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So, here's the thing about the cherry blossoms: I have difficulty with the tourists- they're in the way, I have issues with crowds, I have issues with strangers being in my space, and I am mildly allergic to the flowers themselves. So often, I avoid them, especially the ones around the Tidal Basin.
But this weekend I went to see them twice, and I took my camera today. And as annoying as the tourists and the allergies are, the flowers themselves are damn pretty )
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Work was slow.
We watched the ceremony, I tried not to throw things at Rick Warren (I, personally, don't feel there should be an invocation or a benediction at the Inauguration at all, but if there is, it shouldn't be Rick f*cking Warren). We drank sparkling cider when President Obama took the oath of office.

Getting to work was easy-peasy.

Getting home was a bit harder, because people wouldn't move out of the way when I tried to get off the train (they were on the platform), the escalators were all off, there was trash all over the escalators (which really upset me, how rude is it to come to someone's home and leave garbage all over the place), and there was only one faregate I could use to get out.

But I am home, I am warm, and I have a President I can believe in.
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My parents came down on Friday, and I met them in their hotel after I got out of work. I'll be so glad when training is over- it's annoying.
As always, they brought me some good stuff. My She-Ra lunch box, which I realize is supremely dorky, but it's also very retro, and I love it. Plus, no one will mistake it for their lunch. The thermos doesn't hold much, but since it's got water in it for now, that's ok. Also cloth shopping bags for groceries, and my Mom bought me a bunch of bath/shower stuff, including bubble bath. And a very nice new black skirt that is velvety and twirly at the same time. I walked home from their hotel in the skirt, my black Docs, and my shirt from work. I also took the wine and brie and crackers that the hotel gave them.
Saturday we went to the Phillips Collection. Then back to my place so they could see it, and we exchanged computers. I've had my Dad's laptop for the past few months while mine got repaired. Then we went to a very nice dinner in the hotel and hung out being silly for a little while. Sunday we went to church (I was singing, one of the reasons they came), and then to Georgetown for brunch.
Today, my computer decided that it didn't want to start windows, which sucked. I had to reset it to factory settings using the system restore disks that came with it. And this is after I downloaded a bunch of programs yesterday. But it's ok, because I'm fairly certain that I backed up all the documents I might want, and definitely all my pictures. And all my songs are on my mp3 player, and I have the disks for that and my digital camera. I need to re-acquire the software that lets me log onto GW's wireless network, but that's easy enough to do. Google has a very handy thing, called "Googlepack" that includes a whole bunch of google software, like Google Earth and Desktop search, as well as Firefox, Norton Anti-Virus, AdAware, and Trillian. So I got a huge amount of functionality restored from one download. Because Google is fantastic, and I happily await the day when they rule the world.
On a completely unrelated note, I made a playlist today of music to listen to before church. It takes me about 30 minutes to get to church, so I take my mp3 player, and I like to listen to church-y music. If any of my dear readers have some appropriate music (and I know you do) that they'd like to share with me, I'd be very grateful.
Watching ice dancing on tv now, and then time for sleeping.
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So, today I had class at the Frederick Douglass House, which as you know is where I work. That was nice, because it meant I found out that my check was at the main office. I headed down to drop off some forms that I'd been neglecting to drop off (it's not that easy to get to, though not hard either, but it's not like I could just drop by on my lunch time). Well, one of these forms was my commute reimbursement form. The lady refused to believe that I was asking for enough money. I went to the Metro website, looked up the fare, and multiplied it by the number of days I work a week. I work two days a week, there are four weeks in a month, that's eight days a month. So that's $2.35 each way ($2 for the train, .35 for the bus), $4.70/day, therefore $37.60/month (actually, technically it's probably more than that, because there's no bus-to-rail transfer the way there is rail-to-bus) I even included the bus down by the house, which I don't