Monday, October 10, 2011

From ALL the orifices!

OK, it's been a bazillion months since I last updated.  What have I been doing? Where have I been?

(On a side note, a wonderful short story by Joyce Carol Oates, "Where are you going, where have you been?" is a wonderful and creepy read.)

So let us recap quickly!

May!

  • FINALLY GOT A JOB WOOO. I get to push buttons and get paid! Hurray! (Only downside is the 1 hr long commute. Gosh, driving can be boring.)


June!

  • Went to visit a friend from my old alma mater!  I haven't seen him in AGES.  Like,... about 5 years or so. LOL. It was great to see him, his new beau (well, not new, but new to me), and his awesome house that he's fixing up.  What a great weekend overall! I do miss NYState so much. So beautiful.
  • JOINED A GYM. Good grief, yeah. I joined a gym for a class. Muay Thai class. YEAH I WILL KICK BUTT AND TAKE NAMES.


July!

  • Made me a new buddy from OkCupid! Her name is Ezra* and she is a redhead.  I hang out every few weekends or so with her, her SO, and their DJ friends.  I have been to more shows over the summer than I have in the past 5 years. 
  • My sister came to visit! Hurrah, we spend birthday time with her and we buy ourselves some new toys! A new iPad 2 for me and a new MBP for her! :D :D 


August!

  • Mmmm I can't really recall if anything spectacular has happened? So let's move on!


September!

  • I can't think of anything here either!!
  • Yes, I am still taking my Muay Thai classes,... but I admit, I am not going as frequently as I should! D: 


October!

  • This month just started and it's already busy!  I went to Pennhurst Haunted Asylum, which is FREAKING AWESOME.  It was cold and rainy, but soooo worth it. Even if I did lose the group I went with. At least I was warmly welcomed into a group of 13 yr old boys.  I'm sure pedobear** would be proud LOLOLOL.
  • Worked on my Halloween costume! :D 
  • Made me another new buddy! Her name is Ezra, and she is a redhead! Yes, another one. Yes, also from OkCupid. Haha, my luck, right?  She brought me over some choco chip banana muffins when...
  • I got sick. Really sick. I mean, mucus everywhere, snot flying, coughing, sneezing, aching, crying sick.  Managed to give myself a mild case of pink eye(s), most likely from rubbing my nose then stupidly rubbing my eyes afterwards. Also have an ear infection, too.  So to recap, pink eye in both my eyes means mucus coming out my eyes, my ear is infected, my throat is sore and clogged up, my nose is all sorts of runny with even more mucus, and my cough is very productive! Hurray for mucus! ....NO. NOOOOOOOOPE. Do not want. So I am drugged up now and happy that I can finally potentially get a decent amount of sleep tonight!  Yay for codeine!

All in all, my life has been good. Not great, not awesome, not very good either, just good. But definitely a hella lot better than before. And if this is just the stepping stone to awesomeness, then so be it!!!!! I hope it is!!!  It's my life, and I must participate in it fully, right? Here I am, trying to participate!!!

Note to self:  Should have eaten that before it melted into a pile of goo.
Note to future self: You should eat that before it melts.


* Yeah, it's obviously not Ezra, but I am not one to call out people's names on here.
** Important disclaimer: Pedobear is an internet meme. In no way shape or form should it used to denote that it is pro-pedophilia. That's just disgusting.  Pedobear serves to mock people being creepy. People who don't understand internet memes often do not understand the many "jokes" and "trolls" of internet savants, and assume incorrectly that he symbolizes pedophiles or something stupid like that. Do your research.  His appearance is the equivalent of CEILING CAT. If you don't get it still, then replace Pedobear with Ceiling Cat and re-read everything. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A moment of pure happiness.

Years ago, I had found it.

I was in an aquarium at the walrus enclosure.  There were a couple of them swimming around, and this was the lower section, where we could watch them swim (instead of the upper level where we saw them lounge).

I walked up to the glass. One walrus came up to me. It pressed its face against the glass and started to whistle.  I tilted my head and watched it.  The whistle was clear and distinct, echoing through the room. Piiiiiiii.

I slowly moved to my left. It followed me.  Piiiiiii...

I leaned lower to the ground. It followed me.  Piiiiii...

I stood upright and moved to my right.  It followed me.  Piiiiii...

I love you, my dear friend, the whistling walrus! I hope you have a good life. I miss you and the one moment we shared.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cat silliness

Yes, another post about my cats.

I haven't written much. As usual, I've found myself starting some posts and ...possibly never finishing them.  They have entered the purgatory of blog posts. Unfinished drafts. But anyway! This one is finished!! (Shoddily written.)

Today's post will be dedicated to my cats, Smoochie and Moo. They are quite silly as far as cats go.

Now as pet owner, you may have realized that your pets like to join you in the bathroom. After all, its the best time for them to get your undivided attention!  My cats take it one step further...

First up is Moo. Now, whenever I'm in the bathroom, I tend to close the door, but never all the way.  Why? Because this way my cats can just barge in whenever they please. Smoochie will generally just headbutt his way into the bathroom.

In Moo's case, she's very discrete.  She will extend her paw out and shake it furiously.  Once this easily-understandable action of saying Hello! is complete, she will then nudge her nose thru the crack and slowly peek in.  If I am still going about my business in the bathroom and don't look like I am close to being finished, she will then hop into the room quickly and proceed to go to the water bowl, demanding for fresh water.  Of which I oblige her with in the morning.



And then there's good ol' Smoochie. Now, he does enjoy going to the bathroom and making quite a mess of the kitty litter. No, he doesn't kick it all over the place. He stands inside the litterbox and swats around the litter that's on the floor in front of it. My sister says it's because she's OCD with cleaning the floor around the box that he's mimicking her actions.  MAYBE.  Except he's not helping clean, but making more of a mess!


As long as if he's happy right? Well, the other day I caught him prancing out of the litter box (yes, he prances out), proceeding to walk out the door as usual. But instead of walking out of the door, he instead walked to my towel that was hanging and WIPED HIS PAW ON IT. -.- What? Yeah, you heard me right. He wanted to clean his dirty paw on my towel!  When I exclaimed out loud, he looked at me as if to say "What, you wipe your hands after touching my litter. Why can't I?" ...How do I argue this? 

At least I wash my hands first!


Note to near-future self: Record this and upload to Youtube.
Note to future self: Step 3. ???? Step 4. Profit!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Where have you gone?

Seriously, where have you gone?
Where have you been?
What have you done?
Would you recognize me if you saw me?
Would I recognize you?
Would you acknowledge our past?
Or dismiss it like you always have?
Have you forgotten about me?
Will I forget about you?

Note to future self: Have I forgotten?
Note to near-future self: Will I forget?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Roasted Vegetables.

OK, first of all, let's get one thing straight.

I AM A MEAT EATER.


I like my steak, my chicken, my bacon. Land-dwelling animal? Most likely I will eat it. Admittedly, not a fan of turkey unless it's Thanksgiving.  Yeah, I like my starchy products, too.  Well, I'm just a fan of food in general.  If it tastes good, I will like it.

That being said, I should note that I don't eat as much vegetables and fruits as I probably should. The food pyramid is wrong.  You know, starches on the bottom, oil/fat at the top, everything else kind of in the middle. Nowadays, people are pushing for more veggies and fruits, less of meat, cheese, and bread. In my case, my food pyramid looks like this:

Get the point?

A lot of my friends are becoming vegetarian. I can't do it. Quite simply, I love steak too much.  A nice prime rib with au jus and horseradish sauce? Mmmm. Filet mignon, medium-rare with sautéed onions and mushrooms and garlic in a red wine reduction? Delicious!

But I digress.

Instead, today I will talk about my attempt at roasting vegetables in an effort to actually increase my vegetable intake.  Actually, it will be a how-to guide to roasting vegetables, my way. (i.e. Lots of pictures!)

