Sunday, December 31, 2006

Yep, I'm ready to go back.

Being home is nice for a while, but eventually exuberance at my return starts to fade, and I remember why I loved the idea of going far away to college in the first place. I love my family and my high school friends, but right now I also love that I will be mostly out of town for the next couple of weeks and then back at school. So it goes.

Friday, December 29, 2006


Sometimes I find myself in a beautiful state in which I can't love everyone enough. In these moments of clarity, which are the closest thing I have to being in touch with God, I realize how much I love everyone and that if I could maintain this state of love, I could maybe convince others to love too, and the world would slowly become a place in which everyone loved and was loved. And that would be heaven. These moments have been coming with more frequency and intensity. At the same time, though, I know how much I fall short of being able to love like this every minute. When I am touched by this feeling, I want to call everyone on my cell phone and thank them for living, or hug everyone at Mass during the sign of peace and make them feel how much I care about them. I could never keep that up, though, because I am not perfect. So I say that this is when I am the most in touch with God because I think that's who God is, and who God's calling me to be. Phrases like "Everlasting Love" start to make sense, in that moment. And the more times it happens the more I want to find a way to make it keep happening, so that my whole life will be lived for and in Love. To me, God is the one who shows me how to love, motivates me to think that this life is the one I should be living, and forgives me when I can't quite make it there. And from there, everything else begins to make sense. Christ's birth. Christ's sacrifice. The Trinity. The Chrurch. These are all topics for other posts, and I couldn't possibly explain everything now. I want to live like this and share this and be this. I don't know if it even makes any sense, but this mystery in my heart is so deep and true that it has to be right, somehow. And I feel like I have to share it as much as possible.

Top Ten Things That Excite Me at 3AM on Friday Morning

  1. The idea of going to the mountains with Joey and his family for good relaxing fun with my second family (I was adopted).
  2. A scarf with pockets AND cute tassels. Kudos to my aunt for getting it for me, and Bath and Body Works for making it.
  3. The distinct possiblility that I will be attending a New Years Eve party for the first time in my life (as opposed to sitting at home trying to get my parents to wake up for the Big Moment).
  4. My computer being alive (it was completely unresponsive earlier, but then I realized that while the charger was plugged into my laptop, the other end was not in an outlet).
  5. Introduction to Peace Studies with Professor George Lopez. In fact, I'm so excited about this one that I nearly want to run up to Notre Dame and make him start class right now.
  6. My quickly approaching camping weekend with my Girl Scout lovelies!
  7. Star Wars IV, A New Hope. I watched it with my little brother tonight, and I fell in love with Star Wars all over again. I had almost forgotten how rich the universe is, how complex the characters, how well-coceived the plot! George Lucas, I love you almost as much as George Lopez.
  8. A date tonight with my darling boyfriend, who abides even my most withdrawn moods.
  9. That a lovely pair of ankle-high water-proof suede Lands End boots I've had my eye on just went on sale. With the help of a gift card (from the same aunt who gave me the above-mentioned scarf), I will be able to purchase said boots for approximately $2. Now I need to figure out where to ship them to (home and have to find room in my luggage for them? or ND and hope that someone will take them from the nice UPS man for me?)
  10. My cold finally letting go of its grip on my nasal cavities. Trust me, this is a very, very good thing.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Amusing tidbits

My Christmas, aside from the usual good food, time with family, and early Christmas morning, involved several uniquely humorous moments:

  • The guy in the front row of our Christmas Eve Mass spontaneously raised his hand and his wife's hand high in the air every time our pastor mentioned that we were happy to see all of the visitors present.
  • I got a new aunt and a new uncle in one week (on different sides of the family, and both from slightly scandalous eloping type things)
  • The family cat loathed the sight of my extremely pet-loving aunt, and flatly refused all of her friendly advances
  • Mark won a video game after playing it for two days straight (which he has never done)
  • The cat, who was finally allowed to look at the Christmas tree, ignored the ornaments completely and nibbled on the needles instead. Silly kitten.
  • Just because it was my second Christmas at the Boy's house, and I had met everyone there several times except for one person, didn't mean that I could escape comments such as "I like this one better than the last one." Nearly 14 months is a pretty long trial period from my point of view. Good to know I passed the test.
  • I realized halfway to the Boy's house that I probably would get arrested if I hit a police road block because I was carrying wine from my parents to his. I later refused to carry more wine from his parents to mine.
  • My mom, at a local natural history museum, commented loudly about how an ancient Roman surgical tool looked exactly like what is used today to clear out excess ear wax in older patients.
  • I learned how to knit. Ok, that's not amusing, but I'm proud of it.

Now go share that smile on your face from reading this post with someone else. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Prince of Peace

At times I wonder how I can be so educated in my faith (13.5 years of formal Catholic education and counting) yet so clueless. Perhaps this somewhat rambling self-examination is out of place in the silence before what promises to be a happy Christmas morning, but I am wide awake and thinking.

Tonight at Mass I proclaimed (in a rather nasily, congested way) the traditional Christmas vigil passage from Isaiah, which includes the words, "The Prince of Peace... will rule with justice and peace now and forever. The love of our God will make this happen!"

My (somewhat predictable) quandary is summurized in this eloquent poem, which I found on Kristy's blog tonight:

A Christmas Ghost-Story
By Thomas Hardy

South of the Line, inland from far Durban,

A moldering soldier lies—your countryman.

Awry and doubled up are his gray bones,

And on the breeze his puzzled phantom moans

Nightly to clear Canopus: “I would know

By whom and when the All-Earth-gladdening Law

Of Peace, brought in by that Man Crucified,

Was ruled to be inept, and set aside?

And what of logic or of truth appears

In tacking ‘Anno Domini’ to the years?

Near twenty-hundred liveried thus have hied,

But tarries yet the Cause for which He died.”

To put it bluntly: what happened to Christ's peace?

I believe the traditional Catholic answer would go something like this:
God, who continually tries to bring us into closer relationship with Him, intends for Peace on Earth/ the Kingdom of God to come about not through any imposed method, but through God working among humanity. Christ came to show us how, and the Holy Spirit fills us to enable us to work for our own peace. God wants us to choose to re-create ourselves through His grace. Christ brought the salvation we seek, but not in the form of a traditional ruler: our servant-king offers us peace as a gift to be chosen.

That all makes sense. At some level, I think (at least I hope) that I accept it. But it's all too easy to look at human history since Christ's coming and ask if we've improved at all. I think it would be hard to answer positively. The easy road is to look at the sharp contrast between the true Christian way of life and our world today and despair of the two ever coinciding.

Is it possible? Well, it hasn't happened yet, so it's easy to say no. Faith calls us to say yes, and to work towards the realization of that possibility. It's not so much that I disagree that it's possible; what gnaws at me is the gap between the possibility and the realization.

"... will rule with justice and peace now..."
This is the part I struggle with the most. Where's the now? I see the possibility, the hope for the future, but the now?
The answer that comes to mind is that the Prince of Peace can rule over our hearts now, and through that process His Peace can spread to the rest of the world. Thus, I come face to face with the unavoidable personal nature of my abstract questions: my personal relationship with God is the key to how I can offer Christ's peace to the world. It's also unavoidable that our relationship is not what it should be. My common, honest excuse is that prayer is awkward and I am busy. But it seems that if I'm going to go through with my current course of study (political science/ peace studies) and choice of career, things are going to have to change in this area of my life, so that it is no longer an area of my life but truly is my life. I suppose I've known that all along.

Merry Christmas. Welcome, Prince of Peace.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Eve Eve greetings

Thus far, my break has been full of good times with friends and family, although the last two days I've spent mostly moping around the house, thanks to a lovely virus my father bequeathed to me. No, he's not dead, I just like the sound of the word bequeath, and maybe I like sounding like I know/ use big words. Hm. I'm supposed to lector tomorrow night; that will require lots of Claritin and cough drops, but shouldn't be too difficult.

Also, I've given up on my Grand Christmas Day Dinner* because: 1) I'm sick 2) My family doesn't really want it anyway, but would have put up with it if I'd done it 3) No one can agree on what meat they want 4) We're so pitiful that my boyfriend's mom, who has her own family plus four staying-at-their-house relatives to cook for, offered to help me. Good grief, I said. We're doing sandwiches, and maybe Mom will make lasagne. I want to go to Waffle House, personally. They're open on Christmas, you know. My mother's laid-back attitude about whether this Christmas is at all traditional has infected me. I don't care that much. As long as Mark, the resident little kid, is happy, life is good.

