The fact that I only got two comments on my last post demonstrates the pitiful absence of followers of this website. Just when I thought I was getting cool, too. Reality check, Jess - you are an IB graduate and you study minute differences in grammatical structure all day - you will never be cool.
Anyhow, it's been a decent weekend. Mom, Dad, and C were in Gainesville because C was riding at a rally in the area, so after I swam Friday night, Dad took me out to dinner. We tried TGI Fridays, only to be told that the wait was an hour and 15 minutes. I had just swum 3100 meters and was ready to eat my sneakers by this point, so we walked next door to Olive Garden. Wait time: 1 hour. Fed up, we dashed across the six-lane Archer Road to Panera, where I devoured an entire Greek salad and Frontega Chicken panini - the first time in my life, I believe, that I have outdone my dad at the dinner table.
I drove to Jacksonville after that because I had job training the next day, which turned out to be OK, if a little boring near the end (they made us take the van down to Gainesville and back, which was pretty long and pointless for me, seeing as I live there, but hey, D's the boss). There were three of us being trained; we learned how to do the pre- and post-trip checks of the vans, and, of course, we took turns driving. I drove all the way back from Jax Beach to the airport and let me tell you, that thing is WEIRD. (The van, not the airport.) The steering wheel is at an odd angle - around 45 degrees, so a lot flatter than in a car - and everything feels very 'loose', not really stable and 'tight' like in most cars. And while crossing the Damespoint Bridge, I was sure the wind was going to blow me right into the water. It felt like driver's ed all over again - I had to keep reminding myself, "OK, Jess, you KNOW how to drive, you've been doing it for over five years, this is just a new VEHICLE, not really that new of a SKILL." I did OK; the only hard part is knowing how far to swing out around corners. I drive a Beetle, for those who don't know, and that thing can practically spin in place like a top. These vans are 22 feet long, so it requires a bit of an adjustment. But I think I'll do OK.
I went home after that and, feeling 'slack' from having sat around all day, went for a run - about three miles, I think. My iPod conked out halfway through, not sure why - has anyone ever heard of an iPod just 'freezing' and not responding to any buttons? Once the battery ran out and it shut itself off, it was OK again - my guess is that it overheated, since I was jogging with it in my hand (left my armband in Gainesville) and it felt really hot when I picked it up off the table a little after getting home. Ah, well, all's well that ends well.
After dinner, a bath, and the requisite laundry, I drove back to Gainesville. Slept in a little this morning, made a Publix trip, and then R and I went to see Meet the Fockers, which was hilarious. ("I was trying to help him!" "You were riding him like Seabiscuit, Mom!") Then we watched Garden State tonight (R is a big Blockbuster client) and it was really good, kind of American Beauty-ish, but not as depressing.
And now Monday looms on the horizon - the start of another week. Swim, meeting, school, swim, eat, sleep, swim, school, work, swim, eat, sleep, swim, school, exam, swim... Except that this week is unique - my 21st birthday's at the end of it! I'm dragging all three of my roommates home to Jacksonville on Saturday for dinner, a little sightseeing/shopping, and maybe a ride on C's horse, and then we're driving back that night to do who knows what - I have a feeling they're going to drag me out somewhere and wait until midnight, when it's technically the 30th, and then make the bouncer give me a wristband. We'll see.
In other news: I think I'm going to hang around Gainesville one year longer than I planned. I graduate in May 2006, but there's a Translation Studies program here that I think I want to do after my bachelor's degree, since it'll enhance my NSA application when I get around to applying for that. It works out well - the program is a year long, sounds really interesting, and even includes a short study-abroad in Europe. (And I can use Dutch as my source language.) It'll keep me in Gainesville for another year, so I'll be close to my family, can keep swimming, will be able to live with R, and will be able to improve my language skills even more. What's not to like?
And - one last thing - I FINALLY finished everything for my Utrecht application! And I do mean everything - passport photo, transcript, recommendation letters, financial aid award letter, scholarship application - it's all getting turned in tomorrow. The only thing I still need to do is the dreaded green Academic Advising sheet, but I have to hammer out solid details on the neurolinguistics projects I'll be doing over there before I can even think about starting on the Green Sheet of Death.