Thursday, February 28, 2008

100th post

Theoretically, this is my 100th post... but I have a gazillion unpublished drafts of posts, so it's probably more like my 70th. Maybe if I get bored, I'll go through all my drafts and either publish or delete them, I guess. But don't hold your breath. I hear that kills brain cells. But then, maybe I'm the only one who worries about that because I obviously don't have that many left to lose.

You know it's time to do laundry when your clothes can stand up by themselves... Don't ask how I came to think of that, because I don't have a clue. Guess I figured I'd throw that out there while I'm admitting my faults. In fact, while I'm at it, I should also add that sometimes I forget to brush my teeth.

Whew. I feel so much better now.

We found a bookmark in a room today with five steps to apologize to someone on one side and five steps to control your anger on the other side. I decided to keep it just for giggles, and a few rooms later, when Rye was messing with my head by hiding towels from me, then hanging them up when I left to get more, I called him all sorts of names, then whipped out the bookmark and started reading out loud the anger management side. "Locate the focus of your anger..." (glare at Rye) "Check. Analyze your options... Decapitation, eternal torture, breaking his computer, kicking him in the patootie..." What a useful bookmark.

Beth is going to kill me with a razor-edged Frisbee of doom, death, destruction, and various other words that start with D and imply all sorts of suffering and agony. I can't remember why anymore--probably just because it's fun. Or maybe I made one too many comments regarding the age of dirt... Or was it because I didn't put the dirty bags on the porch? Either way, I can just see a super power ranger ninja Beth with a razor-edged Frisbee of doom (etc) going Jackie Chan on me and slicing me up into little bits while cackling maniacally. Except my linty squirratypus would save me so I didn't die all the way. That way, she could decimate me again later when she's bored. Because Beth > all. (For Dad, who doesn't speak Modern, > stands for 'is greater than.')

Oh, they finally fixed the hot water and stuff, so I'm back in my room now. Joyous!

I was trying to wrap my brain around the concept of infinity yesterday and it didn't work. Time is infinite, so there is no beginning of time. And ps, where did the universe come from? Like, before there was a universe, according to the Big Bang Theory, there was nothing, right? Not space, just... nothing. It wasn't empty because there wasn't anything there to be empty. No space, no time, no nothing. Ow, my head. Then, there was an ounce of matter packed into a space a million-billion-trillionth the size of a proton. Then it exploded and made an entire universe worth of matter. Where did the ounce of matter come from if there was nothing, and where did the rest of the matter come from when it exploded? Well, not 'exploded.' 'Expanded,' I guess. There's a scientific law that says matter can't be created or destroyed, so where did it come from? According to the Creation theory, a god of some kind or another made it. Well, what did he make it of? And where did the god come from? That's infinity, I guess. Because for every time you say, "It came from this," there'll be the question, "Well, where did that come from?"

Pretend you're immortal for a second. Can you imagine so far in the future that Earth isn't even a distant memory anymore? We're talking super-duper-enormously-vastly distant future here. The human race dies out like the dinosaurs. Another species evolves and thinks they own the planet. That species dies out and another evolves. Repeat as much as you want. In the meantime, Sol is getting older and bigger and redder until one day, in a few billion years, it dies. How long have you been alive? Twenty years? Fifty? Eighty? Can you even imagine a billion years? Anyway, okay, so Sol dies. Maybe it blows up. Maybe it just gently fizzles out. Maybe it implodes and turns into a black hole. Then what? The entire rest of the universe won't even notice. Let's say you hang around near where Sol dies for a few more billion years, hoping against hope that another star will form where Sol did. Eventually, you get bored and go to the next nearest star. Right now, I believe that's Alpha Centauri. By then, maybe it'll be different. Same thing happens. The star gets old and dies. Anything living in that solar system is dead. Any scientific advances they made, any other progression they made, everything they did, is lost. So lost that no one will ever even know about it.

Makes you feel really insignificant, doesn't it? Now imagine being immortal, like almost every religion teaches you will become after you die. What will you do after the solar system dies? Everything you ever cared about will be gone. Your house, your school, your workplace, your favorite park, your entire planet, the sun, the moon, everything you ever knew will be gone. Then what?

Well, okay, that's enough thinking for today... it's time for Kwang-soo's piano lesson. Toodles!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nothing nothing nothing

Isaac Asimov once said, "I write for the same reason I breathe--because if I didn't, I would die."

I wouldn't die if I didn't write. But sometimes, I need to write, even though I have nothing to say, and if I ignore the urge, I can't concentrate.

So, Urge, here I am at the computer, writing. Now what? Now I'm at a loss for words. See, I go to all the trouble of putting on warm clothes to come to my 45-degree room so I can type something so I can get it out of the way and focus on my history homework, and I don't even have anything to say....

Well, so what? Kathy Embleton once said, "Myth: You can't write if you have nothing to say." It's a myth, she told me, because you can. Just write nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing until you come up with something.

Nothing nothing nothing something nothing something I can't think of anything nothing nothing nothing...

It's not working. On the other hand, I'm still typing, so maybe it is working. Or maybe I'm just keeping my fingers moving so they don't get too cold to type anyway.

Ya know what bugs me? When I try to comment on something and people either top it or trivialize it. Like, a day or two ago, I was telling Brian Bublitz that my room was 45 degrees, and instead of saying something along the lines of "Wow, that's pretty cold," or anything, he intentionally started blowing it off and saying "Meh, that's warm. Big deal." Sure, it's warm... for outside in the wintertime. But room temperature is 72. 72 >45. lrn2domath, n00bz0r! So he said, "Well, MY room is 23," to try and top my story. No duh! As Mr. Shull is fond of saying, "I was born at night, but it wasn't last night!" (Actually, I was born around ten in the morning, but that's beside the point.) So I pointed out to Brian that I wasn't stupid and his room is 23 Celsius, which is a big difference from 45 Fahrenheit. He denied it and then left before I could prove it. Punk.

