Working – 7/2/99

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At 6:45 AM my alarm went off and I heard the radio turn on. This was the first indication that I needed to get up. The second came when my mom stuck her head in the door and said, “Lauren, it’s time to get up.” I had to get ready for my first day of work. Since it was Friday and the day before a long, holiday weekend I left my house at 7:30 AM instead of any earlier. I walked into the office at 8 PM almost exactly and they put me right to work. I was under the impression that I had to take some safety training courses and get some other preliminary stuff out of the way first, but apparently I was wrong.

My first job has to do with calculating how much more air conditioning will be needed in two rooms of the Biomedical Building. The department will be moving some freezers into the rooms and they will give off a lot of heat. I know this job doesn’t sound too incredibly interesting, but I am going to learn a lot about practical engineering applications. The version of AutoCAD that I am using is much newer than the one I used at the Magnet Lab last summer so I spent a lot of time finding the drawing tools I needed. By the time I left (I work from 8 AM until 4:30 PM) I had made floor plans of the two rooms in question and I had drawn rectangles for the freezers so we could determine where they would fit in the rooms. I guess that was a pretty big accomplishment for my first day at work. If I had been familiar with the software the job wouldn’t have taken very long at all, but I don’t have that luxury yet. As far as I know I will be working full time for the next five weeks so I should be proficient by the time I have to go back to Gainesville. Look at it this way – I am getting paid to learn how to use AutoCAD rather than paying to take the class at UF. That’s a good deal.

Imagine my surprise when I got in the car to go home and the radio was working! I didn’t notice at first because I had turned it off, but then I saw that the clock was actually showing the time (not the right time, of course) and I successfully listened to the radio for the first time in a few days. Even with this positive change in my ca’’s behavior I am still taking it to the dealer on Thursday for another new radio.

This entry was finished on Monday, July 5th so I can’t remember anything else memorable to write here. Stuart came to visit over the weekend, but that will be covered in my entry from July 5th. Please read the next entry to see how the weekend went. Thanks!

Taking Criticism – 6/30/99

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Have you ever had someone say something to you, maybe it was sort of an offhand comment, that you couldn’t stop thinking about? That happened to me today. I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but it has made me a nervous wreck. Sometimes people say things without thinking about their words first and that bothers me more than what they do say (most of the time). I try to make the most of my words when I am making a comment about a topic that may be sensitive to someone, and I make sure my words mean what I want to say. You can hurt people easily with a misplaced or misused word – it has happened to me many times.

As I was driving to FSU this morning to sign some papers I had plenty of time to think about what was bothering me. If I analyze the situation enough I get to the point where it seems ridiculous for me to be bothered by such a little comment. However, I have tried to avoid thinking about it because it makes me feel nervous (for some reason). I guess it makes me question actions that I would never think twice about before. Why do I put so much stock in what other people say? It has always been this way with me. My friends had a hard time joking around with me because I took things personally when they weren’t meant that way. I think that must come from being teased so much when I was younger. I do take everything to heart and sometimes it is overwhelming because I am trying to assimilate so much information. I really should try and take myself less seriously, but that is a pretty tall order. Since I have gone to college and lived with a bunch of young women in my sorority I have learned to laugh at myself, my mistakes, and my faults. Sometimes I feel like I have desensitized myself and that may not be such a good thing – even though I know I am the same person on the inside that I always have been.

In the past I have been the worst at accepting constructive criticism. It took a long time for me to not get offended when someone told me I needed to take voice lessons (my high school choral director) or asked if I could handle the upper level ballet class (my dance teacher). At this point I will listen to constructive criticism and then decide if it is worth following. Don’t approach me with plain criticism, however. What the point of telling me I am doing something wrong if you can’t offer a way to make it right? The way I see it, that’s just a rule of thumb.

