Fourth Wall

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Post Christmas Review Post

It seems that whenever I decide that something is just too impossibly uncool to ever be desired, it gets wrapped up and put under the Christmas tree. I made up my mind that iPods were stupid soon after they came out, when Mindy's was stolen on MUNI. I wasn't about to spend several hundred dollars on something that any Junior High kid could run off with. Then everybody had one and they seemed too popular to be cool. I guess all I can do now is hope that there are so many of them in use, Junior High kids will choose to run off with one that belongs to somebody else. I am quite attached to my little gadget.

A new MP3 player, of course, requires one to fully appreciate one's iTunes Music Store account. I know that I have terrible taste in music, but I do recommend Indian Summer, by the band Carbon Leaf. Their song "Life Less Ordinary" has a frightening potential to be overplayed on the radio, but the song "What About Everything" is really fun to listen to, and I love it. The rest of the CD is growing on me. I recommend it— I think it's a fun CD. It's a little different from other stuff that they play on KFOG.

The most popular gift in the Phillips family this year was The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker. I received a copy from my parents, my mother gave copies to both of her siblings and one of her nieces, and my parents recieved one from the same Aunt and Uncle they gave one to. The problem with the book is, as anyone who has perused a Cartoon Issue of the magazine, that the people who write about the cartoons are not usually very good at it. Robert Mankoff, the Art Editor and Editor of the volume, is a particularly dull writer. Ian Frazier and Calvin Trillin wrote excellent essays for it, and they should have been allowed to write the parts that Mankoff took on. The book-and-CDs set is perfect, however, for someone as addicted to cartoons as I am.

Meanwhile, when one gets bored of cartoons, there's always "The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen". The set of six novels weighs a full nine pounds (it's marked on the box) and is illustrated with 19th-century woodcuts. I have made it through Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, and started Sense & Sensibility. I was up until 3 am the other night reading Persuasion. As Patrick pointed out, it's an addiction, but... you say "only one more chapter," and then Louisa Musgrove falls down the stairs of the Cobb, and then it's 2:30 am. I did need to peek in the list of characters at the back of the current book to see who is going to marry whom. I'm such a wimp, I can't even stand the suspense of Jane Austen.

It is raining very hard, making a lovely sound on the windows.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Cough, Sniffle, Sneeze

In true Alice fashion, I'm sick during my Christmas break. This sucks, and what follows are the reasons why:

1) My fever-induced dreams never include sugarplums (last night I had one about the dorm that will replace the Shoreland and one about a very illicit mass).

2) The red nose makes me feel like Rudolph.

3) I can't help bake Christmas cookies.

4) No eggnog for the snuffling.

5) Possibility of being too sick to attend John & Joan's Christmas Eve party.

6) Being sick distracts from the all-important task of figuring out what to wear to aforementioned party.

7) Throat's too sore to talk to Patrick on the telephone.

8) Possibility of being too sick to stay awake during Midnight Mass.

9) No walks in the rain with Dad when I'm this sick.

And, most severe...

10) I have Jury Duty next week, so this is the only week I have to go out to tea with Mom, and have Dim Sum, and all sorts of stuff! Whine, whine, whine.

I insist on being better tomorrow. I have to go out to an appointment anyway, and Mom and I planned on having Dim Sum together. I absolutely insist. Do you hear me, immune system?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Going Home

I didn't recognize Fluffy when I saw him. That should not have been such a great surprise. I thought it was only a pretty cedar box that somebody gave us as a Christmas present. Then I saw the card attached with a rubber band- "In memory of your beloved pet, 'Fluffy'..." We are awaiting a clear weekend day to inter the ashes in the back yard.

I miss the old guy, but I am trying not to cry.

I am home safely, despite the best efforts of my mother, who booked my flight from St. Louis to Chicago, and from Chicago home. Slight problem: 45 minutes between the two flights, and imagine my surprise when the first flight brought me in to O'Hare, rather than Midway, from which my connecting flight was leaving. Frantic calls were made to Mom and United, in that order, and I got a later flight home on a different airline from the original. My luggage also made it safely home, and has been thoroughly investigated by Gwynn and Genevieve.

Had an interesting conversation on the plane with a man who went to the Chicago GSB, and is now a business consultant and creative writer. We talked about writing, and how people choose their professions, and where the myth of the romantic life of the writer originated, and about various personalities in math and physics (Gauss and Godel-- I had to explain who Godel was.)

Aunt Joan just stopped by with boxes of pears for our holiday table. It makes me wish that I liked fruit.

I leave you, of course, with a quote. "Ah, yes. Meerkat eugenics. Like Plato's Republic."

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Mom Reports: Christmas Wishes

"The only thing Sally asked for was 'a Fairy Godmother that really works'."

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Snazzy Title Here

I have, in fact, been taking my medication regularly. This finals week still has me in regular panic attacks. First I get sick to my stomach. Then my shoulders get tight and my chest tightens up, a bit like an asthma attack. Then the empty feeling of depression and the desire to curl up in the fetal position and hide from the situation. Then tears. Tears are the worst.

That is the state of my life. Last year I said, "This is the point in finals week when I oh-so-elegantly panic," but there's really nothing elegant about it. Just lots of tears and snotty sniffling.

Patrick got up early this morning to take the Putnam exam. I told him to kick some butt for me, as my knight in shining proofs.

Our scene from the Tempest went well-- Shoshi is really good. We skipped a few lines, but it was fun. Now to my write-up.

I want breakfast, but have no eggs.

I found the perfect Christmas present for my mother. It may not seem perfect, but trust me. It is.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Ante-Jentacular Blogging

So, EOMFBRP v.2.1 didn't get off to a very good start. I was going to make fun of boys. Instead, I mended their clothing.

Yes, Brian, you're welcome.

For the first time in my life, I spent Thanksgiving away from my family. I went down to St. Louis with Patrick, which was as anxiety-inducing as expected. At least his family seemed to like me.

Friday we went to the St. Louis Art Museum, to see a show of Medieval Books of Hours. It was reasonably crowded (Fridays are free), but the manuscripts were beautiful.

Overheard from a mother to five-year-old daughter:
"So, these are prayers to saints. You know how you have saints you pray to as special friends?"

Oh, and we baked cookies, but Patrick forgot to double the flour and baking soda.

Monday is going to be hell, but tonight Patrick is taking me out to dinner.

My Finals Week Schedule:

Saints in the Medieval World Final Paper (Done!)

History and Theory of Drama Scene

Civ Final Exam
Sosc Final Paper Due
History and Theory of Drama Scene Write-Up Due

Saints Final Exam

Panicked Studying for Sosc

Panicked Studying for Sosc

Sosc Final Exam

And then back to St. Louis in time to celebrate Patrick's 21st Birthday.

I'm going to go have breakfast. Nothing breakfast can't improve.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I Just Remembered...

It's time for another Equal Opportunity Making Fun of Boys Reading Period!