0 comments Monday, June 28, 2004

Remember the auction I mentioned?

Well, I won. Woo! I get that art print plus a sketch of Zephaniah Valery, the lead male protagonist. I was trying to decide if I wanted Ryan or Zephaniah. I figured, since I am getting Azalea, the lead female protagonist, that I might as well get Zephaniah instead of Ryan. ;)

Now, no more spending on other items, aside from my vacation to Prague, except books for college and college/apartment related items. <right>

As previously noted, I'm going on vacation to Prague, Czech Republic and Aviano, Italy. We leave tomorrow and will be in Prague until July 2nd, after which we'll be in Aviano until we return on July 6th.

Sounds like fun, huh? It should be. I just hate being crammed in car for more than two the three hours. I'll deal with it though. I'm only bringing 50 euro with me since I don't have much money to spend. (None, in actuality, but that's another story!) So, I won't be buying too much. I'll just be taking some pictures, buying Czech cookies and anything else of interest that's not overly expensive. As for Italy, well, I'm not planning on spending anything there unless I really feel the need to. Italy is nice, but since I've been there many times it has started to get old. It's still fun, but not as much.

Well, looks like I need to get to packing and send an e-mail to Marty about what's going on before the July 1st deadline. I hope he can accept that I've only gotten my DI and POI (mostly done) done. I think he wanted the speeches done first, but I'm not too hyped about the inform, at least, not yet. If that's what he's concerned about, he can wait until the next update. I hope. LOL!

Hope everyone has a good Independence Day! I'll post pictures from the trip on the 6th or 7th!

0 comments Saturday, June 26, 2004

Earlier this week on Monday, I found out why I hadn't received my first paycheck or any of my money yet. Turns out that while we faxed my paperwork to the main campus, we forgot to send it. One of those "Murphy Moments," I guess.

Anyway, now that the paperwork has been sent, it should either be a week, hopefully, or three more weeks until I actually get paid. The latter of the two really doesn't sound to appealing to me, especially since I want to start buying some of my books for fall now. As I already mentioned, I'm taking five classes next semester with a 17 credit courseload:

  • Anthropology 102 -- 5 books :: Bookstore total= $150; Half.com total= $108
  • Communications 114 (Speech) -- Already have the books
  • Communications 214 (Debate) -- Already have the books
  • Comp. Science 125 -- 1 books :: Bookstore total= N/A; Half.com total= N/A
  • Energy for Society (ENGR 100) -- 2 books :: Bookstore total= N/A (but the books are the professors, so I'll probably only be able to get them there.
  • Japanese 201 -- Book Bundle :: From what I can tell, I already have this bundle from 101-102. A great investment ;)

Given the fact that I don't know the total amount for two of the classes I don't have books for, I can't completely estimate how much I'm going to end up paying for books this semester. I'm guessing it's going to be around $250 to $300. Hopefully, though, half.com will help me save a good amount of money. However, half.com is going to be integrating into ebay soon, which means I'll probably have to bid for used books in the future. Personally, I think bidding on textbooks is a stupid idea, but I'm not the one who organized it to be that way.

Anyway, taking into account the total amount of money I'll end up making by the time I leave: Roughly $1000-1200.
Subtract $200 for my MP3 player and Caryn's birthday gift;
Subtract, for simplicity's sake, $250 for books...
and that's half my summer job money right there.

Thankfully, though, I have a nice extra $250/semester to spend on books and such thanks to one of my scholarships that went directly to my account. Those ones happen to be my favorite. So, that taken into account means that I really only have to pay for the MP3 player and gift and keep 3/4 of my money for various other things I need, more so than want.

