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Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Pottering, Part 2 and randon job ramblings

Just when you thought it was safe to come back to I W T H (My mofo word processor keeps changing that to WITH if I don’t put spaces in.), I’m back with more babbling about the Chamber of Secrets movie. I humbly apologize to those of you who don’t know the difference between Hogwarts and Hogsmeade and really don’t care, but I’m apparently back into full-on opinionated mode (Thank GOD!), so I have lots of stuff to talk about. I knew when I wrote the first entry about the movie that I’d probably remember more that I would want to add, but I really didn’t expect another entry.

Again, I’m putting the spoiler sorts of things in white text so that they are a bit easier to not read if you don’t want to. I forgot that my background is no longer white, so I know that they don’t blend in perfectly, but it’s the best I can do until they come up with cloud-colored writing.

Oh, on that subject, does anyone have any really snazzy photos of some dark stormy clouds, or neat lighting behind clouds around twilight? If you could send me some (I have a new design in the works) I would think you were swell.

And without further ado, more Pottering.

First of all, I found it kind of interesting that while they did follow the storyline about the attacker being after Muggle-born wizards, they totally left out the part about Squibs. That makes me kind of sad, because I think that the scene where Harry finds Filch’s letter for the class on basic magic, it adds a lot to Filch’s character. Also, by skipping the scene where Justin tells Harry that his parents are Muggles, it makes the fact that the snake goes after Justin, and Harry’s supposed attack on him seem much more random. I know we have time constraints here, but I think it would have helped if they had clarified all of this a bit more, don’t you?

I absolutely love how sick Ron looks in the whole scene where he is burping up slugs. He’s green! Lovely acting. However, in the book, he’s burping up dozens of them, while in the movie, its just one at a time. How sad. I think his expressions and acting make up for it though.

Another change I noticed between book and movie is that in the book, Harry sees the Snitch above Malfoy, zooms over and grabs it. End of game. In the movie, for obvious excitement purposes, instead of catching it there, a really long chase begins, with Malfoy and Harry neck-in-neck and being followed by the bludger the whole time. Yeah, more exciting cinematically, but I like how silly it made Malfoy look when it was right next to him and he didn’t even notice.

No fight between Mr. Weasley and Lucious Malfoy in the book store! What up with THAT? I mean really, we have basillik eyes being poked out by a phoenix later on, and all sorts of blood and gore, a little bookstore violence isn’t going to kill us. I wanted to see them fight! I think I really just wanted to see Malfoy get his hair all messed up. Sigh.

Hermione asking McGonnagal about the Chamber of Secrets just doesn’t make sense. Sure, it let them combine the transfiguration scene (I liked turning the animals into water goblets better than the book version of bunnies into slippers, I think, although that would have been fun too. Scabbers the Goblet made me giggle though.) with the whole exposition of the Chamber story, and saved them having to do the scene with the History of Magic class taught by the ghost (Never can remember his name). Seriously though, it makes so much more sense for the ghost teacher to tell them the history of the Chamber, as he’s probably pretty excited to have people awake in his class for once, than for McGonnagal to tell it. It just seemed out of character. And speaking of out of character, Hermione interrupting to ask in the middle of Transfiguration? Hello!?

Why didn’t we get to see Young Hagrid’s face in Riddle’s memory? Are we that short on actors that look alike?

For quite possibly the first time ever, I have a pet peeve about Snape. Yes, yes, I’m still all about the Snape love. Don’t think I’m becoming a traitor. Really though, as fantastically sexy and Snapely and all those other good things he is in the dueling scene, what’s up with taking about three years to get out the word “Expelliramus!”? Seriously, Snape dear, Lockhart had time to knit a sweater and bake cookies while you were saying “Expell……………………iramus!” We’re supposed to be taking our opponents by surprise. Then again, this may be why you teach potions and not charms, eeh? Otherwise, kudos to Rickman for some lovely acting in this scene. We are all still giggling about “How about someone from my own house? I don’t know…. (shifty look… nearly comical shrugging of shoulders…) Malfoy?” We heart Snape. And that thing where he did that animalistic crawling across the table with his hands when he is yelling at Ron & Harry for crashing into the willow? Oh my. Keep doing that.

