Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - Chapter 1

     The girl behind the counter smiled at me as she asked me what type of day I was having.

     “Hunh?” I responded very inelegantly.

     “Well, the type of tea you want depends on the type of day you’re having. So is it a good day? A relaxed day? A busy day?”

     “Uh, a busy day I guess.”

     “Alright, then you probably want something with a little bit more caffeine in it. I recommend either Kuki-cha Supreme, which is a slightly sweet tea similar in flavor to Gyokuro but less expensive, or the Sen-cha Supreme, which is a more everyday type of tea that’s not quite as sweet as Kuki-cha.”

     “Uhm, was I supposed to understand that?”

     She smiled back at me although I thought that if someone else had said that to me, I probably would have been exasperated and contemplated various methods of murder, including drowning by scalding hot water.

     “Do you want a sweeter tea or a more bitter tea?”

     “Eh, I’m not so much into sweets. Listen, why is tea so complicated? I just want a cup of green tea so I can be on my way and get on with my day.”

     “I am going to make you a nice cup of green tea, but really, tea is a complicated thing and shouldn’t be taken so lightly, although most people just assume tea is tea and leave it at that. However, tea can be compared to fine wine, or the variety of different coffees. Not everyone has the same tastes, and not all wines go with every meal and not every coffee fits a particular day.”

“Uh, okay then...”

     She smiled again. “That’ll be $3.50 please.” I started to wonder if she was patronizing me, but I decided to leave it at that. She obviously cared very much about her tea, although God knows why. It was just tea after all.

     I watched her as she started to make my cup of tea. First, she filled a teapot with a little bit of hot water, swirled it around, and then poured it out. Then she filled the teapot again to the brim with hot water, and poured this water from the teapot into a thick ceramic pot. She waited a few seconds before pouring the water into a second pot. She let the water sit while she measured out the tea leaves: one tablespoon of dark green leaves, which she proceeded to put into the teapot. Finally she poured the hot water over the leaves, put the lid on, swirled the liquid in the teapot for a second and then looked up at me and said, “I forgot to ask, is this for here or to go?”

     “To go. I have to get to work soon. Is the tea ready yet?”

     “Just give it another 30 seconds and it’ll be ready. I have to let it finish steeping. You wouldn’t want tea-flavored water now, would you?”

     “Uh, I guess not.” I didn’t know what to say. I was getting a bit impatient, but at the same time, she made tea seem like such a ritual that I wasn’t eager to spoil the obvious great pride she took in making a perfect cup of tea. This was my first time at this particular teashop, and I wasn’t sure whether my experience here was making me want to come back or not. After all, I was usually in a hurry, and this was the first teashop I’d been to that hadn’t filled a paper cup with water, thrown a teabag into it, handed it to me and declared that it would cost me $1.50. However, a friend of mine had told me that I should come here. He said that he thought it would do me good to pause a bit on my way to work and have a decent cup of tea for once, that I wouldn’t regret it, and that the lady who worked in the shop was absolutely ‘charming’. Well, I didn’t know whether she was charming or just plain irritating, but I guess people varied in taste.

     Finally, I saw her swirl the liquid in the teapot, grab a paper cup, pour a little bit into the cup, swirl the teapot again, and then finally pour the rest of the leaf green liquid out into the paper cup. Her eye for measurements was astounding: the tea ended just a quarter of an inch from the top, just enough to prevent me from spilling it while I walked on the way to work. She put the lid on and set the paper cup on the serving counter. “Here you go, sir. A cup of our finest Sen-cha. I hope you enjoy.”

     “Thank you.” I grabbed the cup and hurried out of the store. By now, I had been in that store for a full fifteen minutes, and I was anxious to head off to work so as not to arrive late. I blew a bit into the cup, but the steam that came out wasn’t scalding hot, so I tentatively took my first sip. The tea was the perfect temperature for drinking. Not too hot, but not too cold. It tasted smooth going down: a slightly bitter tinge on the tongue, followed by the fresh taste of really expensive, new tea leaves.

     I say ‘new’ because I’ve had old tea leaves before. I think that’s what you tend to get in most stores: old, stale tea. You can tell it’s stale by the fact that it takes forever to steep, it turns a deep yellow color, and somehow even though you’ve steeped it for ten minutes already, it never seems strong enough or the taste always seems a bit off, like the difference between normal carbonated Coke and Coke that has gone flat overnight. Technically it should still be just as good, but somehow flat Coke just doesn’t seem to cut it. I usually ask for two teabags to make this type of tea stronger, but that can make a cup of green tea almost undrinkable with bitterness. Most cups of green tea made from just one teabag are already slightly bitter, so adding another teabag just multiplies the bitterness by about twenty times.

