Thursday, May 31, 2007
So, we've handed in two short stories to date, and in my personal opinion, there's NOTHING more difficult than writing a short story. Unless it's having a short story critiqued.
See, we're put in groups of 5, and then we each print off enough copies of our own story for everyone else in the group, and then we all go home and break out our red pens, and read them, and make comments. That part is fun. The reading of other people's stories, the peek into other people's brains, the realization that I am a much better writer than some of these people, and somehow that matters.
But THEN we come back to class, and we get into our groups, and we share. We share what we liked, what we didn't like, what worked, what confused us. We say 'you shifted tenses here' and 'this sentence was awkward' and 'when I first read this, I thought it meant this.' We say all these things, and we try to be kind, because our turn is coming up, but we also try to be constructive, because this is why we are here, right? To learn?
But it's stressful. It's stressful to have people say unflattering things about something you've spent hours on. It's stressful to have people not get your vision, and have to gently explain to them that what they're suggesting you amend it to isn't in fact what you want to say, without sounding defensive. It's stressful to have the prof sit in on your discussions, and to be judged not only on your work, but on your criticism of others' work.
And THEN you get your second story back, a story which you kind of loved and which tickled you when you realized how it was going to end, and it's a full letter grade lower than your first story, which you hated.
And THEN you realize that the only thing more difficult than having a short story critiqued is revising a short story, because it's like trying to decide which parts of a child you like best, and hacking off the other parts, and then trying to rebuild a new child, but at least NOW you get to revise the one you love, instead of the one you wish you'd never written.
THAT'S how my critique went.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I love grocery shopping in general, love coming home and filling my cupboards, love the thought that I can eat ANYthing I want for dinner (see also: that feeling after laundry day, that my whole wardrobe is open to me). I think they call it 'nesting,' this fondness for a well-stocked larder.
And so I love Costco doubly, because anything I buy at Costco, I wont need to buy again until 2034. And because anything I buy at Costco is liable to be oven-ready. Prep time will be half an hour, twenty-five minutes of which I will spend watching Scrubs.
And because Charmin Ultra was on sale, and Joel wasn't along to gainsay it, I'll be wiping my ass with disposable hand-towels for the next eight months.
I feel so decadent.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Those are not, in fact, a pair of Converse high tops, circa 1992, they are socks. Socks meets four Sharpies meets old shoe laces. Rad, though, hey? I won best-dressed, and I give credit to the sock-chucks. Here they are from the side.
I know. Yes. Two and a half hours. Totally worth it.
Act 4: Sunday
Mine own seastar Greyhounded out to visit me today. We assembled a coffee table, played a round of one-on-one Taboo (which I won), visited my grandparents and played two matches of Sequence (Kruegers vs. non-Kruegers, which Joel and I won, and boys vs. girls, which Boo and I won), played one-on-one-on-one Taboo with Joel (which, since I have a Swedish mind meld with both Boo and Joel, I won), polished off a bag of dried apricots, and ransacked the Walmart before parting. Dried apricots and stomach acid, in case you didn't know, are like Mentos and Died Coke. If you don't believe me, you can come over and listen to me fart.
On that winsome note, I will end this longest post ever. Many happy returns.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
HowEVER, there is a new phenomenon sweeping the nation (or, at least three of my friends' blogs), and it's called: List Seven Random Facts About Yourself!!! Most of you (the people I hang out with in real life) will know all of this, but YOU, oh Internet, have no idea.
1. I only ever use one of my eyes at a time. I see in 2D and have no depth perception. I didn't know that it wasn't normal to see two of everything and to close one eye when you read until I was 22. I wasn't formally diagnosed until last year.
2. I can't drive.
3. Or ride a bike.
4. Or operate most things with wheels. Lots of this may have to do with #1.
5. I truly enjoy a peanut butter and pickle sandwich.
6. I broke my big toenail off about three years ago. I was chopping wood in my bare feet, and the chopping block fell over on it. It took a year to grow back, and it's never been the same.
7. I like to sleep on my back with my hands folded on my ribs and my ankles crossed. Vampire style.
I'm supposed to pick seven bloggers who have to do this now, or they'll get seven years bad luck and no one will think they're hot and their next kiss will be a flop and their dog will die, but all of the bloggers I think would do a thing like this have already done it.
Except Robyn. Robbie, you have to do this now, or all these bad things will happen to you. And Ryan will never do laundry as long as you both shall live, or even offer.
In completely other news, check out these photos of balloons popping! Tres bizarre!