But on that note, I've been bidding on eBay for a simple art print by the amazing Hanz Tseng. What originally started off as a $20 print has now turned into a $35 print with me in the lead. But, I'm sure that someone will try and knock it up to $40 soon enough. Hopefully not, though. While it is just an art print of a character from Hanz's online manga, I think it's a worthwhile cause since it helps him get to Otakon and, hopefully for his sake, on the way to making manga comicbooks. Plus, if I win the auction I get another sketch of any DoD character of my choosing. Sounds kewl to me. ;) (This is on the want list, and while it appears it has taken some precedent over my books, I assure you it hasn't...heh, heh.)

Budget, Books, Bidding... ah yes, Goodbyes.

I just wanted to note that Veneliza is flying back to Massachusetts on Sunday to take Calculus this summer. It kind of sucks because we didn't really get to hang out too much this summer; in part because of Sean, Victor, Tom Z. and others, and because of my own partaking (and the fact that I don't have a car I can drive here). I just wanted to let her know that, since I know she reads this, I didn't miss Friday on purpose, at least, not the pool. We ended up going to the passport office at 1:30 and didn't leave until about 2:20ish. When I finally got home I just decided that I didn't want to go to the LAN party because I didn't want to hang out with anyone there, except Veneliza and Jeff. Needless to say, I didn't go and I didn't get a call or any word about it, thankfully for the better. I just hope that Veneliza isn't upset by my numerous actions this last week (i.e. SM deletion). If she is, well, I'm sorry, but I did what I felt needed to be done and I hope it doesn't cause too many problems. In other words, if you are reading this Veneliza, let me know what's up. ;) Have a safe flight back! And yes, we'll hang out sometime again, after all, I've never been to an all girls college before. Mmmm, sounds like fun to me!


Today was my second consecutive Saturday test proctoring for OU. At $10/hr, I'm more than willing to read books and magazines while the students agonize over their horrific tests. No doubt, in about two to three years time I'll be in their shoes doing the same thing. Hopefully without a family of my own though.

That's right. The students I test happen to be my elders by at least 10 years to an upwards 25. Not only are they older than me, but their educational journey and status greatly differ from mine. Instead of going through college the straight four (or more) years, most either had a family or joined the military by the time they were my age. I assume the latter of the two for financial reasons or, possibly, family tradition. Regardless of the actual reason, from what I've seen and heard from the majority of students I've encountered at this job I've come to the following conclusion: I'm not getting married anytime soon or joining the military ever.

When I told the students I was proctoring for the MBA exam that I was only 19, one of them specifically noted that it was "good that I was going through college now than after I had a family [of my own]." Indeed. I thought about his comment and began to wonder what actually prompted him to say that. Had it really been so difficult to decide between his own needs and wants? Or, perhaps, was it the allure of love/family that made the decision for him? I wasn't sure, but it still had me wondering: Are their situations when it's best to give up your needs, wants, and goals for someone else or something?

On prime examination of that question, I would say no, not immediately. Perhaps, out of selfishness too. Upon further examination, though, I would have to say that I say "No" promptly because of the lesson of my parents who were married by the time they were my age. They also already had one son, my older brother, 2 at the time, and were soon expecting another kid, me. Unlike me, they didn't really get to go to college. My dad only went to college for a year and my mother didn't get to go at all, even though she graduated salutatorian from her high school. Yet, here I am, one year of college down and planning on going through the rest without too much interruption. I even have goals right after I graduate, goals that will hopefully take me to Japan for at least two years. When I think about it, I'm doing what my parents didn't really get to do. That's probably why the students comment made me think about my college education so much--he was once like me, but for some reason or another he ended up choosing a path that lead him to this point in time with a family and many issues I have yet to encounter. Unlike him, though, I plan to keep on track and do what I want to do before I am swayed into anything else, be it by fate or decision. After all, I wouldn't ask anyone to give up their needs, wants, and goals for me (at least, not for my own purposes or maliciously), so I hope it would not be expected of me.

Still, as I sat there in that room and watched that man take his test with all he had done up to this point, I couldn't help but think that this man didn't sacrifice his needs, wants, or goals; but rather, he had fulfilled his wishes and was trying to fulfill the ones he knew were still possible in time with everything else he had already achieved. Perhaps, then, he really did do what he wanted/needed the most?

