Wednesday, December 26, 2007

merry xmas yo

Hi people. I'm a bad blogger, etc, but I'm so getting internet in the new year. Can't take it any more! I'll write something tomorrow that's more coherent, but for now, enjoy the holiday power of Bob (he belongs to the developers of Ravelry):

Sunday, December 16, 2007

expected snowfall: THE APOCALYPSE

1. People are funny about winter storms in the Maritimes. We all reminisce about bigger, colder storms of old, while out the other side of our mouths we fret about generators and bottled water and being Snowed In. In defiance of all good sense, I'm heading home tomorrow (Fredericton-home; I'm currently in snowy Antigonish visiting Michelle for her birthday) even though all flights and stuff are canceled already. If I get snowed in Moncton it'll be all my fault, but Acadian Lines don't generally cancel buses for anything. To be fair, it's supposed to get bad in the evening, so if things go like they're supposed to I should be home by 1:30 or so, and Sean and I will spend the evening studying for exams that will probably be canceled for snow the next morning, so we can watch the last two episodes of Dexter and four of House. I'm ambitious, I know. I'm more worried about Michelle and Scott and Dad, who are doing the Greenwood-Antigonish run tomorrow, but Dad is a certified Weather Ninja so I imagine they will have a plan, and if it's looking too ugly he can stay at Scott's house overnight.

2. So yes, Antigonish. I came up to visit Michelle for her birthday, and because I won't see her and Scott until after Christmas, and because I've never managed to come visit her in Antigonish.
We've had a quiet sort of day today, thanks to the snowing and blowing (it was snowing a lot yesterday and blew around all day today) but got in shopping and movies and a big birthday dinner at Boston Pizza with her friends and coworkers and a lot of fishbowls and then a party at Scott's house. We managed to fit rather a lot into a day and a half. I wish I could stay longer, but things are so complicated this time of year with exams and snow and suchlike.

3. The next few days will be played by ear thanks to the storm. We had intended to be gone tomorrow night to Sean's parents' house, but thanks to the storm they're stuck in PEI, so we're going to hang out with the cats and Megan (who is crashing at our house, as she's still working but her dorm won't let her stay past exams) until Tuesday or Wednesday. It'll be nice to spend an extra day or two with the cats, and maybe decompress a little from exams before subjecting Sean's parents to my crazy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

macbooks aren't supposed to smoke

1. The exam, as it turns out, was not so bad. Instead of the "translate these passages" I was dreading, it turned out to be "translate four of these eight passages", which is a very different kettle of fish. Cuddly, friendly fish instead of bitey and possibly poisonous ones. I suspect that I made a solid C on it, possibly even a B if he is touched by the magic of Christmas and the spirit of giving.

2. The rest of yesterday was a blur, mainly because I kept trying to take naps and kept getting woken up after ten minutes. We didn't go to the NBCC Christmas party (instead of fun at Kate's house like last year, it was a party here at the office, which is a very chilly twenty minute walk from home over icy sidewalks). We did, however, get to the Vienna Boys' Choir. A definite perk of my current job is the free tickets to sold out performances, and a 500-year-old choir is a rare thing in Fredericton. They sang beautifully, and it was especially interesting to hear songs sung in German by people who actually speak it - almost as cool to see twenty-five little boys standing on choir raisers and not pushing each other off for a whole two hours.

3. Sean had an exam this morning - he probably got an A or even an A+ in intro Anth; I credit years of listening to me babble about it. And all the feverish studying after the concert, too, I guess. He also got to journey uptown to buy a replacement power cord for his Macbook. It's been sort of broken for about a week, but last night it actually melted through the cord and started smoking, which tends to be the official time-to-buy-a-new-one sign.
I've been at work all day, updating the webpage and producing the e-News. I was supposed to be making a newsletter. Remember my little temper tantrum about two weeks ago where I said the deadline was last week, and I just knew that no one would have their write up in? Well, I was wrong. The deadline was yesterday, and no one had their write up in. Knowing full well that I would be out of town this weekend, as of tomorrow, and that if we don't have a newsletter mailed out by next Friday we will be endangering our provincial grant... they just didn't bother. So I'm going to come in after my last exam on Monday and do it then, before leaving town that night. Argh, etc.

