Monday, January 31, 2011

I Need An Intervention

First off, I'm appalled at myself for how long it took me to get this post up. Ironically, this post suffered the effects of my extreme procrastination, and that is exactly what the post is about. Go figure. So, without further ado...

Procrastination is slowly, but surely, sucking away every last ounce of my ability to be a productive and functional college student and member of society. Yes, I realize I named my blog "Dehydration and Procrastination" in acknowledgment of the fact that I am a chronic procrastinator. In fact, in the world of college, procrastination is something of an art or skill. But I now fear my "skill" has reached a dangerous level. It's almost like someone who is an awesome lion tamer. (If people even do that anymore.) Sure, you're the best in the world at sticking your head in a lion's mouth without getting eaten, but when you take it to a new level by wrapping your entire head in antelope meat first, you're just asking for trouble.

It's a similar situation with me and my procrastination. I always get everything done, but sometimes I feel a little bit like I barely made it out of the lion's mouth alive. But it's thrilling, darn it! It's that rush from turning in a ten page paper to the professor's office five minutes before the deadline. When you turn in that paper, you're so pumped about actually completing it that you have adrenaline and endorphins rushing through your body like a herd of rhinos. (I'm not sure why I'm all over the African mammal metaphors tonight. Just seems to fit.)

Your adrenaline rush of "Wow, I almost didn't make it, but I DID!" leaves you so exhilarated, that for a while, you can't do anything but brag to all of your friends about how accomplished you are at procrastinating. 

College students thrive on this. It's as though enrolling in college also enrolls you in a competition that no one ever speaks about, but somehow everyone knows is going on. You can tell who's playing to win in a few simple ways.

1) Time Spent on Trivial Activities

Those who take their procrastination seriously will spend hours, days, even weeks, putting off an assignment. They will fill their time with movies, chatting with friends, playing Bubble Shooter, rearranging their room, random dance parties, and writing blog posts. Or anything else they can possibly think of that will give them something to do other than their assignment.

2) Amount of Sleep

Because the student has put so much effort into doing everything but their assignment, they will not notice how much time has passed. They will feel as though they perpetually have two weeks until the assignment is due. Suddenly, one night at 1am they will realize that they have to turn in that 5 page critical analysis of a book they never actually read at 9:30. This gives them eight and a half hours in which to read the book, form an analysis, and complete said paper. Sleep is no longer an option. 

They will work furiously through the night, forging into battle with only their expert skimming skills, honed over the years of schooling, and copious amounts of their caffeinated beverage of choice. (More on this in point 3.) They will complete the paper with an hour to spare, pass out on their desk, then wake up just in time to stagger into class like Frankenstein's monster.

3) Caffeine Consumption

In order to manage these sleepless nights, the main staple for the college student is caffeine. In large amounts. We get our caffeine from a variety of sources, but the most common would probably be  energy drinks, coffee, or pop. Or soda, Coke, carbonated beverage, etc. I realize the terminology varies depending upon where one lives. 

When my family lived in Florida, friends would tell my parents "Oh, we always know the Michigan people. They always ask for a 'pop.'" If you didn't know, everything in Florida is Coke. Even if the restaurant doesn't serve Coca-Cola products. It goes something like this:

Waiter: What can I get y'all to drink?

Customer: Coke please.

W: What kind?

C: Pepsi. (Or "orange," "regular," "diet," "Sprite," etc. I've never understood that, but I didn't live in Florida long enough I guess.)

Anyway, regardless of what it's called, college students rely on caffeine to get us through the long nights of cramming and paper writing. Me? I usually stick with Coke (and by that I mean Coca-Cola, just to avoid any confusion) because anything with much more caffeine than that makes my heart freak out.

I had a Mountain Dew my freshman year because it was exam week and the restaurant my friends and I went to for dinner one night only had Pepsi products. A short while later, I was so jittery and out of breath I felt like a hamster on drugs. 

Basically my heart gets annoyed when I have too much caffeine, so my doctor has ordered me to never touch an energy drink. Also, I dislike coffee very much. So I'm not the typical college student guzzling down Monsters and pots of coffee. I'm content with the Coke, thanks.

Regardless of my selection of caffeinated drink, I have mastered the art of procrastination. While I always manage to get my work done, I'm beginning more and more to think that I have a problem. Sometimes I try to start work early and give myself a reasonable, responsible amount of time to get it finished. I try, but I feel strange. I have an addiction to procrastinating. Is there a 12 step program for that?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cousin Time Is...Special? (And Clowns Are Scary.)

