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September 3, 2001

Ahhhh!!! It's September! The countdown begins -- eleven days until my first day. Scary, scary, scary!!!!!!

I have to move on to another subject before I throw up.

Right now, I'm watching some sort of show about haunted places on the Travel Channel. I know it's a silly sort of thing, but I felt a craving for something spooky tonight, even something that's a little cheesy. Unfortunately, this show focuses on ghosts in Las Vegas, which really strips away (no pun intended) any attempt at a scary atmosphere. But anyway, why the craving for ghosts? Well, I recently saw the movie The Others, which I highly recommend. It was spooky and atmospheric, and it scared me out of my wits. Sitting in the eerily dark theater with all those haunting images projected onto the screen in front of me, I wished more than anything for some guy to be sitting next to me, just so that I could bury my head in his arm. Instead, I hugged my poor knees so tightly I probably cut off circulation to my feet for an hour and a half.

I wish I could find more movies that gave me such delightful chills. So few horror films are mysterious and suggestive. Most "scary movies" prefer to aim for easy scares, like the bloody slayings in slasher pics. Maybe I'm just not compassionate, but these silly murder movies just don't scare me. They're usually overdramatic, unrealistic, and derivative. The dialogue and plots are terrible, and as a viewer, I just don't feel sympathy for the characters in these films. Last year, I saw a Freddy Krueger movie for the first time. I couldn't believe how bored I was, given the reputation that these and other slasher films from my childhood had among my friends. It was absolutely ridiculous!

I'm glad that movies like The Sixth Sense and The Others are being made now. It gives me something to look forward to. However, what to watch in the meantime? There're just not enough spooky films being made right now. If you know of any truly good classic scary movies, let me know. But don't tell me to go see Jeepers Creepers. Good grief, just hearing the name of that movie sets off the stupid alarms in my brain.

Anyway ... I probably shouldn't be typing so much. My hands are still a bit achy from practicing the keyboard. I've decided to try to learn to play rock-style piano music during my last few weeks at home. I got the keyboard lesson book a year or two ago for Christmas, and I've tried to use it off and on since then, but I've never made it past Lesson 2 until now. I would get discouraged because the first few lessons covered information I already knew from my childhood piano lessons. However, I stuck it out this time and have actually used the CD that came with the lesson book to accompany my playing. It adds an extra challenge by forcing me to keep proper time. However, I am having a few problems. I am running into two problems that I have always had with playing the piano or keyboard: I have trouble playing with both hands simultaneously and my fingers often trip over one another. I am running into a new problem this time around -- my hands just seem to be too small to play chords. I never really learned chords until now, at least not their names and general usage, but I don't remember ever having such a problem stretching my fingers to reach the notes before. My pinky is especially hard to stretch. Perhaps this is related to the stabbing pain that is periodically appearing below my ring finger right now. It's really hampering my typing, not to mention my practicing. It's hard to get through a song when the pain keeps distracting me. I really don't need a repetitive stress injury or something similar right now.

Hmm, I was going to talk about entering the world of adults in this entry, but it's almost 1:30 a.m., and I feel too tired. I'll save it for next time. Maybe I'll feel more eloquent then. Good night.

September 15, 2001

Hopefully you won't blame me for not keeping up with my journaling lately, considering recent events. Just as I thought my biggest concern was starting college, four airplanes come and blast that notion out of my mind.

Really, it's no fun when your birthday has to be declared a national day of mourning, on top of it being the first day at an unfamiliar place. That's right, everyone wish me a happy birthday -- as of yesterday, I am nineteen. I feel so old, because of the tragic events that have occurred and because this is the first time I have started school already older in name than most of my class. It's so weird, so hard to really sort out all my feelings at this time, since everything seems so jumbled together in my mind. I am having a harder than usual time keeping track of what I'm doing and where I'm going.

Let me get the story out of the way now -- yes, my family was affected, in a way, by this tragedy. My mom's cousin -- my first cousin once removed -- works for Morgan Stanley and was on about the seventieth floor in the South Tower when the first plane hit. His supervisors sent he and his coworkers down to the fortieth or so floor to get some coffee and relax a bit to get over the shock before coming back to work. After they got downstairs, the second plane struck around the sixtieth floor. If he hadn't gone downstairs when he did, he would not have made it out of that building alive. Fortunately, he was able to evacuate, but we didn't know what happened to him for several hours, hours spent watching the plane crashes over and over again.

And I had to pack for school in the midst of this! I really feel a sensory overload, compounded by the efforts I must make now to find friends and my place in this enormous institution.

I need to get going soon, but let me apologize before I do for the occasional disappearances of the words on my page banners and buttons. I am in a constant struggle with Microsoft FrontPage, and sometimes, it just does not upload the site correctly. If I fail to check it right after I update it, it could have errors for days without my knowledge, since they don't appear in page previews. I would switch to another program, but I don't have another one that is nearly as powerful. I need serious site management tools to keep this site up and running, since there are a terrific number of pages, at least by home page standards. When I change one tiny feature of the overall design, I have to open up every single page and make that change in the other programs. FrontPage can do that dirty work for me. But if you know of another inexpensive program that can do the same thing, by all means, let me know.

Next time, I promise to write more, but I must go to a play right now. I'll let you know how that and the rest of New Student Week went next time.

September 26, 2001

I admit it, I'd forgotten about the site completely since I last wrote. It's also true that I've had plenty of free time to update it and that I simply did not do it. Go ahead, yell at me. But remember -- I can't hear you.

This entry will have to be short because I really ought to be reading The Federalist right now, but my mom is sending me instant messages, giving me an excuse to chuck the book. So much of that book just seems to be going right over my head ... I'm definitely not in school mode yet.

I'm getting pretty well-acquainted with this place now. I basically know where I'm going most of the time, and I'm finally beginning to remember people's names. Certainly not the names of every person I've met this past week and a half -- I probably won't see a lot of them ever again. That's the sad part about being in a class of around 2000 people. On the other hand, I've made some friends here, and I feel more comfortable in my surroundings. A lot of the people where I live are great -- definitely not what I expected, but actually, better, I think.

My mom just signed off, so I better wrap this up. I should be able to write again on Friday, since I'll be done with classes for the week pretty early in the day. Check this page again then.

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