Things That Have Happened Lately:

1. Today I got my ears pierced! I did this once before, and a year later they still hadn't healed right and eventually, when I took out my earrings for all of twelve hours, they closed up. Hopefully this time they will not do that. One side is pierced straight through the old hole, so it doesn't show, but the old hole on the other side is very visible and looks a little goofy. Oh well. Also, apparently both of my earlobes are drama queens in their own special ways: one side bled like a stuck pig, and the other one was much thicker-skinned than expected and really put up a fight vs. the needle. Also, they hurt. So far the only advantage I see to getting them done at Claire's, like I did before, rather than by a Serious Piercing Dude, like I did this time, is that the girl at Claire's gave me a lollipop to take my mind off my hurty ears. (Which totally worked, because I am 5.) (For the record, I was actually 18 at the time.) The Serious Piercing Dude was much too serious for lollipops.

2. Last night I woke up at 2 a.m. and was unable to get back to sleep because an epic roleplaying plot, for a character I played three years ago and have not touched since, had inserted itself fully formed into my mind. I couldn't ever possibly have actually enacted it -- it's way too melodramatic, I'd be embarrassed, not to mention that it would require the dedicated cooperation of like ten other players -- but I have been enjoying turning it over in my mind. I really miss playing that character.

3. The night before that, I had a dream that a tiny cute hedgehog walked into my house through an open door and acted friendly. My mom and I had an argument about whether it was a pet or vermin; I pointed out that it was cute, friendly, and had used the cat's litterbox without prompting, so was obviously a pet. Then I took it on a walk (of course), we ran into Seth Rogen (of course), and it ran up his pants leg and bit him on the junk, which I thought was hilarious. Apparently my subconscious feels very hostile toward Seth Rogen.

In other news: okay, I was being humorous a week or two ago about how registering for classes is such a chore/puzzle that it ought to unlock a special ability, but now I'm just getting pissed. The saga so far, below the cut:

A Saga )

If I don't get 50,000 bonus experience points and a free puppy at the end of all this, I will be so ticked.
Well, I was going to write a post about how Amazon has been CAUSING TROUBLE and TICKING ME (and the rest of the internet) OFF, what with this whole "removing adult content" business -- which in effect removed a bunch of GLBT-themed fiction, autobiographies, picture books (we all know about the graphic gay sex in "Heather Has Two Mommies"), textbooks, and a ridiculous number of other things that had anything to do with sex or sexuality in an even vaguely non-completely-vanilla way, and left all the porn and dildos (you can buy dildos on Amazon!) still sitting there in plain sight -- but then I got a response to the cranky letter I wrote them yesterday, which opened, "This is an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error for a company that prides itself on offering complete selection."

So, at least they're admitting it was embarrassing and stupid. I'm still not entirely convinced it was all a matter of error/sloppiness/whatever, although I'm willing to believe that was the better part of it -- more things can be attributed to ineptitude than to malice, really. But at least they seem to have grasped that it was dumb, and are apparently trying to fix it.
Well, I have figured out my schedules for summer and fall. And I'm inordinately pleased with myself about it!

I would have had to do this by next week anyway, but I was spurred on by something totally unexpected: an email from the director of the creative writing department, saying I'd been nominated for a special summer poetry course. Which included a weeklong workshop conference, which I'd wanted to go to but had actually emailed the directors of to point out that a huge percentage of UH students take summer courses, and the vast majority of those courses are in the first six-week term, and so if they wanted to attract serious students from the UH community at all they might do better not holding their conference over the last week of that most-popular summer term. And now I have been specially invited to it! And I have no idea why! (I mean, obviously, it's because I'm awesome. But in terms of a specific accomplishment that could have gotten me the nomination, I am mystified.)

So, if I did that, I couldn't take another class during the first six-week term (I had planned to take 2), because I'd be at the conference for the last week. So I got to add that restriction to the whole puzzle-solving dimension of picking my classes -- I'm very close to finishing my degree, but the last few classes I need are all for fairly specific requirements, and so finding an arrangement of classes that meet those requirements, don't call for prereqs I don't have, and don't require me to be in two places at the same time does start to seem like, by solving this puzzle, I should unlock a new special ability of some kind. (Technically I will: it's called Graduation.)

