Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Wood Day... uh, I mean A Good Day

Today feels almost like it's been a productive day. I spent an hour or so at Grounds today, playing with wood. I found a stick while I was hiking yesterday and decided to turn it into a cane. "Why a cane?" you ask. Well, I've made a walking stick before. That's easy. You just find a good piece of wood, strip off the bark, maybe wash it when you get the chance and bam! instant walking stick. Sure, you could cut off the broken bits of wood at the top and bottom and maybe sand it down too. But it's a cinch. I haven't made a cane before. It's still a piece of cake, but it's a step up, at least. So I lugged the stick over to grounds and Tracy taught me how to use the buzzsaw and some monster sanding machine that I have decided to call the Wood Eater, since I never learned it's real term. And the monster drill. And the gorilla glue. And the palm sander. So I now have a cane sitting in a four-foot bar clamp in the corner of my room, waiting for the glue to dry, and tomorrow I'll take it out and test how sturdy it is and take some pictures.

My whittling project is coming a lot more slowly. I spent as much time shaving off bits of wood as my arms and thumbs would let me, and I still feel like I've hardly gotten anywhere. The problem is that the wood is very hard, and very splintery. I'm worried that even after I get it down to about the right size, I won't be able to shape it because the moment I try, it'll splinter all the way up. But at the speed I'm going, it'll be a week until I have even the head small enough to try shaping anyway.

However! I'm covered in wood shavings and sawdust, and my arms and thumbs ache. It's been a good day.

I'm already planning out my next project. I'm thinking a box. Maybe one with a false bottom. We'll see. A false bottom would be tricky, but also enormously fun. And everyone knows that the trickier a project is, the more satisfied you are once you're finished with it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bored

My lack of cooking skill continues to surprise even me. Today I royally ruined Glop, my own creation. Burned the potatoes, undercooked the onions, and added too much oil. I really hate cooking. Why do I bother?

I have some pieces of wood that I intend to experiment with. It goes very slowly because pushing on the knife is giving my thumbs blisters. It'll probably take weeks to whittle what I have in mind, and I doubt it will look any good. But I'll post pictures when I finish, unless it's so enormously terrible that I'm ashamed to show anyone, in which case I'll probably just use the thing for firewood.

I'm starting to get sick, I think. Nothing serious--just a scratchy throat. The orange juice feels nice... for a millisecond, while I swallow. I think my voice will probably sound funny tomorrow. Oh well.

I saw Kamren and Noah and their mom at the grocery store today. Kamren's going to be Cinderella for Halloween, and Noah's going to be Batman. They're excited. Makes me wish I could take them trick-or-treating. I made their mom promise to call me up if she ever needs a baby-sitter. I wonder if she even has my number.

Safeway stopped making my favorite kind of donut. I may have mentioned this before, but it's such a tragedy that it's worth bemoaning it again. WOE IS ME!!!! What will I do without my whipped-cream-filled donuts? Wooooeeeee!!!

Okay, that's all. This post seems depressing. That's funny, because I'm actually in a pretty good mood. Hey, guess what! I got the sheet music for the Super Mario Brothers songs! They're a lot harder than I thought they would be! I mean, wow!

I took a hike up by Exit Glacier today. I didn't go very far because it was already starting to get dark when I started up the trail. But I got a good way up anyway and was pleased to discover that I'm in good enough shape to go that far, at least, without any trouble. But I still feel like a pansy, and will continue to feel like a pansy until such time as I start going to bed exhausted from hard work instead of tired from lack of movement. And pacing while reading hardly counts as movement. I think by the time I move out of this place, I'll have worn a trail in the carpet.

Rawr.

Well, off I go to drink orange juice and then spend a few hours trying to get to sleep. If anyone has any good methods for falling asleep, by the way, I'd love to hear them, because I can only handle so many sheep....

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ub a nabber

Here's a brief clip of conversation from my video game to show just how smart I am. "Mervyn" is me, by the way. Brian took a screenshot when I shared this particular bit of intelligence, so he's the one talking "To Mervyn."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Eatling

Every time I type in my own blog address, I end up typing "eatling." I suppose an eatling is a little critter that's born for the sole purpose of being eaten. Or maybe a being from the planet Eat. Earthling. Eatling. Hm... hard to say, really. Maybe it's actually a verb. The progressive form of "to eatle." "Eatle," of course, would mean something like... "to burp through one's nose such that it burns." Dang, I hate when I do that. Especially in public, because people think I'm crazy when they're talking to me and I suddenly grab my face and moan.

