

"But really, if you have a question, please feel free to ask it. There are no stupid questions."

Sorry ma'am, but oh yeah, there are.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dear Spammers...

I rarely receive e-mail from people I know; when I see that my inbox is stuffed with TWELVE! NEW! MESSAGES!, I don't even hope that they're Real Mail anymore; I'm resigned to the fact that they'll all be spam. That way, too, when I actually DO get Real Mail, I'm totally excited.

Some spam subject lines are so up-front, right to the point:
"2GB SD Card, $25 Off D-Link orders over $..."
"Truck Survey - Ford Or Chevy? Get A -$1OO- GasCard!"

I do get a kick out of how some spam subject lines are so personal, though:
"Danika, would you like to win $500?"
"Danika, are you lonely?"
"Danika, meet Christian Singles in your area"

And then some are just way too personal, and don't apply to me anyway:

But the one that tempted me more than any others, so that my fingers just itched to click the link:
"Your high IQ score"

That one totally made my day. It'd be great if all spam was like that one:
"Lookin' good today!"
"Hey beautiful, come get your $50"
"Revlon or Cover Girl? You don't need it, baby"

Monday, September 05, 2005


My attempt to justify eating the rest of a Skor bar for breakfast: Later, when I'm craving something sweet, it won't be here, and I'll have to make do with an apple or ricecake, and then I'll feel so health-conscious!

UPDATE: Or, later, I might reach for the candy corn. I might not. But I might.

(I knew that late-night candy-run was a bad thing...)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Here to stay...

Fall is in the air today, and I can't get enough of it. The air is cool and crisp, cold enough for a jacket, yet I have my window wide open - the breeze washes over me and makes me want to wrap myself in dark brown corduroy and lie under the stars, build a bonfire, sip scalding cider, try some hot rum. It flutters the fabric behind my bed, the fabric that covers the cinder-block wall, the fabric my brother brought with him from Malaysia. It makes me yearn for birch trees, for orange and red and yellow maple leaves, for brown leaves that crunch under my feet. For shorter days that are full of perfect apples from our tree, tart and sweet, for hearty soups and stews, for pumpkin pie and days spent baking and mornings when the world is turned silver with frost.

Days like today, I can feel London - the heavily moist air swirling around me, the dark clouds scudding across the sky as I traipse down twisted side streets, and for a ghostly second, I can hear the rumble of carriages, the clack of horses' hooves, fragments of Old English, and then they're gone in a chilly breath of wind.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Stupid stupid..

I'm in the Denver Int'l Airport right now, using an internet kiosk that has buttons instead of a real keyboard, typing about 4 wpm, erasing all the double letters which KEEP APPEARING.

The flight out here was great, after we finally got off the ground; it was more than an hour late, and was a smaller plane than the one we'd been booked for, so there was lots of rearranging.

I need to go in a minute, get back to my mom, aunt, uncle, and grandfather, before I kick this machine; I have to go work up the nerve to call someone, someone I met on the flight out to Denver. AAAAAAHHHHHH!!

I just realised there's a camera on this thing, STARING AT ME. I hadn't realised I'm being watched. Creepy.

Oh. And this plane is 2 hours late, and I'm sick as a dog. I hope the medicine I took will make the flight bearable.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Party like, it's your birthday a MONDAY

A month from today is my 21st birthday! I was all excited, until I realised (months ago) that it falls on a MONDAY. Monday. Monday as in I-Have-Classes-at-Insanely-Early-Hours the next day! Yeah, what am I going to be doing, the night of my 21st birthday?


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Two timeth a day, for half an hour each, I don't talk. BELIEVE IT OR NOT.

A few days ago I bought Crest Whitestrips PREMIUM. In the instructions, they have a list of activities to do while sporting the Crest Whitestrips PREMIUM for half an hour, twice a day.

Included are the following activities:
Surf the Web / E-mail!
Shower / Get ready for the Day!
Go Shopping!
Play Hockey!
Beat up Small Children and Steal their Lunch Money!
Chat on the Phone / Talk to Friends!

