1) I've been living at my grandmother's place while I look for somewhere else. No internet.
2) I now have a job (yay!) teaching College Composition at the local community college. This means that (maybe, just maybe) I can somehow,miraculously find a place to live that I might be able to afford. If I can find a second job, somewhere (because, you know, teaching "part-time" means you never have to do anything outside of the classroom, right? It's not incredibly demanding or anything...). Not that I'm complaining. Because I'm not. I'm enjoying teaching.
3) staying with parents in a hotel right now because it's closer to campus and provides me internet
4) Grandma is in the hospital again. Complications from all the things that were already wrong. It's been difficult to watch her in pain and get weaker and weaker.But she's a fighter, always has been; which is both a blessing and a curse. It means she fights to hold on and keep going, but also that she often fights against people who have her best interests in mind and want her to do something she doesn't want to do. Like keep her swollen, infected leg elevated so it can drain properly. Or stay in the hospital where she can get the medical care she needs. I'm worried about her. I'm worried that she's going to be too stubborn for her own good, and end up dead from it.
5) Parents fly out far sooner than I'm letting myself think about. As much as I feel like I'm a huge burden on them and want to be on my own finally, I worry about my ability to actually make it without them.
6) I'm broke. I'm scared to look at my bank balance after my Verizon bill got paid today. Just hoping the college comes through and gets that first paycheck deposited when they say they will, or I'm in serious trouble.
To sum up: New job, nomadic, no money, sick grandmother, worried the light at the end of the tunnel is oncoming traffic. Can't decide if my life is finally coming together or falling apart. Some of both, maybe.
Hooray for adulthood!
I actually managed to win a game of Commander using my Oona-led Commander deck! Granted, the only real reason was that I was only a threat to one person most of the game, and I came awful close to dying at the end--down to 2 life. But I pulled out the win!
So, it was a 5-person game. I spent most of the game hitting Stanley with the milling, as his blue/green deck was probably the biggest threat, and it has a lot of card-drawing built in, so milling his 99-cards out was going to be easier. I got a lot of good use out of Mesmeric Orb, until it got killed (before I got my next turn, even so it never hit me), and even managed to get out Geth, Lord of the Vault and Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker. My Bloodchief Ascension and Necrotic Ooze both got killed before really letting me do much with them.
The only other real threat most of the game was Andrew, so he and Stanley were going back and forth hitting each other for damage. Chris and Nancy were both having mana issues, so weren't drawing much hate. I was able to get a ton of good cards off my Trade Secrets by targeting Nancy, who desperately needed to draw a Plains. Chris eventually got some threats down, but was too weakened to be able to defend himself against Andrew's large army of token creatures, and was the first to be taken out of the game. By this point, I was getting pretty low on life and was as good as dead on the board. I dropped Life's Finale, killing all the creatures and buying myself at least one more turn. Stanley used his next turn to play out a creature he had bounced back to his hand in response to my Life's Finale. I played out a Consuming Aberration (freaking huge by this point), which got O-Ringed by Nancy. Stanley Swung in and killed Andrew with his next turn, assuming I was no longer a threat. I dropped another Island, which gave me the 11 mana I needed to both play and activate my Keening Stone, leaving Stanley with no cards in his library, and dead when he got to his next draw step.
Nancy had no threats on the boards, and my next turn got me to 12 mana on board, which was enough to let me play Clutch of the Undercity on her O-Ring to get back my Aberration. I then played out an Altar of Dementia, and an unkicked Everflowing Chalice (for 0 mana and no value), which activated the Aberration twice, milling Nancy for a good chunk of her library. I then sacked the Aberration to the Altar, milling out another huge chunk of her library, and activated the Keening Stone to put the remaining 42 cards into her graveyard.
I sprained my ankle three weeks ago.
Where have you been that you don't know this by now?
My physical therapist says that my feet have a greater range of inward motion than is normal. This explains why I walk more heavily along the outside edges of my feet, and also why my right ankle decided to collapse in at a right angle to my leg while I was walking down stairs. Ouch.
He suggests I get some orthopedic inserts made once I'm off crutches and the ankle's healed more.
So I find out from my father that this is apparently a family trait: his feet do the same thing, as do his brother's and several of my cousins'. Well, great. So this is jst likely to happen again at some point I guess.
THis is why I always preferred high-top sneakers or work boots. I NEED the extra ankle support.
Roger Zelazny: A Night in the Lonesome October
Spider Robinson: Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
Mary Shelley: Frankenstein
Edgar Allen Poe: "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Masque of the Red Death", "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar"
H.P. Lovecraft: "The Call of Cthulhu", "The Rats in the Walls"
"The House on Haunted Hill"
"Return of the Killer Tomatoes" (probably the best in the series, but check out the rest if you find yourself enjoying this one as much as I do)
"Nosferatu" (the original silent film, although the weird French remake from 1979 is good too)
"Nightmare Before Christmas"
"American Werewolf in London"
"The Beast of Yucca Flats" (this is a terrible movie. they literally lost the soundtrack to it and had to record a new one with different actors. It's that special kind of terrible that makes it a real hoot to watch.)
