Monday, December 31, 2012

i'll admit that i was glad it was over

today is the last day of this year, and i was originally thinking of putting together one of those big compilation posts of all the big moments of twenty-twelve, but i just really don't have the time or motivation for that anymore. and anyway, this year kind of sucked. i mean, yes, there were a bunch of really great things that happened, but yesterday just reminded me of all the ways that this was perhaps one of the worst years so far, and you know what? i'm glad it's over. i'm not one to celebrate new year's, as i've mentioned on this blog a few times before, and though i don't really think that every new year gives you a fresh start and a clean slate, i kind of wish it did. i think we could all use a do-over.

but next year is going to be awesome i've decided. for me, at least. (that sounds a lot more selfish than i intend it to.) the first day of this year i said i was going to do something productive or get into the phd program. obviously i went down the second route. and though thoughts of dropping out have, at least for the moment, been shelved, i will still do something productive this year. phd or no phd. i have finally gotten sick of my aimless existence, and though my idea of doing something with my life may be completely different from the average idea, i will still do it. whatever it turns out to be. 

i've always felt new year resolutions to be kind of stupid, so i'm not going to post a bunch on here, but i have ideas of things to do with the year, and if i get a couple of them done, i will be a very happy camper. if resolutions are your thing, good luck with them. if you like to stay up and welcome in the new year with confetti and balloons, then have fun with that. as for me, i'll probably be asleep, but i will be just as happy for the clock to strike midnight and end this year as the rest of you. 

*Somebody that I Used to Know -Gotye

Friday, December 28, 2012

i'm so tired, but i can't sleep... standin' on the edge of something much too deep

stressed stressed stressed stressed stressed stressed stressed. that is how i am feeling these days. and tired. oh so tired. i can't remember what a decent night's sleep is, and i'm bitterly starting to hate the people who do. last night, my mind - never one to pass up an opportunity to make me miserable - continued with its three week marathon of providing me with anxiety dreams.

this time i was taking three classes: a math-ish class, a computer-ish class, and an english-ish class. i was also helping some little girl with a speech for sga secretary because her parents sucked and were too busy for her and she wanted friends and people to listen to her and she thought that sga was the perfect solution. only, because i was helping her with her speech, i was late to my math exam. so then i start running across campus and realize that i've forgotten where my math classroom even is, and i keep running into people who stopped to talk despite me telling them that i was late for an exam, and i was trying to study while running because i hadn't gotten a chance to earlier because i had been writing a paper for my english class which i still hadn't finished. and then my books and notes and everything flew out of my hands and i had to waste precious time gathering them all up. anyway, i ended up getting to my exam super late and only filled out only a few questions. i got a 66 out of 38,095,647. i remember the number clearly because it is the lowest grade i've ever gotten. even in my dreams. it was about then that i woke up totally stressed, and couldn't go back to sleep because, even though at that point i knew it was dream, i had still just bombed an exam and my body was acting accordingly. to get myself back to sleep i decided to "fix" it. as i fell back into one of those more daydreaming than actually sleeping things, i went to the professor and begged for a make-up exam. i remember lots of tears, which i think might have transferred over from my dream to real life judging from my puffy eyes when i woke up. anyway, he finally agreed to give me another chance and told me to talk to the TA who made the exam. unfortunately, in my attempts to get a make-up i had blown off helping the girl with her speech and it ended up being totally awful and now she was mad at me and not secretary. so i told her that we would make a club and she would be vice president and i'd get a bunch of other kids to join and she'd have friends. then i went to talk to the TA, and she was telling me what to study for the test and she was throwing in chapters that the book didn't even have and mixing stuff in from other classes. one of the questions was to describe the importance of live response in network forensics and then do a perfect split. i can't do splits to save my life (or my grade) and the gymnastics part of the question was worth more than the other part. and the worst part was that the make-up was the exact same time as my exam for my computer class so i was trying to do both in bathroom breaks. and the two exams took place when i told the little girl to meet me so she was mad at me again. and i missed the deadline for my english paper, and the professor was not taking any late submissions. and it was just awful. one part of my brain would think of someway to fix everything and the other part would just as quickly think of three more ways that it could go wrong again. and then in the midst of all that two of my cousins were my step-sisters who were super obnoxious and "perfect." and i kept missing family dinners because of the school stuff and they would make a big show out of being there which got me grounded and i had to sneak out of the house to go to my exam which got me in more trouble. and at one point i think i might have been a teenage boy with some rash on my face and i was looking everywhere for cortisone but it had all disappeared from the world. and now i am tired and still slightly panicky and facing a day full of studying for things that will make me even more nervous. yay.

remember that happy post i had a while back? yeah stress made all of that go away super fast. here's hoping that next week will be the last week of the stress for a very long time.

*I Will Remember You - Sarah McLachlan

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

have yourself a merry little christmas

i spent a good part of yesterday post-it tabbing/outlining three seven hundred page computer text books so that they'll be easier to search through in an open book exam. that's over two thousand pages of tools and networks and incident response and god knows what else (my brain stopped registering what i was skimming about two thirds into the second book as a way to keep sane). and now i still have to go back and study all of that material, plus two other classes worth of stuff. as i sit here with a pile of printed notes and text books taunting me, i can't help but wonder how i - the girl who firmly believed for twenty-two years that vacations and school just do not mix. ever. when all the cool kids were taking summer classes in college, i was letting my brain slowly rot with books and movies and pool and family gossip - found myself voluntarily spending the first three weeks of my winter vacation studying of all things. because in spite of everything, this is all completely voluntary. i can complain about the format of the program and the reasons i applied to it in the first place, but at the end of the day i made a choice to start it and to continue with it. so this torture i am suffering right now? completely self-inflicted. (and why is it that self-inflicted pain is frowned upon unless there is a "good reason" for it? talk about ends justifying the means mentality.)

and how is it already christmas? i haven't had a chance to listen to any christmas music this month (i think i've heard maybe three songs since thanksgiving). i haven't gone on a drive through the neighborhoods to look at christmas lights. i didn't get any holiday themed drinks from starbucks. i haven't seen a single christmas movie. not one. not even harry potter when abc family throws it into their christmas movie line-up. despite not celebrating the holiday, christmas season is one of my most favorite times of the year, and i completely missed it this year. i don't even know what i was doing as it passed by completely unnoticed by me. writing papers? preparing presentations? watching old tv shows on dvd? what kind of excuses are those? pathetic ones.

if you're celebrating anything today, then i hope you have a wonderful day. if you're not celebrating anything today, then i hope you have a wonderful day, too.

*Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland

Friday, December 21, 2012

it's not the end of the world now, darling

so the world was supposed to end today. or something. to be honest, i completely forgot about that whole thing until i was flooded with facebook statuses saying that it didn't end. but anyway, in light of the fact that there still is a world, i thought that maybe i should stop being lazy and come write an actual blog post.

i had my last final tuesday, and my qual exams start january seventh. tomorrow is my first qual study group and i decided to stop thinking from tuesday until then because my brain is tired of trying to be smart.

a kid in one of my classes that skipped more often than not missed his final presentation. which was worth twenty percent of his grade. i used to be a big class skipper, but there are just some things that you do not miss. final presentations are one of those things. i don't understand why you would even take a class if you're going to miss everything.

the killers came to mason again on tuesday. last time they were here i had a final presentation and couldn't see them. this time they came (thanks to sandy and her not causing us any damage but still getting our finals pushed back a week) i had a final. i am starting to think that school will always be in the way of me seeing them.

i really wish i had something more exciting to tell you, but end of semester stuff has pretty much taken over my life. after refusing to clean my apartment for weeks because i was "too busy with school" it is finally clean. qual exam prep will start shortly and then hopefully those will be out of the way. i am also working on a few different writing projects (some that may have potential to be shared with the world and some that are only for me), so that hopefulness of writerly things to come that i had earlier is still hanging around.

*It's Not the End of the World (But I Can See It From Here) - Lostprophets

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

i'm not sad anymore

draft last saved: august eighth, two thousand and twelve, eleven:twenty-four am.

i wander around blank pages and the nothingness presses down on me until my knees are buckling and my back is breaking and my shouts for help are being shoved down to my toes. i'm overwhelmed by the possibilities that are hiding just out of reach. i know they're here somewhere, but i also know that they are no longer for me to see. i can no longer make something out of nothing, i cannot take the page and make it sing. my words have run dry and my creativity slipped away under the cover of night.

maybe it's an excess of fear or a deficiency in sadness. it could be the pressures of expectation or the weightlessness of content that has me floating above the meanings and filling my hands with vapor instead of substance. all i know is that i had something once, and now i don't.

you're waiting for me to regale you with epic battles and tear stained images, but i have no more stories. i have no more words. i have no more need to pour my mind onto paper and share it with the world. i also have no more tears, and no more nights trying to outrun the monsters in my head.

and if this is the price that i must pay for that, so be it.