Anyway, yeah, so that's that story.

Last night, after work and schoolwork and stuff, I came to my Room of Cold to get dinner. Made dinner, plunked on the piano for a bit, then sat down at my computer, was just about to relax, when suddenly I remembered it was Monday and the Packs had invited me over for dinner at six o'clock. I checked my watch. 5:55. Crikey!

Since I had already eaten, I was tempted to call them up and say, "Sorry sorry, I totally forgot, can we reschedule," but decided against it. They don't live that far away, and I'm a college student, I can always eat more. So I just drove over really fast. I don't think they even noticed I was a few minutes late....

Dinner was really really really outstandingly good. Peas and rice and chicken and some type of gravy soup stuff and lemonade and zomg wow it was the best meal I'd had in months! Anyway, after dinner, Kamren said, "Hey, watch me run! Watch me run, Kaffoon!" and then she took off running down the hall, stopped before hitting the wall, and then ran the other way. After watching her do that a few times, I snuck over to the corner around the hall and caught her when she ran screaming out of the hallway. She giggled and said, "Again again!" So she ran down the hall and I caught her again and again and again. Then the dog, Cody, brought me one of her toys, so with one hand, I played tug-of-war with Cody, with the other hand, I grabbed Kamren as she ran full speed down the hall, and at the same time, I managed to carry on a conversation with Kamren's mom. (I still don't know her name.... hehe...)

For the record, the dog looks really funny. She would be almost a normal-size dog except she has these short, stubby little legs. When she sleeps on her back, her legs stick straight up in the air, which looks hilarious!

Anyway, then Kamren got out her boxing gloves and she and I beat each other up a bit. I was doing fine until she put the boxing gloves on her feet. How do you block something that low? Crikey!

I feel a little bad for playing favorites with the kids. Little Noah's maybe three years old, but I don't play with him very much. He kind of avoids me, and he's not really playful like Kamren. It seems he likes to do things that he knows irritate people. Then again, maybe he's just shy or something.

Today was fun too, because it was Cordi's farewell party. She's leaving (woe and tragedy and sad day!) and we had a lunch party with steak and crab legs and some really awesome blueberry/whipped cream dessert. I had some Alaskan king crab just so I could say I'd had some. I'm mildly allergic to shellfish, so I just stole some of Aaron's. It's tough getting the meat out of the shell when the shell has spikes all over it!

So then I tried to do history, and did fine on the first ten or fifteen pages, but after that, I couldn't concentrate anymore to save my life because I felt like writing, and here I am, not really writing anything. Yep...

It's almost ten o'clock at night. I wonder if I should go shower and try to sleep. I don't think I'll be able to. I think I took a nap this afternoon. Or maybe that was yesterday. I guess it was yesterday. I tried to take a nap earlier, thinking it would clear my head, but after half an hour of trying to sleep, I gave up.

And now I haven't typed anything in ten minutes... that's rather silly of me. And my fingers are starting to get cold. Anyway, I kind of want to write a story. I have a vague idea of some characters, but I don't have a plot or even a setting, so that pretty much fails, I guess. I would take my laptop back to Pi Room to try and work on it, except a) I don't want to carry fragile equipment on the ice if I can help it, and b) theoretically, they'll have the heat and hot water fixed in the next day or two, so it's not really worth it at this point to move anything else anyway.

The end.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Piano lessons

I'm a real piano teacher now!

....Crikey!

And I've got two more people who want to sign their kids up for lessons. That gives me FOUR students!

....Crikey!!

Teaching five-year-old girls how to play the piano is really hard when all they want to do is hold down the pedal, bang the keys, and giggle maniacally.

I definitely learned how not to begin teaching a child piano, though. At first, I tried teaching her the notes A, B, C, D, and E. Yeah, that was waaaaay too much. I eventually had her forget all that. We're staying on middle C and working on whole notes, half notes, and quarter notes. Middle C. Only middle C.

Kwang-sook or whatever her name is... I'll call her Kelly... Anyway, she learned very quickly. She ripped through over a third of her piano book, but she didn't know the names of the notes she was playing. She knew middle C, but if I pointed to E and said "What's that note?" she couldn't tell me without working her way up. So I pulled out pencil and paper, drew a grand staff and said "Okay, draw E. Now C. Now D. Now F. Now A." She caught on pretty quick once we started working on it.

Man... I'm a teacher! ....Crikey!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Biology and stuff

One more biology lesson before I can take my first midterm. That was quick.... I kind of don't want to because even though I know the sooner I take it, the better I'll do because the information will be fresh in my mind... I don't want to make the trip to Anchorage to take it. It's been warming up just enough to melt a bit of snow and then freezing again, so the roads are covered in a several-inch-thick layer of smooth ice. Plus slush and water and... well, the roads are bad. And it's supposed to keep precipitating for the rest of the week, so they're not getting any better. I was kind of hoping I wouldn't be ready for the tests until March or even April. Oy....

Yes, it is four in the morning. I have a good excuse for being awake. ....Well, okay, no I don't, but SO?

