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I'm sorry I've been neglecting this, but it's finals time again. The crush of all my neglected reading has only just let up. Actually, this is only a temporary reprieve, as tomorrow I will need to catch up on my art history reading. But fortunately, it's not quite as extensive as about a millennium of ancient Egyptian history.
I was up far past my bedtime last night, especially considering the early hour of today's final (9 a.m. ... yuck). The rest of my finals are also that early in the morning, which means I have two more days of this. And then I get to pack my room. Joy of joys.
I haven't really realized yet that soon, I won't be seeing many of my friends for several months. I think that's the only thing keeping me from feeling terribly sad. But I think it will start to hit home soon how much I'm going to miss everyone. Tamica left early yesterday morning, my first friend to go. The rest will start going in a few days. And then, there will just be me and my family, all packed in a van for eight hours driving on into the summer sun.
Well, it's now three finals down, one to go. Art history shouldn't be terribly difficult, but it does require me to memorize a great number of artworks for identification questions. Well, I don't actually know that it is a great number, as I haven't checked the web site to see how many there are. But judging from the prodigious number of works on the lists we received each class, I can only assume there will be enough to make me cry.
I decided to write today mainly to avoid memorizing all this artwork. I've also decided I'm going to try to write every day again, especially since with summer vacation beginning, I won't get to see many of my school friends for months and I know how they all like to keep up to date on my life. (You can insert a hearty laugh here if you like.) The entries will be shorter, though. I figure a paragraph ought to be enough for most days -- unless I'm seriously bored. Which may well happen a lot over the summer, actually.
But I also have grand plans for the rest of the site -- and no, that does not mean I will be redesigning it again. (That kind of work will be reserved for the PARC web site -- okay, you can roll your eyes now.) I only will write them here because I'm afraid I'll forget them otherwise. Anyway, I'm thinking of adding a section for all the stuff my friends and I have collaborated on (which would include the collected profiles of said friends, with pictures), singling out some of my old diary entries that are especially memorable and giving them a special heading, updating my survey, adding some more Autobiography pages on things like favorites (I want to post my favorite sandwich recipes and no, I don't know why) and vital statistics of my life, revising and adding more of my writing, and perhaps finally getting that online novel I've always wanted to attempt started. It may devolve into a sort of soap opera, depending on how often it's updated, but it will be fun nonetheless. (Speaking of soaps, hopefully Kim and Tamica will get started soon on creating Passion and Privilege for us to enjoy over the summer ... hint, hint.)
I feel like dancing now. I've got U2 blaring (this is the loudest I've had my music all year, but I bet everyone else would think it was low enough to fall asleep to), and I have packing and studying to avoid. So clearly, it's time to celebrate!
I am done with my freshman year of college.
I never really saw myself saying that. I still haven't completely gotten used to the idea of being in college. And I have trouble envisioning the future as anything other than hazy, fictionalized dreams anyway. The closer I get to adulthood, the less I can picture what it will be like.
Of course, I'm really not all that into deep ruminations on my future today. I'm relieved the final's over, for sure, but I can't think much about it because I think my brain has stopped functioning. My three early finals have given me three nearly sleepless nights, and last night was the worst of all. Though I went to bed around 2:30 a.m., I didn't fall asleep until sometime after 5, possibly close to 6. It's hard to remember once it gets that late (early?). And between the final, which lasted until almost 11:30, lunch, and editing a friend's paper, I only got to take a short nap this afternoon. Now I am awake again (unfortunately), writing this as I wait for the word for dinner and slowly losing patience with people asking me where we should eat if I don't like Thai food.
But I am done with my freshman year of college.
I had my last visit to the infirmary of the year (I hope) today. I really don't think I'm going to miss the old place.
The doctor informed me that by next week I can return my activities to normal. I refrained from laughing in her face; I probably really should have rested and relaxed more these past few weeks. But with finals to study for, papers to write, and friends to hang out with before summer starts, I couldn't really kick back and stay in bed all day. She also told me I could resume exercising -- which kind of reminds me of the joke about the guy who asked the doctor if he would ever be able to play the violin.
