Saturday, December 19, 2015

A little poem

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
This is a poem
That I wrote for you.

This is a blog
Where I can write
Sometimes in day,
Most often at night.

This is a poem
You're on the 'Net.
These are some words.
Are you bored yet?

Soil is brown.
Earthworms are pink.
They never get poems.
Why, do you think?

I'm on my phone
And on a couch.
What rhymes with couch?
Crouch, grouch, and ouch.

That last rhyme scheme
Does not really fit,
But this is my blog.
I do what I want.

I have a foot.
I have some hair.
I am a human.
No surprise there.

What is today?
Friday, I think.
Tonight I prob'ly
Won't sleep a wink.

I kinda cheated
By short'ning a word.
I did it again,
But nobody heard.

Nobody heard that
Because it's just text
And not read out loud
(But I'll do that next).

Is this a talent?
You bet your behind.
Poetry's hard,
So please be kind.

How is it going?
Hey, what's up, doc?
How 'bout this weather?
I hate small talk.

I'm out of random
Things I can say.
This poem is over.
Have a nice day.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Step Into My Office

I have completed my first week at my new job.

I'd just like to talk for a moment about my office. As mundane as it might seem, I've never had my own office before. Now I do, and it's pretty awesome.

My supervisor seemed a bit apologetic when she showed me on my first day, saying that my office was a temporary one and that I'd have a real one with a window sometime in February when the building's construction is finished.

I couldn't really understand what was wrong with the one I have now.

I have two desks, and a spinning chair so I can switch between them easily. I have a work laptop with TWO additional computer screens attached to it. The desktop switches between gorgeous landscapes. I have a handful of nice pens, highlighters, and sticky notes from the supply room. I have an extra chair so people can come sit down and chat with me when they're passing through the hallway. I have a door that goes directly to the conference room, so I'll never be late for a meeting. And now I have a sign with my name on it outside my door so everyone will know where to find me.

I have some extra space in my office that I don't know what to do with yet. I might need some sort of artificial tree.

A lot of my coworkers have decorated their office doors for the holidays. I'm going to do that as well, and I've got some ideas I'd like to try out if I can, but I drew a little picture of a Christmas tree on a sticky note and put it on my door for the time being. It works well as a sort of minimalistic decoration. 

I'm thinking of all the nerdy things I can bring to decorate and liven up my office. I'm also trying to gauge whether I can bring a blanket to work without getting spoken to. Most importantly, I'm trying to decide on a method of organization for all the various papers I have floating around.

If you're on the fence about getting a desk job, you should definitely listen to your heart and do what you think is right. But it's really cool to have your own office. I'm just saying.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Chronicles of Ticket Pony

Once upon a time, a small child visited a space museum and lost a toy pony in its depths. An employee turned the toy in to the Lost and Found at the ticket desk.

For days, the pony hoped that her owner would come back to rescue her, but the child never returned. She waited under the ticket desk with the other lost, unclaimed items and watched the hustle and bustle of the cashiers selling tickets and memberships to excited museum patrons.

One day, the ticket desk staff took pity on the pony. They adopted her as their own and taught her how to ring up ticket transactions, void coupons, staple receipts to maps, and organize the office supplies. The pony was a bit small to take on such big tasks, but she tried her hardest because she enjoyed having work to do and being able to help people. The ticket desk staff took photos of her and shared them with each other to remind themselves what hard work looks like and to brighten each other's spirits.

We on the Guest Services team have seen a lot of Lost and Found items come and go. One time there was a gigantic Spider-Man action figure that looked like Iron Man from a distance. Once there was a single sandal with a child's love note tucked inside it. Once there was a selfie stick that became a remarkably good lightsaber when it was extended.

And then there was the pony.

The pony is supposed to be the character Rarity from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic TV show, but we nicknamed her "Ticket Pony."

We had some very slow days at the museum in between the Fall Break and Thanksgiving crowds. To stop ourselves from going insane from boredom, we would sometimes arrange Ticket Pony on the desk to make her look like she was helping out or just commenting on life at the ticket desk. We would take photos of her and upload them to our Snapchat stories so that our friends who weren't working could see what Ticket Pony was up to each day. It didn't affect our ability to help museum guests, and it quickly became a running joke.

Since I'm leaving the museum to start a new job, I decided that I would hire Ticket Pony to be my honorary replacement. So I took her home one day, used an old doll hairbrush to clean up her mangled hair, and made her a lanyard so she could fit in with the rest of the team.

(Please don't use mobile devices while driving. It's very dangerous.)

I'll be looking forward to seeing the continuing adventures of Ticket Pony when I move on to my next job.

I have a new job!

Ladies and gentlemen! I have very exciting news!

Starting Monday, Dec. 14, I will begin my new full-time job as a technical writer at ERC!

Of course, I will be very sad to leave my friends at my current job at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, but this is a very important step for me. I've been applying for jobs since I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in May, and now I finally have a job that's related to my degree. Without going into too much detail, the pay and benefits are far more than I was expecting for an entry-level job, and I am more than grateful for this opportunity. As an added bonus, everyone at the office seems really nice!

I have a lot to learn about technical writing, but I'm eager to get started. Here we go!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Milestone: Best Ever

I did it! I beat my all-time NaNoWriMo word count!

My new record to beat is 12,400 words and climbing.

This is still far behind the 50,000 words that I'm supposed to have written by the end of November, but I'm celebrating anyway.

New Milestone: The Big One-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh

I hit 10,000 words on my NaNoWriMo project!

So, including all the words I wrote before NaNoWriMo started, my novel is at 19,680 words. That's crazy, you guys. I would have to go back through my old laptop, but I'm pretty sure this is the longest thing I've written since my first "novel" that I wrote in middle school.