I saw the movie The Reaping today. I can't say I was terribly impressed with it. Sure, the idea was great, and the explosions were cool, of course. But it left too much unexplained, and the cameramen had too much fun shaking the camera trying to make the watchers feel confused. That's a technique that works wonders in certain scenes... but it was waaaay overused in that movie. The main problem with it, though, was that it didn't explain the movie. The point of the movie was that the people thought God was sending the ten deadly plagues again to a town in Louisiana. They blamed it on a 12-year-old girl and called in this lady to prove whether it was true or false. Then they said the girl was Satan, and that actually God wasn't sending the plagues; Satan was using God's own techniques against him. So they were going to kill the girl, but she attacked them with locusts and killed most of them. Then the main character was going to kill the girl, but at the last minute, she realized the girl looked exactly like her dead daughter and decided the girl was innocent. Then the guy whose house she (main character) had been staying at came and turned out to be evil (of course), but he died anyway before he could do anything because he was a firstborn. Then the main character adopted the little girl and started driving home and the girl said the main character was pregnant with the bad guy's baby and the main character remembered a prophecy that basically said the baby would be a devil. The end. So was the little girl an angel, a devil, or an innocent bystander? Why were the plagues coming? What was the meaning of the symbol they made such a big deal about? What happened to the town? Did they learn their lesson? Just what WAS the lesson? Where did the locusts go? Why did the little girl act so weird? Why did the main character hallucinate every time she touched the girl?

No sense. But the explosions were cool anyway.

I should write a story. Just for kicks and giggles.

The end.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Go go, Power Rangers!

I spent days on the last biology assignment because I couldn't get myself to focus. Eventually, I gave up trying to read the textbook and instead focused on the course discussion. Of course, I got bored of that halfway through too, so, since I had already spent three days on the lesson, I figured "Ah, to the moon with it," and went ahead and took the quiz to get it over with.

....Somehow, I managed to pull off 100%.

I... don't know.

Apparently, getting bored and giving up actually works in this class! Zoh my gosh.

Today was a fun day of work. For once, everyone started off the day in a good mood, and it made for a really funny day. Of course, everyone picked on me, so at one point, sometime before noon, I said "That's it, I'm not talking for the rest of the day!" I actually managed it, too, despite the fact that no one else here knows sign language, and when Rye stole my Leatherman and I tried to ask for it back, everyone gave me a hard time about... well... dirty things.... Because I kept pointing at the Leatherman pouch, which is on my belt, and Beth and Rye kept saying "Why are you pointing at your butt? Should we be worried? No, Rye can't help you with that," and "Rye, she keeps pointing at her pants and giving you this look like 'Oh, come on!' I think she's trying to tell you something."

I love my job. Just thought I'd mention that.

Oh, the other funny thing that lasted all... day... long.... When I first got in to work, I heard Beth hum a tune. It sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn't quite place it, so I blew it off as some other anime I haven't seen and made my hot chocolate. Then, as we made our slippery way across the slushy ice to the grounds building, I found myself singing "Go go, Power Rangers!" Beth turned and gave me this look, and something clicked, and I said "Shut up. I hate you." And the song was stuck in my head ALL DAY LONG and Beth and Rye kept singing it over and over and over and over and ZOMG THEY MUST ALL DIE!!!!!! /fume

Well, okay, it was actually just plain funny. That's all.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Room

I thought staying in a different hotel room would be a good thing. Quiet place to get away from the distraction of my computer and books and playstation and piano and cell phone and stuff... better lighting... clear table to spread out my books on... but for some reason, I can't focus at all! Maybe it's because there's not as much room to pace. Maybe it's just way too quiet. And empty. And I can honestly say, it's about the loneliest place I remember being in a long long time. It kind of feels like a prison cell.... Long story short: I don't like it!

I didn't sleep well. I guess I didn't have the hum of the computer fan, or the periodic roar of the boiler next door, or the flashing lights from the internet box... Being alone in a strange place stinks, even when the "strange place" is only fifty feet away from where you usually are....

And now I kind of have a headache. I think I got it from Beth and Rye. Those fiends! I should beat them up!

Toodles!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Silly

So far, this whole day has been just plain silly.

Theoretically, it was supposed to be a very short day of work. Only two rooms to clean. Only me and Tessie working. She and I work together well, I think. But despite having only two rooms to clean, we were here eight hours because the second room didn't check out until three o'clock. Checkout time is eleven. A little late. Punks.

So we did all the laundry there was, then we swept the laundry room, cleaned the bathrooms, cleaned the other laundry room, emptied all the trashes, cleaned Seabolt Hall, wiped down all the windows in the office (including using a razor blade to scrape the tape off), cleaned out the van, and even cleaned out the laundry room fridge. We threw out no less than eight bottles of mustard, nine tubs of butter, four containers of Ranch dressing, and four jars of mayonnaise. Among other things, of course. It was silly.

And somehow or other, we ended up with five vacuum cleaners in the van. Count them: FIVE! I know one of them is the one we usually keep in there, and I put in the second one to take to grounds to get it fixed because it's screwed up. Come to think of it, I didn't drop it off because there was no one in grounds and I wasn't sure if it was something for grounds to fix or something for Rye to look at. So I'll probably get reprimanded for that tomorrow. But I swear, I have no idea why the other three are there!

Plus there are about five phone chargers sitting on Rye's desk now, next to a massive bag of other Lost and Found stuff. I'm tempted to ask if I can keep one of the hats so I can send it to my mom. She'd probably go nuts over it because it says US ARMY in big letters, and underneath, it says Fort Bliss. On the other hand, she might just be disgusted that I would send her a used baseball cap. So maybe I'll just write about it and then she can be excited without being disgusted. Aren't I clever.