Not that there's anything wrong with being crazy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Snow! And another book review! Yay!

We got our first real snow two days ago. It didn't stick for more than a few short hours, but it was long enough. I can't wait to have real snow to play in! I've rarely seen snow deeper than three inches or so, and when Rye made a snow log, I about flipped out, because I'd never seen one before, though they're apparently as common as snowballs up here. I've tried making one three or four times already, but I apparently don't have a knack for it. But I'll learn. I also intend to sculpt guard dogs out of snow at the base of my porch. And maybe dig out snow caves if it gets deep enough.

It snowed again this morning. Not as deep as Saturday's snow, but it was snow. I also met Coulter's dog this morning. Coulter is a guy who works in grounds. I'd never heard him talk before today, I think. Anyway, he has a puppy, about six months old, though his shoulder is already above my knee, that he keeps locked up in his car all day. I've seen the dog in the car on occasion and felt sorry for it because what young animal would enjoy being locked up all day every day? So I met the dog this morning when he was running around in the grounds building and rough-housed with him for a few minutes before Coulter took him off to lock him up. Soft animal. I like him. Her. It.

I finally finished the Farseer Trilogy. It was just about the most depressing trilogy ever. Started out good, and just dragged you deeper and deeper into misery. I don't know whether I'd recommend it or not. I think the main reason it was so miserable, too, was because it spent a very long time talking about exactly how the main character felt about everything. It wasn't "I did this, I said that, then this happened so I did this, which caused that to happen." It was "I felt this way, so I did this, and I wasn't sure whether I should say this, that, or the other, but I decided to say that because it was the best thing to say because of these reasons, and after I said it I felt this way. I'm sure everyone else felt like this, so it didn't really surprise me that this happened. But then this happened and I felt this way, so I did this. Then, without thinking, I did that as well. I suppose that by doing that, I had caused that to happen. I suspect that the other guy was thinking this, that, and the other thing because this happened and that happened, and he said this, but I can't prove my suspicions because..." and on and on and on. Not to mention all the tragic memories and passages that had no purpose other than to make the reader feel pity or righteous anger. So I didn't like the main character very much. I thought he was whiny and annoying and foolish. I liked the minstrel and the loyal stable-hand a lot, but my favorite character, of course, was the Fool. The only parts of the book that made me actually laugh out loud were the parts that involved him. So all in all, it was a decent series, but not really an uplifting one. I probably wouldn't read it again.

On the other hand, Dave the Barbarian is a TV show I deem well worth watching. That had me giggling for a good long time Saturday. It's almost worth getting a cable splitter to hook up my TV....

Nah. Toodles!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Yeah...

For the first time in pretty much ever, I felt like making cookies today. So I made some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. They didn't turn out very good, to be honest. I mean, they're okay... but they're not great. I'm definitely not a great cook.

I want to buy some basswood and learn how to whittle. I think that would be a good winter project. Learning how to whittle. Useful, na? I already have a few designs planned out for things to whittle. Now I just have to find that place the guy at Spenard Builders said might sell me the stuff I'm looking for. Hardware Specialties, I think it was called. I hope my pocketknife is sharp enough, though I'm sure Aaron and Toby would sharpen it for me if it's not. The guys in supply could sharpen a knife so sharp that... that... um... it's really sharp. Yeah.

...It's late. I should've been asleep hours ago, but I'm not because I was making friends online. It's interesting how many friends I've got in WoW. Rye and Brian both seem to have few friends besides each other and me. But I've got so many friends that I can hardly log in now without six people all clamoring to say hi to me and ask how it's going. Brian tends to mope that I don't reply to him fast enough... but it's hard to reply to six people at once! I guess it's easy to be popular when you're a girl who plays video games. It's like being a girl in a computer science class. Fifty boys for every girl makes the girl very popular. Even if she can't cook to save her life.

Anyway. I also slept too late today. I stayed up too late last night and ended up sleeping for twelve hours. Not well, though. I haven't slept well in the last four nights. I keep having weird, and sometimes bad, dreams. I remember waking up several times to them and going back to sleep because I wanted to finish them. Last night's was some kind of murder mystery type of thing. Which is weird, because I never liked murder mysteries. I always thought they were stupid. Last night, I think I ended up dying several times. I can't remember. Anyway.

