Friday, January 29, 2010

New Uses for Old Alcohol

Earlier today I hand-washed some of my laundry and now my black socks are drying by the fireplace. It looks like an Amish family just came in from ice skating.

For dinner I made garlic chicken with rice and peas and I decided to try the bottle of spumante I found at Mom and Dad's over break. The chicken was great, but I wasn't sure how I felt about the champagne.

So I found this recipe for champagne cake.


Thursday, January 28, 2010


Thursdays are going to be rough.

I only have two classes, but they are intense. First is Criminology for two hours then after a two hour break, two more hours of Poverty and Social Justice. So right away they've got the time length intensity going.

Add the actual substance of these classes and you've got me, thanking Jesus for Thursday night comedy on TV.

Today in Criminology we watched a film on a school shooting/parricide and then in Poverty and Social Justice we discussed, well, poverty and social justice. Sometimes after working out I'm physically tired and after reading for classes I'm mentally tired, but after classes today I was emotionally tired.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The first of my last

This is going to be short since the NyQuil I took is starting to work. Second semester highlights:

-I am in a weight training class MWF at 8 in the morning. Pros: I'm going to have arms like Michelle Obama. Cons: 8 in the morning.

-I felt like I was in Italy again when the classroom got switched way last minute for my Film and Literature course. Luckily two other girls did not get the memo so we could be embarrassed together as we walked in 15 minutes late.

-Being late/mixed up got way better when Dr. Risden did first a Sean Connery impression and then a Godfather impression within 5 minutes of each other. Awesome.

-Again, the classroom (and professor this time) of my Criminology course got switched. I had just checked to be safe, though, so I made it to the right place at the right time.

-My hopes were dashed when Dr. Shippee wrote Sociological Criminology on the board followed by: NOT CSI, NOT Criminal Minds, NOT Silence of the Lambs.

-Poverty and Social Justice promises to be an interesting class, especially considering my post grad plans of service in the social justice world.

-Sr. Sally Ann, who teaches Pov & Soc Just, is the sweetest nun ever. She made the entire room smell grandmotherly and I would not feel out of place asking her to tie my shoe in the middle of class.

-I already have a stack of books two feet high from various libraries that may or may not be related to my classes.

Monday, January 25, 2010

ice skating commentator formula

I think announcers for ice skating competitions are the greatest.

The skater finds her place on the ice and the music starts; this is when the announcers tell a personal story about the skater--"Bob, she's been fighting off a pesky cough these last few days so we'll see if that affects her skating." Or, "Now, you know she's been wanting to skate here at the Nationals ever since she watched Michelle Kwan at the Olympics. She told me she just loved seeing the combination of grace and strength."

Then the skater gets into her routine and the announcers get a little more technical. "The reason she's all over the place tonight is that nervousness she's fighting. But maybe there's nothing to be nervous about....tonight!" as she prepares for and executes a triple lutz or double axle.

By this point they are invested; you can almost see them clenching their seats, leaning forward as if to give their extra energy to the skater. For some time they remain silent. As the viewer we trust this is because there are no words to say, not because the announcer really has no idea what a triple lutz or double axle are.

As the skater ends, though, the announcers pick up their technical talk. "We have to remember she saved that jump for the last half of her program, which adds ten-percent to her points. After her short program, though, will this skate be enough to put her in the top three?"

The skater strikes her final pose, chest rising and falling as if she were asthmatic, and we hear predictions and speculation for how the judges will score.

What's not to like about such a simple formula and the enthusiasm with which those announcers follow it?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

put something witty here. --me//okay. --me again

After all of the writing and reading I have been doing lately I realize writing breeds more writing. I can't stop thinking in my narrative voice, which is okay because after so long I've come to treat it as my more intelligent best friend. My more intelligent and sarcastic best friend. Also, I may have just diagnosed myself with multiple personality disorder there.

My current reading list: Dreaming in Hindi by Katherine Russell Rich and Up in the Air by Walter Kirn (now a major motion picture starring George Clooney!).

My current writing list: application essays, this blog, a novel. That last one's an exaggeration unless you can count 200 pages of collected blog posts and journal entries from when I was in Rome. My motivation is getting it all in one place, finally, one year later. With some embellishment maybe that place could be a bookstore? I'm going to start changing the names for fun.

Friday, January 22, 2010

thank you extended time alone in the writing center

Friday and application 5 of a possible 7 is finished! Mercy Volunteer Corps, different than MercyWorks, has locations all over the US including Sacramento, CA, Detroit, MI, Phoenix, AZ, and several areas of New England.

I can't believe I finished it by four, though maybe the coffee I had this morning has something to do with that.

Now it's happy weekend! Hockey game tonight, more applications tomorrow and Sunday.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This One's Escaping Me.

One of the questions for this application asks me to describe a time when I've been wrong. I just can't think of one...


That's what Dr. Gary thinks I have. After a series of questions and some poking and prodding, he pulled that polysyllabic wonder out. It basically means the cartilage of my ribcage is inflamed. So it's not my spleen or a muscle cramp or anything like that. And now I get to take copious amounts of ibuprofen to take care of it.

Today's Application of the Day is from MercyWorks, the volunteer program connected to Mercy Home in Chicago. (again, Chicago). I was feeling discouraged as I began the application, thinking I wasn't suited for it even though the coordinator showed an initial interest, but as I looked through their website and read the current volunteers' reflections I got more confident. Those volunteers sounded a lot like me--unsure at first, but passionate about social concerns.

