Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Christma-Thanksgiving

My holiday with family in Belleville:

(Where Pennsylvania lives up to its stereotypes.)

Bugged family.

Devoured too much popcorn.

Visited a country store.

Had my camera stolen several times by this one.

Played a rousing game of White Elephant Christmas exchange.

And, as always, ate way too much food in my Mema's garage.

And a Merry Christma-Thanksgiving to all the Werner family!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And we shall call him Scruffy

Yesterday Kara and I were dreaming on Skype about the day that we return to South America.

Our dreams are very concrete:

Kara: Lets get a dog when we live in Buenos Aires.

Me : Ok, we'll get a dog! I don't know what types of dogs they have in Argentina...

Kara: Oh! Can we get an ugly dog? I love ugly dogs.

Me: But I love wrinkley dogs! (pathetic face)

Kara: They are ugly.

Me: Fine. An ugly wrinkley dog.

Kara: Good. But you know we'll just end up with a stray or something...

Me: You can't take in street dogs in South America!

Kara: Well, a mutt then. Oh! And we have to find friends to leave it with when we go. Or just leave it with one of our ex-boyfriends.

Me: We'll have many. Or the dog can just be our excuse not to go back: "Nope, sorry, how could we leave? What would the dog do?"

We didn't get to naming it. C'mon now. Choosing a name already would just be ridiculous.

You can't just plan every detail of life like that. :)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some PA Dutch dialect that needs preserved

Recently in my linguistics class we've been discussing dialects, different ones used across the US and our own.

And so ever since I got out of my linguistics class this morning I've been thinking about (And consulting the great oracle Google about) the way I speak, the way my grandparents spoke, and the different words and phrases I associate with the older PA Dutch folks in my church.

Cause that's what my family is, Pennsylvania Dutch through and through, (see the different clothing my relatives are wearing up there? Picture stolen from my Aunt's facebook page. Thanks Rachel!) but a lot of the dialect has been watered down and lost as the Mennonite community loosens up, moves away, and just generally integrates.

I've been bothering my apartment mates all morning with "Do you say it like this? Do you use this word?"

Here's some of the things I've come up with, most of which I never really thought about as coming from the Pennsylvania Dutch heritage before:

Dippy eggs: eggs you make in which the yolk isn't firm and you can dip bread in them. Really, it shocks me that you've never heard this before!

Dersn't: Dare not or better not. You dersn't eat all the scrapple now.... your Dad needs some yet!

Outen: To turn off. Can you outen the lights when you leave?

"Set" : To be idle, or to be for show. "On Tuesdays, Rachel comes just to set." "We use those candles sometimes, but these are just to set."

"All" to say "gone." "The milk's all" instead of "The milk's gone."

"Yet" like still. "The milk's gone but there's yogurt yet." Or, "I have to finish this paper yet, and then we can play."

"Sooner" and "as" in place of "rather" and "than." And not in the dramatic movie start "I'd sooner die!" way, but the ordinary "I'd sooner stay here as go to the store" way.

"What fer" often to say "what type," "What fer car was he driving?" But also as "whatever" and sometimes just thrown in there for good measure... "What fer book are you reading?"

"Once" not as in "one time," and not as in "once upon a time" either. This usage is hard to describe. I think it usually creates a condition before you do something else. If a child's crying: "Oh, now, I'm sure it's not that bad. C'mere once and let's see." Or if you're indecisive about purchasing a car. "Well, let's get to the dealership once before you make any decisions."

And, as in the title, the leaving out of "to be" before verbs, especially after "need." "The bed needs made. The table needs set. The floor needs swept."

Some of these I say, and some I don't. But now that I've thought about it, I may start reviving some of them again.

Think about it once, and I'm sure that what fer dialect you speak needs examined too. And I'd sooner sound a little strange as lose it completely!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Josh Groban and I

I went to this guy's concert on Wednesday night.

With mostly strangers. When I should have been in class. Until late at night.

Does that make going to a Josh Groban concert sound cool and dangerous? Well, cool does not control me, so there.

In any case, my new acquaintances from MIT and I, and all the other retired couples there, had a lovely time. I'm not so much a fan of the newest CD, but he sang a lot of the old stuff. And Josh's a pretty hilarious guy. A real dork. A funny, gorgeous dork with the voice of a god. We're soul mates.

