Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hives. HIVES!!!

Had I known that it was possible to get hives on the bottoms of your feet, I never would have thought that watching "Idiocracy," that terrible, sickeningly awful movie, was the worst kind of torture imaginable. But oh ho, now I know better, don't I? Especially as I've spent nearly all of last week shuffling my feet across the carpet with every step. If I'd been able to wear socks, I would have been so static-charged that I would spend all day zapping people and things and irritating everyone. But of course I didn't have time to zap people, because I was occupied by scratching and rubbing random parts of my body on any rough surface I could find.

Apparently I'm allergic to amoxicillin. And possibly penicillin, though I don't know their relation and am too lazy to look it up. It would have been nice to know that before I had been prescribed it to fight a little cold. I'm starting to think my low self esteem and general positive outlook are directly related to my physical ailments. Actually I'm positive that's what it is.* But anyway, Monday my right hand was itchy and had a little rash. Whatev, I'd had itchy spots before. Tuesday my right big toe is itchy, and actually swells to steroid-enhanced prune size. It bothers me the whole time that me and Stephen are in the theater seeing New Moon**, after I meticulously sucked all of the alcohol out of a margarita through two tiny mixing straws and left the frozen bits behind.*** This was also after we sat in traffic in Pittsburgh, him singing a made-up graphic song in Cartman's voice, and me giggling uncontrollably. And this was after we geeked out at the ND Comics store in Cranberry for about an hour. But I digress.

Wednesday I woke up and hives were literally EVERYWHERE. I mean, my elbows and knees were basically one huge hive. Just disgusting. My feet and hands were so swollen that I couldn't bend several of my main digits without it hurting too much. Thursday they'd spread even more. My face (as you'll sort of see in the epic photo below) and ears, even. My ears are swollen. And oh yeah, that was Thanksgiving. And INabokov and Me sat at home and drank Naked juice (a drink probably created by God that has just been recently discovered) because I felt terrible. So, now I have a prescription for some meds and I've been instructed not to go to work the next couple days. And to be honest, I wouldn't want someone who looks diseased and swollen boxing MY groceries.

But Stephen bought me that Nabokov blanket from a couple posts ago as a surprise. Epic, eh? I adore it. And I happen to have some Christmas surprises in the works for him. Now, as long as these hives go away...I can get on with everything.

* This counts as my positive outlook for the day. I must have at least one. And there it is.

** He'll claim until he dies that I dragged him to see it, but he actually told me several times that he kind of wanted to see it. But shh...don't tell anyone I said that.

*** Because the restaurant didn't have real straws. I kid you not. They did not have real straws. Baffling.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Ache in My Lower-Left-Brain-Region, and Swabbage

I've determined that I should probably go get my neck looked at. I physically cannot turn my head to the right and when I yawn, it hurts like hell. I don't know why the yawning thing aggravates it, but as soon as I open my mouth wide enough to unleash my tiredness, the back left side of my neck just ACHES. It hurts right there and a little up into my lower-left-brain-region, whatever that's called. We're talking constant pain, here. Day, afternoon, night, 4 AM, makes no difference. I'm moving around like a freaking robot because as soon as I change my head position, it aches all in my spine and up into that lower-left-brain-region I mentioned before. What the hell, man? I have presentations to give and jobs to work* and an epic desire to stop complaining so much. But I should probably get back to figuring out how I'm going to speak in front of people tonight and somehow not be trembling and sweating like a freaking elementary school kid.

* Costco called me. I had my mouth swabbed with a spongy thing to make sure I'm not hopped up on cocaine or anything. I wasn't. They hired me.

New objective: try to be less stressed about school now that I have way less time to do my work.

Chance of success: 2.7%

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Different Sort of Caturday

CaturdayYes yes, I know it's like eighteen minutes past midnight and it's not really Saturday anymore. But the Pens are playing the Sharks and this has been kind of an intense game. Mostly in the way of me becoming incredibly angry as the Sharks continue to score. And then there's that crafty Nabokov. But we'll get to him later.

Firstly, Caturday. A friend of mine on Twitter recently came across some kittens who would have been left to freeze in the Pittsburgh cold. When their mother became pregnant, the owners kicked her out. I want nothing more than to take in one of the kittens or at least donate to help her out, but I'm still on the job hunt and trying to survive on like $5 a week. Not to mention my moody elder kitty and frisky younger kitty. They just wouldn't have it. So go to her site and at least donate to help her cover the expenses of getting the kittens their shots, and if you can take one, TAKE ONE. You would be giving a kitty a warm lap to lay on instead of the cold ground, and I think anyone who can should jump at that opportunity.

Nabokov Blanket

So back to this Nabokov thing. He's a kickass goalie for the San Jose Sharks, and I kind of love him. Firstly, I don't pronounce his name right on purpose. I have no idea why. It's correctly pronounced "Na-BAW-kov" but I pronounce it "NA-bu-kov." Anyway, he's some sort of demigod in this game right now. Unreal goalie. And I want his triple woven jacquard blanket. That's right folks, I could sleep with Nabokov. When I first saw this I had sort of a "WTF" reaction, but then I realized that I must have it. Too bad it's $50 and I'd have to not eat at school or buy gas for ten weeks to get that much money. Anyway, that is all. I'm off to watch the Pens continue to get destroyed by the Sharks. Ah well. You win some you lose some. I still love them <3

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ahh...Friday.

Here's what I should be doing right now: I should be cranking out a couple thousand words on my NaNoWriMo project, because I am excruciatingly behind thanks to a three-day migraine. Here's what I'm actually doing: Eating numerous cups of processed Jell-O strawberry cheesecake and planting pineapples and things in that ridiculous Facebook game, FarmVille. Friday is usually my day for slacking, however. After a long week of hating the University of Pittsburgh and doing assignments that I don't see the point in doing, it feels lovely to do nothing all day. But there are important things to be done, like get to 8,000 some words today and watch my kitty stalk a mouse that is living underneath the dishwasher.

Tomorrow is the triumphant return of Caturday. I should also do some homework tomorrow. I don't really want to though. Maybe I won't.

I think some reading is in order. I did just buy like five cheap sci fi/fantasy books, which I put on the pile of the twenty some other books that I still have to read. My bed looks awfully comfy right now too. Yeah, reading is a good idea. And some CHAI TEA. I'm a little excited right now. I'll return tomorrow.

Monday, November 2, 2009

So Here's the Thing

I don't know what's been going on, but I just haven't been posting. I've been feeling rather useless as I still can't find a job, but I'm still working on it. Otherwise, I am crazy excited because I am doing NaNoWriMo this year and I think this is exactly what I need to bust out of my shell of blahness. For all of you unenlightened folk, that is National Novel Writing Month, where you have all of November to crank out a 50,000 word novel. The cranking began yesterday. I believe I am up somewhere in the 3,000 words region so far. Yay. If you are doing this as well, become my buddy, and we can frolic through the night sucking down coffee whilst we develop severe cases of carpal tunnel.

So while I job-hunt I am swiftly formulating more and more things that I'd like to do...if I had money. The problem is that when I get money I'll probably want to spend it all for several months as I make all of my recent dreams come true. Let's examine some of those, shall we?

  • go to Disney World

  • get a kitten

  • buy clothes and bags and shoes

  • see The Lion King on Broadway again

  • go to Comic Con

  • buy Penguins season tickets

  • eat unbelievable meals everyday

  • buy a Holga camera

  • exercise


Wait a minute, I don't need money to exercise. Oh wait, it's better that I think that I do, because that's my excuse for NOT exercising. See, sometimes it takes awhile, but eventually I can figure myself out.

Anyway, I'll try to find some sort of counter to post my progress. The ones on the site seem funky at the moment, so who knows. I just hope I can do this by the end of the month, because I'll feel infinitely better about myself.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Festivities of the Weekend

Fuzzy hat + devil horns. Could I be anymore strange?Against my better judgment, I am going to post this awful picture of me. Stephen and I were in Goodwill in Indiana PA and he was like, please take a picture in this hat, and I was like OK! and then he was like put it on your blog and I was like yeah...! Now I look at it and I'm like good god, I look ridiculous. Oh well. See that, Stephen? I did it. And you also now have a picture of me in the WVU hoodie. I bet this is your favorite picture of me.

When we were up at IUP, Stephen also bought us matching Wolverine tshirts from Old Navy, because we ARE that cool, an incredibly sexy Blackberry case, and two handmade rings. I'm somewhat of a ring collector. When I'm on some sort of memorable journey and there happen to be handmade rings for sale nearby, I have to get one. I have about six so far from various moments in my life. The first one has a special place in my heart as the "Nine Dollar Garrison Day Ring" which I bought at the local craft show during my break from waitressing at Levanti's. Good times.