I made a pizza for my dad and me for dinner and we both commented on how good it was. I couldn’t figure out exactly why since I have made similar pizzas before. Later tonight I realized what was different – I forgot to put any pizza sauce on it! We had eaten plain crust, cheese, and pepperoni and it was delicious! That was the funniest thing. My mom didn’t even realize it until after she had eaten her share later. What a crazy thing for me to do. I guess I was in a hurry to get it in the oven and I had only taken the cheese and pepperoni out of the refrigerator. Anyway, it was really good, so if anyone is adventurous with making pizza I would suggest leaving off the sauce for once.

One of Those Days – 6/29/99

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Have you ever had a day where nothing seemed to go right? I had one today. This morning I had to call over to FSU at 9 AM to see about my job opportunities and I couldn’t drag myself out of bed until 8:50 AM. Mr. Griffith, the person I talked to, said that I was definitely needed in the office and I should come down to fill out some paperwork. He expected me to be there at 10:30 AM (that’s when I told him I could be there) so I left my house at 10 AM. The first thing I noticed was that my radio had stopped working. AGAIN! My little car is on its third radio and they have all broken in the same way. It starts out with the clock not keeping time and then, one time when you turn on the car, it won’t even show the time at all. At this point the radio won’t work either and you can’t get out any CD that might be in the player. This is where my radio is right now. It is very frustrating. You can’t tell me that I have three faulty radios in my car, so there must be an underlying electrical problem. I guess it is time for radio number four. It was a major annoyance not having something to listen to on the way to FSU. It is kind of a long drive and I get bored listening to myself talk. Anyway, let’s get back to the day at hand.

As soon as I pulled out of the driveway I realized I had forgotten the directions to the building and I needed to get some gas in my car. No big deal, I thought. My brother had gotten up just as I left so I tried to call my house on the cell phone to get the directions but no one answered. Strange, but maybe Kenneth was just in the shower. I got some gas on the way, but it was one of those where you have to go inside to pay – add a few minutes there waiting in line. I called Kenneth again; no answer still! I remembered most of the directions so I went ahead towards FSU. One last time I called my house just as I was getting to the point where the direction were fuzzy and Kenneth finally answered the phone and read them to me. Apparently he had gone back to sleep after I left and hadn’t bothered to answer the phone when I called about five times before. What a lazy bum. Maybe he couldn’t hear the phone ringing, I don’t know, but that seems unlikely with the loudness of our phones. I got to FSU, had to park on the fourth floor of a parking garage across the street, had to ask directions in some random office I passed, and found my way to Mendenhall Building where Mr. Griffith’s office is.

It seems they are in need of an assistant as much as I am in need of a job! Mr. Griffith introduced me to a guy named Mark (I can’t remember his last name) who needs some help making AutoCAD drawings. At least I have a little experience with that computer program and I don’t have to learn from scratch. I will work from 8 AM until 4:30 PM, but I don’t start until at least this Friday because of the paperwork that needs to be completed. I am very excited that I am going to be able to get some practical engineering knowledge and earn some money at the same time. I think I am getting a pretty good deal with an $8 per hour salary. Let’s hope that I enjoy my work there. We’ll see what happens when I start working.

Back to my crazy day. It was pouring as I was filling out some forms for the secretary. I hoped it would stop before I had to leave. My car was parked farther away from the building than I wanted to think about. Around 11:30 AM I left the building and it was still raining. I can’t believe I didn’t think to bring an umbrella inside with me. I just had to put my hair up in a ponytail, clutched the OPS information folder I had been given, and started to walk to my car. By the time I got there I was soaked. Good thing I was wearing my good shoes and a nice pair of pants, right? Argh. It didn’t help much that my clothes and hair didn’t dry on the way home and I had to use the air conditioning because it was so hot outside. My radio was still nonfunctional, but one little place on the clock readout was illuminated. Whatever. By the time I got home it was sunny. My mom felt really bad that I had gotten so wet.

As I look back, I escaped from the day unharmed. I did get a job, but the broken radio must be added as a loss. I think I came out on the positive side, though. I may have to go back to FSU tomorrow to sign some papers. That’s kind of a pain, but it is necessary. Oh well.

