Friday, October 12, 2007

To Autumn

Because I am cold and need to be convinced that Summer being completely over is NOT all that bad...... (and because I have had to read this poem over and over in my Romanticism class)

John Keats

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Woe is me

I just got finished complaining on Facebook, and decided that I might as well complain here too. I am trying to write a paper on Aristotle's Politics, and I am about to lose my mind. Of course, this is the last thing I want to happen, since it is difficult enough for me to comprehend the old geezer with my brain firmly in place. Maybe it's just me (or maybe it's just Aristotle) but every argument I find seems to need multiple paragraphs of clarification and definition before I can even attempt to say anything about it.

So, instead of writing my paper I'm posting here and playing Scrabble online with my mother.

Really, I already have 1 3/4 pages of a 5 page paper done, and it isn't due until the 16th, so I'm actually in good shape.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Is it just me...

...or is this a little odd?

My history professor is somewhat, uh, different. He tells us how to take notes, when to take notes, and what sort of container we need to put them in to study. He specified where each person has to sit for class (and my spot is in the front, about 6 inches from his desk, which makes everything just a little less comfortable.) He provided us with one textbook, but most of our assignments refer to a completely different book, only one copy of which is available in town. He requires anyone who gets a C or worse on the first exam to either drop out immediately or attend daily, compulsory tutoring. If you don't seem to be performing so well in class (i.e. not answering any questions) he will email your academic adviser and let them know that you are not a good student and should be monitored.

The best, though, is our last assignment. We were required to print off and analyze a specific essay, looking for all the many elements that make it an "exemplary piece of academic writing," its merits to be discussed in class. The author of this "exemplary" piece of writing? The professor.

Ok, so I've been studying for the last 5 hours and I'm a little crabby. But still.....

Monday, September 03, 2007

I have created and am nominating myself for a new award. I even get a nifty little button.

For right now I think that I am the only recipient of this award.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

You scored as Elizabeth Bennet, As one of Austen's most beloved characters, Elizabeth Bennet represents what most women would like to become: strong, independent, and loyal. Of course, she has her faults including a stubborn will of iron and a clinging to first impressions. Overall, Lizzie is bright and lovable...something to admire and aspire to.

Elizabeth Bennet


Elinor Dashwood


Marianne Dashwood


Jane Bennet


Emma Woodhouse


Charlotte Lucas


Lady Catherine


Which Jane Austen Character are You? (For Females) Long Quiz!!!
created with

Monday, July 30, 2007

Harry Potter chat

Here is the transcript of a chat with J.K. Rowling, posted on the Leaky Cauldron website. She answers some amusing questions and fills in some gaps, especially regarding what happens to characters after the books. (Thanks to the people at Pemberley for the link.)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Style Tag

Courtesy of my mother:

Personal Style Quiz
Rules: You have to choose one of the two. You cannot answer "neither" or "both." You can indicate that you like both or neither, but you must state a preference.

Animal fiber or plant? Plants, please. I love my cotton.

Natural or synthetic? Natural

Ornate or simple? Simple

Color or Neutral? Color

Pastel or Vibrant? Argh. I want to answer "neither" but I'm not allowed, so (looking in my closet) I think I'll say vibrant.

Blue/Green or Red/Orange? Blue/Green

White Gold or Yellow Gold? White Gold

Gems or texture? I'm not quite sure what this one is getting at, but I'm going to guess texture

Watch or no-watch? Watch, simply for utility

Comfort or fashion? fashion (please, laugh at me)

Trendy or classic? Classic

Cables or lace? What season are we talking about? And what article of clothing? I love cable knit sweaters, but I also love light, lacy blouses.

Heels or flats? Heels

Flip-flops or sandals? Sandals! Flip-flops are anathema.

Skirts or pants? Skirts....long, swishy, girly skirts.

Geometric or floral? stylized geometric florals

V-neck or turtle-neck? V-neck (or, better still, bateau or boat neck)

Skulls or butterflies? Butterflies

Loose or snug? snug

Long hair or short? Let me think about this a moment. I'm going to say long.

Headbands or barrettes? Headbands, since barrettes don't work in my hair anyway

Shoulder bag or handbag? smallish shoulder bag, because it is almost impossible and certainly dangerous to eat while holding a handbag

Tagging Rachel, Emily, and Katie.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


We spent this morning picking blueberries at a farm north of Fort Wayne with a few friends. By the time we left, our family had picked 23.7 pounds of blueberries.

It was a beautiful morning, starting off cloudy but clearing up by the time we got out in the field. The sun made it pretty warm out there, especially since the large bushes cut off any breezes. We were all a little relieved when the clouds rolled back in around 10:00.