I can only hope that I'll do similar, but again, not the same as him. A similar outcome...minus the kids, at least, for a while. That sounds about right to me.;)

0 comments Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Parcel Post, SAM, book rate. Three rates of postal service that when in the continental United States aren't too slow compared to first class and priority. However, when you send anything (especially books) at one of those rates outside the continental United States, it is beyond slow. About 43 days slow.

I can't complain too much though, after all, I got my books finally. So, now I can continue the studying to include Nihongo and, possibly, math. So, all is well again.

If you understand the meaning of the last entry (listed below):

So far, no one has noticed its deletion, not yet. I'm sure someone will soon enough, but I think because it is summer and it hasn't been written in since the beginning of June that it will be until July before anything happens. I'm not really betting though. When they notice they'll come to me about it and I'll tell them in the same manner they told me: without words, without actions, without empathy or concern.

Looks like I was right in my assumption: just another scar ;)

0 comments Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Poised and positioned,
I am connected
but it seems
this time
I stand corrected;

I am rejected
I'm apart
but I swear it's right
I know I'm right
so I'll break away tonight

Blistered and broken,
I am scattered
taken away from me
another time
It is shattered;

I am rejected
I'm apart
but I swear it's right
I know I'm right
so I'll break away tonight

Sever this tie
it's paper thin
I'm not lying to myself
I'm not trying to win
just trying to let it go,
let something new begin;

I am rejected
I'm apart
but I swear it's right
I know I'm right
so I'll end this tonight

I have to admit that I followed the beat to "Vindicated" by DC, but it works better that way.

0 comments Friday, June 18, 2004

Slow it down,
turn around,
and give it to me

These fast paced motions
leave me behind
standing solidified,
contemplating your curves
and where I want to be.

I've gone astray of the line
from point A to B,
and then I lost my way
retracing the treads of history
to the elusive nature
of what you've become

Are you a mission,
in position,
of where I

Or a scar,
from a cut,
I carved into my hand?

0 comments Monday, June 14, 2004

Well, it's official, I've revamped the bulk of my schedule to reflect the same amount of credits I had originally for this semester but with fewer classes and, hopefully, a less stressful setup. At 17 credits total, it better be less stressful! When I originally planned out my schedule for the fall, I wasn't really taking major/minor oriented classes because I was trying to "gun down" my generals in order to take other classes. However, after further review of the interesting 128 credit hour Computer Science and Communications degree credit requirements, I decided it was best to change my schedule while retaining a few staples in my schedule. I'm still keeping Japanese 201, of course, Debate, Speech, and Energy for Society, but I dropped the others. I really wanted to take Swimming, but apparently it conflicts with almost every class I currently have. In it's place, though, I am now taking a Computer Science class that I'm a little uncertain of. It's worth four credit hours, but I can't tell what the class will be like from the course description or from anywhere else on the college website. While some teachers have previous semesters syllabi up, this class doesn't have a single one posted except for a very general course description. From that description, I'm either in for "the long haul" or a fairly decent ride. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Then, I dropped and re-added Anthropology 102 on Tuesday night from 6-9pm. While I hate night classes, I believe that this class will go fairly smooth given the previous semester's course syllabus and my questions to the professor. According to both, so far, there are no essays per se like the ones I had to do for my History 111 class, but there might be short answer/simple essay questions on the exams (especially if I miss a test and have to make it up). I think I can deal with that though, given the rest of my schedule will be somewhat hectic enough. And, from looking at my schedule right now, I'm predicting that I'll end up hating Tuesday's. However, in general, I think I'll enjoy my schedule given that certain classes (i.e. Debate, Japanese, Comp Sci.) don't kill me.

