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Showing posts from December, 2006

A Year in Review

It is the last day of 2006. I've decided to do a running summary of this years events (as I remember them with no looking back for ideas - so if I miss anything important, sorry).

[If you don't want to read all of the details, feel free to skip to the last paragraph, where there is a three sentence summary!]

I celebrated the beginning of 2006 with Marco and his friends from Google in Dublin, Ireland. We stayed out until almost dawn, called my family at East Coast time and watched Dick Clark's party (sans Dick) and the ball drop in NYC on the internet. It didn't really seem like the New Year until that.

January was spent teaching and saving money. (And turning in grad school applications.) I also got to play in some volleyball tournaments in the southern part of my region in France (Champagne). In February, I went to Nancy with Alice and Martin to visit Isabelle and Anne-Helene. On the return trip, we stopped in Luxembourg, Luxembourg - which was fabulous.

A week late…

A Change in Plans

The only thing to say is that God has a plan for each and every one of us, and that there are parts of that plan we cannot control.

The longest I have ever lived in one place was 11 years, in South Florida from kindergarten to ninth grade. We lived in one of those classic 90's American neighborhoods where everyone rode bikes together, played kickball in the street, swam in each others pools, ate fruit off of everyone else's trees, and shared homes like they were toys. Most summer days were spent with half the neighborhood doing some sort of activity. "Can the kids come out and play?" was a common question. The little girl next door used to walk in and say, "Honey, I'm home."

She was seven years old then and I was fourteen - but I was her best friend (and babysitter). I'd known her since before she was born - I can clearly remember the stork in the lawn for two weeks after her birth. And the night we moved out of that house, she was the last pe…

Late Nights

I have been staying up really late lately. I need to get out of this habit. Two nights ago, I drove in from out of town and then stayed up reading (even though I didn't get home until after 1am). Then I stayed up until 3:30am playing cards with my siblings and Dad and then read until 5am. Tonight, I am determined to go to bed at my normal 2am bedtime (I know this seems late but I don't get up until 9am, so I'm getting plenty of sleep).

This will be brief, so I can reach that goal. But, I just wanted to ask the world (or the few of you fabulous people who actually read this) if they knew how to save a file from Windows Movie Maker to a DVD I can play on my parents television. I made my family this, I think, really cool Christmas present, and now I can't seem to get it onto the blank DVDs I bought. Ideas or assistance would be much appreciated.

Since I finished my fun reading book, have no idea how to finish making this present, and everyone else seems to be sleepin…

The Caroling Party

So most of my excitement about staying in town this weekend revolved around preparing for the Caroling Party. I baked like a fiend, cleaned the apartment, did some gardening (which no one can ever see because all our parties are at night, but whatever - I like it), and finished my laundry and such.

The party was super. Not everyone could make it (which was a bummer), but the people who came were amazingly fun. We ate an inordinate amount of baked goods (and I also made people take tons home) had an actual fire that lasted, drank cocoa, watched the original cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and sang a bunch of songs. Some notable classics were the "Twelve Days of Christmas," acted out respectively by each individual; "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" which was making us laugh so hard Dana had to stop playing piano; and "Thirty Two Paws and Eight Little Tails," which was a song no one had ever heard before, but Dana and I think is hysteri…

Thumbprint Jelly Cookies

These are my all time favorite cookie:
They can be made entirely sugar free (if you want to) and filled with your favorite flavor jelly. I fill them with a variety of flavors. Above are apricot, black cherry, Bonne Maman Quatre Fruits, and strawberry. I discovered that there are some serious tricks to getting them to NOT crack in the oven, but even with that, total prep time for a batch of 12 is about a half an hour (add about five minutes more per batch if you want to make more than that). If you are interested in the recipe, let me know.

Anyway, Mom has been making these for years, and theses are my first ones ever - all by myself, so I'm proud. I wanted to make something a little different for the Caroling Party we're having tomorrow.

It is amazing how weird it is to have free time. I almost don't know what to do with myself. I figure I better enjoy it though, because when I have to be out in the real world next year, I'm really going to miss this. Back to pres…

Rosy Sunday

Today is the third Sunday of Advent. It is a fabulous day - one week from Christmas Eve and quality time with my family. I spent most of the day indoors again (mild bummer). But, my cold is basically gone and there are three types of cookies in my kitchen.

The biggest challenge of the day was thumbprint jelly cookies. The first obstacle was not having the right extract, which was solved with a simple substitution (and a call to Mom). Then, I didn't have a pastry brush. But, my landlords lent me an unused barbecue basting brush in return for a taste of the cookies. In the end, my cookies came out marvelously (if I do say so myself)! This was my first pass at them, but I think that came out an awful lot like Mom's!!!

I also made oatmeal cookies. Now, I didn't actually buy a container of oatmeal (because I knew I wouldn't use it all). Instead, I dug into the economy size box of individual oatmeal packets my Mom gave me at the beginning of the year and found all t…

One Sweet Day (x3)

It is definitely not a good idea to eat as much chocolate as I have tonight. Chocolate is good. Chocolate is yummy. Everything has its limits.

