Archive | miscellaneous RSS for this section

If I’m going to be a writer, I really need to work on my titles.

Jan 3

Image by brandsvig via Flickr

So, I remembered something yesterday–I LIKE being read.  I actually don’t think my traffic was much higher than usual, but enough of y’all clicked on different posts to make my hit counter register more than a three-fold increase of my usual traffic.  Granted, considering that I took a six week  break from blogging, and wasn’t exactly churning out quality material beforehand, this wasn’t hard to do.

A special thanks and welcome to Mesacoelsombero, who not only liked my post yesterday, but subscribed to me as well.  Mesacoel (can I call you Mesacoel) represents the first subscriber that WordPress  has told me about.  He (or she, I couldn’t find a gender reference anywhere) has a blog about the economy of Latin America, which I’m would be much more fascinating to me if both Google Translate and I understood the language of finance.

Anyway, I’ve kind of purposely, and happily, been avoiding thinking about much of anything today–the new semester starts on Wednesday, which will bring with it all sorts of opportunities to think and stress etc, so for today and tomorrow, I’m just taking it easy and trying really hard not to think about things like tuition and books and various other supplies I’ll need.

In other news, I actually went to church yesterday.  I woke up with the beginnings of a migraine, and considered not going, but then decided that if I skipped the first Sunday of the new year it’d be setting a dangerous precedent–especially considering my resolution to go to church at least three times a month.  I made it though two hours before the migraine hit, and I had to go home.  Apparently, it was one that made me look ill–I had three people stop and ask me if I was okay as I was trying to slip out the door.   Sigh.

Anyway, life is good, for now.

2010 in review

WordPress sent me this email this morning.  I think they overstated the success of “The Storyteller Chronicles” but it’s interesting none-the-less.  And hey, look!  I can officially call this a Post-a-Day entry!

 

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,100 times in 2010. That’s about 12 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 234 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 247 posts. There were 542 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1,019mb. That’s about 1 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was January 5th with 119 views. The most popular post that day was Fighting the beast.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, cuteoverload.com, bumalafa.blogspot.com, en.wordpress.com, and touch.facebook.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for crab spider, josie greathouse fox, whistling at the northern lights, the storyteller chronicles, and ouroboros ring.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Fighting the beast December 2009
2 comments

2

Who I Am January 2010

3

My Nook Report November 2010

4

Just because I have a mental illness doesn’t mean I’m crazy February 2010
1 comment

5

Indecision pt 2 May 2010
1 comment

A new start

Well, my first semester as a returning college student is officially over.  I got a better grade than I was expecting in English, a worse (but still passing) grade than I was expecting in Art History, and as expected, I’ll be taking math over again come summer semester.  I’m facing a bit of a hiccup with grades and financial aid, etc, that I need to get figured out sooner rather than later–which just might mean a trip to campus tomorrow.  Ugh.

The holidays were all well and proper, filled with guilt, disappointment (my spell check wants me to put “dismantlement” there, which would fit the spirit of the season quite well, but everyone I was involved with anyway, kept all of there limbs.  More or less),  headaches and frustrations.  Mom’s surgery went well, and she’s on track for round two in a few weeks.  (For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, let’s just say, she’s the “more or less”.)  The new year starts on Sunday, and the new semester starts on Wednesday.

I thought about waiting a few days before jumping back in to this blogging thing, but, why bother?  I’m not big on new-years resolutions, but I do want to write more-blogging and stories as well as school papers and such–and waiting to start such things just leads to more waiting, so here we go again.

EDIT: So, I just found out that WordPress is doing this Post a Day in 2011, and this is me officially announcing that I’m going to sign up to do it.  So…here goes nothing!

My Nook Report

I’m sitting here, stressing about my English paper.  It’s at least a page shorter than it needs to be, but I can’t seem to find a place to add a single sentence.  I’m to the point of walking away–I did the same thing with the last paper, and ended up getting an A-.  So…maybe this is the trick to passing an English class?

If anyone decides to test this theory, please don’t blame me if the results don’t work out…

So, rather than continue with said paper, I decided to update the blog.  Besides mentioning that I bought a new toy, I don’t think that I’ve talked about it at all.  So…this is my impressions of the Barnes and Noble Nook.  For those of you who don’t live in the United States or Canada…sorry.

