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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in Mikela's LiveJournal:

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Monday, December 8th, 2008
11:58 am
I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them, and we help them in return.
--Stephen Schwartz, "For Good"

Occasionally I find myself thinking about the people I've met and the experiences I've had and wondering why those people crossed my path and how and why I've come to be where I am. I started thinking about that again this morning, especially about the people and events of the last two years. Here's what I've come up with:

The ListCollapse )
9:26 am
Finals Week
One final down (87.5), three to go. The only one I'm worried about is my Astronomy final. The professor has made the course far harder than any introductory course should be. I've always been an A/B student, but I'll settle a D or better in Astronomy, which is just sad. What's even sadder is that I did not glean what I hoped to from that class. It was mostly measuring and calculations. Boring! So, yeah. Hospitality and Foundations of Human Sciences should be a breeze at least.

Tired still. Seriously contemplating going back to bed now.
Friday, December 5th, 2008
9:03 am
Best Laid Plans....
Well, I hadn't originally planned on leaving for the event at 11 am. But then I hadn't counted on getting a phone call yesterday saying that I had a job interview with UPS (in the next town over, which is on the way to the event) at noon today. So...pack up, head out, drop off 'the kids' (they aren't really kids, but they're younger than me dammit), go to job interview, pick up 'the kids' and some stuff at Walmart, find a bite somewhere, and then off to the event.

It will be damned good to see my people again. And drink fey wine. And freeze my ample arse off. Well, okay, the freezing won't be so good, but it's better than being charbroiled and noshed on by mosquitos.

Also, am so so so so so so glad the semester is over except for finals. And I survived it. Go me :)
Wednesday, November 26th, 2008
3:14 pm
Little Things
Little things can mean a lot. They can make your day. On Monday, it was the grounds maintenance worker at SFA actually stopping what he was doing as I walked past, smiling, and bidding me good morning (which I cordially returned). Today, it was a simple passage from Meg Cabot's All American Girl which I have paraphrased for you here.

"If you think, Miss Samantha," Theresa was saying, "that I am not going in with you, you have another think coming."

This is one of Theresa's favorite expressions. I taught it to her. And it really is "another think coming," not "thing."

I'm guessing that whole bit with people using the misbegotten expression 'if you think that, then you have another thing coming' annoys Ms. Cabot as much as it annoys me. Yay for someone setting the record straight :D
Sunday, October 26th, 2008
10:18 pm
I need to RANT!
1) The word is 'similar' not SIM-YOU-LURE. You are a college professor. Get a clue.
2) Not everyone can afford a doctor or has health insurance, therefore excusing absences with and only with 'a doctor's note' is biased, unfair, prejudicial, and just plain dumb. You are a college professor. Get a clue.
3) The word is concierge - pronounced con-see-airzh, not con-see-air. Also, Disney World does not have 'three or four themed hotels.' You are a teaching assistant who wants to be a college professor. Get a clue.
4) 100-level/freshman/introductory classes should not involve higher-level maths unless a math course is a prerequisite. Do not make a required course that no one is actually interested in harder than it needs to be. You are a college professor. Get a clue.
5) Whinging about what someone posts in her private, friends-locked journal is in bad form. Insisting that said person is 'unkind' for pointing out a blaring, glaring, horrendous, giggle-inducing typo in someone's web-published fiction is also bad form. Going on to point out that people have stopped writing because of just such incidents is just plain silly; if you want to be a writer, you have to be able to stand up to much sterner criticism to that (just ask any best-selling author, or read Stephen King's 'On Writing'). I won't waste my time telling you to get a clue.
6) There are not long or short minutes. Saying someone was silent for a few long minutes is just dumb. Minutes are ALL 60 seconds in length. Period. You are a professional showman. You are a professional writer. You should both get a clue.
Sunday, October 12th, 2008
12:18 am
Renovations on my room began today. See, a while back I made the decision to give up my wonderful queen-size pillowtop bed in favour of a smaller one that wouldn't take up quite as much space in my postage stamp sized room. When I moved the bed out a few days ago, I discovered a hole in my floor. Oops.

Today I started the process of pulling up old tiling and the weird wood veneer underneath so that we could see how extensively the floor is damaged. As it turns out, the floor is mostly in good shape with just a couple of long strips of board that need to be replaced. That's the good news.

