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January 8, 2002

Okay, I really ought to be reading sociology articles right now, but I've had so many requests for an update (and there hasn't been one since December, so it really does need one), that I decided to just get it over with!

It's kind of a disadvantage that I redesigned the entire site before I got Dreamweaver, because this program generates code differently than I do, so my pages look really weird as I'm working on them ... but oh well, not sure what to do about that now. At least it's easier to type entries in here.

I bet nobody in my "readership" cares about my HTML woes ... while I could probably go on at length about the various difficulties I have with getting my layout coded correctly, I think I would bore some people to tears! So, since I am feeling uncommonly generous right now, I think I'll change the subject.

What's currently occupying my mind right now (aside from school, of course, but I'll get to that later) is the situation of one of my friends. Without getting too specific as to who it is, I'll just say that this person seems to be getting seriously screwed over without realizing it. The person abusing my friend seems to have no consideration for said friend's feelings and has no problem with trampling over them when it's convenient. Now, my friend and I perhaps aren't on the best of terms right now, but I still don't like seeing what's happening. My friend really needs to get some backbone and not put up with this treatment ... that is, if this person even perceives it. I have my doubts, considering my friend would not be disposed to notice it at this point.

I know that perhaps I am being a little overcareful in describing this situation, but I don't want to directly embarrass anyone. I don't know who will read this. Most of my friends will be able to fill in the blanks, and if not, they can ask me. Otherwise, it can be a sad story ... or maybe a subtle hint.

As for school these days ... I feel like I'm going nuts, I can't keep track of my new schedule at all. I keep forgetting when I have classes ... but that's not to say I automatically revert to the old schedule. I just forget about class times altogether. I mean, I know I have classes ... but I'm just so used to relying on the everyday routine I developed last quarter that I forget to take note of the new times and rooms. I figure they will just come to me! Which, of course, they don't, and which, of course, leads to problems ... like Monday, our first day back, when my friend Kim and I started off for calculus at about quarter to nine, got halfway down the block and then realized we didn't know what classroom we were meeting in. We had to double back to the dorm to get the schedule, and by the time we started off again, we had about five (or less!) minutes to get the the Technological Institute, a fifteen-minute walk. Needless to say, after we finally found the classroom in the maze that is Tech, we walked into the surprisingly small class rather late. Fortunately, the professor was note there, and all we missed was the teaching assistant passing out the syllabus. However, that afternoon, I waited so long to go to lunch I almost would have missed my sociology class, which was a half an hour earlier than I thought.

There was a new episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer tonight ... that always makes me happy. Hmm, wonder what I would do if I got to be invisible? Hehehe!! I ended up getting into a little debate over the merits of the film version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone versus The Lord of the Rings during a commercial break. (Oh, stop rolling your eyes, everyone has their silly passions -- and yes, that does refer to you crazy Passions fanatics!) I'd like to make clear my position on moviemaking here, specifically on adapting books for the movies. Simply put, movies and books are two totally different breeds. Sure, both involve telling a story, but you good movies tell stories very differently than good books. For example, where a book might describe a scene in fine detail, a movie should only depict it. Movies are visual, and good movies take advantage of that fact. Books take place in the imagination, and they need to use many words to evoke feelings and images. Movies should imply or show things rather than explaining them, like in life, and let the viewer figure them out intuitively. I mean, what's more effective in a film, a scene of the detective telling his friends how he solved the crime or scenes showing the detective actually solving it? On the other hand, in a book, the detective narrating his actions would not seem out of place, since his actions would be portrayed through words either way.

Anyway, the point is, books cannot be adapted directly for the screen. They aren't meant to be movies, they're meant to be exactly what they are -- literature. A book must be changed to be made into a good movie -- hence the term "adaptation." Books need to be streamlined and made more active and visual. As long as it's the core ideas of the story are preserved, I say the rest is up for grabs. Start from the ground up and make a movie, not a scene for scene depiction of what's on the pages.

