Three o'clock rolled around today and found me in my office at school. This morning saw me head to band practice at 8:00 a.m., only to sit through the entire practice without playing. I'd missed Tuesday's practice and hence the music handout, and they gave my music to the bass clarinetist who sits next to me, but he missed today's practice, so I was out of luck. The plan after band was to head back to the office and do some hardcore studying for my 2:30 p.m. geography test. Instead, based on my on-campus-ness and thus proximity to the university library, I decided to work on something that required the library. My paper for Technical Writing, which is turning into quite the massive tome on gifted education, is just such a something. So I spent from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Ebsco (a collection of databases for searching out academic articles) and cross-referencing with the UNO library to see what I could actually get my hands on. I wound up with about thirty journal articles and books altogether, with call numbers and all. I followed this up with a trip to the library. It took me about an hour to comb through the library, find my books, determine which journal articles were actually worth photocopying, and so on. I nabbed lunch, headed back to my office, ate, and power-studied for geography for an hour. The test was easy - took all of thirty minutes. Which brings me back to my office at 3:00 p.m., when I receive a call from my tutoring student. "I don't really have anything new to go over this week," she tells me. "And I did really well on my last test." This matched my expectations, as last week she was all over her thermodynamics equations like they were hot boys and she was two years older. So I called my buddy Glen about a ride. No va, you see, 'cause he's got strep throat. I was left with the proposition of sitting in my office until Sam could come fetch me around 7:00 p.m. Whine, whine, whine. So I get this bright idea: I'll take the bus. Yeah! It'll be like an adventure. I'll write about it on my blog - do a review of the Omaha MAT system. It'll be sweet. So I go to their website and look up a route and schedule. Because of some convoluted construction at my pickup point, I call and ask where I should be waiting such that I actually do get picked up. By the time I have this idea and all of the information, it's 4:40 p.m., so I pack up and head for the shuttle. The shuttle takes me to Crossroads Mall. I go where the nice lady told me to. It's 4:50 p.m., which means I have twenty-five minutes to wait - I just missed the previous bus. No big deal. I wait. 5:15 p.m. rolls around, though, and there is no number eight eastbound. Mind you, I'm standing here on the sidewalk; there's no enclosure, no bench, and it had rained earlier, so sitting on the ground was a no-no unless I didn't want to wear these pants again tomorrow. Five buses swing past me. It's not until 5:45 p.m. that I actually see a number eight. I lift a hand so the driver can tell I'm waiting, adjust the 60-pound backpack on my back, pick up my bassoon case, and step to the curb. The driver blows right by me. I am very much at that moment saying, "What the fuck?" in my head. The driver apparently snaps to the realization that I had business with her about 100 feet past me. She pulls to a stop, and I run after her with all of the aforementioned luggage. She opens the door. "This is eastbound, right?" I ask. "...not yet, no. I'm just on my way this way. If you want to catch the eastbound, you need to be on the other side of the mall." I look at her dumbly as she says this. "Uh. Ok -" I say, coming to my senses, "- how long will it be before you're eastbound?" Crossroads, I reasoned, is the tail end of this route. It only made sense that she'd be eastbound in short order. "Oh -" she says, and starts counting by fives. "...ah, thirty-five minutes? I go on break here." I am crushed. "Nevermind, then," I say. I really don't want to sit on the bus for that long. In that time, I could very nearly walk home. It's only two miles, after all. She drives off, and I (crushed as I am) start crying. (Did I mention that I'm a wee bit hormonal at the moment? Between monster cramps and the emotional rollercoaster I hit, you should really consider investing in cookies before you approach me.) I pull my phone out of my pocket, as Sam had told me he could leave as early as 5:30 p.m. to come get me. (I had wanted to avoid this - his school schedule requires him to adhere pretty closely to his work schedule to make forty hours.) I tearfully ask him to come get me, explain where I am, and wait. So, I was going to do a rider experience report, and here it is. I never got to ride your stinky buses, Omaha Metro Area Transit. You gave me the wrong fucking directions when I called, and shat on an otherwise decently productive day. I should have listened to my instincts and avoided you at all costs in the first place. No love, Erica
