Monthly Archives: July, 2003

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A very happy birthday to my favorite protagonist, Harry Potter, and his wonderful creator, Ms. JK Rowling. I just read the transcript of a great Q&A session on USA Today, and it got me thinking about HP again. (Yeah, it surprises me that I don’t think about it all the time, too.) There are some well-thought out points from Heidi in the interview, things I haven’t even started to consider. It took me at least a chapter to acknowledge the death, analyzing will have to wait for my second read. We waited almost three years for this book, and we’ve managed to pull it apart in less than a month. I love this fandom. :o)

Today is also another important day for me, though not nearly as joyous. My paternal grandmother died two years ago today. She was diabetic, about two years from a quadruple bypass, and she was on kidney dialysis at Southern Maryland Hospital. We came back from Germany that summer. I got to spend six weeks with her before she died. It hurt me to see her so unhappy and in so much pain. Reading her obituary today, and praying for her, I thought that even though I miss her terribly, I’m glad she isn’t suffering anymore. Every time I do a word search puzzle, or watch The Price is Right, or play bingo, I think of her. I will always regret that she never got to hear me play piano, or to see Ryan and Courtney play sports, but I know that if she could be there, she would. She was a great supporter like that. I love her, I miss her, and I will never forget her.

A few guestbook notes: Andra, thanks for the reassurance. Rajni, we have to investigate this thing further. ;) Mykella, thanks for the tip.

I got off work early today. Mrs. Maus had to go out to see her father, something business-related. She was really put off by it (that’s about half a day of stock market trading gone), but she went anyway. She thanked me again for just being there during the day. I’ll be gone next week, and unless her son’s fiancee comes over, she’ll be alone in the house most of the time. To be perfectly honest, my primary reason for going there is to make some money. But I like it there. The kittens have stopped jumping into my workspace, and it gets me out of bed and away from the rugrats. Mrs. Maus is a very interesting woman.

I finished Pride and Prejudice just a little while ago. That is a great book, and a rarity; a classic with elegant language that I not only read, but enjoyed. In a strange way, I liked having such short chapters, because those are good places to stop, think, and take notes (even though I hate the note-taking part). I can understand why people (especially guys) wouldn’t like it; it is very much a romance. It’s a well-written book, though, and I’m glad I read it.

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Today is NOT a fine day for science. — Dexter, Dexter’s Laboratory

I am not having the best day. That quote up there, that’s what I say to myself when I have a not-so-great day. I used to watch that show all the time. In one episode, they show Dexter waking up and saying, “Ah, what a fine day for science!” Then he does a bunch of experiments, and before he goes to bed, he writes in his journal, “Today was a fine day for science.” It goes on for about three days, until one day he wakes up and falls out of bed (or something like that.) Nothing goes right that day, and then looks really sad and says, “Today is not a fine day for science.” It’s stupid, I know, but that always comes to mind.

I couldn’t sleep last night. I went to bed around 11:40, then woke up at midnight, then 5-something, then 6-something, and 7-something, and then my alarm finally went off at 8. I wanted so much to just turn it off and go back to sleep. So much. I somehow managed to get up and go to work.

Mrs. Maus had the air conditioning on today, even though it’s overcast and not really hot, so I was on the verge of shivering the whole day. I spent the day going more magazine articles for her dissertation. The computer I was using has a ridiculously big screen, and she has it set to a high resolution, so I was straining my eyes. That computer’s chair is also far too low for the desk, so my neck was tired from tilting my head up. I had a sore neck, and sore eyes, and I just wanted to go home.

I came home to find traces of the rugrats all over the house, just like always. I went to shut the green room door to keep the AC in, and they screamed. Like they were surprised I was home; I get home at the same time every day. I sat down in my room to read, but I dozed off around 3:30, so I conceded and closed my eyes for a quick nap. I woke up at 4, then practiced piano for my lesson tomorrow. My dad interrupted me so I could wish my grandfather a happy birthday (he’s 60), then I played “Wedding March” and “Clair de Lune” and “Moonlight Sonata” until my hands hurt from stretching so much.

