Tuesday, February 23, 2010

There ain't no rest for the wicked.

It's just like old times tonight. Me and the kiosk computers late at night in Pew, waiting for my ride. I spent an hour on Etsy before the exam and Facebook's got nothing, and my cousin started a Blogspot blog which reminded me that I had my own blog, which hasn't been dusted off and updated in years. So, should I ever be offered the opportunity, this is my reminder never to take on 18 credits. Never. ever. again. The work is unending. A paper here, presentation there, and a project inbetween. As soon as I get through one big project there's another big deadline in about 3 days. And I start working again after spring break. And I really want to graduate magna cum laude, and as my GPA is exactly .1 above the low-water mark for that, I can't afford a goof. The difference now, though, is that although the work is on, and a little self-imposed pressure, the stress isn't. I've got a job-- I know where I'm heading. That makes all the difference. I don't need to get there fast but I need to have a destination. Something more solid than a goal. Now that I've got one I've been able to let go and just enjoy the trip so much more.

So, spring break. That's coming up in a week or so. One of those situations where you want it to just get here already, but at the same time you know there's not enough time to get everything done first that you need to. But I might get one thing taken care of tonight. I've been working hard since Christmas dieting and exercising with my sights on a bikini for summer, and I think I'm getting there. Maybe I'll get lucky tonight and find THE ONE!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A consort has been found...

Well, a subsequent day of mailings introduced me to several possible love interests for Harrissa...
  • James Burns (might edit that, but retain the short, dignified Britishness), spy for the opposite side, not really a love interest, more of a flirtation as a half-hearted attempt to disguise their attacks and counterattacks as spies
  • Aaron Able, a nice guy, somewhat more sensible and realistic than handsome hero Buck. Doesn't have her wits and training, but is able to help her out, doesn't do anything stupid to make her job harder than it is.
  • The mysterious Jeff Flight. I have no idea who he is or what part he's going to play, just that he's on the good side, nothing dramatic.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

It all started years ago, in the sleepy little town of Whitewright, Texas...

So I'm back working light industrial at Acor through the Empower temp agency again. Lucky for me I ended up in Finishing again, unluckily back on 2nd. At least I know some of the people still, although they've had a bunch of staffing changes. So yeah, one of the things I love best about working manufacturing is that you get to see how things get made, from soup to nuts. In Finishing we get printed pages from Printing, and run them through various machines to get catalogs, magazines, pamphlets, and, yesterday, a small trifold-and-glued mailing for the Iron Horse Supply Co. This involved unpacking the finished pamphlets, which involved rotating half of each stack so they all faced the same way (they flip half the stack when packing so it stays even, cuz the folded side always goes higher), feeding them into the machine, which printed the address and barcode on, then packing them into post office cartons, generally one box for each city, with exceptions for bigger cities like Austin and Dallas. It was mostly Texas during my shift. Finally you secure the boxes with tape and skid them. A fellow temp introduced me to the chief joy of mailings: watching for weird names, both of people and cities. This, in turn, led to me keeping an eye out for good names, the kind that would be useful in a story. I ended up with three characters who are going to play key roles in a tongue-in-cheek kinda pulp fiction sci-fi, kinda western, kinda contemporary junior fiction: Harrisa Hassenfluke, Buck Peddicord, and Katie Seematter. Harrissa Hassenfluke's personality is going to have shades of Anastasia Krupnik and the smart girl from Recess, she's the smart girl that isn't as pretty as our heroine, the blonde beautiful oceanographer (or maybe just run-of-the-mill scientist) Katie Seematter, who catches the eye of the stereotypical star of the kiddie westerns, the fairly intelligent cowboy Buck Peddicord. There will be a man for Harrissa eventually, he just wasn't in the mailing. (Hogg, Jr. did not sound like the kind of man for her.) Watch for it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh, the places you'll go...

I really must get some get-up-and-go from somewhere. Much as I'd love to, I can't just drift through life like I've been doing. All of the very few career-advancing moves I have made have involved an uncomfortable amount of unsolicited effort, and they've all been worth it. I've got to grit my teeth, get the CLEP tests studied for and taken, get a few scholarships applied for, and take a chance on a few of those great jobs that seem out of reach that mom keeps bugging me to apply for. I need to write a resume. I need to stop being spineless about a trip abroad. I let them talk me out of it this summer. I can't let myself get so scared about costs and being by myself and not knowing what to do. It's good to be careful, but at the same time growing always requires getting out of one's comfort zone a little (or a lot.) So many of my friends and people I know are studying abroad, or even joined clubs that involved studying abroad. They get involved with things and run things and manage to survive on tighter schedules than I've ever experienced. I've got to stop being scared of people and start hosting parties and reaching out to people I'd like to know. I've got to start my Etsy shop and stop being nervous about bad photography or whatever else it is that keeps me from doing it. I should join that Accounting fraternity and maybe set my goals a little higher. I've got to welcome leadership. It's about time I finally give in and take that long-awaited next step toward self-sufficiency. (I try not to make a habit of growing up too soon. Anyone who knows me can probably guess this, seeing how long it took me to get a job and a driver's license.) Which reminds me, I've got to get started on that boating license too, because I want to be able to pull dad skiing this summer before he starts getting too old to enjoy it.

