12:29 am: "He's reaching them, now I see/ In reaching them, he reaches me"
Post title is a line from a song in "Eleanor: An American Love Story." I'm listening to it now, and I'd forgotten how very good it is. Oh, Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt and your singular love story. Who knew it would make great musical theater?
Speaking of musical theater, Hannah and I got back to Raleigh just in time to see Avenue Q together. It was fantastic! I know it gets played up as "the one where the puppets have sex," and while these puppets do engage in some pretty non-Sesame Street behavior, the most shocking thing they do on stage is emote. I had no idea how sad I could feel for a foam rubber prop until Rod quietly admitted to Christmas Eve that he missed his roommate Nicky. When Kate Monster hugs that mix tape to her chest and squeals that "he likes me," you can't help but be overcome with girlish happiness. Avenue Q was a very true musical. Sure, it gets dirty sometimes, but no more than life does. The closing number, "For Now," is definitely my favorite song off the soundtrack. "Life may be scary, but it's only temporary."
Hannah and I also watched the first few episodes of Firefly the other day. It seems like it's becoming my job to indoctrinate new Browncoats--Liz, Steph-la, JJ, Karim, now Hannah. Not a horrible job, that.
HANNAH: Ohmygosh, I love all the believable characters! EMMA: Yes, it's definitely a character-driven show. HANNAH: Wash is my favorite! EMMA: ... HANNAH: I have a bad feeling about this.
The band went to Animazement in Durham this weekend to play in the Cosplay contest. Despite Izzy staying up all night and foregoing showers to register us at 9AM, despite staying in the lineup area for like three hours before we needed to be there, despite practicing like crazy and lugging all our instruments and power cords and amps around that crowded con, the line for entering the Cosplay competition was cut off just one group before us. It sucked major ass. We were really looking forward to playing, and it just sucks so bad that the cosplay competition is organized so poorly and that so many people want to enter. A guy told us that next year they'll have a specific Battle of the Bands, and that it would probably be better for us to enter that than try to squeeze our way into the cosplay. Oh, well. We still had fun. Animazement is like a 24-hour costume party, and it was awesome seeing everyone else's cosplays. Mr. Hat-n-Clogs was a popular persona, as were assorted Narutards and Ed Elrics. I played the easy-costume card and dressed myself up as Winry Rockbell. Hey, I've got a red bandana, cargo pants, black top and wrench. Now if I were only blonde and anorexic...
"How Clean Is Your House?" has really got me working on my room. Every time I start to clean it, I motivate myself to keep going by thinking what Aggie and Kim would say if they came in. The carpet's in a sorry shape but at least it's tidy, though I imagine they'd have some choice words with me about the state of Corakin's litterbox.
FIRST DATE: Jerusalem Garden and downtown Asheville
SECOND DATE: Emergency room and IHOP at 2 AM
We were roller skating with Alan and friends when Alan fell and eviscerated his shoulder. Karim and I drove him to the Mission Hospital emergency room and waited with him, because waiting in an ER alone is suckage. Alan folded paper cranes for the little kids, and Karim and I made fun of the awful stuff on Cartoon Network until Samurai Jack came on. Then Alan took us out to IHOP since we hadn't eaten in hours. He also needed something to wash down his Vicodin with. It was an exciting night!
Bennett turned 18 this tax day! It is very strange to think that my little brother is old enough to buy cigarettes and/or porn. Very strange. I made it home for his birthday and took pictures!
He said he expected no cake, with the explanation that the cake is a lie.
Nevertheless, he seemed happy with what he got.
And he's coming to Asheville tomorrow to visit! I'm very happy. I'll have to show him all the cool places to hang out in Asheville, like the discount grocery store.
12:26 am: "Spring" "Break"
Okay, who's great idea was it to have Spring Break at the start of March, when it's still freakin'-ass cold in Asheville? And whose idea was it to call it anything like a "break"?
Pizza Hut has been crazy. Apparently when I go back to school I miss all the fun-- last month, the store got robbed, and just last week Sufian was robbed at gunpoint while delivering a pizza. We've been incredibly busy on top of that; tonight I didn't get home until 11:30PM. And then there's schoolwork during the day. AAAUUUGH.
Earlier this week I did manage to get some funnish vid-making in, producing two little bits that aren't so great. The first one, a Mal vid to Brave Sir Robin from Spamalot, just doesn't have enough action to keep up with the momentum of the song. Mrerh.