Greenskeepers: Lotion (think "Silence of the Lambs". Actually, watch it instead.)
We'll Write: Bleached Bone Fields (I think this band is now called Comrade Robot)
The Buoys: Timothy (I don't care what the band says. Timothy was not a donkey)
Blue Oyster Cult: Godzilla
Edgar Winter Group: Frankenstein (huh... some form of this story made all three lists)
Fleetwood Mac: My little Demon
Jethro Tull: Beastie (really, the entire Broadsword and the Beast album)
Jonathan Coulton: Skullcrusher Mountain, RE: Your Brains
Mudrerdolls: Teenage Zombie
The Isle of Beguile was a place referenced throughout the excellend Mindtrap series of games. On it, the visitors all told the truth and the natives all lied.
The point of the questions was always that you had to figure out which person was lying and which was telling the truth in order to achieve some end. THink of the scene in Labyrinth with the doors, where she gets one question to figure out which door to go through. Same idea.
The problem I always have with this kinda thing is that it makes no sense. Under what circumstances does a place like the Isle of Beguile exist? How does being there as a visitor compel you to always be truthful? I could maybe understand a cultural thing to explain the lying, but that would just get really confusing, even if you were used to it. Imagine trying to buy a loaf of bread and everybody, including you has to lie about everything:
Native: I have no desire to buy a loaf of bread.
SHOPKEEPER: The bread is in aisle 12.
Now you have to look in every aisle that isn't 12 until you find it. And hey, since the guy who made the signs was probably also a native, the aisles are all mislabelled. It says bread is in that aisle, but it's really cereal. Or at least the boxes say they're cereal. No way to know since they're probably lying too. I can just imagine what paying for anything would be like, since all the prices are lies. And the barcodes too, probably. Even if we assume the barcodes scan the true price, the guy will lie to you when he says what your total is, so you have no way of knowing what he's going to actually charge you. And besides, you'd be required to lie when you try to pay him.
CASHIER: THat comes out to $12.50
Native: Here's a $20 <hands over a $5 bill>
C: I need another $3.75 from you
N: I don't have anything else <hands over a $10>
C: Here's your change <gives the customer nothing> I hope you drop dead in the street.
This is a terrible economic model. They're apparently a tourist economy since visitors are so important, but how do you sell that to people? "COme to the Isle of BEguile! Your spouse will be forced to tell you they're cheating on you! All the locals will insult you and lie about everything! You'll be so confused by our road signs that you'll end up driving into the ocean in an attempt to leave!"
Also: what about naturalized citizens? THey're not "natives" or "visitors". Do we have an embassy on this island? Diplomats who work there aren't natives, but they probably live on the island, so I wouldn't call them visitors, either. Let's assume the magic that makes the whole thing work treats them like visitors. What about when they're in the Embassy? That's considererd American soil, so are they allowed to lie when they're in there?
And what happens if a native leaves the island. Does he still lie to everybody when he's somewhere else. I don't think airport security would appreciate that very much.
TSA: Anything dangerous, explosive or flammable in your bags?
NATIVE: Oh my, yes. Lots and lots of them.
And if there's somebody who was born there, but immigrated somewhere else, what are they when they return? Do they need to lie or tell the truth?
Diplomatic relations with these people would be very difficult, too. Trying to figure out what they actually meant would be bad enough, but it would get worse when you realize they probably don't speak English and you tried to find a visitor to translate for you. DOes translating mean saying what they "mean" or what they actually said? Would translating what they said into English constitute lying and therefore mean the translator can't do it? Or is it the truth of what they said?
THere have to be rules for these things! Otherwise an international incident is basically unavoidable, and somebody would end up nuking the entire Isle of Beguile off the map because they said they were going to invade somewhere when they meant they wanted to be friends.
THat would probably just save us all a lot of trouble anyway.
been feeling really run-down the last week or so.
probably a combination of stress over school, poor sleep/eating habits, and the fact I've been wearing an old pair of glasses with the wrong prescription for the last two weeks. At least that last one is nearly fixed, as my optometrist called and said my new glasses are ready (I broke the most recent pair, hence wearing the old ones).
Didn't help that I spent Saturday evening (which I planned to use to catch up on homework) at my grandmother's. Granted, she wasn't feeling well, and needed someone to be with her in case she needed to go to the hospital, and my parent's and uncle were all out of town, so going over there was the right thing to do. But it certainly didn't help my stress levels any.
Took the day off work to try and catch up on things, like sleep and schoolwork. Made some progress. Not as much as I'd like, but some is better than none. Feeling slightly less panic-stricken and a few more inches from a total breakdown than I was this time yesterday, so that's good. Still want to do nothing but crawl into bed and sleep, but can't. Have to go to class.
Vaguely worried that there's something more serious wrong with me, like lacking some essential vitamin, or mono or something. Probably just general exhaustion.
Given the choice of time travel, would you go back in time or forward?
time travel makes my brain hurt. going back in time seems theoretically impossible (I know that actual scientists who understand these things better than me would argue otherwise), but even if you could, doing so would be unbelievably dangerous. What happens if you alter something in the past?