*My Last Semester - The Wonder Years

Monday, December 17, 2012

you can't always get what you want

draft last saved: august eighth, two thousand and twelve, twelve:twenty-one pm.

i want to write about the fact that the world is my oyster: that it is cramped, gritty, slimy, and taking way too long to grow a pearl.

i want to write about dead people who aren't here to tell you to live your life better, because they are far more concerned about the way their family has completely moved on without them.

i want to write about grey skies and sucking poetry out of my bone marrow and a boy who saw too little.

i want to write about a black hole named anna and the ticking of the second hand.

but i've always been told that we don't always get what we want, so instead i'll write about nothing.

*You Can't Always Get What You Want - The Rolling Stones

Friday, December 14, 2012

i went down, down, down and the flames went higher

draft last saved: august eighth, two thousand and twelve, twelve:thirty-four pm.

let me burn
let my skin bubble
and my blood boil
let me melt in the heat of the fire

anything but this reflection,
this waiting,
this constant wondering when and how and where

let me skip the judgement
let me pass the scales and instead
be thrown onto the coals
red hot and scorching
let the reek of burning flesh invade my senses
let me not be purified by time but
let my sins be burned from my body
by unforgiving flames

let my apologies be ripped from my soul
and shouted to the heavens
let them not be well-phrased and rehearsed

let me burn, burn, burn,
because purgatory is a fate far worse than hell

(inspired by the author's comments on this poem.)

*Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash

Thursday, December 13, 2012

wish you were here with me, wish i was there with you

draft last saved: august fourteenth, two thousand and twelve, eleven:fifty-five am.

i wish you were still around. actually, no, i wish that i wished you were still around. i wish i didn't hate you so much and that the thought of seeing you didn't make me want to jump off the balcony. i wish i wasn't so melodramatic.

it's just that i'm empty now, and i think that you could be my ink. i have no more words, but you always seemed to be spitting them out like they were filling up your closet and you really needed room for your shoes. i could take some off your hands. i have no emotions, but i remember you crying and laughing and shouting three times a day. maybe you could share some with me. it's okay if you only want to give me the bad. they were always my favorite anyway.

because i'm no longer an empty canvas, but i never quite made it to masterpiece. i am covered in scribbles and strike outs and there is no place for me to add anything that has any chance of being seen, of being distinguished from the mess of mistakes i've tried to hide. but i think the brightness of your red would be pretty against my dull grey. i think people would stop to read if it stood out like that. i think i might still have a chance if you were still around.

i wish you weren't the kind of person that's so much better when they're far away.

*30 Minute Boyfriend - Julian Casablancas

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

on a day like today

as you are all probably already aware (if facebook statuses are any indication of what the majority of the world is aware of) today, 12/12/12, is the last repeating date that we will see for a while. (no, it is not the last repeating date ever, as some people keep insisting. i mean, okay, maybe it's the last one that we'll personally see, but another one will come around eventually. unless the world ends before that, of course.) and while i have a friend that is getting married today which is pretty awesome, i do not think that the day needs to be filled with anything truly spectacular just for the sake of commemorating it. i'll be spending the day studying for a final and making donuts. nothing special.

i have been getting emails about the qual exams that are coming up in less than a month, and that is starting to freak me out a bit. i try to remind myself that they are just tests, and - not to brag or anything, but - i'm pretty good at test taking. i try to tell myself that i'll be fine, but then i get panicky emails saying that we should all meet up every single day to try and learn things and my stomach drops down to make friends with my feet, and i wonder if i'm taking these a little too nonchalantly.

anyway, while going through my drafts yesterday in an attempt to find a note that i know i saved in them (i didn't find it, but with close to two hundred drafts i'm still sure that it's in there somewhere) i found a lot of my writing that i had almost completely forgotten about. a lot of it is the start of pieces that i was supposed to go back and finish but never did. some are the bare bones of things that i never went back to flesh out. and then there are the random thoughts that were supposed to inspire pieces and never did. since the ideas were never actually given life, though, i still find myself writing and rewriting them into other failed pieces, sometimes without even realizing that they are so overused. so i decided to just post them all and get them out of my system. since i'm pretty preoccupied with school and bunnies and family and whatnot, and haven't been blogging regularly anyway, i thought this was a perfect time. plus, hopefully i'll get them all posted by the end of the month, and then i can start fresh next year.

so starting tomorrow i will be bringing drafts back to life. some of them i like and some i don't, but they'll all get a chance. so bear with me as i go through this winter cleaning please.

*On a Day Like Today - Keane

Saturday, December 8, 2012

and she's so confident that she's what everybody wants

last week, which consisted of two presentations, a ten page paper, two homework assignments, etc, is finally over. and thank god for that. now i'm at my favorite part of the semester: finals. when all the work is done (possibly), when everything that could be learned was learned (or not), and all you have left is a test that you either study for or not, but that's it. no more busy work. and i hate busy work.

anyway, school is definitely not what i want to talk about today. i'm planning on planting myself on the couch for the entirety of today and catching up on all the shows that i have been missing to do school stuff. with a few darcy breaks thrown in there.

but before i do that, have you guys heard about how jk rowling is working with bbc to turn the casual vacancy into a tv series? now, i liked the book, i did. but it was extremely slow starting. if any other book took two hundred pages to hook me, i probably would have put it down and never looked at it again. if any other book had that cover or that synopsis, i likely wouldn't have picked it up to begin with. and let's just be frank here and say that if anyone else had tried to publish it they would still be getting rejection letters in the mail. but because it was jk rowling, we all gave it way more of a chance than we would have had she tried to do this pre-potter.

and i hate to admit this, but i'm starting to feel that jk rowling is just like fifty shades of grey. before you get all in a huff, i do not mean that she writes crap. i am a huge potter fan and a few lines up said that i liked her new book, too, remember? i just mean that, things are getting done because she has a guaranteed fan base. why does twilight fanfiction continuously find its way to publishing deals? because it already has a ton of readers and dedicated fans. rowling and her agents and her publishers can talk themselves blue in the face about how her new book is this amazing, earth-shattering, completely new look at life in a small english town, but we all know that it would have never gotten off the ground if they didn't assume that at least eighty percent of the people who read potter would read this just because she wrote it. and the people who didn't read potter would read it because they knew her name and were curious about her writing but never could stomach children's fantasy. and that's okay, because what good is becoming a world famous author if you can't publish that unpublishable book that you wrote just because you wanted to?

however, if she wasn't "the celebrated jk rowling," do you think that that book would have gotten a tv series? absolutely not. but they know that they are guaranteed viewers because she wrote the book and is working on the series. i mean, i'm happy for her, i really am. (or as happy as i can be for someone who i feel has always sort of regarded her fans with a certain measure of disdain. i'm not sure what it is about her, but i always get that feeling whenever i watch her interviews.) i just don't like the idea that books are getting published and then interpreted to screens (big or small) just because they know they'll get money out of it. i mean, i totally get it, but i just don't like it.

and no, this is not just bitterness and jealousy from someone who wants to be published but, having no guaranteed fan base, probably never will be, or maybe it is a little. i'm not sure. either way, i'll probably end up watching the series and then hating myself for playing into their hands and supporting this idea that the only things worth taking a chance on are the things where no chance is needed.

*The One I'm Waiting For - Relient K

Saturday, December 1, 2012

this is surely not what you thought it would be

when you're little you're supposed to dream about growing up. you still haven't reached double digit ages, and you spend recess playing house with your friends. you use tree branches to sweep the dust from your dirt floor and argue over who gets to be the mom and who has to be the dad, because you just found out that boys have cooties and there's enough for you to clean without inviting cooties into your place. you are the dad again, and you don't really mind because he gets to play on the jungle gym while the mom has to pick wild onions for dinner and make sure the house is clean for when you get back.

Evening is falling, and the room is getting dim. No one gets up to turn on the light. At the dining room table, she watches her two sons dip apple slices into cinnamon. 

when you're little, you don't realize that your most important memories and the biggest milestones of your life rarely overlap. for twelve years you wait for your high school graduation, and you don't realize until afterwards that it was a let down. you felt more excitement and more pride walking across the stage for NHS and winning the science fair in sixth grade than you did for this. no one tells you that choosing wedding songs and picking out a dress and worrying over what the cake will look like results in a night that you can just barely remember. what you do remember is having your friend point out your crush during graduation rehearsal. what you remember is dancing on stage with your family when everyone else has left and trying to brush out all the bobby pins and spray from your hair afterwards.

