All hail the school-cancelling gods. This is not a weather-related day off; although we have had over an inch of snow so far, it all melted nearly instantly--apart from a few pre-Halloween snowmen the kids ran out and slapped together. No, this is a scheduled day off. I don't know why, but I am insanely thankful for an extra hour of sleep.
I am still just so tired it's ridiculous.
Yesterday I ran out the door without my glasses and spent the entire day in a headachey blur. I get so busy trying to remember the eighty jillion things I have to take with me for class that I forget things like food and spectacles. Pfft. Makes me feel like a Wile E. Super Genius, it do.
Last night I was checking in on my game cafe and saw my dishes only had 8 minutes to go, so to kill the 8 minutes I started on the online career assessment test required for my employability class. Then a friend caught me online and struck up a conversation, so I hung around and served the cafe food, talked a while, and finished the assessment. The results were the funniest thing I've seen since this season of Whose Line ended.
They think I should be a psychologist/therapist/shrink/social worker.
That's probably because at no point did they ask, "How many hours a day can you stand to be in the presence of actual people?"
They did ask annoying things like:
Which approach would you prefer to use to tackle a project?
Work alone and make your own decisions.
Use team work and make decisions based on group consensus.
Dude, I'm taking intro programming right now and I'm totally distracted by the art of radio buttons (and the fact that they copied and pasted). (Oh wait, no they didn't. I had to edit them out.) Also, I prefer to do both in pretty equal measure. Work awhile, get some feedback. Work awhile, get some feedback. I'm not truly comfortable doing only either one. And this is not the only question where I fall solidly in the middle between two responses.
(I checked work alone and make your own decisions only because working entirely by committee kills creativity, in my opinion. If, yanno, you were wondering or anything.)
Do you tend to solve your problems by:
Thinking through the problem issues on your own.
Talking about the problem issues with others.
After much hair pulling, I chose thinking through the problem issues on your own because that is what I do first and last. But somewhere in the middle, if I can find anyone (it's often my mother) I talk about it with someone. Feedback. I find it tremendously useful, especially since (gasp) I don't know everything.
In the end I went back and tweaked back my ratings on the questions involving working with people, even though I have reservations that this might artificially alter my results. Maybe I shouldbe a shrink.
Nah. Absolutely nah.
Now my (top) result says I should be a landscape architect. I'm guessing this is because nowhere did they ask, "Do you want to set your hands on fire when you get dirt on them?"
Writer and Graphic Designer both show up on page three...near the bottom.
Maybe my high school vocational assessment was more accurate and I should have been a forest ranger.
So. Day off. Vacuum cleaner and laundry and errands and programming projects and mortgage interest and etc., here I come.
Also nap. This day is definitely going to include a nap. Nap with dogs.
(Oh yeah. Animal control officer is also on my career list.)
Today I did something I have never done before and never thought I would do. I dropped a class.
There is just too much life going on these days. Too much life and not enough time and, well...to be honest...this class was not a priority at this time.
It was Digital Multimedia, and it's actually a second year course, but for some reason it was listed in the crossover curriculum as something to take this first semester, so I did. But my schedule is just so blankety-blank awkward. There are gaping spans of down time when it's too soon to go there and too late to stay here and I can't seem to make best use of that time because the software I need for projects is always somewhere else.
On the upside, I'm getting a lot of math done because that is one low-tech class. I'm still using the calculator my dad got me in 1981. I'm should take a photo, and I will if I can get the integrated camera on my beater laptop to work. (I should make a cheat sheet. The camera on this old gal stops working at every shutdown and I use it so seldom I can never remember how I got it going again the last time.)
Anyway, this semester is not working out the way I'd like, but I have fought tooth and claw against the idea of dropping a class, and then I wrestled with the concept of dropping the most important class. Wouldn't it make more sense to drop an annoyance class? (Like, say....math?)
I concluded that it wouldn't make more sense. For one thing, in the future I plan to drop to half-time status, and at that point I would be able to dedicate more time and attention to whatever classes I'm enrolled in. It seems like it would be better to dedicate more time and attention to the important stuff, i.e., not how to calculate discount rates.