The novel I'm working on now has significantly fewer sudden rainstorms.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


My word count for NaNoWriMo 2015 is, as many Dragon Ball Z fans might say, OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND!!!!!!!!!!!

I haven't really watched Dragon Ball Z much, but I can appreciate a good meme all the same.

Of course, I am ridiculously behind on NaNoWriMo. I'm supposed to be at 28,333 words right now, and I haven't even broken 10,000 yet. I don't think I'm quite done writing for tonight, though, so perhaps that will change! At the moment, the NaNoWriMo website is telling me that I can still finish on time if I write 2,902 words per day for the next two weeks, as opposed to the 1,667 words that I would write per day if I were actually on target.

Will I make it to 50,000 words this year? You know, I'm not sure. I have family coming later this week, and you're not supposed to go and hide in your room when you have family visiting you from all the way across the country. I'm going to really try, though. I've been bringing a notebook with me to work so I can write during slow moments (although I maintain good customer service practices!), and that's actually helped me get a lot of work done.

Writing by hand and adding the words to my Word document later has been a really good technique for me. Sometimes I have a hard time getting started when I'm typing, but it's almost always easier to write with a pen.

If nothing else, I'm going to beat my all-time NaNoWriMo record! Surely I can beat 12,360 words. Surely.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

First World Problems: Pizza

Today my family wanted to go out to a pizza restaurant for dinner, but I wasn't hungry at the time because I had eaten a late lunch.

That's a first world problem if I've ever heard one.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NaNoWriMo Problems

That moment when you've stayed up late trying to reach your NaNoWriMo target for the day, but then you realize that it's after midnight and everything you've been working on for the past half hour actually counts for the next day's word count.


On the bright side, the past few days have been very good writing days for me. I found the right kind of inspiration and managed to put down my Xbox controller for a while!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It Finally Happened


My sister helped me with my Wreck This Journal. She helped me extremely well.

That last piece of paper holding the book together could not withstand the force with which the journal was thrown down the stairs.

I still haven't decided whether I'm going to tape the book together or just leave it in three separate pieces. Those pieces are, of course, the front part, the back part, and the one page that fell out months ago when I rolled the book down a hill.

The Best Ice Cream Flavor

The best flavor of ice cream is undoubtedly Chocolate Moose Tracks.

There are so many Moose Tracks flavors, as you can see from the Official Moose Tracks Site. Denali Flavors has really outdone themselves on the delicious factor. Some of my favorites are the original Moose Tracks and Mint Moose Tracks.

But nothing-- I repeat, nothing can beat the Chocolate Moose Tracks flavor. There's nothing better than a huge of bowl of rich chocolate ice cream filled with peanut butter cups and endless ribbons of fudge. My mouth waters just thinking about it.

I'm not getting paid to endorse Denali Flavors. I just had some Chocolate Moose Tracks tonight and decided I needed to share it with the world. Here you go, world. Enjoy.

Friday, October 9, 2015

iOS 9

I just updated my iPhone, and I'm enjoying it so far (although the keyboard looks a little different and it's messing with my eyes).

My first order of business was to test out the new drawing feature on the Notes app.

For a mobile app that lets you draw with your finger, it's surprisingly sophisticated. Look, it even has a ruler so you can draw straight lines.

I don't think I'll ever be bored again.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015



October is a month full of excitement for many reasons. Some people enjoy the cooling temperatures, some people like the reappearance of Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks, and some people enjoy dressing up and decorating for Halloween. But there's another thing about October that I'm excited for.

October is the month before November.

And November is NANOWRIMO!!!!!!!!!

NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month, is a challenge issued to writers around the world to write a novel of 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30. It's a way to motivate yourself to finally sit down and write that novel that's been knocking around in your head. For more information, check out this link or go to

I've never actually "won" NaNoWriMo. I've had a ton of fun participating, but November was always such a busy month for me during college. My novel had to compete with homework, essays, holidays, football games, and rapidly-approaching final exams for my attention, and it just never went over well. I think my all-time record was around 12,000 words.

This year will be different! This year I won't be in school, so I'll have more time to write the heck out of this novel. I'm going to cheat just a little bit this year-- I'm going to be working on a novel I've already started. Instead of writing a 50,000-word novel, I'm going to add 50,000 words to my current project. Yeah, that's not exactly how it's supposed to work, but there are no NaNoWriMo police that are going to come after me, and it's still in the spirit of the event.

I'll be working on the same novel I tried to start last year. This summer, I took what I had written previously and totally rewrote it, using the first draft as a road map. The beginning of my novel is a lot more detailed now. A character who once just had a passing mention is now fleshed-out and fantastic, and he made one of my best friends almost cry, which is a good sign! I'm a lot happier with this beginning. I think I'll have a much easier time moving forward into the project now that I've gotten a better start. Just for funsies, I'll mention that my current word count is 9547 words, not counting the various bits scribbled onto recycled printer paper that are in my to-be-typed file.

The 2015 edition of NaNoWriMo's website just launched, and I went and entered my "new" novel information. I also got a 2015 word count gadget and stuck in the sidebar of my blog. I can't start tracking my word count until November 1, so the tracker is going to be at 0 words for a while. That's normal! Don't tease me, okay?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Journal Wrecking Ahoy

I completed two more pages in my Wreck This Journal. On the first page, I did a little drumming with some colored pencils. 

I thought it was kind of interesting how the mostly-warm colors section, which I did with my dominant hand, consists of consistently small dots, while the mostly-cool colors section, which I did with my non-dominant hand, had streaks of widely-varying size. But this might also have had something to do with the way I was holding the book down. I was holding it with my feet. I can't guarantee it was held still.