I know I’m picky, but I’m also a bit sad about some of the Lockhart stuff they changed. Originally in the book, the boys are sent out to de-gnome the Weasley’s garden (and WHY didn’t we get to see the de-gnoming? I’m heartbroken.), and Mrs. Weasley consulted Lockhart’s book first. This was SO much better of an intro to Lockhart than just him being in the book store. They also never really mentioned that practically every one of his books was on their list of books for school. Bleh. Also, when he announces that he is the new DADA teacher while he is in the bookstore with Harry, its so much snazzier than him just showing up in class saying “Let me introduce you to your new Defense… teacher, Me!” And am I the only one that thinks Hugh Grant would have made a REALLY good Lockhart? He has that sparkling eyes and cheeky grin thing down. He could have totally pulled it off.

I can’t BELIEVE I left this out the first time, but what on EARTH is up with Ron bashing Lockhart over the head with the rock??? That was just SO out of character, and just plain weird.

And finally, you know the scene in the Gryffindor bedroom where Neville shows Harry that someone has gotten into his stuff and stolen the diary? In the book, his stuff is thrown everywhere and such, but in the movie, it’s a HUGE wreck, with like… papers shredded everywhere. Um, ok, throwing clothes all over the place while trying to find the diary makes perfect sense, but why on earth would Ginny shred papers in the procecses? No sense!

And that’s all I have regarding the movie for now. However, I just read in an article that JKR said that there are a LOT of clues in Chamber of Secrets that foreshadow things that will happen in books 5-7, so now I am RE-re-reading it, even though I just read it Satuday. I fear I’m getting just a tiny bit TOO analytical now, because I’m completely over-analyzing every sentence. Its like “Oooooh, they’re eating PANCAKES for breakfast! I bet that means that in book 6, Voldemort will open a chain of pancake restaurants and…….” Seriously, its almost that bad.

I’ve also been reading the HP message boards at the Harry Potter Galleries again. I adore people who are as over-analytical as I am (It all goes back to Mrs. Logan, I tell you!) I have been on the line about the whole “Snape is a vampire” theory, but I read a theory last night that he’s an animagus, which I’m starting to like. There’s definitely SOMETHING up with him.

I’m really really hoping that my nephew comes here for Thanksgiving so I can take HIM to see C of S, as an excuse to go again. Not that I haven’t already crossed the line of being pathetic, but I like to believe I have some dignity left.

Prisoner of Azkaban isn’t due out until mid 2004. I am going to go crazy waiting, as this is the one I’m REALLY looking forward to. At least we’ll have Order of the Phoenix before then!

Along the lines of the movies for Azkaban and Goblet of Fire, they are either going to be VERY long, or split into two movies, or I’m going to end up being PISSED when they cut out too much. Seeing that Chamber of Secrets is around 300 pages, and is 3 hours, if you stuck with 1 hour per 100 pages, Goblet of Fire would be seven and a half hours. If they dare to try to squish it into 3, I will cry. Either make a six hour movie and get it over with, or split it into two parts. Really, most of us wouldn’t mind sitting in the movie theater for seven hours if you gave us an intermission or two. Especially if you cast Ewan in Azkaban. I will sit there for 12 hours. Really.

I started re-reading Goblet of Fire last night, and I know that JKR says that the books re intended or ages 8 and up, but had forgotten how intense they get, especially 3 & 4. But really, even in Chamber of Secrets--- “Blood! I smell blood! Let me rip you! Let me kill you!” Ummm, I don’t think I would have been down with that when I was 8. Maybe I’m just old and have forgotten what kids can handle. Anyone else have opinions on this?

On a non-HP note (Who knew?), I started thinking about jobs and careers while I was driving today. I found myself starting to think about possible ways of taking January off- in a town like this where everything shuts down from January to March, we’re pretty used to having two months off, so not having that will be very weird. So, thinking about a month off made me start wondering, if I did that, would I come back to this job next year? I mean sure, its technically really easy money and short hours, but its not something I’m passionate about. I don’t get any sense of being fulfilled from it, I never get to do anything I’m excited or proud of, it gets very boring, ,and I don’t even get to work around fun people, because I’m mostly by myself.

