Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mandi and Me- We're the coolest

It's Sunday and I should be studying. Oh well. Here I am blogging for my own amusement. This weekend my best friend from home, Mandi, came to visit me. We had a splendid time.

On Friday she had the fantastic opportunity to follow me around campus as I picked up various forms from various offices that I will have to eventually send in to the Peace Corps. I figure, at this point, I will have lost a few hundred dollars through the physical, bloodwork, dental, and optical exams. If I don't get invited, I'll be pissed!

Anyway, It was nice for Mandi to get to see my little resort-of-a-university surrounded by likes and trees.

On Saturday we went into Minneapolis and experienced two very interesting historical locations.
First we went to historic Fort Snelling:

It was an interesting place to visit, complete with people in period costume, doing historical interpretation. I find historical interpretation really entertaining, and am very amused by the type of folks who do it.

We then traveled on to the James J. Hill House, James J. Hill was a railroad baron who was responsible for building the Pacific-northwest railway, and eventually partly responsible for uniting most of the major rail roads in the mid-west, rockies, and pacific-northwest.

As you can imagine, it was quite the house:

Five stories and all, this house was lavishly built. Unfortunately the Minnesota Historical Society, opted not to fill the house with period furniture (since they didn't have a lot of the original furniture), so the rooms seemed quite empty, with a table here and a chair there from the original house. That said, it's for sure worth seeing. The house is very impressive and consumes the cliff area, by the cathedral in St. Paul.

A good time was had by all. Mandi left this morning, and now I'm studying for a Liturgical Year test.


P.S. Did you know that the Bulgarian Orthodox didn't accept the 16th century Gregorian 10 day skip to correct the calendar until the 20th century?

Monday, October 22, 2007

The journey continues. . .

I had this conversation at work today:

Me: Did you hear my news?
Bookkeeper: No?
Me: I've decided to stay (at my job) for the spring semester.
Bookkeeper: Good news! I thought you were going to tell me you're getting married!
Me: Could you imagine me clandestinely having a relationship all year and not saying anything until I'm getting married?

Oh the pained irony!

Well, if you haven't heard yet, I've passed the application steps and have been nominated to an ESL teaching program in French-speaking West Africa. I'm joining the peace corps, that is if my physical, optical, dental, urine, blood, tb, mental health tests turn out alright. I'll be staying in central Minnesota for (ick) 6 more months. Then it's off to africaland.

So . . .
First things first. . .
1. Finish the semester. I received an awful grade on a paper last week that I'm just not over yet. I need to do really well on everything else in this class in order to graduate on time.
2. Learn my recital. March 1st! I need to memorize my rep and put on a good show!
3. Learn French! I'm not sure why they're sending me to a country where French is required, knowing I've had none. The funny thing is that I (using a dictionary) passed my French requirement in undergrad, never having studied the language before. Fortunately, I love languages and still remember much of my 6 semesters of italian. Here's hoping the French comes to me!

I don't know what to expect. I'm worried that something will come up on my medical tests and this wont happen. I think I force myself to think negatively, so I'm not disappointed by failure. What a`nasty way to live.

Anyway, to top off a stressful semester, my computer is in the lenovo shop because the screen isn't working. I'm working on the old laptop which is sort of like squeezing juice out of an orange. Every time I turn it one I get a little bit of computing action before it stalls, but every time it's less time than before. Ick.

That's all I got. Hopefully more about my decision to do 2 years of service is to come!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A poem on faith

It's a rainy, cold day in central Minnesota and I'm about to sit through a day of classes at the school of theology. Here's a little poem I wrote to celebrate:

do i see virgin visions

or bleeding busts

or is the god tumor in my head

infecting my fluidity

do i see silent streets

affecting lovelessness

or do walkers-by

sense too my absence

to be beloved by christ

we must be alone in christ

to gather in christ

to be together again

how sweet is Jesus

like cane or beets or honey

or perhaps like aspartame and sucralose

incubating god-tumors in my head

Saturday, October 13, 2007


When Mandi and I were in Philedelphia, we got to see a real live armonica being played in the Franklin Museum.

In case you're unfamiliar with armonicas - basically Ben Franklin took the idea of sounding wine classes with a wet finger, and applied it to a keyboard like instrument.

Of course, Wikipedia is here for you if you have any questions. . .

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Eikon's Cursed Sweater

As most of you know, Eikon has been working on a sweater for me for over a year. As most of you also know, much has happened since then, and the dreaded sweater curse has gone into effect!

What curse you ask? Well, for those of you who are not avid knitters, the Wikipedia article on the Sweater Curse is very well written. In fact, it reads like an actual encyclopedia article, which I find immensely amusing.
Knitters use the term Sweater Curse or the Curse of the Love Sweater to describe a situation in which a knitter gives a hand-knit sweater to a significant other, who quickly breaks up with the knitter.[1] In an alternative formulation, the relationship will end before the sweater is even completed
Our situation falls under the second category, because, of course, it has not yet been completed.

The author even goes through the effort of offering proposed mechanisms:
  • Unlucky timing. Knitting a sweater takes a long time, and the relationship dies of natural causes during its making.[10]
  • Rescue mission. The knitter senses subconsciously that the relationship is about to end, and knits a sweater as a dramatic gesture to save it.
  • Catalyst for analyzing the relationship. Giving or receiving a significant gift such as a sweater may cause either the giver or receiver to evaluate the relationship.[5] For example, the gift may seem too intimate, too domestic or too binding to the significant other. It can be seen as a signal that makes them realize that the relationship is not reciprocal, prompting them to end the relationship before it involves obligations.[10][11]
  • Aversion. The significant other may simply not want to wear anything hand-knit.[3] A hand-knit sweater can also subject them to ridicule, either because the sweater looks bad (i.e., poorly made or unfashionable) or conveys overly domestic connotations.[4][10][11]
  • Misdirected attention. The knitter loves their sweater a little too much, and pesters the significant other about the sweater instead of working on their relationship.[10] Alternatively, the knitter loves to knit too much, and spends too much time with their knitting instead of with the significant other.
  • Delusion. The knitter imagines incorrectly that their significant other likes them, and is not disillusioned before knitting the sweater and giving it to them.
Oh dear me! Should we even venture a guess! Of course not! Clearly, despite what this academic says, there is no mechanism. It's simply a curse. An age old curse. . .

Monday, October 1, 2007

And here I am with little to say. . .

I think that I'm getting a little burnt out. I'm ready to be done with my M.A. Had I been as smart as my sisters, I would have taken a year or two break before going back to academia. Oh well, here I am almost done.

The job hunt isn't going very well. New jobs aren't being posted either. I heard back from one church last week in the Milwaukee area. Unfortunately we were having a hard time finding an interview slot. I do hope they'll call me back!

Thinks are fine with Eikon, we are slowly seperating our lives and starting to think about the "big move" in January. It's a little easier for him, because he knows he'll be moving into the Cities. I'm not sure where I'll be moving!

Anyway, a video from our trip out east to share with you. . . this show the infinite coal fire under Jason's hometown.