And it was HI-larious how the second Josh came out onstage the audience lit up with the lights of dozens of little phones taking pics. Look Bob, see that little, the right, kind of longish...yeah! That's Josh! I thought I would die he was so close.

The guys from MIT were all in an acapella group called the choralleries. They were remarkably like the guys in my high school choir: odd voices, making up songs, inside jokes, drama drama drama.

I do nooot miss that.

Except these boys seemed a little afraid to talk to me. There are
girls at MIT, I'm fairly sure? Like, more than the two that I met personally?

Notes on Josh Groban concert etiquette: I don't care if the song is your favorite of all time or how much the spirit moves you, do NOT sing along.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lessons from vendredi

1) You've been shopping in Thrift stores too much when you think:

I know that I've been looking for jeans for a couple weeks now, that these are the exact color I wanted, that they fit almost perfectly, and that I wouldn't need to wear a belt with them unlike every other pair I own, but $13? Who do you think donated these, Kim Kardashian?

2) Complaining will get you everywhere:

We're buying tickets to dance at Royale in Boston. The lady at the counter says it's gonna cost us $20.

We protest that we thought that ladies got in free before 11.

Only if you're on the guest list, she says.

But how do you get on the list? I protest. Because my friend sent our names on an email before and it didn't work.

The cashier looks like she's not in the mood for me and tells me to take it up with the people who are controlling the guest list.

She maybe thought I would let it go. Oh no, my friends, I was not raised to ignore a faulty system that charged us each twenty bucks. There were principles at stake.

So I go over and tell the people at the table the same thing. Not the principles thing, the "we've tried that before!" thing.

So how are we supposed to get on the list if the emails won't go through? (Huh, huh, people? That's right, I'm pushing this issue....)

They also look a little we-don't-have-time-for-you-ish. They give me the name of the email again, and then pull a free pass +1 from the secret stash of things-to-shut-up-people-who-are-complaining.

Of course, we still paid $20 each. And if we figure out how to work the freaking guest list email, it'll be free anyway.

But it was a small victory.

Looks kinda like Aladdin's palace, right? Slightly louder maybe.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

That thing you always shake your head at other people for doing

I cannot run any race without mishap, apparently.

Although, this was only my second, so maybe we shouldn't be chiseling that in stone just yet.

I got up early on a Saturday, put on three layers, and drove out to a nearby church where the Freedom 5k was starting at 9.

And then in my rush to register, thinking that I wouldn't want to jog with keys in hand, and certainly wasn't going to take my purse, wallet, or key card, I threw the keys on the passenger seat, pushed the lock, and slammed the door.

You can see the problem here.

Luckily, I had an extra set and an apartment-mate willing to drive me back.

But the camera and phone were in the purse, so no pictures.

But anyway, the rest of the run went fairly well. I don't know my time; something under a half hour. I don't really run for speed. I run for....

And they had free Panera bread. And a free t-shirt. And I won the raffle of a $25 gift card to Quiznos!

So my sheer luck won out over my willful stupidity in the end.

It was a good morning.

Friday, October 28, 2011

October snow

... is craaaazytown.

Even for New England.

Yesterday was a miserable mess of rain and snow.

Today is a beautiful dream of blueness and sunshine.

The North Shore in the fall is a series of extreme mood swings.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Real estate wonderings

These apartments apparently exist somewhere in Boston.

I wouldn't know. They look like they would be waaaay out of my budget.

Or rather, our budget. I'm currently on the hunt for an apartment for myself and a friend next semester.

But I'm a real estate amateur. There's a lot I don't understand.

Like, what does it mean when there's no picture of a place that otherwise seems perfect? Ceilings that aren't really 10 foot? Neon orange shag carpeting? Recent fire from the meth lab?

Or just, ya know, some lovely little old lady who simply didn't own a camera because they just have so many doggone buttons nowadays and ach, who can figure out how to work those contraptions?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Discoveries in the meantime

Two whole weeks. That's what it's been since I've opened this page.

But who's counting? I just needed a blog break.

Here's some things I've discovered while not divulging my non-secrets to you all:

People really come from far and wide to see historic Salem, especially in October, and I've never gone, even though its about twenty minutes from here. It was a great place for an outing with my parents. The weirdo count was really much lower than expected. And anyway, who can't appreciate a good weirdo now and again?

