Friday, September 24, 2004

Finally updating! OK -- here goes:

Last Friday: I had pretty much made up my mind to take the class that would finish my minor. I was all ready to go to Boston -- Andrew's friend from Amherst who graduated last spring is also dating an MHC-er, and she was heading up for the weekend. Both of us met the boyfriends Amherst's Homecoming Weekend, so it was kinda weird to have the same 11 month anniversary! We had a hard time following the directions once we reached Boston, and had to wait for her bf to come point us in the right direction. Some kind souls got me into the T stop even though I didn't have a token or pass at a token/pass only entrance. Oops. I beat Andrew home and surprised him (not much, but it was still entertaining for me!)

In the evening we went to the mall for the food court's version of thai and japanese food. The Thai tea was really TOO sweet... At home we watched the season finale of Six Feet Under. Great show! Going to miss it =(

Saturday: It felt like freaking winter. Cold, cold -- I was wearing layers of sweaters -- and raining ALL DAY. GROSS!!! We stayed in, had pancakes, watched Envy, went on a shopping trip to target (because that's what I do when the weather sucks -- go shopping)...We had dinner at the Asian food court in Porter Exchange (much more authentic). I finally tried the seaweed salad. Chewy, very chewy... And I had my usual avocado rolls and such. Yums. In the evening we went to the Someday Cafe for chai/coffee and GRE studying. It was nice except that the chair was too low for the table and I kept having to sit on my foot in order to get a good view of my papers. Hmm... what else. I think we watched another movie... oh yeah, Zoolander. Hilarious! Now I'll finally get all the jokes people make in reference to that movie.

Sunday: Much better weather today. We had brunch at Johnny D's (I couldn't finish, way too full of pumpkin pancakes) and then tried to figure out what to do with the sunny weather. Chilly, but sunny. We ended up trying to go to this wildlife refuge out towards Concord. We got lost and ended up going raspberry picking first. It was idyllic -- bucolic -- halcyon -- trying to remember all those pastoral GRE words. Yes, I AM a dork. Anyways, it was a beautiful day to pick raspberries. Andrew had no idea as to what he was doing. =)

Afterwards we headed out to the refuge. It was a lovely walk, lots of birds and cat tails and a slow moving river. Finally warmed up a bit, too. Had to stop by the river and sit a few minutes. It felt like summer -- it could have been any of our weekends in summer... ahh! On the way back we went by Pemberton Farms (like old times) for the string beans. Had dinner out on the porch. Very sad to go =( Stephanie and I commiserated on the way home. Suddenly it felt like a weekday night again, didn't seem quite so bad.

Monday: The craziness started, with mentoring appointments and classes and reading for my Spanish class.

Tuesday: First Spanish class, Nina had a great class and brought us cookies and soda =) Felt better about taking a 300 level Spanish course. Longest day ever, with a small group meeting, the Spanish table, a CDC workshop, etc.

Weds: Busy with mentoring and reading.

Thursday: MOUNTAIN DAY!! I was getting sick on Weds, so I wasn't totally thrilled. Plus I had to walk Kobe for Dale, and go to Treasurer's Training in the later afternoon. So I had some restraints, and only missed one class that I really like. Oh well. D Becky, Karuna, Liz, Rachel, and myself all went hiking. Becky took us on a leisurely trail to the halfway mark, then we scaled the mountain for the last half. Ice cream! Saw Windy with Prof. Barry, and sat in the sun. Also ate a fudgsicle after my popsicle (the popsicle was much better, even though it dyed my mouth green). We all agreed that Jo Jo really scaled back on the frozen confections this year. Bad idea!

It was a lovely hike though, and great company. Only missed the rest of our first year crew =(

Today... Not seeing Andrew this weekend, and it feels so odd... Doesn't feel like a Friday!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

It's been awhile... but for good reasons. I got through Thursday and Friday (the first days of classes) quite easily. The weekend was great. Andrew came out, and Friday night we played tipsy Taboo with friends in Abbey. Took some really embarrassing pictures, and couldn't stop laughing. Ahh if only all of college was like that (wait, it could be, too bad I'm at MHC instead. No, I'm just kidding, I love MHC. Or at least, sometimes I do...)