So, a note on eBooks.  I realized, some time after I brought my Nook home, that it was a bit ironic that I bought an eReader, because, hopefully, when I’m through with school, I’ll be able to get a job in the publishing industry–I want to design books, both the cover image and the inside part.  I’ve been conflicted, though, and worried that aspiring to work in publishing is as foolish as aspiring to work for a newspaper. BUT, after a couple of weeks of using the Nook, I’ve decided a couple of things–first of all, electronic media isn’t going to kill the book any more than the automobile killed the horse (tragic accidents aside).  The Nook isn’t good for, say reference material.  Furthermore, even though it is possible to download free e-books…

Let me put it this way.  Sites like My Space and YouTube are full of wannabe musicians.  I could spend all day listening to the music for free, and still never come across anything I like.  I’m beginning to realize the same is true for e-books.  Yes, I can download self-published works for free, but they read like self-published works.  I’m more than willing to spend a few dollars for a book that’s been through the hands of editors who ensure quality–I’m not going to waste hours and days of my life reading a story, no matter how compelling, if it is poorly written. (And now I’m all concerned about the quality of writing on this blog.)  Secondly, a good book takes time, and it’s hard to find the time to write a quality book if the author is concerned about a day job.  Finally, even e-books need to be designed.  I’m reading  “The Grand Design” by Stephen Hawking on my Nook, and I was over the moon to see the amount of design that went into the production of that book in its electronic form.

Case in point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of Stephen Hawking’s “The Grand Design”…

One of the reasons I chose the Nook over the Kindle is because the Nook supports the .ePub format, which, apparently, is becoming the industry standard. The Kindle doesn’t.  But, more importantly, it’s the form of book that my local library has available for check out.  With just my library card, I can download books from my home computer and “side load” them onto my nook–books bought from barnesandnoble.com are automatically loaded via WiFi (more on that in a bit).

library books I have checked out at the moment

I do have to use an intermediary program called “Adobe Digital Editions” to get my library books onto my Nook, but it’s free to download.  Digital Editions and the Nook are both smart enough to know when the lending period of my books have expired, and won’t let me read them any more.  I didn’t like this at first–but it also comes with the option of sending books back once I’ve finished them, or decide that I don’t want to read them.  This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s HUGE to me.  See, back when I was employed, I liked to listen to audio books that I checked out from the library while I worked.  (I go to the same site to download audio books as I do e-books)  I can choose how long I want to have the book for: one, two or three weeks, but I can’t have more than 5 books downloaded at a time.  Well, with the audio book, if I choose the three-week check-out, and the book is either shorter than I thought or a stinker that I don’t want to finish, that spot is taken for the remainder of the three weeks, until the computer takes it back.   Through Digital Editions, I can send a book back, and free up that space.  Granted, this might be different for libraries outside of Utah.

Okay, the most important thing about an e-reader is knowing how to get to the books, right?  The Nook is navigated by a color touch screen, which I quite frankly love.   The part I’m not so crazy about is once you get into the “my library” tab.

“My Library” is broken up into two sections, books downloaded from Barnes and Noble, and everything else.  The Barnes and Noble section is much easier to navigate and use, with the option to archive, or hide books and browse by cover.  The everything else section, named, uninspiringly, “My Documents” is where my library books end up, as well as any other documents that I want to put on my Nook.

My “My Documents” folder is a jumble of syllabuses (syllabui?) and other documents for school, stuff downloaded from lds.org, like conference talks and the LDS hymnbook, recipes, shopping lists, interesting crochet patterns, and, of course, library books.  I like having all this stuff in one easy to carry around device, but it’s impossible to organize on the Nook.  On the computer side of things (and inside the Nook) I have various folders and hierarchies to keep things straight.  When it comes to displaying them on my Nook, the hierarchy has been flattened out, leaving me trying to remember if the document named “Our Fearful Way of Knowing” is for church or school.

Navigating by cover

The B & N library is much cleaner and easier to navigate, as I mentioned.  I like being able to browse by cover (again, covers need designers.  I want to be a designer).  From the Barnes and Noble website, it is possible to download free e-books; both public domain classics and promotional items.  Personally, I’d stick with the classics.  The free promotional items are hardly worth looking at; the ones I’ve looked at are all either poorly written to the point of incomprehensibility or samples of a much larger book.  Granted, it could be that I’m just looking at the wrong books, and there could be a gem in there I haven’t found.  I’m just not sure it’s a gem worth looking for.

