Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Captain Morgan

Any time this commercial comes on, I drop everything to watch it.

...and I'm a loser.

It's okay, I've learned to deal.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A rather lengthy To Do List:

5 things I have to do (but don't really want to, not right now anyway):
1. gather research from the other three books that finally came in over Inter-Library-Loan.
2. type up my Environmental Anthropology final.
3. work on my historiography.
4. study for my History of the US final.
5. vacuum (but I can't right now, anyway, as the dorm has 24-hour quiet hours for Finals Week).

5 things I want to be doing right now (and might be [or might not be, depending]):
1. knitting part of someone's Christmas present.
2. watching a movie with John, drinking coffee, and enjoying the slowness of a weekend morning where you don't have anything you have to be doing yet [this is the "might not be doing" part, unfortunately].
3. rereading the e-mail from that cheerfully reminds me that now it's under seven months until our wedding and there's a lot of stuff that has yet to be done!
4. thinking up ingenious things to do with the $50 gift certificate I won yesterday evening.
5. eating peanut butter m&m's for breakfast.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

xenoestrogens & bisphenol A

Last night in my environmental anthropology course, one of my classmates reported on incidents linking the rising numbers of breast cancer and diabetes (as well as many other health problems) to the release of estrogen levels from...plastic. Studies have shown that some plastics leach hormones into the things they contain (soda, water, foods, etc.).

"In April 1999, Consumers Union confirmed information previously reported by the Food and Drug Administration regarding 95 percent of baby bottles sold in the United States. The bottles, made of a hard plastic known as polycarbonate, leach out the synthetic estrogen named bisphenol-A, especially when heated or scratched [...] A 1993 report published in Endocrinology showed that bisphenol-A produced estrogenic effects in a culture of human breast cancer cells. [Additional studies] have detected leaching of bisphenol-A from polycarbonate products such as plastic tableware, water cooler jugs, and the inside coatings of certain cans (used for some canned foods) and bottle tops. Autoclaving in the canning process causes bisphenol-A to migrate into the liquid in cans [...] In Denmark, the rate of testicular cancer increased by 300 percent from 1945 to 1990. Intrauterine exposure to xenoestrogens during testicular development is thought to be the cause. [...] Perhaps one of the most disturbing current trends is the alarming increase in breast cancer incidence. Fifty years ago, the risk rate was 1 woman in 20; today it is 1 in 8. Numerous studies have implicated xenoestrogens as the responsible agents."

More information:
Science News Online
Mindfully . org
FWHC . org

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Right on the mark...

Something I wrote on a friend's blog, which, when reviewed, seems to so aptly summarize my life -- full of paranoia and parenthesis[es]:

I'm generally neurotic about doors, but because my bathroom is right here in my room (thus I'm the only one who has access to it), I find myself leaving the bathroom door open. Even when I'm in the shower. It's funny, because I used to totally be like you in that regard (THE DOOR MUST BE CLOSED), but now the thought of closing the door when I'm showering freaks me out (I need to hear what's going on in my room; what if someone sneaks in and I can't hear them because the door is closed and then when I come out they stab me! IT COULD HAPPEN.)!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Spreading the cheer...

In my search for an injection of Christmas cheer, I discovered's Christmas Channel. It's non-stop, commercial-free stream of Christmas music. There are lots of classics, with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, some Johnny Mathis, some instrumental, and then Mannheim Steamroller (one of my favourites!) and the Transsiberian Orchestra.

Now all I need: Eight inches of snow, more little twinkle lights, some candy canes, and an opportunity to snuggle with my warm, handsome man in front of a fire.

23 days until Christmas break!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


One of my favourite commercials ever (and I used part of my iTunes gift certificate to download the song playing in the background).

Monday, November 27, 2006

so tired.

I am so tired, and just about to go take a nap.

A nap? On a Monday afternoon?! Shouldn't I be in class?!?

Yes, normally. But today, I received an e-mail that said the professor for my 3-hour afternoon class is sick! I feel sorry for her, and I hope she gets well very soon. But at the same time, I am thrilled to not have to go to class.

And then I found out that from now on, my Historical Research Methods (HRM) class won't be meeting, as the professor is giving us this time to research! Hooray!! This means that from now until December 18th, I won't have any afternoon classes on Wednesdays or Fridays, and only my 11-12 and 3-6 class on Mondays!

...but the presentation time for the HRM class is in the latest time slot that they have available for finals: 3-5PM on December 22nd. By the time I finish, it'll be all dark outside, so I'll probably wait to make the 2-hour trip to mom and dad's until the morning of the 23rd. Hardly any Christmas prep time, again.

Next year will be different. :)

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Lately, everything seems to make my heart full, but then make me want to cry.

Examples of Heart Full:
jb (john. :) ).
getting to spend parts of each of the last five days with him.
knowing i have one semester left after this one, and then i'm finished.
in 230 days, we'll be married.
waking up at jeanne (jb's mom)'s house and knowing that I get to spend a part of the day with him.
knowing that jb's mom loves and approves of me, too (she told jb last week that if she had to pick the person who would be the ideal daughter-in-law and future mother, it would be me).
being loved by him.
the warm glow that seems to surround me whenever I'm with John.

Examples of things that make me cry instantly:
getting to spend only parts of those days with jb, since he had to work 8 hours every day.
knowing that I still have to make it through the last few weeks of this semester and then another..
230 days. Two-hundred-thirty.
sleeping at jeanne's house and dreaming multiple times each night that it's Christmas break and I can stay there for almost forever...then waking up and being devastated at the fact that it was only Thanksgiving, and I had to leave in such a short time.
after visiting jb, coming back to my dorm and opening the door to such a quiet, dark place. it's a cozy room, but it feels so much less cozy compared to the last five days i spent wrapped in those arms.
the coldness that seems to envelop me and freeze my edges when i have to leave jb and am alone again; it's days before I thaw out and feel warm again.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

position of catcher:

I just finished reading Catcher in the Rye. Well, actually, I just finished rereading it. I'd read it once before, four years ago, mainly during breaks during my job. I didn't the book then, as it was too raw, too consuming.

I had to read it again for my Major Author class; there's a quiz on it Tuesday afternoon. I read it all today, and forced myself to take a break from it, halfway through. It's too real. It's like reading someone's diary, someone's thoughts, and that makes me uncomfortable. This book makes me incredibly listless...depressed, even. and while I appreciate it more now than I did four years ago, I still don't like it. A huge part of me despises it.

I partially detest it because I cannot mentally separate J.D. Salinger from his creation. Certainly, the book is semi-autobiographical; yet it's Salinger himself who disturbs me. I read a biography on him last week; if he were a normal eccentric (sorry for the oxymoron), I could find a way to relate to him, on some level. But he is beyond eccentric; and his life is full of contraditions. I know that in itself is not a good enough reason to write him off -- pardon the pun -- but he agitates me to the point where I can't view his work without thinking of the author himself.

A few oddities:

Salinger served in the U.S. military during WWII, from 1942-45. He was half-Jewish, yet the Holocaust never appeared to make any sort of impact on him; he was apathetic about it. He arrested members of the Nazi party, then married one in 1945.

He never finished even a year of college, and forced his young girlfriends to drop out of college in order to be with him.

Oh, yes; the "young girlfriends"? He had a thing for 16 year olds. That was okay back in the '40s, when he was in his early twenties, but when he was 54 and interested in them...that's just...ugh. His current wife is roughly 43 years younger than he is.

There are so many other odd, disturbing things, but the ones I listed are some of the ones that I really just don't understand. I can't relate to him on any level, yet when I read his books it's as though I am in his skin, for a while, and it's incredibly depressing.

Did that make any sense? I don't know.

Friday, November 17, 2006

the elusive music

there is a song that has been haunting me for a very long time. first heard two years ago, it flits through my mind on quiet, cold, dreary, dreamy days, feeling as though i'm sliding through space, everything cushioned - yet simultaneously amplified. i know that might not make any sense, but it's as though i'm in a dream-state, a continual observer, yet never observed.

i have never been able to discover who sings the song, or what group produced it. i would hear clips of it every once in a while, but still! no luck.

i was at a friend's house last sunday afternoon, and nearly jumped out of my skin when this commercial came on the tv.

i got goosebumps, and asked my friends what that music was -- but none of them knew.

this morning i searched online, looking up "gaming commercials," "video game commercials," etc., until i found that video on youTube.

i found it on iTunes (and got it for free, from blingo).

at last.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Olive Garden, The

Olive Garden, The

Why the Olive Garden, you ask? Not only because I scored two (count them: one, two!) free meals there, courtesy of amazing people (including John), but because of this. So confident are they that you will still return to their restaurant, even if you can make the same thing at home...that they put up all of my favourite recipes online.

Oh, Chicken Marsala, this weekend when I'm at my parent's house, with free access to kitchen and food, I'll pair you with Tuscan Potatoes!!

I am nearly hyperentilating with excitement. John and I discussed just today that when he comes here to visit, we should cook more often, rather than going out. I was trying to think of something spectacular to cook here, and then discovered this wealth of delicious recipes.

Oh, Olive Garden. I love you.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!!

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!!

