Thursday, January 31, 2013

Haiku of the Day - Jan. 31

Cold Spaghettios
Eaten right out of the can
I think they're just fine

Tools of the Trade


When you write, you have to have some kind of writing utensil, whether it be pencil, pen, or word processor. But they don't have to be boring writing utensils.

For example, I have a quill pen. It's not a real quill that you have to dip in ink and all (but I actually do have one of those, too). It's basically just a ballpoint pen stuck in a feather. But it's cool! It's great for when I'm feeling more Shakespearean or like less of a Muggle than usual. I bought this pen in England a few years ago. Unless I'm much mistaken, it came from a gift shop in Stratford-upon-Avon. So it's legit.

I mean, as legit as a fake quill can get.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Haiku of the Day - Jan. 30

Woke up this morning
'Cause my iPhone was screaming
Just a false alarm


We've been having a bit of rough weather here overnight. I went to bed last night prepared to be woken up by the sound of tornado sirens or my cell phone ringing with an emergency message from my school's alert system. I was hoping for the best but mentally preparing for the worst.

Around 5:55 A.M. I was woken by an obnoxiously loud beeping noise that I had never heard before. Two thoughts processed simultaneously in my groggy brain: 1) "I didn't even know you could make that noise, phone!" 2) "Oh, jeez, we're all going to get blown away!"

Evidently my iPhone has an emergency alert system which allows it to magically know when there's danger about and makes it sound like a weather radio. I had no idea. Phones these days, they're so smart. Mine was warning me that there was a tornado warning in my area. A tornado watch is what you call it when conditions are good for a tornado to form. A tornado warning is what you call it when you're supposed to get out of bed and do something about it.

So I crawled out of bed and tried to form a course of action. I debated waking up all my roommates but wasn't sure if I had probable cause.The weather alert had come from my iPhone, not my school, and the tornado sirens weren't wailing, so was there really a tornado coming my way? I couldn't be sure, so I did what we always do when tornadoes come knocking at home: I turned on the TV to see what the heck was going on.

In this part of the state, James Spann is the man everyone counts on to keep them informed when the weather goes berserk. I had never heard of him before I started going to school here, but it only took one crazy weather day for me to become very familiar with him. In my too-early-for-this-garbage haze, I wondered how the heck I was going to find his channel since I don't watch much TV and I don't know which channel is which in this city, but a minor miracle happened: I turned on the TV and there he was.

I squinted at the weather radar map, which was all covered in colorful blobs. That's not usually a good sign, but I've seen worse. James Spann was in the middle of a sentence. He said that people's weather radios had been going off, but there was not a problem in my area. The problem was elsewhere.

So I'd gotten up for no reason? I watched the TV for a little while longer, reluctant to go back to bed when there was even a chance of bad weather. But he said it again: there was no tornado happening even remotely close to me. And besides, his sleeves weren't even rolled up. There was no crisis I needed to worry about. So, soothed by the all-knowing James Spann, I turned off the TV just as he was saying something about polygons and crawled back into bed, hoping to get another hour or two of sleep before my alarm clocks rang.

Did I get back to sleep? No, and I am somewhat exhausted from trying. But I'm safe and my city is safe. I also have one more way to stay safe and informed during bad weather. Weird story, happy ending.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Haiku of the Day - Jan. 29

Tummy full of food
None came from a dining hall
Happy, happy me

Dinner time!

Some friends and I made chicken for dinner. We had it cooking in the frying pan when we realized we didn't know how we were going to season it. I had an idea to smother the chicken in shredded cheddar cheese. I got the idea from a restaurant in my hometown called Beauregard's. Their cheese-covered chicken is INCREDIBLE. Ours was almost as good.

I meant to take a picture while the frying pan was still full of chicken, but we were starving and I forgot.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Getting very sleeeeeepyyyy...

So the other day I was getting very drowsy in my American Lit class. This is a rare phenomenon; my American Lit professor is awesome and I don't usually even daydream a whole lot in that class. But on this one particular day, I was exhausted beyond belief and could not keep myself awake no matter how hard I tried. And I tried very hard.

This is how my notes started out:













And this is how they looked by the end of the class:














This is what happens when you sleep and write at the same time. So kids, always get your eight hours of sleep.

I hope my professor doesn't hate me now.

