e|iza gorem@n is my hero
I'm in the Vox office, a half an hour behind in my designing because I was immobilized for twenty minutes by a wasp that decided to take a nap on the cord to my mouse. The presence of a wasp paralyzes me and the fact that the devilish creature was just waiting for me to awaken it with the slightest movement of my mouse, giving it reason to sink its stinger into my flesh, propelled me to the other side of the room. I couldn't get onto my computer to work on my layouts and I couldn't use a different computer out of wasp-range because my documents were held hostage by the cord-sitting beast. Dun dun da dun! Enter Eliza, a rolled-up Outside magazine as her weapon. Exit wasp. I have sworn allegiance to Miss Goreman if ever she should need a spider smited (is that a word?). I'm fine with spiders. Just don't get anything with a stinger near me.

wasp event no. one of the week
Jeremy and Jeff shot a rubber band at a rogue wasp in the news bureau on Thursday, perfectly slicing it in two. As payment for their noble deed, I have lent Jeff my copy of Order of the Phoenix. Jeremy already owned the book, so he got a heartfelt thank you.

has God sent a plague?
Cassie, our beautiful beast of a cat likes to hunt bugs in our house. I found a dead wasp on the floor of my room the other day. Can you guess how restful my sleep has been lately? I told her thank you and in return she bit my nose. Ben locked her in the basement to punish her. I think I would have preferred him to lock her in my room to finish off the horde of flying monsters I'm sure have infested the attic.


sometimes a week in which nothing spectacular happens can be a spectacular week
There wasn't one specific thing that made this week good. Nothing too exciting happened. I didn't accomplish any great feats and I didn't solve any foreboding problems. But it seemed like nearly every minute went well. To keep your interest from waning by making you drudge through paragraphs of mundane details, I'm just going to list some of the highlights.

(a.k.a. Harry Potter Day)
That says it right there. Finally got to see Miss Tuttle at the 9th Street Bookstore book release.

the weekend
Chilled in Shelter Gardens with Lucy. We made friends with a squirril we named Fredrick and got in trouble with the park security guard for climbing a very sturdy willow.
Met up with Emily and George in Westport at an Irish pub called Kellys that bared no semplance to anything Irish or any pub Em or I had visited.

A Vox-ful day. This was double production week as we put together two issues, allowing us to take the weekend of the Fourth off. I began to really feel like part of the magazine staff: for the first time, my name was added to the masthead as a designer; at the pot luck dinner that night we got to see that Thursday's issue coming off the press; Andrea and I joked about the Lionel Richie cake she brought ("Vox does it all night long..."); and Carolyn and Astrid and I gossiped about a certain former TA we'd all had last year. The best part of Wednesday came when Carolyn gave me an unfinished 4th of July page to work on for the July 3 issue. I worked on it for about an hour and was getting really frustrated, convinced that there was no possible way to arrange all the elements on the page without sacrificing some of the most important design principles. Just as I was about to give up and send layout convention to the infernal realm, everything clicked. Ahh...the joy of design.

Oh. And I finished Order of the Phoenix Wednesday as well.

Again, nothing all that exciting. Scott ditched our plans to go to the last Twilight Festival of the summer. (Something about a job interview. Hey, I understand that it's your top choice and they're putting you up for the night and everything, but you put that over handouts from the Peace Nook and free samples of strawberry milkshakes from Cool Stuff?) So May-gun and I joined Felicity, Ben and Mark in strolling along Broadway. I discovered a London store. It was closed. I'll be back.

I spent the evening surrounded by engineers. The only non-engineer at the BBQ was a pathobiology student. I felt unqualified to be in attendance. The food and the sand volleyball made for a good time despite the fact that I didn't join the conversations about statistics and the difference between inversion and reversion...or something like that.