So, then I started thinking about the University of Findlay, which is the only college I’ve ever really really wanted to go to. They have an incredible equine program, and if any class could make me WANT to get out of bed early in the morning in freezing temperatures, it would be riding. However, I do NOT want to move to Ohio. Missouri is far cold enough, thank you. Its still tempting to try out for a semester though.
Perhaps I should look into the local colleges and see what kind of equine programs they have. I’ve done some research into that before, and they all generally SUCK compared to Findlay, but I may find something that’s better than nothing.

In short, all of these musings made me realize that I don’t know what I want to do and that’s pretty scary.

I continue to find myself fighting the urge to just go back to Dixie. People are always begging me to come back, and it would be so EASY to go back, but I just can’t let myself do it. Its still an insanely stressful environment, they don’t treat their employees well, and the pay is total crap. Bleh. Of course, I always start thinking “Well, I would go back if I could do the show”, but I think the main reason I even want to do THAT is because I cant. Its hard to remember that its not a play where you rehearse for two months, and then do the show three nights, have a cast party, and move on. It’s the two months of rehersals and then ten MONTHS of doing the same thing. I would LOVE to do the show for about two weeks, but I don’t think I would want to after that.

So then I started thinking about what it is that I’m actually interested in and what I have a passion for, since that’s obviously the direction I need to go. The first thing that comes to mind is naturally horses, but I’m still not to a place where I’m experienced enough to make any money off of that field. Next I thought about Disney, but I really don’t want to work there because it would completely ruin the magic. Disney made me think about resorts, which got me thinking about how much I adore hotels, and that I could run a hotel if it were a really snazzy one, but I’m just not interested in it enough to go through all that would require. So then I started thinking about the travel agent gig again
But would it be worth it and be something I’d end up enjoying? I do love trip planning, but I’ve never really planned for someone else, and I don’t know if I would get as excited about that. Still, all of the travel discounts and such would rock, so that’s a big maybe.

So, while thinking about all of this, I suddenly find myself cruising down the highway with a fantastic song on the radio and I start thinking “This is so much fun! Why am I even worrying about getting a different job?” Its such a vicious cycle depending on my moods. I know I don’t want to be a courier forever, but does that mean that I shouldn’t take advantage of it now? I think the worst part is that it doesn’t pay enough to make a real living off of, but its too exhausting to combine with another job unless I was only doing, say, tickets instead of all of my runs. But if I don’t want to do it forever, whats the point in doing it at all?

Bleh. That’s all I can say.

posted by Crystal 12:11 AM

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Why couldn't it be follow the butterflies?

I finally made it out to see the new Harry Potter flick tonight, so of course
now I have to tell you all about it. Before we go any further, I'll warn
you now: General stuff like how much I adore Snape will be in regular text,
but I shall be nice and put anything that's a spoiler in white text so that
you will have to highlight it if you want to read it. I'm hoping this doesn't
screw up on anyone's browser, so don't yell at me if you accidentally read
something you didn't want to (They all DIE in the end!! Ok, maybe not.)

One of the first things noticed was John Williams's beautiful music accompanying
the film again- he rocks (Em, not literally. I suppose the literal term would
be "He classicals!" but that just sounds silly now, doesn't it?) The music
is ever-present, but it blends in seamlessly. Perfect.

**and the word "perfect" reminds me of "prefect", which
reminds me that I must say- Percy with his hair sticking up made me giggle.
Just so you know

The actor chosen for Lucious Malfoy may be one of the best casting decisions
they have made since some brilliant person cast Alan Rickman as Snape (mmm,
Snape…) The part fit him to a tee, and he did a wonderful job with it.
And lets all face it, his hair is just fun. Plus, he looks just enough like
Draco to be believable. Lockhart was good, but I think he needed to be just a bit more over the top. He just wasn't quite annoying enough.