Saturday was the big senior carrel day. I woke up damned early after our late night, procured food for Andrew, and then sat in line for awhile. Something of a bonding experience for all us seniors, standing out on a Saturday morning to get a desk in the library. Woo-hoo! Crazy times at college! I didn't get quite the desk I wanted, but it's pretty good nonetheless. Sixth floor, one window to myself, one row west from the row Katherine Mansfield's books live down. Pretty good placement!!

So anyways, we soon headed out to Amherst for lunch (Bub's BBQ, fun "truck stop" sort of place and good food). Did some shopping -- had indecision over which kind of mixed drink to make at some point later -- decided to get ice cubes for my fridge -- etc. On the way out we went to Puffer's Pond and had a cool nature walk. Idyllic looking place. I saw some big frogs, turtles, and a crawdad. We walked around half the lake and then scaled down a gully to wade in the stream. Very pretty... such a nice break from being on campus!!

In the evening we had dinner at Blanchard and then watched Along Came Polly with the new drink service. Don't worry Mum, I still have never been really drunk. I don't seem to ever drink fast enough, and since I don't exactly practice a lot, I don't think there's much danger of my getting sick from it! We had some sort of pina colada mix thing with coconut rum. Doesn't taste good without ice -- discovered that that's a necessary part.

Sunday we had brunch at Abbey with everyone (went table hopping to do all the visiting!) Visited the carnival, discovered that Oregon does all voting by mail, ate cotton candy, and a snow cone (for free! thanks MHC, you kill me, but I appreciate the free sugary confections that remind me of fairs at home!) In the afternoon Andrew had a soccer game to go to in Amherst, and I did some vocab words out on the blanket on the lawn. Very nice. Killed a couple of mosquitoes (yay me! on my quest to purge the world of mosquitoes, we've got two less to worry about!) Then I had a Verbosity meeting, and soon Andrew was back.

For dinner we wandered around Noho comparing various places. Decided on the Northampton Brewing Company. It was lovely...sat by a window inside with cool fans. Low lights, not too busy, with a kind of midsummer night feeling. Great food, too... I had some sort of blackened cod with mashed potatoes and veggies, and Andrew had spicy jambalaya. Yum =)

On the way back to my room we encountered my floor's first meeting. Oops. I sat in on the last part of it. Had a quiet rest of the evening. Sad to see Andrew leave in the morning =(

The rest of the week since then... CRAZY. Spanish class fiascos, entire days spent wandering around campus, waking up feeling sick to my stomach every morning from worrying, UGH!

Today, for example: Woke up an hour before my alarm went off and felt worried about things. Checked email to see if a professor got back to me yet on possible classes to take. Left early, visited the registrar's office, went to Am. Lit. III, ate lunch at the Rockies with Karuna, Claudia, and Jasmine, then scooted off to Carr for an Intro to Old English class (awesome, by the way, even if I don't get to actually take it), went to Nina's office and talked to her (very reassuring and helpful), went to the library to do some errands, then went to Corinne's office for my meeting. Thank God for Corinne. We talked for like over an hour and a half about my thesis, grad school, life, the summer, critical schools... ahh! I left feeling SO MUCH BETTER. The sick feeling in my stomach? Gone! Noticed again how beautiful today was, warm and sunny and summery. Walked to dinner, and enjoyed talking with Katherina and some new friends. Then I had an Org meeting, which was boring. Went to Pearson's to sell my flip and fold, and then to the library for more errands. Then to the Delles, where I sat in on some of Karuna's hall activity (magician, I hid the green cork!) and ate cake. And now I'm here!

Dilemma: Choice One -- Take Old English this semester and skip out on Spanish seminar on Latin American colonial studies with Nina, and then take Spanish seminar on cinema in the spring with Justin? Choice Two -- Take Nina's class and save the extra spot in the spring for another English course or anything else that strikes my fancy.

Note: Sorry for any typos. I found some but don't have time to proofread lately.

PS. We covered TS Eliot today in AL3 (funny how Brits and Americans alike claim him). Tonight I was in N. Delle's living room for Karuna's activity. Connection? TS Eliot visited the Blackstick Society (literary magazine that was very exclusive -- by invitation only) here on campus in 1933. They met in North Mandelle!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Saturday: Andrew & I drove out to MHC with his car packed with stuff. We had some worries about my papasan chair on the top of the car, but it ended up working. We stopped briefly at this lookout point over the Quabbin Reservoir, it was pretty much unchanged from our last visit (besides the new foliage!) That was something of a transition point, going from our apartment in Somerville to this place we had only visited while I was in school last year. We kept driving -- going through familiar places was kind of disorienting -- we went through Granby at one point and everything was so tranquil and country like out there. At MHC (it was very weird being back, by the way) I got my keys and we started the lengthy process of moving all my stuff in. We got my room situated after much deliberation (the furniture placement is so important, you know!) and started hauling in all my things from the car. After unloading all that, we were rather hungry and went to Tailgate.

