Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hungry for The Hunger Games

So I know that its been a while since I posted but it's been so crazy here. For the last two weeks I've constantly been working so I just haven't really had time to do anything but breathe. I worked almost exactly 40 hours a week the last couple of weeks. But I realize that I have been shirking this blog and I'm sorry.

About 2 weeks ago I had the pleasure (sort of) of getting out of work to attend the National Book Festival. I would love to tell you that it was fantastic and fun and wonderful but it really was a lackluster day.
First off it was HOT. Not just "80 degrees with no shade" hot either - real sticky gross "I'm sweating before I leave the dorm" heat that DC is known for in the summer. It was disgusting. Texas might have the heat but it does NOT have the humidity. Thank Goodness too because humidity is of the devil himself. Anyways, I was willing to sacrifice all my nice hair and dry skin for a chance to meet Suzanne Collins, the authoress of THE HUNGER GAMES and GREGOR THE OVERLANDER (which I haven't read though I hear that it's a good series). Yes I am shamelessly advertising the books - you should all go out and buy the box set right this second. Trust me you will thank me later. :D What I am not advertising is waiting around in the incredibly hot scorching sweat-making sun for almost 3 hours to meet Suzanne Collins. Especially when the afore mentioned writer chooses not to sign your books but rather to STAMP them. Yes, that's what I said. STAMP. As in S-T-A-M-P or as in that thing use when laziness has gotten the better of you or your deathly ill. Needless to say I was not happy about this. In fact I was mildly infuriated. I mean, we made her famous, we made her popular, we bought all of her books in hardcover, and we paid for her flight to DC with our purchases. (We being just a general collection of people represented by the over two thousand fans in line that day). In my very frank opinion SHE OWED US more than a "hand crafted, one of a kind" stamp. I don't care about that. I don't care that its still technically a collectable because after this tour she won't ever use that stamp again. That doesn't make it any less exciting. Her excuse - carpal tunnel in her wrist from all the signings she has done since becoming famous all of two years ago. So freaking what? **Note to readers - If I ever become a published author I will sign books until my hands literally fall off**

Here's the stamp

Now look, I'm not saying it's not a very beautiful stamp. IT IS. And yes it's unique and a fun addition to my books, but its not A REAL GENUINE SIGNATURE. I read the blog of one book seller who wrote, of the stamp, these words: 
"Last night Suzanne Collins, who is suffering from a hand strain, used a specially designed stamp to autograph for her fans.  No one objected that it wasn’t a “real” signature. The stamp is quite stunning and includes her name in her perfect penmanship and a mockingjay bird. Once her limited tour is over, the stamps will be retired (she had 3 so that she always had enough ink), making the stamped books collectible.
One of the nice things about stamping instead of autographing is that it eliminated the sometimes-awkward moments of personalizing and, even better, made the lines go quickly. Best of all, the moments each guest had at the autograph table with Suzanne, were now spent in individual interaction. Suzanne actually had time to chat with the boy who read Mockingjay in Braille.
I still like hand-signed books. I can’t imagine every author commissioning stamps. But in this case, it worked beautifully. Bravo."  
I see her point I suppose, and let me tell you another thing, IF Mrs. High and Mighty Suzanne Collins HAD actually taken the time she would have spent personalizing my books and used it to make the signing more personal and interactive than I would not be even one tenth as upset about it as I am. But Mrs. Collins DID NOT do that. In fact I felt like one sheep in the herd being steered out of her line of sight faster than I could slur together "nicetomeetyoumrs.collinsI'msuchahugefan." I understand that there were a lot of people who wanted to meet her every bit as desperately as I did, and I get that the people running the National Book Festival wanted to get as many people through the line in the allotted hour as they could so that they would get more people to come back next year. I really do. But honestly, if they wanted more people to see her they should have given her a longer block for signing. And I'm sorry, but I got there early and missed most of her actual speech because I wanted to guarantee I'd get to meet her. I WAITED A LONG LONG TIME IN THAT HEAT for her. The people behind me obviously didn't try as hard as I did and so I deserved to meet her first. Just as the people before me earned the right to be there. They woke up earlier than me. That's just life. I would have been upset but understanding if I hadn't gotten my book signed/stamped because I was too far back in line and she actually said a few lines to each person as she stamped his/her books. I would have survived. But instead I got the the front of the line (I was around the 350th person in line - I know this cause they were 50 person lines and I was in line 7 about 3 from the end or so), gave a random worker my books already open to the pages I wanted stamped, then I moved up to the front and watched as Suzanne stamped them quickly and without any comment, and then another worked handed them to me and practically pushed me away with a fake smile plastered on her face. I got no eye contact, no words, not one FREAKING personal moment in the entire thing. So the above mentioned book seller's blog is CRAP. Because in reality stamping is faster and easier for an author but it is NOT memorable or fun or exciting for me - the spurned fan. And Suzanne Collins did NOT do it beautifully. End. Of. Story. 