I had never picked blueberries before, and really enjoyed my first trip out. I figured out that I could park myself in the middle of a bush and be within arms-length of hundreds of berries. Of course, I questioned my tactics after running into this guy:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Do I Know You???

Sometimes the crowd at the library can get colorful, but never, EVER have I seen anything like I saw today.

Striding through the gallery and into the genealogy department this evening, I saw a Roman legionary. I might have thought that I was hallucinating, but the old man standing next to me was also staring. The guy was all decked out in his shiny armor and helmet, clanking with every step. The best part of his outfit, however, was the pair of iridescent wraparound sunglasses he was wearing.

I checked twice to see if it was someone I know.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Return of the Internet

After weeks and weeks of inconveniencing my mother at every turn, I now no longer have to hog her computer when I want to mess around online. Having had its memory erased (yes, computers get amnesia, I am told) and the entire system reinstalled, my erstwhile computer is being reclaimed. I am trying to recreate all of my settings, remember once-stored passwords, and searching for all those sites I used to have bookmarked. This is quite an undertaking.

The truly distressing thing is that, even after all of the work that was done on my computer, the original problem it had (crashing while I play games) is still not taken care of. Hmph.

Incidentally, while I am writing this, I just want to say that watching Little Women with a carton of Ben and Jerry's is a wonderful, girly way to spend a tired and lazy evening. Have I ever mentioned that I adore Laurie? Well, I do.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Be prepared.... When I am really tired I either get completely witless or I turn introspective and philosophical. Tonight, it is the latter.

I have a confession to make.

I laugh at people. Hair, clothes or lack thereof, habits, and cliche-ridden speech patterns are all fair game. Perhaps it is the result of reading Pride and Prejudice a few too many times and trying to emulate Elizabeth Bennet, but I love absurdities and quirks.

Perhaps that will explain why the last two days seemed a little strange. It started yesterday afternoon while I was at work. My boss had assigned me to stick labels to a bunch of our microfilm cabinets, so I spent 5 hours sitting at a table in the back of the department, sticking tape on the backs of the labels, and being bored out of my mind. While I was thus engaged, a lady who appeared to be in her late-seventies walked in, wearing the old-genealogy-lady uniform (colored capris, T-shirt from Walmart, and white tennis shoes). Her face wasn't remarkable- it was rather worn-looking, but very soft. What set her apart was her hair. It was dyed a very light yellow-blond and curled and teased into something resembling this 40s style. She had combed it flat over the crown of her head and there was much more scalp than hair visible.

The overall effect was quite grotesque, but it didn't amuse me as I would have expected. Instead I was deeply saddened. Something about that old women and her hair really caught me. Perhaps it was because she was trying so hard to recapture something that is obviously gone forever- she will never be young again, her hair will never again be thick or naturally blond. Suddenly the genealogical records on the shelf next to me seemed completely different, as though all of the people listed in them had been personified in that one woman. Sitting there, bored out of my mind, it really hit me that the same thing will happen to me, to my parents, and to all of the people I love. This 20 year old was suddenly facing the reality of mortality, with even more force and awareness than at my great-grandparents funerals, when the emotion seemed to act as a buffer.

As I sat there thinking (still taping labels), I also realized just how comforting it is to know that, even should I become grotesque and ridiculous with old age, and my already flawed and weak body become flawed and weaker still, I can rely on Christ, who feeds me with his own perfect body and blood. When death comes for me, as it already has for so many, I will not remain as I was but be joined with Christ in Heaven, where I will be given a new and perfected body which will never grow old or bald or require Walmart t-shirts and old-lady shoes.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"Our life holds few distinctions..."

I just wanted to share my amazing accomplishment with everyone. At work this evening, I shelved 1000 books (plus 50 rolls of microfilm) in under 6 hours. I am pretty impressed, especially since our boss told everyone that 100 books an hour was the goal.

My pride in my mad shelving skills is competing with my sense of humor, which tells me that this entire post is pretty silly. (Typing "mad shelving skills" gave the sense of humor an advantage, and I think it wins now.)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Apparently my blog is in imminent danger of being hacked and deleted unless I start writing. Since I am tired, far too slap-happy write anything legible (let alone intelligent), and just a little cranky, I thought that I would just share something truely inspiring.

Baby names.

My mother and I have a weekly ritual. One of us will pull the birth announcements from the Fort Wayne paper and we will read the names aloud, sometimes spelling out the most impossible and ridiculous ones. My personal favorites this week were twins Xamir Asante and Sebastian Amadeus. I can't decide which one I would rather be. It could be worse, though. There was someone in there with the middle name Nimrod. I realize that it is a real name, but all I can hear is Bugs Bunny saying, "What a nimrod...."

