Friday, October 30, 2009

Puppy!


I suddenly find a dog in my care. She's a Siberian husky named Stormy, and she's basically the best animal I could imagine taking care of. She's a year and a half old, housebroken, doesn't chew, never barks, and has been impeccably well trained, although she was a lost dog (I only found her a few days ago), and she seems to have forgotten some of her training. She's picking it up again so fast that she has to have known it before, even though she is really smart. I've only had her for a few days, and she already sits down right away when I snap my fingers. She also knows "stay," "up," "down," and "shake." We're working on "heel" still.

She's very skinny, and I'm a little worried about her, because she doesn't eat very much. I occasionally give her table scraps as long as she's not begging for them. I'm not sure if I'm successfully making sure she gets food in her belly or just perpetuating the problem by teaching her that if she neglects her doggy food then she'll get some people food.

I have yet to hear her bark. I know she has vocal chords because when I first saw her, I heard her howl a little bit. Since then, the only time I heard her make a sound was last night when we were running and got attacked by the neighbor's dog. (This dog attacks me all the time whether I have a dog with me or not.) The other dog charged us, barking and growling like mad with his fur all on end, and Stormy growled and body-slammed him. The smaller dog ran away and we went home. Good dog!

Her only "flaws" are a) she's not very playful for a year-old puppy (although she always loves to run), and b) she thinks she's a lap dog. It's funny, because I'll be trying to study, and a 50-pound husky will crawl into my lap, lie down on top of my textbook, and insist I'm not paying enough attention to her. (I'm just guessing the weight, by the way. I may be way off.)


Oh yeah, also, she seems to like playing video games with my roommates.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New!

When I get my own place, I'm going to actually learn to cook. And I'm going to actually cook almost every day. I have decided this. Also, I'm getting a dog and a gun, just because it seems like a wise idea... My friend from juggling club, Becca, says if I get a dog, she wants to move in with me. Also, she wants to drag me out on a shopping trip to make me start dressing like a girl. Rawr! Nothing wrong with dressing like a Lint Monkey!

So anyway, Becca and I drove down to North Pole today to look at dogs. It figures the one day a week the place is closed happens to be Fridays. Oh well--we'll just have to go again! :D

Speaking of puppies, Tony's dog is having puppies this weekend. Pitbull/chocolate lab mix. I expect they're going to look really funny.

I've been looking for a cabin to move into for weeks. I'm not really too concerned about running water, but I want something with a loft (pretty common for dry cabins), within 5 miles of the university, and a place that allows dogs. Oh yeah, also 600 a month or less. The only ones I've found have been taken before I could even call to see them.

Theoretically, my new glasses are coming in tomorrow!!! Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Pretty good"

So one of the midterms I was stressing over this week apparently isn't actually for two weeks. The research paper I killed myself all day writing Monday wasn't actually due till Thursday. But the research proposal I thought was due Thursday was actually due yesterday. At least I was right about the dates of the other midterm and the oral presentation I have to give this week. Since I have time, I'm going to redo part of the research paper anyway. Not too much of it, though, since I still have a lot to do before tomorrow. And then I can relax for reals. For a few hours. Before getting a jump on next week's work.

It's obnoxious. It seems like no matter how much I break my neck, I'm never going to be better than an A- stupid at the absolute best. All of the research papers I've written so far have come back with a low A- and the comment "pretty good." On the paper I brought into the Writing Center, the only mechanics he marked me down on were ones that the lady at the Writing Center changed. I was a little amused. I wasn't sure if I should share my amusement with the professor, because I didn't want him to think I was nagging him to give me a higher grade. I mean, I'd normally be glad for an A- on a paper, since in the past, I've put them off till the very last minute, hardly do any research, and make the paper one big joke. In fact, most of the teachers I've had before usually give me A's for crap like that, since I would get the information in there, just joke around about it.

It seems unfair that now that I'm really trying hard, citing twice as many sources as the teacher requires, and writing papers that I read through afterwards and go, "Man, this is a great paper! I'm so getting an A on this!" that the best I can ever pull off is a "pretty good." I don't want to be "pretty good." I want to be freaking AMAZING! This is unacceptable!

It's also lame that research papers, at least for the professor that teaches both the classes I have to write research papers for, aren't allowed to have anything funny in them. At all. You would think wit would earn you extra points in a research paper about a Shakespeare play... I guess I'm doin' it wrong.