Recently in House! Category
The internet is for porn, they say, and blogs exist solely for the dissemination of information about the adorablee things cats do. Well, this is different. See, one of my cats is doing something that is decidedly not cute or adorable in any way. He's recently reached maturity, and we hadn't taken him to get neutered yet, so he's been spraying. Everywhere. I can tell this isn't just what they call inappropriate elimination (indicating displeasure with litter box arrangements, though in fairness we could probably clean their box a bit more frequently) because it just started with spring, approximately when the kitten (Kolya or Nikola, depending what he peed on) reached maturity, and he only sprays on vertical surfaces. It's a territorial marking behavior. So we've been having to keep him down in the basement where the litter box and the food is, which means we've also had to keep Neal and Five down there as well. We had an appointment set up for March 29 to have Kolya neutered. But see, this also isn't just a rant. I miss my kitties. They're all downstairs, and I hear them at the door, scratching and head-butting it and meowing. I checked all their necessaries - food, water, litter - and it's all there. But they still want to come upstairs, and when I let them out, they might explore for a minute or two, but then they're all over me again, headbutting me and demanding attention. It's why it's so hard to leave them down there. I feel like they love me.
I'll be crossing stuff off as I get it done. I have... nine days, and a total of eighteen items. I think I can do all of what I have to do, and a good deal of what I want to do, so yay!. First, the have-to-do's, in order of have-to-do-it-ness:
- HOMEWORK: Write up four labs. Three of them were technically due last week, but they're really lenient about due dates for these.
TEACHING: Grade labs - four classes worth. HOMEWORK: Optics, due 3/22.
- HOMEWORK: Math Methods, due 3/24.
HOUSE STUFF: Fridge overhaul. Remove anything expired, green (as in, moldy) or unidentifiable. HOMEWORK: Decide on a topic for my Optics term paper.
- HOMEWORK: Start working on my Economics honors paper. Due 4/24, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm going to get less and less time to write stuff like this as the semester progresses, rather than more.
PERSONAL: Neglect friends less. (You know who you are.)(Not that this can really be crossed off as "done", but I'm making good progress. It's not a particularly well-defined task or goal.) PERSONAL: Work on the Protest Signs project.(Bought supplies and started on slogans for this. I'm satisfied that I can work on this in small spurts while in school, with this much out of the way.) PERSONAL: Read Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time". (Review forthcoming.)
- PERSONAL: Newestart design.
- PERSONAL: Talk to Eric about photography for Mythos.
- PERSONAL: Writing-foo.
- HOUSE STUFF: Plan garden. Begin execution. (Sunday. Mom's coming over to lend her gardening brain.)
PERSONAL: Start reading Robert Nozick's "Anarchy, State, and Utopia".(Nozick's smart. I believe this may mark the first time I've gotten a book from a professor that I enjoyed. I'm working on the second chapter now, which is enough momentum to keep me going, I think.)
- PERSONAL: Braindump at Sam about OpenNotes.
- PERSONAL: Braindump at Tyler about Guilt.
PERSONAL: Sleep. Sleep as much as the rest will allow.(Sleep GOOD!)
I didn't post Thursday, and technically I didn't Friday either, though I post late usually so rolling into the next day isn't a huge hairy deal. Negligence, not laziness, is my excuse. I just simply forgot to blog. I apparently did wind up acing that ethics test. I called the professor this afternoon and asked, so yay. I had two classes this morning, then I came home, but not before I managed to plan a semi-impromptu barbeque at our place and invited most of the office. So then I came home and read while I waited for the gas guy to install a gas hookup for our new grill, and I read some of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Ran some errands when I went to pick up Sam, then came home, cleaned a bit, prepped for dinner, and we had our little shindig. It was a blast. We had tons of awesome steak and good drinks and played charades and acted ridiculously. Pictures to come. Spring break, ahoy!