Yeah, they threw in that last one to make sure you’re paying attention. I mean, TALK?! What kind of people are they, anyway? I got rid of one speech impediment, and now I'm paying them for another one, half an hour two times a day.

Tomorrow morning Mom, Grandpa, and I are leaving for Denver, Colorado. It'll be...interesting, taking him out there. The thing you have to understand is, Grandpa's memory is...what was I saying? Something about Denver? Are you going to Denver? Oh, we're all going to Denver! What, tomorrow morning?! Dänika, you're going too? Oh ho ho! (five minutes) Now, what are you doing tomorrow?

We'll be gone for four days, visiting favourite relatives; I'll be laughing, eating, taking pictures, going to church, holding cute babies, reading, and thinking about how lonely it must be to be in Mississippi, going through ARMY training, without friends or family or relaxation. And I think of how tense I get regarding him going to the Middle East, and I know that the ever-present knot of anxiety in my middle, yeah, it's not even a fraction of what he's feeling right now. It's worse than nervousness for a dentist visit or panic about finals at school -- because it doesn't fit into a short blip of time; it isn't a one-day experience. It's a YEAR. And I feel so bad that I missed a call from him last Wednesday; I listen to the voicemail again, and his voice sounds tired and small and so alone.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

If at first you don't succeed...

...Sigh loudly, grit your teeth, and go for a walk, during which time you stomp your feet so hard in frustration that they go all the way through the blacktop; you free your left foot, but eventually have your dog gnaw through the right one in order to get back home without being hit by a car, or killed by a rabbit with big pointy teeth.

RIGHT. I churned forth an exquisite post earlier; lengthy, humorous, and practically perfect in every way. Thanks to dial-up and blogger indigestion, that breathtaking post is lost to the the great void (fitting soundtrack: Queen, Another One Bites the Dust).

And, ironically enough, the post began with a tale of technical difficulty, the first item covered being my shame at being outsmarted by my own laptop. I could handle it if it happened once; not hold a grudge, let bygones be bygones, but after it happened TWICE in a few days, I can't. I'm mad and ashamed. My name is Dänika, and I've been whupped by my own laptop.

The first instance of insubordination occurred when I was attempting to take songs from the laptop (call it "Sylvester," just to make things easier) and put them on my mp3 player (call it a piece of BEEEEEEP!, for short* ).

Second: I was attempting to transfer pictures from Dad's camera to the Stubborn Laptop, and couldn't. I can do it just fine with Mom's computer, but not this one. Ehh.

Today Mom and I were talking about beds, and I shared that I always get the name for a "twin bed" messed up, because I can't believe that a twin bed is the one that's big enough for, oh, yeah, ONE PERSON. I have a twin bed, and it doesn't look big enough for twins to me. Unless, of course, we're talking about Siamese twins. That would explain a LOT.

Jake, my soldier-friend, left on Tuesday. He asked if I could meet him that afternoon, so we met and hugged and talked for a while. I wish he didn't have to go. I'm so proud of him, though, for doing his duty and not complaining about it. He's brave and lovely, and before he left, he gave me his ring from Basic Training; I'm to keep it safe until he comes home. It's strange, but I was so glad to get the ring; it's heavy and beautiful and I have it on a cord around my neck; I leave it on except for when I shower -- then, I leave it in my room, for I am scared to death of losing it down the drain. Scared of losing it because I know how much he likes this ring, how proud of it he is of what it symbolises. The ring helps remind me to pray for him, and when I look at it, it wrenches my heart a bit to see the Infantry insignia, because there is no worse place to be than the Infantry. And that makes me pray even more that he'll come home safely. I'm looking forward to giving this ring back to him, safe and sound.

* Shortened Version of a Long Story which I Had Typed up Earlier: I bought the mp3 player off ebay; received it and the screen was all scrambled and undecipherable after 30 seconds. E-mailed the seller's customer service (they have a computer store online); e-mailed them again after three days of nothing, then again, then again, before finally receiving the Return Merchandise information I'd requested. In each e-mail, after commending them on great shipping, I had explained the problem, told them I would be returning the product, asked for the Return Merchandise Information, and requested they refund my money. I shipped the mp3 player back to California, and was waiting for the $42.99 to worm its way back into my bank account, thinking everything was settled. But wait! Plot twist! FedEx stopped by my house a few days ago and delivered what? ANOTHER MP3 PLAYER.

