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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Tuesday, January 20th, 2004

Time Event
1:46a
Look, an update.
Wow, i ate both meals with my Lamont crew today (Monday). Y’know, when people were whining about the possibility of consolidated dining, so many of them talked about how the current dining system builds house community and suchlike, but the fact is that people are really cliquish. And even people who aren’t really cliquish just get comfortable sitting with the same people. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just that dining is hardly a house bonding experience, though it definitely helps most people bond with a select subset of their house.

I really like Meredith and Sarah and their people and look forward to the return of Isabel and Gillian. I do actually like a lot of my Lamont people, and look forward to the return of some who aren’t back yet, but sometimes i need a break from certain people or just from the same people i see all the time. I think next semester i will do a lot more varying of whom i eat meals with than i have in past semesters.

Sarah and i had a CD-burning party, "like a lesbian music booster shot" she said. *g* And then i came home and downloaded a boatload of music off of BearShare because i’ve been listening to the same mp3s for ever and realized i was seriously lacking various artists. (Wow, it’s interesting listening to my music and having to look at the playlist for the song and sometimes even the artist, because it’s new and i don’t recognize it. Much easier to let the music be background music when i don’t already know every second of it by heart. This makes listening to new music difficult, because it’s so easy to tune it out if i don’t know it, so i never learn if i actually like it unless i carve out time to just sit and listen to the music. Almost as interesting is listening to mp3s of songs i first heard on cassette, which feels like so long ago and probably was something like 5 years ago.) I also now have the original version of the song Celebration always ends with (“Testimony” by Ferron) which makes me happy.

On Sunday, 3 different people at First Churches asked about that nice girl who came to church with me last week :) I got tea duty again, and there are rumors that i will get a name tag, though they have no church secretary at the moment. I really shouldn’t inquire about helping out with said secretary job for a small cash allowance, should i? I really should call Kelly. I think she’s doing work with her Chicopee congregation this year, but i still miss seeing her. I really should ask Peter how she is, but he’s always talking to a million people, seeing as he’s the pastor and all. I wonder if she’ll be doing the Lenten Book Study this again year.

I’ve been going to First Churches for over a year now (not counting the weeks i’m not in Northampton, of course) and being asked to spell my name for possible name tag while serving tea reminded me how much i both do and do not feel a part of that church. I know very few people and am bad at starting up conversation. This isn’t an issue at United, because everyone knows me so they just all have 2-minute conversations with me. There are so many adorable children running around First Churches; it would be nice to baby-sit or i don’t know, do something to get involved. It’s hard given my lack of time and transportation, of course. And i’m very much not a member of the church. Some teenagers did the readings a couple Sundays ago and i thought, “I could do so much better than that,” but it’s not like i’m on anyone’s list of “We need readers.” I’m not a member of the church, nor did i grow up in it (i’m not a member of United but was treated as such). Kelly is “Assistant Minister for Outreach and Education,” so this would actually be a legitimate reason to call her (as opposed to “Let’s do lunch.”). I’m still working on just what my religious beliefs are, but i do like being helpful and being involved in a community.

Sunday night i was all set to do internship apps, like for real, but then Liz wanted to rent a movie, and i was all for that. So we get to Pleasant Street, no idea what we want or what we’re in the mood for. We wander around downstairs, trying to find something that we both wanna watch but that neither of us has seen. We find a couple possibilities. Then i pick up The Fisher King thinking “This title feels familiar.” A guy in the same aisle tells us it’s a very good movie, and this is our deciding factor. It turns out to be really enjoyable. Yayness.

The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl! Thank you, LiveJournal, for being my link to the outside world. And yes, anniesj, the Panthers are GOING DOWN on the Patriots. Wait, that was the reverse of what you said, wasn’t it? ;)
2:29a
in which Elizabeth makes her return to the fine tradition of alienating her readership
At lunch today (Monday) we were talking about which of us got MLK Day off from school, and some people were horrified that not every place gives the day off. One student mentioned that she didn’t think they had the day off: “I think we might’ve had an assembly or something.” This made me think: “That’s actually probably better than getting the day off, since it means you actually think about what the day is supposed to be honoring, as very few people use days off to reflect; hell i don’t even use Mountain Day properly.”