Speaking of Debate, I've taken a temporary vacation from speech writing to focus on World on Fire by Amy Chua. While I've only gotten through a sub-section of chapter one, the book is very interesting and is helping me focus on key issues and instances I'll be able to detail during debates. More on that note, Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis has also shed light on government policy and various other topics that I need to further research in order to do better this semester. Heck, I can't blame all of my losses on Christian, even if he didn't help me out. (Though, Annah, Brad, and Marty don't seem to care that he's gone. In fact, I think two of the three named celebrated his dismissal...or maybe all of them and more.)

Current Status:
DI - Basically done, cut and being memorized. I'm working on the accent with the help of my accent book.
POI - I can't find a poem like the one that that "hot black guy slammed at the vigil (A horny Lacey quote)." The task of finding a poem that borders along the lines of "I'm a Man, because I feel" has proven harder than I imagined. Google searches haven't turned up much, poetry sites haven't helped, and I'm curious to see if I might be able to find something on, dare I say it, deviantart.com.
Inform - Pondering Barton's idea he said I could use. I think it'd be good, but I'm wondering how I'd spin it. I'm still waiting for an e-mail from Marty about topics.
CA/ADS/Other - Exactly. I don't know what the fug' I'm doing as a fourth event. Lacey, Barton, any ideas? Maybe I should be asking the coaches...maybe, but not just yet. ;)

With all this free time from work, you'd think I'd be doing things other than debate, right? Well, I'm not. Why? Well, I haven't gotten my first paycheck yet, so I don't really have money to buy things. I do have money to do hangout with friends, but most of them are busy working, hanging out with the families or significant other, or just blowing me off. Either way, it's not a big deal. I'm not back here for them, but it would be nice to hang out with them if they weren't busy, joined at the hip to their families/significant others, ignoring me for some reason. I'm not sure why the last reason listed would even come into play, but I guess, given my record of pissing people off this year alone (i.e. Ana, Adriana, Cinco, Ashley, Peter [fruitcake], Heather, etc.), I probably managed to piss off quite a few people here without realizing it. Granted, I know a select few that I did intentionally piss off, but I didn't like them and they deserved it (i.e. Steve, the dumbass who's still stuck in H.S. "MOVE ON DOUCHE, MOVE ON!"). Or others who I believe I accidentally pissed off (i.e. Sean, apparently group blogs don't work for everyone and some calculators are bigger than others) through various actions of my undertaking. On the whole, though, I think it's just me being me. No, not in the slutty sense like Ana or Adriana. Please, like I get any bedroom action! I'm on a debate team. No, I mean it in the sense that "Either you like me or you don't. If you do, I'm probably not pissing you off. If you don't, well, you're a lost cause because I could care less." Apparently that policy doesn't always work, though. See how many friends I made in my dorm this year?

My point exactly.

So, until I get my money, I'm not buying much of anything. Until my friends want to hang out, I'm continuing with work and debate. Until my brother gets here, I'm enjoying myself. Until my package of books arrives, I'm praying and constantly worried that I lost them and other important papers. Until August rolls around, I'm keeping busy with what's important since that seems to be the best course of action. I take it everyone else is doing the same.

0 comments Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Another warm and humid day in Germany, and there's no AC. That's one thing that's always mystified me about Europe. For being a vastly populated region and technologically advanced, they don't have AC. The rare buildings that do are usually businesses. It's not too big a deal, but it gets hot in the house. I'm wondering how much the window tint will help now that it's up.

It also gets hot at work. The building doesn't have AC either, so we're busting out the huge box fan now. Reminds me of last summer when our office got this huge industrial fan that cooled the room nicely, but practically created a tornado in the process.

The heat gets me sometimes, but everything else is going well. Most of it is within control too, unlike the weather.

