It's chilly here. I'm pleasantly surprised, even though it means I need to rethink my regular footwear choice of sandals. I had thought we wouldn't have much occasion to wear all our sweaters, but it looks like I'll have to find them amongst the boxes so I won't freeze as I'm walking around campus!

The big news of the weekend is that I had my first insurance claim on my new baby Saturn. No, it wasn't my fault... in fact, I had nothing to do with it! I was sitting in our living room working on early music transcription, and suddenly I heard a loud thud and two men's voices. My first thought was that someone was breaking into our house, but the noise didn't continue, so I got up to see what happened. I got to the back door (connected to our carport) and saw two fairly large guys about my age crouched on the roof of my car and staring across the street at our neighbor's rottweiler (whose owner sometimes lets her out of their fenced-in yard). Now, the dog looks menacing, but at the time, she was looking for a place to pee and wasn't really concerned with them. They were scared nonetheless, and rather than hop my fence or continue running away, they decided that the best solution was to damage the car of a stranger. Anyway, I stepped outside, asked them what the heck they were doing, and so they explained to me about the dog. I told them there was nothing to be afraid of, that she wasn't even interested and they just needed to keep going as if they weren't afraid, so they asked me if I would go ask the neighbor to get his dog. Yeah, right. I said, "You need to get off my car RIGHT NOW." So they hopped down, mumbled, "Thanks for the use of your car," and jogged away over my fence (which they could have done in the first place, mind you). What is wrong with people? What would make them think that was okay? As you might imagine, I'm angry, because I have to pay the first $250 of whatever the repair costs are (it's covered by my comprehensive insurance under the "vandalism" category, but I have to pay the deductible nonetheless). I didn't know the guys since we just moved to the area, but I figure they live somewhere near us. I'm not going to canvas from door to door, but if I see them again (and recognize them, which would probably be tricky), you can bet I'm going to find out who their mothers are and clue them in. Sheesh. I was so angry after it happened. I didn't think to go after them, but I doubt it would have yielded any information or anything productive. I managed to push my roof back out from inside my car, but there are still smaller dents I can't fix (plus shoe prints they left behind). I emailed my insurance agent and she filed the claim, but I'm supposed to meet with someone from the national company to verify the story, etc., sometime this week. I haven't heard from this person yet, but I should within a day or two. I guess people do strange things when they're afraid, but their fear was totally unjustified AND they didn't need to mess my car up when they had lots of other options for escape. I also have a nice large tree in my yard they could have climbed up... anyway, that's the story.

I've registered for my classes for next semester, including Schenkerian Analysis, 20th-Century Analysis, and Verdi (a music history topics class... we'll be studying four of his operas in depth). I'm also going to take a German correspondence course that LSU offers, even though I'll have to pay an extra fee. It sounds like a cool program; I'll have up to nine months to finish, but I can do it in as little as 6 weeks. There are 20 at-home assignments, plus a midterm and a final that I'll have to take in the independent study office. I'll eventually want to take a conversation class and practice my German with real people, but for getting the basics, I MUCH prefer this method and being able to work at my own pace instead of sitting in a room full of freshmen. We'll see how it works out.

Babbitt is this Friday and Saturday... I'm getting excited, even though I have NO idea what to expect, not having ever been to a music conference of any type before. Plus, I'll get to see a little bit of Jackson, so that'll be fun. There may be something there worth coming back for... you never know with Mississippi!

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