Also if I have to do assignments twice, do I really want it to be the discount rates test? Or would it be better to review the use of industry standard software? I'm thinking it's the software.
And dropping the big class allows me to stay in four other classes, so dropping it is really the most efficient use of a drop.
I convinced myself, and my instructor agrees and was very supportive when I explained why I wanted to drop.
Yet, the inner saboteur is assuring me that quitters never win. Shut up, turkey. Not everything is all or nothing, and sometimes it's necessary to quit a little so you don't have to quit a lot. Where you = me.
Maybe letting go is something I needed to learn off-label. Or maybe I'm just telling myself that because, although I'm exhausted, for the first time in weeks I can breathe.
LJ Yeah, I don't have time to resurrect lj. Or rather, as I'm teaching myself to say, "That's not a priority for me at this time."
The school project blog took up all my writing words. The muse--and some of you may recall that when I say muse I'm not speaking of an external entity, but only my own subconscious where the work and words originate--only give me around 800 words per day. If I use them on blog entries, they are just as gone as if I novelled. If I use them telling stories out loud? Gone. If I use them on school projects? Gone.
I am enjoying the school project blog, and I think it will serve me later, but for now it is a word-sink.
Entries from now on will probably be sporadic and of the Extreme Status Update variety.
Road Trip and a Purse Zor and I took a road trip to the outlet store again and got a few more clothes. Well she got a few. I seem to have gone ape. I think it is an insecurity thing, from when I had four tee-shirts, two pairs of sweats and a jacket. I had no winter coat for years. I eventually bought one on payments from Fingerhut. I bought it extra ginormous so I could zip the baby up in it with me when we were waiting at bus stops. (She had her own coat, but the extra layer on her made me feel less like a failure for putting myself in a position where we had to sit at bus stops in the frigid cold.)
The clothing problem is new, but I also bought a purse. My purse problem is almost as old as I am. I am forever on the search for the perfect purse. I had one a few years ago, but the strap broke, and I don't like any of the current styles. Either the strap is too short (I don't want my purse in my armpit, thanks), the strap is too long, the bag is not the right size (it has to be not huge yet have room for a paperback book, a wallet, and an assortment of writing implements), or they don't have enough compartments (I hate having everything dumped in together so I have to dig for what I want). I really want it to be not black, and have no punk-rock metal studs or other garish ornaments, and I prefer that it not be a sack on a rope--I want my purse to hold its shape.
They used to make purses like this in the 80s and 90s, so ever since my last perfect purse bit the big one, I have been stalking yard sales and thrift stores. As a result I have bought a used purse it seems like every week for a while now, but none of them are quite right.
Anyhow, I bought a new-new purse. It's one of those what they now call cross-body thingies. I don't understand the need to change the name of these; they are obviously just shoulder bags with extended straps. What I like about this one is, the strap came in two parts and I buckled it together and onto the bag myself, so the length is precisely adjustable. It's the color Zor calls native-american--I finally figured out she is referring to buckskin, not skin color. It's a brown in the range I call Cobie-colored, a tawny kind of caramel or butterscotch. The metallic accents are small and gold. It will not go with any bookbag or laptop bag I own; for some reason those things always come in powerdude black and gray/silver, but I've decided I'm sick of powerdude black. If I could, I'd buy a laptop in Cobie colors. For one thing, I would spend less time lint-rollering pet hair off of it.
I'm not sure if the size is going to be perfect, but maybe the fact that I shelled out money for new will encourage me to give this purse a fair shake.
Now if I could find the perfect wallet.
Tomatoes I'm thinking I'm not going to grow them anymore. Except for the first year we were here, I've either had hardly any yield (year 2, season of rain and blight) or planted the wrong kind (year 3, Cobie feasts on vine-fresh cherry tomatoes), or I planted the right kind and they came out the size of walnuts anyway (year 4). Maybe I should just go in halves with my dad on his plants and split the yield. It would give me an excuse to go visit them more often. I could put some peonies or something where the tomato bed is and just forget them.
Just something I'm thinking about.
