Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2008: Hope

Happy New Year, everybody. This is where I wish you a "Great 2008," not because it rhymes, or in any case not only because it rhymes, but because I think this year has incredible potential.
Good luck to you!


Some of you have apparently either lost my phone number or are having a steamy winter affair with a foreign super-model. If it's the latter, I congratulate you. If it's the former (or if you just want to give me all the kinky details about the super-model), my digits are (502) 287-3511. You should dial them.

Happy New Year, everybody! Here's to new beginnings, closure, and an even better year than the last. For those of you who are far away from me (shoutout to Visakhapatnam!), I miss you like crazy and can't wait to see you again. Folks in da Ville, it's wonderful to be with you again! Thanks for the big Southern welcome, and for making me feel so loved. Everybody, give yourselves big hugs from me, and hopefully I'll see you soon to give you yours in person!

Friday, December 21, 2007


In my dorm room it will be dark now, very quiet, and cleaner than it ever was when I lived there. Under the window, the streetlight is probably shining on my 3' plastic Christmas tree. At the top of the tree is a star made of Popsicle sticks and covered in glitter. Nestled in the artificial foliage are crochet angels, a shiny plane with a sunglass-wearing rabbit which says "#1 sister," a wooden rocking horse ("baby's first Chrsitmas, 1989"), a blue glass globe that asks for "PEACE," and Princess Leia in her Jedi garb. The lights hang off the branches, dead and limp.

Right now, as I sit and picture this lonely little shrine, I imagine one obvious bare spot, on the front left center of the tree. The previous occupant of this spot is a beautiful, fragile, winged woman, looking to the sky with outstretched wings and arms. As I made my final go-around through my room for forgotten necessities, it seemed right to reach out and hold this sad little woman in the palm of my hand. It seemed even more fitting to cradle her to my chest, and then nothing would do but to tuck her safely away in my travel bag of wool sweaters, and, with a final salute to Oberlin, we headed home.

The first thing I did when I got home yesterday-well actually, no, the first thing I did was hug my Daddy and Squirt, and wrestle with Riley (my dog!), so this was the third thing. Ok, so the third thing I did when I got home yesterday was to carefully remove the tiny ceramic angel from her sweater nest and place her at eye level on the left side of our Christmas tree. It felt so right to have the angel here, and the longer I stood there the more convinced I was that this is where she needs to be. I've decided that she's healing. That's what that little figure says to me; she's a woman, alone, overcoming and rallying herself to face new challenges. Her eyes are closed, but her face is lifted; she's no longer naive, but still warm and full of hope. I think she's going to be just fine. She's content to be home, surrounded by tinsel and lights and people who know and love her. And she's going to be Just Fine.

A lot's happened this semester. Since returning to the 'Ville, I've noticed that:
-I've changed.
-I'm exactly the same.
-Louisville's a different city.
-This town is just what it always was.
-Daniel's tall, and far too poised (and cheeky!).
-He's still five years old, in his heart of hearts.
-So am I.

Louisville, I've missed you so much. It's good to be back. Tomorrow I will cook in my own kitchen, with my own obnoxiously loud music, in my own obnoxiously childish pajamas. There will be Spatula Solos, and long hugs, and twirling. Yes, twirling!

COMING SOON: Highlights From Semester One, "Erin E. Goes to Obieland"

(Tonight Daniel and I got Chinese take-out. My fortune begins and ends with little smiley faces, the way Emperor of China fortunes do. It says:
"A carrot a day,may keep cancer away."
No joke, that's what it says. Also, my lucky lotto six #s are: 7 5 4 20 23 22)

The Lobb Family Tree of Nerdom! (Space Ornaments on the Lobb Tree, "talking"):
-Lunar Rover
-Freedom 7
-Space Shuttle
-Lunar Module -“Incredible. It’s really a wild place up here..”
-Gemini- John Glenn –“Roger. Zero G and I feel fine. The view is tremendous.”

Star Trek-
-Captain Kirk
-Commander Sisko
-Captain Picard
-Enterprise II,III,IV
-Vulcan Battle Cruiser
-Romulan Warbird
-Commander Riker
-Dr. Leonard McCoy
-Borg Cube -“We are the borg. Enjoy your holiday. Resistance is futile.”
-USS Voyager
-Shuttlecraft Galileo- “Shuttlecraft to Enterprise. Shuttlecraft to Enterprise. Spock here.
Happy Holidays. Live long and prosper.”
-Captain Janeway
-USS Runabout
-USS defiant –DS9
-USS Voyager
-Klingon Bird of Prey

Star Wars-
-Boba Fet
-Han Solo Darth Maul
-Qui Gon Jinn
-Millenium Falcon
-x-wing starfighter
-Nabo starfighter
-Darth Vader -“The force is with you, young Skywalker ….but you are not a Jedi yet.”
-Queen Amadila
-Obiwan Kenobi
-Princess Leia
-Luke Skywalker
-Imperial Stormtrooper
-Gungan submarine
-Darth Vader’s tie fighter
Christmas Cider

2 qt cider or apple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
a dash of nutmeg
4 cinnamon sticks (or more)

slow boil in a slow cooker or large pot and leave in open air. Entire house will smell like spiced cider.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I am awake. WHY?

It's 4:07 AM.

I am awake.

This does not please me.

If it was not, in fact, 4:07 AM, I would come up with something clever that began with the letters A and M and stood for "time to be asleep." Except it would be more vehement than that because it would be in ALL CAPS and probably end in a few choice curse words.

Why am I awake at 4:10 AM?

I wish I knew.

The immediate answer to that question is:
1.) The fire alarm (which hurts my ears and sounds like demon indigestion/squeels of pain from the pits of hell) went off.
2.) When I failed to notice this (becuase it is 4:12 Atimetobe Masleep), and did not move, my roommate opened the connecting door and began shouting my name. At least that's what happened from my perspective. From her doorside view, she calls into the darkness over the demon sounds, and this body slams bolt-upright in bed with a horrified gasp, and begins looking at her with wide staring eyes.

At that point I looked at my roommate (who by this time had gathered her precious belongings in a teetering pile in her arms and was practically running out the door), and inquired as to what, pray tell, might be going on... ("ACK! uhhgu? Wablooo ell? whazzit? Whatime? ubluguh nuh." which, roughly translated, means: "Huh? What the (curse)? What is that awful sound, and why? What time is it? (curse) ok, I'm up") But by the time I articulate this, my roommate is gone. So's my mind. Apparently waking me up from a deep sleep with screaming and demon sounds, then running away in a panic does bad things to my brain. I run out the door. Half way out, I run back in for my robe. I run back out. The front of my body is hunched over, my eyes are still squinted closed. I get outside.

It is very cold.

If I had not taken to wearing socks to bed, I would have been barefoot. As it was, I was in sock feet, a tank top pj top and (luckily) fleece pj pants. To quote a great mind: "my toes are froze. And my noze is froze too!" I also did not have my glasses, which meant I did not recognize any of the mulling angsty muttering figures around me. I began calling my roommates name in a panic. At least, I think that's what I said. I didn't find her. As far as my sleep-crazed mind was concerned, she was dead, and so was I. I did find Rachel. Her body was warm. I love her now. We are going to elope in the sunrise tomorrow. Yes.
So Rachel hugged me and let me stand on her feet. I found Jeff, also. He was in a t-shirt, like it was no big thang. I grunted at him. His response, "nice hair," did not cheer me. (My breath is just tasty too. MmmmMmm good!)

So what, you might wonder, did my roommate deem valuable enough to gather at life's peril and deliver safely from the (not) burning dorm?
-BabyDog (a wellworn stuffed dog, not a real one, that wears a pink dress)
-the Boyfriend Box, containing all ticket stubs, dried flowers, cards, napkins, and other memerabilia
-a china ballerina and Lock Ness Monster (both of which belonged to a favorite grandma)

Heck, I didn't even remember my glasses. Or shoes.

Again I ask you, why am I awake at 4:32 AM?

The other potential answers to that question, which the perpetrator better be (cursing) thankful I don't know include:
1.) incense (the dominant explaination, which I find unsatisfying)
2.) hot-boxing, or smoke-boxing, or whatever it's called, which, as it was explained to me in a shocked how-do-you-not-know-how-to-do-this voice, is when you smoke up some mary-jane in an enclosed space to trap the smoke, so you get higher and higher.
3.) Fire Poi Club was firedancing in Starlight lounge. (this is false. If it were true, it would almost be forgivable because that is so (cursing) bad(curse). And by that I mean awesome).
4.) late night grilled cheese cravings gone horribly horribly wrong.
4.) OPAN was performing sexy candle wax cleansing rituals.
5.) people are dumb (yes)
6.) it's a plot to make sure Erin doesn't sleep. The government is involved, especially The Man. Yes, that Man. And it's so convoluted and complicated and well orchestrated and blobulated that I have not yet figured it out and/or come to suspect anything.

It's 4:39 AM. I am awake. I see this as a problem I would like to correct.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


If I could, I would put this day in slow motion and live it again, savoring each sensation and every moment. The bites would last long enough to taste all the spices, smell every memory, and feel every grain of texture. I would have time to settle into the smell of everyone's hugs and feel loving arms around me for years at a time. My aunt's smiles and cousin's wildly gesticulated stories would stretch to fill me up, the snores and laughter and easiness would go on and on, and I could go back to my concrete cubicle feeling so full of love that it would buoy me up to winter break before real time had a chance to work me over.