**Moaning Myrtle on the other hand kind of… disturbed
me. At moments she was absolutely perfect, and I thought her voice was right-on.
However, at other times, she was just a little.. psycho? I don't recall the
Book Myrtle randomly getting all vicious. And Movie Myrtle just didn't cry
enough. I'm also kind of amused that they did the brewing of the Polyjuice
potion in the sink instead of one of the stalls, like they did in the book.
Three kids in a bathroom stall just wasn't cinematic, I suppose, ,but I adore
when Myrtle said "Harry, if you die down there, you can share my toilet!"
(Even though she was supposed to say that AFTER he made it back, but you
cant win them all)

And ooh! On that track: Fawkes is supposed to heal
Harry while Tom/Voldy is still there. And what the hell is up with Tom just
standing around while all this is happening? I mean, I know he isn't at full
strength or anything, but he was such a spectator! Gah.

Watching Dumbledore made me rather sad, remembering that the actor that played
him (His name is Richard Harris, right? Sorry if I have that wrong) died
just a while back. He definitely seemed much older in this film than the
last. I wonder what it was like for him knowing he didn't have long left,
and doing all the lines about the phoenix knowing when its time for it to
die, and being reborn and such.

Oliver Wood's accent is damn sexy. Heaven help me for finding some kid sexy,
even if its just his voice, but that's the way things go.

I was more impressed with Draco this time around, too. His hair didn't look
as creepy, and he's actually a pretty good actor.

Fawkes was perfect too. He's one of my absolute favorites, and he didn't
disappoint. **And I admit it, I got all teary eyed
when he cried on Harry. I'm such a girl
. **

Some scenes were definitely spiced up a bit for the visual appeal of the
movie version, particulary action sorts of scenes ** ie
Harry nearly falling out of the car in the movie. Although that led to the
gread added line "I think we found the train!" which was not in the

In general, I thought this installment stayed much truer to the book than
Sorcerer's/Philosopher's stone did. There were a few instancecs when I wanted
to kick it because they had changed something so obvious, but nowhere near
as often as with Stone. I think a lot of the problem with the movies is that
they tend to skip out on the subplots, as well as trying to fit into time
constraints, which squishes things together a bit too much, and makes it
feel like its all happening a bit too fast. That's why I prefer the books-
you can take time to drink it all in and come up with your own conculsions.
I have to wonder if people who haven't read the books really keep up.

I am, however, glad that they didn't spend too much time giving the backstory
from the first movie. It was more like "Well, if you're late, that's your
own fault. Try to be here for the beginning next time, you silly person you."
I have a feeling that if I hadn't seen the 1st movie (I keep wanting to call
it Episode 1. This is not Star Wars, Crystal, let it go.) and hadn't read
the books, I may have been squinting by the end saying "Volde-who?"

Snape was his usually sexy self. What IS it about Snape? For those of you
who don't follow along, there are mass crowds of female Potterheads who simply
adore Snape. Maybe it's the Bad Boy thing, maybe its Alan Rickman's silky
voice. We don't know. We just know we want in on the Snape love. The dueling
thing in this movie was sexy, along with the fact that he actually SMILED
at least once, but I'm not sure anything can top that scene in Sorcerer's
Stone where he bursts into the classroom with that whole speech about "There
will be no fooling wand waving.."etc. That one gets me every time.

Numerous times throughout the movie, I found myself thinking "I can't WAIT
till Azkaban comes out!" And just because I can't say it enough, if Ewan
isn't cast as Lupin in Azkaban, I will CRY. Its so perfect! You can't deny
it! Come on!!

Ok, sorry, but this is where I have to get very spoilerish, so go out and
see the movie so you can read the rest, ok?

**I was sad that they left out Nick's deathday party,
as I thought that would have been fun to see. They also left out the VERY
important part of Harry getting warned for the magic that Dobby did, which
led to the Dursleys finding out that he couldn't do magic away from home.
Important stuff, here!

I was feeling a lot more of a Harry/Hermione vibe this
time around, even though this is where her little thing with Ron starts.
No, I'm not shipping any particular couple, but that's what I saw.

I know we all want to ask. WHERE IS PEEVES? Why oh
why have you left him out for two whole movies? (err, em, he wasn't in the
first one, was he? I may be losing my mind.)