Simply put, summer is not what it used to be. I will say this, though. It still beats school with a stick.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

I do it to myself...

Well, here it is at 1 in the morning. I've been overthinking a few things, and I've had to do a bit of leadership, which isn't my thing, and maybe if I let it all out on here I won't get so down about it.
  • First off, nobody reads this blog anymore, except me. And a one-time visitor from England who spent 1/2 hour and 5 page views on here, which was flattering. Since then, however, 9.8 out of 10 vistors have been me or have spent 0.00 minutes viewing because they were looking for the Calvin and Hobbes quote which I used for a post title once. Seriously. You wouldn't believe how many people a month are looking for that quote! From all around the world! It has definately overtaken the Ventures Christmas Album in total views elicited. Weird.
  • Second, the U.S. is going to hell in a handbasket. But that's old news. We're just going a little faster now I guess. Just read the comments on any given featured YouTube video. It's just depressing. Even leaving out the idiotic things people think they need to say, the grammar and spelling is atrocious. And there's some that I know for SURE isn't on purpose. Our schools are crap. And we keep pouring money into them. Bah.
  • Third, I just was reminded of how horrible Valentine's day used to be. In high school the student council offered roses for sale. Guys would buy them for a few lucky (and pretty, and skinny, or related) girls, and the student council would deliver them in class. Year after year, they would walk in, my heart would race a bit because I was stupid enough to let myself hope, and then they gave them to someone else and left the room, leaving us less fortunate ones to nurse our wounds. Then one year I actually got roses. Quite flabbergasting. Hope knew no bounds. And then I found out that it wasn't one of my many crushes, but a few of the popular girls, who had bought them for me. Out of pity, I'm pretty sure. "Let's do something nice for poor old Darselo!" Yeah. It was nice of them, but I would have rather not gotten any at all. Although in retrospect, it was actually better that it was from them, if it was from a guy I probably would never have survived the shock, and what if it was from a guy I wasn't so crazy about? Or worse, what if it was? Nowadays Valentine's isn't as excruciating, mostly because college isn't very convenient for flagrant displays of affection and showers of adoration. No lockers to leave balloons and flowers in, dontcha know. Plus, I'm alright with being single. Que sera, sera, is my attitude towards relationships.
  • Fourth and final, I somehow ended up as the leader for our group research paper in my Econ class. Me, in charge of 5 boys. I'm actually finding that I don't mind leading. It means that you get things done your way, mostly because nobody else wants to take the lead, so if you do they'll just do whatever you want out of gratitude. :P Specimen #1 is great- responsive to e-mails, not afraid of work, always in class. Specimen #2 is fine as well- the same as #2, but at a less extreme level. Specimen #3 has been in class once. Seemed good enough the one time I talked to him, offered Facebook contact, doesn't respond to e-mails. Specimen #4 is small, gay, always in class, and has never responded to anything, or approached us any of the times we (me, 1, 2, and, once, 3) talked after class. So today I stepped up the bitchiness a notch (I took the liberty of assigning subtopics to us all, because if I asked them to chose for themseleves, it'd be even worse than chosing the topic, (nobody but me had anything to say, which went on until the week it was due, at which time I took action) anyways, I had to go out of my comfort level a bit and send them both "did you get my e-mails, and if so, do you have a good explanation for not responding as I clearly asked you to do?" messages. Only not in that wording, of course. It's not gonna be pretty, but at least there's three out of five of us on board. Luckily, my MGT group is really good.

It is now 1:40 am, and I do feel a little better. Tara.

Friday, January 11, 2008

So I have 15 minutes before my Econ class, and I've had the blogging itch for a while, so here goes another ramble... Before the good stuff I have to get through the obligatory beginning of semester summary.

