Friday, May 30, 2008

Last night we finished Angel

I really don’t know what to do now. Robyn and I watched the last episode – we kept pausing to remind each other how momentous this all was, the last episode of Angel ever, so it took longer than usual – and when we were done we just felt so empty. So very, very empty. We sat there looking at the blank TV screen, and we just didn’t know where our lives could possibly go from this point. We thought about it and realized that we’ve been watching Angel since February, which I know isn’t an incredibly long time in the grand scheme of things, but in terms of devotion to a single item of media, that’s a solid three and a half months right there. I’d say a good three months in which Robyn and I were constantly scheming ways that we could avoid doing other stuff and instead get together and watch Angel. And it’s not like The Office, because that took less time to watch through, and furthermore when we had watched all the episodes that there were, we still knew there would be more episodes forthcoming.

Whereas now we are just sad, and it’s all over, and no more Angel. Ever.

Over the past three months, if Robyn and I have been in the same place at the same time, and if we have had access to a TV and a DVD player, it has been pretty much a foregone conclusion that we have been watching Angel. Things have changed as time has gone on – we missed Doyle, we loved Wesley, we knew we could never get behind an Angel-Cordelia relationship because he loves Buffy best, we felt uncomfortable with Gunn, we reserved judgment on Fred, we loved Gunn, we loved Fred, we strongly supported the Angel-Cordelia relationship even though he loves Buffy best, we hated Wesley – but you know, in a general overall sense, it’s been pretty much the same. There’s been a lot of this exchange: “I should go”; “Yeah, I guess so”; “Maybe I could stay for one more episode”; “Yeah, you probably better should, just because it doesn’t make any sense to stop with one more episode left to go on this disc”; “What can we do? Our hands are tied”. A lot of speculation about Pylea and the Groosalugg and why, why, why. A lot of evil hand jokes. And now it’s all over. All, all, all over. (I mean, not the evil hand jokes, of course. That will never be over.)

When the episode ended, we lay on the bed complaining about the end of an era, and then I was all “Well, I guess we could watch a movie” and then we were both like “Oh yeah. Movies. Huh.”

If it weren’t for the fact that I just started reading The Ground Beneath Her Feet again, I would be lying in a corner weeping right now. But I can’t possibly do that when The Ground Beneath Her Feet is around. Seriously? I love that book. Wow. Salman Rushdie. So many good things I am reremembering – the tragedy story that has much to do with goats, and the mens sana in bally corpora sano, and “Disorientation: loss of the East. And of Ormus Cama, her sun”, I really liked that line. Oh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet. I loved it so much that after I read it, I never read another Salman Rushdie book. I know there are still The Satanic Verses and Shalimar the Clown and The Moor’s Last Sigh (that’s the order, from least to most, of the extent of my desire to read them), but I just haven’t read them. I’m just afraid to. The Moor’s Last Sigh I am saving as a special treat for myself, but the other two, I know I won’t love them as much as I do The Ground Beneath Her Feet, and I’ll be so sad if it turns out I don’t love them at all.

Aside: Salman Rushdie, why did you get U2 to write “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” song? Why U2? Why not someone cooler, like the Decemberists or the Shins? Seriously, why not the Decemberists, Salman Rushdie? The Decemberists are much more like your books than U2. Shit, the Decemberists pretty much are you, in musical, American form.

(Hm. The Decemberists and Salman Rushdie. Really frighteningly similar. tim, am I right about this? I think that I am. Interesting.)

Oh my God! I just looked up – oh my God, I’m totally going to hyperventilate – Salman Rushdie has a new book out, like in the past, oh my God, really recently he released it, and there it is, a new book by Salman Rushdie, oh my God, and I didn’t know, and now I can read it, and there it is, a brand new book by Salman Rushdie and and and Italy and India Enchantress there’s book is Florence new love and May

(I had to slap myself in the face just then to keep from being hysterical.)


I don’t know how I missed this. Did Bongs & Noodles, a store I visit with relative frequency, just not bother putting Salman Rushdie’s new book out on display when it came out? Bongs & Noodles, what’s up? It’s Salman Rushdie. He had a fatwa! Put his damn book on display!