My family is full of crazies. Really. I love them all to death, but put us all together and it's like the circus just rolled into town. Only minus the clowns. I can't stand clowns. They're not funny. Or cute. Even when they're just standing there and smiling.

They're scary. Always.

As sad as it might be, clowns are one of my biggest fears. I had a meltdown at a birthday party when I was four because a clown showed up. My mom had to take me home. It might not have been so bad if the clown hadn't known my family and therefore my name. A clown calling you by name is terrifying, no matter how friendly they're trying to be.

So my family is like a circus with no clowns. Because if there were clowns in my family, I would disown myself.

Last weekend, my uncle got married. While two of my cousins (Here lovingly nicknamed Em and Micks) and I stood around talking, Em made the observation that "if anyone just watched us talk, we probably look like freaks." We apparently like to use exaggerated motions when speaking to one another. Not just hand motions either. We move our entire body if we have to in order to make our point. So at any given point during a conversation, we could look like someone had spiked our breakfast with something highly hallucinogenic.

After 21 years with my family, I should really never be surprised by the craziness that follows us around like a shadow, but it still happens on occasion. 

This week, for example. On Wednesday, I met up with my cousins at a Buffalo Wild Wings at 9 for a very late dinner. We then had plans to go to a nearby coffee shop to listen to a friend sing for open mic night. (He did awesome by the way.) 

Earlier in the day we had decided on 9, because my other cousins (KT and Ern) had a 45 minute drive, and Ern had class until 7:50. And even though Em and Micks were already in the same town as the B Dubs, I was the first one there. (I had a 25 minute drive to get there.) I wasn't surprised to be first though. Lateness is an epidemic in my family.

So I sat at a table by myself waiting for the others. Feeling like a loser. The waitress brought me a Coke and some chips and salsa, so others in the restaurant probably thought I was just some sad, lonely girl with no friends. I had assured the waitress though that "I have four others coming." But as I sat at the table for six, alone, it was like a neon sign hung by my head reading "LOSER!"

Thankfully, my cousins showed up soon enough. After 15 minutes or so of loserdom. But once they got there, a good time was had by all. It was karaoke night at B Dubs. There was only one guy willing to sing. And I use the word "sing" loosely here. He was more than a little intoxicated I'm sure, and he grumbled his way through a couple of songs that were so badly mangled it was nearly impossible to tell what they were.

Between that and the generally ridiculous conversations going on between us cousins, we were laughing so much that we probably sounded like we were drinking something other than Coke, Sprite, and water. Soon enough, karaoke guy presents a contest. Answer his trivia question and get a free drink. I don't remember what the question was, but Ern knew the answer and excitedly told us "Courtney Cox!" She didn't think she'd been heard, but all of a sudden karaoke guy appeared at our table and asked, "Who said that? What do you want to drink?" We all started pointing, because Ern was the one who said it, but Micks announced it when the guy came over, so Ern was pointing at her, but then they started pointing at me because I'm the only one of us who's legally old enough to drink. 

So the guy looked at me, then at Ern, then somehow settled on Micks and asked again "So...what would you like to drink?" Finally we just kind of collectively said "We're good, thanks," and he left.

A few more funny conversations and a creepy serenade later, we all made our way out to the parking lot to pile into my car. As we were leaving, we heard the beginning of Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing." As soon as we were outside, Em, Micks, and KT burst into a loud, drunken sounding rendition of it. We got in the car and headed for the coffee shop, at one point driving through a roundabout, inspiring Em to exclaim "this is a stupid roundabout! It doesn't even do anything!" (It's true. It didn't.)

When we got to the coffee shop, Micks had to use the bathroom. I showed her where they were, and she stared for a second before looking back at me. "Which one is the girls'?"

The place we were at is kind of artsy-funky-eclectic-worldly looking, and their bathroom door signs look somewhat like this:

Only even less obvious than that. They look like cave drawings or something. So I understood her initial confusion. After clearing up which one was which, we then had a short conversation that went something like:

Micks: Is it a one-person bathroom?

Me: Yes.

Micks: Will you come with me?

Me: ...No...

Micks: Why not?

Me:'s only a one person bathroom...

