Well, classes started. Work continues. The whole 56-hour workweek plus classes is not my favorite, but it should be back to normal by the middle of next week.
I like my classes. I am taking a media and society seminar, a literary journalism seminar, and a class on arts reporting. It looks to be harder but more interesting than last semester. More like Knox, I think, although if these professors grade as gently as the ones from last semester, I'll probably get straight As again.
Baloo is still missing in action. I finally called my father and found out that not only is the fuel line rusted out, but the brake line(s?) as well. Great. The good news is, he thought my grandmother would not mind if I took her car to Galesburg next weekend. Although I would feel somewhat guilty doing so either way, at least there seems to be implicit "permission." Or at least Dad can take responsibility if Grandmother has some sort of objection. It looks as though she might just sell the car to me anyway.
I have been in an odd mood lately. Michelle and I switched rooms in our apartment, since one is so much bigger than the other. Now I have the big room, which I think I might like a little more because it is darker and quieter. Anyway, in the process of moving I pulled out my old photo albums from college. The sophomore year album was really the doozie...I spent a lot of time on it, I remember. I alternately marveled and cringed. We were so excited by the silliest things. TKE parties, for one. Heh. I guess I had fun at them up until somewhere during senior year. I do like to dance, on occasion. But by then, I went with just a few close friends and we usually danced somewhat soberly near a wall, trying to avoid the drunken insanity. And of course there was always some sort of drama or other. Of course.
These days I much prefer a quieter, more well-lit atmosphere, still with a few friends and some drinks. I have even developed something of a taste for wine, especially pinot grigio. Isn't it weird? Either I have become more sophisticated or I just don't have the energy for real "partying." There's a point where you're silly and happy, tongue loosened enough for a good conversation, and there's where I want to be. Honestly, the best nights I've had in the past year have been like that. The time Michelle and I drank, just the two of us, and watched Wayne's World. The time I went out with the J-Crew for Caitlin's birthday. Good times.
Another weird thing is that I just found myself on the Knox College blog ring on Xanga. I perused a number of blogs of people I don't even know (and some I sort of know) and just sort of marveled at how young they are. People born in 1986...I mean, I'm early '82, so it's really not that much of a difference, but still. Just...odd feelings all around. I guess I feel old, that stereotypical reaction to another birthday coming up, this one the incredibly unremarkable 23rd. At work, where most people are about twice my age, I feel so full of potential and fresh...but reading these blogs I feel almost jaded and...prophetic, in a way. I've been down that road and I know where it leads. They'll all be okay, most likely, but it might be a fairly painful journey. I wish them all luck.
Sean left for Iraq on Friday. Well, actually Kuwait first. He doesn't know what he'll be doing yet, and he has no snail mail address yet, but he has e-mail and his blog, which he will hopefully be able to update again soon. Oh, worry worry worry. So useless, but it's not like I have a choice. Reading the comments from some of his friends and family about bring tears to my eyes. Everything's going to be fine in all likelihood--Sean's a smart, resourceful guy, and he knows his shit. He's not one to do something stupid and get himself killed. But...neither was Dan. =( Things will be okay, though. They will.
Another somewhat sad thing--at work, the last night for third shift was almost certainly tonight. The third shift bindery guy, Jay, who has worked every rush for a few years, will disappear, which is sad, because I always have a lot of fun talking to him. He's very well-educated and well-traveled. Hopefully we'll meet again next rush, or the next...he said he might not be back.
And through all of this, I miss Mark sorely, a dull ache that sometimes recedes almost completely, sometimes flares painfully--but never, ever goes away. I think things will be okay for us all, for me and Mark, for Margaret and Sean, and Michelle, and Hannah, and even Chris, whom I don't really even talk to anymore. But it might take us a little while. And those friends who've fallen away...I hope they're okay, too.
Well, this is the longest post ever, and pretty fragmented. But if this thing is anything, it's a convenient way to verbalize my thoughts, organize them even.