Work has been going well. Though, we did have this one guy come in on Monday that tried to weasel his way out of paying the penalty for dropping a class after the add/drop date. He claimed that since, "he didn't know how to drop the class" he couldn't drop it by the add/drop date. To which my co-worker and I replied "No. We gave you three pieces of documentation that stated how to drop a class, when to drop it, and the penalty fees accrued the longer you wait. One of which was signed by you (the guy), the other was in the informational packet, and the last one is a print out of the directions that are listed online." Needless to say, he didn't like that too much. He still tried to weasel his way out though by inquiring if the time difference would allow him to drop it on time. Again, no. Some people just can't own up I guess.

What's interesting about this week is that the Germans have another holiday off, because they don't have enough already. Now, I like the Germans and Germany, but I have to say that some of the ones on the base are pretty lazy. They have holiday this Thursday and, because of the honorable President Regan's passing, they also have Friday off. To top it all off, though, many of them have taken Wednesday off or will call in "sick" to get and extended vacation. Funny how the local nationals get their holidays off, plus American holidays, plus extended sick leave. I'm sure many people would love to have a job like that.

As the post below notes, I still haven't gotten my books. I'm dealing with it, but I could really use them for Debate and Japanese. Debate is going well enough though. Degas is pretty much done in terms of cutting and ML, but the accent required to perform the piece well enough is not on the dot. So, I bought an Accent for Actors book to help me out. It cost $28, but I think it'll be worth it. It better be or I'd like a refund. I need to sound FRENCH, not uber-white! I can do the latter naturally. :P

I've also been managing my finances and allocating the spendature into what I want and what I need. Simple enough. In the want category, I've already bought two posters, pictured on the right and left, to put up in my apartment room. So, I guess they aren't on the want list anymore now that I have them. LOL! Well, there are two more I do want, but they are more expensive then the Kill Bill ones.

They also happen to be the ones I wanted more, but because they cost five times as much, I refrained. I'll probably just buy one and then wait until I get enough money for the other. They are, after all, not that important. Though, the "want list" seems to be greater in amount and cost than the "need list," if I exclude next semester's text books. XD

No worries though.

I know what I need to spend it on, the ballpark range of what all that will cost, and the ballpark range of what I'll have left over for wants and anything else, should I choose to spend it after I buy all my essentials. Yes, I've accomplished one of the many things on my list of things to do this summer: to become more scheduled and planned out. (Let's not include the potential loss of my books though, that happened before the summer! :P ) Hopefully I'll accomplish the whole list, but some items can't be scratched off until I return to Idaho.

Next on the list: read 4-5 supplemental debate books; complete speeches; practice flame meditation; work out at least 3 times a week; enjoy a vacation somewhere; practice standard mode on DDR (Did you really think I could just drop DDR from my schedule. Pffh! Yeah right!) The other listings I'll leave unlisted until I meet them further down the journey that is this summer.

Wouldn't want to jump the gun now, would we?

I don't want to be anything other than what I've been trying to be lately
All I have to do is think of me and I have peace of mind...
I don't want to be anything other than me

0 comments Monday, June 07, 2004

I think taking steps back through the past, specifically of events hastily past, is one of the hardest things to do. I remember the time Lacey thought she lost her wallet and was freaking out as she frantically searched her room for a good 30 minutes, only to find she left in her backpack...the last place she put it.

My situation is somewhat similar, though not nearly as important. I sent my school books from Idaho the day before I left and they still haven't arrived. Granted, I sent them Parcel Post and it was a heavy package, but I didn't expect it to take this long. This Friday, if the books don't arrive, it will have been four weeks since I sent them. So, I tried to retrace my memory back to May 13th...

I remember boxing up my books and taking them to the post office and sending them off. I remember it cost me $33.10 and that I was in a hurry, so I didn't insure it. I remember getting the recepit, but I can't remember if I left it in the car or in my dorm. After I left the post office, I got back to the dorm and, with the great help of Lacey, cleared most of my dorm out.

