PNC Christmas Price Index
Item 2005 2006 % change
One partridge $15 $15 flat
Pear tree $89.99 $129.99 44.40%
Two turtle doves $40 $40 flat
Three French hens $45 $45 flat
Four calling birds $399.96 $479.96 20.00%
Five gold rings $325 $325 flat
Six geese a-laying $300 $300 flat
Seven swans a-swimming $4,200 $4,200 flat
Eight maids a-milking $41.20 $41.20 flat
Nine ladies dancing $4,576.14 $4,759.19 4.00%
10 lords a-leaping $4,039.08 $4,160.25 3.00%
11 pipers piping $2,053.20 $2,124 3.40%
12 drummers drumming $2,224.30 $2,301 3.40%
Total Christmas Price Index $18,348.87 $18,920 59 3.10%
PNC Christmas Price Index
These are naruko, the castanets that we use to emphasise rhythm when we do Yosakoi dance. Unfortunately, we will be seeing a lot fewer of these wooden instruments at practice, due to a theft from our coach's car. It boggles the mind why someone would want to steal from a random car in the first place, but what they'll do with 60 wooden castanets is beyond me. Here is the e-mail our coach sent out after the theft (humorous to us because we thought the naruko had disappeared several weeks ago, but it turned out they had accidentally been stowed in a member's closet.)
Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving holiday? :-)
Unfortunately, mine started out with a theft of items from my car (my car is still ok though, thank goodness). The thieves took around $350 worth of stuff (including a box of tissues...weird). Anyways, the old NARUKO in the cooler were in the back of my car and they took that. What they will do with 60 NARUKO I don't know? Luckily, I didn't have the radio in my car! But anyways, real sorry that it happened. We still have the 80 new ones that I brought back from summer. And some Japanese students have already offered to buy some more over winter break when they go back to Japan. Anyways, if you see any naruko in a trash can somewhere, let me know. Or if you see someone who isn't in Yosakoi walking around with NARUKO, do-koi-sho on them! >:-(
"Do-koi-sho" is a fast dance move that involves stomping. :P At least we still have some naruko left...
Ok. I can now officially start gearing up for Christmas. Thanksgiving is over, the last traces of pumpkin pie and cranberry Jell-o have disappeared and Christmas trees are appearing in department stores and local windows. In the Orthodox Church, the Advent fast has begun, and we'll eat no meat, dairy or poultry until Christmas day. Also, Wednesday evening Paraklesis services have begun. These candlelit services are solemn but also bursting with anticipation as we chant hymns that explain church traditions surrounding Christmas, and sing as if we are rejoicing with the angles and shepherds, awaiting the birth of Christ:
“Make ready, O Bethlehem;
for Eden hath been opened for all.
Prepare, O Ephratha;
for the Tree of life hath blossomed forth
in the cave from the Virgin;
for her womb did appear
as a super-sensual paradise,
in which is planted the Divine Plant,
whereof eating we shall live and not die as did Adam.
Verily, Christ shall be born,
raising the likeness that fell of old.”
Which makes me realise it actually is only about a month until Christmas. Where did the time go? I'm one of those people who likes to wait until just before Christmas to decorate so it seems more special...but lately I've caught myself humming a few Christmas carols and wondering when to decorate my dorm room. It's almost as if I've mentally skipped Thanksgiving and am heading straight on towards Christmas and New Years'. I'm sure that will all change when we have our Thanksgiving dinner here on Thursday, complete with my mom's awesome cranberry-walnut salad, bread-and-butter pickles and sour cream country potatoes.
What is everyone else doing for Thanksgiving? I love to hear family traditions, especially ones centered around the holidays. Hope it's a great day for everyone!
Well, that's as good as it gets for now...over and out.
Brownies: Coming back from a mediocre lunch without any dessert, and having our neighbour offer me a giant brownie made by her little brother. It was delicious.
Emails: Two surprising and nice messages in my inbox today. One from a highschool friend checking up on how things were going with me; one from a new friend whom I've barely talked to - a completely unexpected pleasant note.
When was the last time you shaved? Is this honestly something people need to know? However, I am doing a completely random meme about stuff you probably didn't want to know anyway, so if you must know, it was last night.
What were you doing this morning at 8AM? Sleeping. But not for long.
What were you doing 15 minutes ago? Surfing blogs. And YouTube. And Wikipedia.
Are you any good at math? Eh. I guess I'm ok at stuff like advanced algebra and some trig. But that says nothing for torturous hours of study and headache. Maybe I'm good at math. Math is not good for me.
Your prom night, what do you remember about it? I've never been to prom. I was going to go my senior year, but it turned out prom was on the night of Pascha, the late-night Easter celebration in the Orthodox Christian church, and I wouldn't have skipped that service for anything. But I went to breakfast at my friends' house at 3 in the morning after a glorious Easter service and feast...it was a wonderful night, although it didn't involve prom, really.
Do you have any famous ancestors? Nada. That I know of, anyway.
Do you know the words to the song on your MySpace profile? MySpace kind of creeps me out. I don't have one, don't want one, and consequently don't have a song to memorise.
Last thing received in the mail? A reminder for our residence hall's all-hall "sleepover".
