Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I am so glad 2009 is almost over! It's been a year filled with downs, the occasional up tossed in for good measure.  The single best thing I can say about 2009 is that I graduated college, finally, but my favorite part of the year hands-down will be 11:59pm on December 31st.  Good ridden to 2009, let's hope 2010 is better.  Sadly, I find that I've been saying the same every year.  I was happy to see 2008 go, and though I couldn't find a blog post for 2007, I'm sure I was happy to see that year go too.

I spent the morning looking around the net to see what I'd written over the past year, feeling a bit nostalgic.  After that, I spent some time looking over what I'd written in general.  What I realized is, since I started blogging in April 2003, I've been spread all over the net.  I began blogging at with 'ya don't say...," then I moved to with the same title, after that I moved to my own domain at  I was being web-stalked by a crazy, so I moved my blog back to under the title "Retold," and when the stalker disappeared, I put my site back on, but kept the title "Retold."  That blog is still there, and I still write on it from time to time, but not generally personal entries anymore.  Then, this September, I opened this blog for my personal site, where I've been ever since.  Let's see if I can get through more than a year without putting my blog somewhere new.

As a sort of end of the year farewell to all of that, I closed every single remaining personal blog.  Earlier in the year I deleted (my first blog), which was not easy for me but was something I felt that I really needed to do.  Today, I shut down four more blogs, two at wordpress, one at blogger, and my writing blog that I never used.  I made sure to export and back-up all the stuff written on all those blogs, but they blogs themselves are gone now.  They were just stragglers, I didn't need them, they were wasting space.  So, now, unless I missed something,  my only personal blogs are Retold and Pretty Pessimist.  It might be that at some point I'll upload all the export files onto so that all my blogs are in the same place, but I don't know when that might be.  It's more important that I have the back-ups, anyway.

I'm ready now to move onto the 2010 (which I cannot seem to type to save my life) with an almost clean slate.  I'm ready to see what tomorrow brings, and forget the troubles of yesterday... 365 yesterdays... 3,650 yesterdays.  I hope you have a safe and Happy New Year wherever you are.  If you're going out, be careful.  If you drink, don't drive.  If you're close to someone you love, kiss them on New Years eve, I know I plan to.  I'm going out to get some food today, then I'll spend tomorrow with my husband.  See y'all next year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Since we've not place to go...

It's snowing again, for the second time in five days.  The Weather Channel said it was supposed to do this today, but it's not always 100% reliable and I'm a skeptic.  I never believe it's going to snow in central Texas until it does.  Well, today it is.  I woke up to a gray sky, which I always love, and little bit of icy rain.  When I say a little bit, I mean a very little bit, a few minutes and it stopped.  Then, several minutes ago, it started snowing and the whole world around my house looks like one of those amazing snow globes.  That's the thing about Texas weather, just like the snow globes, the weather comes and goes in the blink of an eye and you're left thinking, "Well that was pretty."  Pretty, but whimsical, that's snow in central Texas.  I think it allows us to appreciate it more than we would if we lived somewhere like Wisconsin or Colorado where it snows all the time and it's more of an annoyance than a treasure.

I'd offer you a picture, but the batteries in my camera are dead (the old girl uses AA batteries, and not the rechargeable kind either).  Terrible time to run out of batteries!  When I was at the backdoor trying to take pictures, I noticed that my neighbors have left their dogs chained up outside in freezing weather.  I'm thinking about calling the humane society.  This wouldn't be the first time I've considered it, but this time they could be in danger of freezing.  I feel a bit bad for the dogs, with owners who don't take care of them.  They tear things up, which makes a huge mess in the yard, they have worms which I know because they're doing their business all over my yard.  They represent a risk to my animals, what if I track something in on my shoes!  I just don't know.  I think I'm going to talk to management first and see what they can do before I do something as drastic as calling the humane society.  I mean, the dogs aren't starving to death, they're just without shelter.

Anyway, the snow is beautiful and I can enjoy it when I watch it through the front storm door, rather than the back door where I can see the neighbors dogs.  It's more like one expects snow to be than it was on Christmas eve, as it's sort of floating to the ground, rather than riding a harsh wind at a 45 degree angle.  I hope it keeps up!  The Weather Channel says we're under a winter weather advisory until 9am tomorrow, so we'll see.  Unlike with Christmas, we have no where we have to be, so as the old song says: let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Speaking of Christmas.  Matt and I ended up staying home on Christmas day because the roads were a mess.  We had been supposed to go see my in-laws on Christmas, but with so much ice on the ground, we decided it'd be better to stay in and reschedule.  So, we stayed home and spent Christmas together.   We had a good morning opening the gifts my folks sent us, something we both very much enjoyed -- they sent me a pair of slippers (which I love), pajamas, a couple sets of really pretty combs for my hair, and a beautiful set of glass nail files; Matt got a Guinness World Book and a pair of awesome gloves that he's gotten quite a bit of use from already thanks to the frigid weather -- thanks, mom, we love you!!  For the two of us, we won't buy one another a gift until school starts in January, but we did do a few things for one another for Christmas, which I'm going to pass on going into because it has to do with World of Warcraft, which I'm fairly certain most people who might read this don't play.  It turned out to be a nice day, overall.

Then, Sunday, we went to Waco to see my in-laws which was nice -- they got me a little white ceramic sand-dollar note cube with sand dollar note cards, Matt got popcorn, we both got calendars.   After that, we dropped in for an unannounced visit to Amanda and Karen's house and ended up holding their couch down for a good 7 hours!  Once we get to chatting, it's impossible to shut us up and by us, I mean Amanda, Karen, and me, Matt slept almost the whole time we were there, which he needed.  They had goodies, which they shared with us, and it was great to see them.  I'm planning a trip to see them in January or February, they invited me to come and stay for a weekend, which I cannot wait to do!

When we got home, around 1am, we were invited to Melanie & Joey's for cupcakes and coffee.  We went, of course, we're all such night owls when school's not in.  We spent several hours with them, had some amazing chocolate cupcakes, and exchanged gifts.  I gave them some brandied fruit, because they seemed to really like the bread when I took them some at Thanksgiving.  They gave Matt a collection of Christmas coffee's, which is always a good choice for him because he's such a coffeeaholic!  They gave me a long string of numbers which turned into an awesome Pandren Monk pet for World of Warcraft.   If you're interested to see what he looks like, or what the heck I'm taking about, you can see him here.  I'm an avid in-game pet collector and Blizzard recently introduced two in-game pets that can be purchased.  I hadn't had the chance to get them yet, but will likely get the other one soon.  What's awesome about that particular gift is that it both made me happy and helped out a good cause.  Until December 31st, when you buy one of the two new pets from the Blizzard Store, they donate 50% of the proceeds to the Make-a-Wish foundation!

Well, the snow is starting to accumulate out there, and I think I want a cup of cocoa.  The mail-lady just came to get my package -- did you know that you can print packing labels and get the USPS to come and pick up your packages?!  I sold my Nintendo DS Lite on eBay yesterday, which was really exciting.  I put it up and it sold in like three hours!  I've never sold anything on eBay before, so it was pretty thrilling for me.  I sold it with all it's accessories and games.  I wasn't getting any use out of it, it was just sitting there collecting dust, so I decided that someone else might as well get some use of it.  I also learned something new in the process; while it only cost me about $.60 to make the eBay listing, PayPal charged me $4.61 to make the transaction and they're holding the funds because my seller rating on eBay is low.  So, hopefully the purchaser will leave me good feedback as soon as they get the package so they'll release the funds.  I may look around and see what else I have that I'm just keeping because I'm a total pack-rat.  It may be time for a virtual yard sale!

Time for me to say farewell for now and put the kettle on the stove.  I also need to make sure it's not getting super hot in the bedroom, because I've been running the heater for the last hour and a half since I got up.  The bedroom is always the first room to get really hot and really cold, and Matt's sleeping in there right now and will wake up extra grumpy if he's boiling hot.   Might go steal the batteries out of the remote and take some more snow pictures, too!  See y'all in a few days!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's snowing!

I had a really rough day yesterday, but I'm going to skip regaling you with the whole tale until another day.  Today I come with something much more exciting: It's snowing!  It's snowing in central Texas!  The weather said it was supposed to be 65 degrees and sunny today, but when I woke up, it was snowing like crazy.  Not a few flurries here and there, but a full fledged snow storm.  It's even gathering on the ground!    When I saw it, I expected that it might do this for a half an hour or so and just stop and melt away, but it's been steadily snowing for the past few hours.  It's nearly to the point where we can't see the grass beneath the snow.

I'm just so excited, and maybe even more so because it's Christmas eve and it's snowing.  Weather is saying it's supposed to be sunny and 45 degrees tomorrow, but if the snow doesn't melt away we could have a semi-white Christmas.  I've never had a white Christmas, ever.  Even when I lived at home and it snowed, it never snowed on Christmas.  Matt, of course, hasn't either.  Until a few years ago, he had only seen snow once ever when he was like 8 years old.

I took a few pictures when I first woke up, but none of them came out very good.  I also took a few videos, but they don't seem to want to upload with any clarity... boo!  So, I tried one more time and here's what I've come up with.  It's a pretty good pic, if I do say so myself.  My sad little 3.1 megapix, 3x optical zoom digital camera needs to be replaced in the worst way!

