stupid pet tricks

If you're regular readers of my site, you'll know how crazy I am about my cat, Elliott, and his amazing ability to play fetch (I chalk it up to dumb obedience in dogs but genius in cats. Guess my bias is obvious). However, what my brilliant cat has yet to figure out is that "The Game" is getting old. Really damn old. I fling the rubber band too many times to count, and he faithfully brings it back with a nudge and a trill each time. I've pulled the whole hiding it in my drawer trick--"Oops, I can't find it...can't play The Game anymore!"--but he always manages to find another somewhere in the house. Very resourceful, that cat.

Good God, it's driving me crazy. All I want to do is go to bed. All he wants to do is place the rubber band on top of my head and meow pitifully and persistently while I'm trying to sleep. There has got to be a new game I can teach him, something that only requires, say, one participant?

09-30-2002 10:02 PM - comments (0)

love letters and hate mail

You can leave comments now! So please do so, even on older posts. I'd love to hear from all of you!

(*kisses to the boy*)

09-30-2002 9:00 PM - comments (0)

election season wreckage

It's been election season for quite some time, and Missouri is no exception to the rule that states all political ads must be annoying, offensive, cruel and stupid. My former roommate, Meredith, is working on Jean "My dead husband received more votes than John Ashcroft" Carnahan's Senate reelection, and had quite a few things to say about the mudslinging ads. "Most come from the state parties, not the candidate," she said. "That way if something too offensive is said about an opponent, the candidate's people can just say it was the party's fault." Which would explain why the Republican Senate ads in Missouri are so vicious, I suppose...

I just saw an ad for Bill Gratz, candidate for State Senate. Although the ad never said so, I surmised he was a Republican, judging by the number of tractors and pro-life group sponsorships shown. At the end of the ad, the voiceover announced that Bill Gratz stands for "Missouri values" while showing Mr. Gratz riding on a, well, tractor. Because no one clearly identified what "Missouri values" are or how they differ from other states' values (I've always wondered if Kansas had loose morals or if Texas had a problem with alcohol), I'm forced to believe Missouri values boil down to farming and riding on tractors. Actually, that's probably what Mr. Gratz' campaign wants to leave in the voters' minds: the common farmin' folk understand old-fashioned values. Them city folk with their higher education are corrupt, bureaucratic Democrats.

Don't think for a second I espouse those particular beliefs. I believe making the connection between "values" and "agrarian society" does a grave injustice to state farmers and those who happen to work in the white collar industry. I wish candidates would give their potential constituents more credit.

**UPDATE: My brother pointed out, "Why would candidates give their constituents any credit at all? They're all morons... as pathetic as those ads are, they probably work because of who their target group is." Very true, but it doesn't change the fact that tractors are really, really funny.

09-30-2002 9:40 AM - comments (0)

meat is murder

Yeah, so I think Cait has stolen my soul or something. Every so often, I'll read something on her site and think, "Wow, so am I!" or "I think so too!" I chalked it up to her impeccable taste and personality, clearly. But now I know she's taken my soul, because at 3:29 today, she declared her intent to become a vegetarian.

I declared this exact same thing at around the exact same time to Christie, complaining that I've become a fast-food whore and all-around unhealthy lump of flesh, fat, muscle and bones. Christie is skinny, but more importantly, she's healthy. I figure mimicking her diet for a semester can't do any more harm than the chalupas I just consumed (call it my last chance for greasy ground beef before tofu mania takes over).

I'll buy the same food she buys and follow the same diet she follows (um, I'll probably allow myself bigger portions. No matter how healthy I want to be, I can't see myself calling a two pieces of wheat bread and a slice of cheese "lunch"). We'll work out more together--three times a week--and generally be supportive of each other.

If at the end of December I haven't lost any weight, I'll go back to fast food and never look back. Somehow I can't see that happening, but who knows with me?

09-29-2002 2:24 PM - comments (0)


I'm really excited to be embarking on a girls day/night out with Christie, Melissa and Meredith. I haven't seen Meredith in a really long time, and she's always a lot of fun (in that girly-meets-intelligent Democrat kind of way). Plus, shopping for hours on end always delights me. I love the feel of filled-to-the-brim shopping bags in my hands. Go ahead, pull out the Freud and figure it out.

Like most people, I'm much happier when there's something to look forward to. It's why fall is my favorite season (Halloween is just around the corner, and after that comes snow, Christmas and my birthday). I find myself listless and cranky when nothing big is coming. So this morning is wonderful, because besides the St. Louis shopping extravaganza, tonight we celebrate Christie's 21st, and next weekend both Chase and our moms come to visit. It makes me feel physically good, like there are really nice sensations running through my body. Isn't that weird?

09-28-2002 9:51 AM - comments (0)

dear diary (and complete strangers)

I'm going through a decidedly non-posting phase right now. I'm sorry.

It always makes me laugh when people write "It's my journal, and I can post when I want to. I'm not writing for you. I'm not obligated to anyone but myself." All very true, but we bloggers have to admit we're writing for an audience. Otherwise, we'd be keeping all of our thoughts in a composition book hidden away in a drawer somewhere.

We come to this game with a certain amount of ego and self-indulgence. Nothing wrong with that.

09-27-2002 9:47 AM - comments (0)

weekend plans

It seems like everyone I know is really unhappy right now. I wish I could do something.

This weekend. Oh, it's going to be crazy and busy. Starting right now:

1. Shower, shave legs, makeup, etc.
2. Collect laundry
3. Pack for Michael's
4. Go to class
5. Go to Michael's
6. Dinner, movie (Moonlight Mile, hopefully?), much-needed Friday night with the boy
7. Meet for shopping with Christie, Melissa and Meredith (!) Saturday afternoon in St. Louis
8. Dinner with Michael
9. Drive home to prepare for Christie's 21st birthday
10. Drunken blur for rest of Saturday night/Sunday morning (at least from Christie's perspective)
11. Homework, cleaning, errands for rest of Sunday (and maybe a surprise visit from the boy)

Yeah, whew.

09-27-2002 9:43 AM - comments (0)

cultural bankruptcy

As part of a requirement for my Cross-Cultural Journalism class, I had to watch a movie about Israeli and Palestinian teenagers tonight. I dreaded attending; this was the very last session being offered as part of some ethnic awareness film series. I was sick of hearing about conflict in the Middle East.

The premise of the documentary was to have Israeli and Palenstinian teens attend a camp in Maine to learn about each other's culture. After the camp ended, they were sent back to their homes with camcorders and asked to tape their lives for a year. The documentary showed footage of the kids arguing heatedly about who was to blame for the neverending conflict, but more importantly, they showed footage of the kids visiting each other's countries mere miles away, crossing borders most are afraid to cross simply to have dinner with each other.