'till next time, yo.


the entry about books

by day, one of those slimy PR people
Yesterday, I helped write a quote for Chancellor Wallace to say at some Columbia One Read program. You wouldn't think it'd take two of us a half an hour to string together three sentences promoting To Kill A Mockingbird. All for a quote that no one will blink at. Next stop: "President" Bush's 2004 campaign speeches.

speaking of books
Do you have any? In particular, Aldus Huxley's Brave New World? I'm beating the system for my summer session Sociology I class and not buying my books at the bookstore. I have two already (Lord of the Flies and 1984....I think all I'm going to have to do for this class is copy my book reports from middle school) and I ordered my textbook online for $8. Now if only I can find someone with Huxley's masterpiece, I'll be great. $8 or $51 from the MU bookstore? No contest.
*I do have "Brave New World" the British pop song on my Brits Hits compilation CD...does that count?

i think this makes me an official member of the columbia community
I got my Daniel Boone Regional Library Card in the mail a couple days ago. Old movie nights are about to become a regular event at the Chateau, thanks to the power of free movie rentals at the modern artwork that is the Columbia Public Library. I think this makes me a Columbia resident, right? So I should only pay in-state tuition, right?


the priorities in my life
As I was driving to work today, I had to stop quickly at a light and did the soccer-mom-arm-save. To protect my sack lunch from sliding to the floor and squooshing my strawberries.

a wordy release
Two nights ago I unloaded my jumbled thoughts into my personal journal. Eighteen pages later I realized that there were some very interesting thoughts down on paper. Because I am too lazy to write new material for this blog, below is an excerpt.

I have so many thoughts fighting for my full attention right now that I just have to get them out and down on paper. I sit here in a hammock that has become my most favorite part of a house that I have begun to simply love. The night is perfect (as long as the mosquitoes keep their distance) and I feel like just about the most blessed person on this tiny planet right now. I am conflicted, but in ways that only show how God is just too good to me. I sit here in a town that is beginning to feel like home (a year before I am again homeless) totally happy for where I am.

Have I ever felt this? I don't think so. Not that I don't have dreams and things that I desire for my life. I'm just so happy with what I have, happy like I don't think I've been before. I just spent the most amazing semester in a country that I yearn for and have returned to some of the best friends ever; new, old, resurfacing friends. (Is it possible to long to be someplace and yet love where you are at the same time?) I'm finally doing what I want with journalism and loving it. I'm attending a Bible study again...and not one that I have to prepare for. I'm making new friends there and feeling encouraged by their stories and supported by their prayers. I have roommate that are great.

The jobs are going great. The Brady kids can definitely be a challenge. I'd say they are the trying part of the summer. Their adorable-ness, however counter-balances my moments of frustration. just as I feel like I've had it, Amelia will tell me she loves me, or Jackson will crawl into my lap, or Avery will cry out, "Ecka!" with the glee of a child so proud that she can remember my name. Touching. And a real reminder that frustrations are temporary. (Let me just say, thought, that nap time is just lost on twins who sleep in the same room. Their collective energy fits that cliche equation that the whole [energy] is greater than the sum of its parts.)

Business Services would have to be the biggest blessing of the whole summer. I never would have thought that by mentioning the fact that I really needed to find another job, I would end up with a 40 hour work week....just from the University. And what's more, this raise is a promotion that works right with design. I get to promote a university that I love by doing what I love. Who would have thought? I'm working directly under two of the most influential women on campus: J@ckie J0nes (Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services) and Chris Kouko|a (Assistant to the Chancellor). And I have my evenings free!

...those: my thoughts...at least some of them. I of course edited out the more personal thoughts and random sentences that were exceptionally stream of consciousness and that paid no attention to grammar. (Boys are not to be discussed on the Internet, that is my firm belief. Too much like passing notes in middle school: the message could be intercepted by the teacher and read aloud for the whole class --and him!-- to hear.)

there and back again
I'm doing another quick trip to Kansas City again tonight. I'm picking up my friend from camp, Lucy. She's coming to spend a couple of nights with me here in CoMo.

and let us not forget
Tomorrow night. Midnight. 9th Street Bookstore, population: May-gun, me, Lucy, Tuttle....and a certain Harry.