The snow has almost stopped, but it's still flurrying.  I hope it starts up again and that the wind dies down.  It's my only regret about this, the wind, if it keeps up like this, it'll blow the clouds away and it just might be sunny tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that doesn't happen.  I'd really like to have more than one day of snow, though I'm also grateful for what we're getting.  It's been steadily getting colder for the last few hours, it was 29 degrees when I got up, it's now 26 degrees.  Today, even Matt's consenting to running the heater!

I asked him to put something Christmas-y on the TV and he came up with "White Christmas" on AMC.  I generally hate Christmas movies, but this time the jokes on him, it's a musical!  So we're watching it, but when it's over I may just put in "Love Actually" which is one of the only Christmas movies I like.  It would seem that AMC is playing "White Christmas" all day and all night today and tomorrow, so if you enjoy Christmas movies and want to see it, there's still plenty of time to check it out!

Wherever you are, whatever your doing, I hope you have an amazing Christmas!  A very Happy Holidays to your and yours, from me and mine!

**UPDATE:  It's blizzarding again!!!  Yay!! :D

I saw this and thought it was cute -- I was going to graduate college and pursue my goals, but then who would make dinner?!  Ha!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Has it really been nearly a week?!

I'm happy, and a little sad, to report that my last four or five days have been gloriously lazy.  Not just lazy, fantastically, magically, amazingly, gloriously lazy!  I'd go on with the adverbs, but I think you get my point.  I've done absolutely nothing... okay, almost nothing.  I've played a lot of World of Warcraft, I've written two freelance articles, and I've gamed with my husband.  Other than just day to day behavior --cooking, showering-- I've done almost nothing of substance and I've loved it!

Then, today, feeling a little bit guilty I re-read what I wrote last time about my freelance goals.  I realized that while I'm going to pursue them, I need to do it in my own time, and feeling guilty isn't going to bring the last few unproductive days back.  I also realized that I wouldn't want it too.  It's been nice to just do nothing for a while, to just forget (or ignore) my concerns for a little bit.  Two articles a day is a lot of work and this is my Christmas break!  I've just graduated, I deserve to do nothing for a while.  So, I'm going to make my dedication to freelance writing my new years resolution and just enjoy myself right now.

For the time being, I can hardly believe that it's almost Christmas!  Where the heck has the year gone?!  I wish I knew and in the same breath, I'm glad it's almost gone.  For all it's good points, 2009 has been a tumultuous year, filled with all sorts of ups and downs not only for me, but also for my family.  Good ridden to 2009, I'm looking forward to 2010 with much promise for a better year.  Let it not be disappointing and difficult like this year has been.

Of course, 2010 means one thing for me: grad school!  Then grad school means just one thing:  total subconscious meltdown.  I know, that doesn't make a lot of sense so I'll explain.  For the last two nights, I've had the strangest dreams.  It started two nights ago when I dreamt that one of the classes I'm taking in the spring semester, Dr. C's class "Comparative Lit: Bad Girls of Western Lit," had something like 100 students.  The class room was huge, the desks were arranged in long, crescent-shaped, curving rows.  There were only three seats open, but one of them had absolutely everyone's coats piled on it, so Melanie and I couldn't sit together.  Then, at the class's break, Melanie and I went to her house and she was living in the same place I lived when Matt and I lived at TSTC years ago.  We barely made it back to class on time and when we got there, the whole room was full and we had to stand up.  It was terribly humiliating.

Then, last night, I dreamt that I got into graduate school in Paris.  When I went, I kept in constant communication with my favorite professor, Dr. Y, but my classes were brutal and the professors didn't like me.  There were hundreds of students in each class and I didn't speak much French so I was constantly mocked.  The thing is, it wasn't Paris, even though it was.  There was the school campus, which was distinctly not European, and then over the long fence around the school was something that looked like a combination of this and this (click the links, they pop up as pictures!!).  The first is London from Sweeney Todd, the second is an image from Icecrown, a zone in World of Warcraft.  My mind is clearly very screwed up.

So, while I get some R&R, my brain isn't but I don't care as long as it's only manifesting itself as weird dreams.  Truth be told, they sort of amuse me, even though I wake up fairly confused.  Anyway, I hope y'all have an amazing Christmas, though I'll probably write again before then.  Matt and I are going to my in-laws for lunch, but we won't be gone long because I don't want to leave Anakin alone that long.  I'm still not 100% comfortable with his health for long periods of time and he has serious separation anxiety.  If you've sent me email recently, I apologize for not getting back to you.  Email hasn't been one of those things I've been doing while I laze around, but I'll be certain to get back to you at some point in the near future.  Ditto with blogs.  For now, there's dinner to make.  Good night!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Now that I've graduated with my BA, I've been spending a good deal time considering what I want to do with that degree.  It's a question I get all the time, "What're you going to do after college?"  This is inevitably followed by, "A degree in English!  You're going to be a teacher, then?"  The answers are always "Not sure" and "Absolutely not" in that order.  I've never wanted to be a teacher, I'm simply not cut out for it.  What I want is to be a writer --more specifically, a freelance writer.

I don't want to work on someone else's schedule, I want to be free to work on mine.  I consider myself a strong proficient with the language, I'm educated and well spoken, and I communicate well.  I have everything one needs to be a freelance writer, except experience.  It's how one goes about earning said experience where I seem to get hung up.  I've researched, I've read, and I'm still at a bit of a loss as to how one breaks into freelance writing and becomes a successful freelancer.

To that end, I've been working for Helium for the last few years, but haven't produced a huge number of articles.  I've written seven articles to be exact, sold one paying article, and have been featured on Helium's homepage.  While I was an undergraduate, I hardly had time for anything but classwork, so quality was always preferable to sheer quantity.  Now that I'm not, I'm going to try to turn my attention to writing for Helium on a regular basis.  I'd like to produce two well-written articles a day, five days a week and focus in on topics I'm proficient with: literature, technology, blogging, and leisure (games).  That's my goal.

Additionally, I'm considering writing for eHow, Associated Content, and Bukisa.  Like Helium, these sites are places to publish articles and earn revenue.  Two articles per day, five days a week.  That's the goal.  If it feels like I'm repeating myself, I am.  The goal is in mind, I just have to get on schedule and get to writing.  Producing two well-written articles a day will require a fair amount of research, something with which I have a good deal of experience.  Once the articles are researched, writing them will be the easy part.

Finally, tonight I applied to work for Demand Studios and am crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.  They're a very well respected venue for freelance writers.  I submitted my resume and a writing sample, but realized after my resume was submitted that I'd managed to forget to include my MLA membership.  I figure it'll be okay, but will definitely include it in on future resumes.  I have a friend who freelances, and works for Demand, and will likely send her an email soon for some advice about how I might further my freelance writing career.

I'm confident that reaching for my goals, and getting my foot in the door, is something I can achieve if I put my attention toward doing so.  While I'm a graduate student, freelance writing is a job that can both utilize my skills and allow me the freedom to study.  For the time being, I'm off to research the article topics I plan to write for Helium.  Should you have any suggestions or advice about how I might push my freelance career forward, please don't hesitate to leave me a comment.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


So, now that I'm officially on Christmas break, there's a ton of stuff I had planned to do.  Oh, before I go on, I made all B's this last semester, came through with a solid 3.0 GPA and am happy to be moving on.  Anyway, I was thinking last night that if I got around to doing everything I said, "I can't wait for Christmas break to get that done," I wouldn't have much of a break.  Breaks are about relaxing, after all.  So, it's looking like I'm going to have to pare down my list of want-to-do's.  I have one month break.  School's back in on January 19th, so it's a bit more than a month, more like five weeks.  Still, I'd like to have time to just veg.

Here's what I wanted to do over Christmas break:

  1. Work on Remembering Tomorrow & Love's Daughter (novel projects)

  2. Finish Blood Noir & Read Skin Trade (Laurell K. Hamilton)

  3. Read Achilles in Vietnam (Jonathan Shay)

  4. Read Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife & Darcy & Elizabeth (Linda Berdoll)

  5. Start on the Graduate Reading List!

  6. Game with Matt

  7. Start & Finish this

  8. Rest & sleep in

  9. Play some  WoW

  10. Clean my house

The chances that I'll get all that done are pretty terrible.  First of all, gaming is a HUGE time drain.  We sit down to game and before we know it, an entire day has gone by with nothing to show for it but the game.  It's fun, but it's time consuming.  Matt's really into it, so I want to give him as much time as I can, but I don't want to spend my whole break (or even half of it) gaming.  There're other things I want to do.  I'm thinking I might just do half the stuff on the list, instead.

I even know which half!  I'll definitely work on my novel, but not both of them, only the Remembering Tomorrow project.  I'll read the two LKH books because there're two new ones coming out in February & May of 2010, Flirt and Bullet.  I'd really like to catch up with my favorite vampires, werecritters, and their necromancer/vampire slayer/federal Marshall ring leader, Anita.  That way, I'll be able to get and read the two new books when they're available.  The rest of the reading will have to wait unless I get the two Anita books done in a hurry.  There're actually a heck of a lot more books I wanted to stuff into the break, but those are the ones I wanted to read most.

I'll probably get the house cleaned, it's not really terribly messy right now, so it shouldn't a problem.  Keeping it clean will be the issue because, well, I'm lazy right now and don't want to pick it up.  I need a new vacuum, again, but it'll have to wait.  I probably won't get the cross-stitch done.  I've been trying to get around to it forever, but no luck so far.  Maybe I'll work on it over spring break, but I'm sure I'll have plenty more to do by then.  Suppose we'll see.  I'm also not going to work on the graduate reading list right now.