I am so freaking excited. It's snowing out right now, beautiful flakes falling purposefully towards the ground, undisturbed by any wind. The beautiful night makes me think of The Snowman, a movie that absolutely enchanted me when I was a kid.

Why am I so delighted? There are two main reasons:

1.) I love, love, love everything about Christmas
2.) Really, if the weather is going to be as cold and nasty as it has been the past three weeks, I'd like there to be snow on the ground. Thank you.

So I'm sitting here at my desk, only a little tired from my weekend, listening to "Christmas with the Academy" and thinking of all my Christmases. I love the smells of Christmas, the smell of the fresh, clean snow, the sharp, invigorating scent of pine, the amazingly warm smell of Christmas baking. I love going to church on Christmas Eve. And being surrounded by the people I love, walking stocking-footed across the hardwood floors in the living-room, warmed by the fire in the wood-stove, lying on the floor and looking up through the branhes of the Christmas tree, the only light in the dark room.

Mmmm. I love love love the Christmas season. This is the last one that I'll have to "miss" in college -- finals finish on the 22nd of December, so there's hardly time to get home and enjoy everything about Christmas before it's over. Next year, John and I will be driving back home through the snow, to our parents' houses, dividing our Christmas again, Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with his.

And then in only a few years, we'll get to make that drive with our own child in the backseat of the car. Just that thought makes the breath catch in my chest...the idea of our child, the one with my hair and jb's ears, his eyes and my mouth, sitting in the backseat...and getting to watch as he experiences all the things we love about Christmas. I can picture him, through the ages, as we make the drive back to our parents' homes. The image my heart is stuck on, though, is when he's three or four. My heart aches, sometimes, with how badly I want to have this child.

I am so eager, so excited, so very ready. And although the sensible side of me knows that it's good planning for us to wait a few years, there's a part of me that doesn't care about that, that is consumed with the idea of our child, our baby, our dna and blood...our love and our heart, walking around outside our body.

And I can hardly wait.


so i haven't been posting the past few days because my name never showed up on the nablopomo list. posting everyday is nice, but i wasn't going to find time to do it when my schedule was swamped, since i wasn't even on the official list of participants.

of course, today when i looked at the list, my name is on it. i guess one could say that i'm irked. irked at myself for not continuing to post, and irked that my name wasn't on the list until nearly two weeks after this thing started.

grumble, grumble.

so in order to keep my spirits up, i'm going over to a friend's house and pretending to be interested in the nfl game on, and then going "shopping" (i'll be window-shopping, as i don't have anything i need right now except for two pairs of shoes and a pair of jeans) with a group of my girls whom i haven't seen at all this semester.

i'm filling up the day, trying to make the time go by faster so that john will get here sooner. he comes tomorrow afternoon, and i've been beside myself with excitement for the past week.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

the next year...

the next year...

I reviewed my Degree Progress Report this evening, to find out which classes I need to take next semester; insuring that I meet all requirements for graduation.

I thought I was going to have another 19-credit semester, and there was always the nightmare in the back of my head that something would occur that would prevent me from graduating...and that it would snowball from there, that because of me not graduating, John and I would have to live apart even longer, that he would be moving away to grad school while I have another semester here.

Much to my delight, I have 10 credits left to fufill; 12, in order to stay covered by my parents insurance. Two English classes, my Senior Thesis class, and then one 3-credit class of my choice. Senior Thesis is on alternate Fridays, from 3-5, and my English classes are both Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. I'm trying to find an easy, interesting 3-credit class that happens on Tuesday and Thursday nights, so that I'll have a lot of time off. Some weeks, I'll have Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday off, and other weeks, I'll have Saturday-Monday off. At any rate, I'll never have to be back on campus before Tuesdays at 1pm, so I could even visit John on the weekends and not have to leave his family's house until Tuesday morning!

This is great for more reasons, too: I have so much planning left to do for the wedding. So much. Aagh, sooo much. We have the two biggies nailed down -- the church and the reception hall-- but my checklist is telling me that we need to book our dj and photographer, and I need to start being fitted for my gown...we need to finalize our colours and number of attendants. I hadn't even thought about all this recently, because I've been so busy with The Midterms That Never End. So tonight, I spent a lot of time online, and found a great site for invitations (exactly like the ones we saw at the bridal shop, only, you know, like $300 cheaper!).

Lately, I've also become disenchanted with the dress I found back in August. I realized that, even though it'd be great on some people, it's not what I want; it's too bold and too harsh for me.

So tonight I was on the same designer's website, and I came across what I think is possibly the most gorgeous dress, ever. It's amazingly beautiful and classic, and not a penny more expensive than the other one!!

Here are two pictures that I took from the site, since I can't link to the specific page:

And the bride/model tripping gaily through the foam:

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


This entire semester has been marked by moments of sheer panic, worndering how on earth I'll be able to get something done on time, when I have sixty-five other projects due at the same time. And I go to sleep at night worrying about it, thinking that I'll probably die when the deadline (ooh, funny) comes, because what human would be able to do all this stuff at once and live to tell the tale?! And then the deadline comes, and all of my projects are neatly finished and turned in, and behold, I'm still alive. It's so anticlimactic.

This morning I had two pages of a 6-10 page paper finished, and then realized that the direction the paper was taking was not what I wanted to write about. So I redirected the paper, did extra research, and shortly before noon, turned in a super 8-page paper on the corruption in "Hamlet."

Yesterday and today were hellish, assignment-wise, with three papers, one test, and a quiz all due in the span of 24 hours.

I voted today, and I have never before felt so excited to vote and satisfied with how I voted. And the District Attorney? I know him. That's so weird.

I haven't worked out today, because I have shinsplints from an exercise class I took last night; I can hardly move my lower legs. Ugh.

I'm going to go make chili.

Tonight is my night to relax.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Definitely a Monday...

Definitely a Monday...

I've been fighting off a sinus-ey bug for the past four days, and have been headachey and feeling pretty low the entire time. I've still been persisting in my workouts, because I know that if I just sit here on my butt all day, I'll feel even worse (mentally, if not physically).

I've been gaining muscle like crazy, but my insane weight-drop has stopped, as I knew it would. I didn't step on the scale over the weekend, and I could tell when I woke up this morning that I'd be up a little bit on the scale. Agh. Even though I knew I would be, it didn't help when I actually did see it on the scale.

I hate seeing an increase, and charting today's weight on fitday was harder than any workout (maybe therein lies the problem? ;) ), but I can't let it get me down; really. I'm gaining so much muscle, and my arms and legs look better than they have in years --and my abs? I actually have abs now! I know that I'm looking a little better, and I know that I'm working hard at it, and that it will pay off, in the end. I can't give up, and I can't let this little increase disrupt my routine.

Yesterday I tried on a cute little skirt, and the medium (8/10) was roomy on me. Oh, that's such a nice feeling, and that feeling is motivation in itself!

The gym is closed because there are classes in there right now; so I'm going to go attempt to jog downtown.

Sunday, November 05, 2006



I am utterly lacking in inspiration (and time) today.

So shuffle along, now -- but don't think I won't give you something to keep you company.

Hip! I am hip. I tried to sew cinnamon rolls onto my head for the costume, but they made Marc cry and go binge on peas. Sometimes I don't understand him, but then I realize that's because he is choking on something and I have to Heimlich some embalming fluid out of his chest. -gfy

no, seriously, GO.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

breaking the records...

Congratulations to The Shark!

Samardzija had six catches for 177 yards and a touchdown. It was his 23rd career touchdown catch, breaking the school record set by Derrick Mayes in 1995.

(story via nbcsports)

I saw the play, and it gave me goosebumps, then made me cry. I love seeing people do well. Congrats, Samardzija!

Friday, November 03, 2006


Day 10, I think...

I've been religiously tracking my activities, calories (but particularly carbs), etc. on fitday, which is amazing. It records my progress toward my goal, keeps a chart of my weight, and is overall an incredibly useful tool.

I hadn't stepped on the scale yesterday, because I wasn't feeling up to it (I thought the scale might read an increase, for sure, even though I've good), so I made myself face the music this morning. I had enough time to either run errands and then go to class, or go to gym, and then to class. I told myself that if I didn't have a significant loss, or had increased, I would hit the gym; otherwise, if I had lost, I could run my errands first, and workout later today.

I was down again, bringing my total loss so far to 6.5 pounds!

I can't believe how ridiculously fast this weight is coming off. I'm eating well, lots of proteins and vitamins/minerals, some meat, vegetables...basically, anything except for sugar, corn, wheat, rice, and potatoes. I'm eating enough calories, and drinking a bit over 100oz of water a day; and I exercise between an hour and a half/two hours a day...not because I really feel that that much is competely necessary, but because I am enjoying it so much! I love the feeling of knowing that my body is getting healthier, that my muscles are getting stronger and that I'm slimming down.

It's so exciting!!

(a thousand words)

At Notre Dame...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

One Year Ago...

Exactly one year ago tonight, I met John. It's so strange, thinking back to last year at this time, exactly this time, I was lonely. I had realized that being with no guy was better than being with the wrong guy, but I still wished that I could be with the right guy, right then. I had no idea what was in store for me, that that very evening would change my life.