The second round of moving in was getting all my stuff out of Pearson's trunk room and over to the Delles. It took two trips! Andrew was amazing -- he did a lot of the stuff I wasn't looking forward to while I started organizing stuff and getting it out of boxes. We took a trip to Amherst, where we had Fresh Side (but no Black Sheep as they mysteriously closed early). The Wal-Mart stop was stressful -- they had run out of most things and were closing as we were going around browsing. I got most of the stuff we'd set out for, and we headed back with a movie to watch and things to help my room get on track. We were up pretty late...

Sunday: The unpacking continued, but soon reached a very livable level. Showed Andrew the Delles trunk room (much better from when I was a first year, when stuff was strewn everywhere, there was broken glass on the floor, retro tvs...) More trips to Wal-Mart for organizing stuff and more electrical outlets, and then home again late in the afternoon. Andrew slept, I organized till my head was a little sore, and then we ate soup and leftover Fresh Side and headed out to Hartford for a concert. The concert itself was great -- I hadn't expected to like the Disco Biscuits, either. But we left after the first set because I couldn't stand everyone smoking in a closed space, the heat, or the beer being spilled on me. Yuck! Andrew rescued me and we left early (which was still pretty late into the night). Had a late night food stop, and then home finally to sleep.

Monday: I grabbed stuff for Andrew's breakfast, and then left for my training. SAW training was pleasant --- we had Black Sheep (complete with desserts) for lunch, and got out an hour early! Very different from Res Life training... Afterwards Andrew & I went to Amherst for more Fresh Side for dinner (we ate out on the Amherst green, rather romantic and picnic-like...), and then Flayvors for ice cream. It's kind of unappetizing sometimes when you're eating ice cream and you can smell the noxious manure... Back at school we visited Dale (she gave us lots of gummy bears!) and then headed to see if Kathleen was back (she wasn't). Back to my room, and we attempted to get tipsy (I succeeded, couldn't stop laughing) and find pictures for a collage. Funny!

Tuesday: In the morning we all went to breakfast at Prospect (with Dale and Jaime) which was VERY lackluster. Plus the line for hot breakfast was just not moving. Afterwards we napped a bit, and then headed to Amherst for Andrew's grad school appointments. Amherst is nice, P.S., esp. Converse Hall. Ate our bagged lunch on the Amherst green, I hung out in the library while he was at a meeting, and then we went to Rao's (yum chai). We wandered around in Amherst for awhile, and Andrew got his hair cut! Sad!

For dinner we ended up going to Wilder with Karuna. Andrew liked the food (yay!) We started watching City of God, got more of my room put together, pasted up the collage (had an emergency trip to Big Y for more glue, and a visit to Dale). Karuna visited and made us less sad about the whole last night together thing. Very sad though still =(

Weds: It was horribly sad seeing Andrew off, and then I kind of lounged around before convocation. Got green with Karuna, and then headed over to brunch. So exciting to see everyone, and Kathleen was there!! Crazy day, skipping lunch for our class picture, running around in the soggy rain, meeting with my mentoring class professor (ack speaking intensive class!), going to the CDC, etc. Karuna rescued me with food and Friends episodes. Dinner and the Odyssey, got caught up with Karuna and Kathleen over dinner and in the evening. Lots of fun! I'm glad they're back =) (but I still miss Andrew!)

More later...

Saturday, September 04, 2004

OK so once again I haven't posted in days.

