January 31, 2001

I know, I know, I've

I know, I know, I've been insanely talkative today -- today, when Blogger is just having all sorts of issues -- but I had to share this. I got email about an hour ago from a girl in Australia about "At the Ocean's Edge". She says for an assignment for her English class, she had to find a story on the internet and contact the author. I'm her English assignment! How freakin' cool is that? I loved Brand's comment: "You're literature now." I'm giddy. I emailed her back with probably far more information than she wanted.

Posted by Lisa at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

The entry I wrote earlier

The entry I wrote earlier got me started thinking about my teachers, so I did a web search on Mrs. Rubin, my eighth grade English teacher. Ironically, I found this article about my high school choir director, Mr. Bushey, who was apparently a teacher of the week or some such. Mr. Bushey was absolutely my favorite teacher in high school or college. I had him for four years and loved every minute. Turns out Mrs. Rubin nominated him. Heh. Damn. Now I have two teachers to get in touch with.

Posted by Lisa at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)

Babel Fish is not helping.

Babel Fish is not helping. Anyone out there fairly fluent in Spanish? Email me? The Spanish I've got in this story so far is very -- er, muy -- pitiful.

Posted by Lisa at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

Passion and Ambition

This is a very good time for me right now. I feel alive and active in a way I haven't since -- well, since finishing writing Harvest of Thorns (by the way, Dream Pod 9 has a page up for that now, and the release date is February 26th!) this past summer. It's probably no coincidence that I'm working on another book for DP9 right now. I'm turning over ideas for a third, one that I'd ideally like to write completely by myself, rather than collaborating. I guess it's a self-confidence thing, wanting to prove to myself that I can do one alone.

Then of course, school is going well too. I get this weird, glowy feeling every time I think, "I'm a junior at Eastern Michigan University." Of course, that makes it sound like I'm a lot closer to graduating than I actually am, but... it's still a good feeling.

One would think, with all the reading I'm doing for school (currently buried in Zorba the Greek for those of you playing along at home), and all the writing I'm doing, that I wouldn't start reading non-school-related things as well. It's odd, but my appetite for books and movies has risen sharply over the past couple weeks. It almost feels like the more I write, the more I need new ideas and stories to refresh the well I draw from when I write. Over the past two weeks, I've seen three movies in the theatre (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, O Brother, Where Are Thou? and Finding Forrester, which was yesterday) -- about as many as I saw in the theatre for all of 2000. Granted, 2000 was a pretty sucky year for movies, but still. I've been reading a lot more, as well as watching more movies on videotape too. And good TV -- I've been watching good TV, like Law and Order and The West Wing.

The more stories I try to tell (or at least, the more I try to tell one story), the more I crave seeing how other people tell stories. I find myself analyzing things that way as well -- trying to figure out, from a technical angle, why the writers did this, or why this was phrased a certain way, or what this plot development means. I never wanted to do that, because I always thought it would be too much like listening to a magician give away his tricks. It's not. It's like being a magician at a magician's convention, and learning new tricks. Some of them are so nifty that you file them away for safekeeping. Some of them seem so amazingly lame, but you file them away too, in case you ever need them -- or at least to know what not to do.

For the first time in my adult life, I have ambitions. I haven't figured out yet how to reach them, but I have them. They're lofty ones, the sort that you can barely even whisper to your friends, embarrassed to think that you dare to dream that high. I feel like I have finally recognized my passion, my calling. That sounds trite, to put it in words that way, but it feels true.

I have always been a person of changing passions. Even when I was younger, I would throw myself into a new interest, and go after it rabidly for a month or so, then get tired and quit. There have been two exceptions. When I was eleven years old, I decided I wanted to take voice lessons. So I called the local music store and found out who their teacher was. I went to my mom, and we decided that while my parents would drive me to and from lessons, I had to pay for them myself. I did. For a year. After that year, my mom admitted that she didn't think I'd stick with it, but now that I had, they would start paying for lessons. I changed to a new teacher in high school, then studied voice in college as well -- music was, in fact, the longest-lived of my many majors.

I wrote my first story when I was in seventh grade. Until that time, all the stories I'd told were plays written for friends, or elaborate make-believe games that lasted for months. It was a pitiful story, full of cliched characters and the most amazing coincidences. I wish I still had it. Another followed, and then another. My middle school English teachers were wonderful, reading everything I handed them, and taking the time to comment on everything. (Thank you again, Ms. Haines and Mrs. Rubin!) High school came, and with it came a flood of adolescent poetry. The stories stopped. I'm not sure why, but I have my suspicions. The poetry was... well, embarrassing, at this point. I was a theatre geek, so in addition to the usual adolescent angst, I used the theatre as a metaphor for everything. Writing dried up almost completely during my first stint in college. An occasional poem about my ex-husband-then-boyfriend, but that's all. Marriage. Severe depression. The only words I wrote were rare letters to friends.