Or, there's little Uriyah Danyell. Uriyah, pronounced like, Uriah the Hittite, except that Uriyah is a girl. I was so moved by that name that I decided I would name my first daughter Zebedee, but (since all letters and sounds are now interchangeable) I would spell it Xebydii. Isn't it cute???
In case anyone had any doubts, that was completely facetious.

December, Amyah, Kateri, Mineee-Kae, Everlye, Jaiyr, Keishyeia, Nasiyah and Nysi, Aneciea, Reace, and Talon deserve special mention. I couldn't bring myself to type any of the many names that contained Xs, but know that they were there.

I can't decide whether it would be worse to be a Jaiyr who will go through life with a name no one can spell, or a Caiden/Kaiden/Kayden/Kaedyn/etc. who will be in a class full of boys and girls whose names are all pronounced exactly the same.

Incidently, this is way fun. Just explore.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New and Improved

I finally figured out how to change the look of my blog (with lots of help from my mother) and here is the result. The photo at the top is mine, taken at Foster Park last Spring. Let me know what you think of the change.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Playing in the Dirt

Today I (re)discovered the joy of running around barefoot in the dirt. My mother, brothers and I spent the afternoon putting in our vegetable garden, which involved lots and lots of dirt. Shoes were abandoned very early on. It felt like we were playing in a big warm sandbox. Patrick proclaimed himself Mr. McGregor, Andrew was named Peter Rabbit (so very appropriate), and Jonathan was Benjamin Bunny. They also said that I was Jemima Puddle Duck, but I just don't see it.

We now have several kinds of lettuce, a few different tomatos, red and green peppers, banana peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, turnips, beets, and (best of all) a bunch of strawberry plants. In addition, I filled a planter with bougainvillea and nemesia, planted a few little beds of marigolds, and also a few dahlias. A few hours after everything was in, a series of storms came through and watered all of our little plants for us.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Michigan, Poisoning, and Wallpaper

(Warning: Longish post ahead!)

My mother, Andrew, Jonathan, and I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Michigan on a choir tour, led by our friend Nancy Osbun. Jonathan is a member of a choir at one of the Lutheran schools here in town, and the rest of us went along for fun. It wasn't seeming like much fun when (after 4 hours of sleep) I found myself in the Unity school parking lot at 5:30 Tuesday morning. It got better. After a short performance at a Lutheran school in Dearborn, we spent several hours roaming around Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum. We didn't cover anything close to everything, so my mother bought a membership and is planning on taking the whole family back up there, along with my grandparents.

We drove up to Frankenmuth after finishing at the Museum. That evening while all the little school children did their homework and Jonathan studied his Greek, my mother took Andrew and me over to the outlet mall across the street. Mmmmmmmm. I have to admit that I was not expecting much, but these were niiiiiiice outlets. The first place we stopped (after squealing our tires and doing a u-turn in the parking lot) was the BCBGMaxAzria store. I didn't know they DID outlets. We stopped in for a moment. Tragically, we only had 45 minutes to shop, and it was decided that we would accomplish more if I were not allowed to go drool all over the way-discounted designer clothes. (Oh, but I wanted to!) Anyway, we did make it to the Fossil, Ann Taylor, and Le Creuset stores.

On Wednesday the choir sang at a few more schools and we toured St. Lorenz church in Frankenmuth. It was quite lovely, but the plasma screen TVs installed throughout the sanctuary rather ruined the effect, as did the stained glass window featuring Washington and Lincoln. After we were finished inside, Mrs. Osbun took us across the street to the cemetary, which was very lovely and picturesque. We spent the rest of the morning/early afternoon in Frankenmuth where we shopped and ate lunch.

Our last stop was at Concordia, Ann Arbor, where we were given a tour of the campus. They acted as if these 6-8th graders were seriously considering their school, not just kids being led around (in the pouring rain, I might add.) We left directly from the university and headed home.

The real fun started on the way home. None of us had eaten any veggies for the past few days, so we stopped at a Crakcer Barrel to find some. The service was awful, the food was cold and disgusting, and my mother and I left with food poisoning. I was sick all evening (and over night) on Wednesday, and ended up going home from work early on Thursday because I was completely unable to face walking around for 5 hours.

Anyway, I am all better now, and I had far more enthusiasm and energy than I needed today. I discovered that I do not know what to do with myself when I don't have schoolwork to worry about. I sat around reading for a few hours and afterwards I felt intensely guilty and antsy, and as though I should be DOING something. So I stripped our bathroom wallpaper. All of it. My family found it a little strange ("Most people would go shopping- she destroys something!" says Patrick.)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Literary Crisis!