*I'm pretty sure I mentioned it in a post around Thanksgiving time, but my parents are working through Christmas, being the good doctors that they are. To be fair, they haven't had to do this since I think when I was nine or so. I got into my head that the appropriate counter-measure to save Christmas would be me making a huge homemade meal.

A final bit of holiday cheer: my father and little brother have been gone for hours in the van (not my dad's little sedan). This makes my mother and I think that they might be purchasing a small elephant in some far-off country, because really, the two don't do well together for very long, and Dad refused to tell Mom where he was going. Or maybe they just went to Hooters.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

True Story

Once upon a time, three friends, known as Laura the Awkward Village-Dweller, Marguerite the Lovingly Obnoxious, and Elizabeth the Courageous Vehicle-Owner, sat comfortably in a warm kitchen, all recently returned from fantastic adventures. After a good deal of conversation sprinkled liberally with laughter, one of the three, Elizabeth the Courageous Vehicle-Owner, received a call from another friend, Katherine the Brave Doubter, who excitedly reported that she would be returning that very night. The three rejoiced that Katherine the Brave Doubter would soon be in their midst again. Marguerite the Lovingly Obnoxious enthusiastically suggested that they all partake of a simple quest for the nectar of the gods, ice cream, later that night.

Laura the Awkward Village-Dweller sighed despondently. She knew that she had been summoned by the People of Village Far Far Away to return to her home that evening. But her face brightened! Laura the Awkward Village-Dweller heroically proposed that she trek forth to her village and then return later in the evening, when Katherine the Brave Doubter had arrived. Marguerite the Lovingly Obnoxious and Elizabeth the Courageous Vehicle-Owner cheered with great fervor at this plan.

Eventually the three friends parted, excited that their adventure would commence in a few hours hence.

Alas, while Laura the Awkward Village-Dweller managed to escape the grasp of the People of Village Far Far Away, she was not a resident of the Great Kingdom inhabited by the other three, and became desperately lost in the gloomy dark streets. Her friends valiantly tried to their agreed-upon meeting point, known as Sheridan’s Frozen Custard, but by the time their attempts were successful and all four friends had met at the spot, the store had darkened its windows and locked its frozen custard cases.

Elizabeth the Courageous Vehicle-Owner rallied her friends, reminding them that their quest demanded that they continue their search for ice cream. Laura the Awkward Village-Dweller abandoned her carriage so that all could travel together with Elizabeth the Courageous Vehicle-Owner. Reassured, the four set out on what proved to be the most demanding quest of their lives.

They searched high and low in the Great Kingdom for establishment that would provide them with their sought-after ice cream. The group covered three Dairy Queens, two Brusters, two McDonalds, and a Sonic in their quest. The defeats suffered at the Sonic and a McDonalds were particularly crushing. The drive-in Sonic restaurant boasted bright lights and several parked cars, strong signs that this would be the end of the great quest. The friends selected their frozen treats from the bright menus, but when Elizabeth the Courageous Vehicle-Owner attempted to order through their communications system, a man in a vehicle parked next to theirs delivered the sad news: the establishment had just closed.

At this point, the group was quite despondent. Marguerite the Lovingly Obnoxious had exhausted her supply of witty insults for the moment, and the music that Elizabeth the Courageous Vehicle-Owner played to give cheer in between defeats no longer caused heads to nod in beat. Katherine the Brave Doubter boldly suggested that they succumb to the pressure of finding a reputable ice cream store and instead eat of the lesser goods of the twenty-four-hour Baskin Robbins. Elizabeth the Courageous Vehicle-Owner would hear nothing of it, and through her efforts the group had the strength to carry on.

The worst was yet to come, however. The group came upon a 24-hour McDonalds, and their hopes soared as they imagined the taste of McFlurries. They eagerly pulled into the drive through line and searched the menu for their frozen treats. But, they were not to be found! The group sighed collectively, but decided to settle for milkshakes instead. Elizabeth the Courageous Vehicle-Owner once again attempted to order for the group. But a woman’s voice delivered a crushing blow instead of sweet victory: this McDonalds had no ice cream of any kind.

Stunned into submission, the group almost gave up hope. But then, miraculously, another 24-hour McDonalds was recalled, a distance away. But that was nothing to the brave four compared to the joy of consuming ice cream. Off they went, and at last, after a long and difficult journey, they were successful. So great was their shared bliss that they sat in silence in the darkened car, gobbling their well-earned treats. Of course visiting ten separate stores was worth this prize.

Laura the Awkward Village-Dweller was returned to her vehicle, and all eventually drifted to their places of residence, sugar buzzed and still smiling from their glorious adventure.

The end.

P.S. photo documentaion of the grand adventure is available at

Monday, December 18, 2006

New Chapter in Sibling-hood

My little brother, Mark, is seven years younger than me. We've generally gotten along pretty well, considering the age difference and that I often filled in as his second mom when I was in high school (both of our parents are diehardly wonderful workaholics). Now, however, he has entered that stage known alternatively as Tweenhood and Middle School Syndrome. It's a dark and scary place.

Where I was once the trusted wiser older sister, I am now often scorned and flatly ignored. I assumed that he, being a boy, would go through this with our parents, but I never thought it would mess up our relationship, especially since I'm mostly off at college and not a part of his daily life. But it seems (at least to his somewhat hurt older sister) that he's transferred the insolence he can't show towards his parents to me.

He's always made fun of me, and I of him, but this has a different, meaner edge to it. He has no regard for my opinions, or if he does, he would prefer to keep that appreciation internal and instead negate everything I suggest. For example, in the car on the way to an evening at a friend's house tonight, he was sulking because Mom had been abrupt with him, which was understandable considering that her day had been long, busy, and rough, and we were rushing to get everything together to go. I suggested that perhaps now was not the time to be angry with Mom, citing said long, rough day. He looked at me like I was from another planet, rolled his eyes, and muttered, "Whatever."

I've never been set on dominating him- I'd much rather be his friend, and share with him my life goals and what's going on in my fast-paced world. I'd like to hear about his hopes and dreams too. But the open happy relationship that was mostly still there at fall break now seems closed off. He's a good kid, at heart, but I sometimes can't see that for his selfishness (alhough maybe that comes from him being so anxious?).

He's just not as mature as I thought; he's got some growing up to do. Maybe I do too. Maybe I'm expecting too much. He just has so few people he holds close to his heart enough to trust. I've been one of those people; I've cradled him when he's been crying and afraid all throughout his life. Maybe I'm resentful that he's distancing himself from me- but maybe he had to because I left. I don't know. But I wish he could see the quiet daggers he stabs in my heart every time he looks at me in that oh-my-gosh-you-are-so-dumb-how-did-I-ever-look-up-to-you way.

Sometimes the old Mark shines through, though, and he's giggling and excited. He was like his old self when he was playing with our friends' dogs tonight. And maybe he doesn't mean the things he says to sound so mean- maybe they're meant to be funny, but I'm taking it to personally. I don't know.

Dear Santa,
For Christmas, I want my little brother back.
Love, Laura


This either describes me or who I want to be- I can't figure out which.

You're To Kill a Mockingbird!

by Harper Lee

Perceived as a revolutionary and groundbreaking person, you have
changed the minds of many people. While questioning the authority around you, you've
also taken a significant amount of flack. But you've had the admirable guts to
persevere. There's a weird guy in the neighborhood using dubious means to protect you,
but you're pretty sure it's worth it in the end. In the end, it remains unclear to you
whether finches and mockingbirds get along in real life.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Oh dear. This was only the top school on my list for all of high school, before I changed my mind at the last minute. Maybe it would have been a better school for me... I'll never really know, I guess, but I plan to go here for grad school eventually. Oh, ignore the description, that so isn't me.

You're Georgetown University!

A bit of a lapsed Catholic, you still pay lip service to the faith,
depending on who you're talking to. At the same time, you're more interested in
politics than religion and can't help but be swept away by patriotism from time
to time. While you aren't that soft-spoken, you still seem like a good candidate
for diplomacy. Though you love bulldogs, you'd never admit that that's what
they're called.