Now you may ask me, "Caitlin, how does all of this make you feel about Suzanne Collin's work? Will you continue to endorse the books now?" The answer to that is still a wholehearted YES. I definitely loved the Hunger Games Trilogy. They kept my heart racing and thoroughly pissed me off at every turn. That, for me, is a HUGE turn-on in a book. If it can make me angry because I am so attached to the characters I can't stand for things to go wrong than it's a good story. These books had me so upset/caught up in them that I had to shut the book and take deep breaths every twenty minutes or so and remind myself "It's just a book. It's not real. None of that just happened. No Caitlin, you don't actually know Katniss or Peeta or Finnick or Prim or Gale. No you cannot strangle any of them or force them to understand things that you do from being the third person unbiased viewer." That's how awesome these books are. And I actually agree with the New York Times in saying that each book in the trilogy only gets stronger. The first one and the last one are tied in my heart and the second one is only behind because I hate nail-biting cliff hanger endings. You should all read these books. Whatever Suzanne Collins may or may not be (because yes, I do admit to being a little biased in my critcisms of her character - she may have been having a bad day due to the immense heat and the pressures of fame and fortune and I may have misjudged her based solely on my experience since apparently she does take time to speak to blind kids) she is a phenomenal writer and her talent shines in these books. Besides, the characters practically come to life by themselves and all she did was write there stories down effectively for us. That's just my opinion but so what?

So here's the verdict: READ THE HUNGER GAMES and tell me what you thought. Besides if you order this boxed set you get FREE SHIPPING...
Love you guys,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Evolution of Inflatable Objects 101

So my floor of Potomac House is VERY unique. By unique I mean - WEIRD. They have this strange obsession with inflatable objects. No, not anything gross or sick, just like Inflatable kiddie pools and pirate swords and monkeys. It all started with a Helicopter kiddie pool and then everyone had such a good time sitting in it and gathering around it that Squidward, a kid on our floor, purchased over $100 worth of inflatables - including like 22 small aliens, a rainforest two tiered kiddie pool, a giant 10 foot long Pirate ship kiddie pool, 30 pirate swords, pirate hats, a pirate treasure chest, a couple jingling dolphins, a jingling killer whale, two palm trees, and a 3 and 1/2 foot monkey. These inflatables came in in waves and evolved from the helicopter to the helicopter and the rainforest; and then eventually to those plus all of the pirate stuff. They all sit in the large area around the elevators in the middle of our floor.

Now a lot of people from other floors saw the inflatables when the elevators stopped on the 7th floor and began calling us things as derogatory as the "inflatable faggots" and worse. They really hated us. I will admit that at first Rebecca and I agreed with them. I, for one, found them to be annoying and childish; and I hated how everyone congregated around them and turned our floor into one giant party every night. But then the day after the pirate ship came in and was blown up Rebecca and I found ourselves spending friday night sitting in said pirate ship with my huge fluffy white queen sized $60 cozy blanket from target, sipping soda, and having the best time ever with other people from our floor (including Squidward himself). I have to say that sitting in it changed my entire perspective. I realized that it is kind of nice having a meeting place where we can all just hang out together and I really enjoyed getting to know so many people on our floor. I made some good friends that I wouldn't have found if I hadn't decided that I would sit in the inflatable pool for a few minutes... or a couple of hours. Our floor only has about 40 people on it - 30 girls and 10 boys - so we are becoming really close to each other. I must say that I believe we owe that somewhat to Squidward and the inflatable objects. Even if Dad says that anyone who spends all that money on inflatable stuff has more dollars that sense (haha) I like it. What can I say? The inflatables grew on me.

