Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Taking One Long Deep Breath...Exhale

This is finals for me. Every single class has a final involved. This means each and every time I go to class from here on out there is going to be a test. A final.

Yesterday in CSC there was a test over Access and there was also a pre-test for the final. I am confident on both. Not positive and wonderfully on tip-toes for joy, but confident. This coming Tuesday, June 3, is the final for CSC, before this however, there is the final in litigation. Tort law finishes up everything.

Quite honestly I am to the point of collapse mentally and emotionally. Why? There are a lot of reasons, one of which being my brand new electric/power wheelchair is at the shop because of a mishap riding the Wheels van - someone didn't pay attention to where they were putting the tie-downs and they broke something vitally important. This time, though, there is a power chair on loan to me. We are having to pay $120 for the use of it, but this is good as far as I'm concerned. I mean, I have to get out and about and to school.

Going to a completely different wheelchair with finals happening is causing more trouble than you can imagine. Last night I left scars on the elevator and walls of Sullivan because Tank, the wonderful loaner, has a mind of his own and we are having to learn to work together. It is akin to walking with someone else's legs, if you can imagine that. It is such an accurate analogy.

Today, though...I rest and just take it easy. I need a day to prepare mentally and emotionally. Today will be a day of peace and rest; knitting and movies.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

i laugh

more cat pictures

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"I'm Mr. Yosuke Nakamura," the bird told the veterinarian...

In Tokyo a bird got lost and told authorities its name and address, down to the house number! Click above to read more.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Life of a Book Anew

Recently a friend of mine invited me to join Good Reads. It is a site where people can share with their friends what they are currently reading, what the want to read, and be able to share a few thoughts on said book. While I was logging in some titles into the book shelf on Good Reads I saw a link in the corner for Paperback Swap and clicked on it.

I had actually heard several people discussing the swap site and when I finally went and checked it out, I joined as well. A site such as this will help me to get the books out that I don't want to keep forever and permit me to find some books out there to read that I don't need to actually purchase. It is the perfect recycling tool for my books, especially now that everything has become so expensive. Since I know, as well as those who know me personally, I will continue to purchase books and read them, I may as well be able to share them and keep them from cluttering up my house. Now, if I can just get my darling Hubby to join it will be most excellent. Perhaps even he will get a kick out of getting things away from the house.

Sadly, I was only able to post one book to my book list, but that is because I haven't gone into the middle room to see what books I would be willing to part with. One step at a time, however, this step has been a refreshing one, a de-cluttering one.

If you haven't been to either of these sites I highly recommend them.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Reconnecting and Refreshing

Today I made it to Barns and Noble Booksellers in Hamburg Pavilion. I got there about 2:30 this afternoon and stayed until 6:00 p.m. Yes, I know, this isn't my normal hours of patronage; usually I am there for hours and hours, but since I needed to get home and do some homework and hang out with Hubby for a while, I thought it was a good amount of time. And it was!

I roamed the stacks leisurely; there was ample opportunity for people-watching; and the cafe' mocha and sugar cookie wasn't rushed through, but slowly enjoyed. After securing a table (not my favorite, but a table none-the-less), there was also ample time for writing. I managed to work on a story that I am bound and determined to finish. It may never be published because of the controversial subject matter, but I want to finish this one and get actually submit it somewhere.

The writing experience was one of the best ones I have experienced in a while. The words didn't exactly "flow" easily, but they were good words. The next draft of the story, when it is entered into the computer, will give me the space and tools needed for good editing. With this new story I am not so concerned with a specific word count - the story is the thing. Surprisingly, because telling the story is the more important factor, the enjoyment of writing is returning.

Part of this could be due to the Moleskin reporter's notebook currently in use for this particular story. It just seems like the perfect medium for the story, as well as for many more stories in the future. Sadly, the current Moleskin reporter's notebook is almost full, which means a new one needs to be acquired.

Yes, I did look for another one at B & N, but there weren't any lined ones. If necessary one (or two) can be ordered on-line, which I may go ahead and do, but it would have been so much easier to find one so the advancement of this story doesn't have to stop or halt for any length of time. However, if one (or two) must be ordered then they will be and the story will be finished.

While I was looking through the area where the journals and Moleskins are located, something happened that made me take a mental step backwards. A woman arrived in this section to look up something in the language section which adjoins the journal section. There were two little girls with her. They were pretty little girls with blond hair and blue eyes and all of four or five years old. Each had a stuffed animal they clutched close as well as tossed while they talked loudly to each other.

As the little girls played and ran from one journal stack to another and yelled at each other in little girl talk. One of them said, "Oh, isn't this just the sweetest!" I don't know what the item was to cause such excited speech, but I'm sure it must have been a spectacular discovery. They finally ended up in the row where I was, as I knew they probably would, so I kept my eye on them and continued to browse.

Finally they appeared directly in front of me and began pulling out greeting cards from their stand. The mother kept her back to the little girls and, I think, pretended they were with anyone else other than her, not because they were embarrassing her, but because she really didn't want to be bothered with them. One little girl turned suddenly and looked at me. She gave me a small smile...then SCREAMED and ran other to where her mother was. Again, the mother paid no attention to either child. The second little girl looked up at me. I smiled at her, and she gave me a small wave as she walked calmly away to rejoin her sister.