The book didn't say I had to stick this page back in once I'd torn it out and crumpled it, but I did anyway. I'm glad I did, because it showed something quite curious: at some point during the crumpling process, this page shrank. It is now much smaller than the other pages. I'm still working out the physics on this one.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Little Einsteins

Once the Little Einsteins theme song gets stuck in your head, it never goes away. It doesn't matter if you've never even seen the show before. It never goes away.

Especially if you work at a space museum.

If you've never heard the song and you'd like to get it permanently stuck in your head, here it is in six different languages!

And just for kicks and giggles, here's a remix version with over 35 million views on YouTube:

Now we can all have it stuck in our heads together.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I Saved You From Moldy Tomatoes

I threw away the moldiest tomatoes earlier. They were gross. They had giant pits full of mold. Orange mold. Black mold. White mold. They were soft and squishy. The mold was only growing on the bottom, so I didn't see it until I picked up a tomato to look at it, after which I screamed and dropped it.

I almost took a picture to post on this blog, just so you could see how moldy these tomatoes were. But then I thought to myself, "Naaahh, I'm not going to unleash that mess on the Internet. I'm not gonna do that to my readers."

I spared you. Because I care.

(And before you go judging me for having rotten produce in my refrigerator, I share that fridge with three other people. I'm only going to accept a quarter of the blame.)

Anyone for a Mars Burger?

Just a little down-time doodle referencing one of the simulators at work.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Most Confusing Slice of Pizza I've Ever Eaten

The Most Confusing Slice of Pizza I've Ever Eaten
A Play in One Act

Dramatis Personae

A recent college graduate

Neighbor Man
Some man sitting with his friends and family on the sidewalk

Two fathers, two mothers, assorted small children

(A neighborhood cul-de-sac. The NEIGHBORS sit on the sidewalk. REBECCA enters stage left, slowing to a walk after running around the neighborhood. She is listening to music through headphones.)
REBECCA: (walks past the families at a fast pace, exits stage right)
NEIGHBORS: (eat pizza while sitting on the sidewalk, enjoying the weather)
REBECCA: (enters stage right, still walking quickly)

ALL NEIGHBORS: (whisper to each other)

NEIGHBOR MAN: (waves frantically at REBECCA, gesticulating at pizza box)
REBECCA: (confused, approaches NEIGHBOR MAN and takes off headphones) Sorry?
NEIGHBOR MAN: You're working hard, exercising. How about a slice of pizza? (holds up a slice of pizza)
REBECCA: (aside) This man just offered me a slice of pizza-- the ultimate sign of friendship! I'm not exactly in the mood for food at the moment, but how could I refuse? It's such a friendly gesture! (to NEIGHBOR MAN) Are you sure?
NEIGHBOR MAN: (slightly taken aback) You're out here walking around, huffing and puffing, and you want this slice of pizza?

REBECCA: (laughs) I've got this! (aside) This is strange. He seems reluctant to give me the pizza.

NEIGHBOR MAN: Well... All right, you called my bluff. Here you go. (hands REBECCA a slice of pizza)
REBECCA: (accepts the pizza and begins to shuffle back toward the street) Thank you.
NEIGHBOR MAN: (turns to the other NEIGHBORS) You owe me a slice of pizza!
REBECCA: I am so confused. If the man didn't want to give me pizza, why did he offer in the first place? Was it some sort of bet? Am I the victim of a cruel joke? Did I just take his dinner? (beat) Well, it serves him right. First of all, he shouldn't be messing with people like that. Second of all, you should never expect a young adult to turn down free pizza. That's just stupid.

(She takes a bite of the pizza.)
REBECCA: This is really good pizza.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Random Fact #24

Random Fact #24: A town crier could also be known as a "bellman" because they often carried bells with which to attract everyone's attention.

Source: Wikipedia's "Town crier" article

I was watching a cutscene from an Assassin's Creed game. In the scene, a town crier got everyone's attention by shouting "Oye, oye!" instead of "Hear ye, hear ye!" I wondered if that was common for town criers, so I hopped online to do a little informal research and discovered that interesting tidbit about the name "bellman." 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Welcome to the Museum

My mild-mannered alter ego gives no warning that she is about to explode into a career a bit more closely related to her undergraduate studies. She might seem like a friendly guest services rep who would be more than happy to sign you up for the 1:00 bus tour, but hidden underneath that smile and all the "Yes, Sir" and "No, Ma'am" is someone who is itching to sink her teeth into a full-time job in which she throws the English language around like a deadly weapon.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sketchy the Sunflower

Because sometimes you're waiting for software to install* and you haven't posted any new content on your blog in a while, so why not?

*Trying again with the Adobe Photoshop Elements. Got the IT pro on it. We'll see what happens.

Friday, June 26, 2015

This Journal's Pretty Wrecked

I'm only about halfway through the journal, too. I sort of can't wait to see how it looks when I'm done with it.

I tore out this page, put it in the pocket of a pair of jeans, and ran the jeans through a complete wash and dry. It's sorta crinkly and stiff now. It looks really messy and I just love it.

My journal isn't in very good shape after being dropped off the top of a parking garage and rolled down a hill. Only one page has fallen out so far, though.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Drop This Journal

One of the pages of Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal instructs the reader/wrecker to climb up high and then drop the journal.

Not long before I graduated, I climbed to the top of a parking garage near my dorm and did just that.