I have six classes, 16 credits. Last semester was a nice, easily managable 4 class, 13 credit affair that went pretty smoothly on the whole, except for my jackass of a native-French speaking Spanish prof. Considering how badly I did on some of his exams, the A- I got was higher than I expected, but my beloved 4.0 is now gone. I will miss it. It was good for raising eyebrows in the counselling office: "Well, you have to have a 2.5 to be admitted... Oh, *embarassed laugh* you'll have no problem with that, will you?" Nope. Although I guess you can't really sneeze at a 3.9 either, but it just doesn't have the magic of the 4.0. Mi professor no fue un buen tipo de professor, porque siempre gano un A en mis clases de espanol. Que lastima.

So yeah, this new semester is a bit of a rude awakening. For one thing, I have to write actual papers again. I've had a bit of a break from that and I am not looking forward to it. Especially since I'm pretty sure that the Macroeconomics research paper is supposed to be a group thing. How do you write a research paper as a group? Macroeconomics is definately the class I'm most leery of, (Prof w/ accent, projects up to wazoo) but Management Information Systems (lots of group projects, no idea what the class is about even after 3rd day, prof with accent) is a close second and Business Law (tricky subject matter, have to lead group discussion) could be a problem too. Stats seems easy enough so far, but we're only in the first chapter, it could get worse. *Since writing this sentance I have discovered that yes, indeed, it gets worse. For one thing, my mom's friend's son is in there too, and although we played together as infants, including him explaining his limited knowledge of the production process of chicken and stars soup to me, we really haven't had anything to do with eachother since. The last time we interacted at all was a year ago, I was babysitting his brothers, he walked in and yelled "Hi babysitter!" down the stairs, and went on to discuss his football game w/ the friends he had brought home. It was awkward. I am still trying to figure out if he even knows who I am. My Management Accounting class should be fine, I put my trust in good ole prof Stove from last semester's Financial Accounting class. He's a good egg. My 1 credit Accounting class shouldn't be a problem. It's just the acutal manual accounting and I get along w/ that okay.

So anyways, as usual, college leaves me with all too many opportunities to think and make observations, including but not limited to bus rides, waiting for class to start while trying not to make eye contact with anyone, and my breaks.

Observation #1: After having bought three semesters' worth of books, I have noticed an interesting trend in book binding techniques. Certain types of classes will always have softcover bindings, and other will inevitably be hard cover. Hardcover genres include all math books (including accounting) language books, and science books (when they are involved with medical majors). Softcover genres include gen ed classes (this is WITHOUT fail), computer books, and economics books. Why is this? Maybe the people responsible don't even realize what they are doing, but I like to think it has something to do with the age and permanancy of the information. Take your average math or anatomy book, for instance... The human anatomy doesn't change much, and neither do the ancient rules of algebra or geometry. They're old, they aren't gonna change, and therefore they get a hardcover binding. Your average gen ed book, however, isn't very large, or important, and is probably gonna be completely revolutionized as the fashionable ideas about the topic change. Take your average CS150 book. A signifigant portion of the content didn't exist 5 years ago. Almost none of it existed 15 years ago. In another 5 years the book will probably be completely irrelevant, so what's the point? That's kind of discouraging though... In most of my business subjects, everything I learn will be outdated in a few years. Why am I learning it at all? Why not just wait a few years and go to school then? Because what I learn then will then be outdated within a matter of months, if the exponential growth predictions are to be believed... What's gonna happen to us when we can't keep up anymore? This is annoying for other reasons too... Like buying a new computer. Buy one now, and have it become obsolete in a year, or put up with junk for another year so you can buy the latest technology and be cutting edge for a few months. But then that one will be outdated too. Same goes for speakers, cars, TV's, sound systems, etc... How is this gonna end?

Observation #2: In regular classrooms, the whatever it was in the old metaphor (chips?) tend to lie where they fall, which, being interpreted, means that within a few class periods an unofficial, unspoken seating chart has been created, to be upheld on pain of incensed glares from the owner of the usurped seat. This does not hold true for computer classes, however. The kids in my management class keep bouncing around like BB's in a boxcar, true, there is usually one or two unoperational computers each day (location varies) which tends to cause some disturbance, but honestly, why can't they pick a spot and usually stick with it? It's disconcerting to find the spot you had staked out for yourself one day occupied the next, leaving you to fend for yourself, and to have different neighbors every time.

Observation #3: I've been contemplating the ramifications of man being made of dust and woman being made from man's rib... First, that may explain why girls are on average smaller than guys. Second, I think this explains some of the big differences b/t men and women personaltiy wise. I've forgotten a lot of my conclusions about this, apparently, because none of the good ones are coming to mind, but one of them was that guys were made of earth, so they have colder personalities over all... Women were made of flesh, so they are more emotional and warm. Then again, earth isn't as strong a material as bone, which justifies my age-old theory that deep down men just aren't quite as strong as women. Another thing I think women being made of Adam's rib explains is why the sexes are so attracted to eachother. It kind of works like charged cells... Guys are missing a rib, and we have the missing rib... therefore we bond. Lol... Simplistic I know.