"Mommy," he asks. "Can I have sixty-nine dollars?"
"Um... well, why?" she responds. 

when you're little, they forget to tell you that not all problems get resolved by the end credits. there are no commercial breaks, and time goes by too fast and too slow all at once. the boys that chase you on the playground say that you're ugly, and they tell you that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you. you are rubber, and everything bad will just bounce right off of you. they don't tell you that the wounds from words have kept them up every single night of their life, and that they don't warn you that you'll be facing the same fate. you rub your fingers over your arm and try not to think about the fact that you don't feel like rubber.

"Oh, 'cause I want to buy you a toy," he says.
"What kind of toy?" she asks.

when you're little, you're given a checklist and a stopwatch and told to get everything done before the time runs out. you race around checking off school and college and marriage and kids. by the time the buzzer sounds, their checklist is completed, but yours still hasn't been touched. you're eighteen and dreaming about backpacking across europe and sailing around the world. you're thinking of getting famous and making a difference. if someone tells you that the only places you'll ever go are the places you've already seen, and the only things you'll ever do are things that have already been done, you laugh in their face.

"A barbie," he says.

you're little and the whole class is your friend, except that one girl who made fun of you when you threw up your lunch all over your desk and that other girl who tells everyone that you stole her crayons. you have more people around you than you can talk to in a day, and there are so many games to play that you're afraid you'll never get through them all. they don't tell you that before you know it, you'll be able to count your friends on one hand. they don't say that soon you'll come upon the day where you won't have anything to do but sit around and worry about what you're doing with your life.

The younger boy holds out a handful of cinnamon. "Mommy," he says. "Want some se-a-ma?"

you're little and you have no idea that the future is so lonely. you're little and you can't even imagine how tired you'll grow up to be. you're little and you're full of hope and love and trust, and they don't tell you to hold on to that tighter than you hold on to anything else. they don't tell you that that's the first thing to leave you. you're little and you can't imagine how much one person's fate could mean to you, how you'll wake up at night just to check and make sure they're still breathing. you're little and you will never be as happy as you are right now.

"No thanks, babe. No thanks," she says. 


remember when i used to write things that didn't suck? blah. i cannot write anymore. as is obvious by this. but it's been way too long, and i figure if i push through unpoetic thoughts with little emotion i can eventually find my way back. everything in italics is taken from a facebook status of my sister's.

*Speak Now - Taylor Swift 

Friday, November 30, 2012

i'm in no hurry, you go run and tell your friends

my sister recently put up a facebook status congratulating me on getting darcy. only she worded it in a way that, well... had people congratulating me on being pregnant. except for most of my cousins who, as i just found out this morning, were just telling anyone with ears that i was expecting. (yay gossipy family?) anyway, i know that everyone wants me to have a baby (because it is obviously their business), but it's getting a little ridiculous how quickly they will jump to that conclusion. besides calling me pregnant (as if stating that i am will make it true), any time my sisters mention anything about me on facebook i start getting people congratulating me. even when the wording does not imply that i am. (for example, congratulating me on getting into the phd program was obviously code for having a baby. i mean, duh.)

and, i just have to say, that i am not the kind of person that will announce huge, life-changing events like that through my sisters' facebook statuses. and i can't really decide if the fact that they think i am is more insulting to me or them. on the one hand, i would like to think that i could find a classier way to announce things, maybe including lace and chocolate pearls, and i would like for them to think that, too. but on the other hand, do they really think that i care that little about them that i wouldn't tell them if i had news, and instead would let them find out through facebook? i mean, really.

in other news, i finished this year's nanovel the night before last. yes, once i crossed the fifty word mark i just rushed an ending along the lines of: ginny gets taken. ron erases lockhart's memory. harry fights a big snake and voldemort's memory. they are all okay, and gryffindor wins. the end. (not my plot, but you get the point.) and yes, that seems really weird after ninety some pages filled with word-padding sentences like "she said to him out loud, with her voice spoken loudly, as she looked over to her right because that's where he was standing and not on her left because there was no one on her left, there was just empty space, because he was standing to her right." but i figure if i ever want to go back to this one then i'll have the bare bones of the story and i can fatten it up with real sentences and plot points that don't consist of pages deciding whether the visiting uncle should sleep on the couch or take the brother's room. yeah, it's pretty bad, but at least i can say i wrote fifty thousand words in a month again.

*Losing Touch - The Killers

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

every new beginning comes from another beginning's end

it's an exciting time to be living in our household, let me tell you. we are all about new beginnings and rekindling dreams and giving things a shot. (don't worry, though, there is still plenty of time being wasted sitting on the couch watching stupid tv shows and eating brownies.)

first of all, my fourth grade dream of owning a bunny was realized last night when my husband got me this guy:

(ignore the mess in the background and the fact that the lighting isn't great because it was dark (as it tends to get when the sun goes down) and our lights kind of suck in this apartment.) his name is fitzsarah darcy, or just darcy for short, and he is adorable and has a ridiculously sweet temperament.

second of all, my sister recently read my 2011 nanovel and said it had promise. i never opened the story after i finished nano last year, but remember really liking the idea of it before i started. so now i am re-excited about it and once i get my fifty thousand words for this nano finished, i will go back and take a second look at it. remember three years ago when i said that i was going to edit sincerely, mr. nobody and start sending it out to agents, but never did? yeah, well, this time i am planning to actually get further into the editing than the first three chapters and do this for real. i'm kind of stupidly excited about it, though i still haven't read the story myself so i don't know how discouraged i will get after that. (i painted my nails to look like pages in a book, though, and i think that that shows writerly promise, don't you?)

third, my husband also brought home a new tv last night, which he is super excited about. (though to be honest i kind of miss the way that the picture would stay printed on the screen for a few seconds every time a scene ended with our old one. enough people have told me i'm being stupid for that, though.)

finally, my husband is finishing his master's this semester (in like, two weeks) and i will be maybe dropping out of school next semester (but even if i don't it will be the last semester i take classes. like ever.) and the end of being married students is both liberating and terrifying and a slew of other emotions, but it is also a new beginning so it deserves to be listed here.

long story short, change is in the air, and though i am the biggest advocate of anti-change, exciting things may be happening.

*Closing Time - Green Day

Thursday, November 22, 2012

and if i never see your face again, i don't mind

one of the biggest pieces of news recently (and in light of everything that's going on everywhere i find this a little sad, in the way that makes me feel that someone should be punched in the face) is that hostess is declaring bankruptcy and closing down. it is the end of the twinkie (at least until some other company decides to buy them and start reselling all of hostess's products). for maybe half a second, i was caught up in the overwhelming sadness and panic that the rest of the world seemed to be swept up in: no more twinkies?! how will we ever survive?! but then i remembered that i don't even like twinkies and moved on with my life.

in fact, i've never actually met anyone in real life that liked twinkies. pop culture likes to boast about how they're the greatest thing since putting cheese on a burger, and it seems like every other celebrity is claiming that its their favorite food, but real live people that i could reach my hand out and touch (despite the fact that that sounds a little creepy) have never once told me that the thing they love most in the world is a twinkie. 

every once and a while, my sister and i would get caught up in the hype of the twinkie. we'd be bombarded with references to its awesomeness and think, 'you know, maybe we're just remembering them wrong. maybe we got one that they forgot to inject with awesomeness. maybe we should try another twinkie.' and so we run out to 7-11 and pick up a couple. of course, after tearing open the wrapper in anticipation, taking a bite and chewing in slow motion to give it maximum dramatic effect, we are hit with the same thing we are always hit with: disappointment. i'm not saying twinkies are bad or anything, but i never seem to remember what they taste like besides disappointment. i would never choose a twinkie over a hoho is all i know.  

(i refer to this as the KISS phenomenon. i have never once met a KISS fan and yet on every movie and tv show i see they are toted as the greatest band ever. granted, the fact that they did a concert semi-recently must mean that someone has to like them, but i dunno. twinkies and KISS are mixed up in the worst conspiracy ever.)

so if the world really doesn't see another twinkie ever again, well, i think i might be okay with that. and deep down, i think every one else will be too, because if you stop to think about it, no one likes twinkies. 

just in case you were wondering, i'm more of a little debbie girl anyway. 

