Professional Friend

More France!

I got in officially this afternoon! My letter came in the mail, and I will be clapping my hands and singing at French middle schoolers in Besancon. I'll take off for France in late September, hopefully make it for the classical music festival, and stay 'til May.

  • Current Music
    Wilco - "Hummingbird"
Professional Friend

Callooh! Callay!

Working at Emory, my favorite person is Oksana, the office manager. She's always polite and quietly funny. I think it was my third day at work when she asked me for help with her ESL homework. She has a ridiculous pile of PhDs in her closet, in things like Russian poetry and linquistics. She is an amazing person, and she speaks English very well, but she needs to improve it to teach in this country. So she took the job at Emory so that she could take classes on things like how to write research papers in English. In exchange for my help she's taught me a few sentences of Russian and bought me chocolates. She's Ukrainian, her husband's from the Congo, and they have the most beautiful, brilliant children I've ever met. She's invited me over for dinner a couple times. I mean, she's awesome.

She's been receiving these letters from the homeowner's association in her subdivision, and when she had me read them, I could tell they thought they could get away with charging her for ridiculous things and writing her threatening letters because she's an immigrant and I am just so appalled at that. I am so, so angry that they are trying to take advantage of her. She came into my office crying, letters in hand, and my jaw just set.

I'd like to airlift them all over to China and watch them flounder for a while. Try to get some food. Try to figure out where they are. Everyone who has ever been impatient with someone trying to speak English ought to go to a non-English speaking country and find out what it feels like to be at the mercy of strangers, because it's just so goddamned humbling that it forces you to be a better person.

Studying abroad, I learned kindness in a whole new way. I am not naturally patient, but when people would wait a half an hour to hash out what I was trying to say with the most elementary Cantonese, I'd feel so grateful for their help. So, when Oksana came to ask me for help with her ESL homework, I was so happy to help, because I knew what it was like to be smart but be completely immobilized by language. I think that my proudest moment in China, outside of being told I really knew how to handle my chopsticks, was the moment when after four months I successfully cracked a crappy joke in Chinese, and my friends all laughed because it was just so bad. That's what learning a language is. It's learning nuances. It's dealing with not being funny or clever because you just don't have the tools.

So, again, when Oksana came to my office crying, I was furious. We wrote this letter, my mom would be proud, laced with tiny, terrible criticisms in perfect English. I had her list her Ph.D., and I hope they feel like assholes because that is exactly what they are. They got back to her five minutes after we faxed it over, apologizing profusely for the misunderstandings. She gave me a high five, and I insisted on buying her a congratulatory coffee.

There's a beauty to the little justices, the one's you can help dispense and really see through. I find that I am continually frustrated in the quest for larger justices, though it doesn't stop me from trying. The little justices are the ones that make me hopeful.
  • Current Music
    Echo and the Bunnymen - "Do It Clean"
Professional Friend

Somewhere, somehow somebody must have kicked you around some.

The cosmos put in a song request for me this morning. Driving to work, fed up with Marketplace on NPR, I switched up my presets and rocked out to "Refugee" by Tom Petty. It was just so good! Like Chicken McNuggets with sweet and sour sauce after months without McDonald's good. "It don't really matter to me, baby. / You believe what you want to believe."

I am swilling some coffee and enjoying the unnatural quiet of Emory on the Friday before Spring Break starts. It's funny, on a gray day like this one, to see all the students dressed to catch their flights to tropical-er climes. The only appointment I had on the books for today just walked out of the office shivering in her 3/8ths of a skirt. Bon Voyage! I plan to spend next week playing typer shark, shopping online, and applying for summer jobs. If I maintain radio silence and look busy, I think I may be able to evade major assignments from my supervisors.

Emily is coming to visit this weekend. I went grocery shopping for fruits, bread and beverages last night. My refrigerator is the most stocked it's been since I started buying food for myself. Also, I had to rearrange my spice shelf thing. I can measure my tenure in adult life by the variety of condiments and seasonings I have. I started out with a bottle of soy sauce, and mustard and ketchup. I now have crazy shit like oyster sauce and not one but two vinegars. It's very exciting.

I need to clean for Emily. Oh, piles of dishes in my sink, why don't you have the decency to wash yourselves? People shouldn't have to live this way.
  • Current Music
    Kings of Convenience - "Gold in The Air of Summer"
Professional Friend

(no subject)

I'm sitting next to Sam in the big house, watching Curious George and doing laundry. This has been a long, hard week, and I must say he's the best company I could ask for right now. He's flopped upside down, rolling around and giggling. Every once in a while he shrieks, "Tickle me!" I oblige. He's a good kid, and I really enjoy Curious George, and, as I said before, it's been a long week. It was all demands, each more difficult and unrewarding than the last. Sam's request is so small and easy by comparison- it's a relief, really, to just give a ticklish little boy his wish.