Squid battles epically with Chris using the inflatable swords and some inflatable shields that came with the pirate Ship. :P 

Now here's the sad thing, Sunday we all woke up to a terrible crime - someone probably from another floor of Potomac came and slashed all of the big inflatables. They completely deflated them and we have to throw them away. I feel so angry because even if I didn't like them they were still private property and that's illegal. Plus Squid is such a nice guy and he spent a lot of money to bring us that camaraderie that comes with sitting together in a bunch of inflatables talking all night. I didn't take a picture of the crime scene because it really was just too depressing. I can't believe someone would come and do that just because they're jealous that we are so close and have a cool "lobby" to hang out in. It is so wrong. Well I don't know if we are going to end up collecting money for a new set of inflatables or if we'll ever replace them but I hope we do. And for now I devised a cool plan to tell Squid that we're sorry that he spent that money for nothing. Rebecca, Caroline, Agathe, and I all paid 4 dollars to buy an inflatable squidward for him that we will present him as soon as it comes in. I hope he likes it since that is his namesake and I think it's a really nice gesture. 

Well I guess we'll see how it goes,

HOME SWEET HOME in bite sized portions

So I've been asked to create a post that involves stuff I miss from home/ things I could use/ places I go alot so that those of you who want to send me something while I'm here kind of get an idea of what would be most appreciated. I want to make it clear that I am NOT asking you to send me stuff, I know that many of you have enough financial obligations on your plates and trust me I have never understood the definition of BROKE better than I do now. :D 

For those of you who ARE interested in sending me a LETTER now and then or any form of "care" package you are of course welcome to do so and I can't wait to hear from you (I love letters and drawings from little kids especially :D) Here is my address: 

GW University Potomac House
2021 F ST NW
Room 705
Washington DC, 20052

As long as you all put that it will get to me (don't forget the city and zip code - that has already happened to someone I know and its just embarrassing :P)

Now, here are those things/ places I go/ things I miss/ whatever:

  • Mr. Yogato (they don't take my student card) Mr.Yogato Gift Cards for gift cards 
  • Potbelly's (awesome sandwiches and sugar cookies) Potbelly Gift Cards click the link to order gift cards
  • Subway
  • Bertucci's (my roommate and I go here about every other week cause its the only real sit down place on campus) Bertucci's gift cards
  • Target 
  • Tomato and Basil Wheat Thins 
  • AMC gift cards - it's the only theater on campus even though its like a mile from me 
  • CVS pharmacy - they are all over campus 
  • Starbucks - when it gets cold I'm definitely going to need starbucks gift cards 
  • Barnes and Noble (Best comfort ever) 
  • T.G.I Friday's (it's right on the far edge of campus but it's the only other sit down restaurant in the five mile vicinity) 
  • Pistacio's 
  • Sugary Chex Mix (MISD makes a really good one for some staff development occasions in the PDC and I would PAY money to get my hands on their recipe) 
  • Sugared nuts 
  • Mexican Food (okay so no one can really send me something to fix that but I miss it SOOOO much) 
  • Trader Joes (I'm not sure you can get a gift card here unless you buy it in a store so Idk if anyone can help me here) 
  • Papa John's and Domino's are the two pizza places on campus 
  • Rice Krispy Treats 
  • McCalister's toffee cookies (I would LOVE some of their toffee cookies) XD 
  • 7-11 - There is one right down the street from me 
  • Flavored hot chocolate (for when it gets cold) 
  • Chick fil A gift cards 
  • Clementines (weird I know - but hey - they can be shipped. It's hard to find good produce here and the target in DC doesn't have fresh produce for another two months. 
Anything from this list or just something you think of is always welcome. I'll be very grateful to hear from you guys or to receive something. Thank for reading. 
Love you all,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Spot: The Target Dog; Yogato; and Billionaires

Between classes I'm almost always at work or studying; so there hasn't been that much time for me to go out and enjoy myself. I work around 25-30 hours a week so far. It's really not bad- I love my job and I actually have a lot of opportunities to just do homework or read while I'm on the job. There are also just great people there who make it fun to be at work. Don't misunderstand - I am having a LOT of fun here and I'm not just some workaholic college kid who doesn't have any real friends. :P

