Saturday, August 24, 2013

thoughts keep running through my head

[one] with football season once again starting, i think it is time for me to discuss the deception of football helmets. i'm still not completely sure if it's a good deception (like magic shows) or a bad deception (like when you buy tickets to watch elvis and it's really an impersonator), so i guess i'll leave it up to you to decide. but anyway. sometimes i'll be watching football and see one of the guys on the field and think, "wow, congratulations on your face, sir." (and by "think," i usually mean say out loud. my dad's and husband's usual reaction to my comments on the players' looks is to ignore me, but sometimes i can get them to take part in an entire conversation about them and then i go home feeling victorious.) and then they'll go over to the sidelines, pull off their helmet, and i'm just like, "MY EEEYYYYEEEES! THEY BUUUURRRRNNN! SOMEONE QUICK! GET THAT MAN A PAPER BAG! POST HASTE!" and to those men, i say, "always, always, wear your helmet." because really, football helmets can do wonders.

[two] i was thinking about characters the other day, and i realized that i love some characters for the stories that live in my head rather than the stories that they are actually written in. this can mean actual fanfiction plots or just random thoughts that i've thought about the character - like their back story or what they were doing while the protagonist was off saving the world. sometimes, i don't even like the character in canon but s/he is one of my favorites outside of it. and that got me to wondering, if an author creates a character and thereby pretty much owns him/her, and i don't particularly like the character for what the author wrote of him/her (for whatever reason), can i still say that i love the character? does that even count?

[three] i never realize that i have this inherent sense of entitlement just because i live in america until i'm watching youtube and it tells me that a video is not available in my country. i literally have a moment where i just do not understand what is happening. i mean, i am in america for heaven's sake! what do you mean it doesn't work here? where else would it work, then? do any other countries even exist? and if they do, how is it possible that things could work there and not here? everything should work here. people should not have things that americans cannot have. (this is an exaggeration, of course, but i really do get this shock every time it happens, and that says a lot.)

*Through My Head - B.O.B.

Friday, August 23, 2013

i think that i'm sick

being sick is miserable. being sick when you don't have time to be sick, though, is even worse. for the past couple of days, i have been sick. the kind of sick where my muscles are half a second away from collapsing and my entire body just really wants to lie down in bed and never move again. the kind of sick where my throat is so sore and swollen that not only is it a torturous pain to swallow, but even my neck hurts from it. the kind of pain where i feel like i have medicine head despite not taking any cold medicine and chills even outside in the miserably hot and muggy weather. (unfortunately the chills do not let me mistake the heat for some form of coolness.) but despite feeling like crap for the past couple of days, i have had things that i needed to do (like meetings and giving campus tours) and things that i wanted to do (like sister days and dinners with family and hanging out with my nephews) and i just had no time for anything else.

but today is going to be different. i am dedicating this entire morning to being sick. i will bundle up in blankets (and then push them off in annoyance because they make me too hot) with my computer and a good chick lit (probably on the couch because i'm a little sick of my bed. one of the problems of being sick and busy is that i will go to bed at eight:thirty because i am achey and tired and cold, but then i will wake up at one:thirty thinking i should get up and after forcing myself to go back to sleep for the next several hours, i will finally get out of bed at eight with a too-much-sleep heavy head and a feeling of wanting to be as far away from my bed as possible). i will drink mug after mug after mug of honey lemon tea. (does it count as tea if no leaves are being steeped in the water?) i will moan to the animals that i do not feel good, because they are the only ones around to hear me. i will take a bunch of medicine that absolutely does not help anything in any way but that i feel that i should take anyway. i may watch some tv.

and then, once afternoon hits (or maybe early evening), i will get up, take a shower, and declare myself over being sick. i will take a deep breath and ignore all my symptoms until they go away. and maybe i will make a few of the phone calls that i refuse to do this morning and then go hang out with my nephews. for now, though, i am off to curl up with my book (that i started days ago but haven't had the chance to pick up since the first day) and my mug and wallow in the fact that i don't feel good. i'm starting to feel better already.