I am having a problem of tremendous proportions. I started re-reading Mansfield Park on Sunday, and cannot seem to appreciate or enjoy it. I am not drawn to any of the characters, Edward (though nice) is dull, and I find Fanny insipid and boring. This is Jane Austen. I should like Jane Austen, and I don't remember disliking Mansfield Park the first time I read it. Have I grown more more picky? Am I more shallow and unable to appreciate these very quiet characters? I have no idea. All I know is that I have put the book down, unfinished, and am turning to my fluffy library books for amusement.

Perhaps if my copy had illustrations like this one I should find it more enjoyable!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Three down, one to go

I had two final exams this morning, the first one being at 8:00 am. It hurt, but I managed to make it on time. The test was comprised of 10 page-long "short answers" (short being a relative term) and two essays. I wrote for two hours straight and filled two blue books with facts about nationalism and reform movements in the Ottoman Empire, which is actually far more interesting and much less esoteric than it sounds.
My second exam was for my literature class, and we were allowed to have our books out and open. I asked the professor if it mattered that I had been taking writing my notes inside my book all semester, and that did not seem to bother her one bit. I wrote three essays for that class, over Dante, Chaucer, and Milton, and it turned out to be pretty fun- except for the fact that my right hand was getting red and swollen from the death-grip I had on my pencil all morning.
My third "exam" was a final German essay, due outside of class today. I wrote it last week, and emailed it to the professor right afterwards. Since her return email said that she had read it and couldn't wait to have me back in class next semester, I'm assuming it was ok.

After my literature final, I met my mother at Biaggi's for a celebratory lunch. After we had finished eating, we went over to Jefferson Point for some shopping. Our first stop was Barnes and Noble, where I picked out a whole new stack of beautiful, unblemished, and very delicious looking books. We also went to Von Maur to ogle the shoes. I very firmly believe that if I were to buy and wear a pair of these shoes, I would suddenly have the ability to sing and dance like Judy Garland. They are that cool.
We are such goofy girls that we also danced around while the pianist played Phantom of the Opera songs. It was somewhat ruined by this disgustingly loud woman, (wearing shorts that should not be worn unless one is with one's close family, and one's close family is blind,) who came up to him in the middle of a song, and announced very loudly that her daughter takes "pie-ana" lessons and lectured him on the importance of music.

After finishing with our real shopping (real meaning browsing) we went over to the Vera Bradley store to scope out anything we might want from the outlet sale today. My mother got a ticket to the pre-sale-sale from a friend, and that's where she is as I write this. Neither one of us is usually very into Vera Bradley and it is VERY strange that she went to this sale (really, really, super-off-the-wall strange) but she found some really cute and useful bags at good prices, including gifts..... The best part, though, is that she comes home bearing a bag of wonderfully yummy Nutty Bavarian almonds.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Blogging Guilt

I accidently clicked on the link to my blog a moment ago, and realized that it has been almost 3 months since I wrote anything. This is vey sad, and something I should like to remedy.

The only excuse I can offer is that I have been unwilling/unable to think of intelligent things to say, and I would rather not say something pointless, just so that my blog can look updated. All of my mental energy has been going toward school work and making fun of my neighbors (oops.)

Most importantly, finals are next week and I'm looking for an excuse not to study, and my blog offers me an excellent opportunity to do so.

Anyway, now that my most excellent readship has deserted (and rightfully so), I believe I will start using this again.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I always knew I was royal....

Thank you, Katie.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Countess Bethany the Herbaceous of Leg over Wallop
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I'm posting right now because I'm tired of seeing the same thing every time I open my blog. That, and I haven't posted anything for almost a month.

Unfortunately, I don't have time right now to write anything that makes any sense, so I'll just save that for later, when I'm procrastinating about studying for my German exam.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pancakes for Dummies

After I got off of work this afternoon, my mother and Patrick took me out for lunch at IHOP. I had been hungry for pancakes for a few days, so I was ridiculously excited by the prospect.

I got a lovely plate of yummy, fluffy, whole wheat pancakes, which I covered in butter. I decided to use syrup, something that I never do. As I was pouring the syrup, I was amazed by how thin it seemed. It splashed all over my plate and soaked right in. As I was eating my pancakes, I was surprised at the lack of sweetness- I had just drenched my pancakes in syrup. I was setting down the jug, thinking, "I like this syrup. I don't like overly-sweet syrup...." when my mother asked me to pass the coffee. I looked around for the coffee, and she pointed it out to me... right in my hand. I tried to explain to her that that was the syrup, but as she was pouring it into her cup, I realized that, yes, it looked much more like coffee than syrup.

We spent several minutes laughing at me.

There are two lessons to be learned from this. The first is that one should always read the labels before one dumps something all over one's food. The second is that coffee tastes pretty good on pancakes.