Archive for November, 2004

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Christmas Wish List 2004

November 28, 2004

Rice cooker
Flat panel computer monitor
Bridget Jones Edge of reason soundtrack
Old Crow Medicine Show cds
Fabric (jewel or earth tone solids, tapestry type richer brocades, or large amounts of plain brown, tan or black cotton)
Storage/organizing type things (stuff to help me transport my things down to Indy)
Big decorative type lounging pillows (body pillows)
Body pillow cover
Adobe Photoshop or similar photo editing software
Good brown or black casual shoes (comfortable but stylish)
A 60 minute back massage with Ann
A standing floor lamp
A bunch of sticky tack, command hooks and command poster strips

more may be added/subtracted in the coming days
oh and I don’t expect to get even half this stuff, just a list 🙂

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Sunday (The day before my birthday)

November 28, 2004

okay not actually the day before my birthday, but its a song title by Moby and I am currently listening to it. I have found that I enjoy listening to my entire library by shuffle mode. I have so much music that I often don’t even recognize the song, and sometimes my computer is more in the Christmas spirit than I am, but it is a nice way to get some variety. Oh and everyone should wish Crystal a happy birthday today, she is 21!

But what I was really gonna post about is the books I read this week. Not as many as I thought I would, but still closer to the number I used to read every week in high school than I have been doing in college:

Tuesdays with Morrie
A very short book, but it has a lot of good things to say about death and life and how to approach both. It is a compilation of a several conversations a student had with his old college professor (dying of Lou Gerig’s disease) in the last months of his life. Although it borders on the sentimental and sometimes crosses over it was a really good book to read and realize how much happiness and joy are dependent on one’s attitude instead of circumstances. It was also very fitting considering the theme of death already present in the past week.

Snow Crash
Both my brothers have repeatedly recommended this book to me, so I finally decided to give it a go. I had read Diamond Age by the same author while in London this summer so the style of the book was not completely unexpected. However I liked this book a lot more, a good read all around. It is a sci-fi type book set in the near future of a different but recognizable United States. Although in this book the government has dissolved into different small groups and Burbclaves all with their different allegiances, rules, characteristics, etc. The main character is Hiro Protagonist (yes you read that right, just one more reason to love this book) and he is a hacker. The book weaves in themes of computer programming, religion, myth and language.

Angels & Demons
This is a book by Dan Brown that resulted in me sleeping for only 2 hours Friday night, but I should have known that considering the highly suspenseful nature of DaVinci’s Code which I had read previously. This book also features the Harvard sybologist Robert Langdon, however it takes place in an earlier adventure before DaVinci’s Code. The book over all was interesting and exciting in a very similar way to DVC, but I found it lacking some of the depth that the second book had. It was interesting though the extreme similarities in how the book was laid out and written, almost formulaic actually. It deals with the Iluminati society and its ancient war against the Catholic church, this time with a strong focus on Italian architecture and the secrets of Vatican city. I guess I would say it was overall an enjoyable read, but not especially high quality.

Those were the only three books I read for pleasure. I also read Waiting for Snow in Havana, although I have yet to complete it. That book has turned out less interesting than I originally thought it would. Plus it seems to go on forever, not a good characteristic of a novel.

Okay I wasn’t gonna write about this and really don’t feel an obligation to comment unless you have something to say, but I have been noticing that no one has commented in over 2 weeks….

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bourgeois post-thanksgiving update

November 27, 2004

I do believe this may be a record, exactly one week since my last post. Now if you actually read my last post you would probably have an idea for the reason behind that. While I did have some internet excess in PA it was on relatives computers and therefore both infrequent, limited in time, and slower than what I am accustomed too. I am going to have severe withdraw when I know longer have my lovely T1 connection post-college….sigh.

So this week. It was a turbulent one, relaxing, sad, quick, intense, drawn-out and very family oriented. Monday morning Mom, Dad, Jonathan and I drove into PA, after first raiding the public library for reading material. I was determined to use my free-time this week to catch up on all those books I always want to read but never have time for. However this also meant we left closer to 10am and arrived in Lancaster around 9pm. Leaving that late makes the drive feel so much longer! I enjoy the 6am departure time a lot more. We stayed all week at Dave (my mom’s brother) and Jane’s house. They have hosted our family numerous times and are really wonderful hosts. They built a new house in the past few years and pretty much made the whole basement into guest bedrooms and such. It was great having their house to come back to every day.

So then starting Tuesday we picked up Grammy from Landis Homes and went to Eldon and Alicia (my dad’s brother and sister-in-law)for lunch (yummy as always). This meant I got to see their whole family again, plus Barb and Doug M(my dad’s sister and husband who are missionaries in Malawi). All of whom I hadn’t seen in quite some time. It was really disappointing to not get to see the Miller cousins (they stayed behind in Malawi), but we got to see some pictures and so forth which was good. So then after much family hanging out time, we went back to Landis Homes for Pappy’s viewing. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with seeing Pappy’s body in his coffin there in the chapel, but then I guess death is not something that is ever comfortable for the living. And as Millie put it “that is not my grandpa”. Death separates whatever spirit that makes us who we are from our bodies, and so it was odd to feel so much emotion just from viewing what is essentially an empty shell. The most moving moment was when the family gathered together in front of the coffin and Grammy saw the body for the first time. I guess sometimes I forget that old age and previously declining health don’t dim the difficult task of saying good-bye to the person who has been your partner for more than 60 years.

