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September 3rd, 2007

10:09 am: Die Wissenschaftlerin

Normally, I'd say that I have a head for history and a body for...sitting around and reading about history. But occasionally, the scientist in me emerges and I become consumed with finding answers to questions like...

How long can that hair on my arm get?
If I speak only in German to my 11-year-old brother, will he have a good knowledge of the language by the end of the week?
Can the moves from Bill's dance in episode 11 of NewsRadio, The Breakup, be dissected and imitated?

Last year, I started wondering about whether my palms could freckle. Now, one of my more rational friends would've probably answered this by investigating the amount of melanin in the palms. I opted for exposing my upturned palms to the sun whenever the opportunity presented itself. After a few weeks, I lost interest and quit the experiment with nary a mark on my palms, but several new freckles on the undersides of my forearms.

A few weeks ago, however, the seemingly dead question of freckling palms was resurrected. I give you the outer edge of my left palm...

ETA: Excuse the poor quality of the image. As soon as that MacArthur Genius Grant comes through, first priority will be getting a good camera.

Current Music: Tighten Up - Archie Bell and the Drells

August 31st, 2007

07:39 am: Ah, yes. Back to that one semester I have before Deutschland. My first week's not quite done, but I can honestly say that I'm enjoying each of my classes so far, even if they're all in that slow, beginning of the year stage.

I'm taking...
GERM 3082: 18th c German Literature (class conducted auf Deutsch)
GERM 2075: German Civilization (class conducted auf Englisch
HIST 4046: 19th c Britain
POLI 2057: Intro to International Politics

Yes, only 12 hours. I've figured out that I can still graduate in May 2009 even when only taking 12 hours a semester. I might have two 15 hour semesters during my last term, depending on what courses are offered and how much independent study I'll need for thesis research.

Back to this semester (I need to stop leaping ahead and focus on the present)...
GERM 3082 is taught by Dr. P, whom I had for GERM 2102 and like very much. I'll be honors-optioning this course by writing an expanded essay (expanding, that is, on our big Referat/Essay project for the year) on Gottfried August Bürger.

GERM 2075 is taught by my thesis advisor and the head of APA. He's a very interesting man, raised in West Germany during the time period in which my thesis will be focused. I need to narrow my scope a bit, but he really likes my idea and says that it's something I should easily be able to work into a masters thesis (only a bit more expanded than my honors thesis) and eventually a dissertation.

Not much to say about the other two courses yet. I've got to get to work now. Hope everyone has a great long weekend!

Current Music: Give Me The Simple Life - Rosemary Clooney

August 30th, 2007

08:50 pm: Bonn? C'est bon!

The letters won't go out until the end of September, but today I got confirmation from the head of Academic Programs Abroad that I had been selected for the Spring 2008 exchange in Bonn!

*shakes her Bonn-Bonn*

And I have another six months before I depart to think up plenty more plays on the name of that beautiful Rhineland city.

Current Mood: jubilantverzückt
Tags: ,

August 5th, 2007

08:43 pm: Eep!
Checked out Miss Marple, Series 2 (the Geraldine McEwan version...yes, I'm much more of a Poirot fan, but I've exhausted the library's supply of Hercule) from the library, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but Anthony Andrews AND Claire Bloom in the second episode. Both are fine actors with great bodies of work, but what excited me so is that they played Sebastian and Lady Marchmain, respectively, in the sublime Brideshead miniseries.

July 29th, 2007

02:11 pm: Well, I saw the doctor on Friday. He's given me a big-ass pill (Ibuprofen, but in 600 mg pills) to take 2-4 times a day, and a splint (I'll pick it up on Monday) to wear at night. He's also scheduled me for an EMG with the neurologist in December, when they'll decide whether or not I'll need a minor procedure to move the nerve under a muscle layer at my elbow. The good doctor assures me that, if I do need the surgery, I will be mostly recovered by the time I go abroad. The test consists of sticking needles into my fingers and conducting electrical currents down the ulnar nerve. I just hope it doesn't interfere with the frequency on my government-implanted microchip...

Pill: Took my first dose a few minutes ago. Bit of an after-taste, but that could just as easily be the Fruity Pebbles I ate for lunch.
Splint: Don't know what it looks like, but I think it'll be little more than a glorified elbow pad. Bit of a let-down. I was hoping for something more along the lines of what Voldemort gave Pettigrew.

Current Music: NewsRadio - The Bebe Neuwirth Episode

July 16th, 2007

11:01 am: Stye o' My

Originally, I had intended to make my next post about various typos I've made when typing in web addresses and whether they could be placed into some sort of Freudian context. But after waking up, puttering around, etc., I've forgotten all of them. And maybe it wasn't too interesting to begin with. Things that seemed that way as I'm falling asleep rarely are.

But then, after noticing this new stye on my right upper lid, I came up with this new title - an allusion to a fourth season Sopranos ep. Don't worry; this post contains no hypochondriac hand-wringing about an eyelid pimple. I can't recall having a stye before, but I know they're not likely to cause any complications/be indicative of a more serious problems, unlike various rashes, aches, and pains that have sent me running to WebMD.

That numbness in my left ring finger and pinkie continues, along with an occasional ache. Luckily, it pretty much has to be the ulnar nerve.