*If I Never See Your Face Again - Maroon 5

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

losing time in the in between

the great idea i had for my thesis that no one wanted to work with me on but that my forensics guy and i thought was absolutely fantastic has just been done by some company out in california. i can't bring myself to read the entire article because, well, i don't really know why. i mean, i was thinking of dropping out anyway. the only reason i was going to stay was because i thought this idea was something worth my time and effort. and now it's been taken by someone else - like my exact thing - and i think that i should feel a little relieved but instead i feel panic. a flood of 'oh god what am i supposed to do now?' and of course the obvious answer is to stop cowering from the real world behind a shield of academia and just get a move on with my life, but i have never really been one for obvious answers. so there's that.

and time has been disappearing on me just like my papaya nail polish and the best friend ring from my cousin did. i remember coming home from class on friday night, then waking up saturday morning, then eating pizza with my family sunday evening, and going out last night, but everything in between is just nothing. maybe i'm being possessed by voldemort. i have to admit i really wouldn't mind that too much of he could do me a favor and avada kedavra my group members that i just don't seem able to stand. at all. even though i've tried. 

i am so ready for this semester to be over. 

oh, and just in case you were wondering, nano is going very weirdly this year. it'll only get done because i refuse to even think that i could possibly lose. i keep forgetting key parts in the story that tie the two narratives together so i'll just throw a scene in the middle of nowhere that addresses the point and then continue on with my apparent inability to describe anything or give any sort of story line. it seems like a lot of dialogue with no story in between. for all the reader knows, i have characters floating around in a black void saying things emotionlessly. i used to write like that a lot, and then some wonderful person on the internet called me out on it, and i got better. i guess i'm regressing. 

*Lose Some Time - Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Monday, November 12, 2012

i know that it might sound more than a little crazy but i believe

so there's this thing where you google "died on" and then your birthday and the wikipedia article that comes up is who or what you were in your previous life. now, i don't believe in previous lives or anything, but a friend who did it is studying art and her guy was an art critic. her sister, a writer, did it and her guy was an author. that was coincidental enough for me to try it.

apparently, in my past life i was pierre desproges, a french humorist "famous for his elaborate, eloquent and above all, virulent diatribes criticizing anything and everything." and i couldn't help but notice that one of my favorite things to write on this blog was wannabe eloquent diatribes criticizing anything and everything. in fact, one of my favorite thing to do in general is find all the people and things on the internet that make me angry and then spend hours criticizing them to anyone who will listen. he also wrote in various formats, which is totally my dream. so yeah.

now, like i said, i don't believe in past lives or anything, but this is just weird. i could chalk it up to random coincidence, but what fun is that? instead, i'm going to propose my own solution. you remember in grade school when we were told time and time again that matter is neither created nor destroyed, it just gets transferred from one form to another? well, what if interests and talents and hobbies and whatnot follow the same rule? what if there are always the same number of writers on this earth? (or maybe the same amount of writerly talent and that can be hogged by one really talented person or distributed among a thousand semi-talented people.) what if there were only so many people interested in art, and whenever one died another one had to be born to take his/her place? it's kind of cool to think about.

*I Knew I Loved You - Savage Garden

Friday, November 9, 2012

i like to say that i hate school now, and while i really am sick of it and in desperate need of a break, i'm still the same nerdy third grader that i've always been. i still get that ridiculous smiley feeling inside when I get a paper back with comments pointing out my best points or when a professor ends an email saying that he was impressed with my midterm score. the "good work"s and the "great job"s from teachers whose opinions i care about never seem to get old, no matter how many times i say they do. getting an A+ from a professor that did not believe in pluses or minuses still makes me smile. and when i confront this slightly shameful part of me, it's hard to think that i could drop out of school altogether. that i could possibly give up these fleeting moments of inner yays seems impossible. but then i think of the professors that do not want to be on my committee and the ones who think i should drop out and the work that i can't and don't want to do but still have to, and i have to wonder if a "good job" is really worth the effort. the two sides are still battling it out. and every time i seem to come to a conclusion i change my mind.

my novel writing had been going a bit slow, and by that i mean i didn't even open the file for a few days. but after writing like crazy yesterday and six thousand words and a sore wrist later, i am only four thousand words behind schedule instead of ten. i think in the editing i'll have to move a few things up in the story so that it doesn't seem like its floundering so much at the beginning, but at least it's getting down on paper. yesterday i went to look at my nanovel from last year which i haven't touched since i typed the last word, and i couldn't find it. there was a copy with the first fifteen thousand words saved, but the whole novel? nowhere. i am holding off on the crying until i search all my hard drives and thumb drives and other computers, but it doesn't look good. i have no idea what could have happened to it.

anyway, i am off to write another four thousand words before class (hopefully) so that i can resume the knitting i've been putting off as well tonight. to all of you who are participating in nano and also those of you who aren't, i encourage you all to write. something. anything. it's fun, i swear. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

your future's so unclear now, what's left of your career now?

this post is going to be all over the place because i should be doing ten other things and my mind refuses to stop planning for/thinking about them while i write this.

anyway. i've been becoming more and more serious about dropping out of the PhD program, or at least taking a break from it until they get people that are both eligible to head my committee and interested in what i want to do. apparently my subconscious is not as cool with this decision as i thought it was, because last night i had a grease inspired dream. you know when frenchie drops out of beauty school and that serenading angel guy or whatever sings "beauty school dropout?" yeah, well, he came to me in my dream last night. only he was singing, "computer school drop out/ no graduation day for you/ computer school drop out/ you say there's nothing you can do/ well at least you could have taken time to go and learn to program/ but now you'll just prove them right, your education was a big sham." yeah, it was weird.

the other day i was reading these "did you know" lists about things around your house and it was amazingly amazing and i kept interrupting my husband doing his homework to say, "oh my god! did you know that...? That so cool!" i thought i'd share the amazement. here is part one, part two, and part three.

also, yesterday i read a quote by ellie kemper that said, "write like your parents are already dead." and i thought that was great because i do find myself thinking twice about some things i want to write because i wonder what my parents will think of it or if they'll interpret something the wrong way or think a character is inspired a little too much by them. so yeah, good advice.

and finally, i think this is a genius chair. it's like, bookshelf and seat combined into one but not in one of those super cool but super weird shapes that you couldn't really put in your house. and it can supposedly hold three hundred books which is pretty awesome.

*Beauty School Dropout - Grease

Friday, November 2, 2012

rape me, my friend

the other day i was watching an episode of melissa and joey, and joe was teaching one of mel's boyfriends how to be confident or whatever so he could get a job so mel could dump him without feeling bad about it. anyway, he stops by mel's house and asks her to go out with him that night and mel says no. joe then tells the boyfriend (i can't remember his name) to never take no for an answer. i've heard that saying a million and three times before in my life. we've always been told that the people who get ahead in life, the ones that are destined for success, never take no for an answer. and maybe it's because i heard it so much that i never really listened to it, but it wasn't until that moment that i thought, wait a minute... that's totally rape mentality.

and that got me to thinking.

you know how when you're younger you were always told that the girl/boy that is mean to you really likes you? that you should give them a chance because, yeah they do stupid things, but it's only because they can't tell you how they feel about you. i'll be at the playground and see a boy chasing a screaming little girl around and no one will tell the boy to stop because, "the girl really wants him to chase her, she's just pretending not to." that's also rape mentality.

so basically we're raising our children to think like rapists their whole lives - from the playground to the workforce. it's no wonder that almost every society blames the victim. they're the ones creating the rapists so of course they won't see them in the wrong.

*Rape Me - Nirvana

Thursday, November 1, 2012

time, where did you go?

this morning i had the [increasingly rare] urge to blog about something specific. do you know how long it's been since i've come on here with an actual point to make? way too long. but today was different. so i sign into blogger with a purpose and click on the little create a new blog post pencil. but before i could start writing my post, i realized that today was the first of november which also means that it's the first day of nanowrimo (which i somehow both totally knew and totally forgot about). anyway, once that realization hit i also realized that i had yet to put my word count tracker up on my blog. and what is nanowrimo if i don't post my writing progress (or lack thereof) for all of you to see? the thought of that little red bar not moving for too long always motivates me to write... or to come on here and complain about how i am not writing which somehow allows me to push through my writer's block.

the thing is, i apparently did not bookmark the page i got the code from to put up the counter. i could not remember where i had gotten it from. and i did not feel like using my brain to remember how to write basic html. i just wanted the word count tracker up there so i could start writing. a while later (it took a lot longer than it should have because of constant interruptions) i had the word count tracker up. but now i needed to actually start my novel so that the 0% done wasn't mocking me. this started off great until i received multiple phone calls and kept getting distracted by mythbusters. so i moved into the bedroom, got my daily word count goal accomplished, and posted it on here. (i was actually on a roll and would have written more, but junior decided that it was a perfect time to need to be recharged.)

finished enough with nano for the day, i decided to finally write my blog post. but then i got an email from my friday class's professor (my second favorite class of the semester) saying that we would not be meeting tomorrow. my head took this to mean that today's class should be cancelled and i spent the rest of the day waiting for the cancellation email that never came. i decided to make a quick comment about how the class i wanted cancelled the most was the only class i was having this week before starting my real post when i noticed my chipping nail polish and remembered that i needed to take it off. so i did that and then took a shower. by that time it was two something and i had to get dressed and print out my homework (and make sure it was answered correctly) and triple check that class was really happening tonight. i can be a huge lollygagger (i can't think of a word that doesn't make me sound sixty for this) at times and by the time i was ready to sit down and write, it was time to head to school.

when i got back home, i decided to write the blog post while i ate gross, reheated pizza and looked through the mail. then i saw a comment talking about how i had no new post today and for some reason it led to this pointless thing instead of the original one which will be shoved to tomorrow apparently. because, really, the last thing i want to do when i finish three hours of calculating alpha, beta, and lambda is to actually write something that is not mindless drivel.

i also think i used this lyric as a title before. (maybe more than once?)

the end.