*Disease - Matchbox 20

Monday, August 19, 2013

time goes by so fast

have you noticed that this is the fourth day in a row that i am blogging? just like old times, right? i have a theory about this that correlates with my state of mind and outlook on life on other things that will probably sound really smart and insightful eventually, but i don't have the time to really get the words right just now. but take my word for it, if it was more than a wisp of a thought than you would be amazed at my amazingness.

it's kind of funny (but also kind of terrifying) to think of how little time i have these days. i mean, there are just so many things to do and people to see. an old friend came to town over a week ago, and yet i still have not found the time too meet up because apparently i spent the beginning of the summer wasting time not from the present but from the future. if that makes any sense. it does in my head at least. (the fact that she came the same day as my sister and that school is starting soon may also contribute to the fact that i have not yet seen her. but i like my theory better.)

speaking of school, it may be starting next week? i honestly don't know, and i'm too afraid to check. my schedule is still up in the air (though a lot closer to the ground than it was last week) and i think if i just don't think about school maybe it will just wait for me to be ready for it. with that great sense of logic it's not hard to believe that i am working on a phd at all, is it?

yesterday while my sister was out fulfilling her childhood slash teenage dream of seeing backstreet boys live (of which i'm a little jealous of, i must admit) her sons and i made stuff out of clay. (i had wanted the clay you bake in the oven, but apparently they don't sell that anymore? there's only the air dry stuff that takes for-freaking-ever to dry and smells horrendous. the stench gets caught in the back of your throat and won't wash off of your fingers and next time i am getting crayola instead of this icky fancy stuff.) my nephew and i worked together on an elephant that i think he made adorable and as soon as it's dry and painted i will post a picture. because, really, you guys need to see this thing.

*Ordinary Day - Nick Lachey

Sunday, August 18, 2013

could have given up so easily, i was a few cheap shots away from the end of me

a couple of posts ago, i mentioned that when some things start to go well with school, other things go very, very wrong. and up until yesterday, that was very true. i had finally found an adviser slash someone to head my committee but then, after he and i (but mostly him) put together a nice list of potential classes to take for this upcoming semester, i was faced with a registration site that did little else but laugh at me for thinking that i could get into the classes that i wanted with so little time left before the start of the semester. the classes that i wanted were full with no waitlist option. the classes that i didn't really want but would take if i had to were full with a waitlist already forming. i wasn't sure if i would be getting my TA job this semester or not, and although I had received the news that i was chosen to be a mentor to international students, that job was contingent on my being a full-time student. the way things looked yesterday morning, i was starting to think that i would not be a student at all. and with me trying to spend as much time as possible with my sister and her family while they're in the states... well, i wasn't really have much luck in finding time to deal with any of this.

but last night i did. i sat down and found a couple of classes that i wanted to take and a couple of classes that i think may be helpful for my dissertation (you'd be surprised how little these overlap. i am way too interested in way too many things), and registered for all of them. i'm on the waitlist for a bunch, sure, but i do have three guaranteed classes for next semester even if i don't get into any that i am waitlisted for. three classes means full time student means mentorship is safe. then i was told that i would be continuing as a TA, but this time as a full-time one. (last semester i was part-time.) and after that i got the news that i could and probably should audit one of the classes that were on the list my adviser put together that there was no hope of getting in to.

so let's just take a look at how my student status has changed over the course of the summer. when the summer first started i was wandering around my degree with no adviser and no hope of finding one. i was basically just preparing myself and my family for the very real possibility that i would end my promising academic career by becoming a drop-out. then, an amazing man magically fell from the sky and i suddenly found myself with a head of committee and the prospect of finding the rest of a committee looked hopeful. but i had no classes and no job and no real hope of getting either. now, as the summer draws to an end, i have a head of committee and two probable committee members (they said yes before i just have to reconfirm their yeses now that my committee is a real thing) and a possible member that i will talk to next week or the week after and some plan bs. i also have four (give or take a student) mentees and a full-time TA job. also, some research projects that i have been asked to help on. i have three classes that i am taking and one class that i am auditing. basically, it looks like school things are going to take up a lot more of my time than they usually do.

and add to the school stuff pottery classes, editing my book (i had a dream where the whole thing was written in passive voice, and i know that's a nerdy dream, but i don't know if it's true and it's sort of freaking me out. changing an entire novel from passive to active will be very time intensive.), knitting the blanket, and spending time with family... i'm thinking that i might actually have to say goodbye to my days of laziness and nothingness. at least for a while. the couch potato introvert in me has been throwing a temper tantrum since all of this fell into place, screaming about how she hates me and how i'm ruining her life. i'm trying to ignore her as much as i can and think positively about the semester, you know hope and stuff. if you put good energy out in the world then good stuff comes back to you, or some other non-pessimistic thinking that i usually don't subscribe to. but i am hopeful.

