Sunday, August 24, 2008

We are community! I got all my housemates and me!

Yes, I live with 8 other girls. Yes, our home is a former convent. Yes, we each make only a few hundred dollars a month from our stipend. And yes, it is pretty fun so far.

When we explain our living situation to people, we get a variety of reactions.
"A convent??! Do they let you go out at night?"
"Well, good thing they make food stamps."
"You know you are all going to be on the same cycle in a few months, right?"
Haha. Yes, no, and yes. Joking aside, it has been interesting how different we all are and how each oeac of us handles having 8 roomates. Apparently my habit of always applying the parking break is not universal practice. Some people line their baking pans with parchment paper. Some people need more alone time than others. Sometimes personalities clash and there is confluct over things that are really not a huge deal. As usual, I haven't gone looking for conflict, but it has managed to find me and gotten me stuck in the middle. Not as usual, though, everyone here doesn't want factions to develop, and so is willing to make an effort to resolve issues.

Not unlike with my large family back home, I enjoy being part of a crowd. We have been exploring the city en masse, never hanging out in the same place twice. Last weekend we invaded the Arch and Anheuser-Busch Brewery (free samples!) This week's itinerary was even longer: Galleria Mall, patio dining and margaritas at a little mexican restaurant, Festival of Nations, Union Station shopping, and then Dave and Buster's for Jessica's birthday.

Oh yeah, and the church tour continues. We also never attend mass in the same place twice. This weekend alone, we have visited the SLU church, Wash U's campus ministry chapel, All Saints the neo-colonial wonder, and the St Louis cathedral. That last place absolutely knocked my socks off. If you have ever admired the moasics at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, you haven't seen anything yet. This place is a renaissance/byzantine marvel that positively drips with gold tiles and biblical imagery. Its truly a monument to the Catholic church in this city - which makes me realize why some Chicagoans refer to their stripped-down Holy Name cathedral as "Holy Shame." Jessica and I agreed - We need to go back for a formal tour.

I'm going close with two humorous pieces that pertain to my low-budget community lifestyle.

First, XKCD remarks on the difficulties of internet reception. He's right, we really should have a holiday for those kind souls with unsecured networks entitled "Linksys." (Ours can't reach past the plaster upstairs walls, so I am updating from the dining room table.)

Second, the Onion offers tips for cutting your grocery costs. (We may have splurged a little and gotten the $6 strawberry-flavored vodka.)

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