usually take, in case of really crappy weather (I'd rather walk- it's cheaper and I can use the exercise and the fresh air). But this one lady didn't want to believe that I was asking for enough. She consulted with a colleague, and he double checked with me, and made sure the form had everything on it it needed (which was good). I live two blocks (.20 miles according to the Metro site) from the Metro station, and while there is a bus I can take, I don't, because it's silly, and I could be at the station in the amount of time it takes to wait for the bus. The form tells you not to ask for more, and only to ask for what it costs to get to work. I mean, if I could get more, it would cover my transit to school, but I feel bad using taxpayer money to pay for me to go to class. I didn't expect HR to give you a hard time about not requesting enough reimbursement. If I had asked for $50/month or more, would they have just been happy?
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We are having lovely October weather here when it's not raining. There's this crispness in the air that reminds me of Berlin and makes me want Bratwurst and Federweisse. It's that weather when it's still nice enough to eat outside at a cafe, especially if you have a nice bowl of soup or a cup of tea, but it's cool enough to wear socks without your feet overheating, and when you can bundle under the covers and not wake up with sweat on you. I love it.
Of course, on Saturday, it was not so lovely, as it rained most of the day again. And then I was locked out of my house, and since I had not taken a sweatshirt with me, I was a little chilly. I had left my keys at home, and didn't think it would be a problem, figuring that one of my roommates would be home. In a house of seven people, you'd think that at least one of them would be around at 5:30 on a Saturday. But no. So I went and had dinner, and then went to my landlady's coffee shop to see if either she or her boyfriend were there, but it was closed. I had called her and left a message, and when I went back to the house to see if anyone had come home, I saw that she had called back to say that she was on her way home and if I was still locked out she'd let me in. This was very good as I was about to call one of the few people whose numbers I had, and if that failed, see if I could spend the night at the GW library.
Sunday I went to church and then off to Target for some shopping. Bought cleaning supplies, crochet hooks from the $1 section, a bathroom scale, two flashlights (including a Nightstar CS, which doesn't need batteries, and one small enough to put on a keychain which is in my purse), curtains (pictures if you so request them) for all of the windows in my room, including the internal one that connects the two rooms, and a bellydancing DVD, which is extremely difficult but I think will be very rewarding and fun. I found myself wanting to practice the moves while riding the Metro today while listening to my mp3 player, because the rhythym made me want to move. But obviously I can't stand up and do figure eights with my hip on a train with other people. Though I did do some of the shoulder stuff, and it's the upper body stuff that's hard for me.
Right now I'm supposed to be writing a paper for Historic House Interpretation. And then I have to write a 100 word autobiography (like an intro panel for an exhibit) for Exhibition Development. And we have to bring in objects. I really think I'm going to take Chocolate, though that would probably be an odd thing to carry on the Metro. But it would be a good object for an exhibit on me, plus it's cute, so I think I'll do it.
Next weekend's going to be fun, as I have two things at church on Sunday- regular service, which my choir is singing during, and then an ordination service in the afternoon which we're also singing for (as is the other choir). Thursday's are my only days off all week- classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesay, work Friday and Saturday, and church on Sundays. Which is fine, but still.
Anyway, I'm going to try to be productive now. Try to stay out of trouble.
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OK, so, the little one was here this weekend. I picked her up at Union Station and brought her back here. Saturday, we got up and went off on a grand adventure. I give you a map for reference so you can follow our adventures. We started by getting on the Metro and going to the Capitol South Metro station, which is at 355 First Street, SE. We walked from there up to the Supreme Court, and then to the west side of the US Capitol. And of course, she was very excited. We didn't go in either, but we did see a guy power washing the steps of the Supreme Court. And Kristin took a ridiculous number of pictures over the course of the day.