Wednesday September 1st I work Target Takeover and I had a lot of fun there with my fellow workers. We got these really awesome black tshirts with a huge target symbol on them and we got to give away free stuff; which means in essence that we got to keep a TON of free things. I was at the Coca Cola Station and we gave out these cute little bottles of coca cola. They ran out fairly quickly and we spent the rest of our time wandering around the store helping out the other stands. I ended up taking home my payment of a $100 target gift card, 6-7 of the Target Takeover giftbags, 21 packs of orbit gum, and a case of 60 travel sized crest whitening toothpaste. It was ridiculous. I don't know what I'm going to do with all of this crap. I gave each of my suitemates a giftbag and I still have more than I can use. If anyone needs travelsized toothpaste drop me a comment. :DD And I have officially crossed gum OFF of my care package wishlist. I mean 21 packs? That's a tad ridiculous.

Target Takeover Moments - Spot and the Crest Whitening Stand (that's for you stephen :P) 

Rebecca and I went out last friday night. We went to Chipotle (which was a nice change of pace from all the sandwich places here) and then we went to an AMAZING fro-yo place called Mr.Yogato. It's a great place - the fro yo is out of this world, the prices aren't bad, the portions are HUGE, and they have all these silly rules which are awesome and get you discounts :DD Go visit this site for the rules of Yogato: It was so much fun- I was going to go with the original soft flavor but then I tried a free sample of the Fresh zac-o-berry (blackberry) and it was so delicious and refreshing that I had to get one. I got the MIDDLE size because I figured the LITTLE was probably really small but as it turns out a MIDDLE is like 12 ounces of Fro Yo which was MORE than enough for a stomach already full of oversized Chipotle burrito. It was the yummiest thing I have had here by far and I'm glad that I finally found something to love here that I can't get back home. Mr. Yogato also has such a small but pleasant atmosphere - there's only enough room for a couple of tables and when we were there the line took up most of the standing room. But there are stacks of old board games lying around and at least one of the tables always seems to have a group of people playing something. The line was super long but they gave us free samples and asked us to answer a trivia question to receive 10 percent off our order. The guy gave Rebecca and I a pretty easy one (that I really didn't even need my iphone for) - name the 5 countries that end with an L: Portugal, Senegal, Brazil, Nepal, and Israel. So that made the wait fun and the line went really quickly all things considered. Then Rebecca and I grabbed the only empty table by the only window and played Connect 4 while we enjoyed our fro-yo. She beat me when I stopped paying attention for a second. :P Darn it - just like being a kid again.

Then on Saturday after my 8 hour work day I went to the annual Fall Fest. I volunteered; so for the better part of an hour I just spent my time yelling at people to only grab one hotdog or one hamburger. I had to threaten to slap the ones who tried to take one of each, but in the end everyone paid attention and I made a new friend - my fellow volunteer Aziz. He's a native Arabic speaker and he has graciously offered to help me with my Arabic homework; something I will DEFINITELY be taking him up on. ;) I was getting tired by the time the actual concert portion of fall fest started and I was sad that I couldn't go backstage and actually meet Travie McCoy even though I was Fall Fest Staff. There was a DJ playing sub par prom type dance music for the first hour even though the fun tunes got old after about a milisecond. By the time Travie came on I was practically asleep - I had had to spend the entire last hour fighting to keep people from pushing past me since I'm so short and I had a great view where I was I didn't need any so called "TALL" people putting their fat heads in my line of vision. I mean they are TALL right? They don't need to bully their way past SHORT people such as myself. That's a jerk move. For those of you who are reading this thinking, "Who the heck is Travie McCoy anyways?" He was the leader singer for Gym Class Hero's who who are mostly famous for Cookie Jar and Cupid Chokehold. He is also the singer of that repetitive song that's always playing on the radio these days, Billionaire. I for one really love him. His music is fun and catchy with pretty good lyrics about 90% of the time. He's a really down to earth guy too - He was so fun and easy going at the concert. I honestly felt as though I could be friends with him if I met him on the street one day. It was awesome. I had the BEST time - and it was free so that was AMAZING. I didn't stay for the second artist, Wale from DC (who apparently did a song with Gaga though I'm not familiar with his work), because I didn't really know who he was and unlike the native Washingtonians I didn't have some insane love for him. But Travie McCoy was awesome and for my first concert it was a GREAT time!