4. That's right, leaving town at 7 am tomorrow morning with Gail and Mert to visit my little sister in the 'Nish for a couple of days. Tomorrow is her birthday, too, which is fairly exciting. I'm looking forward to getting away for a few days...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

de rerum acinorum

1. My Latin exam is in an hour. I'm not really sure how much more good I can do before going in. I've studied the parts I think are likely to show up, and I have a reasonably good grasp of 90% of the rest of it. I could use more time, but really, I just want it to be over so I can... well, I would say relax, but the truth of the matter is that I still have another paper to finish (today) and a full day of work at two jobs (tomorrow) before I go up to the 'Nish to visit Michelle on Friday, and turn around and come back on Sunday to write an exam on Monday and then, probably the same day, head up to visit with Sean's family for a bit and then go home. I'm not sure when I get to relax but it doesn't look like today.

2. This week has been long already. My Greek exam was on Saturday, which was not very much fun at all, and I had to work at noon (three hour exam that starts at 9 am, then work that starts across town at noon - not good). Since then I've been studying and knitting Christmas things and working. It feels like a lot of the good things have sort of gone by the wayside... we skipped D&D, and I didn't make pies with Danielle, and Sean and I have exams on alternate days, so we've been trading anxiety back and forth for a week.
I'm looking forward to getting home after this exam, sleeping for a couple hours, and then finishing that stupid paper before we go out this evening. Shasta gave us free tickets to the Vienna Boys' Choir for this evening, which should be a peaceful way to spend the evening after cramming Latin in my head for the past few days. We may even stop in to the Crafts Council Christmas party for a bit beforehand, but honestly I doubt I'll be in the right frame of mind for it.

3. Good things, good things.... the cats have been very pleased with how much we have been sitting around studying instead of being out of the house, and spend their time fighting over the cat tent Mom made them and chasing the balls of paper, bottle caps, and grapes we throw for them when we are sick of studying. Parallax has learned to fetch grapes. I think she likes the way they bounce. Unfortunately I suspect we will find a lot of raisins the next time we clean, but it's worth it, I think.

Monday, December 03, 2007

singing the Latin blues

1. Well, I've finished my Latin classes for the semester. Nothing left now but the exam, and the million billion hours of studying for said exam. Seriously. I've improved with poetry a lot - I can manage twenty or thirty lines an hour while I'm preparing for class, and probably fifty lines while re-reading during studying. A book of the Aeneid is about 700 lines (there are seven books) and for the exam, we have to study a book and a half. So... twenty hours to re-read the material, assuming that I'm fast, and I need to know it well, so I could see there being two re-reads required to be really ready. Meanwhile I have assignments and work and, oh yes, that Greek exam which will also take many, many hours to cram into my head.
I am feeling a little depressed about all of this.

2. Later on I have my last Greek class of the semester, which is going to be slightly better, I think, provided I finish this stupid assignment in the next two hours. It really should only have taken an hour, which is why I left it for today, but there are no quiet study spaces on campus. Of course, in theory there ought to be all sorts, but they're full of people who ought to be studying and are, instead, gossiping about last week's parties, because it's only December 3 and there's lots of time to study. Really there isn't - the first exams are on Thursday, because the registrar hates us and refuses to have a reading week - but they can pretend that it's so. It is flat out impossible to translate Thucydides when two people are tee-heeing about so-and-so two feet away. So I'm going to hunt for an empty classroom.

