28 December 2005

warm at last

the temperature today was in the upper 60s. we were in tank tops on the 23rd. i haven't worn a coat in four days. my cousin has been running around in short sleeves. this is amazing. sigh...do i really have to go back to the arctic wasteland?

some quotes

exhibits A - G on why i find family gatherings amusing:

aunt frances: "it's a Yankee Candle"
charlie: "is that a candle that comes down here and stays?"
aunt lubie: "no, that would be a damn yankee candle."

charlie: "'yay, socks' doesn't sound too sincere."

my grandmother: "don't make fun of your mama, or the boogerman will get you. that's one of the commandments."

ashley: "yay, sweater."
charlie: "that goes along with the 'yay, socks'."

conversation between my grandma and great aunt, while opening a nativity scene:
"it's the house."
"i think it's called a stable."
"guess who's in it."
"well, let's see, i wonder who...moses? samson?"

in reference to the stupidity of students:
charlie: "one of my students came up to me and said, 'when people have sex with farm animals, why are there no babies?' i followed with another question, 'where are you from?"

20 year old katherine, to 8 year old elijah, at the chinese restaurant:
"are you picking all the chicken out of the chicken and broccoli?"
"you're THAT guy. you're the one. you're the same guy who picks all the M&Ms out of the gorp."

unfortunately, i look entirely too much like these people to ever deny being related to them.

27 December 2005


after looking over my last post, i realized i need to clarify something. both of my parents came from the same small town in north carolina, so when we come down here, we see both sides of the family. granddaddy is my mother's father, and grammer is my father's mother. hopefully that clears things up a bit.

spent the whole day yesterday with my dad's family. it was nuts. we are all insane normally, but when we get together things just escalate. (yes, this would be the same bunch that was talking about chewing tobacco and musical chairs at the funeral home.) we did our standard christmas activity of eating assorted junk food all morning, having a huge meal in the afternoon, then eating leftovers and dessert all evening. this, plus opening presents and talking a lot, constitutes pretty much all we do on christmas. i think this conversation between my grandma and my dad really sums it up:

"We can't start opening presents. Bizza hasn't finished eating."
"That can't stop us. If we wait until nobody is eating, we'll never get out of here."

food is a big deal in my family. grammer makes all this food for christmas that she never makes any other time of the year. why she doesn't, we don't know, but the end result is that we spend the whole holiday eating nothing but cookies, chex mix, cheese wafers, M&Ms, chocolate peanut butter balls, chocolate trash, and all sorts of other things that are bad for you. health food fanatics, we are not.

opening presents with them is always an adventure. per family tradition, we all have to sit down together, pass out the presents, then go around the circle opening one present at a time so everybody can see. it sounds awful, but i love it. due to our special breed of lunacy, the gifts are often hilarious, and the reactions to them are priceless. especially since uncle john (my great-uncle) & co were there, so we had the "tacky presents" too. the Tacky Present Contest is an annual event between my grandmother and uncle john that has been going on for as long as i can remember. the premise is simple - they each try to find the tackiest gift for each other that they can, and then everybody votes on which is the worst. there are only two rules: 1) it has to be a real item that is purchased (as opposed to something that you yourself have made), and 2) it has to have originally been a serious item. nothing that is designed to be ugly or funny counts. these things are usually found at flea markets and church rummage sales. over the years, they have come up with some real gems: multiple figurines made of shells, a miniature grandfather clock with martin luther king jr's face as the face of the clock, a picture of a cartoonish devil sitting on the toilet painted on brown velvet, a platic gold fan with a clock inside of it and roses glued on (this one scared the dog), etc. this year was a tie between a hideous paper-mache cat with brightly colored flowers all over it, and an eskimo "doll" made of three round potholders, a face cut off a doll, yarn braids, and wearing ice skates made of yarn and paper clips.

we spent the rest of the time sitting around and talking. but not talking like a normal family. oh no. it's like the unwritten rule is that you have to be talking to someone at all times, but it has to be someone across the room. also, no more than three people can be talking about the same thing. bonus points if someone involved in the conversation is in another room.

jess and ryan will love this - the highlight of the day for me was the bluegrass music. my sisters play the fiddle and the guitar, my uncle terry is a bluegrass guitarist, and charlie (my dad's cousin) plays bluegrass guitar and banjo. twice during the day, they sat around picking. (for those of you unfamiliar with the ways of us southerners, "picking" is when they sorta mess around with the music, playing whatever songs they happen to think of. it's a lot of one person starting a song, and everybody else just joining in whenever they pick up on it. in the words of briscoe darling: "just jump in when you can, and hang on".) i absolutely loved it. it was true bluegrass, doc watson, earl scruggs, and lester flatts style - none of this new stuff with drums and whatnot. the only thing missing was the mandolin (and that was only because charlie left it at home). and no, this does not make me a hick. this music is in my blood, i can't deny it.

i had the best time. the whole shindig may sound a little crazy, but they're my family, and i love them. there's nothing i like more than sitting around talking and laughing with them.