moore thoughts
I'm in the midst of reading Michael Moore's Stupid White Men: and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation. I had prepared myself for radical liberalism out the wazoo. No way am I a staunch conservative, but I usually get annoyed with way-out there activists of the other "persuasion" as well. This book, though is so practical that I'm finding that I agree with a lot that he says. I'm even
thinking of voting Green next presidential election. Not solely because of this book, mostly because it really seems like this nation needs a shake-up in politics and getting government support for another political party would make things a little more interesting and maybe things would get done around here. I especially found his chapter on education interesting. I don't think Moore talked about anything that my Mom hasn't critiqued at some point. Mom has the classroom experience backing her thoughts...Moore has the figures to prove those thoughts.

in the spirit of a well-rounded self-education
Next on my reading list (after OoP, of course...and All the President's Men which I've been struggling through since February): Bush at War (If I can make my way through another Bob Woodward book...not doing so well with AtPM.)

nice kitty
Cassie, the psycho cat is being uncharacteristically nice to me lately. We've made it through the weekend without the usually ritual attempted biting that usually comes when I try to pet her. Normal cats (like Ally Cat) purr, Cassie bites.


remember my name
I just got back from being an "actor" in a promotional video for the College of Education's Reflector. This guy, Mike, and I were pulled as University Affairs employees to act like we were working on a group project. Mind you, neither Mike nor I are education majors. We had each stepped into the Reflector maybe once. My journalism ethics told me that maybe this wasn't quite right (anyone viewing this masterpiece of a promotion would be devastated to learn that they would not have the great pleasure to behold our smiling faces if they frequented the Reflector and therefore might sue the University for false advertising), but my inner eighth grader who was snubbed in the annual middle school musical told me, "I don't care." (I'd had a lead role the year before. The beginning of eighth grade, my partner and I were selected as the only duo to perform a scene selection for the advanced drama class at the high school. My musical role later that year: chorus. I never acted again. That really showed them!) Anyway, just thought I'd let you guys anticipate my break into fame. Next stop: Broadway. I'm gonna live forever.

P.S. I happened to be wearing a gold/yellow t-shirt and Mike had worn a black polo. We were ever such the Mizzou-spirited-group-project-team. go tigers.
all day long i'll have good luck
I found a penny this morning. I picked it up.

meanwhile...in mid-missouri...
My family is in New York City without me. Here's the Cliffs Notes version of my mom's phone call last night:

Mom: Hi Erica!
Erica: Hey! What a coincidence! Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind" just came on my iTunes. How appropriate!
M: Talk about coincidence! We saw him open the Tonys Sunday night!
E: Get out!
M: We were walking by Central Park and saw something going on and the policeman we asked told us that Billy Joel was about to perform an opening show for the Tonys, so we went there and five minutes after, his car pulled up, he got out and played for 15 minutes, talked a bit and then left. We were right there near the front!
E: No way! How cool! Megan and I probably just missed seeing you on t.v. We saw Hugh Jackman open the Tonys onstage, but missed the whole red carpet stuff. But I did see you at the Today Show!
M: You did?! Ally and I got up at 5:30 for that! Afterward we got to shake hands with Al Roker and Ann Curry.
E: No! They're my favorite people on Today! I love Ann Curry!
M: Ann [they're on a first name basis now, of course, my mom and Mrs. Curry. ;)] is so nice. She really took time to talk with people. Matt Lauer didn't talk to anyone and Katie Courric was on location interviewing Hillary Clinton in Washington.
E: Wow. How neat!
M: Monday night Ally and I saw RENT and last night we went to The Lion King. It was amazing! We also went to the Met and I saw my Renoirs and Monets and VanGoghs that I love.
E: Oooh!!!! Theatre! And Impressionists! I miss good art!
M: Oh! And we saw Barbara Walters! She was getting out of the car outside her apartment as we were passing by. Oh! And when we were at the Today Show, we turned around and Ally says, "Look, Mom, there's Joey from 'NSync!" And there he was! So I took a picture!!! I don't think he even saw me take it!
M: So we've had quite the sightings here. I know you really wanted to come with us, so I thought I'd call and let you now how much fun we were having. How's Columbia?

