Halloween, of course, rocked. The party at the Pub was so much fun and we got to hang out with so many of our friends. For a lot of them, it actually ended up being quality time, too. The music wasn't too loud, the crowd wasn't standing room only, and only one in our group of friends got too drunk. Of course, that meant that his roommate and another friend that was carpooling with them had to leave by about 11:00, but that just left me and Shane with plenty of time to hang out with other people that we don't hang out with as much. Like Mitch, who was also very drunk but very funny with it. And the costumes were amazing this year. A group of guys dressed up as Tetris pieces, which was a very cool and creative costume. They must have been so awkward, but I'm sure it was worth it. I got a couple of pictures of them dancing. I dressed up like a pirate (with Hannah, who was only there for a short time because she had to work at the underage dance) and Shane recycled his costume from 80's night, calling himself That One Gay Guy from The Village People. (And yes, the joke is that they were all gay.)
At the end of the evening, because our ride home had already had to leave (see the above anecdote), we ended up walking home. Shane really wasn't looking forward to it because, thinking we'd have a ride, he hadn't brought a coat. I had my nice winter coat, but bare legs between my knee-length short pants and ankle boots. And the temperature was zero. Literally. Luckily, it's only about a fifteen minute walk home, and because I insisted that we jog part of the way we made it in about five. As soon as we got home I grabbed blankets and we wrapped ourselves up while I made hot chocolate. I had been exhausted and falling asleep before we left (three hours of symphony rehearsal will do that to a person) but the walk home woke me up. We ended up staying up to watch "The Orphan", which really wasn't worth it. I wouldn't even call it a renter. "Gothika", on the other hand, we watched with James and Lucy on Friday night and that was pretty good. Because of these movies, and all the good conversation both nights, I had two nights in a row where I stayed up until 4:00. And since weekends are for doing chores, a lot of the time, I got up before eleven both days. (I was on a time crunch.)
The other major thing this weekend was the Symphony concert. This entails three hours of rehearsal on both Friday night and Saturday afternoon the two days before the concert, and is both a lot of work and a lot of fun. The concert went very well, too, although I didn't play my best. Even though it wasn't nearly my worst, either, I can't help but know I should have done better rather than just be happy that the concert as a whole went so well. And I know that if I hadn't been so tired, I would have played better. Oh well. I did laugh at myself because in the first movement of the concerto we played (with pianist Ilya Yakuschev) the last page is split in half so that it can be turned easily during five measures of rest, since the end just goes without rest. Well, I forgot to turn the page in the rest so I when I realized that and turned it, I got lost and spent the last part of the movement pretending. Whoops.
I listen to Pandora pretty much the whole day at work (at least until my free amount each month runs out) and lately I've been listening to my Irish rock station non-stop. I love it. I just put in Flogging Molly as a band I love, and have yet to hear a song I don't like. So many of them are so rousing, too, that it makes me want to get and do something, like dance and shout or run or travel or anything but sit at my desk. I end up jiggling my leg and shifting, antsy until my walk home. Shane and I are still trying to figure out if there's any way we could get to Scotland for spring break to visit his brother on exchange. But Shane has run into some money troubles, so I don't know if we can. This month I paid his portion of the rent, which is really paying for part of his ticket to come down to Seattle over New Year's. (The only way I could persuade that proud, hard-headed boy to accept even that help was because I said he wouldn't be going anywhere other than Soldotna if he wasn't with me, and because for the first time ever I want to spend New Year's with him, so it's worth it to me.) The only reason I had to pay his rent, though, is because of all his expenses over the last couple of months, like paying for school out of pocket (which was around $500 after the tuition waiver). Not only that, but because of budget cuts the University is seriously looking into where money is going. His department was told that students aren't allowed to work on weekends anymore because there's "not enough oversight". (Utterly stupid-he's a student assistant C, which is the grade that isn't supposed to need much oversight, and it's never been a problem before.) So there goes about half of the 20 hours per week that he can work. He's thinking about getting another job, but this one was so flexible and pays the highest for student jobs, especially after he got the little raise this summer. But he got his permanent fund dividend ($1308 this year) so that will help a lot.
I'm kind of pissed that the University is doing this to him. How much more difficult do they want to make it to be a student? They've sent out several letters explaining budgetary stuff to staff, among them the rather contradictory statements that they're raising tuition next year (5% for undergrads, 10% for grads) but giving student workers a $1 per hour pay bump across the board. I just think it's funny to take with one hand and give a little less with the other while patting yourself on the back for doing something so nice.
That has actually been one of the most interesting parts of my job, is finding about all of the background stuff like budgets. Especially in the library, when the budget is by necessity so big (journals aren't cheap, and cost more per year than all of the staff and faculty combined) and it's all broken down by different departments and then into separate funds for different needs.
I'm so glad I put on my flannel lined Carharts this morning, although it's warmed up to +12. It was -10 or so this morning, and I wasn't sure if it would be another day like yesterday, when I waited at the bus stop for over 15 minutes because of a car accident. And to think, waiting in the cold is still more convenient than owning a car around here!