Saturday, December 18, 2004


So, I finally finished up everything and got home last night. My thesis proposal is in the mailboxes of my committee members and hopefully I can defend it when I get back from break.

I just wanted to post a short blog here to say, I'm done with another semester and I feel great! I called a bunch of my friends last night and caught up with some people I haven't talked to in a long time.

And on Wednesday we went out for karaoke for Kirsten's birthday and it was great! Jesse even got up there with Dan and they won a competition singing "build me up buttercup" - so cute!

Well, today we are picking trev up from the airport and decorating the tree. good times.

Merry Christmas all of you!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Comprehending death

i haven't been on AIM in forever, but i was procrastinating so i signed on to read some away messages and maybe chat with some friends from home. when i looked at one profile though, i read something i wasn't expecting. it was a tribute to a guy i went to college with, one i did many theater shows with. i immediately panicked. was he dead? if so, how? was he sick? i frantically mesaged some people i thought would know.

and i found out, yes, he was gone. after a head on car crash with a drunk driver and three weeks in ICU he died on december 4th. and the funeral was this past weekend. all my friends, the entire improv team, the masque, community development staff...they were all there. except me.

i can't stop thinking about him. but when i try, my brain just stops. i can't comprehend death. how can you picture someone not existing anymore? i mean, even if they exist in heaven or in another us they do not exist. they are vanished, gone.

then i found a bunch of people's blogs that know him and i read all about the funeral and the days leading up to his death and how everyone felt. but i just found out. and it's hard not to have been included.

jess assured me that i would be added to the contact list for the masque (the theater group at la salle) so that i won't be left in the dark in the future.

anyway, once again i feel like things are put into perspective. does it really matter how well i do on this final? is that what is really important?

Running outta steam...

I think everyone is just ready for this semester to be over. In runner's terms, I've hit the wall. I'm totally over it. I don't care how hard I've worked on anything thus far, I just want to throw in the towel and say "i'm out."

unfortunately, 25% of my grade is still waiting to be turned in. it's a take-home final with four questions. the page range is 21-38 pages for the complete thing. so far i have 2. ugh. that's a long way to go. this sure does feel like a marathon.

kito really wants to play. last night jesse and i sat in the hallway (we have a long hallway) at either end and played keep away with kito. then kito went to eat some of his food, but jesse and i just kept throwing the ball back and forth. it was so much fun not to think. then my roommate walked in, looking a bit perplexed at seeing us sitting on the floor playing with dog toys and no dog in sight.

I'm a member of blockbuster online (until my free membership runs out) so today I got the terminal in the mail. add that to the other two movies i have (a documentary on bonhoeffer and cold mountain) and there's tons of entertainment waiting for me. if i only i got muster up the motivation to push past the wall and keep on going till the finish line.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

PS - A lighter note

So, I just had to tell you this story. When we came to ring the bell on Friday for the Salvation Army, two other grad students were there. We were taking over the next shift.

Jill, a hilarious grad student who amazes me with her courage to say anything to anyone and her ability to think of witty comebacks in a flash, was offering to give people holidays hugs after they donated money.

People would walk up, usually eyes down, feeling awkward, and put some money in the kettle. Usually Jill and Audrey would say "Happy Holidays! Thanks!" But then Jill would stand there with her arms spread out wide and say "Would you like a holiday hug?" And surprisingly, everyone said yes! And most people said it quite enthusiastically, after the three seconds it took to really register what she was offering. One girl even said "HELL yeah, I'll take a hug!" It cracked me up.

I wanted to carry on this tradition while there, but I couldn't get up the courage. I wish I could have though.

Besides make me laugh, Jill made me realize something that night. First, it's always fun to catch people by surprise and it's always great to make people smile. Second, sometimes you just need to be that real with people. Sometimes you just need a hug. Yeah, we're strangers. But, hey, you're a person and so am I, and sometimes a hug really helps. If nothing else, she definitely made the night memorable for a lot of people. How often does a stranger offer to give you a hug and how often do you feel safe enough to accept such a silly offer!

So, go out and be courageous and spunky and catch people by surprise!

Weighing my options & other ramblings

I'm sitting here on my unmade bed. I always wished I was one of those people that got up in the morning and made my bed first thing. There are a few things scattered on the floor - a box, a bag of christmas presents, some socks, dog toys - although I really did try to clean up yesterday. My bookbag is waiting paitently next to me, ready to assist me, but it does look tired. It is that time of year afterall. Everywhere I turn, there seem to be these things that are in need of attention.