I am definitely going to rest, sleep, and play WoW.  That much is certain.  I just wish I could see my way to not overbooking my breaks so that I wouldn't, in turn, feel terrible about not getting everything I had planned to do done.  Maybe I need therapy or something, I seem to have a constant need to feel guilty about something, or worry about something.  I'm an obsessive worrier!  See, I even worry about being worried!

On that note, I'm off to not get anything done some more! ;)

Friday, December 11, 2009


My goodness.  I'm speechless, but not for lack of stuff to talk about.  I feel like I have so much to say that I can't decide what to say right now and what to wait to say later.  Do you ever feel like that?  I have before, to lesser degrees, but not like this.  I've been sitting with this "New Post" window open as I go around checking other blogs for about the last hour.  So, here goes and for probably the first time, I'm not sure how this is going to go.  It'll likely sound like rambling.

I'm feeling so listless.  My last final was yesterday morning at 8am.  I was done by 9:15am.  When I walked out of the classroom, I felt so... relieved.  I know I was smiling, half out of sheer exhaustion, half from a feeling of exuberance at what it truly meant to turn in that blue book and walk away.  It means I'm a college graduate.  I have to wait for my grades to come in, of course, but I'm done.  That's worth smiling about if you ask me.  I don't really know how other people deal with being done with something this huge, but for me, it's been years in the making.  Years of feeling like if I just kept pushing a few more steps everything would come together, only to find out there was more than a few more steps.  I've been going to college on and off since 1996. Even when I finally buckled down, when I finally decided college really was for me, it took me 6 years to get where I am right now.

When I went back to school six years ago, going to college seriously rather than just blowing it off like I always had, I was planning to get an AA in Paralegal studies from a McLennan Community College in Waco.  I felt, at that point, like it was a good choice.  My mom's a paralegal, she's damn good at it, and she taught me a lot of what she knows.  I enjoyed the work, though I hated seeing the clients (I am so, so not a people person), and thought it would be something I could do.  Then I realized, quite suddenly, that I wanted more.  I was almost one year into the two year program when I decided to shoot for a Bachelor's degree.  But what did I have?  A lot of sporadic credits, that's what, and nothing that added up to much.

I think when I finally got around to applying to Tarleton, in the spring of 2004, I had about 35 credits in total.  That's not much at all, in the grand scheme of things.  At that point, I thought it was a lot more than it turned out to be.  Ultimately, of those 35 credits, about half would transfer and count for something.  All those 35 credits were good for, in the long run, was getting my foot in the door at Tarleton where you need 30 hours of course work to qualify as an undergraduate transfer students.  You also need a 2.0 GPA, which I easily had.  Undergrad transfers don't have to have SAT or ACT scores, which I don't have, they just have to have college credits, a diploma/GED, and the ACCUPLACER or TAAS.  It worked out since I had previously taken the ACCUPLACER.

I came to Tarleton in the Fall 2004 semester; it's taken me five years to finish my degree.  I took one year off, a year where I thought for sure that I was never going back to school, that I was just moving on.  I did end up making the choice to go back, when I realized that my exhaustion was nothing more than a hefty dose of burnout, coupled with the fact that 30 was creeping up on me.  It was my goal, initially, to finish my undergraduate degree by the time I turned 30.  Taking that year off made that impossible.  I'm 31 years old, so I'm only a little off that mark.  I can honestly say that coming to Tarleton has been one of the absolute best choices I've ever made.

My parents are proud of me, which means more than I can really say here.  I made a very good friend here, a life long friend, which is something that means a lot to a person who doesn't make friends easily, let along good friends.  Kindred spirits don't come along that often, I've met a few, but I can count those on one hand.  I've also had some unbelievably warm and encouraging professors who helped me along the way, some more than they could ever know.  My undergraduate adviser is one of the most awesome people I know.  The whole experience, overall, has made me so much more fulfilled and well-rounded.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Now, I'm done.  I'm not an undergraduate any more and I'm a little sad.  I don't handle changes very well, which could be part of the reason that it actually took me so long to finish my BA.  My mom calls it the end of an era and she's right.  This is huge for me, and I'm scared to move forward.  I'm also very happy and excited.  When I graduated from high school I was so thrilled, I never wanted to see the high school again, then I fell into something of a depression at having been thrust into adulthood.  I couldn't handle it and I cried, a lot.  To my credit, I haven't cried yet.  I might when I see my degree, but for now I'm okay.  No, wait, I did cry, but that was at the beginning of the semester.  Every time I saw or heard anything about graduating, I burst into tears.  I haven't done that in a long time, at least not about school, so I think I'm alright.

Of course, now I'm trying to get focused to move forward and take on graduate school.  I'm only taking six credits the first semester, which should help me transition into life as a graduate school.  Then, I'll tackle grad school with a maximum load in the Fall 2010 semester.  I'm ready.  I know what I want to do for my thesis (almost 100% sure, though I've had some other opportunities crop up recently that I need to consider).  I have the graduate reading list and will start reading from it soon.  I feel like though I'm scared, I'm fortunate to be able to do this.

I've gotten a few of my grades in so far.  I made a B in my grad class, which I think is pretty good for having still been an undergrad.  Also, the professor who taught it is a tough professor.  Otherwise, and this one was a pleasant surprise, I made a B in Geology!  Looks like all that work I did studying my ass off for the Geology exams paid off.  Am I happy with myself?  Yes, yes I am.  Now, I'm just waiting for my two history class grades to come in, which probably won't be until Monday or Tuesday.  Essay tests always take a bit more time to grade.  I think I did well enough to make a B in each of those classes, so I'm looking at a semester GPA of 3.0!  Not bad for a semester I was sure was going to be terrible, in which I just slid by with the minimum possible grade.

So, now that I've rambled on and on, I think I'm going to go.  I'm still feeling really listless, I had so much to do for so long that to all of the sudden have nothing, it's a bit dizzying.  Maybe I'll pick up a book.  I've slept 15 hours of the last 22.  Of course, now I'm sleepy for over sleeping, but I think I needed it... no, I definitely needed it.  If you got through all that, thank you, I know it was longer than I usually ramble on.  Now, I'm off to go be listless doing something else.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Guess what?

I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done! I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!  I'm done!

Did I mention... I'M DONE?!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Onto finals!

I'm absolutely FREEZING and Matt won't let me turn on the heat... BOO!!

I turned in my first grad research paper tonight!  Wish me luck, I think my paper was pretty good and I'm hoping for the best.  Our class was in a local pizza place tonight, rather than in the classroom tonight which was fun!   The food was good and everyone got the opportunity to talk about what they wrote and what they learned.  It was really interesting hearing what everyone had done for their papers because of the amount of diversity; a huge range of literary genres and time frames were represented.  The papers all ran about 20 pages, from what I could tell, and though there were less of them than there would be in an undergrad class, they were twice as many pages as an undergrad paper, so it looks my my prof has a lot of work ahead of her.

Now that I'm done with that, I'm pushing on toward finals.  I have two on Wednesday and one on Thursday and I'm done!  I've got about a day and a half, give or take a few hours, to study for two of my finals, so I'm going to need to get to that as soon as I'm done with this.  I just keep telling myself to study and push through and get this semester done.  I'm not really sure why, but I am suffering a terrible case of senior-itis right now.  I cannot make myself want to study, when that's exactly what needs be to done!  I could pass everything even if I didn't study, but I want to make good grades, so study I must.

Also, today I found out that grades have to be posted a week from today, which I'm really anxious about.  They usually don't appear until midnight on the day they're due, so it'll be like Tuesday morning before we actually get them.  I just want to be done and have my grades and get my degree!  They've also put the professor evaluations online now, to make them "more convenient" but we have to take them to get our grades on time.  We could technically not do the evaluation and get our grades in a few weeks, but it's not worth the wait.  I'm not sure how I feel about having the evaluation forced on us, it should be voluntary, but I'm going to go ahead and do them so I can have my grades in a timely manner.

Oh, I also got an email from Alienware today.  They've mailed back my video card, it should be here December 10th.  Remember I was saying it would probably be back just in time for me not to need it?  Well, there you go!  Although I won't need it for my classwork, I'll be glad to have my desktop back up and running (silently).  I've been using my netbook and Matt's computer for days and I want my computer back!  I hate having to put him out and a netbook is just not a good substitution for a computer at all.  It's awesome, and portable, and I love it, but I still need my desktop!  Guess Matt's going to have to get up when I leave for my final so he can sign for it when it comes.  He's going to love that, sure he is!

So, with all that said, there will likely be no entries here until after finals are over because I need all the time I have left to study.  I'm so, so ready to do this and be done!  Have a good week, see you Thursday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Celebrating 50!!

This is my 50th post on this blog!!  I'm not sure why it feels significant to me here, when it didn't on any of my other blogs, but it does.  Maybe it's that my coming graduation is making me sentimental.  I don't know, but Happy 50th post to me!

My first post appeared here on September 29th.  I started this blog with the intention of having a real, honest to goodness, personal blog that belonged to me.  No payed entries, no adds, just my words.  I've succeeded at that so far, something I'm fairly proud of.  I intend to keep up that dedication to writing for myself.

So, since this is my 50th entry, I wanted to do something a little different.  I talk a lot about school, but then school is the most significant thing in my life other than my husband and my family, so that makes sense.  For this entry, I want to lighten things up and in the interest of doing that, I'm going to start a little meme -- I am absolutely not the first person to do this, so I don't get credit for thinking it up beyond that I wasn't tagged, nor have I seen this recently.  If you have a blog, I invite you to participate in celebration of my 50th post, but you certainly don't have to!  There will be no tags, just an open invitation to play along!