     However, the tea she had just made for me was smooth without the usual overwhelming bitterness that I had come to associate with typical green tea. I puzzled over how she could have achieved in making a cup of green tea that was not bitter while walking to work along with the other crowds of students. However, I didn’t pay them any attention. Most of these students were bleary-eyed, carrying heavy backpacks and some of them wearing sweatpants and frazzled hair as if they had just crawled out of bed. Even at almost a quarter to 9 in the morning, it was too early for them. I myself wasn’t an early riser, but I had gotten used to the early schedule so that by 8 AM I was awake and ready to leave the house. Since it took me about twenty minutes to walk to work, I was usually very early. However, today I was running later. It was already 8:41 AM and I was just now entering the main walkway to campus. I could tell it was later by the fact that the crowd of students seemed a bit heavier than usual this morning, like ants rushing towards a particularly big morsel of food that someone had dropped on the ground.

     As I walked briskly along I ran into William, another student in my department. He saw me first and walked quicker, cutting through lines of students walking by themselves to join me. “How’s it going this morning, Taylor?” he said breathlessly as he walked up.

     “Not too bad. How about you?” I took another sip of tea.

     “Enh, running late as usual. I have a meeting with a professor at 9 AM, but I’m only just getting to campus. I was supposed to prepare a few things for my lecture afterwards, but well...” His voice trailed off.

     “Heh. Well, I suppose you could always just wing it. You always look so comfortable in front of students that I imagine it doesn’t take too much preparation.”

     “Yeah, well. Life of a grad student, eh? I don’t think anyone really ever prepares for their lectures except you.” He chuckled. “Always the organized one. It’s no wonder the profs fawn all over you.”

     “Hah. Yeah right. You should’ve seen what Professor Krofsky wrote on my paper the other day: good effort, but could’ve used a bit more discussion of the theoretical implications of long distance tone spread on the theory of locality in phonology. Seriously though, the professors expect you to write a term paper for the weekly homeworks. It’s almost impossible to keep up with their expectations.”

     “You got that right man...”

     We stopped talking as we got closer to the department, and I sipped my tea more regularly. I swear the walls had ears here. You never wanted to say too much or you risked someone hearing you and passing on that information to someone else. Academic departments had more gossip flying around than most business offices. In addition, academics tended to be a bit more ‘specialized’ and more antisocial, so they often had less of an understanding of human interaction than the average person working in a business office. It wasn’t a good combination.

     William got to the door first and pulled it open, holding it so it wouldn’t shut in my face. “Anyways, I gotta run to my meeting. See you later, Taylor.”

     “Yeah, alright. See you.”

     William went hurrying down the hall away from the rest of the offices. His office was technically on the first floor at the north end of the building, but he usually left all his stuff on an unoccupied desk in my office, which was on the second floor. He must have really been running late if he didn’t bother to drop his stuff on his desk before rushing off to see his professor. I glanced at my watch: 8:59 AM. Yeah, he was really running late.

     I climbed the stairs to the second floor and walked down the hall towards my office. I was about to get my keys out, but then I noticed the door was open already. That was unusual. I was usually always the first one in in the morning. I peeked through the door. Mary glanced up from her work. “Heya Taylor. How’s it going?”

     “Not too bad.” I walked to my desk and set my bright yellow laptop bag down on my chair.

     “You’re late today.”

     “Mmm,” I replied as I took another sip of tea.

     “Late night last night?”

     “No, not really. A friend recommended I stop into this teashop, so I did, but it took a bit longer than my usual order at Starbucks.”

     “Haha. Well, never get between a man and his caffeine.” She settled back into reading her article. She had a stack about an inch high on her desk.

     “You going to read all those today?”

     She barely glanced up. “Yeah, I kinda have to do a lot of research on my MA topic this week, and Professor Barkley recommended that I read these articles in preparation for our meeting on Thursday. I was busy working on the syntax homework until 1 AM though, so I didn’t get to start these over the weekend. I’ve been making notes on them, though, so I think I have a bunch of additional reading to do for tomorrow and Wednesday before my meeting. You know, work as usual.”