25 December 2005


away from school - amazing. i got christmas break off to a hectic start: a christmas shopping blitzkrieg with peter on thursday. trust me, nothing is more akin to lightening warfare than central park three days before christmas. we spent the whole afternoon battling horrendous traffic, long lines, and stupid people. i guess that's what we get for putting off buying presents until the last minute. we managed to get everything without maiming anyone in the process, though we did decided that we each would have given up hours earlier had we not been together. that, and i was in a ridiculously good mood because i'd found a great clothing sale earlier in the day. i should not get this excited about finding more student teacher clothes.

we drove to marion on friday. i slept the entire seven hours. it was great. we got together with most of mama's family that afternoon. the evans and crosses and us went over to aunt iris' for awhile. i hadn't seen isaac in a while, he's huge now and talking a lot. loooooves sports. and, just for the record, it is really funny to see two NCAA Division I football players playing ball with a three year old. we went back to graddaddy's and met up with uncle david, scott, and heather, then the whole clan went out to eat chinese food (picking up the morgans along the way). there were 25 of us in all - and there were still people missing. my family is big. it was really good to see jennifer. she's moving to maine next month to start a job as a professor at bowdoin.

that night the four evans, my sisters, and i went bowling. the boys just couldn't stand to be still any longer, they had to get out of the house. it was...interesting. white trash central. i think it was the constant stream of people carrying beer from the bar next door that really set the mood for the whole place.

spent the whole day saturday at grammer's cause mama and aunt susan went to south carolina to see all the old relations (as in numerous great-aunts and my 94 year old great-grandmother). i basically just watched tv all day, and sorted through a bunch of old boxes of grandpa's stuff. i found some great pictures. and a lot of random, random stuff. for example, why did he feel the need to keep owners manuals for guns bought in the early 70s? or napkins from the naval academy? or eight copies of my parents' wedding invitation? i did get some military scrip from the korean war, which was cool. i'm going to have to get some mylar from work to store it in.

i saw jeff that afternoon. he's going to help me get a job!! he knows all the people who work in the costume shops in NYC, and he said just to let him know and he would tell me who to call. and the shops aren't union, just wardrobe work on broadway. it's a little scary - i never considered just packing up and moving to new york. i'm still getting used to the idea.

saturday night was the annual concord united methodist church christmas eve service, complete with the off-key choir (with aunt lubie's voice ringing out loud and clear above everybody else), the advent candle burning down to the wreath and almost setting the place on fire, and baby jesus belching in the middle of the prayer and getting really, really ticked off half-way through the shepherd's visit and having to be taken into the back hallway because he was screaming at the top of his lungs. plus, the preacher almost set one woman on fire because he had an open flame right near her oxygen tank. grammer kept leaning over to me the whole time and making obnoxious comments about everything that was going on. but i enjoyed it nonetheless. christmas wouldn't be christmas if i didn't spend christmas eve in that little church.

today was nice. we went to church with granddaddy this morning after opening presents. i got some good stuff, a few dvd's, makeup, and a nice new coat (back to the student teaching clothing thing again). we ate christmas dinner with granddaddy, aunt susan, aunt becky, uncle jim, and jennifer. i really enjoyed it. it was really weird having a family gathering at granddaddy's with only ten people there. i slept all afternoon, and in the evening the lawings came over. isaac was adorable. he'd gotten a tiny nc state football uniform, complete with pads and helmet.

speaking of nc state football...i get to go to their bowl game on saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hooray for real college football played in a real stadium!!!!! (the panther's stadium, to be exact). mama's dropping me off in raleigh on tuesday, and i'm spending the week with the evans. thursday night we're going to charlotte. i have no clue what we're doing there for three days, cause the game isn't until saturday, but i don't really care. i never get to see katherine and quinn and aunt beth anymore, and it'll be the first time i've seen the boys play ball. and the girls want to show me around nc state and carolina, including the archives at chapel hill. yes, this qualifies me as a certified nerd, but i used a lot of their stuff for my historical research paper, and it will be cool to see what else they have.

tomorrow is the christmas extravaganza at grammer's. uncle john, aunt frances, and charlie are coming up from charlotte, so the total count will be 20 people crammed in grammer's tiny living room. should be complete insanity (as is normal for us).