Take the University Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bilbo: "I, uh, I h-have things to do." [fidgets with the Ring behind his back. Whispers to himself] "I've put this off for far too long. I regret to announce — this is The End. I am going now. I bid you all a very fond farewell. Goodbye."
[Bilbo puts the Ring on and vanishes.]

Hobbits: "Ooh!"

Goodbye until next year, Notre Dame!

Friday, December 15, 2006


The prompt at Sunday Scribblings this week is Anticipation. I haven't done one of these before, but I don't think a random prompt from someone who doesn't know me will ever be more appropriate to my life.

Most of my clothes are in two suitcases. Zed the red flowered plant currently lacking flowers has been relocated to the chapel, where some kind soul has offered to water the dorm's plants. My guitar is hiding in the chapel's confessional so it won't melt or warp or otherwise become damaged in our overly heated room with no ventilation. Christmas cards have been sent to my friends around campus, and a few gifts have been given and received. The fridge is off and defrosted. All that remains is to close my laptop, unplug its power cord, and stick it in my backpack.

I'm going home tomorrow. I am so ready. It's not that I don't like it here, or wouldn't be able to keep working and living here were there no break in sight, but a month at home sounds absolutely beautiful right now. I miss my family, non-dining hall food, sweet tea, warmer weather, my church, my pre-college friends. I miss being alone. I miss having the time to sit by myself for hours, reading and cross-stitching and listening to music. I miss the comfort of my room, where I've slept for as long as I can remember (until now, of course). All of this and more is what excites me about being home.

A part of me is worried, too. I don't know if my excellent relationship with my family will continue when we're around each other for more than a week, and I don't like fussing with my family. I hope I won't get bored or restless. That's been a big problem in my large amounts of free time this week- I had two finals Monday and then nothing until today, so Tuesday and Wednesday were spent doing a lot of nothing. But it wasn't comfortable, you know? I've been on overdrive all semester, and it feels weird to be able to relax and not worry about deadlines. Is that bad? I also have a lot of anxiety running through my head regarding the priest situation I mentioned a few posts ago. My rector wrote him a note asking him to leave me alone, but I'm terrified that he'll find me during the break. I have no clue what I would do.

Basically, I'm filled with a lot of anticipation, good and bad, and as with most things, I wish it would just HAPPEN already. I believe that anticipation can be good, but I also dislike being in such a state. Which is why I will distract myself with a book now. Good night, my lovely readers.

That was close

I just narrowly missed sleeping through a final. I have no clue how it happened, but somehow, I did not wake up when my alarms went off but at 8:15. The final started at 8. How I managed to wake up spontaneously at 8:15 instead of 12:15 is an act of God. I'm pretty sleep deprived. I pulled a hoodie on, hoofed it to my classroom 25 minutes late, and took the exam with time to spare. It was soc, and it's a really easy class, so no big deal. I was very rational through the whole process: ok, ten minutes to walk to class, taking the final is no problem, the only issue will be if she doesn't let you walk in late, but she's nice and won't do that.

Let it be known that I have never done something like this before. I almost missed a flight from oversleeping this semester, but never something like a test. I'm an academic perfectionist. Even now, I'm worrying in the back of my head about a multiple choice question I got wrong. Good grief, I say. Regardless, my finals are over, and I just printed my last paper.

I feel like a college student now.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

December 12 of 12

My 12 of 12 is here.

Don't know what I'm talking about? Go here.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Argh, blogger. Why do you delete my posts?

Summary of the huge thing I had typed up (cough, before meanie blogger deleted it, cough):

  • Two exams down, one exam and one paper to go. Life is better now.
  • I'm not scared out of my mind about doing eight weeks of service. I feel like that's the normal reaction, but I don't personally feel that way. Somehow, without me noticing it, I learned how to trust God. Now that's scary. But very, very right.
  • I picked my Christmas charity of choice: Catholic Relief Services.
  • This article in the Times today about Kofi Annan made me smile. Way to say what desperately needs to be said in as kind a manner as possible. The last few sentences were so unnecessary for the article, but I will admit they made me smile too.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I'm standing on the edge of me

Nothing quite so dramatic, but I'm listening to "On Fire" by Switchfoot and I love that line.
Haha, my iTunes shuffle just went to "Rhythm of the Night". Does that mean something?

Anyway. One of the people in my small group at the retreat I went to last weekend said something that has been so true this week. He said that in high school, you see people for a few hours every day, and then everyone goes home and has time to unwind. Here, you people all the time, in all different moods. Being frustrated, or exhausted, or depressed is much harder to hide in such close quarters. Everyone's stressing over finals. Some are sick, too, which totally sucks. We're all pulling hours pouring over textbooks and doing practice exams. I think that most of us know somewhere in the back of our minds that ten years from now, our scores on these finals won't really matter, but you wouldn't be able to tell that from how seriously we're taking the goings-on of next week.

It's like standing on the edge of a cliff. We've studied and studied and wish that it we could just JUMP, already.

And all of that tension and anxiety and impatience inevitably finds its relief through annoyance with others. Interaction right now is kinda like walking over ice while having no clue how thick it is. It could break at any time.

Yeah, we're going to need that month-long break. Badly.

In other news, Notre Dame is in the Sugar Bowl, but I didn't get a ticket from the lottery. I was divided over whether I wanted to go anyway- I had no clue how I would get there, it would be a big expensive hassle, I've already had the best away game experience ever (yesss I so swam in Spartan stadium on 9/23/06), and I've never watched a game with my family. It all worked out for the best. Go Irish!

Final bit of news... I got into the SSLP program through the Center for Social Concerns. Meaning that I will spend eight weeks of my summer somewhere in the US immersed in a non-profit, working with the poor and disadvantaged every day. I'm scared out of my mind, but I want to do this so much. As Maria noted in her post today, I know I'll learn way more from them than I could give to them. I still have to do a placement interview to find out where I'll be. This is probably the most adventurous, taking-it-on-faith thing I've ever done, but it feels right. I feel as called to this as I have to everything else that's been a right choice in my life. But at the same time, I'm only human and- eek.

Do you know what you are getting yourself into?

I'm getting into you, because you got to me
In a way words can't describe.
I'm getting into you, because I've got to be
You're essential to survive.
Relient K, "Getting Into You"

Friday, December 08, 2006


I thought this deserved a post instead of a lurking comment.
Margaret: "I do wish you would talk about your feelings about the priesthood."

In retrospect, I shouldn't have even mentioned it if I didn't want to talk about it, huh? Without going into particulars, I've had doubts about whether priests (specifically of the Roman Catholic variety, as that's my denomination of choice) can ever really be celibate. Which I suppose comes down to a discussion of whether God's grace is powerful enough to help them to overcome their sexual tendencies. It's not so much a logical argument as an emotional and personal one.

Oh good grief. I hate being vague. Without sharing too many details, a priest made me feel deeply uncomfortable right before I left for college. I'm still backpedaling. For a while, I took out my sense of betrayal from this one priest on all priests, and treated my theo prof pretty horribly at the beginning of the semester, poor guy. I'm past that stage, fortunately, but I'm not at the point of casual comfortable conversation with priests yet. It's an awkward place to be for a practicing Roman Catholic.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Too funny not to blog about

God has been messing with me again. I was given the choice of taking my theology final or talking to the priest/professor for half an hour. I can SO see Jesus' smirk. Good grief.

I survived the interview.

( I suppose this wouldn't be funny unless you know about my recent unhappiness with the priesthood in general... but this isn't really the place to talk about that. Sorry )

I'm off to go write Christmas cards now, er, I mean study. Notre Dame (and most schools) do this awesome thing wherein they give us a couple of days off before finals. I have Christmas music on, a warm room, and pretty cards. I'm excited.

Don't feel compelled to read this. I got bored.