     I nodded, but she didn’t see me. She had already gone back to her article. It looked like it was going to be another one of those days in the office. I took out my laptop, set it on my desk, grabbed the charger cord and plugged it in. Then I set my bag on the empty chair next to my desk and sat down. Some people, like Mary, liked to have hardcopies of everything. As for me, I hated carrying around all that extra paper, so I usually tried to read stuff I found online, or that I scanned into PDF form using the scanner upstairs on the third floor.

     I settled back into my chair, sipping my cup of tea, while I began to read one of my articles related to my dissertation topic. I didn’t look up from my computer until the cup of tea had been gone for an hour, and I had made eight typed pages of notes on what I had just read.

     Awesome, I thought. Even though I was late today, that’s still quite a bit of work for one morning, and it’s not yet lunchtime. I stretched my arms up as high as I could reach them and yawned while half-heartedly attempting to cover my mouth. My chair squeaked a bit, but when I glanced at Mary, she was still reading. She must have been really focused if she didn’t even respond to the noise of squeaky chairs. They drove me insane. I can never study while William is around since he is always bouncing up and down in that goddamn chair of his. Squeaka, squeaka, squeaka. I would describe it as the feeling you get when someone runs their nails down a chalkboard, but far worse.

     “Taylor!” Speak of the devil.

     I stopped stretching. “Hey William. How’d your meeting go?”

     “Enh, you know. Same old, same old. I still have no idea what I want to write my thesis on exactly. No matter how much I read, it always seems like I’m just that far away from finishing it.”


     William was the type of person who had a lot of natural talent, but usually did not capitalize on it. A lot of ideas, and no ambition. It made for a poor academic. I am not really sure if he enjoyed it or not. I don’t think William did either.

     “So what are you doing right now?”


     “You’re staring off into space.”

     “Oh. I hadn’t noticed.” It seems that I had spent too much time with my work today. That always happened. Whenever I spent too much time with my work, it always seemed like the thoughts in my head were more prominent than everything around me. It seemed like I was the exception, more than the rule. Most people I know spent too much outside their heads and not enough time inside. I suppose I was the opposite of that.

     “So what do you think?”


     “God, you never listen. I was trying to ask you whether we should go out drinking or something right now because I’m done with work for the day and you look like you are too. So? What were you thinking about anyways?”

     “Oh. Uhm...it really wouldn’t make sense.”

     “You never do, man. You never do.”

     “Wait, isn’t it only 11:30? Why do you want to go drinking at this hour? They’re not even serving $2 drinks yet...”

     “Because, man. I can’t stand the thought of being at school any longer today. I feel like my head’s going to explode.”

     “Maybe if your head exploded, then other people could get some work done around here.” We both looked up. Mary had been speaking, and she did not look particularly happy. Her lips were kind of pursed together in a disapproving stare that was wandering from one to the other of us in turn. It seemed that she did not really know who to fault in this instance: me or William.

     Mary and William had never really gotten along. She was too serious, and he wasn’t serious enough for her. In some ways I thought that they would make the perfect couple because they obviously hated each other so intensely that there had to be some other emotion tied up with it that I did not see. Maybe they had had a past relationship that hadn’t gone well...or maybe Mary had gotten drunk during one of the department parties on the rare occasion that she let loose and William had taken advantage of it. Whatever the reason, I had never asked. Mary would have just scoffed at me, and William probably would have made up some story that turned out to be a relationship that he had with another girl just to make it seem like he had gotten her panties off and in a jumble. She certainly needed it, but I don’t think even drink would have convinced her to do it with William.

     William stared back at her in disbelief. “Well, aren’t we Miss High-and-Mighty today. What’s the matter? You got an A- on your last assignment?”

     “Shut up, William. I’m working and this isn’t even your office. Taylor, just go drink with him or something because I need to get back to work and I don’t want to head to the library every time I want some peace and quiet just because your idiot friends don’t know how to show respect for other people.”

     I stared at her now too. She had never gotten this angry with me before. I wonder how much she thought her life and future career hung in the balance on a few articles that the professors told her to read, not because they knew she needed more to read, but because they knew that she would read them. She was the only one that seemed to live up to their expectations. I wondered if she ever knew how small she made the rest of us feel.

     “I...why are you ordering me out of my office?”

     “Why do expect that I should have to leave mine in order to get some peace?”

