Saturday, January 31, 2009

Still sick and stir crazy

Yesterday I stayed home because I felt so bad. Today I'm feeling quite better, and have been going stir crazy. This resulted in a decision to talk my mom into taking me to the library so I could pick up something I'd put on hold, and she then decided to take my grocery shopping with her.

By the time I got back home I was starting to feel a little shaky. 

I guess I need to take things a little more slowly, even if I am going stir crazy. :( One thing's sure, though; I think I'll definitely be back at school this Monday! :D

By the way, what have I done while being stir crazy? Well, I've started yet another blog, which is dedicated to crafty type stuff. I've dragged my mom into it, and I think I've found another victim. :) I might yet get more of my friends to be part of it. I'm not sure how often stuff will even be posted in it, but it'll be fun, I think. You can take a look at it here.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Janitorial duties

I'm still sick, nothing much is going on, so what should I write about? Let's see...maybe my time spent as a janitor?

During the summer my local library hired me as a janitor. Their main janitor had to take off for a while, because of an injury, so they needed another person to help with janitorial stuff while he was gone. So, I got hired. There were some things I really liked about the job. I already knew the place, already knew plenty of the people, already knew my boss, and so I was pretty comfortable and happy with the place and people to begin with, which was a definite perk to the job. But best of all was this - I got a key to the library! Whoopee! :) That was too cool. No, I never abused it. But simply the fact that I could let myself in before hours was cool, even if it was only to take out the trash, vacuum, clean toilets...

There are some things that stand out in my memory from my time as janitor. One of them was when someone spit gum onto the carpet. Seriously. Who does that kind of thing?? So I had to freeze it with some special stuff and then pry it out of the carpet. Real fun. (Please note the sarcasm.) That happened twice. Why couldn't they have just spit it in a trash can? That wouldn't have added to my work, and it would have given me extra time to clean toilets or whatever! But no, they had to spit it on the carpet, and create extra work for me. As though janitors don't have enough work already.

Then there was one place where a potted plant was right next to a trash can. Well, some people seemed to have trouble telling the two apart, which led to me picking bits of trash out of the poor plant's pot. Someone should have their eyes checked. Luckily there was some rearranging, and last time I checked the plant and trash are no longer right next to each other. I'm sure the plant appreciates the change.

Then there was also the joy of dodging fellow employees while trying to vacuum. lol Mostly it wasn't a problem, but it sometimes was. There were a few particular rooms, upstairs, that wind up with a lot of activity very quickly in the mornings. I learned that if I intended to vacuum those rooms without getting in people's way and without people getting in my way, I had to do it first thing. Now whenever I'm someplace and I see janitors having to dodge people, the poor janitors really have my sympathies. At least I was doing my stuff before hours, when I only had staff and volunteers to dodge and be dodged by.

Anyways, I was on the job for about a month, until the main janitor came back. I'm still on call, though, so I might wind up cleaning the toilets at the library again. Oh...and I still have the key. :D

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CRASH!!!

Something really surprising happened on Monday. I was at school, between classes, writing poetry during the two hour wait before the next class. Suddenly there was a HUGE noise of glass shattering, breaking, and I was yanked out of my poetry. I looked around, and then realized what the noise was.

You see, the janitors and gardeners have like these little golf cart type things that they drive around campus. Apparently there are at least two models of them that they've got here. Well, this one guy was driving the model he wasn't familiar with, and wound up driving into a window. Ouch. It got quite a bit of attention, with people pouring into the area where it happened to find out what all the noise was about.

Luckily no one was hurt. The way it was situated there was something that kept the glass from spreading all over the place, and in less than about an hour they got it boarded up.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow day

Unexpectedly, it snowed last night. Quite a surprise. It's only about an inch, tops (where I am, anyways) but PCC campuses are closed due to snow and ice.

You know, this is a day that I wouldn't be at school anyways! Why did it have to be a snow day on a day when I don't even have classes?

As Tall One pointed out, tomorrow could also be a snow day, in which case I'd get to take advantage of it. True, snow isn't in the forecast for tomorrow...but then again, it wasn't in the forecast for today, either. ;)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Getting to Marylhurst

Remember that I talked to some Marylhurst people at a PCC transfer fair, and they said they'd call me back? Turns out that they did, left a message on my cell phone, but my cell didn't tell me that I had a message! That was a few weeks ago. I only happened to check my messages yesterday. Ooops.