My favorite feature about reading with the Nook is the built-in dictionary.  If I don’t understand a word, I can go to the touch screen, and select “look up word” then either type in the mystery word, or navigate a cursor until the word is selected.  When reading dead-tree books, I usually won’t stop and pull out the dictionary if I come across a word I don’t understand, instead I’ll figure it out by the context.  This dictionary is available to books in the .ePub format (Nook also supports .pdf’s and a few other formats that I can’t remember right now, and don’t feel like looking up, hence my being able to put stuff like shopping lists and crochet patterns on my Nook.) in either the B & N library section or the “My Documents” section, but not, somewhat annoyingly, as a free-standing book.

Along with the dictionary, I can highlight and annotate .ePub books.  I actually don’t use this feature as much as I thought I would.  Like I

Highlighted and Annotated

said earlier, the Nook isn’t really great for reference books.  When I highlight and annotate,  I tend to think as much in color as I do context, so the gray on the screen doesn’t really help me. (1)

I’m actually glad that I figured out that the Nook isn’t really all that great for reference books, because I planned to buy eTextbooks starting next semester–that was part of my justification for spending the money on the Nook.   I wish I had poked around the Barnes and Noble website a bit more before I started saying that–Barnes and Noble have a reader that you can download onto a computer that can read eTextbooks, but the Nook can’t.  I think.

See, I didn’t know that I needed a textbook for my Art History class until the first day of class.  The bookstore was out of used versions of the text, and I wanted to see if I could get a deal online before buying a new book.  I could, but it would take time to get to me.  While I was waiting for the textbook, I downloaded an app onto my computer called the Nook Study Guide, and a one-month free trial of the text I needed.  The trial has ended, but I can’t seem to get rid of the ghost of the electronic version of that textbook.  The cover even shows up on my Nook.  When I click on it, though, I get an error message.  I don’t know if that’s because it’s a textbook or an expired trial.  I’m reluctant to try downloading another trial textbook, for fear of  having two ghost texts instead of just one.

When I bought my Nook, there were two versions available, the WiFi version and the WiFi+3G version.  I went with the WiFi version, which saved me about $50.  I’m not sure that going for the 3G model would have been worth it for me, though.  I can connect to the internet using my wireless network, (I did have to enter in my password, but the Nook remembers it) or the one at school (which is a bit trickier, because I need to enter a user name and a password, and isn’t remembered.  At least not consistently.)  I can see where having 3G coverage would be nice, but to me, it’s unnecessary.  Being connected to the internet allows me to buy books directly from the Nook–something that is potentially fatal to my bank account.  I can also set up a wishlist, which is much more wallet friendly.  There is a browser available on the Nook.  It’s in beta format right now–it’s pretty slow, and the eInk screen limits it’s usefulness significantly.  Still, it’s nice for when I want to check Facebook or Wikipedia between classes.  The touch screen does turn into a QWERTY keyboard when you ask it to, but it’s kind of hard to type on.  I’d hate to write an email, let alone a blog post from it, but I could.

Barnes and Noble are still working to get Nook customers into the brick-and-mortar stores, by offering sales and specials that are only available if  you are connected to a Barns and Noble hotspot, including the ability to browse full books.  I haven’t gone to check it out, but apparently, if you take your Nook to a Barnes and Noble, you can read any book for up to one hour every day.  I’m not sure if that means you have an hour’s reading time, or once your hour on one book is up, you can move to another.  This might bear some invesitgation.  If only I had the time…

Barnes and Noble announced just this week that they’re rolling out a new version of the Nook–a full color, full touchscreen backlit LED version.  The main screen of my Nook is what’s known as an e-Ink screen, and is like reading words printed on paper.  I’m a bit annoyed at the timing of this announcement, but, even having known this new version was being rolled out, I would still go with the version I got–if I wanted the full-color version, I would have gotten an iPad.  I like that when I’m spending all day doing homework on the computer, that upon taking a break, I can turn to my Nook and read something that’s not as hard on the eyes.