I'm going to post a picture of my netbook's desktop and talk a bit about it.  I'd be interested to see what's on YOUR desktop in return!  If you don't know how, there're several ways to make a snapshot of your desktop, but the easiest way is to press the "Print Screen" button on your keyboard, open Paint or Photoshop/Gimp, and Ctrl + V to paste the snapshot to your photo editor!  Voila, picture taken.

Okay, here's mine (click the image to see it larger): [IMAGE REMOVED]

The desktop resolution of my netbook is only 1024x600 and it runs Windows XP!  I absolutely love my netbook -- it's a Dell Inspiron Mini 10v, in red!!  I'd show you my desktop computer's desktop, but it's still down as I wait for Alienware to return my video card.

The Christmas wallpaper is a product of my optimism this year, which is unusual for me, but not completely unheard of.  I'm feeling very festive, which you may or may not have noticed by the snow falling from the top of your browser windows as you view this blog.

The programs represented on my netbook are fairly self explanatory, with the possible exception of Q10 and tweetdeck.  Q10 is a word processor that takes up the whole desktop and blocks out any unwanted distractions.  It's a great little program, and can be set to make typewriter sounds as you type, very novel!  Tweetdeck is my twittering program.  It's both awesome and infuriating all at once, which has more to do with Twitter's low API rate, and less to do with tweetdeck.

Oh, then there's my draft of Remembering Tomorrow.  I have it saved all over the place because I'm totally paranoid about losing it.  I plan to get back to it as soon as finals are over and I have a weekend to veg and recuperate!

So, now it's your turn, what's on your desktop?!

Cheers to 50, here's to 50 more!


I'm happy to report that I've finished my research paper!  After edits, work cited not withstanding, my paper is a full 19 pages.  I can say that I have never worked harder on any paper, ever, nor have I ever been happier to be done with any assignment.   Had it been about The House of Mirth's story, I wouldn't have had nearly this much trouble.  Unfortunately, the story was a distant secondary concern as I struggled to write about Edith Wharton as she appears in the manuscripts and typescripts.

Later tonight, or perhaps tomorrow, I'll look it over again to be sure that it makes sense, that the MLA is correct, and that I've cited every source I used.  Then, come 6pm, I turn it in and hope for the best.  Wish me luck, I may need it, I've struggled.

Now, of course, I only have two days to study for my 3 finals.  I need a least that long for just Geology, but time's short so I'm going to have to make it work.  Luckily, while two of my finals are on Wednesday, the other's not until Thursday morning, so I have a tiny bit more time to study for that one.  Which reminds me that I need to double check my finals times to make sure that I show up for the right finals at the right times.

Several semesters ago, I showed up for what I thought was my Brit Lit II final, turns out it was actually my Genre Studies final and I was seriously unprepared.  I hadn't studied for the Genre Studies final, I didn't have any blue books, nothing.  The girl that sat in front of me gave me two blue books, which I filled all the way.  I made an A in Genre Studies, even after that.  I was really, really fortunate that the classes had been in the same room, otherwise I'd have completely missed the Genre Studies final!

Hopefully, when finals are over, I can blog more.  I blogged my face off last month, but this month hasn't been nearly as productive on this front.

Speaking of productive.  While I've been writing my paper, all week, I managed to get my house cleaned up!   I find it really hard to sit and work on my work, so I did all the laundry, did the dishes, took out the trash, I even washed all the sheets and blankets, and throw pillows.  Might just have to clean the bathrooms tonight, but I really should be studying for my finals.  I'll probably blow off the studying tonight and wish like hell that I hadn't.

Hope y'all are having a good week/weekend.  I'm in the home run stretch, just need to keep running.  Four more days to go!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Begining of the End!

Today was my last class day as an undergrad!  I really wanted to report that I feel different, like I've reached a milestone or met an accomplishment, but I don't.  I'm thinking it's because I still have finals, so I'm not totally done.  But, I will never sit in another undergraduate lecture again... thank the maker!  About that fact, I feel pretty good -- so good, I've apparently turned to starting sentences with conjunctions.  I clearly win at English, my degree will say so, I date you to argue with me!

Yesterday was pretty good, too.  Look at me, having good days, can you believe it?!  I think, as far as yesterday is concerned, I was riding on the happiness of being done with the double-geology-whammy.  Doom test + make-up test = total melt down.  Now that it's over, I'm pretty darn pleased with myself.

I picked up my revised degree plan, which I have to file to get my history minor on my transcript, from the English department yesterday after my classes were over -- it was freaking freezing yesterday, by the way -- and turned it in to the registrar.  When I got there, I told the woman who does degree plans that if filing a revised degree plan was going to mess up my graduation in anyway, I didn't want to do it, history minor be damned.  She was very understanding, checked it out, put the history minor on there, and happily reported that if I pass everything this semester, I'll have my minor.  3 cheers!!  The fact is, I need every hour from this semester anyway, so it's nothing new or different.  So, I'm officially an English major with a history minor!

While I was up there, at the English department, I had the opportunity to stop in to see my absolute favorite professor, Dr. Y!  She was totally swamped but took a few (20 or so) minutes out to chat with me.  We had a nice conversation about my Thesis.  I'm doing the Greeks, about which I am amazingly pleased.  My thesis will be a comparative literature thesis.  I was considering doing American lit for my thesis, the American Gothic women to be more specific (Chopin, Gilman, and Wharton), but my heart is really with the Greeks.  I'm so excited to get started, but the specifics haven't been ironed out yet.  I really don't need to start worrying about it yet, but I am anyway.  I'm going to be asking Dr. Y to be my committee chair, then Dr. C and... well, I'm not sure yet.  Maybe Dr. F since he's a rhetorician and I'm doing the Greeks, it makes sense.  Just not sure yet, and this probably doesn't mean much to most of you anyway.

I did get one bit of bad news.  Degrees won't be printed until next semester!  I want the damn thing NOW!  I'm not walking, not doing all that crap, I just want my degree.  Stupid Christmas break getting in the way of my achievement!

Then, I went and had lunch with my best gal Melanie, which was really nice.  We're both pretty busy but it was great to just sit down and chill for a bit.  After lunch I went home with her, then up to the school while she was in class, so I could work on my paper.  Then I was home.  By that point, I wasn't feeling particularly great, but I'm equating it to being tired.

Before I could go to bed, though, I decided to take the bed off the frame.  So, my bed is ghetto, sitting on the floor, because the frame is broken.  Matt and I managed to break it *cough* so the bed was totally lopsided.  After sleeping on it like that for a few nights, very uncomfortably, I decided another night was so not happening.  So, I took it off the frame and slept better for the effort.  Matt hates it on the floor, even though it has the box-spring under it,  but he should have thought of that before he helped me break it! Ha!

Anyway, today's been much less fun, even though I did have my very last undergraduate lecture.  I worked on my paper for Bib & Research, which is my grad class and the only big project I have left other than finals, and I managed to get two measly pages written.  Mostly, I spent the time editing and rearranging what I've written because my professor was not impressed with what I had so far.  I consider those two pages a triumph, considering that I cut a whole bunch of crap out.  So, really, it was much more than two pages, even though my page count didn't get far.  The paper's due Monday, so I'm on a time crunch.  I'm buckling down and will get it done, come hell or high water!

Now, it's 9pm and I'm off to scrounge up dinner.  Hope your week's been a heck of a lot less busy than mine!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Brain Scramble 2.0

Whew!  I have a whole bunch of different stuff today, not just one cohesive topic, so bear with me.

First, I made a 76 on doom test!!  I know that's a C, but I'm proud of it.  When I expressed to my prof that it was a really hard test, he said that the grades weren't really good across the board, so I don't feel bad about it at all.  Okay, first he said, "Was it really?" like he didn't realize it was the hardest test we've had.   Then he told me grades weren't great.  When he gave me mine, he looked at the grade and said, "not too bad, you didn't lose anything by it."  Damn skippy!

Next up, NaNoWriMo.  I failed.  I gave it a shot, got half-way there, but had too much to do.  I'm trying to take everyone's advice and not feel terrible about it.  However, now that it's over and the goal's not 50k in a month, I've changed my sidebar widget to say 75k as the word goal.  That's an approximation, but I'm to 25k and she has only finished two of the 10 goals she'll do in part one of the book.  I'm hoping to have another 10 goals planned for the second part of the book.  It just might go over 75k, but hopefully not over 100k.  If so, then I'll have to pare it down in edits.  Maybe I can consolidate down to 5 goals per half, don't know.   I'm really planning to dig in to that project over Christmas break.

Speaking of which, I'll be completely done after my final on December 10th.   The unfortunate test is at 8am, which is just not cool.  I don't take 8am classes, I sure the hell don't want to take 8am finals.  Stupid final schedule, I will never understand why they do this.  Why can't finals be at the same time, in the same place, as the damn class is?  If someone knows, please tell me... please.  Or is my awesome school the only one who does this?  I know when I was in community college this wasn't a problem.  Finals were just on the last class day.  Then I went to the university and there's this!  Gah!

I cannot wait to graduate!!!  I am so freaking excited.  When I get my degree, expect to see a lot of pictures!  Seriously, that's not a joke or an exaggeration.  Of course, there won't be pictures of the graduation ceremony because I'm not walking.  Gone to one grad, gone to them all.  My plan was to buy announcements and send them to every single person I've ever known... and I do mean every single one!  Especially the ones that doubted my ability to get this done.  I know it's taken me forever, but I'm finally done, thank the maker!  No, there will be no announcements because it's too costly, and no ceremony pictures, just pics of my degree and lots of cheering!