Is this sacrilege? Shouldn't we be faithful to what the book says? No! You see, the book will still be there, as a standalone work, with its own separate merits. Why not have a good movie as well as a good book? A straight adaptation is only good for people who don't want to read the book but need to know it for a test or report. It has no individual merits generally, but is merely an extension of the book, and, incidentally, may degrade the book by association. Anyway, if we are to regard film truly as its own art form, then we should have different expectations of it than of literature and shouldn't judge its worth merely on its adherence to the rules of another art form.

Wow, I've been writing way too long now. Try to digest my tirades, and I'll get back to studying for now.

January 9, 2002

2-0-0-2 ... how wonderfully symmetrical.

You know, updating the diary section is such a slacker way of keeping this site current. I have a ton of writing stuff I could post but never do. I mean, I bet the poetry section hasn't been updated in months. I know, I'm sure you're all positively on the edges of your seats waiting for new poems, but still, I shouldn't neglect the other sections ... I need some way to keep track of all the stuff I've written.

Listening to The Joshua Tree this afternoon, I realized that I have developed a whole new appreciation for the bitterness of the song "With or Without You." Not that I find myself in precisely the situation elaborated in the lyrics, but I am definitely feeling the vibe. Who knows, maybe the song will replace "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" as my favorite on the album soon. Maybe not. It's hard to pick a favorite on that CD.

I wonder how boring it is to read this diary. I get way too contemplative in here and completely neglect humor. For pity's sake, I'm a writer, I ought to have mastered the ability to be interesting by now. Maybe I should take requests, see what my audience wants to read, and adjust my style accordingly. I mean, everyone doesn't want to read about what I want to all the time ...

What am I saying?? I don't care what you people think! I'm not nearly that generous!


January 11, 2002

I was going to put this as January 10, then I realized that the day had come and gone ... and so the streak has broken. I don't recall if I've ever added more than two consecutive entries. It will have to be my unattainable goal for the year.

You know, I never made a New Year's entry ... I was seriously planning on it. I was going to elaborate my stance on making resolutions. I guess I'll do that now. I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore. I used to, but I never kept them any longer than I generally manage to keep my Lenten resolutions, even though I have the wrath of God to face for breaking those ones. It takes far too much energy than it's worth to develop a resolution that I know I will never put into effect. Therefore, I decided a few years ago to simply resolve every year to be a better person than the year before. Though keep in mind, through all the retching I'm sure you're doing now, that often can have crazy results for me ... since I consider making that pile of papers on my desk a millimeter straighter a self-improvement. Perfection, my friends, that is what it's all about.

One of these years, I will have to declare having attained it, simply because I'll run out of things to fix.

Speaking of fixing things, even my copy-editor-freak's soul is being tried by all the grammar books I have to read these days for Editing and Writing the News. I mean, it's bad enough that I have to relearn the parts of speech I have know since GRAMMAR school, but, since these books are written about writing by writers, they are full of that writer's guilty pleasure ... the pun. Ahhhhhh!!!! For pity's sake, the title of one of the textbooks is When Words Collide!!! That pun-cliché combination right there would be enough to make a book burner out of anyone.

All right, I've gone through a half an hour now without getting ready for bed at all, and I have a 9 a.m. calculus class tomorrow ... if I don't want to spend the whole time staring at the chalk patterns on the prof's sweater again, I need to get some rest.

January 13, 2002

"I have run ... I have crawled ... I have scaled ... these city walls, these city walls ... only to be with you ... but I still haven't found what I'm looking for ... but I still haven't found what I'm looking for."

I wish I'd written that song. There's an immense amount of imagery in those three minutes. You just can't beat Bono. I spent several hours Friday night watching him and the rest of U2, first on the Popmart video then the Elevation one. Someday, I must go see them in concert ... and be on the floor, right next to the stage ... and get pulled out of the crowd for "With or Without You" ... I get shivers just thinking about it!! So amazing.

