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Showing posts from November, 2006


I think it is interesting how a person can seem so present and yet so absent simultaneously. I'm not saying I feel invisible. In fact, it is probably the opposite. I've been busy with planning and writing papers and just recently singing Christmas songs with my roommate (which, by the way is an incredible amount of fun).

I'm just kind of feeling ... introverted. (Feel free to laugh if you actually know me, chances are you don't believe this is possible.) In fact, tonight at dinner when describing myself, I actually was explaining to a friend that of the three kids in my family I am the most introverted or (perhaps better worded) the least social. I'm not sure she believed me (but you should, since I'm not lying and anyone in my family can attest to this truth).

Maybe I'm in a pensive mood? Who knows. I know that when my parents called tonight to make sure I was doing okay, I was really glad they called. And that I've been incredibly lucky to have…

Support the Troops

As I was reading the Washington Post today, I noticed that there were a bunch of articles about the deterioration of the conditions in Iraq (as if they weren't bad before). Then, I was checking out one of my favorite blog sites, PostSecret and I found this link to AnySoldier.

I haven't finished reading the entire site, so forgive me if there is something tragically horrible on it, but I've read about 75% of it, including some of the requests from soldiers and I couldn't help but be moved by it.

I don't care what your political affiliation is, or what you think about war, or how you feel about the American administration. There are men and women dying every single day, and they are wearing American flags on their shoulders. Their burden is heavy and we get to live in glorious freedom because of it. So support the troops, even if you can't support what they are doing.

If you don't like the idea of sending a simple letter through this program this Christmas, …

Gamecock Glory

Also known as 365 days of bragging rights. A special thank you to Clemson's field goal kicker for making this rivalry Saturday a joyous one. I am rather glad we finally beat them. This was the first time since 1996 that we've beat the lousy Tigers on their home turf. Hooray, hooray.

Today was primarily spent watching college football. I was thrilled for Georgia, South Florida, Florida, slightly thrilled for Arkansas (not too much though), sad about Notre Dame, and generally encouraged by Wake Forest*.

*This is because Clemson beat them and Georgia Tech, which means if we face off with whoever wins that game when we play the bowl game this year, we stand an okay chance of winning!

And now bedtime beckons. Tomorrow is my last full day at home for awhile and I don't want to spend it yawning. Love always, ~Heather

Bright Friday

My family doesn't really believe in Black Friday. First of all we have our own traditions. Second of all, it is a really stupid idea to go to a store and get trampled. Actually, I think anyone willing to go is really brave, so hooray for you if you went. I was otherwise occupied with the holiday spirit.

My idea of spending the Friday after Thanksgiving is on a ladder. We took all of the Christmas boxes and containers out of the attic. This doesn't seem like it would be a big deal, except we have three regular size tubs, one large box, and seven giant tubs (like the kind you or I could fit into). This is in addition to the big tin of ornaments, the huge computer box with my stuff in it, the dishes and such that were already on the top shelves of the kitchen cabinets and the two boxes of wrapping paper and the two boxes with the Christmas tree lights and ornaments in them that we left in the attic until later.

As I write the list, I feel a little awkward. It seems strange…

Shooting Stars

I just saw a shooting star, and I had to tell you about it. I was searching the sky for the dippers - which I couldn't find. But Orion was just as bright as I have ever seen him, even the distant stars were clear. What I am pretty sure was Saturn was hovering, blinkingly a little bit above the horizon. And then, there it was. It dove right across Orion's belt and disappeared.

You can't keep amazing things like that to yourself - you have to share them. I made a wish as soon as it registered in my brain that I hadn't imagined it. (That I won't share.) But the thing I like about wishes, is that they are really prayers. You ask the light for something, just as it appears to be going out: shooting stars, birthday candles, and so on, and then you feel better inside. Even if you know that the wish seems completely unattainable, it sort of gives you this cheery feeling inside, a calm-happy feeling. I don't just wish into the dark. My whispered wishes are g…


I finally got some homework done! Hooray for me!!! I also had some particularly excellent pumpkin soup for dinner. Yum yum. I discovered the secret to good mushrooms is a little wine - all this time I've been wondering why mine don't taste as good as Mom's! I wrote to my French family and received some interesting advice about simplifying life. All in all, it was a good and productive day.

