Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Grandmas and Brides

Shout out to Grandma! Happy Birthday and I love you!! (PS, Grandpa tells me the candy drawer will be stocked when I come home next week...) :)

In other news, one of my extracurricular activities this semester is being Andrea's Maid of Honor...honestly one of the best out of school things to be involved in. Andrea and Greg don't get married until the end of May (good thing because then I get to live with her the whole school year) but they already have most of the wedding planned: church, reception, caterer, photographer, florist, suits...and THE dress.

Tonight we get to pick up the dress, which took Andrea all of one day to find. I'm not going to go into too much detail (bad karma?) but it's from a little boutique so I'm guessing not many people have this dress. All of us bridesmaids knew it was the one when she tried it on--we loved it, Mom loved it, she loved the design is discontinued and it just happened to be exactly Andrea's size.

Now we just have to make room for it in our closet next to the watermelon and clover-colored bridesmaids' dresses. And we have to make sure no one spills the beans about what it looks like to Greg, who is very curious about this whole thing...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Technically the writing center is not open yet (thanks to some budget miscommunications we had to rearrange hours) but I figured if I pretended like I still had to open this morning I might actually get some work done. Not that I have a ton of work to do or anything, I just always feel pressured when I have some sort of unfinished work. This week and a half before long weekend has always been busy for me and this year is no different: I need to write a creative piece to submit to Graphos by Thursday, I have an art exam on Thursday, two papers due on Friday and another exam on Tuesday.

I still can't seem to get totally into school mode, though. None of these papers or quizzes seem real. I'll get them done, they'll be fine papers, but a part of me keeps thinking: the world won't end if I just don't write them. In the grand scheme of things, these papers and exams mean not a lot. It's not that I'm not learning anything in class or excited by what I'm learning--my classes are interesting. I guess I just feel really sheltered here at school. I'm in a bubble where nothing can hurt me and there is no danger.

Most likely I'm just thrown off balance after so many months of constant stimulation. Now it rains outside and I vaguely remember a time when I lived in a city where it always rained. I see a map of the US and my eyes are drawn to the southeastern region. Are people still riding the tram in Rome? How are the waves today in North Myrtle? Did I actually live in those places or were the last eight months of my life a dream?

And then I think it's just way too early to be thinking these things...I think I'll just listen to some Italian music and look at my pictures some more.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

where did you go, weekend?

Almost five on Sunday and I feel like I've finally recuperated from the weekend. On Friday a group of us went to a Barn Bash (bonfire, food, games, wagon rides) and Greg, Andrea and I left from there to drive to Madison. We didn't get there until almost midnight, so after getting a condensed tour of Amanda's house we crashed.

I was up again by 7:30, though, getting ready to meet up with Bailey to volunteer at the Badger game. Once we realized that Amanda's house is pretty much next to Edgewood, we met for breakfast (cereal and COFFEE) at Bailey's apartment and then walked together to Camp Randall with Kelsey, a fellow volunteer.

As is usual on Badger Saturdays, Camp Randall was a flurry of red. Street vendors sold clothing, brats and cheese curds while people paraded to the entrance gates. Bailey, Kelsey and I sidestepped all of this, though, and headed for a discreet side entrance where we signed our names and received limited access passes.

Our job during the game was to fill racks of cups with soda (Coke and Diet Coke) and hand those to vendors who then took them out into the stands to sell them. These vendors were probably between the ages of 12 and 17 from the looks of them but conducted themselves like adults--tossing around phrases like "Give me a half-rack" and "Bad day for business; we need more sun" and handling cash like mini-investors. These kids buy a half or full rack for $30 or $60 and then sell it, bringing back the money for another rack. At the end of the day (which for them was after Jump Around--no vending during the 4th quarter) each rack was counted. The after school program who sponsored the vending station got a portion and the kids also got their own percentage of the profits.

By the fourth quarter our arms were sticky from soda but the Badgers were up and we got to catch some of the game before leaving to make the trek back to Bailey's apartment. Then we met back up with Andrea, Greg, Amanda, Julie, Steve and Tom to visit an apple orchard (no picking but we did find apples nonetheless) and find ingredients for dinner: a chicken/rice/pineapple/pepper dish.