Then this one... something is wrong. I don't know exactly what. The music change at 1:30 is bad, I know, but it's something else. This is really bad, because I was trying to do justice to my favorite moment in the entire Firefly/Serenity universe: When the caretaking role changes hands from Simon to River, with the "You take care of me, Simon, you've always taken care of me-- my turn." My relationship with my brother isn't exactly like River's and Simon's, but we are very close. I think of Ben as my best friend. Bennett would never admit to it, of course, but we do love one another, and the second he codes "They're hurting us get me out" to me in a letter from KGS, I don't give a shit what mom or dad or any counselor says, I am getting in my car, pointing it toward Vermont, slamming on the gas and not stopping until I have wrestled him out of that god damn school. The love between siblings is too overshadowed in popular culture by the more "dramatic" themes of sibling rivalry or estrangement, and I absolutely love that Simon and River love one another so much in Firefly. It's so important. So, it sucks tremendously that there is something wrong with this video and I can't figure out what it is. Oh, well, nothing and nobody is perfect.
Now I should sleep, because I need to get up in a timely fashion tomorrow for work.
10:06 pm: Skiing! How to Brake While On Skis Start at the beginning of the list and move to the next item as each method fails:
1. Wedge Brake. Put your skis in a "pizza slice" wedge in front of you, widening the wedge to decrease accelleration.
2. Shit Brake. Repeat the word "shit" very quickly many times, growing in intensity and volume as your need to brake increases.
3. Fuck Brake. Repeat the word "fuck" several times, spacing the fucks approximately one beat apart to increase the force of the breaking mechanism.
4. Emergency Brake. Throw your body at the snow-covered ground, avoiding rocks, chipmunks, and other skiiers. This braking method guaranteed to work 95% of the time.
Skiing this weekend with Patrick, Julia, Pappy and Katie was lots of fun, despite my utilization of every braking method mentioned above! Patrick's parents were very kind hosts while we mooched off their food and sleeping space to save on the cost of a hotel. Patrick's mom made us a huge breakfast every morning, and his parents bought all the girls cocoa butter from Wal Mart as a gift. It seemed strange, but it's actually a really useful gift. When we weren't skiing, we walked around Boone and Banner Elk or watched "Land Before Time" at Patrick's house. I realized just how often I must have watched that movie when I was little as I recognized every frame while we watched it at Patrick's. I was really obsessed with copying the little, silly things from movies when I was little-- when Sharp Tooth is chasing Littlefoot and Cera through the thorns, his snout pushes a big thorny vine down on top of them and they crouch between the thorns that are driven into the ground. I tried to recreate that scene exactly many times playing in the bramble patches near the creek and never quite succeeded.
Just got back from the ski trip this afternoon, and dammit I have a lot of homework to catch up on. At least the slopes were fun.
Started my new excercise regimen the other day, for Health and Wellness promotion. Now I know why Curves is so successful-- gyms are scary places for the infrequent visitor! Our teacher had to be in the Biometrics Lab the whole class period, so we were just sorta left to look at the weight machines and figure out from their construction exactly what they did and how they worked. Blaine and I managed the first row of upper-body workout machines together, and then the ab-cruncher at the end of the second row. Even on the lowest weight settings, I was getting fatigued and pained and feeling very self-conscious around the other, fitter girls. It's not that I'm uncomfortable with how my body looks, I'm just not proud of how it performs. Ah, well, nothing to do but keep at it. And the cardio requirements give me an excuse to walk to Blockbuster every week and rent fun movies like Shaun of the Dead, which is a surprising masterpiece of cinematography. Also zombies. Yay zombies!
Asheville is a perfect zombie city. After seeing Cloverfield with Karim and Josh (and throwing up in the middle of it because of motion sickness), we discussed whether or not it was feasible for a giant salamander-that-evolution-forgot to attack Asheville. We decided that Asheville was not big or important enough to merit giant monster attack, nor was it backwoodsy enough to be tormented by Texas Chainsaw Massacre-type hillbillies. It's not the sort of town that's old enough to be cursed by some witch-- the only Asheville witches are the froufy New-Agey kind, and they're mostly harmless. Asheville's definitely not gloomy enough to be beset by vampires or a plague of darkness. But zombies, oh man, they would be perfect! Just kooky enough to fit in to the landscape, just creepy enough to send the hippies running in fear. It'd be awesome to see a bunch of zombies shamble down Lexington Avenue, all "braaaaaaaains... braaaaaaaains..." Well, no, if they're Asheville zombies, they'll be all "meatless braaaaains suuubstituuuuute... meatless braaaains suuubstituuuute!"