Tonight, we even went up to a neighbor's to have a little get-together. The hosts are members of our church choir. I love singing, and Becky is an incredible alto to sing with. I might even be taking care of their pets when I'm home for Christmas (even pets should have people around on the holidays!).

Speaking of pets, I walked Shadow three times today. I love walking the dog. I think I am most thankful for unconditional love today. Pets often love you unconditionally, parents try to (mine, I think, are successful), and most of all God loves me all the time. I'm pr…

Time Well Spent

Procrastination consistently gets me into trouble. I am, however sadly, addicted to it. I procrastinated a bunch today. I was relatively productive though. I'm finished with all the homework for one class, I went to four shoe stores all over town trying on an incredibly large number of shoes in sizes ranging from 9 to 11 and M to W. It wasn't terrible. But I still don't have dress shoes. If it ever stops raining here, I'll venture out again.

Speaking of the rain: If you are planning on driving tomorrow, please DRIVE CAREFULLY. I am not your mother or other annoying relative. I am a friend who has driven on the most travelled day of the year way too many times. I've also seen what flash flooding can do to the roads - particularly I-95 - and I just want all of you to be able to spend Thanksgiving safe and sound at your intended destinations. You've seen the storms over NC, watched the snow stories from SC and TN, and heard about the wind everywhere. I…


Proclivity - a natural inclination or predisposition

This is yesterday's word of the day. Today's was exacerbate. I didn't really think it applied. Proclivity matches my thing I am thankful for.

[This message brought to you because I could seriously not think of a title for this post. The picture below is of the Taize monastery. I was reminded of my time there again today when Frida, a friend from Sweden, wrote me a message.]

I was significantly less productive today than I wanted to be - but I still have all day tomorrow to make up for it. I did find some great academic article and research search engines, got prepared and brainstormed on my Strategic paper, and I seriously considered doing my writing homework. I actually am three people shy of finishing my Research homework - and I only started about 5 hours ago. I feel like I should probably be done with that by tomorrow.

I want to really finish up the Lit Review before lunch tomorrow. Since I only have 2 of about …

BCS: Blowing College Sports

The BCS sucks and we need a playoff system now. If Florida beats Arkansas and doesn't get into the National Championship, there are serious problems in the world of college football.

In fact, I propose (idea from Dad) that all SEC schools boycott the bowl games if an SEC school isn't in one of the top two bowls. Looking at that last sentence makes me feel a little bratty. And, if USC doesn't play in a bowl this year after we made ourselves eligible, I think I would feel a little defeated.

I also have a theory that the ESPN people biased the voters because they bad-mouthed the SEC all day on Saturday. They are just cranky because their sister station ABC got beat out by CBS for all the SEC match-ups and so they are trying to punish the best division in college football. This is ludicrous when you consider that most other divisions have exactly 2-3 ranked teams. The SEC had 6 most weeks of the year.

I know you probably think I am just being biased towards Florida, but if A…

St. Catherine

I looked this up for Grandmother - who was reciting a poem about St. Catherine to me. We were trying to figure out what she was known for, and here it is. St. Catherine is the patron saint of young maidens and female students. In life she was known for her eloquent speech and persuasiveness. She was a student of the sciences who, knowing that Christians were being killed for their beliefs, was audacious enough to tell the king what she thought. Also, she was one of the chief spiritual counselor's of Joan of Arc. I think I'll pray to her more often - I think we would have gotten along pretty well!

(Note: I am home in Fayetteville for the next week.)

Today has been good. I sang with the choir at church this morning. It was nice to sing with a choir again. Then we went grocery shopping, got a fireplace kit (so we can finally have a fire in the apartment), and then did some gardening. I read a little for one of my classes and fell asleep on the sofa for a bit. I taught t…


Big event of the day: I discovered the truth.