Dinner was heavenly. It took nine chefs and three ovens to work the magic this year. As per tradition, all the men of the family arrived at my aunt/uncle's house early to make the delicious stuffing (the secrets of which are jealously guarded). The highlights of the evening included the smashed potatoes, green beans (stir-fried w/ mushrooms and almonds), corn pudding and stuffing. Also, the cranberries (served can shaped, the way they're supposed to be), artichoke dip, and rolls were delicious. The marshmallows on the sweet potatoes didn't catch fire this year, but turned a nice golden color (Lenny took a picture). And of course, there was plenty of groaning and grinning over the Derby pie, made by Emily and her friend Liz. For those of you not from Kentucky, Derby pie is a chocolate-pecan pie in a golden sugary crust. God laid it on the bluegrass on the 7th day to show his love for Kentucky.

After dinner, the men fell asleep in front of the TV (though if you ask them, they were all wide awake and engrossed in football, and definitely not snoring/drooling), and the ladies (+ Lenny) slumped back in our seats to sip coffee and share stories. Lot's of exciting/tragic/everyday/extraordinary Things have happened this year, and Plans are being laid.

In Other News:
-The Girls Are Back In Town! Scandal, pigging, and giggling will ensue.
- Daniel (my baby bro) is participating in this "no-shave November" business. He looks OLD.
-The Kids Table won the Awesome Award again this year, hands down. Grown-Up Table needs to step it up.
-Julie (my cousin) is still ridiculously ticklish.
-So am I.

Have you been outside tonight? It's a full moon, and everything's lit up, it's really beautiful. I'm gonna go for a walk after this, and I'll be thinking of you. (You=family and friends, people I love, and people I have yet to meet and love.) If you get the chance, I hope you look out at the same moon, and think of me too. Happy Thanksgiving, and goodnight!

Uncle Bob's Corn Pudding

1 can whole kernel corn
2 cans creamstyle corn
2 eggs
1 tsp each salt and pepper (to tast)
2 Tbs butter
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

pour into a casserole dish
bake at 350 for 1 hour
turn off the oven and let it sit in the oven to set up.

Monday, November 19, 2007

High Velocity Melons

Erin Eliza's life lessons of the week:
-Two loads of laundry cannot be compressed into one dryer. Nothing will get dry except your socks and nylons. 75 cents is a small price to pay for warm, dry, sweet-smelling cottons.
-Some sweaters you'd normally have to hand-wash may be machine washed if placed in a "delicate bag."
-Taking your bass/stool/music/bow/text books/purse across campus to keep in your room for the weekend is NOT worth it, unless you have a very good reason. It eats the room space, and then you have to worry about bothering your neighbors. Plus, what goes north must eventually go south again, meaning that, tonight or tomorrow, I must return dear Darcy and all his accessories to the Con.
-A double recipe of spice cookies makes a bagajillion cookies. And then some.
-When walking down stairs in strappy heels, do not take long boisterous strides. Delicately place your heel, then toe, on the stair in front of you, and move your other leg only when you are sure you're secure.
-On the great list of Hottest Things Ever, dancing the Tango ranks pretty damn high (right next to cadential 6-4 chords, cause those are hawt, and yeah, you can get a "hawt" for that).

My Tonks Point Count for the week (aka things I have fallen down/run into/spilled on myself/etc):
-Three flights of stairs (5 for a genuine slide and flailing backside landing, 2 each for tripping and catching myself, +3 for in-class tumblage, -2 for wearing strappy high heeled shoes on stair #2. Total=11 points)
-Coffee (3 each, +3 for repeated dribbling of the same cup, +2 for spilling on a white coat. Total=11)
-Tea (1 each for mugs, 5 for pot, -1 each for incidents in morning. Total=9)
-High velocity melon flinging onto Attractive Male Group Member (5 points. +2 for additional cottage cheese flecks, +2 for apparently hilarious look of horror. Total=9)
-Three door frame side-swipes (2 each. +2 for massive hip bruisage on bathroom stall lock, -1 for early morning. Total=7)
-Full body slam into inconveniently placed wall in dorm lobby (5, +1 each for Hipsters present, +3 for continuing to carry on conversation with Cute Guy. Total=10)
-Running into the same wall the next day (10)
Overall Total=66 Tonks Points.

Ok, I've gotta go, but there's more to come! Really. Eventually.

k, bye!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Blanket Forts

Remember when you were five and you and your little bro/sis/cousins made blanket forts out of furniture, pillows, heavy stuff and every blanket/quilt/afghan you could find in the house? And you would drape quilts over tables you'd turned sideways, and hold down corners with heavy books till the whole room was a giant circus tent and you had to army crawl through cotton tunnels to get to where you could sit up? Well if you just change that "when you were five" to 18, 19, and 21, and change "little cousins" to creative writing/computer science/religion/international studies/DnD majors, then you know exactly what has been going on in sci-fi lounge this weekend. I think Julia was the one who started it, but the blanket-fort tradition has been resurrected and embraced by residents of North, and I love it.

The best things about blanket forts:
-The way light goes through different quilt squares in different colors.
-wriggling through the tunnels on your stomach while trying not to pull your delicate shelter down around you.
-watching your friends wriggle through said tunnels.
-the coziness of a fleece-ceiling tent and pillow-blanket floors
-tickle wars
-poetry readings by flashlight
-sock feet

In other news, Stephen is not, in fact, a kangaroo rat. Which means eventually he must get up and empty his bladder.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A good night for flying

I've been terrible about posting recently. I know this. That's just what my weeks have been like. Anyway, I'm going to try and catch up now (believe it or not, I'm about to have a reasonably light week!), even though I've forgotten things. So this is the first of a rapid fire posting attack about my past couple weeks. Time travel to, uhhh, about two weekends ago...

I have five favorite places on campus. Three of them are in the Arboretum. A few blocks past South, through those nice neighborhoods, the arb encompasses two small ponds, several streams, at least two bridges (a fallen tree decorated with ribbon fungus layers and ferns, and a manmade flatbridge with the words "all good teenagers take off there close" graffitied in blue), a nice woodsy area for walks, a fire pit (with two beaten up lawn chairs facing off across the coals), and a bare hill surrounded by trees. As I'm walking down to the water, two signs make me smile every time:

No Public Parking Beyond This Point, Pedestrians Welcome.

No Parking, Dusk-Dawn.

Last Saturday night/Sunday morning, in the stillest part of the night, when sensible people were snoring and even the most determined insomniacs were slumping off to bed, our motley crew made it's cheerful pilgrimage to the Arboretum. There were seven of us, all Northerners (with a few honorary Langsta Ganstas that have been absorbed by the Lounge) walking through neighborhoods where the streetlamps lit up our breath and eager faces. The noises of life quieted to crunching leaves, soft voices, and the occasional burst of laughter. Julia and I hummed to ourselves, and sometimes traded in whispers and Looks broken by giggles. Mark zipped along beside on his bike, belting out 70s pop tunes, and Alyssa told us about her Llama book, as we made our meandering way to the Hill for poetry and stargazing.

When neighborhoods gave way to woods, the stillness was almost perfect. There was no wind, and in the suspension of movement and sound I felt the bite of cold air zing through my lungs. When we got to the edge of the reservoir I lagged behind. The water was glass, and in it a second set of stars lit up the world from below. Around the edges of the water, the silhouettes of leaf-bare trees stretched out their limbs. The world in starlight was made of gray, textured with gray. I leaned out over the edge of the water and narrowed my vision until I was sandwiched between the glittery blue-black worlds, and I spread my wool-encased fingers wide. It was a good night for flying.

We tottered around the edge of the water and through the woods, holding on to each other and relying on memory when sight escaped. Stephen, Rosemary, and Jeff were already settled in at the top, their flashlight a tiny pinprick in the black. I spread out a fleece blanket beside the others. It -popped- as it whipped the cold night air, and floated down to the grass. Each of us laid down our offerings in the center; Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Lord Byron, ee cummings, William Blake. I lay back on my blanket and let my bones flow into the ground while I looked up at the stars. There are so many stars to see in the Arb on a clear night.

The first shooting star took us by surprise. Those of us who saw it felt blessed, its silent arc of light burned in our minds after it faded. The next soft gasp was a wonderful coincidence. Two in just a few minutes! After that, the sharp intake of breath signaled our eyes to follow fingers without any need for explanation. I heard someone say recently that a couple Saturday night/Sunday mornings ago, there was a great meteor shower that you could see really well, 'cause it was so clear out. At the time, I knew it was magic.

That night I learned that:
Julia, Stephen and Rosemary are fantastic poets. They each read some of their original work, which ranged from cheeky to poignant, and I hope to hear more of them.
If you're cold for long enough, you forget you have a nose and the shivering stops.
Shakespearean sonnets become a lot more sexy when recited in whispers.

Back in the present: It's been raining on and off all day. Right now it's on. The sky is grumbling, and everything is dark. Doug, who lives in my dorm, is playing banjo somewhere in the distance. I hope he knows that at least one person is listening to him, and smiling.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

How the Cookie Crumbles

So tonight Daniel (my not-so baby bro) and I went to Cafe Mimosa, a restaurant I love so much that I noticed changes in the waiting staff since I've been gone, and it made me a little sad. But anyway, we were having a nice dinner, laughing and being our usual sophisticated selves (right), and at the end of the meal we got the check and, more importantly, the fortune cookies. Well I handed Daniel his cookie, and he handed me mine (that's what makes them true, you know), and I reminded him to add the appropriate ending to his fortune. Well he opens his and reads aloud: "You will be awarded a great honor (in bed)." Lovely. I am happy for him. I eagerly open my cookie, and sit up to read aloud--and it's empty. Empty! I break the cookie into little pieces to make sure; there's nothing in there. And nothing in the wrapper, nothing on the table... Apparently, I don't have a future. My advice to add the traditional ending takes on new significance.

