Today has rolled by slowly, slowly, slowly, despite the fact that I slept in and began doing chores shortly thereafter. Vacuuming has actually never bothered me, though the sound does become a bit wearing after a while… Still, to destroy spiders and dirt sacrifices must be made. The bathroom also sparkles with all the elbow grease Ian and I put into it. If only bathrooms would self-clean, like those handy ovens. The thought occurs, however, that you can’t heat up a bathroom really hot and clean it that way: autoclaving would leave a bathroom as ashes – clean but not particularly practical.

Wisdom imparted to me today: Sacrifices must be made for the harmony of our marriage. Now we have act as mature as we claimed we were on August 9th, 2003.

– KF –

Some days refuse blogging. Others demand it. Today is not one of the latter, but I still have 25 minutes left until my thrilling Geology class (today: Mass Movements, as in rock slides, avalanches, etc.) with little else to do except read Supremacy by Stealth subtitled “Ten Rules for Managing the World,” in the Atlantic Monthly. But I really know all that stuff already, being Queen of the World and all, so I thought that I would do a blog instead.

I am wondering: why does it seem like so many fantasy books are set in medieval times? There is this allure, this far-off gleam of romanticism imbedded in our minds that associates Middle Ages and Magic. Perhaps we can more readily grant an author credibility when they set their impossibilities in a long passed time. There may also be an aspect to this in which we know the Middle Ages were fairly primitive (even compared to their predecessors, the Romans (for instance), due to various factors, the Black Plague not least among them) so we can also more easily accept the fact that magic happened then whereas now – and the future – belong more to the realm of science fiction. There are, of course, several notable exceptions. Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality are set in present day, and Mythago Wood, by Robert Holdstock, is set just post-WW II. Still, when you consider the preponderance of medieval-set fantasy stories you have to wonder what about that time period allows people to accept the impossibilities of fantasy more easily than in other settings. Any thoughts?

I’m finishing this entry at home, having actually enjoyed our lecture on Mass Wasting – slides, avalanches, flows, creeps, and slumps are actually much more interesting than I would have guessed. I ran into my prof a little after class and we chatted briefly – the more I talk to her, the more I like her. She is very nice, however long her pauses may be between words in lecture. Also regarding academics, my math quiz went easily because he practically gave us the answers in terms of “hints” and I got my new TI-83 calculator today. It is exactly like my old one but the screen actually works, and it’s not as worn around the corners… and now Ian and I have three TI manuals, though we know how to do most everything on them anyway. However, I’m pleased in the assurance my calculator won’t just randomly die now (also this one doesn’t have battery acid remains in its battery case, so that makes me feel a little better too).

Now for four days of either wild debauchery and game-playing or actual studiousness involving study for exams that come after break. I’ll leave it up to your imagination which I’ll be doing.

– KF –

You know it’s time…

…to close the window when the temperature inside your room is 55 degrees F and the outside temperature is 43. Makes taking a shower feel awfully nice and warm though. I fear that this winter our room will become a cave, with no fresh air and – when it snows – little light penetrating. I shudder to think of our future power bills.

One more day of classes and Clark takes its random 4-day “Midterm break.” Actually I’m unsure of the duration of this break as it appears to be marked as a weekend and 2 days (stingy of Clark when WPI students get 10 days off)… Also, I don’t feel it’s much of a break when all of my classes have exams immediately thereafter. Why do they do this? BCS used to have lots of tests after Christmas break, and you get the feeling that teachers liked to give people time to “study” – i.e., forget all they learned. I am dismayed to find that professors here follow that same policy.

I’m beginning a New Advisor Search again, figuring that I need an advisor to sign up for this spring’s classes. If I actually am going to take classes this spring. I have looked over the Au Sable Institute’s program and feel that, if I were to do it, I’d prefer the 5 weeks camping in Washington to the Jan-term. It may seem silly, but I’d rather spend as much of Christmas break with Ian as possible, and that would cut it shorter by some 10 or 11 days. Also, I’m rather unsure about my feelings regarding going to Wisconsin in the middle of winter all by myself. For all I try to pretend to be outgoing and brave, I’m really an introvert who’s scared of doing new things.

Coming to Clark was the biggest thing I’ve done on my own, and the fear of it never really hit me. But for instance, job hunting: we all hate it, but I fear it too, in a deep and indescribable way. I would rather drown in my own bile than job hunt… I feel that strongly (terrified) about it. However, one must do what one must, and when I need to I will find a job. It is rather hard to be motivated when there’s always this feeling in the back of my mind that Ian and I don’t really need jobs until we get out of college, but that’s not even true. Where will we get money for food? Rent? Whenever we get a vehicle, its insurance and other costs? General personal upkeep? Our money will only last so long… When that runs out we need experience and an ability to “sell ourselves” to employers. Yuck! I want to read books and write & edit papers for my whole life. Hope springs eternal.

– KF –

Sharp

The weather today is invigorating. Wind to sweep you off your feet, rain thundering down all night, leaves thrown to the ground in a caucophony of reds, oranges, and yellows, only to be swept up again in a gust and flown high into the grey sky. Wheels spinning swiftly along through rain-wetted roads throwing up rainbows of drops and the sky just bright enough to promise a new day tomorrow. The temperature is perfect, making me feel alive and excited for life, longing to go out and capture the joy with my camera. I am trying but I simply cannot move fast enough: there is so much wonder and I cannot – haven’t the ability to – freeze it in time for eternity with my camera.