Haiku of the Day - Jan. 28

It's seven P.M.
I just want to watch cartoons
No! No homework! No!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

When The Weather's Nice

When the sun is shining and the temperature's above 50 degrees, what do I do?


Snow War
















You might recall a few very depressed blog posts about the week or so when it wouldn't stop raining. For the first few days, the rain was tolerable. But then it got colder and colder and everyone was miserable.

And then it got so cold that the rain turned to snow.

I live in the Deep South- we're lucky if we get one good snowfall a year. Everyone on campus was excited about the fat, fluffy flakes that were falling to the ground and actually sticking. Of course, the Powers That Be waited to cancel classes until mid-afternoon when the snow had stopped falling anyway, but at least we got to walk to our classes through a winter wonderland.

I was unaware of this at the time because I was in French class, but a battle of epic proportions went down on the quad that day. Students came from all corners of campus and flung snowballs at each other. They hit their friends. They hit strangers. They hit random passersby. They probably hit their professors, too. Anybody on campus was a target. At least one football player was hit by a snowball. The battle spilled out onto other areas of campus, turning the school grounds into a battlefield.

Like I said, I missed out on the campus-wide snow war. I was in French. When I finally got out of class, the snow had just about stopped and was even beginning to melt. I ran back to my dorm to change into some warmer clothes and then I set out for a nice, long walk around campus, determined to enjoy the snowy landscape while I could. I walked up the sidewalk toward the center of campus, feeling happy to be alive.

WHUMP!

A snowball came flying out of nowhere and crashed into the sidewalk at my feet. I froze mid-step, looking around wildly to see who had thrown a snowball at me. I didn't see anybody I knew, just a bunch of strangers walking by and smirking. I laughed it off and walked on as if I had not a care in the world. But I was actually very confused.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Additional Haiku of the Day - Jan. 25

French blogging is hard.
Oรน se trouve mon dictionnaire?
This assignment stinks.

I have to blog about French business for one of my classes. In French. I like my own blog better. Business and politics confuse me in English, so trying to learn all this in French is kind of hard. I'm sure it'll get easier and more entertaining when my classmates and I get used to it.

I foresee myself coming out of this semester with a broad understanding of business and its practices but not being able to say a word about it in English.

Haiku of the Day - Jan. 25

I'm just so tired
I wanna go back to bed
I miss my pillow

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I've Noticed Something Silly

I feel like I can't go anywhere on the Internet these days without running into 90's nostalgia. All the 90's kids tend to reminisce about the toys, clothing, movies, and TV shows from their childhood. While I enjoy rediscovering something that I had forgotten about from the first decade of my life, sometimes people get a little obnoxious in their nostalgia, and I'm pretty sure they irritate the heck out of all the non-90's people. I mean, yeah, we DID have way better TV shows than kids do today, but there's no need to be obnoxious about it, and sometimes it's okay to remember the 90's in our heads and not all over the Internet.

With that said, I will now reminisce on the 90's and early 2000's.

Once upon a time in the 90's, movies for home viewing came on a tape called a VHS. It was simple and straightforward- pop in the VHS, enjoy the Disney animated film of superior quality to anything produced today (isn't it a rule that 90's kids have to brag?), and when the movie's over, stop, rewind, eject. I was very good at following the "Be kind and rewind" rule.

One day, sometime very early in the new millennium, a strange new machine came to my house. It was called a DVD player. Along with the DVD player came a small disc that looked like a CD, except instead of music, it was a movie- Shrek. The DVD was so much more than the traditional exercise of play, stop, rewind, eject. You didn't have to rewind a DVD. When you put a DVD into the DVD player, a menu popped up on the screen and you could navigate among options with the arrow buttons on your remote control. You could skip to a specific scene in the movie, put subtitles at the bottom of the screen, watch the film in different languages, watch the film with director's commentary, watch a "The making of" documentary, and (the only one of these options that I really cared about at that age) play games.

The DVD was a game-changer. When you bought a DVD, you bought more than a movie. You bought various special features. You bought the portability of a movie that could be played on laptops. You bought a case that took up less room in your entertainment center. It was great! For a while you could buy movies on either VHS or DVD, but the companies slowly transitioned to only DVD and stayed that way.

That is, until they invented the Blu-Ray.