And to top off Labor Day weekend Rebecca and I made a trip to the National Gallery of Art (I had to go for a class thing). We didn't actually go through my assigned section, Beat Memories, because it was a bore; but we had a great time going through there collection of european art. We took the metro to the Smithsonian stop and then walked about 3/4ths of a mile to the museum's west gallery. I must say this trip gave me a breathtaking view of the city. It was sunny and not extremely hot and when you walk out of the metro station there is a beautiful view of the Smithsonians, the Washington Monument, and the capitol completely unobstructed. It is so beautiful and majestic that I got my first view of DC that left me speechless. I felt so refreshed and energized and I got some pretty great pics on my phone. It was so wonderful.




This week I have had much less trouble getting around; I feel as though I have finally gotten used to all the walking. It doesn't really tire me out anymore and the weather has been great these last few days. Highs in the low 80's and the average temperature in the low 70's. Perfect. :D

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Reading Left to Right and Back Again

So I have had the BEST intentions of updating this sooner rather then later, but it has been ridiculously busy being up here. My classes are pretty awesome and I really love my schedule. Finishing class by 2 pm every day is ideal and having no friday classes is a dream come true.

Econ is super super easy (thank you ACA DECA) and its a lecture with over 300 students so I basically surf the web and read whatever book I'm currently enjoying. Its so wonderful because its 50 minutes where I don't have anything else I should be doing since I can't do homework in such a loud environment anyways. There is a lot of busy work and weekly online homework tied to it, but even that's not too horrible - I think I'll most definitely get an A there.

University Writing SUCKS. I don't particularly love the Professor and I HATE HATE HATE the subject: La Vie Boheme. Who freakin' cares about the life of the vagabond? We spend half our class talking about how Bohemia doesn't even truly exist - to which I must ask "Then why do we freaking study it?!?" It is completely and utterly pointless and I am only taking it because I have to take a UW class this year and this one happened to be tied to Intro to Creative Writing; which I really wanted to take. Its really hard to get into and so this was the only chance I had to take it as a fish. I will suffer through any stupid class to take Creative Writing. I just wish they weren't tied together so I could drop La Vie Boheme for UW: Holocaust Survivors. But Se La Vie - no one's life is perfect.

Intro to Creative Writing is a dream come true. There are no grades (except completion) until the end when are final portfolio's are due; there is no real final exam; the teacher is AMAZINGLY nice; class is cancelled the day before Thanksgiving; and I get to do what I love - read and write creative things. :D It's the best class I'm taking. We just wrote a 2-3 page non fiction piece and I am now working on my 2-3 page fiction piece which I will post here for you guys to read once it's finished. I think I finally know what I'm going to write about which is always a fun breakthrough. It's due Thursday and the hardest part is that I have to tell the complete story in only 3 pages. I mean seriously? An ENTIRE story is supposed to fit on those meager pages? With a beginning, middle, and end?? That's a daunting task.

Arabic is... well... it's like nothing I have ever experienced before. And let me tell you- I am starting to feel a kinship with first graders learning to read and write and most importantly, SPELL. It's HARD. We soar through the book and I have realized this course is SINK or SWIM; I must say that I still don't know which way I'm headed. We know a few letters so far and Dictation is the worst thing ever. When we have to listen to some Arab person say a word and then spell it correctly I have so much trouble. It's like being back in grade school before I knew how to spell correctly and every letter sounded similar. There are 28 letters and there are 6 vowels; 3 long and 3 short. Distinguishing between the long and short vowels is one of the toughest things I've ever been asked to do in school. Because in Arabic short vowels are denoted differently than long vowels and there are symbols for EVERYTHING. Keeping track of all the dots and lines is weird. They even have what's called a sukuun (transliterated) which denotes when there are no vowels between two consonants and a Hamza which goes where there is a silence because a syllable begins with a vowel (which can't actually happen in Arabic) - a Hamza is like the dash between uh-oh in English. We don't have a letter for it but its like a stop deep in the back of your throat that you naturally make when you start a word with a vowel. There are also the letters in Arabic that we don't have in English so they're ridiculously hard to pronounce and I am afraid I'll never say them correctly no matter how much I practice. The language is written and read from right to left even though Arabic numbers are written and read left to right (yeah cause that's not confusing or anything). We have over 3 hours of homework a night. Yet, don't get me wrong, despite everything that's crazy or strange or difficult for me in Arabic I really do love the language. Sure I could have taken something like Spanish or Italian - languages that 3 years in Latin would have made easy for me; but where's the adventure in that? I am beginning to LOVE the Arabic language - I love its complexities and everyday I learn something new and exciting- its the best feeling in the world. I feel like I'm unlocking doors. It's fantastic.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Class Schedule/Cool Dorm Pics

Mondays - 
9:35-10:25 Arabic 001 
12:45-2:00 University Writing La Vie Boheme (zzzzzzz....) 