*Looking Up - Paramore

Saturday, August 17, 2013

we've got the vision, now let's have some fun

around father's day, i read this post where a sixteen month year old made a finger painting masterpiece for his dad by writing out a phrase in tape and then painting all over it. (you can tell that i'm not all that connected with the creative pinterest side of the internet, because it was the first time that i had heard of this.) after reading it i thought, i have blank canvases at home! i have paint! i will have access to children in the summer! we will do this.

so when my nephews were spending the day with us on thursday, we decided to make finger painting masterpieces of our own. and by we, i obviously mean them. (we stopped by ac moore before chuck e cheese and they chose out some sparkly paints because none of mine were washable and there was no way i was using them with toddlers. [the post i linked to has a recipe for finger paints that i completely forgot about, but check it out and make your own paint at home.] and good thing too, because the two year old was covered in paint by the time he was done. there was one point where he got so into swishing the paint around the canvas that his arms slipped and he fell headfirst into his painting. he thought it was hilarious. they both had tons of fun.)

while choosing out what to write in tape, i suggested that we write their names. they did not think that was a good idea. at all. they had their own ideas.

hamza (four yr old): no, i think we should write elephant.
me: instead of your name?
hamza: yeah. i want to write elephant. mommy will love it.
me: umm... okay. and how about you? do you want to write your name?
omar (two yr old): no. i want to write poopy.
me: no, let's write your name instead.
omar: no, poopy. mommy will love it.
me: i don't think she will.
hamza: oh, come on. let him write poopy.

and that is how we ended up with these:

there were seven different colors of paint, and they both used all of them. mixed together. so it would "be like a rainbow." it took all of my will power to stop myself from telling them to stop mixing the colors. (i also used masking tape which is why the outline isn't very sharp. the paint soaked through a bit.) overall, i'd consider it a success.

*Time to Pretend - MGMT

Friday, August 16, 2013

oh don't you put me on the back burner

so i was watching one of those typical action-y movies where your typical hero figure does something stupid that's shown as heroic and one of his loved ones that did nothing but know slash love slash share blood with the hero figure gets captured as some form of incentive to draw the hero to the bad side. and when the hero figure gets wind of this and gets his phone call from said loved one, the loved one goes and says something typically idiotic along the lines of "don't come and save me. i'm not worth it. you're more useful or important or heroic. go save the world and let me die."

i would like to take a moment to formally state to any one that i know slash love slash share blood with that, in the case that i am captured by the bad side because of you, you better come save me. screw the world, i am more important. i don't care if you die in the process (unless it is before i am rescued in which case you are a really bad hero and you should probably get out of that line of work right now before anything happens that you can't undo, like me being captured by torturers), because you got us into this mess in the first place. and i don't mean save me in the process of saving the world. no. saving me should be your only objective. there should be no multitasking in a mission as important as my rescue. if you get me kidnapped, you drop everything and get me unkidnapped immediately.

unless of course the dryer is running, then you take the time to stop it before you come get me. i would like to return home to an actual home and not a pile of ashes.

(i'm also going to mention here that i have a tendency of falling for the bad guys, and there is a chance that real-life bad guys are just as awesome as fictional ones. so, if you come rescue me and i give you the secret signal for you-took-too-long-and-now-i-have-fallen-in-love-with-the-villain, you should abort the mission and just go away. maybe leave us some cheeseburgers and chocolate milkshakes. oh, and make sure you don't forget to turn back on the dryer when you get home because wet clothes get musty and gross.)

*All These Things That I've Done - The Killers

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer

so it's been a while. and by that i mean that i may have forgotten how to blog even though, in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't even really that long. but i have been busy. super duper forgot that facebook was even a thing and actually went days without spending more than ten minutes on a computer kind of busy. the kind of busy that means that i only ever washed eighty percent of the dirty dishes a morning (if that) and ran the same load of laundry through the washing machine three times. (i have this thing where i have to rerun the wash if it sits wet in the machine for more than a couple of hours. i also have something else that's less of a thing and more of a phobia slash neurosis slash possible ocd symptom where i cannot have the dryer running unless i am in the living room and able to watch it because i seriously think it is going to start a fire.)

but anyway. we had out of state guests (my grandma) and out of country guests (my sister and her family -we still have these) and basically a list of things to do that prevented me from being my typical couch potato self. but leave it to me to actually get a life and then continue to blog about nothing. but after a very busy week, possibly the worst night of sleep ever, and a really early start to the day, my brain is pretty much fried.

tomorrow is going to be a day completely devoted to my nephews which means blogging will once again be pushed to the back burner, but after that i will come back to talk about how when some things start going well school-wise, other things completely fall off track and maybe talk about what i've been up to for the past week. my novel has also been nagging me so i might move up the next editing step because why not. also, if i do not start knitting again, i won't have my blanket done until it's too hot for it.

the lazy summer days have officially become a memory.

*Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer - Nat King Cole

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

there's a moment in time, and it's stuck in my mind, way back when we were just kids.

draft last saved: june third, two thousand and thirteen, eight:nineteen a.m.

i stared at the picture of the man, trying to find the face of the little boy that i used to know inside of him, trying to look at it objectively. i supposed people might find him handsome. people might look at his muscled arms and squared jaw and say that he was just the right amount of conventional hot. his hair was long now and the goatee that sat on his chin was new, and i supposed they gave him just enough distance from conventional to be exciting. to be adventurous. to be someone you could fall in love with. but me? i could only see the anger in his jaw, the perverted leer in his eyes. i tried to remind myself that they weren't his, at least i hoped they weren't. i hoped he hadn't inherited the meanness with the bone structure. i hoped he hadn't adopted the manners with the looks.

i looked at the man and tried to find the little boy i used to know inside of him. the boy that would hide with me in the closet under the stairs, holding our breaths so his father, thundering through the house, wouldn't find us. his father, that would beat the little boy. his father, that would send the little boy out of the room and do things to me that left me with a fear and shattered trust that i still had not gotten over.

i looked at the man and tried to find the little boy but saw only his father instead.

i closed my eyes and turned away.


this was supposed to be part of something longer that i never got around to. it could also use some editing. but oh well.

*Kristy, Are You Doing Okay - The Offspring

Monday, August 5, 2013

i just left a comment on a blog post that was longer than the actual post itself. and why, you may ask. because the post mentioned something about harry potter that i just had to discuss. i couldn't let it go. the final book in the harry potter series was published over six years ago and yet there are still blog posts referencing it and i still feel the need to discuss it. (unfortunately, the people in my own life have neither the time nor the inclination to have potter discussions anymore or i would literally spend at least three days just talking about the books nonstop.) 

kids starting first grade this year were born into a world where the entire harry potter series was finished. by the time they were born, we knew that snape was "good" and that dumbledore dies and that good wins out over evil but not without great loss to both sides. there was no more speculation or waiting or anything. it was done. 

also, the epilogue of harry potter takes place in three years. i grew up with these characters, and in three years i will have outlived the entire storyline. and yet i will still probably have millions of words about the series that i have not yet said. i will still probably be rereading it. i will still probably secretly wish i got a hogwarts letter at eleven. 

i was hoping that an actual point would surface in my rambling, but no. i like harry potter. the end. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

it's the best day ever!

guess who is no longer purposelessly wandering around mason in academic limbo? given that i'm a narcissistic misanthrope who rarely talks about anyone but myself, the "who" is obviously me. that's right, people. after months and months and months of having to listen to me complain about discouraging faculty members who did not want to be the head of my phd committee and how i was just wandering around this degree without really getting anywhere, i can finally say that i have made some headway. i met with a brand new professor (tenure track! which, in case you haven't been suffering through academic bureaucracy for the past year or so means that they can sit on/head a doctoral committee) and he actually liked the idea that so many others shot down. i gave him the original version (the one before i started tailoring it to specific professors' interests to try and lure them into my committee) and he said that we need to narrow it down a bit, but he said that we could absolutely write a technical dissertation worthy of phd-ness without programming. he also said that it was a good idea and he was excited about it. have i ever mentioned how much i love people that work in computer forensics? because i do. i really, really do. they are by far the nicest people i have ever met. (he is the first full-time tenure track professor for the computer forensics program, and i am happy to report that academia does not corrupt the awesomeness that is a computer forensics individual.)

 so anyway, i am riding on that high and do not plan to come off of it any time soon. i mean, it's finally coming together! i am actually going to have a phd committee and write a dissertation that i actually care about! i am going to be a doctor! i will get to wear the really fancy graduation robes! people will think that i am smarter than them! and good things come in three (or is it only bad things?)! so i will also edit my novel into amazingness (it's still got quite a way to go) and be a published author! and people will think that i am even smarter! and i will lose weight!

the excessive use of exclamation marks should let you know just how excited i am.

(i'm sure that as soon as the high wears off a little, i will be mortified about the amount of gushing excitement i had in the meeting this afternoon. it was kind of disgusting, to be honest. but i can't fully grasp the awfulness of it yet, because i am just too happy.)

*Best Day Ever - Spongebob Squarepants