....Also, my nosepiece-less glasses are starting to hurt my nose. I hope they finish my new glasses soon. :(

And if you want pictures of me in that slinky dress they made me wear, you'll have to look on Facebook, because I don't want to post the pictures here.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Glasses

I broke my glasses today. I was buying a broom and a bunch of other stuff and started to drop the eggs I was holding, tried to catch the carton, and the handle of the broom swung around and nailed my glasses, knocking the nosepiece askew. So I tried to straighten the nosepiece, but the glasses are five years old and I'm not exactly gentle with them... in fact, I have to straighten that nosepiece usually five or six times a week, which is why the metal was so weak.

So I don't know whether I should go see if I can get the nosepiece welded back on or if I should just get new glasses. I mean, five years is a pretty good old age for glasses. Maybe I should get a pair that's a little sturdier. Maybe even the kind where the nosepiece is built into the glasses so it can't really break off.

Hmmm, what to do... guess I'll go see how much fixing the glasses would cost first and then compare. Heck, if they're both relatively cheap, maybe I'll do both and actually have a backup pair! :O

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Excommunicated

Today, I was having a conversation with Peter and we got to talking about excommunication. What happens when you get excommunicated? he wondered. Frankly, I don't know, since I've never been excommunicated and don't really know anyone who has been. (I think when I was really little, I had a friend whose mom was, but she and I didn't exactly poor our hearts out to each other on a regular basis.) Well, when in doubt, what does one do? "MOOOOMMMMMMYYYYYYY!!!!" So I picked up my phone and called my mom. She picked up, and I said, "Okay, um... Mom... you're not going to be very happy when I ask you this... but um... what exactly happens when you get excommunicated?" Dead silence. And then my dad picked up the phone, chased Mom off, and proceeded to talk for about twenty minutes about something completely unrelated. I can only imagine what my poor mother was thinking. Hahahaha! That couldn't have gone better if I'd planned it!

I did eventually get the answer. And no, I don't plan on getting excommunicated anytime soon. But I did finally get a new power supply for my piano, so I can play again!!! WOOT!!!

We had a big argument at juggling practice today over whether or not I would look good in a slinky dress. And by "big argument," I mean everyone insisted I would look good in one, and I said, "No, I absolutely would not." They decided that after our next practice, we're all going to pile in the car and go to Value Village and try some on. I ONLY agreed to go because Rob and Blake said that if I put on a slinky dress, they would too.

We had probably eight people at practice, which is actually about average now. Rob says he's actually proud of me for picking the club back up. YAY!!! :D We're manning a booth to show off to high school kids this Friday, then have a performance on Halloween. The Multi-Cultural Office said they're having an event in November that they would like us to perform for as well. I also want to go to the lady who's in charge of the Pub (yes, this university has a pub on campus) and see if she'll let us--or at least those of us over 21--perform there one evening. I wasn't going to charge--it just seemed like a good way to recruit.

After my chiropractor appointment today, I went in the Subway downtown to grab some food. After I pulled up, I realized it seemed like a kind of sketchy place. The Subway was in an outlet mall, and the entrance was shared with the place next door, which was a smoker's gift shop. I decided it couldn't hurt to at least go in and check it. I figured if the place looked as sketchy on the inside as the outside, I could always just turn around and leave. So in I went....

And the people working on the Subway staff were the friendliest Subway staff I have ever met. They were super smily and bouncy, and I gave the one making my sandwich a hard time because it was her second day on the job, teased the one at the cash register for getting paid to watch the other two girls work. He gave me an extra cookie. :D So I tipped them. I'm definitely going back there next time I'm in the area and hungry.

Woot!

I hate it when I slow down to turn and people tear around me on the shoulder of the road. It irritates me. I'm not really sure why. I guess because I feel like I'm being snubbed as a nuisance. "How dare you get in my way and make me drive on the shoulder of the road like this!" I feel like they're saying. "I hope you know your sluggishness made me break a law!"

I also hate it when people act like jerks and then strut around because they're proud of themselves because they think they're funny. And then they turn to me and expect me to praise them, and I would kind of rather slap them and say, "Seriously, where did you learn to treat people?"

Despite my whining, I'm actually in a pretty fantastic mood. I managed to finish all my papers this weekend. I was working pretty much every minute I had starting last Tuesday, but I'm finally caught up. I had a terrifying moment in class when I thought my teacher wouldn't accept one of the papers I spent all weekend working on, but it turned out all right. I'm pretty confident that if I didn't totally ace the papers, I at least did my best. It's really weird, though. All my teachers are actually requiring I start using a formal register for my papers. This is probably the first time my teachers haven't let me get away with being a little snot in writing. I'm discovering I'm actually reasonably good at writing formal research papers. "Reasonably good."