Also involved in our trip was a jacuzzi tub in our hotel room, watching the Pens game, and me trying my damnedest to get Stephen drunk. I almost succeeded. I on the other hand drank an entire bottle of pinot grigio, and busied myself with muttering about my crazy face, the photo of which is posted on my Facebook. And you'll just have to become my friend to see it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Love for Final Fantasy X

FFX OSTInteresting day today. After hesitating opening the recently acquired Final Fantasy X soundtrack, I finally busted it open today and basked in the glory. I don't know why I waited a few days to open it. Maybe it's just kind of a big deal. I've wanted this soundtrack, all 91 tracks of it, since I spent that summer playing the game and shying away from sunlight. That was, I don't know, 8 or 9 years ago? I don't feel like looking it up. I just know that the soundtrack was an ungodly amount of money back then, and it just wasn't something I could buy. Recently I found that, plus the Piano and Vocal Collections, for an insanely cheap price on eBay, and even though I have no job and there's a little too much money on my credit card, I still bought it. And so I hesitated. It just makes me so geekishly happy. Some of those tracks..."Thunder Plains", the "Hymn of the Fayth", good old "To Zanarkand"...I can't help but know that that game, that music, created a lot of what I am today. That, and Elizabeth Haydon's Rhapsody, is why I started writing fantasy and why I have all of these musical scores.

So while I was listening, I realized that I hate my main male protagonist in my current novel work in progress. I hate him. He reminds me of Tidus from Final Fantasy X and that is a terrible thing, because he annoys the hell out of me. Auron is probably my favorite Final Fantasy character of all time, and it struck me that I have a character who is minutely like him. Basically in the silent, dark, badass way. He's just so much more interesting. Now I hate my main guy and that's a problem. I don't know. I guess we'll see where it leads.

Well, I'm off to pack a little bit because Stephen and I are going to Indiana, PA for homecoming at IUP. I'm not sure whether or not I want to drag my laptop along, or whether there will even be any free Wifi to be found, so I'm not sure about Caturday tomorrow. I guess we'll see.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Large Fries, Here I Come

For some reason or another, I haven't posted in over a week. I can't even imagine a reason why this is, because nothing has been very different. Actually I did have a story due for my fiction class on Monday, so yeah that explains why I forgot about Caturday. Or maybe I just have awful memory and couldn't even tell you what happened in my 9:30 class this morning?

Anyway, Stephen bought me a Snuggie. A leopard print Snuggie. Yes, he supports my weirdness. I've been meaning to take an amusing photo of me in it but that just hasn't happened for some reason. I think it's because every time I have a moment to do it, I just crawled out of bed or I'm so exhausted that my eyeballs feel like they're going to fall out and roll away at any moment. Yesterday I tried to record a weblog on my Flip, but the battery died and I had limited time to figure out how to remedy that. So perhaps tomorrow, or another time during my epic weekend coming up.

But all I know right now is that I can't concentrate on the screen anymore because I really want a Santa Fe chicken salad from Applebee's, or a root beer float, or a Whopper, or an oil and garlic linguine dish with spinach and onions and red peppers. I guess I can't complain about whatever I'll be eating today though. The only reason I can eat is because Stephen gave me some cash. So thank you, Stephen, for feeding my obsession of McDonald's Monopoly month even though it's impossible to win. I'm sure you're thinking that it's just an excuse to eat large fries and such, but no, that is not it at all. Absolutely not.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Caturday and Name Obsessions

CaturdayCaturday is upon us again. Appropriately, I spent a couple hours at Animal Friends today at the volunteer orientation and fell in love with a cat there named Molly Jean. She's a "cabbie" (calico tabby mix) and six years old but you'd never know it. She has these big bright eyes and she really commanded everyone's attention. I was in the back of a groupCaturdayMollyJean of four people who were playing with a laser pointer and I'm pretty sure Molly Jean was acting like an eight month old kitten. It was ridiculously cute. Then afterwards I went over to the shelter's little bake sale for the older animals. Molly Jean was one of them and I only had $4 in cash on me so I just donated all of it to her. Then they gave me a gigantic cupcake with her picture on a popsicle stick. I know I say this every week, but I really wish I could take her home. My Baby is six years old and is nowhere close to being elderly. I think that's why I liked Molly Jean so much. They seemed to be putting her into this "old, tired cats" category but she was like eff that, look at me, I'm a damn kitten! I like that spirit. Anyway, you can see Molly Jean at Animal Friends on Camp Horne Rd in Pittsburgh, or call and ask about her at (412) 847-7000. Her ID number is A007163.

In other news, I'm thinking of making a new page. On my previous domain I had a page about books I was currently reading, but I might make a page about names. I have what I can only imagine is name obsession. Every character in everything I've ever written has to have some sort of relevant name. Some names I use over and over in certain types of stories, and those are my babies. Those names have achieved some sort of legendary status to me. Sort of like Gandalf and Dumbledore are legendary on a global level in the literary world.* I have names I mean to use written just about everywhere. Most of them will never be used, I just like how they sound or what they mean. Why not share?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Desires of an Incurably Geeky Woman

10,000 needles of instant deathI want Final Fantasy stuff. I've wanted this stuff for ages now. Someday I want an office, an office filled with geeky figurines from videogames, anime, and art prints. I'm sorry, Stephen, but that's just how it's going to happen. I don't think he'll mind, really. He (thankfully) embraces my oddities. Anywho, my current obsession? Yoshitaka Amano prints. I just adore the history behind them. What sprung out of them. There's also the plush Cactuar (I remember squealing with glee when this appeared in FFX), Tifa figure (for she is my ultimate badass counterpart), and Odin figure. SQUEE.

Well I started this post about an hour ago, and I got interrupted in the middle by a curious eBay auction for six discs of Final Fantasy X soundtrack heaven. Not only the four disc OST, but also the piano and vocal collections. I did have a tab open for some piece of clothing I was going to charge, but no, not after I've found this. I've been meaning to buy this for years and years. I'm actually very proud of my self control when it comes to buying things, or not buying things, as I could probably write a list right now of things that I desperately want but simply should not buy right now.*

Anyway, I'm blogging in the middle of the day on a Tuesday because my professor has the flu. Is it the swine flu? Who knows, but I hope she's ok and I'm ridiculously glad to be home. And Thursday's classes were cancelled too because of more swine flu things and the G-20 summit. President Obama will be at Phipps Conservatory that night. So cool. Basically, I have one class tomorrow at 3 pm this week and...that's it. Yeah, this is about the only time in my life that you will ever hear me say "college rocks."

*See:

  1. Pan Am bags

  2. Graphics tablet

  3. All those aforementioned Final Fantasy goods

  4. WoW play time (Oh whoops, I seem to have just bought this. Damn.)

  5. Sushi

  6. A Honda CR-V

  7. Pittsburgh Penguins season tickets

  8. A kitten

  9. A vial of felix felicis

  10. Sanity

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Caturday, Kanye-ing the Site, and the Crying BMW

Caturday

Winstin at Animal Friends
For some reason I have a ton to talk about today. And tons of pictures, so you'll have to bare with me.

Earlier I decided I wanted instead to volunteer at Animal Friends, which I will be starting next week. It's just a little more sensible given my current living arrangements. Therefore, today's kitty comes from Animal Friends, and he's so handsome! Winstin's about three years old and has been at the shelter since May 2009. It bothers me a little how Winstin came to be there. He shared his home with two other cats but when he got a little sick, his owner didn't think she could afford to have him treated. So she just abandoned him. But he's fine now, and probably really hoping for an owner who will love him no matter what. They say he's really affectionate too, which you don't always find. You can head over to Animal Friends to meet him if you're in the Pittsburgh area, or you can always call first to inquire about him. The number is (412) 847-7000 and his ID number is A007368.

I also ran across this link today, and I can’t for the life of me remember what it was, but it totally Kanye-d any site you wanted it to. Since I know at least one person will be like “Kanye what?” if I don’t give a brief TWG has been Kanye-d!explanation and I’ll be severely annoyed…it’s a reference to Kanye interrupting Taylor Swift’s shining moment at the VMAs, saying something like yeah, you can talk again in a second, but Beyonce had the bestvideo. And so I Kanye-d my site. Shortly after I Kanye-d my site I realized that Stephen had talked me into thinking that buying WoW play time is an OK idea. Before he went to work he was like “Do it. Charge it. I’ll give you the money.” And while I’m not going to let him give me the money, I still charged a month of game time and spent several hours romping gleefully about Azeroth. Remember the Sunwell!

Now, lastly, check THIS out. This crazy-ass BMW. It’s called the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept. Yes, apparently Efficientdynamics is a real word that they created. They fused the words and now they are the masters. It’s also probably the least sexy name for a car I’ve ever heard in my life. Vision? Vision reminds me of a car from 80’s for some reason, the kind that is shaped like some boxes mashed together and it announces its arrival by that wonderful spluttering sound. Anyway…tell me this car doesn’t deserve aBMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept much sexier name? You know, except for the fact that it seems to be crying fat black tears of death. It’s pretty mean-looking though, otherwise. I’m not sure about the special glowy blue LED grill though. I can imagine driving and having a rock bust those things apart like a game at the theme park. I also think it kind of looks like one of those roundish robot vacuum cleaners that skid along the floor and serve as expensive cat toys, if it were shrunken down to that size. Ah well. Expensive cat toy or not, I’d still drive the hell out of it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Disappearing (in Firefox and IE) Header Image

Alright, so something has come to my attention with my new layout. I actually discovered it the night after I spent like two days on it but have been trying so hard to figure out what's wrong so I wouldn't have to address it. But alas, here I am, fully addressing it. Whenever I am on my Mac, using the Safari browser, I can see the header. It's a dark wood pattern with "The Wandering Geek" in green on the right. When I'm on my laptop, or at school, or anywhere else on Firefox or IE, the header image is absent. And not only that, but when I right click on the space that is supposed to contain the header and hit "View Background Image," it takes me to this interesting error message. And it says head3.png etc can't be displayed because it contains errors. What in the flipping hell? Can anyone shed some light on this, or view my source and see what the eff is wrong with my code? I would bake you cookies and give them to you for free, provided you live within driving distance.

