Sunday, November 29, 2009

a clark thanksgiving

This year was the first year I stayed in VA for Thanksgiving. Typically, I head up to CT to be with my Aunt and cousins and grandparents. I think that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday to celebrate with my family. They make the most amazing food, and with all the people running around (probably more of napping), football, video games, phase 10 - it's never ending maddness and an amazing time. Since I had one final the following Wednesday and a ton of reading and other homework to do, I didn't think it would be smart to head up to CT and risk not getting any of my work done.

Jonna, Evan and their very sweet parents invited me to celebrate Thanksgiving with them at Evan's new condo in DC. Jonna picked me up around 2pm and we didn't leave until almost midnight. The only bad thing was that I had to work on black friday, so I had to get up at my usual 5:15am time. Evan's condo is absolutely gorgeous. He has an amazing view from his condo, he's on the 3rd floor and has a complete large roof top deck. You can see the Washington Monument and other historical landmarks. It will be perfect for seeing fireworks on the 4th of July! Slowly but surely he will get settled into his new condo, and I'll have better pictures.The rain had finally stopped for a while, and we took advantage of that moment. Jonna, Evan, Laurie and I went on a guided tour (compliments of Evan) around his new neighborhood. He lives near H St and Florida in NE, DC. The area isn't the safest at the moment, but there are a lot of changes in the works. They're working on building a trolly system, that will run up and down H St, and we noticed there were at least 6 new bars/restaurants opening within the next few months. It will be exciting to explore a new part of DC.

Before dinner we played Clue, where John tried everything possible to cheat, but Evan won the first round and I won the second. Everything about Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, except for maybe the mashed potatoes. There may have been too much milk added, and they were rather frothy. Once we finished dinner we lazed around and played Apples to Apples. Jonna won that game with ease. There were 3 dessert options, and I had all 3, of course. When Jonna makes dessert, you have to eat them all! There was her famous frozen cheesecake with fresh strawberries, a banana cake with cream cheese frosting and chocolate and a home made pumpkin pie (made by Laurie!) that I think was THE best pumpkin pie I've ever had in my entire life, seriously. The flavors were amazing, all the spices were complimented perfectly.

Jonna and I cabbed back to Arlington to pass out in a food coma. For not being able to be with my family in CT, I was really happy and had the best time celebrating with the Clark's <3

Monday, November 23, 2009

primal conflict part III

Last year, Anthony, Nick and I went to see Primal Conflict Wrestling II, in West VA - which is a spectacular amateur wrestling event. It was my first time seeing True Talent Bobby Shields (Bob!) wrastle, and he told me that they were hosting the event again.

I meant to invite a bunch of people to check out the Primal Conflict Wrestling III, but forgot with school being so demanding. Last minute I convinced Jen to come along for the hour and thirty minute drive up to WV to watch Bob wrastle. We made it just in time to catch Bob's match! I took a few pictures, but they came out a little dark. Bob won his match! and it was very exciting. All kinds of jumping, throwing, slamming and slapping around. Jen and I left just after intermission - as the drive back was long and I had to keep working on my paper. The goal was to finish my paper by Sunday afternoon so I could enjoy my evening before getting back into the busy routine of the week.

He's also been working really hard since last year to gain more weight (muscle) and he's been very successful. I hadn't seen him wrastle since a year before, and I noticed a significant difference. All that hard work, and many hours of eating and working out has been worth it. Bob also told me that he finally heard back from the WWE and over Thanksgiving weekend he was asked to come to a taping. He didn't know whether he'd just be helping out or would get a chance to wrastle, but either way I'm excited for him! He's been wanting a shot at the WWE for a while, and I hope that it goes well!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

have spring class

Its apparently become pretty difficult to sign up for the classes that you want at George Mason, at least for the history students. A lot of my classmates were concerned about getting the classes they wanted. I had a lot of problems getting into the three I have this semester, but I was only a little worried. Registration started at 3pm on November 3rd and I knew I'd be home and ready to sign up for the classes I wanted at the exact time! As predicted each class filled really quickly, at least one of them managed to fill in less than 15 minutes! But, I successfully signed up for all three classes that I chose for the spring!

If anyone is interested, these are the classes I've registered for (and am excited to take!):

HIST 615/001: Storm-Cradled Nation: The Confederate Experience 1860-1865
Even before the Civil War’s last shot was fired in the spring of 1865 the history of the Southern Confederacy was already being shrouded in myth and legend. In the following decades ‘Lost Cause’ advocates blended fact with fiction to romanticize Confederate history leaving it to modern scholars to ask hard questions as to why mid-nineteenth century southern leaders believed that creating a slave holding republic was not only viable, but desirable. This seminar takes a critical approach in examining how national political disputes morphed into a ‘conservative revolution’ that was intended to protect southern society, but instead unleashed America’s bloodiest war resulting in the ruin of the Old South. The course will examine the rise of southern nationalism and views on slavery, critique southern military and political leaders, review the Confederacy’s war effort and home front problems, and explore southern Unionism and dissent. Arguments that the South ‘lost the war but won the peace’ will also be addressed to explain how growing post-war legends warped the historical record and tinted public perceptions about the Confederacy for over a century after Appomattox.

HIST 615/004: Problems in US History: Politics & Entertainment in the 20th Century
In this course we will explore ways in which the worlds of American politics and entertainment have impacted each other throughout the twentieth century in order to arrive at a deeper understanding of both. Specific areas we may examine include the influence Hollywood has had on the political process and conversely, ways that politics have affected the motion picture industry; the role of actresses and female variety entertainers in creating a modern feminist identity during the first decades of the century; the rise of politically-oriented popular theater during the Great Depression; the adoption of jazz and American dance for cultural diplomacy purposes during the Cold War; the mainstreaming of political satire and the folksong revival during the Kennedy era; how rock music of the Vietnam War era attempted to affect social change; and recent blurring of the lines between the two worlds as television became a dominant force in political campaigns, advertising techniques infused the creation of political images, and entertainers ran for high public office.

HIST 690/001: Administration of Archives
This course is an introduction to the principles and practices in the administration of archival and manuscript repositories and an orientation to the place of archives in society. This course is designed for students considering employment as archivists or manuscript curators, as well as for those who desire a broader understanding of the role archives play in shaping a collective memory of the past. Emphasis will be placed on examining core archival functions – selection, preservation, and access – in conjunction with professional ethics of stewardship and use of primary source material. The course will also explore issues of archival advocacy, public outreach, program development, and the challenges and opportunities of new technology