Thanks, Mom. Columbia's quite the cultural Mecca, thank you very much. New York pales in comparison. It's not like it's the city I've wanted to visit the most for years and years (besides Paris which I crossed off my list after middle school). I've had a couple of celebrity sightings myself. I see Stuart Polansky about twice a week. So ha!


calling on moses
I just forded (read: stepped over) the raging river (read: drainage trickle) in 9th Street to get back to Jesse Hall from Memorial Union. It was red (read: red). The source: a drain spout coming from under Lowry Hall. If that's what they do to Honors College students who are one credit hour shy from graduating with honors, I'd better figure out how to earn one more credit next semester.

my family and al roker are likethis
Mom and Ally graced the Rockefeller Plaza and the "Today Show" this morning with their smiling faces. I didn't see Dad, but I did see a bright green sign that read: "From the LITTLE APPLE to the BIG APPLE." Besides my dad, there was another face missing from that railing: mine. Next time, guys, next time.

i think prince chuck was talking about me
"I'm glad to see Americans are coming over here," he told one US visitor. "I had heard they were not. You are all so brave coming over."


14 days
If you know me well, you'll know what I'm counting down to.

battle of the templates
Clark has a new look to his blog. And it's a little too familiar. I liked my template because no one else had it. Now I have a deep desire to change it...but nothing out there suits me like this one. I guess we'll just have to duel it out over this one. Speaking of Clark, though, he had a great entry the other day and since it made me laugh, I thought I'd copy it for you. Enjoy:

Have you ever played Mizzouopoly? Don't. It's Monopoly, but you buy Mizzou/Columbia related properties, like the Ninth Street or the Heidelberg instead of Short Line Railroad or Virginia. It messes you up, because instead of buying properties for their worth, you might find yourself buying crap for it's sentimental value. I couldn't bring myself to get a monopoly, because I wouldn't buy Middlebush because I had that horrible Sociology class.

the cast of characters
I realize that many of you might not know to whom my links (right) refer. Meet the cast.
Appearing in Columbia:
L. Clark (a.k.a. The Little Black Duck): Former fellow FARC-er, Clark lived down the hall from me freshman year. As I no longer live in McDavid, his blog provides me with my fill of post-it note stories.
S. Coll (a.k.a. Pappa Scott): Former Journalism Scholars FIG (Freshman Interest Group) leader, recent graduate of the MU J-School in broadcast and fellow Shakey's connosieur.
M. Crow (a.k.a. Frau): Current roommate, Austin Powers and Spongebob Squarepants maniac and fellow Potterphile.
A. Fisc.: Former Missourian TA, now MU j-school print graduate, roommate of Elise.
P. Garv.: Member of "rival" J-Scholars FIG, Artisan groupie, and fellow "analyst."
M. Harr.: "Sister in the Bond" of Alpha Chi Omega and future wife (wink wink) of Wal-Mart heir J*$h Kr*enke.
E. Hu: Friend via journalism classes, Crusade, and Greek Life, newly graduated in broadcast.
J. Marc.: Fellow former FARC-er and co-editor of Vox Magazine and music afficionado.
M. Ret.: Current roommate, formerly of Singaporean fame. A photojournalist with amazing insights on life.
E. Tut: Fellow former FARC-er and Potterphile, and first friend at Mizzou.
J. Wood. (a.k.a. J-Dub): Fellow former FARC-er, recent j-school broadcast grad and fellow Shakey's connoisseur.
Gracing London's West End:
K. Jeff.: Fellow former FARC-er and one hell of an actress, roommate of Myndi
M. Mey.: Fellow former FARC-er and good friend of Retka, formerly Natalie's roommate.
S. Protz.: World-renowned now, thanks to her appearance in most of the European continent.
R. Shank. & D. North. (Russ and Dave): Fellow London Program participants...their site has pictures!
Performing in Lawrence, KS:
C. Compt.: Good friend from high school who went to the WRONG school. ;)
Cooling off in Vail:
L. Dau.: Fellow sufferer of the MOian, fall '02, currently performing on God's stage in Colorado for the summer.
Entertaining the audience in Brew City:
K. Good.: Former MOian TA and current intern at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for the summer with Dan.
D. Pursch.: Fellow FIG-let and Calvin and Hobbs fan, also at the JS for the summer.
Taking to the stage in Nashville:
N. Nest.: Fellow former FARC-er, deserter of 1321 Paris Rd for the summer to be with the man who will make her a Mrs. in about 6 months.
Up to date in Kansas City:
C. Paul.: Fellow FIG-let and current Dow Jones summer intern at the KC Star.
Puttin' in the Ritz in Albuquerque:
J. Adels.: Fellow former FARC-er and recent j-school grad with a job designing for a paper in NM.
Playing to the audience in Tuscon:
E. White: Former MOian TA, recent j-school grad in print with a Dow Jones internship in AZ.

