Friday, February 29, 2008

Goals Update 4

I nearly forgot to do this post. The past two weeks really flew by for me. Hell, this year is going really quickly for me. Anyway, onto the goals.

1. Finish my degree. Nearly caught up now, aside from writing stuff. I'm really hoping I can finish everything. I'm so tired of doing work, and frustrated because no matter how much I do there's still a huge pile waiting. I'm thinking I may have to sacrifice quality on a few of the assignments, and take a bit of a lower grade, just so I can get through it all and back on track. And I have to come up with a research paper topic. If anyone's got suggestions, please pass them on to me. I've got to have one this week. >_< style="font-style: italic;">how

15. Start buying less stuff, and finish what I do have lying around the house. Okay, so I bought, um, a dozen books since the last time I posted. I had some Amazon credit to spend, and I went to Patty's. Bad combination. Nine of the books were to replace stuff that I used to have but either fell apart or disappeared over the years. Two of the others are continuing series that I've already read, and then I picked up Watchmen. And I only actually spent about 12 dollars. Overall, that's not too bad, I don't think.

Also, I've been watching a lot of movies. I put them on while I'm doing work, so I've gotten through at least a dozen. I finished a few more books as well, though I haven't had time for many games. I'm off to a good start on this goal.

16. Another new goal. This list is getting out of hand. >_>

Anyway, this is only a temporary one, something to do over the next two weeks. I want to do at least one book recommendation/review video for Jade, like I discussed in my last post. Hopefully I can do two or three, but it depends on how well I do, and how much time I have since I'll be away for DO. Depending on how those go and how good/bad they turn out to be, I might continue with them.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ideas wanted!

Okay, so Jade and her friend Jules have started up this video blog, and forums to go with it. The site is here, and the forums here, if any of you are interested in checking it out. There's only one vlog up so far, but they're aiming to update weekly.

At any rate, I'm contemplating filming a book review or two every week as well, and having Jade and Jules edit them into the show. Or I suppose I could always just do them separately. I'm a bit nervous about doing these on video, as I've no idea what I am going to say. But I figure I'll give it a shot. Hell, if I don't keep up with the videos I may at least write out some reviews.

This is where you come in. I need ideas for books to discuss. I read a lot and have loads I could choose from, but I'd like to know what people want to hear about. What genres are you most interested in? Are there any specific books that you'd like to know about? Even if I haven't read it already I'm willing to go check it out at the library, so pretty much anything goes. The only exceptions to this are manga and graphic novels. Can't really get those at the library, though I might be able to find them at Patty's or borrow them from a friend. So make the suggestions if you'd like, but no promises on those.

So, yeah. I'm not sure how many people actually read this, but if you do, let me know what you think. Post a comment on here (preferably), or catch me on MSN if you'd rather do that. Thanks!

Friday, February 22, 2008

I think I read too much

If there is such a thing as too much reading, anyway. I had a conversation with a friend the other day, and I was saying how it was taking me forever (just under three months) to finish A Feast for Crows, by George R.R. Martin. Even though the book is fairly long at about 1,000 pages, that's a hell of a long time for me to take to read anything. Especially something I enjoy as much as Martin's books. At any rate, my friend started laughing, and I asked why, to which he replied, "And since you started Feast, how many other books have you read?" Back in October, I started keeping track of everything I read in a journal, so I checked, and it's been 35.

As if that wasn't enough under normal circumstances, keep in mind this was through half of Nanowrimo, finals, family visiting, holidays, five classes with insane workloads this semester thus far, and being sick in the hospital for days. I'm almost afraid to see how many books I'd get through if I actually had a lot of free time, and not just an hour here and there.

I've got hundreds of books in this room. I've never even read um...over 100 of them, last I checked. Plus, I consistently have about five people who lend me books. I have a shelf of books that aren't even mine. And yet, apparently I don't have enough. I still make regular bookstore trips, and I still come away from each one with at least one new book, usually more.

Actually, I'll let some of the evidence speak for itself. This is an excerpt from a conversation I had with Chris earlier.