I remember that I was strangely excited when I first went over there (he wasn't even done with work, and I had no idea that I'd be meeting him), and had taken pains with my makeup, put in my contacts, and put on cute clothes. Why? I had no idea at the time, and was laughing at myself for doing so. Why bother to look so cute for my friend and her friends?

I remember everything about that evening, from the time I first saw him, to when we were introduced, to when I had the odd feeling that he was the one I should talk to, of all the people there, that he was the one I should get to when I asked him how to spell his last name (little knowing that in less than two years, it would be mine, too).

I remember that when we all went out a little later that evening, he drove, and saved the front seat for me. When he and I played pool against our friends, my heart was skipping beats all over the place because I knew that he liked me; yet when his roommate asked me (when John had stepped out for a minute) if I liked John, and what I thought the perfect date would be, I tried to quiet him down, because I didn't want John to hear and get freaked out.

I shouldn't have worried. I shouldn't have ever worried. All the time throughout my life, up to that point, when I ever worried about whom I would marry, or what path my life was going to take, were, in retrospect, useless, unneeded, and silly. I met John, and within hours, we knew that we were going to be together, that what we had was special, was different, and was something that we would want for life.

I was cleaning my room, going through one of my bags (due to my guilt at not going to class this morning, and determination to not squander the hour, even though I had [have] a massive headache]), and found this note:

I can't get over how funny it is, how yesterday at this time we didn't know anything about each other. How quickly things change.
I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and find it was all a dream.

But it wasn't a dream; and it was amazing.

I mentioned to one of John's and my friends a few days ago, how our first anniversary was coming up. He was incredulous, and his jaw literally dropped open. I'd never seen such a look of surprise.
"Wait, your first anniversary?"
"As in, you've known each other for a year?"
"You're kidding me, right?"
"I always thought that you two had known each other for years! I thought you must have been high school sweethearts."
"No, no, we met last fall."
"That's unbelievable. ... I guess when you meet the person you're meant to be with, you just know."

And I thought back to a conversation that John and I had had about two weeks after we met each other...

"where are we?" i asked, 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, anywhere in the room," i added, referencing another trip we had pictured the day before.
he laughed, a soft chuckle; "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."
"so we had to have coffee and cheese, instead." we laughed, quietly, and then i continued; "and we walked in the falling snow, across the beautiful bridge."
"yes, we did."
"where are we going next?" i asked.
"tomorrow, we're leaving for Paris."
"we'll be staying at a bed and breakfast on the champs d'elysses."
"and we'll take walks at night," referring to one of our favourite things to do.
"is the eiffel tower open at night?" i ask him; after all, he's the one who's actually been to Paris.
"i'm not sure."
"i want to go up there at night and look across the city, at the expanse of blackness the Seine is, outlined with lights."
"mhmm," he hums his assent, then continues, "and we are going to go to versailles."

we don't picture our future apart from each other, because why should we, when we have found each other?

he's what i always dreamed of, and didn't know really existed.

Yes. he's what I wanted then, and he's what I want, still. I am so thrilled at the fact that we get to spend the rest of our lives together.

I love you, John.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nablopomo Initiation:

Last 5 songs I listened to:

1. You Were Meant for Me -- Jewel. It's so melancholy, and the wistfulness in her voice twists my heartstrings.
2. She -- Elvis Costello. So pretty and romantic! It makes me think of walking down a London street at night in late fall, wrapped up in John's arms, wearing a skirt that is too short for the weather, and tall heels, but not feeling the cold because I'm so happy to be with him.
3. Just Perfect -- Tracy Bonham. It's on my playlist because it's from "Bridget Jones's Diary," and it's pretty dreary and depressing. This song is like one of those evenings where you're alone, not wanting to see anyone -- and yet wishing that someone would come seek you out...loud raindrops strike the windows, then melt down the glass in streaks that warp the scene outside, morphing the happy people walking past into, seemingly, scenes from Picasso's dreams.
4. Twelve Two -- shiverydelicious. I love her voice, and this song is so touching.
5. Light and Day -- Yann Tiersen. From the Amelie soundtrack; it sounds like water cascading over stones on a sunny day.

Last 5 movies I saw:

1. Amelie [inspires me every single time I watch it; also has the side-effect of making me want to travel to France NOW; I made John watch it last time he was here, not too big of a challenge since it features Audrey Tautou.]
2. Ghost [part of John's quest to fill the pop-culture void known as my Early Formative Years. Yes, it made me cry. Yes, I laughed; I mean, really. It's Patrick Swayze.]
3. 12 Angry Men [ OoOOOoooh. Henry Fonda, you look like John! Excellent film.]
4. Peter and the Wolf [Disney version. I have to watch it every year at the first snowfall. Go ahead, laugh, but it's TRADITION, people!]
5. K-PAX [Kevin Spacey is an amazing actor, and I love this movie every time I see it.]

Last 5 books I read:

1. Moby Dick -- aagh. Herman Melville was a genius, but I wish he had been a genius who was more short and to the point, rather than going on and on for forever about something that he could have said in one run-on sentence. Rather like this one.
2. Typee -- Herman Melville. can you tell I'm taking a Melville class? And actually, I'm lying; I didn't read past the first 9 chapters; I sparknoted it after that point, and got 11 out of 10 on the next quiz.
3. The Glorious Adventure -- Richard Halliburton. I had a crush on him when I was younger, because he was so fabulously adventurous, and by reading his books, I got to experience all of those amazing places and scenes he saw. I never tire of his books -- and we have all first editions, which makes it even more exciting. I love old books.
4. The Time Traveller's Wife -- Audrey Niffenegger. I haven't read this one (except for in my head) since May; but I have to put it on the list because it is one book that has remained with me for more than a year and a half after first reading it. It's amazingly written, and I mull over her sentences and scenes in my head long after the pages have been turned.
5. Elizabeth's London -- Liza Picard. One of the birthday gifts from John; I took it along to one of my workouts and felt like a geeky snob, riding the stationary bike and reading about 16th-century social life in Great Britain (only I can't find it at this moment. I know I didn't leave it at the gym; where IS it?!).

Tuesday, October 31, 2006



I don't ever go for the t-shirts with the cute/funny/geeky/halfheartedly-offensive sayings, but I'd make an exception for this one.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Day 7 (with a new addition)

I woke up this morning at 5:30. My body's still on Daylight Savings Time, and as I really enjoy being awake before anyone else (I'm the most productive very early in the morning and very late at nght), I'm going to keep my body on Daylight Savings Time as long as possible.

Anyway, I woke up and my legs were absolutely keeeeelling me. The pain went away about an hour later, so I think I might have just slept in an odd position, rather than overdoing it yesterday. Yippee!

I haven't gotten my workout in yet, as I've been totally productive on a paper all morning (had no idea how I'd be able to get it past three pages...and I'm currently in the middle of the sixth, with about two more jostling around in my head, anxious to get out on paper.

Oh, have to mention this because it's so cute: last night John called at 9 pm (he does every single night):

me: Hi honey!
him: Hello, my gorgeous sweetheart!

Oh, yeah, That's one of the many reasons I keep him around. ;)

Edited at 7:51pm to add:

Ugh. I had class at 11-12, 2-3, and 3-5:30, and had plans to exercise with one of my friends right after my last class. What a colossal mistake! I was so tired (remember, I got up at 5:30) before I even stepped onto the first machine. I still made it through 4.5 miles on the bike, 22 minutes on the treadmill, and ten on the elliptical (I set it for 20, but had such a hard time even getting to 10), but that is so far below what I have been doing lately, that I'm a bit down right now. I also didn't weigh myself this morning, merely because I'm in the middle of t-o-m and not feeling that super right now. So I'm waiting until tomorrow to have my weigh-in.

In other news, my paper turned out to be ten pages, and I had a blast writing it! We'll see sometime this week whether the professor likes it as much as I do, though.

So tonight I'm exhausted, and rejoicing that I don't have anything due tomorrow; I can sit here with my sugar-free twin popsicles (pina colada right now, yum!), watch "Friends," (or something equally brainless, as I'm not up to exercising any of my brain cells right now), and go to bed early. Yay!

Sunday, October 29, 2006



This afternoon, I was in the gym, and decided to make myself stay on the elliptical machine for 10 minutes. The elliptical machine...the one that makes my limbs fly up and I can't ever catch my balance. Ugh.

I was nearly finished with the program when I realized that I was enjoying myself. Previously, "enjoy" and "exercise" have never been in the same thought. Ever. But today, I loved the way I felt when I was exercising! My body was working the way it's supposed to, and I was loving it! So much so, in fact, that as soon as the program was finished, I started it again. 20 minutes on the elliptical! And I can't wait for tomorrow, when I get to do it again!!


Day 6:

It's incredible what a difference even six days makes! I've been tracking my activities, weight, and nutrition through fitday, and it's fascinating to watch the changing charts -- my weight's coming off more quickly than I expected (even though I'm smack in the middle of the most awful time of the month). The muscles that came out of hibernation the quickest were my biceps, calves, and hamstrings, and I can already feel a difference in my abs. Hooray!!