Nowadays we have option of buying new movies on DVD or Blu-Ray. We also have the option of buying old movies on DVD or Blu-Ray. A lot of the classic movies keep getting re-released on DVD, especially the animated Disney movies I grew up with. I'm not exactly eager to buy the DVD versions because I already own all of these movies-- just on VHS.

Only one problem: Since nobody makes VHS's anymore, nobody makes a way to play VHS's anymore. It's all fine and dandy that I still own all these tapes, but if I don't have a way to watch them, then they're not doing me any good.

I've often discussed this problem with my friends, and I've noticed something silly about the way these conversations tend to go. We've all gotten so used to DVD's and the machines used to play them, which are called DVD players. Therefore, it's not altogether surprising that we ask ourselves, "Where can you find a VHS player these days?" This is very silly, because the machine used to play a VHS is not called a VHS player. It is, in fact, a VCR.

Silly us.

Thinking about modern times and the future... I'm sticking with DVDs for now, since I own a TV with a built-in DVD player. However, if in the future I acquire a larger TV without DVD-playing apparatus included, I'm going to buy a Blu-Ray player. Unless there's something even better about to come out. Like a hologram movie player. Then I'll wait for that.

Note: Earlier in the post when I said the Disney animated films of the 90's were superior to anything produced today: I don't believe that's necessarily true in all cases. In my opinion, the animated features back then are superior to many movies created now (there's a reason they call it the Disney Renaissance), but I'm personally really impressed with the new form of animation that's been the norm for the past couple years. I'm nostalgic for the old days and 2-D masterpieces, but some of the movies that Disney and Dreamworks have been cranking out these past few years have been really entertaining and nice to look at.

Haiku of the Day - Jan. 20

Sad college student
Wandering around the quad
"Play Frisbee with me?"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away















This is how I feel about the rain right now. In case you can't tell, the rain is making me a little grumpy. It has rained every day for the past six days and we're expecting more rain this week. The rain is completely throwing me off and I can't get anything done.

In real life, my rain boots have a houndstooth pattern, but houndstooth is too hard to draw.

Look, I even signed the cartoon like I was an artist or something!

The grass is just as green as it is in real life. At least somebody's happy.

Haiku of the Day - Jan. 14

Holes in my rain boot
Water seeps into my sock
I ask myself "WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?"


That counts, right? Still one syllable, just a really long one...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Notebooks

I love notebooks. I absolutely adore them. I have tons of them, too. I don't even always use them- I just like to have them. I use notebooks for a variety of purposes. Some I use to take notes in class, while others I use for more creative purposes. Here are a few of my more creative notebooks:














This is my journal. I haven't written anything in it since the beginning of last semester. I've never really been able to commit to a journal. This one contains bits and pieces of my freshman year. I was really good about writing in it every night at the beginning of freshman year, since that was a rough few weeks for me (band camp... so intense), but then I got out of habit. I wrote intermittent entries that were weeks apart from each other, and then for a few weeks I wrote one every night. That was fantastic. I completely let loose in this journal and wrote honestly about my feelings. I complained about my friends, my roommates, my teachers, my life... If you've never done this, I really recommend it. It allows for a lot of harmless venting and self-reflection, which I consider very important. Just don't let your journal fall into the wrong hands.
The great thing about personal journals is that you get to make your own rules. You don't have to write every night if you don't want to. If you want to rant and rave about people, you can. It's better than saying it to their faces, anyway. And if you happen to get so mad one night that you feel your journal would catch fire if you tried to write in it, you're perfectly at liberty to take a hiatus until you've beaten up whichever dumb friends pushed your berserk button.
Not that I would know about that.














This is my Poetry Notebook, capitalized because it is a project for my poetry class. I have to write poetry in this bad boy for fifteen minutes every day for a hundred days. The goal is to generate a bunch of raw material to work with and to develop good writing habits. I've had many a creative writing teacher tell me it's a good idea to sit down and write something every day. Now I have to. It's been kind of fun so far. I've come up with some pretty strange poetry, that's for sure. A lot of it sounds like a stream of consciousness. If I come up with anything good in here, maybe I'll share it on this blog.















I feel like I've had this notebook since the dawn of time. It was a gift when I was in sixth or seventh grade. It's full of doodles, sketches, maps, character details, plot points, notes, quotes... I used it for planning and reference. It's a really good idea to keep one of these around when you're writing. If you forget something, you can just look it up. If you're having trouble describing or visualizing something, you can reference your sketches. I don't pull this notebook out very much anymore. Every now and then I'll pull up an old project and need to look something up in it. It's very good for when I'm feeling nostalgic about my early writing career.