Anyway, what I ended up with was this:
Summer 6-Week One: fancy poetry class; Institutional and Organizational Psychology (online, so I can take it in spite of the last-week conflict)

Summer 6-Week Two: Elements of Algebra and Number Theory (lower-level survey-type class)

Fall: Medieval Literature; Grammar and Usage; Number Theory

Which is: two remaining English electives; a "Writing in the Disciplines" course, which seems to mean "a social sciences course where you have to write a paragraph or two at some point"; an English course that fulfills the British lit requirement, thus allowing me to shift Irish lit from "British lit" to "minority lit"; a 4000-level math class to complete my math minor; and an extra math class to bring me up to 23 hours of math, in case I decide to do the No Child Left Behind emergency teacher-certification plan. And, miraculously, it's almost all classes that I'm excited about taking -- the fancy poetry class! Medieval Lit taught by the same awesome professor who's teaching my Chaucer class this semester! (At Rice, the resident medievalist was, hmm. Let us say, widely renowned for not being a professor you want. The one at UH is awesome. Now that I've transferred I can take ALL THE COOL CLASSES AHAHAHA.) Grammar & Usage! Number Theory! You see why I am so damn pleased with myself!

I don't know if I mentioned it, but I'm taking Abstract Algebra this semester. Which means, basically, every homework problem I do involves writing proofs. I was worried about this at first. I always thought I sucked at, and therefore hated, proofs; the only time I've done them before was in the 8th grade, in geometry, and it was miserable. Turns out I love proofs; I just sucked at geometry. I am also inordinately pleased with myself about this!

Also, about my American lit midterm! I got a solid B overall, and for the two essays I got an A-, with the comment "Good essay," and a B-, with the comment "Not as good as Essay #1." (I feel this is not a 100% helpful comment, but oh well.)

So, this post is way too long and kind of pointless. But hey, that's what Livejournal's for! Right?

Not Dead

Feb. 23rd, 2009 11:39 pm
I did, in fact, recover from the plague. (I'm pretty sure it was the flu, with a brief segue into bronchitis that was curbed by going to the doctor and whining until she gave me medicine.) Now I'm just busy with school and so forth.

This week I had to write a post in the voice of a Canterbury Tales character for my English class's message board. I signed up for the Miller, mostly because I was too late to be the Wife of Bath, and it turns out I think it was a good choice. (The Wife of Bath is very complex, but also tells dick jokes; the Miller just tells dick jokes. Much easier.)

I feel like I've had a lot of fun the last several weeks, but for some reason the only thing I really remember doing is going to see Coraline with Dana. Which was certainly fun! But not really enough fun to explain my overall feeling of recent funness. (We also went shopping, which was still fun, but not quite as much, because I am the antiBarbie. Shopping is hard, let's go do math.)

Two of my gallbladder scars (did I ever describe them? there are two bigger ones ((about an inch)) in the middle of my belly, and two little ones ((less than a half inch)) off to the right-hand side, and the two in question are the two little ones) have recently taken up a new hobby: ITCHING LIKE CRAZY. I do not entirely approve. I feel like this would have been appropriate behavior earlier in the healing process, but it's been almost five months. Get over it, scars. Oh well, at least I don't have phantom gallbladder pain or anything.

Apparently I'm working on a scheme to involve at least one parenthetical comment in each paragraph. I hadn't realized. (Whoops, almost skipped this one.) Oh wow, I'm tired. TO BED.
Y'all, I have the plague.

Last night a couple people in my class, including me, seemed a little sniffly and run down. This morning more than half my class, including me (and the instructor), was coughing and sneezing and in general seemed fairly forlorn. Now I feel like death warmed over (I can't speak for the other victims of Campus Crud at this point, but hopefully at least a few of them are better off than me).

I don't know if I've made this clear before, but as you can now see: when I am sick I am an enormous baby about it.

Now I'm off to go wake up the cat because I begrudge her her happiness.
So far I've had one class this semester: English 3304, Chaucer, which turns out to be English 3304, Mildly Crazy Lady Teaches Canterbury Tales. I quite like it.

Tomorrow I have Abstract Algebra and How To Write Crappy Poetry! I look forward to both, although mostly to How To Poet, not least because I had a terrible dream last night where I went to the math class on the first day of the semester and somehow everyone else had been there for TWO MONTHS and there was an exam and it was horrible and now I'm afraid it's going to come true somehow. (The "somehow I have accidentally missed a month of class" anxiety plotline is one of my specialties. The other is "THIS CAR HAS NO BRAKES". I like that one better, because I'm less convinced that someday it will actually happen to me.) And then I have American Literature to 1865.