3. Work is... work. It's hard to be motivated about pushing ahead with things when it's such an uphill battle just to get articles for a newsletter or a writeup for the website, and I have lots of other uphill battles on the go as it is. The deadline for newsletter pieces is on Wednesday. I fully expect that there will be zero articles, because there are never any on time.
My other project at work is a database. Currently they use a partially-up-to-date Access spreadsheet to track members, which really doesn't work all that well. The one attempt to move past it was a database that Amy made, but because it's Access and the computers are sort of elderly, it moves like cold molasses and it's practically impossible to use for any real purpose. Even if it worked, that database wouldn't really do what we want it to now, though, because the members are beginning to clamour for an online membership database. While I don't necessarily think that it's a good idea to publish all of their contact information on the site, a simple name, business name, single picture of their work sort of presentation would be a good thing.
I'm trying to make a system that will work well - a database on my work computer as a server, so that the other people in the office can all use it at once, and I can publish it to the website, say, once a month, so the contact information and so on for members is accurate. Unfortunately, it goes beyond basic computer use, and really even past intermediate computer use. I'm having to teach myself from square one, but because we have no internet at home I have to confine it to actual work-time, which means that I have five hours a week, give or take, depending on whether I am beating people for articles on my time as well. That's actually not so bad. What concerns me is that I won't be there forever, so I have to be able to teach this stuff to Roseline or Amy so that they can maintain it and use it, and while Roseline might be interested, I really doubt Amy wants to do it, or that she could even have time. Moving further down this train of thought, I'll have to teach someone how to upkeep the website, too.
It makes me fret a little.

4. Apparently we're going to have snow dumped on us tonight. I like snowstorms. Not having a car will do that.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

show and tell

Alright, finally some pictures! I warn you, there's pictures of me in here. I'm not terribly photogenic. You've been warned.
First: the dress.

It's difficult to photograph a black dress indoors, but I did the best I could. I'm going to wear it to see the Vienna Boys' Choir later this month so I'll see about taking clearer pictures, but yes. I'm very happy with it even though I'm looking murderously at the camera (can you see the murder in my eyes?).
Second category: home renovations and repairs.

I repaired the big tear in this chair, finally, after having it for several years. It's holding up well; I was going to try and patch it, but sewing it up like Frankenstein's monster seems to work just fine.

We now have a couch! That's it on the left. It's pretty exciting. In some ways it's better than a real couch - easier to move, more comfortable, and longer (you can actually lay down on it full-length, at least if you're relatively short like me and Sean).

I also finally got around to wiring the unicycle to the wall. Because no home is complete without an unexpected unicycle.
A few little Christmassy things. Lights and a scrappy little tree I've hauled around in a shoebox to three apartments now. Not pictured: the Christmas cat collars with bells on them that usually live on doorknobs, but occasionally on annoyed cats.

Pub crawl paint. Enough said.
And what do we do when not dressing up or cleaning the apartment? We study.

My study space, with all of the books and random I need for my Latin. Just looking at it reminds me how happy I am that I only have one more Latin class this semester.

Sean study space #1: washing the dishes and study macroeconomics. I believe that day was Solow's Growth Model. Woo hoo.

Sean study space #2: the kitchen, because I get edgy when he's cooking and is studying in his office where he can't hear the stove when things boil over or burst into flames (to his credit, they've only burst into flames in my imagination so far). Not pictured: his office. We cleaned out the storage closet a while ago and ran a power bar in, and now he has a little desk and a space of his own for his Magic cards and art stuff. I didn't take a picture because I don't clean it and it's usually in an advanced stage of geek mess (read: orange peels, computer cords, about fifty little stacks of Magic cards, dice).
So that's the pictures I have for now. What else do I have? Hm. Just an addendum to yesterday's note about having a rough day. Sean noticed that I was having a rough day, and when I finally got home after paying rent and everything, he was making an amazing supper (the garlic shrimp pasta in white wine sauce, which Michelle and Scott can vouch for) and had even gotten me three perfect roses. Does anyone wonder why I keep him around?