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I fell asleep during the Rose Bowl today. I had wanted to watch it because one of my friends is from Detroit and he was at the game, but I'm still a bit down from the mono I had earlier this month. It didn't look like much of a game, anyway; USC's lines manhandled the Wolverines. I guess that's another loss in the bowl pool. My friend's family runs a bowl pool in which we pick against the spread, and I had Michigan in that game. I'm 10-10 so far, though. We'll see what happens in the last few bowls.
I suppose I should tell a bit more about myself, since this is my first month of writing. I'm a junior at Northwestern University, I like being outdoors, and I am a super-introvert. I don't like people very much in general, although I have met some I like perfectly fine. This is peculiar, given that I'm majoring in psychology, but I like to tell people I'm just trying to find out what's wrong with them. I'm easygoing but not easy to get along with; I just prefer my own company, I guess. I like to haunt libraries and bookstores, too.
Wow, I just read yesterday's entry… sounds really antisocial. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate people or anything, I'm just indifferent. I'm usually friendly to people and I don't normally mind them, but sometimes they bug me. Like one of my roommates; I think I'm too hard on him. I just moved back into our apartment, and I found some stuff that had been in the refrigerator since he left for break. I didn't give him credit for cleaning up everything else – including the bathroom – I just noticed the one thing that was wrong. I need to complain less.
I love the snow.
I think winter is my favorite season. The entire world seems to be dead, as if it would be silently gray forever; yet you know that everything is still alive and only hiding around the corner.
The entire student body of Northwestern is flying back to Chicago for winter quarter, though, so this snow is not nice for them. I was at Midway earlier to pick up my girlfriend, but her plane was diverted to Champaign for now.
I suppose James Joyce got it right. Today the snow is falling through the universe, and faintly falling.
Winter quarter starts today; it was fairly typical. I went to class, napped in the afternoon (I hate mono!) and then Jess came over tonight. I hope this quarter doesn't get any more difficult, because I still have to finish everything from last quarter.
Have you ever noticed how once you reach a certain point of work you have to do, you stop wanting to even get started on in because it's too much? I keep forcing myself to do everything from last quarter, but I think I'm going to reach my point soon. I hope I can hold out.
I hate to go on about mono; if you've ever had it, you know it's awful, and if not, then I just told you. I've been feeling better and started running again but I get so sore and it doesn't go away, though I haven't gone nearly as far or fast as normal. Yesterday I only made it a mile and a half before slowing; it's so far beneath me! This morning I just did stretches, because it's a day off like I'm supposed to have. I'm happy I can do what I have, but I want to be better!
It seems to me that most of the great magic has left this world. As a great fan of the fantasy genre, I have a soft spot that still wants to believe in dragons, elves, wielders of arcane forces, and battle between true good and true evil. Unfortunately, these magical wonders are no more – I assume they once did exist – and all we are left with is the small, everyday magic that is nice but can never fully replace the greater magics. In the city, these small wonders are hard to find indeed; life moves too quickly to notice them.
I know we're not supposed to go back and modify previous entries, but can we reread and reflect on them? I was just reading the one from the 4th, and it struck me as odd that I feel most alive when the rest of the world is dead. I suppose maybe I just feel that way by comparison.
That's not the only reason I like winter, though. I love how white everything gets after a new snowfall, and I'm going to sound weird, but I like the biting cold, too. I like coming in from the cold with frozen cheeks.
oh dear god return of the king was so amazing I know this sounds silly but I cried through a lot of it like when rohan is charging into battle and when theoden dies and when denethor burns faramir and when samwise carries Frodo and when Gollum dives off the edge and when the eagles come and oh it would have been nice to have someone's hand to squeeze during that but I don't think jess's hands could have taken it so I suppose it's good she wasn't there but I'll see her tomorrow so off to bed for now!
So I screwed up already. Out all day with Jess, and I come home and forget to do my daily quota. I think it was worthwhile … a day at the Art Institute and then dinner at the Chocolate Factory. The Institute always makes me think of Ferris Bueller. We saw Seurat's La Grande Jatte (can't think of the title) – the pointillism one that gets zoomed. On our way to the Manet exhibit, we passed the stained glass windows where Ferris and Sloane kiss. It seems so isolated in the movie, but there's a visitors' desk now, so we didn't.
I feel awful today. Still a touch of the mono-ey goodness, and some dehydration too. Jess was here again, and I've been so stressed and exhausted with all the work that I think I cried for a half hour while she held me. It's amazing how she can just hold me and it doesn't seem so hard any more. I don't even know why I let it all go; it just seemed like an OK time for that. I never get so emotional around people, because I'm usually too scared to. People scare me, and I just bottle it up.