From the Capitol, we walked down the National Archives, and saw the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and other shiny old bits of paper. And also a very cheesy movie about why it's important that we have these records and how they are important to democracy. From there, we went to the National Museum of National History, where we saw the Hope Diamond, and some dinosaur bones. Then we went to the National Museum of American History, where we saw the Ruby Slippers, and Kermit, and most importantly, The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden, so she could see all the presidential stuff. And then we walked over to the Washington Monument, and then the World War II Memorial, and then up to the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, and 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial and then to the White House. I didn't make her eep in front of it though. Then we were done, and we walked over to Chinatown, which is at about 7th and H NW, and went to dinner. Then we limped over to the Metro, went to the grocery store and bought ice cream, came here and watched Dodgeball on HBO and then just hung out.
This morning we went to church and then off to Union Station. It was fun, and the weather was glorious, although neither of us thought to put on sunscreen, which was bad, and now we both have very sore feet, but it was a good time.
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So, I went to class, and was bored, because the guest speaker had one of those really soothing voices that would be great for a bedtime story but not for lectures, and she's an interesting woman, she actually wrote our textbook. But like the good student I am, I'd read the textbook. Some of what she said was interesting, but she went over time and it was one of those things where you just want to leave because you already know what's being talked about.
Then I went to the campus center for lunch because I didn't think I had anything here for lunch. This guy wearing a shirt that said "Support the President, Confirm John Roberts" and a College Republicans sticker tried to hand me a piece of paper, saying "here you go, dear." I glared at him. First off, I'm not entirely certain that either the president or Judge Roberts believe that women should have full citizenship and autonomy over their own bodies. Secondly, I'm 23 years old, and you're likely an undergrad, 21 at most. Don't call me dear, because I'm not your girlfriend. The only Republican allowed to call me dear is my father (he's technically registered as one, though he's not really a Republican). The funny thing is then I left and he didn't even try to give me anything because he remembered. He said something to the other people with him about how his positive response rate had gone down since he put on the sticker.
Anyway, while I was eating lunch, I saw on tv that there was a protest in front of the White House. Since I didn't have anything else to do, I walked over (it's not far). It was great. It was anti-war, a carry over from the weekend. There were people getting arrested (voluntarily- they knew they would, they wanted to), including, allegedly, Cindy Sheehan. There were several clergy, as well as a contigent of Code Pink and several Veterans for Peace. These were the people directly in front of the gate, some were support for those who were going to be arrested. Those arrested were essentially arrested for standing still in front of the White House. The Police were very polite and non-violent, even helping get water to those sitting on the sidewalk. There were barricades and the rest of us were protesting on the other side, offering our support to the main protesters. One group was Breasts Not Bombs, who were topless women. They were protected under the 1st amendment because it was political speech. They got quite a few looks. I wished I had my camera, not just for them, but for the whole thing. It was amazing. Buddhists meditating, people singing, etc. Some people were a little ridiculous, but it was very peaceful and non-violent. I almost joined in with the topless women, because it would have been fun. A bunch of school kids, around 12-13 years old, all boys, walked by, which was hilarious, since they were very excited to see topless women. Of course, these were not Playboy models, they were real women with stretch marks and sagging boobs and everything. It was cool.
And really, as much as people say they hate America and get mad at the police, in many other countries in the world such a protest would be completely impossible and put down by the military. As much as I dislike many things that are happening in the government and the world, I'm really glad that we're allowed to freely express those feelings. And I love living in DC, where I can walk to a protest after class.