A Sound of Thunder
teaches us just how terrible the consequences of seemingly inane actions can be.
Going forward is something we do anyway. BUt then you end up with the problem of trying to get back. And if you can get back to the "present" you left from, you have knowledge of the future, so you'll act differently and that future may not come to pass.
I can't watch time travel movies without getting my brain all tied up in knots thinking about these things. Terminator
makes absolutely zero sense if you think about the time-travel thing too much. I mean, John Connor sends his own father back in time to save his mother and avert the machine uprising... so, if he's successful, then the future he came from never exists and he never sends his father back in time so he's never born soo he can't send his father back...
Better to just stay put and avoid the chronal headaches altogether.
Does it make me a bad person that this is the first thing I thought of when I heard Whitney Houston was dead?
If you were to make an album consisting of only covers, which songs would you pick to sing?
the ones with no words in them. I cannot sing to save my life--no rhythm, no sense of tone or pitch... me singing is something that I wouldn't want to subject anybody to.
Been feeling a little nostalgic lately. Watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated one, not the Jim Carey monstrosity) last night. I miss Dr. Suess. And Chuck Jones.
Just spent a week with Jess in Pittsburgh, got back Friday afternoon. She was able to take most of the week off from work, which was really nice. We saw The Muppets and the new Sherlock Holmes movie. Had Christmas early. Her cats seem to like the window shelf I bought, and Skip worked hard on destroying the rubber chicken toy I bought for him. The knit gloves I bought were a hit, so I guess my taste was right on that one. Also helped Jess get herself a new (to her) car, which will be very helpful.
Went to the 11:00 service at St. Matthew's last night. Was nice, as always. Not as many people as I've seen there in the past though. I like the new pastor, but it does feel like everything's changed over there, and that just made me even more nostalgic.
Ok. I get it, and I agree. This is a serious work-out. No argument there. I can even see it becoming integrated into gymnastics. I have no idea how you would design a system to rate performances, but then I feel the same about any of the other gymnastics routines at the Olympics, too.
My real question is this: would the competitors in the US Pole-Dancing championships
be barred from the Olympic as professionals?
What do you want done with your body after you die?
I don't want a bunch of people staring at my formaldehyded corpse and saying "he looks so peaceful!" Which is why I intend to donate whatever bits of me are still useful to anybody who might be able to use them (what do I need with my heart/liver/kidneys/etc; I'm dead!), and then burn whatever's left. Cremation saves money on embalming and coffins and such, too. Not sure what I want done with the ashes-- probably buried, because I don't want to be sitting in an urn on a mantle forever either. And an urn takes up less space in the cemetery than a whole body, so there's more space for other people in the future. I do want a gravestone (preferably an actual headstone and not a slab sitting at ground level) so people have a place to come to and remember me. That's been comforting for me over the years as I've lost loved ones.
You can tell I've thought this through.
Feeling very much like I'm treading water these days. And getting tired quickly, hoping those shadows in the water aren't sharks.
GRad school is just requiring an awful lot out of me this semester, and I worry that I can't give it the time/attention that I need to to get the most out of what I'm paying for. ONly been a month, and I'm falling behind more every week.
Part of the problem has been my job; they just fired the guy that was hired when I went part-time to start school again. ANd are refusing to hire anyone else. So I'm left to pick up the slack and try to do a full-time job in a part-time schedule. THat would be bad enough, but the last three weeks since this happened, at least one if not both of my co-workers have been out of the office the whole time. I've been putting in 30-35 hours a week. the extra $$ is nice, but it's left me completely exhausted and zombie-like by the time I get to class and I don't want to do anything on weekends but sleep.
I honestly felt like vomiting for the entirity of my class tonight. THe stress is really that palpable. I'm planning to talk to my boss about this tomorrow; they either need to get somebody else in there or they're going to lose the one guy who actually knows how to do everything around the place. I hate to quit and be unemployed but with my parents back now I do have fewer expenses. THey've been reaqlly great to me letting me live in their basement and everything. I love them. But having them back is a stressor.
I was planning to go to Pittsburgh this weekend to see Jess and escort her to her friend's wedding. I've had to cancel because I can't afford the time away from studying. I have to get caught up and work on things this weekend. SHe is, understandably, less than happy about this. Which just stresses me out more.
I feel physically ill. as I said, felt like vomiting today. my back is killing me, both from the physicality of my job and the stress. I store stress in my neck and lower back. THis makes it hard to sleep. Which makes the stress worese. WHich makes it harder to sleep... you see how this works. I've even cancelled my standing MAcig: The Gathering game for this week so I can look up criticism/literature about Langston Hughes for a presentation I'm suposed to make next week. Also, to read articles for my folklore class. And try to find good books about the Amish and tourism for the 20 page paper I'm supposed to write for that class.
I just want to curl up in a corner and tell the world to go away. SOmewhere in all this I'm supposed to be picking 20 poets and reading all their work and critisism about them in preperation for the MFA exam this summer. SO I have some time to read all that, but it's a lot to do. ANd oh yeah, write poetry too. THat's the whole point of all this. WHen I'm supposed to have time for it I don't know. GUess I just don't get to sleep until mid-December.