All about yourself...the survey.
All about yourself...
First name?::Laura
Middle name?::Elizabeth
Like your name?::yes, but I think it's funny how my parents gave me and my brother their names as our middle names :-P
Named after anyone?::not technically, but the name Laurent is pretty popular on my dad's side of the family
Any nicknames?::not particularly
Birthplace?::Rockdale Hospital
Time you were born?::um... in the evening? 6 something?
Current location?::dorm room
Like your height?::yup
Eye color?::blue gray
Hair color?::reddish blondish brownish
Natural hair color?::yup
Dye your hair often?::never
Righty or lefty?::righty
Your favorite...
Type of music?::rock/alternative
Band or singer?::oof. Relient K
TV show?::Star Trek Voyager, closely followed by MASH
Movie?::Life is Beautiful
TV channel?::I don't watch enough TV to have a favorite
Radio station?::I never listen to the radio now that I'm not driving
Place to be?::with happy people who care about me
Thing to do?::laugh
Food?::ChickFilA fries
Non alcoholic drink?::most things starbucks
Alcoholic drink?::I wouldn't know, now would I?
Animal?::tie between panda bear and penguin
Season?::Lent; secularly speaking, spring
Sport?::soccer when not in ND football season
Place to shop?::used bookstores
Clothing brand?::Old Navy
Scent?::the Boy's cologne
Restaurant?::oh good grief. anything italian, I can't narrow that down
Vegetable?::corn and carrots
Fast food restaurant?::ChickFilA!!!!!
Pizza topping?::lotsa cheese
Ice cream flavor?::cookies & cream
Magazine?::the Economist
Color?::navy blue
This or that...
Chocolate or vanilla?::chocolate
Pepsi or coke?::coke! I'm from GA!
Hot or cold?::hot
Black or white?::black
Dog or cat?::dog
French toast or pancakes?::pancakes, with chocolate chips
French fries or onion rings?::french fries! from chickfila
Hamburger or hot dog?::hamburger w/ cheese from the varsity
Pepperoni or sausage?::... neither? I'll go for real german sausage though
Britney or Christina?::yuck. Virgin Mary?
McDonalds or Burger King?::yuck. Chickfila
50 Cent or Eminem?::yuck. I don't even have an alternative for this one.
Canada or Mexico?::Cananda, as it's the home of one of my best friends
Hug or kiss?::... that would have depend on the giver of said affectionate motion
Movies or TV?::movies
Truth or dare?::truth!
Do you...
Shower daily?::not ususally, more like every other day
Sing in the shower?::nope
Like to sing?::yes
Like to dance?::very much so, when I know how to well
Smoke?::ugh no
Drink?::not yet
Cuss?::not when I can help it
Talk to yourself?::hahaha oh yes
Believe in yourself?::I believe in God's power to work through the imperfect being that is me.
Play an instrument?::Learning guitar
Go to school?::yup
Go to college?::yup
Have a job?::yup!
Like your job?::don't know, haven't started yet
Want to get married?::yup, if its in God's plan
Want to have kids?::yup, if it's in God's plan
Get along with your parents?::mostly, more so now that I hardly ever see them
Get along with your siblings?::mostly. sometimes. on good days.
Drive?::when I have a car... i.e. when I'm home
Do you think you're trustworthy?::yes
Think your funny?::hahaha not really, but I try so hard that my attempts are funny
Ever toilet papered someones house?::nope
Gone garbage can tipping?::nope
What are your parents names?::Jim and Elizabeth
Siblings names?::Mark
Do you wash your hands frequently?::not that frequently...
How many time a day do you brush your teeth?::1
Collect anything?::receipts and tickets and other little things from fun outings
Ever been in love?::yes
In love right now?::yes
What color pants are you wearing right now?::khaki
How does your hair look?::in a pony tail, frizzy because I walked through falling snow without a hat on
Ever had your heartbroken?::yup
Ever broken the law?::I honestly don't think so. good grief, I need to get on that.
Been arrested?::no
Been out of the country?::Germany/Switzerland/Austria when I was in 8th grade, Canada numerous times, bahamas
Can you stick your fist in your mouth?::no
When was the last time you got drunk?::... never?
Do you do drugs?::nope, aside from caffeine
When was the last time you were high on anything?::never have been. this survey is pretty much an examination of how innocent I am.
Do you prefer the lights on or off?::off unless I'm reading or trying to stay awake
Would you ever get plastic surgery?::not unless necessary for health
Do you prefer boxers or briefs?::um. not my problem.
Do you like to laugh?::very much so
Ever had a bloody nose?::hasn't everyone?
Have you ever caught a fish?::yes
What was the last thing you ate?::a churro
What time do you go to bed?::varies, usually before 1
What's your favorite color?::haven't we been through this already? navy blue
Do you like to give or recieve?::both are important
Are you obsessed with anything/anyone?::not that I can think of
Do you live alone?::nope, I live in a dorm
Do you own a blender?::no
Do you like the snow?::I'm learning to
Ever been up a mountain?::yeah, various mountains in the Smokeys and the Alps
Ever been rootin'?::no.
Do you like surprises?::most of the time
Take this survey | Find more surveys
Bzoink - The Original Survey Site

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

the very hairs on my head are numbered

So, I've basically determined that stress from end of classes/ finals can spill over into every other area of life and make me pretty hard to live with. Sorry about that.

In better news: My one conclusion from the retreat I went on last weekend was that I suck at praying, and I really need to work on it. I determined that the best way of doing so was getting a spiritual director on campus, who could point me to good literature on the subject, and I would have a fine time getting to know God. Conveniently, it won't work logistics-wise for me to find a spiritual director until january, seeing as how this semester's about to end and then I'll be home for a month. So I happily put that particular goal on the back burner. You know how God has a sense of humor? Get this: a seminarian (now deacon) I met on xanga via my old blog years ago (we're talking freshman in highschool) went on my xanga and commented, asking me to email him. I did. He said that he'd been talking with another seminarian who happens to know me (they're both across the world in ROME, btw) and my name had come up. This other seminarian had thought that I was going through some rough times spiritually, and said so. So this seminarian I haven't talked to in years wrote me a long email asking if he could be of any help to me in my spiritual journey, if nothing else as someone to bounce questions off of. Um. So much for my lack of anyone to talk to about how to pray. Then, that night, I (for the first time ever) had about an hour of free time and decided to start one of the many books I brought to college with me. Hiding in a corner of my bookshelf were a few books that I bought at the bookstore at the Basilica in D.C. last winter. I kind of went crazy and bought whatever I thought would interest me. I haven't actually looked at any of them that much. One of them is called Prayer for Beginners by Peter Kreeft. In the introduction, Kreeft says that he himself is still a beginner at prayer, and this book is for those, like him, who feel that they are not good at praying but desire to become much better at it. It makes a lot of sense so far. I'm taking it slowly and hoping to let it sink in.

Um, wow. Way to go, God. Points for being on top of things. And yes, I'll still get a spiritual director next semester (or else some random person might just walk up to me and offer their services as such).

P.S. Zed has totally flatlined. The heat got to be too much for the poor guy, but we can't have the windows open when it hasn't gotten above freezing all week (to my knowledge). His stalks have slumped and his leaves are droopy. All of his flower heads have long since dried up. Water runs straight through him into his little water collecting plate, even though I pour the water in gradually and at different places. He's dead. Just as well, really, because I have no way of caring for him over my month-long break. Still, it's sad.

P.P.S. I guess I haven't mentioned it on here, but I got a job! With the Notre Dame Music Department, involving some office work and lots of running recitals. Weekend hours, but that's probably good for me. I'm excited. Even more so now that all of the nasty tax forms for it are done.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Christmas Wishes Revisited

Perhaps this whole asking people not to buy anything for me thing is more complicated than I thought. It's extremely counter-cultural, and maybe even selfish. I know that people want to buy me things as a sign of our relationship; there's a joy in knowing someone well enough to find a gift that would be perfect for them, and the joy in giving that gift is really a celebration of the relationship. By asking that people donate to a charity instead, I'm depriving them of the opportunity to give to me, it seems.

On the other hand, if gift-giving is supposed to be about giving the other person whatever would bring them the most joy, then undoubtedly I should feel justified in asking for people to donate to a charity, because it is genuinely what makes me the happiest. Here are my reasons why:

  • I don't need or want any more stuff except for a few little things that I'll tell my family about. I have more stuff than can fit in my dorm room now, and still another roomful of stuff back home. I appreciate that people go through the time to find things just for me, but I don't want or need any more things.
  • I go to lectures a lot. A significant portion of my time at ND so far has been spent learning about what's wrong with the world. I even took the most depressing class ever, Introduction to Social Problems. I do what I can grassroots activism-wise, but I know that money is what makes the world go round. I'm a collge student. I don't have money, or an income. This seems like my chance to give to those who really, really need it. Really. Not in a it would be nice way, but in a it will feed a child way.
  • The more I learn, the more I want to go help fix things, and the more impatient I get. I know I need to be here. So people giving money would relieve some of that tension for me and would make me feel better about my extreme affluence relative to the poverty of the world. I have been given so much; it would make me happiest if those who haven't had the privelages I've had were given something too.