Anyway, I'm sitting in the Cathedral computer lab and it's not even 4 pm and I've been wasting my life away for four hours already during my break. Oh yeah, and I still have another two hours to waste before my night class. What crossed my mind last spring when I decided this was an ok idea is really beyond me.

In happier news, Stephen was convinced at last by some Gamestop folks that getting a PS3 is a much better idea than getting an Xbox*. That means Final Fantasy XIII and such. He also bought me Scribblenauts for the DS yesterday**, because I am an insufferable geek who enjoys playing pointless, cute little games that don't stress me out. I feel a little tempted to vent about my issues with school earlier today, but it would probably be way too lengthy and boring. So if you have any vague idea about why my header won't appear except in Safari (as far as I know), please contact me!

* - after I had been saying this for months

** - because I am a loser, I played that game the whole night and did not study at all for my abnormal psych quiz today

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Final Touches and that Pan Am Bag I Want

Check it out! I spent the whole morning tweaking the layout. I made the social networking icons up top first, and that's what took longest. I also made myself a personalized header with the same font as the new Caturday header, for consistency's sake. I moved the page links to the leftmost sidebar and simplified the look of the blogroll links. If anything is possibly the final version of the layout, this is it. However, I still need to figure out how to get rid of that pesky comma before the first tag in the "Filed in:" part of the post. I mean, when it was categories, there wasn't a comma before the first one, so I have no idea what the difference is that makes that comma appear. Ideas, anyone?

Now, the most unfortunate part of being a jobless college student is not the inability to buy lunch, to pay your climbing credit card bills, or to pay your Blackberry bill. Those are all things that I should probably do. No, the most unfortunate part of being a jobless college student is the inability to buy things I don't need but really want. In the past I used to put a hundred bucks or so on my Vicky's or Amex cards just for a new pair of boots or a coat. But now the little money that I get, most of which was from my birthday a week ago, goes towards those credit cards and other such things. So I could put $100 on one of them for something I really want but don't need, but that would be like I never got that precious money in the first place. Fortunately, I guess, I'm not the kind of person who can throw thousands of dollars on my credit cards, especially when I don't have a job and kind of need to...eat. And pay my car insurance. Then again maybe it has nothing to do with the kind of person I am. Maybe I'm just not a freaking idiot.

Pan Am Defiance BagAnyway, I realized last night that I need to go thrifting. I absolutely love it, and luckily for me, it can be extremely cheap. Sadly I'm hunting for something special now: vintage airline bags. I'm watching about four vintage Pan Am bags on eBay right now, though I'm doing it with the knowledge that with shipping, they're all going to end up being over $30 and I don't have that at all. It's just kind of fun pretending like I can buy things. Sort of like yesterday I was building a Honda CR-V (because I suddenly really want one) on their website and talking to Stephen about it as though I'm really in a position to buy one:
Me: It's 25 grand. But I would only get 6 grand or less for my car now, which sucks. I have those freaking dents in my trunk from backing into the garage door. My payments would be huge.

Stephen: Baby...I think you should probably wait until you get a job.

Me: Oh, absolutely. I can't do this now at all. I'm well aware.

+pause+

Me: ...So there's three things I need in my CR-V. It must be black, not have ugly stock rims, and have an iPod jack thingy inside.

Stephen: +shakes head+

Nevertheless, I want that Pan Am bag so badly. But what's that? They're $71? What the hell, man? Gah. I just love that Pan Am is an old cultural icon, not to mention it's obviously associated with travel. I would use the hell out of that thing. Ooh, and the travel bag, Orion. I've needed a weekender sort of bag for some time now. They just seem to call to me as a travel obsessive. I feel like it's just something I should have. You can see the whole product line here. Now excuse me while I go salivate over luggage and SUVs.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Look at Last and Caturday

CaturdayHere we are, folks. A new layout, a new Caturday header, and some other new junk you'll just have to discover for yourself. I love the cat in the new header. I found it on Google images and it was one of the few that wasn't a stock photo. Those cost money. I also found this insanely cute kitten picture that I obviously didn't use...but you'll see it soon. I call it "Wait, come back!" It's cute as hell. Anyway, I'm still not sure if this is going to be the final version as you see it. I'm thinking of tweaking some other things like perhaps the header. I already changed the background so that's over with. I guess we'll see as the days pass and I get to look at it more.

BlairBut enough about web design, on to Caturday! This adorable snuggle-ball is Blair, an affectionate kitty of about four years. She was found stray in Highland Park, Pittsburgh, but it definitely seems as though she had a home at one point because of that well-fed tummy. She's been at the shelter since March of this year, which is definitely way too long if you ask me. Blair can also be found at the ARL, but she is actually hanging out at their Rosedale Campus in Verona, PA. She's at their Wildlife Center because the main ARL building has so many kitties they couldn't keep up! Call 412-793-1135 to find out when you can visit her and take her home with you!

So...I'm about to plug in my external HD and watch an episode or two from the "Sailor Stars" season of Sailor Moon, which never aired in the US. But I have that shit, because I'm just that sort of loser. Venus Crystal Powerrrr...Maaake...UP! +geeks out completely+

Friday, September 11, 2009

Finally revamping

Ok so it's almost like 1:30 AM and I've FINALLY settled on a new look for the site. I plan on customizing almost everything, but as you can see, I'm nowhere close to done and it doesn't look exactly right yet. And I should probably go to sleep. This theme is by Teresa from ScribbleScratch.com though, and I had the hardest time picking which of her themes I wanted. They're all amazing.

Anyway, excuse the funkiness of everything right now. Lots of work to be done tomorrow. But be prepared...I'm pretty excited that it's going to look great :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Soothing Influence of Animal Crossing

Holy extinct, Batman!So as I said on Saturday, my first week of classes is over. Today is Labor Day so I get to go back tomorrow, have three days of classes, and have another three day weekend. Yes, I know, I'm lucky as hell. I could've been spending these last four days reading my psychology textbook (which I discovered is loose-leaf and thus, unable to be sold back) or starting my first short story for my fiction class...but no, I spent countless hours playing Animal Crossing: City Folk. I really can't get over how addictive it is. All I do is make a big circle around my town, fishing in the ponds, rivers, and the ocean, then selling my findings at Tom Nook's or donating to the museum. But there's always that chance that something better will be found on the next round. And I have a mortgage to pay off. I haven't caught the elusive coelacanth yet, but then again I have yet to play during the rain, and that's the only way it'll appear. I have, however, caught a shark, and while I ran upstairs, Stephen even took up the fishing rod and caught a hammerhead. I don't really care that I've played this simplistic, childish game for days. It's just so CALMING. You forget about pretty much everything. You're just like, maybe another shark will be down there, maybe I can just pay my mortgage off in one day, maybe I can go to the city and buy a witch hat and shirt and top it all off with some gold star shades. Yeah, that was my weekend.

And then there was that scorpion. The first time I encountered the scorpion, it was chilling on the beach and I was headed towards another likely sea bass in the ocean. I slowly crept up to it with my bug net poised to strike. I was just about to capture it when it spun around, made a little squee noise, and attacked me. Next thing I knew I was exiting my house and feeling extremely traumatized. I didn't see another one until earlier today, chilling between some orange trees. I crept up on it again, but it saw me first, and went absolutely berserk. Stephen was minding his own business on the couch behind me when I unleashed a scream that made my deaf cat jolt out of her slumber upstairs. I also shrieked the exact same way when, as I was playing, a spider decided to slowly lower itself from the ceiling directly in front of my face. Then I did that classic cross-eyed thing when I had to shift focus from the tv to the creepy thing two inches from my nose.

Anyway, don't judge me. I enjoy that addictive quality of games, and usually those games are pretty simple. I would like to be able to take screencaps from my TV of what I'm playing though when I talk about it...I just haven't figured out how to do that yet. It irks me that I lack that knowledge. I feel a little less geeky. Anyone know how to do that? I would be so glad to find out.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Birthday Tattoos, Volunteering Plans, and Caturday

CaturdayWell I apologize for not writing all week, but it was in fact my first week of my senior year at Pitt. It actually went rather quickly because Stephen hung out with me most of the time. He even rode down with me on the bus a couple times, which made having to go down to Oakland about 500% less painful. There was also that little thing going on this week, that thing where I turned 22. That was yesterday. Tuesday was Stephen's birthday and the day that we both got new tattoos. Mine is on my wrist because that's where I wanted it, and I really didn't want to get it some other place just because it may be looked down upon by some future employer. I don't plan to work anywhere stuffy anyway. It's just not my kind of environment. Stephen got a tree of life on his chest that has "Aon Gra" carved into it. I'll let you figure out what it means.



So! Imagine this. I decided last week that I want to volunteer at an animal shelter while I'm in school and unemployed. Last week I also featured Alice from the ARL of Western PA. This morning I went to a volunteer orientation at the ARL, and which kitty just happened to be running free in the orientation room? Alice. She was so sweet and adorably wacky. But apparently she's been there for awhile. Now go adopt her! I'll probably be featuring kitties from the ARL from now Nicholas at the ARL of Western PAon since, well, that's where I'm going to be during my school breaks and all. It's in East Liberty for those who don't know, and I strongly suggest you come visit me and pick up one (or more?) of the adorable fluffers (or woofers) while you're there.