*Time - Chantal Kreviazuk

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I sit and wonder why-y-y oh why you left me, oh Sandy

while sandy was busy ripping apart buildings, flooding cities, and tearing out power lines and trees like some sort of temper tantrum, my husband, brothers (who were sleeping over), and i sat in our apartment with full electricity and made spaghetti and meatballs and pull apart garlic bread and watched the master of disguise. we were bundled up with blankets and hoodies because our heat had a cold, but apart from that we just listened to the rain and went to sleep and woke up to some cloudy skies and drizzle. (well, this was after spending monday morning at an almost empty chuck e cheese's.) yesterday we went bowling and aside from some puddles, i didn't see many after-effects of the hurricane, so i think it's safe to say that it passed us by without doing much of anything. if this wasn't such a good thing, i might be a little offended by the idea that hurricanes just do not like us. i mean, first irene and now sandy... they just really don't want to visit us at all.

this morning we woke up to sunny skies, but it's gradually getting cloudy again (which is kind of sad) and now i have to do the homework i've been putting off in gloomy weather. (it sucks that the class i like was cancelled on tuesday and the due date for the paper i had already done was pushed back a week but i will still have to be in class on thursday with the homework i have yet to look at.)

but enough about the weather. 

tomorrow is the first day of nanowrimo, and i still don't have a plot line for one of my characters who just needs to walk around the pages and have the readers like her until the end where she plays her part in the over-arching plot. i just can't find a situation to put her in that earns her the reader's sympathy without doing something that messes up the big plot of the story which is really not a very big part of the novel itself if that makes any sense. hopefully she'll work herself out because i have sort of started to dislike her a bit. she has fifty thousand words to try and fix that. 

*Sandy - John Travolta

Sunday, October 28, 2012

i've got nothing to say

the past few days i've been depressed and whiny and obnoxious (and busy) and decided to spare you all. i mean, i was getting sick of myself, but i was operating on little sleep and that somehow made the part of me that can put things into perspective shut down. so a limping bug deserved the same reaction as a fifth grader not getting voted in to student government as a natural disaster killing thousands as a fictional couple breaking up. and yesterday morning i was having one of those days when you can kind of sort of understand the people who suddenly snap and just kill everyone around them. or at least you get a feeling of where their head was at at the time.

so instead of doing my homework for the class of the exam that i may or may not have failed on thursday, i decided to make a list of things that do not suck in my life right now. but then i decided that i didn't really want to do that because, well, i dunno why, so here are a few of the things that were going to make the list that will never be made: we had a cow pinata on eid, nanowrimo starts in a little over three days and i'm starting to feel like my plot is the worst thing since stubbed toes so i'm right on track, i water marbled my nails last night, and we have chocolate cake in the fridge. oh, and my professor spent ten minutes talking about oxford commas and, being a strong advocate of the oxford comma myself, i may have just fallen in love with him. i'm nothing if not a sucker for grammar.

also, i went to my first ever nanowrimo event thingie yesterday (the nova kick off party to be exact) despite the fact that my social anxiety had me wanting to not go from the minute i said i would, and i met a couple of cool people which was fun. i also realized that there are many people that are much more creative than i am and that the only option for me now is to learn how to hijack their brains to get the awesome ideas that i could never think up on my own and then become a famous person. at least now i have a plan.

*Ask Me Anything - The Strokes

Sunday, October 21, 2012

something very wrong with you

so there are ten days left until nanowrimo, and i have a minor story line, a major character, and a big hole where everything else should go. so much for trying to actually plan ahead of time this year. also, my keyboard is being stupid today, and i'm hoping it gets unstupid before nano starts because i don't feel like having to pound repeatedly on certain letters to get them to work. it completely throws a wrench in the whole write really fast without thinking about how much it all sucks approach. maybe being too lazy to copy down a recipe and accidentally spilling powdered sugar all over it was not the best idea.

i made a pumpkin roll last night (like a jellyroll but with pumpkin cake and maple-cream cheese frosting). it was the first time i had made any roll thing ever and it looks way harder and so much more impressive than it actually is. i think they may be my new favorite thing. i'm on a pumpkin kick right now and planning on eating so much pumpkin this season that i turn orange.

i also wrote a paper yesterday for one of my classes on this child pornography case from a couple of years ago. and oh. my. god. some of the most disturbing stuff i have ever read ever. they mentioned in the notes that this guy went far beyond the normal standards of messed up - even for a child molester - but i could barely handle reading about it. i don't think i would be able to actually look through the images or watch the videos to do a real investigation. i'm too squeamish for my chosen career path.

*That's Just the Way It Is - Phil Collins

Friday, October 19, 2012

i am flattered by your fascination with me

so of course my complete disenchantment with my life and my total disregard for school has led to the fact that i have a ten page paper due today that i just found out about yesterday (and that was just by lucky chance). i mean, i've recycled one of my old papers for it so i didn't actually have the jolt of productivity i thought i was going to have, but i recycled one of my old papers for the first paper in this class, too. so now i feel like a worthless student. probably because i am. instead of productive i feel guilty.

in other news, i've been getting a lot of those spam comments that try to flatter you into going to their website and buying furniture? or something? i dunno since i've never actually followed the links, but they're pretty ridiculous. for example, on a previous post where i mentioned a few of my guilty pleasures, a cigarette website posted this:
What i don't understood is in fact how you are not actually a lot more smartly-appreciated than you may be now. You are so intelligent. You realize thus considerably in relation to this matter, produced me individually consider it from so many numerous angles. Its like men and women are not interested unless it is one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs great. At all times deal with it up! 
now let's ignore the typos and grammar mistakes and the fact that he referred to lady gaga as "woman gaga" for a moment. not to toot my own horn or anything, but there a few posts that i have written that i think should be "more smartly-appreciated" than one where i admit to eating a bag of nutritionless candy in one sitting. i mean, come on cigarette people. if you're going to try and flatter me into buying something that will probably kill me, at least make it look like you put some thought into it.

a wicker furniture company thanked me for my post on how annoying it is when people replace letters of bad words with punctuation. he's "not sure where [i] got my information," but it will apparently "help him on his mission." on my infomercial post about post-grad school, a weight loss food site told me that it was "amazing" and "the clearness is excellent." it also told me that i seem like "an expert on this subject" which made me laugh, though i'm sure that was just coincidence.

i went years and years without getting a single spam post on my blog (unless you count anonymous commenters that enjoy insulting me and my family which, oddly enough, i don't). and now i'm getting them almost daily. since they are automatically shipped off to the spam folder, i often don't read them until, like now, i have a moment where i wonder if i'm the only person left in blogland. and though some of them can be slightly amusing, i would much rather go back to the days when actual people commented on what i actually posted instead of spam bots throwing up a jumble of misworded phrases.

*Uninvited - Alanis Morissette

Monday, October 15, 2012

together we can take it to the end of the line

the subject for blog action day this year is "the power of we," and though i'm sure that it was originally intended to celebrate the people who work together for disaster relief and charity drives and historical movements and the like, i'm deciding to celebrate a different group of people.

when i was little, i wanted to be a writer, and that dream has never really gone away. but there have been times when it was pushed to the back burner while i tended to more immediate needs. there have been times when it was shoved so far back in the closet of my mind that i could barely even remember that it existed, and i was certainly not working towards it in any way.

and then i few years ago i stumbled upon nanowrimo, and it opened me up to a huge group of people all over the world that were connected by one thing: a love for writing. some of the writers were published, but many were not. some had been writing for years and others had just recently decided that they liked it. some were young and some were old. some liked mystery, some young adult, and some fanfiction. it didn't matter really, what or where or how. one month a year, these people came together and by a mixture of encouragement, guilt, and moral support helped members of the community to complete a fifty thousand word novel in thirty days.

i credit nanowrimo for helping me realize, again, just how much writing means to me. but it would never have worked without the community of writers that come together every november to work towards a common goal. sure, we may not be curing cancer or feeding every starving child in africa, but we are still doing something pretty amazing. and at times i think that it may have just saved me.

*Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler

Thursday, October 11, 2012

i thought i was smart

thursday nights i get home before my husband. i usually just make myself dinner and read or sit on my computer with the tv off (my husband likes to have the tv on almost all the time) and relish the alone time. (i was born a hermit in a society that is too technologically connected to allow for hermits, but i do the best i can.)

tonight i got a text from my husband asking me to make chicken and corn soup. while i was rummaging through our pantry that is too small, overstuffed, and unorganized (especially now that i have doubles of a lot of baking things because my sister left the country) i hear a whistle from behind me. remember, this is during my i-have-the-house-to-myself time. remember also that i scare easily.

anyway, i of course completely freak out. i yelled really, really, really loudly, dropped everything i was holding, and made an even bigger mess in the pantry than before. with my heart thumping wildly, i turn around slowly to see who the whistler is.

there's no one there. (which freaked me out more than if i saw someone. my imagination can be scary.)

then i notice that my phone's screen is lit up on the counter. i had just gotten a text message and, idiot that i am, completely forgot that i changed the ringtone to a whistle.

needless to say, i felt ridiculously stupid, silently thanked god that no one was around to witness my scare, and then decided to post it on my blog for all of you.

lesson learned: never change my ringtone again ever. and i should probably get started on resuming my exercise because i don't think my heart can handle many more of my dramatic scenes.

*Fight Test - Flaming Lips

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

i just don't see why i should even care

everyday i check my gmail, open my blog, read whoever's posted anything new, and then click on create new post. and then... nothing. i will leave the page open and go look at random stuff online. i might check facebook or watch random youtube videos. i may read articles or movie reviews or recipes. but the blogger page is always open, always waiting for me to write something in it. it stays that way until i close chrome and get off the computer. i'll occasionally go back and stare at the page where not even a cursor blinks yet, but i don't write a single word. there are not even any drafts of half-finished thoughts piling up. i think the only explanation is that i'm in love with the possibility of something great filling the page and overwhelmed with the fear of not making that a reality. either that, or i'm just too lazy to think and my life has been really uninspiring lately.

one of our neighbors just got a puppy. or, i think it's a puppy from the high pitched barking. and i think it's new because the barking just started a couple of days ago. and it does not. shut. up. ever. like, ever ever. i don't even think it breathes because i've yet to hear it pause for a breath. it just barks and barks and barks and barks. and i can't even muster the energy to get annoyed by it because i'm just really apathetic at the moment. but if i was a dog, i'd get tired of nonstop barking after two days.

i just read the house by the side of the road by sam walter foss and am newly obsessed with the lines:

There are hermit souls 
that live withdrawn
In the peace of their 
There are souls like stars,
that dwell apart
In a fellowless firmament;

there are twenty-one days until nanowrimo starts up again. i think i may have a story idea that combines computer forensics with growing up as a saudi-american in america because i am uncreative and am deciding to just write what i know. either that, or i'll write out a mermaid war. my brother is lobbying for the mermaids. 

*Not Dark Yet - Bob Dylan

Saturday, October 6, 2012

the right way to go about this

i was sitting there last night pondering my future, wondering, perhaps a little late (read: way late) in the game if i really wanted to be a forensic examiner, and suddenly i thought that kirk from gilmore girls had the right idea. now kirk was an idiot, there's no debating that, albeit a very lovable one, but his career choice was genius. or his lack of a choice was genius, i should say. in the show, kirk held fifteen thousand jobs. fifteen thousand. for someone who still harbors the secret desire to be twelve different things, the idea of having that many jobs is awesome.

i mean, okay, you probably don't have much, or any, job stability, but you can actually be everything that you wanted to be. when you choose to walk through one door, you don't have to close all the other ones. they'll stay open for you to walk through each of them in turn. see, this is why i should have been born into a fictional world. the real one just does not work for me. at least with all the things i want to do, too many of them require years of learning/training that would make it impossible instead of just slightly ridiculous. 

speaking of fictional worlds, though jk rowling's book was a little slow to start, it ended up being really good. her writing style and use of language is the same, but that's all you should expect to transfer over from potter. she is one of my favorite character writers, and she did not disappoint in this one (though i really thought she was going to from the first hundred pages or so.) she once again made you like characters whether you wanted to or not. and then she tore out your heart and spit on it, as per usual. anyway, i'm not going to say that you should all go out and read the book because i realize that a lot of people may not like it. but if the synopsis sounds at all interesting and you can go into it with an open mind, you should totally go read it. 

*Give - Relient K

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

i wanna know why

we are in the middle of banned books week (which is from september thirtieth to october sixth). this means that you should go out and read a banned book. (i think banning books is one of the stupidest things the human race has accomplished so far. stupider even than the decision to put yogurt in tubes. years ago, i posted a mini-rant about this and declared that i would be honored if i ever wrote a book that ended up on a banned list.) since i just started a book last night that is too new to be banned and i am busy enough to think that a five hundred page novel will take me almost a week to read, i probably won't get a chance to read a banned book this year. i've read enough of them that i'm okay with that, but you should still read one or two for me.

i just started jk rowling's new book, the casual vacancy. i went into it expecting the worst. i had read a few reviews of it and it seemed like no one was able to get through the first few chapters without putting it down forever. it was too dark, too explicit, too depressing, too crude, there was not one likable character, and the writing was bad. or so i was told. i dunno if people are just prudes or if i've read just read too much trash, but i have yet to think a book described as too crude was in fact too crude. i'm not far enough in the book to give it a fair review yet, but the only thing that i don't like so far is that she switches between different characters so much that i don't feel that i've had the chance to sit with one long enough to like. i'm thinking that this will change later on. oh, and she named a character barry. and he's married to mary. and reading their names together in a sentence completely jarred me out of the reading experience because barry and mary? really? that got me wondering whether she wanted them to rhyme on purpose or if it was a coincidence. which led me to think of the similarity between barry and harry and wonder if that was on purpose. basically, it took me a while before my mind was able to focus on barry dying in a parking lot.

the other thing, which has nothing to do with the story itself, is the decision to put her name on the cover with a lower case i. why are all the other letters capitalized if the i is not? is this her way of distinguishing between her children's and adult writing? because it seems like a stupid decision to me.

but enough about that. my sister and her family left to the desert again. this time without a return date in mind. this was originally going to be its own post, but it was turning out good and i decided to use it for something else. so yeah. it's sad.

*I Wanna Know Why - Aerosmith

Thursday, September 27, 2012

i was once like you are now, and i know that it's not easy

Do you often find yourself feeling good about yourself? Do you go extended periods of times feeling smart and accomplished? Do you regularly wake up in the morning feeling rested and refreshed because your sleep was not interrupted by stressful dreams? Do the people around you not have you fantasizing about the most painful way to kill them? Have you ever found yourself smiling for no reason and not wanting to bang your head repeatedly on whatever hard surface you can find? Well, folks, the answer to all your problems is simple. Post-graduate school. From the minute you fill out the application, all those fun, stress-free days will be a thing of the past. After months of torturous waiting, you will be accepted into what could very possibly be the worst stage of your life. People have referred to this as "the biggest mistake I have ever made" and "even worse than sliding down a banister of razor blades and landing in a swimming pool of alcohol." You will have the chance to be talked down to by some of the biggest egos in industries most of the world has never even heard of. You will have the opportunity to learn just how much you don't know and how impossible it is to ever rectify that deficiency. As a post-graduate student, you will enjoy trying to chase down professors and back them into corners until they are forced to talk to you. Then you can spend up to a week in tears regretting that you ever managed to secure that meeting. As an added perk, the post-graduate degree will supply you with enough artificial highs so that you won't acclimate to rock bottom. This lets every low feels like you're falling five thousand feet off the face of a cliff into freezing water and sharp rocks. Don't get stuck in a rewarding career that has you patting yourself on the back more often than not when you can spend up to eleven years spiraling down a rabbit hole of stupidity and self-loathing. Do yourself a favor and apply for a post-graduate degree today.


i think i could be their spokesperson. imagine me on your tv at four in the morning waxing poetic about phd school. so much more entertaining than watching someone try to sell you a salad spinner that will also wash your clothes and make copies of keys, right?