How they could interpret "Please refund my money" to "Send me another mp3 player, please!", I don't know. I was so irritated at first and then decided, What the heck. I'm sick of messing around with these people; I'll just keep it, if it works.

The screen on this one seems to work well. But I can't transfer songs from Sylvester (remember him?) to IT, because IT didn't come with any software that shows Sylvester what to do. I searched the web for the appropriate driver, etc., etc., etc. And I haven't been able to get it to work. Enter, stage left: The computer-savvy brother-in-law who DIDN'T COME OUT THIS WEEKEND. Thanks for nothing. ;P

Addendum: I just noticed that as of today, I've had this place for a year. So in the now four minutes left before tomorrow: HappyAnniverarytoMe. And a big thank you to everyone who stops by -- especially those who comment! :D

Sunday, August 14, 2005

the boy soldier.

I met his parents today, and it's such a puzzle, how those sets of genes colliding had this result. Sweep clear the canvas of your mind, and allow me to paint a picture. He's six feet tall, slender and clean-cut, with beautiful hands and long, strong fingers. His eyes, a rich hazel, are set under dark, straight brows, and he smiles easily, showing a set of perfect teeth. The hair on his head is cut short, thanks to the National Guard, and the last time I saw him, he was in uniform, camoflauge wrinkle-free and boots so shiny you could see the hot summer sun reflecting off them. I found out the day before yesterday that he's been activated, that he just got back from Basic.

Today, he told me he fell in love with me last year.

The day after tomorrow, he'll be shipped out to a fort in the South for the next few months, then overseas to Kuwait for a year. He wishes there were more time before he had to leave.

And it all breaks my heart. I didn't tell him I love him, because it was very much out of the blue, and I haven't seen him for so long; and I don't care for him like that yet. He told me I'd better be available when he gets back from Kuwait.

We're going to write to each other over the next fifteen months. I can't promise him my heart, but I can be someone to write to, someone who will send silly letters back, letters about what's going on here, letters to cheer him and help him get through all those months when he's lonely and scared.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

1-800-GET A GUY

"Do you have a boyfriend?"
"You have to get one."
"Because you need to get married."
"Because I need cousins."

She just turned seven, and she promised me this afternoon that next time she comes out, she will find me a guy. Hooray!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

If I could speak, it would go something like this:

I'm so sorry. I'm sorry that people are so close-minded and ignorant, so scared, so easily intimidated by the fact that you're so young and so brilliant. I'm sorry they're so insecure that they're trying to run you off the campus and out of town, not even a year after you bought a house here. I'm sorry they won't let you do your job without questioning you every step of the way. I'm sorry they're so shallow that they won't even recognize the fact that you are the best thing that's happened to this campus in years.

I never realized the insane campus politics until last fall, and I don't know if it was because I was just oblivious, or didn't care, since it didn't affect any of my favourite people.

But now, now I know, and I hate it. I hate it because it's turning your life into a horrible caricature of what your life should be. I hate it because you're paler and paler each time I see you. I hate it because it robs you of your sleep and your quirky sense of humour. I hate it because it makes your eyes sad and tired. I HATE IT.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Holy moley!

I've always been sensitive about my moles. They're scattered across my skin, and I have one, one that's more like a birthmark, on the lower right side of my back which I've always been self-conscious about and kept covered -- nobody other than family members has ever seen it. Swimsuits and clothes have been purchased with that mole in mind.

It's not that I'm too vain about it; instead, it's just another thing that makes me even more different than other people -- like being named "Dänika," being homeschooled, starting college when most people have a couple years of high school left, and having eleven fingerprints* isn't enough?! I grew self-conscious about my moles about the same time I wished my name were "Brittany" or "Ashley;" just anything normal so I could blend in.

But, thanks in part to dooce's latest Monthly Newsletter to her daughter, Leta -- and partly due to a comment a man left on her photo, a comment about how his fiancee's moles are somehow endearing and he would never want them removed, I have come to terms am coming to terms with my moles. It's a new experience, thinking of them as quirky features instead of shameful non-blend-in-able marks that should be hidden, but I feel more comfortable in my skin than I have in a very long time.