On the Job Front – 6/28/99

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This morning I called the temporary employment agency that my mom’s friend suggested. The first question they asked me was if I would be available for the next four to six months. Reluctantly I had to say no and then they knew I was a student who would be going back to school in August. Apparently they had already hired enough students for summer work and they were not accepting applications for any others. That’s one opportunity that’s not available anymore. My dad has made a few calls already today, but no jobs as of yet. I wish I could find some work on my own so I wouldn’t be dependent on my father and so I could prove to him that I am old enough to take care of myself. I know that it will be hard to find a job now, though, since it is already halfway through the summer and most positions are filled. Sometimes I feel like a little kid who can’t seem to do things on her own.


Ha! I may have a job after all. After my dad has enlisted several people to ask around one of them came up with someone who I could be of help to. The job is at FSU (they may be worried that I am going to compromise their security as a UF student) in Facilities Planning and I might actually be doing some useful engineering work. I have to call someone tomorrow morning about coming in to work, but I think this is going to give me a job for the rest of the summer. It would be great if I could make some money (my main goal in this job search) and get some practical knowledge in the process. I’ll have to let you know how it goes. My biggest fear is that I will not enjoy the work I do and I will hate going to work every morning. That’s what happened last year when I was working at the Magnet Lab over at FSU. Let’s hope it is a good job and I love it.

Yesterday I said that I would relate Stuart’s story of getting back to Gainesville. He emailed it to me today. On Thursday Stu drove to Tampa with his sister’s car (she is in Europe now) and he was planning to get a ride home with one of four people. Apparently he called three of those people at various times during the weekend and never heard back from any of them. The last person was his roommate, Matt, and when they got in touch Stu finally found a ride. Stu was anxious to get back to Gainesville so he could watch the World Cup match tonight, but Matt didn’t pick him up until much later than planned. Here is the end of the tale in his own words. From this email I could tell he was annoyed.

“It gets to 4:45, and I call him. He was up and eating something before he left. He said, ‘About 20 minutes.’ So at 6:15 he pulls up; in his brand new Mustang (red instead of black). We made good time back, but it wasn’t in time to see the kick off of the game. I did get to see the second half, and that was all that was important. We scored all three of our goals in that half, beating N. Korea 3-0. That was my adventure.”

The same kind of thing has happened to me before. I got a ride home with Montse for Thanksgiving in 1997, but when the time came to go back to Gainesville everyone’s car seemed to be full. I called at least four people that I knew were in Tallahassee and none of them could give me a ride. I was forced to ride the Greyhound bus home. It really wasn’t that bad – I had ridden the bus before (and I rode it again in the future), but it made me mad that no one thought about me at all. It seemed strange that I found a ride to Tallahassee, but every available seat was filled for the return trip. I know exactly how Stu felt about his situation his weekend. At least he didn’t have to ride the bus, though. (Stu, there’s your tale related for everyone to read. Is it satisfactory? Did I leave any crucial points out? *grin*)

Here’s a random bit of information I thought I should share with you. When I was at the grocery store with my mom today I saw Caffeine Free Mountain Dew! The only thing I could do was point and laugh. I was under the impression that most people drank Mountain Dew FOR the caffeine. However, I can’t say that I wasn’t happy. I love Mountain Dew, but I have an irregular heartbeat and the caffeine makes my heart flutter. It is not life threatening, but it is uncomfortable and unnerving when it flutters. Just last week I bought a 12-pack of Mountain Dew because I wanted the Star Wars cans and now I can get the stuff caffeine free! I saw the new Star Wars Mountain Dew can has Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) on it and I want one of those! I guess I can end this rambling on a cute, Scottish Jedi moment. Ciao.