When I came around the same stack and was about ten feet away from the little girls and their mother, both of them looked at me and SCREAMED in unison. They were blood curdling screams as if they had just witnessed the worst of things or someone was genuinely frightening them. It was such a distinctive scream several people came into the section and gave me bad looks as if I had indeed done something to them. I have never felt so ... self-conscious about being in a wheelchair in my life. After the screaming they were laughing and talking excitedly about nothing and everything like little girls have a tendency to do, which sent the interested adults away. The mother didn't turn around to look at them. One little girl said, "Mommy, I want to go to the toy book part." The mother quietly said, "Remember what I told you when we came in - you don't bother mommy until she looks at her books. When I'm done looking at my books we'll go over to the toy books."

What about the screaming lady? What about your children acting as if they were terrified to death of someone in a wheelchair? Barns and Noble is a public place, true, but you and your children should respect everyone, including people in wheelchairs or who have physical imperfections. It doesn't just belong to you!

Yes, I seriously considered going over and talking to the mother, but I don't believe it would have done anything other than create a scene, which would have ruined the day and up until then it had already been fantastic.

In order to reclaim my happy day, I roamed over to the fiction stacks where I found a book I wanted to read after my current read has been finished and a book for me and Hubby and headed to the cafe for my beloved cafe mocha and sugar cookie.

Because it is Friday, the cafe was packed and I had to wait for a table for a couple of minutes - long enough to re-situate my bag so it would rest easier on my legs. After I had deposited my book bag onto a table and head up to get said mocha and sugar cookie, I found myself in line behind a lot of policemen in their dress uniforms. Each badge had a black ribbon around it. Had they attended a funeral? Whose? I usually pay very close attention to the news, especially when a policeman has died, and I still can't remember hearing about a fallen police officer recently. Their shoulder patches said they were from the Ashland Police Force. was a good day. A day where yours truly reconnected with myself and felt my spirit refresh. Yes, it has been a very good day. Now Hubby is home and we both need to spend a few hours in each other's company and relax together.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

That Library Stillness

Today is Thursday, which means there is tort law beginning this evening at 6:00 p.m. As has become my habit, I am here early and have managed to settle my nerves a little - they have really been out of sorts since this past bout of illness - and have settled in to checking e-mails and looking over some sites that I need for my classes. Having done the necessary things I am now sitting quietly at the computer and writing here and there and being at peace.

A few moments ago another student, a man, came up and sat down at the computer terminal two spaces from me. Then another, a woman, came and sat down one space over from him. That's when it hit me - the library stillness.

It is amazing how many sounds you can hear when people aren't talking or moving overly much. The whir and whine of the printer sounds exceptionally loud, and the click of keyboard keys has an odd rhythm to it that, even though several people can be typing several different things, you can actually hear a strange rhythm to it. The rhythm isn't in sync with the typists, but the keys keep everything in an odd tune. Sometimes this stillness makes me edgy. It makes me feel as if I don't belong or that if there was just some type of music going on everything would be a lot better. However, today this stillness is perfect. The quiet noise of production is just what I need to encourage me to do what needs to be done in the scholastic realm as well as in the creative.

Yesterday I understood, and actually came to accept one of the biggest problems I have in writing fiction: I don't want to let it go. Once it is finished I don't want to let it go. I don't want rejection and I don't want my stories and poems just glanced at. I want them considered seriously. Every writer wants this, of course. The difference between those getting published and me, is that they are letting go enough to submit stories and poems.

OK, I have a problem, but this doesn't mean the problem is indeed a problem, but more a hindrance and a habit I am going to break. Why should I toil for hours and days on a piece of fiction and feel really good about it when it is never going to see the light of day? It is useless. It is less than a "hobby" and more like a waste of my time. I don't like wasting my time in anything. Now is the time to work and accomplish.

Why has this suddenly come to my attention? Well, it began when my Hubby told me he was proud of me! Hubby rarely says that. This time, though, his pride in me made me sit up and take notice. I like making him proud. I like him being proud of me, just as I am proud of him. If he is proud of me for my scholastic endeavors and my recent physical accomplishments, How much more proud of me is he going to be when I become the author I know I could be?

No, his pride in me isn't going to make me change and do better in some things, but his acknowledgement to me of his happiness and pride in my accomplishments has made a world of difference on the inside. A flickering ember feels as if it has burst into a flame that is catching that piled up dried wood into a royal cooking fire.

Even during this past ill stretch he said, and rightly so, "Sometimes I hate trying to help you." I was being quite a grumpy gussie and wasn't taking his first. Before the night was out I did take his advice and I did start feeling better. The thing that actually helped me be less grumpy was the fact I knew he was proud of me, and when I pushed my own self-absorbing pride aside, I could listen to him much more easily.

Knowing some things in life helps you to actually get over some of the bad things, even on the inside.