It's rush time here on campus. Six hundred freshman girls are trying to get into the sororities this year, and I can hear every single one of them shouting and laughing every night from downstairs. Yes, my residential college has a very convenient location, but being right next to the sorority quads has to be payment for that. At least most of the people are gone from the dorm during this time, so my friends and I have the run of the place. Not that we can really take advantage of this, since, of course, fate would not let us have so much fun. Despite the relatively mild weather, colds are ravaging my poor friends' health. Ah, yes, the irony of it all. I fortunately have avoided the illness so far (which is good, considering I just had a cold over break), but considering all the germs floating around this building, I'm bound to come down with something soon ....

Yuck, what is that smell?? Arrgh, why do people feel the need to smoke in here? It's so disgusting. I just don't understand why anyone would voluntarily fill their lungs with soot. I mean, if you're going to do that, why not just stick a car exhaust in your mouth, inhale, and get it over with? At least the rest of us wouldn't have to be bothered then.

I just had a huge cup of coffee at a café. I don't know about caffeine, it never really affects me like I wish it would. If I ingest enough of it, I might be lucky enough to have my hands shake or something ... so much fun. Whatever. I need it to make me feel less tired, but it rarely does so ... sometimes it just makes me feel even sleepier. On some occasions, if I'm at a certain level of exhaustion when I drink some coffee, I start acting loopy. Then I start babbling and making lots of pointless gestures for an excuse to swing my hands around. It's interesting ... yeah.

Some girl thinks I hate her. She has reason to think so ... and I haven't enlightened her. I have no desire to. In fact, I have no desire to talk to her ... I actually am kind of afraid to. I can hardly look at her when she's around, because I'm terrified that she might talk to me or something. It's a completely unreasonable fear, I know, and I ought to be more mature ... but hey, at least I don't go out of my way to be cruel. I don't hate this girl ... I'm really rather indifferent to her, but I wish she wouldn't want to hang around me. I mean, when we first met, I was nice, but we were never particular friends. The only time we ever really hung out together was at the formal ... I had my friends, and I assumed she had her own separate ones. Then something happened ... and she decided she didn't want to lose her "friends" and so abandoned the one person who really liked her to hang out with people who could just tolerate her ... and she wonders why "no one" seems to like her. I don't know, I don't understand it. She can be endlessly amusing ... when she's not present. When she is, things just get uncomfortable, especially for me. Maybe I'm just not mature enough to handle it, but to tell the truth, I'd rather like to admit that and just move on then try to overcome it.

I wonder if she reads this. Oh well.

You know, I've only been back here a week, but with all the dramas sprouting up around her, you'd think it had been months. Already we're in the thick of romances and scandals. I never thought I'd be worrying about so many non-class things so early when I came back from break not so long ago. I must be overreacting somewhere. It's just too unreal. I have a great fear of creating dramas in my head to just make my life seem interesting ... but then, after I sternly admonish myself for construing signals, I worry that maybe I'm ignoring a problem that might flare up and become ugly later. I cannot gauge the seriousness of anything these days.

"Let's go down to Red Hill Town."

January 14, 2002

Let's start with another U2 quote: "Daddy's gonna pay for your crashed car ... Daddy's gonna pay for your crashed car."

That twisted Zooropa gem was in my head all day yesterday ... that is, during the daylight hours, not during those small hours during which I wrote yesterday's entry. Time's just so fluid here that I can't keep track of where I am in it.

I've been to the mailroom twice in the past hour to attempt to pick up the package that arrived here on Friday and that I didn't receive a pickup notice for until Sunday after the mailroom closed. I'm beginning to think that the mailroom must be closed all day on Monday, and that I ought to just give up ... but then, considering how the mailroom operates, that fatalistic attitude really should have cropped up as soon as I placed the order for my books.