However, in pulling up all the nasty tile and wood and stuff, I managed to nearly kill myself. Apparently the dust, wood dust, mildew, mold, and whatever else I encountered didn't want to play nicely with my lungs. It's taken about 6 hours to get to where I can sort of breathe again. It's a strange and very unpleasant sensation to feel as if someone has gone inside your chest, trussed your lungs up in a corset, and pulled the strings so tight the boning gave way under pressure. Ick.

Today's lesson: never, ever kick up lots of dust and nastiness without a dust mask. Ever.
Saturday, October 11th, 2008
8:21 pm
Yoiked from...somewhere random.
When you see this, post in your own journal with your favourite quote from The Princess Bride. Preferably not "As you wish" or the Inigo Montoya speech.

"When I was your age, television was called books."

though the one I quote the most would be: "Have fun storming the castle!"
Monday, September 29th, 2008
10:37 pm

Your result for The Classic Dames Test...

Carole Lombard

You're a little bit of a fruitcake, but you always act out in style. You have a good sense of humor, are game for almost anything, but you like to have nice things about you and are attracted to the high life. You're stylish and modern, but you've got a few rough edges that keep you from attaining true sophistication. Your leading men include William Powell, Fredric March, and Clark Gable. Watch out for small planes.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the
Classic Leading Man Test.

Take The Classic Dames Test at HelloQuizzy

6:01 pm
I just blew off a homework assignment. Intentionally. Both because I'm sick and because it's utterly ludicrous. See, I'm taking Astronomy ONLINE this semester. Instead of having labs in a lab, we have to do the lab part on our own. That's usually not a big deal. This time, however, we're supposed to build a diffraction grating and then use it to observe different types of light. Observing the different types of light would involve DRIVING ALL OVER TOWN AT NIGHT. I'm not amused, impressed, or anything other -ed other than annoyed and irked. :P

My hatred for this class is rivaled only by my hatred for Introduction to Human Sciences (which is so completely pointless it hurts my head, but is required for my major). Thankfully, I love my other two classes to itty bitty bits.

In other news, I have become addicted to foodnetwork and foodnetwork.com. But NOT Rachel Ray, thankfully. Gag me. How can anyone that annoying actually have a successful TV show? Anyway, for me it's Emeril Live, Ace of Cakes, and Off the Hook. And sometimes Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I've actually learned a lot of stuff from watching FN, and I pick up lots of fun recipes from fn.com. My next two experiments will probably involve fondant decorating and Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramelized Mango Buttercream. My last few experiments (a simple beef stroganoff, chocolate almond gateaux, and jack pesto linguini with scallops) turned out quite well : )

Now that you're bored AND hungry, I'm going to toddle off to read more about vampires.

Current Mood: sick
Saturday, September 13th, 2008
9:10 pm
Actual conversation during Hurricane Ike:

Me: I spy something....windy.
Lark: Uh...Ike?
Lark: I spy...with my little eye...something...that's going to blow away.
Me: Uh...the roof?
8:31 pm
Lark and I (and my family) made it through Ike just fine. There were some ferocious winds and a bit of rain. We lost power for about 10 hours and there's some property damage, though there doesn't seem to be any damage to the house or cars. Most importantly, we're alive and well.

Major kudos to Nacogdoches for getting clean-up started as soon as the winds died down!
Friday, August 22nd, 2008
10:29 am
As of today, I've started back on the weight loss plan that I adopted last September (and abandoned after November due to the holidays, then the Disney debacle, and then poverty). We shall see how it goes. It went extremely well last time around, so here's hoping.
Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
5:57 pm
This is why you shouldn't leave your vehicle in the bad part of town....
Grrr..the image won't show up, so you gotta clickie da link....

Current Mood: amused
Thursday, June 19th, 2008
6:16 pm
Ganked from Trey
1. Superhero: gah. I'm so not a 'superhero' kind of gal. And then you get into comic book VS tv show VS movie VS other movie superhero...it gets a bit ridiculous. Does DangerMouse count as a superhero?

2. Author: Wow. Tough one. Stephen King has a great style, a lot of variety, and a vast number of enjoyable books (including some of my all-time faves). I like the Dresden series, but can take potshots at Butcher's actually writing, etc. Same with Richelle Mead and the Georgina Kincaid series. Terry Prachett can be fun, but can also put you into a coma. So...yeah...don't really have a favorite writer.