*Father and Son - Cat Stevens

Saturday, September 22, 2012

what did you say

so yesterday i took an online personality quiz because, really, does a better way for a potential-maybe-phd-grad-but-probably-not to spend her time exist? i think probably not. of course, i was expecting to get cast as my typical you like this but you also like that and sometimes you get sad but you get happy too and if you were an animal you'd be a cat answer. instead, the quiz tells me that i am a troubled individual with unique abilities. now, i'm not one hundred percent sure about this, but i am pretty certain that that is the first time i've been called a troubled individual. at least to my face. it then went on to tell me that:

Unlike most people, you have a strong — at times destructive — independent streak. Routine tasks are frustrating and often impossible to complete, unless you’ve created them for yourself.
At the moment, you are under substantial stress and anxiety. This is caused by the unshakable feeling that you’re not fully in control of your own life. An existing relationship in your life, either romantic or business-related, is currently unsatisfactory. You’re presently contemplating the possibility of escape. This can make you irritable or uncomfortable at times, even around the people you love.
However, when you are in control, you’re capable and even excited to make difficult decisions. This occasionally leaves you feeling isolated or alone. You are willing to make this trade-off, if it means being in charge of your own life.
The darker emotions inside you — those underlying urges that all humans have — are very strong. And yet, you have the ability to harness that energy to achieve your goals. This makes you unique among our testing population. You can focus your energy, both positive and negative.

and you know what? i'll take it. i never really felt like i was a cat anyway.

on a completely unrelated note, a couple of weeks ago someone mentioned that they hated when people said "fustrated" instead of "frustrated." i had no idea what she was talking about because ew did people really say fustrated? i had never heard that. and then i'm talking with my brother and he says that the fact that his teacher has a really heavy accent that no one understands is fustrating. and then in class a kid says that bosses can be fustrating. and in the meeting i had yesterday the guy said that people get very fustrated in a phd degree. and oh my god i cannot for the life of me understand what happened. suddenly i'm hearing this everywhere and i hate it. it makes me want to punch the "fustrated" person in the face. at least with my brother i could correct him. it's typically considered unacceptable to correct a person's pronunciation in a lot of social and academic settings. but where did people get fustrated from? how long has this been going on? is it possible for me to go back to a time when i didn't know this happened? because i would like that very much.

*Anthem for the Unwanted - New Found Glory

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

and i'll go to undergo a change of heart, a change of clothes

because the more people i talk to, the less likely it seems that i will actually be able to finish this stupid degree (which kinda makes me wish i had gotten the school ring/other mason memorabilia after completing one of my other two degrees), i am now compiling a list of potential life plans. i don't handle failure well at all, and i think working in forensics would just be a constant reminder of my failure and that's not very fun. so here's what i have so far:

  • make and sell hats. the day i wrote my last post i gave up on qual exam prep a quarter of the way in and made three hats that day instead. and then yesterday i made another one. and really, listening to music and knitting is probably the most relaxing thing in the universe and i want to do that forever and ever.
  • become a real writer. i mean, i've always dreamed about it. maybe once i fail out of this pesky computer forensics distraction i can devote enough time to it to make it a reality. of course, if i do actually try my hardest at this and end up just learning that i have no real talent... well, i don't think i could handle failing at my two top dreams in one lifetime.
  • open a bakery. this was another childhood dream of mine, but i wouldn't be too crushed if i crashed and burned at this one. and i like baking. and being surrounded by the smell of baking goods all day would probably be pretty awesome.
  • convince the travel channel to give me a show. i always wanted to do one of those best bathrooms in the world shows, but with best chocolate or best bookstore or best apple pie. you know, something really awesome.
  • open a bookstore. i had the whole thing planned out on this blog once. i could even sell baked goods there and mix the bakery plan with this one. books and cookies and good music... perfect.
  • be a book critic/reviewer. i mean, i spend most of my time reading anyway (though i'm currently in a bit of a dry spell), might as well make a job out of it. and this way, i can take out all my frustrations at not having what it takes to be a writer on the people who actually do have what it takes. petty and unprofessional, maybe, but i figure it might also be cathartic.
of course, by the time i actually manage to fail out of the degree it will have probably killed me first. maybe i should be looking at headstones instead of alternate careers. 

*Jefferson Aero Plane - Relient K 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

maybe it's hopeless; maybe i should just give up

i haven't had a decent meal in way too long. i haven't had a decent night's sleep in even longer. i am extremely frustrated with this whole school endeavor thing that i stupidly took on. all of this makes me grumpy. i am also dangerously close to feeling sorry for myself, which is probably the number one thing i hate in the entire world (even worse than tofu and mixing up your/you're), and that makes me even grumpier. i want to sit in a corner and cry and throw things and rant and sleep and eat and i can't. this was basically a disclaimer/my excuse for why this post might bounce between whiny and angry. i will try to keep it from doing that, though.

so yesterday i go to see my phd adviser (after he ignored my emails for a week and i practically had to beg him to see me). i've discussed a potential dissertation topic with my forensics professors and we reached one that was interesting, doable, timely, and addressing an actual topic that actually needs addressing. (instead of another one of those stupid projects that only interests and is useful to the four people who work on it.) so i sit with my adviser and tell him my project. after i describe all the chapters i would include and give an overall summary of the whole thing, we have this conversation:

him: *sits smiling*
me: so... what do you think?
him: *still smiling*
him: how would you write five technical papers on that? and i mean, the law stuff? you would have to talk to a lawyer.
me: well, we actually took all of the law stuff concerning this topic in my classes so i should be okay.
him: *smiles*
me: so you don't think it will work?
him: no.
me: okay, well... do you have any ideas for topics?
him: *smiles*
me: (about ready to smack the smile off his face) you said you were working with another student doing forensics. am i allowed to ask what his project is?
him: *smiles* *thinks* blah blah blah... a bunch of things i didn't ask about the student's history... file system forensics. but it's a lot of programming.
me: oh. i don't program.

then he went into an explanation about the problems with mason's IT department. (did i ever mention on here how the rest of the engineering school always looked down on our dept? yeah, they hated us. apparently they also hate the forensics department because most of them are not phd people. stupid pretentious professors. i'd choose a class with a forensics dude over them any day of the week and would learn way more.) eventually he stops and i ask him if there are any programming classes he'd recommend.

him: oh no, it's not something you can take a class in. you would need years of experience programming. this is a problem we face with most people who come up from the IT dept. they don't have the background to do a phd.
me: so there's no other option?
him: if you don't do programming then you would do theory. but you'd need years of experience with that and we don't have any classes that teach deep enough theory to help with a phd. *smiles*
me: so what am i supposed to do?
him: well we did have one student who did really well in his classes and passed all the qual exams. he didn't know much programming and he worked really hard for a year. then we all realized that he didn't have what it takes and he quit.
me: um.... okaaaaay. (so much for inspiration.) so what am i supposed to do?
him: *smiles*
me: okay, thanks for your help.
him: you can try talking to people in the electrical engineering department. i don't know them, but maybe they won't need you to do programming.

and then i left. feeling way worse about this whole thing than i did going in there. and the professor with a phd with an actual interest in this stuff was hired in a weird way and not allowed to be on committees. and the other guy that was my adviser for my masters is apparently retiring and can't be on any committees. and all of the forensics people are not allowed on committees. and i am so totally screwed.

*Maybe - Sick Puppies

Friday, September 14, 2012

what am i supposed to do

my professor has this three question test thing that he believes determines whether or not you're making the right choice about choosing computer forensics. according to him, this is a profession that you have to really love or you won't be able to stand it because of all the things you see/hear on the job. the first question dealt with curiosity/voyeurism. if you don't like intimately knowing strangers by going through their computers and basically drowning in their life, then this job isn't for you. his methods of knowing this was if you look into people's windows at night and if you listen to people's conversations on the street. the second question dealt with liking the investigative process. this was determined by what you watch on tv. if you like all the cop/lawyer shows, then you're good. the third question showed if you love it or not based on what you do and learn about in your free time. he determined this by asking what magazines you subscribed to.

the first two were easy. i mean, following blogs is a type of voyeurism in my opinion, and marathons of law and order svu, cold case, criminal minds, etc are my idea of a good time. and then third question hit. the magazines i subscribe to are things like writer's digest. when i have a few extra minutes on the computer i go to agents' and authors' sites. i would rather read about the latest books that are hitting the market than the latest technology. i'm not exactly sure what this means, but i hope having the right answer for the first two is enough to get me through. 

or i could just quit now and try to be a writer. who knows, maybe the desperation resulting from having nothing to fall back on is just what i need to suddenly write the next great american novel. on a related note, it's almost nanowrimo time again, and i am excited. 

*Breakeven - The Script

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

you've been on my mind

i have this friend who i'll go months without speaking to (actually i have a lot of those. it's kinda sad) and then one day i'll be thinking about her or she'll show up in my dream or something, and next thing i know i have an email in my inbox from her saying that i was on her mind/in her dream. it's really cool. and i haven't seen this girl since i was in tenth grade, but it's always been like this. it's generally in these moments though that i lament the fact that i tend to get so wrapped up in my own life that i withdraw from whatever friends i've managed to keep over the years. i'm too hermit-y for my own good. at these moments i'll decide that i'm just going to stop being such a social recluse and invite everyone over to my house. but then i'll look around at the mess i'd be forced to clean and watch another episode of gilmore girls instead. (the show changes, the laziness never does.) i think my new year resolution is going to be to go back to the time in my life when i actually kept in touch with all of my friends. that should be fun.

you know what isn't fun? probability homework. and calculus that i need to relearn because i cannot for the life of me remember it from that one semester my first year of college. i'm not going to look at any of that until i come back from my meeting this afternoon that will either send me into a panic over my absolute unreadiness to move on in this program or give me a high off the knowledge that i'm actually on track and can do this. i'm planning on going out to buy the new candy corn oreos that i've heard so much about the past couple of days, because i love candy corn and i love flavored oreos, to either console me in my misery or celebrate with in my happiness. i'll let you all know how they are because i'm sure you're dying to know.

