31 October 2005

discombobulated exegesis

"Andy, do you have anything to add to a discombobulated exegesis?"

oh, the joy that is pastor hughes.

it's been a crazy few weeks. i had a major panic attack thursday night at about 2:30 am, worrying about all the work i have to do. ryan had to remind me to keep breathing. that, howevever was better than wednesday night, which i spent in the emergency room. megan had a really bad reaction to some sleeping meds she just started, so we had to take her in to make sure she wasn't going to die, or something. i think my first clue that something was wrong was when she fell off the bunk beds while trying to get down...then didn't remember that it happened. things went downhill from there. however, considering the lack of competency of the ER here, the trip went ok. they only ignored for like 15 minutes, and i don't think they ever forgot she was there (though i chalk most of that up to the fact that rachel and i didn't leave her side, and rachel camped outside the curtain and stared at everybody as they walked by to make sure that no one forgot about her). also, we got there at 1:30 am. it was way better than last year when bekah stabbed herself in the leg and sat in the waiting room for two hours before anybody looked at it. the doctor kept winking at rachel...that was a little weird. but megan is fine now, and has strict orders to never take that medicine again.

friday night i went out to compadres with the buffalos. i had a blast. over the course of the evening i learned that i don't really mind cheap beer anymore and frozen margaritas are really good. as jeremy said, "it's like a slushie that gets you drunk". i also learned that you never know how many friends you apparently have until you walk into a bar of slightly tipsy fellow students. people i barely know and hadn't talked to in months were like, "laura! how are you??" it was rather funny. the boys were obsessed with the double size beer glasses. they were like a foot and a half tall. nakis referred to them as an Eiffel Tower of Beer. it also sparked the following exchange:

ian: "how do you order one of those?"
scarps: "i want one of those huge-ass beers"

the best moment of the evening though was when ian and nakis started singing the zeta song (why? i have no idea), and jan asked if the buffalos had a song. the entire table immediately burst into a rendition of "buffalo soldier" by bob marley, complete with steve and nakis banging out the rhythm on the table. nine white guys plus one greek singing jamaican music about african-americans in a mexican restaurant. this is why i love these boys.

and now i am going to blow off work and go to dunkin donuts with ryan. isn't senioritis fun?

27 October 2005

long time coming

i am finally going to take time to write about my trip to north carolina.

the trip was an adventure to say the least. first of all, i got confused at one point and didn't know which road i had to take. a smart person would have a map in their car, and could solve this problem very quickly. i am not a smart person. so i did the next best thing. i just found a wal-mart. superwalmart keeps the road atlases in the stationery section, in case you ever need to know. i just waltzed in, checked an atlas, and waltzed back out. that got me a few strange looks from the guy looking at crossword puzzle books. also, driving through west virginia is not fun. while the scenery was fairly pretty, the state itself just goes on forever. plus, gas is freakishly expensive due to the fact that like half the state revenue comes from gouging drivers on the interstate. the only redeeming feature is that i could go about 85mph and not worry about getting pulled over for speeding.

the weekend itself was pretty much a nightmare, but that had a lot to due with grandpa not have anything planned, the fact that my dad and his sisters have this seemingly complete and total inability to communicate with each other under stress, and that, oh wait, i was there for a funeral. fortunately most of that got worked out fairly quickly, and everybody was speaking to each other again by monday morning.

the funeral home visitation monday night was yet another Fun Family Adventure. nothing we do is ever normal. to start off, you have to understand a little about my family. we are all crazy. people think i'm nuts; my family is basically 15 of me. also, whenever you have four or more of us together at the same time, we can't take anything seriously. at the funeral home, the mood for the evening was pretty much set when one of the funeral directors walked by us in the parking lot, and my dad and aunt were debating whether his face was deformed, or if he just had a gigantic wad of chewing tobacco in his mouth. (they opted for the tobacco.) then as we were walking in, my cousin rachel (who is 18 and a freshman at UNC) asked: "are they going to serve refreshments?" she was very disappointed to find out they didn't, and all evening kept bringing up the fact that the whole thing would be much nicer if there was food. when we got inside and saw that there were chairs lining the walls, my cousin bizza, who's 24, stated, "hey, we could play musical chairs". this type of attitude basically prevailed the entire night. i believe my sister mary wins the prize for funeral home decorum. first of all, we made the mistake of letting mary, carol anne, rachel, and andrew (who is 17 and the lone male cousin) all cram together on a couch, which was made worse by the fact that it was at the end of the official greeting line (or whatever you call it when they make all the relatives of the dead person stand in line and shake hands with everybody who comes). other than the fact that it is a bad idea to put two 18 year olds, a 17 year old, and a 15 year old on a couch for two hours, everytime somebody came through the line, the four of them had to smile and nod and pretend like they knew who they were talking to. that was why i positioned myself at the end of the circle of relations. by the time they got to me, most people had already started talking to the people they came with. anyway, at one point andrew, for some odd reason, ended up accidentally spitting a tic tac out onto his shirt, which was odd enough, but mary thought that he had drooled on himself. she found this extremely amusing and was laughing so hard she couldn't breathe. and every time she looked at him she started laughing again. my mother kept shooting evil looks and hissing at her.