The whole idea of celebrating people’s birthdays is a weird one. It seems like it’s making them a symbol of the larger movement they represent, and of course glorifying anyone is problematic. Commemorating events i get (though of course those are often also emblematic of a movement and are problematic) but people....

Heather mentioned the African-American civil rights movement gets so much play, but what about all the other minorities who have been and continue to be oppressed. Part of me wants to say that this whole “[insert X here] Day/Week/Month” is foolish and we should get rid of it all, along with all holidays (sidenote: see Eugene Volokh on days off for the religious; not an issue i’m getting into here, but definitely an interesting issue and likely one i’ll wrestle with down the road) though of course i understand the value things like Black History Month can have since we are so far from that utopia in which all the appropriate people are credited for both the good and the bad and issues/events are discussed from a variety of perspectives (including the different perspectives people had at the time and the different perspectives people have come to with hindsight) and so on and so forth.

Heather also noted: MLK has been used by the Right as evidence ("Content of character not color of skin" being used to argue that MLK would have opposed affirmative action.)
Laying aside the fact that the opinions of one figurehead should not be used to judge the merit or lack thereof of something, this is something of a funny criticism for me because i oppose affirmative action. I meant to reread Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? over break, because there was one chapter in that that made me think i could support affirmative action. I fully admit to not having done thorough research on this. I decided against writing a thesis, but one day i want to write a book on affirmative action and same-sex education and Title IX and transgender issues, and probably other stuff will crop up, too, because it’s this magnum opus of interrelated issues.

It’s funny, i half-expected people to defriend me when i was being all boring-like, and now that i’m talking issues i’m back to half-expecting people to defriend me over my opinions. Hell, it’s that time of year after all: the State of the Union Address is tomorrow night. *sings As Cool As I Am* (Clearly i have difficulty letting go.)

Last year i think classes had already started when the SotUA aired, but so many people are back that likely people’ll be watching in the living room. And it’s not like any of the networks not airing the State of the Union will be airing anything else worth watching. Worst case scenario i’ll track down a transcript and comment on that. Yup, i’m clearly ending my hiatus from entries empty of substance. "The bitch is back." "I'm not a sniveling whiny little Cry-Buffy. I'm the nastiest girl in Sunnydale history. I take crap from no one." Allie called me “ruthless” the other day, which surprised me, because particularly in LiveJournal i am forever qualifying what i say, but she has a very valid point that when i really oppose something or think someone is wrong or whatever, i’m intense and thorough in my critique. I don’t think of myself as intimidating, but i was terribly flattered nonetheless.

Oh and before you mention it, yes, i heard about the Iowa results (Kerry: 38% | Edwards: 32% | Dean: 18% | Gephardt: 11%. Clark had skipped Iowa.). Honestly, i don’t get the big deal about these state primaries and don’t have enough interest to find out what the history and current importance is and all that.

If you want commentary on Iowa, i can point you to a score of blog posts. Already i have begun forgetting that Kerry won Iowa. I think this is because i don’t like him. Disclaimer: I haven’t had time to do real research on any of the candidates. A large part of me is putting off said research until the Dems to pick a single candidate, because that makes my research so much easier. (Okay, then i can’t take part in the “So-and-so should have won the nomination” arguments, but so it goes.) Really really really must do crash course in Dean as i have class with Thurston next semester.

Interesting thought from Mickey Kaus, by the way. He writes:
I'm a character voter, not an "issues" voter. Candidates will change their current "issues" positions after the election. New issues will crop up. The best handle we have to predict how a candidate will actually perform in office is character. ...
I really don’t think i can ever fully agree with that, but it’s an interesting perspective, and he raises a lot of good points.



Out of curiosity, why are you here?
Poll #235744 why are you here?