     We glared at each other for a second, but my resolve was waning fast. I did not really care to get on her bad side because I knew she would make life a living hell if that happened. Besides, at this point I might as well go for lunch. I hadn’t eaten much today, and I noticed that my stomach had started grumbling while I finished the last page of my notes.
     “Fine then.” I gathered up my belongings while she supervised, not daring to take her eyes off me unless I changed my mind. Charger cord, laptop...at least I packed light. It made it all the easier to pack up my stuff without feeling like I was taking too long. Under her gaze, though, you would have thought that I was taking twenty minutes to pack up two things.

     I zipped up my bag and pushed my chair into my desk. I grabbed my empty paper cup that had held this morning’s tea and threw it into the trash can. There. Nice and neat. There were still stacks of books at the back of my desk, but most of them were textbooks that I hadn’t bothered to scan in since I mostly didn’t carry them home. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t stand clutter. My room at home was as austere and unused looking as my desk. Some people found it unnerving, but I found it enticing. A clean desk always made me want to sit down and use it, while a cluttered desk made me just want to run away and find somewhere else to work. William and I, obviously, did not see eye to eye.

     I looked up and noticed that William was staring at me. I carefully avoided Mary’s gaze and I told him, “Come on, let’s go,” in very subdued tones. I crossed the room to the door as Mary scoffed and turned back to her article. William was still staring at me as we descended the stairs of our building, and turned to walk either towards town or food, whichever happened to catch our attention first.

     “Would you stop looking at me like that? I can’t figure out if people are going to think that we’re a couple that just got into a fight, or if you’re acting like you’ve never seen a real human being before.”

     “I just can’t believe you let her kick you out like that. I mean, what the fuck, man. Where’s your balls?”

     “In my pants, like always.”

     “I’m going to avoid the obvious virgin jokes here. But seriously, man, that’s your office too. You really should fight for your space. Establish dominance.”

     “Well, I didn’t exactly see you standing up for me either.”

     “Oh, come on. You know there’s nothing I can say that Mary will honestly listen to.”

     “Yeah, well, I’d like to pretend that she’ll still listen to me on occasion instead of just shrugging me off as if I were the mud on her shoes like she does with you all the time.”

     “Ugh. You just don’t have the balls to stand up to a girl.”

     “No, it’s just I don’t see the point in starting a pointless conflict. The department is difficult enough without getting an officemate on my bad side.”

     “Yeah, exactly. No balls.”

     “Shut up, William. I think I’m going to go home.”

     “Aw, come on. You said you would come drinking.”

     “I said no such thing. I just got kicked out of my office, so I might as well go home for lunch and then maybe go find a cafĂ© to study at later.”

     “Bah, you people are no fun.”

     “Grad school’s meant to be fun?”

     “Any part of life is meant not to be?”

I could think of no response. William obviously thought I was more fun to hang around than Miss Goody-Two-Shoes in my office, but sometimes I wondered why. In some ways I wasn’t that much less serious than Miss Goody-Two-Shoes herself. There must be some subtle difference that he saw, but I did not. Anyways, I suppose it didn’t matter. There are some things that you should never question, and I think friendship must be one of them, otherwise who do you trust? There wasn’t much more to life than that. Sure, work is important and all, but at the end of the day, I don’t think it can make you happy. I don’t know that it made anyone happy. Maybe Miss Goody-Two-Shoes. I could see that. I wonder what she does for fun.

     “Taylor? Taylor!”

     “Hunh? What?”

     “There you go again.”

     “Oh, uh, sorry.”

     “You shouldn’t study so hard, man. It’s bad for your social skills.”

     “Whatever you say, William.”

     “Anyways, man, I’m going to head up this street. I want to go see if Miriam will join me. She’s usually bored, and hey, if I can get her to take the rest of the day off...woo! Awesomeness for me!” He pumped his fist in the air. I wondered whether he was still just an undergrad that had somehow been accepted to a university by mistake, a fault in the application. ‘I’m sorry, sir, but this application clearly says WILLIAM BRADY on it. If your last name is Bradshaw, then that’s not you.’ Maybe it had just been a mixup of two similar applicants with almost identical last names and the professors on the selection committee had forgotten which was which. Then again, maybe they just didn’t know and were now regretting their mistake.

     “Alright, William. Have fun. I’ll see you later.”

     “See ya!” He already had his back to me and was running up the street. Obviously his penis was on a mission today. I wondered if it ever gave him a break.