Why do classes always split American history at 1865, anyway? As we continue accumulating post-1865 years, we're going to have to reevaluate this. I mean, already when I took the two American history classes at UH there was a really striking difference in speed and depth of coverage -- we really took our sweet time getting to 1865. We routinely spent full weeks on decades in which, frankly, nothing happened. Then the post-1865 class was like "AND THEN RECONSTRUCTION AND THEN THIS AND THEN THAT AND THEN SOME MORE STUFF AND THEN THE VIETNAM WAR AND OH SHIT WE'RE OUT OF SEMESTER".

IN NON-SCHOOL NEWS: I spent most of my winter break with Zack in Portland, which was pretty great. We went to two hockey games (the Portland Winterhawks, who are ages 16-20, except for one who I'm pretty sure is 13, tops), the zoo, a museum, toured a submarine (the submarine had appeared in an episode of "Hawaii Five-O" and also in a single brief scene in The Hunt for Red October! it was a celebrity submarine!), and went to an aquarium where THEY LET ME FEED SEALS. FOR ONLY A DOLLAR. ACTUAL SEALS. OMG.
Flickr mosaic meme, seen first at [livejournal.com profile] cleolinda.

1. Answer each of the questions below the cut; search for your answer on Flickr.
2. Pick a photo from the first three pages.
3. Copy the photo URLs here.
4. Post.

Mosaic Meme )
We have an Unexpected Cat!

Apparently, the roommates' mom was out on the back porch today, with the back door open (she leaves it open all the time; this drives me crazy, but on the plus side we seem to have gotten a cat out of it), when she saw a cat walking by. "Hello, cat," she said.

The cat, not one to pass up such a good opening, immediately changed course, walked up our stairs, said "meow" in passing, headed on into the apartment and started eating the dog's food. Of course.

After a few minutes, the roommates' mom went inside, picked up the cat, and carried it back out and shut the door.

The cat did not leave.

Eventually she let it back inside.

Right now it is sitting on my arm, which is making this sort of hard to type. Not that the cat cares. The cat, like many cats, thinks activities like "writing LJ posts" and "watching TV" and "sleeping" are much lower priority than activities like "petting the cat".

(THIS CAT IS PRETTY GREAT, GUYS. IT LIKES TO SNUGGLE. IT IS A REFRESHING CHANGE FROM GEORGE, WHOSE NUMBER ONE HOBBY IS HISSING.)

(Secondary hobby: peeing on the vet.)

(The vet doesn't like George very much.)
Why hello, Internet!

(I don't know where I picked up the habit of addressing you all as "Internet," but I should probably try to stop.)

Right now I am ostensibly writing a paper about Dubliners, but mostly procrastinating. Which is probably what leads me to write an LJ post! Other things that have happened recently include:

I have had a long and complicated battle with Blizzard tech support, and I wasn't even trying to install the new expansion. But I think it's working now.

I took the dog for a walk (yes, the dog is still here with us, two solid months after the storm -- insurance agency, please get your act together so the dog and the roommates' mom can go home) and we met a tiny girl dog! Naturally Zeus was fascinated. (He is 18 years old. Girl dogs don't want to hear it. NOT THAT THAT STOPS HIM. We have a dirty-old-man dog.) The dog's people were also there, and were very friendly; the kids wanted to pet Zeus, which he tolerated while gazing longingly over his shoulder at their dog. I told them, "He's very old, but he loves the ladies," and they laughed and explained that their dog was already pregnant, so Zeus's chances are not looking too good. But he's not giving up -- we've run into the same dog on a couple of subsequent walks, and they keep giving each other these long meaningful looks which are then tragically interrupted by unsympathetic humans tugging on their leashes and saying things like, "I have homework to do, Casanova, let's get a move on."

Then last night I went to, once again, take the dog for a walk and instead he bolted out the back door before I could get a leash on him. I gave chase, and let me tell you, it is hard to catch a pug that does not want to be caught; eventually he stopped abruptly and in an effort not to step on him I tripped and went down like a sack of bricks on the sidewalk, and he went "HAHA" (I swear, I heard him) and took off running again. Which is why the dog and I are no longer on speaking terms, and also why my knee hurts.

(I did catch him eventually, when he stopped to sniff something. He has a lot of very important sniffing to do.)

Oh, and we got our new Harriet Carter catalog -- they're full of As Seen On TV products and other sort of dubious innovations, and we've been getting them ever since Evan bought some Mighty Putty off an infomercial. They are pretty much my favorite catalogs ever. Really. I can't get enough of them. In the current issue, I have flagged, let me see... thirteen items for potential purchase, either for myself or as (tacky) gifts. There were more than that, but I reconsidered a lot of them. Such as the sweater for the cat.

