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Showing posts from 2008

A belated Merry Christmas?

Y'know, I just now realized that I said nary a word about Christmas last week! So... hope you had a very merry Christmas, and that your new year will be blessed above all! (The reason I missed it? Probably because, at this wonderful family time of year, the last thing I think about is posting on my blog... *grin*)

I shall post a complete list of my Christmas gifts soon... after the first of January, at the least. Probably not till the third or fourth.

I like my new laptop. I can play music on it. :-)

I also am enjoying the phone memory card that my brother gave me for Christmas... now my phone can play music, too, and I'll never buy an mp3 player!

I got a laptop!!

It's pretty! It was on sale!

And it has...
--2 gig RAM
--120 gig hard drive (theoretically... but it's partitioned, into portions slightly bigger than 50 gig, so the formatting took some and Vista takes more)
--a webcam
--a media card reader
--and wireless!

S'wonderful! Quite an improvement over my previous laptop (though that one was free). I actually have multiple USB ports here... and enough ram to surf the 'Net at a reasonable speed. Lovely. :-)

What fun blogging apps are.

Apparently Blogger has come out with some nifty new thingies at the bottom of posts... p'raps they will persuade you to respond! For, if the precise response you need is not among the three or four choices beneath, you have the easy option of "replying!" What a novel idea.

[edit]........or not.......? Where are the pretty little check-boxes?? :-(

[edit 2] the word of a friend, "sa-weeeet!" Or in my own word, "success." :-)

Of Macs and Russians and Shopping.... (oh my!)

So my brother has been trying his best to install a version of Linux onto an old Mac computer we recently acquired. It's not as easy as it sounds.... because it's PPC, whatever that means. I'm only aware of all the troubles he's having because I'm acting as a mediator of sorts between my brother and one of my friends who happens also to be somewhat of a computer geek (and has actually tackled this problem before, albeit minimally).

I've also been treading my way through War and Peace. Got into the 200s today... (That would be pages, meaning I got past the 200th page sometime this afternoon.) So far it's not half bad. I think I like Tolstoy's writing style very much; although the sentences occasionally get very long, it seems as if the way he thinks is similar to how I think, if only peripherally. I love the way he describes the expressions on the faces of the characters.

I did make it through the chapters about the first big battle (the one in which…

The Truman Show and Plato

I just started reading a book of classic essays today... starting with the one by Plato called "Allegory of the Cave" about men in a cave who saw only shadows and fancied that the shadows were the true forms, not just shadows. And one quotable quote:

"Yes, he said, I think that he would rather suffer anything than entertain these false notions and live in this miserable manner."

It immediately made me think of the movie "The Truman Show." That movie illustrated that quote.

Life observations

...I started my eleventh journal Saturday.
...Facebook chat hates me.
...It is freezing here in this library.
..."All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above."
...I am seriously considering dropping the honors program, if a certain policy changes.
...I need a new laptop sometime.
...Black Friday should be abolished as a result of the trampling deaths of shoppers.

'Nuff said.


The first year I attempt NaNoWriMo, and I complete it... with two hours, five minutes, and forty-one seconds to spare. Now how's that for beating a challenge? :-)

My devo today

Something that I thought important. Couldn't have said it better myself.
...Let us not wait for large opportunities, or for a different kind of work, but do just the things we "find to do" day by day. We have no other time in which to live. The past is gone; the future has not arrived; we never shall have any time but time present. Then do not wait until your experience has ripened into maturity before you attempt to serve God. Endeavour now to bring forth fruit. Serve God now, but be careful as to the way in which you perform what you find to do--"do it with thy might." Do it promptly; do not fritter away your life in thinking of what you intend to do to-morrow as if that could recompense for the idleness of to-day. No man ever served God by doing things to-morrow....Courtesy of Back to the Bible's "Morning & Evening" e-mails of Charles Spurgeon devotionals.

I feel accomplished today.

It's not even five o'clock, and I've already done quite a lot. I've given two speeches (for the same class, no less!) in which I excelled. I also added to my novel! I helped out with an after-school program that was sewing some simple caps for cancer patients too.

Speaking of the novel... I hit 17,000 words today, and am likely to add at least another thousand tonight (whether during my shift at work or afterwards). It's probably at least five times as long as all the fiction I've written in my entire life... already! And I'm not even halfway done yet! (Yeah, it's the twelfth and I should theoretically be at 25,000 by the fifteenth... I doubt it'll happen...)


Remember when I mentioned this NaNoWriMo last year? I said "someday..."

And in this fairy tale, "someday" comes true! :-)

Translation: I'm actually going to attempt to write an entire 50,000-word novella during the month of November...! Crazy, aren't I? Dan reminded me of this today when I read his blog, and I suddenly decided I'd attempt it this year.

Granted, I'll still keep up with schoolwork etc., but I think I'll be able to cram it into those extra hours... like this one.... :-)

So starting November 1st, if I don't post for a month, this is why. Good night.

Curly hair is lots of fun! etc.

And now for your sporadic update on the life of the ReaderSis!

1. I just went on midterm break last week... it was busy, but lovely. I love visiting my family. :-) I also love playing guitar for my church, so I did that over break too. (As part of the praise team... there are very few guitar players at church that will just look at the songs on Sunday and play them with minimal practice.) Those two things are probably what I miss most about being home.

2. I also got my hair cut over midterm break! And I love it! See, my hair has some natural curl... not too much, but just enough that I can sport a layered look and it actually looks good. I've gotten several compliments on my new haircut. And I don't have to do much with my hair in the morning. 'Swonderful.

3. I'm working on a paper now, about the bailout that Congress passed three weeks ago. It's fairly interesting. And as a result of some of my research, I'm now much more aware of the state of internat…

A Fairy Tale

The following is a fairy tale my sister wrote (and which I think is hilarious). It's basically all the fairy tales you ever heard rolled into one.


Of Mice and Men
Or, the Troubles of a Mouse
by mafia
(all rights reserved; don't steal this story!)

Once upon a time, in a forest filled with trees, there resided--for the time being--a little grey mouse whose name was Patrick. Patrick was very sad and lonely, because he wasn't really supposed to be a mouse at all, but a little boy; but that was such along time ago. Unfortunately, the other forest dwellers left him all alone because they knew he was different.

Today was an unusual day, for he was feeling more depressed than normal. Walking through the forest, there came an old, old man who stopped when he saw the poor little mouse sitting there.
“Little friend,” he said “be not so woeful, your troubles can be overcome. Travel to the Shining City you see in the distance, I'm sure someone can help you there.”

And wit…

Airport insecurity...

"The Things He Carried:" an Atlantic magazine article by one Jeffrey Goldberg that details the absurd and dangerous items the author was able to sneak past TSA security checkpoints and onto commercial passenger flights....

...because I have a fair amount of experience reporting on terrorists, and because terrorist groups produce large quantities of branded knickknacks, I’ve amassed an inspiring collection of al-Qaeda T-shirts, Islamic Jihad flags, Hezbollah videotapes, and inflatable Yasir Arafat dolls (really). All these things I’ve carried with me through airports across the country. I’ve also carried, at various times: pocketknives, matches from hotels in Beirut and Peshawar, dust masks, lengths of rope, cigarette lighters, nail clippers, eight-ounce tubes of toothpaste (in my front pocket), bottles of Fiji Water (which is foreign), and, of course, box cutters. I was selected for secondary screening four times—out of dozens of passages through security checkpoints—during t…

"The meditation of my heart"

So the chaplain this year--he's new--has been going through a sort of series on the ways Christians grow closer to God. Prayer, confession, the sacraments, reading the Bible, and so on. This week he's talking about meditation; and today, after a stripped-down version of the praise songs (i.e. just one singer/guitarist as opposed to a whole band plus several singers), he talked a bit more about meditating and letting God speak through the still whisper, then let us all either sit there and practice meditating, or leave early. (Like twenty-five minutes early.)

I brought my journal and meditated some. 'Twas nice to just sit for awhile and think, you know?

Interesting Focus on the Family website

Well, what did I do today but rediscover one of my favorite columnists?

Focus on the Family has this website for college students-- which a certain J. Budziszewski writes. This man, who also goes by "Professor Theophilus," wrote How to Stay Christian in College a few years ago, a book which I highly recommend. (I read it just before I graduated from high school.) I used to read his columns in one of my favorite teen-magazines every chance I got; and now I can access new columns, written for semi-adults (as opposed to teens), online! Que maravilloso.

(How I wish I could insert Spanish letter characters more easily than cutting-and-pasting from a Word document....)


It's a lovely concept, the weekend. No classes... just a bit of homework and some actual work hours.

Last night I went to a small group event--an outing, a trip to a football game and a bonfire included. 'Twas lovely, though rather chilly.

And I can't really think of much to write at the moment... life is just slipping by, quite serenely.

Something funny I found...

I don't usually read forwards. But this one directed me straight to a Snopes link (which usually will debunk a forward) so I went ahead and looked.

A Tale of Two Houses

Al Gore's Energy Use

Now who's the conservationist...?

But anyway. Yeah, he gets some energy from "green" sources. Fine. OK, he buys "carbon offsets" to do restitution for his high energy use. Well and good. But, it's completely illogical to justify high energy use by saying one is using some "green" energy with it! Why not just use the green energy in the first place? Why not use as little energy as you can, so you can spread it around, green or not?

I don't think I can adequately explain this... but it just doesn't make sense to use a lot of energy when you could use less. And I'm sure, since he's already paying for this much energy, he could afford to make some changes of the sort.

Whew! What a storm!

Wow.... I just had a very extended weekend break because of wind.

You know that hurricane that came by a couple days ago? Mr. Hurricane Ike? Yeah, that wind.

You see, though I am far inland, apparently the residue of the hurricane was still strong enough to knock down trees (both here on campus and around town), knock out power lines, and generally wreak havoc with life. So from Sunday supper till Tuesday lunch, we had no power except what was being generated in the student union and the cafeteria. And batteries....

So we learned to have FUN without electricity! For the most part, anyway. We played draw-pass (basically Telephone on paper), poker, euchre, volleyball, foosball, and a game known variously as Liar or B.S.; I took a couple bike rides, both with and without friends; played guitar and autoharp, and sang; and generally just sat around shooting the breeze.

Of course, we did have Guitar Hero hooked up to one TV in the student union for awhile, and SGA showed a movie Monday ni…

Another one bites the dust, but chivalry still lives

Friends of mine recently broke up, amicably I think. Apparently college romances come and go; and maybe that's the nature of it. But still.

On the flip side: apparently a friend of mine did a very chivalrous act recently, and got himself in the young lady's mother's column. Read the whole story, but the gist of it is:

...No, what expired was the idea my 16-year-old daughter would have an escort to her Homecoming, a mere two days away.

The date, let's call him Dudley, "Dud" for short, canceled, his excuse being something along the lines of, "My new girlfriend doesn't want me to go ... I am a spineless wimp ... sorry I didn't call earlier, like a month ago, and I am an idiot ... OK, bye."

....Thursday night our phone rang again. It wasn't Dud; it was Bobby. He asked if he might have the privilege of escorting my daughter to her Homecoming. Big points for Bobby, at least 100.

Bobby showed up Saturday night, in a crisp gray suit. 50 points. He…

Morning Poker and Midnight Parks

To tell the truth... I forgot my laptop at home last weekend... therefore, I have had less access to the Internet than I would like, and have needed to use it on other things (such as homework). But I have it now!

Friday night... or perhaps Saturday morning... I spent hours playing poker. Now, I'd never known the first thing about poker till Labor Day, on which date I played a few rounds to learn, at a friend's house. (At least now I know the rudiments of Texas Hold'em.) So after watching a movie on Friday, we all decided that we didn't want to watch yet another video, and broke out the poker chips instead. I had some nice multicolored piles by 1:30, when we had to leave the apartment for the night (visiting hours... such is life on a Christian college campus, you know). At one point the owner of the poker chips was sure I was bluffing--when I actually did have a pair of kings in my hand--and I pretty much took all his good chips and left him with some ones and ma…


So McCain announced his VP candidate today, apparently... probably while I was sifting through miscellaneous accessories to bring to my campus dwelling. Sarah Palin? Before now, I didn't even recognize her name. But the more I read, the more I like. (Of course, it's fun to have someone important share your name, too; but that's beside the point.) Now that both candidates have got running mates and (soon) platforms, I can actually look at these people. I'm fairly sure of whom I'm voting for; but I need to clarify a few expectations and such. Figure out what these guys are going to do if and when they're elected.

(It's even spelled with an H! Yes! *grin*)

I'm rather tired....

But, you know, working nine and a half hours in a day will do that to a person.

Thusly, though I've had myriad things run through my mind today, accompanied by the thought (time and again) that whatever-it-was would make for an interesting blog post, I can now conjure up absolutely nothing to write.

Although I must say, having... oh, say ten cookies for supper, is not really a good idea. But it tastes lovely, no?

Oh my. Must be a trial.

Poor, poor science teacher. He has to work just so hard to get his uneducated, narrow-minded pupils to accept the fact of evolution and its undeniable proofs.

All right, enough with the sarcasm. My issue (today) with the NYT is its perpetuation of evolution-as-biology when it really is basically some sort of hypothetical branch of science based on the theories of some few scientists from the mid-1800s (which even their proponents would now hardly affirm).

This article betrays a couple misunderstandings which I had hoped could not have reached such "educated" folks as those who dwell in the heart of NYC.

Misunderstanding number one is the idea that evolution and natural selection are one and the same. Natural selection, properly understood, is also known as "survival of the fittest": traits that are already present are naturally weeded out according to how well or how badly they help the possessing species live long and propagate (prosper, if you will). Notice that…


Yeah, so I stole this from JC. I love this type of thing.

Three things that scare me:
1. Anybody in my family dying.
2. My external hard drive suddenly malfunctioning and losing all my photographs.
3. Somebody reading my journals. (Other than posthumously. I don't really care who reads 'em after I die, but till then they stay in my treasure chest.)

Three people who make me laugh:
1. Sissy!
2. Dad, and
3. Alicia.

Three things I love:
1. Church small groups
2. Reading
3. Singing

Three things I hate:
1. Losing friends.
2. Irresponsible congressional spending.
3. Illiteracy.

Three things I don't understand:
1. The appeal of cigarette smoke.
2. Why some people don't like peanut butter.
3. The purpose of stretch SUVs.

Three things on my table next to me:
1. Mom's letterhead.
2. A brochure from our town's anniversary celebration.
3. umm.... a lot of other stuff! What to choose? Ah, here we go. A Keith Green tape.

Three things I'm doing right now:
1. Half-watching an episode of Starga…

Projects, take two

Yeah..... so I did kinda work on one or two of my projects... I think... well, let's review.

1. I actually got most of the way through my writing project.... er, the first draft. Still have some to add, then comes editing!
2. I've not touched the book, at least that I remember. AND I have another journalism book (that looks fascinating!) to add to that reading, all of which must be finished in the next two weeks.
3. The special music didn't pan out, so I didn't have to practice for that after all.
4. Don't even ask about the college planning. Zilch.
5. No calligraphy yet either. At least that can wait indefinitely!
6. But I did write a couple days in my journal!

However, I did finish shopping for clothes that I needed, and altered one of my new-to-me pairs of jeans this afternoon! Nothing too outlandish (not like my last pair, that's for sure), but something unique just to flare the boot-cut legs. Didn't take too long. All I did was take some denim and broa…


I kinda wish now that I had about a month off again... like at the beginning of my summer....

Because of all the projects I'm working on. Projects = things I enjoy doing that have some structure to them, like a book or something.

1. I started a rather lengthy writing project Sunday and haven't touched it since.
2. I'm halfway through a book on journalism, a fascinating one about bias and slant and such undesirable traits in the NYT.
3. I'm playing guitar this Sunday for a church special music thing.
4. I do need to start planning my packing for college eventually....
5. And my sister has awakened in me a sporadic urge to do some calligraphy, maybe to write a poem or something. It's just so much fun!
6. I don't think I've written in my journal for weeks... wow. I'll have a LOT of writing to catch up on.

"We're supposed to sing about piratey things!"

I saw The Pirates of Penzance for the first time Sunday night! My first movie since July 12th too, believe it or not. I don't miss movies much. :-) I thought this movie was quite entertaining.

Another thing: Atlantic Monthly and the NY Times both had articles dealing with newfangled "literacy" thanks to the 'Net. Is Google Making Us Stupid? (which appears to have started this debate) and The Literacy Debate--Online, R U Really Reading? fascinated me.


I'm definitely not used to getting up earlyish. For volunteering this morning, I had to wake up before seven-thirty, after being up till one last night; not bad in itself, I guess. However, tonight it's up in the air just how many hours I'll be at work... at least nine, maybe more like ten or more... and I did want to at least feel rested today! No luck. And, of course, tomorrow I'll be in no shape to play guitar at church--so I'll be there an hour and a half later than I normally have to, which will help--but then there's a big church thing going on tomorrow afternoon/evening that I really want to go to, so I'll somehow stay awake the whole day if I have to sleep ten hours tomorrow night!

I'd be napping now, but I'm waiting for Mom to make pancakes for lunch. I did attempt a nap earlier; the air conditioning prevented comfort though.
I'm Wednesday Morning, 3 a.m.!

Which Simon and Garfunkel album are you?

Why not to deliver pizza, and other comments

One of my best friends had a job delivering pizza for a very short time... and I'm glad now she quit. Apparently pizza delivery (and other forms of driving-sales) is the fifth most dangerous job in the country.

Consider what it's like to look in a box that appears normal, only to discover a jar of dead cockroaches... yep, cockroaches floating in some sort of preservative (that is non-hazardous, as the label hastened to point out).

Country music today at work, instead of the rap/pop. All things considered, I like this radio station much better. Funny thing is, sometimes the songs played are something I'd expect on a Christian station instead of a secular station. Perhaps country music isn't as compartmentalized as the rest of the music genres. It's a refreshing thought, anyway.

I rather enjoy riddles...

...if you haven't guessed. Seriously, I used to collect them. And I ran across one of my old favorites just yesterday, in a lovely math/logic book.

Suppose you're on a game show, where there are three doors--one of which conceals an Aston Martin in mint condition, and the other two of which conceal goats. (Obviously you're aiming for the Aston Martin.) You are told to pick a door, then the host--who knows where the Aston Martin is--will open one of the other doors to reveal a goat. You pick door number one; the host opens door number three, exposing a goat. Should you switch to door number two or stick with your original choice?

The answer is completely and unbelievably counterintuitive.

(Oh, yeah, that other riddle... the probability is 1/125, at least in my opinion.)


My job, mindless though it may be, does have its funny moments. Like the time someone had to touch a bag full of dead frogs--not the frogs, just the bag--and the other girls were a little too grossed out to do it, so I did. Or the time I discovered we sold bulk Gojo. (As in, at least half-gallon jars!)

And the variety of customers! These addresses make me think of random songs, occasionally, if the city in the address resembles some lyric or just reminds me of a song through an inexplicable series of associations. So sometimes I simply start singing right in the middle of dealing with a bunch of boxes. Nobody can hear me though, or nobody cares.

The reason? Besides the machinery drowning out everything, there are radios everywhere blasting the local hit radio station... so I hear more rap and pop each day at work than all I have ever heard before I started this job.

Mathematical riddle

Once in awhile I find something rather interesting in my dad's various magazines. This month it was a riddle:

"Four people each flip a fair coin five times. What is the exact probability that they each get the same number of heads?"

I have my answer. It's pretty easy.

A Movie with Bee!

My sister got "Enchanted" out from the library this week, but she watched it last night without me... and I wanted to see that again! (I've only seen it once.) So this morning I invited Bee over for a little me-and-her movie time, and we watched it. (She likes it very much.)

The Prince Edward character is just annoying; the Queen gets the best lines (in proportion to her speaking role!); and I like... oh, what WAS the girl's name? You know, the star of the show! You'd think I'd be able to remember that. Giselle, that's it. I like her hair best when it's sorta curly, but not up in an '80's-style poofy 'do. I don't like her name at all. Evelyn would've fit better, I think.

Bee and I love the big dance song in it, the one in the park with the steel drum band! :-)

The NY Times' skewed view of taxes

So this op-ed summary caught my eye in this morning's NYT e-mail: "If Leona Helmsley’s $8 billion charitable bequest to dogs were only a matter of wasting her own money, no one would need to care. But she is wasting ours too." For obvious reasons. I was thinking, "OK I knew there was some eccentric lady who left a fortune to some dogs, but is this what it sounds like? Is some dumb government agency footing the bill for a dog museum or something?"

And it's nothing of the sort! It's simply that the NYT is jealous of her fortune (and doesn't think she's spending it well--but that's a different story), and the 45% of it that would be taken in taxes if it hadn't been "donated" to a "charitable" cause. According to the NYT, "The charitable deduction constitutes a subsidy from the federal government... her $8 billion donation for dogs is really a gift of $4.4 billion from her and $3.6 billion from you and me." …

Family events...sorta, anyway!

First item of news: My family now has cable internet at home!!

Second item of news: I'm enjoying the cable internet!

Third (and real) item of news: We'll be junking the old car (the Subaru) tonight.

And just for the fun of it: Peanut butter and strawberry jam on a tortilla is amazingly good. Especially if you butter the tortilla first, I might add.

The Fourth of July

Ah, good ol' Independence Day. When everyone gets a little patriotic, for once.

I had to work today, oddly enough. Apparently it's the first time this company's done this (in the memory of some of the seasonals anyway). Short day, though, and the company fed us all sorts of ice cream on one of the breaks. :-)

Then immediately after I got back from work, we went to see fireworks! Now, my family didn't used to be able to see fireworks much; all we caught were glimpses of the city fireworks from the camp we usually attend over the Fourth. But, both this year and last year the camp managed to miss the weekend of the Fourth--it was scheduled over the previous weekend both times, I think--so we've been able to actually see fireworks, after years of missing out on 'em!

The New Buick!

Ain't my car pwetty? :-)


Heh, it's been awhile apparently. But I did start my job!! Second shift isn't conducive to my internet presence though; seeing as we have dialup, I have to spend as little time as possible online during the peak calling hours, which leaves open only the hours during which I'm at work or sleeping. But that's what the library is for, right? :-P

Quite a bit has happened...

The car died. My poor little car. :-( Well, not mine really. Just the old family car that I got to tool around in.

I started my job, as I mentioned. Not too bad. Easy. Keeps me on my feet, that's for sure! And I whistle or sing a lot while I'm working. Somebody actually noticed it last night and asked what I was singing.

Got to see three of my best friends from college! And I'll get to see one of 'em again the weekend after this one. I don't know how I'll survive in the meantime. :-P

Camp is coming up... so I'll be absent (again) for a few days.

And I just found out th…

It's Friday the 13th!!

...and I wish someone superstitious was around to tease.

Anyhow, I was on late last night IMing a friend from college. At one point she was having me answer questions on some psychological quizzes--you know, the kind where it asks you about your dream house and says "the size of the house is representative of" something or other. And the results are a good example of three things:
1. Why I am too concrete to take these types of quizzes
2. Why these quizzes are worth nil if you take them seriously
3. Why they afford a LOT of amusement at midnight!

So, among other things, I learned... brother is the one that I love dad is my lucky star (whatever that means!)
..."Raindrops keep falling on my head" is the song telling how I feel about life
..."You see a deer. The size of the animal is representative of your perception of the size of your problems."
..."Is your dream house surrounded by a fence? You answered no. No fence is indicative of an open perso…

Guitar + chords = songs

It's as simple as that!

My most recent additions to my songbook (bringing the total in my book of songs to 74) were the words & chords to "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" and "Lean On Me." Well, I haven't yet written in the chords for that last song, but I know them. It's quite an interesting chord progression! (1-major to 2-minor to 3-minor to 4, or in other words C-Dm-Em-F for most of the song.) I'm quite proud of myself that I actually figured that out on my own, while fooling around on my cousins' piano. Yep. All outta my head. :-D (Oh, here's a decent YouTube video of it.)

For Raindrops, I just transposed them out of a book.

Oh--and my own reading list!

So here's what else I might be reading this summer. Bolded are the ones I've already finished, whether recently or simply in the past few years. This particular list was compiled by myself and three friends, when we were on a van ride back from a college honors-program outing. Therefore it's dubbed the "reading list for honors nerds." :-D Seriously, we were going to read some of them over the summer and discuss them. There's a whole Facebook group for this, so we have access to the list and can toss ideas back and forth about adding books.

Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
It Can't Happen Here - Sinclair Lewis
Oedipus Rex - Sophocles
As You Like It - William Shakespeare
Much Ado About Nothing - William Shakespeare
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
Anthem - Ayn Rand
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
Othello - William Shakespeare
The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
A Canticle for …

Books these days

Since coming home from college, I've pretty much buried myself in reading... well, it keeps me busy till my job starts anyway. I just got into "The Princess Bride" finally... you'd think that, after having loved the movie for who knows how many years, I'd have read the book by now, but nope! And I love the movie, so I rather like the book. The author's sense of humor is amusing.

But before that, I finished "Wuthering Heights." I thought I might like it more than I did, since Emily Bronte's sis Charlotte wrote one of my favorites books, but the characters, especially Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, in "Wuthering Heights"... are just entirely too dark, too... inconceivably cruel, unbelievably inhuman. Sure, it was a fascinating book, and it makes one wonder about the depths of human depravity that one can sink to; but there is little to redeem the characters, almost nothing to help one to pity either the lady or the beast. (I sti…

Interesting: a list of books.

The top 100 or so books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. Bold the books you have read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish. [Got this from a fellow blogger.]

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera

Excerpt from a funny e-mail

[From an e-mail purporting to reproduce fourth-graders' answers on science exams.]

Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.

[Who knew??]

You know you need to clean your room...

...if the dust is visible. Check.

...if the dust is actually obscuring parts of the floor. Check, at least behind the furniture!

...if you have so many books they're filling up boxes that lay around the room. Check.

...if you have slight troubles traversing the distance from your desk to your bed to your closet. Check.

...if you don't even wear half the clothes filling your dresser. Check.

...if you haven't even lived at home for several months. Double-check.

Thus, I have kept relatively busy over the past day and a half. :-P

Facebook = timewasting...

So I was at a "homework party" last night. And you know how much homework gets done at these things...

A friend of mine got on Facebook's "Pieces of Flair" application (like Bumper Sticker only snazzy and smooth), and by about eleven last night had sifted through 136 pages of Flair.

He made it to 201 pages this morning.

Surely it's not been this long!

My goodness, was April 30th really the last time I posted here??

Well plenty has happened in the first ten days of May. I had my last class day of the year; had not one, not two, but THREE days of choir concerts (well, two days were tours to area schools and the third day was the actual hour-long concert); attended two concerts in which I actually did not perform (one conglomerate band concert and one large choir concert); finished a video project of which I'm quite proud; and generally had plenty of time on my hands even after I'd done all the work I was supposed to do!

I even got time to sing with friends again, hanging out after the band concert. We had four parts at one point, and we blended really well! Fortunately everyone reads music better than I do, so I can simply sing the soprano part that I know and the rest can do whatever they want with harmony. :-)

We've had really good weather for awhile now too.... until about two days ago. It got dreary and drizzly, so I…

Supposing I were at work...

...would it really be wise for me to get on and post on my blog?

Yes, say I, because otherwise I'd simply get on Facebook and be doing something even more mindless.

Such is my job. Some days I actually have something to do... others, I sit behind a desk and chat on Facebook or do some such thing. Occasionally I'll do homework too.

I sit here staring over a counter through a window-space, waiting for people to come ask me something and give me something to help them with!

Es aburrido a veces. Pero puedo pensar porque no hay ruido aquí.

EDIT: bah, I do need to remember that "hay"!

A pound of margarine

Last time I was home, I asked Mom to send me back with all the fixins for "Dawg Chow". (It's a delicious finger-food dessert of Chex, chocolate, peanut butter and powdered sugar.) I'm going to make it this weekend for a bonfire get-together.

So I have a box in my closet full of dawg chow ingredients and utensils... minus a cup of margarine. We were going to grab it out of the fridge on our way out, but forgot.

So I asked the chef here at the college cafeteria if he could give me a cup of margarine, and he goes ahead and hands me a one-pound block of it! Saves me a trip to Wal-Mart.

Biking yet again

I should make a whole category for bikes, really.

So a five of us biked about twenty miles yesterday evening before sunset! Same route as my last twenty-mile ride, only this time we actually found this little ice cream stand just beyond the place where I turned around last time. We got ice cream, enjoyed ourselves, took pictures and went back (just in time for me to get to my small group meeting). It was my fourth ride on this route, I believe.

I must have a good bike. I'm not sore.

In other news.... I scheduled classes today.... um, I'm helping with the latest drama production's costuming.... yeah, just random stuff. Pretty much enjoying my last few weeks of freshman year.

So I have little to do... work, that is.

Although I did spend the better part of the morning figuring out my class schedule for next year, simply because I had nothing else to do. It seems to be a theme today.

But the situation will improve in about ten minutes. I will have choir, then I'll go do something for a class (which I prepared for this morning), then have supper, then... oh wait. I need to find something to do with myself this evening!

Sigh. At least I should have a leetle more work to do next year.

Biking is wonderful.

So I did end up going on that bike ride, only it was postponed until almost eleven o'clock at night... which was okay, I guess, but since I'd never seen the route before I kinda wanted to go again in daylight. But wouldn't you know, right after that I got sick (possibly with whatever my brother had last weekend) and couldn't go until I got better.

So I went yesterday.... the weather was absolutely gorgeous, and if I hadn't been able to get out for awhile I would've gone stir-crazy (again). My friend and I covered more than just the original new route though. We ended up going on a twenty-mile (round trip) ride before I had to go to small group last night, just because there was time. I loved it! And I'm not even sore yet today.

What a day.

I've been in class or working practically all day, and wouldn't you know it--it's been marvelous outside, with the sun shining bright and the wind blowing gently! So I've become stir-crazy... and I've decided to go on a bike ride! I'm going to take a new route today, and I'm dragging a friend along with me.

Last night at ballroom dancing, a few friends and I worked on making a group dance out of the Hustle... and really did make good headway on it! We've managed to work four moves in, besides the basic. You can't imagine how odd we look, though--for one thing, we all move closer into the circle at one point, so we look like an expanding and collapsing starburst the whole time.
So I did two remarkable things over break, amongst the many unremarkable things (like finishing a book).

#1: I refurbished a hand-me-down pair of sparkly jeans. :-)

#2: I finished another journal (my eighth, to be exact). And I finally photographed some maps I drew awhile ago....

For the maps, your best bet is to click on them and find a larger size, especially for that last one (which is my best I'm sure).


Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge (BOOK) device!

BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology; no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy to use even a child can operate it. Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere, even sitting in an armchair by the fire, yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc.

Here is how it works: BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of recyclable paper, each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder, which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of your finger takes you to the next sheet. BOOK may be taken up at any time and us…

Home on break

You know, it's nice to be home after awhile.

I get to keep my sister up telling her all sorts of stuff about college... mostly stories about the events and people there. I daresay most of the people at college have little idea how much I tell stories about them! But I believe I have told the principal characters , and I don't think they mind much. And of course the stories are purely for enjoyment; I don't think they reflect badly upon anyone.

I also get to look around for summer jobs... am trying again to get involved with the local paper, and I signed up with a temp agency earlier this week. I liked the lady at the temp place--she was very nice and intrigued by my journalism/Spanish combination of interests.

And lastly, I get to fool around on my mother's sewing machine (which actually functions, as opposed to my broken one) and refurbish pairs of hand-me-down jeans... pics coming soon. You won't believe what I've done. :-)

Names I like....