9:35-10:50 Arabic Recitation
11:10-12:25 Intro to Creative Writing (BEST CLASS EVER!)
12:45-1:35 Micro Economics (300 people - so its my fun reading time) 

9:35-10:25 Arabic 001 
12:45-2:00 University Writing La Vie Boheme (zzzzzzz....) 

8:00-8:50 Econ Discussion Section (way to early) 
9:35-10:50 Arabic Recitation
11:10-12:25 Intro to Creative Writing (BEST CLASS EVER!)
12:45-1:35 Micro Economics (300 people - so its my fun reading time) 

12:45-1:35 Online University Writing (we only actually have to go online sometimes though) 

I'll put my work schedule up when the final fall schedule has posted!

Talk to you guys as soon as I get the chance to post a real post... 

My Bookshelf!!! 

Completely clean side!

My posters- They make me happy :D

This pillowcase was TOTALLY worth the $$$ I love it!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pictures - Part I of FIRST WEEK

Leaving Dallas Behind :(

My newly made bed - it's the first thing I did.  

Boxes and more Boxes

More junk everywhere. Only on the other side of the room though. 

Columbia Heights - Bestbuy, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and a Payless

The Escalator for Carts!

A DC street that is surprisingly calm

My Desk 

Bathroom View

Shower Curtain 

The view of the Inner Shower - I put the curtain on the outer rod. It was difficult since I'm so short. 

First Week Mayhem

So I just recently finished my first week in Washington DC, and let me tell you guys - it was CRAZY! Moving in was surprisingly easy despite the fact that I was alone for it - I met one of the package services guys and quickly became friends with him; partly because I already knew that I'd be seeing him a lot - I'm a HUGE believer in online shopping and also partly because his name is Olu and as I suspected he is Yoruba. Apparently most people call him O but because I knew he was Yoruba I get to call him Olu because I can say it right (who can't I wonder???).

Saturday was my first day of Training at the Key Depot and from the first 5 seconds I knew that I was going to LOVE working there. Things were crazy this entire week because of move in but apparently it's a really chill job and I will spend most of the school year bored doing homework or chilling with my coworkers. All of the people there are amazing - they know how to make everything fun and they obviously all like each other. Everyone actually gets along. This week has truly been a "trial by fire" for the eight newbies here - especially for me and Hugh; the only other fish among the new hires.  I worked a grand total of 45.25 hours this week - that's a seven day week mind you. So almost 7 hours a day on average. This last saturday, August 28th, was actually a 12 hour day from 6am-6pm and that was crazy, but I'll get back to that later. We spent most of our time at the Depot making key packets for the 28th because over 4,000 students were scheduled to move in that day and they all needed their keys. During the craziness of that we were still giving out keys to all of the early arrivals coming in all week. I didn't mind at all though because I got so many extra hours - my first paycheck is going to ROCK!

Throughout the week I was also unpacking a million boxes and trying to explore DC a little. I made a trip to the nearest Target in Columbia Heights which doesn't take our GWorld card so I had to buy groceries on my own dime (thank you Aunt Cynthia) but it is a pretty nice Target: It's two levels with a huge escalator exclusively for your carts to travel up and down. It's awesome. My only complaint with the Target is that it is a pretty far trip on the metro and it doesn't have a fresh grocery section yet. One is being built and will open on October 17th (I have that day marked on my calendar) - they do have non-fresh groceries though and they were ridiculously cheap so I stocked up. Later in the week I went to a CVS and a Safeway on campus which do take my GWorld card. The only problem is that fresh fruit seems to be very hard to find around here. The FoBo Gro (Foggy Bottom Grocery) down the street from me sell Apples and Safeway has fruit, though after looking at it I wouldn't buy any of it except the apples; but Clementines, Grapes, and Strawberries are nonexistent. Even the Fresh Farmers Market that happens every Wednesday by the Foggy Bottom Metro station when the weather allows didn't have much selection- just a few Bananas and some apples (again). I did buy some Local Raspberry Sorbet from the Gelato stand. It's homemade from the Local Raspberry Crops and it is Delicious if overpriced. I'll definitely be by there again when this runs out - they have different flavors all year and they are all homemade and a great treat for maybe once a month. I wish I could share some with all of you! I am going to make a trip to Trader Joes which is off campus and doesn't take GWorld to get some fresh fruit and maybe a few other things. I've never been there/heard of it but apparently its awesome and they have really cool stuff. My roommate Agathe (A-gat like A cat but with a G) loves it and can't believe we don't have them in Mesquite. I'll let you know what I think later. My coworker Elucia says their salsa is pretty great, but I think I need to be the judge of that - I miss salsa so much that I resorted to buying Tostitos salsa which really isn't that great at all.