On the topic of graduation, I'm reminded about grad school.  I can't wait to start full time as a grad student with a bachelor's degree, rather than an undergrad tagging along.  I got a really nice follow up letter, or two, from the English graduate coordinator encouraging me not to worry about the grade requirement and to go to my prof's for help.  I'm feeling much better.

Finally, now that I've rambled on about everything else, there's one last thing.  According to, it's supposed to SNOW here in the morning!!  I can't wait and while I'm sure I'll be disappointed if it doesn't snow, I would love to see it!  Of course, I hope they don't cancel classes.  They cancel class here for in-climate weather like sleet, ice, and snow.  I need to go to history and geology tomorrow.  History because he's going to impart to us the potential essays for the final, and Geology because there's 12 pages of notes left and one day, which he can't possibly get done with, so I need to find out about what'll be on the final.

TLDR; Yay 76 on doom test!!  75k+ word goal for novel.  Done with school by Dec 10.  Yay graduation!!  Nice letter from Grad coordinator, yay!! Finally,  Yes snow, No classes canceled.

Have a good one, I'm off to finish studying for my geology make-up essay test!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I can't believe it's almost Monday already.  Thanksgiving was nice, Matt and I had food and napped and spent the day together, which was awesome.  We went for pie at a friend's house, which was really nice until my wisdom tooth started to bother me.  All in all, even though I got a toothache, Thanksgiving was nice.  I miss my family, but then that's nothing new for the holidays.

I spent all day yesterday, and all day today (and I mean literally) studying for my geology test.  The test is tomorrow and I don't feel like I know anything.  This test, which is over 3 sections, is the hardest test we've had so far and I don't think he gave many (if any) extra point days, so I'm on my own with this one.   The problem is, I epic failed the lab final last Monday, so I really need to do okay on the lecture tests just to make a C in this class.  Right now, even after the whole weekend spent studying, I feel like I'm going to fail it.

This is not my usual doom and gloom, believe me, there's a difference between freaking out for no reason and freaking out when there's plenty of reason!  This is the second, there's plenty of reason.  If I don't pass this test, and I fail the class as a result, then I don't graduate, and don't go to grad school and everything is messed up.  I do mean EVERYTHING.  If I don't graduate, I can't get anymore financial aid because I already had it repackaged.  Everything's set for me to move on, I just need to actually do it and graduate, which is riding on this class.

Oh, and did I mention that just to make matters worse I have to mail my video card to Alienware to have them fix it.  So, my desktop doesn't work.  Not only does that suck, it's down right bad right now since my netbook doesn't have MS Word, just Works, and I have a 20-25 page paper due in a week.  Yay for my shitty luck.

And, if I didn't feel shitty enough, I failed at NaNoWriMo but lucky me I got to watch Matt validate and collect the winner goodies.  I'm proud of him, but I feel pretty damn unhappy that I didn't finish.

Ugh, okay, I'm done bitching.  I know this probably sounded like a crazy amount of rambling.  I'll let you know how it goes.  For now, even though it's only 9pm, I'm going to bed.  I'm going to get up early in the morning and study some more before class.  Wish me luck, I need all the good luck and good vibes I can get!

I hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving.  See you on the other side of doom test! :(

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm making thanksgiving dinner for Matt and me, so I've been up since 8:30am working on it.  What I didn't realize is that for the kind of ham we got, it only takes two hours to cook, so dinner may actually be more like lunch. I got it in the oven about 9am, so it should be done by 11am or so.  Then I have to make the stuffing, potatoes (which are coming out of a box this year), and a veggie.  Then, about the time I was putting the ham in the roaster, I realized that I had managed to forget to take the cool whip out of the freezer (which is always a problem for me) so the pink salad won't be served with lunch, it'll be a part of desert because it takes 6 hours to defrost in the fridge.  C'est la vie -- it should be delicious no matter what time of the day it comes together!

We got a pumpkin pie and a lemon meringue.  I know the lemon isn't exactly a holiday pie, but Matt likes it, so we got one.  Which reminds me, I need to take them out of the freezer... okay, maybe not, it says to leave it in there until it's ready to cook.  Works for me!  Of course, my freezer is so full, taking something out made it impossible to put it back in the same way.  I love Thanksgiving, really, I do -- you believe me, right?

We got so many awesome invitations this year, but we're staying home together and having food.  We'll probably go to Melanie and Joey's for pie and games later tonight, which will be fun!  Then, tomorrow, it's back to work studying.  I'm going to spend tomorrow studying for my geology make-up, Saturday & Sunday studying for my geology test, then Monday afternoon studying some more for the geology make-up.  Two tests in two days, what a nightmare.  After that, it's onto the paper that's due December 7th.  So much to do, so little time to finish it all.

For today, I'm trying to be thankful for all I have.  I'm thankful that I'm finally graduating (barring unforeseen circumstances).  I'm thankful that I'm healthy and have a husband who loves me.  I'm thankful that I have an amazing family and some really great friends.  I'm thankful that there's a roof over my head and food in my mouth.  Most of all, I'm thankful that I got my grad school acceptance letter... Ha!  No, no, I kid.  I am very thankful for everything I have and I hope y'all have a really Happy Thanksgiving holiday!

Time to check on the ham!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Accepted, sort of...

Thank you to everyone who took the time to leave me a thoughtful comment on my anniversary entry.  I truly appreciate it!

Now, onto today's bit of news.  I got the acceptance letter from the English department this morning and the graduate coordinator took the hold off my records so I could register.  Acceptance to the College of Graduate Studies at my school is only half-way there.  Graduate candidates also have to be accepted by their major department.  The acceptance letter was very good overall, but I'm not feeling particularly good about it.  I swear to you, I'm not only person who can get good news and be uncomfortable with it.

I'm happy to have gotten registered, but the conditions under which I was accepted are making me feel anxious.  My overall undergraduate GPA is 2.88 right now.  It'll go up after this semester, I'm sure, but not all the way to 3.0.  I have some bad grades from community college, grades I made when I was 18 and couldn't care less, following me around.  Couple those with the C's I made across the board in French and my valiant effort to educate myself hasn't been as valiant as it could have been.  My program GPA is 3.11, my department GPA is 3.33, but my overall remains below a 3.0.  It's terribly frustrating, to say the very least.  Luckily, my school will accept graduate students as provisional/conditional admissions with a GPA of 2.5 so it doesn't really matter.  It also helps that admissions is based solely upon my GPA for my last 60 hours of course work, which is 3.29.  So, you can imagine my confusion when I received a letter that said:

Dear Kristyn,

Congratulations!  The graduate English department has evaluated your application for admission into our program and we are pleased to inform you that we have accepted you on a conditional basis for the spring, 2010 semester.  The committee had some concerns about your undergraduate gpa and we want to ensure that you are ready to complete the necessary requirements for an MA after this spring.

At the graduate level, is it generally expected that students will make As in all their classes, although lower grades sometimes occur; we recommend that you only attempt 6 hours of graduate English classes so that you are more likely to maintain As in your graduate classes this spring.  At the end of the spring semester, we will evaluate your performance and admit you as a fully-fledged graduate student for the fall if you have maintained a 4.0 for the semester.

That's the letter I received, word for word.  They're concerned about my undergraduate GPA.  I don't see why, if they're judging me based upon my GPA for my last 60 hours of coursework, which I have been assured is the procedure.  My overall GPA may be a bit depressing, but my GPA for the last 60 hours is above 3.0 by a bit.  3.0 is all one needs for full admissions.  I could see if they were giving me conditional admissions because I haven't taken the GRE yet, like the College of Graduate Studies did, but based upon my GPA?  I just don't understand.

Then, I about had a flat out heart attack when they said I have to make a 4.0 to receive full admissions for next Fall.  A's and B's are the only acceptable grades for graduate school, if you make a C, you fail.  I can understand that B's aren't desirable grades, they're like making a D as an undergraduate, and I have every intention of giving this 110%, but what if I make an A and a B?  Then what?  Do I lose my admissions status on the weight of a 3.5 GPA?  I really, really, really don't want to fail out of graduate school because I made a B.

So, as you can likely imagine, I'm feeling very nervous.  I know I should be happy, and I am, but I'm also overwhelmed.  I'm overwhelmed and I haven't even technically started graduate school yet.  All these conditional admissions are making me feel like a second class citizen.  I know it's my fault, had I done a little better along the way, or put in a bit more effort, or taken the GRE before applying for grad school I'd be more likely to be a full admit.  Unfortunately, I can't go back and change it and I'm feeling a bit like the pressure of having to make A's is going to undermine my best efforts in that task.  Does that make sense?

I don't know.  Right now, I just need to focus on studying for finals so I can graduate.  Nothing happen without the bachelor's degree firmly in hand.  None of this worry matters at all if I don't graduate.  So, I'm pushing forward with the tasks at hand and wishing that I was better equipped to be optimistic about those things that I should be optimistic about.

Sometimes, pessimism is the furthest thing from pretty!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Help me out here...

In February, Matt and I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.  I can hardly believe it's been so long!  I've been thinking about it a lot lately and I really want to do something special for our anniversary.  You really only get one 10th anniversary and I want ours to be amazing.  It's the first real milestone.  The problem is, I have no idea what to do.

