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Showing posts from August, 2006

One Nerdy Gamecock

Today I got a late start. Then I sat in the DMV/MAV for ages. However, I did get my license - thank goodness. I came home and did a little laundry, had leftovers, and read the paper. Tonight's class was incredibly good. It was exactly what I had been hoping for, really. It is all about conducting research surveys and polling ... I can't wait. We are going to learn by actually administering some questionnaires and surveys ... this is so exciting.

I am a little bummed that my "tailgate" shindig for tomorrow isn't going to happen, but I will still be cheering like crazy for my Gamecocks and hopefully the other alums I know in the area won't all be busy for one of the next games. (If you still can make it though, leave me a comment and I'll get you directions!) For this evening I am off to read a little more of one of the ever growing stack of textbooks in my room (I bought 4 more today to add to the 6 on my desk). I also checked out the syllabus fo…

A New Chapter

Classes started today. Of course, after all my hype, they were in the end just classes. Nothing overwhelmingly interesting. Opening day kind of stuff. I am a little afraid the first professor things I am unfocused or not entirely devoted to my communication degree (I will relay this story if next class reveals more proof). But, he is pretty cool nonetheless and I think I may just enjoy taking a writing class with him. He is an awful lot like Professor Bockman, but less animated and pretty strict on the "no food or drink in the lab" rule.

My classmates so far are very cool. I got a chance to know Erin today and am doing a mini-biography on Aman for my first assignment. Speaking of assignments, reading liberal arts literature is kind of like reading The Scarlet Letter; awful. (What punctuation mark is supposed to go before awful? I am sure that is wrong.) I had to read two articles on "research" and "experiments." I have never seen anything so su…


It is like acronym heaven, all these state and local and federal government buildings in and around DC. What I was looking for was a place to get a new driver's license. Though mine is still "valid," it is from an address I have not officially lived at since 2004. Now, because I was in and out of the country and uncertain of my states-manship I did not renew. Now I have a permanent and temporary address combined in one. Super!

The DMV is called the MAV in Maryland. I can come up with no reason to do this but to confuse people. However, my determination was much stronger than their tactics ... I prevailed and discovered, in my fist internet try, the name. The location was slightly more difficult, because there are only two places (of eight) in a forty mile radius that can actually give me an exchange license (meaning no new test, etc). So I drive to Gaithersburg, about 20 minutes from here.

Besides discovering that 270N has an exit 10 and 270S does NOT, the trip w…


Blackboard was, unintentionally, the bane of my existence as an undergrad - particularly in regard to French classes. All the assignments were online and if the internet went out or my computer was screwy, I was dead meat. Blackboard has resurfaced in my life, and I am actually feeling rather pleased about it.

At orientation yesterday they entioned that Blackboard was a system highly favored by AU professors. So this morning I checked it out. I got to read the syllabus for one of my courses and will even be able to do the appropriate reading before classes begin. Yes, this is graduate school, I have homework and I don't start class for three days. But this really made me feel good. One, because I will now be prepared, and two because after spending a year on another continent, I am significantly more at ease with using the internet as my means of communication.

For the class that already had its documents posted, I was able to discern that I have exactly four assignments due…


Orientation did everything it was supposed to do. It introduced me to my program, the faculty, aspects of the school, and some fellow students. I got to fill out paperwork, see some of the facilities, listen to speakers, and take notes on a few things I should really be doing before school starts. It did all of this, but that isn't what made it great.

Orientation absolutely, positively, rocked my socks! After the mixer at the Press Club, I was nervous that the program was going to be all public relations (exactly what I did NOT want to study), that I was incompetent because I was only going to be working 10-15 hours a week in addition to taking 12 hours of graduate level courses (which is 3 more hours than full time), and that there was the distinct possibility I was one of the least experienced people around. However, when I heard about all the exciting lectures, outside projects, the alumni mentoring program, and available resources; the only thing I could think was: "I…

Figurative Language

Here is a figurative language based email I got from my father today:

Analogies and Metaphors

Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year's winners.....

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli, and he was room-temperat…

Book Themed Day

I am sitting here contemplating the value of $12. I know that seems silly, but I am wondering if it is worth the aggravation that may ensue if the books I am considering ordering online don't arrive in time for class next week. Now I only have one class a week of each course I am taking, but figuring that, and about 16 weeks in the semester, I have the feeling I'll probably be doing reading from the first night. That being said, the people in the bookstore were pretty snotty today. I know I was rude in return (shouldn't do that) but I seriously started sweetly enough.