Barnes and Noble claims that if put on Airplane mode, a charged battery will last up to ten days, and with WiFi turned on, it’ll last about two (if WiFi is available, the Nook will automatically check for updates every once in a while) .  I’m a bit skeptical, it seems to me that the battery drains much faster than that, but it could be that I just spend too much using the WiFi connection to browse for books.

Barnes and Noble has done a great job of making it possible to personalize the Nook.  Beyond naming (mine’s called “Storyteller”),  I can set a wallpaper (a woodcut of Don Quixote downloaded from Wikipedia)  and a screensaver.  They also offer a variety of interchangeable colored  back-plates, as well as covers and frames.

So…the screensaver.  It’s more of a battery saver than a screensaver.  See, eInk takes almost no battery to hold an image, so when the Nook is idle for a certain amount of time, or it’s manually put to sleep, an image will pop up.  Rather than cycling through other images, though, it’ll stay on the same one until the Nook is woken up.  In theory, the next time it goes to sleep, it’ll display another image, but mine has a tendency to get stuck on one image.  When this happens, changing to a different screensaver, then changing back seems to get things unstuck.

There’s also a built-in MP3 player that I haven’t used–my digital music comes via my Rhapsody subscription, and I’m not going to spend any extra money to put music on my Nook, especially when the phone I carry with me everywhere (unless I forget or lose it) lets me put Rhapsody music on it for free, and doubles as an MP3 player.

There’s also chess and Sudoku built-in, but I don’t play them very often–simply because if my brain is too fried to read, it’s much too fried to play logic games.  If I’m thinking clearly enough to  play logic games, I’d rather be reading.

I waited until I had enough money to buy a cover along with my Nook before making a purchase, because I know how hard I am on both

if you click on the picture, you'll be able to see where the tag came off. I didn't like the tab, but I'm still annoyed that the cover was so poorly put together.

books and electronics.  I chose the Johnathan Adler Punctuation Cover, which looks amazing, but has some quality issues.  It took all of two days for a tag on interior to start to come unsewn, it doesn’t close all the way, and recently, I’ve noticed a sticky resin on the seams of the pockets.

I do like that the cover looks like a book, and I like the clear pocket where I keep my student ID/bus pass–I like to read while I’m waiting for the bus, and it’s nice to have it close at hand, rather than having to fumble through my wallet to pull it out.

Overall, I’m very happy with my Nook.  I probably spent more money than I could strictly afford on something that isn’t going to be as useful to me in my college career as I expected, but I think it was worth it.  I wish I’d gotten a different cover, but not badly enough that I’m going to replace it before it wears completely out.  I’d recommend the Nook to, well, geeks like me who like both reading and gadgets.   The problems are minor compared to the overall benefits.

(1) The highlighted picture is of a .epub version of the Book of Mormon that I bought on the Barnes and Noble website.  I did try downloading the Bible and the Book of Mormon from lds.org, but they are only available in .pdf form, and are so difficult to navigate as to render them all but useless.

 

EDIT:

Since I wrote this post, Barnes and Noble has come out with a software update for the Nook.  This corrects a few of the problems that I was complaining about–specifically, it’s now possible to organize both the BN books and the My Documents section into what’s known as shelves, so it’s easier to keep things apart.   Also, the browser is no longer in beta format.  It’s still not great, but the point of the Nook isn’t to browse online.  Also, the pages turn faster, now, and there is the option to password protect both the Nook and your bank account.

The Shape of Panic

Seal of the Internal Revenue Service

Seal of the Internal Revenue Service, Image via Wikipedia

What? Two posts in one day?  Cori, are you feeling okay?

Ahem.

Upon giving myself a few extra minutes to get to the bus stop, I stopped and checked my mail.  This has become a regular thing since starting school.   I think I must be confusing the hell out of the mail-lady.

Anyway, upon sorting through the flyers, advertisements, postcards from local politicians who don’t realize that sending me that stuff makes me less likely to vote for them,  and bills (seriously, what’s with all the bills?  I paid for electricity like a month ago) I found this:

 

Do. Not. Want. Also: I'm really bad at opening envelopes.

 

Cue the hasty exit of any sense of calmness and rationality.

As I was waiting for the bus, I left the mail in the mailbox, with the plan of picking it up on the way back from school.  And, for some reason, (crazy, huh) I couldn’t stop thinking about this letter from the IRS.