Ingredients:

  • Yellow Squash - 3x (about 6 inches long each)
  • Asparagus - Bunch (the skinny kind is what I used)
  • Red Onion - 1x (medium to large size)
  • Extra virgin olive oil - EVOO!!
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Minced Garlic
Directions:

Preheat oven to 400˚ F.


On a roasting pan, put foil down. In my case, I used a cookie sheet with 1 strip of foil.  









Snap the butt-ends of the asparagus off. You can use your fingers or you can use a knife. (Use only half the asparagus in the bunch.)












Cut the squash down the center, then down the center, then dice into 1cm (~1/2 inch) chunks.













Cut ends off of onion and peel first layer off.













Cut in half, then cut across, then cut at an angle so each segment is about 1-2 cm (~1/2 to 1 inch) wide at the center. (Use only half)












Place all veggies in colander and rinse.


In large bowl, pour some EVOO in (~2 tbsp), about 2 pinches of salt, and grind up that pepper (I like a lot of pepper).








Toss with your fingers/hand the squash and onions to coat all the pieces equally.


Pour veggies onto foil.







Put aspragus on other side.


Drizzle EVOO over asparagus, sprinkle lightly with salt, grind the pepper, and add a dollop or 2 of minced garlic.


Roll the asparagus around on the foil to fully coat with garlic and such.



Put in oven for 10 minutes.

Clean up kitchen.

Realize that you have no hot water running.



Go to the basement and check your water heater.

Call Dad up to find out that he's not home.

HANDWAVE FREAK OUTERY

Call water heater company and have them walk you through turning unit off, then on and seeing if the gas lights up again.

Corral the cats out of the water closet (haha, WC).

Realize that more than 10 minutes have passed and run back upstairs.


Check on veggies and pull out of oven.

Voila! Food is done!!









Serve yourself a nice tall glass of chocolate milk and enjoy the veggies!

Be happy to know that as homeowner, you have averted just one small crisis. (Also explains why I had to take a semi-cold shower this morning. Sigh. -.- )

For my part, the veggies turned out edible and kind of good. The asparagus was slightly overcooked. I will prolly just boil them next time.  But the squash and onions were good.

For dessert, I had a bowl of chocolate pudding and some very tart strawberries.

Note to future self: Eat more veggies.
Note to near-future self: Put the heat on...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Naturally disastrous with Apps.

As you know, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Sendai, Japan yesterday, causing 10m (30ft) high tsunami waves that swept over the coastal areas near there. The tsunami affected pretty much all of the Pacific Ocean, with places like Hawaii and California seeing its effect (albeit much more mildly).

To top it off, the one nuclear reactor is still giving problems, most recently with a small explosion from pressure buildup.  If you're a Final Fantasy 7 fan, all I can think about is Daiichi Reactor = Sector 1 Reactor, and the explosion / leak was caused by AVALANCHE, and not by the earthquake. For those not a fan or not a gamer... Well,... Google is your friend.

During such a time, I found myself glued to any real-time source of information. Twitter, CNN, BBC, whatever.  So I ended up downloading some apps for my iPhone in order to stay fully connected to the situation.  

Here is the list of what I downloaded and my review of them, following.
  • Disaster Alert
  • NHK World
  • MSNBC
  • AJE Live
Each of these were downloaded for different reasons.

Disaster Alert
This App is brought to you by the awesome folks at Pacific Disaster Center out in Hawaii.  The PDC give a real-time account of what is going on in the Ring of Fire area (pretty much all of the Pacific Ocean) in terms of natural events (earthquakes, tsunamis, etc).  
The App is based off Bing or Google satellite maps, with icons pointing out whatever event is happening at the moment in that location.
  • Pros: Easy to view map with icons and quick links to simple text-based information.  Bing's map scrolls around and around.  Simple use for simple app.  FREE is key!!
  • Cons: No push notifications, but I guess that's understandable. Highly active areas, like the bazillion aftershocks in Japan, would mean a bazillion push notifications. Also, Google's map doesn't scroll around and around. 


NHK World TV Live
If you've been watching any of the clips of the tsunami, NHK World is the referenced station in almost all the videos.  NHK is the major TV station of Japan, and NHK News would be the equivalent to CNN or BBC news.  This app shows certain NHK TV Shows, though recently most of the coverage has been about the quake.
  • Pros: Can watch what is going on in Japan with the quake in real-time. Shows videos of the areas, the relief effort, etc. Simple to use interface. Basically it automatically starts the live feed on app start. No options here. It just is exactly an app that does live feed!  Oh, and it's FREE.
  • Cons: No language options. The raw feeds are in English and sometimes in amateur journalism style.  Sometimes you might get another language other than English.  I'd prefer being able to choose which language but I guess that would take away from the simplicity of the program.


MSNBC
Probably the only American News App I got.  I thought about getting CNN, but.... Actually I'm glad I got this app. It's basically the MSNBC news app and also supports some of its shows, such as Today Show, The Rachel Maddow Show, even Countdown with Keith Olbermann (even though that's done).
  • Pros: IT HAS PUSH NOTIFICATIONS! So immediately I knew about the leaky nuke plant, about the aftershocks in Fukushima, etc.  The interface is kind of awesome.  Click on one of the 'peacock feathers' to go to that section.  They have videos from stories and from their shows; they show tweets from users from their shows.  The ads aren't that intrusive.  Free content is free!
  • Cons: What is everyone's fascination with black background for interfaces? That's really it. I really like this app.


AJE Live
If you don't know what AJE is, it is Al-Jazeera, the ever-growing news station that brings to the world the real news!  But wait, don't CNN, BBC, MSNBC, FOX do that? PSH NO. They are all politically riddled (especially right-centric Fox) news stations. They don't show the full truth. They dont think we can handle the truth!!!  Well, we can. And Al-Jazeera is out there to prove that we can. Before, people thought that hey, it's an Arabic name, therefore THEY MUST BE TERRORISTS!! News from terrorists! Ahh!! ....No. They aren't terrorists. They are just straight up raw news. You want the truth of what's going on in Egypt or Libya, not the sugar-coated stuff that the American/British news are offering you? Then get it here. Don't hate just because they have an Arabic name.
  • Pros: Real news for people who can handle the truth. Better news, faster load times, simpler interface, free live feed.  FREE App too!
  • Cons: Though the interface is simple, it is kind of cluttered when drilling down to view articles within a section.


Bottom line is, THEY ARE ALL FREE. 

Also, let us hope that Japan comes out all right after this. 

Note to future self: And the world is falling apart...
Note to near-future self: Isn't technology wonderful?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Current Playlist

Been in a mellow mood recently. Possibly because I've been under a lot of stress (midterms, petsitting, driving around a lot, etc).

But music is my life, and it has such an effect on my mood.  So I'd like to share my current "Chill" playlist. I'll probably add more if I remember to.
  • Kymai - Colle (ft. Aynell)
  • Kymai - La coeur en silence (Acoustic version)
  • Kymai - Prends la vie comme elle vient
  • Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song
  • Bruno Mars - Count On Me
  • Jack Johnson - Flake
  • James - One of the Three
  • The Cure - Catch
  • Lucious Jackson - Why do I lie?
  • Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
  • Harry Nilsson / Resevoir Dogs - Coconut
  • Blue Suede - Hooked on a Feeling
  • Tom Petty / Barnyard the Movie - Won't Back Down
  • Sam Hart - Mario Kart Love Song
  • Oasis - Whatever
  • U2 - Stuck in a Moment (Acoustic)
  • Jimmy Buffett - Jamaica Farewell
  • Bob Marley - Buffalo Soldier
  • Bob Marley - Three Little Birds
  • Bob Marley - One Love / People Get Ready
  • Bob Marley - Stir It Up
Yeah, it's a lot of reggae style, with Kymai (French) and Bob Marley.  But it's all relaxing (for me), cuz I can sit back, press shuffle, and chill for a while and bob my head to the music, dreaming that I'm somewhere else...

So if you're in the mood to listen to something new, give any of these songs (if you've never heard of them before).