I'm glad nobody I know reads this blog anymore, because these observations offer a somewhat intimate glimpse into the weird wanderings of my bored mind. It's gonna be a good semester for the old blog, because I have a short break in which I am in close proximity to a few uncrowded computer labs, so expect more observations to follow.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ice, Ice Baby

Well... today was interesting. First of all, I'm on my winter break from school. Work has been slow for the past few weeks, so I haven't had to work. Which is good, obviously, because it means I occasionally have been able to sleep in during my break. It is also bad, however, because I'm spending money like a drunken sailor and have nothing to replace it with. Along with that, the schoolessness and worklessness has lured me into a false sense of freedom, to be brutally crushed next Monday. Well, possibly tommorow even, as I will be buying books. Of course, that isn't really as painful for me as it could be, since I still have scholarship overflow checks coming. Still, book-buying is about the only time college students ever see $100 bills. Well, anyway, as has been established, I'm on break.
So are other college students.
Including a lonely rocket scientist-to-be, who asked a friend to hang out, and then me (because I just had to have my tart remark, even though I could guess at the consequences). We are both to nice to openly refuse, but we are also not interested in quality one-on-one with the guy. Our solution? Maxmize the girl-to-guy ratio. Four of us ended up meeting him for skating downtown, which really was fun even though the skates were crappy. I like skating, and I wish I had some way of taking classes to get more skillz. That and gymnastics and scuba diving and body surfing and snowboarding and ballet and modern dance and the list goes on and on and on. All the things my parents didn't get me into as a child, dooming me to a life of "good enough to get by" in all things physical. So anyways, I've been distracted from the point of this post, which is, a rant about coffee shops.
So after the skating we all head for this coffee shop one of the girls knew about. This involved going the wrong way on a one way street, stopping for a red light in the MIDDLE of the intersection (with a cop directly behind us, fortunately going off-duty), several foiled attempts (due to construction-based road closures) to get across town, and another driving infraction commited in the presence of a cop.
Needless to say, we all were ready for a cuppa. Now, I'm a noob where coffee shops are concerned, especially when I can't read the menu behind the counter since I forgot my contacts (again). I've never been to a Starbucks. The most elegant coffee drink I had previously ordered would be the English Toffee cappucino at Russ's. Luckily for me they had a little flip-style specials menu thing out on the counter, and this mint mochachino thing sounded good. A friend promised me I could get it warm, as opposed to iced. I can't abide iced coffee. Any more than a quarter cup and I am nauseated, as also happens with any variety of tea or soy milk. Anyway, my turn arrives and I cheerily ask for a warm mint mocachino. The guy mumbles something involving "hot" into his headpiece, and the girl on the other end apparently has as much trouble understanding him as I do, as he was forced to repeat himself several times. He then turns his attention back to me, and says something about "Mint Condition" this I knew to be a drink with espresso, and I was (and still am) wary of espresso, since I don't like strong coffee. Is espresso a really strong coffee, or is it just extra caffinated? I was about to let it go, but then I decided that I should start standing up for myself, and should make sure I got exactly what I wanted. Isn't that what these establishments are all about? So I told him, wait, I asked for the Mint Mochachino, and proceeded to show him the picture. He muttered some more on his headpiece and then culled $4.55 from my roll of bills. I moved on down the line, anticipating a mouthfull of warm, minty goodness. Talk started up again, as it will between girlfriends, and somewhere along the way doubt was cast on my drink. The statement about being able to get a warm mint mochachino was retracted, and replaced with the idea that the "Mint Condition" was actually the warm version. Which meant that by insisting on the "Mint Mochachino" I had actually procured for myself a clear plastic cup of what turned out to be mint-flavored brown water textured with little chunks of ice and chocolate chips. I lasted for about half of it, mostly due to the chocolate chunks, but then stomachache and chills set in, from which I am still suffering as I write, even after a restoring bowl of piping-hot homemade potato soup. I feel robbed.
Moral of the story: When in coffeehouses, don't order any of those fancy schmancy drinks. Especially if you're like me--I have a little more experience after tonight, but ordering coffee is an adventure for me, since no matter what I ask for I will be at least a little suprised by the contents of what I end up getting. You will be much better off with a bowl of the soup of the day. Or if you are feeling bold maybe even a plain old mild/medium blend coffee with a hazelnut flavor shot and enough cream and sugar to incite comment.
With that I would like to wish every one a blessed New Year!!!!!! The blog (still) lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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