NaNoWriMo 2009

Just as a short introduction, I've decided to participate in NaNoWriMo 2009! All the way from Kenya. I figured it was a good thing to do with my time, and it might help keep some of the boredom away.

Anyways, it is already the third week of NaNoWriMo (exactly 17 days in for me), and everyone should be at 28,334 words by now. I am awesomely failing at this, since I got quite sick (evidently Kenyan food is filled with either parasites or bacteria, and my body fails at clearing either). I hit the mark for the first day and exceeded it (something around 2,100 words), and then totally failed to write anything else until yesterday. So my total is standing at 3,997 words. Woo! *yay for failure*

Anyways, I'm going to try and finish the story over time, even though I know that it's not going to actually make the NaNoWriMo deadline. But I'll probably try to hit 50,000 words by about the time I get back to the States, which might be a reasonable goal for me. Even if I don't, *yay* for trying.

In the spirit of Paradox, who let me read his story last year, I think I'm going to post my story to this blog, as I can't think of another suitable place to post it. I'm only going to post when I think I've come to a reasonable chapter break, so it might take at least a week or so before a new chapter gets posted (I kinda write non-linearly, so sometimes I'll write a scene that isn't connected to anything else for at least forever, or maybe not at all).

Don't ask me what the story is about really. I'm making it up as I go, with very little planning and foresight. I don't even know the title yet, let alone any chapter titles (if I even decide to make any). Already, my main character has become the customer in the teashop (not the lady who works in it like I thought originally), and it turns out that two of the characters don't get along, although they got along fine as of 2,500 words ago. It's kinda interesting to write because I really don't know what's going to happen, although I have a few ideas about the direction I want it to go in.

Anyways, without further ado, this is my introduction to my story. The first chapter shall follow in a separate post.

If you want to follow and see if I'm still writing despite the lack of posts, please visit my page here: http://www.nanowrimo.org//eng/user/459169


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cataloging my library

I think I finally found a good system for cataloging my books! Goodreads.com :)

They *don't* import all the information from Amazon, and they allow me to create bookshelves. There are three automatic bookshelves: Read, Currently-Reading, and To-Read. A book can only be on one of these bookshelves at a time. I also have the ability to *create* bookshelves, and all my books can be in as many bookshelves as I like. So, for example, I have a "library" bookshelf, which will contain all the books in my library (so every book should be in here, unless I screw up), and then beyond that, I can separate the books out based on which bookshelf they're in, which is basically a reflection of how I have them organized at home. It's quite useful, and so far it has found a couple of my books that should be harder to find in that they came from out-of-the-country. But still, no problems!

Beyond that, it has options to export my collection in .csv and whatnot, so I'll easily be able to transfer it to my home computer. I'm quite excited. ^_^ Oh, and did I mention it's free to create an account? :D

So yes...if I figure out how to do it, very soon there should be a live feed on this blog of the different bookshelves in my collection. I'm going to try to go for one showing the recently added books in my library, and the books that I'm currently reading. :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

I like watching the colors gather rain...

I've been meaning to write another post for at least a week or two, if not longer. But life gets in the way, and I always want to write at awkward times...like in the middle of class when I'm surrounded by students and all the things I want to say are very personal and probably things that you don't want your students to know about you (although, I guess the blank void of the internet is okay).

Life has been a little hectic lately, but a lot better than it has been since about the end of January or the beginning of February. I've been royally unhappy for about the past two months or so and I think I finally discovered what was wrong/fixed it unintentionally, and I'm extremely happy about that. A word to the wise: if you find yourself in a situation in which you are consistently unhappy, then maybe you either need to change that situation or get yourself out of it. Not that anyone ever tends to listen to that advice. I know I sure don't most of the time.

I've been doing a lot of discovering about myself in the past two weeks. I mean, they're mostly little things, but they're things that I'm glad to find out. First off, if I'm depressed or down, that doesn't always necessarily mean that it's a return of my depression...sometimes it's just the circumstances I find myself in. This one is honestly such a relief. You guys have no idea. I thought my mind must have been going crazy or something since about November last fall since I was so irritable and unhappy most of the time. First I tried to convince myself that it was just the stress from school. Then the stress from school went away and I seemed happier for a few weeks, and then it started up again. Was it stress from school? Unhappiness from my relationship? Was it just my mind going bad again? I had no idea...until two weeks ago when I unintentionally broke up my relationship and suddenly life became amazing and wonderful again. It was an almost overnight switch. I guess sometimes life needs something radical to happen in order to bring clarity. Thank you randomness that allowed me to suddenly have clarity. :)