Alas, it seems I won't really have a chance to "miss" the infirmary, though. I'm going to be called back in for a checkup upon my return to campus. Trust me, I'm thrilled.
But at least by then I will be all better! That's worth celebrating. And if all goes well, I won't come down with something else in the interim.
I think I am fully exhausted now. I'm even starting to look forward to the eight-hour car ride tomorrow, simply because I'll be able to sleep. The past several nights, for various reasons, I've not been able to sleep for a reasonable amount of time. What with having mono on top of this sleep deprivation, I honestly don't know what's keeping me going at this point.
I was up until after 7 a.m. packing today. I might have gotten it done sooner if I'd started packing earlier in the week and perhaps hadn't gone to play kickball with many of my friends for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, but since when have I ever tried to make my life that much more disciplined? My parents were due to show up at 10 a.m. to help move my stuff into storage (at my suggestion!), which means I again ended up with less than three hours of sleep. And then we spent the afternoon walking, walking, and walking -- first to through the Field Museum, then down about twenty blocks on Michigan Avenue to FAO Schwarz. Given my poor sense of direction and distance, I had figured that it would be a relatively short walk -- but even I figured out I was wrong when, after eight or ten blocks, we ended up in front of the Art Institute, which, as several of my friends will recall, was the spot we got off the el at in December looking for FAO Schwarz the first time and then ended up walking for what seemed like forever before finally stumbling across it. From that point on I loudly pointed out to my mom every couple of minutes that this would be a very long walk, but now she was determined, figuring we'd made it that far, so there could be no turning back (or west to where we could just get on the el). I can't even describe now the aches in my feet, legs, and back that are the combined effect of my sleeplessness and our walking.
But at least the day has been all right otherwise. Although our storage fee was a bit higher than expected because of the insurance that had to be tacked on at the last minute, the storage space itself was more than sufficient for all our stuff. I had been worried that we would have way too much crap to fit in a 5-by-5 closet, but somehow we managed to condense it all.
Now my room is almost completely barren. The walls are empty, the mattress lies naked, and my desk, even with the bookcase back on top of it, has more free space than at anytime this year. I've turned my keys in, and now all that's left are my laptop and I, bidding farewell to the fourth floor of PARC and to freshman year.
I feel now like I ought to reflect on this year's meaning for me, but I can't quite articulate how I feel. When I think about it coming to an end, there's a sad tugging at my heart from the part of me that wants this year to go on forever. So much of this year has been so good that I can't imagine now subsequent years being just as wonderful. I know that's ridiculous and that there are many good things still to come in the future, but I can't help but feel a certain nostalgia for the feelings of newness and discovery that are part of this year.
Yet, while I feel sad that this year is now behind me, I still greatly look forward to the beginning of the new school year in September, when I'll be reunited with all of my friends here in the place I feel like I can now call home.
I am now home, after eight hours spent driving across Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. I was going to write this entry during that trip, but alas, my battery again died after about two minutes of use, so that was not to be. Instead, I spent most of the ride catching up on my sleep, something I hope to finish doing tonight. I woke up today with a scratchy throat, which finally convinced me (as if I needed convincing by that point) that I must rest more or I'm just going to start actually feeling sick again. I do not want a repeat of my severe sore throat.
The ride home was pretty uneventful. I ended up in the seat not by the window, which made it rather hard to find a comfortable sleeping position, but I eventually just loosened my seat belt and lay down flat on the middle and my seats with my legs hanging over the end. In this position I got a much nicer nap than I usually get in the car. I had a strange dream, however, in which I was still in the car but we kept encountering vehicles on the side of the road with dead people in them. Perhaps this phenomenon was connected with the other part of my dream, in which cars swerving down the highway toward us. Strangely enough, this seemed at the time a fairly normal way to drive (well, except for the part with the dead people, that was strange even for the dream). When I wasn't sleeping, I read magazines and pondered the ineffable problems of existence. I came to the conclusion that perhaps my dream was reality and reality was all a dream. And that drinking iced tea is a whole lot easier when you're not in a moving vehicle.