Anyway, after we got off work and I drove Tessie home, I decided to spend a few minutes chillaxing because I was a little pooped. I couldn't sleep last night and was up until about 3:30. I wasn't too worried about it because today was going to be a "short day." Heh. Anywho, just as I was sitting down, the phone rang. It was Sue, from the front desk. Apparently, the boiler for the building I live in finally went kablooie, so now everyone in the building is being relocated. Not only does that mean I live out of my backpack for as long as it takes to get the building fixed... we also have to clean all the rooms in the 400s PLUS the rooms they got moved to because the heater broke. So tomorrow's guaranteed to be another long day. But at least we'll have stuff to do all day. Haha.

I am a bit concerned about leaving Maxxy here. I'm worried she'll get cold, but I don't know if she'd survive the trip to Pi Room, either. It's pretty darn cold outside, and Maxxy still looks a little sick to me. I guess I'll leave her here overnight and check on her tomorrow. If the room seems too cold, I'll box her up and move her to Pi Room soon as I can.

That's all for now. Man, and I was going to write a great post about spleen bats, too... =/ Oh well. You can look forward to it later. Toodles! :D

Thursday, February 14, 2008

History

I've always hated history classes. But on the other hand, I really like studying ancient history. Ancient Egypt, Sumer, hieroglyphic and cuneiform (of course), Anubis, the Rosetta Stone, legends about the Nile, whatever. So I was doing all 150-some pages of reading for my history class and thoroughly enjoyed the reading. My mind wandered, and I took short breaks anytime I read a page three times without catching what it said, but I still thought it was fascinating.

And here's why I enjoy ancient history but hate history classes... I read and enjoyed every bit of reading I was assigned. I studied the pictures. I took time to think about what I read and apply it to life today. Then, confident that I knew the material, I turned to the test at the end of the chapter. Out of 29 questions, there were seven that I didn't know. Count them. Seven. Know why? Because the questions aren't about the general concepts and stories that the reading covers. It asks questions about minor things that are mentioned once in passing. While I'm glad the test is open book so I can look up the answers before I turn it in, I reeeeeally hope the midterm and final aren't like that, or I'm dead.

In reading about ancient lore, myths, and legends, I noticed a lot of stories that paralleled with Bible stories. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, for example, there's a story about a man named Utnapishtim. One of the gods became angry and decided to flood the world and destroy all life. Another god decided to save Utnapishtim and his family and the animals and had him build an enormous boat, on which he loaded every kind of animal. Then there was a massive flood that covered the land and the mountains. After it was over and everyone was on dry land again, the god who saved Utnapishtim chastised the god who flooded the world for destroying almost every living thing and made him promise not to do it again. Sounds like Noah, doesn't it? God flooded the world, saved a man and his family and the animals, then promised not to do it again.

Another story tells of a man whose mother put him in a basket made of reeds and abandoned him in the Nile. A gardener found him and raised him, and he later became... someone successful. A writer, I think. Sounds a bit like Moses, doesn't it? Who knows, maybe putting babies in reed baskets and chucking them in the Nile was common practice back then. The Nile was, after all, seen as some kind of benevolent god. Maybe people thought that chucking babies in the Nile would bring the kids to good fortune.

Another thing I was thinking about. Back in ancient days, people traded to get their needs. Let's say I was a woodworker, and my next door neighbor was a farmer. I would go to my neighbor and say "Hey, if you give me this much food, I'll make you a chair." Or something. Then the neighbor says "Yeah, that sounds good," and we trade and all is well and good. Now let's say I go back later, needing more food, and the neighbor says "Nah, I don't need a chair. But I need a new ax. So if you can go to George, who makes axes, and get me an ax, then I'll give you food for it." So then I go to George and say "Hey, I'll trade you a chair for an axe." George says "I don't need an chair. I need a new shirt. Go to Jason and get me a shirt and I'll give you an ax." So I go to Jason and say "I need a shirt for George. I'll give you a chair for it." So Jason gives me the shirt, I give the shirt to George to get the ax, then I go to my neighbor and trade him the ax for food. That's a lot of work. So money was invented as kind of a point system. Instead of a complicated chain of trading like that, I sell my chairs for a certain amount of points and then use those points to get food or tools or whatever else I need. Makes sense, right? Of course right.

Now, still thinking of money as "points," think about our world today. The people who make the least amount of points are the ones who make food, while entertainers make stupid amounts of points. Football players, for example. Rock stars. Imagine my farmer neighbor going to Jack and saying "I'll give you a week's supply of food if you let me watch you play a game." Or my neighbor goes to Mick and says "I'll give you a week's supply of food if you sing me a song."

Is that wrong? Well, it seems to work, so maybe not. But it does seem a little messed up. I remember once reading a story where machines became so advanced that they did all the work in the world, and humans sat and watched TV and did nothing else. The machines made food and delivered it to them. There were no books, because people couldn't read if they were watching TV. No one ever went outside, no one did any work--that's what the machines were for. I don't think that humanity will ever quite reach that extreme, but I think the author's message was pretty clear.

Now switching back to religious parallels... I wonder if the Bible is just an adaptation of other myths. Since the stories are so similar, why are people convinced that the story of Noah is more true than the story of Utnapishtim? In certain branches of Christianity, anyone who hasn't accepted Christ will go to hell. Why would everyone who existed before Christianity be condemned to hell simply because the religion simply wasn't around?

I suspect that people look around at the world and say "Where did it come from?" They decide it must have been "made," because everything good must be made, nothing comes from chance. So they imagine beings more powerful than any human. Some worship these gods because they're imagined to be so powerful they should be feared. Others worship them because they believe the gods are so benevolent that they're worthy of it.