Discovering the internet in 1994 sparked my interest in writing again, and the poems started -- not so bad, not so great. One got published in an email 'zine. Story ideas showed up, a few short works were finished. Divorce. Moving back home. More depression. New boyfriend. Writing on the back burner once more.

Then in 1998, stumbling onto the MUSHing community. Starting out slow, then meeting the folks who are some of my dearest friends in the world today, writers all: Brand, Mo, Laura, Josh. Telling stories together. Writing. And writing. And writing some more. Starting out with roleplaying character histories, then stories inspired by characters. Discovering that I was good. Everything that had been on and off the back burner for fifteen years started pouring out. I made my first professional submission in June of 1999, to Marion Zimmer Bradley just a few months before she died. She didn't bother to read past the second page, but that didn't matter. I sent it. She at least looked at it. More followed, with more editors not getting past the second page. Then last May, getting myself together at the tail end of a nasty depressive episode and sending something off to Dream Pod 9. Things have happened so fast since then, it's hard to not think of terms like "fate" and "destiny".

It's hard not to form ambitions and start believing that you've found the elusive "it".

Posted by Lisa at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)

Tired. Soooo tired. I was

Tired. Soooo tired. I was up until 11:15 or so writing and discussing various upcoming projects for Wicked Ink (heh, I just realized I've never really mentioned them here -- go check out the rest of the Blood and Sacrifice site while you're at it). Then I went to bed, only to stay awake reading Gut Symmetries until midnight. I was a little leery of the book, although it's been recommended to me by several people, because it has a very strong physics-related base, and physics has never been my strong suit. So far, I'm intrigued.

Posted by Lisa at 06:14 AM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2001

I'm probably going to be

I'm probably going to be doing my government assignment for this week on this article. It gives me a very gooshy feeling.

"This will not be funding religion," Fleischer insisted. "It is not the religious aspect of what they that is getting funding, it is the community service aspect. These are not going to be programs that preach religion, these are faith-based programs that help people improve their lives."
I mean, the concept is all well and good, but it's the implementation that worries me, as well as the door that it opens. Most churches don't make the same distinction between preaching and community service that seems to be implied here.

Posted by Lisa at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2001

I'm truly a sad thing.

I'm truly a sad thing. I spent a huge portion of the weekend drooling helplessly over this man. I even watched his show! Granted, it wasn't a bad show, but... *sigh*

Posted by Lisa at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2001

Major Junkie

My classes are at two extremes. My government class is amazingly lecture-intensive, with a smidgin of really cool discussion here and there. I regularly take two pages (front and back of the paper) of notes, most of which are hastily scribbled from an overhead projector. I need to start going over those notes and comparing them with the text. Honestly, I spend so much time trying to keep up my notes with his lecture, that I'm not sure I'm actually absorbing any of what I'm writing down. So I dunno. I see much studying for government in my weekend plans.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is my literature class. Notes? What notes? (Although I may be taking more there soon -- more on that in a moment.) I honestly think that my prof's preparation for that class consists of re-reading the story, jotting down a few ideas, then showing up to see what we come up with. For each class session, we read one or two short stories, or part of a novel, whatever we happen to be working on. We also keep journals, usually filled with notes about what we've read, thoughts that occurred to us, that sort of thing. Then in class we spend the period talking about what we read. I love it.

I think a good part of the rest of the class loves it too -- for different reasons. One mid-term, one exam and one paper? No tests? No quizzes? Cool! The discussion, at times, is a bit slow. Yesterday, for example, we were discussing William Faulker's "Barn Burning". I thought it was pretty cool, and had a few thoughts to share about it. Then the discussion got started, and I realized I had tons of things to say about it. I Could Not Shut Up. I tried. Once I became aware that the class discussion had turned into a conversation between me and the professor, I tried so hard to shut up. But then he'd ask a question or make a comment, and just stare at the class. And the class would stare back. And I would wriggle in my seat, full of ideas and thoughts and insights that squirmed around each other in my brain. And eventually, they would find their way out of my mouth.