It wasn't supposed to be like this. Liz and I were good friends before winter quarter last year, and Mike and I had fun together. Now Mike is drooling over Liz, she doesn't know what she wants, and I just want to be out of this stupid apartment. I'm not friends with either of them and there's such tension in the air, even when neither of them is here. I thought we could stay friends here, but now I guess we weren't that strong. I miss them both but I don't know how to get back to where we were.
In one of my classes, we examine problem solving to learn about brain functioning. Here is this week's problem:
A board contains seven squares in a row. 1 is empty, 2, 3, 4 contain dimes, and 5, 6, 7 contain pennies.
You can move a coin to an adjacent unoccupied square, or jump one or two coins to an unoccupied square. Any coin can jump or move in either direction and can jump coins of any value.
Reverse the contents of the squares (pennies in 1, 2, 3; dimes in 4, 5, 6) in ten moves. Can you do it?
I've developed a system to avoid forgetting entries. I love the comic Get Fuzzy, and I have their 2004 page-a-day calendar on my dresser (a Christmas present from my parents). I don't rip off the previous comic until I've completed my entry, so it's a reminder when I haven't yet written. Liz came in my room to say something, and it bugged her that I hadn't changed it, so she just ripped it off. So, I had to write right away. It's annoying when people write about writing – or worse, about writer's block – but I can't help it this time.
The newest Robert Jordan book is out; it's entitled
, and it's an extended version of a short story he had published in an anthology during the middle of the series. It's not that important in the story, it seems, but it's just kind of cool to learn some of the history behind the characters, especially more about the relationship between Elaida, a Red sister, and Moiraine and Siuan, both Accepted but will be future members of the Blue. I think it's too bad the Blue were in charge of the Dragon search; the Green would have done better.
I have to relearn how to like French pop every time I hear it. I'm absolutely in love with Harmonium, a 70's French-Canadian group, but other French pop sounds weird to me at first. Liz brought back Pascal Obispo's live CD for my Christmas present. The first time I listened to it, I liked a few songs, but it was nothing special, so I put it away for a while. I just brought it back out, and it's great! I think their instrumentation is reminiscent of early-90's stuff, and that's why it takes a while to warm up to it.
I'm quite proud that I can speak French semi-fluently. I just think it's cool that I can hear something that sounds like gibberish to most, but I understand.
My friend Dan and I introduce each other to music sometimes, and I've played some French music for him sometimes. He doesn't speak it, though, so I have to translate the lyrics. I do all right with it, but it always seems to lose some of the
. My high school French teacher told us the French love Poe not because his writing was good, but because the translator was better. Interesting.
Liz got back from France before Christmas, but this weekend was really the first time I've seen her, other than in passing. I shouldn't decide based on one conversation, but I think I liked her better before she went... she seems to have gotten quite a bit more frivolous. We went to dinner with friends and to karaoke in Chinatown afterward, but while we were walking to dinner all she was talking about was clothes, shoes, and makeup. I realize women have a higher tolerance for these things, but it's still frustrating that we don't connect as well any more.
I'm still trying to figure Saturday out. As I said, I went to dinner and karaoke with my closest friends: Dan was there; we'll be roommates next year – Sarah and Megan too – and Jess and I were together most of the night as well.
I still felt utterly alone all night.
I freak Jess out when this happens; her life leaves her in a permanent state of being slightly frazzled anyway. These times only last a day or two if I can take some time alone, but she doesn't realize she doesn't need to worry.
Except, it always worries me.
I love Tuesdays. Psychology of Thinking meets, so I always come home with at least one new brain teaser. This week's is to fill in the blanks: 95, 87, 79, 69, 63, __, 47, __, __. Stumped? That's not surprising, since this particular problem requires domain-specific knowledge. The solution is "Garfield", "Sox-35th", and "Cermak-Chinatown", the sequence of stops at the south end of the Red Line on the Chicago "el". If you're not from Chicago, you could make a similar problem using street numbers. The key is people think of the problem as a numerical sequence and limit their thinking.
I think we've found an apartment for next year. I saw an ad for a 4-bedroom place near campus in the Daily Northwestern, and it turns out the building has an elevator. I've learned more than I ever thought I could regarding the Fair Housing Act today. Perhaps best of all, it's right across the street from the Evanston library! Oh, heaven!