We're not really go-away-for-a-weekend kind of people, so that's definitely out of the question.  Then, I thought maybe for our 10th we could trade in our rings and get a new, matching set of wedding rings to commemorate our 10 years together, but it's so expensive and really isn't necessary.  So, that's out.  We could go out to eat (and probably will), but we do that every year.  I could make dinner, but it seems a cruel and unusual punishment, I mean, it's my anniversary too!

I just simply don't know, which is why I'm thinking about it so far in advance.  I want to celebrate in a meaningful way, but I can't come to what that way might be.  I asked Matt, but he doesn't seem to have any suggestions either.  We're just plain pathetic!  So, that said, I'm open to creative suggestions if you'd like to offer me one (or two, or whatever).  I don't necessarily want to spend a lot of money, but we could probably afford a little, in the interest of making our 10th amazing.

So, what do you think?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A little piece of home...

I'm feeling really achy today.  I think my weight and my laziness are starting to get the better of me.  If I sit too long, I ache.  So, rather than sitting around today and just watching the game, I decided to bake!  I cleaned up my kitchen, which took all weekend since I took things out of the cabinets and washed them, and now that it's clean, I find that I want to use it!  Funny how that works.

I'm going to share the recipe and pictures of what I baked, but I'm afraid it's not something you'll likely be able to make.  I'm sorry for that, but one of the major components isn't something you can buy.  Alright, with that warning, and without further adieu...

Brandied Fruit Bread

1 c. Raisins
1 c. Sugar
1 c. Water
1/2 c. Margarine

3 3/4 c. Flour
2 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
3/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
2 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt

2 1/2 c. Brandied Fruit
1 c. Nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, combine raisins, sugar, water, and margarine (1/2 c. = one stick).  Bring to a boil over medium heat, making sure to stir so it doesn't scorch.  Boil 1 minute. Remove the raisin mixture off the burner and cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt.  Combine until the mixture is a light tan color.  Add cooled raisin mixture, brandied fruit, and nuts (if desired) to the flour mixture.  Mix until the the mixture looks wet.

Grease two bread pans and fill with bread batter.  It only makes two loaves, so be sure to split the batter evenly.  I only have one pan, so the first loaf came out larger than the second.  I baked them for 45 minutes and then checked them in 10 minute intervals thereafter until a tooth pick inserted in the center came out clean.

Cool on a wire rack until the pan cools down then remove the bread from the pan and finish cooling on the rack.  This bread freezes very well and so is great to make ahead of time.

I'll probably freeze a loaf and a half of it and bring it out next week on Thanksgiving.  I don't know, it'll depend whether I can keep Matt off of it. ;)  I took a lot more pictures of it, I even edited more than what you see, but if I'd included them this entry would have gone on, and on, and on.  So, I tried to keep it to a minimum.  There was one more I wanted to share with you...

The picture above is the brandied fruit component of the bread.  My dad's been making Brandied Fruit Bread for holidays for as long as I can remember.  Jars exactly like the one above (since I actually got that jar from my folks) sat on our counters and my dad would refill them when they were low, but when the holidays came, daddy would break out the recipe and make this amazing holiday bread.  After winning that jar of brandied fruit from my dad on a bet (ha, finally won one!), I got the recipe and started making it.  Being so far away from home, having this makes me feel closer to my family during the holidays when we're so far apart.

I have two jars, both of which are half -or less- full, so it's time for me to refill them.  The refill on this is actually just 1 c. sugar and 1 can of fruit cocktail (I use Very Cherry fruit cocktail).  Once the jars are refilled, it takes two weeks (at least) before it can be used again.  The fruit ferments in the jar and turns into a really potent alcoholic mixture (hence the "brandied") but the alcohol bakes out leaving just the amazing taste.  My dad eats it straight, on vanilla ice cream, but I'm not that brave.  Just one more thing.  I wouldn't attempt starting it at home, there's aparently a "starter" with some additional ingredients.  I don't know what they are or I'd be happy to share it.  My dad actually doesn't know what they are either, since he got his starter years ago from a family friend.

I hope your coming holidays are amazing! :D

Saturday, November 21, 2009

This land was made for you and me

I've been both busy and not feeling well over the last few days, so blogging hasn't really been a priority for me.  While I haven't been writing, I have been reading a lot of blogs but commenting, like blogging, has been less of a priority than just reading what others have had to say.  On that count, while making the rounds, I read something that really upset me.  I don't want to address everything this person said, because I feel like this person was always more capable of upsetting me than anyone else might, and we have very different opinions and debating the issue would just upset me more and get nowhere.  However, there is something I want to say because it's been bothering me and I need to get it off my chest.  Please, understand that I'm not interested in debating politics (another reason I'm not discussing the other person's opinions), but the point I'm about to make is one I stand firmly upon and when I say "you" or "me" I mean everyone, including myself.

It is never okay to tell another person that they should leave their own country just because they have a different opinion or political persuasion than you do.

Yes, that one sentence gets to be its own paragraph.  Calling someone less patriotic than you are, or "inviting" them to go find another country to live in, because they may be more liberal or more conservative than you are is degrading and should cross the line of what is and is not appropriate to a debate on political matters.  We live in a country where everyone has the first amendment right to exercise free speech and freedom of religion.  They should be able to do so, on both counts, without fear that someone who doesn't agree with them will ostracize them, or worse yet, "invite" them to exile, or worse even still, commit an act of violence against them.

Every single American should have the right to their opinion, so long as their opinion does not injure someone else, it's called liberty.  When it does injure someone else, it becomes license and should not be tolerated, as license treads upon the fabric of liberty.  Trying to silence those with different opinions, in telling them to leave their own country, is inexcusable and should never happen.  We are all responsible for what we say, and what we do (a lesson I've learned in technicolor recently) and that responsibility extends to knowing what is and is not appropriate to say in the interest of winning an argument or making a point.  Just like with any argument, it is possible to cross the line.

Restraint should come into the picture somewhere, as without it, freedom of speech means nothing.  If we abuse our rights, then they mean less. Every single American should have the right to say what they think, or believe, without fear of retribution but should also understand that every other American has the same exact right.  We should all be able to have an opinion on our government without being told our opinions are inferior and that we should leave. 

This country belongs to every single citizen living in it.

It even belongs to those citizens with a different opinion than you have. I acknowledge that the person whose opinion offended me has a right to it.  Likewise, that person, and people like them, should have the same understanding that if my opinions are different I'm still entitled to them as an American.  I would never suggest that they move to another country because I don't believe the same thing they do, and they should likewise not infer the same about me.  It is when they do, when they tell others who disagree with them that they should go somewhere else, that they have committed license against that person's freedoms and liberties.

No person has the right to make fellow countrymen feel inferior for thinking.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Doing it ourselves!

I was feeling so down yesterday after the stuff with my paper, Matt took me to a local place to look at flooring.  Sounds strange, doesn't it?  Since I've been eager to see what there is available and what it's going to cost, going to the flooring place actually cheered me up.  They were really nice and took us over to see some laminate flooring that looks like hardwood flooring.  It's made by Quick-Step and comes in panels that look like two or three planks of hardwood flooring and clicks together through grooves, which is awesome, because it doesn't use any adhesives.  It just snaps into place!

The cost is about $1.80 a sq. ft., which is really reasonable since the room is only about 93 sq. ft. in total.  At that rate, if we buy 100 sq. ft. worth of material so there's some overage, it'll cost us about $180.  The price per sq. ft. includes the underlayment, which is roll out foam stuff.  The women there said that it was really, really easy to lay, making it ideal for do-it-yourselfers.  I asked about having someone lay it, they said installation cost was $1.50 per sq. ft. which effectively makes the installation more than the flooring, since the flooring is $1.49 per sq. ft before the underlayment.  We said no thanks, we're going to give it a shot ourselves!

Honestly, I can't wait!  It's going to be really inexpensive, as home improvement projects go, and it'll give me and Matt some time together which makes it even better.  He says he's going to help, and I'm going to hold him to that, because I think it would be fun for us to do this together -- I wish my dad was here to help us!  In addition to the floor, we're going to need some minor tools, like wood blades for the jigsaw and a rubber mallet.  Then, we'll have to get some quarter round molding to cover the gap between the flooring and the wall, which isn't terribly expensive.  The only thing I'm worried about with that is that the corners won't lay together, not sure how that's done.  I'm expecting the whole project to be about $250 after all the supplies.

When it's all laid down, depending on how it looks and the level of difficulty, we're going to do the living room.  The living room is a bit larger, so it'll cost a bit more, so we probably won't do it in the spring semester.  There's vents in the floor in this house, most of which are rusting and breaking apart.  I'm going to get some pretty ones, which are about $13.00 each -- I want to get these aluminum satin ones, but I'm conflicted about how they'll look against the natural colors on the floors.  It could be that the contrast will be amazing, it could also be that they'll clash.  I don't know.  In all, if I replace all of them in the house, it'll only be about $100.  I could replace them with plastic ones for $5 each, but I don't think they're sturdy enough... and they're ugly!

After the room is all put together, with the floor replaced, I'm going to get a bookshelf.  Ikea has one that's perfect called Expedit. It's big enough that it should do what I need it to do.  To be honest, my first inclination was to do the cedar block book case.  If it's done right, it can look good and be functional.  I could paint the blocks white or whatever, and get nice sturdy wood for the shelves. Since we're planning to move in a few years, I don't know that I need to get another huge piece of furniture I'd have to either sell or move.  Cinder blocks and wood can build a sturdy shelf system to fit my needs, but I'm a little worried it's ghetto, you know?  When I was a teenager, I built one from extra stuff my dad had laying around and I loved it!  Any suggestions or opinions on this?

