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.