Later that evening, Daniel's philosophizing over his pecan pie (w/ butter pecan ice cream. I had the dutch apple with caramel, tried and true, but I digress). He came to the happy conclusion, in regards to my lack of fortune, that "Well at least we know it won't be a fireball of death." His logic was, of course, that since he still had to be awarded a great honor, he wasn't going to die tonight, which meant it probably wasn't a traffic accident on the way home.

Great. This is very reassuring considering how very comfortable I am driving the van after walking everywhere for three months.


Anyway, right now my hair smells like woodsmoke, my face is sticky with marshmallow, and I still exist. All is right in my world.

Tomorrow, I return to Obieland, around 5ish (emphasis on the ish). Let's do something fun.
Peanut Butter Blossoms/Peanut Butter Nipple Cookies
  • preheat the oven to 375
  • cream 1 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup butter and 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • beat in 2 eggs, 1/4 cup milk, and 2 tsp vanilla
  • gradually add 3 1/2 cups flour, 2tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt
  • roll the dough into balls, and roll these balls in granulated sugar so they're coated on all sides
  • place on ungreased cookie sheets
  • bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees.
  • while they're baking, unwrap a lot of hershey's kisses.
  • as soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, press a kiss into the center of each
  • if you want, a little later you can come back and press the kiss down a little more so there's a nice ring of chocolate around it.

(this will make about 7 dozen cookies)

Buns in the Oven

You may have visited this site recently and wondered why I'm too lazy to scribble a few words about my day on the internet, when obviously I'm home on fall break and probably have lots of free time on my hands. Well contrary to your (and my own) visions of lots of free time and lazy days, I've been having so many adventures that I haven't had time to document them! But I have time now. So I'm going to break my break into sections, and post them here all at once. Try not to freak out.

Excerpt #1 from Fall Break, Night on the Town (Thursday evening):

So Thursday night I went out on the town with my lovely cousin. After we'd hit all the strip joints, left the disco club, and paid Pablo...

Ok, no, actually we went to Panera Bread, where I met Emily's boyfriend from Boyce, we went Halloween shopping, and then went out for coffee before visiting with our grandma. So I guess I'll tell you about that, even though my other story might have been more exciting...

So I met Emily's boyfriend. I've already reported back to the family, but I'll say it here too: I thoroughly approve. He was very friendly, sweet and polite, and very attentive to Emily. I like him a lot (and this doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I think he can get me discounts at one of my favorite restaurants/he gave me free raspberry Jones), and I guess Emily does too, which is really all that matters anyway.

In other news, my cousin, Emily, has bought a car. It's a very pretty car, a bright red Jeep, with decent gas mileage, lots of room, very safe. I know the real reason she bought it though: it has Toosh Toasters! The driver and passenger-side seat have built in seat warmers! Now, with the push of a button, our buns can be gently roasted while our appendages shiver. I tried them myself, they're wonderful, and I can think of many less sensible reasons to buy a car. I'd like to get some toosh toasters myself, in fact.

One story about the toosh toasters that I simply must share (I have permission):
My cousin was out with her friend in the new car. They'd both just run through the cold rain (it's been raining here all week) and were soaked through. Emily says she was so cold couldn't feel anything when they climbed into the car and started driving. After a few minutes, she found out she could feel something; a wet warmth spreading across the lower half of her body. Emily looked at her friend, who was on the phone, in horror. She had her suspicions about that wet warmth, which, in her numb state, she had no way to confirm or deny. (keep in mind, as Emily tells me this story, she's reenacting with facial expressions and interrupting herself with fits of laughter) It was only when she saw the light on the seat warmers that she understood how she'd been fooled. Her friend give her a questioning look, to which my cousin replies "oh, nothing." For a long moment there, she thought for sure she'd peed her pants. Toosh toasters strike again!

I'm totally getting a car with toosh toasters, by the way. Forget brakes and bumper and all this nonsense. I just want to keep my buns in the oven.

Excerpt #2, Campbellsville (Thursday morning/afternoon):
We thought we were sneaking up on her, so she wouldn't have time to put together a complicated meal. We should have known better than to try and catch Nana off her guard though. Mom and I went down to Campbellsville to visit relatives this week. When me got to my Nana's house, hot on the heels of "come 'ere you, give me a hug," "I've missed you so much," and "So you like it, then?" came "want some potato soup?" followed closely by green beans, and dutch apple pie. It was all delicious, of course. Then came the family stories and the sizing up (Apparently I'm still pretty, though I need to eat more :-) ). We also visited my Papo, he's doing very well, all things considered. We gave him a Nascar book, and he made us laugh. He seemed in good spirits. It was a nice diversion. Also, driving through the country was absolutely gorgeous, the leaves are glorious this year.

Different kinds of brown/gold that I observed on the way to Campbellsville:
-pure Au gold, like those flecks in the souvenir water tubes that you hold up to catch the light
-roasted-marshmallow brown, (warm, golden, and perfect)
-mulled-cider brown, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg
-creek-bank mud brown
-pumpkin pie orangish brown
-algae-pond muddy brown

It was one of those days where it couldn't decide whether to rip open and dump storms, or shine, so parts of the sky were this ominous moody blue, but everything was streaked with distinct bands of light that would touch down on the treetops and tops of hills to bring out the bright colors. Some patches of road were dripping with gold, while in others the shadows were so dark there were almost purple.

Pie baking tips from Nana (only to be attempted once you've mastered all variations of the "stick o' butter, cup o' sugar, can o' beer" technique):
- To get a crumble crust pie, like a dutch apple pie, to cook perfectly in the center without burning the edges of the crust, take an aluminum pie dish and cut a circle in the center, so that you have the sides of the dish and then a 1-2 in rim around, and place that over the pie while it's in the oven.
- For a moist, smooth cheesecake with no cracks in the top, prepare a water bath for the dish to sit in while it's baking. To do this, fill an outside dish with water, then place your pie dish in the water dish before putting it in the oven. This spreads the heat to cook gently and evenly. It's also a good way to cook custards, and other desserts with an egg base. It works best if your pie dish is ceramic, not metal.

It seems like everyone in my family has their special recipe. There's Martha's carrot cake, Bob's Thanksgiving stuffing, Cathy's Christmas cinnamon rolls, Emily's Derby pie, Grammy's peanut butter blossoms, Dad's almond/mushroom green beans...even Daniel's already becoming known for his delicious banana bread! I wonder, sometimes, what my recipe will be. When my cousins, who are already getting far too old far too fast, start popping out babies, and their little darlings say 'Aunt Erin (does that sound clumsy to you? It does to me. Auntie Erin, maybe? Or maybe just Erin, cause I'm a cool aunt), Aunt Erin, won't you make _____!' what will I make? I think I will go on a quest, not for fame, fortune, or favor, but for my own personal recipe. I'll find a recipe that makes the people who know me smile and say 'nobody makes ____ like Erin!' And they'll be right. Now I just need to find guinea pigs....

Mom: (upon seeing a cow) Moooo!
Me: Coooooow!
Mom: (upon seeing a donkey) Oh, look at the donkeys.
Me: Are you gonna make a donkey noise?
Mom: (grinnning) heeee-haaaaw!
Me: Donkey! (laughing)
Mom: I just hope I don't see a pig....

(WTF: Since we were little, my family's played a car game where the first person to see a cow has to say "Moooo" before anyone else, and everyone else in the car has to say "Cooooow!" I think my dad started it. It was very entertaining when I was seven, and I gotta say, it hasn't lost its charm yet.

Since I posted this quote, Daniel has informed me that it's not really that funny. What do you think?)

-Riley keeps trying to give me toilet kisses.
-Dad's forgotten our (not-so-secret) finger wiggle handshake. He must be retrained.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Coronation of a Peppermint Princess

It's so strange to be home. My room has doubled in size since I've been gone. When I told mom I was gonna practice in there (I usually practice in the living room, or outside), she asked me, deadpan, if I'd have enough room. I just laughed. Yes, I think I can manage.

Also, Daniel went and grew up on me! He's taller, broader in the shoulders, and he's got this unmistakable dark shadow on his chin... he's nobody's little boy anymore, that's for sure (though I'm still going to call him Squirt. You know I'll always call you Squirt, Squirt). He's changed in other ways too, not just physically, I can't quite figure out what it is. He's calmer now, maybe, or more in control? I don't know. He says I haven't changed "at all", but that was right after I misplaced my keys (for the first time since I've been at Oberlin, ironically enough), tripped down the stairs, and ruffled his hair, so I really don't think that's fair.

There is one way I've changed, which mom noticed right away ("have you been eating right?" "Are you going to meals?"): I've lost weight. Put another way, I'm slightly less padded in key places than previously. :-) It's just a little difference, I didn't even believe mom until I got home and tried on an old skirt that I'd sadly put in storage before I left (for fear I'd squeeze into and break it for sheer stubbornness). I was very excited to have it settle comfortably around my hips, no popped buttons or stretched seams or anything! This is going to sound extremely girly and vain, but I'll admit, after I discovered this I pulled out a whole pile of old too-small clothes and tried them on. Rachel, I can now fit into that sparkly minidress you gave me! Look out world! (Don't worry, I wasn't trying to lose weight, and mom's doing her best to give it back anyways, what with her german chocolate, carrot cake, and potato casserole...)