I've been examining them, and that smattering by my left wrist? Well, it ain't no Cassiopeia, baby, but it sure looks like the handle of the Big Dipper!

Tomorrow I go to the hospital to get a mole checked out. It started bleeding last month, which is unsettling, as that is never a good sign; I'm going to see a doctor to make sure it hasn't crossed over to the Dark Side and become troublesome. And suddenly the thought they will most likely take it off, as well as a few others, makes me a little upset **, because I was just getting to know them.

* The eleventh is on my left palm, and a different type than all my others.
** Add that to the nervousness factor, and we're all set - yikes!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

musical mishaps

This morning, we were talking about losing loved ones to disease, opposed to from an accident; brought on by the story of a woman who lost twin sons in 2001, and whose husband died in a motorcycle accident a week ago.

dänika says:
And it's terrifying losing people in an accident -- if they have a disease, you can at least grow sort of accustomed to the fact that they won't be here much longer -- but like with Dad's accident, it was like running into a brick wall and getting the wind knocked outta you. Errr, but worse.
dänika says:
It's numbing.
Joshua says:
Joshua says:
i can't imagine
Joshua says:
just one minuet here
Joshua says:
next minuet gone

Minuet. You are so cute to me. Do you still want to name your kids "Vivace" and "Allegro"?


I watched S.W.A.T. with a couple of friends last night, and couldn't get over how odd Samuel L. Jackson looked in uniform, when the most recent thing I'd seen him in was a Jedi robe.

JACKSON: You know you want to be back on The Team. Come on.
ME: Or he will cut you with his light saber.

It's my Mom's birthday, and she's spending it with the daughter who must be the one she loves more, hmm. So I'm alone with the dogs, plotting out my day of ricecakes and orange juice, laundry and taking care of the dogs, while Mom frolics about Minnesota. Happy birthday, Mom, I hope you have a great day, no, seriously!

This morning, I dreamed that I had a great article for a newspaper, so great it was going to be The Article of the Century, and I had to submit it to my newspaper...and then I forgot to, and then I woke up. Man. Foiled again!

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Last year, the campus-wide reading project was Jurassic Park, which was a totally stupid decision by the board. They touted the book as being full of things you can relate to and learn from, things to enhance your life.

Learn from? Like, "Don't grow dinosaurs from millenia-old DNA and feature them in an amusement park, for they will eat you."

Whew, I'm so glad I know that, because I had been planning to clone dinosaurs tomorrow! What a lucky break!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I just got off the phone, ending twelve minutes of incredibly uncomfortable near-hell on earth -- what, you think I'm exaggerating? I was on speakerphone. Yes, it was that bad.

It was a phone interview for the front desk job in my dorm, and the inaneness of the questions and scenarios they asked me/set me up with ("During your shift, you sold two small pizzas and three ice cream bars...") made me want to hang up in the middle of the interview. Suddenly my mind went blank, and the only thing I could think to do was laugh and say, "Look, this is uncomfortable for all of us. How about we hang up, now? One...two...three..."

(But I didn't.)

I hadn't been job-interviewed in three years, and so this was relatively foreign. I'm still waiting for that tense coil inside me to unwind. I have a horrible time trying to Extol my Virtues. They're going to make a decision by Friday, and let me know (how soon I'll be shipped to Timbuktu).

Monday, August 01, 2005


Flickring STOP Cant stop long enough to write much STOP Discovered flickr groups STOP Insanely excited when get comments or favourited STOP Cant get offline STOP help

Saturday, July 30, 2005

REPORT: The Wedding

Well, aside from the facts that...
  1. The pianist was drunk
  2. And there were 5 bridesmaids
  3. And a maid of honour
  4. And a flowergirl
  5. And the pianist was drunk
  6. And the bridesmaids smirked through the entire ceremony
  7. And the pianist was drunk
  8. And nobody in the wedding party took the wedding seriously
  9. And the pianist was drunk

...the wedding was okay. Contrary to what the program read, "Cannon in D" was not played, nor was "Canon in D;" the bride instead processed down the aisle to repeated strains of the opening measures of "The Surprise Symphony," as picked out on the piano by a high school music teacher who has seen better (READ: LESS INEBRIATED) days. The bride couldn't keep from laughing as she swore to submit to her husband; the bridesmaids snickered through the entire wedding, and it was as though they were shooting a film and we were all extras.