Our bed (headboard, footboard and rails) was delivered today. It's gorgeous! I submit to you: I'm deeply, deeply in love with this bed (and the other furniture - some of which is partly viewable in this photo). In fact, it inspired the oft-skipped (or rather always-skipped) making of the bed, and a lot more cleaning than I usually do. It's funny, but the bedroom stuff is really inspiriing us to keep things cleaner. (We've had some of the set for about a month, some more of it for a week.) I want the pretty wood to show. I don't want the nifty little embellishments piled under a stack of junk. Look at it - it's beautiful! The gorgeousness of the bed greatly reduced the pouting when the bed that matched the rest of the set wouldn't fit up our staircase - a tight squeeze: Anyway, photographic digression aside, it's pretty stuff. And rather than thinking that's frivolous (as I used to), I'm starting to appreciate the psychology of nice things. We invested almost two thousand dollars, after all was said and done, in that bedroom set. Our previous expenditures on furniture have been pretty modest - we have a Sleep Number bed that goes for about that much, but I got it on employee discount back when I was a sales professional for them back in Colorado, which was... a ridiculously substantial discount. Close behind that was our $400 couch. All of the rest has been $10-$80 stuff from Walmart, Target and thrift stores. Now, the stuff from thrift stores looks pretty good - I wouldn't have dropped money on used furniture unless it looked nicer than new stuff at that price point. But the basic white or black or (gag) brown pressboard assemble-at-home shelving units and cabinets and stuff? It's just... ugly. It's uninspiring. It invites clutter, because there's nothing to make you care about it. We're not the tidyest people in the world. Sue us. Life happens and we don't always have the time to pick up after it. Our studio apartment was atrocious. No, make that disgusting. That apartment was basically the equivalent of pressboard assemble-at-home furniture, besides being too small; there was no inherent beauty to it, inspiring us to keep it clean. We still don't have a perfectly clean house, but we do ever-so-much better than we ever have anywhere else. The house is gorgeous. Our stuff is starting to match. And it seems like the more we fill it up with stuff we actually care about, the easier it gets to keep it all nice.
Sam's posting something to this effect right now as well, but it effects me, too, so: We no longer have cellphones. Eeeeevil bill from hell. The new home number? Well - you can IM me (AIM: ekaqi is probably best) or drop me an email - erica at sperari dot com.
Because I've been freaking busy the last couple of weeks, I've not done a proper update. Here's the skivvy.
- We're 85%-ish moved in at the new house. The remaining 15% consists of going to the apartment to pick up a load or two of straggling stuff, cleaning at the apartment, and unpacking some at the house.
- The house is beautiful. Wonderful. Splendiferous. Every day, we find something that we like a little more. Every day, we find something that makes us realize how good a deal we got.
- Classes are going alright. Russian's easy. Computer Tools for Physicists - i.e., Maple - easy. Calculus III should be easy, but I crapped the first test because I slacked off a little too much. World Civ is fascinating, and not terribly difficult, either.
- My labs are going swimmingly. I've got a pattern for grading and reviewing the next material to be taught and having office hours and all of that, so it's smooth sailing. The lab write-ups my students turn in are getting fairly consistently better, which makes me feel great.
- Forensics is going... strangely. I'm trying to put together a persuasive, a program of interpretation, and a poetry piece. The persuasive is too long - I have too much support for my case. I'll have to cut it down by another minute or two, then memorize, refine, perform. My program is missing. It went AWOL in the sea of boxes. I'm considering putting it on a milk carton. The poetry I just started, and I'm not absolutely certain as to my theme, yet - but I've got a lot of ideas, and I'm going to try to have it finished by the end of the weekend.
- Mentoring is going well. (I'm mentoring a student in math through the talented and gifted program at one of the area middle schools.)