I left feeling more alienated than I have been in a while. Regardless of their religious and political differences, both groups of kids had an impassioned sense of history and place in the world. The young Palestinians visited their new friends in parts of Israel that used to be their families' homes only 50 years earlier. One wept as she collected soil for her grandmother from the small grave of a Muslim holy man, a person who deserved more than a neglected, littered final resting place. The Israelis felt as if their homes had been taken from them during the Holocaust and believed that they belonged in the Holy Land, because that is where God promised they would be safe. Each felt entitled to the land and their history, but the teenagers were finally able to see more similarities than differences with each other. They wanted to co-exist and they wanted the violence to end, but they still wanted to take pride in their culture.

I am American. I don't know what it's like to be intertwined with culture and history in such a way that they wholly define me. In some ways, when people come to this country, their cultural ties no longer have to be binding. They can retain the parts of their past that they find uncomplicated and discard anything else that they find troublesome. Call it the melting pot, call it compromise, call it assimilation; it's the only way we've ever lived.

It explains why our society is obsessed with celebrities du jour and fast food and brand-new cars. Everything can be replaced in an instant; we live in a disposable society that would rather trade up than improve what it already has. History and a permanent cultural identity are irrelevant; they demand far too much of us: our time, our interest, our loyalty. Why be faithful when it's so much easier to be adulterous? We're a people with a collective fear of committment. Do any sort of rudimentary media analysis and that much is painfully clear.

I know I've made a lot of negative, sometimes ignorant comments about culture, and I still believe that culture is almost always the cause of closed-mindedness and violence. But sometimes I wonder if the trade we Americans have made--a sense of past for comfortable living--was truly worth it.

09-25-2002 8:43 PM - comments (0)

tuesday night dance party

Our neighbors came over for a rousing version of Dance Party U.S.A. last night. I suppose that's what happens when they drop by bearing gin, Tom Collins mix, Jack Daniels hard cola and a 24-pack of beer. Even Christie, who had a test earlier this morning, succumbed to our relentless peer pressure and had a drink (somehow, some way the sentence "You'll do better on the test if you're drunk" was used. Drunk people will say anything to ensure everyone else is also intoxicated).

Melissa played a bunch of her handy party mix CDs, though one of the guys rejected everything from Sinatra to The Police to Loverboy. At least he was all right with Def Leppard and Guns 'n Roses. Oh, and John Mayer, which is great but so totally not Dance Party U.S.A.-material.

I even graced the crowd with my ACDC dance (one leg up, air guitar-playing and hopping across the room and back, all while wearing the appropriate black poorboy hat with silver studs) and signature Rachel moves, which I have now updated to include upward movement as well as the standard downward movement.

To try the dance, hold out both arms straight like you would on a foam kickboard for swimming. Stand with knees slightly bent and about shoulder-width apart. Move arms from one side of your body to the other in a jerky, epileptic-type fashion; the actual movement resembles patting down the air above your knee (keep palms flat). Keep arms perfectly straight and almost robot-like. If the song requires it, you may add more rhythm and hip movement. The tempo is usually two shakes of the arms on each side, but can be increased or decreased as you see fit. To gauge how you are doing, consult a mirror and determine the following:

1. Do I look like Frankenstein's monster while doing this dance?
2. Am I avoiding any unncecessary head or foot movement?
3. Can I imagine people squealing with pleasure while watching me do this dance?

If you answered yes to the above questions, you have mastered the dance. I can say no more. Perhaps one day I'll be able to show video clips on the site, and you, like my neighbors, will be both mesmerized and delighted by my own performances. Until then, you shook me all night long.

(Happy belated 19 months, Michael! I can't wait to see you Friday)

09-25-2002 9:36 AM - comments (0)

no man will admire her the more

Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by Jane Austen's biting wit:

"Catherine knew all this very well; her great aunt had read her a lecture on the subject only the Christmas before; and yet she lay awake ten minutes Wednesday night debating between her spotted and her tamboured muslin, and nothing but the shortness of the time prevented her buying a new one for the evening.

This would have been an error in judgment, great though not uncommon, from which one of the other sex rather than her own, a brother rather than a great aunt, might have warned her, for man only can be aware of the insensibility of man towards a new gown. It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart is affected by what is costly or new in their attire; how little it is biased by the texture of their muslin, and how unsusceptible of peculiar tenderness towards the spotted, the sprigged, the mull of the jackonet.

Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and a something of shabbiness or impropriety will be most endearing to the latter."

-Northanger Abbey

There you have it. Men don't care in the least about what we women labor so painstakingly over, and other women are jealous hussies who want to steal our men because they can't get their own (did I just say that? I really do like some girls, honest).

09-23-2002 7:46 PM - comments (0)

flights of fancy

Warning: The following account reflects an unhealthy appreciation and/or respect for a university and its surroundings. For the author, this appreciation and/or respect signifies her growing school spirit, something she does not like to admit. Please excuse her frightening behavior, as autumn tends to encourage her flights of fancy, which she recognizes as being both irrational and disturbing. She is working on the problem.

I was sprawled out on the Quad today. Legs akimbo, arms stretched heavenward. That's how I sprawl. Seventy degrees and the bluest sky I've ever seen, with a quiet wind rippling through the giant oak and maple trees. I felt positively Wordsworthian, drunk on nature and in love with God. I love my campus. I love my school. I love how grand the old Columns stand. I love how Jesse Hall commands the respect of anyone walking by. I love how in this one place, nature and man have come together in an altogether comfortably romantic manner, and I love that I am letting myself appreciate it.

The thought, I'm going to smell like outdoors, didn't cross my mind until now. My financial troubles, my resentment toward the newspaper I work for, my fiery rage at political leaders, religion and the whole world simply did not exist.

At a red light earlier today, I watched the cars drive by. I tried to imagine what their lives were like by the make and color of their car and by their bumper stickers. They're not really happy. None of us are really happy, was all I could think. It wasn't a judgment, but rather a sad realization. We might have a promising job, a perfect romantic relationship, great friends, money, intelligence, talent. But there's always something in the way of complete happiness. If only I didn't... If only I wasn't... If it weren't for...

I've never met anybody who could tell me otherwise. Want a boyfriend or girlfriend? A better job? A better body? Would you be satisfied then? I doubt it. You'll probably just find something else that needs fixing. There's always something standing in the way.

There's no great moral to the story here. There's no advice I (or anyone) can give to solve the problem that has always plagued mankind: It's never enough. But I can say that sitting out in the soft grass with the sun shining brightly in a cloudless sky can make you blissfully unaware of what you don't have. We all need a little ignorance every now and then.

09-23-2002 12:55 PM - comments (0)

coming soon

I've been meaning to set up a comment system on ouranophobe for quite some time, and it looks as though I might be getting one soon. I think people are a lot more likely to leave comments than send an e-mail. I can't wait to see what people have to say.