I HATE lying. This is just about the worst thing you can do to me. I take it as a personal afront that you think I am either too weak or too stupid to handle the truth. Let's clear that up: I'm neither. I am neither over-confident nor idiotic, so please treat me like the adult I am and tell me that you will not give me the ISBN codes because you don't want me to be able to go and get the bo…

Apartment Photos

Finally pictures! I was so excited about the apartment being clean and tidy today I took the pictures I have been promising for weeks!

But before I show you, check out the pictures I added to the Ocean City entry and this Astronomy picture of the Day (the one from Aug 19 is the one I was intending to link there).

This is my room:
From my door to the left

Caroline, doesn't your table top look cool??
and the right

The center section or common area of the apartment:
Dana's "office" and the stairs (to the landlord's house)

The view to the right from the office

And the view from the left

Our fabulous little kitchen!

Omar, as the baker's rack is known, adds to our very limited counter space.

This is our sitting area ("my" couch is the one with the big beige pillow on it)

And these are the pillows we made at Grandmother's house!

I think my blogging program might kill me if I tried to add any more photos, so for now, this is what you get! It is extremely cute and h…

Steamy Sunday

(I was lacking creativity with the title there. It was steamy because it was hot and it rained today. Lame, I know.)

This morning we went to Little Flower Catholic Church. We were concerned the Phantom might be getting married during the service based on the organ music ... but it was a pretty good service nonetheless. Oh, and the Gloria was definitely staccato; a new innovation in musical variation.

Lunch and lists later, we went out to get some incidentals and four new apartment mates: our new fish. Names will be posted soon. Shopping was exhausting, as usual. We came back and put stuff away, got the fish in their new home, and then I started in on making dinner. We had eggplant parmesean. There are a TON of leftovers even though I didn't even use a whole eggplant. I think I am going to restrict the casserole-like dishes for when we have company.

After dinner we drove up to northern Bethesda for the Comcast Summer Film Festival. We saw The Princess Bride in camp chairs o…

Boiled Paupers

"If this is not the body of the man who was killed in your vat, pray, Sir, how many paupers have you boiled?" ~Thomas Wakely, 1839

That was one of the quotes on the wall of the Visible Proofs: Forensic Views of the Body exhibit I went to see at the National Library of Medicine inside the National Institute of Health this morning. The exhibit went through most of the history of forensic pathology, including entemology, radiology, chemistry, and the politics behind the differences in coroners and medical examiners (amongst other things). I learned about Bertillion cards (mug shots) and saw some pretty cool "nutshell" case replicas (a woman made dollhouse size EXACT replicas of crime scenes that were used as teaching models for the Maryland police force - some are still in use today).

Some of the best parts of the exhibit however were fingerprinting my own thmbs electronically (I don't match anything in their system, phew (wiping sweat from brow)), watching a vir…


I discovered that my posts have been going up on European time still ... changed that. Amongst other things, I have been picking up aroud the apartment and town.

Yesterday (Thursday) I cleaned the apartment for the finishing touches. I organized the two storage closets, eliminated the boxes in my room, and did a few other random things. I also tried the walk to school from here. 2.7 miles is pretty warm at 11am. I did the walk then because I would be walking around 12:30-1pm actually to arrive on time for my classes and I wanted to get a sense of the weather. The path is pretty well covered with trees for the first half of the trip. I din't know about the rest of the way yet, because I didn't make it that far. There were two main reasons for this: it was blasted hot out there and I had not brought water and I encountered "the Beast."

The hill by Sibley Hospital will henceforth be referred to as the Beast because it goes up at between a 45 and 50 degree angle a…

One More Day

I think by tomorrow that everything in the apartment is going to be straightened out. Today was relatively productive. I definitely had my lazy moments, but we got a phone number, decided on a Netflix plan, arranged the fish tank, hung the posters and frames in the common area, and my dresser is looking amazingly clear. In addition to that, my laundry is fresh, clean, and folded in my basket.

This morning I was up early, even for me. I had Eli (the landlord's son) on a monitor in my room, and everytime he would flip over it would wake me up. I was listening for him this morning because their daughter had to have tubes put in her ears. As I had that surgery more than once, I was more than happy to be of some minor assistance. The procedure has certainly changed since I had it. They left here at 6:30 and were home by a little after 9am. I am glad it was quick and relatively painless for her, I know she slept most of the afternoon. Anyway ... (as memories of my ear suregerie…

Ocean City & 1812 Canons

So you probably spent the weekend sighing from relief that I wasn't inundating you with a barage of words. Well catch-up can be a kicker. Hehe.