So here's Nicholas! I love his name because it reminds me of Czar Nicholas of Russia for some reason, and he really does look like a royal cat. I saw Nicholas on Thursday when I went to check out the shelter during my break. How handsome and beautiful is he? I could brush that coat of his for hours. Nicholas's owner died, leaving nobody who could love him and keep him in their home. He's about a year old and is a little nervous in his new environment. He reminds me a little of one of my own cats, just in the those sweet eyes and soft fur. I wish I could take him with me, but I really hope somebody else can take him much sooner. Here is the ARL's site, where they can answer any other questions you may have. Go check her out!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Return of Caturday, and a Revelation

CaturdayI don't know what could have possibly lead me to stop doing Caturday, but whatever it was is certainly not as important as saving kittens. And I think I may be starting something else up this fall, but I have to think about it a little more and figure out what to do. But anyway, here is this week's snuggle-muffin, Alice.Alice at PetFinder Firstly, she sports one of my favorite names of all time. Secondly, just look at that face. This is the sort of picture I can totally see on I Can Has Cheezburger with big white writing on it that reads "O hai...um, I see u fownd mah seekrit files to tayk ovar teh cheezburger faktoree." Ahem. Those big, bright eyes of hers are too adorable. Unfortunately it seems that she is a bit of a troublemaker at the office she lives in. If I was a cat I wouldn't want to live at an office either. I mean, nobody wants to cuddle you because they have "work" to do and all the potential fun you could have is squashed by the shiny black heel of the "man." She sounds extremely affectionate though and frequently wants to sleep in somebody's lap, so it's quite a shame that she doesn't have any welcoming laps at her disposal. I'm willing to bet she doesn't have any sunny patios to sleep on either, or any windowsills where she can gaze out at nature for hours on end. Alice can be found by visiting the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania in East Liberty (Pittsburgh, PA)  or by emailing the foster coordinator, Cleda Klingensmith, at cklingensmith@animalrescue.org.



In related news, I think I'm going to volunteer at an animal shelter. I would really, really, really enjoy that. In fact, doing so may actually help me get through school much more easily. Doing something I feel good about for once. I'm one of those...I don't know, one of those people who feels inexplicably drawn to things. I'm a huge advocate for the "everything happens for a reason" principle. I had a breakdown, I left my job, I don't really know where to go or what to do right now, but doing this just sounds so right. I haven't done anything that makes me feel good about myself in a very long time. I started writing something recently that I feel surprisingly good about though, and I'm really wired to ride this wave of "feeling good" for as long as possible. I'm sick of wasting my time, you know? I have the opportunity right now to do this, and I want to take it. I won't be able to not work forever. I want to do something I feel good about. Now I just have to lay out my budget and figure out just how bad this would screw me financially. The sad part is that I wish I cared more about that part right now.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Murloc Ringtone, and Theme Issues

I've been meaning to do this for AGES now. I knew there had to be a murloc ringtone out there. For those of you who are unenlightened, a murloc is a popular beastie from World of Warcraft that makes a hilarious little noise when it goes aggressive on you. It looks sort of like a walking frog-amphibian-thing. Well within two clicks from Google I found it. So now I have an aggressive murloc going "Rllwrrrrllwrrrrrwrrrr" at me when I get a text message, and I couldn't be happier. For anyone who is interested or curious, here's the link to the mp3, phone-friendly murloc ringtone: http://node.to/wordpress/wp-content/limbo/murlocaggro.mp3

I'm also slowly attempting to figure out a new layout for the site. I really like this theme, but the problem is I can't figure out how to customize it and that's extremely irritating when all I want to do is put in a taller banner image. I think it's more difficult than I previously expected though, so I might just do some photoshopping and make something new or find myself a different theme. I might be doing that in like, five minutes, so maybe the site already has a different layout. I just know I'm gonna be geeking out in a minute here while I set all my computers up to start working on things. Then I'm going to drink apple juice and listen to some soundtracks. Sometimes I really wish I had better things to do...but then, no, I really don't wish that at all.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Cute Monster under the Bed, or Pikachu Transformer?

It's always a good day when I go to the Yahoo homepage and there's a little box on the side that showcases some new concept cars from a recent auto show. Now, I've never been a fan of Scions. To me, they're just little sexified vehicles that high schoolers want because they look so darn "hip." That Scion xB isn't as desirable for the young teen, as it looks like it should be the future mail-truck. Anywho, I came across this car on the right while browsing the new concepts. It's a Scion iQ. What possessed them to call it the "iQ" escapes me completely. I can't lie, however, I am a fan of that color. Something about it changes from yellow to green in different environments. But seriously, it just looks adorable, not badass or hip or whatever. It looks adorable. It looks like a monster you'd find under your bed, except that monster happens to be cute as hell even as it attempts to leap around and make "scary" faces that only make you giggle even more. Look at the cute little teeth it has! Actually, just five seconds ago @RobRyoka on Twitter said it looks like a Pikachu transformer, which is brilliant and almost caused me to spurt hazelnut coffee all over my $2500 Mac. I know they're using the whole compact hatchback thing like the "Smart" cars since they're good with fuel economy, but I can't see anyone but an emo kid with his lip pierced in this car, blasting My Chemical Romance, wearing aviators, and wondering why people don't think he's cooler. And then he'll make it worse by putting an exhaust tip on and messing with anything he can to make the car so loud that you can hear him coming from five miles away.

In other news, I'm in a job rut. Last night was the first time in, well, ever, that I actually felt good and confident about this school year and my future in the publishing industry in general. I was on the Tor website last night, which is the publishing company that I can only dream of working for. Right on the front of the site it says "Science fiction. Fantasy. The universe. And related subjects." Basically the motto of my life. So many great books have been published by them. My own favorite, Rhapsody by Elizabeth Haydon, came from Tor. I discovered last night that they have an internship program. Unfortunately it's in New York, but I think I've found my game plan for when I graduate in the spring. Spend this whole year getting involved as much as possible, submit writing to journals and contests, and go for that internship when I graduate. And maybe, if I really bust my butt and show how serious I am about it, just maybe they'll give me a job. That's the plan. Bust my butt and work for Tor. I'm getting tingly just thinking about it. Unfortunately I'd have to move up there, but we'll cross that bridge later. Now I just have to build a resume and get started. Hopefully I can even get a local internship for this fall. That would certainly help, since I'm in a job rut and don't really know what to do. But Stephen's coming back from work to help me make a resume and get all of this started, so I'm pretty excited. Now I just need more pinot grigio to celebrate. My birthday is in less than a month, you know...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

That dreaded time of year is upon us

That's right folks, in just a few short weeks I'll be headed back to that miserable, gray, absurdly-overpriced-for-poor-college-kids-who-don't-have-everything-paid-for-by-their-daddies area of Pittsburgh known as Oakland. I think if I was a city-girl I'd enjoy the University of Pittsburgh much more, but I grew up in a little suburb with a McDonald's as the hangout spot. Needless to say I'm not exactly looking forward to it, especially with my experiences from last year. Last year was probably what I would distinguish as the very worst year of my life thus far, so with that in mind, I can't help but at least be a little hopeful. I'm also looking to at least be able to eat at the "Taco Bell" level of college eating. Last year I went from eel rolls once a week at the Cathedral, to a greek salad at Panera, to three soft tacos at Taco Bell, to one mustard and salami sandwich, to a pack of veggie Wheat-Thins and/or Junior Mints from a vending machine, to absolutely nothing. I aim to at least eat at the "Taco Bell" level this year, or at least this fall. Next spring will be my last semester at Pitt and I'll be too happy to not eat sushi once a week, regardless of my financial situation. My birthday is also in less than a month, and I suggest everyone send me blue slushies, greek salads, garlic pastas, and tickets to Disney World.

Also, I purchased my second Wii yesterday, after it was determined that my first Wii would no longer be in my possession. So now I have the problem of figuring out which game to play. I've been trading everything in from previous Wii games I don't want anymore to random books that I'll never read again. Now I have a shiny new Wii and eight games, some of which are courtesy of Stephen and his willingness to trade in 50 or so of his DVDs. I'm probably off to play Okami. After all, I've been waiting to play that game for like four years now.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Florida, Job-Hunting, and Fuzzy Puppies

Lambroghini

I realize it's been about a month. A lot has gone on this month though. On the eleventh I went to Fort Lauderdale for a few days with my best friend. We basically did nothing the whole time but eat, hang out on the beach, and drink wine. I also scraped my knee during an epic battle with the lazy river. This post will probably have a few more pictures than normal. No, I'm not going to post pictures of the amazingly clear ocean, the rocking chairs on the veranda like 20 feet from the beach, or the epic ocean view from the eighth floor room. I'm going to post a picture of the Lambroghini that we happened to see down at the entrance while waiting for the elevator.