This is the more modern and mature version of the pink notebook above. I call it my Little Black Notebook, and yes, that is houndstooth. I take this notebook with me on trips and sometimes around campus. If I think of something important or hear something interesting, I write it down in here so I won't forget. Like in the pink notebook, I keep character notes, plot details, and quotes in the LBN, along with a smattering of poetry and observations. I only write in it with black ink, usually with the same pen. I will be very distraught if I ever lose that pen. I'm very protective of this notebook because it's brand new- I got it for my last birthday and I love it. I never take it with me if it's raining and I most certainly don't let other people look inside it.

I have tons of other notebooks and journals that I use at various times, all depending on the circumstances and subject matter. But if I told you about all the notebooks I own, this would be a much longer and more boring blog post, so I'll just spare you all and end it here.

Haiku of the Day - Jan. 13

Rain falling always
Eroding the helpless earth
Drowning us in mud


BUT FOR REAL.
It has rained here every day for the past five days, and we're expecting rain for at least two more days. It's ridiculous. How I am supposed to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather if I can't go play Frisbee on the quad? If this doesn't let up soon, I'm going to wear out my houndstooth rain boots. That would be awful.

Here's a little geology fun fact for you, if you happen to find geology fun: What many people call erosion is actually weathering. Weathering is the term to describe the breaking off of particles of rocks or sediment by forces like wind or water. Erosion is just the transportation of the broken-off particles. Geology brought to you by an English major.

So I've been in my room a lot the past couple days, growing very bored. I've watched more Netflix and YouTube videos than any human should watch and I've even done some sporadic cleaning and organizing. Half of my room is neat and tidy now. I've also been eating way too much junk food. I would go walk it all off, but... yeah. It's raining.

I wonder if anybody's started to build an ark. If I help them, maybe they'll let me ride on it.

What I've been watching on Netflix:
-The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
-Thor: Tales of Asgard

What I've been watching on YouTube:
-Iron Man 2 clips
-The Avengers clips and cast interviews

WHAT I JUST GOT ON DVD AND WATCHED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS AND LOVED:
-Iron Man

(notice a theme?)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The App, The Blog, And The Internet

At this very moment, I'm on a charter bus. I have been on this charter bus for a total of twelve-ish hours today, and I'm still far from my destination. There are some really fun people on this bus. There are some really quiet people on this bus. Some of the people on this bus play the baritone, and if you've played in a marching band for a few years, that information ought to give you an idea of how this bus ride is going.
I finished my book. It was very entertaining, but now I have nothing to read. I'm up to date on Facebook and Twitter. I'm not feeling especially talkative. I'm not currently feeling sleepy. To entertain myself, I thought I'd write a blog post.
I have an iPhone with beautiful, lovely, gorgeous Internet capabilities. I'm on a charter bus that has WiFi. You'd think this would be a match made in heaven, but in fact, I have never been able to get my iPhone to connect to the bus Internet. Therefore, I've been rockin' the 3G for a while.
It was over 3G that I pulled up Safari on my phone and went to the Blogger website. A little orange box at the top of the page complained that it didn't like my browser. I ignored the little orange box and opened up a new post. The website promptly quit working.
Not one to be defeated by technology, I decided to go to the App Store and download the Chrome app to see if that browser would find more favor in Blogger's eyes. It did. Kind of. But it was pretty irritating to type in the normal document-thingy. The screen on my phone is a bit small for that, and it got intolerable once I started trying to make some words bold. So I gave up on that.
I went back to the App Store and downloaded the actual Blogger app. I would have downloaded the app a while ago, but I had seen a few negative reviews and decided I could live without it. But desperation drove me to it, and I winced while installing yet another app over 3G.
So far the app seems okay. Not perfect, I guess, but it's much easier to use than the website. I appreciate it.
So, yeah. That's my story about the app, the blog, and the Internet. I've still got a few hours to go on this trip, so who knows? Perhaps I'll tell another story before the night's done. Or maybe I won't. Maybe I'll go to sleep. Maybe I'll just listen to the baritones who got a hold of the bus microphone. Or maybe I'll write a novel. Or maybe I'll go to sleep.