Margaret: But what if it's arthritis?
Internet: No.
Neuropathy? Oh, man, look at all the scary things that could cause that...
Internet: Neuropathy is pain, dumbass. You're only having occasional pain in the arm.
Margaret: Carpal tunnel?
Internet: No. I mean, similar symptoms and same pathology, but the isolation to your fourth and fifth digits means it's the
ulnar nerve. Plus, the phone consult with the professional who TOLD YOU SO. Remember that groovy test in which you tapped the inside of your elbow and sent that shock up your arm?
Margaret: Okay, but it hasn't gone away in over two weeks.
Internet: ...you may need surgery. Doc will tell you when you see him at the end of the month.
Margaret: Good. Now show me possible complications for the surgery.
Internet: I refuse to do that. There's something wrong with you.

Current Music: Mr. & Mrs. - Rosemary Clooney and Jose Ferrer

July 15th, 2007

03:39 am: Yes, it's very late...
...and, yes, I do plan on waking up in about 4 hours. But let me tell you why I am still awake:

Those of you who know me in real life (hell, maybe it also bleeds into my occasional half-assed attempt at a blog - I just cursed twice in one sentence for no good reason. My, I do get punchy in the wee, small hours of the morning) know that I have my fair share of neuroses and a couple of phobias. Like any normal, well-adjusted 20-year-old. The world is a scary place. Half the battle is acknowledging that. I'm still working on that other half. Anyhow, one of my phobias is bugs. Specifically, the stinging and biting kinds and the big, honking palmetto bugs (jumbo cockroaches) we get down here. Also, anything that could potentially crawl into any orifice-o-mine while I'm sleeping. Basically, all bugs, except butterflies.

Anyway, at about 1:30 am, close to when I had originally planned on going to bed, I heard the unmistakable sound of a small, airborne critter repeatedly colliding with an unidentifiable surface. I knew it was likely a palmetto bug that had sneaked in from my attic. Well, I'm certainly not about to turn out the lights and climb into bed, lying all innocent-prey-like in my bed while that ricochets off of various surfaces in my boudoir. So I decided to wait it out, wasting time on the Internet and silently praying that the creature (it's so late I started to spell that with a 'ch' forming the 'ch' sound) would flee my room. I could never catch sight of the bug, despite hearing it almost nonstop for two straight hours. Finally, I notice that the Target bag hung off of the nearer post at the bottom of my bed was moving...well, something inside it was moving. I grabbed the nearest roach-killing object (24 Season 3 DVD) off of my desk and delivered one, two, three thwacks to the bag. Once satisfied that the bug was dead or at least maimed (and now I sound really callous...but bugs are our NATURAL ENEMIES, people!), I returned to tell you all about it. And now there's a nice thunderstorm in progress, and I always fall asleep easily during those. Funny how well things work out sometimes.

Still, I'm afraid to look inside that bag. Do bug guts come out of new cotton shirts easily?

July 13th, 2007

07:51 am: The Life I Lead

...with apologies to Roger and Richard Sherman and David Tomlinson.

I feel a wave of something approaching exhaustion
But power through, as I'm up and can't go back to sleep
I stayed up until two-thirty-three, watching NewsRadio on DVD
How boring is the life I lead!

I run my body precisely on schedule
At 6:58, I awoke to my alarm
My Mini-Wheats, vitamin, and newspaper are due at 7:02
Consistent is the life I lead!

It's great to be a student finishing her sophomore year
Summer vacation is still long;
Though terribly hot, I fear.
I'm the lady of my bedroom
Living at home - no rent
Until the end of August, when I must return to student housing once again

It's 7:03 and the co-heirs to my father's dominion
Are still asleep, tucked snugly in their beds.
And so I'll turn the music down
Until they come around
Considerate is the life I lead!

Current Music: The Life I Lead - David Tomlinson

July 12th, 2007

08:07 am: In which my ulnar nerve continues to be the bane of my existence...
...but, hey, if that's the worst thing going on in my life, I've got it pretty good, right?

Yes, the numbness in my ring finger and pinkie continues, but I'm just going to wait until my doctor's appointment at the end of the month.

Nothing much going on right now...oh, except for one good thing: I've located the Scottish folk song from The Great Escape! The one sung by Mac and Ives, right before (spoiler)Tom is discovered and Ives commits suicide(spoiler). It's "What Saw the 42nd" or "Wha Widna Fecht for Charlie." Y'all have no idea how long this has been plaguing me, and how many songs I listened to before finding it.

I finished The English Patient and greatly enjoyed it - even more so after seeing this parody of the film.

Now I'm back on the Ulysses horse (just finished the Sirens chapter), reading The Commanders by Bob Woodward (very interesting stuff about first Gulf War and how decisions like that are made...but I'm only 45 pages in), and awaiting the library's delivery of Divisadero (confession: it took me three tries to get that right).

July 7th, 2007

11:19 am: Lucie got me started on Veronica Mars. Very entertaining. I wish my dad would let me help out on cases.

In the midst of Mom's Great Renovation SNAFU, I have filled up a trash bag and a duffle bag full of books to give away. Now I no longer have to double-deck every shelf. I've also filled a trash bag with clothes to give away/throw away (the latter, definitely, for two old nightshirts from swim camp '99 and from an old state QB tournament). Now I can return to acquiring books guilt-free...well, except for that old, penny-pinching guilt.

Current Music: Time Marches On - Dr. John
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