If people absolutely have to get me something, then I want something that involves the gift of time, not money. I want long letters. Tell me anything- how you're doing, how your family is doing, what you want to do this year, a favorite Christmas story, a favorite recipe- anything. I never get letters any more, and I would love to get beautiful letters from those I care about.

This was written primarily in response to one person's objections to my campaign (which he has since decided were wrong). I don't know if this post is necessary, and if not, sorry for cluttering my blog with it.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I finally decided on something tonight that I've been debating about for a while. For Christmas this year, I'm going to have a small wish list of things I actually need, and then ask for every other "present" to be a donation. I haven't entirely decided on the charity, I have many favorites. It won't work, of course, and I'll still end up with lots of stuff, but my parents will probably be respectful of my wishes, and hopefully my friends. I live in two closets joined together with two other people. It has become very evident to me that I don't need more stuff. I don't wear jewelry or makeup, I have plenty of clothes now, I'm set with pretty much everything. I have a to-read book pile that takes up my entire bookshelf here and more back home. I do want other things sometimes, but I don't have room for them anyway, and this is a much better use of the money. I feel a lot better having decided this.

Otherwise, I'm stressed and nearing burnout. But that's what happens when you're a week and a half from finals, I've decided. I just keep in mind that in 2.5 weeks, it will all be over. Regardless of how it turns out, it's a comfort to know that soon it won't matter.

Off to go force myself to relax and such. Peace and love and happiness :-)

Somewhat belated thanksgiving thoughts

I feel very content right now. I skipped my PE class (we get 3 legal skips a semester, I've never used one and I had no assignments due today, plus I was sick of sitting through boring lectures, so I skipped. such a rebel) and came back to my dorm, where I popped open a frappucino (my sweet tea stores from my parents having been extinguished yesterday) and proceeded to practice guitar. I LOVE that I'll actually be really prepared for my lesson on Friday. She gave us a lot to work on, which made me practice a lot more. Normally, I can not practice and get by, so even though I want to practice, other things get higher priority. It's nice to make myself make time. Now that I'm all satisfied with guitar and perked up, I feel like blogging. hurray! let the introspection begin.

I've never eaten Thanksgiving dinner in a hotel restaurant before. Cracker Barrel, yes. But that's different. It's hard for any one to look lonely in happy, bustling, noisy Cracker Barrel. (if you don't know what I'm talking about, Cracker Barrel is the epitome of homestyle comfort food). The hotel restaurant was quiet, even though it was dinner time. There were maybe twenty people spread around the fairly-sized place. The atmosphere was best described as sleek, plain, and simple. It made lonely people stick out somehow, because there was no noise or warm lighting or pleasant decorations to make everything seem ok.

Several tables were occupied by only one person, mostly women, and mostly sipping something alcoholic with their meal while staring off into space. Why were they there, alone, and not with families or loved ones? Some wore suits, and it seemed plausible that they had to be in Chicago on business. For others it was not so clear, and my mother suggested that maybe they just had no place to go.

Now, I blame a lot of my deep-seated childhood issues on my parents for being busy doctors. Maybe some of that's justified, but probably not all of it. They were around sometimes on holidays, other times not. Sometime during the day on Thanksgiving, they sprung on me that this Christmas will be particularly interesting. My dad will be working at the hospital on Christmas day and in the ensuing week and my mother is handling the phone calls from all of the patients of the office while they're closed. I think she takes over hospital rounds and admissions when my dad gets off. My first reaction was CRAP, I'm going to have to find all of these families that I can bus Mark around to on Xmas day so he still has a Christmas.

Then we went to eat our turkey dinner, and it was hard not to notice the people sitting alone. And it dawned on me... at least I have a family with which to celebrate. I always know that, but sometimes I don't understand it. So this Christmas will be hard to schedule. We might celebrate on Christmas Eve instead. I will still have a family to spend time with. Maybe for some people, it's not a question of how to spend time, but whether you get to. How blessed I am, despite my kooky parents. They're great people, and they promise they love me even more than their jobs. I debate that sometimes, but really, they do. And without their crazy jobs, I wouldn't be going to Notre Dame. So. Life is good.

So that's my epiphany for the month. In other news, Indiana has stubbornly been refusing to admit it's November recently. Chicago's weather was beautiful too, 50s and 60s. Perfect for walking in, not too hot or too cold. Sadly, the crusade against winter is supposed to fail Friday; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all have predicted highs of 35 and possible snowfall at night. Parka time.

Wait no! I've had another epiphany this month. Last night I realized I don't like being flirted with. Maybe I would if it was done well, but it mostly seems to take the form of throwing as many sexual innuendos as possible into a conversation. It's awkward, I always think I'm going to say something wrong, and just generally uncomfortable. Talk to me about something intelligent and you're much more likely to win my favor. This realization didn't come from anything the Boy did, for those wondering, but from a facebook conversation going on between me and an old friend from a high school that I had a class with when I was a sophomore. Wanting to catch up is cool and all, but I'm disinclined to want to do so if you find a way to twist my every comment into being "sexy". That's not who I am, and I'm ok with that. Random guys I hardly know calling me sexy does not make me feel spicy, adultish, or beautiful... it makes me feel awkward. And I want to run the other way. It's how I am. Tell me about a book you're reading.
P.S. If the guy facebooking me actually ends up reading this- I think you're great, but dude. Stop. You're smart, I know it. Act like it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Chicago Trip Reflection

First off, let me say that this trip was phenomenal. It was short enough that we could keep up a furious pace that would never have been sustainable over a week. It was enough to give us a taste of a great city, but not so much that we decided that we'd had enough of Chicago for a while. It was fast and fun and enticing. I loved it.

On Wednesday (before Thanksgiving), my parents picked me up from Notre Dame and we set off for Chicago. Lovely family bonding was somewhat cut short when I fell asleep thanks to my beautiful anti-nausea medicine. TMI, gotcha. We got to the hotel eventually, at which point I woke up and helped to move stuff into our room, which was surprisingly normal-sized, even though we were a block over from Michigan St, i.e. the Magnificent Mile. Once settled, we took the recommendation of the concierge and went to a pizza place called East Gino's for dinner, where we proceeded to stuff ourselves with absolutely fabulous food. The trend was to write one's name on some available surface in sharpie (booths, walls, chairs, etc were covered), so being a wildly independent college student, I went along with the trend. I signed my name and the date on the booth we sat in. I don't think I've ever done that before. It was fun. I don't remember much more of that night- I think we just came back to the hotel and crashed.

We woke up reasonably early on Thanksgiving in order to get a good sidewalk spot for watching the grand parade. Our progress was somewhat inhibited by my father's offer to buy me starbucks; even though there's one on campus at the end of the quad I live on, there's something special about my dad buying me coffee.. er, apple cider. Plus it was warm. We made our way down to the parade area eventually. We were next to Macy's, so while waiting I towed Mark around to look at the famous window displays, this year boasting a Mary Poppins theme. We also texted holiday greetings to important family members. The parade was a lot of fun- I have pictures up here.

After the parade, we headed for food and a bench at the nearby open-air German marketplace, curiously featuring many items from Ecuador and Peru. But they had brats and cocoa and potato pancakes, so we were a happy crew. After a bit of window shopping, we headed towards the Field Museum, where we had tickets to the fabulous King Tut exhibit. The walk was somewhat longer than anticipated, but I enjoyed it, as we got to see more of the city, such as the landmark sculpture known as the Bean. At the Field Museum, we spent the rest of the day slowly taking in the King Tut exhibit, then more quickly walking through other exhibits. It was all very interesting and well-represented. Being somewhat pooped, we also took advantage of over-priced drinks and cookies at the museum cafe. After closing down the museum, we caught a bus back to the hotel (we're so urban... that is, until I touristly took pictures of us in the bus). We ate a huge turkey dinner at the hotel, including splitting five slices of various cakes and pies among my mom, my dad, and I* . It was goood. I reached just the right level of happy fullness. Then we watched movies upstairs, I called the boy, and my family went to bed while I worked on homework (I know, I'm so dedicated...not really).