Saturday night Dana and I left town and headed up to Ocean City, NJ for a mini-vacation. The drive went exactly 3.5 hours and was an omen for the rest of the trip - easy, light, perfection. Sunday morning was crumb buns with Uncle Gavin, church, hanging out and chatting, lunch, the beach, some beach volleyball (shut outs kind of bite), dinner, more story sharing, and then a stroll on the boardwalk including a little stop at Kohr Bros. and watching Clark DDR himself sweaty.

It should be noted here that the only acceptable choice for a Kohr Bros. cone is peanut butter / chocolate. Adding jimmies of any flavor or color is distracting. Though I have never had it sipped in chocolate sauce, I cannot imagine that making it more heavenly. Just a note.

Monday was equally relaxing. I got in some classic movie time, figured out how to fix my kni…

Phase ? Complete

Immediately before Dana arrived, I made a strategic plan for our apartment. I have no idea what phase of the plan we have completed (because I never numbered the plan), but today we finished the kitchen and the bathroom. Omar, our baker's rack, arrived from Walmart and we successfully relocated the towel bar in the bathroom. We only have to change the shower head now. Excellent.

Before Dana's dad left, he fixed the floor in the kitchen, the fan, the doors, Dana's lighting fixture, found studs for us to hang things on - there are not enough thank-yous in the world for all the handiwork he finished around the apartment. With all his fabulous work, the bug spray and the weed killer outside, and getting the trash and recycling out. By the way, hooray for finally being able to recycle again. It is such a relief to not be poisoning hte environmentwith every trash bag I throw out.

We also had a huge breakthrough today - only one creepy crawly, knock on wood, found in the pl…


Encore un jour tout plein des choses a faire. J'ai passe au jourd'hui avec le menage, l'exterior de la maison, et aussi un petit "dodo." A cause de les araignees et autres "insects" c'est obligatoire que je laver, netoyer, prendre soin de les entrees (la porte, les fenetres) et au coin ou les murs touchent le sol. Les cartons sont plus et plus vide.

Ce soir, les parents de ma collacatrice ont m'invite au diner. On a mange au restaurant specifiquement pour les poissons, et j'ai jamais goutee le mahi-mahi comme ca. Servait avec un sauce BBQ d'ananas, les legumes, et le riz. Trop bien. Apres, le dessert ... un torte des pommes avec la cannelle et aussi un glace de cannelle a cote ... on est reparti d'ici.

Maintenant, je me calme sur le canape. Pas grand choses pour demain. Plus de rangement, moins des choses dans les cartons, un autre voyage au supermarche, les choses normal pour un nouveaux apart. Desolee que je n'ecris pas…

Full Day

I am too exhausted to be complete ...

Woke up. Little Dawson (love TBS). Shower. Dana's parents arrive. Breakfast and direction searching. Trips to IKEA (swedish meatball lunch), Home Depot, Linens 'N Things, drop off at home, and then to Costco. Home to unpack food, heat up dinner, build things we bought at IKEA. Draping and tucking of slip covers. Dinner. Receipt deciphering. Unpacking of movies. Boiling strange utensils left in drawers and rinsing packed items. Furniture rearranging. Chat with parents anf Grandmother. Vacuuming of baseboards. Arranging movies and games on shelves. More furniture arrangement. Quick pick-up in kitchen. Addition of duvet cover and final furniture moves. Sliding of boxes. Brushed teeth. Typed list.

All this and I think I only squished like four bugs and sprayed two others. Life is good. I am exhausted. The Advil just kicked in, which means I am off to the land of nod. I'll see you in the morning - bright and early. I …


People say that the only thing that stays the same is tha people change. I guess that is probably true. I am totally living the life I don't know that I ever thought I would have. I am still me, of course, but my life is just ... moving.

I'm not saying moving in the changing location way, I mean in the advancing way. Dana moved in today. I officially have a roommate again. And right now I am sitting on my couch, she on the other, and we are both sitting with our feet propped up, laptops on our laps, doing our own thing. I don't know that I would have ever envisioned this for myself. However, unlike the other things in my life that I wish I knew, I am so content to just have this be my life.

Our family room is going to be brown and purple. Our bathroom will be navy and space themed. I am going to have all of my green stuff in my room. We can choose our shelves and end tables from the collection of furniture in the garage or we can buy our own. We presented the …

Bed bugs

You know that really popular saying, "don't let the bedbugs bite"? I really am afraid I might have to fight them off. I have actually taken to turning on lights on the other side of the apartment to draw the bugs away. The cleaning has taken the back burner to the bug killing at this point. The turning point was this morning.

