yesterdays

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 blogger.com with 'ya don't say...," then I moved to wordpress.com with the same title, after that I moved to my own domain at kristynmarie.com.  I was being web-stalked by a crazy, so I moved my blog back to wordpress.com under the title "Retold," and when the stalker disappeared, I put my site back on kristynmarie.com, 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 princessdrow.blogspot.com (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 kristynmarie.com 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.

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!

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

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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!

Gloriously...

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!

Freelance

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.

Overbooked!

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! ;)

Listless

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.

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?!!

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!

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!

Productive!

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!

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!

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 weather.com, 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!