Why do you read my LiveJournal? [the prime reason if you have more than one]

You know me outside of LJ.
5(25.0%)
You want to read when i post about issues.
3(15.0%)
You want to read when i post about Whedonverse episodes.
0(0.0%)
inertia (You got sucked in for some reason and you’re still here.)
4(20.0%)
other
8(40.0%)
2:34a
Oh, and there was light snowfall throughout the day on Sunday, which made me happy. I haven't spent much time outside these past few weeks and am pleased that starting today, i no longer have to travel to my meals, but this whole white world thing is really what winter should look like.

(Yes, i am going to bed now. I’m so much better at staying up and doing stuff than i am at getting up in the morning to do stuff.)

Oh, and i promise i do remember how to cut-tag entries :)
8:28p
"why should i keep you if you won't keep me company?"
I came really close to choosing not to go to the sevillana dancing class which started today, but i’m glad that ultimately i did decide to go. Partway through the class i was feeling kinda overwhelmed and out of my league, but by the end i’d pretty much gotten it down. I’m still not doing it correctly, but i have an almost total grasp on how i’m supposed to do it.

Bought educated guess. Am not a big fan so far, but i expect it will grow on me, as albums always do. I was worried it would be political, and mostly it’s not, which is good. Definitely some “our relationship is over and I hate you” songs. Eh, most of the songs have at least a few good lines, but usually even when i don’t like the music that much i am impressed by Ani’s lyrics, and this album disappoints, moves too far into conceptual territory. But i’m only on my second listen, and i have the nagging suspicion i felt similarly about Revelling/Reckoning.

Got packerges. I think i like the girls are not chicks coloring book better than the girls will be boys will be girls will be... one, though both are flawed. I heart my parental units muchly, btw, ‘cause you know i just don’t say it enough :) SO much reading i want to get done in the few days before classes start up again.

Sign ups for btvs_cupid end tonight at midnight, so i should have my assignment soon. Also need to sign up for the Spike ficathon and maybe the Fred one (thanks to to doyle_sb4 for the handy ficathon list). Because it’s not like i have lots of WIPs [works-in-progress] or an overdue gift-fic to attend to or anything, not to mention yet another insane semester coming up, no, not at all.

Yes, i’m aware that my poll should have been checkbox not radio button and/or included an “all of the above” option, but i decided i liked making people think and try to pick a prime appeal, because “all of the above” is so easy to click without thinking. And it’s not like i’m gonna change the slant of my LJ based on a poll or anything anyway. Sidenote: i always find it interesting when people who don’t actually have me friended respond to my polls. Like, are you lurking or did you just float over here via /friendsfriends or something? [Should i have included “just wandered over here; maybe I’ll stay a while” as a poll option?]
10:58p
State of the Union Address, 2004
There were people in the TV room, and i didn't really feel like kicking them out, even though it was just E!, since transcripts abound and who really wants to sit through all that applause, anyway?

Julian Sanchez mentioned the State of the Union drinking game, and a commenter wrote:
I love the way that all Presidents deliver their lines:

"We will not give in. We will stay the course. (escalate voice to booming while fist shakes slightly) And we will build a better America!"

Followed by thunderous applause.

And they do it every 2 minutes in those speeches.

The best part is, you can take the words I wrote and insert anything else, but as long as it roughly matches that rhythm you get the same effect. The Daily Show did something about that last year. Steven Colbert, their reporter, said stuff like:

"The speech was long. It was unremarkable. And it was utterly devoid of content!" (last sentence in a rising voice with slight fist shaking) Then they show footage of Congress doing another standing ovation.

He ended the skit by saying "Ok, Jon, my report is done. I'm hungry, maybe I should get a taco. It will be spicy. It will be juicy. And it will be delicious!" (followed by footage of Congress doing a standing ovation)
proof that i know how to employ cut-tagsCollapse )

(Sidenote: Who knew DC had a Presidential primary? carpdeus, apparently.)
11:39p
Wow, i am going to bed while it is still today.

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