More pictures! Recently I left my job in the airport for different things. Anyone who knows me at all knows I love the airport. I love that chemical smell when you walk inside (it smells like "travel" to me), the clack of hundreds of suitcases on the tiled floor, and the whacky people you see everyday. I'll also miss things like the picture below. That was taken out of the back windows of Friday's. There have been some really AirportRainyamazing sunsets out that back window. However, I chose to show you this one because it kind of embodies Pittsburgh. I have a few others but I'll probably keep them in my private stash. Along with the photo I took once of a bat-shaped Peppermint Patty and that other photo of the playdough Paris we created in our high school World Literature class.

Unfortunately I am on the hunt for a job for the first time in a couple years, but it's only because I just really have this desire to work at a bookstore. I mean, that job would actually mean something to me. I remember when I used to walk into Barnes and Noble looking for a specific book, wishing with all I had that they had it. I'd ask someone about it, they'd type some things into the computer, nod their head, and my day would be made. I want to do that for people. And smell that great ink-on-paper smell all day. I'm such a nerd.

On an ending note, Stephen and I were at his nephew's birthday party and his brother and sister-in-law just so happened to have recently bought a bull mastiff puppy. This picture gets to be on its own line because you need to see the full brunt of its irresistibility without any neighboring distractions.

MastiffPuppy

The puppy is eleven weeks old. JUST LOOK AT HOW FLUFFY AND ADORABLE IT IS. It's the size of a full-grown dog...except this one will grow to be like four feet tall and could probably bowl over a linebacker someday. Or maybe even now. I could have looked at it sitting in Stephen's lap and thought it was just a big soft stuffed animal. Too bad it probably won't stay that adorable for much longer.

Sadly, summer is coming to a close. I'm starting to sort out my stuff, but I don't really want to yet. I'll probably just eat corn dogs, watch Harry Potter, and spend quality time with the man til the very last minute. How does that sound? Far better than outlining a budget for the fall semester.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hugging My iMac and That Time I Had No Money to Buy a Snuggie

This past week has been beyond tragic. The other night I was actually a little overwhelmed when the late news came on and I found out that Billy Mays had died. He was 50. He was hit on the head during a rough plane landing, felt sick later that night, and died in the morning. Can you BELIEVE that? It's terrible. I spent an hour or two in absolute silence after that. I thought Michael was it, but for some reason Billy Mays just got to me. After I spent my time in silence, I watched half of Wall-E then cried for half an hour before going to bed. Now I just found out that Steve McNair was killed. Fortunately though I'm not here to chronicle their lives and make it a huge thing. RIP Farrah, Michael, Billy, Steve.

Me and Mac

On to better news! Well, better in a personal sort of "happy feeling" way, but not so much in the financial way. I bought my Mac*. I bought it, hugged it, turned it on, and fell in love. When father and I walked into the store I was pretty certain I wasn't going to have it that day, but fate decided to taunt the living daylights out of me and waggle a gigantic box containing my dream computer right in front of my googly eyes. And so my googly eyes failed me and I found myself nodding and pulling out four different payment methods as everything grew hazy and I realized what was about to happen. I was about to buy it. I was also about to be severely in debt, but eff debt! I only have a couple grand on my credit card now and $2 left in my checking account until July 14th...totally not a big deal. I also have a free iPod Touch and an incredible addiction to the game StoneLoops, which everyone should probably buy.

Also, I happened to be gazing up at the bar TVs at work the other day and noted a new Snuggie commercial. This commercial mentioned festive new Snuggie colors, including zebra and leopard. I've always been pretty positive that the Snuggie was invented specifically for me by someone who hasn't told me about it yet, so I knew this must be a sign. Leopard Snuggie!? Now of course when they get a color that I want, I have $2 until ten days from now, at which point I'll still have $2 after I pay all my bills. I can't buy a Snuggie. I can't even buy a movie for my iPod to watch on the plane to Florida next week...or a Big Mac. Or a bag of delicious Baked Ruffles. At least I got StoneLoops for $.99 though. I spent the whole morning at work making a list of things that I suddenly find myself wanting to buy but inevitably can't for a very long time. But then when I lean back and gaze at the slick 24" screen I'm typing on, I don't know if I really care. I could probably heat my room in the winter with this thing and get a tan from the screen while doing it, but as far as I know, I now have a better computer than many people could hope to have. I are happy.

* Note short hair. Liked it for a little while but now everyone's chopping their hair off and I miss my long ponytail. Thoughts? Also note, and try to forget, frightening expression on face.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Squishy Whales and a Spontaneous Trip to the Chevy Dealership

Several things to cover today. Firstly, I want a squishy whale. Important? Probably not. Adorable? ABSOLUTELY. I would also like the octopus, because it's just too cute. But orcas are my favorite animal (next to penguins!) and I actually used to draw them all over everything. Yes, even my Aladdin coloring books. I'm actually looking into researching them and possibly writing a few things. I just love them, and greatly desire to free them all from Sea Worlds. Along with all of the dolphins and seals and such.

Next, before I get into the grand whammy that occurred this morning after my appointment, just a quick update on my Mac fund. I currently have just about $1000 towards it. The sad part is that being the ridiculous geek that I am, I need the upper-end model. Not the $2000+ one, but at least the one below that. The one with the 2.93 GHz processor and NVIDIA GT 120 graphics card. I shudder to think of that delicious graphics card. So taking into account the discount Pitt gives me, I still need $700 plus tax. Two more paychecks I hope? Ugh.

In the driver's seat< geeky Camaro excitement > And now! THE MAIN EVENT. This morning, after my early appointment, I decided to stop by the Chevy dealership. Why, you ask? Why Ashley, you're a broke college student, what could you possibly be going to a car dealership for? FOR THE NEW CAMARO THAT'S WHAT! It was brilliant. All of the salespeople were standing out front when I pulled up in my dirty-ass black Civic. I got out and said something along the lines of "You guys waiting for me all this time?" They all laughed instantly, even though it wasn't that funny at all, and I could almost see all of their eyes glimmer with anticipation of guilting me into buying something I couldn't afford. I put my hands on my hips and said "So, have any Camaros?" The one guy leapt right on that. "Oh sure! Sure we just have one in the showroom here. It's red." He emphasized the "red" part with bulging eyes and waggling hands. I overlooked this at the time though in anticipation of the sheer punch-you-in-the-face power I was about to behold. It was all the way at the other end of the room, all the way at the back behind all of the other crappy Corvettes and Impalas. It was so far that by the time I rounded a silver Traverse and saw that gorgeous, speeding-ticket-red car, I was ALIVE. And then he opened the door and said "Sit." I had some sort of 15-year-old giggly moment and instantly sat. I put my hands on the steering wheel and gazed out over that long hood. I touched the name and took a huge breath. This probably wasn't the best idea. He came over and sat in the passenger seat, put the key in the ignition, and said "Turn it." It roared to life, along with The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes" at full blast. I couldn't believe he let me start it. I must've looked completely starstruck. I know I did. I was in love. I was in the very SEAT of my dream car, clutching the wheel so hard it actually stuck a little when I tried to let go. He attempted pretty heartily to get me to agree that it was possible for me to afford it, but I couldn't beDreaming of the possibilities swayed. He was just having fun when he realized I was just another car lover. He even took a picture of me in it with my Blackberry. Some of the other guys talked to us for awhile about some of the other models they've had recently and about some other Camaro fun. One of them was like "I remember what it's like. I know that look. I once had a '67 Camaro. I bet you know what that means." I nodded enthusiastically, eyes wide with wonder at the very thought. My salesguy then entrusted me with the golden object of ultimate glory: the 2010 Camaro book. He only had ten. He was like, we don't just give these to anybody. I hugged it, and he sent me on my way back to my dirty Civic and flower-covered seat covers. I then called my father and spent the entire ride home enthusiastically recounting everything that had just happened, giggling about every five seconds. Someday, guys. SOMEDAY. This car, or a car of the same name but about 30 years older, WILL be mine someday. Mark my words! </ geeky Camaro excitement >

Monday, June 15, 2009

The City of Champions indeed

Sid lifts Lord Stanley's cupFriday night happened to be one of the funnest, most memorable nights of my life. That night I drank Canadian beer, hugged twenty complete strangers, blew my lungs out from screaming, and actually cried when Sidney Crosby hoisted the Stanley Cup. That's right, kids. I cried. When he was taking the picture with it, the kid was trembling. He was a child again, and when they finally let him grab each end of that glorious cup and lift it over his head, I'm pretty sure he immediately went back to those days when it was only just a distant dream. So being the drunk, unbelievably happy woman that I was, I cried. We did it. The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup. A new dynasty has been born. I really don't think I've been that happy in a very long time. I had so much fun with the people I was with. No drama, just a great time. Everyone was out in the streets and it was unbelievable. So following all of this merrymaking, I was basically a complete pit of despair in the morning. Well, I know that doesn't make sense, but I was. I was actually a little late to work because I wanted so badly just to stay in bed all day in the dark. I wasn't even hungover at that point, I was just extremely low. It felt like back in the day when I used to be really bad, years ago. My theory is that I crashed off the high of the night before, but I don't even know if such a thing is possible. Of course then the day after ended up being even worse at work, but that wasn't really related to my blah problems. Today was fine though, so I don't even know what happened to the weekend. Oh well. I just know I get paid tomorrow and I get to withdraw a ton of moneys to save for my future Mac. One more paycheck and IT SHALL BE MINE. Unless of course I want the better video card, in which case I'll need yet another paycheck. Meh.