Enjoy their blogs as well as mine. If you read my blog and your name is not to the right (and I know you), let me know so I can fix that!


by the way...if you're a Friends fan...
...you must read my friend Sarah's latest entry on her blog. Sooo jealous!
things i've been told while at work
Or, why working at Business Services during the summer is the best job ever:
1. "We're soooooo glad to have you back!" -Linda, Lisa, Teresa
2. "We're giving you a raise. You are now probably the best paid student worker on campus." -Linda
3. "Come in and work whenever you want." (Which I interpret as: "Work as many hours as you can squeeze in, between naps.") -Teresa
4. "Stop working and come eat." -Teresa
5. "Stop working and go outside." -Patsy
6. "Would you like to be my Design Intern?" -Linda
7. "Would you like another job that pays even more money?" -Linda
8. "I like your flip flops." "I like your jeans." "You look really cute today." -Lisa
9. "Come to the Mavericks Baseball game with us." -Ryan
10. "You can do that at home, or whenever you want. Just log your hours." -Linda
11. "We saved ice cream for you." -Teresa
12. "You know, Erica, you should really work on that drinking and gambling habit of yours." -Ryan

road trip #1
The Megans and I took our first road trip of the summer last night. Luke had to get from Columbia to Kansas City so we loaded his stuff in the trunk and braved the deadly roads of Missouri. We successfully navigated our way to the Cheesecake Factory on the Plaza where we joined Caleb, Warton, Sarah (Luke, Caleb, Crowley and Matt's friend from Denver Christmas Conference) and Sarah's and Warton's friends. My dinner was half an appetizer. And I was hungry! But of course, I had to save room for cheesecake.

why i know i'm headed to the right profession
Saturday morning was rough but sitting down in Vox to design my first couple pages truly relaxed me. I left Lee Hills Hall in a surprisingly good mood. If you're in CoMo for the summer, pick up a copy of today's Vox. I designed the Books and the Fine Arts sections. Nothing big, but hey, it's a start.


top 5 swing memories
...in no particular order...
*gathering at the swings in elementary school to form the Animal Club with Abbie "Abbigator" Hodgson, Jennifer "Bunnyfer" Weaver, and myself, Erica "Eraccoon" Brooks.
*doing the "hot dog" with my sister in CiCo Park
*pushing Grant and Garrin "high as the sky" last summer
*jumping out of the swing over and over with Lucy and Emily in Liberty last summer
*Cosmo Park swings with Scott last Friday

~not on the list: wearing a skirt on the swing in first grade

aww...the roommates
Megan, Ashley B. and I sat on the steps to the attic last night for nearly two hours and just talked. Some of our many impromptu topics: Islam, abortion, adoption, gymnastics, track, getting hips, childbirth, alarm clocks, work.