So... I'm home. The snowflakes are on the windows, the lights are on the house, the tree is erected and decorated, and we have less than 48 hours to go before the big day. It hasn't exactly been a typical Christmas - Mom has been stressed out about my grandparents, Dad has been working three jobs (Comcast, Jaguars football, and Gator basketball), and Catie has been racking up hours at Starbucks to try to earn some Christmas cash - so the tree decoration was something of a three-day work in progress, and the first night we had to all sit down together as a family and eat dinner and watch a movie (A Christmas Story) was last night. But hey, whatever. I've finished all my shopping (just have a little work still left to do on Dad's present), gotten my car serviced, gotten my hair cut, picked back up with my Jacksonville swim team, gotten back to running, and seen my first Gator basketball game (Wednesday night), which was awesome.
Dad and I are actually headed to Gainesville again momentarily, because they play Ohio State at 4pm today. It should be a great game, plus my friend Anna is going to be in town, and I'm really excited to see her. I reconnected with my high school friend Elise yesterday, but it was just weird and awkward - we had nothing to say to each other, which is a real shame after being such good friends for so long - seven or eight years. I hope we can get past that.
I'll write more later, but at the moment, I'm about to make Dad late, and since I'm the 'fifth wheel' in this little party, that's the last thing I want to do.
OK, click the photo link on the right sidebar and 12 of the makeover photos should be there. There are 36 photos in total, but Flickr has been revamped since I used it last, and meshed with Yahoo, and I can't upload as much per month as I used to be able to. I'll do the rest next month.
Drumroll, please... because tonight, for what very possibly may be the first time in my life, I completely cleaned an entire bathroom. Scrubbed the tub, swept the floor, cleaned the mirror, sink, and all horizontal surfaces - even hung a new shower curtain. The whole room gleams, and especially the sink just sparkles. I didn't realize how bad it all was until I actually started cleaning. After I'd finished, I got into the shower I'd just cleaned, and as I was washing my hair, I started thinking, "I'm glad I did that. I'd hate coming home after break to a dirty bathroom." Upon which I burst out laughing, because... I have become my mother!
In other news, I'm done with everything for phonetics (paper and final) and Mayan (paper), so all that's left is the paper for syntax (due Wednesday) and the written portion of the Persian final (Friday). I am sooo ready to be done.
The Extreme Makeover Home Edition thing was cool - I got there around 5:30am (half an hour late due to MapQuest's idiocy - it told me a particular street was 0.5 miles away from the interstate when in reality it was closer to 5 miles - good thing I'm a tiny bit familiar with Raleigh, thanks to Liz) but was still the first one on site. I was there until 3pm, but it didn't feel as long as it actually was, even though I was freezing for the majority of it. I met some nice people, including a 65-year-old diehard fan of the show, a disabled man from up the street, and the young mothers of two little girls about 5 and 8 years old, so I wasn't lonely. People had really interesting things to say about the design team - Ty apparently has an ego and a half (but that wasn't hard to guess), and Paige (who wasn't there for this particular site) is said to be really stuck-up too. And there were things to watch all the time, too - volunteers, TV personnel, and people in our own crowd. (Some people had a great sign that said, "We skipped school to MOVE THAT BUS!") They rehearsed everything ten thousand times, from the crowd cheering to the limo coming up the street to the "Bus driver, MOVE THAT BUS!" signal; they made them do that three times before the bus actually moved. So when you see all that stuff on TV, it doesn't go anywhere NEAR as quickly as it seems! The best moment was when Ty was rehearsing how he was going to welcome the family home by opening the door of the limo, and the door turned out to be locked. Hilarious! I got autographs from Paul and Ed, plus a picture with Ed (although we both look like total goofs in it) and a high five from Ty. I also got some amazing pictures - I need to upload them to Flickr so you guys can see them. I'll post a link once I've done it. And I was in the very front row, with cameras in my face for a good portion of the time, so with any luck I'll actually be in the episode for half a second, too. It airs on January 21st - let me know if you see me on TV!
We had a really fun girls' night out on Saturday, too - Liz's friends Kelsey (who is awesome) and Rose (whom I don't know that well) joined us for dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, and another friend, Melissa, met up with us all afterwards for the movie. We saw The Holiday, which was actually very cute despite lukewarm reviews. (It was the first time I've ever liked a character played by Cameron Diaz.) I still think Kate Winslet and Jack Black look a little funny as a couple - but Jude Law... is amazing. I was never all that into him, but he is truly gorgeous in this movie. Oh yeah, and Dustin Hoffman has a quick little random cameo too, which is absolutely hilarious. There was this guy in the theater with us, down near the front, who had the loudest and funniest laugh I'd ever heard in my life - something on screen would be kinda funny, and he'd burst out laughing, and then the whole theater would go from chuckles to roaring with laughter, just because he sounded so funny. It was great.
Anyway, it's 2am and I should be in bed... so... off I go. I'll post that link to the photos ASAP, because some of them are really good.
Today was my last day of school for the semester. After two unimpressive (but nerve-wracking) class presentations, a surprise Persian oral, and numerous other totally un-fun tasks from the past week, I delivered a kick-ass Maya presentation this morning, on human sacrifice. I don't know if it was actually as good as I thought it was, or if it was just the relief of feeling comfortable and knowledgeable in front of a class again (as opposed to fumbling, stammering, and basically BSing my way through the first two presentations), but either way, it felt really good, and was a good way to end the semester.
It hasn't been a fun week, though. I haven't worked out since Thursday, just because I haven't had the time, and I'm not going to have the time until probably Sunday. Every single minute of the past few days has been filled with something or other, and I still have three papers to write (due Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday), two finals to study for (both Fridays), and a bunch of babysitting to do for that new family, all of next week. And yet I'm still getting up at 4:00 tomorrow (that is, if I ever go to sleep in the first place) to go stake out my spot on the Extreme Makeover Home Edition site in Raleigh. More on that in a minute.
In other news: Liz and I have been pretty joined at the hip lately - we spent the weekend at her mom's boyfriend's beach house, which was great. The weather got nasty on Sunday, when we left, but it stayed sunny on Saturday, even if it was a little cool. I went in the water for a few minutes, because I would have been sorry if I hadn't. My watch said it was 60 F, and it was cold at first, but it got better. Then last night Liz's longtime friend Kelsey came over, and she and I hit it off right away. A bunch of us are going to see The Holiday together on Saturday night.
Anyway, the Extreme Makeover Home Edition thing was something Liz and I discovered on the way out of town. I was standing in line at Moe's, and she glanced up at the TV and realized they were doing a home makeover just a few streets away from where her mother lives. So we went to take a look at the old house on Friday before they tore it down, and then stopped by again on Sunday on our way back to Chapel Hill (the frame of the new house was already up!). If we hadn't been going to the beach, we'd have watched the demolition on Saturday. As it was, we saw the car they were going to launch into the house, and made friends with a couple other bystanders. Ty Pennington and Paul even walked right past us! It was a fun afternoon. The unveiling is tomorrow at 1pm, so I'm heading out there at o-dark-thirty to try to stake out a good spot. At the moment, it's 22:15 and Liz, Erika, and I are all lounging on the couch like ducks in a row, watching Return to Oz - so I'm thinking I may not end up going to bed at all. Oh, well.
Guess I'd better stop being antisocial and turn off the computer. :)