The Joys of Life – 6/27/99

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I hate shopping for clothes. Whatever I like doesn’t fit me, and whatever fits me I don’t like. It’s a vicious circle that the fashion and retail industries use to keep me coming back. I went to the mall with Kathe yesterday, but I didn’t buy anything. There were several things I like at Burdines, but I had forgotten to bring my gift certificate with me and I planned to come back. My mom and I did go back today and none of the things I spotted yesterday were acceptable. It gets very frustrating after you have tried on several dresses and none of them are right. My mom knows that when this happens she need to feed me because I get cranky when I am hungry. I left Burdines with nothing. (I went back and bought a pair of pants later. Kathe, I bought black pants! Hee hee.)
Yesterday at the mall Kathe bought a bunch of stuff. Our goal was to find some “clubbing” clothes, and I guess we were semi-successful because Kathe got her black pants then. My sorority sisters are funny when they dress up to go out the clubs. They don’t want to wear black pants because “every other girl will be wearing the same black pants!” Now Kathe and I have become part of that group – we both have black pants. Our next project should be to find a place to wear our new clothes! That’s a tall order here in Hicktown, USA. Kathe, Meghan, and I may be planning a trip out of town soon, though, and then we will need some good club clothes.

My mom and I were at Target this afternoon (buying a graduation gift for Allen, no less) when we ran into a friend of hers. I told her about my plight in the job hunt and she recommended a temporary employment agency that her daughter had used before. I am going to call in the morning. If I can’t find a job or something I simply don’t know what I will do with myself! I can only hope that the meeting today was fortuitous and I can find some occupation from it. Starting next week, though, I have my first of three dentist appointments that promise to be really fun. I have also thought about taking a lifeguarding course while I am at home, but I have decided to give up my dream of going to summer camp for a little while. It seems impractical for the time being. Perhaps I can bring that idea back to light for the summer after I graduate from UF, because I would hate to give up on it entirely.

I just got an ICQ message from Stuart. I haven’t gotten an email from him since Friday night so I was beginning to think he had forgotten about me! Apparently getting back to Gainesville was not that fun (in his words, it “was a pain in my ass”) but he is there now and he is safe. Stu promised to tell me all about it later, so maybe it will turn out to be a good story. Maybe it will be a story worthy of tomorrow.

Thoughts of an Unemployed, Out-of-School Student – 6/25/99

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I do some of my best thinking when I am trying to go to sleep at night. Apparently my mind wanders from topic to topic and it does a better job figuring out enigmas that puzzle me during the day. Last night I was thinking about that survey email Stuart had filled out and sent to some other people and me. One of the questions was, “When was the last time you cried, and why?” That got me to thinking about crying, and since the last time I cried was last weekend the memory was still fresh in my mind. After a little while I realized that I was crying out of helplessness rather than anything else. Maybe other emotions were involved, but the main underlying feeling was of helplessness. I felt that way because I had no control over what was going to happen to my relationship with Stuart. When I think back on other times I have cried it has been for mainly the same reason. It is strange to realize that. Before yesterday I would have told you I was crying because I was sad, or hurt, or surprised. Now I know that I was only feeling lost in a sea of emotions where I cold no more determine my course than I could control when the Sun would rise. The experiences that I have had in life so far have taught me to be assertive and not let others direct me. I cried last Saturday because no matter how active I wanted to be it would not help me solve the problem at hand. I do believe in fate, so now I must test my faith by letting myself see where it leads me.

My dad came home from work during his lunch hour today to bring me an OPS employment application from the Department of Education. I filled it out and he took it back with him a when he went back to work. I am hoping I can at least get a little bit of work this way – it will provide some experience and some money that I desperately need. My brother told me that the Miracle 5 movie theater is hiring, so I should at least call over there and see what position is available. That place is old, run-down, and very dirty but I really need a job. I would prefer to do some short-term work for the DOE, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Jennifer, Meghan, and I were planning to go see “Tarzan” tonight, but when I went to pick up Jennifer, Meghan had called to say she wasn’t coming. I was rather surprised since I had talked with her a few hours earlier and she had sounded excited to be going. Hmm. Anyway, Jennifer and I had a good time at the movie and I enjoyed it as much the second time around as I did the first! That will tell you that it is a good movie to go and see. I must buy the soundtrack the next time I am at a music store. The only problem I had with the movie was that the characters didn’t sing. Jennifer mentioned this also. It was different from all of the other animated Disney movies in that way and I’m not sure I liked that aspect. However, it was a good all-around movie that I have enjoyed twice. I recommend that everyone go and see it.