Note to future self: What's the playcount on these songs now? lol...
Note to near-future self: Add some more classic tunes like American Pie, Hotel California, etc.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Forced change

Today something very dear to me died. Nay, it decided to commit suicide. I am talking about my phone.  I have had this old LG Voyager since it was the flagship phone for Verizon back in 2007. Yes, I have been using the same phone for 4 years. Why?

Well, when this phone came out, it was in reaction to Apple's iPhone. This was the start of the touchscreen phones. Every company had to make their version of a touchscreen phone. This was LG's version. It had a touchscreen on the front, then flip to open for internal screen with qwerty keyboard. I believe later iterations were/are called the enV or enV2.

The Voyager was good when I first had it, but it wasn't intuitive. It just wasn't the iPhone. As you know, for the past 4 years or so the iPhone was exclusively with AT&T.  And so for 4 years, I waited. I waited because I knew that the iPhone would come to Verizon. It had to. And if not, well, I'd just get the 2nd best thing.

I never did get another phone. My Voyager's touch screen died. In fact, when it died, it went in a funky manner. First, it randomly started dialing and saving contacts. You know that butt-dialing commercial? Yeah, that was my phone. It would butt-dial and save random things to my contacts list. Or edit them. Annoying. Soon after, my screen would try to go to random places -- Calendar, My Verizon, Alarm, Camera, etc. Eventually, to stop it from accidentally going to some internet thing off Verizon (remember, this was pre-Android even) and getting charged for use I didn't partake in, I had to set all my touchscreen shortcuts to Calendar.

Eventually even that stopped working.  But that was OK!  Like I said before, I am a texter. I texted everyone. And since I could still make and receive phone calls without the touch screen, I wasn't too worried.  Got the keyboard and the internal screen, y'know? (The external screen still displayed, but the touch function was gone.)  But after dropping it one too many times, one of the hinges came loose. So the phone was falling apart, slowly. It was dying. Yet I still persisted.  Months passed. The phone kept on chugging. I kept pushing off the inevitable. I mean, why buy a new one when this one still works fine for what I need it to do?

Today, while walking Odie, I decided to jog down the hill to the street lamp. I put the phone in my pocket and started the jog. Since Odie was keeping up, I started to sprint. And whoosh, like that, my phone said to me, "HEY! IT'S BEEN FUN. THANKS FOR THE RIDE, BUT HERE IS WHERE I GET OFF. SEE YA AROUND!!" And just like that, it hopped out of my pocket and crash landed on the cement pavement. And the world was split in two.

...Or at least the phone was. The other hinge, which controlled both the screens and the speakers, had ripped apart. I couldn't really see how bad the damage was since it was dark out, but I could feel its innards gushing out. The cords were broken. There was nothing I could do.  I carefully picked up both halves of the phone and walked slowly home. Odie must have understood my plight.

Before my fateful jog, I was texting someone. I figured I ought to let them know that my phone died. Without a screen I wasn't sure if I could remember the key combinations to reply to a text. "if youre getting this my phone is dead" [yes, spelling/grammar errors because it's texting] would be the last text I would ever send on that phone.

And off to the Verizon store I went. What phone would I get? Would I buckle and get the iPhone? Would I get the Droid HTC? Or maybe another iteration of the Voyager (Cosmos seemed particularly similar)?  After playing a game on the iPhone, I decided that was what I was going to get. I am a fan of Apple products after all. I was holding out for it, then was holding out for the rumoured iPhone 5. But my phone told me it was time to move on.

Move on I did. Reluctantly. However, I am now with a new iPhone. And I love it. I can still type just as fast (and with just as many errors lol).  I'm afraid of getting apps for it. I suppose I will, but I don't want to spend so much money on them, nor lose productivity by playing on it. But the retina display.... Gorgeous!

So to my old Voyager, fare thee well! I hope you will find a good place to be. You've been good to me through the years. Many fond memories we've had. :) And welcome to my new iPhone. I hope to have just as many good memories as I did with the Voyager. Certainly will have just as much fun.

R.I.P Voyager 2007-2011

Note to future self: Wait another few years before getting the next iteration of the iPhone I guess!
Note to near-future self: What games did you end up buying? I know not Angry Birds. We are just not a fan, since we suck at it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Interesting indeed.

History is bound to repeat itself unless you learn from it. A loop, a cycle, repeated ad infinitum, unless you learn.

Let's take current events for example and compare it to history.
Egypt just had a revolution where the general populace ousted their president/dictator of 30 years.  Following close behind is Libya and Yemen and other outlying Arab countries.  The general outlook is revolution on the minds of the people.

Where have we seen something like this happen?  Most notably in Western Europe with the French Revolutions. The French couldn't figure it out for many years, so they have revolutions upon revolutions back in the 18th/19th centuries. It first started with granting a more republican/democratic system of government. Egypt wants a more representative government. Those in power stepped down, reliquishing their "power" for the moment. What will happen next for Egypt? Well, in France, after the 2nd revolution, the military stepped in and "gave birth" to Napoleon. He took over much of Europe, if you recall.  The military is now the "active" government in Egypt while they sort things out. Will the new leader be militaristic? I actually kind of doubt this. But one never knows. However, the key thing is that the French Revolutions caused a reactionary movement across Europe.

Revolutionaries wanted change for their own countries. They saw what France did. They are seeing what Egypt did. They applied this to their situation and took advantage. Revolt, protests, riots against the government. Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain. Libya, Yemen, Oman.  What did the governments do? They are trying to do everything they can to suppress the uprisings. And at first it worked, as it did in the Revolutions of 1848. But in the end, it didn't. So take heart, Libya, Yemen, Oman! Change is slow but it is still possible.  ...In about 50 years you will look back and laugh about how you sorted out the government by wearing bread-hats.

Now, I'm not a history buff. It's just that I'm taking a Western Civ class that focuses on history from the French Revolution to modern times.  It's even more interesting to know that as I'm reading and learning about this era, current events are being shaped in the same mold as those in the 18th century.

--A bit of a digression--
When I took my economics course a couple of years ago, the stock market crashed and we entered the worst recession / almost depression in years. I could see how people reacted to the economic situation, and I firmly believe that Bernake and Obama were doing the right thing. We do need more government to help get us out of a "funk." It's what works. Less government isn't the way to go. Once we're back to par, then less government is fine, and better. But that is why we have a government. It is like a parent that coaxes and supports a child. Except that we chose the parent(s).  Sure if the child falls, it should get up on its own (regular mini recessions and inflations). But if the child falls into a fast-flowing river, the parent better save the child!!
--End digression--

Dissidents will be dissidents. Voices will be heard. Reactionary movements will happen. And revolution will bring change. Viva la revolution!

Note to future self: Have I learned anything? Am I bound to repeat my own history?
Note to near-future self: No more courses on things that might become pertinent!!

PS - I totally understand the TeaBaggers anger towards getting taxed but, seriously I'm not for it. We voted a president in who admitted that he might raise taxes. We voted. Therefore its representation. It is not Taxation without representation, the original reason of the Tea Party in the 1700's. Doofuses. -.-

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Totally gonna do it.

YEAH I AM TOTALLY GONNA DO IT.  I AM SICK OF THIS!!


YOU CAN'T STOP ME!!!!


DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, CUZ I'M NOT GONNA LISTEN!  I'M GONNA DO IT!!





Yeah you heard me right. I'm gonna do it!! I'm gonna have a themed slumber party!!! Oh yeah. I'm sick of having parties with no themes. Or having people sleep over with no major reason.

So now I've got one!!! The theme of this slumber party will be about being a kid again. Which means NERF GUNS, FORTS, AND STAYING UP UNTIL THE SUN COMES UP! (Or until we pass out at 1am because sadly we are old.)