the decorations of the funeral home didn't really help any, either. not to be disrespectful to the dead, but i just found the whole place a little tacky. i've never been in a funeral home that uses horse collars and bales of unprocessed cotton in their decorating scheme. the hallway was covered floor to ceiling with paintings. some were originals, which weren't bad, but they also had the most random prints. i think my favorite was the one of the cowboy falling off a cliff with the caption, "hang in there, ol' buddy". i spread the word about that one, and throughout the evening various family members (by which i mean everybody) kept excusing themselves to go look at it. also, the whole place was full of antiques. but antiques in the sense of piles of old nails, shelves full of glass bottles, old iron tools, etc. the women guarding the lobby (i don't know what her official job was, but she spent the whole night perched on a stool by the front door like some kind of octogenarian sentry) told us that their "collection" all came from clients who decided to donate the stuff. my dad wanted to know if the clients donated it before or after they were in need of their services. afterwards we went to uncle bobby's (my great-uncle) and ate. a lot. the women at his church had done the standard post-funeral old southern lady job of burying his house in casseroles, macaroni and cheese, and pound cake.

the funeral itself was much harder than i thought it would be. in retrospect, wearing mascara was probably a bad idea. i did get to see the ancestral graveyard, as it were. apparently my family has been going to this church since it was built (1790s), and they are all buried in that graveyard. that was kinda cool. according to aunt annabelle (my grandpa's sister), i'm related in some way shape or form to everybody in there. afterwards we all went to the steak house to eat. true to form, everybody got the buffet, and as grammer said, "they lost money on us". i don't think there was a point in time the entire meal that somebody wasn't up getting more food. the entire parks side was there, too, all 25 or so of us. it was sort of a baptism by fire for justin. one of those "so you just got engaged, welcome to the family, meet the whole clan" kind of thing. if that weekend didn't scare him away, nothing will.

it wasn't a bad day, though. i rarely ever see that group of relations. i hadn't seen jody in about ten years, i don't remember ever meeting aunt annabelle before that weekend, and i know i'd never met jeff and charlie. sitting at the table surrounded by everybody reaffirmed my theory on parks genes: they are like a virus and they kill everything else in your DNA, so that we all a) look just alike, and b) the older we get, the worse it gets. my thought is that eventually we're all going to be either aunt annabelle or uncle bobby.

at the restaurant, we ended up telling stories about when we were all little. ashley told one i had completely forgotten about, where we were all on a picnic at linville, and mary and rachel, who were about four at the time, had to go to the bathroom. we pointed them in the right direction and let them go. when they didn't come back for awhile, somebody went to go look for them. they weren't in the women's bathroom, but you could hear them talking. they were eventually found in the men's room, perched on the urinals, and asking what the deal was with the "really tall potties". and of course the infamous Labor Day Picnic '89 video was brought up, complete with mary shoving rachel off the picnic table, strangling the cat, and grammer's immortal introduction, "hey steve! this is our annual labor day picnic and we've eaten three chickens and 27 hot dogs".

on the whole, i was really glad i went (even if i did get lost on the way back and ended up back in west virginia an hour after i'd escaped it). the drive was long, and i missed three days of classes, but i think i would have regretted not going. plus, it just reaffirmed how important my family is to me. i think it's something only military brats can truly understand. because i moved so much, they were the only thing in my life that remained constant while i was growing up. my cousins are my oldest friends. for years, when people asked me where i was from, i'd say north carolina, regardless of where i actually lived at the time. no matter what happens in my life, i know i can always go back to that little town and those mountains and feel like i've come home.

24 October 2005

observation of the night

our bathroom currently contains:

- one full fishbowl, complete with rocks, sans fish
- a richard nixon shower head cover
- "pretty princess" beads
- a jesus nightlight which is plugged in upside down

this is not normal.

then again...it's us.

23 October 2005

wasting time

Rachel tagged me. And is yelling at me through the bathroom to do something about it. So...