A lot of things have been going through my head lately, some of them more weighty and worth the time than others. Last night I got really down about my body. I haven't really had the time to exercise as much since the marathon, yet I'm still eating just as much as when I was training. I'm sure I've gained a few pounds and it makes me depressed. I don't like how I look. I realize I say a lot of degrading things about myself several times a day and usually to Jesse. It's not that I'm seeking compliments either or wishing he would tell me otherwise. I just have so many of these negative thoughts going through my head that I just have to say some of them sometimes. And it's sad that there are a million more left unsaid.

There's this big part of me that says "This is wrong. Why do you have this standard for yourself? Get out of it. Be happy with who you are." But those affirming voices that are usually so kind to others, are not so kind to me. Even though I can recognize the things that are influencing me and I realize that I'm thinking irrationaly, it doesn't matter. Sometimes you internalize things so much, that you can't separate who you are from these things that were engrained in you. And honestly, I don't want to separate them. I want to keep those standards close to me so that I don't let myself stray too far from what I want to be (or think I want to be). I don't want to accept it and buy bigger clothes. So instead of changing my attitude, which would take a lot of work, I'll just eat less and work out more until I like what I see.

I hate admiting all this. I really do. And maybe someday I'll finally mature enough to realize what's really important, which obviously isn't whether I weigh this amount of that amount.

Other than that, I've been obsessing about my future and decisions coming up with graduate school. Just writing this now I'm starting to feel more stressed about it. So maybe I shouldn't go into the details now. But basically, I just keep weighing my options about whether to stay here for my phd program or move on. There. That sentence made it seem much more simple than it usually seems in my head with all the potential consequences of those decisions swimming around.

On Friday morning, I was frustrated. The morning just got off to a bad start. It was one of those days where I just wanted to settle into a bad mood, wrap it around me like an old comforting blanket, turn off the lights, and wallow. One of those days when you don't want to be cheered up, even if someone is trying really hard to tell you a funny joke and make you smile. Just let me have this one thing, just let me have this bad mood. Don't try to make it go away, not yet.

But, I tried to move against this urge. In the car, I tried my best to turn my mood around. To try to change the trajectory of the day. I put on jewel's christmas album and reminded myself of all the prizes that lay ahead of me, just a week away - being home for the holidays. And, somehow, it worked. Even though it was raining and I forgot my umbrella. Even though I forgot some of the work I needed at home and had an overdue library book. Even though there were a million things I could be upset about if I really looked for them, I didn't. I just tried to float above it all and focus on things outside of myself, focus on the things that were going right.

Later that day, I went to the ring the bell for the Salvation Army with Jesse. I was talking to the couple that runs the local chapter. Here they are helping everyone in the community out, meanwhile their 19 month old grandson almost died last week because of a heart problem. And he still might die. But I bet they have things in perspective. They are familiar with the suffering of others and despite bad things happening in their life, they aren't cutting themselves off from what they can offer to others. And that impresses me. I want to be like that.

First, my life is not that hard and second, I think the best solution to a lot of my issues is just to get out of my own head and my own life and my own problems that seem *so* important to me, and get a reality check. Help someone else out. Try to spend more hours of my day thinking and focusing on other people. This might help me, I think.

Anyway, I suppose I've rambled enough over here.

Here's to a productive week with a positive attitude and a cheerful outlook. Here's to looking out at others instead of looking inward. Here's to being a good friend to others with the hopes that we will learn to be a good friend to ourselves as well.

Friday, December 03, 2004

A little tip

I know that sometimes I can be overbearing with my advice and tips. I can be a little over the top with the amount of information I consume, especially when I'm interested in something. So, feel free to tell me if I annoy you with my constant tips, although I will probably be offended if you do get annoyed with me. I'm just trying to help afterall.

So here's some info I found out and thought I'd share with you:

A little website: Apparently, our cell phones will soon be fair game for telemarketers to call. I don't know about you, but my cell phone bill is high enough.

So you can go to this website to register your number on the do not call list. Or you can call 888-382-1222 from your cell phone to get it on the do not call list. It's so easy! And apparently it's good for five whole years.

The funny thing is that once I registered online (you can do up to three numbers at once!) it gave me a "receipt" and said to print it for my records. I am really thinking, why would I ever need a record showing me that I registered for the do not call list? Where would I put this document for five years? In a schedule book to remind me to renew my number in 2009? That's a long ways away. I bet I won't even have this cell phone number then.

Anyway, just my little tip for you. Hopefully you appreciate it. :)