Midterms and Other Assorted Factors (OAFs) have kept me from sharing my week with you in real time, so I'll describe some of the more interesting parts for you now:

-10:00 Wednesday: The Epic Pillow Fight of Doom on north quad. You probably heard the screams. And yes, it was as awesome as it sounds. Really, there aren't many better ways to relieve midterm stress than to attack your friends with pillows. This pillow fight was particularly entertaining because of the nerdy tendencies of the participants (author included). For instance, every few minutes, all warriors were ordered to freeze while some poor soul crawled around in the dark, feeling for their glasses (my own glasses had to be retrieved this way twice). Also, among the various battle cries were things like "For Science!" and "Prepare to meet your doom!" and light saber noises. It was glorious. Afterwards I lay in the grass panting, watching my breath rise through my steamed glasses, and thought about...nothing. And that is quite possibly the best part.

-The swing workshop was fantastic. I'm starting to understand the basics of lindy hop and the Charleston. East Coast swing, the easiest, is still my favorite by far. The leads were excellent, and very patient, as always. I had a lot of fun with this guy from Kalamazoo who knew just a little more than me about east-coast, but was a good dancer in general. Best of all, he had a sense of humor for all the times I stumbled. The regular Obie leads were, of course, charming. Also, Madison Crawl, the live band they brought in for the Saturday dances, is fantastic. I had as much fun watching them as dancing to them, I think. The bassist was a hoot, he spun his bass around, and held it over his head sometimes! The bassist was also the vocalist, and he had this raspy, jazzy voice that was fun to listen to. I can't describe the other instruments in great detail, but nobody cares about them anyway.

-Midterms. I had them, and now they're done. But I should say more, let's see...they weren't as hard as I thought they'd be. I only had three: developmental psychology, aural skills, and music theory. Developmental psych was the one giving me nightmares, but I actually think I did fairly well on it. I got extremely lucky, some of the questions on the test were things I'd reviewed that day. I know I screwed up one of the dictations for aural skills, and did ok on the practical. I'm fairly confident about how I did on Music Theory. I guess I'll find out soon enough. It feels pretty good to have them over with.

I'm sure there's more to say to you, but I've got a week to say it, so I'll take my time. Goodnight!

Coronation of a Peppermint Princess:

Hot liquid hisses and groans through a copper maze before plunging. It pounds, echoing off the tiles. Slap-slap, as a thin layer rises to meet the new liquid, then gurgling and glugging with cheerful splash-chatter. Viscous red syrup makes it's lazy way to drip in the center of this churning mass, and is transformed. A thick cloud rises from the union and brushes my face. It's warm, but it smells like cold, like candy canes and colored lights, and it zings through my sinuses, penetrates my senses.

I sink into my 3x5x3 palace . The royal robe, swathes of minty frosting, sloshes and swirls around me in peaks of pure white. Tiny crackles, pops, and sizzles melt onto my skin. On my head rests a crown of soft white roses, on my chest a necklace of fluffy mint pearls, and
on my chin, the royal peppermint goatee, complete with mint sideburns and a fine mint mustache. I am wrapped up safe in my cloud cradle, and with each breath unleashed I let the bones melt out of my body. The steam enters my skull and crowds out thoughts, reducing me to sensations. Warm. Soft. Candy Canes. Colored Lights. Heartbeat. Sinking.

On my head, a crown a of soft white roses- I rise from the foam, drips and clumps of white bubbles run down my skin. I breathe deeply, the scent fills me up again, and it is fresh and New.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


The giant sunflowers at the sunflower house are gone. If you're bold enough to step up to the yard though, you'll discover that the roses, which are still going strong (how do they bring out all those blooms on one bush? One of these days I'll have to ask. Watch it be one of my professors....), are bobbing on their stems because they're so heavy with perfume. The white english teas, especially, will make you dizzy with so much sweetness. I wish I could describe the smell to you, it's absolutely heavenly. Especially as an accent to the exciting patchwork quilt of smells I've been experiencing this week. Since Tuesday (when the local weather did that switchover from "why's it so hot, it's October?!" to "f*^$%, it's cold!"), I've started noticing the damp earthy smell of decaying leaves, overlayed by the crisp, biting tang of cold. For a couple nights now, I've smelled smoke from bonfires, too. And then of course, there's the perpetual funk of sci-fi lounge...

As a side note, the smell of rosin is similar enough to molasses to make you think you can eat it. Well you can't. It really does not taste like molasses at all, actually.

Steven's squash soup also smells like heaven (and nutmeg, hot-sauce, and carrots). If you get a chance to eat in kosher co-op, do it. You'll be so glad you did.

The changeover from summer to fall is all the more exciting this year, because I get to see it through the eyes of a friend whose California hometown doesn't have seasons. This poor deprived child, for all that he grew up with the roar of the ocean in his ears, has never rolled in a pile of damp, freshly raked leaves (or squealed because of the imaginary spider that must be crawling through it), never collected bright fallen foliage for a tracing book, has never run through the park like a fool trying to catch the pieces of color as they fall, and has probably never played acorn jacks! Obviously, this must be corrected! Yesterday, though it was very cold (yes I know, "get used to it"), I found consolation watching this friend experiment with breathing out different ways to see his breath. I didn't even notice I could see my breath, until he started huffing and puffing away! (I do believe there was even a giggle in there somewhere.) Also, he hasn't seen snow since he was 8... Snowball fights this year are going to be epic (;;cackles evilly;;).

There's probably a theme in there somewhere, something about appreciating old things in a new way... Maybe you'll appreciate it, I'm not going to think about it too hard just now (I'm saving all my thinking for midterms!).

In less than an hour, I'm going to take a basic Lindy swing class, and a basic Charleston class, so that I'll be ready (or at least won't make a complete fool of myself) at the costume swing dance tonight. After that...the study marathon!

By now you've probably heard that Spenser and I have broken up. No more Sperin. I really don't feel like going into detail about it. I'm ok. As far as I can tell, he's ok. We're still ourselves, just as individuals now.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


It is a good thing I have such a twisted sense of humor, because today has been one of those days that, if I couldn't laugh, I would have had to cry. And everybody knows big girls don't cry!

So this morning I slept through my 9:00 AM class. In fact, I slept until approx. 9:40, and barely made it to 10:00 Music Theory. I don't know what happened, I set my alarm just like usual! The only thing I can figure is I must have woken up to turn it off, then gone straight back to sleep. Which is ridiculous, and I don't remember this, but it makes sense.

Anyway, that ended up being ok, because I just went to a later section of the 9:00 (which, as a side note, is far more energetic, and far easier to comprehend at @ 2:30 than it is at 9), but I was frazzled all morning. And I already wasn't doing so hot. So then, my 11:00 class, I find out five minutes before class that our major papers are due today (the syllabus was changed and I really don't think I got that email, but whatever). Luckily I'm awesome, and I finished it last night (ahead of the game, in my book), so all I had to do was email it to the professor, but still.

And then! Well, no, it doesn't get much worse than that, actually. When I write it out, it doesn't seem so bad, but understand, it was perfectly tragic at the time.

I'm sitting outside right now, and a bee just landed on my toe. My bare toe. Yeah.

In other news, I've still got it. And by that I mean my black bean chili is still a taste-bud teaser, crowd-pleaser, weekend-easer. And fudge brownies are still magic.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Mr. Sperl's Donut Machine

This morning I was awake at Too:Early AM (about the time I would wake up to go to class if it wasn't SATURDAY). This is because, once again, an irritating beeping had nudged in on my dreams. It wasn't until I rolled over to glare at my alarm that I realized the beeping was my dream, and that it was, in fact, a Saturday. By then my brain (and bladder) were thoroughly awake, unfortunately. And so you find me here.

It's just as well, I suppose, because I've got a lot to tell you.

Did you know there's a Salsa Club, on campus? As in salsa dancing. Salsa dancing! And they meet every Thursday in South lounge! I only found this out last week, and I'm really excited about it. The movements of salsa dancing feel great, it's a very liberating kind of dance. You can't be shy in salsa. There are leads and follows, just like swing dancing, but in salsa, it's like the lead is paying homage to the follow, guiding her with his fingers, letting her twirl and show off and feel like a powerful woman, (there's actually a spin for which the Spanish to English translation is literally "show the girl off").

Tests are so much more stressful when they're timed! Case in point, I had five minutes to complete that dominant 7th chord resolution test I had on Friday, and it really did not go well. At all. I just completely didn't have time to do the last problem. And there were only four! I think we're going to take it again next week, since I was not alone in my distress. I need to study more for the next one, for sure.