Anyway, my weekend was full of Michael, Mexican food, unbirthday parties (the Kool-Aid was quite possibly the most disgusting thing I've ever consumed. So much for my artificial sweetener idea), The Good Girl and popcorn, Steak n Shake, beautiful autumn weather and bedroom remodeling. It's unfortunate a boring week of school has to follow such a great weekend.

09-23-2002 8:23 AM - comments (0)

unbirthday troubles

How long does it take two coeds to blow up six balloons? Well, according to my research with Christie last night, a ridiculously long time. I had planned on blowing up 22 (someone's magic number for an unbirthday today), but yeah, after almost passing out, we only managed to get six put away. Maybe our lung capacity is abnormally low? Maybe manufacturers of the modern latex balloon are abnormally insane!

Also, for those of you living on your own or are planning on doing so, may I suggest purchasing large quantities of sugar, just in case? I had already opened the packet of black cherry Kool-Aid (someone's favorite drink) and poured it into the plastic container when I realized we were out of sugar. I searched high and low and came up with a box of 100 packets of artificial sweetener. I'm a devoted love slave for the boy, I suppose, for I carefully opened all hundred packets to make almost the requisite one cup of sugar. It took me almost as long to open the packets as it took to blow up those wretched balloons.

I might also suggest never making your own cake. It might sound like a charming idea, but believe you me, it's not. It's not smiles and hugs. It's forgetting how many cups of water you've used; cracking eggs open unintentionally; attempting to kill the fruit flies that would desire nothing more than to take a swim in gooey chocolate batter; spilling the batter everywhere but where it's supposed to go; and lastly, trying to take the cooked cake out of the pans and realizing half of it wanted to stay in the pans, leaving you to devise some half-baked (no pun intended) plan that involved using frosting as glue and spatulas to beat the cake into submission. At least I spelled his name right on the final product, although I squeezed some gel out by accident near the words and had to draw a heart on top of it, which led me to draw three more hearts elsewhere on the cake.

Happy birthday, indeed.

09-20-2002 2:33 PM - comments (0)

it's like prostitution....without the sex

Had a dream last night that my dad took Christie and me to a movie that was for some reason being shown in a bar. We had terrible seats and he wouldn't let me have popcorn. I threw a temper tantrum, and a nun came up to me, put black thigh-highs on my arms and massaged my hands. This is why I don't tell you about my dreams.

Does anyone have any money to buy me something by Chloe or Gaultier? Oh yeah, what's with weblog people demanding that we buy them things from wishlists? I'm just kidding about the clothes, but it always smacks of something screwy when people are guilting you into buying things. Especially people you don't know. Do they give those lists to their real-life friends? I think my friends would beat me to a bloody pulp and/or roll their eyes if I presented them with a list of things to buy me for no reason. Get a job, people, and then buy those things for yourself! We will no longer be your sugar daddies!

Maybe if you get me this Nick Cave album, I'll link you for a day...

09-20-2002 9:06 AM - comments (0)

cleaning displacement theory

I don't get it. Today was one of those days when I decided it would be a good thing to be domestic. I cleaned the bathroom--Windexed the mirror, scrubbed the countertops, mopped the floor and washed out the tub and toilet--vacuumed and mopped downstairs, cleaned the kitchen, did all of my laundry and cleaned my room. I'm sure the roommates are not going to mind. I felt like such a housewife, especially with my soap operas playing in the background. Really, that's the only way I can enjoy those things; if you spend the full hour paying close attention to dialogue and plot, you'll end up disappointed (and might be rendered brain-dead).

I might sound perplexed about my psychotic cleaning spree, but I intentionally took the day off to recuperate. From what, I don't know. It's not like my life has been that complicated or stressful recently. I wish I were the kind of person who could relax when there was nothing else to do; instead, I get listlessly frustrated (can I say that?) and have to find something--anything--to do. Sometimes it's going to a movie, sometimes it's going out to dinner, sometimes (gasp!) it's working out. I simply can't sit still for more than an hour at a time, yet I don't want to be working or going to school.

See? This is why I need to marry rich. I could be a philanthropist, serve on the boards of museums and charities, and build houses for the poor. I could clean the house every now and then, I suppose, though I'm sure we'd have a maid and chef to assist us. My days would always be full, and they'd be full of enjoyable, rewarding things. Can't someone help me out?

09-19-2002 1:18 PM - comments (0)

the best girl

I don't care if I had a thousand boyfriends. JAKE GYLLENHAAL IS MINE!

P.S. Michael, I'm just kidding.
P.P.S. Christie, I mean it.

09-18-2002 10:22 PM - comments (0)

and now a word from our corporate sponsor

While perusing my list of visitors on sitemeter, I noticed someone from had stopped by earlier today. This information, coupled with the newfound knowledge that my aunt reads ouranophobe (hi, Aunt Linda!), makes me a little uneasy. I automatically reread each post on the main page, hoping I hadn't said anything too questionable. I try doggedly to keep this site...respectable.

Well, I'm in luck. My entries range from completely inane to superficially girly to outright judgmental. But nothing of which I'm too ashamed.

So to whomever is visiting my site from Dow Jones: Thanks for the generous scholarship you sent last week. I had a marvelous time training in Austin and interning in Amarillo this summer.

09-18-2002 5:41 PM - comments (0)


*While reading the Better Life (health, science, etc.) section of USA Today--I didn't have time to read a real newspaper, I'm brainless, I'm a typical American consumer, yadda yadda yadda--I thought it would be a nice idea to e-mail the section editor about Michael's research on the Wedding Photographer robot. After all, it's been publicized by the BBC, so USA Today seems like the next natural progression. (Can you tell I'm the beaming girlfriend?)

At the bottom of the section, there's a note as to how to contact the ednation doesn't have any skilled copy editors to ensure mistakes like that don't get made? What? Application, please. Hey, I can be snotty when it comes to mistakes of that magnitude.

*I received my official School of Journalism Graduation Check List today. I learned that I have to satisfy some computers and information proficiency requirement (dating a computer science master's student isn't enough?) and that I have 12 hours left in order to graduate. Coincidentally, they're all journalism courses, which proves to be a problem: the J-School doesn't permit its students to take more than 9 hours of J-classes a semester.

I have to write an appeal letter to Dean Rob "I'm the biggest tool in the world because I said women shouldn't be journalists if they can't handle being in situations that might result in them being raped" Logan. He actually did say that to me during my second semester here. One of my labs met at 7:30-8:45 p.m. on Mondays, and I lived in a dorm that was quite a distance away. It was that time of year when it gets dark extremely early, and two rapes had been reported on campus the semester before. I didn't think I needed to justify my reasons for wanting to switch labs, but I did so anyway in a letter to Logan.