*blog entry about thanksgiving reflections themselves will hopefully be forthcoming

On Friday, we let ourselves sleep in a bit, because Thursday had been such a big, long, active day. We eventually headed out to Navy Pier, but sadly not much was open there, including the huge ferris wheel that Dad and I had looked forward to riding. We walked out to the end and took pictures, though. Then we went to the Hancock Tower. This was probably my least favorite part of the trip, as it involved long waits for a predictable view of the city that one could have seen on a postcard. (subject for another blog entry- why do I not appreciate the real? when in the king tut exhibit, I had to explain to myself that the artifacts were interesting because they're actually from ancient Egypt. I had to explain to myself that the view of Chicago was interesting because it was me actually looking at it, not through a picture. Hmm). Maybe I was just hungry and impatient. Anyway, after the tower, we decided to head to Lincoln Park Zoo and get late lunch/ early dinner on the way. As luck would have it, our route took us on a scenic beachside sidewalk and then through a large park, but never involved a restaurant. Such is life. It was cool to see Lake Michigan up close, and I have a thing for parks. We ended up getting food at the zoo, which was expensive, but there's no admission price to get into the zoo, so I justified it that way. The zoo was doing this nighttime Zoo Lights thing, featuring lots of Christmas lights, activities, and the animals at night. Some obviously went to bed at nightfall, but some were really active, which was cool to see. The penguin/puffin exhibit was naturally my favorite. After Mark just couldn't take anymore, we took a bus back to the hotel. Mom and I toyed with the idea of evening shopping on Michigan, but Dad wouldn't hear of his girls out on the town at night. Probably for the best. We picked up ice cream from a corner grocery store instead and played a board game back at the hotel. Good times.

Mom and I, determined to get our shopping done, got up Saturday morning, packed what we could, and set out together to hit Old Navy. I ended up going in the Gap first, but I only found a sweater there. We did much more damage at Old Navy. Basically, I need all of the warm clothes I can get, and my mom agrees. We shop well together. We were thrifty, too, because the sales were still going on. Yay us. On the way back to the hotel, we passed a Daughters of St. Paul bookstore. They were my favorite order back when I thought I wanted to be a nun. Of course, we had to go in and browse. I ended up with Christmas cards and a CD. Mom and I had already been running behind when we said we'd get back, so we hoofed it back to the hotel. Go us. It was nice to get to just talk to my mom for a while. Back at the hotel, Dad had thrown everything into the van and was awaiting our final approval of his packing job so we could check out. After a bit of rearranging, we all got in the van and headed back to Notre Dame.

All in all, a great trip. Maybe Mark didn't think so, yet, but at least three out of four of us were happy campers. We'll get him yet :-)

Sunday, November 26, 2006


I have all these awesome pictures from our trip to Chicago and all these awesome comments about them and stories to tell, but I can't find a good way of uploading said pictures. Blogger's uploading thing bothers me to no end. I decided heck with that, I'll start a flickr account and post them there. So I went through all the effort of making a new yahoo ID, making a flickr account to go with it, and uploading my first six photos. This took about an hour. Then I find out that I've already used 61% of my bandwith capacity for the month. If I want my other photos up, I either have to shell out $ for a pro account or size down my pictures before I upload them. I love my Mac, but I have no photo-editing software, and so no way of sizing down pictures.

That was an hour and a half well spent. I will get around to writing about the trip later, but it might be sadly without my beautiful photos. :-(

EDIT: HA! I beat the system! Actually, I just downloaded some shareware that makes the whole uploading & resizing process from a Mac about 10000x easier. It's called PictureSync, and it's awesome. It resizes my photos as I upload them, so a Flickr account can hold them. So go see my pictures, already.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A chorus of little birdies

Earlier, large amounts of bird noise was coming through the window. It occurred to me that either they're calling out to each other in hopes of one last good night before the snow hits, or they're exclaiming their mutual distaste for the downturn in temperature. I can imagine husbands screaming at wives to pack faster, we have to get out of here NOW, dangit. Kind of lessens the beauty of their melodies.

Then I thought that maybe a similar chorus is going on in my house right now as my parents pile together enough stuff to last them through 24 hrs+ of road tripping over the rest of the week. It makes the birds sound tame.

I love my family, but I like getting to pack in peace.

Speaking of which, I'm off to go clean my nest and pack. Woot.

(photo by Kolleggerium)

They're coming!!!

The parents are coming! The parents are coming! (not the British. I don't think they'd care much about conquering Indiana)

Mark's coming too. They'll be here tomorrow afternoon. Then we will all set off happily together to DO CHICAGO in 2.5 days. Heck yes. My Thanksgiving break is so much cooler than yours. I'll be eating deep-dish pizza instead of turkey.

My mom has been fanatically planning this out, which is good, because the rest of us would just wander around and gawk. Now we're actually going to do things. My only request was that the time of the USC/ND game finds us in a loud sports grill with other ND fans and a big-screen TV. Not sure if that's going to happen, knowing my family and their tendencies towards calm activity, but a girl can ask.

So please say a prayer for a loaded minivan trekking from Georgia to Indiana today and tomorrow, and for everyone who's going out to see the USC game. Let's hope that everyone is safe and has fun!

Monday, November 20, 2006

I know what time of year it is...

...because of all the good food.

Let's recap:

  • Friday night- dinner out with the Boy's family at Fiddler's Hearth, an adorable Irish pub in South Bend, where I consumed mass quantities of high-calorie food, namely, Irish stew and a side of cheddar&bacon mash. Yum. I also had a few bites of the Boy's bread pudding, but it was a bit too strong for me. I'm under 21, thank you.
  • Saturday: Subway for lunch, cocoa at the game, and candlelight dinner afterwards. The candlelight dinners at the dining halls after games are awesome- basically, they spare no expense to impress the alumni. The best way to handle a candlelight dinner is to eat a little bit of everything, but I still ended up with a tray full of food, including two desserts, apple crisp and cheesecake. Oops.
  • Sunday: Brunch out with the Boy's family. I had chocolate chip pancakes, but resisted ordering a side of toast. A step in the right direction? No, because then I ate the rest of the Boy's hashbrowns. I also bought myself Starbucks later in the day. Then at the dining hall last night they served churros and crinkle fries. Of course I had to go back for a second warm fried-dough-covered-in-cinnamon concoction!
This does not bode well for Thanksgiving. I like food too much.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ack! A week without posting??

Bad Laura.
In my defense, I've been busy. Most of my exams/ paper deadlines tend to fall on Fridays, and when more than one of such events occur in one week, my entire week is consumed with getting ready for Friday. Last week I had two papers due on Friday and an exam. Ick. My weekend has been similarly exhausting, as Joey's whole family has been in town for the game, plus his brother's girlfriend, and we've largely been hanging out with them. Add the fact that on Friday, the only day since last Sunday that I had a breath of free time (in between the pep rally and his family arriving), I was in a terribly unhappy mood, and you get a week without posting.

Excuses, excuses. I will do better.

Monday, November 13, 2006

12 of 12

9:33 AM: Fearless Freshman Peer Leaders took off to go to Divine Liturgy at the local Ukranian Byzantine Catholic Church. Kristin was the only one who would turn around for my picture, and she's not even a freshman- she's my small group leader and was in FPL last year. Our van was part of a three-vehicle convoy. Oh yes, be impressed.

9:53 AM: Arrival at said church.

11:37 AM: After the Liturgy, the priest blessed everyone personally with a relic of St. Josephat. Not only was the saint's name freaking awesome, I was blessed as, "May St. Josephat intercede for you, whoever you are." The church is so small that he recognizes everyone and knows them by name; I was the first one of the Notre Dame contingent to be blessed, so I got to explain what all these college kids were doing in his church. P.S. The sanctuary is beautiful too.

11:43 AM: Group picture! Where's Laura? Hint: I'm right in front, silly. After this the parishoners fed us huge amounts of sausage and potatoes and other awesomeness in honor of their patron saint's feast day, St. Michael the Archangel. Can you say early Thanksgiving? It was beautiful.

