Kind of fell off the planet there, didn't I? Perhaps I didn't update for so long because my fingers have been in a near-frozen state since then. Our apartment continues with its streak of spectacularly failed heating attempts and, as a result, is about 65 degrees. Since the windows aren't insulated, and the heating strip is right below the windows, all the warm air goes right outside. The fact that I don't remove any of my insulating outerwear--designed to keep me from dying of exposure in the below-10 degree windy weather we've been having here in Boston--when I come home should tell you how cold my apartment feels. I'm sleeping under flannel sheets, a down comforter, a quilt, and a fluffy blanket. This morning saw me browsing Consumer Reports for the best space heater (the DeLonghi SafeHeat Flat Panel Micathermic HHP1500), which I intend to buy as close to immediately as my budget allows. Thanks, babysitting money, for keeping me warm this winter.
So thank Allah the Great Teddy Bear Crisis of 2007 is over, right? I, for one, never thought that ridiculousness would end. Though now I feel like anti-Islam supporters are going to use this as yet more ammo against Muslim countries and further proof of how much "better" Christianity is than all other popular religions. Conveniently the right-wing fundamentalists will forget to mention their noisy campaign against The Golden Compass. Fine, you have every right under the Bill of Rights to express your opinions and distribute them, but at least make them informed opinions! What irks me most about all this is the fact that, while God does die "at the hands of a child" in the third book, the point is that He had actually been imprisoned long before that and wanted to be let out and "killed". The religious part of the books is about one faction trying to eliminate the lasting effects of the Original Sin (aka "Dust") and another faction trying to save it because our fallibility is what makes us human. The war in heaven is between factions of angels and trying to end a coup d'etat headed by one of God's most trusted servants. It's impossible to argue that the books don't have religious implications, but they're also some of the most well-written and highly imaginative books to be published in the last twenty or so years. Let kids read it for themselves and then be man enough to sit down and have an actual discussion about their reactions! Kids really are a lot more intelligent than people tend to give them credit for.
Okay, enough soapboxing. Sorry about that. One of my grown cousins (with a family) sent one of those "boycott" emails regarding this movie to our whole extended family and it really shocked me and pissed me off. She hasn't even read the first book, let alone the one she was warning people to be "aware of" (aka the third one). Just forwarding a message without actually finding answers for herself.
In other news, I have a date on Wednesday night! Yes, a real date, not just me taking myself out to the movies. He's a guy I met on OKCupid, which I switched to after getting fed up with Match.com's policy of "pay to actually communicate with people". His name is Ben, he's got bright red hair, he's 26, has a Master's from Carnegie Mellon, and designs/programs interactive entertainment. Which means he spends a lot of time going back and forth between Boston and Disney World (Epcot, to be specific). Though it's not his specialization, he works with real robots that can have real-time conversations. Like this guy, Quasi. I'm supposed to meet him (Ben, not Quasi) at the Boston Common frog pond where I shall proceed to fall on my ass while attempting to ice skate. His idea, which I think bodes well. Certainly more creative than you're typical dinner date, right? Wish me luck: I'm a little nervous as I've only just realized I've never actually been on a real date before with someone I'm not already dating.
For the English majors out there:
Underfunded Schools Forced To Cut Past Tense From Language Programs
For the Drama majors out there:
Charges Filed After Santa Pied In The Face
I'm progressing slowly but surely through Battlestar and really loving it. Found out my dad is a huge fan of the original series and we chatted about how cool the characters are and the differences between the new and old series. I wanted to finish the second and third discs tonight, but alas I will not have the time as I'm going to my first of two training sessions as a volunteer at Horizons for Homeless Children. If all goes according to plan, I will be spending two hours every Wednesday with the kids at the shelter.
Christmas shopping was taken care of this weekend, thankfully. One less worry on my mind. I forgot how much I enjoy Advent services at church until yesterday--something about the candle-lighting and the hymns really makes me happy and warm (on the inside). The actual sanctuary was freezing. I was late to the service because the bus was 20 minutes late, and then had to wait 30 minutes for the bus home after working out (the gym is a two-minute walk from my church). Add to that the freezing temperatures and brutal wind and my Sunday left me feeling ill. Though I'd kind of been feeling ill for most of the weekend, starting with right after work on Friday when I thought I was going to puke while waiting 30 minutes in 5 degree weather for a train that wasn't filled way beyond capacity. I came home, slept for 4 hours, and then made my way over to Margaret's new place. A rousing game of drunken Apples To Apples was already in progress, so I joined in with my Coke I'd brought from home. Throughout the game I continually admired Bruce's--her flatmate--collection of comics and video games. Thanks to his generosity, I now have the opportunity to read all four volumes of the Nausicaa manga that the movie was based on, and I'll get to play Super Mario for the DS. Yay new things!
I think the sickness might be a sinus infection, though. I'm going to make a doctor's appointment and get it checked out. The fact that I've had a stuffy/runny nose, headaches, and frequent dizzy spells for over two weeks makes me nervous...
To end, Ohio State's going to the BCS Championships again! Go Buckeyes!