A friend of mine once told me "Perception is reality." Keeping this is mind, I don't see how any one god or set of gods is any more "real" than any other god or set of gods. Everyone who fervently believes in a god believes that they're right about the god's existence. In their mind, those gods are the right ones, and everything they see will prove, to them, that they're right.

But I don't know what I'm talking about, of course. Anyway, I'll surrender the soap box now.

Toodles! :D

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Five minute break

The author of my biology textbook may know science... but he's a pathetic writer.

I'm also horrible at staying focused, and I'm almost as bad at taking tests. I'm smart enough that I could easily be a straight A student if it weren't for my darned attention span. I can focus fine... for about fifteen minutes. People say it helps if you student for fifteen minutes, then take a five-minute break, then study for fifteen minutes, then take a five-minute break. They say you "retain the information better." I assume it works for them--otherwise, they wouldn't claim it's true. But I can't do that. First of all, what are you supposed to do in this five-minute break? Stand up, get a drink of water, and stare at a spot on the wall while counting to 300? If I try to take a five-minute break, I end up playing the piano or checking e-mail or playing a game, and I don't even notice when the "five-minute" break turns into a two-hour break. I try taking notes. I try doing the chapter review. I try highlighting important concepts as I read. And I still end up being a B-average student, and I can't say the quizzes aren't fair, because I go back to the questions I missed, and I find the answer in the text, matching the question almost word for word.

Yes, I am freaking out over an 80%. That's because that's normal for me, and I don't think it should be that way. Especially since this is an introductory-level biology course, reviewing things I remember learning in high school. Actually, I learned it pretty well in high school.... Coach Butcher was an amazing teacher.

Now I'm babbling. Ignore me.

Hey, I got my room clean yesterday. I even rearranged a little bit by moving the top mattress between the bed and the wall. Now I don't have to jump to get on my bed anymore.

Okay, speaking of intelligence, which we were, but then weren't, but now are again... And this paragraph is going to be a little sappy, so you can skip it if you want... Sometimes I really miss talking to my mom. She's busy a lot of the time now, so even when I do call, I can't talk for very long. I miss talking to her in the car on the way to and from school, or finding time to talk to her just before bedtime. What I miss most is telling her about things I'd noticed or discovered or been thinking about. It seems that lately anytime I try to start an intelligent conversation, people either blow me off or say "Uh, yeah, duh, didn't you know that already?" or complain that I'm getting too technical on them. And when I think back to the times I talked with my mom, she always listened, always added more information, always encouraged me to keep thinking. Very rarely did I talk about something she didn't understand, and when I did, she would patiently listen while I explained it to her so she could. Isn't it funny that you never notice how much things like that meant to you till they're gone?

Yeah, yeah, I know, I should've saved that spiel for Mother's Day, right? Meh. Hey, "spiel" is taken straight from the German word for "game." Funny, that.

It's been steadily snowing for the last few days, but it's warm enough that I can go outside without a jacket, long sleeves rolled up, and be comfortable. Well, obviously I wouldn't want to stay like that for hours, but you know what I mean.

The moose is still hanging around the resort. Haven't had guests trying to chase after it with cameras, at least.

Dawnee taught me how to play a song called Greatest Story Ever Told on guitar last summer. I haven't played it since maybe September, but for some reason, out of the blue, it got stuck in my head a few days ago. Problem is, I can't seem to keep Dawnee's half-sized, nylon-stringed guitar in tune. Rawr, I miss Flash! (Flash is my guitar. Beautiful, full-size, steel-stringed Dean. It's in Utah. Woe!)

Anywho, I guess I'll go start my history course now. Blarg!

Toodles!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Read WHAT?

My history and biology courses came today. Together, they made a packet of paper easily three or four inches thick. When I went to the front desk to pick it up, Tyler said, "I could easily kill a man with this."

I can't start the courses without the textbooks, but I predict those will show up on Monday.... But I opened them and looked them over. I flipped to chapter 1 of the history course too see what it required. First, read chapter one of the textbook. Then, read these six supplemental reading assignments. After that, look up the following eight web sites. Then watch the following video. Then look at these fifteen visual portfolios. After I do all that, I can read the lesson in the course. The lesson is sixty pages long. Holy Dallas!

I made garlic lemon salmon today. It tasted okay. I still can't cook very well. Burned the garlic, and used too much lemon juice, so the taste overpowered everything else. Meh.

I have a bit of a headache. I don't know if it's from pacing, or from watching Day After Tomorrow (movies tend to give me headaches), or from eating something that disagreed with me, or from trying to follow my dad's circular conversations, or whether I'm actually coming down with something. Hmm, that's possible. Everyone at the resort has been getting sick lately. Well, not everyone, but a lot of people.

Hmm... guess I'll go lie down for a bit. Maybe my head will feel better. Toodles!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Popular

Work was fun today. And apparently, Fate decided to show me just how popular I am today.

I got to work, and first thing, Rye said, "Hey, Lint Monkey, we're going to Safeway after work. You're driving."

"Oh. Okay."

We went about our business, cleaned all our rooms, la-di-da, yippee-yay, et cetera, and towards the end of the day, Tessie said, "You give me ride home after work? My brudder Joey, he is gone to Phillippines."

"Sure, no problem," I said. I'm just nice like that.

So after work, I drove Tessie home, came back to camp, picked Rye up, and went to Safeway. While we were there, we rented a few movies, so when we got back, Rye and I watched Alien vs. Predator. Good movie. I enjoyed it. Not going to write a review of it just now, though, because that's digressing from the point of this post.