I'm shiny in the nose. I washed the stress and mascara off when I came home from Emory. My skin is oily and my hair is limp. I should shave my legs and repaint my nails. Luckily enough, my date seems genuinely disinterested in my appearance as he is in his own. Sam's and my ugly pajamas are in love with bright patterns in primary colors, they are soul mates.

This is as a good a way as any to spend a Friday night. I'm comfortable. After Sam goes to bed, in about fifteen minutes, I will open a Peroni and watch something slightly trashy on-demand on the giant flat screen monstrosity downstairs. Like the L-Word. I will indulge my smut-loving hermit side for a while.

It will be wonderful, and I will reemerge on Saturday.
  • Current Music
    non-threatening monkey noises
Professional Friend

Hannibal Lector doles out samurai justice.

Hannibal Rising was the most unintentionally hilarious horror film I've seen since Jason X, a particularly ridiculous installment of the Friday the 13th series. That's the one where Jason's in space. But let's talk Lector. Collapse )

Beyond that, I'm having a good Valentine's day. David sent me flowers, good man. Roses in shades of pink, yellow, coral and white. I sent him a pizza with a pepperoni heart in the middle, as I've gone soft in my old age. Tonight I get to babysit (so romantic) but that's alright. It's always nice to get flowers, but I don't wear this day particularly well. I get all awkward, and that brings out my bitchier streak. I don't want to pick a fight with David on a day when he gave me a dozen roses. I don't know exactly what it is with Valentine's Day or what it means that I feel this way, and I do hope I'll grow out of it. Still, today I woke up and changed into my obligatory pink skirt and felt annoyed. Oh, Valentine's Day, I'm having a wonderful time. I just don't want to be associated with the kind of girls I think enjoy you. Is that so much to ask?

That's all for now. I'm exhausted, and it's Wednesday. The weekend seems so far away.
  • Current Mood
Professional Friend

Mejers-Briggsed courtesy of Kathryn and Binder

I'm going to follow suit, and show you my personality. You can take the Mejers-Briggs personality type test, here. I have taken this test many times, and have received three results, but ENFJ (extraverted intutive feeling judging) is the one I receive most often and that I feel is most accurate. Collapse )

Famous ENFJs:
David, King of Israel
Abraham Lincoln **
Ronald Reagan **

Ok, so the reason I go in for this type, more than my other most common result, ENFP (extroverted intuitive feeling perceiving), because ENFJ (extraverted intutive feeling judging) gives me credit for a level of introversion involved in my decision making. ENFP considers my sum total to be my "zany charm." I know I am both zany and charming, but I'm also a big worrier and an overthinker, and I like those qualities to be considered. To be perfectly honest, I have also tested twice as an INFJ (introverted intuitive feeling judging). Again, out of total of 15 testings (I keep a tally in the front my diaries), I have been ENFJ 8 times, ENFP 5 times, and INFJ 2 times. I have not tested INFJ in three years. My introversion is mainly in remission. It's definitely not my dominant trait these days.

The most important thing I want to mention in this entry though is that I have a new computer, and what's more I finally have internet in my apartment. While I started this entry there, thanks to the glory of autosave, I am finishing it at work.

But let me tell you, nothing is as cool as my new computer. David let me name the model, since it was custom built for me, and I decided it would be The Magic Box. Now I need to give her a name of her own. She is definitely a girl, so I need something charming. Initially, I thought she'd be Houdini, but that's out the window. I'll post pictures soon.

In the meantime, let's all have a moment of silence for Todd, my Emac, who was pretty and tempermental, but mostly served me well. I am sad to see him go. I've put him on craigslist to see if someone will adopt him. If that fails, he'll be sent to a recycling facility.

I really can't be that sad though, because I have internet in my apartment! After 7 months! *dances wildly* I will have Skype by this weekend, and I will talk, talk, talk your ears off, my friends abroad. Also, I will be back on AIM constantly. Yayayayay!

That's all for now. Talk to you soon! Hooray, internet!

**Robyn, do you think part of the reason we are friends is that my personality type reminds you of Lincoln and Reagan? I think it must be.
Professional Friend

banking on a myth

This week has me tired and scratchy all over. My throat, eyes and ears itch, the result of my lingering cold. My skin is dry from the weather, and no matter how I moisturize and condition I wind up scratching behind my knees and at my scalp. I went to sleep at 7:30 pm last night, and woke up 10 hours later to get the kids to school. I have been ready to climb back into bed since 7:30 this morning.