How many different beverages have you had today? Lessee...chocolate milk and water. But tangerine-grapefruit juice is starting to sound really good...
Do you ever leave messages on people’s answering machine? I have been known to do this. However, I prefer face-to-face confrontations...eh, conversations.
Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach? Beach? What's that? Living in the Midwest, the closes thing to a beach I visit on a regular basis is a fishing reservoir... If I write anything in the sand it's random squiggles or other people's names.
What's the most painful dental procedure you’ve had? Hmm. I had my wisdom teeth pulled recently, but surprisingly, it was nearly painless. The most painful dental experience was when I had braces, and the hygeinist tried to remove a band from one of my back teeth. It was on too tight, and they pulled and pulled, and that band would not come off. My mouth hurt from so much prodding around with those pliers-like things, and my head was even jerked up from the chair. The band never came out, in case you were wondering. They removed it several months later when my braces came off.
What is out your back door? We have a lot of doors, but the technical "back" door to our dorm opens towards another dorm and dining centre...a street...a parking lot...sycamore and pine trees. And lots of really friendly squirrels.
Any plans for Friday night? Too far into the future for me to see. I'll let you know...Friday night.
Do you like what the ocean does to your hair? Again, beach? Ocean? I wouldn't know...
Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns? Yes. Unfortunately, I don't eat popcorn.
Have you ever been to a planetarium? I don't think so. But if I did, I think I would be bitter now that we only have 8 official planets. But not so bitter that I couldn't enjoy it.
Do you re-use towels after you shower? Yep. I'm paying for laundry services out of a tiny jar of quarters...I like to keep that jar as full as possible while maintaining a sane level of clean laundry.
Some things you are excited about? Yosakoi! And Japanese culture...my friends here...anthropology...learning new things...Word Cup soccer...travel...writing...life in general
What is your favourite flavor of JELL-O? I think if you blindfolded me and fed me different types of Jell-O, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between flavours. So maybe a better question is 'What is your favourite colour of Jell-O?'. That would have to be something in the red category. I like to think I'm eating something berry-flavoured.
Describe your keychain(s)? About that...I don't have one. Which might be the reason I so often lose my keys in the bottom of my jumbled-up purse...
Where do you keep your change? In my billfold. And my laundry jar. And my random-pennies-for-charity bag.
When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people? High school speech class. It was a tribute speech for Red Cross volunteers.
What kind of winter coat do you own? A red and white coat-inside-a-coat with a broken zipper.
What was the weather like on your graduation day? Warm and sunny. Perfect spring day.
Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed? Always closed.
This is a trailer my anthropology professor made for the world simulation we'll be doing in class at the end of the semester. It's a dramatic 'trailer' of sorts for the students who did the same project last semester. Preparation for the simulation is getting really intense in class, and I hope the simulation turns out to be as cool a project as this video projects it to be. Enjoy.
(p.s. - the video I previously posted of the presidential debates is no longer available due to copyright issues with Comedy Central. That's why it won't work when you click on it.)
I just got back from Expository Writing II, where apparently our next paper will be a ‘mystery paper’. I say this because we completed our last paper three class periods ago, and the only homework we have gotten so far is that we have to have (and I quote) “a vague idea of what you want to write about” by next class period. So what have we been doing for the last three classes (1.5 hours each, mind you)? Talking politics. And this isn’t even election debate stuff – the only connection is has to our writing class is that we have been reading example essays leading up to the one we will write. Today’s example was an essay by Ellis Cashmore, who believes steroids should be legalized in athletics. So instead of analyzing Cashmore’s argumental structure, we spent the entire class period listening to anyone who wanted to give an opinion on the issue discussed in the paper. This opened a debate between two people in the class. One was an ex-football player who took steroids, which he said made him irritable, and led to a fight with a fellow student, resulting in fines, suspension and exposure in the paper. He and a girl who is a collegiate athlete who never takes any supplements got into an argument that lasted most of class. And what did we learn about writing Expos papers? Nothing. Did I engage in the debate? No, I didn’t. I sat there listening to everyone else and wondering why I had even bothered to come to class. This is an issue I’d feel comfortable discussing in a smaller group setting, not in a class where we should be learning about English and bettering our writing skills. So what did I learn in Expos today? What I gathered is that in today’s society we must have a set opinion on every issue and be prepared to shoot down any opponent who thinks differently than us. This discussion may have been acceptable if we were in a political science class, or current issues or something. Not in English class.
Along the same lines, this YouTube video expresses frustration with one-sided political debates and was created after the last presidential debate. There is a little inappropriate language. Sorry. But I think the video gets across the ‘I’m right, and I’m only looking at one side of the story’ attitude. Our anthropology professor used the video in lecture last week while discussing political power. I found it quite humourous.
Ok, rant over. There is brighter discussion to come.
In a society rife with political unrest, consumerism, natural disasters, hunger and war, wouldn't it be great if everyone took a minute out of their day to give somebody a hug? It's such a simple gesture that generates powerful emotions...just watch the video. Who knows...maybe you could start a free hugs campaign in your own town. Cyberhugs to everyone who drops by...:)