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11 December 2011 @ 02:39 pm
semester in review: week sixteen  
Jam of the week:

This is going to be stuck in my head forever. I don't mind.

Recipe of the week: pumpkin pie oatmeal. Every bit as delicious as it sounds.

Self-indulgent purchase of the week:

There were no classes on Friday in honour of Study Day (who studies?) so I went thrift shopping with my friend Ariel. There is this fantastic store here called the Catholic Thrift Shoppe. There are so many hilarious finds because for some reason the people who donate to this particular store all have very bad taste, especially in clothes. I love love love the room full of kitschy ceramic plates with cats on them, and there are old typewriters and porcelain Russian dolls and tacky purses and OH MAN it's just great. I am really entertained by thrift shopping.

All told, I did actually buy some great things: $0.75 blue Christmas lights for my staircase, a 1980's book about space travel (the illustrations are superb), a brown pleated skirt in faux tweed ($2.50), a cozy cowl-neck sweater that Ariel decided is the exact colour of a caramel latte ($2), and an over-sized knitted navy blue cardigan that is so comfortable it feels like it's giving me a hug when I wear it ($2). I'm usually not a sweater person, but for some reason I just gravitated toward all the fuzzy and warm things in the place. It wasn't even cold that day. I must be anticipating spending the next six weeks at my parents' house where Dad keeps the heater at a balmy sixty degrees in the winter.

Bento of the week:

My best-tasting lunch had cinnamon-y acorn squash and beautiful, crunchy pomegranate seeds. Yum! I had some fairly well-designed bentos all week, if I do say so myself. I'm practicing to enter this bento contest ending next week and the competition is stiff. In other bento news, I bought two more boxes on eBay this week that have yet to arrive in the mail. One is a simple single-tier square, and the other one is shaped like a hamburger, so you pull the pieces apart and the top "bun" turns into a bowl, the lettuce is a shallow dish, stuff like that. Adorbs.

Social event of the week:

On Friday night, I got invited to a "progressive dinner" by the same people I went to the Fall Formal with and some of their friends. The idea behind a normal progressive dinner is that you go to a different person's house for each successive course. We're lazy college students, naturally, so our dinner consisted of walking down Burger Alley (freeway exit where all the fast food places are) and buying dollar-menu items from six or seven different restaurants. I'm not big on fast food, but it was pretty fun. Very rarely in the last four years have I hung out with huge groups of friends, and every time I do I think, "This is great. I should do this more often." Later tonight I'm supposed to go over again to participate in "Iron Chef Cedar City" and watch The Muppets Christmas Carol, should be fun. I'm a bit sad that I'm starting to make more friends right when I'm about to move away, but it solves more problems than it creates (re: love triangle I created inadvertently and the reason I keep getting invited to stuff). I thoroughly enjoy solitude, but sometimes being around other people is just nice, especially when people want me to be there. The best friends are the ones that make you feel valued.

Audiobook of the week:

I LOVE getting classics on audiobook. I don't have the attention span to sit and read philosophical and/or verbose prose, but if I plug an audiobook in while I do dishes or walk to class, I can absorb the gist of difficult material with ease. Some of my fellow English majors think this is cheating, and others think it is a fantastic idea. I like getting to claim I've read classics without having to read them myself. Anyway, we studied Thoreau last week in American Literature, so I decided I might as well work my way through the entirety of Walden. I'm only half dozen chapters in, but so far most of the text has been Thoreau preaching about the virtues of independence and how great he was to live by himself. I'm wondering if it gets more narrative later, because sometimes during nineteenth-century philosophical discourses I zone out while listening. Things that have a plotline are much more interesting to me.

Spiritual experience of the week:

Today in church we had our all-music Christmas program and I sang in the choir, so that was cool. Sometimes I can be a grinch about the holiday spirit, but this year I've gotten better about Christmas songs that are meant to be worshipful. Anyway, I had sort of a cool thought while I was sitting there listening to one of the piano solos: how significant it is that one of the most important beings in the universe---Jesus---came to earth in such a humble and unimportant way. The King of kings, the Prince of peace came into the world not in a palace or on a throne but in a stable somewhere in the outskirts of a town, wrapped in simple blankets and kept warm by animals. The same humility marked Jesus' entire life. He had the power to do anything, to bring down lightning and call the world to repentance, but instead He spent His days with fishermen and farmers and poor cripples. He taught that love is more important than anything, and He didn't just teach it---He lived it. To fulfil God's plan for the salvation of mankind, all Jesus had to do was come to earth and die for everyone's sins. He did so, but it was only after years of feeding the hungry, healing the broken of body, and comforting the broken of spirit. What a magnificent example is Jesus! Even if you don't believe His claims of divinity, you can't deny the meekness and quiet love made manifest in His earthly life. Although Christmas is about celebrating Jesus' birth, to me it serves as a reminder of all that followed.

Things I need to do this week: study for two exams (only two!), cut my 15-page Poe paper down to six pages for a presentation, see if I can't find someone else to rent my room (absolutely no luck so far), and pack all my belongings. I have no idea how long that last might take, but I've all day Tuesday and Wednesday free to pack before I move home on Thursday night. Eee! I'm totally going to have an undergraduate degree in a week, how weird is that.