The fort will be awesome. This is how I envision it:

Here is what each number means (if you can't figure it out):

  1. Giant sheet or 2 to cover the fort.  Underneath it would be poles or something to hold it up high. I was thinking an all mattress fort, but mattresses are heavy!!!!! So poles are cheap and light.  Sheet would keep the heat in too.
  2. Mattress for the floor. C'mon. I'm not my sister who can sleep on hard floors. I am civilized! LOL. So for maximum comfort, a mattress to lay on!
  3. Cats. Inevitably. That one is Smoochie. He loves to see what the fuss is about.
  4. Nerf guns, DUH! (Can't you tell from the crazy colours? That's part of their appeal!
  5. My crazy big TV. Yes, movies in 1080p! Now I won't be so scared to watch scary movies, cuz I can shoot it with my Nerf gun or hide in my fort!!!!!!
As you can see, I have clearly thought this out. Oh and that would be me in the fort. So when I get around to having a slumber party, I will do this!!!

NEVER TOO OLD FOR SLUMBER PARTIES. (Co-ed or otherwise)

Note to future self: Can we make this a permanent addition to the basement? Please?
Note to near-future self: What about the furniture? Well, I guess we can make a mini fort with the couch cushions for the impending Nerf war!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Charming!

I'd like to think that I'm disarmingly charming at times. No, I am not good looking, but I occasionally can put people at ease or calm them down if they are having a stressful day. It's the way I smile! (It's always the way you smile.) I think it is my beta attitude that throws people off.

As a heads up, people get very defensive when you come at them with certain tones and attitudes. Having a condescending tone of voice is a great example of how to get people to wall up.  Don't come at a person straight forward; come at them at an angle. Just like a velociraptor!

Pro tip for disarming people with smile-charm: Slightly raise your eyebrows when you make a grin. Kind of a sheepish grin but not totally.  Also, relax your eyes so they aren't intense but soft. Speak softly and calmly, maybe questioningly so as to seem like you need help. People will lower their guard; most people will inherently want to help.  Total beta approach to people. For those of you who are alphas, this still works, and you don't lose your alpha status!

Edit: Added this drawing to show what I mean by soft eyes and slightly raised eyebrows. Also 2 examples of how NOT to do it. 

Here are some examples:
Story 1.  The other day I got to the post office at 3:55pm. It closes at 4pm. I needed to get some items shipped, so I was hoping that someone would be at the counter.  No one was. I gently called out, and some lady who looked kind of peeved came out. I gave my signature smile and asked politely if I was too late and if I could ship some items out. She looked at me and said with a sigh that it was OK. I got my items shipped out without a hitch!  Booya.

Story 2 (and 3): I work in a very small IT department of a company -- 3 people + boss. My coworker (we will call him Bob) and I had to get a lot of work done. We needed to burn some information to disc, so he asked if I would go to the boss and ask for a blank disc. I said sure. Walked up to my boss, asked for a disc and received one with no questions asked.  When Bob asked how it went, he was surprised that I wasn't questioned as if it were the Spanish Inquisition. Apparently he gets grilled about it!  See, charming smile. ;)

Most of that same day, we were looking for an install disc. Couldn't find it anywhere. Finally at around 2pm, after completing some other tasks, I said that I'll try to look in the storage cabinets in the boss' office, the last place we haven't checked where it might be. Of course, I had to ask my boss if it was OK to go through the cabinets, but what popped out instead was: "Um, do you happen to have ____ install disc by any chance??" My boss looked at me for a sec, then went through his desk and handed me the install disc. I hopped back in my office with a huge grin, showing Bob the fruits of my easy effort; I was literally gone for a minute. Bob was simply dumbfounded! He asked where I found it, and I just said that I asked the boss! Haha. Let's just not tell the boss how much time we spent looking for that disc. :)

Pro tip for more disarmament: Be polite! Always say please and thank you, often! It doesn't hurt you, and it puts people at ease. People like to feel appreciated, mostly when they are busy working. 

So give it a whirl today!

Note to future self: Exploitation! :o
Note to near-future self: When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Petsitting 101

Spur of the moment post! (Yes, some are actually planned well in advance.)

I've been asked to pet-sit my friend's dog and 2 cats. The two cats are currently at their owner's house, chillin' like the little cute terrors that they are. The dog goes with me, wherever I go. He is awesome.  He's a Cavalier King Charles or something like that, black-n-tan.

Anyway, Odie is a bundle of joy. For the most part, he's very well-mannered. He doesn't bark much either unless something scares him. He's used to cats who kind of gang up on him (didn't I mention that the cats were little terrors?) so my cats aren't an issue at all.

My cats on the other hand? Moo looks at me, saying: "Why did you bring this... THING....home? Why couldn't you keep it outside? I can't sleep with you anymore. I'm so upset. Don't talk to me. Leave me alone."  Smoochie isn't sure what to make of him: "What is this!! He ....doesn't pay attention to me? BUT I MUST HISS! Hiss!! Pay attention to me but don't! Hiss!"

Meanwhile, Odie's looking at me like: "Seriously? Are they always lik-- hey, is that peanut butter? C'mon! I want some, I want some!"

This is Odie!


Well, the blog is about petsitting. Let me write it out for you.
  1. Dogs need to go for walks. A LOT. And this certain little bundle of fur definitely likes to run around. Who'da thunk it? Luckily my bedroom is large enough for him to sort of play fetch with his toy.
  2. Did you know that fish need food too? Man, my friends have too many pets. Cats, a dog, and a host of fish! Well, at least the fish don't complain or knock stuff over if they need attention.
  3. Dog poo stinks. Prepare yourself for the ensuring odors that emanate from them. No bag will cover that smell up.
  4. Cat poo in kitty litter that you're not familiar with stinks as well.
  5. (Added 2/23) Dogs are social creatures and need a lot more attention than cats. Maybe this is why I don't have a dog. Tho, Odie is a bit of an attention whore. ;)
  6. (Added 3/6) Odie does not poo where he plays. So if we are playing fetch, he will not poo anywhere near that area. However, if we go back to our walking route, it's no holds barred then.  I wonder if this is the case for other dogs as well.
This is my first time pet sitting for an extended amount of time, so as the days go by, I'm sure I will update the post with things I learn from the experience.

Note to future self: Let's get a dog?
Note to near-future self: Let's hope Moo doesn't hate me.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A rant on education and jobs

After speaking with a close friend of mine, I remembered what I used to say about education when I was 3 years old. Why do we have to pay for education?? Why isn't it free?

And now, years later, my friend and I are asking that question again. Really, why ARE we paying for education? Now, economically speaking, teachers gotta get paid, I understand that. But how come at such a premium? How come there is a price on knowledge? 

In this horrible economy, everyone is struggling. My dad is a huge fan of the barter system. And it's a bloody good one. You know, if you fix my plumbing, your rent is waived for a month. Or, hey I will give you ____ in exchange for ______. And it works!

We need to get rid of our obsession and fascination of money, fame, power.

There was a time in my life that I lived in St. Thomas for 3 months. I'd like to go and do something like that again. Live somewhere, maybe do jobs here and there, then move on. Except I'm attached to money. Is it hard to let it go? Isn't there a movie like that? Eat, pray, love? I don't think I would mind living in Hawaii, working at a surf shop.  ...Of course I might end up being really high all the time. Well, that's OK, too. (And that's a completely different topic as well.)  Do I need money to be able to let it go? Can I just let it go without worries right now? Am I bogged down with responsibilities, to self, family (and pets), banks, etc?  What is so bad with being a drifter?

I do like modern plumbing and hygiene. Maybe I can't really be too much of a drifter. I'd be too high-maintenance! OK, let's modify the 3-month drifter plan to taking random jobs for a year or 2, in random places.  Since I live in the US, we'll keep it simple and work just in the states. That way I don't have to worry about visas and such.  Though I wouldn't mind working in Canada.  Yeah, I could probably do that.

What about college or education beyond college? There are people with no college education who are succeeding. There are those with multiple degrees who can barely make enough to survive. There was a point when those who were educated were given more money, but those barriers aren't there as much. In the IT industry, it's certificates. "Oh, you've got a Master's degree but no Microsoft ____ certificate? Sorry, you can't get this job." I mean, what's the point then? Here's another: "We're looking for someone with a Master's degree in graphic design, 5-10 yrs of experience. The salary will be $38,000."  Really? Unbelievable. This is across the board, in any field.