Part of me was so self-conscious, sure that everyone thought I was an ass-kisser or a geek or... I dunno, something negative. Finally at the end of class, with a superhuman effort, I'd managed to keep myself quiet, and the class just died. The professor rambled interestingly for a few minutes, then said, "Any final thoughts about Faulkner?" Well, I had several, but I kept my mouth shut. In fact, the professor looked at me and said, "Not you. You're not allowed to have any final thoughts on Faulkner." I grinned sheepishly.

There were no final thoughts on Faulkner.

Class ended, and we filed out. Waiting for the elevator near some of my classmates, one of them told me, "I'm really glad you say stuff in that class." I was surprised and mentioned that I thought I talked too much. We talked a little bit about the class, then we all filed onto the elevators.

Walking back to my car, I realized a few things. My literature class is much too short. I never have enough time to talk about everything I want to talk about. I crave this reading things and then talking about them. So much so that I want to beat my friends over the head until they read my class assignments too, and talk with me about them. I'm a junkie. I'm a literature junkie. I'm monopolizing the holy hell out of my class. I'm dying to get out of freshman literature and into upper-level classes, in hopes of finding more discussion. Enthusiastic discussion. Maybe I'm naive to expect that I'll find it at all. Maybe I'm a freak.

I'm of two minds about this. My first thought is that it's not fair of me to take up someone else's educational opportunity. Hard on the heels of that though is, "Well if they're not going to use it, why shouldn't I?" Are my classmates glad that I speak up because I cover for their silence? Or are they glad for my insight? Am I enabling their lazy asses by speaking up all the time?

I would make a horrid professor. A few times it took all I had not to jump up and down and shriek, "Don't you get how utterly cool this is?!" I did say I was a junkie, right? Class ends and I'm disappointed that the discussion is over, but I don't feel comfortable enough to go up to the professor and keep talking. So... this journal thing he's assigned us. He said we could also use it for class notes. I hadn't been, since I don't take many notes in this class. However, yesterday I started writing down some of those ideas we didn't get to in class. It helped. My brain wasn't quite so fevered when class ended. I can't explain the tension of having something to say in class and not being able to say it. It's an awful feeling, this awful, brain-bursting thing.

I think I need some serious help. Although, don't think I need any further confirmation that I've chosen the right major this time...

Posted by Lisa at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

My mood's all over the

My mood's all over the place today. This morning while I was getting dressed I was bouncing around in various jubilant stages of undress blasting Rent on the stereo and singing along. I crashed somewhere between getting out of my car and getting to my desk. I'm dealing with some crap of my own making, trying to sort it through. There's a journal entry turning itself around in my mind about school; I'm hoping to write it today sometime.

"You mustn't mess me about. I know I may seem like a rhinoceros, but really I have thin skin." -- Minnie Driver, "Circle of Friends"

Posted by Lisa at 07:47 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2001

Pardon me while I howl.

Pardon me while I howl. Go here and check out the search terms. Then look at what's first. Heh.

Thanks, Rob. :)

Posted by Lisa at 05:39 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2001

Interesting discovery I made earlier

Interesting discovery I made earlier tonight: singing high and loud clears out your sinuses. No, I did not blow snot all over my steering wheel, thank you. I did, however, sing "Out Tonight" from Rent twice at the top of my lungs, unaware that my sinuses were stuffy. The chorus has several high notes that, if sung right, sorta buzz your sinuses. I guess I shook them loose, cause when I was finished, my nose was so stuffy I could barely breathe.

So there's a sinus remedy for you. Study voice, then sing. Hey, Maryann and Ms. Lambert! I'm finally starting to get what you tried to beat into my head for so long! I got the buzzy thing right! (The "buzzy thing" was the bane of my vocal student years. Maryann used to tell me I'd get it when I was older. Guess she was right.)

Posted by Lisa at 08:38 PM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2001

Okay, this is definitely the

Okay, this is definitely the strangest search string ever used to find my site.

Posted by Lisa at 05:46 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2001

Is that "Thus Spake Zarathustra"

Is that "Thus Spake Zarathustra" I hear in the background?

It arose seemingly out of nowhere as 2001 dawned, a 9-foot-tall mass of steel and iron towering on Kite Hill overlooking Lake Washington in Seattle, Washington.
Seattle. Heh. *sound of wheels turning and gears grinding*

Posted by Lisa at 06:22 AM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2001

My car is home. I

My car is home. I spent four hours in the car yesterday, and four hours in the car today. I'm tired. I have homework. Bleah.