3. Song: Lately it's been 'Lost' and 'Let Me Sleep' by Jace and 'What Makes Me Happy' by Kilwein Family Tree-o

4. Actor/Actress: Tommy Lee Jones, Ed Harris, and Christian Bale / Maria Bello, Jodie Foster

5. TV show: House

6. Daydream: Being independently wealthy to the point I could cruise whenever and wherever I want :D

7. Job: Owning and successfully running my own dueling piano bar.

8. City: Orlando is really rather nice. So's Nashville.

9. Shape: uh...yeah.

10. Boardgame: Trivial Pursuit and Scene-It.
Friday, June 6th, 2008
11:28 am
all the news that isn't
There is absolutely nothing exciting to report on.

That said....I've gotten back into writing, finally. For a while I was convinced that I'd lost my ability to string together sentences for anything other than this blog. Apparently I haven't. Although what I'm working on won't pay the bills, it's a great feeling to create something.

In other not-news....Rock Band is an interesting game. However, playing drums on it for 3 hours straight is a bad idea. Doing so for two days in a row is sheer lunacy. I was glad to return the game to it's rightful owner.

Finally read the new Dresden book. Plowed straight through it, pretty much. Still too many unanswered questions. Feh.

Starting playing 'Risk' again. It's every bit as much fun as I remember. Now if I could only convince my group to give Civilization a try....

Heading to Galveston/Houston next week. Lifehouse concert on Tuesday that Erin bought tickets for, and we're taking advantage of the trip south to visit the ocean again. Nothing like the beach to recharge our emotional batteries. And boy do they need it.

Guess that's about it. Exciting, no?
Monday, April 14th, 2008
6:24 pm
For those who are not aware or might have forgotten, searching for a job sucks. A lot.

Current Mood: aggravated
Friday, March 28th, 2008
9:15 am
Why in the name of all that is holy does this staffing agency think they need my last paycheck stub and my high school diploma before they can place me in a job for which I've already passed all their very lame assessments? I graduated high school FIFTEEN YEARS AGO for goodness' sake. You'd think they'd rather have a copy of my college transcript, even if I haven't graduated college, but no. High school diploma. Which may be hard to get since I graduated from Podunk High. And last pay stub? Thanks to Disney's stupidity, I can't access it online (they don't believe in paper stubs if you have direct deposit, you have to view them on the HUB. Since I didn't know I was going to lose access to the HUB (which, by the way, Erin still has so it's not because I quit), I didn't print my stubs and now can't get to them). So I get to wait until next week to get it, which isn't that big of a deal I don't think. I hope. Anyway, I get to walk into my interview today and say 'hey, you know that stuff you wanted me to bring? I'll have it in a week or two.' Fun stuff.
Monday, March 17th, 2008
2:47 pm
Dear Erin,

It is okay to hate me. Seriously. I mean, I did get away from DISaster for awhile. And I got Mom's chicken and dumplings. And a brisket that Drew and Allen slow cooked on the grill/smoker. And Weinerschnitzel. And a java shake from Java Jacks. And I got to play Encore and do a little karaoke. So it's okay to hate me, even if you did go to Jellyrolls without me and they finally FINALLY did "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."

Luv ya :D See ya soon!

Friday, March 7th, 2008
4:35 am
So it's 4 am, and I should be sleeping. But apparently, you need to be able to breathe in order to sleep, so...here I am. I decided to use this time to put some of my recent thought processes into words and share a little bit of what I've been reading lately.

A couple of days ago, I pulled a book out of the small collection I brought East with me. I've had the book for a while, even read it once about 10 years ago. No idea where it came from and why I decided to bring it along, but I'm glad I did. This book is called 'The Tao of Pooh.' It illustrates the principles of Taoism (pronounced, essentially, dow-ism) through the Winnie-the-Pooh stories and characters. Odd, yes, but effective.

If you look up Taoism in the dictionary, it's refered to as a philosophical system or religion. I guess that's correct, if you go by the definition of philosophy as 'a system of principles for guidance in practical affairs'. If you shorten all that down, Taoism is a way of being. In fact, Tao means 'the way.'