That's when he called me, berated me and made the aforementioned comments. I talked to the professor of the course, and she switched me out, completely surprised that the associate dean of the Missouri School of Journalism would be so unprofessional. So my most recent dilemma...that letter should go well, don't you think?

09-18-2002 12:55 PM - comments (0)

there's more to cs boys than you'd think

I'm extremely pleased that David has taken a liking to Hemingway. I became enamoured of Spanish culture after reading my dad's copy of The Sun Also Rises that he's had since college (what can I say? I guess good taste runs in the family :). Sometime before I die, I want to watch the running of the bulls and sip coffee on a terrace in Pamplona. It's even more enticing to me than seeing Paris. See what a good writer can accomplish?

As early 20th century literature is some of my very favorite, I have some recommendations for David once he finishes A Farewell to Arms:

*This Side of Paradise F. Scott Fitzgerald

*Any and all of Hemingway's short stories

*The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce (and his short stories such as "The Dead" from Dubliners. They're beautiful)

*Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf (I can't see David liking this, but I'm putting it on here anyway. The contemporary companion, Michael Cunningham's The Hours, is wonderfully written and is being turned into what sounds like a fantastic film. I suggest reading both simultaneously)

*An American Tragedy Theodore Dreiser (the film version, A Place in the Sun, starring Liz Taylor, is also excellent)

*The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck

*The Waste Land and Other Poems T.S. Eliot (and get back to me on this. I need someone to discuss it with)

*Any of Faulkner's short stories. I found them more palatable than As I Lay Dying

*Anything by e.e. cummings

As I see it, Steinbeck is the most skilled writer of the bunch, but Joyce is the most talented. Anyone who can leave you speechless for hours after finishing a novel deserves all of the praise he or she can get.

09-18-2002 10:23 AM - comments (0)

something happens

I am completely obsessed with the song "Head over Heels" by Tears for Fears. I blame it on Donnie Darko, which I am also now obsessed with. I can't get over how cool the scene in the movie that used the song is. And the beginning of the song is so damn good. Argh!

I noticed that one of Chase's songs of the day was the other Tears for Fears song they play in the movie (also wonderful), which made me very happy.

So I'm doing what I do with every song I become obsessed with: I'm playing it about 10 times in a row, leaving the room so everyone knows I'm still alive, and coming back and starting over. Then I call the local radio stations and request it every day. They played my sound clip on BXR Monday and I sounded desperate and depraved. "Please...can you please play "Head over Heels?"...I just need to hear it..."

I wanted to be with you alone
And talk about the weather
But traditions I can trace against the child in your face
Won't escape my attention
You keep your distance with a system of touch
And gentle persuasion
I'm lost in admiration could I need you this much
Oh, you're wasting my time
You're just wasting time
Something happens and I'm head over heels
I never find out till I'm head over heels
Something happens and I'm head over heels
Ah don't take my heart
Don't break my heart
Don't throw it away
I made a fire and watching it burn
Thought of your future
With one foot in the past now just how long will it last
No no no have you no ambition
My mother and my brothers used to breathe in clean in air
And dreaming I'm a doctor
It's hard to be a man when there's a gun in your hand
Oh I feel so...
Something happens and I'm head over heels
And this my four leaf clover
I'm on the line, one open mind
This is my four leaf clover

09-18-2002 9:03 AM - comments (0)

politics redefined

I wanted to thank both Cait and Nick for directing me to the political philosophy of libertarianism. Much of it aligns with my own beliefs, especially the emphasis on unabridged freedom of speech. My next question is, are modern-day libertarians faithful to the platform? I don't know very many libertarians. One of my best friends in high school, Ryan, considered himself one (I don't know if that's true anymore, as I haven't talked to him in a long time. Kevin, can you help me out?). Ryan was extremely principled and liked Ayn Rand an ungodly amount (yay!). And now that I know Cait and Nick are also libertarians, my opinion of the philosophy is improving even more. I wonder if I'll be jumping ship. Anyone else want to jump in on the debate?

listening to: "The Big Come Down" - nine inch nails

09-18-2002 8:54 AM - comments (0)

time to make the donuts

I've been unable to post for the last two days, yet here I am, writing another entry. Blogger must not realize my life is going on at its regularly scheduled rate.

There was all-out war in my Cross-Cultural Journalism class. We were discussing gay and lesbian marketing, and the "professor" (I think she's half penguin, half minority rights martyr) showed us a couple of dozen print ads that were either directly or vaguely targeting that community. Complete and utter uproar ensues after each ad she shows. Let's just say she didn't start off on a good note--she described a TV ad for Uncle Ben's wherein a woman calls her boyfriend, upset that he hasn't shown up for dinner. She says, "Is she cooking for you again?" to which he replies snidely, "No, he is." Okay, yeah. He's totally talking about Uncle Ben, right? According to Professor Penguin, he's with his gay lover, making rice and an AIDS quilt or something. (Stop being offended. Some of the ads involved the AIDS quilt.)

There were definitely some ads that were aimed directly at the gay community, but most were plain old ads having nothing to do with sexual orientation. Apparently using any sorts of colors equates your company with the gay community. At one point, a guy in my lab (we were the most raucous of the lecture, thank you very much) sarcastically asked if Skittles were targeted to gay people. "There's a lot of debate about these," the professor responded vaguely. A few seconds later: "But they do say 'Taste the rainbow.' Hmmm."

When she was showing examples of "negative" targeting, she said the worst offender was a Dunkin Donuts ad that showed our diminutive hero wearing a dress and covering his mustache so he could spy on other donut-makers. Offensive to transsexuals, she pronounced. I yelped. Really. And Lab 1E yelped with me. We're all open arms and equal rights. We're all bleeding hearts and free speech. We've just got far too much sense to nod in agreement to Professor Penguin's inanity, because those sorts of shenanigans are hurting the gay community more than helping.

09-16-2002 12:28 PM - comments (0)

donnie darko an amazing movie.
1. Jake Gyllenhaal is immensely talented and unnaturally good-looking
2. The characters (with exception to Gretchen, as played by the inept and uncharming Jena Malone) are complex and interesting
3. The plot is captivating
4. The direction is beautiful and unpretentious
5. It is a movie made by a smart person for smart people (I don't think that makes it pretentious. I hope not)
6. I've never seen a scene controlled by music so aptly and movingly (the "Head Over Heels" by Tears for Fears school scene)
7. Jake Gyllenhaal is immensely talented and unnaturally good-looking

09-15-2002 7:09 PM - comments (0)


There is no easy way to say this, so I'll just be honest: Michael is quite possibly the most wonderful human being in the world.