The best thing about storytelling for Changeling is coming up with dialogue on the spur of the moment that fits the characters and just works. If three lines can detail a relationship and make the players laugh out loud, then that's a good thing. I was happy.

Posted by Lisa at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2001

This entry from over two

This entry from over two years ago, is as true now as it was then. As I was leaving Alex and Heidi's house -- which is two hours away from here -- after our game session, I realized that my tire was flat. Horribly flat. As I still have no decent spare, I would have been stranded if Dawn and Jason hadn't been right behind me. They were, and brought me home. So now my car is two hours away from me waiting to be repaired. Whee!

Posted by Lisa at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2001

My shirt has been on

My shirt has been on inside out ALL DAY. And no one's said a word. I wonder if it's because they didn't notice, or because they just thought it was funny? Argh! Paranoia!

Posted by Lisa at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)

Take a kung-fu movie. Now

Take a kung-fu movie. Now take out the bad dubbing and replace it with well-written subtitles. Give it amazing acting. An epic story. Major romance to go along with the wire-fu and fight scenes. Then give it a score that includes Yo Yo Ma. When you're done, you'll have Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Now go see it. Now. Right now.

Alternately, take Homer's The Odyssey and set it in 1920s Mississippi and turn it into a comedy with a lot of music. Then you'll have O Brother, Where Art Thou?. And you should go see that too. Right after CTHD.

Posted by Lisa at 09:52 AM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2001

Muse Abused

I'm discovering there are drawbacks to having an overactive muse. Particularly, a muse that sits on your back like a large, nasty monkey with a grating voice and a riding crop.

For the past week or so, I have had, simply, too many projects to work on. I'm getting tangled up in my own ideas until my feet get twisted around, I fall over, and nothing gets accomplished. So I get frustrated, and even less gets accomplished. To make things even worse, due to software considerations at work (which I've been bitching about in the blog ) and just how very busy we've been at work, I haven't been able to get anything done of my own, either. (I know, poor baby, I have to actually work at work.) Here's a brief list of what's clamoring for my attention:

  • Right now the top of the list is my infant MUSH and its accompanying website . The website is coming along nicely (as I can work on that at work), but the MUSH itself is nowhere near ready for public consumption. May never be, but that's another story.

  • I'm working on another project for Tribe 8 . I'm really excited about it, but I'm kinda scared about this one too.

  • One very loud short story idea in my head, that I've actually started but haven't touched in about a month.

  • Two novel ideas, one of which I've started, the other is still in planning phases -- neither of which I've touched in about a month.

  • This journal, which is turning into a lifeline at times.

  • One very loud character history for a tabletop game that may never even start up again.

  • Planning and plotting for my Changeling game, which includes trying to post a few more synopses around here somewhere. And trying to figure out what happens after this current story arc.

  • School? Oh yeah. That's right. I've got homework too.

Right now I'm trying to focus on one thing and ignore the siren call of the other projects, just so I can finish one thing . I know I've been bitchy and irritable at a lot of people this week. Not to foist the blame on something else or anything, but let's just say this monkey of mine (let's call him Bobo, shall we?) is causing a lot of trouble right now.

Posted by Lisa at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

This quote from "Real Genius"

This quote from "Real Genius" sums up my day nicely so far:

If you think that by threatening me you can get me to do what you want... Well, that's where you're right. But - and I am only saying that because I care - there's a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market that are just as tasty as the real thing.
I've wanted to say that to so many customers today. Good lord. Oh, also, there's a new entry up:
For the past week or so, I have had, simply, too many projects to work on. I'm getting tangled up in my own ideas until my feet get twisted around, I fall over, and nothing gets accomplished. So I get frustrated, and even less gets accomplished.
I'm off to school and then probably to the movies. Whee!

Posted by Lisa at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2001

Heh. This is fun: Magnetic

Heh. This is fun: Magnetic Poetry ala Unix. Here's what I came up with:

evil unstable geek magic
delicate whisper echoes, deprecated
child elaborate, planet's backbone
configure stable threaded memory
What'd you come up with?

Posted by Lisa at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

Yay!! Kate's back!

Yay!! Kate's back!