(The "you" should be "I") (Thanks to G for the link to the Quiz page)

Otherwise, I:
Slept in.Had a meeting about my graduate program.Put flyers in student mailboxes.Printed out about 75 pages of stuff I need to read over vacation (in addition to the other things I already have.)Cleaned up the kitchen.Shredded cheese and hung out with Dana (who made me some awesome cookies for my car ride home tomorrow!).Briefly listened to Christmas music, breaking a rule I have followed since I was in kindergarten.Vacuumed and tidied my room while starting laundry.Talked to Grandmother.Watched basically all of the original Star Wars series - except they weren't actually in the original format. (And yay for Dana's friend who came over to watch some of it with me! Also, I had no idea we had Cinemax.)
**Note on how crappy it is that they "made the movies better" by changing the music and adding digital imagery. I vote th…

Cache en francais

Ce soir, j'ai etudie chez un ami. C'est un situation unique. On est les amis de universite. On nous a retrouve sur l'internet pendant mon temps en France. Quand j'ai decouvree qu'il habite a Washington aussi, on a commence de passer de temps ensemble. C'etait super bien passe, parce qu'on aime les memes choses, on entendre (tense?) tres bien ... Un soir, c'etait evident qu'on n'a parle pas de quelquechose. Et enfin, il me plait, je le plait ... super! Mais, c'est impossible a cause d'un probleme (comme normal) de choix.

Il l'envie de voir plusiers filles au meme temps. Pas exactement plusiers petites amies ... mon traduction j'ai peur n'est pas juste ... mais, simplement il n'est pas pret pour une liason serieuse au moment. On a passe le weekend (apres le soir) plus des amis, moins des copains. Maintenant, on est, encore, seulment les amis. C'est difficile parce que lui me manque. Peut-etre c'est bizarre…

Magnificent Desolation

This morning I got up and again headed down to the National Air and Space Museum. I had a ticket to go and see Magnificent Desolation, the new-ish IMAX 3D film narrated by Tom Hanks. It basically told the story of how people trained for, worked, and walked on the moon. In the six missions to the moon, 12 men left their footprints there. The landscapes were beautiful, the perspectives great, the story fulfilling.

I love space. The film was primarily about the Apollo missions, which I have studied since middle school. Listening to actors reading quotes from these brilliant and brave men, watching images of their time on the lunar surface, hearing the *bleep* so often associated with the space race Mission Control room ... it was hard not to be intoxicated by all of it.

You can laugh if you want, but I was crying by the end. There was a little sub-story about a girl who wanted to go to the moon. She was sure she was going to get to go. I think I saw myself in her. I wish I was be…

Today is Tuesday

Highlights from today:
Breakfast and the Washington PostGoing for a walk with Dana on the Crescent City Trail near the house (this thing is beautiful with tunnels and bridges and woods all around).Cleaning up the apartment a bit - mostly sorting through all the newspapers from the days I wasn't here and getting them into the recycling bin.LunchWriting classGraduate Leadership Council Meeting (thank you everyone who came!)Focus Group for Lindsay. This was also dinner, since they served us pizza. Shawn and Adrian walked me to my car afterwards since it was dark and then I drove them home. Note to anyone interested: driving north on Massachusetts in the evening can take a long time - 10 minutes for two blocks!
American Forum on the mid-term elections. It will be airing on WAMU on Thursday evening for those interested. The panelists were quite good!Theory class, where we discussed infotainment and films as a means of communicating ideas. I should note here that I made class a litt…

The Wood

[Read the previous post first]

Just an update on the wood in my trunk. Now it is outside my trunk on the ground, pushed over by a wall so I will still be able to parallel park. Bill was kind enough to help me get it out. Then the wheelbarrow broke. And when I told Dad the story, he informed me the wood wasn't going to be able to be used this season anyway. All that work, a dirty trunk, a broken wheelbarrow, and I'm going to have to buy wood anyway.

Sometimes my frugality is my own worst enemy.

Love always, ~Heather

Five days in brief

What a wish-wash of things to talk to you about! This is a long one. I think you can make it through though ... it is (biased, yes) entertaining.

First and foremost, I hope everyone had an excellent Veteran's Day. Let us never forget the amazing men and women who fight for the freedom we enjoy every day. Pour mes amis francais, Veteran's Day = Journee d'Armistice.

Thursday I had an incredibly busy day, starting with an early start down at the National Air and Space Museum. I watched the new planetarium show Cosmic Collisions and interviewed other audience members and museum staff. This was all for a feature story I'm writing for homework. In the end, I needed to talk to some other staff people because the story I went there to write was not the most interesting one. As soon as I'm finished with it, I'll post it here so you can see it.

I ran home to have lunch and scoot out the door in time for Strategic (class). After class I had an audition for the Vagin…


For my Research Methods class, I wrote a survey about catholicism. I called some people around the country to get results to the survey. It was only a class assignment, but I think the results could be very interesting (they already are to me, I'm just assuming you'll be interested too).