Of course, it's not always just the mailroom working against me ... two books I ordered haven't even shipped yet, and there's no sign that they ever will. That stupid company better not charge my credit card until those books get to UPS, or I will be seriously angry.

I feel like complaining today, so I think I will just continue in this strain ... first of all, I am freezing. I didn't want to get out of bed this morning, not only because I did not sleep well last night (that vanilla royale I got at the coffeeshop Sunday night must have finally worked its way through my system), but it was extremely cold in my room. I almost thought I'd left the window open ... but I haven't opened the window since before break. What's even more frustrating is that the suite is nice and warm ... maybe I should just sleep out there. But no, wait! That's where people stay up all night chatting outside my door! Can't sleep there, either!

So I drag myself out of bed today, go to class and then to lunch, after which I felt ill, as usual. I swear, I am going to be seriously malnourished at the end of the year ... my hair's all going to fall out from lack of protein, I'll become anemic from lack of iron, I'll get scurvy from lack of vitamin C, and who knows what else. The food here, despite its preponderance of carbohydrates, makes everyone feel sluggish after every meal.

With the horror of lunch behind me, I proceeded to my next class, which was up at the Technological Institute on North Campus. In the middle of the fifteen-minute walk, it started to rain. And it was still raining when class ended. Did I have an umbrella, or even a hat? No! I was soaked through and through, only to return to my icy cold room and freeze into a human Popsicle.

Ah, what a fine day.

January 20, 2002

I just heard some really bad news, and now, whereas I felt excited before, I now feel sad and despondent. The news isn't really appropriate in this context, but, suffice it to say, it led to some disappointments and to taking a hard look at reality. And reality, always so pitiless, hurts.

On top of all that, I had yet another encounter with my "stalker" yesterday. When you really don't want to see people, why can't they take the hint and go away?

I'm afraid of what people might think because this person seems to keep following me. I don't know how public our falling out was, and I can't be certain, therefore, that it's common knowledge. I don't want any rumors being spread about me. The more I see this person, the more trapped I feel. It's probably my own fault, but I can't help now the choices I've made. But then, I thought I had made things right ... and it doesn't seem to have worked out that way. I don't know how much more I can do.

I'm going to go to sleep now and try to sort through all my issues in some horrible nightmares.

January 22, 2002

My last couple entries were pretty depressing, so I think I ought to make an effort to be happy this time, in spite of myself. I will therefore only mention once, here in the beginning, that just about every muscle in my body aches right now from my unusual physical exertion last night.

And on to that surprising exercise ... I have joined the PARC floor hockey team! I know, I know, it was a highly unexpected move on my part, but I am not as completely sports-averse as everyone assumes (except when it comes to soccer!!!). Floor hockey was always my favorite gym sport, and I was tempted to join the intramural team our dorm sponsors, and then when I found out several of my friends were playing, I signed up. Last night was our first game, against the illustrious Chili Dogs. To our immense disappointment and amusement, we lost by a whopping seven points. But hey, we did score that one goal, thereby avoiding complete humiliation at the hands of a gas-inducing food byproduct.

We've decided for our next game to change our strategy ... obviously. The team decided that the reason we didn't win was because we simply weren't Canadian enough. Therefore, our task in the next week will be to memorize the Canadian national anthem (in both French and English), listen to lots of Celine Dion and Barenaked Ladies music, and get insanely drunk on Molson Ice. Maybe we could throw in some ketchup chips, too, for good measure.

Of course, if all that doesn't work, we are considering hiring a retired sumo wrestler to be our goalie.

I just picked up a case of sodas to sell for PARC's philanthropy fund. Any PARCers out there should note this and go on a little spending spree up here in my room, since these funds will be paying for my spring break trip! I'm still waiting for my first customer ... it could be you!