So yeah. I just realized a day or two ago that I don't honestly know whether I'm a cat person or a dog person. Some people think it's important to know, and that you have to be one or the other. That's what the lady said when I went to the pound to volunteer there. Turns out I can't volunteer because you have to be able to guarantee "Yes I will be here these hours on these days," and I can't always promise that because I never know when I'll be working and when I won't. I could probably work it out with Rye if I really wanted to. But having seen the pound, I don't really want to. If it were like the Harrisonburg pound, I probably would, but having seen it, it's not a place I'd like to spend a lot of time in. The office is the size of my bathroom, and there's two desks, a table, and several filing cabinets crammed into it. It's also poorly lit. So the overall atmosphere makes me feel crowded and almost claustrophobic.

Anyway. Yeah. Honey on sourdough bread tastes weird, I discovered yesterday.

That's all. Toodles!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bad dreams

I had the saddest dream ever last night.

I was at my parent's house, and it was Christmas time. There were a lot of people there--family, friends, and so on. Dad had just finished teaching me about windsocks, and Dianna was working on some acting thing. I was sitting in the kitchen, thinking about what to do next, and looked over to the living room and saw the piano. So I went over to play it. My roommates from last year were sitting on the piano bench, picking through the piano books and talking excitedly about each one. I tried to pick out a book, but every time I reached for one I wanted, it turned into a beginner level book--the kind with finger exercises and occasionally even songs, but no real music. Once I managed to actually pick up a book, but Jill took it from me. Finally, I got one in my hands--it wasn't the one I'd been reaching for, but it was still a good one. But suddenly, the piano was in the corner, behind the Christmas tree. So I made my way over to it, and right when I got there, I stopped, because Sean was sitting on the couch, watching the girls swarming and talking at the piano--or where the piano used to be. Remembering my manners, I asked him if he would mind if I played or if he would prefer me to go downstairs to play. He made a face and said "Downstairs. Please." So I went downstairs. My brother Allen and his friend Christian and one or two other people were sitting around the downstairs piano, but Allen took one look at me and said "Okay, everyone over there so Cathryn can play the piano!" He likes it when I play, and I think he saw the look on my face. I smiled gratefully, and everyone got out of my way really fast, and I finally got the piano. I opened my book, sat down to play... and then my alarm went off. And I never got to play the piano.

Woe!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Meow

I don't update often enough.

I rearranged my room today. Or maybe yesterday. Yeah, it was yesterday. My bed is now higher than my waist. I have to jump to get onto it. I intend to refer to it as my perch from now on. Tweet tweet.

Now I have a lot of walking room, some of which will be got rid of tomorrow when I get a keyboard in Anchorage. At least, I intend to. No, not a computer keyboard. I already have one of those.

Not much to do at work lately. Tomorrow we have one in-house to do and that's it. Well, and cleaning the front desk bathrooms. La.

I'm going to go read now. Toodles!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Brief Book Reviews

Mom has asked that I write reviews of every book I read this winter. Actually, I'm pretty sure she thinks I should write a book review of every book I read ever. I'll write brief reviews here, but for my own reasons, not for the writing samples my mom suggested they'd be useful for. And my books focus mainly on fantasy, with some science fiction mixed in occasionally.

I reviewed the Redemption of Althalus already, and Mistborn, so first I'll write a brief review of Wizbiz. I didn't actually finish that book all the way--it was made of two or three smaller books. I read only the first, which was the first half of the book. I wasn't terribly impressed. The idea was good, but that's about all it had. The characters were stereotyped and one-dimensional, the plot wasn't terribly exciting, and the dialog was terrible. Shame, too. I really liked the idea of using magic being like writing a computer program. And it had a lot of potential.

I just finished the book Through Wolf's Eyes, by Jane Lindskold (or something like that). I would give the book an A. Maybe an A-. It's about a girl who was raised by wolves. She gets found by humans, who take her back to human civilization when she's about fifteen. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially how it kept hopping back and forth, showing human society from a nobleman's perspective, then a peasant's perspective, then an animal's perspective. The character development was outstanding--I felt a great attachment to every character in the book, and was pleasantly surprised that they changed as they grew up, despite the fact that the book only spans a few months. (Young adults mature very fast sometimes--particularly when wars are involved.) The only thing that knocked this book down from an A+ was my own personal loathing of anything to do with politics. Firekeeper, the girl who was raised by wolves, was thought to be the lost granddaughter of the king. The king's children had all died, so his nieces and nephews and their children were all fighting over who would be the king's heir when the old man kicked the bucket. Sounds exciting, but the minute details of all the political goings-on bored me to the point that I would sometimes do little more than skim until something interesting started to happen. Since I don't feel that I missed anything vital in the book, I consider the passages I skipped to be a waste of space. However, I did thoroughly enjoy the book overall, and was pleased and surprised by the ending.

And that's all for now. Toodles!