So, I called them back, explained what had happened with my phone, and apologized for not getting back to them sooner. (I so cannot wait to get a better cell phone.) We chatted, they asked some questions like about what drew me to music therapy, how my guitar classes are going, and we set a time to get together. I'm heading over Thursday next week. I'll go over transcripts with them, and then get a tour of the campus. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tent poles

I've been sick, so naturally I haven't been doing much, with the result I don't have much to blog about. So, I guess I'll blog about a camping trip that happened a few years back. This particular camping trip we went up to the Columbia river gorge for one night. As usual, it was only mom, Tall One, and myself. Dad has medical problems that prevent him from getting out much. 

I don't remember the name of the camp grounds we went to. I do remember that there was a rail road right by it, and there was a small island in the river that had been a burial place for Native Americans. By way of some trails we were able to get down to the river and wade around a little. There was a playground with a swing set, and a meadow. It was beautiful, and windy. It was RV or tent camping only. My family doesn't have an RV, so of course we brought the tent. Yep, we brought the tent sure enough - it was the tent poles that we forgot to bring.

You know, it's sort of hard to tent camp when you haven't got the tent poles.

This was only an hour, maybe two hours tops, from home. We could have gone back, but we didn't. The sleeping arrangement that we finally settled on for that night was Tall One slept in the car, and mom and I slept under a tree. The tree really creaked and stuff; mom started calling it Old Man Willow (I think it may even have been a willow), and saying it was going it eat us.

That's how we started off the night. I know that the sleeping arrangements changed, but I can't remember if Tall One joined us under the tree, or if one of us moved our sleeping bag into the car with him.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Anxiety

Last night I was chatting on IM with someone I know. Suddenly, out of the blue, she said "I hope the new medication I'm taking will help with my anxiety soon." I hadn't even known she had anxiety problems. Turns out she's had trouble with it for years, and it's recently gotten way worse. She only realized about a month ago that she could actually get treatment for anxiety.

Anxiety. It's something I know about - firsthand. I've had it my entire life, on and off. Sometimes I've scarcely had it, other times it's been unbelievably bad. I've talked with a few other people who've had big problems with anxiety, and each time their experience with anxiety has been very different from mine, with totally different things triggering it. Nonetheless, it's anxiety, and it's downright nasty.

In my case I mostly get anxiety attacks at night, and only occasionally have anxiety during the day. It would get so bad at times that I was literally afraid to turn off my bedroom light when going to bed. Sometimes I wound up sleeping on the floor of my parents bedroom. No, I'm not only talking about times when I was little; I'm also talking about when I was, like, 17 and 18. I hated sleeping in my parents room, but at times the anxiety was so bad that I preferred that to facing the anxiety.

Really, going to a doctor can help. I was amazed that anyone might not realize that, and so I decided to blog about it. Even if you can't afford to go to a doctor, there are herbal remedies out there that can help. (Note: I find that not all brands of herbal stuff are created equal - if one brand doesn't help you, you might get better results with another brand of the same thing.) I've been on the particular medication I'm on now for about a year, and my anxiety has been pretty darn minimal, and mostly nonexistent. That's pretty nice, considering how bad it used to be.

There is help out there, for those who have problems with anxiety.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Weird observation

There's something that I just happened to notice, yesterday, while at guitar class. For some reason all the Anglos sit on one side of the classroom, and the non-Anglos sit on the other side of the classroom.

When I realized that, I just looked from one side of the room to the other in amazement, wondering what was going on; it didn't make sense. I realized that everyone was sitting pretty much at their normal places, and that things had been like this since day one. What's going on? Why are the Anglos hugging one wall, and the non-Anglos the other? 

I've pretty much run out of things to say, other than to continue expressing my astonishment. I'm amazed at how we've arranged ourselves according to our ethnic backgrounds, without even talking about it. It's weird. How'd this happen?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Maeus

I've had a relatively uneventful day. As such, there's not much to blog about. Nonetheless, I feel like blogging. So, I guess I'll blog about my fish.

His name is Bartimaeus. I named him after the main character in the "Bartimaeus" trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. Problem is, "Bartimaeus" is something of a mouthful of a name for a fish, with the result that no one calls him by his name. To begin with, mom was calling him Barti, which I objected to; I said it reminded me of a certain someone I dislike in J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" books. So, we turned to simply calling him Fishy. Wonderful name.

Then, I had this great idea - why not call him Maeus? Nothing against "Fishy," but it's sort of bland. Maeus is short and sweet, and works. Not only that, but it's exactly the last half of his name! :) So, that's what we call him now.