3:30 PM: Back from Divine Liturgy and trying to start homework. Yes, start; it's been a busy weekend. One of the books I'm reading for theology is in the foreground. The Creed was actually written by someone who goes to Sacred Heart Parish in Atlanta. I felt special. (My attempt at working failed; the radiator makes things far too cozy. I fell asleep).

5:29 PM: After waking up, I rushed across campus to make it to my first Urban Plunge class on time. This was South Quad on the way.

5:54 PM: The beautiful Kristin, again, this time showing off her V8. I've never had such a beverage. We sat together because we're both site leaders and had to be at the class early. Woot.

8:11 PM: Joey and Round 1 of fast food (we miss meal times at dining halls way too much. he hadn't eaten all day)

8:42 PM: Trash run! We tend to let it accumulate until someone finally says ENOUGH! I was holding a third bag, if that gives you any perspective.

9:00 PM: Joey and Round 2 of fast food, this time Sbarro.

11:38 PM: Late night grotto runs are a must for keeping peace of mind here. It's beautiful, although sometimes they're out of candles at this point. Oh well. I adopt a lit candle and pretend it's mine.

1:26 AM: Me happy that I'm going to bed soon. Long day (see the bags under my eyes?). I did get homework done, somewhat, but I didn't take pictures of that because really, who wants to watch me do homework? Tada, this was my Sunday. More exciting than most, actually.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Lest the people who don't really know me who read this think that I'm an awesome saint-like peaceful person, let me tell you what I did last night.

There are a couple lounges in the basement of my dorm, a big one and a small one. The attractiveness of these lounges comes from the fact that they're the only rooms boys are allowed in after midnight. A couple of my friends have pretty much taken over the smaller lounge during the evenings, because no one's in them until parietals. Last night Joey and I joined them for a bit. Eventually, parietals came, and they left to go get Starbucks. Joey and I stayed, working on homework.

Another couple came in the room holding snacks and a dvd case, popped in their movie (did I mention these rooms have TVs, too?) and settled down. Not exactly conducive to studying, and the room is small enough that we couldn't really escape the movie. I wouldn't have cared so much except Joey had an exam AND a paper due today.

We talked at normal conversation level; they turned up the volume to block us out. Joey brought up a concert we both would love to go to but can't make it to, and I looked it up online with the purpose of listening to music from the non-headlining bands, which we don't know that well. Joey's laptop has pretty powerful speakers, so even though the volume was only half of the way up, it was still about the same noise level as from the TV. Bwahahaha.

After about a minute of this, the guy of the annoying duo called over and asked if we wouldn't mind moving to the other room (normally much noiser and more busy) because they had to watch this movie for a project. It was Cinderella Man. They had been talking about how long they'd wanted to see this movie. We kind of looked at them, then conceeded defeat and left. Ugh.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The awesome wave of peace blogging at the same time as election day has had interesting effects on me, I think. Arguments with Friend 1 continue. I'm struggling the most with arguing for what I know is right peacefully and lovingly. It's so easy to resort to sarcasm or other such things just because "everyone else is doing it" and it's an easy way to drive home a point. But that doesn't make it right. If I can't exhibit peace, then there's no point in trying to argue for it in current affairs. Being peaceful can include being passionate, but not to the point that you focus so much on the issue at hand that you forget to love the person. Friend 1 is a very cool kid, otherwise she would not be Friend 1 but Person Whose Company I Don't Particularly Enjoy 1. But Friend 1 can get me very angry because Friend 1 challenges many beliefs that I hold that are central to my life. That doesn't mean I shouldn't love Friend 1, it just makes that love harder.

P.S. I've asked Friend 1, and Friend 1 doesn't mind me blogging about our conversations. Friend 1 has no problem with being quoted on Friend 1's beliefs.

In other news, other friends have been especially awesome to me recently, and I would like to publicly declare my love for them. One showed interest in what I want to do with my life, and everyone loves to be noticed. Another offered to make me soup, thinking I was ill, and even though I was actually just tired, it was very kind. You make me smile.

Also: I have survived swim class! Today was my last day. I can't say that I'm now skilled at swimming, per se, and should I find myself drowning, I would be far more likely to float on my back than try to swim for it, but I do a mean elementary back stroke. I'm just saying.

Now for some random pictures, because I cleared off my camera last night:

This is Zed looking out the window at the snow-covered cars with trepidation. Actually, I'm having issues with Zed. He sits on top of our window sill, which is above the radiator. The radiator apparently has two settings: off, and piping out insane amounts of heat. Whether the radiator is off or on is also apparently out of our control. Because it's not that cold out yet, our rooms don't need all of the heat put out by the radiator, and we have to open the windows to compensate. So one side of Zed is really cold, and the other is really hot. He must be feeling conflicted, or menopausal. But seriously, I have nowhere else to put him, and I'm not really sure what the temperature variance will do, but it can't be good.

I just wrote a whole paragraph about a plant. Moving on.

I went to my first ND basketball game Monday night. Good fun. I didn't get to stay till the end (yay Peace Fellowship meeting!) but it was still cool. I've decided that I like basketball the most when my brother's playing; otherwise, I have trouble concentrating.

They raced in huge plastic ball things. I think that was the most entertaining part of the night.

This was at the game last Saturday, which was a mite chilly. I don't know if I've mentioned it on here, but Joey's friend Liz came to visit us from Marian in Indianapolis last weekend (she's the 3rd person in the picture). It was cool to hang out with her and have an excuse to not think about homework. Come back any time, Liz :-)
Oh and let's just ignore how my hat makes me look like a member of the conehead family.

Are you still reading? Good grief, there has to be something better for you to do with your time. But I guess you're the smart ones because I saved the most interesting (I think) news for last- I got an email this afternoon saying that I will be the site leader for Urban Plunge in Mobile. I go to talk to the good people at the CSC later about what that entails, exactly. They had said that no one had volunteered for the position, and I emailed back and said I'd do it if they didn't mind a freshman with no mission trip experience being in charge. Apparently it was supposed to happen. Ok God, let's see where this one goes.

Finally- I switched to beta blogger and obviously messed with my template some. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

somewhat less peaceful, happiness, and good citizenship

Lunch today...
Friend 1: Haha! I love these political jokes in the newspaper today about Saddam's hanging.
Me: You don't have a problem with the idea of hanging Saddam Hussein?
Friend 1: Um, no- if he had killed my family, I'd want him to die too.
Me: Seriously?
Friend 1: Yeah! If it was happening here, I'd so go watch.
Me: So basically, you're saying that killing him is going to fix all of the killing he did.
Friend 1: Well, yeah.
Me: I'm going to class now.

*sigh* Yeah, that was sad. I love my friends, but they're a bit to crazy conservative for me sometimes.

On a MUCH BRIGTHER NOTE- I went to see my advisor today about scheduling classes next semester, and the conversation went something like this:
Me: So, I don't want to take any more intro classes than I have to, and I think I've satisfied the intro requirements. I've got AP credit.
Advisor: Yep! You've got everything for your first year out of the way, except for PE. Polisci/ peace studies major? Cool, let me put you in all these awesome classes because you don't have to take any more general intro classes. And here, would you be interested in these special lit classes? You'll have to take some lit class before you graduate- I think I'm supposed to reserve these spots for English intents, but you can pick one. You can have beginning Spanish too, just go talk to this person.
Me: I love you.

Yeah, life rocks, all of that AP stuff actually paid off, and guess what Mom and Dad, it was cheaper to pay the AP fees and get credit that way than paying for the class here! Of course, I still want to be here all four years... but it means I get to take more of the classes I like and less random general huge intro classes. Swoon.

In other news, I voted my absentee ballot! I mailed it before today, but as today is the actual election day, I thought it would be better to post the picture today (I've been too lazy to take it off my camera). Wasn't as fulfilling as I thought it would be, seeing as I wasn't overly thrilled about any one candidate, but at least I'm screwing with the statistics on college voters.

Happy Tuesday everyone! I'm going to go work on homework now.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Dona Nobis Pacem

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me,
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father, brothers all are we,

Let me walk with my brother, in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now,

With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow,

To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me!
by Jill Jackson and Sy Miller

This post is part of what seems to be a huge meme, started by one Queen Mimi here. If you have a blog, you should totally join in. The idea seems to be to get as many people as possible to post peace globes (see above) and talk about peace. So here we go.

