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Just got my John Owen-Jones CD in the mail.  Can't believe I waited this long to order it.  Now I'm going to go bask in the lovely sounds.  And cross my fingers that the Broadway strike ends soon so that I can hear him sing in person.  Because if I don't I might have a meltdown. 

It is either Valjean or Javert.

    Rarely a Sunday goes by during which I don't enjoy church, but today's service was a special standout.  Why?  Because in trying to illustrate Jonah's unreceptive attitude towards God's grace in dealing with the Ninevites, our senior pastor Hunter Dockery referenced one of my favorite things on earth:  Les Miserables.  Not only that, he actually had the tech crew play a video of Philip Quast singing Javert's Suicide in its entirety!!  The nerd in me (never far from the surface) was doing cartwheels.  I did endeavor not to sing along, and mostly succeeded.  The best part about it, though, was that this was the perfect illustration of the point Hunter was trying to make.  Javert, like Jonah, is unable to come to terms with the fundamentally unfair (in the best way possible!) nature of grace--both men yearn for the comeuppance that would only be "fair," even though in Javert's case this vengeance would be directed at his own person. 
    Anyway, there were more than a few eyes that weren't dry by the end of the song.  Mine, I must admit, were a little misty too:  1) because...well, it's Les Mis!  And that's an emotional scene when done properly.  2)  I realized that the reaction of my heart when dealing with others and responding to situations is often more similar to that of Jonah and Javert rather than that of Christ or Valjean.  Which was also Hunter's point.  Sanctification, as he reminded us, is continuous--we can't repent or learn these fundamental lessons only once.  They're ongoing processes. 

    This afternoon was also very nice--Katie and I took her schnauzer Gracie on a walk through Reynolda Gardens, which are beautiful this time of year because of the multicolored foliage.

Remember, Remember!

       I was just reminded at lunch by the lovely Amber that this is the day when we celebrate the late great Guy Fawkes (don't worry, Guy!  Catholic recusancy will rise again!) and his failed attempt to blow up Parliament...so Happy Bonfire Night!  It's too bad this isn't an American holiday, so I'll have to celebrate on my own.  I suppose I could always light some candles and eat a few of my hoarded Digestives.

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason, and plot,
I know of no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
And so it isn't! 

Life, post-work-frenzy

Well, faithful readers, it appears that I will now be able to enjoy a month or so without substantial work-related stress hanging over my head.  The three open houses I was appointed to oversee were concluded as of Monday, which occasioned a rather large sigh of relief from me.  I even tried to go on a shopping spree to celebrate, but since no one was having decent sales I only ended up with a pair of black tights and a trivet.  (A trivet??  Does the fact that I'm now buying random, useful household items mean that I've passed some sort of milestone into adulthood?)  In any case, it probably won't be long before I've caught "the grass is greener" syndrome and am wishing for some big projects to occupy me.  One can only derive so much amusement from misspelled, improperly constructed and punctuated emails from the high schoolers of America before one wishes for something a bit more substantial...Honestly, though, do some of these kids not realize that there need to be certain differences between the emails they send to friends and the emails they send to college admissions officers?  Yes, I DO judge you when you use poor grammar and don't capitalize in what amounts to a business letter.  Maybe I'm just old-fashioned that way.

And now, other things I have been doing, drive-by style:
-Attended the WFU vs. UNC football game, and enjoyed it!  Also understood it.
-Carved pumpkins with Jordan, Will, and Erik, whilst watching cheesy "A Haunting" stories on The Discovery Channel.  (One featured a demon named...are you ready for this?...Seth.)
-Resumed singing with Shiloh!
-Worked on nailing down NYC dates so that Melanie and I (and hopefully also Jess!) will be able to watch The Jones in Les Mis, stateside. 
-Resumed working on the scarf I've been intermittently knitting for, oh, the past 4 years.  Literally.  This is the year I finish it.  I really need to progress onwards to more challenging knitting patterns so that I can, among other things, knit a Jayne hat.

C'est tout.

Because Melanie demands it!

    I think I've become something of an LJ lurker, what with reading my flist every day but never posting anything of my own.  So, simply to justify having an account, here's what I've been up to for the past few weeks...

    Traveling and working.  That about sums it up, ladies and gents.  Three weeks ago I was in Chicago on a recruiting trip for WFU Admissions, last week I was in Boson, and I am currently doing the same thing in western North Carolina.  These trips involve a great deal of driving and a great deal of talking, neither of which (those of you who know me well can vouch) I engage in voluntarily in large quantities.  There are positives and negatives to doing recruitment travel.  I have met a number of very bright students who will hopefully apply to Wake Forest.  It's enjoyable to see a group or even just one person responding enthusiastically to stories of my own college experiences.  On the other hand, recruitment trips have so far entailed many of the negative elements of travel (tnavigating in unfamiliar territory, being on a tight schedule, never having adequate time to rest) with few of the positive (namely, having time to actually SEE the area one is in!)  So, I'm feeling rather exhausted at the moment.  I've just arrived in my hotel room, and tonight is blessedly free of college fairs.  Hence, I'm going to rest my voice and my mind, and perhaps even go to bed quite early. 
    On Saturday I will be leaving for Florida, which will be my last recruiting trip of the year.  I have high hopes for it--the schedule is less hectic, and I'm staying on St. Petersburg beach.  It could be much, much worse. 
    Lastly, something for my history nerd friends...this Saturday, October the 13th, marks the 700th anniversary of the arrest of the Templars, as well as the 941st anniversary of the last day of Harold Godwinson's reign as King of England (the Battle of Hastings took place on October 14th).  I propose that in our respective locations, we drink a toast to the Templars and to Harold, who were valiant but received the short end of the stick.  Maybe we could word the toast a little more eloquently than that, though.  Any suggestions?
    Yesterday was the first day I could feel a hint of autumn in the air.  I'm certainly ready for it.  I prefer colder weather to warmer.