We had been shopping in the Galleria in St. Louis a couple of weeks ago when I noticed a store called Build-a Bear Workshop. My aunt had talked about it before, so I knew you could pick out an animal, name it, dress it, etc. I wanted one. Badly. But it was closing time at the mall, so Michael said we could come back another time and he would get me one. All I did yesterday was talk about getting a bear or an elephant. I think I had settled on an elephant wearing a raincoat. We got to the store, and Michael later said I was so enchanted that I wasn't paying attention to anything else. They had so many different animals to choose from, and the very cool thing is, they stuff them right in front of you. I finally picked out a very soft bear with light brown fur.

Watching all of the little kids was so adorable--they were so happy and excited that I started to realize the expense of the whole thing was very much worth it (it actually isn't that expensive, so if you get the opportunity to make a bear, do it). I had a feeling the woman who was stuffing it wouldn't ask me to pick out a heart from the machine that was blowing little fabric hearts up and down, rub it to make it warm, make a wish and kiss it (like she was asking all of the little kids to), but she did. So here I am, a 21-year-old girl with her boyfriend next to her, rubbing a little heart in my palms and making a wish for my bear in the midst of smiling kids. It was so wonderful.

The woman stuffed my bear and put the heart I had chosen inside of him, then sewed him up. Then we gave the bear an airbath--you push down a pedal and air comes out of these little shower heads so you can clean off his fur. I named him michaelbear. Michael patiently helped me as I changed my mind a dozen times about his outfit. They did have a raincoat, but it just didn't look right. I also liked the karate outfit, but I remembered I already had a karate bear than Jen gave me one time. Then Michael and I had a great idea: If it was a michaelbear, it needed to look like Michael. We found a black t-shirt and blue jeans, and he looks just like a bear version of Michael.

I know it's silly, but I brought him along with me everywhere we went yesterday. I buckled him in the backseat when we went to Steak 'n Shake, and I brought him with us when we went to see the midnight showing of Donnie Darko at the Tivoli (I'll post something about the movie later today). It just makes me ridiculously happy. Somehow being involved in the process of making your own stuffed animal makes it so much more sentimental, especially when the boy you're naming it after is right there helping you.

09-15-2002 11:26 AM - comments (0)


*In my Outlook Express address book, there is a listing for "Bubs." I have no idea why.

*On page 364 of The Italian, whoever owned the book before me had written "Alabama Dance Mix," along with underlying random words such as "fled" and "horror."

*I am growing obsessed with the new gourmet taco/burrito restaurant they built in downtown Columbia called Chipotle. It opened Monday and I've been there three times already. The food is decent, and the decor is very hip...but I don't understand why those things alone are compelling me to spend all of my money on tacos.

*As I was showering today and scrubbing with some extraordinarily girly shower gel from Victoria's Secret, I thought, Does this need of mine to use girly bath products and to act like an otherwise silly female detract from the impression I try to promote of an intelligent, thoughtful, genuine human being?

*Michael is decidedly grumpy that I have decided to post instead of pay attention to him. He is like a small child that constantly needs attention and love. Or something like that. Whatever it is, it is endearing enough for me to stop posting post haste.

09-14-2002 3:51 PM - comments (0)

a long time ago

"change in every little desire
we were counting on forces we could not control
oh, and all those things you realized
were nothing more than a memory displaced

so the story's told beyond our grasp
we were climbing forever an infinite task
shoulders straining with the endless toil
we're nothing more than a feather moving in the wind

i want to change everything
i want to change everything
i want to change everything
i want to blame everything on...

oh, and all these seeds will grow anyway
even though the outcome we cannot say
so you'll always have your time to shine
even in the winter of your darkest hour

i want to change everything
i want to change everything
i want to change everything
i want to blame everything on...

in the depths of my gloom, i crawl out for you
from the peaks of my joy, i crawl back into
cutting me down every time you smile
every shining time you arrive..."

listening to: "Every Shining Time You Arrive" - Sunny Day Real Estate

09-13-2002 10:30 AM - comments (0)

black and white

My professor for English 328 (Post-Colonial London and Ethnic Literature, I think) is a complete dingbat. She keeps using the term "irregardless," which is not a real word. She also acts surprised when we bring up major events in the news, like Amadou Diallo being shot over two dozen times by police in New York ("What? Really? I hadn't heard that!").

To add to her stupidity, she is also vehemently anti-white (she is white, coincidentally), and if she asks what ought to be an open-ended question about racism and someone answers with something that she doesn't want to hear, she tells the person he or she is wrong. For example, we watched a Hanif Kureishi movie called Sammie and Rosie Get Laid (that guy from Fine Young Cannibals is in it, weirdly enough), which revolves around the mid-'80s London race riots. There's one scene where police storm an apartment where a black woman and her son, who is apparently a suspect in some crime, live. The son, upon realizing it's the cops, runs away, leaving his mother in the kitchen to fend for herself. The cops enter the kitchen and she throws the scalding grease from her frying pan onto one of their faces. The other, not realizing what happened but only hearing screams of pain, fatally shoots the woman.

A guy in the class said the cop might have reacted in such a manner because his partner had been attacked and that the reason they were storming the apartment to begin with might have been because the son had committed a serious crime. The professor told him he was crazy, that flinging scalding grease onto someone isn't reason to shoot them and that he probably needed to ponder his own latent racist tendencies.

Sometime during the conversation about the movie, the comments that "all cops have power trips" and "all cops in LA are racist" were made. I'm not the biggest supporter of law enforcers, but I think it's wrong to make generalizations based on a few bad apples. Isn't that the same faulty logic racists use?

Interestingly enough, there's one black girl in the class who apparently gets to speak for all black people. She too became horribly defensive when said guy made his comments. When the professor asked the class the other day if "reverse discrimination" (inaccurate term, but it refers to the idea that other groups besides Caucasian can be racist or prejudiced) existed. I answered yes, that it would be ludicrous to assume only white people could be ignorant. The black girl started yelling at me, which I think was uncalled for. The professor also joined in on the Rachel- and white-bashing.

The ironic thing is, I consider myself to be fairly liberal and am extremely interested in race relations and black culture. I didn't expect an educated woman in a position of power to promote uninformed, racist views on white/European culture. And yes, there is European culture, just as much as there is black or Asian or Middle Eastern culture. Let's not be hypocrites, okay? Respect should be a mutual thing.

It's starting to be difficult to be a liberal. Sometimes liberals are far too self-righteous and self-important for me to want to be associated with them. But somehow I doubt I'll ever sell my soul to conservatism. I just wish I belonged somewhere politically.

09-12-2002 5:35 PM - comments (0)

september 11

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

How grievously wrong the terrorists were. They could fly a thousand planes into a thousand buildings, but they still would not be able to weaken the dignity of our freedom. No, that is firmly planted in the soul of every American.