But now I am home, safe and sound in my utter wreck of a house. The kitchen remodeling began this week, so the entire contents of that room are spread throughout our house. And there was a surprising amount of crap crammed into that relatively small room. I write this in the dining room, sitting on the chair I cleared with my computer on my lap because I didn't even want to attempt to clear off the junk on the table. The basement is nearly impassable due to all the boxes. The family room has become the abode for snack food, and, inexplicably to me, the living room has become the abode of much of the family room's furniture. Ah, messiness at the Fischer house -- good to see that some things never change.
I've managed to carve out a small spot on the dining room table for my computer now, much to my legs' relief. This house is still beyond messy and getting worse, as now the few remaining items in the kitchen are being moved out to make way for the people coming to rip up the floor tomorrow. I'm hoping that I will not become trapped in the dining room as a result of this plan. I'm already somewhat uncomfortably wedged between the liquor cabinet, the computer desk, and the drawers from our counters, and the refrigerator is now coming my way, followed by the sound of my dad cursing and surely breaking many of our personal possessions as he angrily sweeps them onto the floor.
Yeah, I think this renovation will kill us all.
I slept all day today, not because I'd stayed up so much later than usual (especially this week) but because I simply felt too tired today to get out of bed. My limbs no longer wanted to move. Of course, that means I didn't actually sleep all day -- I spent a lot of time just lying there, semi-conscious. I'm still feeling pretty tired, but I'm not sure whether it's because of the mono or anemia. Probably both. I can't really stand up now without my sight going for about thirty seconds as I grab onto something and wait for the blood to return to my head.
My mom's now sweeping the kitchen floor. I do not understand this. Tomorrow they are coming to tear up the floor. This will create an enormous mess; why try to clean now? And does it really matter to the people coming to take the floor away whether it's dusty or not?
One of the many questions that will keep the human race puzzled throughout eternity.
I keep thinking this ought to be more than the third day of summer vacation. I feel all disappointed in myself for not having accomplished more in this month home -- then I realize it's only been three days.
I spent much of yesterday downloading all the songs on R.E.M.'s Document CD, under the impression I had left it in my CD player, which is now in storage. However, I discovered today (after having secured all the files and burned a replacement CD) that I did not leave Document in the CD player but rather, Murmur. As if it wasn't difficult enough to find songs from 1989 -- try 1982 (as in as old as me). So here I go again, just hoping the few copies I can find will actually download.
I'd hoped to be able to substantially increase my music collection on arriving home -- it was one of the few reasons I had to look forward to a summer here. Alas, my brother Sean, who is the only person in my family whose taste in music overlaps mine, has gone (with all his CDs) to Milwaukee, not to return for three weeks. Thus, I will have to content myself with my parents' Beatles CDs and the R.E.M. album I got from Kim before I left.
It's not that I don't like the music I have (or most of it, anyway). I just feel like some variety after so many months of continuous R.E.M. and U2. I mean, while I love R.E.M., I think there must be a problem when I can practically sing my entire collection without accompaniment.
I've just climbed through the living room window for what must be the millionth time today to access the western half of the first floor. Of all the rooms to be cut off from, why did it half to be the computer room?
I'm currently taking a break after several hours spent cleaning out my room here. After spending so many months in my neat little room at school, I just can't take the clutter here. It's bad enough that the house is a total wreck; I want my room to be something of an oasis from the junk.
So far, I've only managed to clean out my dresser. This is a bigger task than it sounds. I think I own more t-shirts than any other person on the planet. Many times have I cleared out the t-shirts in my drawers before, but somehow they always manage to double or triple their numbers and then encroach upon my space yet again. They're not even nice or funny t-shirts -- they're all from events or places others have visited. I guess this wouldn't be such a problem if not for the fact that I never wear t-shirts. The few I do wear either serve as pajamas or sit waiting for months for me to participate in some activity requiring more sporty clothes. But even if I played soccer every day, I don't think I could possibly exhaust my supply.
Thus, I currently have a large box of old clothes taking up space in my room, filled to the brim mainly with t-shirts. If anyone out there wants a shirt -- ranging in size from small to extra-large -- please, be my guest.