I didn't go to the gym yesterday (day five) because one of my friends came up to spend the day with me. I had planned ahead, however, and spent an extra 50 minutes in the gym on Friday, as well as doing my ab crunches here in my room last night. It was nice to have the day off, but my body has already grown accustomed to getting up early and working out, so when my body automatically woke up yesterday morning at 6:15, raring to go, it took a lot to force myself back to sleep. The "day off" didn't mean a day off from eating healthfully, either; it just meant a day of not going to the gym. And it's funny, but because I'd stayed away from corn, wheat, and sugar for so long before I even began this routine, I have absolutely no desire for any of them.

This morning I hopped on the stair-stepping machine in the basement of my dorm (it has a small exercise area, with two out-dated bikes, a treadmill, a stairstepper, and a huge cushioned mat, perfect for stretching.). A few days ago, just 5 minutes on that beast kicked my butt; it's a tougher workout than biking for five miles! But this morning I opted for a 10-minute pre-programmed workout, and as soon as that one was over, I started over and did the same routine for another 10 minutes. I discovered that differences in posture affect the amount of calories burned (and flights of stairs climbed); in the second 10 minutes (same pre-programmed routine, remember), I burned 40% more calories than in the first, and climbed another 10 flights. All because I stood up straight, chest out, butt in, centering myself!! It also changed the amount I sweated, heh.


I signed up to participate in NaBloPoMo, a NaNoWriMo spinoff. I don't have time to write a novel in November, but I can make time to post each day. I've neglected this blog lately; my posts won't be completely about exercise, either: I'm compiling a list of topics to write on. And if you have any suggestions for a topic (or two or three), please write them in the comment box!

Time for a shower, then Mass!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

6 weeks

What a difference 6 weeks makes...

I don't do well with creating habits. Good habits, anyway, particularly exercise habits. I'll do well for a week or so, adhering to my newly-formed regimen. But in the past, the first time that my schedule deviates from that regimen, I have a horrible struggle getting back on track. I can't hop back ON the bandwagon, so to speak.

The past three mornings, though, I've dragged myself out of bed before 7 AM -- when it's still dark out, people (and it'll be worse on Sunday, when the clocks "fall back") and down the block to the gym. In the past three days, I have logged more time in that gym than I have in the almost 2 years that I've been here.

Pathetic, I know.

I'd never wanted to workout there, because I didn't want any of the multitudes of size -5, perfectly-tanned, phy ed majors, all with tiny shorts, perfect blond highlights and fake nails, to see me. I loathed them, mainly because I wasn't them. Trust me, I didn't want the blond hair or the fake nails, or even want to be skinny-skinny. I just wanted to blend in, to be one of the Thin Girls, someone impossibly fit. But these Aryan Youth inhabited the gym and made it seem as though the only people who worked out were people who were ALREADY skinny. There were times I would go to the gym, then turn around and flee the scene, because the only vacant machines were in the front row. There was no way I was going to work out where all of them could see me, see how I fight with the elliptical machines. I don't know how some people can still look sexy and perfect while elliptical-ing; my shoes scoot up to the front of the footrests and smoosh my toes; my knees fling up to my chin, and I feel absolutely frantic. My Perfect Gym would have cubicles, where I could work out with nobody else able to see my butt, or my thighs, or see that maybe, just maybe, I was a bit out of breath.

Finally, three days ago, I got to the point where I realized that it was all a bit ridiculous. I was not going to refuse to take advantage of the gym (brand new, state-of-the-art facility) because of self-consciousness and being intimidated. Plus, I've been so good lately, not having any wheat or corn products, filling up my 32 oz waterbottle four times through the day, having hardly any carbs, and enough protein. (Oh, and another super-motivator: 7/14/07. we're getting married, and I want to be trim and lovely.)

Three days ago, I decided to do something about my body. I recently saw a picture of myself, taken when I was nine years old, posing in my ballet outfit for mom; a beautifully dorky little girl with huge glasses and long, long hair, skinny little legs...and sucking in her tummy so far that it looked as though she hadn't been fed in months, terrified of looking fat in the picture.

I realized when I saw that picture how horrendously sad it was. I've never been comfortable in my body, eternally self-conscious, and I have, finally, had it up to here with it all.

The past few days, I've been working out between 45 and 80 minutes a day (I xercise between 45 and 60 minutes in the morning; on t-th I attend a toning class in the evening). I'm not doing it for anyone else; finally, I'm doing it for myself. I want to try on clothes and have them fit perfectly; I don't want to hand things back to the fitting-room attendant and make up an excuse about why I'm not taking them. I don't want to fold my arms across my tummy when I sit down, or always adjust my clothes, pulling my shirts down, and my pants up. I want to feel...comfortable in my own skin.

This morning, I didn't want to get out of bed. I was cold, and I was exhausted. But John called at 6:58 and asked if I was on the way to the gym. He wasn't checking-up on me; he calls every morning when he first wakes up. But I realized that he already thinks of my morning workouts as a habit, and that motivates me to keep going. So I pulled myself out of bed and pushed my sleepy legs into workout pants, socks, and shoes, and by the time 9 o'clock rolled around, I had had 64 fl oz of water, spent an hour working out, taken a shower, and was ready for class.

I've created an account at fitday, and I keep a record of my exercise and eating habits there. This is where the "6 weeks" tie in. I am going to keep up with this workout regimen, with my good foods (eating healthful foods is not a struggle for me anymore, as it's been in my lifestyle for months), and see how far I progress by December 6th -- six weeks from yesterday. I want to be one of Those People by then, trim and fit, someone who always makes time for exercise.

I'm writing this to put it on the record, to hold me accountable. Feel free to ask me how I'm doing; guilt is a tremendous motivator. :)

Here goes.

Monday, October 16, 2006

this weekend.

This weekend, summed up in one photo.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

kindred spirits

setting: the student senate office last evening; katie was showing me pictures, and one was of a man in a banana costume.

Katie: danika, would you be afraid of the bananaman?
me: no. but if he were in a cat costume, well, I'd be afraid of catman.
cody: why? what does the kathmandu?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Nighttime escapades

When I woke up this morning, my bear and John's tiger were facedown on the bed, Smoogles with one leg and his tail over the edge, and Teddy a little bit ahead of him, looking for all the world as though they were sneakily climbing back into bed after a night of fun, then froze when I saw them.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

a new low...

The Depths to Which I Have Sunk:

I made a relatively easy deal with myself today: Abstain from Sugar. This should've been easy, since I have no small bills or change lying around for the vending machine.

Just now, I spent five minutes running a Jolly Rancher under hot water, attempting to make it fit for human consumption after it had lived in my backpack for eight months.

And it's really good.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

the senses of Autumn

recently, there have been unmistakeable signs that Fall is here at last. there are some things that always make me delight in the changing of seasons; going from scorchingly hot, dry temperatures to chilly, crisp days, makes me come alive.

the tastes of Autumn: pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks; caramel apple cider, also from Starbucks. pumpkin pie. macintosh apples. cinnamon. squash, with plenty of butter and salt. mashed potatoes. puffed brown rice with silk and brown sugar.

the smells: bonfires. cinnamon and nutmeg. bread baking in ovens. coffee, early in the morning. cranberry and pumpkin-scented candles.

the feels: the texture of corduroy. the warm snugness of a good sweater. thick, warm knits. the chilly nip of an autumn breeze. the heaviness of multiple quilts on the bed. waking up in the morning with a warm body and cold face. hand-made scarves keeping one's neck warm. warming poorly-circulated hands with a mug of piping-hot coffee.

the sights: a deep, rust-coloured orange. turkey red. gold. a rich brown. pine-green.

the sounds: football games in the cold evenings. the crunch and rustle of fallen leaves. the sound of flocks of canada geese migrating south. mary chapin carpenter's "10,000 miles." eva cassidy. norah jones.

what things remind you of Fall?


The fact that Pluto has so recently been demoted to the status of "dwarf planet" and is no longer than nine, makes me horribly sad.

For other's thoughts on the issue, click here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

them's dancing shoes!

abbey, my fellow shoe-loving friend,

I thought of you today, when I bought these. if they had a heel, they would be absolutely dreamy. they're horribly cute as they are, though. they make me want to dance. :)

and also when I saw these, too but couldn't justify buying them. it's the first time I've ever thought that suede shoes (blue suede shoes!) could even possibly be a good idea.

i tried on yet another pair, but they made me feel like an elf. a big elf with huge feet (the shoes have a magnifying effect), but an elf nonetheless.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

fashion d'oh pas

fashion d'oh pas

When I moved back here a week and a half ago, I managed to walk off without my workout shoes, ballet flats, and other various foot apparel. The only footwear I have here:

One (1) pair of white/floral flip-flops
One (1) pair gold strappy sandals

It was fine for the first few days...but then the weather turned chilly. Now, as we have morning in the low 50s (sometimes in the 40s or 30s), I long to wear my cute Fall skirts and tights...but I don't have the appropriate shoes with which to do so.

This morning I blingoed "tights and sandals," to see if it was a huge fashion error, or one of those absurd things that suddenly is THE THING TO DO (hello, leggings and short skirts, anyone? A sign of the nearing of the Apocolypse? So glad I'm not the only one who thinks so!)...but alas, everyone had disparaging remarks regarding the subject.

