Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Hugo thinks I should call my blog "Land-O-Lacey." I deigned to raise my eyebrows at the suggestion. He didn't press the issue.

Guess what -- I'm completely caught up on my schoolwork! Wow! I am amazed. I thought I'd be struggling along playing catch-up for another week or two at least, but I'm all up-to-date on assignments and readings and everything! I worked a half day yesterday, from 9-noon, then headed to the library to crank out some problem sets. The library was really busy; I talked to my friend Beverly who works there in the music history section, and she said there were a number of school groups in for the afternoon, so it was a bit of a challenge finding someplace I felt I had some quietish personal space where I could concentrate, but I found it, and I got my work done. I did differential equations for about four hours, until linear ODEs and inverse LaPlace transforms were coming out my ears (if only you'd been there to see them!). Then I came home and did all of my physics homework that was due today. I ended up not having to turn it in, because my professor is in the hospital having some sort of gall bladder surgery and lecture was cancelled, but it's nice to have it done anyway, because I have another problem set due next week. I have a bit of a break on math homework for next week, because I have an exam on Monday -- hmmm, is that a good thing or not? All in all, though, I'm feeling much better and more confident about how school stuph is going this quarter than I have yet. I should go to the library more often.

I have fun jobs at work this week. I get to train Alan, our "new guy" (he was part time temp during the holiday season, but we hired him full time, and a good thing, too) to do all sorts of things. I'm not quite sure why the're having me train him; maybe because I do most of the things he'll be doing more often than most of the other people, maybe because I'm only around half time now and they figure I might as well spend the time I am there being useful in training somebody else to do my job all the time that I'm not there. Either way, I like training, and Alan is quick to catch on, so I think it'll be a rather good week at work.

We started burning the first of the drip candles I got the other day. After a while we noticed that there was something wrong -- it had been burning for a nice long time, but hadn't dripped at all. In fact, we had watched a pool of red wax start growing up on top of the candle, and the next time we looked back it had disappeared, and not down the sides of the candle! The wick was too thick, and was burning all of the wax rather than making it spill. I was afraid that all of the candles in the case would be similarly defective, but we put a new one in this evening and it works just fine. I was playing around melting the other one onto it, and found a lovely bright blue color in it that I don't remember from the other candles. That was a pleasant surprise.

Hugo found a "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" quiz on the BBC website, and we did it together while I was washing dishes before dinner. We ended up with 80%, because we couldn't agree on a few of the answers. Then, of course, he went looking for more Hitchhiker stuph online. He found the H2G2 website, which is basically designed to be like the Guide itself, where you can open it up and look for absolutely anything. Lots of people posting on lots of random stuph, just for fun and to have it out there. There were some pretty funny things. Check this out if you're interested:

Okay, I think that's enough for today. I guess a nice long blog entry today makes up for my negligence the past few days. :)

P.S. Graham, I made that link on my very own! Aren't you proud of me? :P

Monday, January 27, 2003

Too Many Textbooks

Okay, I'm confused. Very very confused.

I just answered a knock on the door to find a package on the porch, textbook-sized. I thought, "Wow, that book that Seth sent sure got here quick. It doesn't look like the sort of packaging he would have used, though...." And I was right on that count -- it wasn't from him. But it was a physics book -- from the people that were supposed to send it to me originally! So I guess they were right in their email, though still rather rude. But now I'm wondering who on earth sent me a second differential equations book -- because it obviously wasn't this company, and it wasn't the one I ordered it from -- the two came in completely different packages from different places. Unfortunately, I didn't keep the packaging from the first math book I received; that would have been smart, but oh well. But I just got my credit card bill in the mail, and I was only charged for one math and one physics book. So where did the other one come from? Because now I definitely have two differential equations textbooks, and very soon I will have two physics textbooks as well, when the one that Seth sent arrives in a couple days. Aaack! What am I supposed to do with them all?!!!!

I also got more Chinese herbs in the mail from Mom. Yay for Chinese herbs! I'm feeling much much better now -- I woke up this morning feeling more normal than I have for a week, so I think I might actually make it through school today (though I'm not looking forward to my physics test). Got to get back to homework!