Is it just me, or is Ron now a girl? I mean that in
the most loving way possible, I really do, but the poor kid spends 90% of
the film crying or making terrified faces. Poor Ron. What happened to the
witty, snarky,  best lines in the book Ron?  And poor Fred and
George were silent the whole time!  Someone is anti-Weasley, I tell

Poor Errol. He's supposed to be half-dead, not just
stupid! Poor, poor Errol. Hooray Hedwig for being her sassy self again though!

I dig how they still stuck some minor characters in,
like how we got to see Scabbers even though he didn't have a role in this
movie (But oh, just you wait!)

The special effects were fabulous in some points, but
a lot with the flying car left something to be desired. I got that toy car
on fishing wire feel a few times. Come on, y'all, don't try to tell me you
don't have the budget!

And finally, what the HELL is up with that whole standing
ovation for Hagrid scene at the end? I love Hagrid as much as the next guy,
he's actually one of my favorites, but THAT WAS NOT IN THE BOOK! And, um,
I know we're all happy that Hagrid is back and out of Azkaban and all, but
WHAT UP with the STANDING OVATION? I guess they needed some way to end the
movie, and that ended up being convenient? Am I missing something really
major here? Um, help?

So, I know I got very critical here, but that's just
out of love. I actually think they did a fabulous job with this movie, but
it still doesn't hold a candle to the book. Yes, that last scene left me
scratching my head (I still am), but that's the only thing that really got
to me.

Have I mentioned I can't wait to see Prisoner of Azkaban?

If they don't cast Ewan as Lupin, who on earth would they cast? And what
about Sirius? Seriously, y'all, the entire adult female fan base will be
after you if they aren't sexy. We have needs here.
posted by Crystal 9:39 PM

I have to say, I am losing faith in the educational system. I spent some time today looking over literature courses at some nearby colleges, in case I decide I have too much time this spring and want something to amuse myself with. Words can’t even begin to explain to you how disappointed I was.

One class’s webpage listed options for the class’s final paper. Among these options?

“Select a piece of literature and compare and contrast it to the movie version. Cite similarities and differences. Talk about things that were effective in the movie and things that worked for the book. Were some of these instances impossible to pull off in both realms? How so? Would the author be pleased or displeased with the movie version? Why or why not? Be specific.”

Oh, and it should be 6-10 pages. I kid you not. You don’t know how much I wish I was kidding. Six pages comparing a book and a movie, and they have a MONTH to do this in!!! Not a weekend! Not a day, but a MONTH! Being the non-college girl that I am, someone really needs to tell me here- is this sort of thing NORMAL? Have our standards for what is taught in college really dropped that low? What happened to actual learning? To challenging oneself? For the love of Shakespeare, this is depressing!

May I also ask why all of the classes that actually sound as if they would be worth showing up for are the ones with eighty prerequisites? Where is the love for the non-degree seeking chicklett who just wants to go study Shakespeare or British novelists for the fun of it, and does not have any desire to have to sit through (and pay for!) some mind-numbing class on how to write an essay just to qualify for the good classes?

One course catalog actually has notations under the writing classes that they are “writing intensive”. Because we could have never figured that part out.

I should also mention that I lost a lot of faith in our local universities due to those cable broadcast classes- the ones you can take via watching the shows and then showing up for exams. My personal favorite is the one on literature revolving around knights and quests and such, which I can’t remember the name of. I am baffled beyond belief how anyone could take such a fun topic and make it as utterly boring as they have managed. The teacher doesn’t seem excited about it at all, and punctuates his sentences by saying “Ummmmmmmmmmm” every third word or so. It saddens me so.

This is probably the point in this entry in which I need to tell you all just how much I love my high school English teacher Mrs. Logan. I had her for freshman English, she was one of the two teachers of my Humanities class my junior year, and was also my College Prep (heh, yeah, I know, we’ll get back to THAT) English teacher my senior year. Mrs. Logan was something like two feet tall and three inches wide (Okay, she may have hit five feet, but I wouldn’t put money on it), and walked faster than an third year med student. She had a language all her own, which we all learned and used to survive. For instance, “We’re going to have a little quizzie!” meant “Eight thousand point pop quiz now, start praying”. She was quirky in the best sort of way. The best part, however, was that she wasn’t afraid to expect us to have brains. I guess that her classes are a big reason why I’m so mystified with the papers I hear my college friends writing. We wrote 5 paragraph essays (a few pages) so often in Humanities that it became an art form. I can pop one of those puppies out in less than two hours, no problem. I guess we just did it because there was no other option. Research papers? I am the queen of procrastination there. My last two years of high school, the entire paper was done the weekend before it was due: The research, documentation, writing, everything. And yes, I always got good grades on them. Same situation with book reports- I’d read the book the day before the report was due, and write the paper that night. I think this says more about how I work better under pressure than spread out over time than it does about any sort of educational system though, so I digress.