So I got back from watching the movie around 6:30. The moment I walked in the door, the room phone rang. I answered it, talked for a few minutes, and noticed there was a text message on my cell phone. The message said, essentially, "Hey this is Cliche. I was wondering if you'd be online anytime soon, because I'm close to getting my epic mount and was wondering if I could bum some gold off of you." (That was entirely fair, because I'd already promised him the gold. He's no beggar.) So I logged on WoW and realized I hadn't told Cliche I was quitting, or even said good-bye to him. Sad day! He's one of my best friends on WoW, after all. So I hung up the phone so I could talk to Cliche. While I did, I got a message from Torkel, another friend on WoW. Talked to him and Cliche at the same time. Then the phone rang again. Answered that, said "Sorry, can't talk just now," and came back. Then I got another message from Gohr, begging me to help run his alt through a high-ish level instance. While that happened, my cell phone rang again. It was my sister, so I decided I'd call her back and hung up. Then Brian logged on and babbled about this new game he's playing called Warhammer. He left abruptly, too, so I never got the chance to tell him I'm quitting WoW. Just as well, I guess. Then the room phone rang and it was the front desk saying there was food. But I'd already eaten and I was in the instance, holding up the party, so I let it pass. Came back to the computer and ten minutes later, my sister called again. I answered this time, talked to her for a bit, and then my brother logged onto WoW.

And I just wanted to read my book this evening!!!

It's either a sign that I'm too popular, or it's a sign that I will never be allowed to finish this book. Last night, I got to the same point I left off last time I tried to read it. Yes, I tried to read it before. Twice. Once when I was about twelve and couldn't get into it. "Ewwww, blood! Someone DIED! I can't read this!" And again when I started college. But then classes got busy and I had to return it to the library. Never got past page 90-ish.

Anywho... I re-waterproofed my hiking boots yesterday. I wanted to give it another day for the mink oil to dry, so I wore my summer shoes to work today. It was kind of weird having soft shoe soles again. And wearing shoes that weigh less than five pounds. Actually, I have no idea how much my boots weigh, but they're a lot heavier than my skater shoes.

I've found that wearing two pairs of pants reeeeally helps me stay warm. I mean, if I wear just a pair of jeans, but a huge, bulky coat, I'll still feel cold. But with two pairs of pants, I can just wear my light summer jacket and be comfortable down to about five or ten degrees as long as the wind isn't blowing hard. Good to know, yeah?

I want to go to Anchorage and go to the bookstore and spend like five hundred dollars on books. And then the part of me that's sensible and frugal slaps around the silly side of me and tells me not to be a total doofus. That is all.

I got to play I-know-something-you-don't-know today. At the store, I grabbed some V8, which says on the side "100% juice!" Rye said, "Ha, there's still sugar in that stuff." I read him off the ingredients (reconstituted vegetable juice blend, reconstituted fruit juice blend, "natural flavoring," banana puree, malic acid, vitamin C, citric acid, and vitamin E) and he pointed at the nutrition facts, where it said it had 25 grams of sugar. Ha! I learned something from my mom being a health nut! That sugar is from the fruit, and it's actually not nearly as bad for you as your typical white sugar stuff they add to practically everything in the world. So yes, there's sugar in it, but they didn't actually add sugar to it. (Unless that's what "natural flavoring" is, but I don't think so.) Of course, reading the ingredients on pretty much every other kind of fruit juice in the aisle, I've discovered most of them are just sugar, water, and a bit of flavoring. Most of the juices only average about 13% real juice. That's why I like V8. It's the only one that's actually juice, not flavored sugar-water. Well, there are a few kinds of apple juice that are real juice too. But, say pomegranate juice. I couldn't find a single bottle of pomegranate juice that had more juice than sugar. Or cranberry. Or almost every other kind.

Okay, done ranting about that. Oh, and so ya know... I came home from Safeway with just V8, milk (1%), and hot chocolate mix. Guess I was thirsty. Kind of funny, actually. When I was younger, I figured a drink was a drink. I drank stuff only because, well, it was there. Never cared for soft drinks or juice or milk or anything. Now, I really love tasting all different kinds of drinks. Fizzy drinks, milkshakes, cider, whatever. Beer, no. Beer, vodka, whiskey, rum... alcoholic drinks, to me, still smell like something that's just been peed out. Guh-ross!

And my courses still aren't here. Phooey.

Hey, I have the day off tomorrow! :D I can sleep in, and read my book, and maybe even beat FFX! Well, I probably won't beat it, but I'll probably get Anima, at least. That means I just need one more summon and possibly a few legendary weapons and then I'll be about ready for the final boss fight. (Cue intense music.) And then I'll either have become obsessed with playing Final Fantasy and will insist on beating FFIX and FFVIII, or I can give Beth the PlayStation so she doesn't slaughter me painfully.

I'll shut up now. Toodles!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

WoW!

I canceled my WoW subscription last night. It's active until March 6, but I don't think I'll play anymore. I've been toying with the idea of quitting for a while now because of how it's eating my life. All the guild drama from yesterday finally pushed me over the edge, though. At first, I was furious and hated everyone in the game, especially Vecky and Earthclaw, the two who added the last straw. I won't repeat any of the things that were said. Suffice it to say that I didn't handle the situation maturely either.

But last night, after logging out of the game, pacing and reading for a while, and crawling into bed, I stared at the ceiling for a few minutes and felt... relieved. I was kind of surprised at how I felt. I was expecting to be bitter at everyone and everything, but now, I just feel grateful to Vecky for giving me the excuse to finally quit. No, I don't want to ever talk to her again, but I couldn't have quit if it weren't for her, because I had too many friends there. Even now, I still like the game. The storyline is fantastic (though not integrated into the game at all. Most WoW players don't even know who the main bad guy IS. "Sargeras? Who's Sargeras?") and the game is fun. I like the graphics, and I think my characters are awesome. It's a great way to have fun with your friends, and I've always enjoyed running instances with Gohr, Tigris, Clichehunter, and Rye. But it's just a game.