Meanwhile I need to make the last grocery list of the pay period, i.e., the list where I write down everything I either forgot to buy or couldn't find at the first two stores and pick up the remaining items at the third store, which this week is Kroger. Let's go Krogering...
Psycho died yesterday. I typed that entire entry one-handed so I could hold her, and as soon as I returned her to her cage she opened her eyes, heaved a visible sigh, and went. Poor thing.
I have never had a white hamster that lived any length of time. I have had three, two syrians and this one russian. I suspect breeding for special colors produces some health and behavior issues. (Socrates was also a vicious biting psychopath, far worse than Psycho ever thought of being, and Powder was super passive.)
I never remove dead hamsters from their cages for at least several hours. The seeming grossness of this is worth it to me; I don't want to make a mistake, as I almost did with Algernon.
Now there's a cage to clean one last time.
It's just Rocky left now, the one with the scar on her nose. She has been my favorite since all the babies got old enough to have personalities. She is the acrobat of her family; maybe I should have named her Wallenda. She is over two years old now, but I will not be getting another hamster while she lives. I just don't have time, really, for more than one. I very much enjoyed having the babies and Psycho, but I am so busy with school and life. I think I would have enjoyed them more if they had lived here one at a time instead of in droves.
Someone convinced me when I got Zandy and Lita that dwarf hamsters are happier in colonies, but I didn't find that to be the case. They all fought and eventually had to be separated, and they all seemed just as content in their own cages (of which I own five and need to reduce).
So single hamsters from now on, and I can spring for the deluxe fluffy bedding. I think that's best.
It is really too soon for this. Zandy has not been gone long, yet. Anyway...
Psycho was ill, and I got her medicine, and she rallied for about a week. Now I think she is dying.
She's barely moving, just lying around, occasionally twitching. One of her cheek pouches has food in it. (Last night they both did.) When I gave her water
via dropper last night she took it, but today she just looks at me through slits of eyes that I've never been convinced actually see much and lets the water drip down her chin.
There are people out there who would read me a vitriolic riot act over not taking her to the vet, but she's a hamster. Unless there's something a vet could do, like remove a tumor, trim overgrown teeth, end suffering, or some such, I don't see the point.
Not, however, because she's "just" a hamster, but because vets don't really seem to know much to do for the pocket pets. I think the money could be better spent, say, vaccinating a shelter pet to make it more adoptable.
Crap, saying that makes me sound cold blooded, even to myself. Maybe especially to myself.
But no, Psycho is not "just" a hamster.
She is a free hamster off Craigslist, and she was supposed to be my bridge hamster, to keep me from being hamsterless when Rocky goes. They are never just hamsters to me, they are little balls of joy. Less joy can never be a thing I really say "just" about.
And now that she's pretty out of it, she's no longer bitey, and I spent the morning holding her and petting her a little (but not too much, because who wants to be mauled around when they're sick? not me) which are things I've never been able to do before.
I hope she gets well and goes back to being herself. I don't think she will. I miss her already.
I was on my way to pick up Zor when I noticed Berta the van making a grinding noise as I drove. Not the brakes, I thought at first. Brakes don't grind constantly, only when you apply them...
It was the brakes. And it got exponentially worse while I drove home. Mr Moth examined them, and they were metal to metal--but only on the driver's side.
We debated whether he should do them. Front brakes are the main thing he can do in auto repair, but because of the weirdness of only one side going bad like that, we considered taking Berta to the car doc. In the end we decided Mr Moth should do it. It's cheaper, and Berta's an old girl. Also we didn't have to deal with the logistics of dropping off and picking up around three insane schedules.
It did mean I drove her one more day, scraping and grinding. A long day. At the end of it, I picked up Zor, drove home and stuck Berta in the garage for surgery. That one bad foot was so hot Mr Moth burned his hand on it an hour later. Holy Toledo.
She seems good now, though.
That one day of driving around scraping reminded me of olden times. I once drove with almost no brakes for the better part of a year. It sounds reckless and thoughtless and inconsiderate of the safety of others now. At the time, I was twenty-something and I needed to go to the grocery store, so I went. I drove slowly, and I was careful, and I went places during low traffic times and took the least-travelled routes, but I went because I felt I had to go.