Saturday, January 25, 2003

I asked Kirsty this evening what she had seen today that was pretty, and she said she didn't know. I told her that you can't go a day without seeing something pretty, which got me to thinking of what I had seen today that was pretty (while she drew me a picture of a tree she had seen in the woods). I must admit that I haven't been out the front door today, and I probably would have been hard pressed to find anything traditionally classed as "pretty" out there if I had -- it's all wet and rainy and grey and sludgy out there. I'm usually good at finding beauty in grey days, but I didn't exacly experience this one, so I didn't have a chance to. Here's a list of the pretty things I found in the apartment today:

- My new desktop picture, a dragonfly
- The colored-wax-encrusted wine bottle we burn our drippy candles in
- My rainbow hanging string thing that my Dad and Betty Lue gave me when I moved to Oregon
- The rose hanging to dry on the kitchen wall
- The picture Kirsty drew me of the two of us under a sunny rainbow sky (literally, the sky was one big rainbow, and an upside down one, at that! :) )
- Certain pictures in this year's Harmony collection -- particularly one of my two wonderful Mommies, both beautiful women inside and out
- The Renegade Rose Morris Dancers "business" card I taped to my monitor
- Kirsty's twirly purple velvet dancing dress
- The Vienna Teng c.d. that I'm listening to right now (okay, so that's hearing pretty and not seeing, but it still counts, right?)

I like making lists of pretty things. It brings a little extra piece of happy to the day that wouldn't normally be there if you just went through the day seeing but not really noticing everything. I've been feeling sleepy and sickish and rather cranky and out-of-sorts in general today (apologies to those who had to experience that!), but now I feel a bit better. As long as I don't start thinking about my homework, and the physics test I have on Monday.....

Friday, January 24, 2003

My Hero of the Day

Seth! Who read of my trials and tribulations with the physics textbook, and this morning mailed me his copy of exactly the book I need -- and the extended version, at that! Hooray! It doesn't look like I'm going to be able to return the stupid math book that I got sent (I got a pretty rude automated email response to my complaint which basically told me that they shipped the correct book, I was stupid, and there was nothing I could do about it.) So I'll probably try to sell that one online somehow, or sell it back to the bookstore at the end of the quarter (anybody need a copy of "Differential Equations" second edition? :P ) But at least I won't have to go spend a pile of money on yet another physics book. Yay for loans from nice people. Thanks, Seth!

I went back to work today in an attempt to get a semi-decent number of hours on my timesheet for this week. Not a hard day as this job goes, but far too long for me. I took in a Nalgene bottle full of tea and a roll of toilet paper. That lasted me pretty well through the morning, but my energy just went downhill in the afternoon. By the time I got home I was pretty much done in and just went and crashed on my bed for a while until I could at least enunciate well enough to communicate with moderate success. I'm feeling a bit better now after having slurped some dinner (mmm, smoked salmon spaghetti) and chewing some orange juice (yes, I do mean chewing -- it's good stuph!), but I think I'll still go to bed pretty soon. This cold or whatever it is is definitely progressing, so I don't think it's anything serious. It's just taking me a while to get to a manageable point. Sigh. At least it's weekend-time now, so I have two days to get better (and catch up on homework -- eek!) when I wouldn't be getting paid anyway.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 23, 2003

I got two packages in the mail today! One was very happy-making -- a whole case of color-drippy candles! Very exciting.

The other package should have been happy-making as well, but instead has me very confused and frustrated and angry. I got all excited about it, because it was obviously the other textbook that I had ordered that I hadn't gotten yet (hence my photocopying my physics book yesterday afternoon). But when I opened it up I found that it was not the expected "Fundamentals of Physics," but another "Differential Equations." I don't get it! Now I have two math books and no physics book, and that doesn't make for a very happy Lacey. Ugh. So now I have to figure out a way to either order the book for somewhere else and hope it arrives in a timely fashion (i.e., before we get to chapter 6), or bite the bullet and buy it back full price from the PCC bookstore. Ugh.

Other than that, it's been a mellow day, if you can classify being sick and out-of-it as mellow. I didn't go to work today, because I don't think it would have been good for anybody. Unfortunately, since I'm only working 20 hours a week, missing one day of work is missing almost half of my hours for the week. Not good. Hopefully I'll be able to make it in tomorrow, as long as I promise not to breathe on anybody. Mom's sending me more Chinese herbs (yay!) and Hugo is buying me tomato soup as I type. Mmmmm....