When I got home my mom had bought some chocolate Hagen Daaz ice cream. That’s exactly what I needed. As I was driving home I felt a little twinge. I really missed Stu at that moment. I knew it would hit me hard sometime and I guess that moment was as good as any other. I heard “Angel of Mine” on the radio and that made it all the more pronounced. Why does that certain song come on the radio just as you are thinking of the person it pertains to? Who knows, but it happened to me today. I haven’t even been away from Gainesville a week yet – how am I going to make it? Only time will tell. In the meantime I have some more stuff that needs to be done. Gotta keep busy or that twinge will return in greater force.

Missing Pieces – 6/24/99

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When I first saw you I already knew
There was something inside of you
Something I thought that I would never find
Angel of mine
-Monica, “Angel of Mine”

The other night as I was about to go to sleep I heard that song on the radio. I closed my eyes and it sounded like the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. Maybe I was in some emotional state, but something was certainly effecting my brain at that moment. It sounded like she was talking about me.

Stuart called me this afternoon. Last night we were chatting on ICQ and he asked if I would be home today so he could call. He said that he missed talking to me. That made me feel good. I was surprised to hear his voice of the other end of the phone when it rang at 2:30 PM, however. Stu is going home to Tampa this weekend to deliver his sister’s car there and visit his family for a few days. His faculty advisor for his internship, Dr. Jenkins, never showed up in the building today so he decided to leave early because he didn’t have anything else to do. I detected at least some cold symptoms over the phone, but I didn’t say anything until Stu mentioned that he didn’t feel well. I hope he got home safely!

My cat’s litter box is located here in the computer room. This is not a very good place for me to be typing right now because one of them just used it. I went into the bathroom, got the Lysol, and sprayed the place down before the stench filled up the room! Just thought you’d like to know exactly what is going on in my house as I am writing this segment.

Also, on ICQ last night, Stu asked when he could visit me in Tallahassee. Last weekend, when he was talking to a friend, he was advised to make a trip to see me here if he wanted to save his chances with me. What a sweet gesture – and some good advice, if I may put my two cents in. I would always welcome him here and my friends are dying to meet him. I was just thinking that maybe it would be easier for me to go and visit him in Gainesville, though. Just a thought – I will have to think it over some more. After the events that have taken place in the last week I am very happy to see that he is reaching out to me (as well as me reaching out to him). There isn’t much to do in Tallyland, but if I knew he was coming on a certain weekend I could plan a great party with my friends. We need another trip to Wakulla Springs, or something like that. If anyone is reading this who knows what I am talking about, email me and we will discuss it.

When I sat down to type a little while ago I didn’t think I would have this much to say! In fact, when I emailed Stu earlier I told him that I wouldn’t be posting anything from today at all. I guess I need to write him again and change that statement. I have some plans for tomorrow night with Jennifer and Meghan, plus I will probably go shopping with Kathe on Saturday. Maybe I can finally get my ears pierced then. We’ll see (my mom says this is my favorite phrase). More news tomorrow.