Rules of the game: Post 5 WEIRD and RANDOM facts about yourself, then at the end of the list the names of 5 people who are next in line to do this. Also leave a comment on their xanga/blog to let them know.

1.) when i was little, i was terrified of men with red hair.

2.) they filmed the movie Last of the Mohicans in my grandmother's backyard. (ok, so it was three miles away...same thing.)

3.) one of my dad's business partners was president clinton's orthopaedic surgeon while he was in the white house.

4.) i once got a case of poison oak so bad that my best friend didn't recognize me.

5.) i'm a direct descendant of charlemagne. and one of the wives, too, not a mistress.

umm...people...bekah, susie, matt, rainey, and erica.

at some point, aka when my stupid issues essay is done, i'll write about life.

16 October 2005

i hate midterms

eirelady84: must work, must work, must work
eirelady84: must, must, must, must, must, must, must woooooorrrrrrrkkkkk
eirelady84: blech
eirelady84: i
eirelady84: just
eirelady84: do
eirelady84: not
eirelady84: care
eirelady84: any
eirelady84: more
SandCait: CARE!
eirelady84: noooooooooooooooooooooooooo
eirelady84: noooooooooooooo woooooooooorrrrrrrrrkkkkkkk
eirelady84: i have lost my mind
eirelady84: this stupid school has finally sent me over the edge

yeah, this pretty much sums up my life right now.

i hate exams.


13 October 2005


ok. one more gripe.

you know what really bothers me? professors who don't check their email and don't keep their office hours and still get on your case because it takes a week to make up a missed exam.

thank you. that is all. i'm done now.

too many edwards

just for the record: i'm still alive. i survived the weekend. however, i may not survive my dr. smith midterm tomorrow morning. (at 7:30 A.M.!!!! WHY is he even in his office that early?!?!?) and i would like to make the point that european history would be infinitely easier if british monarchs would expand their name database beyond eight names when christening their sons. so i will update the world, by which i mean my friends who read this and any random people who may be stalking me (hey, it happens - just ask trey), on my life at a yet to be determined point in the future. but for now: death, destruction, and the invention of the printing press.

09 October 2005

is honesty really the best policy?

you know what's funny? when people say "how are you" or "how's it going" in greeting, they don't really want to know. instead, they just want to hear "fine" or "ok, how about you". consequently, i spent the day lying. i gave the prerequisite "i'm ok", instead of answering with "i'm awful - my grandpa died today and i feel like my life is falling apart" or "i feel like i'm going crazy - my life is a mess and now i get to add a painful funeral to it, how about you?" it's not that i don't want to go. it is just going to be a hard, hard couple of days. i do not, however, want to be driving for nine hours tomorrow. and i am just trying so hard not to think about how insane my existence will become when i get back. i have tests and papers for a week and a half straight. i simply do not know how i am going to get it all done. the whole thing with a paper being due four days after break is really not helping things. especially since it's for the psycho professor. and i have no idea when i'm going to make costumes or figure out orchesis. plus i've been an emotional basket case for a variety of reasons (but at least part of that managed to solve itself today).

so i'm glad i wasn't expected to say more than "i'm ok". i really didn't want to have to explain why all i've wanted to do for the past three or so days is to just break down and cry. but i'll be honest here:

i'm not ok. but i will be. eventually.

07 October 2005

would the music be loud enough?

first: happy 18th birthday mary.
second: there is no possible way i can write about my life right now without using a lot of swear words. so here's more annie dillard.

"I was gaining momentum. It was only a matter of months. Downstairs in the basement, I played "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" on the piano. Why not take up the trumpet, why not marry this wonderful boy, write an epic, become a medical missionary to the Amazon as I always intended? What happened to science? My boyfriend never seemed to sleep. "I can sleep when I'm dead," he said. Was this not grand?

I was approaching escape velocity. What would you do if you had fifteen minutes to live before the bomb went off? Quick: what would you read? I drove up and down the boulevards, up and down the highways, around Frick Park fast, over the flung bridges and up into springtime hills. My boyfriend and I played lightening chess, ten games an hour. We drove up the Allegheny River into New York and back, and up the Monongahela River into West Virginia and back. In my room I shuffled cards. I wrote poems about the sea. I wrote poems imitating the psalms. I held my pen on the red paper label of the modern jazz record on the turntable, played that side past midnight, over and over, and let the pen draw a circle hours thick. In New Orleans - if you could get to New Orleans - would the music be loud enough?"