This was the highest place I could find on campus where I could safely drop the journal. It didn't do much in the way of aerial acrobatics, but it did hit the ground so hard that the spine split apart. Now the book is held together essentially by a piece of paper and some glue. Well, it's not called Keep This Journal In Perfect Condition, now, is it?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Wreck This Journal: Connecting the Dots

It's been a while since I posted about my Wreck This Journal, and the reason is that I did some really cool stuff with it and got video of it, but I've been having issues formatting/editing/whatever the videos and got sidetracked. I'll be revisiting that particular project in the next day or two.

In the meantime, here's the photo of me connecting dots with my eyes closed! I actually did pretty well. I went over the path I would take a few times, tracing through the air with my pen. Then I shut my eyes and did it for real, and I did a lot better than I thought I would!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Giant Stag Beetle

Today I was working in the freezing part of the museum I work at, so I decided to eat my lunch outside to warm up. As I was munching away at my Goldfish underneath a large rocket model, I noticed something rather large making its slow way across the pavement toward me.

I'd never seen an insect like this before-- not in person, anyway. That's the kind of thing I normally shudder at when it appears on Animal Planet. I'm not a huge fan of insects, but this little dude wasn't trying to hurt anyone. He was on a mission, and he was quite intent on completing it. He went completely still every time a person walked by him, but he never seemed to become hostile or agitated. He just went on his merry way.

I watched him for about half of my lunch break. 

At one point he reached the edge of the shade. He wiggled out onto the brightly lit pavement, then immediately turned around and went right back into the shade. Like almost everybody else today, he felt that hot Alabama sun and said "NOPE."

My large insect friend didn't seem interested in climbing anything while I was watching him, but after I went back inside, I could see him climbing up the rocket model.

My dad and I did a little research after I got home from work to try to classify the insect, and we concluded that it was a Giant Stag Beetle. We used this website. I'm definitely not a scientist, though, so if anyone out there has a different opinion, I'd love to see it.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Representative Government Poster

Throwback Thursday to a time when I wasn't afraid to draw people in profile but probably should've been.

(I didn't have access to a scanner tonight, so I'm afraid this is the best quality I've got, but the text is provided for you beneath the image!)

This text is centered.

Poster Title: Representative Government

Poster Text: Feel like nobody can hear you?

Little Girl: Mr. President! Down here!

Poster Text: Don't Worry! Your senator or House representative will speak for you. They've got you covered!

Little Girl: Don't forget to tell Congress about the turkeys!

Congressman: I won't.

I did a lot of artsy projects in middle school. The teachers were all into having us illustrate concepts, reenact historical debates, chart emotional highs and lows in stories, write songs about government styles... all kinds of crazy stuff. It was AWESOME. I loved to draw back then, too.

This was for my 8th grade Civics and Economics class. It was a pretty fun class. There were LOTS of crazy projects. For example, I had my first adventures with Apple's iMovie in Civics. The first project I did was a short documentary about the life of Ronald Reagan, using the biography I was assigned to read over the summer as the main source of information. Luckily for me, I decided to do Reagan instead of my first idea, Ulysses S. Grant, which was shaping up to be quite a dull project. The other project was a ten-minute documentary for National History Day about the life and tragic death of Jonathan Larson, the writer and composer of Rent. My partner and I spent some stressed-out hours in the computer lab for that project, but it did pretty well grade-wise and in the regional competition.

Comics were much more common assignments than the documentaries or other crazy stuff were. If you think about it, making a comic was a pretty tame assignment compared to some of things we did. I definitely had a lot of fun doing them, though, and sometimes I spent way too much time working on them.

The first time I can remember drawing a comic for homework was in 6th grade for either health or science class. Those were my first forays into sequential art. Since then, I've learned to a few things. As you'll see when I get my next Civics comic to the scanner, I've gotten much better at arranging panels. I also draw human faces better (usually. if I put in effort). Unfortunately, I still can't draw in faces in profile, but I can at least recognize a few things I was doing wrong back in the day. As for bodies, well... To be honest, I'm pretty impressed with how I drew the little girl in the comic. It's been a long time since I've drawn a human body I truly liked. Maybe I'm overcomplicating nowadays. Or maybe I just need to draw nothing but children.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Creative Comparisons

Hey, everybody! Now that I've graduated, I'm going to be at home for a little while, applying for jobs and such. One of my current projects is cleaning out my bedroom, and you would not believe the stuff I've been finding. I still have folders of schoolwork from middle school.

Some of things I've been finding are kind of fun, so I thought I'd share a few of them with the world before I send them to rest in a recycling bin.

I was kind of weird and awesome in middle school. I was in a gifted center and had some really good friends, so it was a very friendly environment. I always felt free to be my goofy self, and only rarely did I run into problems with bullies or otherwise mean people (and if people talked about me behind my back, I was blissfully oblivious). So I had a ton of confidence, but I also had no filter. I was always writing stuff without realizing how it would sound to the audience because I DIDN'T CARE WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT OF ME! I WAS CREATIVE AND SWIMMING AGAINST THE CURRENT! I WAS BEING TRUE TO MYSELF!

Here's a little word of advice, kids: Yes, of course you should be true to yourself and you shouldn't let other people's opinions decide what you do, but if you're going to be writing something, you do need to think about the audience and how they're going to receive what you've written.

My first THROWBACK THURSDAY is a creative writing assignment I did in the first semester of seventh grade. The assignment was called "Creative Comparisons," and the object was to write comparisons without resorting to cliches like "white as a sheet" and "wide as saucers." I believe our teacher gave us a list of adjectives to use.

That's a fairly harmless and innocent assignment. There's not much damage you could do with that, right? I can only imagine Mrs. Spille's face when she read a few of the gems I turned in:

Katrina was as bitter as cocoa powder. She absolutely hated Stella Firestorm for Killing her parents. She refused to ever forgive her.