09-11-2002 7:49 AM - comments (0)


We may not have gotten to see The Good Girl tonight (damn the popularity of Ragtag), but we did get to spend a couple of hours "studying" at Country Kitchen. By studying, I mean:

*Making horrible puns and having otherwise ridiculous conversations. When Kaity mentioned Bruce's band, Asia Minor, had broken up, she said it was major news. "I would say that'," I replied with an Austin Powers-like tone. Then we were talking about how fun it would be to go to the Renaissance Fair this year, but as astronauts instead of medieval wenches. "What? Didn't you say to come as moonmen?"

*Telling each other our favorite perfumes and then deciding to take a trip to Kansas City to smell every perfume in every store to find the right one for us (hey, we're girls. It's allowed)

*Going on about boys and even though cologne is a very wonderful thing, we also really adore the way boys smell right after a shower (again, we're girls. Shut it)

*Trying to decide if Melissa should write a letter in crayon that asks her current crush, "Do you like me? Check yes or no."

Oh yeah, and check out Alanna's site. She's awesome, and I'm going to steal her guitar-playing ability. And I might as well steal her guitar while I'm at it. Don't give me that disapproving look. No, but really--how can I resist someone who would say something as kind as this?

flannel68: i'm excited to read about a woman who can be intelligent, analytical, and extremely literate without being afraid to admit the girly stuff. that takes guts, and i respect you for it

She's goes to Columbia, my dream school (see? she has to be smart), she's funny and a great musician. So go!

09-09-2002 9:20 PM - comments (0)


I posted my essay on September 11 two days shy of the anniversary because I'm certain the Internet, like every other medium, will be deluged with commerorative pieces, reactions and responses to the tragedy. One less thing to read on Wednesday might make your life easier. Also, I plan on spending the day in some semblance of mourning and will probably not be posting at all.

09-09-2002 6:18 PM - comments (0)

positive reinforcement

Today was one of those days that reinforces my academic existence. I float through my classes until grades are posted, and positive or negative behavior I might have displayed throughout the semester is not reinforced, because I am too exhausted to figure out if the extra studying I did for a midterm or the lack of work I put into an essay ultimately affected my grade. Because I receive little feedback on my work, I'm content to do things in my own peculiar (read: studying never required) way.

But today was different. I read my editorial to the class...out loud while my hands shook...and the feedback ranged from "great word choice" to "you're such a strong writer" to "your words really jumped out at me and made me pay attention to your message" to "your analogies are great" to "I really liked your use of the term 'funeral crasher'" (the editorial is at the end of the post if you'd like to read it and give me some of your own feedback). When I got home, I saw that my Jane Austen professor e-mailed me with a response to my work thus far in the class:

Your response on Austen's Catharine, Camilla, faults, satire, and authorship is marvellous. It's a model response. Your question, too, on Austen and religion is an important one I am sure we will be returning to. Your response on Radcliffe is equally strong, and the sections I quoted from your response in class are superb. I would grade your work thus far as a high A.

I am very much not trying to show off; I'm just pleased I'm getting things right. There are times I wonder if I really am a decent writer or if I've somehow just tricked myself into thinking so. There have been enough times in my life when teachers and peers and writing judges have told me as much, but I think I'm just a poor girl with enough self-deprecation that being complimented actually serves as a reminder that I'm not crazy.

September 11: A reaction for the anniversary

For my generation, there was no precedent for Sept. 11. There was no yardstick by which to judge the severity of the attacks. There were no handy guides on how to deal with the tragedy emotionally and practically. In some ways, our response to the event as a nation was completely honest and unscripted; we reacted instinctually. So when flags were hung in houses and candlelight vigils were held across the country, I wasn't surprised. Most people naturally react to tragedy with genuine reverence.

I was not prepared for the almost-immediate anti-American backlash. Sometime during the day after the attacks, intellectuals declaring we had deserved the bloodshed trampled our shocked mourning. America had been carrying out "terrorist" actions against the rest of the world since its inception; we were finally getting our just desserts, claimed the dissenters.

Clearly, our nation's greatest strengths lie in our democratic form of government and subsequently, our right to free speech. So why should people who felt that the attacks were justified have been silent? To me, it was the equivalent of someone crashing a funeral, speech slurred by alcohol, angry because he or she didn't think the deceased deserved memoriam. Common decency and sense would dictate that one wait until the wound has been tended to before airing one's grievances so brashly. The only difference between my example and the real-life tragedy was that in no way did the more than 5,000 people killed deserve anything less than our complete sorrow and respect. The funeral crashers fired off their hate-filled, anti-American rhetoric without once considering the victims.

The problem is, it seems most people fall into one of three categories: the blind, stupid rightists; the disrespectful, stupid leftists; and the unfortunate people who get their opinions straight from television news. The rightists want a flag sticker on every car bumper and a gun in every hand to ward off potential terrorists. These people may or may not also harbor irrational hatred toward our Arab-American neighbors. On the other side of the fence, leftists want to invite any surplus terrorists over for dinner and entreat them to use us as target practice. After all, if America is so vile, shouldn't we offer ourselves to our sanctimonious "friends" so justice can be carried out at once?

I can dismiss the rightists' idiocy with a wave of the hand, because I don't think blind patriotism or xenophobia is what America ought to stand for. Likewise, it would be foolish to be swayed by the opinions of a bland, clueless middle America. It's the leftists who worry me, because they're the ones I normally count on for leadership and guidance. Their most recent error in judgment has left me stunned; I want to shake them and ask, How is it that you can rattle off incidents of American oppression but can't see that killing 5000 people is just as despicable? If the tables had been turned--if American civilians had flown planes into prominent Kabul buildings because we didn't approve of the way Afghan women were treated--what would these dissenters say? Wouldn't they be horrified? They might agree with the sentiment, but would have to despise the barbaric manner in relaying that message. So why is that same barbarism, now occurring on American soil, invalid?

This is not to say that the anti-Americans have no legitimate arguments. Americans have long been criticized for their lack of knowledge and interest in foreign affairs. We are regularly painted as selfish heathens who use our black capitalist magic to benefit at the world's expense. This is not entirely unfounded. But in no way is the murder of thousands of innocent people the appropriate way to attain justice.

Frankly, the terrorists' arguments were neither so righteous nor judicious as anti-Americans would like to admit. The terrorists saw America as a country with too much money, sex and rock and roll--roughly translated to a free market economy, women's rights and free speech. They hated to see our influence traverse halfway across the globe into their own carefully guarded pits of repressive morality. Their method in delivering this message of intolerance was never meant to make us rethink our legislation or foreign policy; they had to have realized that such an attack would only shake us out of our ignorance long enough to become hateful and vengeful, as any people would rightfully be after being savagely attacked.

The most ludicrous thing is that the reason these attacks were able to be carried out is because the terrorists loved their culture so much that they would kill to preserve it. Anti-Americans are able to understand this fanatical perspective and respect it, yet they can't extend the same graciousness to their own country.