I've known the bride since we were 6, and most of the bridesmaids for years, and a part of me felt funny at the fact that they were asked to stand there and I wasn't (that one? that bridesmaid? yeah, she and the bride quit talking years ago. They had lived together and then one moved out in a fit because they couldn't stand each other). And part of me felt funny that I was invited to be a part of this day when I hadn't been invited to be any part of her life whatsoever for the past 7 years. And then when the jealousy reared its ugly little head, I quashed it (horribly enough) by telling myself that THAT bridesmaid, that one with the fake Jamaican tan and fried hair, the one who wrecked a few friendships and was the self-proclaimed goddess of the group, yeah, she has the tan now, but man, when she's 60 years old and a wrinkled mess, my skin will still be smooth. Pasty white and emitting a radioactive glow, but wrinkle-free.

And it all makes me very sad.

Early-morning Coversations with Mom

One of my pet peeves (and feel utterly selfish that it is a peeve at all) is when I'm online for the first time of the day, and someone decides to station himself or herself in the same room and talk to me. Not an actual conversation, but occasional snippets, enough to disrupt any train of thought I had going on regarding my Online Experience.

Mom: "I like that commercial." (The t.v. wasn't on.)
me: "Uh-huh..."
Mom: "The one where the little boy is lying on his dad's stomach."
me: "Yeah; 'gorp, gorp.'"
Mom: "'Gorp, gorp.'" slight laugh, long pause.
I get back to checking my e-mail.
Mom: "Laura Bush always looks so pretty."

Today I have to go shopping for a wedding present for the wedding I'm attending this afternoon. I checked out their wedding registries at various stores, and it is MIND-BOGGLING how much stuff is checked-off their wishlists. The first thing I thought of when I noticed that, and remembered that I had spend lots of money on a bridal shower gift, too, was, I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND why people get married 3, 4, 5 times. ALL THOSE GIFTS! It's addicting.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

My, how scentual.

If you were to chart out a pie graph of my mind, scents make up the majority of things that trigger memories -- many times, memories I hadn't thought of for years, or details I had never paid attention to. A certain cleaning detergent smell reminds me of my grandma's kitchen; Dreft laundry soap brings back my grandmother and grandfather. One whiff of newly constructed houses, the scent of sawdust in the air, and I'm suddenly 5 years old again, playing with a hammer and nails as Dad and other workers build our home.

Tonight, it was a cologne from Bath and Body Works that did the trick; I went to town with a couple friends, one of whom had to get a birthday present for her boyfriend. We sniffed dozens of scents at Marshall Fields, then meandered over to B&BW. I had her smell the cologne, then sprayed one on myself so she could smell it better. It was quite pungent at first, but quickly settled down to a mellow, warm scent -- and I was suddenly pulled back to a time early last October, stargazing from a chilly lakeshore around midnight, my hands freezing, but my body warmed by the heavy coat that had just been placed around me...and this scent enveloping me, emanating from the warmth of the lining.

It's very calming and comforting; a reminder of wonderful times, my favourite class, an amazing teacher who is one of the most brilliant people I know; the teacher who was stabbed by a guy high on meth last fall (and whose whiteboard on the office door read "Do math not meth" for the week following); the professor who accidentally broke the observatory one afternoon, because we were busy talking instead of paying attention to the list of things to do in order to safely open it; the professor who wanted the theatre professor to flunk me and threatened to not even look at my final and give me a zero, so I would have to stay longer. This scent reminds me of all that, and that I helped secure his job for a while longer at least, cutting through the insane campus politics and writing a long letter to the Dean of the college.