21 December 2005


forever. and ever. amen.

no more papers. no more exams. no more sitting in class staring at the clock wishing with all my might that the hand would move quicker. no more counting ceiling tiles while a professor drones on and on. no more staying up all night trying to force myself awake while reading. no more making flashcards. no more memorizing flashcards. no more quizzes. no more tests. no more dr. harp. no more dr. smith. no more dr. graham. no more dr. tilford. no more falling asleep in class. no more paper outlines. no more studying. no more notes. no more paper research. no more falling asleep in the basement of the library. no more skipping meals to study. no more waking up before 7am to study. no more stressing out before finals. no more classes. no more teachers. no more school

20 December 2005

at least part of me is celebrating christmas

i have discovered a new finals week phenomenon: "Christmas Eyes"

this is when you have green eyes, and wake up in the morning to find them extremely red and bloodshot. it arises from a combination of too much studying and getting little to no sleep for six days straight.

at least i'm keeping with the holiday season.

18 December 2005

bits and pieces

a quick update for the katies of the world:

- finals: three down, three to go. so far they went ok. i have no idea how the kengor one went, but i don't really care at this point. i have early modern europe and issues in education on monday, and then social problems on tuesday night. if i actually focus and get work done, they should not be too bad. if i continue the trend of last night (blowing off studying to go to kings) and tonight (blowing off studying to watch arrested development/sit around doing nothing), they will not go well. let's hope i can motivate myself to dive into the wonderful world of enlightenment thinkers and teacher tenure.

- met my co-ops last week. i think i'm going to get along with them. one just had a baby, and she warned me that she'll probably be pretty out of it the whole time because she's sleep deprived. that should be interesting. i'm teaching almost entirely 8th and 9th grade US history. the first half of the semester (8th graders) will be hard, because i maintain that it is damn near impossible to make topics such as "forming the national bank" and "martin van buren" interesting. let's be honest, the only person who wants to know about millard fillmore is dr. harp. i figure i'll just talk a lot about the war of 1812 and the oregon trail. i'm really looking forward to the second half of the semester. i'm teaching my one 8th grade class about the civil war, and my four classes of 9th graders will be doing world war ii (yay!), the 40s and 50s, the korean war, and the civil rights movement. could that possibly be more perfect for me? i don't think so. the other class i teach is 12th grade world issues, which is (to quote mrs. engels) "anything you want to talk about". another cool thing is that mrs. allio is the yearbook advisor, so she's got a period of yearbook kids, too. i've always wanted to work on the yearbook, just never had time. and i've gone and volunteered myself to help out with the musical. will i never learn?

- mary (my younger sister) got into virginia tech. she seems quite pleased, particularly because the boyfriend and several other cronies got in early decision as well. i wasn't worried about it. my thought is - if they didn't take her, who would they take. this makes me feel really old - my little sister is going to college next year. i remember when she was born. jeez - i have to become an adult soon, don't i?

- there is a boy, i believe he resides in ketler, who has some type of stadium horn or fog horn or something which makes a very loud noise. it sounds like something the rohirrim would have in lord of the rings, even if my entire suite (and caitlin) thought it sounded like a cow for the first day or so. the point is: this person has been blowing this stupid thing on a regular basis since thursday. and by "regular basis" i mean about once every two or three hours. for three days. megan and i want to maim him. and then take his horn and use it to hit the obnoxious freshmen girls who keep yammering non-stop in the study lounge. it would be like our own personal crusade, except instead of fighting infidels, we would be on a quest to purge our dorm of annoying loud people. what is it about finals week that causes the females here to shriek as they sprint up and down the halls late at night?