I finished writing my two research papers around eight last night, and the Writing Center was still open. I thought the conclusion of one was a little choppy, and I didn't feel like the papers were quite focused enough, so I thought, "Meh, I have a little time, and some of the tutors in the Writing Center are pretty good. It can't really hurt to bring it in." I went to the Writing Center a few times last year because I was required to for a class. Both times, I got the same tutor, and he was absolutely fantastic. He actually explained to me for the first time in a way I could understand why your conclusion is just a repeat of your introduction, gave me outstanding substantive advice, and didn't nitpick my grammar because I occasionally intentionally go against the "rule" for emphasis. (For example, I occasionally start a sentence with a conjunction, but I do it on purpose to draw attention to the sentence.)

This time, I have to say, I was not impressed. At all. I told the girl I was a senior in linguistics and that all I was concerned about was whether it was focused enough and whether the conclusion was too choppy. First she spent about ten minutes nitpicking my header. Then she proceeded to go through my paper line by line, reading (about as smoothly as a third-grader) each sentence and changing things that did not want or need changing. She tried to put in two spaces after periods (which you only do if you're using a typewriter), she changed the word "that" to "which," ignored the comma that needed to be inserted, and then rolled her eyes when the computer, predictably, pointed out the grammatical error and told it to ignore it. She made fun of my "weak word choice" and said that I need to "grow out of that," and never got around to telling me how my focus was. Then she pointed to a quote that was just under three lines long.

"Why is that not in block quote format?" she asked.

"Because it's not a block quote."

"You DO know the rules for block quotes, don't you? A block quote is--"

"Yes, a block quote is a quote that's four lines or longer. I know."

"Then why isn't this a block quote?"

"Because it's not four lines long."

"Yes, it is. See, one, two, three, four."

The block quote started as the last word on one lined, filled the next two lines, and then finished as the first word on the fourth line. I tried to explain it to her. "Look, you start here. Go down one line at a time. One line. Two lines. And there we're in the middle of the next sentence. It's not even three lines."

"No, that doesn't matter. It's four lines," she said stubbornly.

I rolled my eyes. "That's right. English majors can't count."

"EXCUSE ME??? It's not that I'm too STUPID to realize that YOU don't think it's four lines, but YOUR argument doesn't MATTER in this case!"

Okay, in retrospect, I shouldn't have been rude. I almost felt bad for her, since if she got that defensive that quick, she's obviously either got an inferiority complex or she's been made fun of before. But my gosh, she was being obnoxious. I am definitely convinced that I know more than she, and I don't say that very often.

On a completely different note, I got a phone call from the girl who's in charge of the church choir. Apparently, their pianist is out of town, the back-up pianist can't play the song they're singing, and the choir is supposed to be performing this Sunday, so can't I please please please help because they're desperate? Yay. I get to don a dress and go to church this Sunday. Oh well, at least I get to play the piano. That makes up for it, I suppose.

Kitty really likes taking showers. He sits under the spray and drinks a bit, and then closes his eyes and falls asleep. It's kind of cute.

Hope that's enough of an update, because I'm definitely tired now. Toodles!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bad Kitty

Kitty and I are no longer on speaking terms.

I was holding him on my shoulder today while I wrote one of my research papers. He cuddled up against my neck and seemed pretty content for a good twenty or thirty minutes. And then he started biting and clawing me. I tried just brushing him away a little, but the more I tried to get him to be gentle, the harder he attacked me. When I tried to pick him up to put him back in his cage, he refused to let go of my shirt. Kitty was not happy, and I don't even know what I did. I didn't make any sudden moves and didn't hear (or make, obviously) any sudden noises.

Bad Kitty. :(

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kitty!

One of my roommates got a green cheek conure. I'm not a fan of birds, but this one is kind of pretty and so far has been fairly quiet and well-behaved (and hasn't attacked anyone, unlike a certain rooster I know). Casey's thinking of naming him Chaucer, but it's been three days and he hasn't decisively chosen a name yet, so I continue to call his bird Kitty. Kitty seems fairly smart and cuddly, although today he's kind of in a mood. Normally when I move slowly and talk quietly, he seems to like me reaching in and petting him and picking him up, but today he'll have none of it. He climbed all over the cage, then flew across the room, so I retrieved him and put him on Casey's shoulder, since he didn't seem to want to be around me. Kitty promptly crapped all over Casey. Silly Kitty.