It is unfathomable to me that some of our fellow Americans find it easier to sympathize with trained assassins than their own countrymen, whose biggest fault was never having too much hate, but rather, too much apathy.

09-09-2002 6:15 PM - comments (0)

instant messaging breakdowns

I've been taking a bit of any AIM break recently, so all of you kind, decent, witty and interesting people who keep IMing me even with no hope of me responding, it's not you. It's me. Don't give up now. We can make this thing work.

Speaking of people IMing me, my brother only does so to order me to read A Confederacy of Dunces and download some obscure Bob Dylan songs.

ottohbk: 1) are you reading confederacy of dunces
ottohbk: 2) did you listen to that Dylan song
ottohbk: 3) have you ever heard of ester drang or denali because i saw them in concert last night

The above conversation represents about 90% of the IMs my now college freshman brother sends me. But this one includes a foreign element, which happily means my brother thinks about more than just that one book or Dylan. So yes, Andy, I'm reading the book, I downloaded the song and I've heard of Denali but not Ester Drang. Also, it's about time you starting being proactive about your love for Bob "Please don't mistake me for the homeless guy outside 7-11" Dylan. I suggest writing him in for president. But then you'd need two translators when the president went on trips abroad.

listening to: "Transformer" - The Smashing Pumpkins

09-09-2002 9:44 AM - comments (0)

global politics or kung fu?

I don't know if it's the inordinate amount of time I've spent listening to Tool's Lateralus recently or that my new piercing has promoted me to badass status, but I've been as fiery as a hellcat recently. This attitude came in very handy as I wrote my first paper for my editorial writing class. The topic was September 11, so I chose to write about how ridiculous leftists have been in the last year. If I get an A, I'll post it, okay?

I was telling Christie about how everyone in my editorial class is super passionate about politics. The following is our conversation, which I can't remember fully, so I apologize for any possible misquoting:

Rachel: Yeah, it's weird because on the first day of class, I mentioned how liberal I was, and then some guy said it was perfect because he was really conservative and liked a good political debate. The other day, he was giving an impassioned plea for why the School of Americas should be closed down and how America is so selfish and uses its influences to hurt other countries. There I am, saying how disrespectful liberals have been to the victims of Sept. 11 and how no country actually goes out of its way to be nice to another country. Of course America's foreign policy is the way it is--it's all about economics. It wouldn't be in our best interest to help someone at our expense, clearly. And the silly thing is, every other country in the world acts in the same manner. Anyone who's taken a class in global political economics would understand this. Actually, you don't even need a class to know that. I just said it because it makes me feel special that I have taken a class in it. So the point is, I had assumed the conservative role, and he had assumed the liberal role.

Christie: It's good that you and he can have strong political beliefs and still be flexible enough to not fully adhere to one party's platform.

Rachel: Yeah, we even shook each other's hand after class.

Christie: Then you bowed to each other? (simulates bowing)

Rachel: Yeah. Then I karate-chopped his ass.

Ah, gotta love open-mindedness. And friends who will listen to you complain at length about things you have no control over. And how stupid I sound in conversation, even conversation I've embellished because of a faulty memory.

09-08-2002 6:42 PM - comments (0)

saturday night

I bought a Polaroid yesterday with the goal of documenting my life in photos. Then I realized the film costs $12 for 10 pictures, and decided to document only the really necessary things, like getting dressed up, going to parties and standing like mannequin with Michael and forcing frozen smiles. This little experiment might not work out so well.

We went to Shattered for '80s night last night. By we, I mean Melissa, Jenny, Jrk new wave to the ridiculous bubble-gum pop. We take too many shots and too many pictures after taking those shots. We cram into a car with our sober driver and sing to Nelly. We rave about how fun it is, and how fun it's going to be. We emphasize the latter; there's always hope for the future. Then we get there, dance a little bit until our feet feel sore from the black stilettos. We shriek when "Need You Tonight" by INXS or anything by the Pixies comes on. We smile as people smile at us. We ooze confidence and sexiness in our red dresses and black skirts and perfect hair. We absorb the dark feel of the club for an hour, letting the rest of our sun-filled lives become a distant memory as the beats pulse.

But somehow, we end up separated and confused. Something happens to damage the exuberant feeling--too much alcohol, too high expectations--and we leave in pieces in a tired, sad mess. The eyeliner rubs off and we smell like cigarette smoke. And it happens every single time we go, and I think that either something is very wrong with us or very wrong with Shattered, and I think maybe I don't want to go again.

09-08-2002 4:46 PM - comments (0)

duplex love

Our neighbors came over last night, shocking everyone. It's a guy and two girls, and the girls' boyfriends came over, too. They brought chocolate chip cookies and beer, and we watched Office Space and talked and laughed. Kenneth and Sam were there too, and those guys are very quickly becoming fixtures here. It was really fun, and now I know why Melissa is always so keen on getting to know our neighbors and organizing block parties and such.

This is the third year Christie and I have been in 3509 Delmar. We've seen several sets of duplex neighbors come and go, and the most socializing we've done with any of them is to wave and smile. The last guys who lived next door had a bunch of deer and weasel bones lying around, so avoiding them was probably in our best interest. But there are six duplexes on our cul-de-sac; I say it's time to make some friends.

Also, Kenneth likes Christie and Christie likes Kenneth, and it is simply adorable and smile-causing to see two people develop a crush like that right in front of you. And hey, I predicted it. Then again, I think I had a little to do with her relationship with Evil Chris, so maybe I shouldn't be so smug.

listening to: "Playground Love" - Air

09-06-2002 9:51 AM - comments (0)

constantine levin, my hero

"Don't I know the stars don't move? he asked himself, looking at a bright planet that had already shifted its position to the top branch of a birch tree. But in watching the movement of the stars I can't imagine to myself the rotation of the earth, so I'm right in saying it is the stars that are moving."

-Tolstoy's Anna Karenina

09-05-2002 5:47 PM - comments (0)

english class

It feels weird to be in English classes again. In any other class, there are right and wrong responses. There are boring homework assignments and tedious labs and group projects that one person always gets stuck doing all the work for. For me, English classes are an escape. They're classes where as long as your answers are thoughtful, you really can't be wrong. Unique perspectives are welcome and encouraged, and it's refreshing to be in a room with 20 other people who are as passionate and multidimensional as you are.

When I first came to MU, I assumed journalism classes would be the same. I've had a few outstanding ones, such as magazine writing and communications law. But for the most part, they're dry, boring and require little to no creativity or passion. Discussion is not encouraged, nor is healthy disagreement regarding news articles or lecture material. The J-School operates much like a well-oiled machine (though it would get some argument from me as to how efficient or effective it truly is), and there is no room for thinking outside the box. There are too many well-respected, tenured professors who think change is merely a dirty word in the vocabularies of crazy leftists.