Are all of these changes I am trying to make because he is proud of me? No, I had begun the changes before he said anything to me at all. Now I am just working at everything ten times harder, because I know the person who matters the most to me in the world actually sees the advances I've made and is proud of me for my efforts and accomplishments.

Everything in my little world is finally on the move again. Now begins the other creative push, and, this time, I am ready for it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

see more dog pictures

Friday, May 09, 2008

Question ----

Isn't it illegal to keep telling the public a candidate has dropped out when they haven't? Ron Paul is still in the running for the Republican nomination. The media is consistently reporting he has dropped out.

Monday, May 05, 2008

like... *GASP!*

This weekend has been a weekend for movies for me and Hubby. Saturday we saw Iron Man and then ran down the hallway to see Harold and Kumar, Escape from Guantanamo Bay. Then, last night, we saw Curse of the Golden Flower.

Let's begin with Iron Man shall we? ...... !!!wow!!! Perfect! It amazed me how everything moved and fit so very well together. Most super-hero movies I don't often want to see, mostly because the super-heroes aren't the ones I want to see. This one, however, I knew a little bit more about and just simply couldn't wait to see, and, as always, I was a little concerned with how it was going to turn out. After all, directors tend to take a lot of short-cuts or "creative license" with the movies and stories themselves. It doesn't matter if the viewers have grown up with the comics and know the hero's story from beginning to current position, or nearly up to the current position. The X-Men movies are perfect examples of this, as is The Hulk (hopefully this second Hulk movie will be a little better). About the only characters they got right in the X-Men movie was Wolverine and Professor-X. However, with Iron Man everything was perfect, OK "practically" perfect - Tony Stark didn't admit he was indeed Iron Man right away, but everything else was perfect!

Robert Downy, Jr. was the perfect Tony Stark. He whined perfectly. He manned up when he needed, and he had that particular hero quality about the performance that was fun and human. His banter with the computer while he was working on the prototype of the suit made me roar! "If you use the fire extinguisher on me and I am NOT on fire, I swear I will donate you to a children's museum...." Not exactly correct words, but close enough you get the idea. Pepper Potts was perfect. And Obadiah, well, how could you go wrong there with The Dude himself?! It was actually quite cool to see Jeff Bridges getting to stretch his "evil" muscles in the role of Obadiah Stane. He was believable, and his voice was tantalizing. It gave me shivers. You know the ones, those good creepy movie part shivers where you know the guy is a bad guy, and one of the baddest of bad guys.

And the action.... Oh my goodness golly! *GASP!* It was perfectly superb! And heroic! I was pumped after seeing Iron Man and when we ran down the hall to see Harold and Kumar's latest exploits, well, I was ready for something really cool, and it was there! Squee!

Kumar's exploits reminded me of some college friends (and one or two currently not in college friends) who might actually do something as stupid as what Kumar did to get them into trouble in the first place. The scariest part was the guy who was chasing them - I promise you I have worked with guys like him when I was working in my government job! It was creepy how accurate the portrayal of ineptness, which actually exists! I roared! I laughed! I giggled! I said, "Oh! No!" quite a lot and had a blast in the movie. However, you sort of have to understand something of the subculture that is in the movie before you can get some of the jokes.

Then, yesterday, Hubby and I weren't feeling perfect because of having introduced meat back into our systems after 50 days of Lent, so we watched EncoreAction and saw Curse of the Golden Flower and I was blown away by the story, the cinematography, the cleavage (there was a lot of cleavage), and the costumes. There were twists and turns, and Chow Yun Fat was not exactly a bad guy, but he wasn't exactly a good guy either. He was an Emperor. At the same time, though, he was plotting just as she was plotting. Sadly, some innocent people were hurt through it all and you saw a father's love portrayed. When you watch this movie, don't try to figure out the ending - it needs to catch you just as it did us. Let's just say the last thirty minutes of the movie is awesome. Sad in some strange way. But awesome.

Yeah, this weekend let the movie geek in me out to be free for a while, and it was worth it! Hubby and I had a fantastic time!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Looking Ahead

I am sitting and writing this from Sullivan University's library. Today is the first time I have taken an independent trip on my own since my other wheelchair stopped way back in October. While I was getting ready to head out to Sullivan to meet up with some classmates for a meeting (we had to cancel it because one of the classmates had to work late), I kept thinking of all of the possible things that could go wrong where my dogs were concerned. They could slip out passed me and run into the street and get hit. They could get passed me and bite the Wheels driver. They could get passed me and...well, you get the idea. My stomach was really just a bundle of nerves and were making me quite aware of just how horrible my imagination was turning out to be. And, no, the dogs didn't make it passed me, nor did they really try (although JoJo was most curious about what Mom was doing and why she was so adamant about "backing up" and "staying"). About the time I made it out the door the Wheels van was indeed there. It was marvelous to see it, as well as a little nerve wracking because I didn't quite have the door closed. God was looking after me, though, because the driver is one of my favorites and we discussed movies all the way to Sullivan.

Now I am sitting here and wondering just how long it is going to take them to come and pick me up and take me to the Scabbard? I am not quite back into the flow of things, but I am finally on my way...again.