Micks: So?

Me: No!

Micks: Ok, fine.

Finally, we managed to grab some seats to hear our friend sing. After he finished, we talked with him a little while, then I drove us all back to B Dubs where the others' cars were still parked. We sat in my car for a few minutes, not wanting to leave. This is when Micks discovered my flashlight.

I have a flashlight in my car. My parents gave it to me in case of an emergency situation. It's a normal flashlight, but the handle can also glow solid red, or flash red. I suppose to be more conspicuous to traffic if you're stalled in the dark or something.

Micks found out that it could flash red and exclaimed, "You could put it on top of your car and make people think you're a cop!" The rest of us told her we didn't think that would ever work, and she proceeded to open the door and stick her arm out, holding the flashlight up going "WoooOOOoooOOOooo!" Like a siren I guess. Luckily we were just sitting in a parking lot. I'm sure she would have tried it while we were moving if she'd had a chance.

But that wouldn't have been surprising. We are a circus after all. Dangling out the car window, trying to convince other drivers that you're a cop siren might count as some sort of death-defying stunt, right?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Vampires Under My Bed

Sleeping is always an interesting thing for me. Has been for years. I'm talking since I was about three years old. Before that age, I'm pretty sure most, if not all, small children are still able to blissfully drift off to sleep in a matter of nanoseconds. My younger sister is 14 and can still pull off that feat. I'm really very jealous. Me? I'm a diagnosed insomniac. Which is why most of my posts so far have been posted at 2am or later. I try to sleep, and I lie there burning angry holes through my eyelids. Or I'm not even remotely tired, so I just figure I may as well do something with myself, so I just sit in bed with my laptop, hoping making my eyes tired enough will make my brain tired too.

When I was really young, my mom would sit up late watching M*A*S*H with me. Or...the other way around I guess. I wasn't the one actually watching. Point being, I got used to having her with me until I fell asleep. When the M*A*S*H marathons stopped, I still wanted her with me. I would hold onto her arm while lying in bed, and if she thought I was asleep and tried to sneak out of the room, I would squeeze her arm in a death grip to let her know that I was aware of her plot.

Eventually that stopped too, but I still didn't like to go to sleep very much. My mom would come in and read a book with me, say a bedtime prayer, then put in a tape for me to listen to while falling asleep. I had a large variety to choose from. My favorite was probably the personalized one that put my name into every song on the tape. I still remember a few snippets from some of the songs. The first one for example: "Hello, Joanna, how do you do? We're going to sing some songs for you..." And on and on. It was great. I also had the Pocahontas soundtrack, the Lion King soundtrack, some Sunday School songs, etc. All played in the trusty tape player/radio on the windowsill, surrounded by stuffed animals and Beanie Babies.

During this stage of life, I had a double bed. I was picky about where I slept on this bed. With so much room for such a small girl, I had plenty of (meaning three) options: left side, middle, or right side. I'm one of those people who tends to have an active imagination. So when I was little, it was no different. Many nights I slept smack dab in the middle of my bed, and I refused to have any limbs outside of the blankets. Some kids were afraid of monsters or the bogeyman in the closet or under the bed. I was afraid of vampires.

Not Cullen-brand "vegetarian" vampires. Scary vampires. Vampires that would have mocked my Joanna songs tape with their own ad-libbed horror songs. "Hello, Joanna, how do you do? We're going to suck your blood from you!" Yeah. Just like that. Maybe even worse. My solution to the vampires was to never get out of bed until morning. Late night bathroom runs were a no-go. The vampires were also the reason I couldn't have any limbs outside of the blankets, and why I slept in the middle. Apparently I had a special breed of vampire in my room that was completely incapable of standing. The best they could do was lie on the floor under my bed and hope that I would carelessly dangle a leg or arm over the side. Then they could reach up and grab it, and I'd be a goner. Luckily I was too smart for them. I survived childhood and made it to adolescence.

Of course, before I had truly matured, I had to pull off a few more late night shenanigans. One of my favorite candies was, and still is, Kit-Kats. Just something about them makes me happy. So of course, my mom knew not to let me help myself when giving me one, or indeed I would help myself. To the entire bag. The candy limit is a normal thing for most children I'm sure, but it doesn't mean anyone likes it. I certainly didn't. One evening, without my parents' knowledge, I got into the pantry and found my beloved Kit-Kats. Thrilled with my discovery, I proceeded to eat as many of them as I could. I managed about half the bag. Which had been a new one. My parents had no idea what I had done until about 1am when I was still awake, my feet on the headboard, kicking and singing happily. My mom found the Kit-Kat bag later and realized what had happened.