Miscelaneous Topics – 6/23/99

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From my two doctor’s appointments yesterday I got 5 prescriptions that needed to be filled today. My mom and I went to Wal-Mart before lunch to do that, but we got more done at the shoe store! I have a favorite pair of brown sandals that I was planning to wear for sorority Rush in early August, but that means I can’t wear them until then in case they get messed up somehow. Luckily the same sandals were on sale at Shoe Station when we looked today (and that is amazing because they are more than a year old). Now I can wear my other pair and save the new ones for Rush. I also got a pair of black sandals that are the first edition to my prospective “clubbing” wardrobe. Kathe and I are planning to shop for more clubbing clothes soon. At the shoe store, when we were paying for the shoes, the cashier was talking to a friend about going to Gainesville to see a band perform, but she didn’t know how to get there. I told her that I could give her directions, and since she needed to know how to get to the Covered Dish that was easy (I have been there with my brother). I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Besides the prescriptions from Wal-Mart, my mom and I got me a new dress pattern and material for the dress pattern. I shall have to keep you updated with our adventures in sewing. We have attempted several articles of clothing over the last few years and none of them have turned out correctly. Stay tuned for more as the situation progresses. When we were buying the material my mom asked the craft section employee what size she should cut out for me. On the pattern package my measurements don’t fit any one size and my mom was wondering what she should do. I told the lady that there was no way I had a 24-inch waist, and she thought I meant that there was no way I was that large! What I was trying to say was even when I was really skinny in high school I only had a 25-inch waist. So this woman took her measuring tape and told me my waist was 26.5 inches. That’s about what I expected, but she was pretty insulting since she didn’t understand what I was saying. I don’t just go around saying, “There’s no way I could be that big!” I have a pretty good idea of my measurements. Let’s just hope that the dress pattern can accommodate them!

I am still trying to get a job. My dad told me to call the personnel office at the Board of Regents and see if they had any OPS positions available for some short-term employment. It turns out that they don’t hire relatives of current employees, but the woman I talked with told me to call FSU or the Department of Education to see if maybe they could help me. Earlier this afternoon I called every major bookstore in town and none of them are hiring at this time. I am looking for a job that requires no training period because I have less than seven weeks before I have to move back to Gainesville for the fall semester. My parents do pay my brother and me for doing work around the house, and I cleaned the house today, so at least I am making a little money and spending even less. If any poor college students are reading this, I feel your pain! Somehow I have to find money for my books for next semester plus I need a lot to buy presents for my sorority “family” members for upcoming events. I would like to be able to keep my savings account untouched for awhile since I had to transfer some funds to pay for my summer tuition. At least I am getting some scholarship money in August and more in November. I can defer my sorority dues payments until I get the money in November.

I got notice that Stuart has posted part of his work on his new webpage design! It doesn’t have too many components yet, but it looks good so far. Check it out at Don’t you love the little “About me” guy? I can’t wait to see what else is in store.

Being Poked and Prodded – 6/22/99

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I had two doctors appointments today and neither one of them was very fun. If you are a female you understand because I had to go to the gynecologist early this morning. My mom told me to write about a few funny incidents that happened, but I am not sure they are appropriate. I will tell the stories anyway, but don’t blame me! For the guys reading this who don’t understand why the gynecologist is so embarrassing, the nurse gives you a little white sheet and tells you to undress and then cover yourself up with it. As I was sitting in the examination room waiting for the doctor I was trying to keep the sheet covering as much of my body as possible. When the doctor walked in he insisted on shaking my hand! I had to readjust so I had one hand free and I didn’t lose the sheet completely. It was really awkward. Then the doctor was talking conversationally with me during the examination. He is a family friend and I know his children, but I was very uncomfortable talking about them at that moment. I guess the doctor wants you to feel more at ease, but this just made me more self-conscious. Anyway, that was my trip to the “woman doctor.”

I went to the dermatologist later in the afternoon with my mom. Since I am only 20 years old and I look even younger, sometimes I have a hard time getting doctors to listen to me. This happened today with my new dermatologist. He seemed to wrap up the appointment before I was done asking questions and anything I suggested he shrugged off with little consideration. Maybe I am a female and maybe I am young, but I know what my problems are and I would like a doctor to listen to what I have to say for once! Having my mom there gave me another person who could tell the dermatologist what my problems are. He listened to her more than to me, but if I had been a male I think it would have been better.

