O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
-"O Little Town of Bethlehem" (Phillips Brooks)
Friday morning, my hair froze for the first time this season. I was excited.
When I left my house a little after 8 in the morning I thought there was frost on the ground, but there were white flecks in the air. Snow!
And the temperature was pretty much my winter ideal (according to weather.com, that's 22F feels like 4-6F with winds ~20mph). My ears were cold when I got to work, and that made me happy. I fully admit to being a freak; I'm a happy freak, though.
me: "Thoughts on lunch?"
Eric: "I'd like to eat it at some point."
me: "Well Mary Alice doesn't seem to be here today, and Katie's hungry, so should I just have her come down and fetch you?"
Eric [deadpan] "Yes. Woof, woof."
People felt like watching something light, so since I had HIMYM at my desk (with neglected intent to loan to Katie) we watched the first two episodes of that.
At one point when I went down to visit Katie during the afternoon, Greg was there talking about the faculty dinner (Saturday) which he wasn't excited about, whereas Katie was saying she would love to be a fly on the wall. Being a deeply nosy person, I agreed with her. He said it's random seating, very formal, lots of hobnobbing, nobody dances on tables. I recalled last year's end-of-semester NEG dinner at Daedalus [June 5th of this year, my first weekday in my new apartment, not yet Internet in my apartment, so not much in the way of an LJ entry about it].
Later, Katie told me that she told her dad about the gift Jerry had gotten for her and he said, "I thought you worked for Greg." Hee.
Singspiration was meh (as has become customary).
John P. & Mike F. were v. pleased to see me, as per always. (I am so easy -- such a sucker for being wanted, incl. non-sexually.)
As per usual, I was unimpressed by the song choices. Some were unfamiliar to me, some I'm not that into, and some I sang because they have good music even though I can't fully get behind the words.
I was humming along to the Offertory, trying to place the hymn, and then found myself singing "Gloria, in excelsis Deo." [It was "Angels We Have Heard on High."] To my delight, a number of the congregants sang along with the chorus.
The By Faith Quartet did "Goodbye World, Goodbye," "Moving Up To Gloryland" and "I'll Fly Away." I was introduced to that last song in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Gillian Welch & Alison Krauss) and really like the sound of it, but I've gotten sensitized to an emphasis on Heaven when it implies a de-emphasis on this life, so I was v. uncomfortable.
PB led us in "O Little Town of Bethlehem," and then we had the Christmas Carols by-request part, followed by a guest duet of "O Holy Night."
I was annoyed that people kept choosing really mellow songs (I was this close to asking for "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing") 'cause to me it's all about joy. [I've heard mention recently of the idea that we're not supposed to sing Christmas songs in church during Advent, which makes sense to me but makes Advent too much like Lent for me. As I'm writing this up now, I recall the homily I heard on Sunday which included the idea of one way of preparing for something great being "living into" the dream.]
The request list, in order:
"Infant Holy, Infant Lowly" (which the hymnal has given the Scripture excerpt of Rev. 19:16!)
"What Child Is This?"
"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" (a Longfellow poem Joe F. read part of during his introductory remarks, so I meant to tease him afterward asking if he'd planted that requestor)
"Once in Royal David's City"
"Angels We Have Heard on High"
"Joy to the World!"
"Silent Night! Holy Night!"
At the Fair, John P. and Mike F. had told me I should come back and sing "Amazing Grace" (Singspiration's always closing hymn) with them, so I did. I'm not sure where Mike had gone, but it was nice singing with John. The whole time he had his (really warm) hand on my upper back, and of course I'm such a sucker for touch, too.
I was a little bummed that Elyse and Don weren't there to chat with, but I chatted with various other people, including George&Sandy, which was bizarre because I almost never talk to them (and actively dislike George) but they were v. inquiring and encouraging. And Bev said "I think of you a lot, actually" (It's fairly obvious why I keep coming back, right?). Eddie (who is now 10 years old) talked to me for like an hour. I finally left around 11:05.
In bed by midnight, up at 9am: 9 hours of sleep = rock!
Saturday morning I went to visit the library. I went with Terry to pick up the mail at the post office and on the way we went to Dunkin' Donuts (which always makes me think of you, traces). He bought me a hot chocolate, and it was so yummy. He'd bought me a Dunkin's hot chocolate one time years ago, and I think I was similarly impressed, which makes me wonder how I'd forgotten.