As to what he's like...gosh. If you've read the afore mentioned trilogy, you'll know that the guy I named Maeus for is quite a character. (Don't worry, I won't give away any plot for those of you who haven't read it.) Well, Maeus seems to know who he's named for. True, about all he can do is swim around his tank, but even then he can do some weird things. He likes to do acrobatics, and sometimes swims upside down. No, I don't have a dead fish on my hands who I only think is alive. He seriously does swim upside down often enough.

He is just silly and funny to watch. :P

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration

I started off my day by getting on CNN to watch the inauguration live. Or anyways, that's how I intended to start off my day. What actually happened was a lengthy battle with the computer. I wound up getting to see some of the inauguration, but the computer was really going out of its way to be troublesome. So I said "You know, this is going to be replayed at PCC. Why don't I just head over there?" So, I did.

Needless to say, it was quite nice to watch the inauguration at PCC, and see my fellow students there. Not only that, but since dropping that poetry class, I don't even have class Tuesdays. So, I didn't have to worry about whether it would interfere with class schedule. 

There was  also some special celebration stuff going on at PCC. One of the things was that the campus library had moved some of its stuff out to the celebration area, so you could check out books there. I didn't take too close a look, but I think the books they had there were mostly on topics such as freedom, our history, and stuff like that. Also, there were prizes there. And guess what I won? A gift card worth about $50 at some local chocolate place! Is that nice, or what? :) It was one of the grand prizes.

Still, $50 worth of chocolate doesn't compare to having a decent president!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Drying fingernails causes RaNDOmNeSs

I just painted my fingernails, and they're drying. They're dry enough that I can type, but still newly painted enough that I don't trust myself to not mess them up if I do much else. So, what did I do? I got on facebook. Not much going on there, so I came here to blog.

What should I blog about? Well, not much is coming to mind, so I guess I'll just spout off random things. :P Here goes...

I've named my guitar Darra. I'm looking forward to the inauguration tomorrow. YIPPEE!!! There's an oak in my front yard. My fish is a goldfish, but he's actually more orange than gold and has black spots. I love Ernest Hemmingway's "The Old Man and the Sea," which I'm reading for my English class. I named Maeus after a certain someone in Jonathan Stroud's "Bartimaeus" trilogy. My hair is damp. Darra is next to the computer. We have floor to ceiling drapes in the living room. ...

Oh, yay! I have e-mail. So I guess blogging isn't all that's left for me to do now. My randomness has ended...for now. ;)

Dad's birthday

Dad's birthday was yesterday.

I always find it so hard to figure out what to get him! So as usual, I went with mom's idea. This year, it happened to be a DVD full of games that you can load on your computer. He liked it. :) It was a family gift to him. Mom also renewed his subscription to the National Geographic magazine.

Instead of a cake he had a homemade lemon custard pie. I think it was a joint effort between Tall One and mom, with Tall One doing most of the work. It was oh so yummy. Is oh so yummy, I should say - there's still some of it left.

No one put candles on the "cake," however. When I commented, Tall One (or was it mom?) said that they didn't want to ruin how nice the pie looked. Well, can't we do a candle someplace other than the pie? But no one asked me, so whatever. The lack of candles didn't stop dad from "blowing the candles out," and he said that he blew them all out on the first try. I pointed out that the candles he blew out were imaginary, but he didn't seem to care.

I'd say it was a good birthday. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Birds and windows

My house has a couple of big windows in the living room, and a sliding glass door. It's wonderful, but it does have a huge drawback; birds keep flying into them.

In our last house we didn't have this problem. Birds never flew into the windows! But we moved to this house on Samhain (Oct. 31st) 2007, and ever since then we've had trouble with birds and our windows.

They usually recover, and fly off. However, I remember one particular time that a cat took off with the bird while it was still helpless.

Don't think that we've done nothing to try to deter the birds, though, because we have. Tall One cut out and laminated bird shapes, and put them up on the windows and sliding glass door. First we had them up inside the glass. That didn't work, so on some advice mom got somewhere I put them up on the outside. That hasn't worked, either. We've still got them up, but they don't seem to be doing much good.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

An ADHD moment

I had to write something for my shamanism class. Well, I was sort of feeling out of my depth, not to mention personal - I mean, in the assignment I wound up talking about my animal guide! Anyways, so I wound up getting my mom's help. No, that wasn't the ADHD moment. The ADHD moment came while mom was helping me.

First I got her to read it. Then she said "Ok, may I see the assignment?" Duh, she needed to see what the assignment actually was in order to help me. So, I showed it to her. While she was going through it the second time was when I had my ADHD moment.

Ok, I've got to explain the set up of the room we're in. Mom and I share a computer, and Tall One's computer is next to ours. Of course, mom was at the computer we share. I had originally been walking in circles, due to excess energy. But by now, I was sitting on Tall One's computer chair.