Monday, May 21, 2007
I wish I'd gotten a better picture. Here is my steak. My tortilla chip is in the shape of a swan.
Because the resort was 'all inclusive,' the restaurant was free. You could conceivably, order seven entrees if you wanted. But who would? That would be gluttonous.
We did, however, each order a dessert. My crepes...
and Joel's ice-cream-in-a-wafer-dish...
and then we may or may not have each ordered a plate of churros.
We may or may not have also gone back the next night, ordered 2 appetizers, our entrees, and 3 plates of churros to finish the deal.
You may all go back to your bland lives now.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Two of our couple-friend-sets, JonandLaura and DaveandSheri, were going camping for the long weekend, despite threats of inclement weather. Joel and I drove the 45 minutes down yesterday morning (with an hour thrown in at the border), spent the day with the four of them playing Ticket to Ride and one very intense game of Game, picking our way along the beach to watch the locals dig for clams, and roasting a frozen pizza over the fire, and then drove the 45 minutes back up (with ten minutes thrown in at the border), stopping for the obligatory Sourdough Jack and milkshake, to shower in our own heated shower and sleep in our own lavish bed.
We got what you might call the long end of the stick.
PS. While we were on the beach, squirrels took over our campsite and ravaged our hot dogs. One of them climbed into the bag of chips while another stuck its head down the neck of Sheri's Nalgene. Our neighboring campers took pictures of the outrage before securing our edible goods under a box.
Friday, May 18, 2007
It makes my extraordinarly heavy collection of books look positively trifling! I have room to buy ever so many more now! There's a rhyme and reason to which books are where, but it has more to do with how much I like them than it does with general logic. But if you can figure out which books I'd stab someone to keep (see: center tower) as opposed to which books I'm rather ashamed to own (see: entire top left shelf. see also: really bad but totally awesome fantasy), you'll have no problem navigating my new library.
We also bought this enormous, metal, infinitely practical monstrosity...
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Joel and I got to Coquitlam and hour early, and what does one do when one is in Coquitlam with spare time? WE WENT TO IKEA!!!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The other day, I put them on the couch, thinking 'These are so large and fabulous, I will surely see them before I sit.' I am an idiot. They are in several shards.
That same day, I got an email from my sister saying 'I dropped my fabulous new pink sunglasses into a bucket of oil paint today. It was like watching the Titanic sink into oblivion.'
There once were two girls from Burnaby
Who bought sunglasses so they could see
One pair, it has sunk
The other is chunks
And now I wear the pair I broke last year, which aren't half as fabulous and were missing a little metal bolt that I replaced with an earring and hope no one will notice. Woe is me.
wantneed: to want something, but be unable to justify buying it unless you convince yourself that you need it. Dried mangoes are frequently wantneeded.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Some of our games we've never played. Some of them we haven't played since childhood, when cheating was expected and rules were hazy. And one of them, Ticket to Ride, we'd played over Christmas with Joel's adorable rich cousins, who then promptly sent us our own in the mail, except that it's the German version (set in Germany, not written in German) and obscenely more complicated (shameless plug: Ticket to Ride is the greatest game since jacks. It's like Settlers of Catan, except you know how sometimes when you're playing Settlers, someone builds the wrong road and effectively screws you over really early in the game, and so you spend the rest of the evening alternately sulking, trying to figure out why your ankle is so itchy, and screwing other people over, because you know you can't win? That never happens in Ticket. I mean, it can, but no one knows where you're trying to go, so they can't intentionally sabotage you unless they're really clever or you're really transparent, and even if they snag your quickest route, it's usually not impossible or even difficult to get where you were going anyways. Also, no one knows who wins until you count up at the end, and the game never lasts more than an hour. End shameless plug).
So Joel and I sit down with our Kahlua (which we bought for $10 in Mexico) and milk (which we drink out of crystal glasses because we have them), to play ourselves a few mock-rounds of each game. We never made it to the other games, because I was so excited by the destination cards I'd drawn in our faux-Ticket game, and Joel gets totally caught up in whatever fun thing is most immediately present.
I actually just wrote this entire post so that I could boast about kicking Joel's ass.
Also, to invite you all over for some games. And Kahlua and milk, if you are of age. We'll serve it to you in crystal.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Did you know that you can buy cream puffs covered in chocolate and filled with chocolate-flavored cream?
(that I can't seem to post, but that can be found here)
and painted this...I'm having her paint brushes bronzed and put on a plaque for my wall.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
If I did not give this post a title, the obligatory 'first sentence slightly cut off' title would look thusly: Going to an all-new school has a hug.