So far, today has been pretty groovy (except for the negligible amount of sleep I got last night. Just for future reference, drinking a big cup of coffee right before you go to bed is just not a good call, no matter how good the company or how fancy and organic it is). Today, between the hours of 11 and 2, I removed myself from Oberlin, both mentally and geographically. I went to Mr. Sperl's house in Cleveland with Nishana, Gerald, and Janie for the annual donut bash. That will take some explaining...ok, so don't ask me why, but Mr. Sperl has a donut machine that makes approximately 400 donuts an hour, and every year he invites Cleveland orchestra folks, church/neighborhood folks, and his Oberlin bass students to have free donuts, cider, and coffee at his house. We got to meet his family, and there were all these adorable little kids bumbling around with chocolate and powdered sugar on their faces. Best of all, us bass students got to be silly and irreverent away from our responsibilities. I dunno what it's like back home right now, but it's been a beautiful day here. The sun was out, and the temperature's perfect, with a nice breeze. All the leaves are just starting to turn. It's just a great day to sit outside and get fat. Mmmmm fried sugar!

Hmmm, well tonight is the contra dance, and I've still got things to tell you from last week, so I'll come back to this. I hope everything is going well back home. Congrats, Daniel, on your fabulous report card (definitely finagle some good eats outta that one!), and all your recent soccer success (two shutouts, folks, give the man a hand!)! I miss you like crazy, hope you're finding time for fun.

Mr. Sperl's Donut Machine:
-First, the Donut Man flips the long red switch on the movable batter funnel up. It -clicks-.
-The batter funnel begins to gyrate slowly, side to side. A little tan puff of sweet batter squeezes out the bottom and -plops- into the oil. It immediately starts to bubble and -sizzle-, sinks to the bottom, and then bounces back to the top. As the bubbles clear, you can see a thick circle of dough. The funnel moves to the other side of the oil pan and lays down another little circle.
-The donut bobs up and down, floating in the oil, but half of it stays under and begins to brown. Metal rods move through the oil away from the batter funnel, carrying the donuts down the line. Then, about halfway through the oil pan, a metal sheet with holes in it turns through the oil. It lifts the donut out of the oil, and flips it so the uncooked side is submerged. The donut bobs along, and the newly presented side is a perfect golden brown.
-The donut is propelled through the oil until it reaches a ramp with moving chains stripped vertically along it. The donut is picked up by these moving chains and carried out of the oil to the top of the ramp. The donut teeters on the edge of the ramp, then slides down the other side, into a pan of hot, perfect donuts. It is soft and sweet.
-The donut is picked up by a little kid (or a big kid/a bass player), licking his lips, who is already covered in powdered sugar. He juggles it and blows on his fingers while running to the icing table.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Brain Soup and Ghosts

This morning I had the strangest dream. I dreamed that I was walking through a bizarre outdoor market-place, lined with many-leveled patched tents that had ladders in them. It was bright outside, and light shone through the tents to make everything different colors. And unusual looking people of all shapes and colors (and I mean all colors, including bright blue) were walking through the market in bright colored clothes, buying fresh foods and shiny trinkets. I was there with my dad, and I was wearing a wrist watch that kept beeping. I tried to turn off the beeping, because it was really irritating, but it wouldn't stop. I kept trying to walk through the market place and look at the human (and questionably human) parade going by, and my dad was waiting, tugging on my hand, he wanted to get lunch and I was hungry too, but I had to keep fiddling with the wrist watch to turn off the beeping, which no one else seemed to hear. After awhile, I guess I pressed the right button, cause the beeping stopped, and I was relieved, but worried too, and then just a little ways down the road the beeping started again, but louder! This strange beeping just got louder and made it hard to concentrate on all the new sights, and I really wanted it to stop, so I tried to take off the wrist watch, but I couldn't and I panicked, and then dad was gone and the street was melting away, and that's when I woke up.

And then I rolled over and turned off my alarm clock.

I looooooove my new bike! Did I tell you my mom brought me a new bike when she came to visit? It is so foxy. It's all black, with wide shiny fenders and big handlebars. I put my horn on it, and it just looks wicked. And the wheel isn't falling off, and the breaks work, too! And I feel like a ghost gliding along the paths. I can't even hear myself coming, it's so smooth. Yesterday I kept guiding my bike to ride through puddles just to hear the zip-zip and silence it made. It feels like flying. I've just got to remember that the break is a backpedal and not a hand break, because the first time I got on it, I was on the ground in under 40 seconds because I pushed back on the breaks. Also, shortly after that, I ran face first into a hanging basket trying to figure out how to stop...

I'll probably add to this later today, I've got to study right now. I'm missing you, but I'm working hard and making time for fun too. Give yourself a big hug from me!

Resolving V7 chords and their inversions, as summarized by Ms. Erin E:

-To build a dominant 7th chord, you must first build a major triad (meaning a "snowperson," a.k.a. line-line-line or space-space-space, with a M3 (major third-4 half steps/semitones) on the bottom and a m3 (minor third-3 half steps/semitones) on the top. Then, on top of this major triad, add a m7 (one whole step below tonic, the sub-tonic in the minor key of the root of your major triad), so that you have a "snowperson with a double chin." You now have a V7, or a dominant seventh, chord. It's called a V7, because it is always built on the V (dominant/5th) scale degree of the key it resolves to. This V7 that you just built is in root position (the root note of the chord is on the bottom). It would still be in root position if the root note was on the bottom, but the other notes were rearranged out of order.

-When you build your V7, the root of the chord is also the 5th (dominant) of the scale. The 3rd of the chord is also the 7th (leading tone) of the scale, and the 5th of the chord is also the 2nd (supertonic) of the scale, and the 7th of the chord is also the 4th (subdominant) of the scale.

-When resolving a V7 chord in root position to the key it's in, first mentally put the notes (which may be in any order as long as the bottom note is root) in "snowperson position," that is, stacked on top of each other, so you can figure out which is the root of the chord, which is the leading tone of the key, which is the 5th of the chord, and which is the 7th of the chord. First, your leading tone moves up a semitone to tonic. This is the key you are in. (It would be helpful here to know how many sharps or flats are in this key, so that you may check your I chord resolution)

-Next, the 7th of the chord moves down to become the 3rd of your I chord. If you are resolving to a major key, this 7th moves down a half step/semitone. If you are resolving to a minor key, move the 7th down a whole step. (you can tell if you are resolving to major or minor by whether or not the V7 chord has accidentals in addition to the key signature. If it has an accidental, this means that the minor key signature would call for that note to be a half step lower, but because your V7 is built on a Major triad, it must be raised. You can also tell by analyzing the intervals within your V7 chord. If you find an augmented 4th or a diminished 5th, you will resolve to a major key. If, however, you find either an augmented 2nd or a diminished 7th, you're going to minor) (If you're resolving to a major key, the chord you resolve to is called I, if it's minor, it should be lower case: i.)

-Now, move the root of your V7 chord (the 5th of the key) to tonic, either by moving up a perfect fourth, or down a perfect 5th. This is the root of your I chord.

-Finally, the remaining note in your V7, the 5th of V7 and 2nd of your key, moves either up or down a whole step, according to your preference. You've just resolved a root V7 to a I chord.

-Your V7 may not be complete. What I mean is, you may not see all four voices present in the original V7. If so, the absent voice is the 5th of the chord, and the chord is called incomplete. Incomplete chords are unique, because the repetition of the root of V7 in place of the 5th allows you to tie a common note over into the I chord. This way, you have a note belonging to both chords holding through. Whenever you can do this, you should. It will only happen on incomplete root V7 or inverted V7s, which I'm about to talk about.

-Your chord may not appear in root position. There are three possible inversions of this chord that you need to know about. The first inversion is built on scale degree 7, the leading tone (and 3rd of the chord), then stacked with the 2nd of the key (5th of the chord), 4th of the key (7th of chord), and finally the 5th of the key (root of the chord). The figured bass for this inversion is 6/5/3, abbreviated to 6/5, because the top three notes are, in order, a 3rd, 5th, and 6th, above the bass note. First inversion will appear: line-line-line-adjacent space, or space-space-space-adjacent line. First inversion usually resolves to tonic.

-The second inversion is shown by the figured bass 6/4/3, abbreviated to 4/3, because the notes appear in the 3rd, 4th, and 6th position above the bass note of the chord. The bass note of this chord is scale degree 2, and the 5th of the chord. Above this note are the 4th of the key (7th of chord), 5th of the key (root of the chord), and 7th/leading tone of the key (3rd of chord), respectively. Second inversion appears as two stacked notes in two lines next to each other, line-line space-space or space-space line-line. Second inversion can resolve to either tonic, or the first inversion of tonic I6 (or I6/3).

-The third inversion of a dominant 7th chord is unique, and relatively easy to build. In the words of my theory professor, it's "hot." The figured bass for third inversion of a dominant 7th chord is abbreviated to V4/2, because the positions above the bass note are 6, 4, and 2. (You can build a V4/2 on any note by building a major triad on the note a whole step above your original note.) This inversion is built on scale-degree 4, the 7th of the chord. Because you always resolve the 7th of the chord down a semitone, the bass note of the chord you resolve to will be the 3rd scale degree, making your I chord first inversion, or I6. The V4/2 chord is: 4th scale-degree/7th of chord, 5th scale-degree/root of chord, 7th scale degree/3rd of chord, and 2nd scale degree/5th of chord. It resolves to a tonic chord in first inversion, 3-5-1. The third inversion appears line-space-space-space or space-line-line-line.

-On a root position V7 chord, a complete V7 resolves to an incomplete I, and vice versa. However, when the V7 is inverted, it will be complete, and will resolve to a complete.

-If your V7 is inverted, the resulting I chord should have a common tone with the V7. You should never double the leading tone or chordal 7th of the V7 or its inversion, but you may double the root of the chord (the 5th scale degree), when it appears in both the V7 and the I, as it will in inversions.