Brazilians apparently love their barbeque. We went to a place and they brought my parents at least seven different servings of meat. I abstained. I prefer my fat in carb form.

Anyone was to buy me a manicure?
I found this Peruvian cincuenta in the pocket of the jacket I bought in Lima. I take it out and hold it every now and again, like a good luck charm. Maybe I'll pretend it's the cincuenta I made the cobrador give me back after he shorted me when I only had a ten sole bill. And then my friends laughed at me.

In some very specific situations, I still inexplicably have the gut reaction to speak Spanish. Like when I can't tell if someone's in line, I without fail want to say, Perdon, estas en la cola? Or when withdrawing money from the bank. Or when buying tickets for something.

American clubs are much like Peruvian discotecas, but seemingly bigger. Ha, I could say that about nearly everything! And with much more averting-of-eye-contact and staying-with-your-group tactics required. And much less moving of your hips, sadly.

And finally, job search is a wearing business friends. So far my future starting on December 15th, the day after finals end, is blank page of unknown possibilities.

Does that sound hopeful? It was meant to sound stressful.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Let the record show

I'm training to participate in a 5k benefit for Route 1 Ministries at my church, which works against local sex trafficking.

Since I can't do the Nike 10k in Lima again, obviously. Although I can't bear to tell them to take me off the email list.

And by training, I mean I haven't really thought about it or changed my exercise routine at all.

I've had a couple conversations about that, which have gone something like this:

Me: "Yeah I'm doing the 5k! Although, we'll see, I haven't really been running...I do the elliptical in the gym though, and I try to push myself pretty hard there...."

The person I'm talking with at this point always looks at me with a knowing smile. "Oh no, trust me. It's not the same. You want to train on the road. It's a lot harder"

So last night I went out to the track to do this real running I hear so much about.

And I ran 3 miles.

With less strain than usual to my heart, only slightly more strain to my legs, and certainly much more damage to my poor knees.

So now. Let the quality of my elliptical training henceforth not be questioned.

Am I bragging? You better believe it!

Our trees are just beginning to turn! I'm so excited.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

These are my grocery shopping shoes

This afternoon I went grocery shopping in baggy jeans, a t-shirt, and red leather Italian pumps.

For which I have a very good explanation.

I went out in perfectly normal white keds. The main goal was veggies and flour, but I thought first I'd go to the thrift store to see about proper interview clothing. After a half hour of fruitless search on that end, I made my way over to the shoes to see if they had any plain black heels.

I was tempted by the Italian red leather (or, ya know, what looks like leather... do we import fake leather?) and took off my keds to try them on.

But for some odd reason which I can no longer remember, I held onto just one of my white shoes as I walked down to the end of the aisle to admire the heels in the mirrors. They were a little tight, clearly impractical for walking around in. I reluctantly took them off, put them back, and tried on something else, and then something else, etc.

Still holding onto the one shoe.

And then when I finally made my way back to the other show I had left in the aisle, it was gone.

I searched. I thought, maybe I moved it myself? I searched more. I went to fetch the manager. I showed her the shoe without a partner. She searched.

And then we both gave up.

"I guess I'll have to buy another pair to walk home in," I said.

And she said, "Well, I can give you half off on a pair of comparable shoes."

I did search for a "comparable" pair of very practical shoes. I swear.

But I left in the heels.

And while I headed for the veggies and flour, someone out there was walking around with my one white shoe.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Drop the sponge!

In our apartment, we have a meal schedule going in which each of us ends up cooking for the other five once every other week.

And we only have one established rule with the cooking schedule: He who cooks must not clean.

So we always end up playing this game:

"What are you doing? Stop cleaning!"

"What? No, I'm not cleaning this dish! I'm just, um...transferring it from the table to the counter/putting the food in tupperware/enjoying apartment bonding time."

"Nope. This is a private cleaning party. Out of the kitchen. Out!"

We have our rituals.

Note that we generally have so many baked goods that we have to beg people to eat them.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fluff and PB all around!

I just submitted my first resume and cover letter to a school in Boston!

I was practically shaking.

So we toasted to my successful professional career. . .

. . . with a very elegant Fluffahnuttah. Which has become an apartment tradition.

Only the best, you know.

The first of many applications. Unless, of course, they call me tomorrow and say, "You're the candidate of our dreams. Don't you dare apply anywhere else!"

Which would be nice, cause I've had quite a few fails this week that could use some making up for.