Time to go back to bed. It's a good thing I like reading.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Ugh. I hate being sick. It's no fun. And I thought I was doing so well fighting off this evil thing that Hugo has had since New Years. But I guess it (or something else) was just too determined to get me. Humph. It came on like a freight train last night while I was making dinner, and by the time we sat down to eat I could barely lift my fork and definitely wasn't in the mood for curry (which, I might mention, was far from a culinary success, which didn't improve my appetite). Needless to say, I didn't go to school today. Which sucks because I missed a physics lab and a math quiz. Ugh. I've spent most of the day in bed, in varying states of consciousness, with a brief visit to the outside world in the early afternoon. This consisted of a trip to Kinkos to photocopy the next two chapters of my physics textbook so I could return the book to the school bookstore for a full refund before the deadline. You see, after I had bought my textbooks from the PCC bookstore I found that I could get them for a lot cheaper through ebay's, so I ordered them. The only problem is that my physics book hasn't arrived yet. So I'm hoping it does before we're through with Chapter 5, otherwise I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the school library. Hugo did take me over to campus this afternoon to return my textbooks and turn in my lab and problem sets, which was very nice of him.

On a happier note, I managed to get refunded for a book that I didn't actually return. The solutions manual for my differential equations book came shrink-wrapped with the books I bought from PCC, but not with the book I bought on the internet. It's really useful sometimes, though, so I figured I'd try to keep it if I could. The lady at the refund desk didn't ask if there was another book with the math book -- she just asked if it was shrink-wrapped, to which I truthfully answered "yes," and then she refunded the whole price. So I got my solutions manual for free. Yay.

I think it's time to stop typing now and maybe go lie down again. Maybe after I make myself some more tea.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Yay for finishing homework before dinner! and having time to make cookies! Mmm, chocolate oatmeal cookies. (To make up for the cheesecake that I didn't end up making yesterday.) I remembered an important lesson regarding studying today -- the benefits of walking away and letting something be for a while if you're completely stuck. I must have spent about two hours yesterday struggling with one of my diff eq problem sets, finally decided to scratch it for the night, and today I picked it up, read two pages of the textbook over again, and whipped the problem set out in less time than I spent trying to figure out the first problem yesterday. It's good to get a fresh look at things once in a while.

It's also good to recognize when things are really truly not going to work, no matter how hard you try. Hugo and I spent an inordinate amount of time last night trying to download and configure things that would enable me to set up my Mac on the IBM network he has for his three PCs in the apartment. This was mainly for the purpose of allowing me to connect to his printer so I didn't have to bring mine up from the basement and clutter the place up further. Which is what ended up happening in the end, after my poor Murgatroid crashed about twelve times in a row on startup and I finally uninstalled Dave (the program that was supposed to work these wonders.) (Oh, yeah, and after Hugo somehow locked himself out of his own computer and hasn't been able to get on since -- his company computer *wince*) So now I have my printer back up here and get to experience all of the adventures associated with it (gotta love tempermental technology).

By the way, happy National Hugging Day! Thank you, Graham, for reminding me. It's a nice thing to remember, especially since I always like all the hugs I can get. So if you're reading this, give yourself a hug for me!

Monday, January 20, 2003

Mmmmmm... Yoga is nice (though painful at times). I decided that it was time to start attempting to resurrect some of my yoga and other stretching and good habits, so for the past couple of days we've been shoving the futon off to the side of the living room in the morning so it blocks the door and makes a nice big open floor space for yoga-izing. Hugo tried some of the poses yesterday, but lack of a yoga mat on a hardwood floor is rather, well, hard. This morning he contented himself with glancing over periodically and making remarks such as "What on earth are you doing now?" :)

Differential equations are not nice. And I have three problem sets due for that class on Wednesday -- ugh! So you can guess what I've been doing with my holiday. But I'm going to make cheesecake later on, so I have something to look forward to while I work. Yum. But first I need to get back to work....

Sunday, January 19, 2003

My very second blog entry! (Okay, I think that's enough of that. Î'll stop now.)

Thanks to Graham for setting this up for me, and for calling and talking me through how to post things and patiently calling me back every time I disconnected the phone call by putting the phone on my shoulder while trying to type...... :)

I figured it might be a good idea to have my own web log up to let you all know how I'm doing, since I never seem to have the time that I would like to write or call everybody individually. At least this way you'll be able to keep up with my doings in some way -- it's sort of like talking to all of you at once!

Life is busy. I'm very glad that tomorrow is a holiday, since I haven't gotten much schoolwork done this weekend. I don't particularly relish the thought of spending my holiday doing homework, but I'd rather do that than try to cram it all in after a long day at school. For those of you who don't know, I'm taking differential equations and mechanics at Portland Community College. Thrilling, huh?

I think that's about it for my very second blog entry. :) This is very exciting. Now all I have to do is remember that I have it and post to it once in a while. :)
My very first blog entry! Whoopeeeeee!!!!!