Tuesday, December 31, 2002

I'm afraid the trees will start budding soon. It's still so dogburned warm! We did get a lovely bit of snow on Christmas Eve (my hubby and I went wandering through a graveyard while it snowed...very peaceful), but now there's not a speck to be found. Grrr.

I'm off work today, and I must admit I'm a bit bored suddenly. I think it's the jeans. All my (3 pairs of) jeans need washing, so I'm wearing the ancient pair with gawking holes in the knees. I used to love these jeans. But today they're assuring me that I have indeed gained weight this winter (I wish I didn't love to bake and cook so much), and that's made me a bit irritated with myself, and this led to not wanting to do anything and that led to being bored. I baked blueberry muffins this morning and watched L A Story (ED loaned it to me over break) and now there's nothing on except a John Wayne movie I've seen recently. I should drag the laundry down the hall and wash it, but it's full and heavy and I want to wait with it until noon when Cowboy comes back and can help me with it. He has to work today :-( But not tomorrow! I kind of want to watch a movie, but one I've never seen before. But I have several of those, and can't decide between them. Hmmmph. Hey, just noticed that it turned a new hour, so maybe now there's something on. Or I could figure out what to make for lunch.

Monday, December 23, 2002

We have snow, we don't have snow, we have snow, we don't have snow. CAN'T THE WEATHER MAKE UP ITS MIND?

Okay, it's the day before the day before Christmas. I'm so excited! I don't know how I'm going to survive work today.

Anyway, The Two Towers rocked!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In fact, it was so awesome that I didn't even once wish that Oded Fehr had played Aragorn instead of Viggo Mortensen (usually I spend lots of time bemoaning that fact). It was gritty and rough and funny and dark and I reallyreallyreally want to see it again. (Oooh, and Boromir was in a tiny flashback scene, so hurray!) Gotta run now, my break is over...

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

TODAY IS THE DAY!!!!! That's right, folks. At 7:05 tonight I will be entering a darkened theater to see The Two Towers!!!!!! Woo hoo! I went and got 7 tickets on Monday (had to stand in line for about 20 minutes), because a big group of us are going: me, my husband, ED, MB, DR (akaTSR), MB's cousin JC, and whoever TSR decides to bring. We plan to get to the theater around 6, because from our experience last year, there's going to be a gigantic line.

Our weather is being so weird. We should have mounds and mounds of snow by now. Today when I walked to my car at 6:42am, it was raining and felt like April or May. Really warm. I WANT SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Of course, my enthusiasm for The Two Towers is slightly lessened by the fact that my beloved Boromir is dead and won't be in this one. But that's just a tiny corner of my enthusiasm. The rest of me is bouncing up and down and wearing a little facsimile of the One Ring and counting off the seconds until I get to leave for the movie...

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Bad, bad me. Look how long it's been since I've blogged! I do have a reason, which I will now explain. I usually blog during my last break at work, if I can get at a computer. I do email during my first break, read a book during lunch, and blog during the third break. But I've started reading Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, and it's so fascinating and compelling that I want to read it during my last break too.

We still have no snow :-(

That's about all the big news. Our apartment is decorated for Christmas now, tree and everything. This weekend I'm going to start baking Christmas goodies. I've started wrapping presents too. It's so exciting!

The other reason I've been negligent is that I got a really nasty stomach flu last Thursday, and it wiped me out until Monday. I just slept a lot for about 4 days.

(BTW, the pie for Thanksgiving turned out fine, as did everything else).

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

My first solo pumpkin pie is in the oven. I've helped Mom make pie in the past, but this is my first time doing it all by myself. I'm a little worried about how it will turn out because after I started mixing up the pumpkin filling, I discovered we didn't have any ground cloves, only whole cloves. But I noticed some "clove dust" at the bottom of the clove jar, and I figured that would be about the same as ground cloves, so I dumped all the cloves in a bowl, and picked out the whole ones, leaving the little bits. But these only amounted to 1/8 of a tsp, and I was supposed to have 1/4 tsp. But maybe clove dust is stronger than ground cloves? We'll see tomorrow when we eat it, I guess. Actually, there was a little filling left over that didn't fit in the crust, so I ate it and it seemed fine. At least, it didn't seem overly clove-y

My friend ED had her very own art show up here at the college this past week, which culminated last night in her giving a gallery talk and lots of people eating cheese. It was fun, there was a gratifyingly large attendance, and I'm very happy for her.