When John told Lyndzey that he didn't love her, she was as crushed as an egg under a T-rex's foot. She sobbed for days because he broke her heart.

Stella Firestorm was as cruel as a rabid vulture. Because of a tragedy in her childhood, the evil sorceress made the lives of all good people miserable.

When Katrina switched bodies with Stanley, she realized that his skin was as tough as leather. She found that she could run a sheet of paper over her fingers and not get a paper cut.

Katrina soon found that her future self was as wise as an old philosopher who had traveled the world. Older Katrina knew all the rules and tricks of magic, and she was an experienced fighter.

I had a bad habit of using characters from my personal writing projects in my creative writing exercises. They were also melodramatic, steeped in strange fantasy, and typically engaged in a fierce battle to the death. Mrs. Spille always wrote lovely comments on my assignments, but I know she must've been at least a little taken aback every time I spiraled off into weirdness.

I read a lot of Harry Potter and Redwall books when I was a kid. You might say they influenced my writing a bit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Never mind.

Okay, just kidding. I found the Photoshop Elements 12 disc. I found the serial number. I re-installed it. It still doesn't work.

I might try to fight with it. But not tonight. Tomorrow, perhaps.

Tonight I am just sad.



A while back, I wrote a post about not being able to find my Photoshop Elements 12 disc and how that was a problem because the file had gotten messed up on my computer and I needed the disc to re-install it. I've been searching for that thing for months.

Well, tonight my mom came into my room to chat with me, and she started looking through a pile of random papers, and she found the disc!

Where was it?

Inside a Valentine's Day card.

Yeah. That's weird even for me.

But I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!! I'm installing it right now. I almost had a problem because I couldn't find my serial number, but luckily for me, Adobe keeps a list of all your products and their serial numbers on your Adobe account page. HOORAY!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I Graduated!

On May 2, 2015, I graduated from the University of Alabama. For four years I studied literature, creative writing, and French, all the while chasing that elusive red hat that designates a 4.0 GPA. It all paid off when I walked across that stage and heard the words "summa cum laude" announced after my name. I still can't believe it. These past four years have been absolutely incredible. I've performed around the country with the Million Dollar Band, studied abroad in France and Ireland, and interned with three different publications. I've met so many different people and made some awesome friends. There are truly no words to describe how amazed and grateful I am as I look back on my undergraduate years. Thanks to God, my family, and my friends for getting me through the long nights of writing papers. Special shoutout to Gorgas Library for letting me stay there late at night and providing quiet spaces and caffeinated beverages. Finally, congratulations to all my fellow graduates! We did it, y'all!!! Roll Tide Forever!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I Made a Teeny, Tiny 8-bit Man

Tonight I went to the library to play around with Photoshop. I used an online tutorial to make this 8-bit dude:

The idea was to learn how to draw 8-bit characters to make a poster for a big event the chapbook press I'm interning with is hosting, but I've learned that this is actually harder than the tutorial makes it sound, and I would have to practice quite a bit before I was ready to make something good enough to put on a poster.

He's very tiny because I was following the instructions on the tutorial almost to the letter, and the tutorial was designed for people who want to make sprites for video games on platforms that prefer smaller graphics. The tutorial did give a method for making the image larger, though. I tried it, but I had to fix a few things that got distorted during the transformation. Not sure I got them all, but here it is:

I think it looks better small. But... oh well! I had fun and I learned something new.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The State of My Journal

Yesterday I explained that one of the pages in my Wreck This Journal is about to fall out because I left the book sitting open for a long time and then I assaulted it with a hair dryer, which I fear melted the glue in the binding a little bit.

I'm not worried about that page anymore. I'm too busy worrying about the entire last third of the book. I'm afraid it's going to fall right off if I'm not careful.

Unfortunately, I have no intention of being careful with this book.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Continuing Saga of the Dish Soap in the Journal

Well, the dish soap never dried, so I tried the hair dryer. I had... mixed results. Fortunately, the soap is now dry enough that I feel safe shutting the book. Unfortunately, the soap is not exactly dry. It's still a little sticky, although I pressed another piece of paper on top of it to remove excess stickiness, and it's got this almost waxy feel. It'll probably stick to the previous page. It's also got all kinds of dust particles stuck in it from when it was sitting open. Yaaaaay.

The book itself really suffered from the experience. Leaving the book sitting propped open flat for so long was bad for the binding, and I think the hair dryer actually melted the glue a little bit. This page has halfway detached from the binding. It's also got all kinds of waves and ripples in it from having liquids dry on it. Heh. Good thing this is Wreck This Journal and not Keep This Journal In Perfect Condition.

So if any of you were considering using liquid dish soap as a substance sample for your own Wreck This Journal, my recommendation is: don't. In fact, now I'm afraid to try any other kind of soap or sticky thing. I had really good experiences with very watery liquids, such as perfume and hand sanitizer, and things that were meant to eventually dry, like nail polish. Paint would obviously work quite well, and I'm sure food coloring would be a good choice. But not soap. Maybe shampoo? I know that, if you don't rinse shampoo out of your hair, sometimes it can become dry and flaky (and itchy). But I'm not about to try it. If I do continue with this page (and after my experience, I might just leave it the way it is), I'm going to steer very clear of any kind of soap and anything with glycerin.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

24 Hours Later

24 hours later, the dish soap sample that I put in my Wreck This Journal has still not dried.

This is getting a bit frustrating.

If it's not dry by tomorrow morning, I think I'll try taking a hair dryer to it. If that doesn't work, I'll probably try to scrub it off somehow. It won't be good for the paper, but hey- the book's called Wreck This Journal.