July recap

Aug. 6th, 2005 04:54 pm
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Ok, so I haven't actually posted an informative, what's been going on entry.
The first weekend in July, I moved again, into the big bedroom in the house I've been living in since last year. It's a nice, big room, two rooms actually, with a huge closet, hardwood floors, and a door and a window in the wall in between them. I can watch the tv through the window from my bed. It's nice.
On the 4th, I ventured down to the Mall and watched the fireworks, but it wasn't quite as much fun as it would have been if I'd had friends with me.
Then, on my birthday, I flew home. Got presents and cake, the next day we went shopping and got me pretty things, including the Best Skirt Ever, some new sandals, and some nice tops. Went to Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium that Saturday, with my parents and the boy.
Came back, worked, and then on Friday I flew home again to go see my friend Katie get married. I was a little cranky about it, until I saw how happy she was to have me there. I was the only single person at the table (and the only one under 40), but I had a good time. It was a lovely wedding- she was beautiful, and the reception was lovely- beautiful decorations, great food, good wine. Then we went to Albany and saw Bruce Springsteen, which was pretty good.
Then I had a weekend of no travel, except that we also had no power from some point Friday night/Saturday morning until some point on Sunday. Which you know, kinda put a damper on things. I could have gone out, but I didn't really want to. Sunday I went to church at Washington National Cathedral with Bill. It would have been nicer if there hadn't been about a gazillion Boy Scouts there. One, because I don't really like the organization, and so it put me in a bad frame of mind and I couldn't get that nice peaceful feeling that church often gives me, and two because no one sang, and really, what's the point if there's no singing? (The choir sang, but we couldn't really hear them, and none of the Scouts or their leaders sang)
Then, the parents came again, and we went down to the NMAH so Mom could see where I work. We took advantadge of my employee discount at the restaurant and gift shop, and went to see Into the Deep (which I love). It was nice. They also brought me a futon, which is really nice, because it's comfy and gives me another place to sit, and is closer to the tv. And it means that people can come visit me and have a place to sleep that's not the floor or in my bed (which is especially nice because my new bed is a double, not a Queen like the old one), and that people have someplace else to sit. Which is doubly nice because that means I could, theoretically, entertain people in my room, not downstairs, which now has less room since my landlady's brother moved into the old living room, and she converted the dining room into a living/dining room. It's nice, and I'm the only person who ever used it, so it's all good.
This week was my last week at work, which made me sad. They had an ice cream party for me yesterday, including Phish Food, which my boss knew was my favorite1. They also gave me a gift card to Barnes and Noble. So that's nice. Monday I have an interview at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, which is run by the National Park Service, and so I'd have to wear a uniform, which would be amusing. There are a few other places I want to send my resume too as well.
Next week I'm going up to Massachusetts to see the boy and go to Becky's wedding in Connecticut, and then he's coming back to DC with me, which should be fun. And then back to school!

