Wednesday, March 28, 2007

the last two weeks (a summary in list form)

Much has transpired since my last post...too much to tell you about in narrative form, so I've decided to make a list highlighting some main points of the happenings of the past few weeks. Feel free to ask for more details on any of the following items if you'd like.

Things I've learned, re-learned, or realized in the past few weeks:
  • Procrastination really is my worst enemy. No matter how much time I have to accomplish a task, I will probably waste about 80% of it before I actually start working.

  • If your car is traveling at approximately 60 mph toward the south and a wild turkey is flying at approximately 5 mph toward the north, and if your car and the wild turkey collide, this could result in your driver's side view mirror being abruptly and forcefully detached from your car. The wild turkey, however, will be fine.

  • "But I'm doing comprehensive exams" is not actually a good reason to suspend your diet for approximately two weeks.

  • You can't suspend your diet for approximately two weeks and expect that there we be no adverse effects (i.e., gaining 5 pounds).

  • Rolos are not as good as I remember. They tasted much better when I was a kid.

  • McDonald's french fries dipped in sweet & sour sauce, Braums mixes, Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets and waffle fries, and Heath bars are as good as I remember.

  • I can only carry about 9 library books without the aid of some kind of bag or container. Any more than this requires an extra trip.

  • Spending 8 hours a day in a dimly lit 4' x 4' cubicle in the library could probably be employed as a successful method of torture. Put terrorists in a study carrel in Mullins Library, and they'll probably be talking in just a few short days. We get valuable intel, and they get to keep their fingers and toes. It's what we call a win-win. For speedier results, force them to read New Directions for Child Development while in said study carrel.

  • Speaking of win-win, your students will really like you if you extend the due dates for two assignments, push back the date of informative speeches, and give them a "library day" to catch up on everything.

  • UPS employs some of the least intelligent people on the planet.

  • Having to cite everything you write is absolutely maddening (Norris & Kern, 2003).

  • Writing a paper about Walker, Texas Ranger is not as fun as it sounds, even if the episode contains a good guy getting whacked by a drug dealer and the ensuing avenging of the good guy's murder.

Well, I think that's about it for now. For better or worse, I'll be done with comps on Friday, at which point I will be extremely interested in getting out of this study carrel and having some interaction with humans! (In other words, call me & let's go do something fun that doesn't involve writing about 142 journal articles.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

birthday card

My grandparents are awesome and hilarious. Last year, they sent me a birthday card with two very hunky shirtless guys on the front. This year, my birthday card had just a flower on the front, but the greeting inside is hilarious:

Dear Granddaughter,
Granddad and I were in Hot Springs and thought of sending you money early. Then on second thought, we thought about celebrating your birthday by buying ourselves presents. We did and had fun for you. We are sending you what we had left. Enjoy a late birthday.
Grandlene and Granddad

I wish I could be retired hanging out in Hot Springs all the time! That would be the life. I wonder what my grandparents bought for themselves in my honor. Whatever it was, I'm glad they had $50 leftover to send to the destitute (me).

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

a few points of interest

First of all, I'd like to congratulate Angie for winning the IRS tax refund challenge with her guess of $350. I'm actually getting $559 back, but considering hers was the only guess after everyone went over, I guess she wins. Congratulations, Angie...I'll send you a cookie soon. Maybe even two (no, six; no, twelve; BAKER'S DOZEN)!

The next item on today's agenda is an interesting short documentary about wood spiders. Scientists gave these little spiders various psychoactive drugs to see how they affected their web-building habits. I'd love for you all to watch this and tell me what you think.

(If you're having trouble viewing it, try here, or search YouTube for "spiders on drugs.")
Thanks to my new friend Jeff for bringing this riveting educational video to my attention.

Have a nice day, all. And watch out for those spiders on crack-cocaine, suckas.

Friday, February 23, 2007

to cane hill

On my personalized Google homepage, I have a module called "WikiHow," which gives me links to a different "how-to" article each day. They're often quite amusing. For instance, last week I read an article called "How to Make an Origami Jumping Frog." I didn't attempt it, but the instructions seemed quite thorough. A few days ago, I read "How to Start a Conversation With Someone on the Train, Bus, or Subway," which was quite possibly written by a stalker of some kind, but was interesting nonetheless.

Today on WikiHow, I learned the step-by-step process of starting a rock band. One of the steps is, of course, naming the band. According to the article, here are some suggestions for giving your rock band a "sweet name":

  • Use a term from math or science. For example, Planck's Constant would be a cool name for a rock band. (I found this suggestion quite humorous considering that I have a friend in a band named String Theory, which they stole straight from a physics book.)

  • Use a name that doesn't make sense. Some examples include Infernal Snow, Anti INFO, and Diving for Betty.

  • Use a phrase from a road sign, like No Soliciting, Two Hour Parking, or Emergency Vehicles Only.

  • Look to the objects around you for inspiration. Legal Notepad or 1960 Exercise Bike could both be cool names for a rock band.

  • Find the nearest book, go to page 56, paragraph 2, line 3, words 5, 6, and 7. That will be your band name.

This last suggestion really intrigued me. I grabbed the nearest book (a Charlie Chaplin biography I'm reading for my film class), and I turned to page 56, paragraph 2, line 3, words 5, 6, and 7, and there it was. There were those three fateful words that would be the name of my rock band:

To Cane Hill

I thought it was a pretty sweet name--too sweet to not actually belong to a rock band. So I'm starting one. I can sing and play a mean cowbell, but I'm looking for two guitar players, a drummer, a bass player, and maybe a songwriter and a few backup singers. Let me know if you're interested.

Friday, February 16, 2007

the death of a camera: a eulogy

Oh, dearest Canon PowerShot A85...where do I begin?