For the past week I've been trying to remember the three C names for boys that I really liked... and I could only remember the first two! You know how trying it is to be unable to recall that which you specifically desired to remember?

But, in the middle of a class (of all places), I remembered!

The names are...



and (drumroll please)....


Comment card... and 200th post!

In honor of this blog's 200th post, I hereby post the most hilarious cafeteria comment card you've ever seen...

Snow photos!!

On my Flickr! Including snowdrifts, stuck bikes, and an IGLOO!


You would not believe what I saw out the window this morning....

More photos forthcoming when I venture out at noon for lunch!!

Cafeteria conversations

My friends and I occasionally have the weirdest conversations at meals.

Exhibit A:
Today I was debating the definition of "normal" with a guy I know through a friend (whom I know through a couple other friends). Basically, he was being the devil's advocate and arguing from the normal=majority definition that the majority are abnormal and thus the word becomes meaningless because that means abnormality is normal and logically impossible. Think about it... if what's normal is what constitutes the majority, ok. But a lot of people do not fit into the majority, right? Perhaps a majority don't? Then, it's in the majority to be abnormal... and thus, to be abnormal is to be normal, and vice versa. He admitted the logical flaw at the end and we all started laughing.

Exhibit B:
Immediately succeeding aforesaid debate about normality, another friend and I picked up a previous conversation.... regarding the question of what superpower one would choose if one could hav…


The inaugural Leap Day Post!

Assuming I have a blog in my post-college years, there may be a Second Leap Day Post!

Anyways... happy February 29th to you all. It doesn't even come once a year, like other days; it's so special, it only shows up once in four years! Kinda like a presidential election, but less politically charged.

Have a nice day. :-)

My cape and a phantom

So if you don't know already, I invariably wear a midnight-blue cape around my campus. I sometimes have random people tell me they like my cape, or wish they had one just like it--yesterday a girl in my dorm (I just recognize the face; don't know her) told me as I passed her that every time her boyfriend sees me wearing it, he says he's jealous and asks her to make one for him. (She thinks not!) I've already lent the pattern for it to a friend of mine, too, who asked after fall finals if she could borrow it.

And apparently I'm not the first one on this campus to sport a cape. It seems that before my time--maybe a couple years ago--there was a girl who looked a bit like me, a religion major, who often wore a cape. I'm asked occasionally by strangers, out of the blue, whether I have a sister who used to go here; and that unknown phantom of the college's past is the reason.

I've now seen "House" (the TV show).

And it wasn't bad. I enjoyed it. Reminded me a little of the old show "Diagnosis Murder" with Dick van Dyke and his son.

I've also played Halo, as of Saturday night. I don't quite understand the appeal of video games, but I guess it was all right. It was hilarious to watch some of my friends' reactions when I shot them out of nowhere. :-P

Thirdly, I was introduced to Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis comedy on Saturday after lunch.

This has been quite the weekend of new experiences!

Recent reads...

I've been working on The Screwtape Letters this week... don't remember when I started them; yesterday morning, probably. I'd forgotten how much I like C.S. Lewis's writing. After this I'll probably re-read Mere Christianity again.

So far my favorite part of Screwtape is letter 13, in which Screwtape is exhorting his nephew Wormwood not to let his assigned human enjoy any real pleasures... because "the characteristic of Pains and Pleasures is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality... it (a real pleasure) would just kill by contrast all the trumpery which you have been so laboriously teaching him to value...." Intriguing, isn't it?

I also started re-reading A.W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God, but that was awhile ago and I still haven't gotten far... still, the good thing about this book is that you can read one of those chapters in about five or ten minutes (they'r…

The Land of Oden...

Here's a song I plan on recording sometime this weekend...

"In the Land of Oden"

In the land of Oden
There stands a mountain
Ten thousand miles in the air
From edge to edge
That mountain measures
Ten thousand miles square
Once every million years
A little bird comes winging
Sharpens its beak upon that mountain
And quickly disappears
And quickly disappears
And when that mountain
It wears away
Into eternity will be one single day
In the land of Oden
There stands a mountain
Ten thousand miles in the air

Speed Dating

...was hilarious.

As I mentioned, I went speed-dating tonight at a Student Government-sponsored speed dating party. I sat in the same chair for about two hours, perhaps more, yet talked to I don't know how many guys about nothing in particular (except that I must've repeated my first name and major about twenty times). Of course, this was for kicks; and boy, did I ever get a bunch of laughs!

I met...
--a professional ballroom dancer who refuses to go to ballroom dance. (Our theory is that he's too used to concentrating on structure & technique.)
--a half-Brit whose grandmother lives in the British Isles somewhere, whose parents met in New Zealand, and whose goal is to go to New Zealand for photography.
--a guy who thought he was going to play pool, but got drafted into this; he started tossing around the fake rose petals.
--several guys I sorta knew before.
--and one weird guy who may actually have taken the whole "speed-dating" thing seriously.

Oh well; perhaps once a week is enough.

But I can't handle having just four to five posts a month, so guess what?

I'll be posting more often! :-)

What's new? Hmm....

1. I'm sending FIVE thank-you letters out tonight... two for Christmas gifts (notes I didn't get around to writing somehow), one for a belated graduation card, another Christmas gift thank-you which I put off on purpose (I wanted to form a skirt from the given fabric first), and a Valentine's package I got.