"she was wearing tights and sandals (EWW!)"

And today of all days, I'm not up for any EWW! comments. So it's with sadness that I retire my cute skirts to the closet, and wear jeans. Again. And freeze my legs and feet.



Wheat, tonight,* for the first time in over a month.

My body wants to curl up and die.

*at a friend's house; her mom had made supper for us. Also, my first time ever having ravioli.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

first time!

Always a runner-up, never a winner...

...until now! A few days ago, I went to get my mail here on campus for the first time since I stopped by in August; there were two cards from the bridal shop where I'd found my dress. I figured they were invitations to bridal shows; the saleswoman had mentioned it. I sliced the envelope open, and found a beautifully engraved card; opened up the card itself, and here is what it said:

Congratulations!! You are a winner!
Thank you for submitting a survey
at our store.
Bring this card in for:
$10 off anything

Mention this card and receive
25% off the printing of your
wedding invitation order.

The $10 off is nice -- but I'm really excited about the 25% off wedding invitations! Whee!!!!

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Favourite lotion:

Got2b Spa Body Smoothie

It's amazingly smooth, and smells incredible; a refreshing blend of avocado oil, shea butter, and cucumber, apricot, and mango fruit extracts. To me, this lotion is totally Fall: sweet and slightly spicy, like a crisp autumn day. I bought a bottle last fall, and just now I'm finally running out; I have to remove the pump and shake some lotion into my hand. Target stopped carrying it, and that makes me so sad! I've been using it less and less frequently, just a tiny bit at a time, to put off the time that I'll have to throw out the bottle.

To-Do this weekend:

To-Do this weekend:

Read Howard Zinn's "Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress
Write two essays about Zinn's writings
Compose a Shakespearean sonnet
Read "The Taming of the Shrew" in its entirety
Read chapters 1-31 (pages 1-115) of Moby Dick
Study for the Moby Dick quiz
Read A History of the Modern Middle East, pages 1-148, 236 & 237
Complete two essays regarding the pages in Modern Middle East
Read "The Noble Dream," Georg Iggers; Intro and chapters 1-4

Breathe, Eat, and Sleep. If there's time. I'm supposed to drive home and go to a wedding today, but there's no way I have time to do that.

I got up two hours ago and cleaned my room -- I hate working in a messy space. Everything's dusted and windexed, the water fountain is refilled, and there's a gorgeous, stiff breeze coming through my open window. I'm about to fix a cup of tea, and then settle back with Moby Dick for the next hour.

Wish me luck -- no...wish me stamina.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A poem...

A poem that simultaneously enchants me and breaks my heart...

"He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven"

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.

-- William Butler Yeats

Saturday, September 02, 2006



Apollo 13 makes me cry and get chills, every single time I watch it. I've seen it countless times, and yet I still have that horrid feeling where my heart sinks into my stomach and I nearly implode with how awful I feel, waiting (and waiting and waiting, and watching the astronauts' families waiting and waiting) to see the shuttle reemerge close to the Earth, after they lost communication with NASA.

It's one movie that John and I agree on; he loves anything to do with SpaceFlight, and I love anything that has Tom Hanks/Bill Paxton/Ed Harris in it.

Friday, September 01, 2006

finally! we're getting to MY part of the year.

I logged on to the computer this morning, and when I realized what day it was, I was like, "Holy September, Batman!" Only not, because I haven't seen Batman. But if I had, I would have been.

I moved back to school yesterday, finished hauling my things up the three flights of stairs by 9:40, and unpacked/talked to John until 2:30 this morning. I'm exhausted right now, because I should be sleeping; but there's a Huge, Really Important Event on Campus this weekend, and ever since the football game right outside my window finished last night, men have been setting up tents and pounding stakes and running refrigerated trailers and all sorts of loud things.

Classes begin on Tuesday, and I am so far beyond excited, I can't describe it. (But I'll try.) I love school, and I especially love it in the autumn, when the air is crisp and cool. To me, Fall is the new Spring -- I feel so refreshed, so rejuvenated, so ready to handle anything. The world seems new and fresh, so clean after the hot, dusty days of summer. Plus, I'm graduating in may, so there's an end in sight, a goal to work toward; it's not endless years of school anymore. I have a goal beyond that, though, a motivating factor that excites me beyond anything else -- the fact that after I do a good job this year and graduate, we get married!

And that is so exciting.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Cleaning, Due to Immiment Move and Marriage:

I realized a few days ago that this next week, before I move back to school, is the only "free" time I have to clean my room and sort through my things before I get married. Our wedding is on le 14 Juillet*; over Christmas break we'll be travelling back and forth, doing the family holiday things; and after I graduate, the wedding will be under two months away, which means that we'll be horribly busy with the last-minute things that can't be done months in advance.

So, bearing that in mind, I took a deep breath and plunged into the depths of my closets. They hadn't seen the light of day for a good while, at least a few years (once I got busy with college and moved away).

As a result of cleaning the closets and the rest of the room, I have five bags of items for Goodwill (due to my ruthless mantra: "If I haven't worn it the last season it was suitable for [meaning sweaters for fall, summery things for hot weather], someone else can have it." this is in direct opposition to my former mindset, saving things due to inherent sentimental value), and a few more just going out to the dumpster. It sounds horrendous, and I seriously didn't know I had that many things sitting there, waiting to be donated or thrown away.

Here's the top half of the closet:

All in a row

Note that every shirt I own is now on its own plastic hanger...

And the lower half:

good lord, there IS a floor.

carpet? I had no idea! ...joking...kinda...

* July 14th!! We booked the church and found a reception hall -- oh, my goodness. I am so glad that we don't ever have to replay the day and a half we were hunting for the hall; every place we found, they charged at least a $1,000 fee for renting the hall, plus at least $3,000 in payment for the food (not including gratuity and tax). Wait, did you hear that? That was my heart sinking so low that it made friends with my pinky toe. The most expensive one ($1,400 to rent) still seemed rather junky; the "dance floor" was faux-wood linoleum, a area of 20 sq. ft. area, and smelled of chlorine. By the end of the day John looked pale and tired, and I was despondent and joking (only invite people we really like to the reception; tell them to bring their own food).

But on the second day, we went to the (Slave)Labor Temple, and miracle of miracles, it was exactly what we had been looking for. Beautiful hardwood floors throughout, a warm, homey atmosphere, mirrored walls, a separate bar! with tall, cushy seats! and windows all along the ends; there's a wide hallway that goes from the parking lot to the hall itself, and it has wooden floors as well; and there's a ton of natural light! Most importantly, though, it was $250. The nicest place in town, and only $250! When we walked into the room, it was as though a weight had fallen from our shoulders; we were so thrilled, and I could've hugged the room. It was wonderful.

I am so excited.

Friday, August 18, 2006

"I was there"

Check out the I Was There gallery. The pictures (link in the article) comparing antique postcard-pictures of buildings to their modernday selves.

a conversation re. updating

"You," I say, stifling a yawn, "Need to stop poking me. I know I need to write online, but I keep putting it off."

"Oh!" You say rather condescendingly. "I understand, since there's probably nothing happening where you are. You've probably been too busy sleeping and moping and roaming around the house in tattered sweatpants."

"No!" I shout, for I must dismiss those rumours that are floating about. I mean, really, sweatpants? Can't stand the horrid things.

I smile ingratiatingly. "It's not that I don't have things to write about -- oh, I do, I do. There is so much to write about; perhaps too much. That must be it! I have so many things to write about that I can't single only ONE out to discuss!"

"Fine," you declare, rather triumphantly, "Don't pick one! Spill them all! Divulge all the details! Spare none from the exposure of the blogging world!"

"But oh," I'll sigh, "I'm far too tired to have time to discuss them all. I've been so busy, with working on accounts/finding a church/setting the date/discovering my wedding dress/compiling a guest list/spreading the tidings/smooching John/all the other daily activities that get in the way." ("Except for the 'smooching John' part," I'll say mournfully, "As those times are painfully few and far between, since we only see each other a few times a month, now.")

And then I'll sigh again, heavily, for good measure, to emphasise I've been.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

not too bright...

extreme ADD

Man on News Show: "...unfortunately, he also had Herpes of the Eye."
Mom and danika: silent and bemused, mentally repeating what MoNS had said.
danika: "well. i guess we know he wasn't paying attention in SexEd..."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

in which i write a list, rather than a lengthy post (ha!)

in which i write a list, rather than a lengthy post (ha!)

1. i broke the Incredibly Long Day (I.L.D.) into more manageable segments by taking a two-hour-ish nap (3:10-5:26), and then curling up on the porch swing for a while (10:15-10:45).

2. the day was that long (how long? THAT long) due to two major reasons: a) my allergies had kicked into high gear and b) I'd only had four hours of sleep.