- i made my mother lose it earlier today by using the phrase "i want to say, 'grow some balls, and suck it up!'." carol anne said she could hear her laughing on the other side of the house. i called back a few hours later, and she said she was still laughing about it. i don't think she'd ever heard anyone use that expression, which shouldn't suprise me considering that there is nothing even remotely uncouth about my mother (this is the woman who refuses to use the words "fart", "snot", or "butt" because she thinks they're crude). i found the whole situation highly amusing. i could hear my father in the background, "well, if the shoe fits...". phone conversations with my family generally consist of talking to my mom, while my father yells random things at me from across the room, with my sisters occasionally grabbing the phone momentarily to let me in on some scintilating bit of news from the world of high school.

anyway, i should maybe think about studying. or maybe just fall asleep sitting up, like i have every night since wednesday.

so much for a "quick" update.

15 December 2005

new career goal

i want to move to kwajalein.

island paradise, men in uniform. it's perfect.

and it just so happens that there is a nice little high school there where i can teach. thank you, that is all.


i am dreading finals. i hate the feeling of doom that it brings forth. the "i think i've studied enough, but i'm not sure, so i'm going to just stay up all night and read these notes as many times as possible before i have to take it" feeling. i absolutely do not understand how people find finals to be relaxing. i've decided either a) they don't really care about their grades, or b) their finals are such that studying isn't necessarily going to help - you know it, or you don't. none of this dozens of pages of vocab terms to memorize, essays to outline, old notes to look through, etc. to give an example of what i'm talking about, here is my list of what i have to do to study for my world geo final on friday (just world geo, mind you):

- make flashcards for vocab from class notes
- memorize class notes vocab
- make flashcards for vocab from the textbook
- memorize textbook vocab
- read 4 chapters in the textbook (approx. 100 pages) at least three times
- read notes from class at least five times
- figure out the sections the cumulative portion will be on
- review class notes from previous exams
- review vocab from previous exams (both from notes and from the textbook)
- review the countries of north america, south america, and the pacific rim for a map quiz

i have a list like this for every one of my six finals.

this is why i hate finals week. i realize that my posts as of late have not been very happy, but i dread this more than anything. part of it is that i just hate actually taking the tests, because they are mentally exhausting and you come out of them ready to turn off your brain, but you have to immediately start in studying for the next one. and i know i will spend the next six days sleep deprived and wishing i had more time. also, and this is the first time i've ever done this, i started studying ahead of time. all of my vocab for all six of them are already typed, and i've done the reading for some. it's not even study day yet (well, technically it is seeing as it's 1:14 am, but whatever) and i'm going to have the vocab memorized for world geo and spec mind before i go to bed. just having the vocab typed up has saved me hours already. as a result, i'm waiting for this feeling of total panic to set in when i realize that i don't have time to study everything i need to. maybe that won't happen this time. i should think positively. maybe my working ahead will pay off and i will actually feel prepared for a final, for once. that would be very strange. all i can say is, i am so glad i never have to do this again.

14 December 2005

end of an era

today i am going to my last classes...ever. this is such a weird feeling. i'm actually getting kind of nostalgic. why, i don't know, but i am. i think it's because suddenly 17 years of my life are going to be done, and nothing that i do from now on will be anything like it. never again will i have to stare at a clock, counting down the minutes until a teacher stops talking. i won't have to buy textbooks, read a syllabus, or write down homework assignments in a planner. i won't write any more papers, give any more presentations, listen to any more lectures. this should make me ecstatic. it's just such a huge change. going from high school to college wasn't that different. i was still just trying to stay awake during class, finish homework on time, make it to rehearsals, etc. going to classes is easy - i'm used to it. i know what i'm supposed to do, it's what i've always done. you go in, sit down, listen for an hour, write down everthing the professor says, and then go on to the next one. now i've got to figure out my life without someone handing me a schedule and telling me where to go. i guess it has a lot to do with the fact that i'm scared to grow up.

12 December 2005

and it begins

1:08 am. monday morning. we have now officially entered finals purgatory. this is where you spend the few days before finals trying to study ahead of time, and then feeling guilty when you don't. finals hell officially begins at 3pm on wednesday. it will not be pretty. sleep will be lost, meals will be skipped. but then i get to go home.

