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2004-01-30 - 2:54 p.m.

Everyone here is talking about the cold. It's all anyone can seem to think about. Today it was 28 below. Walking to the bus this morning, my eyelashes froze. I had been walking into the wind, and my eyes started to tear up. It wasn't until I rubbed my eyes later that I realized that I wasn't rubbing sleep out of my eyes, but ice. It happened again walking from the bus to work. This time, I let it slowly melt until I couldn't take it anymore, and rubbed the ice off my eyes. The melting ice tickled.

My hands are getting chapped from the cold and from all the paper I'm handling. I brought some lotion with me to work but parts of my hands are still very dry, and can't seem to enjoy enough lotion. I have a lot of paper cuts and I'm starting to look like Seymore from Little Shop of Horrors; almost all my fingers have band-aids on them. I bled on a report today and had to have it reprinted. Next step: stigmata.

Last night, my dad and I went to my cousin Catilin's science fair in East St. Paul. She's in 7th grade and did an elaborate report on leukimia. I told her about the science fair project I did in 9th grade about the X-Men and whether or not mutants could exist, which I mostly bs'd my way through. She was worried about how her presentation went in front of the judges, and I told her that at least the judge didn't walk up, shake her head, and say, "You know, you have to do a project you can be proud of." As the judge did to me. I didn't care, I got 50 extra credit points for doing it whether it was a good project or not. Caitlin wished she would get extra credit points for her project. Her display was amazing and she had a microscope slide of her own blood as an example of regular blood cells. I smiled inwardly to think how much my own throw-together-the-night-before science fair projects sucked, although once my Uncle Jim and my Dad once built me a hurricane machine with a little mini hurricane inside that would appear if you plugged it in. I wonder what happened to that thing.

Seeing her made me realize how glad I am that those days are over for me. Being an adult means having freedom. I can't imagine having to go through junior high again, although high school was fun. It had its moments.

After the science fair, Dad and I went to the Guthrie theater and enjoyed the play/musical "Crowns." It was a play about these 5 womens' lives and them telling their memories to a girl who goes to live with them after her brother was shot. It takes place in South Carolina. There is some reminiscing about segregation, and what tied the play together was church and the hats you wore to church. Stories about buying hats. Stories about wearing hats in church. A lot of church songs. I've always wanted to go to a church where everyone jumps up and sings and has a good time. So different from Catholic mass. There was some interesting things they did with lighting and colors, and each woman represented a sprit that has to do with a particular religion in Africa, each one of the spirits having their own colors. There was a man who intermittenly played the preacher, a father, a brother, a husband. There was something so moving about it. It portrayed the beauty in a simple life. No life is really simple or ordinary, but it sure feels like mine is as I sit here, filing papers all day.

Crowns. At the Guthrie. In Minneapolis, Minnesota. An effort made to see it would not be a wasted one.

The night before that, Wednesday, I had Tim and Jacob over for dinner. I was going to make an elaborate dessert, but they said they were too full, which I guess means the meal went over well. Unfortunately the meal I made them is the only meal I cook well, so hopefully they won't be looking forward to another meal from me, unless all they want is dessert. We were going to go see a movie after, but changed our minds and stayed in to play Scrabble instead. As though there's something wrong with that! I had a good time with them.

Yesterday morning, my mom woke up my dad and said that a raccoon was in the garage killing Jazz, one of our cats, and she was scared. It was 5 in the morning, 20 min before I get up. I got up anyways and went to the bathroom and heard my dad call for Jazz. He wouldn't come. My mom was very worried, because he always comes when you call him. Then I heard my mom yell, "There he is!" and cried out crazily. I envisioned a bloody mass of fur and muscle. I went downstairs and was very scared. I went around the corner and my dad was holding Jazz. He was ok! Not a scratch on him. My mom was crying anyway. My dad put the cat down and gave us both a hug. We joked later about how we just threw our resurrected cat aside to comfort ourselves. It must have been two raccoons fighting, or so my mom speculates.

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