Nowadays, I love sleeping. When it's not something as elusive as Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. I'm no longer afraid of vampires under my bed, and I don't get caffeine highs from Kit-Kats. No, these days I'm just a stickler about the light levels. I like it as dark as it can possibly be. This poses a problem at school, because our flimsy dorm curtains don't do squat. Of course, when you have blackout shades in your room at home, it's going to be difficult to find any other room dark enough in comparison. 

And even though I'm not afraid of vampires under my bed anymore, I have one other necessity for sleeping. Every door has to be shut. I have three doors in my room, plus a little door on the laundry chute. They all have to be completely closed. That way, if anyone tries to sneak in during the night, I'm more likely to hear them, since they'll have to open the door first. Paranoia? Maybe. But if it helps me sleep, I'll deal with it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Need To Live In A Warmer Climate

Anybody who knows me really well will undoubtedly know one thing about me for certain: I am always cold. In a room full of comfortably temperatured (thanks, red squiggly line, I know that's not a word) people, I will be the one whining about there being a nip in the air. It doesn't matter where I am or what's going on. Without fail, I will be the one saying "it's cold in here." The exception might be if I were in a sauna. Possibly. Even then, I might say something like "Yeah, it's alright. My feet are still chilly though. Toss me some socks."

No, I do not own a purple tankini, and if I did, it probably still wouldn't be that awesome. Yes, I do have a pair of socks that look more or less like those. No, I do not frequent saunas, and certainly not by myself. Yes, my skin is really that color. Ask anyone who's seen me slathering on sunscreen at the beach. My only colors are snow white, or lobster red. I'm not even one of those people whose sunburn turns into a nice tan after a few days. No. I just go straight back to white.

Naturally, winter is a time of much dread for me. If I'm cold when it's 73 degrees outside, my blood starts to turn to an icy slush when the mercury (or whatever they use now) hits anything below 40. My poor roommates have to deal with me marching around the apartment, griping about the cold. "We pay good money to go here! They should give us decent heat!" "That window is drafty! No wonder it's so freezing in here!" "I feel like I'm sitting outside in the snow! Naked!"

Fortunately for me (and probably my roommates) I received a heated blanket for my bed as a Christmas gift. Now, instead of piling on layer after layer of socks, slippers, shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, and blankets, I can sit in my bed and turn what I like to call "the dial of warm." There are ten levels on the dial of warm. L, the numbers 2-9, and H. I think the L and H are supposed to stand for "low" and "high," but I'm pretty sure they should stand for "Lame" and "HOLY HECK THAT'S HOT!" or "SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION," even though that doesn't start with an H.

When selecting "L" on the dial of warm, I don't feel warm. In fact, I'm still quite cold. Just as cold as I was before I turned the dial. Usually 5 or 6 is surprisingly warm. Warm enough to have me kicking the blanket off by morning, so I'd say the blanket does its job. I've never actually turned the dial of warm all the way to "H." I'm a little scared of it. I'm afraid I might wake up with my head in flames.

That would definitely put a damper on my morning. My whole day actually. Maybe even the rest of my life. However long I might be able to live after waking up with my head aflame.

Other than the risk of spontaneous combustion, the only downside to this blanket is that I now spend approximately 85% of my day in bed. Most of the time I'm not sleeping, though I do nap sometimes. I'm just trying to stay warm. I'm like some small animal in a burrow. I only leave for necessities like food or chapstick. Then it's straight back under my blanket. Back to my warmth.

I should really live someplace else. Someplace warm, where they don't have snow in the winter, and the temperature is always hovering around at least 75. I don't know if that place exists, but if it does, someone let me know. I might start saving for a vacation home. My socks and I will love it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Grand Opening Of The Wright 102 Coffee Bar

No, we are not really operating a coffee bar out of our dorm room, but we can whip up some pretty tasty beverages. A wide variety of them. But you won't see any of us dressed as a Starbucks barista. (Or any other coffee house of your choice.)

No. Not happening.