(Okay, I still think the cat sweater is sort of a great idea. But I don't actually want to die, so I'm going to pass on it.)
Why hello, Internet.

I saw this... widgety-thing on [livejournal.com profile] seanseansean's journal and was intrigued. I always have a sort of morbid desire to interrogate people about what they really think of me -- I bet this is an anxiety thing -- but usually don't, because then it occurs to me that if they said "I THINK YOU SMELL" I would be really upset. But on this thing you choose from several words (and none of them are "smelly", I checked) to describe me, and then when I saw how it organizes the results I was fascinated, and this is WAY TOO MUCH SETUP FOR A MEME THING. God. Is "can't shut up when explaining things" on there?

Anyway, it's here.
I had a fairly great Halloween! I went over to my parents' house Thursday night and stayed through this morning, because Halloween is VERY TIRING, and it was all terribly exciting.

We made a Barack-O-Lantern at the last minute and gave ourselves pumpkin-related carpal tunnel by using the stupid little saw that came with the pumpkin-carving kit, but it was totally worth it because it came out looking fantastic -- especially after it got dark. I took a couple of pictures, but on a film camera, unfortunately, so I don't have them to post. Some of the trick-or-treaters seemed really fascinated by it, which pleased me, because I've never carved an interesting pumpkin before; mine always look like this:


(I really hope this picture is not enormous.)

I ended up only wearing some of the accessories from my Wonder Woman costume -- the dress doesn't fit quite right, it's cut for a much longer torso than I have, and also the belt was funny-looking and I didn't really feel it was worth wearing it to hold up my Lasso of Truth (not least because the Lasso of Truth was made of Mardi Gras beads -- do you know how many costume stores in the Houston area have lassos available on October 29? not a lot), so I just wore the cape, bracers, and tiara and was Wonder Woman On Casual Friday -- but about a half-dozen kids still correctly identified me. I was very pleased.

(Also, one family that came by our door: Iron Man and Superman, accompanied by dad as the Punisher and mom as Catwoman.)

(Yes, that was one of the groups that recognized Wonder Woman's accessories.)

("Mom, THEIR DAD WAS THE PUNISHER!"
"Is that another superhero?"
"... Is shooting people a valid superpower?"
"I would say no."
"Then I don't think so.")

I was also pretty thrilled when a very tiny and shy Little Mermaid came up to the door, I said, "Hi, Ariel!", she said " ... " and took her candy, and as she walked away I heard her telling her mom, apparently awed, "MOM SHE KNOWS THE MERMAID NAME". I sure as fuck do know the mermaid name, Tiny Mermaid! That was the first movie I ever saw in the theater!

Then we roasted the seeds from the pumpkin -- they came out perfect even though we forgot about them for about ten minutes after we'd meant to check on them -- and had them as a popcorn substitute while we watched a very good movie. In short: OUTSTANDING HALLOWEEN.

Then this morning when I came home I forgot my toiletries bag, and around noon I received an email from my mom that read, "We have your toiletries. Bring $10,000 in unmarked bills," which is kind of out of character for her but cracked me up all the more because of that.
BEWARE, DRUNK LJING.

So my roommate's girlfriend says, "Hey, do you want a drink? They have pineapple juice and cherries in them, oh, and some pineapple rum."

TURNS OUT THAT IS NOT THE MOST ACCURATE ORDER TO LIST THOSE INGREDIENTS.

THEY WERE PINK AND DELICIOUS THOUGH, I REGRET NOTHING.

I have been so fidgety and distractable lately. My schoolwork is suffering a little, too -- tonight I went to an opera, Orpheus in the Underworld, and I was supposed to take notes, so that I can b.s. 1000 words on it later for my Listening To The Masterworks class (yes, Listening To The Masterworks, really), and I did take notes, but an awfully high percentage of them read basically, "Hey Pluto -- call me." (The dude playing Pluto is in all the UH operas. I will have to start going more often.)

IN OTHER NEWS, I have acquired a wedding location! And almost acquired a Cake Lady! My mom and I went to a Bridal Faire last weekend, which was frankly the stupidest event I have ever been to, but we did get to talk to several Cake Ladies and immediately agreed that one of them was the Cake Lady for us. (She was the one who, when I said I was thinking of a red velvet cake, said, "You'd use cream cheese icing, right? ... GOOD." Clearly trustworthy.)

Maybe there's more pineappley drinks. Off to the kitchen!
So last night, I let my mom talk me into going to a lecture on The Economic Crisis after class, on the theory that maybe it would make The Economic Crisis make sense (it didn't). It ran really long, and by the time we started out, it was dark, and also pouring.