We have three sicks and three hold outs in our apartment right now.

Guess which category I belong too.

Does anyone else notice how many spelling and grammar mistakes I make? And then sometimes notice later and usually ignore....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Beans, beans, the stubborn fruit

With shockingly little insight into my own cooking habits, I brought not one, but three bags of dried beans from home in August and sat them in my closet.
And thought as I put them on my parcel of shelf space, Well, these are going to be taking up a lot of space at the back of this tiny shelf all year.

But in a moment of motivation and productivity (and foolishness) I decided to not only take my first crack at chili, but use the dried beans too. Canned beans? Ha! Canned beans are for amateurs!

And clearly, with my zero hours of chili-making experience, I'm way past that stage.

Monday 3:30. Start soaking the beans, two hours minimum. No huge cooking pots, but how important can that be anyway? I so got this.

5:30. Drain and continue with the recipe. Well, my recipe doesn't use dried beans, but I'm assuming that you can just boil them. Everything can be boiled. How long could it take, 10 minutes? And by then the rest of the chili will be done. Perfect. Perfectly perfect. I'm a genius of mixing tomato sauce and meat and beans, clearly.

6:00. Beans still hard and white. But surely they're on the brink of cooked.

6:20. We eat the chili sans beans. And sans the salad I would have made had I not been busy worrying about the beans.

Maybe they just need more soaking? I'll finish cooking them and make something else with them later.

Thursday Having now soaked the beans for three whole days in a pot on the stove, more out of laziness than for their benefit, and with my apartment mates inquiring politely what I was doing them, I turn the beans on simmer. For three hours.

And after all that undeserved time and attention, the beans have still not managed to make themselves edible.

They're in the trash. I hope the raccoons don't touch them. I don't want these beans to have the satisfaction of nourishing anything.

Someone please introduce me to the evil genius who invented the can and then imprisoned the beans in its dark cold cell.

I haven't tried to find out what failed. Probably something entirely stupid and entirely my fault. Frankly, I don't want to know. I just want to be mad at the beans.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My unintentional rally for a rather dubious freedom

Last Saturday I was hanging around Boston Commons, (you know, like I always do....) and I noticed some commotion over toward the center of the park. I went to investigate.

Looked like a pretty normal faire at first. Cotton candy, jewelry vendors, crab cakes..(normal for New England that is...)
And then I started to notice a whole heck of a lot of vendors and t-shirts and posters that were sporting a very distinct leaf shape....

Hempfest 2011.

Well, the performers were calling it a "freedom rally." But I discovered it's street title later when the commuter rail director simultaneously congratulated his passengers on enjoying Hempfest and threatened us with police intervention should we mistake it for a "T-rail sponsored event." Apparently some out of town potheads thought they were riding for free....

The crowds mostly fit the stereotypes of people you might expect to gather to advocate the legalization of Marijuana.
The young and the pierced, the old and the unkempt.

But occasionally I spotted those who looked like they had absolutely no idea what was going on.

"I don't know Ma, this wasn't what I pictured when your sister said 'Freedom Trail."

And then I crossed over into the public gardens, where the usual yuppies and young families and tourists were doing their usual reading, running, chatting, picture-taking, general ignoring of each other.

And I smiled at the phenomenon that is Boston.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Planz about me me me

I'm currently in a resume writing, job applying, completely unsure of my future stage of my life.

It is two parts exciting, one part terrifying.

With just a touch of drudgery and a smidge of "How much easier would it be to live in my parents' basement forever?" (What? Smidge is totally a word! Spell-check, we cannot be friends.)

I'm currently trying to drink mint tea with honey and milk. Bad decision.

For a second I was trying to think of some kind of bad decision metaphor involving my life and tea, to justify my telling you that, but I gave up. Giving up. That could be a metaphor too.

But, ahem... anyway....

I know I told this blog once upon a time, here, that I was searching for grad schools. That has changed. Obviously.

And the reason for that is that I want to go back to South America... soonish.

This might be an excellent time to be very poetic about the golden-hearted intentions behind that statement, how much I was touched by the people over there, how much good can be done/found in developing countries ....

But the prosaic truth of the matter is, I just liked it.

I was touched by many people. And annoyed by others. I maybe did some good. And had some good done to me. But I'm not entirely sure that the balance on all that came out any more than it does in the states....

Mostly, I just liked it.