Posted by Lisa at 07:03 AM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2001

A few musings on the

A few musings on the nature of power and hidden talents, from a MUSH conversation with Brand:

Fate emailed a few coworkers about the Intertext thing, like Eric. Jennifer found out about it, and after reading the story, had a bunch of questions for me, like, "Is this a part of something bigger? Is there more history about the stuff that happened at Cill Dara?" I didn't tell a lot of people about it, because I didn't want all these strait-laced accountant-types thinking I was a freak (I know I'm not, but I hate the feeling of knowing someone didn't /get/ it, you know?), but Jen was so interested that I ended up giving her the link to the writing part of my website so she could read the rest of what's up there.
Fate says "The funny thing is, Jen is the daughter of the woman I originally named Jake after, so I had to explain that to her too, for when she came across her mom's name. :)"
The Seed hehs. "That is cool."
Fate says "That made me feel really good, to know that I have this set of stories that someone who knows nothing about gaming or Changeling or anything was interested in."
Fate feels better just for talking about it.
The Seed grins.
The Seed says "You should, that really is an accomplishment."
Fate says "It was weird though. I mean, it felt good, but it also made me feel sort of naked, you know?"
The Seed nods, "People reading your stuff will do that. Wait till Harvest comes out."
Fate says "Like I was saying, "Okay, here's this side of me that most people around here don't know about.""
The Seed nods, "It's funny. It's like when I'm in the teachers lounge at lunch at school, and all the teachers are talking about their lives -- none of them have any idea about me, or about writing, or anything like that.
Fate nods, "Exactly. I mean, it's weird. It doesn't freak me out that total strangers read my website, or that they're going to read my book... but it makes me nervous that my coworkers are going to read my stuff. I guess because I have to interact with them on a daily basis, and I'm not sure if my writing will change their perspective of me, and if so, how.
The Seed nods, "True. The thing it always makes me wonder is this -- what things do those around us do/have that we have no clue about?"
Fate says "Yup. Exactly."
The Seed knows that when he sits at Church no one has any idea that he's a published poet, author, and internet geek who plays the horned god of the woods. But some of the others have stuff too, he knows one member of his ward writes music, some of which has sold and been on movies, and another sculpts in marble... and no one knows about it really.
Fate says "It's funny though, how keeping those things a secret can be a source of power. I mean, I was just realizing how often my writing makes me feel better, like now... but sometimes it's a case of thinking of someone or something that's making me feel small or bad or whatever, and thinking, "Well fuck you, I'm a writer and you don't even know it.""
The Seed grins and nods, "Yep."
Fate says "I'm glad that's not just me. :)"
The Seed has done that when he talks with people, especially teachers, who look down at him for being "just a sub". He thinks 'Yeah, fucker? You think you're something? I'm working on my PhD and am a published author, poet, and essayist."
Fate says "YES! I do the same thing with the "just a receptionist" crap I get."
The Seed nods, "Totally."
Fate says "There's just this weird power that comes from "I'm doing something you'll never do, and you're so pitiful that I'm not even going to tell you about it.""
The Seed grins and nods, "It is a case of I have power, and I have such confidence in the power that you don't even need to know about it for it to put me beyond your touch."
Fate says "Puny mortal."
Fate says "Fear the wrath of my mighty keyboard."
Do we sound like egotistical assholes? I suppose we might. I'm finding that I don't care, though. Sometimes when you've spent a lot of time being beat down, you need to have a small core of egotism just to survive.

Posted by Lisa at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2001

Hee. My lit prof called

Hee. My lit prof called me a smartass today. One of the things we read for today's class was a trickster myth. I recognized it as such. We were discussing it, and he asked what that particular character was like and people started listing off traits. I said, "Well, he's a trickster." He stopped, looked at me and grinned and said, "Yes, he is. And you know exactly what that is, too, don't you? Smart ass." Then he went on to explain trickster mythology. I think he was amused. I was too, but I was a little embarrassed too.

Honestly? I can't shut up. I knew this was going to happen. I described it earlier to someone like this: I feel like my brain is this big sponge that's alternately dry and dripping wet at the same time. On the one hand, I've got this part of my brain that's been DYING for this sort of thing, these discussions and such, but on the other hand, I've got all these ideas that I've been DYING to get out and talk about. I don't want my classmates to see me as a brown-noser or anything, but I'm just so damn happy to be back in school, I'm probably much more excited to be there than the average student.

Posted by Lisa at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)

*cough* The "random moonset picture"

*cough* The "random moonset picture" from yesterday's entry has been fixed. I suppose it would help if I uploaded it, huh?

I get to go to class today! (We'll see how long the enthusiasm lasts. :))

Posted by Lisa at 08:24 AM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2001

First Day of School

I am so tired today, but very very happy. I don't know if I can describe just how good it felt to be sitting in a classroom again. I usually have fairly intellectual discussions with my friends and such, but it was wonderful to have that in a classroom setting, with new people. I also walked my ass off, but that's not a bad thing, I know.