Seriously, though, 2008 is a happy year for me and books. When I was talking about favorite living authors I forgot all about my good buddy Salman Rushdie. So that makes one, two, three, four, five very exciting new books coming out this year, and I can only conclude that all of these lovely people are releasing their books this year as a graduation gift to me. Yes, I deserve it. I worked very hard and got good grades. I now graciously accept your tributes. Thank you, Mr. Rushdie. Ms. Flewelling, Ms. Peters. Mr. Gaiman. Ms. Jones. Thank you one and all for your kindness and generosity.

…I just reread this post. I sound not quite sane in this blog post; plus it ended up in a totally different place to where it started. Try to bear in mind that you’re witnessing a recovery process. Recovering. Gradually. From the end of an Angel era.

Ruslana was elected to Parliament

Yes. She was.

For those of you tragically not in the know, Ruslana won Eurovision a few years ago. You know, Eurovision? The thing that America DOES NOT GET TO PARTICIPATE IN? It's so sad. Everyone in Europe gets Eurovision on their TVs, and they get to see the magnificent outfits that everybody wears, and something like forty-five countries participate, and they all sing songs and wear crazy clothes, and America COMPLETELY MISSES OUT.

I'm pretty bitter about this. I have to watch Eurovision in tiny little YouTube format, and the beauty of the clothing is just not conveyed in the same way on YouTube, even when I put it on fullscreen. I want to live in Europe during Eurovision. Every year. Or be like the American correspondent to Eurovision. I would be the best correspondent ever.

Anyway, Ruslana is the singer of my cousin Becca's favorite song ever, I Dance With the Wolves (Woolfs). If you haven't seen this music video yet, please watch it. I watched it again today and it made me greatly happy. So I looked her up on Wikipedia, as I do, and it turns out that she was elected to the Ukrainian Parliament in 2006, but then she resigned her position in early 2007.

I don't know what this says about the Ukraine. Just wanted to put that information out there.

Friday, May 23, 2008

This is the noise of a girl whose life has been made happier

It is a high-pitched squealy noise and results from the following:

1) My aunt and uncle offered me their couch and chairs for my new! beautiful and wondrous! closet-spacey! apartment!

2) Tara finally showed up on Buffy! Tara! Yay! (I have to have a relationship that pleases me, and I dislike Riley very much, and he does not win me over at all by how much he likes to drive. And although I love Anya more than my luggage, her relationship with Xander is more good for a giggle than to be invested in. Whereas Tara is sweet and earnest.)

3) Free salad with chicken from my sister who works at a food place. What a good, good, good, good thing. I eat healthy and delicious dinners.

4) Ben Barnes. He's cute. We're going to see Prince Caspian tonight, which as far as I'm concerned doesn't have to be that great (not one of the better books; in fact my least favorite after The Last Battle, which hey, C.S. Lewis, what happened to you with that one, man?), as long as Ben Barnes is in it, and he is. I have a crush.

5) Cute new clothes. My aunt gave them to me last night. Yay. I especially like my sexy new top.

6) This. I discovered it today when I was looking up math professors at my university. His daughter did it. (I also discovered to my joy that we have a professor called Yuri Antipov. He married her! Soooomewheeeeeeeeeeere my looooooove, there will be songs to siiiiiing!)

7) YES. IT IS TRUE. Using only my genius and um, the internet, I have acquired for myself A FIREFLY RINGTONE. Dum dum duddle dum, Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand, dum duddle dum, I don't care, I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me. The only thing is it's a teeny bit quiet, not very carrying, but so what, don't care, it's Firefly, I don't think I could be any happier if it were Wonderfalls. I keep calling myself from the land line, just to hear my new, amazing ringtone. It's joy.

Museums (or, I write to keep myself from weeping, for I am greatly missful of England)

Oh, England, I miss you. And your cider and blacks and your day travel passes and oh my God, your trains and my young person's travel card and your theatres and your libraries where I HAD READING CARDS and looked at manuscripts (well, one), and your museums. Oh. I miss England.

