Buy, trim, wrap, pack, chat,
Drive, snow, cook, eat, check, recheck,
You ready for this?

Well, Christmas is now two days away.  Titan is here for the holidays, and the tree finally got put up at home yesterday.  We had our family Christmas this morning.  I feel like my Christmas has been a little overshadowed by my efforts to prepare for Japan (speaking of which, my hair's purpleish now--http://picasaweb.google.com/VASavage/PurplePains#--I guess that bleach blonde + purple + purple + purple = brown with purple streaks?), so I'm trying to make up for it by being really spirited.  Cookies!  Elves!  Reindeer antlers! 

It's been good.  The roads are in awful condition, though.  It's a white Christmas!  The drive from Indianapolis to Joliet, which is normally ~3 hours, took 6-7 hours.  I think I topped out at 50, and that wasn't for very long.  Titan, Venus, and I saw 15 wrecks between Indy and mile marker 201 (normally about an hour away).  People got a little too crazy, and it was wicked slick.  We made it alright, though.  Just waiting for Mom and Dad to get in later tonight.  They left a few hours after us, and it seems like their going is even slower.

Japan plans are almost here!  I'm nervous that I've forgotten something in Columbus or Bloomington, but I've repacked my bag so many times I don't know how I could have.  I guess we'll find out for sure in THREE DAYS.  <3!



There's no place like home
For the holidays!  But I
Won't be here for long.

It's good to be home.  Finals done, hair cut, stress removed, bags packed, family visited, snow fallen, dogs walked.  It was worth the hard term to have this epic break.  I'm ridiculously excited about leaving on Friday.  But the time home is nice to have, too.  We visited family up in Chicago for a big pizza party ("oh, gosh!  I didn't recognize you with your short hair!"), I went to a party for Ryan's birthday, ("oh, gosh!  you look so good with short hair!"), and Titan came home ("oh, gosh!  you have short hair??").

:)  Can't wait!



It's gone for the cause,
And I don't miss it as much
As I thought I would.

My hair!  It's gone!  Lopped off!  Sent to Locks of Love!  I guess it's okay, though.  I don't mind as much as I figured I would...  11".  Hum.



A big test for all
The marbles?  Wait, who thought this
Was a good idea?

Yeah, I can't say I'm a huge fan of the idea of finals.  I haven't had any yet; mine are all today and tomorrow.  It's less than thrilling to think about sitting in a room for two hours and agonizing over the fact that those two hours contribute 40% of my grade.  Seriously, it's an awful idea.

On the plus side, finals week means that there's lots of free time (no homework or classes!) to make sure I see everyone before I shove off.  ^_____^

And Christmas shopping.  Ohhhh... that.


winding down

No homework, more fun!
'Cept there's neither snow nor sun.
Oh, Indiana.

What the hell is this winter thing here, anyway?  I've been living here for... what... wow, like, 12 years or something ridiculous, but anyway I still don't know what exactly the harbingers of winter are here.  Sometimes it's snow.  It snowed over the weekend (while I was fantastically ill), but it's all melted now.  This week it's been sort of... grey and rainy.  Ick.  Thanks, December.

I'm happy to be much better now, though.  I can do things like... breathe.  And... eat.  I was super excited yesterday night, actually; I was famished for the first time since I got sick.  Apparently mono kills your appetite?  But mine is back WITH A VENGEANCE.

I'm also happy to be done with all my homework for the term.  All that's left now is a couple exams and a little presentation.  WOOT.  ^_____^

And then.... Japan!



Just in time for my
Finals to start, just as it
Snows for once, I'm sick.

It *would* happen this way, wouldn't it?  Of course.  As Sean just told me today, everything I do is epic.

So on Tuesday, I went to the IU Health Center because my throat and neck were starting to feel... off.  Once my body starts to feel off, it usually gets very bad.  So I figured I should get it checked as soon as possible.  I guess I went too soon; they did a strep test and it came back negative.

As the week wore on, I started counting the number of lymph nodes I could see and feel in my neck.  It was pretty ridiculous.  They're still grotesquely swollen.  -___-  I felt worse and worse, my appetite went away, and I couldn't swallow without wincing.

Today I woke up after 12 hours of sleep and was still exhausted.  I could barely make myself drink a glass of milk for breakfast after not eating dinner yesterday, so I decided that I couldn't wait another day to go back to the health center, and I went instead to a place called PromptCare or something.  The glorious news that they had for me was not that I have strep, but that I have both strep and mono.  Awesome.  Just in time for finals, just as Japan is looming, and just as we get our first real snowfall that I'd want to go out and play in.  Ridiculous.



that time of year

It's that time of year,
When Christmas spirit pours from
Everywhere. And how!

It's been pretty amusing to watch the transformation in stores. Some started Christmas in October, and it seems like prices are getting slashed in anticipation of the holiday season even more rapidly this year, probably due to the fact that consumer spending is expected to drop dramatically. I just read an article in the New York Times about Saks Fifth Avenue and how they're cutting some of their prices up to 80% already. Amazing.

I haven't actually done any Christmas shopping yet, myself, but it's looking like a pretty easy season. The internet now offers more gifts than ever, and I have some extra time to spend making creative gifts (i.e. spending less money). :)

I was pretty excited today; I busted out my Jack Skellington earmuffs for the first time this season and got lots of compliments on them. :D Winter is a fun season to dress for, haha. I'm also excited because I was talking to one of the guys from Dresden who was on the CC team, and he has promised to send me a Christmas care package with more chocolate. What he wants in exchange is... barbecue sauce?

Classes are winding down, which is nice. One of my profs has canceled all his lectures for next week, and I had two classes with him, so that frees up my schedule a lot. I also won't be (I don't think) teaching the lab that I generally teach, since there won't be any new work to do. The only nagging thing for me now is calculus. It seems like that work never ends. I can't say that I'm terribly excited about Calc IV next semester, but we'll see how it goes. Hopefully we'll be learning a lot more; I feel like this term I didn't pick up a lot of new material from 311. Meh.

Oh, did you hear that "meh" was added to the dictionary? It's a very recent thing. I was pretty excited. :3

Anyway, that's about all for the moment. I have calculus to do!