I forgot to take my journal notebook with me to school, but here's what I scribbled between classes, at about 3:00 pm yesterday:

I survived my first class! Government is going to prove much more interesting than I'd hoped. My teacher, Dr. Pyle, is a trip. So far, I like him. he got a bunch of reluctant freshmen to participate in a discussion. Interesting point: he pointed out just how much of our daily lives are regulated by the government, even down to the toilets we use -- then asked why most people aren't interested in it. I expect to have a lot to think about in this class. I suspect he leans more than a touch to the left (he referred to our president-elect as "George the 2nd") and his vaguely radical/irreverent tone reminded me of Mr. Meredith, my high school history teacher. This can only be a good thing.

I'm currently sitting outside my classroom for Lit 101 -- hoping desperately that the professor inside is not my Lit prof. He sounds very dull. I think he's talking about economics anyway. (Note: That could be why he sounded dull...)

I do feel old, but it's not as bad as I feared. I don't feel like I have a sign over my head that flashes "relative senior citizen here!" In fact, it's kind of neat, realizing that I've already learned things that my classmates haven't. I'm looking forward to getting to know them.

I had little to worry about where my lit professor was concerned. He managed to instantly win my approval. I'd seen a poster out in the hallway, advertising some sort of beauty contest Glamour magazine is holding on campus, and rolled my eyes. Then this guy walked into class, probably close to my size, with long hair but bald on top. He walks up to the front of the class, puts down his books, and deadpans, "I just want y'all to know, I plan to be Glamour Magazine's Campus Woman of the Year this year. I know I can do it, because unless those other girls are trained martial arts professionals, I can take 'em." I knew right then it was going to be a fun semester.

Classwork doesn't sound like it will be bad at all. I really didn't expect it to be, since both classes are freshman-level. I did actually have homework yesterday in lit, and yes, I did it already. I plan to be an absolutely sickeningly conscientious student. (Okay, stop laughing.) I have a paper due for each class, and surprisingly few tests. I was surprised how much of both grades are based on class participation. Then again, this isn't a bad thing. They'll have to beat me to shut me up, most likely. At the risk of sounding crotchety, college really has changed in the past ten years, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I'm so excited about this.

Random moonset picture
Posted by Lisa at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2001

I wrote between classes, so

I wrote between classes, so there'll be more later tonight or tomorrow, but I can sum up my first impression of the semester to come in three words: I. Lucked. Out.

Both of my professors seem to be exceptionally cool. My lit professor is not only having us do a fair bit of sci-fi reading this semester, but made references in class to both "Highlander" and "Rocky Horror Picture Show". And if he's older than me by much at all, I'll eat my cat. My government prof was a riot. I think he's a bit of an anarchist at heart, so this could be interesting.

More to come. God, I'm tired. EMU has an almost distressingly large campus, and I feel like I walked across it twice.

Posted by Lisa at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

Nervous wreck. If this keeps

Nervous wreck. If this keeps up, I'll faint before I get to my first class. How silly of me! I'm out of here in ten minutes. Whee!

Posted by Lisa at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2001

Insomniac Musings

When I was a kid, I could never sleep the night before the first day of school. Too excited. Too nervous. I'd plan what I was going to wear, double check my bookbag a million times, go over my schedule again and again, worry about whether or not I'd be able to find all my classes and if my teachers would be cool or awful.

It's nice to know some things don't change.

I haven't seriously been a college student in almost exactly ten years. Tomorrow's my first day of school, and I can't sleep. Too excited. Too nervous. I have very little idea of what I might wear, my bookbag is checked and filled with what books I have (even though I know I won't need them the first day), my notebook -- damn, I need to find some good pens. Well, that's what the office supply cabinet at work is for, right? I expect tomorrow morning at work I'll go over my schedule again and again, and study a campus map so I look like I know where I'm going tomorrow. I worry about my teachers, if I'll like them or hate them. I want to like them. Perhaps no great surprise: I want them to like me.

I am equal parts terrified and exultant. I've made two attempts to go back to school since I left Lipscomb ten years ago. Both times I went for about half a semester then fell apart. Even as much as I keep telling myself "That won't happen this time", I'm still worried. I shouldn't be. I have so much support in doing this, at home, at work, among my friends. I've had years' worth of growing, planning, recovering.

I am not the same girl who pulled out of her last semester at David Lipscomb University ten years ago: jobless, married to a husband of less than six months who'd just tried to commit suicide, desperate, depressed, alone. I am not the same girl who tried again three years later, attending the University of Tennessee at Martin: still jobless, still married, still desperate, depressed and alone. I am not even the same woman who tried for a simple child care certification five years ago, although much had changed: I was working, I was divorced, less desperate, less depressed, much less alone -- but still not ready for school.

I am twenty-eight years old. I have spent the last ten years learning who I am, learning from my mistakes, learning my weaknesses, my strengths, my loves, my hates. Now, NOW I am ready to go back and see what else there is that I can learn.

Now if I can just get to sleep...

Posted by Lisa at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)

The muse struck me. So

The muse struck me. So I said "ouch!", then I came up with the following:

*insert blues riff here: "duh-NUH-na-nuh"*
I got here this mornin' (*duh-NUH-na-nuh*)
'Bout a quarter to nine. (*duh-NUH-na-nuh*)
Thought I'd get some work done (*duh-NUH-na-nuh*)
Man, I was feelin' fine...

But I got the blues...
The Stuck At The Front Desk All Day Blues

My boss, he done tole me (*duh-NUH-na-nuh*)
That Kelly was sick. (*duh-NUH-na-nuh*)
My heart started sinkin' (*duh-NUH-na-nuh*)
Cause I knew right then I was bound to get picked...

And I got the blues...
The Stuck At The Front Desk All Day Blues...

Can't work on no projects (*duh-NUH-na-nuh*)
Can't surf on the web (*duh-NUH-na-nuh*)
I'm thinkin' this mornin' (*duh-NUH-na-nuh*)
I shoulda just stayed in bed...

Cause I got the blues...
The Stuck At The Front Desk All Day Blues...

Got no one to talk to, (*duh-NUH-na-nuh*)
Workin' all by myself. (*duh-NUH-na-nuh*)
Telephone ain't ringin' (*duh-NUH-na-nuh*)
Feel like they done put me on the shelf...

Cause I got the blues...
The Stuck At The Front Desk All Day Blues...

(Obligatory improv until fade)
Somebody help me, now. I ain't got nothin' to do! I got them low-down, bored receptionist blues. Anybody seen a nail file?

Well. That killed another fifteen minutes. Is it time to go home yet?

Posted by Lisa at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2001

I've managed to sleep most

I've managed to sleep most of the day away. This is not going to be good tonight. I know I've been rather quiet this week. Hopefully next week I'll have a lot to say regarding school. Or, alternately, I'll be too tired to think. We'll see. I start classes on Tuesday.

Posted by Lisa at 01:26 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2001

*whimper* I wish I'd been

*whimper* I wish I'd been in the section I bought books for the first time. The books for the right section cost twice as much. Ouch. The good news, however, is that instead of reading Song of Solomon, I'll be reading Fahrenheit 451. And I still don't have books for my government class. Oy.

Posted by Lisa at 02:45 PM | Comments (0)

Wow. Busy morning. First off,

Wow. Busy morning. First off, I went to EMU and bought my books for my Literature class, since the books for my Government class aren't in yet. Unfortunately, when I got into work, I realized that I bought the wrong books for my Literature class, so I have to go back on my lunch hour and return them. Yes, I could just wait until the first day of class, if you want to be technical about it, but I hate doing that. Lines are long and people are irritable.

Then I got to work, and the problem with my email was supposedly fixed, as the IS guy was able to email from my computer. So I tried it. Nope. Same error message. The error message had to do with a file that Outlook periodically recreates. Remember my bitching about the permissions on my hard drive? I thought, "Gee, maybe those permissions are blocking Outlook from fixing the problem." I mentioned it to IS. He unlocked that one particular folder, and everything was fine. I was very pleased at myself.

But I thought, "Gee, your nifty little solution to lock me out of my own computer is causing the problem." I'm not bitter though. Really.

Posted by Lisa at 11:25 AM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2001

*sigh* Without my usual props

*sigh* Without my usual props to entertain myself (namely programs like Arachnophilia and Paint Shop Pro and the like), I find myself drowning in the banal repetitiveness that is my job. We're deep in the middle of our busiest two weeks of the year, and so far today I've taken 317, no wait, phone's ringing, 318 calls.

The long and short of it, if you haven't heard me bitch already, is that due to various network conflicts with a task I do here, they had to give me a new computer with Windows 2000. (I know, I hear you, "Oh, poor baby! A brand new computer, how horrible!" Trust me, it's horrible.) I had a few hours to back up my documents and programs and such, then they took my baby away. Then when I got the Win2000 machine, I learned that I didn't have permission to change anything. I can change the appearance of the screen, and I can do things with documents. Everything else is locked out. As much of a computer geek as I am, it's making me absolutely nutty. This will not be 'my' computer until I have access to everything. Hopefully the testing period will end soon and they'll unlock my damned hard drive.