The survey is for people who are Catholic now or have, at one time, considered themselves Catholic. (Respondents must be at least 16 years old.) The results of the survey are completely anonymous. If I get at least 25 respondents, then I'll analyze the results and post them. Please pass this along to others.

Click here to take survey

Thank you so much for your help! ~Heather

Election Day!

The past few days have been full with election-style activities. Sunday I got to work a phone bank for way too long, and meet/see the first lady and governor of Maryland along with Rudy Guiliani and then this morning I stood out at a poll in Virginia to encourage people to vote for a bond referendum. Tonight, I went to a results watching party with my theory class. All rather exciting election things. Oh yeah - and I voted in a voting booth for the first time today. (That my vote counted anyway.) And I also got accused of electioneering for wearing a t-shirt.

That's all on top of a marvelous weekend, a fantastic Monday, and a Tuesday worth remembering. But for the moment, I'm still not going to tell you about it. Besides the fact that anticipation is a great way to keep you coming back, I am particularly concerned with a Maryland Senate race I think was called incorrectly by the television stations. All stations seem to be reporting that Michael Steele is up by 4-5% a…

Thump to Singing

There is something that goes *thump* in the morning. Once every 30 seconds for a half an hour. Then, the 3-year-old decided to run a mini-marathon in the playroom above my bed. And the little girl threw a tantrum. And I finally got back to sleep an hour later. Not thrilled.

But aside from the rocky start, today has shaped up nicely. I got done with all my writing homework, some of my research homework, and I responded to an online thing for theory. I cleaned up from the party, doing my half of the dishes and vacuuming the random popcorn kernels that missed people's mouths. I also did my dark laundry and fixed a problem with my computer. Oh yeah, and Florida beat Vandy and LSU is standing up to Tennessee ... for the moment.

Church was really good. The music was good, the pastor a little too southern baptist style but had a nice message, and I felt ... peaceful and happy. I was so moved, I volunteered to start singing with one of the groups there. Luckily I was able to meet…


We watched V for Vendetta at tonight's movie extravaganza. As usual, way too many leftover goodies in the house, but for the many who graced our apartment, I am truly grateful.

I love having people over. It makes everything more cheerful. It also gets me to clean up, which I don't do enough.

I swallowed my fear of spiders this morning and moved a scary wood pile. I was successful and did not encounter an eight-legged scary thing.

I absolutely have to go to bed now, because I have been a busy bee all day with work and cleaning and gardening. Now, I need to dream so I can wake up and be super productive on my homework until I (so excited) get to go out with Lindsey and whomever else tomorrow night. As this will be my first official night out on the town, I am thrilled with the idea and excitement. Then I will be crashing to get enough sleep before going out to do some last minute campaigning. I hope we get to go to Maryland, because I'm not sure I support any of the maj…

Walk it Back

Today I had to do my future job for the first time since I started grad school. I was recruited by a dear friend to help her father (another wonderful person) campaign for better roads in the 5th most congested county in the country. Now, I believe in the cause. I believe that the roads need to be taken care of and that the state has been hedging forever and probably won't ever fix the real problems that cause deaths and injuries every year. And I'm not talking a few, I'm saying that in 2003, 5 students in one high school died on these roads, because of the condition of the roads.

So I was going to try and help find more people to help out at the polls, handing out information to constituents who would be voting on the issue. I am trying up here at school, and thought, after a conversation with my parents, that tapping resources in the county would be a good idea.

Long story short, I asked a man I really respect for assistance recruiting people, only to find out he didn…

Hey, you guys!

I'm watching the Goonies. If you haven't seen it, then you need to send me a message and I will make appropriate arrangements, because it is required viewing. Anyway.

Today I got up and did a little work (not much, honestly) and then went over to the Washington College of Law to watch a documentary on disappeared and murdered Mexican girls and women. Many of them worked in the maquiladoras, and their disappearances, murders, and rapes have gone uninvestigated. It caught my attention since it was the subject of a monologue my second year in VM. It wasn't as powerful as I thought it would be, but it was an incredible story. I want you to remember one thing: we are incredibly lucky to live in a place where we don't have to be scared to walk to work, or go out and get a haircut, or to the grocery store. And if we were to disappear in the middle of broad daylight, the police would look for us. We are lucky people.

I did my SPSS homework in the Social Science Lab - lov…