3. our cats became intoxicated off catnip. the bigger of the two, Lionel, was DRUNK. not just buzzing, pretending to be more drunk than he actually was, but the kind of drunk where he lolled on the floor, unable to hold his head up, weakly batted at the catnip bunch, then was horribly distracted by the sight of his paw batting at the aforementioned catnip, and decided to just lick it, instead. if he had been talking, it would have gone something like this: "I AM NOT...LU--Shhhluuuu -- drrrr---DRRRLUUUNNK. gihhhhh...gimmem.....the natcip. caahht...caahhh...caatni--a paawaahh? a paawwwwhhh? paw? *lick, lick*" and then he would have dissolved into giggles.

4. i saw a shooting star tonight, when I was curled up on the porch swing, swaying in the night air. i would tell you what i wished, but really, if i tell you and then it doesn't happen, I'll totally know why, and blame myself -- because, really, what idiot would tell someone what they'd wished?!

5. i took a Claritin tablet for the first time ever, today; it did suppress my sneezing and allowed me to breathe (as well as making my face numb and my lips tingly), but the 24 hour-thing? it's been 10, and i'm all stuffy and sneezy again. that sonic boom you heard? that was the result of my high-speed sneezes, in such fast succession. yes, i've broken the sound barrier. yes, i'm very modest.

6. i played a game of Scrabble tonight with my sister, brother, and mom. i'm always so tense when i play Scrabble, because it's the only game at which i can beat absolutely everybody -- and i need to preserve that reputation! last time, i beat mom by 70+ points. in order to balance out this bragging: i throw like a girl, i can't run, and the only time i ever watched more than a few minutes of a football game was when i taped the Superbowl for John.

7. i melted into soppy puddles of tears a few times, due to the stupid allergies and the stupid miles between John and me.

8. i ingested more m&m's than a human should, ever (unless, of course, that human had melted into soppy puddles of tears throughout the day; in that case, a chocolate antidote is necessary -- the same as after a dementor incident. trust me on this - professor lupin would be on my side, i'm sure).

9. i really have no ninth anecdote, but i cannot end this on a nine, so pretend you didn't see this one and move along.

10. i do, however, have a riddle for you (taken from krissa, of petit hiboux, because it's so good):

A woman is in her house. It's nighttime. She reads a book for a while, then realizes she's tired. She puts down the book. She shuts off the light, goes to another room, and falls asleep.

In the morning she wakes up, goes to her outside door, opens it, and picks up the day's newspaper. She reads the headline, goes back inside, and commits suicide. WHY?

no fair searching for the answer online! put down that search engine and back away, and nobody gets hurt. if there aren't any guesses that are on the right track, i'll post a clue tomorrow afternoon or evening -- i swear.

(and just so you know: i didn't get it. but now that krissa told me the answer, i love this riddle to pieces, because, really, it's a great one. )

(oh, in case you feel gypped due to the poor excuse for #9? i realized today how much i missed listening to Elvis! so now i'm listening to "Suspicious Minds," because it's one of my favourites. it's horribly sad, but i love it, love it, love it. i generally like songs that make me a little sad, or freak me out a little bit [wish i could say that last bit about movies, as well!])

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

addendum to the earlier post

addendum to the earlier post

I recently uncovered a letter I wrote last October, to one of my friends back here at home; I wrote the letter, but never sent it.

Here's part of it:

I'm (finally) at the point where no relationship is better than a wrong relationship. I want a guy, yes (someone smart and gentle, with nice hair and eyes that make me melt, and strong arms to enfold me; someone who will go to church with me, someone who cuddles, someone who is comfortable to be around, day in and day out, someone whom I’ll still want to be with 50 years from now). I'd love to have wild and crazy sex every day (hell, YES). I want to have a child, a little boy with dark hair and eyes, who loves being outside, frogs, bugs, books, watching his daddy shave, and snuggling. My ovaries, they're SCREAMING. But I want this all with the right guy. I've realized this, finally – there was a point where I thought that any guy was better than not having any prospects. But…maybe it's because I’m getting closer to the age where I'll actually get married (yay!), but I'm realizing how important it is that this all be with the right guy, that I not settle for anything less than the guy who checks off in all the important categories.

Nine days after I typed that, John walked into my life.

Summer in the city, and meeting with former teachers

Summer in the city, and meeting with former teachers

It's a summer day in the city, hot and muggy, bright blue skies and puffy white clouds concealing the fact that it rained and stormed all night.

I didn't decide that I was coming, on this trip to fetch my sister from the airport, until 45 minutes before we left. I walked out the door sporting a cute watermelon-coloured skirt and pretty top, fabulous shoes -- and for the first time in a long time, hair that actually did exactly what I wanted it to, with hardly any effort on my part!

As the rest of the family walked on to the pub where we were going to dinner, I took a few minutes and went into my old music school. I hadn't seen my violin teacher or her husband for a couple of years, as I stopped taking lessons in 2003, and have missed them ever since. She became pregnant a few months before I stopped with lessons, had the baby that fall, and they've had another one since then. I talked to her husband today (he's a violin teacher there, as well) - we've been out of touch for so long, so I gave them my e-mail address, because we have so many things to catch up on. He said that they're pregnant again, and due September 23rd. I asked him to please request that she hold the baby in for a few extra days, because my birthday is September 26th.

He was so happy to see me. They were such an odd couple, but worked perfectly together; she had long blonde hair, wasn't skinny, but a comfortable weight, had a heavy German accent, and smoked hand-rolled cigarettes. He was lanky, rather thin, and had glasses, a quiet voice and aura, and patchy, rather messy hair. They balanced each other perfectly. She was the loud one, he was the quiet one. She taught classically; he taught using the Suzuki method. She was a strict teacher; he was a softie. They had one of those relationships that had one main common interest, but completely different personalities -- and yet they didn't have any problems, fitting into each other's lives. Her face lit up every time he came across the hall to her studio and peeked in the window of the door, or came in to say "hi."

I love real-life, true, love stories. Seeing people together who obviously loved each other deeply...for a time, that was what kept me going. There were days when I felt as though I would never meet the man who would light up my days, about whom I found nothing repellent, and who always intrigued me. Nine months ago today, I met him; and within days, I knew that he was the one I would be with - and nothing has been the same since. We've discussed everything under the sun, walked for miles, stayed up late planning and discussing, and there are still some days when I have to pinch myself to make sure this is all real.

But it is! It's real, and it's happening to us, this time. Those beautiful love stories? I still love them and love those people, but this one, this beautiful love story? It's by far the best.

And I'm only a little bit biased. ;)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Updating two days in a row, and other various tidbits.

Updating two days in a row, and other various tidbits.

I've been sitting in my parent's living room, laptop appropriately on my lap, feet on a footrest, and had to get up to open the blinds all the way; it's pouring outside right now. Normally, this wouldn't be such a big deal, but it has been so dry here for so long; the grass has been brown and crunchy since the middle of June. I love the windows in this room; they stretch almost all the way to the ceiling, and from where I sit, I can gaze out across the valley -- obscured after a point by a thick veil of rain. Everything is a beautiful, pearly grey outside, except for the huge pine tree just southeast of the house, and watching the rain fall past the windows in a mad dash for the ground, makes me think of Christmas, of sitting here at night, the light on outside, and watching the white flakes swirling toward the ground, beautiful white spots against the forest green of the tree.

I have enya murmuring at me through the speakers on the laptop, because her music perfectly reflects my mood at this moment -- the rain seems almost magical, rather "Chronicles of Narnia"-esque.

I lent out my copy of The Time Traveler's Wife to a friend back in College Town at the end of May, and miss it horribly. Sometimes I close my eyes and go through passages of it, just in my head -- is that sad? (Okay, so it's sad; but is it sad because I'm mopey about it and missing it so much, or because I read it so many times that I have memorized the majority of the book?)

I read a survey today, and rather than copy and paste the thing in its entirety, I decided to pick and choose a few questions to put up:

Foods (and a drink) I didn't eat for many years until recently: Zucchini, avocados, guacamole, and Sangria.
Explanations: When I was younger, I swore that I hated zucchini; I don't know why -- I just did. Now, I love it, especially in stir-fries and soups -- it's so fresh!
I had my first avocado last fall; my first guacamole about the same time, and Sangria after I met John (and you thought this entry was John-free! Oh, you are so naive). I rarely get up and fetch my own glass of Sangria, but share a glass with John - most recently when we were at his mom's house, with his family and grandparents, curled up on the couch, and watching tv. It was so cozy, my legs over his lap and his arm around my shoulder, my head tucked in near his elbow, taking turns sipping the Sangria. Somehow, over the course of two evenings, we made our way through a jug of it, and when Nana came back from Sam's Club the next day, she had a new bottle for us -- one that, of course, was so huge (as is everything at Sam's) that it could hardly fit in the fridge.

I sleep with: The bear I have had since I was born, "Teddy," and the cute, squashed, little tiger that John has had since he was three, and who was once left in Hawaii, "Smoogles." Also with a sweatshirt and a few pillows.

My sister is coming tomorrow, flying in (well, on a plane) from Texas. She'll be here for a week, and it'll be so fun, having her around again! I've really missed her and my brother-in-law since they moved this Spring.

I don't have a smooth ending for this post, so: I hope you all have a wonderful night; what have you been up to?

Monday, July 31, 2006

The evolution of this blog...