So anyway, I can't run any of "my" programs. And without those things to distract me, I'm realizing just how amazingly dull my job is. Help me. I keep reminding myself that I'm doing this to get through school. Argh.

Posted by Lisa at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

Look! No really, look! "At

Look! No really, look! "At the Ocean's Edge" is finally published in InterText!

Posted by Lisa at 06:49 AM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2001

Roots

I spent most of the weekend out in Lansing visiting Dawn and Jason, and New Year's Eve, the rest of our gaming group (namely Alex and Heidi) came over as well. Saturday night, Dawn and I were on our own, as Jason was off with yet another gaming group (sense a theme here?). It was nice. I got to hear all the little details about how her pregnancy's going, and all the neat things the baby (a boy, by the way) is doing in her tummy. It was a very definite female bonding thing.

Then she threw me for a loop. We were talking about what will happen as her due date gets closer, and about going to the hospital, and so on. Dawn was worried, because Jason works a good distance from home, and she was nervous about being alone when she does go into labor. Understandably so. I asked if maybe her mom would come stay with her. Now, Dawn's mom is, to say the very least, a little unstable. Even as I said it, I knew that she probably wouldn't be the most calming influence on Dawn, were she around. Dawn and I laughed, both realizing that probably wasn't the best idea. Then Dawn said, "Well, one thing I did find out was that I'm allowed to have two people in the delivery room with me. I already asked Jason what he thought, and we both thought about you."

I think I squeaked, "You want me in the delivery room?" I don't know if I can describe how I felt. I was amazingly honored, more than a little nervous. Typical of me, I almost started to cry. These two are my oldest friends, and they want me to be there when their son is born. I'm so excited about this. I don't know, I feel like I should start reading all these "what to expect when you're expecting" books, just so I know what to expect. I'm also hoping to arrange things so I can stay with Dawn near her due date.

We've always joked about me being "Crazy Aunt Lisa" to their kids, but this makes me truly feel like I'm family, friendship beyond just friendship. It feels as much like a responsibility as a privilege, and it's one that I want. In fact, I admitted to Dawn, when I first found out she was pregnant, I wanted to be there, but that's not exactly something you can just ask of someone, you know?

I know I'm probably being oversentimental, but I keep thinking of first meeting Dawn when I was in ninth grade, and knowing Jason in eighth grade, and how everything started falling into place when we were seniors. Who knew that things would get here? Looking at the picture of the three of us on graduation day (oh, for a scanner!), who knew that twelve years later the three of us would still be as close? Closer, even?

Sometimes I feel sad, because I think of all the friends I've had through the years who were so close to me, and who I never even see anymore, sometimes never think of anymore. This New Year's party this weekend, I think it's the first time I've ever done the same thing for New Year's two years in a row. It's the first time I've ever been in the same place with the same friends for two years in a row, I think. It's definitely the first year I've ever thought I might be doing the same thing next year. It's a good feeling. I feel like I have roots. Nourishing roots, not confining ones. For that reason alone, I would love my friends. The fact that they're interesting and entertaining and caring and all of that? That's even better!

Posted by Lisa at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

Happy New Year! Mine was

Happy New Year!

Mine was wonderful. In true geek form, my gaming group got together for most of the weekend and we gamed in the New Year. I didn't run my Changeling game, largely because while I had a game prepared, it would have been better with more preparation. It worked out well, because our D&D game and our Deadlands game both went really long. They were terrific! At the risk of giving far more detail than any non-gamer wants to know, I'll just say that my D&D character threw me a curveball and ended up going in a direction I hadn't quite anticipated (which, if you've been paying attention, you'll know that's a good thing), and my Deadlands character finally started doing what she was designed to do.

(Everyone knows what D&D is, I'm sure. Deadlands is a game set in a weird, supernatural version of the Wild West. It's a lot of fun!)

And in other news, I got to spend part of the weekend just hanging out with Dawn (the Momma), which was also a good thing. More to come on that later, if I get a chance to write an entry. I found out something pretty amazing.

Additionally, it's busy season here now, officially. The panic has started already. I've never heard so many frantic accountants. Well, not since last busy season, anyway.

Posted by Lisa at 07:36 AM | Comments (0)