My Point: I've written this out for myself, because I needed to organize my thoughts about V7 chords for a test on Friday. I've also written this out for you, though, so that you can see how my brain is rotting from disuse because I'm a music major and don't have to think. Since it's such a soft major and all.

p.s. Please note the SARCASM.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Support and Centripetal Motion

Simple Pleasures of College Life (excerpts from my weekend so far):

-Taking your clothes and sheets out of the dryer, then immediately donning a warm clean night-gown, slipping between the newly softened and toasty covers, and breathing deep the "Outdoor Fresh Scent" of clean. (as a side note, this new-laundry smell will always make me smile, because of a row of sweet-smelling shirts hanging beside a futon, and the boy who kept them there)

-Centripetal motion in the arms of a competent dance partner. (Tonight I attended the first of the year's monthly contra dances. Contra dancing is kind-of like square dancing, but more fun, with more spins, more partner interaction, and more natural bouncing and leaning. The next dance is Saturday, and I'm going to play in the band! The pianist is writing out the chords for me, I can't wait! And I'll be able to dance as well, which I'm thankful for. Between the swing dancing, the contra dancing, the biking and the rock-climbing, I'm gonna be in such good shape when you get me back! Except I'm eating ice cream with every meal... but it's not my fault, they have cinnamon, how am I supposed to resist that?!)

Cinnamon ice cream.

-Hugs from the ones you love. (Mom and Grammy are here visiting! Everything seems so much better because of that. I've been showing them around campus and catching up on news.... but really, I'm just soaking in/storing up love to hold me over till fall break.)

-Sleeping. I do love to sleep. In fact, I think I'll go get some sleep right now. (Wooo, yeah!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tension and Release

Have you ever noticed how close rain is to jazz? The waves of rhythmic tip-tap, and the quick succession of heavy and light beats, the different qualities of sound as it strikes different surfaces, how the feeling of it lingers in the air-- It's really very beautiful, soothing, even sensual. There's something both intimate and extravagant in these little outbursts. The rain on my window makes a solid percussive Tap Tap Tap, heavy and settled. Through leaves, rain whispers and hisses, fwooosh fwish shhhhhh, soft and introspective. Swishing and sloshing through gutters, it's more melodic, more determined, that must be the solo. Then when there's thunder and wind, groaning and quick change, that's when every thing's really soaring. Maybe the air is always full of music, and it just fills up and packs tight, until it's so heavy that it lets go. Tension and release, silence and music- rain makes the most beautiful cycles.

Today the air was thick, heavy, and full of expectations. It fit in close around me, and I knew it was a hug, because it felt so much like humid days at home. I'm missing home at strange times. I'm not thinking of home when I've got papers due or when I have no work to do, like a lot of folks. I miss home when my bike makes strange Ethel-Mermanlike squeals, and when there's a particularly juicy joke. I miss home under the big oak tree on North Quad, when I see red socks, in psychology lectures, and when I eat saltines, oddly enough. Sometimes I miss home in the conspicuous absence of "yall" and "g'mornin." Other times, I'm thinking of home for good reasons, like victories. For instance, I got my first Page to Stage paper back today, and did pretty well on it. I'm learning to identify intervals and scale degrees by ear. I'm not making mistakes anymore on the figured bass of diminished and augmented triad inversions. My bow arm is starting to do what I tell it to when I need volume and power. Exciting stuff is happening, that I have to share (and yes, brag, sometimes)! There are new people to tell this to, of course, people I like and have a lot in common with, and they're great. But sometimes I want to tell you, and that's when I miss you most of all.

Warning: DO NOT go to Serious Events, including but not limited to rehearsals, lectures, and/or study sessions, with a silly song stuck in your head. Such combinations may result in inopportune giggling, glares from authority figures, and the incongruous mental image of hearing nonsensical words issue from the mouths of the Stern and Authoritarian. Nonsense is not a joke.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Talk of Toes

I can't speak Toe, but if I could, I'm sure I'd be hearing a lot of angry words right about now (especially from my big toes). Toes are silly and self-pitying appendages, though, and I don't care a bit about them, because I feel fantastic. I've been spinning and tapping and twirling and laughing since 9 o'clock this evening, at the 2nd official college Swing Dance. I earned my Gryffindor colors today; I embarked on this adventure all by myself (well ok, I knew folks who were gonna be there, but still!), not knowing the first thing about swing dancing, with only my fancy dress to assist me! So here was lonely little me, standing to a side staring in wonder at my talented and coordinated peers, and almost immediately I made eye contact with a friendly guy in need of a partner, who knew enough of the basics to teach me, but not so much that he was completely frustrated with me. And after a few dances, once we'd gotten the hang of step-step-rock-step and a few turns, my partner lead me into the very competent arms of his friend, who taught me the art of form and following, and comforted me with the wisdom that, whenever a mistake is made, it's always the guy's fault (if only this were true in life as well as dancing!).

From then on, if I wasn't dancing, it was only because I was guzzling down water, reapplying deodorant, or panting into the cool night air. Under the careful tutelage of a series of patient partners, I learned some things that impressed even me, and failed spectacularly in many amusing ways as well. The saxophone from my jazz band was there, my stand partner from orchestra, Cloak Guy from sci-fi hall (who's going to help me throw a swing dance in starlight lounge, though he doesn't know it yet...), and so many interesting people, but I won't pull a Mrs. Bennett and bore you with describing them all. I had a wonderful time, I'm still spinning and singing in me head! There's no sleeping now, that's for sure!

In other news, today there was a Dog festival on Tappan Square. I didn't realize this until I was walking to the conservatory this morning, and groggily asked some stranger why there were tents and people with speakers and little dogs running around. She replied casually "oh, it's the Doggy Doo, happens every year." I went and found a yorkshire terrier and a poodle mixed with something that looked like a wheaton, and thought of home.

I also discovered, out of pure dumb luck, a place that may soon become my sanctuary. I'm talking about the Ginko gallery. The window display pulled me in, and what I discovered inside will bring me back. The shop boasts a large selection of quality art supplies for decent prices. Kneaded erasers, brush pens, Microns, charcoal- everything I could think of to need, I saw there. Also, the back room of the shop currently plays host to 7 adorable little kittens, 5 black and two gray. The shop keeps kittens for some sort of cat adoption program, and encourages college students to play with them, to get them used to people. Me and my new friends were greatly amused by the movements of a peacock feather and several small brightly-colored balls.

Monday, September 17, 2007

High Adventure (no, not that kind)

Briefly, in my bass world...
-This weekend I went to Cleveland with some other Oberlin basses to hear a bass concert. It was like a family reunion, basses from all over the area were there. I saw some of my friends from Pittsburgh and folks from SMI, and got to know my Oberlin peers a lot better (which is inevitable, I suppose, when you squeeze five bassists in one small car for extended periods of time.) It was definitely worth the drive (and the homework I had to stay up late doing afterwards).
-I'm revamping my left hand technique to be more efficient. My fingers naturally want to fly too high off the string and my pinky is doing silly things just to tease me, and refusing to change. It's very tedious and frustrating.
-Tuesday night at 9:00, I will be facing my first bass performance at Oberlin. Ok, it's nothing so dramatic as that really. I'm playing the Prelude to the 1st Bach cello suite in studio class, to get comments from the other bassists. I'm going to be ok. Really. Really, damnit! And it's not intimidating at all....

It is much easier to ride a bike in a short skirt than in a long one, as long as...
-you remember to straddle your bike and slide backwards to get on.
-you check your skirt when you dismount to make sure it's a) still on and b) hanging properly.
-you are a foxy lady!

Getting locked out of your room is considerably less fun when...
-your dorm is very cold, you just took a shower, and your flower-power flip-flops make loud flapping noises.
-you have only one towel, and it's too busy covering other things to protect your cold wet hair.
-the RA with the keys is an attractive male, who lives in the hall labeled "hawt menz," and is, of course, asleep.

(following the incident referred to above, I got one of the guys from rock-star hall to pierce my nose, and have begun wearing my room key as trendy jewelry. I'm sorry, dad, I know you said nothing permanent, but I really felt it was the most prudent course of action, and though I have to contort into some odd positions in order to open my door, I am proud to say I have not been locked out since.)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Burnt Sienna

God, whatever else he or she or it may be, is an artist, this much I'm sure of. This evening the sky was painted in such vibrant, aching, eye-searing colors that frazzled students and heartless professors alike were frozen by it's warmth. For moments out of time, the sidewalk became a sculpture garden, and every face turned heavenward was bathed in light, and groaning-gorgeous hues that were never squeezed from a tube. Each vagrant remnant of the day's drizzles cradled a glowing ember. The light shone right through the dipped-gold upper reaches of the Tappan oaks and maples, so that the pattern of overlapping leaves was like intricate, colorful lace. Wherever His paintbrush fell, on the chestnut locks of my roommate, on the bronze roof of the bell tower, and on my own cheeks, a swathe of gold glistened and shimmered like unearthly silk. Despite the unreasonably cold weather that these foolish Northerners take as a matter of course, tonight as I felt this kiss of light and color on my face, I was warm through and through.