Tall One's computer chair - it's one of those that you can swivel in. So, I was going in circles and circles and circles...extending and pulling in and extending my arms, to go slower and faster and slower again...eventually mom asked "Do you want me to do this?" "Oh, sorry, do I need stay still?" I asked in return. She said that I didn't need to stay totally still, but that I did need to stop what I was doing.

And why was I doing this? ADHD.

Wonderful ADHD moments. :P Poor mom.

Tall One

As I've said before, Tall One is taking a class at PCC this term.

Once I knew which math class he wanted to take, I got online, looked at the class schedule, and discovered that a professor I know and love is teaching it. I told him, "You've got to take it from this professor. She's good." So, he signed up to take the class from her.

By the way, Tall One and this professor had actually met before. It's one of those "it's a small world" type of things. Her daughter and Tall One take piano lessons from the same person. We made this discovery when I went to Tall One's piano recital last spring and we ran into each other! Quite surprising, lemme tell ya.

When I was in this professor's class I was one of the top students. So she told my brother "If you have trouble, just ask your sister for help. She's good." What Tall One didn't tell her, and I think he should have, is that I went to him for help while I was taking math from her! lol There were some things that he couldn't help me on, but there were other things that he was a great help on. He's just good at figuring things out.

I'll be happy to help him if he needs it, but I suspect he won't be coming to me for much help.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Poetry class

I dropped the poetry class. I have some strong disagreements with the professor. Yeah, I know you can learn valuable stuff from people you disagree with. But in this case, I'd rather just drop the class. As for what the two major things are that I disagree with the professor on:

1) He says that good poetry is written for adults, and that children aren't interested in it anyways.

2) He says that poets aren't noted for being academic, and that you shouldn't really look for symbols in the poems. For example, if there's this poem all about snakes, it must be literally about snakes, even if the poem actually only makes sense when the snakes are taken to represent something else.

I know for a fact that children can enjoy good poetry, and that poets use things as metaphors. For example, snakes can be a metaphor for the devil, sexuality, and immortality, among other things. The particular snake poem we discussed doesn't make sense if you took the snakes in it to be literal animals; but it does make sense if you take the snakes to be a metaphor for pretty much anything that snakes can be metaphors for. By the way, I found the link I've provided here in mere moments. If you look around for more than mere moments, I'm sure you can find much more info.

So, the bottom line is, I've dropped the course. :( Now I'll have to find other things to fill up my time. Maybe I'll spend Tuesday and Thursday mornings volunteering at my local library, since I won't be going to school on those days anymore. Hey - I had to stop doing Friday mornings and Monday evenings, since those conflict with other classes this term. So, why not dedicate these two new free mornings to volunteer work? :)

Religious Freedom Day

President Bush has declared January 16th to be Religious Freedom Day. You can see some info here. Be sure to read the comments on the article. There's only one last I checked, but there are sure to be more.

Forgive me for being a pessimist, but does he consider Wiccans be to part of the wonderful day? After all, he's already said that he doesn't consider them a real religion.

I'm no Wiccan, but I've learned a lot about the religion, and lemme tell ya - I don't care what our current president says. Wicca is a real religion.

Ok, I'll try to stop ranting now. I just find it ironic, considering that Bush doesn't consider Wicca to be a religion, that he's declaring a Religious Freedom Day.

ps. My spell checker doesn't consider "Wiccan" to be a word! Agh!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Imagine being blind

My poetry professor had an in-class exercise for us today. What was it? To imagine that we are blind, have been blind since birth, and then write about a place or activity as though we are blind. "Remember," he told us, "you wouldn't mention colors or that kind of thing."

Well, I love my local library. I get books there and I volunteer there. So, without even thinking I chose that place. I wrote about going in through the front door, hearing children to the left, and peace and quiet to the right.

Then, I started wondering; what would a blind person do in a library? Yeah, there are braille books, but I don't think we have any at our library. Anyways, I don't really know much about them, so I didn't want to fool with writing about that. So, what to write? I started wondering if I should find something else to write about.

Then I started thinking about volunteering, and whether there's anything a blind person can do. Well, they wouldn't be able to shelve, pull holds, shelf read, check in...or pretty much any thing else I could think of. I must have set there for at least a couple of minutes thinking about it. Then, it hit me; a blind person may not be able to see the book with their eyes - but they can certainly see the book with their hands! 