    This has been a good week--work on Wednesday and Thursday was a bit harried due to the fact that I took Friday off., but I believe I'm managing to stay on top of most things.  On Thursday afternoon Emily, Jennie, and myself went to the Village Tavern after work for drinks and dinner.  I felt so professional, even though there is nothing inherently professional about eating and drinking.  I suppose I feel this way because going out with colleagues after leaving the office is so different from returning to one's room after class to do...more work.  I'm glad I'm taking a few years to work before pursuing a postgraduate degree; my brain can use the rest.  Speaking of which, I'm not exactly sure when I will be getting my MA; my Rotary interview a few weekends ago did not go well.  That's another story for another day, so ask me about it if you're curious.  Suffice it to say for now that after sitting through the most unprofessionally-run (at times offensively so!) interview I have experienced or heard of, I'm not sure I would have touched the scholarship anyway if it had been offered to me on a silver platter.  Blargh.  I'm much more suited to a Fulbright, so I might re-apply for it. 

    Melanie came for a visit this weekend, which explains me skiving off work on Friday.  We had fun--our usual mix of poking around town, watching A&E miniseries (North and South this time), chatting, and eating.  On Saturday night Laura and Chris Sanders had a small cookout at their apartment complete with homemade ice cream.  We eventually found ourselves playing Scattergories and debating the legitimacy of hairy spiders and sticky marshes.  Lots of fun, notwithstanding the funny looks I got for my history/literary nerd answers.  I mean, everyone knows that the song "Culloden's Harvest" refers to the Second Jacobite Rebellion led by Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745, right? ...ummm, right. 

    Next week inaugurates recruitment travel season--I'll be driving the office minivan around several North Carolina counties, telling high school students about the merits of attending Wake Forest University.  In two weeks, I'm off to Chicago!


Open quoteI'm a myth, I'm Beowulf, I'm Grendel. Close quote

  • KARL ROVE, rejecting accusations that he controlled President George W. Bush as White House adviser, saying instead he has become a scapegoat for Democrats

How did Beowulf get dragged into politics, eh?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good
    I'm really enjoying my job!  For one thing, my boss is very knowledgeable as well as simply fun to be around.  For example, during our last staff meeting she made two Harry Potter references, stating that she needs a bag like Hermione's with unlimited space inside, and that our office needs a house-elf (perhaps Kreacher) since we're somewhat neglected by facilities management. 
    I've also gotten my travel schedule which will span September and October.  I'll be spending two weeks traveling within North Carolina, as well as visiting schools and college fairs in Chicago, Boston, and Tampa/Orlando.  If nothing else, it certainly won't be boring!

The Bad
    My car decided that this past weekend would be a good time for the alternator to stop working.  Luckily the mechanic was able to repair it in a day, but the incident wasn't so fortunate for my bank account.

The Ugly
    While driving to visit a friend's apartment a couple of days ago, I got behind a city bus.  Like most city buses, this one had an advertisement on the back, but this time with a twist:  It read "Stop the Sores--Get Tested for Syphilis!"  This helpful public service announcement was accompanied by a leering red blob--presumably an anthropomorphic syphilis sore.  Really.  Is the French Pox so prevalent in Winston-Salem that motorist's eyes must be subjected to such an advertisement?  Perhaps.  After all, what do I know?  I DO work within the comfortingly upscale boundaries of Wake Forest University. 


Meme sheepage from Tove. Told you I was a Ravenclaw!

Your Score: RAVENCLAW!

You scored 16% Slytherin, 44% Ravenclaw, 24% Gryffindor, and 32% Hufflepuff!

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,

If you've a ready mind,

Where those of wit and learning,

Will always find their kind.

Ravenclaws are known for their intelligence, ingenuity, and lifelong thirst for knowledge.

Link: The Sorting Hat Test written by leeannslytherin on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Pirate Music

   I already knew that the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks were good to drive to if instrumental music is what you're looking for.  Last night I found out that they're also very good walking music.  During what's becoming my nightly walk around the neighborhood and down Silas Creek Greenway, "Up is Down" from At World's End randomly came up on my iPod and I found myself picking up the pace significantly.  I shall have to keep this in mind for the future.  Not that this is earth-shattering by any means, but I thought I'd share.

    Also, I ran across this parody of Shakespeare's Richard III whilst looking for a specific quotation from the actual play last night...for anyone who's familiar with Richard III,  it will probably make you laugh.  My favorite part, perhaps, is the very erudite "Stichomythia'd!"in the midst of all the "OMG YAYs" and typos. 

    Lastly, it appears that I'm going to Williamsburg, Virginia this Saturday through next Wednesday, and the best part is that I'll be seeing Melanie.  Oh, if only we were a bit more financially stable and were going to Europe with Jess instead... ;-)