I think there was more that I wanted to say, but I just realized it's 1:30 AM and I'm inexplicably exhausted all of a sudden. I'm attempting to not have so much space between posts, but things have been so ridiculous lately. But I'm sorting it out. I just don't adapt well to change, especially huge change. It's not really my decision to make though, nor do I have the right to make anyone do anything. So I just get to sit here confused and conflicted and basically passive as hell. Irritating, but there's not a lot I can do. Except listen to Mad Season, because early Layne Staley is KICKASS. Next time I won't be so blah, I promise. I'll also have some pictures from the pink wonder-gadget next time as well. I'm just too lazy to email them to myself right now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pink Wonder-gadgets and that Time I Drank Mesopotamians

Some exciting developments since last time. Firstly, after one of my therapy appointments last week, in which I was instructed to take more risks (though not in those words, it sounded better when Margaret said it) I bought a Blackberry. I don't think that's what good old Margaret was thinking, but I felt so utterly carefree that day that I was literally standing at the desk at Verizon saying, without hesitation, "Yeah, I'll take the Blackberry Curve." The next question was would I like a customary black one or the light pink one. I hesitated for just two seconds before saying "Fuck it, I'll take the pink one. I'm not a pink person at all, but fuck it." She gave me a strange look, and an even stranger one as I later attempted to spell out the nonsensical words that make up my Gmail password. Anyway, I am thus the owner of a shiny pink wonder-gadget and a sizeably larger bill each month. I have yet to care, because this thing is so fucking amazing. And the creepy shadow cast upon the yellow Hummer in the last post shall be the last you ever see of my extremely basic flip phone. Now I just have to beware of butt-dailing ex-boyfriends, the White House (yes, I have the number), or people I haven't spoken to in six years.

In other news, last night my very own Pittsburgh Penguins destroyed the Canes for the fourth game in a row, thus clenching their second consecutive spot in the Stanley Cup finals. I'm crazy pumped about this, especially because I won't be in Los Angeles this time listening to the game online while I eat tofu. This time I'll be here, twittering gleefully when something exciting happens, or hopefully out drinking some Molson Canadians (or "Mesopotamians," as Will swore I said one time). So I'll be drinking Mesopotamians, eating fried pickles, honey mustard wings, pancakes...whatever, really.

Got back on last.fm today because I'm beyond obsessed with this Kings of Leon song called "Use Somebody." That song is the first I've listened to so many consecutive times that last.fm actually told me I've reached the limit of free listens, slapped me on the wrist, and told me "no." Mm, Social D just came on though. I don't know if it'll just give you the preview, since that's what it's giving me now, but just listen to this song. It's unbelievable.

That's about it for now. Tweet Deck stopped working on me a couple days ago and so I've been using the web, which is just awful when I'm not used to having to refresh, and so I miss my opportunity to reply to tweets that happened like an hour ago. Looking into a Blackberry app though, which will probably thus reserve me a spot in the loser hall of fame as I twitter everywhere I go. Actually nevermind, I became a member of the loser hall of fame like eight years ago when I spent an entire three-months of summer indoors playing Final Fantasy X. Probably one of my most memorable summers though, as that is still one of my favorite games of all time. I still have yet to go battle Sin at the end, because I don't have all the ultimate weapons yet, but that's another story entirely. A story that would probably anger me beyond all thought, so we'll just let it go.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Biffing it and Twitter obsessiveness

buldzrhummer

The other day I was leaving work at the airport, and as you can see from that Caribbean blue sky in the background and my creepy phone-clutching shadow, it was a nice day in Pittsburgh. Decided to walk to my car in the employee lot, which is on the other side of the regular lots, thus making it feel like it'll take about an hour to get there. Despite being a nice day, it was windy as hell from the future rain, and as I was walking past this lovely Hummer, a particularly strong gust hit me. My outstretched leg happened to be in the air, and I totally lost my balance and biffed it right there. I had gravelly imprints in my hands for hours afterward, but I was otherwise unscatched. I lay on the ground for a second, staring up at that huge black bumper and wondering what kind of person buys a big yellow Hummer and gets a license plate that says "BUL DZR." I immediately pictured some sort of flannel-wearing, lumberjack, Al Borland character, but that didn't really fit. I'd enjoy the license plate more on like, a monster truck with a shark tooth-shaped grill or something. Hummers are expensive. I feel like they got that license plate because the thing is yellow...like a bull dozer. It's also yellow like a lemon, or like a lemon-flavored Runt candy, or like a lemon meringue pie*. But giving it the bull dozer title kind of gives off a tough vibe, and I'm not sure that's what they were going for. So I'm thinking all of this, all of this in about one second, and then I realize they have a Penguins sticker on their window and who gives a damn about anything else.

By the way, quick congrats to the Pens for totally destroying the Caps tonight in game seven. I'm a little confused about why it happened tonight, but I guess it just shows that the Pens wanted it way way more. For basically the entire playoffs so far, I'm usually at a computer I can Twitter from. There's something crazily fun about laying on my bed, watching Crosby make a goal, and immediately thinking "OMG MUST TWITTER." I then spring off of my bed, landing neatly in my chair 5 inches away, and proceed to Twitter my enthusiasm while every other Pittsburghian or hockey fan I follow does the same. It's pretty fun really. You should probably follow me too. The whole thing sort of reminds me of this video by the awesome Charles Trippy.

In other news, I spent a glorious day earlier doing absolutely nothing while I blasted some of my favorite soundtracks and gushed all over the place. Selections from Mulan, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, and best for last, Princess Mononoke, made grand appearances. Gorgeous, gorgeous music. Also, somebody please inform me how Alan Menken is so amazing, and how I wonder this year after year after year when I know it can't be explained?

Have also been watching videos of old favorite vocalists, specifically Judy Kuhn (seen here singing Les Miz's "I Dreamed a Dream"), because she's remarkable. Then I stumbled on this guy, Seth Rudetsky, who is apparently the host of the Broadway channel on Sirius satellite radio. He's HILARIOUS and he deconstructs some vocalists and performances in his videos. Here's the deconstruction of Judy Kuhn, who I obviously adore, but watch his other videos too. It's awesome. Oh wait, and this one too lol. He's deconstructing Barbara Streisand and Bea Arthur in front of an audience and I couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard. Ok seriously, I'm done with all of the links. I've linked like seven things in this post. That should keep you busy for awhile. Ahhh man I love Judy Kuhn.

*Actually now that I think about it, is lemon meringue pie yellow? Or is it that fluffy white, pointy...thing. Like I've always seen at eat 'n park my whole life. Meh.

Monday, April 27, 2009

She's aliiiive.

Well, it's been about 4.5 days since I turned in my last paper (after spending 1.5 hours in traffic only to stay in class for five minutes, but whatever) and surprisingly I feel a lot worse, far from the stress-free, heel-clicking-with-glee Ashley I was hoping for. Usually there's a few days in between my really low episodes, but the past three days or so have been pretty much nonstop low. My theory is that I have absolutely nothing to occupy my mind anymore. No papers to write that demand my racing thoughts be painstakingly shoved to the side. I wish I could force myself to write something since maybe my mind will stop going in a thousand directions, but making myself write is the last thing I want to do since I've been doing it all year. Since when should I have to constantly force myself to write? I should want to, at least some of the time. I don't really want to get into it, I seem to have deviated from what I came to say initially.

Last Wednesday I had my first therapy session, leading to a referral with a psychiatrist which (luckily...?) happened the very next morning, resulting in $40 lost in copayments and a complete lack of money to fill my prescription until 2 days later. Saturday I went to my best friend's dad's wedding and felt somewhat alive all day, but at night it hit me and it hasn't stopped. Last night was particularly bad. Sometimes I wish I could put it into words but most of the time I don't. Nobody would want to read that. Even the one or two people who have heard me during a bad time at night, pleading (with the person present, with God, with anything) to make my thoughts stop racing and begging for it all to stop and crying to be happy for once...don't really know how much my mind seems to actually ache anymore from zooming all over the place. I wish I could tell them. I don't even know myself anymore to talk about myself. In therapy I felt like I was talking about someone else and I could never find the words to really get across how I felt. I spent minutes in silence half the time trying to gather my thoughts...thoughts that are like my old bouncy ball collection turned loose in my head. And then when I said it I attached a question mark to the end because it still didn't sound right to me. I don't really want to go into so much detail when I wasn't looking to be so personal in this blog...but it's just part of my life and needs to be dealt with. I was told the medication would take a month to start working, and I already can't take how much worse I feel even when I'm away from that school. I'm home, and happy here, but I feel so unbelievably alone.

I've really told myself that I need to do more though. I'm going to make a summer to-do list. I swear every post isn't going to be about how I can't make sense of myself anymore, so don't worry. I'm hoping this daily thing isn't going to last and is just sort of like me transitioning into a less stressful summer environment. I hope. Good news is I've been hanging out downstairs more playing Wii, which kind of takes my mind off of things a bit while I attempt to catch fish in Animal Crossing and pay off the gigantic mortgage on my house, which Tom Nook so graciously upgraded for me. Gah, money.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Just one more week

This last week of classes came to an epic end this morning while I stuttered out why illegal fishing contributed to the Somali piracy during a 20 minute presentation in my Cultures of Africa class. Despite the fact that I'd been dreading speaking in front of that class since day one in January when we got the syllabus, I felt nothing when it was over. I sat in my chair at the back of the room, watching the other groups present, stressing about whether I'd make it back to the parking garage by 10:51 so I could pay $5 instead of $8. That's kind of how my life works at the moment though. Once one stressor is gone, I don't feel much better. Something else just takes its place.