Rebecca sits, watching the blob of dish soap, tapping her fingers on her desk.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Random Fact #23

Random Fact #23: Liquid dish soap takes a very long time to dry. That is, if it dries at all.

To be honest, I don't know yet. I've been sitting here watching liquid dish soap dry off-and-on for the past eight or eighteen or nineteen hours, and it's still very liquid-like. It might never dry at all, for all I know.

I really hope it does dry. I put it on one of the pages of my Wreck This Journal, the page which instructs the reader/wrecker to sample various substances within the home, and it won't dry. Now I can't work on other pages.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pencil Rubbings

Tonight I completed the page in Keri Smith's Wreck My Journal that instructed me to do some pencil rubbings. I wanted to make sure I got a photo of the page because it turned out kinda cool and I'm pretty sure it's going to get smudged pretty soon.

I just did a few small rubbings of some coins, a paper clip, and two keys.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


I've been working on Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal for the past few years. It's been taking a long time because I've always been waiting for the perfect time and perfect idea for each page. Lately, however, I've been completing a ton of pages.

You should definitely pick up a copy of Wreck This Journal! Each page gives you instructions on how to destroy the book, and it's actually really cathartic and a lot of fun. The instructions range from cracking the spine to rubbing the book on a dirty car. It's a great creative project, especially for perfectionists. You really start to see the potential for beauty in destruction.

The instructions on one of the pages I did today was to write or draw with your left hand. So I did.

My handwriting with my left hand is bad yet surprisingly legible. Yay me! Also, I might be better at drawing horses with my left hand than I am with my right.


It started raining and then hailing during my Sigma Tau Delta meeting today. We watched out the window. Some despaired for their cars while others wondered exactly how dangerous it would be to walk outside. The hail was very pretty to look at once it stopped falling from the sky, though. It was like a piece of the sky that I could hold in my hand. I also really liked the way the hail looked against the mulch, so I took the photo.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Random Fact #22

Random Fact #22: The word "hoosegow," which is a silly euphemism for the word "prison," comes from the Spanish word "juzgado," which means "court."

Source: R. W. Holder's How Not To Say What You Mean: A Dictionary of Euphemisms.

Sometimes when I'm working on something in the library and I need to take a quick break, I get up and start wandering around the bookshelves. If you go in deep enough, it gets really quiet and you can start to believe that you're alone in this enormous library stuffed to the gills with books on every subject imaginable. 

Tonight, my eyes were getting a little droopy while I was reading Shakespeare's King Lear, so I wandered off and stumbled upon this book. I just couldn't leave it.

DISNEY WORLD!!! Spring Break 2015

Blogger's note: This post was supposed to be published over a week ago, but for some reason, my mobile app didn't upload it. This is the only post I have so far detailing my Spring Break Adventure at Disney World; all the other nights, I was too exhausted to do anything but collapse. You can ask my sister. I kept falling asleep when I was supposed to be helping her plan the next day in the parks. I probably will hit at least the higlights at some point, though, because the trip was AWESOME!!!

Hi, friends! 

It's Spring Break, and I've arrived at Walt Disney World with my family! We're staying at the Art of Animation resort. My bed folds out of the wall and can be used as a table during the day. It's kinda cool.

Tomorrow we're going to Animal Kingdom! Should be awesome. Disney World is my absolute FAVORITE place to go on vacation, and I've been looking forward to this trip for a long time.

This is our first Disney trip using MagicBands. So far, I'm a fan. Your park tickets, room keys, and charge account are all on the Bands. They're completely waterproof, conveniently attached to your wrist so you don't lose them, and you can personalize them, too!

We didn't do a whole lot today. We checked in, ate at the food court, and wandered around the Art of Animation resort as well as the Pop Century resort, which is just across the lake from our area and easily accessible via a bridge.

Very excited about this week. My family and I have made some FastPass reservations (because that's a thing now). My sister and I are going to do a little casual DisneyBounding. We brought a few green accessories for St. Patrick's Day. We've got a few dinner reservations at some cool restaurants, too!

Until next blog, have a magical day!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Shakespeare Memes: Futurama Hamlet

I've been wanting to bring back Shakespeare Memes since the start of semester, and by King Hamlet's ghost, tonight's the night!

We had a pre-reading lecture on Hamlet yesterday. That combined with my fuzzy memories of reading it last year brought a few memes into my mind.

In the lecture, we talked about tragedy and how the protagonist in a tragedy has a fatal flaw that leads to his eventual fall. It was suggested that Hamlet's tragic flaw is his indecision.

Hamlet wonders whether he should kill himself.

Hamlet wonders whether he should obey the wishes of his father's ghost and avenge the late King Hamlet's murder at the hands of his brother.

Hamlet in a nutshell:

I'd really love to make this into a series and do a few memes for each play we read in class (which means I have some catching up to do). To view the original Shakespeare Memes post from my Shakespeare class in junior year, click here.

Dubstep Hamlet

Just when you think you've seen it all...

I'm very grateful to Elizabeth Baker for publishing this article and making my night of research a little more entertaining. I didn't have time to read the actual article the other night, but I might have to go back and find it.

Dubstep Hamlet. What I would give to watch William Shakespeare watch that performance...

Rainbow Dash?

I'm trying very hard to make a Rainbow Dash joke. But the sad truth is that the rainbow is on my windshield and not my dashboard.

I went down to my car last night, and every single car in the garage had its windows all misted over. We've been having some heat and humidity the past few days. The light coming through the misty window made a really awesome rainbow.

Creepy Creeper

That moment when you turn around and there's a green explosive monster staring through the door at you...