I walked into my room and on a portion of my ceiling that drops down, there was a large bug that looked like a cross between a roach larvae and millipeed and 'squito eater. I sprayed it with the bug killer Dad and I bought last night. Spraying has recently been deemed safer not only for its distance from the target but for the paint; there are little dead bug splotches partout. So, I sprayed this morph bug and it fell off the wall, landed on the bed and crawled under the comforter. I shooed it out in one swipe of my hand, and it died almost on contact with the carpet. (This is one good spray!) But like the spider video from the 5th grad…


I have arrived in my new place. It is not exactly what I expected upon arrival, but I think that after a little hard work, the place should be looking top notch by the weekend. Moreover, I am connected to the internet and I can return my router to the store, because I can just tap into the one upstairs. I am officially wireless. 6 years ago, I would have never believed it to be true.

So the router is $40 back plus I clipped coupons today from the sunday Washington Post. I love being able to buy the full Post with the comics, the magazine, PARADE, coupons, and like 10 individual sections. It is going to take most of my free time this week to read it cover to cover (if I try to, which I probably won't).

Anyway, I'll give you some more details later, but I am safe, I am sound (though I never really was sound of mind), and I am within connection (internet and cellphone) of the rest of the world. I think I "might could" get used to this. Indepedence, space, and resp…

Not Sleeping

I am supposed to be sleeping. Well, I am supposed to be sleeping in about an hour and a half. I have about ten minutes left of packing to do and have yet to force myself to do it. I know I'll finish before I go to bed, but I have just been wrestling a little bit with my mind.

The plans are all set for tomorrow. For the first time ever, I feel prepared. I know everything is going to go just fine, so why do I get down and whiny about it? Why don't I just suck it up and feel fine? Why is moving like some sort of psychological twister?

Every time I move this happens. Usually it is stress from not being ready, packed, or cleaned up. This time it is just ... because. Which makes me think the other times were pretty much "just because" too. Della taught me how to take care of this, but I know that for the past few days I have been deflecting instead of aggressively trying to beat down these unhappy thoughts. Thing is, there is nothing to be unhappy about.

I'm n…

24 to Take-off

One day. I only have one day until the move. This is getting pretty exciting! If everything goes to plan, I should be on I-95 near the Virginia line at this time tomorrow.

The rental van is waiting for us at Enterprise (call to confirm). The stuff is in the garage and arranged in a fashion (via chalk lines) that would make it so it can go directly into the truck with absolutely no complications. My car is half loaded, waiting on the fish tank (tomorrow AM) my television (trunk or passenger seat?), stereo (needed for entertainment during remnants of packing in my room), and our overnight bags.

Tonight could very possibly be the last night I ever sleep in my bed. It has long since been broken (since about 7th grade) but it has been in my room since late elementary school. My parents are going to rearrange my room. And although I still have plenty of stuff in there (wall decorations shelves of books and a desk area full of my stuff (freshly organized)), it really won't be MINE …

100 of 4320

Three days. 72 hours. 4,320 minutes.

I have three days left to accomplish everything on my to do list. My goal for today is to accomplish something. As horrible as it sounds, I have just been dead lazy today. I did organize the garage, take down my mirror, and fill a box (this being around midday, I don't think that's too shabby). It is just that I am uncertain as to my next step. I have about ten things left on my to-do list, but none of them seem appealing. The thing is, if I set my mind to it, I don't think one of the things I have left to do would take more than ten minutes.

So, I have three days to do 100 minutes worth of work. Wouldn't it just be wonderful if I could suck it up and spend that less than two hours this afternoon and finally be done? Relax for the rest of the week? It seems against my nature to be basically finished right now. But since I am, wouldn't it make a marvelous start if I could just set my tailbone in action long enough to - …


I think the karma from my last post just swung around and beat me in the head with that fishing pole. More to come soon, I imagine. Love always, ~Heather

Go Fish


Today Emeline, a student of mine from France, wrote me an email. I was so thrilled to hear from her. I felt so ... happy, for lack of a better word. Also, about four people had written on my facebook wall. Glad.

Then someone came over. One of those friends who only calls when they need you or they are feeling guilty they haven't called. He was in some serious need, because he has to face up to a situation tonight he had been planning on avoiding for a few more years. I tried to be helpful, and then I ran out of juice. I didn't even give him a hug when he started crying. (I did bring him tissues, I'm not completely devoid of emotion.)

I realized that RA Heather had taken over again; that part of me that drops everything to help the person who walked in needing me. And as I thought about that, it occurred to me that I am not an RA anymore. It is not my job to be the friend of everyone I come in contact with if they aren't willing to do the same for me. Thi…