Sorry about that. I was planning on writing about museums. I just got distracted when I wrote that about England in the title line, because it reminded me of all England's manifold charms and how vastly, vastly, vastly I miss it. I really miss trains. Thinking about trains right now is making me cry, especially because I remember that last train trip I made from Cambridge to Ely to Colchester, and it was the best train trip I have ever had and it seemed like it went on for ever and ever, and every time I was on a train I just never wanted to get off again. (And I stuck my tongue out at Ely because of John Rubbish Morton.)


Yes. Museums.

I was reading this book the other day called Faking It, which is all about how people feel like they're faking things, and the guy was talking about museums and how it's hard when you're in a museum because you know what the things are that you're supposed to want to look at, and you're never sure if you're looking at them long enough and how can you leave without feeling like you're totally turning your back on the Grand Work Of Art. And whatnot.

This got me thinking about my own experience of museums, and I was trying to remember if this is how I respond to museums too. I don't think it is. Maybe partly because I don't know anything about art and have no pretensions to knowing anything about art, so I don't feel like I have anything to prove? Although I'd like to know more about art, in a casual way so I would still not have anything to prove. Of course, on the down side, if I knew all about art, there would be fewer surprises for me in art museums, and I love surprises.

(Real ones that nobody warns you about ahead of time.)

And in a nutshell, that is why I love museums with all my being. They are full of surprising things. I'm often unimpressed by the things I know are coming, but then there will be something that I never anticipated in the slightest and it is miraculous.

Here is a perfect example. The Tate Modern. I always go to the Tate Modern with the intention of seeing the super-duper famous things. Jackson Pollock and Monet, you know. Those guys. I am filled with good intentions about improving my mind. But seriously, the Water Lilies? Hugest letdown ever.

This is how it went down: I got lost.

I know. Shocking. But see, basically, I had a little map, and I had invented a path for myself to follow that would lead me to the Water Lilies, which would be very improving for me, as I have never seen a real live Monet painting. And because I had marked the path out in my mind, and organized my thoughts by each room I would have to walk through, I didn't bother going back for it when I realized I had left my map at the top of the escalator after setting it down to put on some Blistex. I figured I was pretty safe. There would be a lobster phone, then some other stuff, then Monet. Plan.

(P.S. I wanted more Dali. I know the Saatchi Art Gallery is right close by and they are hogging all the Dali paintings, but grrr, stupid Tate Modern. You are Modern! Be Modern! More Dali paintings!)

Not very surprising I got lost, all mapless in a massive museum like the Tate Modern. And I eventually did find the Water Lilies, but by that time I was still going Wow. WOW. about Cy Twombly, whose four seasons paintings are humongous and greatly impressive; so I did not care much about Monet and his Water Lilies and indeed I found it a great big letdown and liked the painting across from it much better. Which gave rise to my generally good policy about museums; i.e., have things in mind that you want to see but then get lost. And something profound about the journey being an end in itself.

I except the National Portrait Gallery from this policy, by the way, on account of how I can just see no reason not to look at every individual object in the National Portrait Gallery (apart from some of the bronze busts maybe). The National Portrait Gallery and me are tight. We're like this (I am crossing my forefinger and middle finger very tightly, which is impairing my typing more than just eliminating the use of those two fingers would). The National Portrait Gallery loves me and sometimes gives me little surprises like that sexy-ass portrait of John Donne, or that fabulous vast one of Lady Colin Campbell in all her fabulousness.

I miss London.

You know what I discovered yesterday that filled me with sadness? This summer, the Globe Theatre is doing (Timon of Athens, The Merry Wives of Windsor,) A Midsummer Night's Dream, and King Lear. Now I plainly don't care about the parenthetical two, although I would go see Merry Wives in a hot second if I happened to be in England (I don't know if I mentioned this, but groundling tickets, they are five pounds). But when I discovered they were doing Dream and Lear, there was a brief moment in which I contemplated blowing all my savings and probably losing my job by taking vacation time to which I am not entitled, all so that I could fly to England and see these two plays at the Globe.