*One and Only - Adele

Sunday, September 9, 2012

all of the time we've lost

so yesterday was oddly very productive and very not productive. i mean, i spent two and a half hours listening to songs on youtube because it is time to update my ipod again, but then i didn't write down any of the songs i liked so at the end i just had a huge chuck of my life missing and nothing to show for it. i actually ended up downloading nothing. i guess i really wasn't in the mood.

but then i answered four chapters worth of questions for one of my qualifying exams so i'll have a sort of study guide thing to go through during christmas break before i take the test. four chapters. (out of thirty something.) some of the chapters had more than twenty questions, and most of the questions had an a,b,c,etc. i was pretty impressed. and then my phone started going crazy and an alarm was going off that sounded like the world was going to end and i had a heart attack. when i found my phone it turned out it was only trying to tell me to take shelter because there was a tornado in our area. after quieting it i spent half an hour sitting by the window watching the rain and wind. and after that i didn't feel like doing the homework that is actually do this thursday and i probably should have worked on before the study guide.

but i did email a bunch of professors that i've been meaning to email and set up meeting with a bunch of people. so that made me feel like i wasn't doing nothing. and i found out that if i didn't take the qual exams i am currently taking i could be finished with all of my classes this semester. and then i kinda freaked out because i don't have a committee picked out yet or an agreed upon thesis idea or really any idea what i'm doing so i started to wander around the internet. and then my cousin's husband emailed me asking for help on a college application so i helped him with the five short essays and felt very accomplished.

this is a boring post. i was originally going to write about the recurring dream i've been having for the past week, but as soon as i start to brush my teeth i completely forget it. i'm just left with the feeling in my gut - a mixture of stress and determination and something else - that it gives me and a vague feeling that it had to do with a forest. maybe. oh, and in case you were wondering, the shakespeare mattress does not have me dreaming in iambic pentameter. yet.

*Sleeping at the Wheel - Matchbox 20

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

i'm stuck inside this rut that i fell into by mistake

i have eaten so many brownies today. ninety four point six percent of what i've eaten today has been brownies. i put peanut butter on the last one i ate so that makes it healthy though, right? also, i think i should mention that though the batter was so overwhelmingly coffee tasting to the point that i was seriously worrying that you wouldn't be able to taste the double chocolateyness of the brownies, none of that flavor translated over to the cooked brownies. sad, i know. but still, i ate a lot of brownies today.

i also have been writing a lot of bad writing lately. and i know that sometimes you have to get through a lot of bad writing before you get to the good stuff again. and i know that sometimes writer's block happens and sometimes writing just really, really sucks. but by lately i mean all summer and maybe even before that, and though i never had much faith in my writing because, according to grandma, i am my mother's daughter, i really wish i could go back to that point where i would sometimes like things that came out of my brain. because now i like pretty much nothing. i read something once that said i think i lost what i never thought i had before. something about this moment reminds me of that. i recently wrote a poem that talked about burning in hell being better than purgatory? yeah.

also, we got our new mattress today. apparently it's a shakespeare edition. whatever that means. i'm hoping that it means that it will recite sonnets and write plays. maybe all my dreams will be in iambic pentameter. that might be cool. maybe it will help cure me of my sucky writing. though i think the main problem with my writing is that i have no experience, no emotions, no life, and my imagination is dwindling. maybe i should have gotten one of those instead of a mattress.

*Be My Escape - Relient K

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

idiot wind blowing every time you move your teeth. you're an idiot, babe, it's a wonder that you still know how to breathe

just a warning, the following is a rant because i am annoyed. i also just got out of a three hour class and am hungry and slightly tired and probably not fully in control of my word forming abilities.

moving on.

i am so sick of the racist crap that i have to deal with on a daily basis. i am not talking about the big racist things, because those are few and far between and i can just chalk it up to an individual's stupidity. but all of the small things, the things that are considered to be part of the norm... yeah i've had it up to here with those. in the beginning, i didn't mind them much. i was able to laugh them off with a mini rant and move on with my life. but it just happens so much. the ignorance is so widespread and i encounter it on an almost daily basis, and i'm really, really sick of it. people automatically thinking that i can't speak (or write) english because i wear a scarf on my head: sick of it. people automatically looking at me whenever terrorism is mentioned in class: sick of it. people giving me uncomfortable, apologetic looks when we discuss terrorists, as if they are talking about my father and feel guilty doing it in front of me: sick of it. people automatically looking at me when the professor mentions poor writing skills: sick of it. i am just so incredibly tired of people jumping to the conclusion that i'm ignorant and somehow related to terrorists just because i'm muslim.

what was the straw that finally broke the camel's back? today in class, the professor asked what every single terrorist has on his/her computer. a girl's answer? the quran. the correct answer? a resume. the professor told her that not every terrorist is a muslim, but it didn't look like she was convinced and i still got a few oh-no-you're-caught looks. what. the. hell. i'm just really, really annoyed right now.

and i wish i could stay that the ignorance is limited to a few stupid people. but it's not. guys and girls. students and professors. everyone. i get it from everyone. and it doesn't help that terrorism comes up so often in all of my classes. gah. i'm not sure how much longer i can just smile and ignore it. it's only a matter of time until i become the weird student that goes off on an angry rant in the middle of class about "something stupid" that people will whisper about for the rest of my academic career.

*Idiot Wind - Bob Dylan

sentimental me

[one] my sister bought a guinea pig, and it made me anxious for the time when real life decides to deprive my husband and me of the benefits of being young and jobless - mainly the ability to pick up and go somewhere on a moment's notice and then stay wherever that is for as long as we want - because once that happens i will buy myself a bunny. but then i decided that i can live pet-free for a while longer if it means i have the freedom to sleep in, travel, and spend five hours on the couch watching gilmore girls.

[two] i am overly sentimental. about everything. because of this, i am sad that our new mattress is coming tomorrow. it doesn't matter that it is way more comfortable than the old one. it doesn't matter that my husband hasn't been able to sleep for days because of the old one. all that matters is that the first mattress i had in my married life is being thrown out, and it is too big to fit into a scrapbook.

[three] i have so many little things i need to do today: laundry, picking up text books, picking up notes, reading articles, making sure the apt is clean enough for the mattress delivery guys tomorrow, making coffee brownies, etc. and i woke up "early" to get started on it all, but have spent over an hour sitting on my computer doing nothing. i can tell today is going to be a productive day.

*Sentimental Me - Elvis Presley

Thursday, August 30, 2012

let me forget about today until tomorrow

after class today, i walked to the shuttle stop and read the paper for fifteen minutes until the shuttle came. then i got on and listened to my ipod for the half hour ride home. then i walked home, got the mail, made myself dinner, and ate alone at the coffee table (i would rather have a library than a dining room) in complete silence. there was something really peaceful about the loneliness that brought back the wishes i had for living on my own between living with my family and living with my husband. (cultural reasons pretty much put a stop to this.) i have no real regrets about my life, but still... it would have been nice.

on a different note, class on tuesday confirmed that being a forensic examiner is a pretty awesome career choice for me, and not just because i have come to the conclusion that my forensic teachers are just about the awesomest people ever. all of them. according to my professor, to be a forensic examiner you have to have thick skin, be able to laugh at cry-worthy situations, like to rant, and communicate better in writing than speaking. there were other things, but those were the most note-worthy. (oh, and i like doing the actual forensic-exam-work-stuff, too.) but every time i decide that i really do like computer forensics and the decision to get into for my master's was a good one, i suddenly get a strong urge to write. or to edit one of my "novels" that are sitting around my hard drive collecting the proverbial dust. i think it's my younger self thinking that her dream of being an author is being threatened and refusing to let go of it. (not that i'm gonna let go of it.)

my family is coming back from saudi arabia tomorrow. 

i also have my anti-forensics class tomorrow which admittedly i was pretty excited for (i'm a nerd at heart), until i read the syllabus this morning. the professor is only going to "teach" for the first four weeks, and it looks like topics i've already learned in my other classes. then we have hour long student presentations for october, november, and december (while turning in ten page papers every three weeks). i don't mind the work, i just wanted to actually learn the subject in-depth. i mean we've skimmed over it in my other classes and it looks like this one will just skim too. disappointing. 

one day i will learn to write a blog post that doesn't jump around everywhere. also, the title is more what i was listening to at the time than what the post is about. 

*Mr. Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan