Friday, January 20, 2012

Scheduled Chaos

Well, this semester is off to a splendid start so far. (I mean that both seriously and sarcastically.) Sarcastically because I came down with a cold the beginning of this second week of classes, but apparently that's just life these days. There seem to be some fierce viruses out there this year. I think I probably got it at swing dancing, which is not terribly surprising since there were a lot of people crammed in there this month...but I'm not giving up swing dancing to avoid catching colds! 

Seriously the semester is going splendidly because I'm mostly enjoying school so far! Mostly. I knew there were going to be things like papers I didn't want to write and such. (I'm sorry, who has a rough draft due tomorrow at noon? Me? But I'm blogging...) And obviously there's a lot of work that goes with 16 credit hours, but I'm finding that what's hard is not so much the work itself, but keeping track of all the  assignments to be turned in. It's sheer quantity over difficulty. Plus, I think it's made almost more confusing by the fact that I have only two different teachers and a lot of overlap in the classes, so I'm having trouble remembering what's supposed to be done for which class and how they want us to turn it in. Thankfully, I think I'm getting used to using Blackboard and finding my assignments on there, and I've figured out that if I take notes on there too then everything is online and I have all the assignments in one place. So it's manageable, which is what I needed, and now it's not driving me crazy like it was the first week. I realized yesterday that I feel like I've been at school forever already, so I guess I've settled in. :)

We're learning proofreading marks in both Text-Editing and Keyboarding, which is great. I proofread things anyway (Facebook drives me nuts as a result sometimes), and I'd learned all the marks before but they'd slipped my memory. However, and I didn't speak up and correct the teacher, because I don't want to be one of those homeschoolers, but she told us that "stet" is just a proofreading term that, "Well, it doesn't really stand for anything, but it means you leave the correction as is." At which I thought, "Um, I'm pretty sure it's a Latin word, that yes, does mean something along the lines of 'leave as is'." [It means "let it stand".] So, yeah... Some teachers I would've said something but not with this lady, as I don't think she'd appreciate it. She does have a bit of a sense of humor, but she made sure to scare us all the first day so nobody is getting too comfortable in her classes. (Incidentally, if I start posting your Facebook comments back to you, complete with editing, I apologize.) ;)

Lest you take that "it's great" to apply to Keyboarding too, let me assure you that Keyboarding is not great. The class is fine, it's just that I've taught myself to type and so I don't just have to learn to type, I have to unlearn what I'm used to doing. Oh yeah, and judging from how my fingers feel, I only type with the middle three fingers on either hand, and the thumb for the space bar of course. I'm supposed to be using my right little finger for the enter key and my finger is getting tired. So, lots of unlearning to do. Re-wiring...yay.

Anyway, in general, school is going well so far! I've just been too busy until now to blog about it. I'm definitely glad that I made a decision to sort of mentally and physically put aside at least this first year to really focus on school and get a good start on it, because there's no way I could add much on to this schedule and still get done as soon as I'd like. At least not with my low tolerance for stress. These first two weeks have shown that even weekend activities take purposeful scheduling to fit in. Granted, a lot of this is because I'm seriously out of the habit of getting schoolwork organized and done, and no doubt it will go a little bit smoother as the semester progresses. My mom just reminded me the other day that I'd said something at some point about how if this semester went really easily, maybe I could even work a job during my later semesters. I stared at her blankly for a moment, both having forgotten that I said that, and because the thought of working at the same time sounds slightly preposterous now. Well, I'll see how this year goes and decide about working after that.

Now I really should go work on that paper. I woke up this morning pretty much unable to talk because of the lingering effects of this cold, so I guess I might as well write!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Normal? Hardly.

My house was full of people New Year's Eve, and I think a discussion even came up at some point during the evening about how we all weren't exactly normal...but then, what is normal? :D Not my party, that's for sure.

I mean, there was the usual making sure people had food and drink, and making introductions, and taking coats, etc. But start with a game of Catchphrase (guaranteed to go slightly awkward at some point, with my group), try to keep the noise to a level quiet people can bear, connect various people's technology to the network, arrange and explain games, and handle the verbal sparring brought on by several guests who let no misspoken word slip by, and I had my hands full. Throw in a little counseling, mediation, and distribution of Advil to people recovering from frisbee pains and headaches...and you have a party that I'm not sure any hostess book would have all the etiquette tips for.

But, all that is exactly why it was awesome, and I loved every bit of it! :) My friends and I are all admittedly white and nerdy and probably 2/3 of us were homeschooled, so geeky references and reactions were abundant. A nerf war broke out at one point. Now that I think about it, I'm surprised there was no sword-fighting, either real or pretend. And there was a lot of caffeine...which affected some of us more than others.

The NYE countdown app on my iPod worked splendidly...I simply handed it to the tallest person once we went outside, and stood back so as not to be deafened by everyone's noisemakers. It certainly worked better than last year's sitting-on-the-remote debacle... :P And of course a few people took a celebratory run down the street and jogged back up blowing horns. (We have yet to hear complaints from my grandparents next door....but then, we haven't talked to them since Saturday...) Several of us also finished out the night at about one o'clock with a bit of swing dancing on the patio. (Next time I shall have to plan ahead: speakers and a playlist, for example.)

All in all, I think everyone had a good time, it was even better than last year (perhaps because there were twice as many people!), and barring unforeseen year should be great too. ;)

The December quote from my Jane Austen calendar: "One cannot have too large a party. A large party secures its own amusement." -Mr. Weston in Emma 
I think I agree.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Peace on earth...good will to men

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs.

From the anguish of:
And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

To the reassuring declaration of: 
Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor does He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men
Merry Christmas everyone! The Lord was born as a baby two thousand and eleven years ago and he still reigns today!
Even if it seems like Christmas came up on you suddenly this year, take the time to enjoy it and enjoy the people you're spending it with. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Swirling Thoughts

  • At least today the weather didn't feel like it should have swirling snow flakes to go with it...sun and slightly warmer temperatures are very welcome!
  • I should be doing lots of things. Like baking Christmas cookies, and knitting, and reading, and making things in Microsoft Office.
  • Instead I'm blogging. Because I should be doing that as well.
  • And using sentence fragments. Word would have a fit about that. 
  • Basically I have lots to do and so I've run run afoul of the paralysis that comes with that. Too much to do, no idea where to start.
  • I also just looked out the window and realized that the guys pretty much only put Christmas lights on one side of the mailbox. I'm not sure why... Either that or they've fallen off since they were installed?
  • We (the family and I, I mean) are planning on going gluten-free next year, so I mixed up a gluten-free brownie mix and it's in the oven right now, and it smells really good! At this point it would have to be very odd indeed to discourage me from eating it though, because I'm starving. 
  • I should be knitting, in case I didn't mention that...!
  • Aaand, the cat is eating my earbuds...well, there's a good reason to get the old-school headphones. Or a cat with less disgusting habits. Sheesh.
  • My brain is a confusing place right now, obviously.
  • And if I feel this confused, I feel sorry for all the people all over Facebook and Twitter who are talking about how they're madly working on finals this week. :/
  • Apropos of nothing, do they just not make jeans that fit anymore? I haven't found any the last few times I went to Goodwill, and the new ones I've tried on have been way too big in the waist. Granted, I haven't tried any Eddie Bauer jeans recently, so I may have to bite the bullet and buy some more expensive pairs of jeans and try to keep them from wearing out too soon.
  • On the bright side, I'm almost done with Christmas shopping! I have one more thing to order and then that will be one less thing to think about! 
  • Those brownies smell really good...
See you all later, when hopefully my thoughts won't be quite so random and odd. :)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Fusion or FrUStratION...

*sigh* If it's not one thing, it's another. Fusion is installed on my MacBook along with Windows 7, but now it won't download and install the updates for Windows. Dad messed with it last night and couldn't get it to work, then I tried it and it immediately started the download and install process. Hehe. My dad was a little peeved that it just worked for me. However, it got all the way to the end and wouldn't finish installing IE 7 (like I would want that anyway!) so I finally gave up and closed the installer window....and found that there was another window under it that I needed to click "install" on. And now it won't work again. Urgh!!! So I guess while I'm out today I'll stop by Panera and see if I can get the downloads to work while I'm connected to their network, because Dad thought it might have something to do with our network at home...though, that doesn't explain why it worked for a little while last night.

On the school front, I got some classes moved around so that I only have to go three days a week, plus I signed up for another class as well, so if I can test out of the computer class I'll still be getting 16 credit hours, but at the same time, if I don't test out, this other class probably won't interfere and give me too much work. It's something about professional development and not looking like a slob and mumbling when you go to work. (At least that's the impression I got from the description of the class...perhaps it's a bit more useful than that.) ;) It's on Wednesdays, before my self-defense class, so I get to be all business-like and professional and then go beat people up (sort of). Sounds pretty awesome to me.

And then there's Christmas shopping. I've gotten a few things, but Christmas is sneaking up on me and I need to get done! So, I'm going to see what I can do about that this afternoon. It's not helpful that my family is rather hard to shop for...

I'm finally getting excited about Christmas though! :) I got the tree put up yesterday and I'm looking forward to baking and cooking and wrapping presents. I just have to find the time to do all that. Which reminds me: I'm blogging when I need to be vacuuming the house and cleaning the bathroom.

Alrighty, back to work!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Ramones...

...sure want an awful lot.

They wanna be sedated. And then, presumably after being sedated (judging by the monotone), they wanna be your boyfriend.

They also wanna live, want you around, wanna be well, etc. And let's not get started on all the things they don't wanna do! 

Whiny, yet amazingly catchy, much? :D

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

My family and I went to Ohio for Thanksgiving again this year, and man did it make me feel old.  Last time (two years ago) my cousins and I ran around everywhere and stayed up until late in the night being hyper. This past weekend I couldn't run around because I'm recovering from a hip muscle tear, I was too tired to stay up very late, and added to all that was an inconveniently-timed somewhat apathetic mood that I couldn't seem to shake. However, despite all that we did have a good time. :) (I certainly hope I wasn't too boring for my cousins, at any rate...) :/ If so, I'm very sorry.

We had a lot of fun making bonfires, and playing with them, and standing in the mud. The second day we were prepared though. Rebecca, John, and I laid a gravel ring around the fire pit so that we wouldn't be sinking into the mud. (Laid it with nearly mathematical precision, I might add..."nearly" because we didn't get out a tape measure or run a string compass, but we were close.) And we made sure to have plenty of "poking sticks" on hand to mess with the fire. Dad, Uncle Jim, and Grandpa had been out cutting down a tree, so Rebecca and I went and cut ourselves some nice green sturdy sticks.
Mud-less fire pit.
When we got home every article of clothing was smoke-saturated, since it'd all been put back in the suitcases with whatever we'd worn around the bonfire. Which reminds me, I have no idea where my coat got off to when we got home...

On that note, I want to pause just long enough to mention that I actually packed light for once! I was very proud of myself. ;) I wore/used all but two of the items I packed.

This was fascinating.
The log was hollow so the fire went right through it
and out the end.

On the way home from Ohio we stopped at a rest area and I noticed that the lady in the car next to us was wearing a head scarf. I didn't really think much of it and we went on.

A while later, back on the road, we saw a car stopped by the side of the road, and a woman who seemed to be kneeling on some sort of rug looking under the car. Mom and I remarked on this, and I added that I thought it must be the people who had been parked next to us at the previous rest stop, because that lady was wearing a headscarf, as was the lady peering at her car. So unless there were a lot of ladies in head scarves on the route, it was probably the same one, and she and her husband must be having car trouble or something.

It was probably thirty minutes later that a thought suddenly hit me and I turn to Mom. "The lady with the headscarf, kneeling next to her car! She was probably praying! On her prayer rug!"

We're so religiously-aware. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Well, I registered for classes the other day...Monday, rather. Registration started at eight Monday morning, and I underestimated how many people would actually get up early and how fast classes would fill up. Next semester I'll be able to register online, but the first semester you attend you have to go in person to sign up. As a result I wasn't able to get the schedule I wanted (only going to campus Monday and Wednesday), but this way I will have more leisurely days and time to interact with people as opposed to rushing between classes two days a week. I have classes Monday through Thursday, which isn't so bad.

I ended up having to sign up for an evening class because that's the only time I could take the Intro To Computers class. Well, I had an option to take it at one of the other locations...with the race car technology students. The lady helping me register pointed out that at least there'd be lots of guys there. Haha, yeah!'m not going there to look for guys... That class didn't work well with my schedule anyway, so I signed up for the evening one and I'm going to at least try to test out of the class. Otherwise Thursdays will be rather annoying since my afternoon classes end and then there's 3.5 hours until the evening class.

The next step is to get my books, as soon at the updated list of curriculum is up on the website. I'm hoping to rent as many as I can from a place online and only buy what I have to. Textbooks are ridiculously expensive! But if I rent I should be able to get the total price down from $800ish to $200 or so. I'm all for that!

Hmm...also, I'm thinking stylish shoes are out of the question for school. :) When I was there Monday and today, both times I needed to be wearing my running shoes, especially on Monday since I'd been wearing heels over the weekend. Hmph, I'm too old for all this walking over campus. Good thing I'm not on a normal college campus where the buildings really aren't as close together! :D

Yeah, heels...I played frisbee on Saturday (in good shoes, but there was lots of running) and then wore heels Saturday night when I went swing dancing, and wore them again for church on Sunday. My knee disliked that blatant disregard of practicality. Oh well. It can just suck it up and stop hurting. Hopefully.

Oh yes, swing dancing is something I've taken up over the past few months! I'd all but given up on it, figuring I'd never have the coordination to figure it out, but my friends convinced me to come to the dance with them a few months ago, and it finally clicked! And now I'm hooked.

Last weekend I was dancing with an older guy and he was telling me I should go ask one of the younger guys to dance...indicating several that were standing at the edge of the room. Two of them linked arms and starting "dancing", at which point my partner remarked "Well, they're having a bit of a gay moment...but they'll get over it." I pretty much lost it at that point...he was lucky I was able to keep dancing despite how much I was laughing. :D

Furthermore, when I did ask one of the guys to dance, he warned me that he'd been drinking (to apologize for...what, I don't know...he seemed to be able to dance still and didn't do anything inappropriate). I later looked him up on Facebook and realized he was a homeschooled kid (now a college freshman.) Uh-huh. That's cute. Yes, you're so cool. Perhaps the drinking remark was supposed to impress me? Oh, silly boys. :)

Basically, swing dancing is fun, and it amuses me. It's a great opportunity for people watching, combined with some additional interaction with them.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Here it goes again

I'm going to try, yet again, to start a blog and actually keep up with it. It may be wishful thinking, but it might also be very good for me. I'm finding myself at a loss for reasonable words anytime I need to write something that's more than three or four sentences and it's probably from lack of practice.

Besides...things are a little different now! I'm officially unemployed now and will be starting school in January. Yes! Also...eep! Yay! Oh my. Slightly mixed feelings, as you can tell...or conflicted feelings, perhaps.

I decided a few months back to quit my job as a nanny and go to college to study office administration. I'm super excited about it, as well as being a little bewildered at being thrown back into school life. Well, let me rephrase's not the school life that's confusing me, seeing as I haven't started yet. It's the switch from being out of school and working, to being back in school...away from being...professional? An adult? Being in school really shouldn't govern that, but mentally it's a bit of a switch-up. I can only imagine what it must be like for people older than me to go back to school. I mean, I'm typical grad school age at least and have only been working three years. I did feel horribly old when I was at school a few weeks ago to drop off my transcript though. I saw a bunch of kids who looked about twelve...and then I realized they were the highschoolers. :D Phew. I'm going to the local community college and it will be nice that there should be a variety of people there, of different ages and with varying goals.

On that note (school), there's another reason I should try to keep up with this blog. I'll be taking an expository writing class and the extra practice won't hurt! And I'm guessing with school going on I'll have more to write about, or at least more time to write about life in general? We'll see. *fingers crossed*

I said I was officially unemployed and by that I meant my previous nanny job has ended. I have a few other babysitting and house sitting jobs lined up before the end of the year, and I'm hoping to have time for that after school starts as well. Obviously pet sitting and house sitting jobs will really fit into my schedule can sit a house and do homework at the same time...not so much with children. :)

At the same time, I'm looking forward to my remaining free time to get some things done around the house and be prepared for school. Obviously a major room-cleaning is in order. (Obviously? of course obviously, if I expect to study in there.)

So yeah, today was my last day of work, which was kind of bittersweet. I've been taking care of these two girls since the oldest was a baby so it's odd to think I won't see them all the time anymore. Such a lovely last day too...rainy and cold! ...though I was able to take the little one out for a walk during a break in the rain.

And after work I went and got a haircut...which seems somehow indicative of something. New beginnings? Maybe if I'd gotten something radically different done with my hair, but I only got a trim which it had needed for a while, and did it today because I was on the right end of town. :D Maybe I'm just trying to come up with a good reason for the $16 I spent. ;) (And that's why I don't get my hair cut every six weeks like you're "supposed to".)

Anyway, that's a brief overview of what's been changing lately in my life!

And thanks to the post title I chose I'm thinking of that Ok Go song: the one with the video involving treadmills.