I think -- here's where you can all gasp with mock surprise -- I may be sick again. Of course, it may be the parting shot of the mono; I don't really remember the symptoms. But at any rate, starting yesterday and continuing today, I've had several of the symptoms of a cold. I guess it's possible that this could just be a reaction to all the dust in the air from the construction work in the house -- but I've learned to be pessimistic.
I went shopping today with Emily -- the first friend I've seen since coming home. I got a sweet deal on some jeans; they cost me a mere $9.99 (as opposed to $29.50). And they're an excellent style -- low-rise, boot-cut -- which seemed to suit me pretty well, especially with the tank top I tried them on with. But more important than my bargain-hunting adventure was getting to catch up with a friend from home. I haven't seen Emily since January, and we don't get much chance to talk during the school year. I got to hear the saga of her life, and it was comforting to know that my school friends and I aren't the only ones caught up in endless internal dramas.
I also picked up an application for the picture-taking place in the mall. It's possible I may actually find a job this summer after all. Emily was pretty excited about the prospect of me working there as she works at the store across the concourse. She also plans to quit her second job and work at this place with me if the pay is better -- giving her a far shorter commute between places of employment.
I figure I can drop my application off tomorrow before or after I take my brothers to the movies (as I plan on doing). We'll see what happens then. Wish me luck!
Yuck, I do not feel well today. I woke up with that tired feeling in my arms and legs, plus my back is bothering me. I feel dizzy and black out briefly almost every time I stand up, and I feel rather light all over. My head feels funny with a slight pain. And now my stomach hurts, too.
I didn't make it to the picture place today after all. I figured I really wouldn't make a good impression by fainting during the interview. I wonder if my sudden bout of feeling icky has to do with feeling nervous about this job, but honestly I don't know and I don't really care.
For now, feel free to send any extra Gatorade you have laying around the house my way.
I know lots of people. More than the number of names I can remember anyway. With every stage of my life have come new friends, mentors, and acquaintances. Each new environment has brought new people to remember, to adapt to, and to form connections with.
I'm starting to find it rather tiring.
If relationships are based only on this transitory placement in time and space, then can they possibly have any deeper meaning? Every time I change locations, I have to find new people. Even when I was at camp for two weeks last summer, I formed new friendships, friendships I was convinced were incredibly close but which fell away after we left. But I bet we'd go back to that pseudo-intimacy very quickly if we were put in the same situation.
Are those kind of friendships meaningful? Maybe they are. Maybe in their time and space they bring a special kind of meaning to one's life, a meaning that lasts beyond the duration of the friendship itself.
But I guess I'm not looking for that deeper meaning now. My year at school has taught me to value the companionship of others around my age. I've met people who approach life with a fresh perspective and witn a much more intense attitude than I'm used to. Now, I want and expect more from relationships. I'm looking for a different sort of friendship, one with continuing meaning and one that lasts forever, or at least for a lifetime. I want to have friendships I can take with me wherever I go.
If I could have any superpower, I'd want to be able to control the weather. I'd like to be able to raise my arms and create a rumble of thunder and to throw my hand to the sky and tear it apart with lightning. I'd like to only have to gaze at the sky to make it cry like I do inside. And I want to be able to share the glow that comes from inside with the whole world.
Sorry to forget about this for a couple of days, but I've been otherwise occupied with sitting around doing nothing.
I plan to try to get some writing done today, so I may not online a lot. I also plan to continue the job hunt and to get my hair cut, as the weather is not kind to my long tresses. It's pretty hot and humid in Erie this time of year, especially this summer with the temperatures regularly hitting the 90s.
Summer drags on and on here. It'll be nice when it's over.
For those of you who haven't heard me complain yet, here's the bad news of the day: The kitchen counters will not be done for two weeks. This means the renovations will not be done for at least another half a month. Thus there will be no cooking in the Fischer household until well into July, as without a counter, we can't have a sink; without a sink, we can't have a garbage disposal; and without a garbage disposal, we can't have a dishwasher. Therefore, we can't really wash the dishes one needs to cook, and therefore, despite having a perfectly functional stove, we will not have any real food for quite a while.