The rest of the viewing was interesting in the shear number of people who would shake my hand and give me their sympathies when 7 out of 10 times I had no clue who they were. It was also interesting sitting there next to Jonathan, both of us rather liberal in appearance (I did wear a skirt, but still my shortish hair, and Jonathan’s longish hair added to our general out-of placeness) shaking hand after hand of obviously conservatively dressed people. It did give me a chance though to brush up my N——-/K—— family backgrounds. I don’t know that side nearly as well as the Hess side, but actually considering on the Hess side I really only know my own circle of first cousins and aunts and uncles, I don’t know either side that well. The viewing lasted until after 9pm (it was supposed to go from 6-8), we were all pretty exhausted.

The following day was the funeral. The ceremony itself was not really moving for me, or particularly connecting for me. I didn’t know any of the preachers, or the church, or most of the people who attended. However some moving moments were Dad sharing his highly eloquent eulogy of sorts of his father at the sharing time, watching Eldon and my Dad cry more tears than I think I have ever seen them shed and also hearing what my brother, Tim wrote about his memories of Pappy (very indicative of my own). I think the most emotional part for me by far was seeing the emotional impact of Pappy’s death on others around me. Often when I cried it was not out of my own grief, but more a collective grief being expressed by those close to me and a sense of the certainty of time and death. Life can be so fleeting, even though I never knew Pappy as a young man, he had a full and rich life and impacted so many people around me. I will never know that man, but I grieved for the loss others around me were experiencing.

Thursday then was the big turkey day and our first family get-together without Pappy. For me it was clear how much Pappy’s decline since his stroke and impacted this holiday, because while it was different to not have his presence with us around the table, in someways he had been gone for almost 2 years. We spent almost the entire day at the Stauffer’s house (friends of Eldon and Alica), an amazing giving couple, who hosted the whole N——- family and showed me a glowing example of what true hospitality is. I don’t think any of us really lifted a finger then entire day.

Then it was Friday. Which ended up going very differently than originally planned. My Grandma H— (my mom’s mom) suffered an irregular heartbeat early in the morning and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. It was pretty scary for a while, because all of a sudden it felt that all my grandparents were declining so quickly. It had been a bit shocking to see Grandma earlier in the week and realize how much older she has gotten in the past 4 years. I think she is probably a good inch shorter and moves so much slower than previously. She has always been the grandparent I have felt closest too and so seeing her so fragile was very difficult. Fortunately after some tests the heartbeat appeared to unconnected to any blockage problems which seemed like good news and she should be back home by monday with some new medication. Visiting her in the hospital was also so striking. Considering I have never seen her wear anything other than a conservative dress, to see her looking so small in her hospital gown and just old, was really hard. I don’t know how my parents have been able to deal with seeing their parents age and pass on, I hope I don’t have to deal with that for many many years.

So well that brings us almost up to date. Oh two things of note are that I inherited a TV and VCR from Pappy, which will probably be shared between Jonathan, Tim and I (basically who ever needs it). Although Jonathan and I did a pretty big sacrifice by riding back from PA with the monstrous thing between us in the back seat of the car. Also I received Tim’s birthday present from London via Mom and Dad. It is a snazzy new camera carrying case. A perfect fit and very handy, thanks Tim!

Well I really need to go grab a shower and then start on all my catch-up work, so later all you bloggers out there.

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this week

November 20, 2004

As some of you all are finding out, my Pappy passed away last night at around 9pm. It was expected and a peaceful death according to my aunt and uncle who were with him at the time. However this does change a lot of plans, currently my parents are in London visiting with Tim and are going to return a day early. I will be picking them up tomorrow afternoon and then when Jonathan returns from the SOA trip we will all head out to PA for the week for the funeral. We will probably drive back next Saturday in time for the last week of classes.

So I have been spending a lot of time making arrangements with Jonathan and mine professors for classes next week. Fortunately this is happening over thanksgiving, so we will only miss 3 days of classes instead of 5.

I am also blessed with a lot of supportive friends and a wonderful church community, so that has been really wonderful. As for my actual reaction, I haven’t really begun to process it beyond what I was already doing with the news of his declining health. I think it will sink in a lot more when I see both my immediate and extended family more.

Also last evening I had two really good conversations with friends and went to sleep feeling more at peace and happy than I have for some time. In some ways the finality of Pappy’s death has been easier to deal with than the news of his suffering and decline.

Well I need to get back to my phone/emails and paper writing. I hope you all enjoy this last week before Thanksgiving!