Friday, October 9, 2009

senioritis

When most people get senioritis, they feel blah. They see the end in sight and go, "I don't even care anymore," and just kind of slack through to graduation. For some reason, I seem to have it the opposite way around. I think this is the hardest I've ever worked in my life. Yesterday I spent six hours writing a research paper, and the sad part was, I actually enjoyed doing it. That's probably good, since I have five more papers due in the next week.

I got in a big argument with a girl in my language and gender class over whether the word "pen" should be phonetically spelled with a schwa or an epsilon. She ended up asking the teacher, who said, "Um... schwa maybe?" But the teacher's an anthropologist, not a linguist. Sorry, but a schwa is an unstressed "uh" kind of sound, like in the last syllable of "melon" or "open" or the first syllable in words like "above" or "confront." It's the sound that really throws people off in spelling because it can be spelled with pretty much any vowel, because it's unstressed and has no specific form. But "pen" is one syllable, so the vowel is stressed, so it's pronounced in a different part of your mouth, so you would use an epsilon, which makes an "eh" sound, like in "met" or "bed" or... "pen." I don't even see how she can argue with me on this. Especially since she tries to spell the word "bird" with a schwa. There's no schwa in "bird" unless you're trying to pronounce it "buhrd"! You know what the vowel sound is in the word "bird"? The R! Seriously, the letters R, N, and L can all function as vowels. Cool, huh?

It's kind of weird that I'm now at the point that when I talk to my friends outside of class, we talk about academic stuff. I ran into my friend Jeremy and he started telling me about the verb themes in the Athabaskan languages. And I already knew about it from a class independent of his.

Geez I'm such a nerd!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

zomg




Obama has just gained ten coolness points.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Juggler Diet



It takes a very strict diet to be a good juggler. Here's a snapshot of UAF's juggling club having their after-performance meal at Starvation Gulch.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Blech

I slept until past noon today. I felt like a bit of a loser for sleeping through class, but considering I woke up feeling like I'd been run over by a truck and then had my throat skewered by a blue-ring octopus wielding a tuning fork, I decided to forgive myself. I've been coughing and hacking all day, which really isn't making my throat feel any better. But at least my stomach stopped hurting. And I don't have a headache. Anymore.

Since I'm sure you're all waiting with bated breath to hear about this: At my last chiropractor appointment, he jerked my neck loose, and suddenly, mobility in my arms just about doubled. It was pretty amazing. Unfortunately, he had broken apart old scar tissue, and it started hurting in less than two hours. Maybe six hours later, it felt stiff again. Baby steps, I guess.

Dang, my throat hurts.

I wish I had lucky dice. I have four sets, and they all hate me, I swear. They especially hate my human swordmaster. She could potentially be a really freaking b.a. character, except my average roll is like... four? In the last battle in our most recent campaign, for example, our group barged into the boss's room. He was behind a desk with a hostage, and he had his dagger across her throat. I tried to launch myself across the room at him. I rolled badly and barely made it halfway there. Next turn, I jumped onto the desk and swung my sword at him. I critically failed, overbalanced, and fell off the desk onto my face. The next round, I tried to crawl around the desk and come up behind the boss so I could attack from behind. I failed and he saw me. The next round, I attacked him anyway, but I missed and hit the hostage--and THEN I rolled a good number--for 13 points of damage. Fortunately, she was an illusion, and as soon as I hit her, she disappeared. He surrendered the next turn. So the only useful thing I did was by accident.

The only other useful thing I did in the whole campaign was also an accident that was the result of a failure: we were in a big melee fight (our six people against a mob of 15 thieves). The cat-man had attacked the guy who had been kicking my butt, knocked him down, and jumped off to help someone else. Two other guys closed in on me, one swung, and I tried to dodge, tripped, fell over, and accidentally impaled the guy the cat had knocked down.

The saddest part is that this is the character that's supposed to be a graceful swordsman with a Great Broadsword +1. The kind of great swordsman who could slice the buttons off your shirt and trim your whiskers for you before you have time to blink. She's NOT supposed to be a klutzy buffoon. My dice simply demand it. And of course, this whole time, the cat guy was launching himself around the room, one-shotting a thief every... freaking... round! Except for the time I tripped, I don't think I caused any damage all game. It was frustrating. Being useless sucks.

I have homework to catch up on tomorrow... and I don't wanna. I want to sleep and get better. :( I hate being sick. Especially when it's just sick enough to be miserable, but not so sick that you can really justify canceling obligations or even sleeping for more than maybe nine hours.