Weds before last: After work Andrew & I went to KFC for a bad-for-you-dinner. Once a year I feel like eating their fried chicken and mashed potatoes. It was good -- but it's too bad that fast food places don't have very nice seating areas. Rather depressing looking place. And I checked the nutrtional chart again, and it STILL lists "macaroni and cheese" as a VEGETABLE. Some people have scoffed when I've related this story to them, but now I have further proof -- it's not just the KFCs in Oregon, it's KFCs EVERYWHERE. What really befuddles me is how anyone could even pretend for one moment that macaroni and cheese is a vegetable. Pasta is a starch and cheese is a dairy product. We don't call starches like wheat bread "vegetables" just because wheat grows in the ground -- same goes for pasta! No wonder Americans are the most overweight group ever -- fast food chains put misleading info. out there (just classifying it as a vegetable has probably inclined rather too many people toward the idea that it must be more healthful than if it were under "fatty stuff") and the people devising nutrtional info. for the US have sugar interests preventing them from coming out and saying "cut excess sugars" (The New York Times recently ran an editorial about this problem, which has been around since the US food pyramid's creation -- the people creating the pyramid have financial interests in promoting products. Ever wonder why grains make up the base of the pyramid? Check out this website:

Anyway, after we ate we went fabric shopping (re-covering stuff I bought) and then to JP for more of Andrew's stuff. Finally met Arlene, a friend of Jon & Jen's.

Friday: After work we ate dinner and had a little time before heading over to Carlo's for Andrew's friend's (Roger) welcome back party. So that was fun -- watched everyone play that game involving throwing stuff into cups of beer (I didn't partake in that game, I couldn't even finish one beer in 2 hours) and caught some of the Olympics (side note: did anyone catch the US pole vaulter who always wore a helmet? Andrew made the astute observation that it is probably used to prevent his long hair from knocking the pole over. Also the I think Jamaican relay team? Forget which team it was -- but anyways, they were running in trendy one shoulder strap outfits. When form beats function even at the Olympics...) Kiwi the pug was absent, unfortunately.

Sat: We went yardsaling early -- I got SO many books!! Also a Norton American lit anthology for 50 cents. Also a seat cushion. Then we went to Walden Pond as it we were sweltering in the heat. The park was full so we parked across from Rt. 2 and walked in like everybody else. Swam in a shady spot, but soon moved into the sun. We had just cracked out our books when a noisy family with small kids asked to sit between us and another quiet couple. Cute little girl on a floatie, though. She kept biting it. As I was swimming I saw a turtle's head out of the water and I paddled over in time to watch it swim deeper. So cute! We saw it again -- it made Andrew want to catch one or buy one for a pet. I told Kate about it, as she lives in the area and goes swimming there often -- and she said it was odd because she'd never seen a turtle there.

Headed homewards -- Pemberton Farms for food, dinner, and then a walk to Harvard Square. Looked at the Coop and Andrew got a cool shaggy rug (that he's now very glad I talked him into getting) for $10 at Urban Outfitters. It's like 5 by 8 feet or something and looks awesome in our (now his!) room. I found red and white astronaut panties for $1. Love the bargain basement!! Oh, and I got eaten alive by the freaking mosquitoes. Can we please get rid of those things? Launch an attack? YUCK. Die bloodsuckers, die!!

Exciting Saturday news was ... making cookies and cream jello! YUM.

At like, 11 PM, we watched The Butterfly Effect. We were both pretty tired but it was such a good movie that we stayed awake for the whole thing. Disturbing and violent...

Sunday -- went to more yardsales -- I found an old fashioned vanity mirror for $1 and a cool bulletin board for $2. Yay yardsaling! Then we went to the zoo, which was empty -- probably due to the unrelenting hot temperatures. Saw cool animals! Andrew complained that they were all "mini": an ocelot instead of jaguars, a pygmy hippo in place of a "regular hippo," etc. I liked the little white falcon bully birds. One was all fluffed out and bent over and looked freaking ridiculous. The hippo yawned, that was exciting. Should have taken a picture, in retrospect, although at the time I wanted to just watch and enjoy how silly hippos look. The butterfly exhibit was cool, but the petting zoo was closed by the time we got there. The barn owl was awesome though!

In the evening we had grilled hamburgers and picnic food, and then headed back to Harvard Square fo rhte director's cut of Donnie Darko. Elucidated a lot of points. DEfinitely enjoyed it more upon second viewing with added scenes. So late afterwards!

Monday -- watched 6 Feet Under in the evening (going to miss that at school)

Tuesday: Andrew was moving with Jon and Jen so I got rides with Kate. We took the shortcut on the way home and I was so much earlier than normal! Got some studying done while Andrew put his clothes in his newly arrived dresser. Watched some of "Things I Hate About You" (so funny) and got to bed at a decent hour.

Since then... lots o' packing. Today I go back to MHC! At work yesterday we had cake in celebration =)