Yes, I'm bitter. I've been applying to places based on qualifications. I may not have a lot of experience, but I can do the job. And there's on the job training! Why can't I get a job?? Why are you insisting on paying me pennies for my effort??  It is depressing.

We all know that money doesn't bring in happiness, yet here we are so attached.

A part of me wants to run away from all forms of monetary responsibility. Even drop off the face of the internet and live life in some random place, off of some beaten old path. And a year or 2 later when I return, when you inevitably ask where I went, I will tell you that I found freedom by fixing the pipes in people's houses as I've moved across the country and back.

Note to future self: Keep it in mind.
Note to near-future self: Don't forget the post-script notes!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sleep induced conversations.

There is sleep talking, sleep walking, and now even sleep texting. I am 2 of the them. It's not too hard to guess which ones I am. But if you need to know, I sleep talk and sleep text. I can definitely say I've never sleep walked. (Slept walk? what is the past tense of this?)  However, I have been known to do crazy things when I'm in a zombie-induced state, whether it's from too many Benadryl or from lack of sleep/overtiredness.

Now, with the proliferation of phones that can text, surf the web, and even wipe your butt, I don't have to talk on the phone as much. This is another topic, but the bottom line is: I am a texter. I would much rather text you than talk to you on the phone.  I have a couple of people that I text all the time. One such person gets the joys of me rolling over at night to text them some random garblygook about a dream that I was half in. Except I dont remember texting them. I don't even remember the dream. All I remember is that the next morning, the person usually replies, and I had no idea what they were talking about until I see what I wrote.  This happens on a fairly frequent basis. The best part is that I'm not the only one who does this. The other person DOES IT AS WELL. We sleep text each other. It's quite a shared moment. Sleep texting is RAW.

But enough about that. Let's focus on sleep talking.

For me, I sleep talk when I am on the phone with someone. It won't matter who, but if I'm in bed, most likely I'll be falling asleep on you while on the phone.

I was talking to a friend who was a bit of an insomniac. I remember spending hours talking to them (I had nothing better to do, admittedly) on the phone, just about every night.  One night, my friend was complaining about school and life, and I knew I was falling asleep. But I kept listening. And I closed my eyes and started to dream.

In this dream, I had a giant chocolate cat, like them choco bunnies, except cat. It was quite large. And part of my brain knew I needed to be awake, since it was a friend in need. It knew I was on the phone. But the dream,... it was just me and that chocolate cat in my hands. And it looked delicious. I had to share. So I decided then to blurt out mid-convo: "Hey, you want a bite of my chocolate cat? You can bite it's ear. It won't mind," in the most non-dramatic mellow manner possible.

My friend busted out laughing so hard that it woke me right up. I knew I did something silly but wasn't sure what it was. There was something about a chocolate cat, but I couldn't have said what I thought. Could I have? Said friend repeated what I said, confirming my suspicious. All I could admit was that it looked delicious! After all, who doesn't love chocolate!

...This, among some other reasons, may be why I don't talk on the phone so much anymore.


You know, it's not just me. Most people do tend to sleep talk, if you catch them at the right time.  For instance, my sister...

My sister doesn't live with me currently, but when she comes home, we spend a lot of time together. The last time she was home, we were watching some shows on my computer, and she was laying on the spare mattress. She started to fall asleep, and decided to call it a night and pass out on said mattress. Of course, she had to let me know (as usual!) that she loved me and that she was going to bed.  This is what followed, with my facial reactions as emotes:

Her: "OK, I can't stay up. I'm going to bed, love you."
Me: "Mmmkay, sweet dreams."
Her: "Thanks, gnight." 

She passes out. I keep watching the show. About half an episode later...
Her: "OK, I'm tired. Gnight, love you."
Me: "................mmkay, gnight again lol."

One full episode later, she rolls over.
Her: "OK, gnight, don't stay up too late." (that last bit was mumbled and sounded more like "dunstayuhtoolay")
Me: "...." o_O?

At this point I am not sure whether or not she's sleeping or she's awake and secretly watching the show too. So every once in a while, I'll look behind me to see if she's asleep. Her head is under the covers.

Another episode or so later, she rolls over again.
Her: "OK, gnight."
Me: "............." >___> (really, this is the best emote for situations like this!)

And when I finish watching the show, she rolls over YET AGAIN.
Her: "OK, gnight."
Me: ".....LOL, gnight to you too."  ^_^;

Now, you might be thinking, "Why is she saying OK gnight as opposed to just gnight?" The answer is simple. Just imagine saying it in an exhausted voice while exhaling/sighing at the same time, half slurring and mumbling the words together. It's exactly like that. It only works if you say it with "OK" at the beginning.

Needless to say, she did not recall ever doing this in the morning. And we must have laughed about it for hours. Good times.

Note to future self: ...
Note to near-future self: ...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

To you.

To you, who will never read this blog. I think about you constantly. I miss you. I miss spending time with you. I miss our talks and our crazy fun we used to have.  I wonder what happened. You've moved on so nicely. I wish I could.  Maybe you'll think of me and smile.

To you, who might not read this blog. You made me face myself. I wish it were something better. Maybe this is better.

To you, who I've known for years. I feel us drifting apart. Are we? You've got your life you've got to lead. So do I. Maybe that's just how it's gotta be.

To you, who I've never met. You sit on the other side of the screen, and we talk. And we've always talked. Will we ever meet? Maybe one day we will.

To you, who understood me. I don't see you anymore. I wonder how you're doing and if we could ever get those days back. But that won't happen will it?  Maybe I'll see you again.

To you, who reached out. You tried to break down my wall in your own way. I noticed. Maybe I'll let you in.

To you, who changed me. Your words resonated with me. I want you in my life again. I need to hear those words again. Maybe you'll say them again.

To you, who helped rebuild this bridge. You did something I wasn't expecting.  This single act of kindness, I don't want to forget it. Maybe forever.

To you, who is a whirlwind. I want the best to happen to you. You're a good person. You deserve the best. You brought light into my life. Maybe it will come back.

Some of you I still talk to, some of you I don't. I can't say these things to your faces. I want to do a lot of things over.

To you, I miss you.
To you, I love you.

Note to future self: Let people know before it's too late.
Note to near-future self: Maybe I'll get a second chance.

[edit: 2/17/11 added a couple of new ones. i may continue to add to this list if there needs to be one]

Monday, February 14, 2011

And for once, silence.

I am surprised. I wasn't expecting this at all. I have nothing on my mind!!

There are probably causes for this. One of them being that I just spent all day thinking about this paper for my history class. It's not the best written thing, but I got all the ideas down, concisely. After all, it was a summary. So it was only about 10 pages instead of 15. I blame my font settings!  But it is written and turned in and I don't care about the outcome. It is history anyway.  No more Robespierre or Napoleon avait cinq cent soldats!

The other is that I have been talking to people a lot. And that's helping my brain cope. It's kind of exhausting to talk to people!! Ehh.

In other news, I'm still playing And Yet It Moves. I'm quite addicted to it. So much so that when I look at my screen, I want to flip it over. >__> Haha.

That's really all that I have to say for today. Things in my head have simmered down, so I'm going to take the time and enjoy as much of it as I can.  Tomorrow, I have other homework I must finish. I will probably do both homework assignments so that I am a day ahead of myself. Yes, that sounds great.

Weeeeeeee, I'm spinning the blog post!! ROUND AND ROUND IT GOES.

Note to future self: Work on your typing skills. They are horrible.
Note to near-future self: Don't play so much at once. Mine eyes! They spin! It'll get me dizzy!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Two Mac Games - A Review

Remember how the other day I wrote about some Dangerous things? Like buying games from the Mac App store?

Well, here is the "first look" review of the 2 games I bought. The price for both was $5.99 ish. I think they were both 1/2 off since they were featured on the top 10 most downloaded games? So normally they go for about $10-12.

I will rate them in the following categories: Graphics, Sound, Playability (Ease of play, like is it a huge learning curve?), Difficulty, Durability (Will I play it over and over again, like Chrono Trigger?), and Overall. I haven't gotten very far in either game, but first impressions go a long way with me.