Why were they sending me a letter?  It’s not a check, it’s a letter.  What do they want?  This could be really bad.  But, if it was really bad, it would have been a certified letter, or someone would have come and knocked on my door in person, right?  That’s what happens on TV and in the movies, right?  They just sent me a check for $37.  Do they want their $37 back?  I already spent it.  Okay, so it wouldn’t be hard to find another $37… and so on and so forth.

Finally (I missed the bus I wanted to get on, but that’s okay because it was running early, so I wasn’t late for class or anything)  I went back to the mailbox and pulled out the letter.  I figured if I was going to be freaking out, I might as well see if there was something worth freaking out over.  It could be nothing after all.  Never mind that even when it’s nothing, in my head, it’s never nothing.

Upon opening the envelope, I discovered this:

So, instead of including a note in envelope with the check for $37, they sent me another piece of mail, telling me that they sent me a check for $37.  Bureaucracy, folks.

Deconstructing the bad day

Last week was one of the worst of my life.  Since then, I’ve been thinking about what makes a bad day, or a bad week for that matter.  Is it that the events of said day are truly horrible, or is it that we focus on the horrible, but ignore the good?

I’m inclined to believe that it’s the former.   Something happens to put us in a bad mood, and consciously or subconsciously, we focus on the things that will reinforce our bad mood–we notice the jerk who cuts us off in traffic, but not the person who lets us in.  We gripe about forgetting our umbrella, but don’t notice how wonderful the rain is.

Sunday, things turned around for me.  I made it to church–I’m claiming all three meetings, but that might be stretching it–I had what amounted to a therapy session during Sunday School.

I’ve been trying to focus more on the positive in my life, and let the stress go–something that’s nigh-on impossible for me.  I know that it’s foolish to worry about things that I can’t control.

For now, all I can do is focus on my schooling, and know that whatever happens, happens.  I’m trying not to stress, but that can always lead to stressing because I’m stressed out, which just turns into this whole big mess…

Free Range Reading

let your kids read to you

Image by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

Last week was National Banned Book Week, when the American Library Association basically celebrates the books that people have tried (with varying degrees of success) to get banned from either local or school libraries. The whole idea is, in a nutshell, to poke fun of those who try to ban books, especially classics, and to promote literature and reading in general.

In the back of my mind, I’ve been trying to connect the idea of Banned Book Week to the Free-range kids movement, to the consternation of my conscious self. The ideas aren’t so dissimilar, but I couldn’t quite figure out what my brain was trying to tell me.

Of course, last week was a horrible, stressful time. I think I’ve got it figured out now.

So, here’s the thing; I’m a reader. I’ve been a reader ever since I was four years old. I consider myself lucky—my parent’s are both readers, and Mom was a school teacher growing up. There were always books in the house, and there was nothing quite as exciting as a trip to the bookmobile or the library, or when we took the Scholastic catalogs home.

Mom told me a story the other day; she ran into a woman who taught the first dance classes that Sis and I took, more than twenty years ago, now. She remembered Mom had two daughters, and asked about us, even if she couldn’t remember our names, she knew that one of us (Sis) could dance, and the other one (me) always had her nose in a book. Talking to my elementary school teachers, this was my defining characteristic. I loved (and still do) to read.

The time came, eventually when my parents grew concerned with my reading—but not so much what I was reading, but how much I was reading. I’d spend recesses in the library with a novel rather than going out and running around and interacting with other people. I never had a book taken away from me because it wasn’t “age appropriate” or contained foul language or violence or sex or any of the other excuses that people use when they’re complaining about books. That’s not to say my parents had no influence over what I read, but it was more in the vein of putting good books in my hands, rather than taking bad books out.

Now, here’s the thing. Even though I never had anyone tell me what was appropriate to read, I figured it out on my own. I’d read enough that I could tell what was good and what was bad.   For instance, I remember, when I was in middle school, I briefly developed an obsession with a series of cheesy romance novels set against various historic backgrounds. They all followed the same basic plot of a love triangle—terribly romantic when you’re 12, until you realize you can tell who the heroine is going to end up with by the illustrations on the front cover.I remember taking books back to the library unfinished because I knew I shouldn’t be reading them. My parents taught me right from wrong—and then let me act according to what I’d been taught. Insanity, I know.