NaNoWriMo is almost over! And I will definitely be clocking in at 30 single-spaced, MS Word, pages for our little version that our Writers Group has done. Writing this story has had a very surprising side-effect: I've fallen in love with Art Deco furnishings! They're so clean, jazzy, sleek, smooth...I love them! Someday I'd like to do a room in Art Deco (maybe a kitchen, since they're already full of geometric things like cupboard doors)...or maybe incorporate it into my Hollywood Haven themed living room? Hmm. See, I was researching Art Deco (particularly the early styles of the mid-1920's) because one of the characters in my novella gets an apartment furnished in that style.

I should probably go finish drying dishes.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just found out there will be no more new episodes of my beloved Angel until...January! How am I supposed to live for 6 weeks not knowing what happens next? How could Joss (Whedon, creator of Buffy and Angel and the person we blame--or praise--for everything that happens on the shows) do this to me? Not only am I barely working at the moment, but then I lose Angel? Grr. Aargh.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Oh, I'm a bad, bad girl (to paraphrase Wesley Wyndham Price from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Earshot" where Buffy can hear everyone's thoughts). I haven't blogged in days! The Creed concert ROCKED!!!! We had floor tickets, and we got there early enough that we were only 15-20 feet from the stage! We could see everything! It was just amazing. We were close enough that we could feel the heat from the pyrotechnics! And I mean, instantly feel it. As soon as they'd light the torches or start the sparks we'd feel it. Of course, it was really really really crowded there, so between all the people and the pyrotechnics it got pretty warm. MB says she almost passed out at one point. I didn't notice the warmness so much once Creed came on though (Stereo Fuse and Default opened). ED says she liked Default as well as Creed, but not me. The weirdest thing about being that close was how the bass affected us. It's like our chests became speakers or something. We could feel the bass reverberating in our chests and throats (and at one point in my sinuses, which sucked because I got a headache later). It felt like someone was knocking the wind out of me in time to the music. That was mostly with the opening acts though. They had their bass cranked way up. Creed affected me much less, or else I was just used to it by then. Wanna know the coolest thing about the Creed concert? We were so close that Scott Stapp actually heard my voice! Mine and mine alone! During a quick lull between songs, I screamed "SCOTT!!!!" as loud as I could with what voice I had left. He whipped his head around to look in my direction and grinned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How awesome is that? I made Scott Stapp smile! Of course, he's made me smile a lot more than just once... 

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Just got a message from my parents, who are still in Florida, but gained access to a computer for a while and checked their email. They didn't get to see a NASA launch after all because it was scrubbed due to a leaky fuel valve or something. :-(

Monday, November 11, 2002

My perfectly wonderful weekend has made Monday even more depressing. Plus, I'm hungry. But lunch is two hours away.

At least the weekend was fun. I watched waaaaay too many movies (6) and ate too many doughnuts (3). It was great. But now I'm sleepy (doesn't help that this morning's radio episode of Sam Spade dealt with insomnia), hungry, and tired of work already. Good thing there's only one Monday each week.

My parents are in Florida. They called Friday night with the news that they had tickets to a NASA launch! I suppose they'll call me again one of these days and tell me all about it.

I should never watch Breakfast at Tiffany's. It always depresses me, and I can never quite tell why. See, I'm never totally happy with the way it ends, but I can't explain my unhappiness. Grr. PLUS the copy of The Apartment that I got from the library because I've wanted to see it forever...well, that particular copy has just been watched too many times apparently, because it wouldn't play at all in our vcr. At least the other five movies I watched were awesome and made me very happy: On the Waterfront, The Hustler, The Fast and the Furious, The Lion King, and Chocolat. And the Angel episode last night was hilarious.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

I found the coolest online radio station ever! You can access it at www.brandoclassicotr.com or if you have Windows Media Player you can find it under special interest stations or something like that. Anyway, it's called Brando Classic Old Time Radio, and it rocks! I can listen to it while I'm at work, and it's like being allowed to watch really old tv! Today I got to hear "The Cisco Kid", "Red Rider", "The Lone Ranger", "Abbot and Costello"...it's so awesome! Yesterday I heard a "Sam Spade" and a "Dragnet", and the day before I heard "The Shadow" and "Sherlock Holmes." I'm entranced! And the weird thing is, my productivity has actually gone up!