From the moment I bought you at Circuit City in November of 2004, I knew we would become inseparable. You were always at my side when I needed help with a photojournalism assignment, and you helped me document all the unforgettable moments of my last year of college. Who could forget these classics?

The "Leah is displeased" face:
A riveting game of Trivial Pursuit:

Kamara's hilarious antics:

The root beer taste test challenge:

A late-night trip to Club Red in Twilight Zone style:

Yes, those were some great times you and I had together, PowerShot. You were a true friend. But you didn't stop after my last year of college. You were there for me through all kinds of other adventures:

Dinner after Mamma Mia:

Making great new friends:

Passing the legendary pink aviators on to the legendary Ross (girl):

Capturing Dad and Ross (boy) in their true element:

Learning to act like you appreciate high art when, in reality, you don't understand it and couldn't care less:
You were always there, PowerShot, through the exciting and the mundane, through the bliss and the sorrow, through the traveling and the returning home, through the exciting and the not-so-exciting events of my life. You gave it your all, even through your last two photos:

I am quite sad to have lost you, but I am eternally thankful that you never had the chance to see the end coming. Rest assured that Angie feels terrible for the beer bath that ultimately led to your death. It was truly an accident, and if anyone deserves to be blamed, it's the waitress who kept bring us the crappy keg beer that nobody ordered.

I will sincerely miss you, PowerShot. I hope we will meet again someday.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

i love you, internal revenue service

I did my taxes this weekend. Leave a comment and guess how much money I'm getting back from the federal government. The person who guesses the closest without going over will get a prize!

(Hint: start your bidding no lower than $200.)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

car trouble

So, I'm trying to be a good Honda owner by taking my car in for every scheduled maintenance. I've never actually taken great care of any of my cars, and they always seem to break down, fall apart, or otherwise render themselves useless in some form or fashion. I'm hoping that by following the maintenance schedule religiously, it might actually save me money in the long run.

A few weeks ago, I took my car in for its scheduled 45,000 mile maintenance (even though the odometer read 50k, but better late than never). I asked them to check out the transmission because, as my dad so eloquently put it, "It's not shifting right." Turns out, the poor Honda needed a new transmission.

Luckily, my car is still under warranty because it was a certified pre-owned Honda! My warranty covered everything--even a rental car to drive while old Hank (that's Honda's name, tentatively) was in the shop. I was hoping for some fancy new Honda to drive around, but this is what they gave me instead:

Isn't it amazing?! I thought it was hilarious! And you know, at some point, you have to admit that a mini van is really the most efficient way to drive, especially if you want to have room for tons of stuff but still get decent gas mileage.

I could definitely see myself in a mini van someday--me, Angie, and our 43 cats.

Monday, January 15, 2007

1) i'm sorry! and 2) class update

Item #1:
For a long time now, I've been convinced that nobody is reading my blog anymore. Actually, I was pretty sure nobody had been reading it since, oh...the beginning of last summer. The lack of comments was largely the reason I haven't been posting much at all lately. But today, I switched from "old blogger" to "new blogger." As soon as I logged in to "new blogger," I had 37 comments to approve!

So, to all of you who've been commenting over the past six months, I'm sorry! I definitely did not mean to ignore you! I feel like a huge insensitive idiot, and I apologize. Now that I'm on top of the blogger game, I'll do my best to a) post more, and b) respond to your comments.

(To those of you reading on Facebook, this probably doesn't apply.)

Item #2:
Thanks for your help with my "Agh! What class should I take?" crisis. I decided to do option 1, the class with the professor who hates me but still gives me A's anyway. I hope this pattern holds true!

School starts Tuesday, and I am, of course, ill-prepared. Look forward to a "woe is me" post later this week...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

decisions (help!)

My dear readers (if you're still out there),

I know it's been a ghastly long time since I've posted, and I do sincerely apologize. But, as the title states, my life is terribly mundane, so there's not all that much to write about. I am going to make a concerted effort to write more, though, so hopefully I can provide somebody with some entertainment or at least aid you in your procrastination at work or school.

Speaking of school, it's that time of year again. Classes start Tuesday, and usually I'm looking forward to it at least a little bit...but this year, I genuinely loathe school already--and it hasn't even begun! If that's any indication, it looks like I'm in for a fantastic semester (ha!).

I still have to add one more class, and I can't decide what to take. All of my options are far less than stellar. Here is my schedule so far:
Tues: teach 8:00 - 11:00, class from 12:30 to 2:00
Wed: class from 2:30 - 5:30
Thurs: same as tuesday

I have three options:
1) A Monday afternoon class from 2:30 - 5:30 with a teacher who I'm pretty sure hates me for my political beliefs, and probably other various reasons as well. Also, his reading assignments are impossible. But, I've already had two classes with this professor and have made A's both times, and he is on my committee for comprehensive exams. The class is about media entertainment and how we process it. It might be good background for law school because I'm thinking about concentrating in entertainment/intellectual property law.

2) A Tuesday/Thursday class at 11:00. This would give me four classes in a row on T/Th; I'd be in class from 8:00 to 2:00 with no breaks. This class is a journalism class called Community Newspaper. I'm worried this class entails lots of work--not difficult work necessarily (probably no research papers involved), but detail-oriented work, like reporting and writing, in loathsome amounts. But, I love the professor, and I think he's fond of me as well, which could fare well for me in the end.

3) A Tuesday/Thursday class at 9:30 called Children and the Media. This would require me to switch my 9:30 teaching class for one on T/Th from 3:30 - 5:00. I really like this professor, but I'm already taking another class with him this semester, and he's the director of my comps committee. So, I fear if I rearrange my entire schedule just to take this class, I'll seem like a star-crazed groupie. This is not an image I want to project.

If you were me, what would you do?