Friday was my only day off and I let Agathe and Caroline (one of my suite mates) move all of their stuff into their rooms and I helped them unpack it all. They were overly grateful since I helped them beat the horrible crowd that this place was on move in day. Honestly though it was second nature to me. It's their rooms and since I'm here early its was the least I could do for them. It's just common courtesy. But they don't come from the Friendly State do they, so I guess that it was an amazing gesture to them. Agathe actually had a gift for me - a beautiful ceramic travel mug for hot chocolate with pretty yellow and orange daisies on it. I was very touched. 

Hugh and I also made a trip to Georgetown last week - a short walk from work but a fairly long one from Potomac, my dorm. It's about 8/10ths of a mile from there. I honestly wasn't that impressed - the restaurants are over priced and the stores aren't that awesome. They do have a Barnes and Nobles but I can shop online for less money so I probably won't be heading over there too awesome. Hugh did convince me to buy this one book (not that it ever takes that much convincing) called Shantaram. It's about an Australian man sentenced to 19 years in prison for armed robberies who escapes and runs away to Bombay where he gets involved with the Munbai mafia, then opens a free health clinic for the slum families, before being caught and sent back to prison where he serves his sentence. It's a true story and now that man is an author living in Bombay. It's like 900 pages but apparently it's full of Indian culture which everyone knows I love so I think I'll enjoy it- I'll be sure to post my review when I finish.

So now to my epic 12 hour day on Saturday. Max, Hugh, and I worked together in Thurston's basement getting all of the Thurston Fish their key. We actually had a really great time. We started to get bored around 1 o'clock once most of the keys were out and we had 5 hours to go, so we began thinking of ways to make the time fly by. Max started thinking of crazy things to tell people when we gave them our "don't lose your key or else" spiel. We are technically supposed to say "don't lose your key or you'll have to pay an $80 fine" but with Max it became things like "don't lose your key or you'll be forced to listen to the housing office play Radio Disney all year" or "don't lose your key or you'll be forced into the middle of pirate ninja crossfire." So I told him that if he could think of a new punishment for every student that came by until we clocked out I would buy him a candy bar. It was so much fun. He had one that Hugh and I ruined because we couldn't keep straight faces when he took his camera phone out and told the kid that he "had to take a picture for the retina recognition tracking system just in case he lost his key." And then came the BIGGEST and the BEST punishment story EVER. A girl came in and Max told her "don't lose your key or you'll be forced to complete what's called 'a return trip' which basically means you'll have to return to your hometown and talk to your parents face to face about why and how you managed to lose your key. Then you'll have to confirm that you spoke to them with a GWU representative in that area before returning here and receiving your new key." The girl was shocked and I took that opportunity to chime in with "Yeah it really sucks if you live out of country because it's such a long journey but that's just the way it is" and the girl looked stricken and was all, "I don't live out of country but Ohio is still pretty far away... Shouldn't they change that??" And Max said, "Yeah we are working on getting that rule changed but so far the University believes that the Return Trip is the best way to discourage people from losing their keys." I will never forget the look on that girls face when she said, "I promise I will NOT lose my key no matter what" and then quickly left the room. We were going to tell her it was a joke but she left way too fast. That may have been mean of us but I will guarantee one thing: THAT girl WILL NOT lose her key." lol. Apart from that the rest of the day was pretty tame. I met this guy who works for Housing and is a History Major and we spent almost a good hour talking about the American Revolution and the Civil War (which I've always loved; Right Burriss?? ;P). He loves David McCullough too so we had a lot to talk about. I love John Adams and he prefers Washington but he was really cool. We also spoke briefly on the Kennedy Assassination. It was a great day despite how long it was.