Seriously though.

Because I have seen several productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream (one touring one that came through my high school, one college play, and one by the Royal Shakespeare Company when we were in Stratford), and I have always felt terribly let-down by them. The Globe, however, has never let me down, and I have high high hopes for their production of Dream, and even though it's probably perfect and brilliant beyond the dreams of men, I can't see it. Rrrr.

And King Lear? King Lear, man. King Lear is one of those plays like Merchant of Venice that I have always been greatly disinclined to read. I know that this disinclination is causing me to miss cultural references left and right, and still I continue to not read it. In order to make myself feel like less of a Philistine, I have been telling myself that this is because I demand to see it performed. Because King Lear is reportedly such a magnificent masterpiece, I have made the decision to experience it only as it was intended to be experienced, as a play. And although this is only partly true, it is definitely partly true, and I would love, love, love, love to see it at the Globe.

Okay. This is the most depressing blog post I've ever written, except for that one on my birthday last year when I maybe drove a cute little toad to suicide. I feel really sad now and I keep picturing the concourse at London Liverpool Street and remembering all the times I hunted for the Norwich trains that went through Colchester and I am just so very, very sad.

Monday, May 19, 2008

SPOILER ALERT: The pig can talk.

Oh my God, we watched the silliest movie ever last night. It was called Merlin's Apprentice, and I don't know if you ever watched the TV movie Merlin with Sam Neill, but anyway this is the sequel. And the thing about Merlin is that we used to watch that movie all the damn time. I think it may have been one of two movies owned by my middle school, the other being Amadeus, because every single time a teacher or a majority of the students in a given class were absent, we watched Merlin. (Or Amadeus, particularly a favorite in choir class.)

Well, except for that memorable time when we had a substitute for English class for several weeks in seventh grade, and she covered up the window in the door with a piece of black paper so nobody could see what we were watching, as it was films we twelve-year-olds weren't supposed to be watching, and first we watched Armageddon and Ben Affleck ate animal crackers off of Liv Tyler's stomach, and then we watched Scream, which scared me shitless even though I closed my eyes for the yucky parts. And I had trouble getting to sleep after that until my mother told me that the directors of horror movies didn't make movies about realistic things that really happened, they made movies about the scariest things they could think of so that their films would be scary, which was the whole point of horror movies. Also I did that thing my parents used to tell me to do when I was tiny, which was to imagine that Aslan was blowing all my bad dreams and scary thoughts away.

Confession: My parents have not told me to do this since I was tiny, but I have never stopped doing it. Every time I wake up all panicky with nightmares, I still picture Aslan blowing all my bad dreams away. (In case you're missing the reference here, he one time blew Jill and Eustace all the way to exceedingly far away, because Jill pushed Eustace off a cliff.)

Anyway, the Sam Neill Merlin was GREAT. It had Helena Bonham-Carter and Sam Neill and Miranda Richardson was Queen Mab and she made Helena Bonham-Carter all pretty, and there were growly beasts and Merlin was in love with Nimue, who was, interestingly, not the Lady of the Lake, because the Lady of the Lake was someone totally else. (By great, please understand that I mean awful.) And then the other day Anna discovered THE SEQUEL for a few dollars at the Mal-Wart, and yesterday my sisters and I had a joyous bonding experience, where we watched the sequel, Merlin's Apprentice. All four hours of it.

Words don't even begin to express the awfulness of this film. There was the part where Merlin inexplicably traveled 50 years into the future and was all like, What the hell? Where's Arthur? and so were we, and the part where the apprentice kid had a pig as his sidekick, and the part where the manly girl made out with the apprentice and then everyone was like, Oh, you must be a girl, because otherwise you would not be making out with another dude because THAT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE, and the part where the manly girl got knighted just like she wanted but then didn't exact her revenge which was the whole point of her getting knighted, and the part where the stalwart young blacksmith whose face looked exactly like a puggle's face and his beautiful blonde love interest got speared with the same spear and died and then came back to life but you never really saw what happened to the spear that was sticking out of their backs and pinning them to a tree. I guess he pulled out the spear and they were fine. They definitely lived to smooch another day.