The room is a mess, and I don’t mind it because when I come through the door I feel almost home. Not Seattle home, but that I have entered a place that is safe and full of peace and love, a stable place for the next few years. I am learning to let go of what I cannot control this year; to this end I have stopped worrying about seeing my friends, wondering how details will work out for tomorrow, and obsessing over next semester. Everything is still there, and I have not stopped working to solve problems, but the terror and loneliness have faded for the time.

– KF –

What did God mean?

Man was made to be in relationships with other people because we were made in God’s image. He is always in communion with his Son and Spirit. In the same way He has given us this longing to love others, to truly know each other deeply and truly. Those people who close themselves or are for other reasons not given the opportunity to have those loving and honest relationships therefore are not whole people. Human contact is a necessity, for just as the best-cared for but unloved babies die, so we will fade away without human relationships. They are not as God designed us to be, and that causes people to seek ways of dulling the pain. Alcohol dulls it. Drugs hide it. Knives block it. Casual sex postpones it. Exercising control deceives us. But in our hearts we know that life is not right, and that something is missing until Christ fills it.

And even then, a life without human contact is no life at all but a pale, sorry shadow of the truth of existence.

As a side note, the shuttle doesn’t run today because Columbus apparently discovered the New World today – how to verify that, I’m not so sure… Anyway, after a harried breathless scramble to Clark everything went well. Lunch with Kristin, Casey, and Kate made my day; class was easy, and dinner turned out well. Even got to talk to Jess while she was in class. Warmer yet fall weather makes you remember why people love New England.

– KF –

Used Skanky Underwear

This story will be hard to believe, but it is true (also a little outdated). When Ian was a Freshman in college, we decided to allow him for the first time to participate in one of my family’s huge-production Murder Mysteries. This involves lots of preparation, and in Ian’s case, a leather briefcase.

We searched high and low for the perfect used brief case, and along th way we found ourselves at a thrift shop near his house. Now, bear in mind this is nice, quiet Kirkland, were not much exciting happens. We looked around and found a belt he could use, but no brief case.

At the cash register was a biker-looking guy in a black sleeves-cut-off Harley shirt; he served an oldish lady with dyed hair wearing a polyester outfit. An uncomfortable oldish man hovered outside or nearby. Her transaction seemed to take an awfully long time, and when we finally looked at her purchases, we saw why. Everything she was buying was lacey or satin – all undergarments. Huge, enormous, plus-sized used satin underwear and bras, and in prodigious quantities! We were suitably embarrassed, averting our eyes and trying to smother our incredulous snickers.

Then the worst possible thing happened: She didn’t have enough money. We stood and waited as her poor, embarrassed husband came back from outside, sheepishly pulled out his wallet, and paid for her exceedingly strange purchase. The total was somewhere around $70, and at that point Ian and I were completely astounded. All sorts of questions popped into our heads, ones we didn’t really want answered – most pressingly, Why such a huge volume? We hardly knew how to react, so we took the safest course of action and acted quite normal while in the store…and as soon as we got out to the car started laughing hysterically for lack of anything better to do.

That is the end of my story; it’s been a great walk down memory lane. Hope I never visit that particular lane again!

– KF –

What a Day!

Today was… wonderful! Awesome! Certainly rates among the best I have had all year. Ian and I woke up too early for a Saturday, but we weren’t tired at all, so we just layed there and talked for probably two hours – that’s one of the things I love about marriage. Talking happens so easily and well at night, and we have every night for the rest of our lives together. Eventually we left for the bus station to meet Tiffany: she arrived from Providence at 11:25. We estimated about 35 minutes to walk there and left at 10:50 accordingly, arriving at 11:27 – could hardly be better timed had we done it before 🙂

Oddly the day flew by. Tiffany is so fun to hang out with, and I was incredibly grateful to spend time with a friend I have a history with. We’ve known each other since Junior High at BCS not just since last year “sort of.” So we sat around and recovered from our walk, since Ian and I had been on the go at that time for quite some time; then we called Luke. He and his girlfriend (??) Vangie came down and they, Tiffany, Ian, and I all trooped down to Price Chopper to buy supplies for Luke’s mother’s recipe for Huge Enormous Cookies, or whatever they call them.

Much mixing of ingredients occured after I scoured the kitchen counter, namely done my me and Luke. Everybody else sat around, eventually playing DDRMax2 at Eric’s behest – turns out Vangie did just fine at it, but he never could convince me or Tiffany to try it out. I think both of us are too self conscious. The cookie dough looked OK, if a bit sticky, but when we went to bake our test cookie it turned out oddly. They all bake OK but suddenly flatten out and become mushy after baking for the allotted 11 minutes. Still everybody liked them.

At Tiffany’s behest we played part of a game of Rummy Royal (Michigan Rummy? haha), and though we didn’t finish it Eric had to know who won – mainly, I think, because of a streak of luck of his in which he got nearly all the pennies… Anyway no bad blood cause the game was very fun. I always forget how much fun that can be. Then we went off to the Korean place, Ian and Tiffany and Luke and Vangie and I; Luke exercised his right as a 21-year-old to buy himself saki… and drink it all to. That was, frankly, pretty amazing because I would have been out like a light after 1 but Luke managed 4 and a bit. 40 proof! Anyway, then we walked Tiffany to the bus station, bidding farewell to Luke and Vangie at that time (Vangie caught an 8:00 train to Wellesley).

Got home, and I read Foundation, by Isaac Asimov a bit while making some more cookies. Half the recipe was enormous. Then we watched Shakespeare in Love with Luke (who laughed rather more loudly than might be appropriate, but we can forgive him). And now suddenly it’s late, and I’m needing to get offline and off Trillian and off to bed! But it was a great day, and I didn’t even think of school until just now. Lovely!

– KF –