I like who I was when I was in Lima. I like the revelation/frustration that is intercultural interaction. I like really getting to know a place, specifically a city, that's so different.

Or, ya know, most of the time I liked it. Some of the time. Enough of the time.

And that's pretty much my motivation.

But first, I'm hoping to graduate in December, get a job around the Boston area for a little while, and be around in the spring when the rest of my class graduates. And then hopefully go elsewhere (Santiago? Buenos Aires?) somehow for a year or two, and afterwards maybe come back for grad school.

Well, that's the tentative plan for the moment anyway. This will probably/definitely change before all of that happens in that exact order. But plans are made to be broken.

I leave you with that very deep cliche. And that picture above which I've definitely used before.

Friday, September 9, 2011

And I ventured forth, guns blazing....

Last night, at around 12:30 AM, some mad students decided that they were gonna to have a midnight volleyball game/shouting contest. From the noise they were making, fifty feet from our window, it seems they thought everyone else was partying on a Thursday night too.

Au contraire, my roommate and I were trying to sleep. As, I imagine, was all the rest of our dorm apartment building. I tried to be happy that they were having fun for a whole ten minutes, and then I sat up and turned on the light.

Jess turns over and looks at me questioningly as I throw the covers back.

"I'm going to shoot them," I say.


"Do you have your key card?"

So I march down in my jammies, gun cocked, feet bare, and say, "Excuse me, it's 12:30 and we're trying to sleep. Could you please keep it down?"

I trek back up to the third floor.

"That was the most polite shooting I ever heard," Jess says. "They haven't stopped. But now they keep shushing each other when they make noise."

"Well, you can go down and shoot them again in another 10 minutes if they're not completely dead by then."

"Ok. I'll go down in 10 minutes."

Luckily, it turned out that the first round of politeness did it. They were soon gone.

Had to have been sophomores. Sophomores are old enough to feel like they own the place and young enough to disrupt it in the middle of the night.

Not aaall sophomores, of course. Lighten up.
And they did leave at the first complaint, so I really can't complain.

Monday, September 5, 2011

This has a perfectly logical explanation

Well, the socket halfway up the wall has none that we know of. But the crockpot on the box on the chair in the living room does.

We have a circuit problem. In the first two weeks of school we blew the fuse... five times maybe? That I remember. And once it was twice in three hours.

And, since we definitely don't have the key to the fuse box, we had to call either public safety or physical plant, shamefaced like little puppy dogs who had just peed in the corner again. "Really, I thought that unplugging the lamp would be enough!"

All we had to do was turn on more than one warming appliance or use more than one lamp and then poof! Gone.

At least one time the public safety guy was cute. After that I felt like boiling water, toasting bread, and making bread in the machine under the light of three lamps might become a a habit. Don't worry, I wasn't that stupid before!

But anyway, now we have a general policy of turning on only one or two appliances in the kitchen at a time.

Which is why when my garlic brown sugar chicken needed to sit in the crockpot for six hours, and I thought it likely that we'd probably need to use more than one other appliance in the kitchen, and turn on the lights and leave the refrigerator running at the same time, I had to get creative.

So I trucked the crockpot into the living room.

And dealt with the mysterious floating outlets.

Aren't you proud of me, all thinking ahead and problem solvey?

I've got ground to make up, because probably more than half of the blown fuses were my fault. Heh.

Now if only the chicken comes out well...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Je suis une d├ębutante

That could be horribly, horribly wrong. Which would prove my point.

I'm taking French!

No reason. For fun. Because I have time and elective credits to fill.

And because if I teach ESL eventually, it's beneficial to know the basics of lots of languages.

And because I was almost embarrassed to realize when talking to European and other exchange students in Lima that speaking two languages is nothing to brag about. Seriously, they were all whipping out like four or five to my two.

So far I feel the constant urge to speak Spanish in my French class. Especially when I need to say something, and I know I should be speaking some type of non-English. But I definitely can't ask "Is that why English shares more formal than non-formal vocabulary with romance languages?" in French.

I've resisted so far. Except for the occasional "y" instead of "et. "

Can you imagine how disastrous/offensive that urge could be when speaking to immigrants who are native speakers in real life? "Not all immigrants speak Spanish, you silly American!"

I'm fighting it.