However, we can make plain old coffee with our standard coffee maker. We can make just about any kind of frappe thing you'd like with our frappe...maker. (I guess that's what it's called?) And, we can make a variety of hot drinks like hot chocolate, lattes, chai lattes, and cappuccinos with drink maker. (I'm not quite sure of the technical name for it.) 

This came about because 1) we already had the plain old coffee maker in our room, 2) Katie got the frappe thing (for Christmas I assume, though I just now realized I never asked), and 3) I got the hot drink maker for Christmas. So, now we have a "coffee bar" just inside our front door. It's pretty nifty. I don't like coffee, but the variety of beverage options is quite impressive.

We can also add flavors to your beverages! Unfortunately there are only three options thus far, but hey, it's better than nothing. We have vanilla, hazelnut, and caramel. Mmmm...I myself just enjoyed a chai latte with hazelnut, and boy was it tasty. Also, I enjoyed it in my Phantom of the Opera mug which made it approximately 89.124 times better. The mask changes from black to the iconic white when it's hot. Love it. Plus, Mal got it for me in London, which makes it even more legit and awesome.

Unrelated to coffee, but still an important part of my day, I made my schedule on Excel! Printed it out and slapped it on the wall by my door. It's so colorful and fantastic. I'm very proud of it. I got frustrated with Excel several times, but I kept going, and now I have something glorious to show for it.
Yes, my friends, this is it. The real thing.

Super impressive, isn't it? Ok, maybe not really. Not to anyone else, but I had way too much fun making it. Note the days of the week in rainbow colors please. Ironically enough, after making this, I noticed on Thursdays I have my human sexuality class, followed later in the evening by Naked Time. 

Naked Time is NOT anything provocative or indecent. I promise. I would know, I'm the leader. It's a women's Bible study. It's called Naked Time because it's all about being open with each other and with God. Also, it's a catchy name. Interesting phenomenon: I get a lot of guys asking me what it is. They usually seem a little disappointed by the answer. I wonder what they're hoping for...? Not really.

My schedule is pretty light, which I am totally stoked about. Last semester of undergrad, and I'm only carrying 13 credits. (Well, only 9 at the moment. But I'll be adding the other 4 soon.) The best part of my semester is my practicum, and I haven't even started it yet. So I'm going to be glad when I do.

Even though I have a light schedule, I'll be busy. Writing a thesis. Oh, and doing grad school applications. Though that will be over with by March 1st. After that, it's just marching onward to April 23rd and GRADUATION! Which will be weird. I really don't feel old enough to be graduating college. It feels surreal now, so I only imagine it will get worse. Or better. That will probably depend on the day. Which I can conveniently keep track of on my rainbow schedule while enjoying one of the many varieties of drinks available to me at WRIGHT 102'S COFFEE BAR! Come on by! Prices reasonable.

Just kidding. No charge for the drinks.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Randy Jackson and New Year's 2011 (A Little BSB Too.)

So this is my New Year's post. I realize I essentially skipped over Christmas, but Christmas was weird for my family this year. Summary: We usually spend Christmas up north at my grandparents' house. This has been going on since I was about 3, so it's tradition by now. My sister has never in her life been at home on Christmas Day, and, like I said, I haven't since I was 3. This year, the day before Christmas Eve, my mom hurt her back, so traveling was basically out of the question. Now don't get me wrong, Christmas was great, and we had a lot of fun, it was just not as chaotic as I was used to. So blog material wasn't as easy to come by. Unless you want to hear about the marshmallow guns my sister and I got, and how my dog spent a good part of the day searching out the mini marshmallows we shot at each other. (I'm not so good with drawing to scale. And no, our house is not completely devoid of furnishings, nor is our Christmas tree devoid of ornaments. Putting lights on it was just the most I could handle at this hour.)

But anyway, New Year's rolls around, and another tradition is to have it at our house with some of our extended family. This has been going on since I was pretty tiny as well, and I don't think this one has ever been messed up as far as I can recall. Our gathering is pretty tame, but always a good time. We eat food, play games, bust out the non-alcoholic bubbly, and watch Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve or whatever they call it now. This year we had my dad's homemade spaghetti and meat sauce, the recipe for which he learned from an old Italian woman my dad's family lived by when he was young. So it's pretty legit. And very tasty. 

