Fin 2012

I have just come to the startling realization that I do not own Wuthering Heights.  My favorite of the Bronte novels, the quintessential Byronic, I-just-want-to-hole-myself-up-with-lightning-in-the-background-and-rage-at-Cathy’s-moronic-actions-and-then-cross-my-arms-in-smugness-because-now-Heathcliff’s-available novel.  Or at least, that’s how it is for me.

Anyway, I dug for about fifteen minutes, came up with six other books I should read in the near future (Les Miserables unabridged; Life of Pi; The Last Lecture; This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen; The Wit of Oscar Wilde; This New and Poisonous Air, in case you wanted to know), but no Wuthering Heights.

Presently, I’m not sure what to do about this problem except to pout about it.  Easy enough, as I’m already missing Dick Clark and dreading my New Year’s 5K tomorrow.

All that aside, the true purpose of this post should probably be to lay out the future of Eight Days a Week.  After all, this blog was created for a 2012 New Year’s resolution, and the resolved duration was only a year.

However, although I’ve shirked, and although this is only the 293rd post (is it possible that I dropped that many days??) and not the 365th, I love the darn blog too much to drop it permanently.  I hereby resolve, then, to keep things going indefinitely, to blog even more in 2013 than I did in 2012, and to generally whine less about paper writing and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Happy New Year, friends.  Thanks for reading.

2012 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Snow Day

This afternoon, we decided to go down to the lake to shovel off a rink.

It wasn’t too cold with snow pants and jacket on, and the lake was vast and littered with icehouses.  Across the way, we could see bodies moving back and forth, no doubt passing beers and measuring catches.  Every so often, a snowmobile would go by, vibrating on wide skis.  Sometimes the driver would wave to us, but often he wouldn’t.

We carved out a huge rink, plus goals, plus Amy, dope that she is, spelled out “—- [our last name] Arena” with her small shovel.

Ruby ran back and forth with her toy, only pausing to let us pick clods of snow off of her paws.  She pretended to balk when I dumped shovelfuls on her back, but from the way she pranced afterwards, snow sifting down her sides, I suspect she liked the attention.

Christmas Eve

For almost as long as I’ve been blogging, I’ve written a Christmas Eve post every year.

2009

2010

2011

This Christmas Eve, I’m once again sitting on the couch gazing at the tree, feeling steeped in family and ham with cheesy potatoes.

We’ve had the traditional Christmas activities:

Cookie Baking

Extended Family Christmas Eve Party

Last Minute Shopping/Wrapping

Mexican Train

Christmas Jigsaw Puzzle (which Amy takes over.  I have not the patience for such things.)

Christmas Movies (The Santa Clause is my favorite)

Christmas Eve Mass (and the resulting pew dozing, which is simultaneously irreverent and inevitable)

It’s funny to be twenty-two, and to remember past Christmases when I could hardly sleep for excitement, and to look forward to future Christmases which may not be spent in Minnesota or with family.  It’s funny to feel that I just want to soak up more togetherness, and that I don’t really need a thing under the tree.  It’s funny to be mature and blase and (slightly) boring.  It’s funny to be too old to run around with the kids at Christmas parties, and to instead sit up straight with the adults (and be offered alcoholic drinks).

This is getting to be a nostalgic post, and while I do think that Christmas is the perfect time for nostalgia, and for rewatching those Christmas home videos in which you are quite blatantly opening your little sister’s presents “for her” and coveting them shamelessly, I also believe in merry Christmases and bright futures.  May you have both.

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MIA

I’m so sorry I’ve been MIA.  But truthfully, there hasn’t been much to say.  I’ve been working at Target.  Most guests are in the holiday spirit.  Some aren’t.  I pulled a calf muscle pushing flats piled with paper towels around the store.  So it goes.

What I really want to tell you, though, is that last night, my gentleman caller and I went to see A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie in Minneapolis.  It was a great time: The acting and music were wonderful, and I was appropriately terrified when the last ghost came out amidst blasts of fog and crashes of thunder.

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Afterward, of course, all we wanted was Italian food.  It was 10 pm, and surprisingly for the city on a Saturday night, not much was open.  Pizza Luce was, though, so we camped out there for an hour or so, eating slices and giggling like children at the waitress who wouldn’t stop refilling our sodas.  (Good service, I guess, but it became slightly disturbing after a while; she was watching us too closely).

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Now, however, I’m off to work an overnight.  10 pm to 6:00 am.  Luckily, I’m armed with ugly sweater, holiday spirit, and Coke.

Three Things

Three Things:

1.  A 24-pack of Coke, when dropped from the height of an average person’s clutching arms to the waxy white linoleum, can spray sticky pop astounding distances. (For once, I wasn’t the one who dropped it)

2.  Grades are in.  Grades should not be shared in public places.  Thus, I will not do so.  (But hallelujah I did better in Grammar and Language than I could have ever imagined)

3.  It doesn’t feel like Christmas to me yet.  I don’t know what the problem is: the tree is up at home, I have most of my shopping done, and I work at Target, where an entire corner of the store is roped off that guests may toss rolls of wrapping paper at each other and elbow each other out for the last box of discount Christmas cards.  I think the stress of finals stunts holiday enjoyment, but hopefully things will pick up soon.