Awesome event I went to in Lynn last night. May I never be too old for face painting!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On intentions and evil

The cheerful, gentle-looking man above, according to many who knew him, loved to laugh and joke. Loved his family. Loved his country. Was kind to those around him. His countrymen still go to his grave to pray that he bless them and send them winning lottery tickets.

And he authorized the killing of more than a fourth of the population of Cambodia during the seventies. A fourth. About 2.5 million.

He is Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge (pronounced something like (Ka-mai Rouge)

Sorry to drag you down here with me, but I just watched the documentary "Pol Pot's Shadow" last night, about the Khmer Rouge genocide in the 1970s. So we're going there.

I don't even think I ought to try to use words to describe what happened. I feel like it would take a lot of gall for me to think I could even begin to put adjectives on something so far beyond my own experience. I, who have suffered so little. I, who have never had the least fear that my friends, parents, professors, classmates...myself...would be dragged off to be maimed and killed. I, who fancy myself compassionate and good.

But I can tell you, the most shocking, jarring, thing about this particular documentary was the interviews of those involved in the Khmer Rouge army. One of these was a man name Nuon Chea. He was "Brother Number 2," and apparently even more morally responsible for authorizing the killings than the smiling face at the top of the screen.

Yes, somehow, they could interview him. Living free in a home in the jungle, being taken care of by his wife. And I tell you, he seemed... nice. Mild-mannered. Grandfatherly. Proud. He admires George Washington. He quotes "E pluribus unum." He smiles.

The interviewers of course, in their commentary, pass him off as a two-faced liar. Putting on a show. Pretending in front of cameras.

And that's the most convenient explanation, really, isn't it? I really want that to be the whole story. I really want to believe that Noun Chea changed character completely after the cameras left the house. That he sat chuckling over how he fooled us all.

Because after all, who wants to face the moral dilemma of a sociable tyrant? A murderer who loved to make others laugh. A torturer who can hold his children tenderly. The leader of a genocide who really wants an agrarian utopia.

Better, much better, to pass Pol Pot and Nuon Chea off as diabolic, crazy men, wolves disguising themselves in lambs clothing, than to try to explain how someone who actually believed they were doing good could do such horrific wrong.

God help me the day that I try to explain that. I imagine then I'd have to start looking at the evil within my well-meaning self.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Shelter in Place

I don't have the proper gut reaction to the weatherman's images of white spirals hurling toward the Atlantic coast. You know, like, natural conditioning. See a dog bear it's teeth, run for your life. See a rattlesnake on the path, run for your life. See a bee flying at you, run for your life. (Just me?)

See a hurricane on the television screen, buy a weeks worth of canned goods, board your windows, and hunker down in the basement.

Except, I usually open the windows and or sit on the porch or forget to even watch the weather. I don't advocate this approach.

I have no faith in the hurricane predictions. Those big white swirls and I have a very rocky relationship. I like big storms. I like the wind and the rain and the anticipation. I even kind of like the threat of destruction. (Other people's destruction, obviously.) But toooo many times I've been promised destruction and got a delightful fall shower.

And this time Irene was meant to blow us out and instead here outside of Boston we got a little rain and a little wind and a very quiet day of forced apartment mate bonding. Also known as "Shelter in Place," which is apparently the proper term for "if the campus police catch you outside you'll be escorted back."

Hope you all are safe and warm as well!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The less coolness that is senior year

I distinctly remember feeling very cool walking across a college campus freshman year. Kind of strutting across the campus, feeling mature and independent. Although, I wouldn't have described it as "cool" of course. Have you ever heard anyone seriously describe themselves as that? Outside of the family movie genre I mean, where teenagers will continue erroneously spouting lines about how the have to fit in with the "cool kids."

I remember feeling a bit in awe of the upperclassmen. Surely, surely they know things. Maybe someday I would know things. (I know, long, right? I was gonna separate upper and class. But Blogger insists.)

I remember being proud to tell people that I was, in fact, a college student. I thought that that read adult. I think it does sometimes. In a way. In the patronizingly voiced "You're an adult now and you have to start making your own decisions" which they're actually not really sure you're capable of making, kind of way.

I also remember thinking it would be awesome to live in an apartment with a bunch of other girls. And I was right about that.

Homeowners may be scoffing at that. To which I say, "Go mow your lawn!"

This is the destruction the hurricane Irene has wrought here so far. But apparently the end of the world cometh on Sunday.