So, I made up a volunteer position for this blind person; searching the shelves for books in need of mending. No, it wouldn't be just useless busy work, made up just to make them feel good about themselves. It really would be useful, considering the condition of some books on our local library's shelves - pages falling out and everything! Luckily not many are that way. But enough in poor condition that it certainly would be useful for someone to simply spend their time looking for books that need to take a trip up to the mending room.

...this almost makes me wish that some blind person decides to volunteer at my library. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Untied Dyslexic Church of Dog!

I was sorta bored, was thinking about dyslexia, so I decided - why not blog about it?

I'm dyslexic. Luckily I don't have it as bad as some people do. There was a woman in my group vocal class last term who told me she was failing classes due to dyslexia! Wow. Luckily I'm not nearly that bad. Still, I do have some problems.

I try to look on the good side of dyslexia. You're probably asking, "A good side to dyslexia? You've gotta be kidding." No, I'm not kidding. I've found anagrams, thanks to dyslexia. I'll be sitting there trying to figure out how "evil" fits into a sentence, only to suddenly realize that the word is actually "veil." In a way it's annoying, but it can also be sort of cool.

Then there are the not so cool things about dyslexia.

For example, taking notes in class. I may be wanting to write "paper due Mon." Instead, I might write something like "paper deu Mon." or "paper Mon. due" or some weird combination of the two. I mostly laugh it off when I do some silly mistake like that, but it can still get annoying.

Then there's math. I don't know how I manage the great grades I get in it.

But at least my dyslexia isn't hurting my grades at all, and it's certainly not making me fail classes. So, I guess I can't complain much, even if it's frustrating. But when it is getting frustrating, I can find that remembering my favorite dyslexic jokes can help. Such as...

Q: What does an agnostic dyslexic insomniac stay up late thinking about?

A: The existence of Dog!

I'm also an insomniac, by the way, so this joke hits two of my problems. lol :P

Marylhurst

PCC is having a college fair today. So, I wandered around, and found the booth for the college I want to transfer to - Marylhurst.

Now, sometimes I can be quite talkative (just ask my English professor), but then again I can sometimes be quite shy. I wasn't sure what to say, so I was very happy when one of the women at the booth commented something like "You're carrying a guitar. Do you have a guitar class today?" I knew exactly what to say to that; "Yeah. I started taking guitar because I want to transfer to your music therapy program."

From there they got me signed up to receive college info, and gave me a thingy about events that are going on at Marylhurst. They even said that they'd contact me so that we can talk about transcripts and the audition process! Yep, since it's a music program I'll have to audition. I'm not too worried about that, though. I'm more worried about getting the transfer stuff straightened out, surviving my first day of classes, and paying for my education. In any event...

Marylhurst, here I come!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Winning streak

Oh wow! I just had a winning streak of three games while playing solitaire!!!!

...somehow that being one of my great accomplishments today is sorta sad.

Birds

I was wondering what to write about in my blog today. I happened to glance out at the back porch - and there was my answer.

My family has turned our backyard into a bird sanctuary. We have two suet feeders, a hanging bird feeder that has seed in it, one hummingbird feeder, and we put food out on the ground. I can see some of the feeders from where I sit at the computer. I'll mention some of the birds we get, but to talk about all of them would take longer than I'd like.

As I started writing this there was a swarm of kinglets. Usually when I see one, I see a ton of them. They love the suet feeders. In fact, I haven't seen them eating anything other than suet in our yard. Also common are dark eyed juncos. They are wonderful to watch, though aren't quite as cute as the kinglets. They eat at the hanging food feeders, and on the ground.

The northern flicker is one of my favorites, though we don't see them around too much. When I do see them, they're at the suet feeder. They are just so elegant! There's also the downy woodpecker. As I write I can see one eating at the suet feeder. They aren't nearly so elegant as the flickers, but they're cute. Like the flickers, they aren't around often.

We also get a few hummingbirds. I would say specifically what kinds, but I haven't identified exactly which species we get yet. All I can say for sure is that we get at least two different kinds.

And of course, how can I talk about our birds without also mentioning the squirrels? :P We mostly get Douglas squirrels, but we also get a few of the shyer red fox squirrels. They only eat the food that we put out on the ground - not that they haven't tried to get to the hanging feeders! It just happens that our setup works so that they can't really get to the feeders.

During the summer we didn't get so many of our feathery (and furry) friends in our yard. But now that it's winter we're seeing them a lot again. Nice to know that we're good for something! :)

Edit: I accidentally said that we get gray squirrels in our yard, but it's actually Douglas squirrels. Whoops! We do have gray squirrels in the area, but they don't tend to show up in our yard. My mom was reading the blog, and pointed out the mistake.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hip length hair and no highlights

Last Saturday I went to a hair place, and said I'd like to get my hair highlighted. When they asked how long my hair is, they got the answer that it's hip length. They said that it wouldn't work for them to do it then and there, but that I could come back another time to get it done.