I finished practicing, then went to eat some applesauce to clam my growling stomach. In retrospect, my day doesn’t seem as bad as it feels. My disposition is just not sunny, I guess. I feel like the weather today: kind of gloomy, not sunny at all, and somewhat uncharacteristic.

Oh, there’s another reason for my bad mood. My mom. She’s back to hounding me about the future. According to her, I am “odd” for not knowing what I want to study because she’s “never heard of anyone who doesn’t know what they want to do going into the twelfth grade.” And I’m not doing enough for her in the way of looking at colleges and scholarships and such. She aggravates me so much sometimes. Unappreciative of what I do, always wanting more. She’s never satisfied. There’s only so much I can do.

Edit: Darn. I was all set to have a nice sulky day, avoiding my mom so she wouldn’t ask (again) what’s wrong, and then I go read Rajni’s writing, and I almost feel bad for feeling bad. That, or we are now sharing a psychic bond. We could use some cheering up. Almost time for Friends, though.

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Sifted through many more magazine articles today for Mrs. Maus. My eyes were extremely tired, but then I ate lunch, which somehow revived them. Apparently, she’s being charged with some unpleasant things by someone she tried to help in the past. I won’t get into the details; she just spends a lot of time consulting various lawyers. She said she wants a Johnny Cochran (is that how you spell his name?). To me, that means she wants someone like herself, only that can practice law.

I sat outside near the mailbox and read for about two hours today. The weather was just right, so long as I stayed under the tree, halfway in the shade. The rugrats are still getting on my nerves, but I refuse to exert any more energy than necessary with them. I tell them to do things, they don’t listen, I give up. It’s not my problem.

I still miss Greg. And I don’t know if I want a new phone to go with my new plan, because I could spend that money on better things in the future. It takes money to be a senior.

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I woke up tired again this morning, but when I got home, I was fine. Maybe staying up late (not!) is making me fatigued. I skipped my nap today. I will try to get ready for bed right after my beloved Cosby Show reruns tonight. No telling whether I’ll actually be able to sleep that early, though.

I finally finished clipping articles from Investor’s Business Daily today. That was a lot of newspapers, no kidding. I have no greater understanding of the stock market than before I started riffling through those papers, but I did see some interesting articles along the way. I collected a whole bunch of new quotes, and I got paid for doing something that would not otherwise have been done. Yep, yep.

My new assignment (ack! reminder of school!) is to search online databases through the Virginia library system to find articles for Mrs. Maus’s case study. I only looked for about twenty minutes today, and found nothing relevant. Some of the irrelevant stuff was interesting, though. I read the beginning of an article on parents causing stress and depression in their own children (aha!) by putting them in too many activities (darn). I ran across an article on synesthesia, which is a very interesting and very rare condition where a person’s senses unite. Like, someone may look at a black number six and see it as blue. Or, they might touch a tree and get a woody taste in their mouth, or listen to music and literally see colors. They’ve done studies to see if people are just imagining it or pretending, but it’s real.

I just checked Merriam-Webster, and they couldn’t give me a synonym for “interesting”. How odd.

I tried to start taking notes for my Adkins paper; I’m doing Eisenhower. There is a thick, imposing library book on my bedroom floor (where else am I supposed to put it?), constantly reminding me to write that paper. I just don’t want to. I’ve never found U.S. History terribly interesting. Any history, really, but I enjoyed World last year. I’ll see if Adkins can sway me.

Oops, I just realized I ripped the same song twice and gave it different titles. It’s so easy to get distracted when your computer crashes. Rajni is back now. I missed the subtle part in her journal where she mentioned she was going away. I still miss Greg. And now I am just wasting time. I should go back to note-taking, as much as it bores me. Sigh.

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Another nothing day. Still missing Greg, but handling it well. He texted me last night from South Carolina, which was totally unexpected, but very welcome and much appreciated.