And, our personal favorite, the part at the very end where THE PIG TALKS. It was so alarming. We'd been thinking, actually, that the pig had died, as it appeared to still be in Camelot while the bridge out of Camelot was collapsing (thus preventing anyone from escaping), and since we didn't see the pig at all throughout Part II of the epic film, we just figured the pig was a goner. But then it showed up at the very, very end of Part II and TALKED.


Not only could the pig talk, it knew the words for the apprentice to say that would permit him to visit the realms of the dead and have a chat with Merlin. No lie.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I graduated.

But did not throw my hat.

So not as picturesque as it might have been. However, I did hug my head of department who is the best professor I had at college, and I did sit next to nice people at graduation, and I read American Gods, which pulled me through the dullness of the dull ceremony. Hurrah for that.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Glad to have this settled

Lately I've been upset because there is another car in town just like my car, and it won't wave to me. It's really been making me sad. Every time I saw the car, I waved like a fiend, and the guy in the car refused to wave back. I was all HI HI HI HI HI WE HAVE THE SAME CAR OMG OUR CAR IS THE SAME WE ARE THE ONLY TWO PEOPLE WITH THESE INCREDIBLY OLD COROLLAS AND WE SHOULD WAVE AT EACH OTHER and he was all I am looking in the opposite direction. It was sad for me, and I had some angry feelings at him. Even if he did not notice that we were driving the same car, which I could not imagine that he did not notice this because there are not that many cars like my car as it is very old, but even if, as I say, he did not notice this, it is still polite to wave back at people who wave at you, no matter what doubts you may entertain as to their sanity.

But recently it all became clear to me. See, I've always seen his car from the front, as we approach each other going in opposite directions like the Northgoing Zax and the Southgoing Zax. From the front, his car was indistinguishable from my car. They were identical in oldness and color and make, except that his car was more banged up in the front than my lovely perfect Valencia camel car. (Valencia is my car's name, and she is as excellent a mode of transport as a camel would be.) But recently I saw the car all turning, and I inspected the back of it, and I realized, it's a Camry.

Not the same as my car. Almost, but not quite.

So that is why the guy has not been waving at me all this time.

I just feel so silly. All this time I was judging him for being a waving Grinch, and from the very beginning there was no reason for him to ever wave back, because we don't have the same kind of car! That would be like if a scooter-rider waved frantically at a motorcyclist and expected the motorcycle person to wave back. Or if, if, if a tractor driver waved at an eighteen-wheeler driver, or a bus driver. IT WOULD BE INSANE. I'm so embarrassed. If I knew the Camry guy's phone number and address, I would call him up on the phone and be like, "Hey, this is that crazy waving girl in the incredibly old Corolla, and um, you know, sorry about that. I realize now that you have an incredibly old Camry. My bad." And then I would send him an apologetic flan.

La la la, la la la. La la, lally lally la la la.

My uncle Jim is coming to visit! Hooray! My lovely uncle Jim! He is so swell! We all just love him so much! And he obviously loves us too, and how I can tell is he called to say he wanted to come visit, and he just wouldn't do that if he didn't TOTALLY LOVE US. I wish he would come live here. Then when we started to get sad because we were all Jim-deprived, we could call him up on the phone and be like WE MISS YOU SO MUCH AND WE ARE COMING OVER RIGHT NOW.

... That might be nicer for us than it would be for Jim.

You know what's nice about Jim? He's not afraid to talk about his feelings. Robyn and Jim talk about feelings all the time. She tells him it's okay to cry, and he drinks large gulps of beer so he can tolerate her presence. It's really special.

And you know what else is nice about Jim? He likes Buffy the Vampire Slayer too. He knows that Buffy talks to him. He says that when Buffy stakes a vampire, she gets a certain look in her eye, and he knows that she's thinking, That one's for you, Jim.