Isn't summer vacation supposed to be relaxing?
The response to the new Camaraderie section has been overwhelmingly positive. It's really a lot better than I expected, and I'm very happy about that. Thus, I will continue to expand it with even more examples of ridiculosity.
I guess it helps that the debut of the new section coincided with the demise of everyone's favorite procrastination site, newtonline. I'm can't promise that I can produce material quite so amusing or even so voluminous, but I'll certainly try to post as many of our own in-jokes and weird ideas as I can. And all of you can feel free to help.
In less positive news, I'm still unemployed, and I'm not sure where to turn next. The picture place seems to be out of the picture, and the newspaper and grocery store haven't responded yet, either. I know the places I used to work are still hiring -- and that knowledge hangs over my head as I scrounge around for a better job. But now I'm not sure where to look. I think tomorrow I'll have to check some more stores for hiring signs. But if I don't find any -- what should I do? Keep waiting? Or dive back into the world of fast food or teleservices?
It's so hard when friends are feeling upset. I'm not a psychologist, and I don't know prescisely how to deal with other people's emotional situations (let alone my own). And I never feel like I can quite wrap my mind completely around a problem. I can see many factors at work, but I can't comprehend them all at once. I always have the nagging feeling that if I could just remember all the factors at play in a given situation it would all become wonderfully clear to me. Alas, I've never really had that experience.
I'm never entirely sure what to say. And I'm never completely sure how my words will affect the troubled person. But more often than that I worry that my words have no effect, that they are just common platitudes (or, as is often the case, incoherent stuttering).
And, especially in such a close environment, I worry about how, however subtly, I might be involved in the problem. As much as someone looking to me for sympathy might deny it, I sometimes can't help but feel somewhat complicit in a friend's sadness. It could be something as general as not being a very good friend if a friend is upset, or it could be more specific.
But I think the worst situation is when upset friends are far away, so you can't just give them a hug and say it will all be okay.
I still have not heard back from any of the places I applied. I'm nervous -- more nervous, anyway. I'm not all that assertive, I admit it. I just don't know what to do next. I really don't want to work fast food for the summer, but I don't know where to look for another job. The classifieds aren't much help, and I can't drive around looking for signs. It's so frustrating.
In other news, I visited the new Starbucks today. Yes, that's right, Erie has finally acquired a branch of the otherwise ubiquitous chain. The wait to order was not too bad for an opening, but it did seem to take a while for the employees to concoct the various beverages, despite the sheer number of people working behind the counter. It reminded me of my first few weeks at Fazoli's.
Anyway ... the only other event of note today was the injury I gave my foot while bringing in the groceries. I managed to slam the corner of the screen door right into the flesh of my left foot. It made a pretty deep cut, which aches whenever I bend my foot. Considering that, I hope it heals all right. The last thing I need is an infected foot.
I've found two local restaurants that are hiring. One is looking for summer workers, so I'll probably try there first. The second one -- well, a couple of people from my old high school work there, and I'm not sure I want to go back to that sort of mentality -- but it has to be better than fast food.
However, I'm waiting until Monday to apply -- I want to enjoy at least one more free weekend. Of course, I'm not using my free time all that effectively. I've just been trying to implement all my grand plans for my Sims. I finally decided sometime after dinner to put that aside and format all the pictures Shannon sent me. You'll find those pictures of my crazy friends in the Camaraderie section.
Tomorrow, though -- tomorrow, I swear, I will make myself more useful.
I'm one shy of breaking February's record this month. Oh, so close.
I spent most of this evening book shopping online. Two of my classes have posted textbooks, so I went out in search of the best price, surfing between Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and Half.com. Most of the lowest prices were on Half.com, naturally, but I did have to go elsewhere for a few. At any rate, a pile of books should be arriving on my doorstep shortly, and hopefully I'll get around to reading some of them this summer.
The Grand Sims Project continued today as well, with me designing a trendy, cutting edge club for my Sims to dance the night away in. It's so hip, in fact, that I'd never go there myself. But my Sims -- they love the crazyfun times.
Copyright © 2002 Colleen Fischer | Last updated October 7, 2002