BRAID - Sidescroller game, much like Super Mario. But with a twist -- like a Braid!  There are even little homages to Mario and Princess.  The story (and therefore game mechanics) are brilliant. Story is about Tim  and his search for his ex, the Princess. It starts off saying how Tim made some major mistakes in his life, and oh, how wonderful it would be if we could do them over again, but instead learn from them rather than settle with the consequences and results of our actions (Yeah, how I wish this were true!)  Basic game mechanics were of Super Mario Bros, but you don't die. Remember, how wonderful it would be if we could do our mistakes over? Right. We can "reverse" time so as not to fall into the pit of spikes or run into the rabid daisy-rabbits. Brilliant! Also, it is a puzzle game so you must figure out how to beat the level / pick up the puzzle pieces.

Graphics: 8 out of 10.  The world is reminiscent of the Impressionist / Post-Impressionist era, as if the images themselves were from the canvases of Monet, Renoir, or Cezanne.  If you don't understand what I mean, basically, the world looks like it was literally painted. The main character, Tim, is a bit creepy looking, admittedly. I'm not sure if I like a suited up short squat dude running around. Then again, Mario was a short squat plumber.

Sound: 7 out of 10. The music is very relaxing, even though you might be running from rabid daisy-rabbits. Maybe I was looking for something a bit more up-tempo. But I guess this isn't that kind of game. It's not very complicated game music either. It does not impede or distract from the game play at all.  The sound effects of things "dying" are cute though.

Playability: 7 out of 10. As in it's kind of got a learning curve to it. OK, maybe I'm dumb, but it took me a bit to get used to the game mechanics of hitting spacebar to jump and shift to reverse time, because I kept time-shifting when I wanted to jump. Annoying. I'm sure I can change game keys in options but I haven't bothered. Also, using time-shifts to solve puzzles? Brilliant! Also, you don't really ever use your mouse, which is great for laptop users (I am not one of them).

Difficulty: 8 out of 10. Again, it is probably because I'm not too smart, but I just can't seem to figure out how to solve half these puzzles! Luckily, they don't hate you, so you can clear a board without issues and get to the next level. Still. PUZZLES ARE HARD. Oh, also as an added bonus, when you collect the puzzle pieces, you get to put that together for an "in the life of" image. Not sure what that does tho.

Durability: 5 out of 10. For me, the harder the puzzle, the less likely I am going to play it. I still try it, but it's very frustrating. Maybe that's why the music is so mellow. Still. It is no Chrono Trigger (a game I could play over and over again). The easier boards are fun to play though.

Overall: 7.5 out of 10.  Like I said, great graphics, mellow music to calm your frustrations. Homages to the Mario Bros franchise. Brilliant game mechanics. Just the puzzles are a bit too complicated for my slow brain.



And Yet It Moves - A physics-based sidescroller-like game with no storyline. Just get from point A to point B.  Basis of this is physics. You can rotate the world clockwise or counterclockwise, and your character is affected by that world. So if you spin the world, your ground is now the ceiling, or the wall is now the ground, and if there was no ceiling before, then you are falling. You can die in this game, mostly if rocks fall and crush you or the fall is too great RIPPED TO SHREDS. Physics! See, it is fun! Luckily the game lets you redo the segment from the last nearest checkpoint you touched. (edit: 2/15/11)

Graphics: 7 out of 10. Actually, the character doesn't look great (a 6 of 10),  but the world looks like pieces of paper were wrinkled up and torn/frayed. That part gets an 8. So, the average is 7. You start off in a cave, so it explains the drab colours. But now it looks like I've gotten outside, so the frayed paper pieces look like a jungle.

Sound: 5 out of 10. There is some music playing, but it's nothing to write home about. At least they put something in. More than likely this will be a game where I put my own music on and play.  The sound of you breaking apart is kinda nifty.

Playability:  6 out of 10. Definitely a learning curve for me. It forces me to think about my left and right's and clockwise/counterclockwise movements.  It puts movement via ASDW keys and world-flipping on the arrow-keys, which seems kind of backwards for me. I'm used to the arrow keys for movement, but maybe that's just me. I think as I get used to the game, playability will be reduced to a lower number.  Also another keyboard game for those silly laptop users.

Difficulty: 7 out of 10. Admittedly if you have a good grasp of physics and momentum, it starts off super easy.  It's pretty intuitive and simple to play. The levels do increase in difficulty, making you spin the world faster and faster and making sure you don't "fall" too fast either. The "enemies" you face aren't limited to just rocks. But you need to use what you have around you to clear the section / board. Yes this means bats can take out an iguana!

Durability: 9 out of 10. I can see me playing this game whenever, because there is an option for speedruns and posting how well you've done. Nothing like a bit of online competition, I guess. The fact that there is no story line also helps with the game lasting for a long time.

Overall: 8 out of 10. This game had a much larger range of scores, but I think I like the mechanics of this game much better than Braid.  It has the potential to get really frustrating, but with more practice, this should easily diminish.



I may add screen caps of the two games when I figure out how to.
EDIT: I FIGURED IT OUT. NICE.

Note to future self: What do you do best?
Note to near-future self: Get a job.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Permission to sleep?

Apparently not granted tonight.

To top it off, my stomach is killing me. And I know exactly why. It is my fault as well. -.-

So I instead will talk about something. Tonight is another night that I haven't fallen into the darkness. This is an improvement!

Ugh, instead I'd really like to stab my stomach so it does not complain of the pain it is feeling. Instead, it will complain of a new pain!  This is effective!

I was going to write out a long and drawn out post about my 3-4 days of ADVENTURE, but I was given permission to sleep, so that is what I will do.

And if you're wondering what I mean by this, I just got off the phone with a friend. This is the permission I needed!

Hopefully my stomach will calm down so I can sleep. At least tomorrow is Friday.

Note to future self: No more late night noshing!!!!! Nothing past 7pm!!
Note to near-future self: Write about the ADVENTURE.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Can't stop thinking about you

Seriously, I think about you too much.
Every time I close my eyes, I think of you.
I go to bed thinking about you.
I wake up thinking about you.

You've been with me all my life,
I understand that
But the more time I spend with you,
The more I get fat.

I think it's time we end this bad, unhealthy relationship
It's time for me to move on.
No more together,
No more forever.

We can still be casual friends,
This isn't the complete end.
It's just that I can't stand being me
When you're the only thing I see.

It is over, Food. We aren't meant to be.
From here on out, I'm gonna live healthily.
I'll be free of your cruel grasp
O'er my life you shall pass.

One thing is for certain,
I love you with all my heart
I feel like I'm the betrayer
But you're giving me heart failure.

One day we can look back and laugh
At how quickly time has passed
After this moment in time
Instead of me dying.

Food, thank you for understanding
Please don't make me cry.
Thank you for being with me,
But this is good bye.

Note to future self: Don't back down.
Note to near-future self: Don't back down.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It is night again

And as much as the part of me that wants to dive ever deeper wants to, I am in a rather good mood so I won't dive.

But there is something that I've been meaning to say. I can't though. Not yet at least. Maybe in due time, when I'm at my weakest.

No, today I will talk about something else: Pets.

Pets are great and are wonderful. They seem to know what you need most. At least some pets do.  I don't think fish would want to cuddle with you outside of their tank. Yeah.... So I'm just going to focus on our furry little animals instead.

I have two cats. Yes, I guess I am kind of a crazy cat person, since my life revolves around them. But as you know, they are pretty much all I've got (aside from family -- no, they are my family too).  Technically one of them is my sister's, a large male medium-hair black cat. Mine is a semi-large female tabby Mainecoon mix. And if you watch them with us, you can tell whose cat is whose almost immediately.