One student, visiting from whichever university he was attending dropped in on our CP English class, and reported in all seriousness that “Mrs. Logan’s College Prep English is the hardest thing you will ever do in your life, unless you go to war.” Reading over these course descriptions, I’m starting to wonder if he was right.

I had so much more to say about the fantastic teachings of Mrs. Logan, how thanks to her I know Gatsby like the back of my hand, and other such tribute, but its now 3am, thanks to my tendency to get sidetracked so easily, and I’m just not on the same train of thought that I was when I started writing this.

In summary, I would very much appreciate it if someone could restore my faith in the educational system of this country. (Oh YEAH! That’s how this whole thing started! One of AOL’s headlines today was how people in the US knew nothing about geography. It made me think about how often you see things saying that Americans are basically stupid. We’re one of the few countries where being bilingual is a rarity instead of the norm, etc. That’s how we got on this rant) If you have college classes that are actually enlightening and challenging, please tell me so that I can stalk your professor, or at least have some faith.

And now, on a completely different note: Hi. I’m home from vacation, and although you may think otherwise, am in a mode of being completely brain dead. Once my brain actually starts functioning enough for me to be coherent, I’ll post about my lovely trip, and even share some photos. A full report is in the works, but I’m having to squeeze in getting it done while its still fresh in my brain with finishing up NaNoWriMo, so we’ll see how that goes. I also need to find a place to register a URL, and some web hosting, so if you have recommendations, please please please send them my way.

Finally, a quick shout-out to Television Without Pity for making up for my stupid VCR which failed to record a single one of the six shows I had it set to tape while I was gone. Thanks, TwoP! Also, if by some odd chance you happened to tape the last two episode of Gilmore Girls, or Dawson’s Creek from the 13th and would like to make me a very happy girl, let me know.

posted by Crystal 3:22 AM

Sunday, November 10, 2002

This is Saturday night. I leave on Monday. MONDAY! And how very unprepared am I, you ask? OH so VERY unprepared!!! (Modus people, did you know that I find myself restraining myself to three exclamations whenever I write now, because I still have innate fear of the Candi effect, thinking my Word processor will screech at me or something?) I was going to get so much done in the way of trip-preparedness today, but then my sister came, which led to us going shopping, and I suddenly find myself at almost 8pm having accomplished only the paying of my phone bill in this day that was supposed to be a Day of Accomplishing Things. I have tomorrow at least, right? I was planning on having Monday morning for all of that last minute spastic running around and screaming, but Karen called and asked me if I could work for her on Monday morning, and when you are as super-broke dirt poor as I am, an extra $30 or $40 is quite appealing. Plus, I’ll be finished in plenty of time to leave for the airport, so it works out perfectly.

Tomorrow, I need to mail in my (very late) check for my car insurance, pay my (month late) Maurices card bill, and um… it seems like there was another bill to pay. Uh-oh.

I also need to wash socks. One should never underestimate the number of socks one will go through on a good Disney trip. I can usually go through three pairs a day, just because when your feet are that tired, nothing feels better than changing socks. I plan on borrowing my mother’s pedometer to wear while I’m in the parks this time, so I can see just how far I really walk. It doesn’t work all that well, but at least I can get some kind of idea.

I had three missions on our shopping trip today: Pay cell phone bill, get shoes, check Abercrombie for jeans. Mission One: Phone Bill was accomplished with flying colors. The little check machine at Cingular fascinates me. Mission 2: Get Shoes, did not go as well. Maurices had some really cute brown cordouroy tennis shoes with no heels (as in the part that goes around your heel is not there- they slide on) that I thought would have been extra-super-perfect for vacation, and they were on sale for ten dollars, but they did not have my size, or even something that would work. I was sad. Mission 3: Abercrombie was a crash and burn as well.