Another thing that's been on my mind is that some of the most interesting people I've known in my life have been suicidal at some point. I'm not sure what that says about me or the type of people I'm attracted to. I sometimes get the feeling that suicidal/depressed people are more interesting than everyone else because they actually have to work at life. Nothing ever comes easy. And it's not that a suicidal/depressed person can't be happy once in a while. It just takes a lot to actually get to that point, and most of us are simply content to be feeling "okay" for once. It's a massively different perspective on life. Sometimes the thoughts in your head drown out everything around you until it's like you're looking at an impressionist painting and the only thing that's real are the thoughts in your head that you so desperately want to get away from. And then the ironic thing (for me at least), is now that I've gotten away from those thoughts, I miss them. They were like a comfortable pillow...that familiar blanket on your bed that you could just wrap yourself in. I know it doesn't make a lot of sense, but I guess old habits die hard.

I also get the feeling that suicidal/depressed people feel life more intensely than other people. This is probably completely wrong and the first thing that my psychologist would want to beat out of my head, but I just can't convince myself otherwise. That flighty girl at that party who is only concerned about getting laid or that silly, comedic guy who never seems to stop smiling and laughing and joking around (assuming it's not a veil of what he actually feels)...I just can't convince myself that those people feel the same things at the same intensity that us suicidal/depressed people do. And I think it makes us interesting. We can see the great sorrow that life is all around us, and yet, sometimes it just takes a close friend to make us smile and decide it's worth it to go on living another day. In some ways, through all the complexity, it simplifies life a bit down to the important things because a suicidal/depressed person can't just simply ignore the fundamental things in life like trying to find our own happiness or how we feel on any given day or just let the stress from life build and build until we finally snap. We can't ignore these things because we *will* snap. It's not a question, but a pure statement of fact. Life is hard, and we have to work at it to keep on living.

*shrugs* And anyways...who ever wants to read a book about someone's life who is perfectly happy and content with how things are going? It would make for a pretty boring story. There's a reason why all the classic authors were depressed/suicidal/committed suicide. <.< And there's a reason that the 27 Club exists. Sure, a lot of those people died as a result of accidental drug overdoses. But life is crazy sometimes, and drugs don't help smooth it out any except in passing or for brief periods of time.

I've decided I want to let go of life. Stop fucking thinking about it and just fucking *live* it for once. I'm in my experimental mode, which in some ways means I shun closeness of any sort. It's hard to feel completely free if you have ties to the world or to specific people. But I feel like I need this right now. I feel like I need to feel like I can just do whatever the fuck I want without someone looking over my shoulder and telling me it's wrong. If it fucking feels good, then who are you to tell me no? I guess that could kinda classify me as a hedonist, but labels are labels. I've also been told that I'm an existentialist, but it wasn't because I read a bunch of existentialist literature and decided that's who I wanted to be. It was more like I thought and thought and thought and decided on my own philosophy of life, which just happened to coincide with all the existentialists, particularly in the early 20th century. Go figure. No one's thoughts are unique.

Hm...random thought time. Fuzzy kittens are amazing and my cat is the most amazing of all. :) Trance is awesome, yet it's not the soundtrack of my life right now. I keep getting progressive rock stuck in my head, which is quite amazing considering the unpredictableness of every song. Colors. Lights. Darkness. The moon. Twisty winding roads at high speed and falling asleep next to someone you care about with music playing in the background. :) Visual/tactile memories are awesome and evidently quite rare. I only know of one other person who has one (besides me), and it's fun to swap explanations of how it works. Mmmmm...long hair, you fascinate me. :) I am content with life right now. It better fucking stay that way. Lastly, the blog title is an intentional typo/reference to the song "No Rain" by Blind Melon. Cliche, but that song feels like my life and all my interactions with people over the years all rolled up into one little ball (down to the pouring tea for two and reading books because of the escape they provide).


Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Shoes!

Whee, new shoes! Specifically, Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" Converse shoes! (I owe Squalls for telling me about these. Thanks Squalls!)  :D

Whee...so tempting to put on that record and listen to it while I try to make boring graphs for this paper...  :D

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why everyone should be a night-owl...