Asheville had a snow day a while ago, during which I earned honorary manhood for my bravery and sheer mantacularness in snow-battle. After lunch with Karim, Josh, and Josh's friend Arthur, I was invited to a snowball fight down in the Botanical Gardens with them and their friends Joanna and Sarah. As Karim remarked, "Snowball fights get a lot more fun once you’re old enough to know what the words 'rape, pillage, and burn' mean." I have never witnessed such a display of raw manful menergy as this snowball fight. Three big guys with beards and long scraggly hair, all screaming at the tops of their lungs and hurling boulder-sized snowballs at one another, grunting and howling, crushing ice on their faces in pure savage mandemonium. In the Botans, they fell upon a snowman and devoured it, ripping its flesh to pieces for sustenance and bludgeoning each other with its organs. They gave me the title of Honorary Man that day, because Josh hurled an iceball the size of my head at me and I punched it to bits in midair, all while screaming in a manful way. My friend Stanley was going for a walk in the Botans and I told him about my new status as Honorary Man. He replied "Congratulations! I’ve been trying for that for years." Since I took a snowball for him (he’s a civilian, he shouldn’t be involved in the massive snow carnage), the men announced that for saving his life he must now become my slave. I told him to go clean my room for me. He responded with a sigh and muttered "Oh, drat, the boring kind of slave…"
Our Humanities: Ancient Cultures professor does not know how to spell Mesopotamia. He thinks it's spelled "Messoptania." This is distressing, since he's supposed to be an expert on the region.
10:15 pm: Little darlin', it's been a long cold lonely winter
Back in Asheville, where the lanscape is lumpy. And where it's snowing! Hooray! Classes might be cancelled tomorrow, which might mean that the cafeteria staff won't be able to make it up the hill to school, which might mean I'll have to rely on in-room food. For the first time, I've bought food in preparation for a weather event. Wheat bread, jam, and Bacon Salt, woo hoo!
Oh yeah, Bacon Salt! It's awesome. It's completely vegetarian and Kosher, and it makes everything taste like bacon. Great on popcorn, fries, mashed potatoes, eggs, etc. My mom heard about it on NPR and ordered a case of them to give away as Christmas presents. My sister, a vegetarian who still likes the taste of meat but not the concept of it, was thrilled.
Karim and I are busy introducing Gabi to the wonderful world of Star Wars. I never knew it, but Karim told me that Carrie Fisher never wore a bra on set for the Star Wars films because apparently George Lucas didn't think people would wear bras in space. And the whole movie, I swear, I could not take my eyes off of her bouncing breasts. And it's totally true! She's not wearing a bra! She must have done away with it as swiftly as the English accent she inexplicably has for the first thirty minutes of A New Hope.
It's sad that I have the much older, slower computer at college instead of the whippy new one at home. Can't edit videos on this one, and that was more fun than I thought it would be. I might be home for Spring Break, which inexplicably falls on the week of March 3 when it's still cold as the night the Crissie Wright came ashore, though I might be heading down to Lousiana to help rebuild houses with CSA and Habitat for Humanity. Gotta say I'd rather be heading home, but if there's one thing Catholics are good at, it's being guilted into doing good works that they don't neccessarily want to do but must nevertheless be done. I've got two cool ideas, one involving the Beatles and the Chronicles of Narnia, the other involving Captain Mal and Spamalot. They might just have to wait until summer.
My good works as Pizza Girl are at a temporary end, though Todd was very clear that any time I came home there would be a job waiting for me. He's a good boss. I didn't even have to do the prep for the breadsticks my last night! Oh, the breadsticks... hatred.
09:54 pm: Project Awesomesocks
I've been working on this for the past several days, and I believe it is the coolest thing I have ever or will ever produce in my lifetime. (Sorry, hypothetical future children, if you're reading this and feel jilted. But you are just not as awesome as this video.) Watch, please; I want it to become so popular on YouTube that the SciFi channel is so overcome by its awesomeness that it has no choice but to hurl huge sacks of money at Joss Whedon and Tim Minear (I'm so much a fan that I know the other guy's name, too!) so that they will write more shows.