Denise says: I DO need a bookstore trip! >_>
Denise says: wanna know what's funny
Denise says: I said how I know I had more stuff I wanted to look for, didnt' i?
Denise says: that's after writing down a dozen books >_>
Christian says: ...
Christian says: ................................
Denise says: OH I remembered one
Denise says: *cough*
Denise says: To be fair, I don't expect to find most of them
Denise says: And it's all completing various series
Denise says: Except that one book you told me
Christian says: but of you do youll buy them
Christian says: XD
Denise says: no
Christian says: if*
Denise says: I will get 2 probably
Denise says: I still get four off amazon >_>
Christian says: XD
Denise says: Okay well
Denise says: If I find older editions or dollar books I might get like 4
Denise says: but if they're regular $4 ones just two >_>
Denise says: Pretty much, I wanna spend about 10 bucks, if that
Denise says: Would I get 10 $1 books? Probably >_>
*Christian nods emphatically on webcam*
Denise says: yeah you're right
Christian says: YAY
Denise says: There's not usually anything I'm dying to have in those...but they're a dollar
Denise says: Right, I have issues

I was going to actually talk about some of the books I've been reading in this post, but I've already been working on it for a while and it's good enough. I'll make sure to start posting more often what I think about various books I read. For now, I need to be heading off. I'm leaving soon, to go guessed it.

The bookstore.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's been a boring week

Hmm, been nearly a week since my last post, and for once I don't really have anything to say. Not much has happened. I've been working on school a lot. I'm hoping to be caught up with taxes and accounting by Monday. That would leave me with only two classes to go, and I can take my time with my writing course. The only thing that's really important for that is coming up with topic ideas for my research paper. I'm drawing a total blank there. But if I manage to do all of that, and keep up the productivity through next week, I should be good to go with everything. That includes DO. So, here's hoping!

Actually, my tax professor emailed me today, because he's concerned about me catching up, haha. He doesn't realize that it'll be a breeze to catch up on the next unit, as I won't have loads of work for five classes to be concerned with. I'll be back on a normal schedule, instead of trying to fit a month's worth of work into a couple of weeks.

Went to the Neurosonic/Puddle of Mudd show with Danielle this past Sunday. It was awesome. That's all I have to say about it really. Due to a mix-up with the guest list, we got in for free. Got to meet the Neuro guys and got some stuff signed and a few pictures. Some of them are up on MySpace, and the rest will be shortly, if you're interested in seeing them.

That seems to be about it for the week. I was supposed to go out with Shelly at the beginning of the week, to Patty's and out for a couple of drinks. She caught the flu though, so we rescheduled for Saturday. Hopefully nothing comes up for either of us; I definitely need a bookstore trip.

Oh yeah. Speaking of drinking. I had a doctor's appointment Tuesday afternoon, and found out I'm not allowed to touch alcohol for the next 4-6 months (preferably 6). Apparently alcohol agitates your pancreas. Since I've been having issues with it for so long, they want to make sure it's fully recovered and not permanently damaged before I go putting stress on it again. While this makes sense, it still sucks. I don't drink often anymore, but I'd already made plans to drink a bit at DO, and on St. Patty's Day. Those are definitely out though, as they're less than two months from my surgery. I'll also have to be really careful if I want to drink when (if) I go to Ireland. My doctor said I could drink a bit since it'll be about four months by that point, but I can't drink multiple days in a row and if I feel the slightest bit of pain I need to stop completely. But at least I'll be able to have my Guinness.

It won't be that bad, I suppose. I'm just hoping that it all turns out alright. Last thing I need is to find out my pancreas or some other organ is permanently messed up because of stupid doctors misdiagnosing me for years!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Goals Update 3

Time for another goal update, I suppose. Two weeks seems to be a good time frame for these.

1. Finish my degree. Still working on it. I'm determined not to drop anything, despite how far behind I am. By the next time I update these goals though I should be entirely caught up, with the possible exception of a few small writing assignments.

2. Continue my education. Mom has to check if I can get any discounts on tuition for her school. Other than that everything in this area is out. Pitt doesn't have my program, SVC is too expensive, Cal and IUP are too far away unless I want to take only one course at a time, which would take forever. If I end up living and working closer to Pittsburgh there are a number of other schools I could attend, so I'm considering that.

3. Finish my Nano novel. Wrote a few pages. It's not much, but it's more than I've done since November. At least I've started again.