The story of the Abercrombie jeans you are about to hear does not make me proud, but it should be told. Last week, I was flipping through US Weekly, and there was a picture of Reese Witherspoon in these A&F Chelsea Flare jeans (I knew they were the Chelsea flares because she had left the tag on. Oops) Anyway, I decided that I wanted these jeans. I was in love with the Reese jeans. However, what I really needed were the khaki colored cords that I had tried on the week before. I thought they would be perfect vacation pants- not too hot, but very comfy and versatile. And they would look great with the brown tennis shoes that I still thought I would be getting. Well, as you can guess A&F was out of my cords. So, I tried on the Reese Witherspoon jeans, and fell madly in love with them. I’ve worn them like three times this week I am in such love with them. Well, I have decided, after all of this wearing, that they are really very loose, and I would like to look into a smaller size. That was today’s mission, but as you can guess, they didn’t have them. Oh, there was an abundance of size 4 and 2 and 0 and 00, but no 10 long. I admitted defeat and moved on.

And wow. That was a really long story about my Reese Witherspoon Jeans.

I went to lay down and let my mind stop freaking out for a few minutes, and fell asleep for over two hours. At least I’m not freaking out any more. I am still convinced that I’m going to forget something really really important like shoes or my digital camera or my driver’s license. Yuck.

Oh! We averted near-disaster tonight. While driving home from our shopping escapades in Springfield (Mary Ann was driving. She likes my car, and I like not having to drive for once), we had just passes Jack & Betsey’s ranch when we saw a deer on the side of the highway next to our lane, and about to walk out. Keep in mind that this is a very busy, 4-lane highway. The deer chose my car to walk in front of. Thankfully, he decided to stop in the middle of the right lane, and we were able to swerve into the left lane and miss him. Hedwig, the little car that could: 1 point, Kamakazi deer: 0.

I am still worrying that something huge is going to happen to prevent me from going on vacation. You may remember my constant doctor’s office freak outs last winter. “I can’t have strep throat! I go on vacation in 19 days!” “What do you mean my wisdom teeth have to go? I go on vacation in 2 weeks!” “What do you mean you are going to stick a video camera down my throat to look at my esophagus? I go on vacation tomorrow!”. First I thought that this year’s American Express struggle would be the crisis. Then I had the Tooth Incedent (I now have my permanent crown on, and it’s very pretty). The sad thing is that as the deer hopped into my lane, ,all that I thought was “Oh no. I’m going to die and not be able to got o Florida.”

My real concern right now is my dad. Ever since he had pnemonia last year, he’s had times when he doesn’t talk very clearly, and something is just off. Last night was by far the worst I’ve ever seen. Half the time he was speaking along the lines of “Well, I think.. (mumble mumble), what I mean to say is…. (pause..mumble mumble), Err, ,that is… (mumble mumble).” Or he would say things that made no sense. I asked him why he was sleeping in a chair instead of going to bed, and he said “Someone might steal it.” I asked again, thinking he may have misunderstood me, and he said “Nobody is there yet.” I asked yet again, and he replied “No, I’m tired.” It was freaky to say the least. I called mom at work and she decided to come home and keep an eye on him. We exchanged a lot of glances as he continued to do weird things like turning a lightbulb in his hands, examining it for like five minutes, and then trying to screw it into the TV set.

He was much better today, but its almost like he was drunk last night and his memory is distorted. I asked how he was feeling, and he looked at me like I was crazy. I said “Well, you weren’t feeling too well last night.” And he said that he was fine. I said “Dad, you weren’t even speaking in real words” and he said “Oh, I was just fooling around.” I overheard him tell his friend that he was perfectly fine, and that mom had been trying to talk him into going to the hospital because she was trying to get rid of him. Weird, weird, weird.

