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November 2002

November 1, 2002
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May 2002

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April 2002

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March 2002

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February 2002

February 1, 2002
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January 2002

January 8, 2002
January 9, 2002
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December 2001

December 16, 2001
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November 2001

November 7, 2001
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October 2001

October 7, 2001
October 27, 2001
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September 2001

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August 2001

August 7, 2001
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September 1, 2002

Lately I've been thinking a lot about becoming an adult. Throughout my life so far, I've always seemed to have infinite options open to me, my ambitions limited only by my capacity to dream. I could become anything -- an author, an archaeologist, a journalist, an actress, an artist -- anything at all. There was no reason for me to think I might never get a chance to try any career or anything at all, really. But now, it seems like those doors once so open are slowly falling shut. I realize today that I'll probably never know what it's like to be president or to be on the moon. My dreams seem less like visions of my future and more like fantasies, destined to disappear into the misty corners of my brain they emerged from. Everything I encounter now I can't help but think, "I'll never know, I'll never become, I'll never be." The thought depresses me. The world, once so boundless, seems to have become limited. It's like reaching the holy grail and realizing that, after all, it's just a cup.


September 3, 2002

The best time to go shopping is late at night. The roads are empty and the store is, too, giving you room to breathe and the ability to take your time browsing. There's not fifty carts in every aisle pushing and shoving their way to the potato chips. If I want to stand in front of the cheese case for ten minutes comparing the size and price of every block and bag, no one's going to stare pointedly at me until I get out of the way. It's a relaxed time when I can enjoy my thoughts and my bargain hunting without the constant pressure to move, move, move. I like it.


September 4, 2002

It's been a long journey, this summer, one that's mercifully drawing to a close. There have been days when I've wanted to tear my hair out with boredom, and there have been days when I've relaxed and enjoyed the freedom to cook real food and watch cable television. However, every day this summer my focus has been on one day -- September 18, the day I leave. I suppose in certain frames of mind I might be a bit more nostalgic during summers like these, as they are the last ones of childhood, but now, I'm just sick of waiting around. That's not to say I'm pushing for great changes in my life or that I'm impatient for the future. But I'm ready to leave this house and its constant noise and movement. It's only when I've been gone for a year that I realize how enormously it conflicts with my nature. I prefer a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere, where things just happen, there's no chaos and if something goes awry it's not the end of the world. I just want some peace.


September 5, 2002

Tonight I made my family pepperoni calzones for dinner. When I got back from work, half were still sitting uneaten in the fridge.

Mom doesn't like ricotta cheese. Kyle said, "There's a lot of garlic in here." No doubt they don't fit on Sean's runner's diet. Sam said, "They were okay."

I enjoy cooking, and I'd make dinner every night if I didn't generally work throughout the evening. However, I find that when I make anything that doesn't come out of a box or involve very little seasoning, most of it gets left on the plate. Yet the reason I cook is to avoid the unending parade of bland food, so I like to try stuff that's a little different. Of course, to most families something like pepperoni calzones probably wouldn't be all that different. Alas, eight people with varying tastes live in this house, and it's hard to satisfy everyone.

Actually, I think to be more accurate I should say that six very picky eaters live in this house -- my mother and brothers -- and it's hard to satisfy them. Perhaps my mom gets it from growing up in a nine-person household. At any rate, she passed the habit of fearing any unusual food along to her kids through cooking meals containing no cheese, peanut butter or fish, among other things.

I've managed to break myself free of most my early pickiness (though I still won't eat fish). After watching hundreds of hours of Food Network programming and visiting many ethnic restaurants, I've come to realize that food is not meant to be scary. People don't prepare stuff to eat that's supposed to taste bad. If you're willing to be a little adventurous, you're often greatly rewarded with new favorite foods.

But most of my family has yet to see the light. And for now, the only people I can count on to eat just about anything I make are my dad and myself.


September 8, 2002

Many things made my day working in the express lane hard -- such as when the credits, debits and food stamps broke down within my shift; when nobody liked the prices they were charged (and of course blamed me, as if I had somehow scanned the UPC at the wrong angle); when people's money and shoppers club cards left on the belt slipped underneath it; and when we were slammed the entire time with people looking for newly discounted items.

I came home with sore knees and a discouraged mindset. I decided to spend the few free minutes I had before dinner was ready looking through the parts of the Sunday paper I hadn't read on my break. As I scavenged through it looking for the coupon inserts, I came across the flag the newspaper had promised to print for the upcoming anniversary of the terrorist attacks. I flipped it over to keep looking through the stack and had gone through a few more sections before I did a double take. Yes, it was there -- "One nation, under God," printed right under the flag in big blue letters. I guess I shouldn't have expected less from the highly conservative Times-News. Their immediate response to the Pledge ruling was to run a front-page article almost entirely full of negative reactions from old men at the American Legion. Still, I couldn't help feeling a twinge of disgust at taking advantage of the nation's grief to make a highly politicized statement.

Some things never change. I wrinkled my nose, put the page back, and moved on.