My sister's cat, Smoochie: He's a head-butter. You know, if you put your head near the ground, he'll come trotting over and head butt you. He's very affectionate and loves to get petted or played rough with. Typical.  He's not very active but he's not fat either. He is totally a beta cat. He also likes to meow a lot, and sometimes his cries sound like he's calling for my sister: "mommy?" Not a scaredy cat; he's very friendly, but not a lap cat either. He will tolerate being held by me if I'm on the couch watching TV. If my sister is home, he will sleep with her in her bed.
(Edit. This is Smoochie)


My cat, Moo: She's a really pretty cat. And she knows it, too. And I am a complete pushover with her. She's such a princess that she doesn't like to get touched or petted or picked up, unless it is me. She secretly loves to get tossed in the air when I quick-grab her. But she would never admit it (the purring gives her away). She's also not a scaredy cat, but she's not very social either. People to her are rather annoying, though they smell interesting.  But like a princess, her subjects (people) must cater to her. She is a complete alpha cat.  She is definitely not a lap cat at all.
(Edit. This is Moo)


Moo is awesome. This is one of the reasons why.

A friend of my sister's has an English Springer Spaniel, pure bred, not neutered. My first meeting with him, Hank, was me coming down the stairs and him looking at me and rolling over, wagging his tail happily, tongue sticking out. He is a complete beta dog.  Hank would come over often, since he and I seemed to bond really well. Of course my cats did not like this, since he would bark and chase them.  But on the day that Hank's owners decided to let me babysit him for a few hours, I decided to formally introduce the cats to him since they were surprisingly in the same room as him. It'd be OK since his owners were there, and I'd keep the cats in my arms, above his level to establish dominance. I started with Moo.

Now, Hank was sitting on the couch with his owners, chilling and enjoying life as all dogs do. I saw Moo and quick-grabbed her, carrying her in my arms over to Hank. Of course, being a cat, she was very upset about this and wanted out. She let out this really low, barely audible rumble, but not hiss. She was staring at Hank. Almost immediately, Hank backed further into the couch. I kept Moo still, her eyes intently watching him. Hank then proceeded to turn his face away and try to get behind his owner on the couch. A 55 lb dog would not even look in the direction of my cat. He clawed to get his owner to "protect" him from this evil death glare of Moo's. Needless to say, we were speechless. Moo went on her way to hide in my bedroom, but we knew immediately that we had nothing to ever worry about with those two.

After that, Hank would be able to spend time in the same room as the cats and not chase them or look at them. Mission accomplished!

I love my Moo. :3

Note to future self: PETS MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND.
Note to near-future self: PETS MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND.

Dangerous indeed

The App Store for the Mac is a very dangerous application. I don't mean that it'll hurt you physically. Well, I guess it could be physical, when you see where your money's been going and you have to cut up your credit card(s)...

Yes, it's that dangerous. I just bought 2 games (both were $5 and got excellent reviews; I needed something new to play) off of there, and almost bought more. Eesh. The longer I surf the app store, the more inclined I am to buy things.

But to add to it all, Apple's added just a cool little feature. When you click to buy, the program's icon from the app store JUMPS OFF THE PAGE and lands right in your dock. Seriously! Just a wee bit of animation like that and I am as giddy and giggly as a 10 yr old school girl.

...Yeah, it's the little things.

The games I got were: Braid and And Yet It Moves. I'll probably review them once I play them.

I should note that although I am an avid Mac enthusiast, I also do really love what they did with Windows 7. In fact, it runs beautifully on my iMac! Better than on my friend's PCs. Hah!

Another thing that is dangerous is the night. As the sun sets, my mood follows.  I fall into the darkness and go places I don't want to be in. Or maybe I do. It's always yin and yang. In the morning, when the darkness is gone, there's always a slight pull, reminding me that it's not completely gone. And at night, when I find myself crying myself to sleep, I still have hope.

Being so extreme is also dangerous. I don't know when I've become like this. Since when did I become irrational? Since when did I want to ragequit everything? Since when did I want to do something rash and irresponsible with no regard for its consequences?  Maybe this past year has been more traumatizing than I first realized.  Damn you 2010. Damn you.  So I'm back to picking up the pieces of my irrational rash behaviour as well as the walls that I let fall. So many pieces. But the upside to all this is that I'm finding my center slowly. And I'm finding my patience again.  And my wall will be built. And I'll be whole again. But that wasn't the case with Humpty Dumpty, was it? They couldn't put him together again, could they?

I don't want to dive now; the sun is out, and it is a beautiful morning.  I have two new games to play.

Note to future self: Humpty Dumpty had a great fall...
Note to near-future self: No more buying apps!...for now.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Revelations about work and relationships

The other day when speaking to a friend, I made a startling discovery. Work is very much like a relationship.

No, not like being married to a career. Well, maybe.

Basically things about relationships can be applied to the job.  This is what I mean:

  • Part-time job -- That's like casual dating. You could have multiple part-time jobs, just like you could be seeing multiple people. Nothing permanent. Nothing substantial, and no strings attached.
  • Contract/temporary job -- It's semi-serious. What kids in school would call "going steady." You don't know if you will break up at the end of the school year or if you'll get married to them.
  • Full-time permanent job -- You're married. It's a commitment both on yours and their parts. They are invested in you just like you are invested in them.
  • Under the table -- C'mon, you're a cheater! 
  • Waiter/waitressing -- Strippers (both male and female!) Bring on the tips and champagne, baby!
  • Getting laid off -- Divorce, obviously. More than likely the other one made out better than you. If your job was outsourced, hey, they found someone younger and better looking than you.
  • Internship -- Just a summer fling! (Or dating when you weren't supposed to be because you were too young)
  • Career change -- Switching sides! :-o (or changing the type of people you date)
  • Unemployment -- You're single. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's not.
  • Interviews -- Oh you're such a flirt!
  • Searching for jobs -- Match.com anyone?
  • Living with your mom -- You're living with your mom.
One note about full-time permanent jobs. Back then, you started in a company and retired from them, never having been with another company. Just like marriage. Now, people get laid off so often, get new jobs so often. And the divorce rate is exorbitantly high. 

And because I can, I will further categorize the full-time permanent one to this:
  • Just a job -- We're not married; we've just been together for 17 years. We can't really commit.
  • It's my career! -- We're married and you're old. Thanks for being a cougar/sugar daddy! Gimme your money. Once you're dead, I'll find me another, better, richer one.
  • I hate my job -- I hate my husband / wife but I need their money. The sex might be OK if we actually have it.
  • I want a raise! -- Bring home more bacon!!
  • I want a promotion!/I've never had a promotion -- It's an abusive relationship. Get yourself out. Now now now.
  • Hipster's creed "just a job, but this is what I really do" -- We're married, but I'm secretly? gay and have a relationship on the side. I think the wife/husband knows, but they don't care. 
  • Those who we think have glamourous jobs (astronaut, wildlife photographer, celebrities) -- We think they have wonderful rainbow-coloured sexual lives and they live on Mt Olympus. In reality, they are going through the same thing we do. They may have put more work into it. Or are beautiful and charismatic.
This is in no part intended to be a factual representation.  I love bulleted lists! Don't you?

Note to future self: Bring home more bacon!!
Note to near-future self: We need more interviews! 

Books and Reading

I realize I should be asleep right now, but instead I find myself quite wide awake.

My little brother is visiting town for the night, and like a whirlwind that he is, he's shifted the energy of my house from neutral/negative to positive. It was good for the house. It was good for me. He's just one of those people that has an energy and vivaciousness about him, and I appreciate him being in my life. No, we're technically not related, but I've been taking care of him since we were younger. In his own way, he's taking care of me right now. I'll miss him when he moves.  He fell asleep while we were watching RED the movie with Bruce Willis. I'm sure he'll wake up in the morning and continue watching.

I thought about some of the stuff I wanted to write; there was an ever growing list of topics. Since I can't find that paper, I'll write instead about reading.