Well, it was finally convenient for both them and me to get it done today. So I went in, and told them again how long my hair is. And what did they tell me? They don't have the stuff to highlight hair as long as mine!

...and why didn't they tell me this sorta important little detail before?

I asked if they could recommend a place that can highlight hair as long as mine. They couldn't. They also told me that my hair is so lovely that it doesn't need highlighting. I know it's lovely, but I'm tired if it being the same thing all the time! I want something different! And believe me, I have really thought long and hard on it before deciding that I'm willing to do permanent dye to it.

Now I'm home, sipping coffee, writing this blog, and without highlights in my hair. Instead, when I got home, I used some hair glitter stuff on it. I wanted to do something to it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Religion and politics

Apparently there are some people opposing the use of the words "So help me God" in inauguration, and there are other people who totally support it. (Some info is here.)

What if someone is atheist? Do they have to say "So help me God," if an oath for an office is written to include that phrase? Or what if they follow a goddess? Would there be anything wrong with saying "So help me Goddess"? What if they follow a particular deity? Should they say that deity's name?

Ah, the joys of combining religion and politics!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Thermos

My mom likes ice tea. There was a particular time, several years ago, that she wanted me to make her ice tea so that she could take it with her to work. I figured it would be a good idea to put it in a thermos. I used my mom's thermos, which happened to be made of glass on the inside.

The thing about ice tea, is that it sorta needs the ice. So, I dropped an ice cube into the thermos. Talk about a mistake. BAM The thermos broke. My first thought? Was it "Oops"? Not in the least. It was "Whoa! What a way cool noise! Totally awesome!!!" Then, I thought "Oops, I guess I'll have to buy mom a new thermos."

The reason I'm telling this story? As homework for my creative writing class, I wrote a poem that tells this story. Ok, so it didn't tell the story exactly as it happened. In the poem I'm making the ice tea for myself. At first I did try to write that I was making the tea for my mom, but it just came out awkward. But, who I'm making it for is a minor detail. :P The real bit of the story is that I break the thermos, and in particular who the thermos belongs to. Oh, and also my immediate reaction being "Cool!" rather than "Oops" is sort of an important detail.

I actually didn't have to buy mom a new thermos. But, that's another little thing that I figured the poem would be better off without. ;)

Hey, since when does poetry have to tell things exactly as they happened, and provide every little detail about everything?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Yeah, I'm Pagan"

I've just got to share something that happened last night.

Someone I've known for a few years asked "So, did you have a good Christmas?" "Yep," I answered, and added "I also had a good Yule."

She looked blank at the word "Yule." So I explained, "That's the solstice." She still looked blank, so I explained further; "I'm Pagan, so I also celebrate the solstice."

There was a pause. Then she said "You're not Pagan." Pause. I answered "Yeah, I am." Another pause. "You are?" "Yeah." Pause. She asked, "So, you're not Christian?" That question surprised me, and I said "Um...no, but I've got Christians in my family, so I also celebrate Christmas." There was yet another pause.

"Oh whatever!" She exclaimed. "I love you anyways!"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Poetry class

I had my first class of creative writing today. My professor is interesting. Turns out that he's co-editor of a poetry magazine. The story behind it is that an old friend of his inherited quite a bit of money some years back. This friend of his said to him "Hey, I want to start a poetry magazine with this money. Do you want to be co-editor?" My professor says that one of the perks of being co-editor is that his own poetry is getting published, at long last.

As one of my classmates observed, the moral of that story seems to be this; if you want to get published and are having trouble getting your work accepted, be friends with someone who happens to inherit a bunch of money and who feels like starting a magazine! 

I discovered that there are actually two classes going on at the same time in the classroom. One is advanced, the other isn't. It's the non-advanced class I'm in. Yeah, one of my poems is getting published in Cricket this April, but whatever. This is my first class on actually writing poetry, so I figured the beginning would be a good place to start.

Reminds me of a certain song in The Sound of Music;

Let's start at the very beginning,
a very good place to start...

And speaking of starting and beginning things, I should start on my poetry homework about now.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Guitar and music therapy

Oh. My. Gosh. Guess what???

Ok, so I'm planning to transfer to Marylhurst and pursue a degree in music therapy. What do I find out today about my guitar professor? Let's see...he's a professor at Marylhurst. He teaches guitar there. Not only that, but he teaches guitar in the music therapy program! Oh, wow.