The Dean, oh, the Dean. The Dean who hugged me when I transferred, who played Henry Higgins in the a local production I played piano for, the middle-aged bachelor who leaves his office door open all the time, hoping people will pop in and say hi (I always do), who has The Coolest House Ever; the man who looks like -- forgive me -- a teddy bear. I loved that school so much, and though I've settled in at my new university, my first campus still has a piece of my heart. Sure, there are bigger and better things at my current school, but it's the people, the camaraderie I miss the most.

The campus I attend now is relatively small, as far as 4-year campuses go, but it's just big enough to wipe out most student-teacher interaction outside of class. and that interaction was something I rather took for granted, getting to stop into my professors' offices whenever I had a question, eating lunch with them, and them knowing me well enough to sense whenever something was going on.

Usually, when the semester's over, I throw out any test I got less than an A on; last fall I kept one, the one that had the lowest grade (the only non-A) I got in astronomy, for the inside cover of the test booklet is filled with writing (such distinctive handwriting), commenting on the fact that this work was not [underlined twice] up to my usual excellent level, and was I okay or was I just having a bad day? If I needed to talk, to come see him anytime.

It's that I miss overwhelmingly -- the personal touch, the knowledge of professors being real human beings who care about their students; I know most people believe, due to ethical reasons, there should be a gap between teachers and students, but I'm thankful for the professors whom I knew more as friends and mentors. I learned so much from them than I ever expected; they imparted to me not only math and science, music and english; they taught me about life, they encouraged me, they taught me to be open, to be brave, to try things I don't think I'll be good at. They taught me to broaden my mind and explore. They taught me an insane amount merely by conversing with me, sharing with me things about their own lives. That camaraderie is something I don't have at my new school, and was something I once took for granted. I am so thankful to have ever experienced it at all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

*happy geeky dance*

Last night I won a Rave MP Sport MP3 Player on ebay. It was funny because it was my first ebay purchase; I'd set up ebay and paypal accounts a few days ago in order to sell things, but I hadn't used them yet. I found the mp3 player when there were 16 minutes left on the auction, and when I decided to get it, there were 10 left -- but suddenly, I realized I should double-check my paypal account to make sure everything was in working order. A message came up that said I hadn't entered my bank, rounting number, or checking account number. I ran around the house gathering the information, entered it, then ran around some more and entered my credit (debit) card number, JUST IN TIME to get the player! I'm so excited. I "Successfully purchased" it. I am a Successful Purchaser. I Purchase Successfully, yes I do.

I was interested in mp3 players to use when I exercise, because I like to have something to listen to, something more than just the music playing in my head, the beat to which I tap my teeth together (and my discman is bulky and skips if it's jostled at all). The Rave isn't like my niece's Creative Zen micro, which can store thousands of songs, but I don't need one like that. This plays up to 8 hours of music, and that's good enough for me -- I don't think there'll be a time when I'll be exercising (ha ha!) or driving long enough to need more than 8 hours of music...or if I am, I can just listen to each song twice. BIG DEAL.

The specifications, for those who might be interested:

General Features:

  • Burgundy profile
  • 256MB Built-in Memory (Up to 8 Hours of Music)
  • Play Music from most online MP3 and WMA Services
  • Hi-speed USB 2.0 for Ultra-fast Music Transfers
  • Quick and Easy - Drag and Drop Music to and from PC
  • SD/MMC Memory Expansion Slot for Additional Storage (up
    to 512MB)
  • Plays 16+ Hours on 1 AAA Battery (Included)
  • FM Tuner with 20 Presets
  • Records Voice, Live Sound & FM Radio

  • Operating Systems Supported:
  • Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
  • Mac OSX

  • Plain Package Includes:
  • Rave MP Sport 256 MB MP3 Player
  • Sport Ear Buds
  • Armband
  • USB cable
  • One (1) AAA battery
  • Drivers CD
  • Beltclip

  • (I usually choose an even number for the minute I publish, but I had to click 12:15 instead of 12:16, because the Magna Charta was signed in 1215 at Runnymede, England. When I pump gasoline, I aim for a number that has Great Historical Significance, too. Yes, I'm a nerd like that.)

    (Oh, and in exactly two months and two minutes, I'll be 21. Hurrah!)