For those unfamiliar with the game Minecraft, this is a Creeper. It's called a Creeper because its favorite thing is to creep up on you. 

And then explode.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Great Alabama Snowpocalypse of 2015

I hesitate to call this a Snowpocalypse, partly because it was nowhere near as "great" as last year's Snowpocalypse and partly because... well, you never know! We might end up getting more snow this year.

My adventure in the snow this year has a bit of a complicated story.

I think most of the state of Alabama was expecting at least a wintry mix, although the northern parts of the state were calling for the most snow. I'm a student at the University of Alabama, which is in Central Alabama, but I had to go home to Northern Alabama for a dentist appointment on the day of the Snowpocalypse.

Before I knew there was going to be snow, my plan was to take my morning class, drive two and a half hours home and attend my dentist appointment, eat some lunch, drive two and a half hours back to school and take my evening class. It didn't work out that way, and I'm kind of glad, because that would've been a lot of driving. (My mom called me a wimp for saying that, but I've also done the 14+ hour trip between Madison, Alabama and Richmond, Virginia in one day by myself, so I beg to differ).

The day before my dentist appointment, the entire state began to panic. The governor declared a state of emergency. After a few hours of mental begging and pleading, I got the magical email from the University saying that classes the next day would be cancelled. Freed from the obligation to attend my 8 A.M. class the next day, I hopped in the car and drove home, where I planned to spend the evening so that I wouldn't have to drive home through the snow the next day.

The general panic continued the next day. My 12 noon dentist appointment got bumped back to 9 A.M. The local schools had called a snow day. Everybody bunkered down with their eggs, milk, and bread. Ironically, the snow didn't actually start until roughly mid-afternoon.

But it was a decent snowfall! I think we got seven or eight inches. Meanwhile, back at school, my classmates were staring up at the sky, willing some kind of frozen precipitation to arrive. They eventually got a little snow, but it didn't stick around very long.

I watched the fat, fluffy flakes tumble from the sky from the comfort of my parents' kitchen. Once some accumulation had built up, I bundled up, ran to the garage, and grabbed my sled-- a souvenir of when we lived in places that receive snow regularly.

I was a bit out of practice and a bit out of shape, but the hill in my backyard was great for sledding once I smoothed and compacted the snow a bit! I had multiple sledding paths going by the end of the evening. I went all the way down to the creek bed at the bottom, and unfortunately, the water was not frozen. But I heaped snow on top of it to make it just solid enough to lengthen my sled path. It was seriously a lot of fun. I don't remember the last time I'd been sledding.

Photos courtesy of Mary Mast

Thursday, February 19, 2015

You Got The Thing You Weren't Looking For But Are Excited To See Anyway!

(Click for full view)

I have misplaced my Photoshop Elements disc. This wouldn't normally be a problem, since I installed it on my computer a year ago, but for some reason, it has stopped working and keeps giving me an error message saying I need to reinstall the program.

I was wracking my brain this evening, trying to figure out where I would've put the disc, when it occurred to me that I might have put it in a huge file box I keep on my bottom shelf. I opened up the box and...

I found the cute canvas tote that I thought was lost forever!

I didn't actually find the disc. But hope springs eternal, and now I have a handy way to carry my pool towels when the weather gets warmer. I was so excited to find it that I almost lifted it high over my head à la Legend of Zelda and sang my happiness to the world. Luckily, I remembered to be courteous of my poor roommates, who already have to put up with that sound as my text message ringtone. Thanks for being awesome, roommates!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

HAPPY MARDI GRAAAAAA-- oh, whoops, it's over


Except now it's officially the day after Mardi Gras here in Central Time, which means it's officially Lent. Awww.

Wow, Mardi Gras! Always fun. Last year I went with the marching band to do a parade in Mobile, Alabama. It was wet and very cold, but I still had a really good time. I even got a good poem out of the experience (which you can find in my digital portfolio under the title "Mardi").

This year, I had no obligations with the band, so I stayed home and celebrated with the French Club. It was a fun little party! I helped a little bit with the planning, and I'm glad it went well. The club was joined by the French Louisiana class, who had to attend the party for a grade. I have a friend in that class, so it was even more fun. I chatted with some people around the table and ate king cake and other snacks.

I also wore Mardi Gras beads all day, which attracted a few stares because wearing Mardi Gras beads around campus is apparently not a thing people do. But it's a thing I do.

I think Mardi Gras sneaked up on everyone this year. Did it come earlier than usual? I feel like it came earlier than usual.

One of my professors actually brought king cake to class. I found the baby! On top of that, I got some nice comments on my latest workshop piece. It was a good class.


Now to ponder what I'm going to give up for Lent... Can I give up essays?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I made this Valentine just for you! It's a little bit abstract and experimental, which is just silly codeword for "I was messing around and it turned out pretty cool."

Thank you so much for coming to see my blog! I know the updates have been a bit few and far between the past few months, but I really appreciate you taking some time out of your day to check it out, whether you're a regular from way back or a first-time viewer.

You're awesome! Enjoy your evening, whether you're spending it with your Valentine, your friends, your family, your other half, your boo, the other half of your OTP, your Juliet, your Mr. Darcy, your very special somepony, your BFF, your SO, the other people sitting in the bar, some people on the subway, Player 2, or even just yourself, because you deserve to love yourself and be loved by yourself!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Update: Alan Furst's "Dark Star"

In my last post, I reported that I read Alan Furst's Dark Star at a rate of 20 pages per hour or one page every three minutes while I was out on the quad. At that rate, it would take me five hours to read the assigned 100 pages.