So I'm going to keep filling it out and trust that I end up in the right program for me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

on a roll

Third application done...I wish application-filling out could be a paid job. This one, Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps, has locations in Chicago, Milwaukee and Detroit. Is anyone else sensing a theme? Somehow I have managed to choose programs that (almost) all have locations in Chicago. Is the Windy City in my future? I wouldn't mind that.

My workout today was straight up running and biking. I haven't been sore yet, but I can feel my leg muscles starting to ache now. Maybe because I've been sitting in this awkward laptop position for too long.

I also started tutoring again; we're working on research papers now so it's getting intense. My student still loves me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"you've got a lot going on here"

Worked out again this morning! People on the StairMaster.

Then I hoofed it over to the Writing Center for a few office hours. One scheduled appointment turned into a no show and I used all the quiet time, comfy swivel chair access, and energy from the bag of M&M's I found in the cabinet to finish another application--this one for Augustinian Volunteers out of Pennsylvania. They have locations in Chicago, the Bronx, San Diego, and Lawrence (MA).

I also found time this afternoon to see the RN at the Health Center, where I learned my body is falling apart. Not really, but she gave me Sudanyl for my sinus congestion and some eye drops for what appears to be conjunctivitis. What is that you ask? Let's just say the windows to my soul are the color of a baby girl's bonnet. Wonderful. I'm going to love wearing my glasses for a week.

She also set me up with the Health Center Director so he can figure out what's up with my side pain. My guess is my spleen wants to expel itself from body just for fun, but maybe he'll have a better hypothesis.

On the docket for tomorrow: tutoring and finishing another application.

MLK Jr Day

Yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and while I did not attend any special service, I believe I appropriately commemorated the day.

I started off with a breakfast of banana chocolate chip pancakes, the perfect energy boost before working out.

And by working out, of course I mean reading Newsweek and Time while I walk briskly on the treadmill.

After lunch, I spent three hours in the library working on the application for Amate House in Chicago.

Then Andrea and I made chicken fajitas and I spent the rest of the evening finishing the application, only taking some short breaks to eat ice cream and watch The Office.

Friday, January 15, 2010

RIP, Dora... ???-1/15/09

This morning when I went to put Jack and Dora back in their regular bowl (they spent the night in a cottage cheese container, waiting for their water to become livable), Dora drifted aimlessly near the top of the water.

She was perfectly fine last night, curious even, swimming around in little circles and nibbling her little goldfish flakes, but sometime last night she must have decided this world was too much for her.

Now my fear is Jack won't want to stick around much longer, seeing as I had to flush his best friend before noon. I know Dora sometimes annoyed him (she would always swim into Jack, knocking him off course), but at the end of the day they always had each other.

I don't know when she was born, but I do know that I had her for about six months. It doesn't matter; she was too young.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

year one

I can't remember if I've mentioned this yet (and I'm too lazy to check) but it's now been exactly one year since I first stepped foot in Rome, the city that inspired this blog.


And to commemorate that, I decided today to take out my Roma journal and read through it and pick up where I left off in Livy's The Early History of Rome. Next I'm going to find Eat, Pray, Love and read that again.

I've also started putting together all of my blogging/journaling/added embellishments from studying abroad into one giant...thing. I haven't decided yet what it's going to be, except hopefully interesting and enjoyable.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I just heartless?

Can you ever be totally sympathetic to someone, especially if you have no way of understanding their situation?

I wonder this a lot because, to be honest, I rarely sympathize (or is it empathize? I can never remember the difference between those two) with others. Yes, I listen to and care about my friends, but if they are going through something that I have no frame of reference for, I have a hard time understanding.

Which is probably why I usually don't go to others with my problems. If I don't understand them, why would they understand me?

Or, if I do ask for advice, it's just to gather a sort of survey of others' feelings. Then I go ahead and do what I want anyway.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010


1. Something I've realized this past year is my affinity for disclaimers. I have two theories for this. First, I'm not a fan of offending people. Second, I don't really like speaking in moderates. I'm a hypocrite, but mostly I like to make bold statements. Unfortunately, I also make a lot of mistakes which means I have to redact certain bold statements.

2. These aren't resolutions. They're more like observations.

3. αδιάλειπος προσεύχομαι (adiáleipos proséf̱chomai)'s Greek for pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Adiáleipos is also the term used for a constant hacking cough. If you have this cough, you aren't always coughing...but you're never not coughing. In the same way we can't always pray, but we should never be not praying.

4. I think about most of these things really late at night as I fall asleep, and then I promptly forget them once I am sleeping. Honestly, I don't know how many great ideas I've lost to sleep. This list of observations, though, I remember. I'd say it's because as I was pondering these things last night I prayed specifically that I'd remember something worth posting. Thank you Jesus.

5. In 2010, I am going to take advantage of lists. I don't know why I don't write lists more often. They're easy and I'm good at them.

6. I missed a 4.0 this semester by one class, in which I got an AB. Dang. I'm so glad that class is over, though. I fought sleeping through it the entire semester. When a philosophy/literature course features a math professor, DO NOT sign up for it. Ever.

7. It's past midnight. Happy birthday, Dad!