*singing* It's a small world after all, it's a small world after all... *end singing*

So of course I'm happy. :) Oh, and he told me that he even uses the same guitar book at Marylhurst that he uses at PCC. Nice. I can simply save my current music books!

I was in for another surprise. On the way to school this morning, there was another woman at one of the bus stops who also had a guitar. Surprise surprise, she turned up in my class! Yet more evidence that it's a small world.

*singing again* It's a small world after all, it's a small world after all...

:)

First day of school

Well, it's partway through my first day back to school this term - and Tall One's day at the college is all already done. Yep, Tall One is also taking courses at the same community college as me this term. :) I showed him around campus today and helped him find his classroom. I'm afraid I may have been mothering him a little more than he really liked, though. "Do you have your books?" "Have you fixed a lunch?" I couldn't help it! He survived my attentions, though.

I've been through one class, and have another left to go today. The class I already had is English - fiction. As I said in another post it's with the English professor I had last term, so I already know him. Even so, I was quite surprised that he brought a Dr. Seuss book with him to our very first class. He read us "The Sneetches." You know, it's really amazing the things that are in Dr. Seuss' stories! They're really simple, and yet they can deal with really huge issues. There were a few issues that were pointed out in "The Sneetches," but what really stood out to me in that story is that it handled racism. It never used that word - but it still dealt with it. When I pointed that out, the professor pointed out the year it was published; 1961. Hmm...

So now that I'm through with that, I only have guitar left today...and about an hour and a half to deal with before then. Well, I've got a computer here, and I've already got homework, so filling up that time shouldn't be a problem!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"What's for dinner?"

I just had to share this. 

Ok, so I asked mom "What's for dinner?" She answered "I don't know." Now, when was she answering my question? Before fixing dinner? No. She answered this question after she'd just taken it out of the oven, and was pondering it.

I still don't know what I had for dinner, but I do know it tasted good.

Putting up the Christyule stuff

Ok, so Christyule is a word of my own invention. We've got Pagans and Christians in my immediate family, and some things - the tree for example - works into both beliefs in the holidays. Well, it doesn't feel right to call the tree a Christmas tree when it's also a Yule tree, and vice versa. And just calling it a holiday tree feels too weird, when it's in our own home. So, I came up with my own name for the stuff that is both Pagan and Christian: Christyule!

With the holiday season pretty much past, we've put up the Christyule stuff today. I had wanted to deal with it tomorrow, on the Epiphany. But as mom pointed out that's the first day of school, and I really will not feel like helping out then. So, we went with mom's suggestion of doing it today.

We had a little fun getting the boxes and stuff into the attic. Mom was on the floor handing things to me, and I was halfway up the ladder handing things the rest of the way up to Tall One, who was in the attic. Well, mom handed me a light up penguin to hand to Tall One, but he was too busy getting something else situated to take it. So I made the penguin wave at him, which he said just looked weird. He was taking long enough that I handed the penguin back down to mom, and she started singing "Harvest Moon" and dancing with the penguin.

I would say that that's quite a way to wrap up the holidays, except that they aren't quite over; we've got the Epiphany tomorrow. We have a little family tradition that we'll put out shoes on the table tonight, and then tomorrow morning someone (mom, likely) will have put little presents in them.

So, I guess I'll say that it's quite a way to almost wrap up the holidays! :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The naming of cats is a difficult matter

Naming a cat really can be difficult. It took a little time before dad settled on naming his cat Saphira, after a dragon in the "Inheritance" cycle by Christopher Paolini. (Great books!) Over the last few years, though, Saphira's picked up quite a few nick names.

Two of her nick names are variations on "Saphira." There's Saffy, which is what dad usually calls her, and the more dignified Saphere, which is what I tend to call her.

When she was still a kitten she tended to run as fast as she could, without really looking where she was going. That resulted in her banging her head into quite a few walls, assorted other objects, and us jokingly calling her Grace. Dad also came up with the nick name Teeth an' Claws. Yep, that's one name there, not two.

Two of her nick names are based on her breed - Siamese. Because of her points, she's picked up the nick name Dirty Face. And because of her loud voice, and the fact that she tends to let the world know when dad leaves the house, Tall One just moments ago gave her the new nick name; Loud Mouth.

So that's...seven names all together. As difficult as Eliot says it is to name cats, I guess Saphira is lucky to have a total of seven of them!

Voices in Verse

I went to a poetry reading this morning, and brought three poems to read. Or anyways, I meant to bring three poems. I got there and discovered that I had accidentally brought a copy of "Frosty the Snowman" in place of a poem I wanted to read. Oops.