I stopped reading when I was in 5th grade.  Throughout grade school, we were told to read books. And I devoured these true-science books about nature, animals, physics, anything in the series. My teacher at the time told my mother that I wasn't allowed to read those books anymore. I had to read novels, fiction. My mother replied that at least I was reading something. Maybe they didn't understand that I hated reading fictional stories; I wanted to learn about life and nature and all its beautiful glory. No, I wasn't allowed to read non-fiction science books. My next interest was detective stories. I turned my eyes towards the Hardy Boys mysteries. My particular library was full of these books, but was incomplete. Whichever ones they had, I read. I engrossed myself with the series. During this time, I also started reading Encyclopedia Brown. Even though I was never able to solve any of EB's mysteries before going to the back of the book, I loved every bit of it. It was knowledge I craved, and I got it through EB.  My teachers said I had to branch out and read other types of books, even though these were novels by their proper definition. I really didn't want to read other books. This was what I liked. In retaliation, I stopped reading completely. If I wasn't allowed to read the books I wanted, why should I read the books they want me to read? I have no interest in them! I couldn't care less about them. They didn't have anything to offer me.

I pretty much refused to read the books assigned to us in school after that. And I stopped reading books for enjoyment. There were books I'd maybe half-read here and there: Lord of the Flies, Huckleberry Finn, A Wrinkle in Time, The Scarlet Letter (don't get me started on Nathaniel Hawthorne), Of Mice and Men. You know, the classics that they wanted us to read. That also included Shakespeare and Homer. No, I'd flip through the book, read a sentence here and there, flip some more and read a paragraph or two. Try to find Cliff Notes on the book so I wouldn't have to read it. Keep quiet in my English classes and do mediocre on my book reports. I didn't want to read these books.

Jump many years to my senior year in HS. I loved this English teacher since she had been my literary magazine club advisor. Funny, I hated reading but I had been a very active member of the lit mag since my freshman year. Active as in Editor-in-chief for my junior and senior years, some sort of editor for my sophomore year.  Our required reading for the course consisted of a non-fiction autobiographical-but-written-as-a-biographical account of the Holocaust. You may know of this book. It is Night, by Elie Wiesel.

That book was the first that I read from start to end after my rebellion. It evoked strong emotions out of me, emotions I never thought I would show from just reading a book.  It was amazing. I loved this book, and to this day, it is my all-time favourite book. I have not read it since; I'm afraid of how I will react to it. It is untouchable.

Since then, I've bent my rules about reading. Now that I'm older, I can read whatever I want. I guess it's a benefit of becoming an adult. My list is short, but I intend on expanding it in the near future. I have even gotten myself a library card!

The ever so short list of books I have read since Night:

  • Harry Potter 1 - 7* (Book 7 is my favourite...I whooped and cheered and cried, and I loved the entire series as a whole)
  • Lord of the Rings 1 - 3 (I may secretly prefer the movies because Tolkien's Middle Earth was a bit too vast and detailed for me)
  • The Hobbit (Cannot have one without the other, I suppose)
  • Chronicles of Narnia  (I'm not religious and didn't feel that the first  2-3 books had religious undertones. But as it got closer to the end, including the thick religious drabble of the last book, I started to lose interest. Still, I wanted to complete the series.) 
  • Riding Rockets* - Mike Mullane (A great first hand look at what it meant to be an astronaut. Hysterical at times, bitter in others, but to the astronaut in me, I loved every bit of it)
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower* - Stephen Chbosky (Recommended by a friend. I had to put the book down because I was crying so hard)
  • The Lovely Bones* - Alice Sebold (Another recommendation. I had tissues stuffed up my nose to keep them from running. Amazing)
As you can see, there aren't that many on the list. That's OK though. I think the fact that I am reading again is the important point.

Note to future self: Keep reading!
Note to near-future self: Good job, keep on reading!!


* - denotes my favourites. I realize that the stronger the emotion that is evoked, the more I love a book. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Beds and happiness are interlinked?

I read somewhere that cleaning is a way of controlling your life. Yeah, yeah, cleanliness is close to godliness. And I'm far from any god of any sort. (Maybe more on that at a future date.)

Anyway, this article said that the way to happiness can also start with doing something simple, like making your bed. It takes just a few seconds, and it is a noticeable change.  And when it's made, it's always inviting. Oh how I love an inviting bed.

I'm trying various things to change what it is about me. Right now I'm feeling pretty down and powerless. My only escape is to think, and I think too much.  I want to stop thinking. Which is possibly a reason why I'm writing this blog, to get my thoughts out of my head.  And I want to change. But the only thing I can change right now is the physical appearance of everything else, since I can't yet change me.  I'm sure I'll get there soon. No, I WILL get there. Until then,...

So I vacuumed my floor and made my bed! Woo for me. (Now if only I could clean off my desk and keep it clean for more than a day.... that'd be a sure win!)

I took this one step further and changed the position of my bed. At one point, I slept with only the head area touching the wall (center-of-room style). Most of the time I had my bed touching the wall at the head and right sides. I'd always sleep facing the wall (ergo, sleep on my left side). I've moved my bed so that now the head and left side are touching. The experiment will be... whether or not I naturally gravitate to sleeping facing the (new) wall or will I continue to sleep on my left side, facing the open.  It will be interesting. I'd like to keep track of this. But I am me, and I know that I don't always sleep on my left side. Sometimes I force myself to sleep on my right side.

Hypothesis: By changing the position of my bed, I change the way I lay and sleep in bed.
Ideally the other hypothesis would be: By changing little aspects of my life, I can find myself.  But that's just a silly stretch.
Related hypothesis: My cat will change her sleeping location to reflect the change in bed position. (Highly unlikely but I'll test this tonight.)

Some people sleep in the center of the bed. Some sleep on the edge of the bed. Some can't sleep alone. Some sleep facing up, some facing down. Some on their sides or somewhere in between. Sleeping habits are really interesting when you think about it. I've wondered if sleeping on your back caused you to have a flat butt; sleeping on your stomach would cause you to have a flat chest. But that wouldn't explain Asians at all (both sides are flat! :-o )...

Yes, I concur that a made bed is inviting. And it's inviting me to take a nap. Oh I do love when the sheets and blankets are cold.  Om nom nom.  NO! I must go do some other work instead. Right. Laundry!

Note to future self: Reflect back on this moment. Did I find happiness because of this singular moment?
Note to near-future self: Where'd my cat sleep last night? ...Did I ended up sleeping facing the wall?

Edit: Moo does sleep next to my head in her little cat bed, after I moved it. And I do start by laying down, facing the wall, but I can't stay sleeping that way and end up sleeping facing the outside out of comfort for my shoulder.  I am still making my bed every morning. :)

I wonder if you're still reading this. Well, whatever. There are a ton of other blogs out there worthy of reading!

Everything and Nothing

I wanted to say everything, and yet nothing at the same time. 

So I need to get my thoughts out of my head. Like I said, there's so much I want to say, but I can't.

Instead, I'll transpose them here. If you ever see them, cool. If not,  that's cool too. I might even leave a note to my future self buried deep within these posts.

You, as a reader who came here: The only thing you need to know is that I am lost and trying to find my way. Trying to find my center.

I don't really do pictures in blog posts, and I prefer the minimalist approach, but that could change. I might end up drawing. I might not. It's a world of possibilities out there! Oh, that's actually kind of exciting. I don't know if I can handle that kind of excitement.  OMG, I can format within a post? Wow, what's this world coming to! Hurray for bulleted lists! I sense a barrage of them in the ensuing days/hours/minutes.

This is the year of the Rabbit. And for all intents and purposes, it's supposed to be calmer than last year. Yeah, the end of last year was kind of tumultuous. I'm apparently supposed to be patient, but damn, where did that go? Ffffht! Right out the window, I guess.  So let's try to get my bull-headed stubborn patience back. Out with the tiger, in with the rabbit.  Hurray 2011.

Note to future self: Grow a backbone.

Note to near-future self: Shouldn't you be cleaning?? Laundry? Remember that list of things? Don't pretend that you don't. You know it's there. C'mon, chop chop! Get to it! Let's start with something simple. Play some good music to get you in the mood. Oh, after THAT? Well, OK, after THAT. BUT THEN FIRE ZE MISSILES!!! ....I mean Go clean!!