This has been a long day of a long week. As my reward for being so good (well, as good as I can reasonably be) I gave myself free non-academic reign over my evening and when all my scholarly dues were paid, I went to a hip concert in a hip joint (get it, hip joint?). Jazz students from the conservatory were making delicious sounds in the Cat and the Cream, and I was there to lap it all up. The occasion, of course, required proper attire. My blood-red spike-heel Lady of the Night boots fit the bill quite nicely. Therefore when I tell you that the music was even sexier than my footwear, I am saying something significant. I had a blast- and a cookie! A famous "cat cookie" which, and I say this with no reservations, earned its reputation and more in the first gooey bite.


Today I learned that:

-when you put an already-tight cotton shirt in the dryer, it becomes skanky (or a fashion statement for the hip pre-school crowd, depending on the shirt).
-The sci-fi lounge has a tap just for boiling hot water that is extremely convenient. Because all-night nerding sessions and hot tea go so well together. (as all night nerding veteran, I can say that. You best watch it.)
-among poor college students, knowledge is valuable tender (in other words, I'm getting jazz lessons in exchange for Bach lessons, and it's GROOVY BABY)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Isabella, You Sexy Thing (I Believe in Miracles)

I can't talk long., really I shouldn't be here at all, but I couldn't resist. Tonight the universe (and the "random" feature of iTunes) played a joke on me that, upon further reflection, seemed very appropriate.

For my Page to Stage theater class, I've been reading Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. Tonight marked my third attempt at deciphering Act II, and I needed a pick-me-up. I turned on my computer and let Fortune pick the soundtrack for the downfall of poor Angelo and Isabella. I laughed out loud when the universe replied in the voice of Barry White. That Shakespeare and Barry White, two of humanities great artists (connected by their common obsession) should sing such a duet brightened my evening considerably. Happy chance got me through Isabella's first meeting with Angelo (You Sexy Thing), and I switched off the random while Angelo and I made a Decision (What am I Gonna Do With You?). Because really, Willy, I Can't Get Enough of Your Love Babe.

Sunday brownies were a hit, by the way. If I keep this up, me and my chocolate goodies are well on our way to being the most popular sweet things in this dorm.

I'm going to be in a jazz band with Maggie, the trumpet from Cali and my hallmate, Erin, a pianist, and Caitlin, a saxaphone/vocalist from Page to Stage. None of us actually know how to play jazz, but that won't stop us. Our first rehearsal (jam session? gathering of awesomosity?) is tomorrow, and I cannot even tell you in words how FRICKIN STOKED I am.

I should be working. Wow should I be working. Oh well, sleep is over-rated. (Just kidding, mom :-D) Goodnight!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Pennies From Heaven and a Sense of Sloth

This morning, when, upon rolling over and squinting at my alarm clock, it said to me "it's Saturday, it's early, go back to sleep," I happily obeyed. Lazy, rainy days are certainly some of the best. My bed is soft and warm, and the hum of my fan is a lullaby that, in the slow syrupy sweetness of Saturday morning, I feel no need to resist. I hope you took advantage of your Saturday morning and did something delicious, something like...nothing! If you actually got up for some ridiculous reason like jogging or homework, please don't tell me, I don't want it to rub off. Give this girl a lazy languid luxurious lounging looooong lethargic lie-in, and I'll hear none of this "gym" or "early breakfast."

Despite the wonderful picture I'm painting of my lazy day, I'll admit that I got some decent practicing in. I even did homework, I'm sorry to say. Mostly though, I stayed in bed, or under the awning outside of the student center, and listened to the rain...

P.S. I can only pick up packages when the mail-room is open, which, unfortunately, leaves a very limited window for weekends, which I missed by a mile. I'll pick it up on Monday. XOXO, Erin

A long time ago

A million years BC
The best things in life
Were absolutely free
But no one appreciated
A sky that was always blue
And no one congratulated
A moon that was always new
So it was planned that they would vanish, now and them
And you must pay before you get them back again
That's what storms were made for
And you shouldn't be afraid for...

Every time it rains, it rains
Pennies from heaven
Don't you know each cloud contains
Pennies from heaven

You'll find your fortune falling
All over town
Be sure that your umbrella
is upside down

Trade them for a package of
sunshine and flowers
If you want the things you love
You must have showers

So when you hear it thunder
Don't run under a tree,
There'll be pennies from heaven
for you and me.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Skirt-biking 101

When Biking across campus in a long skirt, be sure to:
-try tucking the edges of your skirt into your waistband. When shocked bystanders gawk at you, smile and wave.
-admire the way the fabric billows in the wind, and attempt not to give your classmates too much to admire in their turn.
-stop when you get caught and FIX IT.
-grow a brain and walk.

Developmental Psychology is very likely going to be my favorite class. The textbook, at least, is very interesting, and the professor is adorable (in that bumbling professor way). Also, I share this class with one of my favorite hall-mates, the trumpet from California, Miss Maggie.

I had my first Oberlin test today, in music theory. If you'll excuse me saying so, I kicked its ass In fact, I kicked that test so hard, it circled the globe twice before it splattered pavement. Actually, I don't know this for sure. But I'm trying to be an optimist here!

I hate to shortchange you two nights in a row, but not as much as I love my beauty sleep, so I'm ending this here. More soon!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Sleepy Time, yes?

Facts and Thoughts In No Particular Order:

After all that waffling about whether or not it's wise to take Swing, it meets during my Monday night orchestra rehearsal anyways. The other ExCo's I want to take also conflict with my current schedule, and/or fall on Tuesday, my crazy day. I think my hall is going to start a girls' club based on one of the class concepts anyway, promoting self-indulgence and impractical fun.

I also found out today that only two basses play in the opera concerts, which means that I will get about a month and a half off of my 7-hour-a-week rehearsals just when I will probably need it most, though I won't get to play in the opera.

Tomorrow I have my second bass lesson. I'm kind of nervous about it, because how it goes will have a large impact on how my semester in general is going to be.

My roommate won a voice audition that she has been worried about, and we're going to celebrate with dinner and ice cream in downtown Obieland. Hmmm, so which of the two restaurants should we bless with our patronage? :-)

For future reference, if I skip a few days on this blog, or write one that's particularly rushed (like this one), it means I'm too busy having adventures to stop and sit with my computer.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Concert Dates

Some of you have expressed an interest in the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra schedule. Here are the concert dates, as I currently know them:

Orchestra Concert: Sunday September 30, 8pm in Finney Chapel:
Ginastera ...Piano Concerto No. 1
Brahms ...Symphony No. 1

Opera Concert: November 14, 16, 17, 18 in Hall Auditorium (W/F/Sat at 8pm, Sun at 2pm:
Britten ...A Midsummer Night's Dream

Orchestra Concert: Wednesday, December 12, 8pm Finney Chapel:
Concerto TBA
Beethoven ...Symphony No. 5

Orchestra Concert: Friday February 29, 2008 8pm Finney Chapel:
Bartok ...Divertimento
Concerto TBA
Ravel ...Le Trombeau de Couperin

Orchestra Concert: Saturday April 5 2008 8pm in Finney Chapel
Berlioz ...Le Corsaire
Student Composition TBA
Tchaikovsky ...Swan Lake Suite

Chorus/Orchestra Concert: Sunday May 4 2008, 8pm Finney Chapel
Mendelssohn ...Elijah

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sense and Self-Preservation

Ever since that bike ride, certain parts of my anatomy still complain every time my bike hits a bump in the sidewalk. I'm trying to wince with as much dignity as I can muster.

Today was a humbling day, not just because I was constantly reminded of my physical inadequacy every time I sat down, but also because I've realized just how little I know, and just how ordinary I am in this environment. In many ways this being ordinary is a convenient thing. It's much easier to find good food, and fun things to go to. In other ways I'll admit that it is a a blow. I will try not to sacrifice health for the desire to exceed expectations. (It is ok for me to say that, by the way. The next person who says that to me who is not me will not be well received.)

I've realized just how hard this semester is going to be. I'm actually quite grouchy about parts of it. Luckily I have my folders to console me (see Pretty Folders).

Tuesday is the day that the registrar designed to kill me, as payback for changing my schedule so many times. At 9 am I attend Aural Skills I. The freshman ritual of listing out classes has lost its amusement for me since, inevitably, the name of this particular class is greeted by snickers, confusion, and the need to spell a-u-r-a-l. (It is an unfortunate coincidence that Aural Skills happens to be taught by Professor Cox.) I actually think this will be an excellent class to wake up to, because the first thing we do is jump around and stretch. Also, the professor reminds me of someone I like and respect, and that is cheering. She's so passionate about her dull subject it's inspiring. She waxed poetic today about the personalities of quarter beats, and the wimpy, therapeutic nature of the perfect fourth. I immediately liked her. I hope I will still be able to say that in a few months, when I am struggling to make myself care about the leading tone in a movable do harmonic minor bliggity blah. Luckily everyone in that class seems to be as clueless as I am.

Music theory is going to be difficult and horribly boring. But really, the thing I think I'll have the most trouble doing in music theory class is keeping a straight face. Between the antics of the voice majors (who are always good for a laugh, and that's not a stereotype, but a fact), and the professor's intentional and unintentional jokes... I came out of that class and went straight to the bathroom to laugh my head off and calmly reattach it for...

From Page to Stage! This will undoubtedly be both my favorite and hardest class, with the possible exclusion of Developmental Psychology, which is tomorrow). In this class we read scripts, see plays, perform scenes, write reviews and analysis of these plays, and possibly write our own plays. It's going to be awesome. I cannot wait to get started. This class runs the risk of eating all my time, because I will want all my papers to be perfect, and all my scenes to be artistic and insightful. I will have to run periodic checks on myself for that.

