Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Progressing in "L'Annee Nouvelle"

Whattaya know...it's only been 7 days since I wrote last. Perhaps I'm getting better at this? Yeah, I doubt it. I did want to write a few days ago, though, but I've been making so much progress by the day that I didn't want to update and then something change the very next day. With things changing so quickly, I'll try to stick with updates about only concrete pieces of information. Be glad I didn't write earlier because some things have changed about four times between my previous post and this one. Believe me.

New Year's has come and gone. The day after my last post, I traveled to Brusly (just outside of Baton Rouge) to visit my dearest Sunshine, Miss Dawn Jason! Dawn and I met at LA 4-H Jr. Leadership Conference in 2004 and remain very close even though we have never lived within an hour and a half of each other. I guess that's worked well for the development of our friendship, considering she and I are both practically gypsies. You think I move around a lot--you should see this girl. Her trips aren't usually as long, but tend to be more frequent and diverse than mine. Between all of her invovlements, she's at a conference, retreat, or trip nearly every weekeend, all year long. She's been to DC at least 8 to 10 times, visiting there an average of more than twice (up to four times) each year. And ironically enough, Dawn was best friends with Annie (who would later become my roommate at Nicholls) from the time they were preschoolers...it wasn't until Annie and I became roommates that we discovered Dawn to be a mutual friend. I swear, this world keeps getting smaller and smaller...

Anywhoo. I hadn't seen Dawn since she and I visited Annie in Luling in August, so it was great to see her again, especially since we generally manage to see each other only every few months. It was nice to hang out and catch up with each other. Wednesday evening, she and I went to Katie LeBlanc's house (who I happened to have met on a LA 4-H trip in 2005, and is one of Dawn's best local friends, as well) to watch the LSU game. After the game, we continued to watch the New Year's festivities, which involved some stunt guys flipping a pickup truck and also driving a motorcycle over the arc-de-triumph in Las Vegas. Of course, we watched the ball drop...in two different time zones, lol. I sent out mass text messages wishing everyone a Happy 2009, by time zone...since I have friends in all four continental U.S. time zones (not counting Luke in Alaska, Tessa and Jesse in England, Benjamin in some other European country, and Hayley in New Zeland). Heh.

On Thursday, Dawn and I began with 10 a.m. mass at Christ the King Church on LSU's campus, since it was a Holy Day of Obligation. Then we headed out to do some shopping errands in the city. She returned and exchanged some shoes at Payless, while I bought two pairs that will hopefully be comfy and stylish for work as a tour guide in D.C., lol. We tried to exchange my photo card at Target and spend some of Dawn's gift cards, but were successful at neither endeavor there. In keeping with tradition (that began to celebrate our great GPA's at the end of each semester/quarter), we went had stuffed French toast at IHOP for lunch. Note to self: Don't go to IHOP on New Year's day; it'll be the only thing open and you'll have to wait ages to be seated. Ah well, it was worth it. We also spent some time at Barnes and Nobel...searching out some fun books about Washington, D.C. She's the expert on D.C., and it was fun to talk about exciting things to do and see, and plans for when she comes up to visit....so exciting!!!

That night, we "channeled" Danielle, our 4-H friend from New Jersey, and watched both National Treasure movies. Danielle and Dawn are both obessed with the NT movies, and have proceeded to act out various parts of the movies during their times together in D.C. Personally, I liked NT2 better, but perhaps that's because it includes England and France as well as awesome D.C. places. Hehe. It's just wayyyy cool to see D.C. monuments on a tv screen, knowing that I've been to them all at least 4 times with plenty more visits to go in the forseeable future. :-D

Friday, before I was allowed to depart from the Jason residence, Dawn and I each had some things to accomplish...both her mom and mine have been insistant on us deciding what to do with our lives -- summer study abroad for Dawn and fall graduate school for me. Therefore, we pulled out a buttload of study abroad pamphlets and spent a few hours agonizing over them. Dawn didn't know what she wanted at all, and so I decided that there are certain places she is not allowed to go, or else we're no longer friends (heh). These include Rawanda, the Congo, India, and various other "sketch" countries, lol. She is, however, allowed to go to England, France, Spain, Greece, South Africa, Australia, and New Zeland. ...So much for narrowing things down, lol. I do think we ended up narrowing some things down, or at least I provided a different perspective of thought about it all. We'll have to see what she decides, but it should be soon, considering the trip is only 6 months away!

As for me, we didn't make much progress in grad school stuffies, that day at least. Our final conclusion was that I needed to take the GRE as soon as I could manage it, andddd that I should figure out some way to visit at least Georgia and South Carolina, in addition to the Little Rock schools that I already plan to visit. [We're still working out the details for this...]

Just as soon as I arrived home, I hurried to shower and get ready to turn around and go back to Lafayette for an evening with my family. We ate at Applebee's and then proceeded to shop at J.C. Penny's, Best Buy, and Target. (Unfortunately for my Daddy, Academy closed before we managed to arrive.) It was a rather productive outing; my brother exchanged his new digital camera for a bright blue Olympus that happens to be the exact same camera that I currently own. I was able to exchange my photo card (with the receipt, this time) and pick out a new, cuter luggage set with spinner wheels. (Dawn and I decided it's sad that we travel so much that we know specifics on luggage design, lol.) We did pretty well for the trip to Lafayette that night, if I do say so myself.

The days between Friday the 2nd and today, Tuesday the 6th, have all started to blend together. In the short of things, I've been doing errands and contacting more graduate school programs. My mom and I are going to Little Rock this weekend. with plans to visit two schools there on Monday. There's also a strong chance that I'll end up in Baton Rouge again tomorrow through Thursday or Friday because I found out that I can register to take the GRE on Thursday. It would also be a great excuse to see my camp friend Allie for the first time since August and probably last time before June. Not to mention, taking the GRE now would mean getting it off my mind and out the way before I have time to develop anxiety about it, and it'd be nice to know my scores before visiting schools, too.

Two last notes before I shut up...A) Dawn called today to say that she got clearance from supervisors in D.C. to stay with me for the week of my birthday!! Woot! And, I found out that Emily from New Jersey will be in town for Ag Day on the Hill, as well. This brings the reunion total to about five people now, which is super exciting. D.C. is going to be so much fun!!

And, B) I know it's a bit overdue, but I forgot to mention it in my last post... CONGRATULATIONS to Kim and Joey (Idaho) and my long time school friend LanKhanh and her now fiance, Joey, on your recent engagements!! My how I am growing old; all my friends are getting engaged, lol. But alas, woe is life, right? I'm super pumped for these couples though, and I'll be especially looking forward to the Kim-Joey wedding because that means I'll definitely get to see all my Boise friends again in the next year and a half, at least. Yayyy. Start saving your money for plane tickets, yo. I look forward to seeing you all in New Orleans in 2010!

And with that, I'm out.

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