4. Nano 2008. Far too busy to even think of this one at the moment.

5. Play the flute and piano. Mom hasn't gotten back to me on the keyboard. I hope she does soon. I could buy myself a new one in a few months if I had to, but I'd rather use the perfectly good one I have at her house. Haven't played my flute at all. I still need to find or buy some sheet music.

6. Write every day. I'm doing a lot of writing for classes, does that count? Yeah, I didn't think so. Other than the little bit I've worked on Nano though, and updating this, I haven't written. Not too worried about it with the couple of weeks I've had. I'll get better with it as I catch up in classes and have more time.

7. Update this blog, etc. I've been updating this a lot, but that's about it. I wrote in my journal once, but this blog is the only thing I've made time for regularly. Good enough for me considering how much I have to do.

8. Let other people read my writing. I let a friend read a few bits of my Nano novel, finally. And Shel asked me if she could read when I'm done. Since I said yes, I'll have no choice. She'll just bug me until I hand it to her. ^_^

9. Exercise three days a week (for now). I'm not sure I am cleared to do that yet. My doctors told me "a couple of weeks" of no exercise, which would have been through yesterday. I'll pick my exercise program back up next week. I'm actually looking forward to it; I'm tired of the forced inactivity. It makes me feel too lethargic.

10. Read at least 52 books. I think I'm already at twelve for this month? I can't remember off the top of my head how many I had in January but I'm at 24 for the year so far. I've been spending so much time recuperating in bed that I've read a lot. I'm thinking of upping the number for this goal, but I'm not sure to what. I'll decide by my next update.

11. Take some trips. I'll know about DO next week. No one has mentioned Otakon, still. I'll have to talk to the people who were going and see if they are even interested anymore. But, there is a good possibility I'm going to get to go to Ireland for a week or two right after I graduate. I've been discussing it with my family a lot lately, and they seem to be leaning towards getting me a plane ticket for a graduation gift. Since I have a place to stay, it could work. I'm going to submit an application for a passport in the next month.

12. Learn languages. Listened to a couple of the Japanese podcasts and learned a few basic words. That's all I've had time for.

13. Physical therapy for my hand. Forgot about it entirely the first week after surgery, but picked it up again the past 5-6 days. I'm starting to get annoyed with it and wish it would just work, but I'll stick with it.

14. Time management. This is going alright, I suppose. I'm slowly getting through work, so I must be doing something right. I've a long way to go yet, but at least I've improved.

15. Hurray, new goal! I don't know how much time I can actually devote to this, so it's kind of vague. I have loads of books, movies, and games just lying around, that I've never gotten around to. I never finish anything. So the goal is two parts really. First, buy even less than I do now. I should save my money, and there's no point in buying a lot of new stuff when I have so much to get through. Buying the occasional game or replacing some old books is one thing, but no more buying just because I have some money or feel like it.

Second, start actually using some of my spare time to finish whatever I can. Books, games, DVDs...anything else I've missed. I'm not getting any more specific than that; I can't really say "I'm going to finish X number of movies" or whatever, but I can work on finishing what I have, and what I've borrowed from people. Then I won't feel so silly buying a game or movie, because I won't have dozens (or hundreds, if we're talking books) at home that I've never touched.

This entry took me entirely too long to do, but I was busy doing work, and I couldn't get that last goal to sound right (it still doesn't, but it's better than it was). I did get a lot done though, and I'm hoping to get more finished before I go to bed. There's a club show tomorrow night in Pittsburgh I would like to go to, if I have enough done to justify taking the entire night off. So, back to work!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I just got the mail. I Love This Guy, the fourth Least I Could Do book, came today. <3 style="font-style: italic;">ten thousand dollars worth of bills. That's just today.

I hate the heathcare industry with a passion that words can't even express. >_<

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


"Glad you are back. Listen--don't push!!! Start the semester at this point now. Worry about the stuff that you missed later after you have recovered more fully. Don't stress. I will not assess any penalties for the late work regardless of when you turn it in. Fair enough? Get better and best wishes."

Taken from an email I received this morning, from my writing professor. He is officially my hero. I missed a ton of assignments for that class and was wondering how in the world I could catch up. But now I can concentrate on my other classes, and fit writing assignments in as I can. Thank goodness, I didn't want to try and make up a couple dozen discussion board posts, two essays, and who knows how many readings in just a week or two! That would be hell even without any other work.