Before I write about today:

I know that over the past nine months, this blog has become less of a danika blog, and more of a danika-and-john blog. To some readers, that might be annoying, but after I thought about this, I realized that it shouldn't be annoying. Because, you see, John has been an incredibly huge part of the last nine months of my life, from November 2nd onwards. It's not every day that you find the person you know you're going to be with forever, and I am still completely amazed that he and I found each other -- and that is why I write about it.

* * * *

Yesterday morning, John arrived at my parent's house a little after 9:30, in time to go to church with us. I'd been awake since 5:20 -- I couldn't sleep, because I was so excited to be able to be with him again. It's strange, this time that we're apart. It's not really something one can get used to, this being apart from the one you love. Every minute I'm awake, every time I see something that makes me laugh, or reminds me of him, I ache somewhere deep inside. But every time that we're together, we make the most of every single minute. Who needs sleep? There's more time to talk, or cuddle, or make plans for this next year.

I'm getting too tired to write an in-depth account of the past day and a half, so I believe a summary and highlights are in order:

John drove here, went to church with us, and then he and I drove two more hours up to College Town; I went to help him finish moving out of his apartment, and organize my own things back at my dorm, for this week when I finish moving out.

We also:

+ Watched Knute Rockne All American. Laughed uproariously (and slightly guiltily, on my part) when Knute's future wife said to him, eagerly, in a shadowy garden, whilst discussing plans for the future: "I can cook and sew...and you can get a job!!"

+ Ate a late dinner outside on the patio of a mexican restaurant we'd never been to before, on a beautifully high, round table with an umbrella! And the smell of the food and sound of the seagulls and seeing all the tourists made us feel like we were in Spain -- and that motivated us to pull an index card and pens out of my bag (I always keep index cards with me), and add it to our list of potential honeymoon destinations. He's been to Spain; I haven't yet, but have always wanted to go.

+ Each ordered a Mike's Hard Lemonade with our meal, and then AFTERWARDS discovered that they were $4.75 a bottle. Yes, we left not even a drop -- I'm not going to leave a $0.10 drop in the bottle!

+Discussed the reaction on our friend Jim's face, when John will ask him to be the bartender at our reception-- I can't wait to hear his hearty, jolly congratulations and excitement.

+ Hugged a lot, kissed a lot; I didn't leave those arms for longer than I absolutely had to. I will say that being apart has made our time together even more precious -- I appreciate being with him, so much, and don't take even a second for granted.

+ Got hot and sticky, moving furniture and scrubbing floors in an un-air-conditioned apartment, with head indices of 105.

+ Went to grocery and liquour stores to find strong enough boxes in which to pack dishes and books. John asked me to use my feminine wiles on the grocery store personnel, for, as he put it, "The guys in Produce always fall all over themselves to help you." So I checked my hair, put on lip gloss and fabulous feminine charm, and picked out the youngest employee in every Produce section to proposition, while John hung out over by the cilantro. Two of them were utterly apologetic, I should call ahead, if I wait until tonight, they'll be putting the cereal away, and there'll be big boxes then, if I show up at nine in the morning - well, no, at ten, because they put the apples out at 9:00 - then I can have many boxes, oh, he's soooo sorry, but the people from the food shelf juuuust came and took alll of his boxes, he's so sorry, if he had some, he would give them to me. I struck gold at the liquor store -- great boxes, not broken down, in perfect condition (and John stood in the entry and stared at For Sale notices).

+ Realized partway through the afternoon that we were thirsty, so I bought the cranberry lemonade, and he bought the milanos. And we wonder why we've gained weight since November? I told John that my theory is that we rather view time together as a sort of vacation -- and who wants to eat healthfully on vacation?!

+ Realized that the next time that John has to move, will be when he moves to our place, next year. My goodness.

+ Drove several hours in the car. I've always loved driving with him; I love the conversations that we have; I love that he stretches his arm out so I can curl up against the console, my head on his shoulder and his arm around me.

+ Realized that by this time next year, we will have been married for a while.

+ Felt utterly loved, peaceful, and content.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


'So have you picked out a wedding dress?' she asked conversationally, scraping the backside of my bottom teeth with her pronged weapon.
She removed the instrument, a surprised expression on her face, and asked again, to make sure she had understood me. 'You haven't looked for a dress?'
'No.' At her look, now borderline horror, I attempt to explain. 'I...see, I'm at the point where...well, it used to be that when I would walk past a display of bridal magazines at a bookstore, I'd be all, 'Aww, cool.' And now I'm at the point where I walk past and think, 'Aww - Wait. That's ME.' So, no, I haven't picked out a wedding dress.'

Wedding dresses are the least of my worries right now. Besides, I am not concerned about the wedding. The wedding? It is just a ceremony, just an afternoon and evening. I am not looking forward to the wedding; no, I am looking forward to being married, to never have to leave John's side again for months at a time. To home-cooked dinners, and movies on the couch, and our own apartment, and Mass early on Sunday mornings. And our bedroom, painted a beautifully chalky dark blue, with white curtains at the windows, and a white quilt on our bed. Our bed. Our own life. Together.

In the meantime, I am worried about the 18 credits I'm taking this fall semester; I am more concerned about writing my thesis next spring than picking out the colours for a wedding party. And I think that is exactly how it should be right now; but don't get me wrong, I am not apathetic about the wedding - quite the opposite! I'm excited, the moments when it actually sinks in. I have a list in my head of the basic things I will have to figure out and decide upon. But I know how many other things I have occupying my attention until then; and I know how many people - advisors, counselors, helpers, if you will - I will have to help me with all the wedding details. How many? MANY.

For instance, this weekend I was with John at his mom's house. Mama Jeanne, Nana, Jeanne's friend Christy*, and I were sitting out at the picnic table. Christy turned to me and began discussing the wedding - and said that she had made table favors for her son's wedding; she makes amazing homemade wine (...evidence duly noted, by the bottle that John and I polished off), and had made little individual-sized bottles to put by each place - and offered to do that for our wedding (it'll be fun, seeing the look on the Baptist's faces... ;) ).

So, scratch that off the list - the mental list that is slowly forming (congealing?) - but wait, table favours hadn't even been on my list. Oh, the details people will think of.

Perhaps, because of my take on the whole thing, the wedding won't be the big, scary thing that so many people regard it as. I know I want a pretty cake, one with real flowers (lilies, perhaps, if we feel like it) on the top; a white cake with white frosting. I know I want a pretty dress, but I don't want to spend much on it. I know who will be invited - I mean, really, this isn't hard. Relatives and friends. We have a built-in bartender (our friend Jim, who is an excellent bartender; and John and I joke about how Jim will pass "Irish Car Bombs** - all around!!!" He's very jolly and Irish and intense), and we have friends who will stand with us up in the front of the church. I don't care about the flowers; I just want them to be pretty; if they're still in bloom, tulips. If it's later, lilies. Flowers, candles, pretty things. Unobtrusive, pretty colors. I know I can get most of the decorative elements and things for the veil, etcetera, at a good chain of craft stores we have here. I'm looking forward to slowly gathering the necessary things and little touches through the next two semesters. If I'm frustrated with a class, with the homework, I can take a half hour and wander around the craft store, coming up with ideas. My cousin's husband is a photographer by trade, and perhaps he could take photos - his work is breathtakingly beautiful.

Pretty, and simple (and hopefully thrifty).

I do not understand why women get so obsessed with the minute details of their weddings. Who cares about the cake?! Why do they spend hours trying to decide what kind to have - Do you think more people would like the raspberry filled, or the chocolate gateau?


It's a wedding. It's meant to be a rather public affirmation of your love and commitment to each other; most people aren't going to even notice that your bridesmaid's shoes are dyed to the perfect shade of taupe, so why did you spend three days freaking out about it?! And, with you as my witness, I will not get obsessed with the details.

* Christy, who told John, after she met me for the first time, that I was the most "well-mannered and lovely girl" she'd ever met. Who told him today, after spending much of the weekend with us, that she wishes her sons had found women like me. That is an incredible compliment - my heart feels all warm and bursty.

** Irish Car Bombs? It's a disgustingly horrible drink (I refused to try it, because I hate the main ingredient): A glass of Guinness, with a shot glass of Bailey's Irish Cream dropped inside; for the Macho, they need to drink it as quickly as possible, before the Irish Cream curdles. Oh, wait, did you miss that? BEFORE IT CURDLES. Wretched, vile drink!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

What's been going on:

What's been going on:

I've been terrifically uninspired to post. When this happens, a new layout or banner helps shake me out of the funk; so, here it is, and here I am.

Life has been pretty weird this summer.

L o c a t i o n :

I changed plans and moved back to my parents' house for the summer, rather than staying at school (I could have, for free, as I was on staff last semester). The reasons behind doing so were multiplicitous:

a) My car had died more than once
b) There is no air conditioning here (and yesterday was a 99F day)
c) It'd be nice to see my family
d) My freezer doesn't work
e) I'm tired of people who play rap at 7:30 on a Sunday morning
f) I would have free access to good food
g) I'd be 2.5 hours away from John, instead of 4.5

Which was the factor that weighed the most when I was deciding? Oh, yeah, the last one. But I did want to see my family, too, I swear!