Obviously, though, I can't remember what I did with the recepit. I either threw it away or left it in Idaho and lost it. Whatever the case may be, though, I'm still holding out hope that those books arrive. In my weariness, I checked out the amount of time it usually takes for a parcel post package to make it to Germany and found out that it can take anywhere between one to two months. While that is lengthy, I'm still holding out hope that they're on their way. I'm just afraid the box busted open on the way over and my 10 books got lost on their way over.

They are just books, indeed. Though, they are books that, if lost, I'll have to replace since I need them. Needless to say, I'm praying.

0 comments Saturday, June 05, 2004

Welcome unwelcoming.
It's becoming the better of me.
I'll distance myself so you don't have to see.
I'll build bridges only to let the burn
...you need not be concerned.
I'll climb mountains and slip away
...you'll never hear a word I say.
I'll leave where I can just be
...I may never completely escape you,
but I'll be happy
with me.

This is why I didn't want to come back...

0 comments Thursday, June 03, 2004

There are, on occassion, a great many things I am thankful for (and lucky to receive) in Germany. Besides the love of my family, DELICIOUS GERMAN FOOD, and various other goodies one of these "great things" happens to be early viewing of movies BEFORE they reach the states.

That's right, I saw Harry Potter : The Prisoner of Azkaban this evening.

So, you might be curious, since I know almost all of you in the states haven't seen it yet, how it was? Here's my review:

After much antcipation, I was excited to finally see the 3rd Harry Potter (HP) movie. However, it must be said that while the movie is well done and interpreted well (in my opinion, more on this later), a lot of the details from the book were left out. For starters, new character development was somewhat weak. Professor Lupin, my favorite Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor, lacked proper development. You get introduced to him, and you find out most of the stuff you would in the book, but certain aspects of him like his relationship with James Potter, Sirius Black, Snape, and others is not developed as well as it was in the book. You don't understand the meaning behind their nicknames unless you read the book. Also lacking in character development: Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, Professor Treelawny (not that you miss much of that though!), and Crookshanks. I'll leave the actual readers of the book to see what I mean.

Certain situational things were also left out like the timing of the demeantors, the firebolt, and certain other events. Again, readers will notice.

There is much more, but on the whole I think it was well done. The tone of the movie was probably the best aspect of the movie. In previous HP movies the tone was lighter and more positivie, this chapter, however, paints a much darker picture. Instead of the sunny air sweeps of the castle, you'll be subjected to darker shots and darker colors. On interpretatoin, I believe the location of the Whomping Willow and Hagirds housing is more accurate than in other movies. They are in the same place as they were in the first book, but I think where they are in here is more correct.

As readers, not just watchers, I let you be the judge. I enjoyed it, even though it was somewhat butchered. Curon did a good job.

Besides HP, work and my cold kept me busy this week. I'm still learning a lot of the ropes at work, but for the most part it is going very well. I'm glad I work with a positive, fun boss. However, as I mentioned, my cold kept me pretty occupied. For a good three days I was popping pills ever 4 to 6 hours to ease the symptomps and get rid of my horrendous headaches. I think, now, it's finally cooled off except for my cough and somewhat sore thorat. I just hope it ends soon!

And while it is summer vacation, college and debate are keeping me busy. I'm revamping my schedule as best as possible for the fall to try and better hone the classes I pick toward my major and not just electives or generals. We'll see how that goes though! Be that as it may, one subject won't be changing: debate. I've been working on my DI and POI by getting them put together the way I think they should be before I send them to the coaches for review. On that note, damn the postal service and my shabby account balance for parcel post on my package of books that still hasn't arrived. I'm seriously praying it gets here soon or I might have a nervous break down. It had my Japanese, Math, Debate, and Play/Theather books in it. I'll give it one more week, but if it isn't here, I might have to go postal on someone. Let's hope it doesn't come down to that.

Finally, Blue Irisis for Blue. I miss you! Glad you enjoyed them. Remember that more will be on the way later. :D

Post-Scrpit: I also added a new link to EMOGAME, check it out! It's hilarious! :D