I don’t know how old I was when I read books like “Fahrenheit 451”, or “To Kill a Mockingbird”, or “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” for the first time—but I know for all three books I was younger than the intended audience. Crazy thing—jumping into these worlds that explore difficult and painful topics didn’t scar me for life, instead, they helped me understand these difficult topics, and why I should care about them. To put it another way—reading books like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Huck Finn” taught me more about why racism is wrong than—well, pretty much anything else until the day my sister adopted an African-American child. What would I have missed out on if my parents or teachers had freaked out because I was reading a book that used the “n” word repeatedly?

The whole idea behind the Free-range kids movement is that kids grow up eventually. And, in order to be responsible, capable adults, kids need to learn to do things, figure things out, and think for themselves. When kids are coddled, or prevented from any sort of failure, or told how or what to think, how can they manage to become well-rounded adults? We learn from experience, and just like denying kids the experience of making friends and interacting with strangers and failing will inevitably lead to stunted adults, so too, I think, by denying kids the opportunity to decide for themselves the difference between a good book and a bad book only leads kids to stop reading.

Homework

I have an assignment in my English class that’s driving me nuts.  When it was first handed out, I thought that it would be simple–that the paper would be fun to write and pretty much write itself.

Yeah, not so much.

The paper is a personal narrative.  It’s supposed to encompass a single point in time, and have a point beyond “one time, I got bit by a shark.” type of deal.  My professor warned against doing anything too emotional, because people tend to get upset when they’re graded on the quality of their writing rather than the emotion that the story encompasses.

This paper is supposed to be descriptive–which is what I’m really stressing about.  I’m not one who’s prone to using purple prose (light lilac alliteration, on the other hand…)

So the story I want to tell is basically this:  When I was seven, we were at a family reunion on  Cedar Mountain.  My extended family is huge, to the point where amongst the first cousins alone, there are about 13 girls all born within about 5 years of each other, with my sister and I smack-dab in the middle of it

Photographic proof, even if this is taken several years after this story…

I’m on the right with the pink shirt, big glasses and even bigger hair.  Sis is on the left with the pink pants and white tee-shirt.  Ahhh, that awkward age.   Which has somehow followed me to the brink of my 30s.

Anyway, when I was seven, Something happened with this big group of girls, and I got irritated and offended, and decided I had had enough.  I wanted to be alone, and needed to find a place to hide.  I was smart/well-trained enough to know better than to go wandering off in the woods by myself.  I could go to our camp trailer, but Mom would be in and out, and that would probably be the first place anybody would look for me.  While I loved (and still do) my extended family, I didn’t feel comfortable hiding in someone else’s tent or vehicle.  And so, the only logical place was the back of Dad’s pick-up truck.

This has nothing to do with my story, except to show that I’ve always been a little off.

The truck had a camper-shell on the back, so it wasn’t obvious to the casual observer that there was a little girl hiding in there.  I had a book, and a few toys, and the truck had a mattress in the bed, along with lots of blankets, where my sister and I could sleep.  I contented myself with reading and playing.

I don’t know how long I was there before I realized that people were starting to call me.  I ignored them, because my feelings were hurt because of what my cousins had done, or hadn’t done, and I thought they wanted to tease me some more.

Eventually, I fell asleep.  I woke up slightly when the truck started moving, but I was still smarting from whatever slight may or may not have happened, so I didn’t let the driver, my dad know I was there, and fell back asleep.

yeah, just… yeah

The next thing I knew, Dad was waking me up, and pulling me out of the back of the truck.  Night had fallen–and it was mid-afternoon when I went to hide.   All the aunts and uncles and cousins were standing around, and I was informed that everybody had thought I was lost (I was incensed by that.  I didn’t get lost, I knew exactly where I was the whole time.) that’s why they were calling me.  Dad had taken the truck out to look for me, and they were on their way to the ranger station to report a missing child when my cousin Seth (just older than the gaggle of girls) noticed my hair in the back of the truck.

I just can’t quite seem to get things right…

Simple enough, right?  Except I can’t stretch it to make it the length of the paper required, and I’m having a hard time tying in the “moral” of the story.

I know a lot of this has to do with the fact that I didn’t do as well as I expected on my last paper, I’m stupidly upset because I only got a B+, not to mention the fact that I had a panic attack before class last week, and ended up having to run out of the classroom in tears.  And a big part of the problem is that I feel like I shouldn’t be having a problem writing this paper.