Last night I called Kathe after I read her latest My So-Called Existence (MSCE) entry on her webpage. It worried me because she wrote that she was going to give up posting entries due to lack of outside interest. I check every few days to see if she has written anything new and I was bother when she wrote that now one outside her immediate family would notice if she dropped off the face of the Earth. I certainly would notice! I called her last night and we talked for about an hour, even though I woke her up. It sounded like she was in a good mood, but that might have been the black cherry wine cooler doing the talking! (I have to try one of those things since she says they are so good.) Kathe said that she was a little depressed and that she has been busy with work and not much else. We have been sending each other ICQ message for a few weeks talking about what crazy things we were going to do when I got back to Tallahassee. Now that time has come and we need to make some plans. When I talked to Meghan she was excited about going to St. George Island one weekend. All three of us are pale and desperately need a little sun (with 30+ sunblock, mind you). Meghan and I discussed that we need new bathing suits before then! Speaking of shopping, Kathe and I also plan to go shopping for “club attire” sometime soon. Even if I wanted to go to a club I wouldn’t have anything to wear! We will have to remedy that.

Also when I was talking to Kathe we discussed my situation with Stuart. First of all, I should mention that Kathe is dying to meet Stu. Then I will tell you that Kathe gave me a new perspective on what has been happening over the last few days in my life. Kathe’s opinion is that Stu is a “nice guy” (sorry if that sounds like a cliché, but I am taking it out of context for the sake of the quote) that was just trying to do the right thing. I agree with her. It was interesting to get the viewpoint of a girl who thinks she is more like a guy than of her own gender. (That’s her proclamation, by the way.) With everyday that passes I become happier with being home for awhile. If I can use this time to sort out my own emotions then it will be well spent. Come to think of it, if I can find some time to sort out my bedroom the time will be well spent! So far I haven’t had a moment to sit down and relax. This isn’t exactly a good thing.

Home Sweet Home – 6/20/99

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“Love is so special and important. The complete and total purpose of creating the word love is so that a person can express a culmination of emotions. Instead of going down the list of all the emotions we know about and then taking a gander at some of the ones we don’t know about, you can say, “I love you.” Canoes don’t leak, because rivets and braces and sealant are used. That is love, the culmination of smaller insignificant pieces and parts together ensuring flotation. Life is serious whitewater. A leaky canoe, a faulty rivet, a bad brace are all unacceptable. Don’t play around with love. I love my family and I love some ideas.”
-Email from Stu

The quote at the top of the page is Stuart’s answer to the email survey question “Who do you love?” I don’t agree with what he said exactly, but I think it is important for me to know what he thinks. You can tell a lot about him from this. I thought it would be interesting for you guys to be able to read what he wrote on this subject. Now here is my response to the same question.

“When it comes to all kind of love you have to make a distinction. I love a lot of people. I love my friends from high school (Jennifer, Kathe, Meghan, etc.) because they were there for me when I needed them. I love my sorority sisters because they love me for all of my strengths and faults. They don’t deserve anything less. When it comes to serious love, I fall in love easily. I have been in love before and I will be again. It is a pure emotion that I think should be felt more often, and not something that should be viewed as a weakness. My problem has been that I love so freely that I have been hurt when people don’t love back. That’s the worst kind of hurt. Of course I love my family because they will always be there for me, and I am looking for a guy who will be there for me for the rest of my life. “

I was just watching one of my two cats roll around on top of my Tevas on the floor. Apparently they feel good on his body, but it is very funny to see him rubbing all over the sandals. My cats’ names are Robert and Thomas (Bob and Tom for short), and they both have strange defective tails. In fact, Bob was named thusly because he has a “bob” tail (it is about 2 inches long and very fluffy). I love my kitties and I am very glad to be home with them for awhile. Being home after such a long time away is very strange. I have been living in Gainesville almost permanently since after winter break (the beginning of January) and I haven’t been home for more than a week since. In fact, I haven’t even been to Tallahassee for the last six weeks while I have been away at summer school. Now I have come back to the house where I grew up (we moved in when I was eight months old) and my old routine.

My room is full of boxes and they are full of almost everything of value that I own. It is going to take awhile for me to get my stuff organized to get back to a normal routine here in my house, and then it will probably be time to move back to Gainesville! I only have seven weeks here in Tallahassee, but I am already looking forward to the fall when I can be back with my sorority sisters and my college compadres. So far I have put off cleaning up my room so I can live a normal life in there, but that is my goal for tomorrow. I cleaned out my closet and parted with some of my favorite clothes from high school that have gone out of style (WAY out of style). I found a lot of old Mu Alpha Theta t-shirts and other shirts that I have kept for sentimental value. I need to cut them up and put them in my scrapbook with everything else. Another goal for this summer is to update my cherished scrapbook with stuff from the past two years. I am very glad I am a pack rat sometimes, because that means my scrapbook is very thorough from middle school up until the present.

I said that I would write about Friday and Saturday here so I had better mention what happened that was of importance (other than what I wrote yesterday). On Friday when I finished my Marriage and Family test and turned in my History of Science paper I went home and began the packing process in my room. NOTE: Somehow I fir everything in my car for the drive home yesterday, computer included. I wonder how I did that? It was amazing. Anyway, Stuart and I went to Taco Bell for dinner that night. It is funny to see our tray of food there – we both get soft tacos. So, depending on how hungry we are, there are five or six tacos on the tray. That amuses me. We also went to see “Tarzan” later that night (a great movie, by the way, that I would recommend to anyone), but not until after Stu helped me pack some stuff in my car. After the movie he also helped me pack some stuff in my car. What a guy! I spent my last night in my dorm by myself, Brandy and Liesl had already left for the week, and I didn’t get to sleep until late (not a good move).

Saturday after I got to Tallahassee I talked to Meghan. I wanted to discuss the events of the day with her because I knew she would have some good advice. In fact, she knew exactly how I was feeling because she said her boyfriend, my good friend Danny, had done something similar at one time. I think (and so does she) that the biggest problem with communication between boyfriends and girlfriends is that guys sometimes say things that sound worse than they mean them, and girls overanalyze what the guys say. Meghan and I didn’t come up with any surefire ways to fix these problems, but talking to each other about our experiences made us both feel better. We did decide that girls need to maybe mask their emotions sometimes (when they are insecure or hurt and this jeopardizes their relationships) and guys need to watch what they say. Too bad we can only fulfill half of that ourselves. TO ANY GUYS READING THIS: Be careful what you say to your girlfriend!! Think over what you want to say and make sure you are going to convey it effectively. Girls get hurt easily if they misunderstand what you are trying to say. I was in a much better mood when I hung up the phone. I have always been able to talk with Meghan about my problems and she always reassures me that I am not at fault because I feel badly. I wish I could talk with Danny and get a guy’s perspective on what happened yesterday. Too bad he is out at sea for awhile.

Tonight I went to see “The Phantom Menace” for the second time, this time with my parents. I did notice different things this time than the first time. I also couldn’t sit still this time! Sometimes even if the movie is good I can’t make myself not fidget during it. My dad really loved the movie and so did my mom, but she was a bit disappointed in it compared with the other three Star Wars movies. I know how she feels, but the movie was still great, even the second time around.

I guess I had better get to sleep. Last night when I got online Stu was on ICQ so we chatted for a long time. It was an informative talk that made me feel more secure about how I stand with him. We told each other what was really on our minds without the obstacles that would have accompanied a face-to-face talk. Now I know how he feels, and even if it isn’t what I wanted to hear, know the truth is more important than being blissfully ignorant. I have come to the conclusion that I can deal with anything and this is only one little bump on the road to happiness. I have to get up, dust myself off, and start back on my way. I am old enough to accept that there are going to be problems in life and I might as well learn how to deal with any kind that might present themselves. I choose to start right here. Like I said at the beginning of this paragraph, I was up late last night and I should get to bed earlier tonight. I shall sleep content with knowing that I have made it through another day.