I got into an argument with my mom this morning. She wanted to double-check the packing list they sent for the Leadership Workshop, and it said something about a Frisbee, and she just kind of laughed and said, “Can you throw a Frisbee?” Like it’s such a huge joke because I’m not athletically inclined. I hate it when they joke about me. As if I don’t have enough to deal with. So I told her that (well, only the first part), and she launched off on this big spiel about how I’m too sensitive, and people will always make fun of me (which makes me feel better… how?), and that I was being stupid for overreacting.

I’m not a confrontational person, so I just let it go. But she called me stupid. I know I’m not, but it hurt to hear her say that. It’s not the first time. And maybe I was overreacting about the Frisbee thing, but God, does she have to be so harsh all the time? If my main flaw is being sensitive, hers is altogether lacking sympathy. She gets on my nerves sometimes. I just want to scream at her. But she’s brought me up to respect people, especially her, no matter what. So I just stopped speaking to her and moved on.

Of course, my sensitivity was no help in holding back the tears that followed. I try not to let things get to me like that. It just never works. But I feel much better now. It helps that I haven’t had to speak to my mom since then (except “okay”). I know that when I do talk to her, she’ll be fine. Probably won’t remember a thing. Things always get to me, but they never get to her.

I finally remembered to cut my nails today, and watched part of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial while I ate lunch. Then I practiced piano a bit and watched almost all of Never Been Kissed. Love that movie. Drew Barrymore rocks.

My computer is flaky and unresponsive sometimes, which means I can’t always use the CD drives. By some miracle, they are working now. I pray they’ll still work after the next restart. Seizing the opportunity, I finally watched the videos from the enhanced part of Hotel Paper. Michelle Branch sounds good live. There was an acoustic version of “Hotel Paper” (the song), and she sounded so beautiful. I wish I could sing like that.

Hey, does anyone know where Rajni is? She hasn’t updated her site or journal since Wednesday, which is unheard of. Even when she accidentally hurt her computer, she sat through the slow loading to post an entry or two. For most people, not being online for a while would just mean they were busy, but not Rajni. I’m worried.

Edit: Computer freaked out. Forced a restart. CD drives are fine, currently ripping Michelle Branch for my RealOnePlayer. And Semagic is wonderful. I write my blog entries in that first, so that if I have to restart, the draft is saved. Joy.

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I started my day off yesterday by sleeping in. Then I did some laundry, checked my email, and forgot to blog. The day ended nicely, though. Greg came over, and we got pizza (sausage and extra cheese from Papa John’s; he let me pick) and watched Ocean’s Eleven. That was a great movie. It’s a movie about crime, so you feel a little guilty for liking it so much, but it’s just that good.

We had interesting conversations, too, as always. I accidentally led him the long way around to pick up the pizza, but I don’t see how that matters as long as we got there. Then, watching the movie, he said he didn’t think Julia Roberts was pretty. He said her nose is too long. I disagree; I think she’s pretty, and I don’t care if he does, too, because she’s far too old for him and not real. (That is, “not real” in the sense that it is very unlikely that Greg will ever met and/or run away with her, so he can think whatever he wants to about her.) I later remarked that Harrison Ford is pretty good-looking for an old guy. And he’s a good actor; I think I liked Air Force One.

Greg always acts offended when I comment on other guys, but I know he’s just playing. Seriously, if Lance Bass showed up at my front door, I’d be too shocked to run away and elope with him. ;) Greg knows he can trust me. He’ll know for sure in a few weeks, after our separation: he’s gone to Daytona Beach with his family until Thursday, and I’ll be at the Maryland Senior High Leadership Workshop at McDaniel (formerly Western Maryland) College the first week of August.

I think I’m going to switch cell phone plans. Verizon Prepaid is getting on my nerves because I don’t like the way it works. my parents have the Cingular Family SharePlan thing, so they can add me to their plan and get low-priced text messaging for me for less than I’m using with Verizon. I’d have to use one of their old phones, but they’re decent phones and I can live with that. I’m just too attached to cell phones in general to give mine up entirely.

I wonder if there’s a fanlisting for cell phones… which reminds me, I joined new fanlistings for Virgo, Notepad (the standard Windows program, which I use for all my HTML writing), and SMS/text messaging. I like making buttons when they don’t have ones I like in the right sizes, even if mine are a little fuzzy.