So, all accounted for, the whole thing will be somewhere around $550, which I don't think is too much to spare for a small, but substantial home improvement project.  If I don't get book shelf, it'll be about $350 -- which is another really good reason to consider the cinder block shelf!  Anyway, The carpet must be replaced, even if we don't do anything else, because of the animals, but I'm hoping we can swing the whole project because I'm really excited about it!  We're probably going to do it in the end of January, or early February.  I'll make sure to take before & after pictures of the whole thing, as well as some photo's of the whole project in progress.

Did I mention I'm really excited about this?!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I've been feeling pretty discouraged today.

Last night, I sent my professor my paper, because I wanted some feedback and because I needed to be sure I was on the right track.  I think I said so before, but I'm feeling very in the dark with this assignment, so I'm seeking as much guidance as I can get.  I got it back last night, she was really fast about the critique, and her remarks made me feel like a terrible underachiever.  Her email was upbeat, she encouraged me to keep up the work and reminded me about the standards by which this paper should be written, but there's a lot wrong with the paper so far and I'm only half done.  I'm glad I didn't finish the whole paper, just to find out that it needs this much work and re-writing.

Even with her feedback, I'm still feeling really lost.  Part of the problem is that I don't know how to make the leap from undergraduate writer to graduate writer.  The standards are much higher when you're a graduate student, my paper shouldn't sound like it was written by an undergrad, it should sound like a scholarly article fit for academic publication.  I'm still an undergrad but I'm also a grad student.  I know that I should know how to write the way she's suggesting I should know how to write, but I don't.  I write the way I write, I've always been conscious about what I'm saying, and though the way I write has always been acceptable, suddenly it's not anymore and I'm at a loss to understand how to bridge the gap.

One day, they're handing you a bachelor's degree, the next they're expecting you to write like a scholar, rather than a student.  There's zero guidance.  They don't tell you how to ramp up the writing skill, they just expect you to magically know.  I don't mind learning to be a better, more conscious, academic writer but it's not something I can learn all on my own.  This is the equivalent of going straight from 7th grade to college.  It's really very frustrating and it's left me feeling very hollow about my ability to succeed as a graduate student.

So, I'm going to revise what I have so far based on my prof's suggestions, but I also set out this afternoon to find guidance about academic writing on the graduate level, because I'm so lost.  By way of help, I found this Graduate Level Academic Writing Guide from The University of Western Ontario.  It's a PDF presentation that offers quick tips about being a better writer on the graduate level.  I found it really helpful and am going to sit down and try to fiddle with my paper using some of their suggestions.  Hopefully between my professor and The University of Western Ontario, I'll be able to whip this paper into shape and get a good grade.  I can't do poorly in this class, I simply can't.  As it is, I'm entering graduate school with one grade on my record, I really want it to be a good one.

If you have any, and I do mean any,  suggestions about how I might improve upon my writing style and subsequently my grade, I want to hear them!  If all else fails, I'm going to go talk to one of my professors and see if she can offer me some tips to make the transition by.  For now, I'm off to hunt down more help, because let's face it, I need all the help I can get.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cleaning? Who has time for that?!

I saw this picture and it made me think of myself. I'm so tired lately and my house is a huge mess, which is half my hatred of cleaning and half my inability to spare the time to clean it.  Things just keep piling up and its gotten out of control.  Of course, when that happens it makes wanting to clean it up even more difficult because it'll take more effort.  It's a vicious cycle.  What's worse, I don't know that I'll have any time to actually clean it up until school's out for the semester.  By then, we may just have to have it condemned and hope for better luck next time.

Cooking is only scarcely better.  I only do it because I have to and though I enjoy it sometimes, I only enjoy it when my kitchen is perfectly clean, which seems to be a serious problem lately.  The floor needs mopping, the doors and appliances need cleaning, the dishes need doing and I have several cabinets that need to be emptied and washed out.  So, cooking hasn't exactly been a joy lately.  The fact that Matt can't cook to save his life (or my time) doesn't help anything.  If we could afford it, I'd just get take out, or hire someone to keep my house clean so I could enjoy cooking in my own kitchen.

I think I'm going to try to find a day this week to get it cleaned up... or at least picked up.  Maybe I'll talk Matt into helping me, that would be great since he has far more time than I do -- I got some feedback from my prof on the 25 page paper and it seems I have a lot more work to do!  Then, when the semester's over, I'll set to some serious scrubbing and get my house cleaned up just in time for it to get messed up again for my inability to spare the time to clean it over the spring semester.  I think I need a plan, or some advice about how to keep things clean and do everything else that's expected of me.  Maybe I should try the 15 minutes a day method.  Clean up for just 15 minutes, every day.

One thing I am happy about is the plan to replace the floor in the office at the end of January.  Right now, that room is a disaster beyond my ability to describe it.  It's not just messy, it's disgusting!!  I use it to store random boxes and old furniture, but it really needs some cleaning up.  When our cat, Chummer, was sick and lived in there, he made a mess of it.  It wasn't his fault and I tried to clean it up after he passed away, but the scent of him clung to the space.  Since then, I can't keep Anakin and Galileo from going potty on the rug in there.    Now, the rug is GROSS.  I clean up after them, but the carpet is just too far gone.  My greatest fear right now is that when they take up the carpet, the sub-flooring will be ruined and we'll have to have part of it replaced.  If the sub-flooring is okay, it shouldn't cost us more than about $350 to have someone replace the floor in there with linoleum planks that look like wood.  The room is only about 95 sq. ft.  I'm going to go talk to some flooring places in town about what it'll cost.

When the floor is replaced, I plan to put my desk back in there, get a book shelf or two, and use the space as an office.  In addition to giving me a place to go to get away from the TV and the telephone, it'll give us more space in the living room.  With two desks, a sofa and love seat, a table and a console television in the living room, which is already tiny, everything is terribly cluttered.  Getting the floor fixed in there is a HUGE deal for me right now.  I really want to reclaim my office space.

Until then, I'll just have to settle for keeping things picked up and hope I have time soon to give it all a thorough cleaning.  I cannot wait for this semester to be over with -- I need a break, even if that break will be spent scrubbing my house!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Words, lots and lots of words!

I've been working on my 20-25 page paper all weekend and I've managed to write 10 pages.  If my paper runs 20 pages, then I'm about half done.  I don't think I'm going to get much more out before tomorrow night when it's due.  I've really struggled to get out what I've gotten out.  I'm really floundering around in the dark with this paper, this is uncharted territory for me and I really don't like it.  The amount of discomfort I'm feeling in writing this is so far off the scale, leading to a great deal of insecurity.  I want to get it done, but it's going to need a lot more work.  The final draft is due in 3 week, on December 7th, and it's probably going to take me that long to finish it.  At least with half the paper written, I can turn it in to my prof and get her opinion about what I'm doing and her suggestions for how I might make it better.  I'm just terrified she's going to say that I'm doing it totally wrong.  I need to pass this class with a B or better, as a C or less is failing in grad classes.

When I put down my pen (as it were) last night, I was exhausted, but rather than closing up shop and going to bed, I worked for almost 3 hours on my novel.  I got about 2,000 words written.  So, now I'm only 12,000 words behind, rather than 14,000.  I'm going to catch up, if it kills me!  Getting to work on my novel was my reward for getting so much work done on my paper yesterday!  I didn't get to bed until late, but I did get a lot done yesterday.  My paper outlined and started, 2k words written, and Kate's blog moved to  Like I said before, all the entries are locked, but at least the blog is visible.  I also made a small button for my sidebar that links to the site -- for some reason, is moving super slow lately, so bear with it.

When I got up this morning, about 11am, I didn't feel like I could jump right into my paper for the fog in my head, so I worked on a little something to make myself feel motivated to keep writing.  I added a "Remembering Tomorrow" page to my blog (see it?  Up there on the nav bar?) and put the mock book cover I made on that page.  Eventually, there will be information about the book's stats (ie. page numbers, final word count, etc) and an excerpt and synopsis.  I also plan to put editing progress up on that page, when I get to that step.  For now, the only thing there is the cover, but I'm happy with how it came out.  All the stuff for this novel is taking on that same picture/theme, the broken heart, but I think it fits.  It's helping to keep me motivated to keep going, even when I have so much else to do right now.

I think tonight, I'm going to put in a little bit more time on my paper and then work on my novel.  If I'm lucky, I'll get a few thousand words written.  I'm aiming for 5,000, but I probably won't make that.  The book is starting to take off, it's just getting into the main plot, and I'm looking forward to getting to writing that.  It's almost 6pm, so if I'm going to do it, I need to get started, as time is running short.  I hope you're having a great weekend!

Good night!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wherein I gush!!

Last night, Matt said the nicest thing a person can say to an unpublished author, and he said it to me!  I read him the last 5 or so pages of what I've written so far and he said "Your book sounds like a book!" and I could see that he meant it.  He's very much about honesty, if he doesn't like something he says so and he's always got a reason available -- he didn't like my last book and though he tried to be delicate about it, he wasn't a fan.  Of course, my last book was terrible!! Anyway, he's read a lot, so he definitely knows what a book "sounds" like.

Right then, I almost cried.  Yeah, almost, I'm not much of a crier, but I couldn't stop grinning after that.  I tried to be humble about it, because I don't feel much faith in my words.  I know I'm good at description, but I only give in to that because a lot of people, some who don't know me from Adam, have said so.  It's the only common thing everyone says, the one common thread, so I've accepted it.  Otherwise, I'm a bit lukewarm about my writing, though I give it 110% when I sit down to write.

As you can see from my sidebar, the 34 double-spaced pages I've written so far is less than half of what I should have written up to now.  I'm critically behind.  That doesn't mean I'm giving up, though!  Once I get past this weekend, and have this paper written, I'm going to give the whole rest of the upcoming week to making it to class and working on my novel -- with the exception of Thursday, when I've promised Matt I'd game with him.  Over thanksgiving, I'll probably have studying to do, but I'm going to try to squeeze in some writing then, too.  I hope to finish this yet, even if it means that rather than writing 1,667 words a day, I have to write 5,667 words!  I'm going to finish this.  The first year I did this, I wrote 14,000 words in one day, two days before the end of November.  If I could do that then, I can do it now!

Just one more thing before I'm off to write my paper. I'm going to move Kate's blog to WordPress because I hate Blogger -- namely their comment system.  Ugh. That said, I don't think WP has the option of locking a blog for private use. Instead, I'll just have to lock the entries.  So, her blog might be open to the public, but all of the entries would be locked. Her about page and any subsequent pages would be all there was to see. How's that for a tease!

Okay, now I'm off to work on my paper. I must get it done, it's coming due.  Hope y'all are having a great weekend so far and if you're writing, I wish you many high word counts. If you're not, I hope your weekend is filled with more relaxation than mine will be.
Wish me luck!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Brain Scramble

The randomness I have planned for this post is epic...

First up, the weekend I've been dreading is here.

I have a rough draft for a 25 page paper due Monday and I haven't really started writing it yet.  Okay, not haven't really, I haven't started writing it at all.  Since writing is the least of the work for that paper, I'm not as stressed out as I could be, but still, it's a lot of work to do in a few days.  The hard part of this assignment is the research and outline.  I don't normally outline, but for this paper, which is a manuscript study, an outline is going to see me through.   I usually formulate an idea about what I want to write about, read and highlight my on my sources, and then write.  Easy as that.  Of course, I also don't normally write rough drafts, so I'm a little bit anxious about the assignment.  I'll write my paper, turn in the rough draft and get some feedback, and then make the changes and be done with it.

It's going to be an ugly weekend, I can see it already.  The kind of weekend where you don't get any rest, so when Monday rolls around you feel like you're still running on the previous week's steam.  Yeah, that kind.

So, tomorrow I start and I'm planning to divide and conquer.  Saturday, I'll research some more.  I'll sift through the hundreds (yeah, wish I was kidding about that) of pages of manuscript and typescript again.  Then, when that's done, I'll sit down on Sunday and write.  All day, I'll write and if I don't get it quite done, I'll work on it some on Monday morning and during the break between my lab and the 6pm class when the rough draft is due.  I can do this, it'll just be difficult.  I never expected it to be easy, so I'm prepared for the work.

I was half-heartedly planning to start today.  Instead, though, I went to class (which I'll talk about in a minute), and spend the afternoon hanging out with Melanie.  Although, that means that she didn't her paper started today either and she's in the exact same boat as me.  The problem is, I've been planning to start writing this paper for weeks... and weeks!  Every time I sit down to get started, something comes up or I have other school work that's more urgent at the moment.  I have so much going on that I'm really, really pressed for time.  That leaves me two days before the rough draft is due.

In other news...

I got my test back in Renaissance and Reformation today.  I made a 98!  That's a high A.  I was so freaking happy!  I've been feeling like things aren't working out right this semester, but having gotten that test back with a good grade on it really helped me feel like I can pull this off yet!  Now I just have to sit tight and hope that my History of the South test grade comes back good.  I'm really hopeful about that one, which is unusual for me, and could lead to serious disappointment.

Speaking of which, I realized today that I still have 4 tests to go in Geology and could still screw that up royally.  Anyone who says Geology is easy has rocks in their head (pun intended!!).  It's not easy, by any stretch of the imagination, and there's a hell of a lot more to it than looking at pretty rocks.  I have the last test, a make-up exam, the lab final, and the class final to go.  There's only about 3 weeks left to go, so time's a wastin'.  This means that I'm going to be studying my face off for Geology over the next few weeks!  Gah, I hate science!

Third (I am on the third thing, right?)...

I submitted my application with writing samples.  Wish me luck.

Finally, one last thing before I go...

When I was in the bookstore, buying super-exciting scantrons and blue books, I got myself a little something extra.  I saw the tassel's hanging there and decided it was just what I needed to remind myself why I haven't run screaming from this semester yet.  I'm almost to the finish line, if I stall out now, I'll never forgive myself!

I couldn't decide which one to get, so I got both of them -- the standard one for the cap and the souvenir tassel.  The one in the picture is clearly the standard tassel.  Our school colors are purple and white, so the souvenir tassel has both colors and the full year.  I took a bunch of pictures, deleted half of them, and then chose this picture because I liked it the best.  That's my HS tassel and college tassel together.  My camera is old and doesn't take terribly good shots -- 3.1 megapix, fail-- so this pic is relative good for what it's capable of.  I really want to get a new camera (this is the one I'm looking at, in red!!) -- maybe I'll get some money for a grad gift and can get one.  Who knows?!  Okay, that's beside the point.

The brown case is the Vera Bradley Mini Laptop Case I got for my netbook (in Imperial Toile).  Turns out they have a messenger bag in the same design, the Imperial Toile, so I'm going to get it next semester.  Sadly, it's $84!  I'd really like to start grad school with a new bag, I deserve it, I've been using the same one for a long time and I've never had a really nice bag!  Anyway, I think I may take some pics of it and my netbook, or maybe make a little video, later on (and by later on, I mean in the future, not today).

Co-starring in the pic are my Pocky, Nintendo DS, and Alien!!  If you haven't eaten Pocky, I command you to go out and get some immediately, you'll thank me. So yeah, eat them. ;)

Okay, time for me to go, this post is over 1,000 words!  I think I'm going to try to get Matt to turn off 'Mad Max' so I can work on my NaNoWriMo stuff.  Damn AMC for playing all the 'Mad Max' movies back to back, anyway!!  Wish me luck on my paper.  I'm nervous about getting it done.

Good night.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Today, I bring you this...

I'm pretty sure I did okay on my history test, better than the last one, which is good and means I passed.  Today has just been so exhausting, I didn't get enough sleep and studied all morning before the test, so my brain is slightly fried.  The result is that I'm too tired to regale you with the days exploits.  I'll write tomorrow.  For now, I hope the picture made you smile.  It makes me giggle every time I see it, even when I'm tired and cranky!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wherein I bitch about studying...

I've been studying for my History of the South test since 3pm.  It's now 11pm and I've now finished typing everything out.  Next step is to print and read until my eyes bleed.

I'm supposed to have read a book for this section, Origins of the New South 1877-1913 by C. Vann Woodward, but I couldn't do it.  I tried, I really did, and more than once, but the book is utter garbage.  I shouldn't say that, my professor (who I adore) chose it so it must have some redeeming quality, right?  Not that I can tell.  There's so many quotes, it's hard to tell where the author is.  Rather than its actual title, it could have been named Overly Verbose Book of Racist Quotes by Dead White Guys and it wouldn't have been inaccurate.  I have no idea how the author got away with publishing this crap.  He didn't write anything, he just compiled other people's opinions.  It's really disappointing, because the author is a renowned historian specializing in this era.  You would expect a book by a preeminent historian to be more lively than this.  So very disappointing.  I hope the book for the next section, Standing at the Crossroads: Southern Life in the Twentieth Century by Pete Daniel, is more lively than this, or at least easier reading.  I'm not holding my breath.

Other than studying all afternoon and evening, I've managed to take a break to make and eat dinner.  Matt and I still have to eat, even when I don't have much time to cook dinner.  My house is a mess, so cooking dinner wasn't a fun experience.  I dragged a clean pan out of the cabinet and tossed some chicken into it, made noodles and corn for sides, and settled down to watch the new South Park while I ate.  It was a nice divergence from the monotony of studying, but I found that when "Dances with Smurfs" was over, I didn't want to go back to homework.  I will be so glad to get this test out of the way so I can stop worrying about it.  I just hope not reading the book doesn't screw me royally  *fingers crossed.*  I also hope that all the info I'm stuffing into my brain makes sense tomorrow.

Truth be told, I hate this class.  I love my professor, she's amazing, and but she's also the only reason I signed up for this class and she's crazy hard.  Her tests are nothing to balk at, if you don't study, there's no way to pass them.  Her attendance policy is also fairly strict.  6 absences is all you get over a semester, excused or otherwise, which comes out to something like one every 3 weeks or so.  There're three textbooks over the 16 weeks, which wouldn't be as bad if the books were more lively.  When I was registering for this semester, I gave the professor more weight than the subject in signing up for the class.  Normally I like history, but I find that I'm really more interested in European and world history from the restoration back, toward classical history (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, etc), rather than forward toward modern history.  Ask me about WWI and WWII, I couldn't tell you more than the basics, but I know a hell of a lot about the history, mythology, and literature of Greece and Rome.  Of course, Greece and Rome are where my primary interest lies overall.

I should really go and print my 12 typed pages of notes so I can start to study them.  I have 13 hours until my test, in which to sleep and stuff the history of the south from 1865-1913 into my brain. Ugh.

Good night (notional).

PS.  Any dictionary that uses the word it's defining inside the definition for that word should be eradicated from the face of the planet.  That is all.