2. Oh yes! The lovely ladies at my home church sent me a box full of goodies and snacks and some post-it notes and a cute little teensy weensy notepad! I received it sometime last week, and between my snacking and a movie night most of it's gone now. It was wonderful though; it had lots of peanut-butter-and-chocolate candy in it! (Reese's Cups, some Hershey's PB-and-chocolate, and some KitKats. I don't know if the KitKats are PB-and-c, but they're sure yummy.)

3. I was videographer for a crazy lip-syncing "Od…

Random update

Wow, I haven't posted since the 29th of January?? That's like, last week! Exactly a week ago!


OK, now for the update. I was a fox and a villager in this hilarious one-act called "Eyefellgloffenhootenanniemerryberrycrunch".... that was a blast. It opened last Thursday, and the last performance of the three was Saturday afternoon. My siblings were here for the weekend, visiting, so they went to that and accompanied me to the cast party that evening.

Apparently, cast parties around here consist of a lot of drama/acting games... charades, etc. I enjoyed it. Charades alone went for at least an hour, I'd guess... it was the longest game. A new one for me was "welcome to the ____ family" in which a volunteer is led out of earshot while the game is explained, then led back in. When the volunteer returns everyone has to imitate what they do, while of course the volunteer has no idea we were told to do this. When they sit down it's the end of the r…

As promised: Washington pics!

My new twirly skirt!

OK... you know what I do when I've got time at college!

The latest finished product:

More photos...
Just standing
Held out
Held up?

The Saga of The Skirt

I got some fabric for Christmas, as I may have mentioned. Purple & pink & blue seersucker, perfect for... a new skirt! Of course! I dug a neat pattern out of my pattern drawer... a pattern that ends up looking like it's a double-circular skirt because of all the pieces in it. And those things, combined with the time I had today, yielded just such a purple/pink/blue seersucker skirt!

But in the meantime, my poor old sewing machine broke. I warred for half an hour with it before supper, and for a few more minutes afterwards; and the result of all the fussing was my discovery that a little plastic gear in the depths of the machine was responsible for the whole thing turning useless. I was just half a hem away from completely finishing this skirt, and the machine went kaput! I was determined to get this thing done, so I camped out in the dorm lobby for... three hours, maybe? and hand-sewed the rest of the hem. And on what amounts to a double-circular skirt, that is no e…

Mark the week.

Wow. This has been one of the most important weeks of my life; it will probably be the most important week of this year, and we're not even out of January yet!

My grandmother died...
I'm going to D.C. for the first time in my life...
I found out I've made the cut for the select voice ensemble here...
And I've just been offered my first minimum-wage job.

Now doesn't that sound like a huge week to you?

Not to mention my two parts in a one-act play here, for which I will be practicing four hours today; it's my first ever theatrical experience (not counting cute, no-budget Christmas programs at church).

Man, I didn't know my eighteenth year would carry with it so many changes....

Brrr..... it's COLD!

I can't believe the wind chill yesterday dipped below zero.

But anyways....

I really can't think of anything to post, but since I'm sitting in the computer lab across from the classroom in which I have an exam in about twenty-three minutes I might as well post something. I already did three online practice quizzes, so it's not like I'm procrastinating as far as study goes. In fact, I actually learned a little from the quizzes, I think.

Slingshots are cool. A friend showed me one last night that has an arm brace so it's easier to hold it still when you're aiming it and pulling the rubber band thingy back.

Over break I'm going on a TRIP!!! I love trips. Hence, I went home this past weekend because I won't be home on break. (Oh, yeah... this is a college with a J-term in between semesters, so there's a comparatively short Christmas break before J-term and a teensy little break between J-term and the spring semester.) This will be a very interest…

A proverb

I was just reminded of an old saying my Mom taught me a long time ago; and I don't want to forget it.

He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool; shun him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child; teach him.
He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is blind; lead him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise; follow him.

The winter one-act play

I tried out for my first theatrical production last Thursday! It was fun! And I actually got a part!

Two parts, actually; one named "villager number two" and one named "Mr. Fox" who shall hereafter be known as "Miss Fox." And, added together, they actually have a decent amount of lines. Of course, there are basically two stars of the show--the Witch and the little girl who saves the day--but everyone else has roughly equal amounts of lines, perhaps partly due to a little doubling that had to be arranged.

Since there are four or five village people in a group, in this particular play, we are contemplating the different occupations we should have... maybe you see where this is going?... and have nearly settled on the policeman, the construction worker, and the Indian for three of them. We might try to work in a little "YMCA" movement during some down time too.... wouldn't that be hilarious? :-D

And the Witch! She's a friend of mine, one…

The NYT irritates me to no end.

Two days in a row, the New York Times has published an uncalled-for slant in their e-mail news updates. Yesterday, some dumb reviewer panned the new VeggieTales Pirates-who-don't-do-anything movie, starting with an insinuation that "...borrowing the signature word from the title of someone else’s very popular trilogy and hoping people will turn up at your film thinking that Johnny Depp is providing the voices" is a main marketing point. Doesn't this guy know that the Pirates predate anything having to do with the cinematic Jack Sparrow?? And knowing the usual quality of the VeggieTales movies, I sincerely doubt that this one's quality is merely on par with that of Saturday morning cartoons.... I mean, I've seen the cartoons they show these days! Phhht. Awful stuff, and boring. VeggieTales is certainly not that, not even as an adult (my parents enjoy them, as I still do).

Then today, there's an article about five homeschooled children (the emphasis mi…