06 October 2005

"Our father taught us the culture in which we were born. American culture was Dixieland above all, Dixieland pure and simple, and next to Dixieland, jazz. It was the pioneers who went West singing "Bang away my Lulu". Our culture was the stock-market crash - the biggest and best crash a country had ever had. It was the bread lines of the Depression and the Okies fleeing the Dust Bowl, and the proud men begging on city streets, and families on the move seeking work - dusty women, men in black hats pulled over their eyes, haunted, hungry children: what a mystifying spectacle, this almost universal misery, city families living in cars, farm families eating insects, because - why? Because all the businessmen realized at once, on the same morning, that paper money was only paper. What terrible fools. What did they think it was?

American culture was the World's Fair in Chicago, baseball, the Erie Canal, fancy nightclubs in Harlem, silent movies, summer-stock theater, the California forty-niners, the Alaska gold rush, Henry Ford and his bright idea of paying workers enough to buy cars, P.T. Barnum and his traveling circus, Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West Show. It was the Chrysler Building in New York and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco; the Monitor and the Merrimack, the Alamo, the Little Bighorn, Gettysburg, Shiloh, Bull Run, and "Strike the Tent."

It was Pittsburgh's legendary Joe Magarac, the mighty Hungarian steelworker, who took off his shirt to reveal his body made of high-grade steel, and who squeezed out steel rail between his knuckles by the ton. It was the brawling rivermen on the Ohio River, the sandhogs who dug Hudson River tunnels, silver miners in Idaho, cowboys in Texas, and the innocent American Indian Jim Thorpe, who had to give all his Olympic medals back. It was the men of every race who built the railroads, and the boys of every race who went to war.

Above all, it was the man who walked unencumbered by family ties: Johnny Appleseed in our own homewoods, Daniel Boone in Kentucky, Jim Bridger crossing the Rockies. Father described for us the Yankee peddler, the free trapper, the roaming cowhand, the whalerman, roustabout, gandy dancer, tramp. His heroes, and my hoeroes, were Raymond Chandler's city detective Marlowe going, as a man must, down these mean streets; Huck Finn lighting out for the territories; and Jack Kerouac on the road."

i was looking through an old journal and found some passages from a book we read senior year - an american childhood, by annie dillard. a cop-out post, i know. but i really like this book.

04 October 2005

i love being warm

it is a glorious day. the weather is gorgeous - sunny and warm - and i love it. everybody else keeps complaining about how they're ready for cold weather, but not me. i can't imagine wanting it to get cold. for me, cold weather = being miserable and depressed. my one consolation in the cold weather is that the leaves will start to turn. i think grove city is definitely prettiest in the fall, though it always makes me want to go to marion. nothing compares to the blue ridge mountains in the fall.

speaking of which, i was really bummed all weekend that i couldn't go to granddaddy's 80th birthday party. on thursday quinn and anna were both asking if i was going to be there. mama said it went really well, which is good considering there were 28 people there. i have a lot of relatives. even scott and heather managed to show up. the one i'd really like to see, though, is jennifer. i need to find out if she has a screen name.

homecoming weekend was fairly enjoyable. the dance was freezing, but i think it was worth it to see the wolverine dancing. whoever is stuck in the mascot suit this year is really good at it - i find him highly entertaining. the day of homecoming was madness, but i absolutely adored my old people. i ate lunch with a group who graduated in '46-'49 and i loved them. they told me some great stories. two of them, glenn and alice, had been in the outing club together and were still friends 60 years later. (glenn was the one who had on about three different name tags, because, as he said, you can never have too many.) they were telling me about how somebody would always get hurt when they went to the outing club cabin. or really, anytime the outing club got together. i quote, "do you remember the time betty planted the axe in her thigh when we were chopping down trees behind rockwell?" alice was also the one who told me about climbing on the roof of colonial dorm to smoke, and that the dean would sniff them when they came in at night, to see if she could smell alcohol or cigarette smoke. then there was peg. we became good friends. she was the one who told me about all the livestock that got set loose in south lobby, such as a cow and a flock of chickens (though not at the same time, unfortunately). it was also amusing to find out that people have been sleeping through vespers for over sixty years. the cutest one, by far, was harriet. harriet is 86 and an absolute doll. she was telling me how her husband used to flick the lights on and off in his dorm room in ketler to let her know he was on his way over, so she could meet him in the lobby. she also got real excited when she found out i had had a class in the room she and her husband donated in memory of their daughter.

the rest of the day was fine, except i got a migraine at the football game from the sun. needless to say, i crashed afterwards and slept until 9:30. then i got up and went out with theatre alumni. it was really good to see everybody. on the whole, i'd say that homecoming was a pretty good success.

now midterms are beginning. hooray.