As I drove home, I was thinking, "This sucks. I hate driving in the rain. I hate driving on the freeway at night. I really hate driving on the freeway, at night, in the rain. This could not suck any worse if it tried."

At the moment I thought that -- proving that my car has developed both sentience and a sense of comic timing -- my left rear tire blew out.

It has been a long week, y'all.
So, during my folklore class today I was writing a story and taking notes at the same time. Unfortunately, I do not always alt-tab successfully. End result:

"[Character] stops short, not entirely sure what's just happened. Wait what, La Llorona has the face of a horse, that doesn't even make sense though. ... What did I just type, Jesus Christ, if that's what just happened no wonder [Character] is so confused."

In other news, I have been sort of mopey the last few days for no real reason, so last night I decided I might as well wallow in it, downloaded roughly one million Johnny Cash songs (all sad ones except for "A Boy Named Sue", which I can't resist), and put them on repeat. Oddly enough I felt much better after twice through the playlist. I have clearly discovered a miracle cure.
All right, I have finally become one of those irritating people with the dragon eggs. Click on my dragon! Give him life!
Adopt one today!
So, I no longer have a gallbladder. Not even in a jar. (I did bargain for some gallstones in a jar, though. They're pretty tiny and look like, well, pebbles; I admit I was a little disappointed about that. But the jar says "BIOHAZARD" on it, so there's that, at least.) I don't even have a dramatic story, because I have no memory of about three hours surrounding the surgery. ("Oh, you're awake! Here are your gallstones." "Wait, you're DONE?") Anyway, I'm at my parents' house now, and will stay here for a few days (I'm not allowed to drive or climb stairs, which would make going home to my 2nd-floor apartment sort of difficult), and I'm very pleased to be home and gallbladder-free. Supposedly I don't have to avoid fats at all anymore, I can eat whatever I want (cheeeeeese).
I am just full of drama right at the moment. The hurricane drama is still ongoing -- my roommates' mom and dog are still here, they may have to stay here for quite a long time (on the bright side they're both pretty awesome); my parents still don't have power, but will they come over to my house, where there are lights and A/C and internet? No, they will not. ("That's okay, honey, we'll just stay here and suffer.") My gallbladder has ramped up its efforts to make me insane, but I get the last laugh because this Friday I'm having it removed (but they won't let me keep it in a jar, I asked). And I am getting married in May and keep driving myself crazy by reading magazines that give me helpful tips like, "Be sure to schedule your consultations with your stationer well in advance!", which I find mildly hilarious because I don't think my stationer, Kinko's Copies, and I will be having a lot of personal interaction, but which stresses me out anyway because apparently I was supposed to start consulting with my stationer like three months ago.

So basically this post is a roundabout way of saying two things:
1. I have to have surgery and frankly I am freaked out about it, even though it's just about the least invasive surgery you can have done and my doctor promised me I'd be able to go to class the next Tuesday and everything, and
2. Holy crap, planning a wedding is hard. (Today I bought a dress! And a veil! And a highly complicated strapless-bra-from-hell thing! Now I just need to do EVERYTHING ELSE OH LORD.)

Oh, that and
3. I love having a dog. Even if he's only a temporary dog. He's outstanding.
OK INTERNET

GUESS WHO HAS POWER AT HER APARTMENT

My roommates' mother, sister, sister's boyfriend, sister's and boyfriend's two chinchillas, and mother's dog are all over here; they were in a mandatory evacuation zone. I spent the actual storm part at my parents' house, because my mom has had hurricane paranoia since Katrina/Rita and was insisting somewhat hysterically that my apartment was STRUCTURALLY UNSOUND and we were ALL GOING TO DIE and in the end it was easier just to go over there. Now I'm over here too, and we have a ton of food and water and even some alcohol and lots of video games and movies, and the cable's still out, but the internet is back, and the water pressure is even back up so the toilets will actually flush without pouring a bucket of water into them, and in general life is amazing.

SO.

I am fine, and my family and all their houses are fine (well, my aunt's house sort of has a tree in the roof, but "the tarp guy" -- who knew there was a special guy for that? -- is apparently coming today to cover up the hole until she can find a working roofer, and it's temporarily patched from the inside anyway). We had some enormous branches down, and one of our crape myrtles is completely gone, but no serious damage to the house or even the fence (or my car, which was parked on the street; I would have liked to have it somewhere more protected, but it came out all right). How are you?