I'm still a bit apprehensive, though… I don't think Megan is looking forward to living with us next year. I think she feels like Dan is bothering her incessantly and things are still a little weird between them.
I saw a pay phone today.
Wait a minute, did that just say what I think it said?
Yep, I saw a pay phone today. I know it doesn't seem like much, but I actually did a double-take when I saw it. It was on Greenwood just west of Chicago, attached to the side of the Salvation Army building. What happened to all the pay phones? The entire farking world (including me) went and bought cell phones so we can talk forever, and pay phones went the way of the dodo.
Everything changes. Who notices? Why should we even care?
Jess was in an awful mood today. She's stressing about all the commitments she has because of her flute playing – auditions, SWE, CME, SAI flute choir, practicing – she's just barely hanging in there, I think. She wanted to go out because my 21st birthday is in two days, so we went to Grand Lux Café and to the London Symphony Orchestra (they were here, playing Beethoven's 8th and Firebird). She was snappy all night, so I just followed when she gave directions (Turn!). I was holding her on the way back home, but I wasn't happy. Not even a little…
Today seemed infinitely long; it was one of those days that make you think you're caught in a moment that exists outside the normal passage of time. I woke up early again and ran up to the Sheil Center, because we went to the animal shelter to walk dogs. I had a really rambunctious one named Toby that jumped on everything that moved and peed on everything that didn't. Quite a few of the dogs there are so beautiful, even though I don't really like dogs. We all went skating at Millennium Park afterward, as well. Caught in the moment!
I never made a big deal over my birthday before college; then, the past two years Nick – my former roommate – always went nuts with secret plans for it. We're not roommates this year, but I still had an amazing birthday. Thank you to Jess, the Sheil crew, Liz, Mike, Dan, and Megan for everything, and happy birthday to Sarah! (We have the same birthday.) I can't imagine better friends, and I wouldn't want to spend this day with anyone but you (and my family, of course, but they're too far away). I feel content right now. It's… sublime, I think.
It even ended well, too. I got home late from Jones while it was still snowing and I stayed up for a bit with Liz until finally going to bed around 3. I went into my room to go to bed but couldn't sleep; the wind was howling awfully past my windows so I had to listen! Liz was asleep on the couch so I woke her up and we sat in my room listening.
I've said that winter is the nicest season because it only tries to be pretty, not kill you. Last night, though, I'm not so sure.
More about yesterday's comments: I think winter is really the only season that doesn't try to kill you. Spring has huge thunderstorms that can be supremely powerful and beautiful, but also very dangerous. These storms linger through summer, and heat comes along with them during this season. Heat is possibly the worst. Then, fall comes and brings hurricane season with it. (I've never been affected by a hurricane, but I had to think of something.) Winter just has the bitter cold, and even that is just a prerequisite for snow; and of course, I love snow! Winter is my favorite.
Today is one of those days I just feel like a mess. I haven't been sleeping regularly, as I have a habit of doing, and I crashed this afternoon. I think I fell asleep around 2 and I didn't wake up until 10. I just don't want to get into this habit like I did at the beginning of the quarter in which I took naps all afternoon that stretched into long hours, and then I stayed up the entire night. Basically, I did my sleeping in the afternoon. I thought mono was over, but I guess it isn't, unfortunately.
You can't force someone to be your friend.
I won't go into specifics, but it involves someone with whom I used to be quite close and with whom I am currently having quite a bit of friendship difficulty. We can be ok at times but then I let it slide for a while, she tries to grab on, and I just slide out like sand the tighter she grabs.
I've said before that I don't like people very much. It's not that I don't like them, really, but I'm always apathetic and indifferent. Those don't make it easy being friends.
Wow, nothing is going right. It's ironic; last night I ran off to see Jess last night because I got in an argument with Liz, but tonight I got in an argument with Jess so now I'm running back home. I'm not treating Jess like I should; I do want to see her but somehow I never seem to be able to find the time. I've noticed a pattern: my arguments with friends are usually because I'm not spending any time with them. It goes back to the apathy, I think. I'm a bad person… at least in this respect.
January is by far my favorite month – not just because of my birthday, but because it seems so new and fresh and open and bright. It always makes me sad to see it pass into February.
I didn't see Jess at all yesterday; she was playing in a show down at the Bailiwick and I went to see NUSO with a few friends. We went to Chili's after because we hadn't yet had dinner, and ended up singing Mrs. Potter's Lullabye to close it at midnight.
And the price of a memory
is the memory of the sorrow it brings.
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