I feel like the part of me that was made of nothing but WoW left, making room for the part of me that's actually... well... me. This is the first time since my computer got shipped here that I went to work and, in response to the question "How are you today?" I replied "Thoroughly fantastic!"

Rye keeps teasing me that I won't be able to stay away. "What'll you do if you're not playing WoW?" he says. All the things I've been neglecting so I could make that extra bit of gold, or get another level, or pick a few more herbs for Karazhan raids that never happened. Writing in my blog, e-mailing my friends, reading books, beating Final Fantasy X, preparing a D&D campaign for this summer, playing the piano... I still need to call Kamren's parents and Kwong Soo (sp?) to start their piano lessons. I could go play in the snow and dig a snow cave, or write music, or start writing stories again. Plus, don't forget, I'm going to start taking courses (as soon as the books arrive). I think I'll find ways to stay busy.

That aside....

There was a moose on the resort today. She was honking HUGE! It's been months since I've seen a moose, and I'd forgotten just how big they are. Her coat was darker and shinier than the other mooses I remember seeing, too. I wonder if I just never noticed, or if their coats change from summer to winter like some other animals.

I just opened the window. Oh WOW, the sun is bright! Maxxy's getting some sunlight now, for the first time in ages! I've kept her away from the window because the cold air tends to creep in around the edges and I don't think that's good for her. But of course, now she's sick from lack of sunlight, and I never got around to buying her a grow-lamp (or whatever it's called).

La di da, I'm in such a good mood right now. I think I'm going to go to the library and get Wizard's First Rule. Amy always fawned over the Sword of Truth series, and Rye was telling me about it today, and I figure "Meh, may as well try it, now I've got the time." I'm almost finished with Cat Karina, which is an okay book, and after that, all I have left is Chrome Born, and I'm done with the books I borrowed from Rye. He left most of his books in the Barracks when they evacuated everyone, so I can't borrow any more from him for a little while.

That's all for now. I'm going to go now. Toodles! :D

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I will update daily...

I will update daily... I will update daily... I will update daily...

Riiiiight.

Today was a fun day. More proof that the attitude with which you start the day is directly proportional to the quality of the day. Usually, anyway. But of course, there are days when you wake up thinking "Ah, what a wonderful day this is! Yep, nothing is going to ruin this day, no matter what!" and then you wreck your car on the way to work, walk there in the snow, someone drives past and splashes mud all over you, you get to work cold, muddy, and late, then get fired for being late, then you get home to find your dog has thrown up all over the house, you get a phone call saying your mom has died, you burn dinner, and as you're taking a shower at the end of the day, the fire alarm goes off. You rush out of the shower, stark naked, the house is in flames, and you're forced to abandon the house and watch everything you own burn as you're left with nothing but a towel. On a day like that, I think it wouldn't matter what your attitude was starting the day. But that's beside the point. Actually, I don't remember what the point was. We'll pretend it was ducks and move on.

Platypus. Platypus platypus platypus. What a great word. What a great animal. Did you know platypi are poisonous? Only the males, actually. I think that's great. If I had a ninja familiar, I think it would be either a squirrel or a platypus. Maybe a squirratypus. Or a lint monkey. Whichever. It would ride on my shoulder and threaten my enemies with the doom of a thousand burning mervyns. Then, when my enemies continue their hostility, my linty squirratypus monkey would throw flaming poisonous barbs at my enemy, inflicting mortal poisonous wounds that do 4d8+9 points of damage per turn! Mwahahahaha!

...Wow, now I want a linty squirratypus monkey so I can be a ninja. I wonder if ninjas are allowed to eat chocolate. I imagine so. I imagine that ninjas and their ninja familiars are fueled by chocolate. "Holy Dallas, Dangerous Ninjaman! We're out of chocolate-fuel!" "Never fear, Dangerous Ninjaman is here! I'll save the ninjas from this tragic chocolate shortage!" and then Dangerous Ninjaman does ninja flips to Hershey, Pennsylvania, breaks into the Hershey's chocolate factory, and steals an endless supply of Reese's cups. The end. Except then he's a bad guy because he stole things and stealing is bad, and the pirates hear about it, and it's followed by an epic battle between good and evil, and in the end, only me and my linty squirratypus monkey are left alive because we're that amazing. Plus, he's a linty squirratypus monkey, and he can't die. So with all the other ninjas dead, I can be a tragic hero, having survived the slaughter of my kin, and the pirates would all be dead too, because they're pirates. Yarr. So then I would have all the ninjas' remaining chocolate plus all the pirates' ships, so I could be a ninja with a linty squirratypus monkey AND a boat, which is good, since I can't swim very well. Speaking of swimming, did I ever tell you I was going to be a scuba diver? It's a shame that fell through, because that would have been fun, even though I can't swim. I bet I still could have gotten the license. This should be a new paragraph, but it's not.

Holy Dallas, Dangerous Ninjaman! I feel funny today. Not sick-funny, but funny funny, as whatshisname the author put it in Dogs Don't Tell Jokes. That was a good book. About a kid who wanted to be a stand-up comedian. Or a sit-down comedian, if his legs got tired. The kid's name was Goon. Actually, it was Gary Boone, but everyone called him Goon. And I can't remember the author's name. Same guy who wrote Holes. Bummer. Hey, if you leave a comment with the author's name, I'll buy you a pony. My mommy never bought me a pony. That's why I'm so messed-up today. And it all wouldn't have happened had Toyota made bigger trucks.

