And Even the Hamster was Asleep

There has been little studying this fine Sunday, and more movie watching than I care to blog about.  But I will anyway, of course.

For starters, it’s lovely outside.  42 degrees, breezy, and sunny.  Not the kind of weather you expect in the middle of February, but then again, this whole winter has been all kinds of unexpected.  Remember that winter when there was no winter?  I do.

After yet another uneventful Writing Room shift (apparently no one needs paper help from noon to 2 pm on a Sunday afternoon), I headed over to the HFA to watch the latest Politics and Film movie assignment:  “Nixon.”  The 1995 version, featuring a sad, sad Anthony Hopkins.  I could have handled Mr. Hopkins alone, but not paired with such a ridiculous movie.  I’ve never before been hit over the head so many times in one film.  Instead of letting the actors, well, act, the director felt he had to use flashbacks to make sure we knew exactly what the characters were thinking at all times.  The effect was awkward and annoying and dizzying.  Luckily, other people in my class like to make fun of bad movies just as much as I do.

Then the ex-Pine Hall dwellers gathered to watch “Clue.”  A little ridiculous for my taste, but I’m rawthur picky when it comes to comedies (or satires.  Or satirical comedies).

Now I’m sitting in our semi-dark apartment.  Feezap the hamster is quiet in his cage; the only noise is the drip from his dangling water bottle.

I’m awake because I have a story to comment on for our first round of workshops in Fiction Writing.  It’s a very good story; I read it this afternoon.  I also couldn’t immediately think of anything to comment on, which is troubling.  What’s the point of a workshop if nothing constructive can be said?

I guess until I think of something I’m stuck in the dark with a hamster who, despite being nocturnal, is sleeping quite soundly.  Gosh, it would be nice to be a hamster.

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Stress-Relieving Chocolate Hamsters

Here’s what we do in M6 when the Mondays get us down:

1.  We hold Feezap, the tumor-afflicted hamster who still manages at least 1,000 wheel reps a night.  Feezap is small, grey, and unassuming.  I try to give him a smile and an affectionate “Bye Feez” when I pass his cage on my way to class, but sometimes I forget.  Tonight, Feez, after crawling around my hand for a while, gave my finger a sniff and then gnawed on it for a few seconds, until he was satisfied that all of the blueberry lemon hand soap had dissolved between his tiny teeth.

2.  We make devil’s food instant pudding, and do our best to ignore the powdery taste that inevitably lingers in instant puddings.   It is chocolate, after all.

3.  Finally, we go into our rooms, shut the door, and sit down at our desks.  We stare at our bulletin boards for a few minutes, blankly taking in the Obama Inaugural, the Beatles Rubber Soul, the Support the U buttons that we pinned up on earlier, more earnest days.  Our readings have been printed.  There is no excuse for Twitter, for Facebook, for IMDB (me), for CollegeHumor (Maddie).  Taking a few cleansing breaths, we set off into Studying, into the land where nobody dies except for Richard the Lionheart and historical figures like that.  It’s bright in Studying, and not unpleasant in the least.  We’re enlightened here, we’re intelligent and brave.  If only it wasn’t such a struggle to get through.