I should also finish my Quickbooks course this evening. Finally, my schoolwork is starting to look somewhat manageable. I still have a lot to do for two of my classes and it will be rough, but for the first time I feel as if I might actually catch up over the next few weeks.

Monday, February 11, 2008

What a good day

My weekend was rather uneventful, but good. Shel came over on Saturday. Unfortunately, she'd just fallen down the stairs and thought she'd broken her arm (she didn't but it was badly bruised) so she didn't bring Baxter along. He's a handful and she was in a lot of pain. Anyway, she stayed most of the afternoon. We watched Next and Deja Vu, which were both pretty good. We also made plans to go to Patty's this coming Saturday. Danielle came over in the evening and hijacked my TV for Morrowind. I just hung out with her and chatted with friends online. Went to bed pretty early since I was actually up all day. That's probably the first time I'd done that since surgery; I was tired.

Nothing at all happened Sunday. Mom and I decided not to go to the reading because we were both behind on work. I got a decent amount of work done. I'm nearly caught up in Quickbooks; I just have to take an exam this evening. After that I only have one other chapter and an exam and I'm through with the course. I'm considering just getting those out of the way tomorrow. I know I'm behind in other stuff, but this way I'd be completely finished for the semester with one class, and before the free trial of the software runs out.

Today has been excellent so far. I actually got work done and it's still early. Like I said, all I have is an exam and then I'm caught up with Quickbooks. I have to take that by nine tonight. Then I can either work on that a bit more or try and catch up on one of my other classes. I have to email my writing professor too, as I haven't heard anything from him yet. I think my email may not have gone through. I am completely lost with what I'm supposed to be doing in that class, and I really need him to let me know what needs turned in.

I had my follow-up appointment with my surgeon this afternoon as well. He took all of the surgical tape off. The incisions look kind of gross, but he said I'm healing well and I'll be fine. And he gave me stuff to put on them so they won't scar noticeably
. Then I went shopping with my mom for a bit.

Also, my grandmother came in here earlier and asked if she could have my Best Buy gift cards. I figured she just wanted to get something at the store and use my cards. She's done it before, and always gives me the cash or another gift card later. So I give them to her and go back to work, thinking nothing of it. An hour or so later, she comes home...with a brand new cobalt and black DS Lite! She knew that's what I was saving the cards for, and decided to just pay the rest as a gift. I love my grandma. I've been messing around with it a bit, though I only have GBA games right now.

Niall is going to send me FFIII so I have a game, which is awesome. If he ever makes it to the post office. Which means I should probably just go buy myself the game. >_>

I'm pretty sure I forgot some of the things I was going to write about. Oh well. I should be getting back to work anyway, so I can get my exam taken. I won't be around as much this week because I'm trying to catch up in most of my classes by Friday, but I'll try and update if I can.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Being moody

Shel has a birthday party tomorrow evening, so it turns out she'll only be able to come over for a couple of hours in the afternoon. This kind of sucks, as it's incredibly hard for us to coordinate schedules and it's likely I won't see her again for a while. We try and make plans but something always comes up for one of us. But at least she has some time. Hopefully she's still planning to drag Baxter over here as well.

Sunday I may go out for a bit. A friend of my mom's who is an author is doing a talk at the library on his latest book. I wish I would have known this sooner; I would have made a point to read at least some of it, as I got it for Christmas. Oh well, I might go anyway. I can make him sign mine since it's the only one of his three books I don't have signed. And it would probably do me some good to get out of the house. It just depends on my work.

Work is going really slowly. I think I was overly optimistic when I figured how much recovery time I'd need from surgery. I only got in touch with my professors yesterday, and I feel like I have more work than I can handle. I'm getting really frustrated because I have so much to do, and yet I get tired after a relatively short span of time and need a break. It just hurts to hunch over trying to take notes or whatever, and I am tired all the time. I'm sure the cold I'm still battling isn't helping.

I'd still really like to go to DO as well, so I'm trying to push myself to get things done. At this rate though I'll be lucky to catch up in everything, much less get ahead so I can go away for nearly a week next month. I really wish I could afford to drop a class, but unfortunately I need all of them to graduate. So I guess I'm stuck. I'll just keep plugging away, and hopefully I'll manage to get back on track.