So if journalism is my passion, then English is my first love. And in English classes, seldom are there the annoying overachievers, the ambitious kiss-ups or the indecisive bores that line the figurative halls of the J-School. My guess is that it's because journalism is a career and English is not.

09-05-2002 5:34 PM - comments (0)

um, yeah

Honey, if it makes you feel any better, I don't discriminate. I think all organized religion is absurd. Of course, even more absurd is why you'd get so worked up over something so insignificant. I mean, come on, they're Mormons.

P.S. In case my last remark was about to compel you to post another educational and altogether boring defense of the rich history and tradition of purity and family that is Mormonism, you should keep in mind that no one really cares. I was only kidding. It was just a joke. Get it? Oh, right. That would require a sense of humor.

09-04-2002 8:18 PM - comments (0)


I added some webcam photos to my album.

09-04-2002 5:08 PM - comments (0)

idiotic religions explained

On the way home from Michael's this weekend, a billboard caught my eye. It read:

"Bible Factory Store! Up to 75% off"

I'm not sure about the Bible Factory Store, but when I go to the Gap, Banana Republic, Nike, etc. factory stores, the items are generally labeled "irregular," suggesting errors in the manufacturing process. One typically shops in a factory outlet if brand names appeal to him or her, but he or she is too thrifty to pay full price in "regular" stores.

If I understand the purpose of the Bible Factory Store correctly, I think I finally have the answer to the burning questions, "How did Mormonism and Scientology start, and why do people subscribe to such messed up religions?"

09-04-2002 9:27 AM - comments (0)

spiritual exercise

Christie, Melissa and I were doing yoga tonight, which is a weird enough image as it is, but even weirder when you add Elliott bumping into us during downward dog and meowing to get us to play his rubberband game with him. After about 20 minutes of deep ohjaie (?) breathing, I gave up and grabbed my strawberry banana Sobe and Radcliffe's The Italian with the intention of getting my reading done before class for once. I guess I'm just not cut out for yoga. Who am I kidding? I'm not even cut out for the pink spandex leotards that the instructors wear. This is probably a very, very good thing.

Anyway, I hope you'll all join me in wishing a happy first birthday to Elliott, who celebrated the day with Meow Mix Seafood Middles cat food (a variation from his normal, healthy Iams Kitten Chow), Purrfections cat treats, catnip and a new toy, which he succeeded in nearly breaking four times in an hour. That's my Elliott.

09-02-2002 8:08 PM - comments (0)


Agie mentioned that she was a bit apprehensive about college. I think it's sad that as a society, we pressure 18-year-olds to map out their entire lives, and those who can't do this without some apprehension are labeled as immature and unprepared.

When I was a senior in high school, I was set on majoring in broadcast journalism (!) at either Syracuse or Boston University. Both had accepted me and showered me with scholarships. University of Texas-Austin and University of Missouri-Columbia were my back-up schools. Basically, I had applied to them to appease my parents, who thought it might be shortsighted to only apply to Tier 1 schools. During some insane, frenetic moment a week before I had to officially decide, I chose Missouri. In retrospect, I have no idea why. It certainly made things easier on my parents financially, but it didn't possess the glamour or, well, private-school appeal of Syracuse and Boston.

A few months later, I was a happy-go-lucky freshman, making new friends and discovering the joys of lax attendance policies and emo shows in St. Louis. I changed my emphasis to news-editorial. A few months after that, I called my dad in tears, saying I had to go to law school or I would regret it for the rest of my life. He just laughed knowingly. A few months after that, I received admission into the prestigious Missouri School of Journalism, set on being the star reporter for the Missourian. A few months after that, I swore off newspaper reporting and applied for and was accepted into the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund's copy editing internship program. A few months after that, I realized copy editing was but one of my many options upon graduation in May; alongside it lay teaching, reporting, public relations, law school, grad school, etc.

Last week, I changed my major to magazine journalism. I'm pretty sure I won't be changing it again in the next nine months. I'm satisfied in knowing that when I do graduate--on time and with credits to spare--I will have at least two job offers on the table and plenty of diverse courses under my belt. I'm not alone; practically every person I know is in this same wobbly boat with me. We're going to be fine.

So I suppose my advice to my college-bound weblog friends is this: Be flexible. You don't have to know right this second what you want to do. You probably should narrow it down to something as broad as engineering or liberal arts, but beyond that might be unnecessarily limiting. I'm sure I'll get some arguments from this, but I also believe college selection itself can be irrelevant. Most universities offer similarly wonderful learning experiences, and I'm fairly sure I would have made just as many friends and had just as much fun at Syracuse or Boston. I'm just glad I ended up where I did.

That said, if you've always wanted to go to Princeton and major in English Lit, you owe it to yourself to follow through. Just don't get trapped in the dreams of a person that doesn't exist anymore. Changing your mind does not mean you're going to be living in a van down by the river in 10 years. As for me, I'm just glad I'm not going into broadcast journalism. Those people are super shady.

09-02-2002 5:19 PM - comments (0)

finishing the portrait

Michael and I were driving home from the Galleria--we had just seen Road to Perdition and my eyes were in a sorry, wet state from the last line of the movie--when we came to the sad conclusion that time seems to slip away unnoticed. I can't tell you where I was a year ago today. I can't tell you where I was a week ago today, for that matter. We let moments pass through our fingers and have taught ourselves not to care. "Tomorrow is a new day" and such. Even our diaries consist more of witty statements and interesting observations than truthful accounts of our lives. Obviously, the former are more appealing for posterity. A simple journal of our daily happenings might accurately reflect our lives but inaccurately reflects what we wish our lives really were.

Even the diaries I kept in high school were faulty presentations and representations of who I was. I was the star in my own life, and triviality and banality had no place in it. Only the melodrama--the late-night whispered phone conversations, the stolen kisses after school, the vicious gossip, the heartbreak--could claim space in my pages. If I hadn't destroyed the evidence in a fit of rage and embarassment one day after I started college, I would have thought the 16-year-old me had more excitement and intrigue in her life than a soap opera character.

I don't like to think my current journal bears any resemblance to my journals of the past, mainly because I attempt to eradicate any drama that slips into my life before it has a chance to be written about colorfully and exaggeratedly. But I'm fully aware that this journal does not adaquately represent me, because I painstakingly choose what to include and what to exclude. After realizing this paints me as a skeleton of a person, I've decided to keep a second journal, one that, as best it can, will truthfully tell the story of my life. Will it be painfully dull at times? Yes, because my life is painfully dull at times. Aren't yours? Why lie about it? But I probably have enough adventure and interesting happenings to make the rest of it bearable. Or so I hope.

09-01-2002 8:02 PM - comments (0)