H e a l t h :

I was sick often last semester. I think it's because I have a horrible immune system; Mom swears it's because I get stressed out (easily, I must confess). I did have a lot to be stressed over, with a job that nobody taught me how to do, major assignments all occurring at once in my classes, changes in life, and changes in health.

The day of my last final, I woke up and didn't feel so great. At first, I thought maybe it had something to do with my back; perhaps I'd slept on it funny. Then I had pain, and it kept getting worse. I stumbled to the bathroom, where I proceeded to try to keep myself from fainting from the pain by pressing my head against the sink. I couldn't stand up straight; I crept back, slowly, to the room, hanging on to doorframes and walls. I called John to tell him what was happening, and he freaked out (well, freaked out for John: He showed a high level of interest, high level of worry, mentioned the emergency room, and taking me there, all in quick succession), especially as I was now clammy, shaking, and breathing in short pants (not capris; gasps). We thought it could be appendicitis; the pain was spreading from the lower right area of my abdomen.

So he took me to the emergency room.

I had to sign forms. My body was imploding, but I had to sign forms, then take a seat and wait.

"Rate on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst pain you've ever experienced:"
"TEN. [No, I have not had a child, have had surgery, and I'm not kidding around. Yes, I have a low threshold for pain tolerance, but I'm serious this time. This is worse that before surgery, than when I was recovering from surgery, than ANYTHING.]"

The doctor finally came in (there were no other emergencies, other than the coffee might have run out), asked questions, asked if I've ever been pregnant (that would be a NO), had gonorrhea or chlamydia (what?! I giggled - I couldn't help it. Seriously? No, and no, on both counts), and palpated my abdomen. He got to a certain area, and pressed down then released quite quickly, asking whether it hurt more when he pressed, or after he released. Oh, man, after he released.

He mentioned appendicitis, and scheduled an ultrasound and various other tests.

The nurses let John come in, and it was wonderful to have him there; I asked him to stand by me, so I could press my head against his stomach, and yes, it helped.

The nurses took blood and urine from me (not at the same time), and eventually got me in for an ultrasound (after making me drink six cups of water and wait wait wait wait wait. I don't think they realized how quickly liquid runs through me). I had never had an ultrasound before, and it was amazing and impressive, and I got to see parts of my body that I rarely even think about (the technician told me that I have a nice uterus. Score!) (and then afterwards, I got to pee, which was also amazing and impressive).

After doing a total of three separate ultrasounds (including one that I'm not going to mention or even think about), the doctor diagnosed me. He said I have Ovarian Cysts, and that one of them had ruptured that morning -- but short of surgery, there was nothing they could do. He sent me off with instructions to come back in a week if the pain wasn't better, and to take a lot of

John took me home to his place (so that I would be able to sleep; in the dorms, middle of the afternoon, music would be blasting and people would be packing and noisily getting ready for summer vacation). I ate a little bit, and slept for hours, my feet tucked in by John, who was working on his laptop.

I had had a final scheduled for that morning, in my favourite class. I had no time that morning to alert the professor to the situation, and if a student misses a final, they fail the class. But I checked my e-mail and she had written, wanting to know what had happened (she knew I wouldn't skip). I e-mailed back, a short note, apologizing but letting her know that I had been in the ER for six hours, etc. Her reply: "I was worried that something like that had happened. Just let me know when you'll be up to taking the final."

Yes, she is wonderful. This semester, I'm taking two of her classes.

S u m m e r s c h o o l :

I took two summer classes; one history, and one science. The science professor crammed the entire TEXTBOOK into two weeks; imagine, a mid-term on Monday, and three papers due; and the final on Thursday morning, four papers due, and six chapters covered on Tuesday and Wednesday. HELLISH! But...I did five credits in five weeks, and those are five credits I don't have to worry about next semester when I have 18 credits, or in the Spring, when I write my thesis.

V a c a t i o n :

Over the Fourth of July, I spent four days with John and his family. I love being at his mom's house; I always feel very much at home there -- yes, it has a ton to do with the fact that John's there, but also has to do with the fact that his mother is so friendly and warm and open, and likes me so very very much.

Next week, John's coming up to my parent's house and spending the day, going to the fair and spending time with my family, then taking me back to his mom's house that night. His maternal grandparents from Indiana are coming into town, and they are eager to see me again. I can't wait to see them, either; his Nana is a doll, small and beautiful, and so very Catholic (I love her!), and Papa is, well, Papa, and one of my favourites. He's shrewd and wise, and funny and no-nonsense, and his opinion matters so very much to the family, because he can see right through the stupid games people play and the facades people put up; and he so openly likes me and approves of me.

N e x t s e m e s t e r :

Next semester, I'm taking 18 credits (6 in history, 6 in english, 3 in anthropology, 3 in Historical Research Methods [the prerequisite to a history major's Senior Thesis class]). I'll be busy, and it'll be good (I miraculously ended up snaring the only room on campus that has its own bathroom), and John and I will see each other every two or three weeks; he will come here, or I will go there, or we can meet in the middle at my parent's house.

T h e p h o n e :

And like Cassie had said we would, we've grown to absolutely love the phone. At first, we made a ton of little calls through the day, but our routine has become a long (usually an hour) call right after nine at night, and then sometimes another short call right as we're falling asleep, to say goodnight.

We still miss each other overwhelmingly, but the phonecalls, they do help.

Monday, June 26, 2006



I'm coming apart at the seams today, and it is the most frustrating feeling ever. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I got hardly any sleep last night, and when I tried to catnap this afternoon, a group of kids decided to play -- loudly -- right under my window. Out of the hundreds of rooms, they picked MY window.

And it has to do with the fact that I'm feeling extraordinarily lonely -- the kind of heavy, heartbreaking loneliness where tears are just a breath away; and that from this end, the days I have to wait until John and I see each other again, well, they're stretching into what seems like forever.

I had a midterm today, and three papers due; my final is on Thursday, and another three papers due then. I'm feeling utterly overwhelmed and exhausted right now, and I wish more than anything that it were the future, and that I could escape and be folded in those arms.

Instead, I'm sitting in my room with the TV on behind me for company, and eating a box of grape tomatoes, plotting out my papers before I type them up (this is why essay questions are the easiest for me; because I write everything out in my head before I ever touch the pen or keyboard).

Music Recommendations:
If you have iTunes or Limewire (preferably iTunes), download "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," by the Ab Orchestra. And then "Pavane," played by Steve Erquiaga. These songs are the soundtrack to my day; they always soothe my heart.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Chapters in Solitude.

Chapters in Solitude.

I tend to think of life as divided into neat little compartments - chapters. In some ways, this view is far too simplistic, but I rather like it. Some recent chapters in my life were:

Years 2002-2004 Chapter: At the Other College, living at home, working.
Spring Semester 2005 Chapter: Transferring to This College; Mono; going from having dozens of friends to only three.
Fall Semester 2005 Chapter I (September through November 2nd): Back at school after a summer at home; taking 17 credits; tired of boys and their stupid mind games.
Fall Semester 2005 Chapter II (beginning on November 2nd): I met John. And I knew I had stumbled across exactly what I wanted. Shortly before I met him, I had written this:

I used to hate my loneliness and try to avoid it at all costs. But now, now that I can see the rest of my life stretching out before me, unfurling like a beautiful canvas, I don't hate this last bit of loneliness. I'm rather enjoying it, knowing that I won't endure it much longer. Instead of loneliness dogging my every move, it's more like the subtle itching pain of shinsplints the day before they disappear. It's something I can deal with now; I can cope, instead of trying to ignore that it exists.

And as I sit here alone, my eyes continually searching the space around me, I see a toddler and his father out for a walk, thick, dark grass underfoot, the chilly breeze playing with the yellow leaves, and late-afternoon sunlight dappling the sidewalk, and I think to myself, In a few years, I could be the mother who's at home getting hot chocolate ready for when her men come home; shoes off, reading a book, and enjoying the solitude.

And that's what makes it bearable now, I think; knowing that I won't be alone too much longer.

After I met John, I forgot what solitude was -- with the exception of a little reminder durig separate at-home weekends during Christmas break. In each other, we had a constant companion, someone to read with, watch movies with, talk with, love, and just be with. As soon as I met him, I forgot what loneliness was; as I had predicted, it disappeared without a trace, except for my delight in being with him. Like shinsplints, I didn't note the exact day the memory of loneliness disappeared; I realized it had left, after the fact, and it was relegated to the cobwebby recesses of my mind.

But this, starting two days ago, is the beginning of another chapter, one that is quite lonely, again. John has moved back to his family's house, in order to begin substitute teaching and save the $800 he would spend each month on rent, utilities, and food. Instead of being one mile away, taking care of me when I'm sick, and available any time of the day or night, he will be 270 miles away. To the people who read this and have spent months being thousands of miles apart, I know I'm being a bit of a baby. I was able to see him every single day for eight months, and I know that is pretty incredible -- and I am eternally thankful for it.

And this loneliness is not without a silver lining; for we appreciate each other more the times we are able to spend time together. And instead of being a pointless solitude, there is a purpose behind it.

So, you see, as lonely as I am right now, I know what's waiting at the end of the solitude. And that makes it bearable.