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there is a train going by the library lab

November 19, 2004

So today I called in sick to work and slept into noon. Yesterday evening I called in sick to class and small group. You think that would mean I would be feeling better, and I guess I am feeling somewhat better.

The news from my parents about Pappy’s condition isn’t good. It seems pretty clear that he is going fast and probably will pass away in the next few days. I really hope my Dad will get to be with him before he does, but right now it doesn’t look likely. This will also be changing my plans for next week somewhat. I will be going up to Chicago on Monday evening to pick up my parents, and then most likely we will leave Tuesday morning to drive into PA. That will mean that I will miss my Tuesday and Wednesday classes. But this could still change.

Going into PA means that I will get to see relatives again, which is always good. I haven’t seen Barb and Doug (my Dad’s sister and husband) in quite sometime seeing as they are missionaries in Malawai. Unfortunately their 5 children won’t be there, and Tim won’t be flying back from London. So the only grandchildren will be Jonathan, Herman, Milly, possibly Ray and myself.

In other news I just spent a good 2 and half hours working on Jewelry. I am making a pendant that I hope turns out good. I spent that last hour or so working on soldering the bezel to the rest of the piece. I have tried twice so far and almost all of it stuck to the piece except one small part. Grrr, this is silver too, so the more I solder the more firescale I will have to mess with. But other than that the piece is coming along nicely. I did cut myself when I was sawing, but that just means I have a cool snoopy bandaid!

Also in case any of you are extremely bored you can go see my newly posted online resume. I hope I am not that boring in real life 🙂

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a crick in my back, but a few less weights on my shoulders

November 18, 2004

I did it folks! The 8 pager and 12 paper (or as they finished the 8.5 and 12.5) are now complete and quickly fading into the “oh look that’s a paper I wrote a while back” section of my mind. Overall I felt pretty good about both of them, although the 8 pager is a better written piece. The 12 was more interesting but as is often the case more scattered and less tied together.

However I don’t really feel that much more relaxed, maybe its the 2 hours of sleep I got (more because of Record than papers), or the cooking show Meryl and I are doing live on GC Journal tonight, maybe its the issues with my grandpa and his rapid decline, maybe its the 3 page paper that I have yet to write for next Tuesday. Whatever it is I wish it would go away and let me enjoy my slight increase in free time.

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radio perfection in the lounge

November 17, 2004

working on page 7 of the 12 pager due tomorrow
despite the total absence of the sun today in Indiana I think I can see a glimpse of it
or that may just be the fluorescent lighting
I haven’t gone outside yet today, or took a shower, but hey that’s all a part of the writing a paper process that I have begun to perfect

Here is my top secret guaranteed paper writing plan:

-first actually do your research before the day before its due, use notecards or lined notebook paper whatever works for you, just make sure you have more prepared than a big stack of books
-find a place with little distractions, I would recommend the lab in the connector, with only 3 terminals it can sometimes be hard to find a space, but once you do you are guaranteed very few distractions
-as for apparel I suggest comfy pants with high stretchablity and warmth levels, you will be sitting for several hours so nothing too tight that will become uncomfortable or possibly reduce circulation. Also I recommend a comfy sweatshirt, because the lab can be drafty and the last thing you want is cold to make it hard to concentrate
-oh and a nice pair of slippers helps or nice thick socks
-okay so you have your notes and are dressed, now you need a nice mug for either tea or cold water, I don’t recommend much other than that because high levels of sugar or caffeine can produce big swings in mood and irritability
-another big plus is headphones, you can use these to listen to internet radio sources such as launchcast or BBC, there are a lot of options, although I like launchcast because you can customize it with your own music preferences
-and last but not least allow yourself some time, 12 pagers will probably take a good day, or more, while 8 pagers can be done in a very long evening

Okay so now back to the paper 🙂

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a lovely lull, in which to savor the exceptions

November 16, 2004

Right now I am experiencing one of those small moments of grace, where despite all the demands being made on you, the deadlines not being met, the fact that you just slept through class, or the presentation you have in 5 hours, all cannot keep you from feeling warm and fuzzy.

So this little note is my tribute to the exceptions of the week. I am going to go make tea!

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headphones at 2am mean that meryl has beaten me to bed

November 16, 2004

Despite the late nature of the hour and the tiredness that seems a rather permanent part of my psyche, I am more at rest right now than I have been for several days. I just wrote the final page of my research paper due tomorrow. Bringing down my total yet to complete to a manageable 15.
Today I turned in my application for Peace House, I am getting really excited about that opportunity, I hope things work out well for it too happen.
In jewelry today I experienced some frustrations with too small of drill bits. I am working on a pendant piece that I making with a large green stone. I really hope it ends of looking good! I really love the stone, I think its a jasper and has a lot of variation on it.
Well that’s about all for now, so I head to bed with a slim margin of hope for the week!

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renaissance dress

November 14, 2004


Me in my Hour After/Renaissance garb. The white chemise and the blue overskirt were both purchased at a Ren fair, and I sewed the gold overskirt during fall break. Posted by Hello