We didn't get back to De Pere until about 11 last night and after a full day of soda-filling and visiting with friends all I could do was shower and climb into bed. Church time came way too early this morning, but I survived...and showed my true colors by curling up on the futon and napping like a champion this afternoon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I had it coming.

I have a bruise on my arm.

I should be more precise: I have a bruise on the inside of my arm spreading out from a needle puncture. I tried doing my civil duty yesterday by donating blood, but while my iron count and blood pressure were fine, my veins just weren't in it.

Usually I find the mini-physical more stressful than the actual donation part--the finger prick for the iron hurts more than the needle I think. And I feel like it's a job interview where your body could get any question wrong and you are automatically disqualified. Iron too low? Out. Temperature too high? Out. Have you gone to remote countries lacking clean water and basic medicine practices? Out. Once my blood pressure was too low so they made me drink a can of Coke to raise it. I passed all the tests yesterday, though.

Then in the donation lounge chair (it's kind of a lounge chair...there are old ladies walking around bringing people water, you get to sit there while everyone does things for you) my nurse, Lynda, searched for a suitable vein.

"Did you drink any water today?"

"Yes..." I did, I drank more water yesterday than usual, I promise.

"Well, let's try this." And she did. Try, I mean. The needle went in and I waited for the warm feeling of my blood flowing through the tube taped to my arm. Nothing. She pushed the needle in...nothing. "We need Julie to come wiggle this," she said, calling her over.

I guess Julie is the expert on veins, and as she held the needle in one hand and felt my arm with the tips of her fingers I believed it. She looked at my arm and seemed to see through it; a quick twist of the needle and blood was flowing. Now the problem was the vein she found wasn't the swiftest flowing one. They let me sit for a while, telling me to squeeze the little stress ball hard each time. When they returned to check on my bag, though, it wasn't filling fast enough.

"I'm going to have to pull it," Lynda said. "Sorry."

I think I was more sorry--I felt like I wasted a bunch of their time and now I was going to go eat the food and walk out of the gym wearing the bandage and purple wrap like some sort of hero when I was actually a phony.

And today I wake up with a pretty purple bruise and a sore arm. Badge of honor? More likely just karma.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

it's been awhile...

...but I've finally decided to get back on here and write. Since you've heard from me last:

-I moved into my apartment in De Pere with my lovely & engaged roommate, Andrea
-I started my senior year @ St. Norbert College
-I started work again @ the SNC Writing Center
-I got a haircut!

...and that's about it.

Just kidding.

The transition from Rome to South Carolina to home to school has definitely done something to me. I don't know if I have culture shock, reverse culture shock, senioritis or if I'm just getting old, but I have been feeling a tad out of sorts these past few weeks.

It took some time for me to get back into school mode, and I'm still not all the way there (although maybe I am because I'm definitely procrastinating like usual me). My classes are interesting for the most part, though, so that helps.

And as a co-senior consultant at the Writing Center I got the lovely job of creating the schedule, revising the schedule, and cutting hours from the schedule after realizing just how underfunded we are.

A lot of days I feel pretty stretched and if I don't write things down I forget them almost instantly, as if there are so many things and nothing for them to stick to inside my head. I've also developed a clumsiness that maybe I've always had and never before acknowledged, but either way it's kind of embarrassing. I run into things constantly--the futon, bookshelves at's like I'm a little out of step with the world.

But despite always wondering where I am and how I got there (honestly, at least once a day I have to stop and think about these things), life is good right now. I don't want this to be a depressing return post--I really have little to complain about. I'm home-ish, I'm a senior, my hair is blond once again (and will be for some time...I promised Mom it would stay that way at least until next summer).

There are a billion other things I could mention now but my alarm is going to go off in about seven hours and I know it will be a much better Friday if I'm not wondering when nap time is. I'll be traveling to Madison this weekend to visit friends and the younger sister and I promise I'll be more specific about my life the next time I post.