Tomorrow is Sunday. Sunday Sunday Sunday. I need to finish packing, and pay bills, clean fish tanks, and spend some quality time with Emmett and Tallulah. Oh my, I can not even begin to tell you how much guilt I have over leaving Lula alone for an entire eight days. I have never been away from her for more than a day since we got her. She sleeps with me almost every night. She watches TV with me. She’s like my little sidekick, or maybe I am hers. I feed the fish, she watches them. While I put on makeup, she plays in the bathroom sink. I will be so lonely without her, and I am worried that she will think I have abandoned her! Do other cat people feel like this, or am I crossing into Crazy Cat Lady territory? Is it wrong that I want to call home and have mom put the phone where she can hear me? I’ve lost it, I tell you.

I am SO behind on NaNoWriMo. According to my own little schedule, I should have 20,000 words by now, and I only have a little over 8,000. Maybe I can brainstorm some plot twists when I’m gone, and really tackle this thing when I get home. The sad thing is, when I get in the write mood, I can sit here and knock out 2,000 words in no time, but I just haven’t been in the mood.

I have more to write about, but its 4:30am, and I’m more than a little slap-happy, and so it will have to wait.

posted by Crystal 4:28 AM

Friday, November 01, 2002

I can’t believe that I forgot to mention that I signed up for NaNoWriMo. I will be attempting to write a novel of 50,000 plus words in one month. One month! With an 8-day vacation smack dab in the middle of the month, and a trip report to write up upon returning from that, I know that actually reaching the 50,000 mark is going to be a very difficult goal. However, even if I only get around to writing 10,000 words, that’s still 10,000 words, and far more than I have been writing, so it will still be cause for rejoicing. The forums on the site are all kinds of fun. You have to be amused that the “I the myself and want to die” forum already has almost twice as many posts as the “This is going far better than I hoped’ forum.

Remember the filling that fell out of my tooth, and the consequential dentist appointment that I thought would be ever so easy- no drilling, just spackle that baby in and go! Oh, the innocence of days of yore. I managed to get an appointment at 10am on Monday, which was just perfect- late enough to not have to be up at the crack of dawn (ie 8am), and early enough that I could still work at 1:30. Well, guess what. The dentist decided that if he were to just refill the tooth, the chances of the filling just popping out again in the future were pretty good (and no, I don’t know why). He decided that what I really needed was a crown. A crown, which cost $740 vs. $200 for the filling. Oh, great joy. I asked him if he could just whack me over the head with something to knock me out insead of giving me novicane, but sadly that didn’t seem to be an option. In fact, he ended up giving me FOUR shots of novicane! Four! I hardly felt them being given, but soon the entire left half of my face, even extending partially down my neck, was very, very numb. The assistant, as last time I was there, was a girl named Amy that I had worked with at Dixie, so I got to make fun jokes along the lines of “wow, how many friends do I have that let me drool on them?” So, I now have a temporary crown, with plans to go back in on Nov. 7th to get it replaced with the permanent one. I’m STILL sore where I got the two shots in the front of my mouth (just behind my lip), but other than that its all pretty tolerable.

Thursday night Update (since I forgot to post this on Monday when I wrote it)
I started off NaNoWriMo at exactly midnight, and wrote 2199 words in my first hour. Not so shabby! If I can keep up my 2000 words a day, I will be ok!

I decided to do some fun makeup in celebration of Halloween, even though I wouldn’t be going anywhere, and was pretty sure we wouldn’t have any trick-or-treaters (we didn’t). I did some major eye makeup (think Rocky Horror), and then broke out my Halloween supplies that I picked up when they went on sale last year. I used the fake skin to make two punctures on my neck that looked like a bite, and dribbled blood down my neck below them (Gel blood ROCKS, by the way.) Then I used some cotton and a BUNCH of fake skin to make a disgusting swollen gash on my hand. I filled it with blood, and drizzled some around it. The fun part of this hideous open wound was that it was portable. I could peel it off my hand and stick it on my forehead, and suddenly resemble Massive Headwould Harry (A favorite SNL skit of days past), or I could stick it on my neck.. anywhere! I ended the night by adding a LOT more blood to my neck, and sticking it there. I took a bunch of photos, but my digital camera batteries are now dead, so those will have to wait.

Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday. I am looking forward to being a bum. Now if I just don’t have a repeat of last weekend and end up working.

posted by Crystal 1:53 AM

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