I am, further, tired of the jobs, the kids, the lack of free time. And I have the itch to run, as always. I am resisting. At least I have a few excellent reasons to stay and stick it out.

So far though, judging from these four days, I like 2007. Much better than I liked 2006. Last year my dominant emotions were high expectation, academic exhaustion, and premature nostalgia. This year, I hope rather than anticipate, and when I get out of these jobs I will not miss them. I spent so much of my last two semesters at Agnes missing it before it was gone. The whole year was a long goodbye. When I get my ass out of Dodge this time, I won't feel much but exultation.

This New Year's Eve was strange, different, and nice. David took me out for dinner and then promptly collapsed, leaving me a couple hours to go to a party before waking him up for a kiss. Did you know that I'd gone to the same party for years? In a basement in Indiana. With people that I have loved forever. The nice, different thing about this New Year's was that I wasn't running the party and that I just got to enjoy it. It was nice not to know everyone, too. The only big plan I had to make was my outfit, which was killer. A turquoise tube dress with a gold shrug and some leopard print heels. I was stunningly costumed, if I do say so myself.

Still, I missed Valpo. I missed the same old party. I missed my oldest friends, particularly the expatriates. I'll always miss something, I guess.

You might wonder what I've done with 2007 so far. I've processed some summer applications. I've tried to find a new haircut. I am so tired of this one. It's long! It keeps finding its way into my eyes and mouth. But mostly today I've been dorking out on Song of Ice and Fire, trolling forums, and sorting through theories about Jon Snow's parentage. Oh, yeah. Fantasy literature. It's my biggest geek weakness.

Can I take a moment to complain about one super geeky thing? I suppose I can because this is my livejournal and I feel like embarrassing myself online with my epic proclivity. Ok, so Melanie Rawn is, generally, one of those mediocre fantasy writers that gives the genre a bad name and inspires skinny boys with sporadic facial hair to paint ceramic models of dwarves and other bullshit. I do not do that, by the way. I have never played a game of Dungeons and Dragons, and I often make fun of people who fake fight with styrofoam swords in so-called "Role Playing Games." I felt that needed to be clarified, because I'm defensive of things that I like that are not cool. I am a pretentious fucker. I am a discerning dork. Cut me some slack. But anyway, Melanie wrote one trilogy that has held my heart and imagination captive for some years. The Exiles trilogy. Or, rather, almost trilogy. As of a week and a half ago, I have been waiting for the third book for TEN YEARS. *blinks* Fuck all, ladies and gentlemen. I want my book! I NEED IT!

I am frustrated about this. Genuinely, gut-bustingly frustrated, and I wanted all of you to know it. Now that I've typed it I feel better about the universe, and I think I will return to work. Tonight I will reread Game of Thrones until I fall asleep.

I hope your 2007s are treating you well. Rest up. I have the feeling this one's going to be a strange ride.
  • Current Mood
Professional Friend


It was a wonderful winter break. Four short days of friends, family and fooooood.

I miss it already. I guess I just have to catch my plane and gear up for New Year's.

This Christmas haul was magnificent. Not in terms of quantity but in terms of unexpected awesomes. I have an autographed poster of Eddie Izzard. It's beautiful. He's beautiful. I think I've always had a little crush on him. Thanks, Binder.

There were other highlights. Robyn gave me an instruction book for setting alcohol on fire. One step closer to molotov cocktails and the revolution. I have new music! The Marie Antoinette soundtrack, some lost Simon and Garfunkle, and a mix. Thanks to Adam, Dad and Kathryn.

And Krull! It's one of my all-time favorite overlooked 80's scifi fantasy epics. It's inspired Nissa and I to start a band.

Got to go catch that plane. I hope you've all had a magical holiday.
  • Current Music
    "What Ever Happened" - The Strokes
Professional Friend

Joys, Joys

My babysitting assignment was cancelled this evening, so I will have time to ACTUALLY clean and to ACTUALLY pack before looking pretty and swapping presents with my boyfriend. I'm going to give Penny a bath. I've taken tomorrow morning off from babysitting, so I can sleep in until 7:00 or so.

Valparaiso, Indiana, I cannot wait to rest my weary head in your midwestern cool again. Let's get together soon.

Next week, my schedule falls in just the way I like it. I'm going to work two half days before New Year's break. You know what I can do? Work two half days. I get the afternoon off once, the morning off another. I plan on watching movies and lounging. I think I will make a trip to the library.
Professional Friend

zombie phone!

It's back.

I can almost hear the universe laughing. I'm taking my early twenties too seriously. It's time to mold my mood to the cosmos.

*happy dance*
  • Current Music
    Crappy Cop Drama