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

"Sleigh bells ring, are you listenin'? In the lane snow is glistenin'!" That's right, we've got snow! Not that I expect it to last, but the ground was fairly white this morning, and it took me 5 minutes to brush off the car. When I was walking to the car, I was thinking how cool it was that mine were the very first footprints in the snow (because who else living at a college is crazy enough to be walking around outside at 6:45am?). And then I was suddenly reminded of a quotation from the movie Chisum in which the title character (played by John Wayne) says: "Wherever you go, sooner or later, there's the law. And sooner or later you realize that God's already been there." Well, I'm not saying God was leaving footprints in the snow, but one of the adorable little bunnies He created had been. It was probably the bunny I usually spot on the way to work.

But mine were still the first HUMAN footprints on that particular stretch of campus.

My parents, brother, and grandma are in Florida right now. Being me, I'd rather have snow. Except that I've never been to Florida. Yet.

Monday, November 04, 2002

Feel free to laugh at me.

For the last couple weeks my sinuses have been acting up, as they usually do in the fall. But this year I experienced something that doesn't usually accompany my allergies: a peculiar ringing in my ears. My ears rang most of the time, just a little, but enough to be annoying, for about three days. And then they would pretty much only ring while I was at work. And this second ringing was a very intermittent, high-pitched ringing that would last for 2-20 seconds, and then go away for a minute or so, only to start up again. And today I figured out what it was: the new printer that sits about 10 feet away from me. Every time it prints (and that is quite often in a paper-oriented place like this), it makes this high-pitched electronic whistle, that when muffled by the headphones I usually wear, sounds like a ringing in my ears.

At least I know I'm not going either deaf or mad.

On another happy note (so many for a Monday!), I took Gabriel to the camera shop down the hill this weekend, and for $20 they'll have an answer and an estimate for me in 10-14 days. Hooray! So superb compared to the $120, 6-8 weeks offer from the place in the mall!

Friday, November 01, 2002

This has been an eventful morning. They're tarring the roof of the place I work, so it's been really noisy all morning. Then suddenly, one of the ceiling tiles fell down! And a few more looked ready to follow, including a big air-duct grate. And there was a big piece of metal sticking through the hole in the ceiling. So the people who work on that side of the room had to move, and then this woman brought in a huge ladder, climbed up, and started yelling at the roofing crew. They finally got the point, I guess, because now there are workmen wandering around and climbing ladders and talking on little radios.

Today is the beginning of NaNoWriMo. If you don't know what that is, go to www.nanowrimo.org. The Writers Group I belong to is doing its own version of NaNoWriMo. Instead of writing 50,000-word novels in a month, we're writing 30-page novellas. That's a little more workable for the group, considering that all of them except me are still in college. I've started mine this morning, jotting down a few words while I work. Its working title is "Rudolph Valentino Reincarnate".

Last night was fun. We got our portraits made for $10, and then went trick-or-treating in the mall. The dance at college really sucked though. We only stayed for 3 songs, which all reeked, and then left. The school decided to try out a new dj, which was a big mistake. They should just stick with our pal 'Draven' (that's his pen name, so if he gets famous some day, you know I knew him in college) for a dj, because his dances rock!

Thursday, October 31, 2002

"I'm sick and tired of these stupid things happening to me! And somebody had better do something about it!" --Prudy in Support Your Local Sheriff.

As has happened the last couple years, my carefully-planned Halloween costume has disintegrated the night before Halloween. Last night I melted a hole in my costume with an iron. So now I'm throwing together a quick costume to match my husband's. He's going as Wolverine from "X-Men", and now I'm going as Rogue (thank you, ED for having long gloves I can borrow!). We're patterning our outfits after what they're wearing when they first meet, about 17 minutes into the movie. You know, kinda normal clothing. Because there's no way I could get him to wear yellow-and-blue spandex. It's our hair that's going to make us recognizable. We got "hair glue" for his to give him that great pointy Wolvie hair, and I'm going to quick run to the mall after work to find some sort of impermanent white (or maybe silver?) dye to do a quick streak in my hair. But I'm afraid that as has happened all too often, our costumes will be too subtle and only a few people will get it. Let's see...my freshman year a friend and I went as sort of a photo and its negative--I wore a white shirt and black pants, she wore a black shirt and white pants, etc. Nobody got it. Sophomore year I was a genie, but just ended up looking like an Bohemian MC Hammer. Junior year my friends and I went Goth Glam, so that was quite fun and people understood that. But last year we decided to all go as vampires dressed as something else: a vampire as an elf, a vampire as a fairy, a vampire as a military commando (that was me), and a vampire as Ringo Starr from the film Help! (that was him, and only one person besides our group got it without us explaining the whole thing). I don't remember having this problem as a kid. We'll see if anyone figures us out this year. Maybe I should start thinking more garishly.