I've spent the day resting up after a really great night with my SOC pals. I must say, I haven't slept with that many people on a couch since high school!

Other events from the past few days:

I took my last final on Thursday. I wasn't overly excited with the questions the professor chose, but I guess it came out alright in the end. Then Thursday night, completely hopped up on DayQuil, I went out to a Celtic Bar with a few people from the Principles study group. Amanda caught up with us and so we moved on to the Dancing Crab (there were no actual crabs there, nor dancing). Afterwards, Theresa came over and we stayed up talking until after 3am. I love the kids in my program!!!

Friday, I slept in due to severe NyQuil and sleep deprivation. I headed out to school to work with Nisbet. I got like ten phone calls while I was at work…


In this post, I am going to "reshape the image of an unpopular idea." This is my classmate Amanda's way of saying, "spin." Many communications professionals are really spin doctors - whipping everything up and pouring it out to make what they want. So here is my "spin" version of this weeks events ...

Today I spent the day working hard. At home, I completed multiple questions in preparation for study groups this afternoon. I proctored an exam and then worked with a classmate on an SPSS project. I then, productively, read over 60 pages of notes in preparation for study group. This was done first on a bench (watching birds fight over a chocolate chip cookie) and then lying on the floor outside the "Hub" on the third floor of MGC (which has become my surrogate home).

The study group met, which resulted in a number of positive revelations and resolutions. All members are looking forward to an exceptional score on Thursday's final. Alth…


I wanted to drop a quick line to say that Hoops for Home, the charity basketball game I played in on Friday, went outstandingly. The SOC Dance Party II at Rumors downtown was amazingly fun (how could it not be with that crowd?). The rest of Friday night went basically like I thought it would, but I wound up staying up waaaay too late, and then slept through a good portion of Saturday.

Costco was, well, an adventure as usual. Theresa was the greatest friend Saturday evening, being not only completely supportive but a great motivator for productivity (lots of homework finished!).

Choir this morning was a ton of fun and did alot to set the right tone for this second Sunday of Advent. I checked Dana's paper(s), cleaned my disaster area (aka bedroom), made Christmas presents, caught up (a little) with the newspapers, and got the soap scum out of the shower. Aunt Rosemary was her usual expert self on the phone and helped me realise that the emotion that was plaguing me was disappoi…


Ah, les devoirs! (English summary below.)

C'est le fin de semestre et ma vie est les devoirs. Les projets, presentations, essaies, et examens. Oh, oui, j'etude un peu aussi. Depuis dimanche j'avais fait presque 40 heures de devoirs. Super! Apres presque 12 heures a l'ecole aujourd'hui, j'ai fait mon travail.

Mon job n'est pas tres difficile. Je travaille a la maison et pour le plupart, je lis les articles et categorize les differences. Ce soir, grace a Excel, j'avais fait les tables et "graphs" (le mot en francais?). La bonne nouvelles: mon recherche va etre publie dans un livre! Pas demain, mais bientot. C'est comme un bonbon apres tous les legumes (j'adore les legumes, mais ce n'est pas le meme chose n'es-ce pas?).

Je suis super fatigue et il y a toujours deux "papiers" important (je ne suis pas super fort a L'Ecriture), et un paquet de media. (C'est un cahier avec les photos et bulletins pour un eve…

Psalm 119: 165

Quick catch-up
I've been working on papers non-stop for approximately two days.
I have three projects and three exams left until the end of my first academic semester of graduate school.The advent dinner party went fabulously, and I had so much fun that I didn't even mind how much work I've done since Sunday.Tonight there were three deer in the ditch behind our apartment. They were so close I could have spit a watermelon seed and hit them.Studio 60 is wonderful. I don't care if it isn't as good as the West Wing. It makes me happy.It is freezing in the apartment.Now for the narrative. In my five to ten minute breaks over the past two days, I have had a chance to clean up my room (you can't tell) and spot read a few blogs. This wasn't procrastination, it was necessitated pauses. Seven hours straight discussing the history of science communication and the popularization of science is enough to drive even me batty.

I found this on Pritcher's blog.

SOC Madness & SEC Matchups

This week has been a whirlwind. The Holiday Party for the SOC was last night. What a blast! Well worth the time and energy exerted to make it happen. I haven't heard a single bit of bad dialogue (which is a first). After the actual party almost everyone I know from the program was out at Nolan's in Adams Morgan.

Watching my friends get completely plastered was no more fun than it usually is, but getting to watch them dance and carry on with each other was incredible. I love seeing the "other" side of people. It helps me appreciate the fullness of human beings. It also makes me laugh, because no one, I repeat, NO ONE should lie down on the floor waiting for the Metro. Yuck.

But enough of the debauchery (because if you were there you know what happened and if you weren't you can just imagine an experience you've had with fellow classmates). Today I crashed at home, splitting my time equally between productivity, relaxation, and procrastination. It sou…