And another nice thing about Jim? He listens attentively to my advice regarding kitchen cabinets, and he gives me really good advice in return, like how I should join the French Foreign Legion and give him all my wages. And he tells us really exciting stories about running races and about the wild 'n' wacky world of public defense.

And when we were little, he used to let us put flowers in his hair and silly hats on his head even though it was apparent to everyone that his genuine preference would be to remain flowerless and hatless. And um, you know, he still lets us do that. Though his preference on the matter hasn't changed since we were small.

Ah. Jim.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The best use of my time

So I woke up early this morning, but instead of writing my paper, I took a practice GRE Literature subject test, and it was great fun. I learned things about myself, like: The texts that I have read generally turn up as choices that are wrong - like they'll give a passage from David Copperfield and offer The Three Musketeers as an option, or they'll give a passage from Lorca and offer A Hundred Years of Solitude (ugh) as an option. Which helps me to eliminate one option but not all the rest, darn it.

Turns out I did not learn any modern criticism at all. Except that if something sounds wacky, it is probably Barthes; and if it uses the word "bourgeois" it is probably Marxist. Otherwise there was some solid failing on the criticism front. They had one bit where you had to pick which passage of criticism came from Arnold, Frye, or Bloom, and I just didn't even have the tiniest scrap of a clue. I didn't even know how to begin to guess. I wanted to fill in F, No idea, but I've heard of them all! Arnold did something with schools, and Frye has a massive Anatomy of Criticism book, and Bloom is controversial and edited critical editions of everything!

I have a retentive memory, as it turns out. I was actually really surprised at my memory and its helpfulness. It didn't fall down on the job, not even once. There was no text I'd read before that I forgot and got wrong when a question on it came up; instead of that, my memory kept tossing up answers that I wouldn't have expected to know. My memory was a trooper. I wanted to clap it on the back and offer to buy it a drink when we were all done. Like there was a passage from "Lycidas", and I would have said that I didn't remember anything from "Lycidas", but I saw the word "swain" in it and my memory said, Milton, "Lycidas". I would have asked my memory a few questions about this, such as, Really? Just from "swain"?, but I didn't want to be all looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Sidebar: Actually, it kind of perturbed me that I remembered "Lycidas". I don't like "Lycidas". I know it was useful for the purposes of my vanity on this particular day, but in general, I don't need to have "swain" and "Lycidas" permanently linked in my mind. What good will that do me? Quit it! Quit taking up brain space with stuff I don't need! Devote that Lycidas part to Paradise Lost!

Another thing my memory retains without my asking: I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, foregone all custom of ecstasy, and indeed it goes so heavy with my disposition that this goodly frame the earth seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof [something] with golden fire, why it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent con[something - gregation? flagration?] of vapors. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable; in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god. The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals - and yet to me what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.

Thanks, memory. That'll be useful for when - um - oh, right, never. DROP IT.

I was good at the guessing. I did a lot of really top-notch guessing. With passage identification. This made me feel really good about myself, how good I was at guessing what passages were from whom even though I'd never read anything by them (like Dryden and Conrad). It strongly confirmed my previously-held opinions about certain writers. I read the passage and thought, Huh. This sounds like exactly how I have always imagined Conrad. No wonder I've never read that shit, and lo, it was indeed Conrad. It was a whole section of authors I've always suspected I don't like - Conrad, James, and Joyce - and I got them all exactly right. This served the dual purpose of making me feel clever and also very content with my ability to predict what authors I will and won't like.

(As long as I ignore those times I held my nose and checked out duty reads that I ended up being in love with, like The Ground Beneath Her Feet and The Three Musketeers and Inherit the Wind.)

Oh, and, and, and, I was excellent at dating things. Sometimes they provided passages and said: This was written when? and I was good at that, even when they were tricky. And I got the one that asked during whose reign something was written. I got it even though it was modernized spelling and a king I don't know anything about except that there is a funny picture of him getting crowned with an angel that looks like she's thinking GOD when can I get OUT of here? and an angel next to her that is giving her a reproving look (Richard II). Oh, and Wat Tyler, also, I know that Richard II was when Wat Tyler had a Peasants' Revolt. So with that knowledge base I think it was pretty impressive of me to have chosen Richard II.