1. technically, Mint Chocolate Cookie is my favorite, but that's much harder to find.
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My parents are coming to visit for the DC Bookfest, because that's the kind of nerdy family we are. Alledgedly, Neil Gaiman is going to be there, so if anyone would like me to get a book signed for them, you can send me one if you already have it, or if you like, request one you don't have as a Hanukkah/Winter Soltice/Christmas/New Year's gift.
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The National Book Festival is coming up, Saturday, October 9. Such notable SF authors as Neil Gaiman and Connie Willis will be there. And lots of other people. I'm going, b/c there're readings. And to hear Connie Willis do a reading would be so cool. If you can't make it, it's also on C-SPAN 2. And [livejournal.com profile] eredien, if you can't make it, and you want a book signed, let me know. I owe you, but I'd want to anyway.
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Ok, so much updating to be done.
No more empty shelves )
A Day at the Zoo )
Wonder of Wonders )
Possesions and unwanted roommates )
Adventures in Reading )
Ok, the above covers the highlights. Though I'm amused by the fact that Wednesday night, from 5-8 there's a Grad Student Happy Hour at some bar. Wednesday night, at Sundown, Rosh Hoshannah starts. 'Course, I'll be in class, so it's irrelevant (could go before, and get tipsy before class, but I think that's a bad plan). I like the fact that there's a happy hour in the middle of the week on a High Holy Day.
Also on Wednesday, I need to bring with me an example of a well designed space (not the actual place, but an idea of a space, and reasons why it's well designed). Any suggestions? (NB- preferably places I've actually seen).
K, bedtime, class is at 9:30 tomorrow morning.
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So, I'm killing time in the GW computer lab in the library (or maybe "a" library, I think there're multiple libraries). I have succesfully navigated the passage from my home to campus twice now, with no difficulty. I was properly on time for orientation this morning, got to socialize w/ other nerds like myself and had a free lunch. And met w/ my advisor and subsquently changed my schedule so that I now have neither a) an 8 AM class or b) the Wednesday from Hell. This is of the good. And I now only have class during the day one day a week, which means I might actually be able to have my weekends free to go visit people or sleep or do homework or whatever. I also now have a shiny new student ID, with which to get discounts or whatever else. And into the library and other fun and fancy buildings. I still have not been on a tour of campus, which is large and urban, and so do not necessarily know where said buildings are, but I am managing to navigate fairly well so far. It helps that most of the streets are either letters or numbers, and so you can figure out which direction to go if you can count and know the alphabet. The streets named after states don't seem to have much rhyme or reason to them, except that they run diagonally and this leads to them coming together at traffic circles where streets like Georgia and Pennsylvania intersect (actually, my metro station is where Georgia and New Hampshire intersect, which is funny). But I am feeling increasingly confident in my ability to find my way around, at least around here.
I have met both of the girls who live on my floor, and they are cool. I must do real grocery shopping soon, to buy grown-up groceries (you know, the kind that require cooking w/ something other than a microwave).
Lunch, which was free, was of the good. We all went around and introduced ourselves. I would say that we are about 70% female (maybe even more). Some kids seem straight out of undergrad, others seem to have spent a few years working. Some intimidated me, but I made everyone laugh w/ my introduction, twice. Which is easy to do when you got your BA from Alfred, as there is much material from which to draw, but it makes me happy. The only snafu in the day was when this dirty unwashed guy who was hanging out in the overpacked room was asked to introduce himself, as he was thought to be part of our program. He went on this little ranty thing, but he wasn't very articulate, and so difficult to understand. But what he did say was disturbing, and not really logical. He was cut off by some of the second-years and then a person I assume was security, who I think was fetched by one of the second-years, came and escorted him very quietly away. It was odd, but I was impressed by how it was handled. I think that's part of life in a big city.
We have a dinner which is also free tonight at 6. It is currently 3:51 PM. Hence the journaling.
Yesterday I took care of my health care stuff and it's all good, and I mailed all the paperwork I know needed mailing today. I also got a shiny new checking account at Bank of America, which will make life easier. Then I went to Friday's, solely b/c they have good milkshakes there (or least at some they do). They only had one flavor listed on the menu, and they were out of milk. Apparently no one had any time to run and get more.... (which reminds me of a story involving a now-closed restaurant and shrimp...)
And I got a lead on a job, which is shiny. I initially applied for a job I wasn't really qualifed for, but then the woman asked if I'd like her to forward my resume for consideration for another post, and I said, um, hell yeah (only more politely, as it was a work related e-mail, and that kind of language doesn't really go). Got an e-mail today from the woman (who had emailed me and who I sent a copy of my newly updated resume to) asking if I could come in for an interview.
Life is good. And just yay. Except that I have to kill time until food. B/c I don't feel like going back to my place, as it is approx. 30 minutes on the Metro, not counting waiting for trains. I shall find some way to entertain myself, I am sure.
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~ "Spiritual" Sweet Honey in the Rock, Still on the Journey  (I figured no one would guess this one)

So, the adventure that is my life.  Thursday on the way home, my brakes decided to protest.  I got home in one piece, but I was terrified.  I had to push the brake petal all the way to the floor to make the car stop.  So on Friday, Dad drove me to work, for my last day there. The car is officially done.  It was a good car while it lasted, and it served my family well, but it's time to put it out to pasture.  It will be donated to charity, as it is no longer needed. 

I am posting from my room in DC.  The connection was down for most of the afternoon, but is up again. Huzzah.  I have emailed new contact info to people who should have it.  My landlady is very nice, as is the girl who lives across the hall.  This is good.

Saturday Dad and I went to a ball game, but we left during the rain delay.  Sunday I went to see the boy and met his mother, but the parents were quite annoyed with me b/c I got home very late and therefore did not back the car on Sunday.  And my Dad went out and bought me the chair I wanted and rootbeer and some other things.  I felt very guilty.  But the boy is going to Italy, so I think it's excusable. 

I had to leave all my books and movies behind, as there was not enough room in the car, and clothes were a higher priority than entertainment.  But I have a tv and a computer (w/ a wireless connection) so I should be able to keep myself occupied.  Tomorrow is The Day of Errands.  It is also my boy's Birthday, so you should all wish him a happy birthday if you encounter him. 

I think that those are the major highlights.  Those desirous of deeper conversation may call.

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I am the Master of the Universe!
Magister Mundi sum!

Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

"Magister" also means "teacher." Well, if you're a man. Technically, "Magistra mundi sum" since I'm a woman. Or it could be "Regina mundi sum" : "I am the Queen of the world". (incidentally, I love Latin, for the way the complexity of the grammar makes for such beautiful conciseness and is so logical, and allows such beautiful poetic expression)

Oh, and the new Thursday Next books are out in paperback. I am happy. Had I known, I would have gone to B&N on my lunch and acquired them. But maybe I shall get them soon. Concert Friday night, Hall of Fame w/ Gabe on Saturday, down to DC on Sunday. Hoping to find housing. Have one appointment, another woman is leaving town (grr) but she wants a resume and references. Called two apartment buildings today, both all full up, but one put me on a waiting list. Might not need it if this one place pans out though.
I *must* put batteries in my cd player so as to help the day go by faster. And so as to have happy music to cheer me up. Gabe called during work, which was happy, but then the two apartments were full, which made me sad. I was literally on the brink of tears. Which sounds crazy, but hey.
I believe in the fundamental goodness of the universe. I believe that the universe is at best, benevolent, and at worst, ambivalent. I believe that the Power(s) That Be (Is, whatever) is (are) again, at best, loving and good and generous and nice, and at worse, simply disinterested. So I believe that God will help me find a place to live. So I am praying for strength and housing, and being grateful for the ridiculous amount of good things that (S)He has given me over the past 22 years. I refuse to accept that I'm not supposed to go to DC, b/c a rejection letter would have accomplished that more efficiently, and the fellowship seems suffiecient evididence to the contrary. So maybe I'm supposed to meet this girl and live with her and we will be lifelong friends or something. Here's hoping.
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So, last weekend, the boy and I went to DC to try and find me an apartment. We had no luck. Partly b/c no one called me back, which is really infuriating. I already had the hotel room, and was hoping people would call me back while we were driving. Someone did, but that was the only guy who had called me back, and that was to cancel b/c the apartment he was going to show me had been rented. Grrr. But we had a good time. I learned the following things:
-you have to pay attention to the little letters at the end of the street address, or else you wind up way on the other side of town
- shoes from easy spirit are not necessarily good for walking in
- my boyfriend is not only handsome and funny, he is also very patient
- New York Ave will take you to NY
- There's a reason the EconoLodge is so damn cheap (I actually already knew that)

Oh, and the room I did see, that I didn't want but then was going to take so that I'd have a place to sleep at least, was gone when I called. I am trying to take this as a sign, but I don't know what of. I would appreciate prayers on my behalf. I also don't think it's a good sign that I can't find the "consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air" bit in the Bible when I search it on bible.com (Albert, or other scripturally versed people, if you're reading this, help me out). I have found another potential roommate, and I may go down this weekend to see her and her place, we'll see (preferably I'll have other people to visit too).

I did, however, thouroughly enjoy my time with the boy, who as I said is a very good boy. And I drove over the George Washington bridge and successfully merged onto the Major Deegan, so I think on some level the trip was a success, just not in terms of getting what I was looking for. But it was educational, and we got to see cool stuff at the Smithsonian (like Dorothy's ruby slippers). So, even if the guys down the hall were drug dealers, it's all good. :)

In other news, my job is ridiculously dull. At least when they had no work for me I could read books and do the crossword puzzle, but now I have 8 hours of mind-numbing number checking (SS numbers and acct. numbers). But the pay doesn't suck, and I could be doing much worse work. I consider it paying my dues.
Speaking of paying, I also got word on my loan. Bad news: I will be in debt when I graduate. Good news: I got enough to pay off the rest of my tuition and help me w/ rent and what not. So that's a good thing. See, these are the signs that say I'm supposed to go there. Maybe I'm supposed to live w/ the girl who called me on Sat. (and not the sketchy guy w/ the $0 rent and the one bedroom...)

Also, I finally found my CDs, which I'd been missing, and so now I get to listen to Songs for a New World again, which brings happiness. And the sun is shining (at least is was today, before it went down). And that's about it, I think...


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