 

In Which I Abandon Virginia Woolf in Pursuit of a Career in Retail

I am done with that dratted paper, I am home, and I just finished my first Target shift of the year.

Retail–particularly department store work–has always struck me as rather bleak.  I don’t mean to insult anyone’s work, but I’ve actually had nightmares about spending the rest of my life folding sheets in the same two aisles of Macy’s.

But there are high points, too.

Like the lady who stopped me and said, “I remember you from the speech team!  You had a lovely voice!”

And the child who saw me tiredly shuttling Triskets from one cart to another, and asked if he could help (how I wanted to say yes).

And the couple who, reading from their granddaughter’s Christmas list, asked me to explain to them what Webkinz are, and what Maximum Ride is, and what the purpose of a sock monkey is (I was stumped there).

The best high point of all, however, is that I am now home, tucked into bed, and gleefully getting ready to watch an episode of the John Adams HBO miniseries.

Paper Writing with Virginia

Writing this Virginia Woolf paper, I feel as though she and I are engaged in a battle of wills. I have to wrestle with her for every sentence of analysis; I have to put her in a headlock to obtain an entire paragraph.  Virginia (as you may have experienced, grappling with someone typically puts you on a first-name basis with them) is the most present of any author whose works I’ve read.  I’m not sure how to explain this, exactly.  I’m not seeing visions of her (our sparring is purely imaginative), but I feel her.  Sometimes when I’m frustrated over a contradiction I’ve just discovered in my thesis, or utterly unable to decipher a passage, I look up from Mac and say aloud, “I am not afraid of you.  Let me write this, please!”  Sometimes, Virginia seems to relent, but sometimes she crosses her lace-covered arms and looks down her nose at me.  She has a long nose, but the effect is still good.  She twitches an eyebrow (and I am terribly embarrassed to admit to myself that she looks like Nicole Kidman in The Hours).  I tremble and shed a few tears and flop back against my pillows and attempt to recover my dignity.  I think that’s what Virginia would have done to people in real life.  I think she quietly, sometimes humorously, floored people.

I’m going to get back to it now.  Virginia is eating the Sour Skittles I got on Halloween and pursing her lips in the most Victorian manner possible.  Oops, now she’s futzing with my electric hair dryer.  I may have to give her a book and make her sit in the corner until I’m through.  I highly doubt, however, that I’ll be able to prevent her from giving me that look and from calling out highly inappropriate quips every fifteen minutes or so.

I’m not seeing visions.  7.5 pages to go.

Confessions

1. Today, for the first — and hopefully, last — time in my life, I used the phrase “butt out” in an essay.  It was my Latin American History final exam essay question, to be exact, and the more I wrote, the angrier I became at the way the U.S. has treated Latin America throughout the years.  I wanted my conclusion to be some sort of heated statement about how the U.S. needs to clean up its foreign policy, and for some reason, the only way I could think to express that was to essentially say that the U.S. should “butt out” of Latin America.  I debated writing this, sitting in a classroom at 9:30 a.m., flipping through the scribbled-on pages of my blue book.  And then I decided that the rest of my essay was solid enough that two words of the conclusion wouldn’t affect my grade, and that my professor was young enough and lighthearted enough to appreciate a little coarse humor, and that it was 9:30 a.m. and I was past caring about niceties anyway.  So I laughed to myself, turned the darn thing in, and went home.

2. Although I use both frequently, I honestly don’t think I have a firm grasp on the difference between a colon and a semicolon.

3.  Sometimes I buy people gifts that I actually want myself.  Sure, I only buy them when I know the recipients will actually enjoy said gifts, but beneath all of that holiday spirit is a selfish desire to give a gift simply so that I can be in close proximity to said item without the guilt of having bought it for myself.

4.  My room is a disaster, tra la tra la.  It’s actually become hazardous: I slipped on a scarf a few minutes ago and was sure that my left wrist would not survive.  Luckily, I grabbed on to my drying rack at the last second and regained my balance.  It should also be noted that said drying rack has been “drying” the same five red shirts for about a week now.

5.  I’ve been on a serious grapefruit kick lately.  I don’t know if the stress of finals is making me crave immunity-boosting citrus or what, but I swear I could actually feel myself going through withdrawal yesterday when I ran out.  Is drool a sign of grapefruit withdrawal?  Okay.  Don’t answer that one.

6.  As soon as I go home for break (I’m aiming for Sunday afternoon or Monday morning), I plan on diving into the most sentimental, comforting books I own.  Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, etc. I saw a quote the other day that said, roughly, “Life’s too short to read the same book twice.”  I couldn’t disagree more wholeheartedly.  I say, “Life’s too short to force oneself to read a new book when one really wants to read Little Women for the twentieth time.”

7.  Finals update:  Only one 10-page paper left.  Yes, that’s a lot of pages.  No, I haven’t started the actual writing yet.  Yes, I will be locked in the library tomorrow.