So when I got home from all the "stress" at work I found out that Agathe and her mom had bought me a beautiful little black bookcase with three shelves. It fits perfectly against this small piece of wall between the Fridge and our bathroom door. How did I know it fit, you may ask? Well they even BUILT it FOR ME. Yes - I DO have an amazing roommate. They wouldn't even let me pay for it. Trust me I offered - but if there's one thing I have learned back home it's never look a gift horse in the mouth. :D So I let it go - and that bookcase has become my newest baby. Agathe even left a cute pink sticky note on it that said "Caitlin - Thanks for all the help during move in!! I'm excited for this year! Love, Agathe."

Sunday dawned bright and early for me because I had to get up and get ready for church. CHURCH. Let me be frank - CHURCH IS A MILLION MILES AWAY. Literally. Like I am a freaking pioneer. I have to take a 45 min - 1 hr long metro ride which involves a transfer from the blue to the red line. Then I have to walk like a quarter of a mile uphill to the actual church. It's a freaking TREK. But the church seems pretty cool and there are seriously like 300 people there all between the ages of 18-30. The funny part is that only about 10 of us are actually in DC colleges. The rest are either young adults who live or work nearby and BYU interns who are in for a semester on capitol hill. That's so weird. There is a really nice girl, Heather who is a Junior at GW. She's very helpful and friendly so that's cool; and all of the GWU kids (all 4-5 of us that is) ride the metro together so it's not too bad I guess. There are more Mormons at Georgetown than here, but I haven't met their 3 new fish because they had their convocation during church. I actually left after the first hour of church to go to mine since I had to incorporate the extremely long metro ride into my plans. The metro is being worked on during Sundays which is part of the reason the ride is so ridiculously long. But part of it is also because it's just a long way away. :/

Freshman Convocation was totally lame. Honestly it was almost worse than sitting through graduation. I can't believe that I am saying this - but I pulled out my current novel, Sunshine by Robin McKinley, and read the entire time with my Suite Mate Rebecca texting/staring into space in a boredom induced stupor next to me. It was a miserable experience. I mean at least you can get through graduation because you know it's the end of the road. This was a stupid speech fest to commemorate a BEGINNING. It was much much worse. There was this "Fresh on the Yard" cookout for the fishies at University Yard but Rebecca is like me in that she wasn't that interested in mingling with a mind boggling number of our fellow fish. So I grabbed a burger (which by the way was in fact cold) and we got out of there. Though not until after we grabbed a few handouts including a target money pouch and some pretzel M&M's. I met the guy that's in charge of Target Takeover which I am working Wednesday. I was expecting an adult but I think he's like a Senior or something. That's cool.

Rebecca is by far the BEST suite mate EVER. We have so much in common; whereas Agathe and I will probably only see each other in our room and never really be best friends in real life, Rebecca and I are definitely (I feel) on our way to becoming close friends. I would room with her any day. Don't get me wrong - I like Agathe a lot; but she has more in common with our other Suite Mate Caroline - they enjoy going out late and being with other friends all the time and Rebecca and I are more chill. We relax together and enjoy the same ethnic foods (yes she loves Indian food) and we are going to do some exploring of the City together and maybe hit some museums. I love her. She's a great listener and has great things to say to. It's perfect. We talk about home and just everything we miss. It's so great to have her here. I feel like she's the first friend I've made that I really hang with. My family at the Depot is wonderful but I only really see them at work, except Hugh but he's a character. He believes I talk more than anyone he knows and it bugs him sometimes. With Rebecca friendship is WAY more effortless. I love it. 

So that's all for now. Sorry it's so much. But I'll have even more later. I miss you guys... 
Love you all,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Numero Uno

Hi guys! I've decided that I should start a small blog to keep everyone I know and love completely updated on my college life - I have had so many people say they want me to keep in touch that I just don't believe I'll ever have enough time to really call/email each one of you personally every week with all the juicy details. So this is the best alternative - I get to tell you all about everything and you can all leave comments and keep in touch with me! And if you don't want to just leave a comment you can always email me at too. Hope you enjoy this!