EDIT January 11, 12:15 AM: Holy mother of all that is sweet and buttery, somebody dropped the internet on me. Thank you to everyone who commented! This was a ton of fun to make, and I'm so happy that other people enjoy it as much as I do. My dad deserves a lot of thanks for helping me learn the video editing software, and of course none of this would be awesome at all without the extreme talent of everyone involved with both Wicked and Serenifly.
12:44 pm: Yay Christmas
Bennett came home for Christmas this year! Yaaaaay! They even apparently taught him to hug up there at crazy school in the frigid north! There is so much friggin' snow in Vermont. My mom and I went up there to get him, and we had to rent an SUV to travel. Normally, I'd abhor riding in an SUV, but normally, I'd be riding in it in a state that barely gets half an inch of snow a year, thus a state where an SUV is a complete waste of space, money, and gas. But in Vermont, you really do need something with four-wheel drive in the winter. Three feet of snow. It was crazy.
Anyway, it was good to see Ben and meet his friends. It's good to know that he has friends up there and life isn't unbearable, but I still think he doesn't need to be there. He belongs at Enloe, with his Enloe friends-- whom my parents don't believe exist, but they totally do, as those friends of Bennett's who read this journal no doubt know.
He was very happy to get home, but I gotta say, once he did, I didn't see a lot of him. He stayed in the bonus room mostly, on the computer. Same old Ben. Crazy school won't cure him of his immunity to social obligation, and my parents don't seem to want to discipline it into him, so it's just mom, dad, and me left to draw Grandma Tina's sometimes trying questions, like "Why did people give me chocolate for Christmas?" (This is not a rhetorical question. She really wants a serious and indisputable answer.)
But I kinda get why he was on the computer so much. Bennett downloaded the newest game from Valve, those makers of fantastic storyline'd games and oodles-of-fun physics engines. That game is Portal, and it is pretty much the best game ever. Let me explain why.
Oh, and now I have a job! I'm a delivery driver for Pizza Hut, and I'm also the only pizza girl they've got. And my work uniform looks pretty much exactly like this: Well, okay, so I may be a pizza girl, but I'm not Pizza Girl. Who cares? I make good money and I get to listen to Wicked on the job. Yay monies.
Eh, guess I should review the Christmas presents... good year, I suppose. Got a Brita Filter that's going to make drinking water in the dorm room so much more pleasant for Gabi and me, and I got wool socks. And let me just say, I am pretty sure that Dumbledore wasn't lying to Harry when he said that he saw himself in the Mirror of Erised holding a pair of good wool socks. So sure, he might have seen his little sister still alive and Grindelwald not evil and still in love with him, but he definitely also saw himself with wool socks. These things are awesome. I highly suggest a pair for everyone.
10:53 pm: Meme time!
Directions from Steph-La: Post in the comments something random (I hate using that word in that manner, but I must). It can be a song lyric, a title of a song, a strange word you've had stuck in your head all day, a funny sentence you heard someone say on the subway, your sexual roleplaying safeword, anything. By doing so, you promise to answer the five questions I will ask you in a reply to your comment. Post your answers in a post like this.
oligomer's Questions to Me:
1. Quote with the most relevance to your own life. "I don't jump over ten-foot bars. I look around for one-foot bars I can step over." Warren Buffet 2. What do you imagine would be the scariest thing that could happen to you? I'm not sure, but all of my worst nightmares involve people I know acting in horrible ways, doing awful things, and telling me that they have always been completely disgusted with me. So, I guess "too long I've been afraid of losing love, I guess I've lost..." :) 3. How do you react when someone over-shares? I don't get offended or anything with "over-sharing" or "TMI," it's strange. If you were to pull your favorite vibrating butt plug out of your back pocket during a conversation, it wouldn't creep me out at all. I have to worry about that when I'm talking, though; I worry when I've said too much. 4. Do you plan on caving more, living in the Mts. as you do? Hellz yes! And if I get an internship or a job with Bat Conservation International, I'll get paid to spelunk! 5. Rickman as Turpin: will you cry when the ends takes place, as it is Rickman, of all men? I don't know. Rickman is such a good actor that I think he'll make me truly believe that it is Turpin being killed, not Rickman, so I won't feel like my beloved sexy snide Brit actor is getting the bloody razor to the throat.