11 December 2005

missing christmas

you know one of the things i hate about college: you miss christmas. you spend the three or so weeks between thanksgiving and christmas break rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off, going to rehearsals, performances, writing papers, freezing in the snow, dreading finals, studying for finals, beating your head against the wall because of finals, taking finals, and contemplating the sadistic tendencies your professors seem to possess as manifested in the finals. then you finally get home, crash, wake up 36 hours later, blink a few times and realize it's christmas eve, then BOOM! the whole thing is over and you're in the car driving home from your grandmother's house wondering why your life is going by so fast.

it's not that you don't know it's the christmas season. the college has thrown up a few wreaths, silent night is the closing hymn at church, and the pop-up ads on the internet have red and green packages and christmas ornaments on them. somewhere in the recesses of your mind, behind the cafeteria lines, finals schedule, and economic development of southeast asian states, you are vaugely aware of the yuletide season. but you don't have time to enjoy it, or even dwell on it for more than about 4.2 seconds.

it makes me miss being a kid and looking forward to christmas for weeks ahead of time. decorating the tree, buying presents, making cookies, watching various assorted holiday movies on tv (because, as we all know, christmas isn't christmas until you've seen the griswolds blow up the christmas tree). this was driven home to me a few days ago when my mom left a message on our answering machine (causing yet another roommate to cackle in amusement at my mom's accent - seriously, people, you need to spend some time in the blue ridge mountains if you think she's bad). she wanted to know if i wanted to put my ornaments on the tree, or if they could go ahead and finish it. and we're not one of those tree-goes-up-the-day-after-thanksgiving-and-the-presents-are-under-it-by-sunday families. no, we're more of the, "oh yeah...maybe we should get a tree" type. so her question definitely meant that christmas was basically going to be over by the time i got home, and this made me sad. so...at least one benefit of graduation and being forced to become an adult will be that, once again, i will get to experience christmas.

09 December 2005

bamboo sticks, barometers, and ballets

my roommate (a.k.a. megan, a.k.a. churro) informed me quite indignantly that i had not updated in a week. so...a few brief snapshots of my life as of late:

1.) orchesis ended well. the injuries were minimal (one head bashed against a locker door, and the "girl we can't identify getting whacked in the leg with a bamboo stick during the lion king dance and then bleeding across the stage" incident) and set strike didn't take very long. though the pit did break in the middle of it. at least it had the decency to wait until after we'd gotten the little theatre risers and jazz band platforms up onto stage.

2.) actual conversation with the suitemate on the way to dinner. she was irritated because we had to walk across campus.

rachel: "It's soooo cold."
laura: "It's not that bad."
rachel: "You and your stupid barometer."
laura: "Rach...a barometer measures air pressure."
rachel: *growl* (insert indignant scarf flip) *stomp*stomp*stomp*

3.) i've started job hunting. it is not fun. i've officially sent my resume to the pittsburgh ballet. i haven't heard from the woman yet, but i'm consoling myself with the fact that it is the middle of the nutcracker and she's probably a little busy. yesterday's attempts with the DC jobs i'm looking at resulted in an angry-frustrated-violent-swearing-crying spell. the whole thing makes me want to become a professional homeless person in santa cruz. a phone call to my father made things much better, though. i love my daddy.

4.) life lesson of the week: when you throw your keys across the room in a violent rage, it is helpful to remember that later when you can't find your keys.

5.) i'm going to cleveland tomorrow to see various assorted sandhams in peter pan. i'm looking forward to it. yet another caitlin/brian/rainey/trey/laura road trip to ohio. it will be interesting to see the very blonde lindsay play an indian.

6.) brendan has decided he wants to write a sequel to peter pan. i have been laughing about it for three days. this is because, in brendan's version, smee becomes a good guy and learns to fly. he also has a fairy, but instead tinkerbell played by a little light and chimes, smee has tunkerbutt, who is played by a large spotlight and a gong. for some reason this absolutely cracks me up everytime i think of it. i think it's because "tunkerbutt" is just a funny word.

7.) current favorite thing: arrested development. i adore this television show. caitlin and i are a little obsessed. we watched 22 episodes of it from 3pm on tuesday to 10pm wednesday. we're watching season two tonight. i highly doubt we'll be going to bed.

and i just realized that i have 15 minutes to get to pew. damn. i am running the light board for the jazz concert. HA! i don't think joe quite realizes what a silly decision that was.

02 December 2005


why am i incapable of going to bed early? even when i have nothing to do.

on an unrelated note, orchesis opened tonight. it went very well, if i do say so myself. we pulled off the techie dance - no small feat considering we were still practicing 15 minutes before the house opened. but i somehow feel that this was keeping with the spirit of the whole thing.