There's also all sorts of other drama going on right now, with a few different friends. I'm too tired to go into it in detail, but I'm hoping it all gets worked out. I can't really deal with it on top of everything else I'm trying to handle.

This entry is rather depressing, but I'm just not in a happy mood. I'm too worn out with everything, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I can't really afford to take the day off but I need it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I need a break from all of this work!

Shel and I have been trying to make plans for nearly two months now, and she finally made it over yesterday. I had a lot of fun; it was like no time had passed at all. We just went back to normal, talking and laughing (seriously, my grandmother thinks we're crazy) until suddenly four hours had passed and she needed to leave. I'm kind of glad she didn't make it to see me last week. If I'd have laughed like that a few days ago it would have hurt like hell.

We've made plans for Saturday. She's going to come over sometime in the morning and spend the day here. She's bringing Baxter, of course. We'll probably eat junk food and watch Johnny Depp movies, haha. Oh, and I have to get her into Guitar Hero 3; she really wants to play. Should be a fun time. Doesn't take much to keep the two of us occupied, does it? That's the way it's always been though, and it's one reason I'm such good friends with her. We're just as happy sitting around in our pj's doing nothing as we are going out.

She also brought me a bag full of books to read. Typical Shel. No wonder I have so many of my own that I haven't read. Between Pat, Fran, and Danielle lending me books, and then Shel showing up with bags full, it's hard enough to keep up with the borrowed ones. I'm back to having a shelf full of borrowed books, and a box of Corey's, though I do have a handful that I've finished and need to return to people.

And Shel wants to go to Patty's next weekend too. Patty's is a used bookstore in town, and probably one of my favorite places to shop. She's got around 200,000 books, and nearly everything is half the cover price. Hardcovers are usually around $4. It's wonderful, as I don't have much money to spend on books. Plus, since many older editions of books have a cover price of $2.95 or so, you can get a lot for very little money. Every time I go there with Shel she buys a couple dozen (literally). I rarely walk out without at least one new book. I know I don't need more, but how can I say no if it's something I've wanted for a while and it's only $2? Or if it's one of the $0.50 or $1 bargains?

Yes, I'm well aware I need help (Chris dear, that is directed at you). ^_^

Jade's get-well gift arrived today. It's goofy as hell, but awesome. She sent me a bunch of things, including some ridiculous candy that smells like flowers but actually tastes pretty good. Parma violets, whatever those are. Silly foreign food. She also sent me a stuffed unicorn, which comes with a code so I can register and name a star, which I think is cool. The whole package made me smile, which I needed after my long day of trying to organize work and get some assignments in.

Speaking of the work, I should probably get back to it now.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Back to work

Whee, the Giants won the Superbowl! I didn't really expect them to, to be honest. But I'm glad the Patriots lost. ^_^

Started on schoolwork last night during the game. It's going to take me a lot of work to catch up. I managed to get an accounting assignment finished, but I have another one yet for that class, and then a quiz and exam. Also, have to get through a Quickbooks chapter, which should be easy enough, and an exam on the first three chapters. Add to that the tax exam that goes up Wednesday (which I hope to God I can get an extension for or I'm screwed), two papers due on Friday for Advanced Accounting Issues, and whatever I missed for my writing course. And that's just what I need to do to catch up, so then I'll also have to get through everything I should be working on now.

I'm writing emails to all of my professors tonight, and sending them out first thing in the morning. I'm hoping they'll be patient with me. I have five classes to catch up in, after all. Plus, I would still like to go to DO if at all possible, and if I want to do that I not only need to catch up, but get ahead in the next few weeks. So I'll be working my ass off. I can't see my professors being unreasonable when I am clearly doing my best to get back on track. I just hope they understand that I'm still recovering, and have a lot of work, and it might take me a little while.

In other news, Shelly is coming over to visit tomorrow. I haven't seen her in nearly a year, and I'm excited. I probably won't get to see her for long; she's just coming straight after work. Unfortunately, that means I won't get to see Baxter (her dog) yet. Hopefully we'll be able to make actual plans to do something soon. And
hopefully we don't lose touch again, though I have her new cell phone number so it shouldn't happen.