September 11, 2002

A year ago today I lay asleep in bed when my mom burst in and told me to wake up. Igroaned and looked at the clock; it was around 9 a.m. I rolled over and tried to fall back asleep. My mom popped in again, excitedly -- "A plane's hit one of the towers!" Figuring she was just saying this to get me out of bed for errands, or that there'd been some freak accident undeserving of my attention, I didn't move. Then she flipped on the television, and the special reports came poring in like the smoke out of the World Trade Center. I watched, sitting up in bed, still twisted in the sheets. I yelled to my mom when I saw the plane hit the second tower. I switched from channel to channel seeking the latest info on the Pentagon and the plane that seemed to have crashed a scant few hours from where I lived. I waited as my mom tried again and again to call my great-aunt and -uncle to ask if cousin Jon had gone to work that day.

I was supposed to have a goodbye lunch with my friend Adelle that afternoon. I met her at the restaurant around one. It was a sports-themed place, but today all the televisions were tuned to news coverage. We were quiet, focused on the events unfolding like the few other people there. We tried to talk and make light, but I couldn't stop shaking the entire time. My heart beat too quickly, and I felt like at any moment I'd either collapse or float away. Suddenly, my world wasn't safe anymore. I was both fascinated and terrified.

It still makes me cry.


September 13, 2002

Last night, as I was driving home from work and relishing being free until Saturday, I happened to see the moon. I only caught it for half a minute as I zoomed down the street, but it was an impressive site. It hung low in the sky, despite it being nearly eleven, and it was a perfect red crescent. I've heard red full moons referred to as "hunter's moons," whatever that means, but I'd never imagined such a moon in its early or late stage. As I turned onto the street that would take me home, I craned my neck to see over the drug store and tried to catch another glimpse, but it was gone. Perhaps it was never there in the first place.


September 15, 2002

I was going to write something profound tonight, but the two paragraphs I was writing disappeared during one of my computer's famous spontaneous restarts. Now I'm irritated and not at all in the mood to make observations.

Yesterday's thunderstorm turned out to be only a prelude to today's deluge. I got caught out in the worst of it when I went to pick up some stuff at the drug store (such as batteries for the digital camera I got for my birthday -- expect lots of pictures now). It was only drizzling when I arrived, but when I left it was pouring, and by the time I pulled off the road a block away, the roads were beginning to flood and the thunder was literally shaking my car. As time passed and the rain showed no signs of slowing, I had one of those rare moments in which I wished for a cell phone. As that was not to be, I waited in the car for maybe ten or fifteen minutes before deciding to risk the drive home. The rain was still heavy, but at least my windshield wasn't opaque. However, at that point, I had to deal with roads that had turned to rivers. I tried to leave the lot via the alternate exit, but as often happens, that half of the lot was blocked off so that some motorcycle club could run lessons or something. And despite the fact that the cyclists had all run for cover, the blockade was still up. So I inched my car into the pool that had formed at the bottom of the exit's incline and plunged into the rapids. Fortunately, the one good thing that's come of all the construction on my street is that the road was now too wide to harbor any unwanted babbling brooks. Despite fearing that I'd die before ever seeing home again, I soon found myself running like a madwoman up the driveway and out of the storm.

Unfortunately, the rain's evil tendencies didn't stop at trying to kill me. As tends to happen during powerful storms, our basement drain backed up and the room started to flood. While this time there very fortunately wasn't a couple of feet of water throughout the cellar, there were large puddles a few inches deep in unfortunate places throughout. Again, we stacked wet boxes out on the covered porch; again, we broke out the Shop-Vac to suck up the water, and again, we cursed ourselves (or everyone but ourselves) for leaving all our stuff stacked on the floor instead of shelves.

Clearly, not the best day.


September 24, 2002

New Student Week has been stressful and its events poorly attended. The freshmen seem like a distinctly unenthusiastic bunch this year, and few so far have struck me as being potential new friends. Maybe I'm too insular; maybe I'm too unwilling to reach out. I do love the friends I have now, so it seems like overkill to make more in some ways. Often I feel like I simply can't handle taking on another close friend. Of course, I usually feel this way, and I usually don't have a problem then becoming friends with someone new when actually confronted with the possibility or necessity. Still, it sometimes seems like to make a new friend I'll have to give up an old one. And that makes me question the whole institution of friendship. And then I question myself -- what is it that I look for in a friend? Do I really look for someone who will know me in a deeply personal way, or do I look for someone who will amuse me for a while and then, when I get bored, move on?

This is all highly depressing, and that was not my intent when I started writing. I meant to talk about how I have a newfound confidence this year. While I had certainly grown in self-confidence by leaps and bounds from junior high to my first year of college, this year I finally feel like I don't need to worry about whether others will admire me. (Yeah, that sounds egotistical, but I'm messed up, what can I say?) Some of it may come from turning twenty, some from being an older-but-wiser sophomore, some even from my new wardrobe; but it's there, and it makes me feel strong.




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