I missed this week’s Friday Five, and I wouldn’t have had good answers anyway, so here’s the Saturday-8: Books & Movies.

Are you an avid reader, or would you prefer to see a movie instead?
I like doing both. Preferably, I read the book first, then go see the movie afterward. I never consider movie novelizations; they’re always terrible.

When you hear that a movie is coming out that you know is based on a book, do you read the book first or wait for the movie?
I try to read the book first, but if I can’t I read it afterward. This is what I’m doing with How to Deal.

Have you ever liked a movie so much that you went out and purchased the book?
Yes. I did that with The Princess Diaries, even though I knew it was being made from the book long before I saw the movie.

Are you a purist, and get upset/angry if a film adaptation does not stay 100% to the book?
I get frustrated, but not angry. The Harry Potter books are better than the movies, but the movies are still incredible.

Have you ever refused to see a movie because the casting of a major character was controversial (like Tom Cruise as Lestat or Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones)?
No. I never saw Interview with the Vampire or Bridget Jones’s Diary, so I didn’t object.

What is your favorite genre of book and movie?
Book: fantasy, young adult fiction, some children’s books, and some chick-lit. Movies: chick-flicks, teen movies with substance, animation, and some comedy.

Do you prefer to read one type of book, but watch another type of movie?
See previous answer.

If you could choose one book to be made into a movie, which one would it be (or book series, if you’re stuck)?
A lot of my favorite books are movies: A Walk to Remember, Alice in Wonderland, The Princess Diaries, The Face on the Milk Carton, and the Harry Potter series. Fearless might be interesting as a (warped! messed-with!) tv show this fall on the WB, but you couldn’t put that in a movie.

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Ah, Mykella, if only I had the luxury of ignoring the rugrats. But I get paid for watching them in the summertime. That is, if “watching” means “keeping them from killing each other and/or burning down the house.” If not for the cash, I’d pretend to be an only child, really.

Here’s irony for you: A spam email with the subject line “Stop email SPAM” followed by random letters. It was even sorted into the spam folder, so you know it’s spam. That’s almost as bad as the pop-up ad I saw for a pop-up blocker.

Scary thing: This morning, I started singing “Oops, I Did It Again.” This horrid sing-along was brought on by a memory of my 8th grade banquet dance, which I was thinking about because of something else. My mind goes off on tangents all the time. Not a good thing when you’re trying to take a test. The thing is, I don’t even like Britney Spears. I’m annoyed that I know the words to that song (even the part with the Heart of the Ocean!) when I could use that memory space for more important things, like… yeah.

Mrs. Maus took off today with her friend Esther to go see her daughter and son-in-law. That means I get the day off tomorrow, which is good because I can snag some extra sleep, but bad because I won’t make any money. Also, there was a gorgeous bouquet on her kitchen table: a 38th anniversary present from her husband. My remark? “Wow. That’s a long time, and that’s a lot of flowers.”

I just reorganized my bookmarks. It was just so annoying looking for things and not finding them where they should logically be. And the default “links” folder is empty, like it should be. They’re all links. … I realize this makes me sound kind of crazy. But I am, so there.

I caught part of 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons on VH1 while I was eating. (Chicken quesadilla, the only really good thing Taco Bell makes.) That’s a cool miniseries. I think I have a thing for VH1 documentaries. Anyway, I thought Harry Potter was #141, but that was Bruce Lee, so I must have missed it. But I saw Molly Ringwald, Prince, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Willis, Ron Howard, and a bunch of others. The phone rang during the bit on Mr. Rogers. They have caricatures of each Icon before their segment; those are pretty spiffy. I skipped the last rerun in lieu of Friends. That show just never gets old, right, Rajni? :o)

If you haven’t voted yet in the Short Story Contest, please do. Instructions are in the sidebar. Apparently I’m doing quite well, although I think story #1 is in the lead, which is probably because it’s way up at the top of page, so people tend to read it more often.

I am going to go join more fanlistings, make new buttons (with slightly fuzzy text because I don’t have PSP), and generally waste time online. Yay.

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