Also, I was told after my surgery that there may be foods I won't be able to eat anymore. It all depends on the person. Some people have issues while others don't, and different people have problems with different foods. Judging by earlier, I don't think I am going to be able to eat cheeseburgers, which really sucks. I had a bacon cheeseburger and felt sick to my stomach for hours. I know it wasn't the cheese or the bacon, as I've had both of those since surgery. I'm not sure if it's just crappy fast food, which I could live with, or beef in general that I have an issue with. Going to try getting some decent steaks later in the week and giving them a shot. I might be able to eat some of the better stuff, that doesn't have very much fat in it. At least that's what I'm hoping for. I don't want to never eat burgers or tacos or steaks again!

That's enough for tonight. I have a lot to get done tomorrow before Shelly shows up so I should get to bed. Hopefully I'm feeling alright and don't end up sleeping too much. I've been getting up far too late, though I suppose it's all part of the recovery process.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Goals Update 2

Alright, it's been two weeks since my first update. Unfortunately, most of these have suffered since I was sick or in the hospital for the majority of the last two weeks. But I'm updating anyway; it'll help me figure out what I need to work on after I'm fully recovered.

1. Finish my degree. School was going well, but now I've fallen behind. First from being sick, and then from the hospital. Still determined to finish this in May though, so I'll just have to find a way to catch up. My professors will work with me, so that will help.

2. Continue my education. Haven't done anything with this. I'm hoping to work on some applications over the next two weeks, as long as I can find some time in between schoolwork. If I can't it's not a huge deal, but I'm still going to try.

3. Finish my Nano novel. I still haven't written anything else. I did, however, open the file and read through most of it, and edited a couple of parts. I still need to get back to the writing part, but that's better than nothing. I've refreshed the story in my head and know where I want it to go next.

4. Nano 2008. Actually have a very tentative idea for this. I don't know that I'll use it. It may turn into a short story, or I might just decide I don't want to wait until November. But we'll see.

5. Play the flute and piano. Found a few sheets of music around the house, and played flute a couple more times. Also found a good bit of sheet music for piano, though I still don't have the keyboard. I have to call my mother and remind her to look for it.

6. Write every day. I know I wanted to improve this one, but I didn't. I'm not sure that I'll get to do much writing over the next few weeks, but I'm going to try and get it in when I can. Still one of the goals I really want to improve on.

7. Update this blog, etc. I've been updating more than once a week, and this is my second post in two days, so I'm happy with that. Haven't gotten to the journal, again, though I almost wish I would have had it in the hospital. Have done the morning pages a few times. But I think I'm going to cut them to two pages instead of three. My notebook is huge, and with my hand it takes far too long to write three pages before I do anything else for the day. I think I might stick with it better if I only do two.

8. Let other people read my writing. Still haven't finished anything really. I've given the link for this blog to a lot of people though, which I suppose is a start. I wasn't even going to tell people about it.

9. Exercise three days a week. This one has gone to shit, though that's due to my physical problems. I won't be exercising for the next week at least, as I am fairly limited on what activity I'm allowed to do. I will be picking it up again though, once I have my follow up appointment with my surgeon and get the okay from him.

10. Read at least 52 books. I finished twelve in the month of January alone, and I'm currently in the middle of another ten, I think. Mostly because I had to start new books while in the hospital, but yeah. Way ahead on this goal.

11. Take some trips. This isn't going well either. Avenue Q is out. DO is still a remote possibility, only because I have some awesome friends who really want me there. It still depends on schoolwork though. Otakon in all honesty is probably out. I seem to be the only one who gives a damn about going.

12. Learn languages. Went through some of those Japanese sites I found. Found a lot of podcasts that deal with basic vocabulary and phrases, and downloaded them. Also got a notebook and notecards organized so I can keep track of everything. Hopefully I can get off to a good start now.

13. Physical therapy for my hand. Once again, did this every day, aside from this week when I was in the hospital.

14. Time management. I was doing well with this, I think. At least until the hospital. This one will probably be the most important over the next two weeks. I am going to need to learn to manage my time, and quickly, if I want to catch up on work. Especially if I want to have any free time, or still get to DO next month.

I think that's it for now. I had a couple other goals I was thinking of adding, but they're on hold for now. I have enough to worry about as it is.