I try to keep these kinds of things in mind when my middle-aged self disapproves of the reckless, thoughtless, and inconsiderate activities of the new batch of impoverished twenty-somethings.
Perspective. It's everything. Really, everything. You'd think I wouldn't need constantly reminded of that at my age, but apparently, I do.
I seem plagued with gremlins lately. My programming instructor emailed me to say the zip file with my assignment wouldn't unzip and could I please resend. How obnoxious (of the file, not the instructor). That is the class where I got the two big ZEROs, and I don't need more issues.
Windows has been updating for twelve hours. Sheesh.
Artemis the ckatten bit through Zor's alarm clock cord--it's a miracle she hasn't electrocuted herself--so now I am the alarm clock. Yay. It's a fun job.
Today we review for midterms. More fun.
One thing I am (at least a little bit) excited about is my class blog project, but I'm keeping it close to the vest because maybe it stinks but I don't know it yet. Regardless, there should be more to it before it's unveiled, in my opinion. It's fiction, and it reads kind of YA-ish, but that's (at least partly) because blogs kind of have to be first person present (-ish) and it also has to be rated PG due to the fact that it's hosted on the school servers.
I noticed the crude website I made last term is still up, even though I actually graduated and re-enrolled in the meanwhile. I bet I could change it to, say, PG-13 and no one would know.
I've been awake an entire 56 minutes and my eyes are still streaming. Maybe this is an allergy thing. I don't feel more allergic than usual in any other way though.
Another challenge I do not need.
Mr Moth's eyes are all wet and weaselly too, so maybe it is allergies. When I talked to her last night, I should have asked her how my brother Squabby the Swabby is doing. He's so allergic to fall, he's like the canary in the mineshaft. I didn't think of it, though.
I was going to write about the muse today, but my muse is dead, or at least comatose, and technically it's day #12.
I just finished the last of the projects that were supposed to be finished last Friday (the day I fell asleep and forgot what day it was and pulled in two big ZEROs.) One of the Friday projects I did turn in only got a C, so I'm going to correct that one also. If there are enough "correct and resubmit" opportunities left in the semester, I might get everything turned in.
Assuming my freaking eye ever stops watering. Sheesh. It's just been gushing all day. Just the one, not both. I'm not sure whether that's annoying or something to be thankful for. Grr.
My new blog (which is a class requirement, and I may share it later if it shapes up nicely, but not yet) has not been picked up by google, boo.
And apple/itunes never emailed me a confirmation about my podcast submission, which is not earning them any love for me since submitting the podcast is the MAIN PART OF THE GRADE.
On the upside, I mysteriously seem to understand compounded interest. O.o
reading, all things. other people's stories, books--especially non-fiction!, magazines, websites. I would love to read more about graphic design, new media, dogs, cars, the world. but, built like I am and always on the brink of sensory and emotional overload, when I get a few minutes I mostly feel the need to spend them decompressing.
cleaning. I'm tired of my house being grungy and fur-covered around the edges. okay, so it will always probably have a high degree of fur, but the grunge is irritating me.
more specifically, cleaning my desk. it's a rat's nest of crapola. seriously. and because I hate visual clutter, I find myself clearing the top by shoving the crapola into the drawers, where I don't have to look at it all the time, but I still know it's there...mocking me.
or hey, writing in general
friendships (wow, look how far down I was on the list before I thought of this one)
people (mom, mr moth, zor, friends, you name them and I've been neglecting them)
video games (yeah, I know. I miss Harvest Moon.)
cooking. I have this no-longer-brand-new stove (Regan the Possessed) that's rarely had anything cooked on or in that doesn't qualify as convenience food because I'm always harried, hassled, or just plain exhausted. mind you, I'm not inclined to fancy cooking--I don't know as I've ever watched the food network--but I miss doing real cooking. like meatloaf. or pot roast. or lasagna. or pretty much anything that doesn't primarily involve the microwave and/or a box.
And the number one thing I wish I had more time for: doing not a damn thing, preferrably while sitting on the deck of an evening with dogs.