As far as games go, my dad and uncle went to the MSU basketball game, so it was just the girls at home for the afternoon, so my mom, sister, cousin, and soon-to-be aunt (stoked about that one! :D) played Scattergories while they were gone. If you're unfamiliar with the game, you roll a die with letters on it and get a letter. Then you have cards with 12 categories on each side. Once you have the letter, everyone has to think of a word that begins with that letter for each category in the given time. If two people have the same word, neither of them get the point. 

Needless to say, sometimes the answers get pretty hilarious. Or just totally random. Sometimes they're not even real things. For example--Letter: S, Category: Things you don't want in the house. My sister's answer? Snappy old men. What?! She tried desperately to defend it, but we all shot her down. Another few personal faves? Letter: O, Category: Things that are black. Cousin's answer? Obama. Letter: G, Category: Things you keep hidden. Cousin's answer? Gay sexuality. Another hilarious mishap came when the letter was R and one category was "things with balls," while the one right after was "television stars." My sister meant to write Randy Jackson for a tv star, but accidentally put him on the line for things with balls. Much laughter followed. 

Then, getting sleepy apparently, we came to Letter: B, Category: Words with four different vowels. My answer? "Beautiful." Aunt's answer? "Hawaii." We all kind of sat there for a little while, thinking that over, before I stated, "But...that's an H, not a B." More laughter. A short while later, the game ended (probably fortunately for all of us) and the winner was declared. It was me. 126 points. I was proud.

After dinner, we moved on to a rousing game of Apples to Apples, with all nine of us crammed around one table, and my dad trying to convince each new judge that his card was the best. (He tried to convince my cousin's boyfriend that "oranges" are "magical." He didn't win that round. Or the game.) If you're unfamiliar with Apples to Apples, there are green cards and red cards. The green cards are adjectives and the red ones are nouns. One person plays a green card, and the others all play the red card they think best fits the green one. (Or doesn't fit at all, but is really hilarious.) Sometimes it's just about knowing the judge. I won the "smooth" round by feeling pretty certain that no matter what the adjective was, my cousin would pick the noun "The Titanic" as the winner, which I just happened to have in my hand. I was right.

We finished the game and turned to Dick Clark (but mostly Ryan Seacrest) and the New Year's show. Things got really exciting when my cousin said "Isn't that the Backstreet Boys?" Sure enough, there they were, performing live in Times Square with New Kids On The Block. (We weren't as excited about NKOTB. BSB has our hearts.) The tv volume was definitely not adequate party volume, so I screamed at my sister "TURN IT UP! IT'S THE BACKSTREET BOYS!" and smacked her leg a few times. I was still trapped at the table from our Apples to Apples seating arrangements. Startled, she fell off her chair, and I climbed over her, grabbing the remote and cranking the volume so loud that I couldn't hear my mom yelling "JOANNA! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!" (We'd had it propped open because it was unbearably warm in the house.) She finally got my attention after my cousin had already shut the door. For the next five or ten minutes, we jumped around, belting out each BSB song included in the medley they were performing, and booing whenever NKOTB threw one of their songs into the mix.

Finally, their glorious medley ended. I'm sure the adults were all thrilled by that fact. We poured our bubbly, talked about the thing we had enjoyed most about 2010, then counted down to the new year. We all shared hugs, and "Happy New Year, I love you"s, then cousin and I knew we had something serious to do. Pictures with the bubbly bottles. Here's our fave.

Photos were taken, and then it got even better. Dance Central on Kinect. We danced our hearts out. If that's possible. I'm not even going to attempt to draw that, and there's no photo evidence, so you're just going to have to use your imaginations. Just think of what it might look like to see a bunch of white girls with no rhythm or dance skills trying to dance. Not pretty. Super fun, just not very talent-centered. Though that just made it all the more fun to watch. My New Year's resolution is to learn to dance. Just kidding.

Seriously though, I hope you all have a wonderful New Year. God blessed me in so many ways in 2010, I just know it will continue in 2011, and I hope the same goes for everyone else. Good night/morning, and Happy New Year.

Next Day Addition: Tonight we played Balderdash. Holy crap. Hilarious. According to my dad, Jacques Brandenberger was "the first man carried across country lines by holding onto a rope tied to a dirigible." Also, according to my sister, "schemozzle" is "a German game, somewhat like hopscotch dedicated to a bird named Moze who lost its life in an explosion." More than just those two times, most of us were laughing so hard we cried. Balderdash is now very high on my list of favorite games.