I am at the beginning of my college career. I have told many people (in fact, anyone who's asked) that I intend to major in political science and peace studies. A minor part of this is that my political science classes in high school were the only ones that truly fascinated me. Of more importance is that I have been blessed to come to at least a limited understanding of the idea that the world as it currently exists is in many ways broken. I think that sometimes it seems so necessary to not love certain people. It appears that love, in the form of sharing resources or forgiveness, would mean the death of one's own community or way of life. How easy it is to come under the delusion that love causes bad things. I think that one of the few absolutes in life is that God is love, and so love is always, always good. No matter what.

I feel deeply and personally called to witness this truth, that love really is the answer. Yes, I am young and incredibly idealistic, but I went through a period of time in which I couldn't see how God could even exist when life can be so terrible. Thankfully, I have begun to realize the true implications of being a part of the body of Christ, really being His hands and feet. I believe that we are called now, at this moment, to "be the change we wish to see in the world" (Gandhi).

To be honest, it petrifies me, because I am admitting that I hold a lot more responsibility for peace in the world than I thought I had before. It's easy to look at major international issues and wish for peace; it's another thing entirely to understand that the way to peace on a large scale is establishing peace in my own life.

I have grand plans for what I want to do with my life, and hopefully, I'm right that I'm being called to them as well. I'll keep you posted. Before I started college, I told people that I wanted to take a couple of years off after school and go volunteer somewhere for a while because I'll still be young, capable, and family-less. Then I want to settle down and do non-profit work, maybe at an NGO headquartered in DC. Now, being at college and going to all of these fabulous lectures and club meetings, and more importantly seeing where other students have gone, I want to go even more. I want to be in the middle of the worst, and at the same time I'm absolutely terrified of it- I've never even been on a mission trip through church, like most people here.

Thankfully, Notre Dame has a fabulous Center for Social Concerns, and they offer all kinds of programs to help students experience service and learn through it. I'm participating this winter break in their Urban Plunge program; basically, they stick you in a charity for 48 hours and expose you to all the worst problems in American cities. I just found out that I've been placed in Mobile.

It feels wonderful to know that finally, finally, I can say that I'm doing more than just talking about peace. I have a feeling, though, that it will affect me much more than I will affect the community I'll be in, and I'll come to a greater understanding of the fact that working for peace can take place every day in my own life. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"Aww" moment

One year.

Richard Brautigan


1. Get enough food to eat,
And eat it.

2. Find a place to sleep where it is quiet,
and sleep there.

3. Reduce intellectual and emotional noise
until you arrive at the silence of yourself,
and listen to it.


So no one I've showed it to so far has been quite as enamored by it as I... I think I'm in somewhat of a romantic and whimsical mood.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Meet Zed

Our room has a mascot now. His name is Zed. I have a long, cold winter ahead of me, so I'm trying very hard to keep Zed alive for some color.

My roommate Annie and I think that our last plant (potted purple daisies) died because we didn't take the time to name it. Now Zed can escape its fate. It also has a shamrock on it for good luck.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hear You Me

Haha, the title sounds like something a grandfather should say.
At the moment, I am a huge fan of Jimmy Eat World, more particularly the song Hear You Me. It's so mellow and fits my mood so beautifully.

What would you think of me now,
so lucky, so strong, so proud?
I never said thank you for that,
now I'll never have a chance.
Hear You Me

Ahh, so beautiful. Go find it now and listen. It's gorgeous.

Yes, there was more of a point to this post than to share my current music interests. Since starting my grown-up blog :-) I have become addicted to blog-surfing, that is, finding other interesting and exciting blogs to read on a daily basis. Mostly I surf through the sidebars of other blogs, but sometimes I'm wild and I just click on the titles of the newly updated blogs that sound interesting. I would put the blogs I read on my sidebar, but I don't know how to edit my template yet. So until then, here are some blogs that piqued my interest for one reason or another... go read!
My Busy Farm Days
Waiter Rant
[An Aside]
Just Because
Pansy and Peony
Indigo Girl
Laugh, Lament, and Love
A Flying Leap
Sunday Scribblings
Imperishable Beauty
Crouching Mommy, Hidden Laundry
The Sober Sophomore

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I'm a pretty wild college kid... not gonna lie...

Last night was a certifiably crazy set of events, and I wasn't even drunk.

After class ended, I headed over to Stepan to set up for relay for life. My favorite part was the NDSP guys driving around in their warm SUV calling out the window, "Hey, Georgia girl! You ok?" Yes, I'm fine, thank you, I just can't feel my fingers.

I went back to Farley for a little bit, mostly to check on Joey, who had been through health services for a foot issue (my phone was dead). The boy will live. He left to find a halloween costume.

A little while later, I convinced Nicole to come back to Relay with me, promising good food (it's true, good food was to be had there, but I also wanted someone to watch the opening ceremonies with). We realized, upon arrival, that opening ceremonies weren't at 6 like I thought they were. Oops. We walked around the booths and tents instead. We located good food in the form of charred half-chickens from a visiting "port-a-pit"- yes, a portable barbecue pit. I was excited. Thanks to some nice librarians, we had the means to eat said chicken, which was quite happy. Opening ceremonies showed no sign of starting, so we amused ourselves further by attaining for Nicole a monkey-in-tree balloon hat from a nice clown. Finally people gathered for opening ceremonies (they were at 7... oops) and we sat through half an hour of flag ceremony, pom squad, and cinderella. As we were heading out to walk the first lap, Annie and Michele showed up. We walked behind the survivors and caregivers and then headed back to Farley.

Nicole abandoned us, and after a brief chat with RA Nicole, in which I determined that she was not suffering from some weird African flu (with the help of my mom), Annie, Michele and I went out in search of food. This somehow became a trip to Recker's, across campus.

Joey returned from costume shopping at about that point, and the kind boy brought me Chickfila sweet tea. He left again to go "make" his costume... at one point this was supposed to invovle sewing with staples, and I was afraid. But I've learned not to fuss, so I sat and sipped sweet tea and mooched off of Annie's burnt cheese pizza.

Eventually we headed back to Farley, and I spent an hour or so getting ready for Farley's halloween dance. None of our "circle" of Farley girls were going, but I kinda like getting dressed up and such. Plus everyone kept talking about how much fun it is, and I like to dance, so why not? And I was quite proud of my costume, I must say:

<-- Costume in its final form... I never got a picture head to toe, which is sad, because the skirt is a really full and pretty, and I was wearing some killer cute sandals.

<--I'm such a bad pirate :-P I was trying to look intense here, I think. Heh, that didn't work so well. Joey showed up late, but we still got into the dance.

As soon as we got inside, I realized that my carefully put together costume was rather lacking in the sexy department, comparatively speaking, and apparently the reason that the dance isn't until 10:30 is so that everyone has time to get drunk beforehand. We tried to have fun, gave up, tried again, and eventually gave up and left at midnight. It was sad. The people dancing in couples for the most part were too concerned with other things to actually dance, and everyone else "dancing" was dancing in little circles or close groups of friends. If we go to a dance again, we're going with a group. The music sucked too- not stuff one can actually dance to, mostly weird hiphop. I was pretty disappointed, because everyone had built it up to be so awesome... but life goes on.

We went back to Farley and hung out in the big lounge in the basement with our friends, who were watching the mockumentary Thank You For Smoking. Not exactly light and fluffy, but it was humorous.

At 3, I bundled up hard-core style (my 3-in-1 parka was in 1 piece for the first time this winter) and dragged Joey, Michele, and Annie out to Relay to walk with me. It was fun and peaceful. We walked and talked and sang along with the songs they were blaring. Michele and Annie bailed after half an hour, but Joey stuck it out with me in his mad ninja costume. He walked with the swords and numchucks. We even got free Krispie Kreme doughnuts out of the deal. Definitely the best part of the night. And it was nice to know that my hard-core winter stuff works; it wasn't below freezing outside, but it was in the 30s, and I was perfectly warm the whole time. Good stuff.

By 4:30, I was back in Farley. I took my parka, gloves, fleece hat, and wool socks off, and promptly collapsed on the futon. My back complained this morning, but my thighs were thankful. Dancing in heels + walking in the cold= sore Laura.

See? Crazy. But life is good.