I've been looking at the site of the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper here at Northwestern ... he's also the legendary writer of some of the dorm's best bathroom reading (yes, they actually publish a newsletter that gets taped to the stall walls here). He's done some cool stuff, and I hope to be inspired from it to add some cool stuff to my own web site ... which likely means nothing new will show up for months, but that I will ceaselessly talk about creating those new things, to the endless annoyance of all my nearest and dearest.

I really shouldn't be updating my site this evening ... what I ought to be doing is writing interview questions, since I have a profile due on Thursday for that most dreaded and detested of classes, Editing and Writing the News. In fact, I should have written those questions this afternoon, but I instead chose to take a nap, which probably was a good idea, since I was nearing collapse after three classes (starting at 9 a.m.!!). But now, I have so much work to do that I haven't even thought about yet. Arrgh! Oh well.

January 24, 2002

Ah, here I am again, my friends, avoiding my work in the grand tradition of procrastination. I ought to be reviewing the fine points of the parts of speech right now, but what do I say to that vicious attempt on the part of my school to deprive me of my free time? No! No! Not until I realize that my quiz is in an hour and a half and I haven't eaten dinner yet, anyway!

I managed to get out of bed today -- hurray! Perhaps my bout of near narcolepsy has finally passed. Of course, today I didn't have a 9 a.m. class, so I slept until 11:15, which might have been a factor in my lack of sleepiness, but I choose to disregard that fact in the pursuit of a happier outlook on my life. The idea of needing to spend most of my day sleeping when I could be doing something useful, like playing Snood, does not appeal to me.

Winter weather has chosen to abandon us here in Evanston again. I could not possibly articulate my joy on that point. I look out my window, and I am no longer blinded by the reflection of the new-fallen snow but instead by the intense brilliance of the sun lying low on the horizon. I have discarded my hat and gloves in favor of exposing my skin to the almost-spring-like rays of light, rejoicing now in being able to remedy the decided lack vitamin D in my dining hall diet. Yes, Mother Nature has sent Old Man Winter on vacation, and if all goes right, he'll forget to come back.

And if he does return ... then we're in for some trouble here in our dorm, due to the rash of window theft on my floor. Someone has decided that the weather's fine enough to replace the seemingly-unblemished glass panes separating us top-floor dwellers from the long plunge down into the sorority quads. I can only hope that all the windows are replaced before Greek Night this Saturday, or there may also be a rash of suicides when nothing stands between us and the horrifying singing rising like a wave from below.

God save our tortured ears.

January 29, 2002

My concentration is completely shot.

I have been wrapped up in the soap operas of my friends' lives so long that I can't think of anything else. Just when I think resolution is approaching, somehow, a new twist always emerges. And I return to my near-constant state of confusion and uncertainty.

As interesting as it all is ... and I admit, I find meddling with my friends' lives sometimes too fascinating ... it's seriously diminishing my willingness to work. Last night, I could hardly study for my calculus midterm because of all the events to be witnessed and discussed in exhausting detail and all the contingency plans that needed to be plotted out for every possible future situation and then discarded immediately upon encounter with that situation.

I'm sure you have very little sympathy with my problem. She would rather gossip and have fun than do work? You think? But it's more difficult to separate myself from everything that's going on than to simply say, "I'm going to go study now." The story lines of our lives haunt me at all times, keeping me sleepless until 3 a.m. as I replay every conversation of the past several weeks as I try to make sense of it all.

I feel frustrated that I cannot solve all these problems. That no matter what I do, there's bound to be some negative consequences. Our situation here now is good, but signs are already apparent that it cannot last ... and there's no way of stopping the end from coming. At least none that I can see. It comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils -- what is worse, letting something die slowly without intervention or trying to stem the tide by risking an even greater disaster? My mind runs in circles trying to resolve the conflict.

Selfishness is starting to creep in. I can't take all this confusion, this uncertainty, this endless parade of "what ifs?" anymore.

I need a resolution.

Copyright © 2002 Colleen Fischer | Last updated October 7, 2002