Nevertheless, I did, infact, get back to the garage in time to pay only $5 and it was only when I was in the car, pulled my hair band out, and rolled the window down a little, did I take a deep breath and decide I deserve a cheeseburger. It's 60 degrees and sunny outside, I just embarrassed the hell out of myself in front of 35 people, and I have two more papers to write and one final next week and I'm done. I deserve a damn cheeseburger. Unfortunately, cheeseburger didn't happen yet. On the way home I decided I was too poor. But you know what? Screw poor. It's not like that's gonna end anytime soon. And I don't have to spend $5 two times a week on parking garages anymore either, so HAH.

Anyway, I'll be slaving intensely over my philosophy final on Monday all weekend, so don't expect anything new until the middle or end of next week, at which point I'll be done for good and have four months of glorious summer ahead of me. In the meantime, go here: Garfield Minus Garfield. It's Garfield...minus Garfield. Jon Arbuckle is the most depressed person on earth, and it bothers me how much I identify with half of the images in odd ways. I look at every weekend like this during the school year:

However, therapy starts next Wednesday. Let's work to change that state of mind, eh?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The flying LCD TV

Unfortunately I can't stay long, as it's just about time for me to shower and I have a serious paper to write on why the problem of "elf rights" was included in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire*. I just wanted to make an interesting observation.

Not long ago, what I can only describe as a "motor" noise began outside. It's 10:45 PM and I hear a lawnmower, and for about ten minutes while I wrote the introduction to my paper, I totally believed that's what it was. Then it suddenly hit me that it could be a plane or something. What if a plane was going to crash? But why was I still hearing it after ten minutes? It should've been gone in ten seconds. I got up and pulled my aluminum blinds down with my finger and gazed out into the neighborhood.

Instantly I saw it: a big, widescreen, brightly colored LCD tv hovering slowly across the night sky above my neighbor's house. The colors were amazing. The first thing I caught on the screen was "Going across the country..." and instantly I thought oh my god, this LCD tv is here to convey to me a special message, and to convey to other people across the country a special message also when they're sitting all alone eating a crispy chocolate bar and mourning for their recently expired World of Warcraft game card. Then it said something like "...or going across town..." and some sort of cheesy slogan about tires followed. Tires. This LCD tv came all this way to advertise tires to me? What a bitch. I hope when it gets home its parents beat it for being so incredibly pointless.

By the way, there won't be a Caturday post on Saturday, and posts in general may be rare during this coming week and finals week that follows that. I'm packed beneath a landslide of work. But soon it'll all be over at last. Wish me luck. I'll still be twittering away though if you want instant updates.

* I know you all wish you had to write a paper on Harry Potter for class. I must say it is rather nice. Cheers to Pitt for having this Fantasy and Romance class. Directly up my alley.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Caturday and some Writing Thoughts

CaturdayCaturday is here again. Sometimes, as much as I hate these last couple weeks of school, the weekend seems to come kind of quickly anymore. Thank everyone involved in that, because Saturday is always the sorta kinda best day of the week. When I don't have homework, it's the best day of my life. But this homework thing ends in a few weeks, and at that point I can assume the position of perpetually sitting around on my butt eating popsicles and refreshing my Twitter page.



Find me at PetFinder This young girl is nameless for the moment, but you can change that if you adopt her! She is once again located at my local Beaver County Humane Society in Monaca, PA. She was abandoned, but thankfully someone brought her in. Her left eye is a little cloudy, and they believe it may have been injured earlier on. It doesn't say whether or not she is blind in that eye, but you can definitely inquire about that. The number there is 724-775-5801. She looks so sweet and too young to be alone. Give them a call and ask about her!

I'm having an extremely hard time keeping my mind off of saying things like "Gah, I hate school" and "Just a few more weeks" and "This is so pointless" so you'll have to bare with me in this until the end of April. I'm having a seriously hard time accepting that I need to analyze a film version of Dracula and present my findings in project form, or write a collaborative 15 page paper on piracy in Somalia and do a 20 minute presentation, among many other things...in order to get a piece of paper that says I have some sort of knowledge of fiction writing. So just about every post will probably contain some form of complaint about that for the next few weeks. Like I said, just be patient with me here.

I'm getting a completely random desire to write some sort of low fantasy story. I'm so caught up in epic, LOTR-like fantasy with completely created worlds and ideas that I haven't really thought of doing something with more realism. I used to write a ton of realism into my fantasy, but that was because I didn't know any better. I think I like that though, so while I'm on this ever-lengthy hiatus from my epic high fantasy series, perhaps I'll cook up some sort of modern fantasy. I have no ideas at all right now because that's such a common thing to do these days. It's so much easier to be able to use everything you already know, whereas having to really think everything out gets so complicated and tiring. Maybe in my rough spot I'll think up something a tad simpler, just to satisfy my fantasy craving since all I've been writing for the past couple years are stupid short stories about scorned women and demonic cats. So, you know, I'd be doing some sort of "there's another world other than ours that the people in ours are oblivious to" kind of thing. All Harry Potter-esque, except nothing like that at all and far more mature. More on the Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere kind of side. We'll see if something pops into my head anytime soon.

Oh, and randomly, go read this: "Does Anybody Date Anymore?" You can get the gist of the article by the title I'm sure, but it's not as boring as it may sound and it's absolutely hilarious. "I will facebook stalk you and look at all of your photos and imagine me in them. I will never, ever tell you this. And then on the next date I will kiss you so fucking hard your face will FUCKING SHATTER. CAN YOU DEAL WITH THAT SHIT?"  Total genius.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tons of April Fools fun, and Unicorn Chaser

Despite feeling positively awful all day today and still somehow getting the rest of my Cultures of Africa paper finished, I spent a good deal of time looking into some of the epic April Fools jokes that seemed to rule the interwebs today. My favorite thought of all of this is that people basically got paid to come up with and develop this stuff. Since I don't feel like linking or posting pictures at the moment, you'll just have to go to my Tumblr and scroll down to see all the stuff I dug up throughout the day. When I say throughout the day...yeah I've been posting things on there all day, so incase you didn't catch on by now, when I'm not posting here because it's not enough to make a whole blog about, it's being posted on Tumblr. So, Expedia offered flights to Mars for $99, Woot.com is selling crap (literally) for $1 million, Google has mastered AI, and Gmail now has an "autopilot" that will read your email and automatically send a response that it deems appropriate according to your usual patterns of typing. I lied about not posting a screenshot...the gmail autopilot thing is just WAY too hilarious to pass up...

Gmail automatically responds for you!Ahaha...aha...I love it. And the odds ratio of "j" to "k" is just classic. But that's all the screenshot action you get as far as April Fools goes, unless maybe I decide to do more at another time. I seriously recommend going to expedia.com and checking out the Mars travels area at the bottom right of the page. It'll probably be down by tomorrow though, so you're all gonna miss out unfortunately.


ThinkGeek had "Squeez Bacon" though also...and since I already posted it on my Tumblr I'll not go into it much, but seriously, go there and look at the picture of the Squeez Bacon garnishing the cantaloupe. I mean, can it get anymore genius than that?


On an ending note with all of this April Fools stuff though, I'd like to leave you with the promotion video for Unicorn Chaser, also by ThinkGeek, and...I don't think I need to explain it. I just find it hilarious that the guy is watching "2 girls 1 cup." Also, check out that epic glitter-tossing action in the end.



Saturday, March 28, 2009

Caturday and other random thoughts

CaturdayHeading right into Caturday, we have a really special kitty today. I wish I could take her home and give her some love, because she's had a difficult life so far. Her name is Fuzzbucket firstly, which is awesome. Her description said that sheFuzzbucket at Petfinder was found shot and with a broken leg, and that really kills me. She looks so sweet. If any kitty deserves a home, she definitely does. Fuzzbucket is healing well but probably needs a bit of special care because she still has a pin in her leg. She can be found at Bradford Hills Veterinary Hospital in Wexford, PA. Call them up at 724-935-5827 and let them know you're interested! I hope she isn't homeless for very long.



I read earlier that the new skyscraper being built on Ground Zero in NYC isn't going to be called the Freedom Tower anymore. It's going to be called One World Trade Center. Are you kidding me? The same name as before? That registers to me as kind of insulting. It's like...saying it's the same building and that nothing was ever different. What about the symbolic nature of the building? The article says the owners ditched the name because "it would be more practical to market the tallest building in New York as the former north tower's name, One World Trade Center." Oh, good thing it's practical now! Good thing we're worried about practicality and marketing, here. Another part of the article talks about fears plaguing the name: "that the 102-story Freedom Tower's name could make it more susceptible to future attacks than a symbol of defiance against it." Seriously? The name, here. We're worried about a name driving terrorists to attack again? If Osama bin Laden is over there listening to this information, and he's saying "Oh, it's not going to be called the Freedom Tower anymore? Suddenly I have no desire to attack it" then I'll be sincerely surprised. If they're going to do anything, the name of it will have nothing to do with it. But that doesn't even seem to be a main concern. The main concern is marketing the tower. Oh, our responsibility is getting the tower full. And companies are far less likely to set up shop if it's called the Freedom Tower? Regardless of the name, gah, I'm done ranting.