Anyway…

I’ve been so stressed out by this, that I’ve been losing sleep.  This morning at 3am, after tossing and turning for a couple of hours, I decided to start cleaning my bathroom.  After de-cluttering and washing the counter-top and sink, I went back to bed and fell asleep.  Today, when the stress got to be too much, I cleaned the bathroom floor.  At that point, I figured I might as well do everything else–so I scrubbed the toilet and tub as best I could (I need a pumice stone to really get things clean, but I don’t want to go shopping just for that) got the bath mats washed, and even washed the walls (gasp!).

I’m still stressing about my paper, but I feel really good about getting the bathroom cleaned–if not spotlessly, then at least to the point where I wouldn’t be embarrassed to have my grandmother see it.   Instead of the mystery smells that tend to come with dogs, neighbors and two roommates who both like to cook, my house smells like Mr. Clean.  It’s really rather soothing.

Now, if only I can get this stupid paper written…

Blogging? do I still do that?

What?  It’s been  more than a week since my last post?  How’d that happen?

Somehow, now that I have class and studying and junk, and my mind is filled with things other than the randomosity that makes blogs worth updating.

It hasn’t helped that this last week has been difficult, what with the car trouble and the panic attacks and the freaking out because I “only”  got a B+ on my English paper (who’d’ve thought that I’d ever be one of those people)… oh, wait, that was all on Friday and Saturday.   What’s my excuse for the rest of the week?

So, yes, I’m still alive.  I’ve just been trying to avoid spreading the crazy around too much.  ‘Cause it’s been the bad kind of crazy, the kind that makes my mom call therapists and set up appointments for me without my knowledge or consent  (Kidding!  Mom, it was a joke!) not the good kind that makes me (hopefully) worth reading.

Speaking of spreading the crazy around…for some reason, WordPress wants me to add the tag “War on Terrorism” to this post.

I wonder what side it thinks I’m on?

The effects of a caffeine deprived mind on the artwork of Arnold Friberg

I made a decision yesterday.  I was wondering if my massive panic attack earlier in the week was aggravated by caffeine, so I decided to cut out caffeinated beverages for a while and see if it helps me calm down.

In retrospect, it might not have been wise to make that decision the night before my 8 o’clock  Saturday morning class.

I realized this at about 2 o’clock  last night, when my neighbor’s apartment kept blowing up.

Now, I realize that I have dogs, and they tend to bark when I’m not around to shush them, so I feel like I have to be tolerant of noisy neighbors, but really–if you’re going to turn on a loud, action-packed movie at midnight, please be aware that just because it’s Friday night doesn’t mean that you don’t have neighbors that need to get up early the next morning.   The worst part was I’m not even sure which neighbor it was–there didn’t seem to be any difference if I had the windows closed or open.

Long story short, er, shorter, I missed my class this morning.  My alarm went off, and, in a state of half-wakefulness, I turned it completely off.

Now, not all was lost, here.  I would have forced myself out of bed, but my Art History Professor teaches the same class I have from 8 am to 10:30 am again from 10:35 to 1:15ish, so I made it to the second class–she did tell us we could do that, as long as we let her know we are enrolled in the 8am class.

I have to say, much to my surprise, I think I prefer the 8 am class.  I like the students more, at any rate–if you’re going to drag yourself out of bed to go and sit in a darkened room to listen to a lecture about the difference between ionic and doric columns  at 8am on a Saturday, it’s because you really want to be there.  If you make it at 10:35 on that same Saturday, well–I noticed more people falling asleep and goofing off in the later class then I generally see in the earlier class.

Plus I missed the cute (but unfortunately married) redhead that sits in one row over and two seats up from where I usually sit.

As I was making my way to class this morning, I was laughing at myself.  I’m an art major.  I was going to an art class.  I kept seeing signs pointing the way to the “Friberg Event”.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I knew this was probably an exhibit of the works of Arnold Friberg, who taught us that the prophets in the Book of Mormon were all 350 pounds of pure muscle.  (I’m not seeing anything on the UVU website to either confirm or deny this suspicion)  but I was also reflecting that “Friberg Event” sounds like an astronomical anomaly first observed or described by someone named Friberg.

Yeah.  I know.

%d bloggers like this: