Have you ever noticed that sometimes the only way to make a decision in life is to first decide what you DON'T want to do?

That's really how I decided to be a Russian major...I took a bunch of classes in almost every department and discovered that:

No way in Hell would I become an:

I really really really don't want to be a:
English major

It wouldn't kill me to be a:
Computer Programmer
German major

Some days I might even like being a(n):
Religion major

I love:

So really the choice was easy. There was only 1 subject that I liked, so I made it my major and skipped any of that minor business. Now I just have to figure out what I'd like to (note: what I can get paid to) do with a Russian major. My biggest plan was to try to join the foreign service, but now I'm taking a class called "The Art of Diplomacy" that is starting to make me second-guess that plan. I like the class alright, and the teacher is really cool.....I just don't know that I'd be any good at diplomacy or if I would even like it. I'm also *be prepared to be shocked* thinking that it might not be so bad to be a teacher. The most fun would be to teach English abroad (what with me being a native speaker and all). However, for those times that I want to live in the US I could be a Russian teacher. The pluses with this plan are that you have a lot more freedom than you would have strictly working for the government (for example: you can have your own opinions about what the US is up to). Also, everyone wants to learn English..you could get a job pretty much everywhere. However, I don't think I'd be satisfied being just a regular ol' teacher either. It's the only child thing where I have this unending desire to be unique in everything that I do. If anyone out there has any connections to the Russian world with fun job opportunities, let me know..I always take suggestions. I would even settle for Ukraine or Belarus. Or the Czech Republic or Slovakia or Switzerland or anywhere really.

Saturday morning at 10 am I have a phone interview in Russian for the Fulbright ETA. I hate phones in English, but phone+interview+Russian = panic. Hopefully it won't be too bad though. I think the point is just to make sure that I can communicate in Russian in some form or another. Sunday I'm supposed to find out if I make it to round 2 of the application process. I will find out for sure if I did NOT get the assistantship, but I'll have to wait another month or 2 to know if I did. It could go either way really. Wish me luck on the interview!

I haven't been speaking Russian very much, but I've been reading and writing it a TON lately. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across this website (interpals.net) where you can get international pen pals. I've tried these things before in my ongoing quest to master the Russian language, but most of them haven't been very efficient. This one, however, works. Maybe too well? I've been spending at least 2 hours every day responding to messages (in Russian). If nothing else it's helping my typing speed.

Apparently my biggest problem in Russian is comma placement....that and the fact that I stay up too late at night responding in Russian and make stupid grammatical mistakes.

The first 2 weeks of school have been alright. Nothing really to write about. I'm ready to graduate.

Friday is my birthday, and the suite mates and I are going to have a collective birthday party in Chattanooga at a musical theater (food and perhaps birthday embarrassment included). I'm not sure that I'll have a separate party for myself, I'm really quite lazy when it comes to planning these things.

We had a tornado nearby last week...disproving the myth that tornadoes can't climb mountains. It also instilled in me great confidence in our warning system....since my suitemates and I sat placidly throughout the storm in our common room complaining about how the internet was being sketchy, completely ignorant of the fact that there was a tornado. However, our dorm is pretty much a fortress....the walls are so thick that I don't get cell service.

We're playing Star Wars in orchestra. The 2nd piece in 4 years that I've actually thought was fun (the first being from either freshman or sophomore year -- Night on Bald Mountain, which has an awesome french horn part). Dumb violins...90% of the time they get all the cool parts.

As usual, I need to do laundry. I also need to go to Wal-mart and get printer cartridges, toothpaste, and snacks. And do my homework.

On Saturday we all watched the movie Up, and my suite mates have been quoting it for days...


So I was just idly surfing the internet today when I ran across a blog called "Sleep Talkin' Man". As the title indicates, this blog documents one man's rather humorous sleep utterances. It almost makes me wish I shared a room with someone who sleep talks. Almost. Although really the best thing to do would be to share a house with someone since I'm a light sleeper.

(Somewhat) Sadly, I don't talk in my sleep. A past roommate did say that I "mutter emphatically" now and again though.

Anyway, the blog inspired me to record a few of my favorite dreams.

My dream world is a frustrating one. Generally I am the only logical person and the duty befalls me to fix all of the horrible messes the other ridiculous characters have caused.....all the while seething, yelling, and occasionally fighting people. A little different from my self-controlled and mild-mannered conscious exterior, eh? I think it's my way of detoxing after a hard day. As the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes so aptly puts it: "People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world."

The first "I have to remember this!" dream comes from when I was about 7 years old. At this time I was living in Lufkin, TX and one of my greatest fears was getting caught in a tornado. We talked about them all the time in school and I was well versed in Tornado survival techniques. So, when the newscaster in my dream said that there was a tornado warning I knew just what to do! I herded my entire extended family out of the living room and into the one hallway in the house, told them to stay away from windows, covered them with a couple of mattresses, and very severely ordered everyone to stay put. I, in the meantime, went outside to check the location of said tornado and gather a few favorite toys from the front lawn. To my shock the tornado was just 2 houses away!!!! I race back inside, and to my horror everyone is gone. I'm nearly frantic by the time that I hear a voice calling me from my bedroom. I look inside, and my body grows numb. There everyone is (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins..) on top of my bunk bed having a PARTY. They're laughing and dancing and throwing streamers and telling me to come and join them. I can see out the window that the tornado is growing steadily closer. I'm shaking with rage and hysterical by this point. I'm shouting that a tornado is coming and this is not the time for a party and we're all going to die! They don't listen though. Typical. Then the dream changes.

A very similar dream comes from either junior or senior year of high school. One of my friends at the time was in love with all things Finnish...including the Finnish exchange student. We spent many a lunch break plotting how to get his attention, so it's not surprising that he made it into my dreams. One night off in dreamland myself and a large group of friends were gathered at a house in the country. Just as I tuned in to the radio to (you guessed it) listen to the weather report everyone decided to scatter. A few friends went for a walk, some suddenly had errands to attend to, and some just spontaneously disappeared. Well, it just so happens that a huge (and probably deadly) storm was scheduled to hit in just under and hour.....and I was the only one with the brain capacity and a vehicle to bring everyone back to safety. I rushed around the countryside picking up people here and there and just when I thought I had everyone I realized there was one person missing: that dang Finnish exchange student. The problem was he suddenly forgot how to speak English and apparently thought I was trying to abduct him (which is what I had to do in the end). Just as soon as I would catch sight of him he would take off running. I tried repeatedly to reason with him and warn him of the danger, but each time he would just look at me suspiciously and run away again. Eventually he tried to dodge me by running through a carnival. You can't get rid of me THAT easily, chump! He gave me the slip a few times, but after some careful sleuthing I found him in one of the tents hiding behind a few clothes racks. I then forcibly dragged him to safety. The things I do for people...

The dream with the best catch phrase comes from my time in Irkutsk. It was a time of great self-discovery. A friend of mine had morphed into a wolf and we were having a semi-friendly epic battle in the woods in the dead of winter. We fought long and hard and the battle was close, but in the end I won. As I pinned her down in the snow the dream camera zoomed out dramatically. In an attempt to end the dream meaningfully I assumed a wise tone and explained to the imaginary masses: "Sometimes the wolf tricks you. Sometimes you trick the wolf.....And sometimes it doesn't matter because you're a shark."

Words to live by.

The next one is more of a blurb than anything. I get really incoherent around the time to wake up and usually my dreams dissolve into a constant wave of short clips or shapes or words I like. I suspect that this was the tail-end of a longer dream, but in this one the entire cast of Friends was assembled in my living room for a party. We were having a great time...that is, of course, until my alarm clock started going off. I was far too deeply asleep to register what this noise was in real life, so in the dream it turned into the smoke detector. Mass hysteria erupts as we all try to make the noise go away. I'm shouting to turn it off, and Chandler's on a chair trying to rip the thing out of the ceiling. Unfortunately this didn't work and I had to actually wake up and hit snooze.

Last, but certainly not least, is the dream that probably sparked those afore-mentioned "emphatic mumblings". I'm an only child and I don't like for people to mess with my stuff..especially not my really expensive stuff. It's taken me 4 years to trust Kendra to drive my truck across campus, so as you can probably guess, I'm a little touchy about it. One day I'm walking along and there I see my TRUCK! First of all it's not supposed to be in the woods, and second of all these Beta frat boys are messing with it!! They're ripping the rubber stripping off from around the windows! I stomp my foot and yell at them to leave it alone, but they don't even see me. Well, this gets me really worked up. I storm up to my truck, throw open the door, and grab my 2ft steel maglite flashlight from out of the back seat. The jerks were stupid enough to bring their van to the scene, so I stomp over to it, lift up my flashlight, and bash in their windshield while shouting "HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT?! HOW DOES IT FEEL NOW??" Not satisfied I throw open the sliding door and proceed to grab everything within reach and throw it to the ground in a fit of blind fury. The guys eventually noticed and just watched me aghast. Then I take my truck and leave in a huff. Their female companion who had been watching everything from the sidelines just turns to them and says "it served you right".

These should provide everyone with some interesting mental images.

Well, that's it for me. Goodnight all!

Here's to hoping for interesting dreams

Best. Mad-libs. Exclamation. Ever.

So I went up to Cottonwood the other day to visit Kim and Amanda #2, and here is a picture to sum up the visit:

'Nuff said.

About this blog

Good news: no more required disclaimer!
Bad news: I'm really lazy about posting when I'm not in Russia