- go to the library,
- get an ID card,
- have an inane conversation with the ID card guy about what my name should be on it since I haven't gotten my name changed yet and I'm still registered under my maiden name,
- put money onto my ID card using this ancient black machine,
- go to print lab,
- log on to computer using 9-digit student # and 6-digit password,
- look for 'Word' on computer,
- give up on looking for 'Word,'
- thank God emailed assignment to self,
- check email,
- download assignment,
- hit print,
- look around for cleverly-hidden printers,
- find cleverly hidden printers,
- be accosted by older gal who doesn't know how to print and can't seem to understand that I don't either,
- try to figure out why printer isn't printing said assingment,
- notice small black box which says 'insert card,'
- insert card,
- startle a bit when pop-up pops up on adjacent computer,
- read pop-up,
- enter aforementioned 9- and 6-digit codes,
- utter small yelp of triumph when paper prints,
- go in search of stapler.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Yesterday was my first day of classes. I will quote for you a segment of email I sent to my sister the day before: 'I'm nervous. Not about the classes so much, but about the whole new campus and new school system and all new profs and new ways of doing things and most students don't start at the beginning of summer so there's no real 'orientation' or new-student-friendly thing-a-things, so I'm nervous about that.' You see, it's the 'going to' part, not the 'school' part that makes me want to eat the contents of our cupboard, and follow it up with the door handles.
So yesterday I show up for my 10:00 class. There's only one other person in the room. I ask him if this is English 120, and he thinks so, so I sit down. We wait. I play Spellbound on my Palm Pilot (like I said, nerd goggles). Another guy shows up. It's 10:00 by this point. There's only the three of us there. The awkwardness is palpable. Are we in the wrong classroom? Was class cancelled, and everyone knows about it except us? The one guy suddenly whips out his schedule and says, hey, what do you all think this means? He points to where it says 'English 120, July and August.' Somehow the three of us missed the fact that our class didn't begin until the latter half of the semester, EVEN THOUGH all of us were taking at least one other class that began at the same time, and were well aware of this anomaly.
Good thing I live a twelve-minute walk from the school.
My two other classes were fantastic as far as first classes go, in that I don't totally hate everyone in them, and we got out early. All both of my textbooks that the bookstore had in stock came to a total of $117 (which, and Joel remarks scornfully, is nothing compared to his $150 paperback text, one of many).
I have an assignment due tomorrow already, bringing with it that anxious weight that a first assignment for a new prof in a new school for a class that I shouldn't technically be registered in because I don't have the prereq's but for which I plea-bargained my way in inevitably carries. So instead of doing that, I've been poking around on my Facebook (takes off nerd goggles, replaces them with fashionably huge faux-D&G shades) and eating Pringles.
You all wish you were me.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Plus, there was that wedding that I was in on Saturday, which ate up that whole day and half of Friday, too. And for which I wore an ill-fitting (long story) blue satin dress and pinchy shoes (which I may have accidentally-on-purpose left at the reception hall).
Plus, we're currently three disks into the 2nd season of 24 (I know, I have to get my priorities straight. But it's so frightfully gripping!).
So, another tale about our honeymoon. Um...we watched the entire first season of 24, which is actually not as lame as it sounds, because it was mostly after we'd burnt ourselves crispy, and there are only so many things one can do indoors. Plus it was good downtime after a long morning spent eating and lazing.
Also, we went to a bullfight. At first, we were all like, yeah, rad, this is going to be awesome! We're in Mexico and we're going to a bullfight! It's like somehow we forgot that they KILL BULLS in these things. They ride out on a horse and stab the bull in the shoulders with these long spears. Then the matador comes out with two-foot metal spikes, and (this part was actually pretty ballsy) runs straight at the bull's head so that he can plant the spikes in the back of its neck before spinning away. All of this is done to make it more difficult for the bull to gore things, like people. The whole thing seems a bit one-sided, since the matador has five other guys hanging around in case he gets into trouble, and the bull has no one, and is bleeding from the word 'go'. That's probably what made it hardest to watch. Sentimental feelings aside, it was a great show. Flourishing capes, bleating trumpets, massive raging beasts. It was what you'd call an 'experience,' but I'll probably never do it again.
I make no promises, but life has settled into something resembling routine, so the probability of me blogging steadily is somewhat higher. If anyone besides Jane and September still read this (hi, guys!).