In other news, there is no essay on the literature in English GRE subject test. Shit, if I'd known that I'd've taken it in a second. I thought about taking it and then I was like, Blaaaaaah, writing standardized test essays is such a draaaaaaaaag, that won't be any fun and I don't waaaaaaaanna.

Moral: Be informed before making a decision based on laziness. The literature in English subject test is jolly and essay-free!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The end of an era, sort of

So hey. My last undergraduate class was today. I know this is basically an insignificant event because I'm just starting grad school in the fall, but still! There are no more undergraduate classes for me to attend, ever! And I got out early! Which sort of seems like a shame even though of course I'm thrilled to shreds any time I can get out of anything early. It feels like, you know, it's these last undergraduate moments, and I should really cherish them and experience them fully.

(I have this same regret about the seventh Harry Potter book. At first I kept a log of my feelings about everything - as I went along I kept taking quick breaks to make little notes like STOP TRYING TO TARNISH DUMBLEDORE'S MEMORY and Awwww, Harry, honey, you have some serious psychological issues to work through - but I quit doing that because I wanted to finish the book faster. Foolish! Why was I crazy? These times only happen once! I should never deny these urges to chronicle. I swear I'm going to get better about journaling.)

It all reminds me of this Doctor Who episode where they go into the future and planet Earth is about to be destroyed, and the doctor's companion is all upset about it, but when the time comes there's a big catastrophe and everyone's too busy saving themselves to pay attention to the fact that Earth is being exploded. It explodes without anyone seeing it. But very many years in the future from now. But still sad for Rose who is a human and not accustomed to time-traveling way into the future.

I basically have six pages of a paper to write (not too fussed about it because I wrote four and a half pages in two hours yesterday), then a massive essay exam, and then a little wee not-too-worrying exam, and then crawfish boil awesomeness with family and friends. (Woohoo!) And graduation in my pretty dress. And then being done, actually done with college, and then having real life, where I pay bills and work extra hours to put myself through graduate school.

Very, very weird.

Part of me feels like college has absolutely flown by without me really noticing, but then I think about it and realize I've been getting older all along. Actually getting older. Not just that years have passed (four years, four years. Wow.) but I've actually done that thing you're supposed to do, that growing up thing that everyone always talks about. With the maturing and the recognizing mistakes and the learning life lessons.

So I thought I'd take this opportunity to be didactic and present several useful life lessons I have discovered over the course of my college career:

1) Of all the pleasant attributes in the world, the one that I think is the most important across the board is self-awareness. Because not everybody needs to be super-smart and not everyone needs to be super-funny or super-nice or super-polite, and it would be boring if everyone had any one quality, except for self-awareness. Everyone should be self-aware. If a genie said he was going to bestow one quality on everyone, and I got to pick, that's what I would choose. This is my number-one most useful lesson of all from my college years. When you are not self-aware, you very frequently become a huge pain in the ass to everyone. The Delphic oracle totally had it right. (Except for that Nothing in Excess crap, but I guess it's fair enough because when they wrote that it was before Oreos were invented.)

2) Trust Anna's judgment and do not mock her for watching a show when you have only seen one or two randomly chosen episodes of it out of an existing 144 (234 if you count Angel too). This will lead you to feel silly later on when your entire life hinges on whether you will get a chance to bond with your family members while watching that show. (I am exaggerating, but only slightly.)

3) Book blogs are from God. This past year I have read numerous excellent books suggested to me by book blogs, and I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. Thank you, internet, for Special Topics in Calamity Physics, for Martine Leavitt, and for Sarah Waters.

4) I never want to share a room, ever again. Ever. Ever. I won't say I'd rather die, because I wouldn't, but the last two years, when I've had my own room, have been from God. New people are much easier to love when you don't have to sleep in the same room as them.

and last but not least

5) Getting drunk is grand fun when you don't have to worry about driving home. I should do like my mama and marry a guy who doesn't like the taste of alcohol.

There you go. My wisdom from college.