Anyway, while I was surfing the interwebs earlier and not reading Dracula, figuring out what to write for my African cultures paper, or writing my discussion post for Fantasy and Romance, I discovered an awesome photographer and Superheroesphoto set. Her name is Dulce Pinzón and she studied photography at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which is like right around the corner and I had no idea. The photo set is Superheroes, and documents Latinos at their regular jobs, but dressed as superheroes. It shows how we can really underestimate what people are doing out there. I love this one with Minerva Valencia as Catwoman, working as a nanny. I think I like it most because we don't always think of parents and those who care for children as heroes. But they most certainly are.

Lastly, I'm not feeling like being too amusing tonight because I just found out that a guy I graduated high school with was shot and killed today. It's just crazy how quickly and suddenly life can be over. I'm a little reflective at the moment. And listening to Temple of the Dog, because they help the reflective mood and really make me want to go driving nowhere for a few hours. RIP Jimmy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I must go on a quest

It may be super geeky of me but I think I'm going to go on a quest when I get out of school. What sort of quest? The kind that last months, at least. I've already considered safari-ing across Africa, but I wonder what else is out there. It would probably cost as much as a semester of schooling is here...but at least that money spent will be extremely worth it (in your face, Pitt). The money spent at this school is a 100% waste, but that's the tragedy of the world today. Spend thousands of dollars for a little certificate that says you know something about something even though you've known for years that you already know something about something. I wish you could just go for a job interview and flat out prove you can do the job, and get the job.*

I almost started ranting again. Well, I kind of did actually, but I promise I'm done. I just ate a box of Junior Mints for lunch. That's right folks, I ate a cup of blackberry yogurt in a minute flat at 7:40 AM so I wouldn't be late for the bus after laying in bed for 20 minutes debating whether I should get up or not, and other than this box of Junior Mints**, I can't eat anything resembling real food until after 6 pm. That's what bills do. They suck away everything you love. And even then, whatever I eat probably won't be real food either, but some sort of powdery cheese and noodle mix that, though delicious, doesn't satisfy the hunger like, say, an oil and garlic pasta with spinach, onions, and red peppers would. Oh, I dare not even think of it.

* - I guess that's not so relevant for surgeons and lawyers and marine biologists and such, who probably don't know too much about their professions before college. Fiction major, however, is absolutely pointless. But alas, here I am.

**- That is not to say, however, that they weren't insanely delicious while they lasted. I'm debating going for another box. I'll clear out that vending machine in the corner so nobody else can have them, and forever be known as the Junior Mint Fiend of the Second Vending Machine from the Left on the Second Floor of the Public Health Building.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm in ur fillosoffee klass, takin ur pikturs

Spring at last



At 1 pm this afternoon you'd think I'd be decently awake. But no, not even after getting ten hours of sleep, am I all that chipper. There's some sort of battle going on in my sinuses and they must be using flaming arrows because that's exactly what my nose feels like. And then I picked today of all days to start preparing for sunglasses weather and get my eyes used to contacts again instead of glasses. Maybe these contacts are just old though. At any rate, there I am sans glasses and after a good half hour of hair curling, even though it doesn't look like it because it looked ten times better just after I did it. I don't even know why I did it in the first place. It's not a very good day. That's the back corner of my philosophy class behind me, which consists of 250 other people and me snoring within 30 seconds. When you're tired and sick you usually wear huge sweatshirts and disregard your appearance, but then again that's what I do just about every day anymore. I suppose I felt that since my class was later and I got more sleep, I could try harder. Big mistake. I really miss my big comfy hoodies. I would rather have a Snuggie though, and wear it around campus and look like a monk, but possibly be the most comfortable person around.

I do realize there was no Caturday post again, but you'll have to forgive me as I find myself in some sort of transitional period. A little after my rant I went to the school counselor and decided to go see a psychiatrist or whatever the name of the one I'm going to is called. Psycho something. I've been a little muddled because of all of this. There's about 4-5 weeks of school left and I'm going to start a countdown and tick off the days. That's how ready I am to get the heck outta here. Of course then I have to go back for another year in a few months again, but that's something I really don't want to think about right now.

So other than that, I created a Tumblr. It's pretty cool. I like how you can just post things you find and not go into lengthy blog posts about them. It's pretty spiffy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yeah, you can't resist this kitten

I has a flavor? Alright, this is the infamous "I has a flavor" kitten from the ever-popular lolcats phenomenon. I love this kitten. Earlier I even contemplated writing my short story that's due tomorrow about a girl with tattooed legs (because I had just seen that outside at Pitt) who could conjure kittens of peril who were rather perilous but still did all those classic little kitten maneuvers, like bumping into cabinets and falling into their milk. But I can't remotely even imagine what the plot would be. I can just imagine one of them looking like the "I has a flavor" kitten.

I think I'm going to start recording videos or something. I use my webcam once every six fortnights to take one picture. I also have a minidv camcorder AND a flip video recorder. Come on now. Let's put that shit to work.

Also, in regards to yesterday's depressing post, I went to counseling this morning and I'm basically to go to this place in sewickley and become medicated. Oh goody. I've had a painful eyebrow since I woke up and it's obviously out to ruin my day, although that's impossible because it was already ruined when I woke up an hour late and thus registered late for fall classes. Oh crap, I just remembered something I have to do. Well that's all then. I hope I can write some sort of story by tomorrow night. Ergh.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rant of Ridiculousness

I've decided to complain, and I'm going to do it in under five minutes because I'm exploding internally. If you'd like, completely ignore this post, because it probably won't contain any of the kind of information that is useful at all. Fall registration for seniors is tomorrow morning at nine. The only, lonely little reason that I'll be there first thing with my stupid papers is that I want to get the hell out of there as fast as possible. If I wasn't so worried about that, I'd take a year off without hesitation. But what good will that do me? Maybe some time to get help for my increasingly debilitating anxiety and depression issues? There are so many huge things that would have to change. If I finally get going with getting help this summer, I mean, it'll be huge. And it'll be huge because all of this has been a part of my life for, well, half of my life. Half. This is me. I mean, just think about changing yourself. I will not come out of this and be the same person. It's impossible because this stuff is a part of me. A pretty big part that affects every single thing in my life. I've been telling myself I need to go talk to someone for years and I don't know if anyone can understand my hesitation, because nobody around me seems to get it. That's understandable of course, as I can't even articulate what I'm thinking half the time. Everything worries me. Being in the shower too long worries me. Worthless essays worry me. Work worries me. Friendship and relationship issues worry me. It goes from stupid things to things normal people stress about, but it all gets to me the same way. I honestly can't believe my moral standpoints are still there, as it's a wonder I'm not drinking every night or doing drugs.

But yeah, I'm possibly going to talk to a counselor at school tomorrow or something, provided I have time after all of the stupid papers and things I have to write. I haven't had one test yet this semester and I don't think I'll ever have one. It's all essays. And they're all due the same weeks. I miss the days of just studying, not trying to think about good sentences and supporting your thesis and getting eight pages out. And then you say well, aren't you a writing major? Yes, yes I am. And I'm stressing because I really hate writing anymore. I hate being forced to do it. Writing makes me miserable and that's hard for me to take because I'm in my junior freaking year of a WRITING major. What the hell do I do if writing makes me miserable forever? I'm never going back to school after this no matter what the outcome. It's so pointless to me and I feel like I'm the only one who has a serious problem with it. I have more work for my general education requirement African Culture class than any other. Honestly, seriously, I really do not care about these things right now. I want to get my major related work done. I don't see why I have to make a 20 minute presentation on Somalia and piracy and write a 15 page paper with group members and do all of this research and spend all of this time...for what? For one grade in a class I don't need or care about. I hate the useless work. A presentation about analyzing one specific  scene in Hamlet? What is the point? And who hasn't read it a million times and how is that going to help me with my education. Honestly the only good I have gotten out of college the last three years is feedback on my short stories from classmates, and I can get that from FRIENDS for FREE without spending thousands of dollars on general requirements that I don't see the point of. I also recently found out that my Cultures of Africa class doesn't count towards one of my foreign culture credits. I looked at my advisor and went "Cultures...of Africa...isn't a foreign culture class?" So I basically took that class as an elective and I still need two more. Apparently it's not "approved" for the arts and sciences department's general requirements list. Not approved? What the HELL is it even offered for then? And he went further to say that I can't take any "global" foreign cultures, they have to be "non-western" or "comparative." Honestly, I can't understand the point of all of this. I got more knowledge of foreign culture when I traveled to Europe a couple times than I ever will in any of these classes, especially this one. None of what has been said is something I don't already know, because it's just a general class. It's not a class on like, apartheid or something. General. Cultures of Africa. I'm so appalled at all of this right now.

I think I'll just conclude there, as nobody wants to read my banter and I don't really even want to read my banter. But I just had that African class a couple hours ago and we were assigned all of this crap that I will not have time to focus on with all of my other classes. I think college shouldn't be necessary to get anywhere in the world. It's not for everyone. It's slowly driving me insane. You can get so much knowledge from other sources and I just don't understand this.