Anyway, the principle that has stuck most in my mind is what the author of this book (Benjamin Hoff) refers to as the Cottleston Pie Principle (illustrated by the Winnie-the-Pooh song Cottleston Pie:

Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
Why does a chicken? I don't know why.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
A fish can't whistle and neither can I.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

Hoff breaks that down verse by verse:

"A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly," for example, is used to illustrate knowing and respecting your own inner nature. When you know and respect your inner nature, Hoff says, you know where you belong and where you don't belong. "One man's food is often another man's poison," he says, "and what is glamorous and exciting to some can be a dangerous trap to others."

"A fish can't whistle, and neither can I,"can be interpreted to mean "I have limitations and know what they are." We need to recognize what we have and what we are, both positive and negative. We need to know our limits so that we can either work within them or work to stretch them.

As for "Why does a chicken? I don't know why," that, Hoff says, is about recognizing that there are things that can not be explained and do not need to be explained. They need only to be recognized and accepted so that we can work with things as they are instead of working against the nature of things.

My favorite bit of this goes like this:

"Everything has its own Inner Nature. Unlike other forms of life, though, people are easily led away from what's right for them because people have Brain, and Brain can be fooled." It goes on to say that "The way of self-reliance starts with recognizing who we are, what we've got to work with, and what works best for us." It also suggests taking the things we don't like about ourselves (or things about ourselves that are in some way negative) and either changing them into something else or using them in beneficial ways.

So....that's what I've been pondering on lately, as relates to finding a satisfying occupation/career:

Who am I? What do I have to work with? What works best for me? What are my most detrimental traits, and what can I do to turn them to my advantage?

Unfortunately, I don't really have all the answers...yet. I have learned a little about what doesn't work for me (working for a large division of a massive company, for example). And I know what some of my bad traits are (I don't like being bored at work, I don't like being unappreciated at work (feeling like a number), I burn out easily and suffer from unbridled wanderlust. I don't like mindless work. I also don't delegate tasks well. All of that adds up to a big mess where jobs are concerned :/

I've theoretically got until August to sort this out and decide which direction I need to head next. There is a fine line, though, between sorting out yourself and overthinking things to the point where you're doing more harm than good. My goal is to find the proper balance between planning and letting things happen as they happen. Yin and Yang, if you will.

I feel like clarity is just around the corner, which is a strange feeling. One I've certainly never felt before. And I feel like if I can just achieve enough inner quiet, I'll be able to find the path I should follow.

If anyone's made it this far, congratulations - you're either tenacious or very, very bored : ) Either way, thanks for sticking with me.
Monday, February 18th, 2008
1:54 am
Disney Update
So...Erin and I have been at Disney for about 4 weeks now. We're finally starting to settle into our jobs; we thought they'd be the death of us, but things are looking better on that front. However, things are getting worse on the home front. By home, I mean the apartment in Orlando.

We opted for a two-bedroom/four-person apartment when we got here. I have no idea why we thought that was a good idea. One of our roommates, Kristen, is great. We like her. The other roommate, Sam, is not great. We don't like her. At all. She's the most inconsiderate person I've ever met and the worst roommate I've ever had. Really.

It started out small, with Sam scattering her clothes all over the living room and kitchen, including leaving her bras and underwear on the dining table (ew). Then it went on to her...I don't even know what to call it, but she's driving Erin crazy. She's trying to force Erin to be her best friend or something. It's weird. Then there's the fact that she professed to be a clean freak but has yet to clean anything ever. And the fact that she likes to watch TV with the volume cranked up...at 1 am when Erin's trying to sleep because she has to be up for work in a few hours. Or else she's talking on the cell phone - also at top volume - in the mornings when I'm trying to sleep because I have work later on that night. But none of this is what has driven us to the edge.

Get this - about a week ago, Sam's boyfriend from back home broke up with her. She was devastated...for about five seconds. About two days later, she brings home Pedro. Erin and I get home one night to find them half-naked on the couch. A couple of days after that, we come home to find her hanging out with some other guy. We go to get ready for bed, and a little later Erin heads to the kitchen for something and they are having in Sam's bedroom having sex with the door wide open.

Yes, really.

The girl has no common decency at all. And yet she acts like she's done nothing wrong. I have no idea how to talk to the girl about any of this without resorting to profanity and insults. I think Erin and I are going to be forced to try to get moved to another apartment even though it will be a pain in the butt.

Cross your fingers for us (or whatever you do) folks. We need all the luck we can get right now.
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