I timed myself reading a few pages indoors (where there are fewer distractions) and found that I can read page in an average of one minute and 46 seconds. At that rate, it would take me (unless my math is quite wrong) 2.94 hours to read 100 pages... if I stayed completely focused for the entire time, didn't have a snack or take a bathroom break or talk to anyone, and read as though I were racing a timer. None of those things is likely.

3 hours is better than five hours, though. It's a shame the quad has so many distractions.

What I'm Reading: Alan Furst's "Dark Star"

This is the latest book I've been reading for my espionage seminar: Dark Star by Alan Furst. I like it a lot more than I liked the Kipling book we read.

The only problem is that it's a big, hefty book-- 437 pages. We're taking four class periods to read it, and we've been told to read 100 pages for each class period (class is on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).

Whoof. Once you get behind on an assignment like that, there's no getting caught up, and I will admit that I am behind. I'm doing my best, but it's just a lot of reading piled on top of all the other reading I'm doing for my other classes.

I had a slight temper tantrum the other day about all the reading I have to do this semester. I'm honestly not taking that many hours, but the way my classes are arranged, I'm having a bit of trouble scheduling my reading times. I'm getting there-- definitely been making progress, especially in the past few days.

But yikes... a hundred pages per night... I was out reading on the quad earlier, and I marked my reading pace by the ringing of the chimes tower. I finished around 20 pages in an hour, which works out to three minutes per page (although I did occasionally pause and look up at the happy students playing Frisbee and adorable families going on bike rides). At that rate, it would take me five hours to read 100 pages. I think I picked up the pace a bit when I moved inside, but not by a whole lot. 

Aaaaaaaaghhh. It's hard to be productive when I read for hours at a time and it seems like I'm not making any progress. As an English major and creative writing minor, reading is basically all I do for homework (unless I have to write a paper... urk!), and my brain really starts feeling the fatigue sometimes, especially when I've got huge assignments like this on top of the work I have to do for other classes.

Eh. I'll quit whining and keep working on scheduling my time better. Work in progress, work in progress, gettin' better every day.

But yeah, I really am enjoying Dark Star. It took me a little while to get into it, and sometimes it's a bit complicated and hard to follow, but it might just be my favorite of the texts we've read so far. It's about a journalist who's been roped into working for the Soviet Union's intelligence agency just before World War II. There's action, romance, barely evading death, not quite managing to evade death, secrecy, intrigue, suspense... and 437 pages of it.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Some More Fun Things To Read

I've started my long and thrilling journey of applying for internships and jobs! That means it's time to update the Online Portfolio, and that means you get a few new things to read. I hope you enjoy them!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Karate Body

So I've been taking karate classes twice a week for the past three-ish weeks. I'm having a really good time with it. It's a lot of fun, and I feel like I'm really starting to discipline my mind and body.

I'm getting better at the push-ups and sit-ups that Sensei makes us do. Except every time I get used to the exercise, she adds on more repetitions or mixes it up and makes it more "interesting."

I'm just having flashbacks of being too wimpy to earn my Wii Fit trainer's approval.

But that's okay! It's okay that I'm not there yet. I'm going to get there! Day by day, bit by bit. I can do this.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Flight Rising

One of my friends recently invited me to sign up on a website called Flight Rising, in which you create a clan of dragons. You can dress them up, change their appearances with different "genes," read the lore about their world, trade them with other players, breed them, and even send them away to their dragon gods if you feel so inclined.

If it sounds weird, that's because it is. But it's also strangely addicting.

Each dragon has its own bio page, and there's a place where you can write information about them. I like to write backstories and biographies for my dragons. I've included pictures of a handful of my dragons on this post. If you click on them, you can see their bio pages and stories for yourself and even look at all my other silly dragons if you'd like.

If you'd like to go to the main page, the address is

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Do Something

Today I had some extra time, so I doodled out a very little cartoon to make up for how I couldn't draw last night.

You get it with a Joan Rivers quote and the answers to a Sudoku puzzle you'll never do thrown in for free.

Kim was getting on my nerves last night. But then something different actually started happening! And it got more interesting. So that was nice.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sad Student

I don't have a Tumblr account. I already spend way too much time poking around and creepin' on other people's Tumblrs. It's the best place to find fanart these days. If I had my own Tumblr, I would never graduate. Even now, in the spring semester of my senior year, only six credits away from finishing my degree, I would never graduate.

But I was creepin' around my usual pages tonight. And it was a very sad, slow, disappointing night. There was hardly any new fanart. No cartoons. No updated webcomics.




And then I remembered that I'm behind on my reading for class tomorrow. And I really should be doing that instead.

So now I am sad. And I am going to go read Kim by Rudyard Kipling.

It's for my class about espionage. But in between the little bits about espionage are long, sensory detail-filled descriptions of the people, customs, landscapes, and life in general of India. And I'm really having a hard time getting through it.

Especially since Kim is just so perfect. For crying out loud, he's a kid. In class we estimated he's between 10 and 13 years old. But he just runs around on the streets and he's that stereotypical street urchin who's got all the street smarts and he acts really annoying but everyone just looooves him anyway and he's made, like, only one mistake so far and yeah, I guess living on the streets would give you a fair bit of knowledge of the world around you but COME. ON. HE CAN'T KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERY CASTE AND EVERY PERSON AND I JUST WANT HIM TO FIND THE HOLY RIVER OR YOU KNOW WHATEVER DO SOMETHING BESIDES TRAVEL AND MEET PEOPLE AND TALK TO PEOPLE AND LOOK AT PEOPLE AND GET MONEY FROM PEOPLE AND AAAAAAAGGHHGHHHHGAAHAGHHGGH