He was totally lusting after a Honda Ridgeline, and I just didn't see the appeal (though it has a backseat, which is nice). Of course, I fail at aesthetics and automobiles anyway. I was telling my mom I wasn't taken with Mary Alice's box-on-wheels (which I would swear is a Scion, though the gallery pictures don't look quite right), but at least few other people were excited about her car either. Of course, any difference of opinion I ever have clearly needs an LJ poll.
I came home and my mom asked if Terry had driven me somewhere, noting that the back of my coat was entirely coated in dog hair. I should have remembered, if not from previous rides in his truck from that morning at Dunkin's when he said,"You have dog hair on your ass." She said, "You'd never be able to have a secret affair," Though we both agreed that not only do we have the excuse of being friends from the library but there are plenty of ways I could work around that. It is also true (we agreed) that I would have a v. difficult time (keeping something like that secret) because I share so much about my life (and have such issues about lying).
My mom took me clothes shopping at Kohl's and I got a couple things and we quit before I hit my clothes shopping quota, so I didn't feel the impulse to kill myself.
I also bought myself Boggle and Uno* cards for my apartment, but the only Apples to Apples we found was "party crate" version, and really I don't need it in a wooden box, so I think I'll internet purchase that one.
*It annoys me that game makers feel the need to revamp the look of their product every once in a while. I did actually considered ebaying for the "real" Uno cards but decided it wasn't that important.
I dislike obligatory gift giving, and prefer just buying things for people when I see something that makes me think of them, but there are people I'm quite fond of whom I rarely see anything which jumps up and says "buy me," which makes me sad. [I imagine I'm equally evil to shop for, of course.]
We got back from shopping about ten minutes of five, so rather than grab my stuff and get driven to the train station to make the 5:05, I stayed for dinner and got the 7:03.
My mom said, "I wonder if Elizabeth updated her LiveJournal while I was with her." She said something similar one night after we'd been watching tv when I was home over Thanksgiving, so I joked that should be the new title for my LJ :)
On my way home [Somerville], I passed a place selling Christmas trees, and I inhaled the scent and I love it so.
Earlier this weekend I was feeling grinchy for not having participated in most anyone's holiday card polls and lo, I picked up my mail when I got home and it included one from pandorasboxes which filled me with ♥.
I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed/inadequate. The idea of writing this Joyce paper, of writing an exam, when I have no thoughts; plus the cleaning I should do before I have visitors this holiday, plus etc.
I woke up at like 5:45 or something -- or dreamed I did -- but went back to sleep and didn't end up getting up until about 9 (which means ~9hrs of sleep/night two nights in a row).
I also had weird dreams. First one was a class held in a pseudo-attic, where we were doing dramatic readings (cf. last Joyce class), and it was somewhat disorganized, and Jessica suspectplaces (whom I haven't spoken with in ages) showed up and got on my case about not having locked the door (the exterior door to the building, since it was in somebody's house, and I had locked it umpteen times but people kept showing up and that one time I hadn't locked it).
Second dream was probably triggered in part by my recent thinking about how I used to have these dreams where I'd be running (usually away from someone) but I wouldn't actually be able to run and would either be running in slo-mo or would end up crawling, and how I haven't had one of those dreams in quite a while and I figure that says something good about my psych base-level. Anyway, so I dreamed I was on the Red Line with my brother and paper_crystals? and we got out at Davis? station and they started running and I asked why and my brother said "Why do you think?" and I had a vague memory of someone being after them (writing this up now, it occurs to me to link this to a WaT ep I watched recently) so I ran after them, and I was way behind them, though we split up and I caught up with them and then paper_crystals (who around this time sort of turned into Remus Lupin) was the one falling behind, and I pushed someone out of my way maybe killing them, and we got to my apartment, which was above a convenience store, and I didn't manage to get the exterior door locked before the bad guys got to the door (which at the time/upon waking felt like a recurrent dream) and I was trying to hold the door shut and started yelling "Help! Help! I'm being attacked! Somebody help me!" (which is impressive, as I almost never manage to yell in these situations in dreams) and the main guy was laughing at that possibility, but then the convenience store owner shot him right in the head and he fell down, leaving a trail of blood on the window. I'm interpreting this dream as a good thing.