One of the poems I shared was in the wonderful book, "Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons," by Bill Waterson. Yes, it's a "Calvin and Hobbes" book. Watterson wrote two poems (I think) that appeared in his "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip. The one I read today is on page 16 of the afore mentioned book. 

Hey, the spell checker thinks "afore" isn't a word! Well, guess what? It is a word!! You can take a look at it in the dictionary. :P 

Anyways...sorry, got a little side tracked there. Back to the topic now.

Tall One shared a poem that he wrote, which is always a treat. And of course, other people shared poems, some of which they'd written, some of which they hadn't. Mom was also there, but she hadn't brought anything.

I first started going to this poetry group in Fall term 2007, while I was taking the a poetry class. Soon enough, I decided it was so much fun that I had to drag mom and Tall One along to one of the meetings. Now they're as hooked as I am. :)

Ah, the joys of poetry!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Imagine snow

I awoke this morning to find a dusting of snow upon the ground.

Ok, so it wasn't exactly a dusting of snow, but "a dusting of snow" sounds more poetic than "roughly an inch of snow." :P

Anyways, I was quite surprised. Snow hadn't been in the forecast - not that that necessarily  means anything, around here. The weathermen are wrong as often as they're right, when giving the forecast for the Portland area. Apparently they're better about predicting weather in other parts of the country, but I've only got that second hand. 

After the huge snow and ice storm we had last month, which I hope will get named "Enough Snow Already!", I was a little worried at seeing snow on the ground. Luckily, it doesn't seem to have created any more problems than at least one person arriving late at the library where I volunteer, some bus routes being on chains, and one bus route being on its snow route. I'm sure there are plenty other problems, but hopefully they're no worse than those I've listed here.

I was thinking, though...imagine if we get a bunch more snow, and it wound up with the first day back to school being a snow day. I personally am not hoping for that, since I'm looking forward to classes starting again, but I do know some school kids are hoping it'll happen - and I'd guess that includes some of my fellow college kids, too.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Mythology defined

I've been reading, on and off and on again, "A Story as Sharp as a Knife," by Robert Bringhurst. (Incidentally, I've got to take it back to the library tomorrow...) As I was reading today, there was something that jumped out at me, and I thought I'd share it:

"[...] myth itself is neither fact nor fiction. Myth is a species of truth that precedes that distinction" (113.)

I think I've found mythology defined just as well as it is here, but I don't know if I can find it defined better. Incidentally, it reminds me of something from Northrop Frye's book, "The Great Code," which was one of my textbooks in my Bible class last term. Something discussed in chapter two is history; specifically Weltgeschichte, and Heilsgeschichte. Don't ask me how to pronounce those words - I never could figure it out exactly. All I know is that they're German. Anyways, Weltgeschichte is history as it literally happened. Heilsgeschichte, on the other hand, Frye defines as

"This may not be what you would have seen if you had been there, but what you would have seen would have missed the whole point of what was really going on" (48.)

I take back what I said before, about that first quote being the best definition for mythology. That quote, paired with the definition for Heilsgeschichte, is the best definition for mythology I've yet encountered.

Happy New Calendar Year!

Yes, I'm specifying that it's a happy new calendar year. Hey, those who arbitrarily chose January first as new years don't necessarily have the final say! Three other new year celebrations come to mind. There's the Chinese new year, the Jewish new year, and also the Pagan new year - each on separate days from each other, as well as being separate from the calendar new year.

Being Pagan, I celebrate Samhain (the Pagan new year), but I also celebrate the calendar new year. So that's two new years I celebrate every year. But honestly, I do get much more excited about Samhain than I do about the calendar new year. Still, I had some fun last night, though I didn't go out and party.

My mom and I are absolutely in love with the "Abhorsen" trilogy, by Garth Nix. I got the first book in the trilogy, "Sabriel," for Christmas. (Yeah, I'm Pagan, but with Christians in the family I also celebrate Christmas.) Mom and I thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce Tall One to the trilogy. So, we listened to "Sabriel" last evening. To tell the truth, though, I don't think there's much Tall One doesn't know about the trilogy - mom and I have told him so much about it already. We're hard put to find things we haven't already told him about the story.

We also did other things while listening. Mom did some cooking, I did loom knitting, mom and Tall One played a game...and so we whiled away the hours until midnight. Close to midnight dad joined us. He'd been doing something else - maybe reading?

We counted down the seconds to the new year, and when the clock read 12:00, we drank sparkling apple cider together.

Happy 2009 everyone!