Because I'm lazy, I'm pasting this directly from chat:

[vaaht] wow...I have a really bad picture of the fire last night <.<
[theclam] fire? :/
[wandering_nomad] munch!
[vaaht] not in my apartment <.<
[vaaht] outside
[vaaht] it was kinda funny actually <.<
[vaaht] I was sitting down to watch heroes at 4 am in-between working and I hear this weird sound and so I walk to my bathroom and look out the window and this huge palm tree at the opposite corner of the parking lot that's outside my bedroom window is on fire and there's flames rising up into the air and all the bushes are catching on fire <.<
[theclam] o.o
[vaaht] and these two security guys in the parking lot are freaking out not knowing what to do, so I yelled out that I had called 911 and the fire department was on the way <.<
[theclam] do you live on the pleasantville set or something?
[vaaht] and it took a couple minutes for them to get there (nm that the fire department is literally 3 blocks down the street) and then they circled around and completely missed the fire and kept going o.O
[theclam] haha
[vaaht] I think that might have been a different truck going elsewhere though <.<
[vaaht] I'm not sure how you miss a flaming palm tree on the corner of a major street o.o
[vaaht] but yeah...it was a two-alarm fire and they had it put out in five minutes and disappeared within 10 minutes <.<
[vaaht] and now there's just this charred palm tree and some missing bushes along that fence <.<
[vaaht] so yeah...I took a really crappy picture with my phone (didn't know where my camera was and the fire department was starting to put out the fire so I didn't want to miss it <.<)
[vaaht] so yes...these are the interesting things that life throws at you when you stay up until 4 am the night before a presentation that you have to give <.<
[vaaht] I'm just glad I wasn't asleep o.o
[vaaht] miss all the excitement :(

And finally, exciting picture time, or rather, really bad picture time because the only thing I had on me was my phone...

During fire:

To translate, that white rectangular object is a truck that was only about a car's length from the flaming bushes. The big light in the center and the smaller light directly below it are the flames (the top one is the tree and the bottom one are the bushes). The little red light off to the right is the lights from one of the fire trucks.

Better picture from this afternoon:

Just in case you can't tell, that big blackened tree trunk in the center is the burning tree from this morning. The big white truck is missing (but it does park there every night! ...well, except for maybe tonight... <.< ).


Friday, December 26, 2008

GoW: New Members Not Welcome

So, I tried to join a discussion in #writers tonight. I was invited by Nadnerb a while ago so that I could listen to the discussion, mostly because I've been planning to start modeling in Blender for a while now, and I finally have some free time. He invited me about 24 hours before the discussion in that I will talk about.

I heard in CC that there was an argument going on, so I dropped into #writers to listen (or rather, I unlurked). *argue argue argue* Not being affiliated with the GoW, or any other writing groups, I had never heard in detail and/or paid attention to the politics. Within five minutes I could tell that BAD was in charge and held his rule with an iron fist, and that hoikas was BAD's little sidekick. I could also tell that Paradox was on the opposite side of BAD (ie: not GoW, but I had heard vague mentions of this beforehand). Zrax also made it pretty clear that he wasn't in total agreement with BAD. I couldn't tell where Kato stood.

*argue argue argue point fingers call names Paradox how dare you bring in your little toadies to this chatroom (as if RIUM and I would come because Paradox called and not of our free volition)* So, me, being one who always speaks her mind, decided to pipe up. Essentially, it went something like this (not quoted): "Guys, knock it off...this is the exact reason why I don't do anything more than chat in CC with this community...none of you guys get along, all of you guys argue. BAD, you're being an idiot, knock it off for one second. hoikas, please knock it off. paradox, you too, shush. Can you guys all step away from your computers for 10 minutes, take a deep breath, and calm down? And then we can talk rationally about this?"

How did BAD and hoikas respond? Hoikas muted the channel. Everyone was given voice. *EXCEPT ME*. BAD told me to stay out of it because none of this discussion was of my concern.

Wtf did I do to deserve this? I was trying to calm people down, listen to a (semi-)rational discussion... And the channel was muted on me.

And how do they know this is none of my concern? I am interested in possibly contributing to the GoW someday. Or at least, I was.

You can forget me ever joining the GoW. I will never support the GoW. If this is how they treat newcomers, no wonder they are such a niche, elitist group.

For those interested in reading the full transcript, it's posted on Paradox's blog here: http://paradox22.wordpress.com/2008/12/26/politics/.