We cleaned the R&R soldiers' rooms today. I think "R&R" stands for "can't aim worth anything." I mean, seriously, in some of the rooms, they missed the toilet by a good two or three feet. And these men are defending our country with machine guns. Personally, I think if they can't aim their schlong, how can we expect them to aim a gun? I'm afraid.

Bananas. The symbol that Amazon puts on their boxes reminds me of bananas, for some reason. PS, thank you for the piano books, Mom. I'll call up Kamren's mom and dad and start up the piano lessons as soon as I find their number. Heehee. Did I write about that on here? Kamren's parents want me to teach her how to play the piano. And the bishop wants me to teach his daughter-in-law how to play too. Weird. Ima be a piano teacher! Holy Dallas!

Oh, and I'm putting together a new D&D campaign for this summer. I did so badly last year that I decided to cheat and use a premade campaign and customize it. The campaign looks infinitely better than what I was improvising last year. Plus, with luck, we'll have a few more people this summer, and with more luck, they'll have more than an hour at a time to play. D&D is something you really want at least two or three hours at a time for.

And that's all for now. With luck, my history course will get here today. I hope I hope I hope. Toodles!

Sooo coooold

It's -16 outside, not counting wind chill. It's 58 inside, and the temperature is steadily dropping. I predict I'm going to wake up very very very very very cold tomorrow. Unless I freeze to death in my sleep. I think that would ruin my day....

I got some independent study courses to do in my spare time, so I won't be spending so much time on WoW. In fact, I think I'll go to the library or at least Seabolt to work on them, so I can get out of my room. That'll be nice.

Randy invited me to another movie the other night. We saw National Treasure 2, which was absolutely outstanding! I highly recommend it. But once again, it was pretty awkward. I had kind of thought, or at least hoped, that he would bring his son Lief (who's a few years older than me) or at least Tyler or Aaron or Rye or someone else, so it would be a group thing and not seem like a date, because dude, the man is older than my dad. But no, it was just me and him. He was very polite, opening doors for me, paying for the movie, et cetera... part of me says "He's just being polite" and part says "Dude, he's hitting on you." And then halfway through the movie, I realized he had his arm around me. Yeah, um... awkwaaaard... But then, my dad does that, and that's okay. But on the other hand, my dad is my dad, and Randy's not. But then, it might just be some kind of male instinct. But on the other hand, I'm still not entirely comfortable with it. Conclusion: Next time he invites me to a movie, I'll tell him not unless at least one other person goes.

The other night, I was goofing off on the piano. For some reason, I feel like I play better when I'm just goofing off and not trying to read music. I played some songs from memory, and then when I forgot what came next, I made some crap up. It sounded pretty cool, I thought. I'll never be able to play it again.

That's all for now. Toodles! :D

Saturday, February 2, 2008

...or something

Bit of conversation between me and my mom:

Me: Mom, I want to get a dog!
Mom:Pffft. Every other girl your age wants a husband and you just want a dog.
Me: Ew, why would I want a husband? They're fat, boring, and useless.
Mom: ...I'm trying to find a way to counter your argument, and I can't do it!

I got my ecclesiastical endorsement, so I can go back to school this fall! Woot! I think a whole winter of doing next to nothing was a nice break... now I'm almost anxious to get back to school. But I'm in no hurry, because I'll miss Alaska, even though I do intend to come back.

Beth's been driving me crazy lately because it seems like she thinks I can't do anything right. I'm always turning off the light at the wrong time, or standing on the wrong side of the bed, or closing doors that are "supposed" to be open, or opening doors that are "supposed" to be closed, or adjusting the bedspread after she tucks her side in, or not hearing her the first time she talks (which is really just my hearing comprehension disorder kicking in), or other little things that don't really matter. She usually doesn't get upset, but she rolls her eyes and sighs in annoyance and I end up getting the impression she's thinking "Hopeless." And I can't say anything about it because she's not making a scene or anything, so why should I? Maybe I'm just being too sensitive. Yesterday, she made fun of me because I admitted that I say "the f-word" when I get really really upset. "Well, if you say it sometimes, why don't you say it now? What's the point of calling it 'the f-word'?" I was tempted to face her down and snap every dirty word I knew at her and ask if that made her happy. I mean, it would be a fair question if she had asked it as a question, but she asked it in a way that sounded like she just thought I was being stupid again.

At least I've been able to keep from getting mad so far. I end up just getting quiet, which has Rye, at least, convinced that I'm worrying about school again, so he keeps trying to cheer me up. Reminds me of my brothers, sometimes. When we were very little ("we" referring to my brothers and sister and me), if one of us was angry or sad about something, one of the boys would do something silly, and when we kept forcing a scowl, they would point and say "I see that smile! I see that smile!!!" and we would all end up laughing.

Last night, I wandered around the resort taking some pictures around twilight. I didn't wear my gloves because a) I didn't plan to be outside for too terribly long, and b) I couldn't feel the trigger button on the camera with gloves on. Well, ten minutes later, I couldn't feel the button anyway because my hands were numb. I got some great pictures, but I appear to have already managed to scratch my camera lens or something. Every picture I took has a big black spot near the middle, and my attempts to clean the lens did exactly nothing. I guess I'll see if I can find a camera repair place around or something and see if I can get it looked at. Sue says it might, maybe, possibly, if I'm lucky, just be condensation or something, and it'll go away. I hope so, but I doubt it.


Anyway, toodles! (And if you want to laugh, go count how many times I used the phrase "or something" in the last paragraph.)