Just a couple more thoughts from Chamberlain (this time regarding the aftermath of battle) for you to ruminate upon:

"But we had with us, to keep and to care for, more than five hundred bruised bodies of men,--men made in the image of God, marred by the hand of man, and must we say in the name of God? And where is the reckoning for such things? And who is answerable? One might almost shrink from the sound of his own voice, which had launched into the palpitating air words of order--do we call it?--fraught with such ruin. Was it God's command we heard, or His forgiveness we must forever implore?" (p 42. Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. The Passing of the Armies. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.)

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

What ARE they dropping?!!!!! Whoever it is that lives above us seems to have this fascination with dropping stuff on their floor. This happens almost every night. It sounds like they have a bag full of beads or unpopped popcorn or bbs or something and they are dropping them one-by-one with no discernible rhythm on the floor above our tv. It's driving me NUTS! Why?! What are they doing? Are they mad?
If I needed one more reason to love Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, here it is. During a battle near Petersburg, after having been wounded in the side and dehorsed, the following occurred:

"By a sudden backset I found myself surrounded by Confederates, who courteously lowered their muskets and locked their bayonets around me to indicate a reception not easily to be declined, and probably to last some time. The old coat was dingy almost to gray; I was bare-headed, and rather a doubtful character anyway. I thought it warrantable to assume an extremely friendly relation. To their exhortation I replied: 'Surrender? What's the matter with you? What do you take me for? Don't you see these Yanks right on us? Come along with me and let us break 'em.' I still had my right arm and my light sword, and I gave a slight flourish indicating my wish and their direction. They did follow me like brave fellows,--most of them too far; for they were a long time getting back." (p 37, Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. The Passing of the Armies. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.)

Okay, it was a bit mean to the Confederates, but extremely brilliant (and kind of funny, I think). Just thought I'd share :-)

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

I'm reading The Passing of the Armies by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain right now. My copy is part of Bantam Books' 'Eyewitness to the Civil War' series. He's making some really great observations (as can be expected from a man who was a professor, a governor, and president of a college besides rising to the rank of brevet major general in the Union army), and I think I'll share them here quickly, and a few thoughts on them. Here are two things JLC has said so far that struck me:

"The North was as arbitrary as the South was arrogant" (p 21).* Thank you! A Union writer (a general in their army, no less) who freely and of his own volition states that the North was not perfect. Of course, the South was not perfect either. From what I've studied of the Civil War (and I admit that's not much; I just took a one-semester course in it and have read some stuff on my own), I think those two words--'arbitrary' and 'arrogant'--perfectly describe the attitudes of the opposing forces. The North thought they were right and would let nothing stand in their way, not even themselves. The South thought they were right and thought they could lick overwhelming opposing forces. Proving once again that all people are stupid. (Yes, even me, far too often).

"...instant advantage is not always lasting achievement..." (p 22).* This just makes me ruminate more about everyday life now than the Civil War. It feels so true! People who think they have it all because things have been handed to them on the proverbial silver platter are not usually going to be remembered for anything more than stupidity and arrogance and how fast they were forgotten. The song "High Flying, Adored" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's opera "Evita" comes to mind, with the lines about "a shame you did it all at twenty-three" and "for someone on top of the world, the view is not exactly clear". Or think about pop icons who come quickly to the head of their business (one-hit wonders of all kinds) and then two years later we can't remember their name. But the people who work slowly toward what they want, like the Beatles, Creed, Bobby Darin, Harrison Ford--the people who put in the time as underlings and nobodys before becoming interesting (this works for politics too I suppose, and of course for any sort of great artist, writer, musician...)--have much more of a lasting influence (if you haven't heard of Bobby Darin and are wondering what sort of lasting influence he could have had, check out a lot of recent soundtracks, and you'll find him everywhere. More about him later. Much more). This gives me hope for my own future as a writer because as yet I haven't done much, but I've been published in a few little magazines, I was editor of the college literary magazine for two years...I've been putting in my time. Maybe my day will come too.