Orchestra was actually rather depressing. I mean, the music was beautiful of course, and on the first reading. We're playing Brahms' Symphony No. 1 and Ginastera's Piano Concerto No. 1. The Brahms is very exciting and challenging, but also frustrating. There was no way I was going to be able to sight read that music. And, of course, I didn't, not without making some very embarrassing mistakes. All the other freshmen basses are in the other orchestra, which is kind of sad too. My stand partner is a mute. Well no, not really, but she so far has not lowered herself by conversing with a lowly first-year. And the guy on my left just talks to the tuba every time the (very intimidating) conductor lowers her baton.

All of my hall-mates are getting sick. It's very worrying. I've been eating, partying, and otherwise spending most of my time in close proximity with them all week, and they're really sweet/fun girls, but I'm not keen on joining them in the puke-fest. I'm trying to keep my distance. If my roommate gets sick, that connecting door is staying closed. No, I'd take care of her...but I'd wear a face mask.

I'm still not sure whether or not it's wise to add my swing class on top of everything else, but I've done stupider things before and survived, so I'm going to try it.

Anyway, I miss you, and don't tell me not to because I can't help it. But tomorrow should be a much better day. Developmental Psychology is going to be great.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Train Wreck

Today, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I took pain medication because of something strenuous that I did on purpose, rather than something stupid that I did on accident. I am talking about the Bike Co-op trip to the site of the Great Kimpton Train Wreck. About thirty of us exercise junkies made this 12 mile trek through Ohio fields and forests, with the hope of free "refreshments" spurring us on. On the way, I gained new knowledge that I would like to share with you now:

There is no such thing as a "leisurely" 12-mile bike trip, especially when all your companions have racing bikes.

Gears can be your friend if you know how to use them. If you don't, they laugh at your pain. Six miles is a very long time to be on the wrong gear. Remember, the highest gear is for downhill, the lowest is for uphill. Or is it the other way around?

Your bike seat should be high enough to fully extend your legs, about to the bottom of your pubic bone when you stand next to it.

Campus is surrounded by beautiful woods and streams, and fields which have been left fallow and are full or wildflowers. Even in September, the wildflowers of Lorrain county are gorgeous.

My allergies in Ohio are not nearly as bad as they are in Louisville- unless I'm riding through fields of wildflowers.

Tea is not adequate hydration for hard-core exercise.

Sore buns do not like wooden stools.

In other news, I think I got all my scheduling problems sorted out. We'll see.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A very long day

Today was the most wonderful day. First, I slept in, a luxury that must be mentioned. I lounged on my bed for awhile, savoring the feeling of having nothing I had to do. In fact, I was lounging and lollygaging, and other lazy words that begin with L, for most of the morning. Even with this late start, I managed to have an incredibly full day.

My first stop was the gym near my dorm, which has its very own rock wall and set of belayers. I am now an expert in the fisherman's knot, double figure-8 knot, and naked figure-8, climbing commands, and all the practicals of climbing (well, no, not an expert, but I will be). Then, when I finally got to say the words "on belay" and "climbing," I went up so many times that my arms were trembling and I had to stop, so that I didn't ruin my strength for my orchestra audition.

My audition was successful, I think. It was made more stressful by the two hour delay, all of which I spent in the practice room playing while trying not to exhaust myself, pacing, and lying in my bass case. I was disappointed in my Bach performance, not because it was bad, but because I practiced it so much and was really pleased with how it was starting to sound in the p-room, and that's not the way it came out at all. They only ended up asking for 2 of the 7 excerpts set to us, the Mozart 40th and the Brahms Haydn Variations. I botched the beginning of the Mozart, but redeemed myself by the end. The Brahms went pretty well. There were too many mistakes overall, but my sound and musicality were solid, and I think I made a good impression. I was placed in the Chamber Orchestra, which plays the older music and meets M-T-Th. The other freshmen basses I know were put in the Oberlin Orchestra, which plays the larger, usually romantic, stuff, but I'm still very excited about my placement. I can always try to be in the other next semester.

The first of the evenings entertainment was a hypnotist who got everyone laughing and talking. It was a good icebreaker activity for orientation, and pretty entertaining. He made me drowsy though.

The swing dance was amazing! Did I tell you there was a swing dance? Well there was, and wow can some of these Obies dance. It was thrilling to watch, and I even learned a few basic steps. I cannot wait for the ExCo! Anyway, while trying to imitate people who actually knew what they were doing, and outright gaping at some of their smooth moves (I'm determined that that will be me someday), I was hunting for someone cool to take the ExCo with (because my hall-mates want to do silly things with their semester like study, and sleep :-), and had very little success. I'd given up on finding someone, and determined to take my chances, and headed out to the bonfire (where I had enough s'mores to cover my face and hands with marshmallow goo and be thoroughly satisfied), after which my hall-mates and I went to the 'sco to get our groove on. I almost didn't go, because I was so tired, emotionally and physically, from my day already, but I did go, and it's a good thing because, lo and behold, the first person I danced with wanted to take the swing exCo! Sometimes things just come together like that.

If you've read this entire post (which, if you have, good for you, give yourself a high-five) you'll understand why I am now completely exhausted, and have nothing more to say to you except goodnight.

Life Lessons

What I've learned so far in college:
-Eating bread is bed is a bad idea. The crumbs get hard. Honey-covered bread is also not something I recommend.
-If you leave the cereal box open, it goes stale FAST.
-The marker board will never be used on your door, and that will just make you sad. Put it on your closet so you can remember things.
-If you have a nagging feeling you've forgotten something, you probably have.
-People who practice percussion in the dorms should be executed.
-Once you have claimed a TV and VHS player, you must guard them with your sanity. There is no room for mercy when it comes to movie time. Upperclassmen may feel entitled to watch their TV shows while freshies are watching a movie. Silent staring in response is surprisingly effective, especially when done in groups.
-Practice too much one day, and it hurts to play the next.
-Even in a music conservatory, singing and dancing to yourself as you travel is still odd.

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Man, and other ramblings

I probably look pretty goofy right now. That is because my mouth is stuck in a permanent 'o' of surprise and amazement. How can a community of roughly 3000 people living in a cornfield possibly have this much going on?! I've been seeing flyers everywhere with messages of wonder that literally stop me in my tracks. There are flyers telling me that for just $1, I too can be awesome and go rock climbing with the studs, brightly colored missives encouraging me to audition for the 10 minute play festival, to write for the irreverent but amusing Grape magazine, to submit cartoons, to dance the night away to bumping rock or sizzling jazz, to attend this concert and that opening, to learn to sing/play steel drums/analyze cartoons, to join join join! There is so much to do, I don't know what to do with myself!

I was supposed to meet with my private bass teacher today for advice on the conservatory end of registration (which is a cracked out system, by the way, since my window to register for classes ended this morning, before my appointment). It wouldn't have mattered if I registered after my meeting, however, because there was no meeting. None of the bass faculty are here. We little (and not so little) lost basses are alone, stranded in the sinking/stinking quagmire that is PRESTO.

My room is already accumulating a nice layer of stuff, and starting to feel like home.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Important Advice

It's easier to start new habits and break old when when all sense of normality is suddenly turned on its side. For instance, so far since I've been here, I've begun drinking coffee (out of necessity, because my roommate and I can be crazy chatterboxes when we should be sleeping), which I never used to (I put a pack of hot chocolate in it, so it's more like a mocha), and have been eating much healthier than I did over summer break (because half the campus seems to be vegetarian, so there's a lot of good food readily available).

I've got a lot to tell you. I've been too busy with orientation activities to post lately, so this is gonna be a super-post.

I met with my college adviser today. He's one of the psych proffessors, and he's very friendly and open, and seems like he's willing to go the extra bit to help me out. He helped me sort out a problem with my conservatory scheduling. I think he's someone I'd be comfortable talking to if I needed help.

Also, my roommate is awesome. She's from New Jersey, and she's going to teach me self-defense. We've been getting along really well, I feel like I know her already. She's friendly, but not aggressively so, and we've been hanging out together but also giving each other space, which, for me, is perfect.

It's a beautiful day today. There's a nice cool breeze, and the sun's shining. I've been getting my exercise walking everywhere (my dorm is the farthest away from everything, but that's not saying much since campus is small). I've even gotten to use my bike for longer treks. Biking makes me feel like a fool though, because I haven't done it in years and I'm really clumsy about it. I'm still figuring out how to turn and stop without having to stick my leg out and catch myself. It's a work in progress.

I've met so many great people, but I can't keep all their names straight. I'm going to make a database with everything I know about these people, so I can remember. Anyway, I'm making a special effort to remember all the details about the bassists I meet, since I'll be spending a lot of time with them.

shoot, I gotta go. More later!

from The Grape, the Alternative Student Newspaper

Miss Manners' Dos and Dont's; the Freshmen's Guide to Not Being a Complete Tool

Don't assume anyone else is a freshmen, no matter how young and confused they look.

Don't ask for directions. Nothing on campus is far enough away that you won't find it if you just walk around in circles for a hour or so, and chances are you're standing right next to it anyway.

Do experiment with hallucinogens

Don't wear your f***ing key-card around your neck. Christ.
(see mom! It's not cool. By the way, that're both losing (I have all my keys))

Anyway, I need to sleep, because for some obscene reason I have to go to registration tomorrow morning at too:early AM. UGGGUH.