*(Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. The Passing of the Armies. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.)
So I was looking forward to taking Friday off even though L&B aren't having their wedding this weekend after all. I'd requested the day off and gotten in approved, and figured I'd just have a day off all to myself. Hah! I just did the math and realized that with those 8 hours gone, the overtime I've been doing this week wouldn't be overtime at all, and all in all taking Friday off would cost us $75. Like we can afford that! Especially since we're getting health insurance now, and Gabriel is sick (although Dad offered to help with the cost of fixing him), and we have to start paying back my student loans in November. So no special day off for me.

On the bright side, my friends and I are going shopping on Saturday to a Christmas store and other random places, so that should be fun. Even though I don't plan to spend much (I've got a twenty I'll take along, and when that's gone, no more spending for me), I do want to get some Christmas decorations for our first Christmas together (well, first Christmas as a married couple, we've spent 2 other Christmases together with our families). I love Christmas! My husband laughs at me, but I do! I can't help being in a Christmas mood already! I started shopping for it in May! And I'm almost done with the presents I'm making for 4 of my best friends.

And in really groovy news, I wrote to The Homeless Guy and told him how much I appreciate the things he's saying with his blog (thehomelessguy.blogspot.com), and he wrote me back!

Monday, October 28, 2002

Poor Gabriel. Took him to the camera place in the mall yesterday, and they said I'd have to pay $120 to get him sent off to a repair shop. So I guess I'll have to try the place down the hill. I wish I just knew what's wrong with him, but so far no one has been able to tell me.

And Angel was depressing last night.

And it's a very Monday-ish Monday. We have 20+ new people here at work that all got trained over the weekend. It's their first day on the job, and they're all confused, making work very hectic for the rest of us.

Lots of reasons to brood.

At least the sugar cookies I made last night were good. And I got material yesterday--2 yards at $3 each--to make myself a new sarong.

Friday, October 25, 2002

"Another wet day, another wet town." --Kirby, in some random episode of Combat! (possibly "The Little Jewel" or "The Party"?).

This morning, instead of being greeted by friendly snow, I was treated to a dribbly rain. October is confusing.

Today my Dad sent me this message, which beautifully puts into words what I have been trying to explain to my husband about cameras:

> I am extremely saddened to hear about your camera.
> Being a camera man
> myself, I know how important a camera is.
> Pictures are irreplaceable and
> so are the moments they catch. Few people realize
> this, but those of us
> who do must stick together, lest we be tempted to
> not take pictures.

I have this great urge to preserve things. This is why I journal and blog: to preserve the memories of what my life has been. This is also why I take photos. I know that my mental memories fade, but when I look at a photo of some occasion, the memories revive and I can remember my past better. The same happens when I read back over some of my old journals. I remember how I'd been feeling, what I'd been thinking, what little trials and joys I was experiencing at the time. And then one day I can pass all that down to future generations. Because I love learning about the past, I feel I must preserve the present.

Maybe this can somehow help explain why I'm so upset about my darling camera Gabriel being sick. I'm not just some fluffy, airheaded moron who is sad because she has a broken toy, you know.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Snow! Wonderful, glorious snow! I walked to my car this morning and there were tiny white things in the air and even a few on the ground! Not that I expect it to stick or anything, but it was a fun surprise. Almost made up for the fact that I had to get up at 5:55am.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Gosh, my very own blog. A spot for me to randomly rant about any and all subjects at any and all hours of the day or night. Kinda scary to think that other people might be reading this. Probably they will be, because I'm sure I'll end up giving people my address. So if you're a friend of mine, Hi! If you're a random stranger, Hi! to you too.

Gabriel is sick. I'm quite worried about him. Especially since I don't think my sales receipt for him exists anymore. (Gabriel is my pet camera). I paid too much for him to just let him sit in his case and rot the way I did to the stupid $80 Minolta. Why is it that my trusty old Kodak works even after being lugged around and dropped and sat on and heaven knows what else for 10 years, and when I get a really great camera, it kaputs in 14 months? Ugh. Really, I'm too depressed to write any more. To think of my darling Gabriel sitting lifeless in his little nylon nest when I should be capturing all sorts of things with him...not to mention retrieving the 20 pictures from that graveyard photo shoot...

Technology depresses me.

I need more caffeine.