Deum, vitam, litteras amemus
.:.:. :.:::. ..:::::. ::::..
Quote of the Whenever I Feel Like Changing It
“And don 't forget, the next time you're planning a family vacation, consider visiting Genovia. A country of majestic mountains and sunbaked beaches, filled with friendly, peppy people. Come see us. Genovia awaits you.” – Joe, “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement”

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middlegirl [userpic]

Yeah, I know I haven't been posting lately, but I'm working 8-and-a-half-hour days, and with tax season coming to an end, work has been crazy-nutso. Add to that the fact that the tax office I'm working at is rather posh, with rather wealthy clients (one drove up one day in a Jaguar and talked about how his company was working on [large-scale televised entertainment event redacted due to confidentiality restrictions] and [Canadian large-scale televised entertainment event redacted due to confidentiality restrictions] and because of that had to give up on [even larger-scale televised sports event redacted due to confidentiality restrictions]), and these clients can be rather high-maintenance and frustrating. So, suffice to say, I've been working my butt off and when I get home I'm just too tired to post.

What am I doing now that I can post? Sitting in the jury room at the county courthouse. I got called in today, and they're selecting for a six-week trial. (Yikes.) So a bunch of people (myself included) filled out I-have-an-honest-hardship-please-don't-pick-me-for-this questionnaires, and I think they're still sorting through them. I missed out on the first round of excusals, but hopefully I can get excused today. I really don't want to have to call my temp job and tell them I have to be back tomorrow. They already didn't like the fact that I had to be here today with Tax Day on Monday. Praise the Lord the court has wi-fi.

Now we're just sitting around doing absolutely nothing. The jury admin guy hasn't said anything in close to an hour and a half. I've spent most of the day watching last year's Eurovision Song Contest and creating a drinking game. Give singers an international stage and millions of viewers and have them try to win a singing contest, and tropes will appear. The Fan of Added Drama and Key Change of Added Drama, to give a few examples. Gimmicky costumes also tend to show up every once in a while, as does what I call "alleged English," which is when you get non-native English speakers writing or translating songs into English to try and get a bigger international audience and not bothering to have native English speakers edit it. Belarus' song last year is so chock full of alleged English (and really thick accents) that I can't make out more than about 80% of the words. (Note the use of gimmicky costumes; also, "heartfully" is not a real word. The fun is that what they sing is only about an 80% match of the lyrics posted online. I think.)


Luckily, the jury admin guy started reading off names not long after I started writing this, and I got excused from the selection and released for the day. So I called Temp Job and offered to come in, but I'd only be in for 2 hours, so the office manager told me to just not bother. So I got a full day off of work in the busiest week of tax season. No, I won't be paid for it, but I needed the mental health break. I do not know how they do this every year.

middlegirl [userpic]

I know it's been a long time since I posted, and part of that was the Christmas wind-down, but not long after that, Eleanor the laptop actually crashed on me and had to spend some time in repair. The brightside is that $200 later, it's in fine working order, I didn't have to reinstall a single thing, and I actually have a bigger hard drive than what I started with! I also immediately went and uploaded my writing to two independent file storage sites so I can access my writing even without Eleanor.

Christmas was pretty awesome - I got cash from the grandparents, as usual, but I also got an iPod case from Shannon and Season 2 of Castle on DVD from Lauren. My parents, however, went on eBay and got me a vintage 2nd edition copy of a Little Golden Book my mom used to read to us when we were kids. Since I collect antique books, this was actually an awesome gift. Now all I need to find is the 1980s reprint, since that was the one we actually owned, and I'll have the Katie the Kitten exacta. (How weird does that sound?) Considering that Katie the Kitten isn't in print anymore, this would be awesome.

Speaking of Christmas, even though I said I was almost Christmas-ed out, I managed to paint six ornaments for a pastor friend, who just adopted a little girl. I made one personalized ornament for each member of the family, and on the bottom, where I signed and dated them, I included a heart (since I always sign stuff with a heart) and numbered each in their birth order. They turned out so adorable - I'm so proud of them, and so far I know Joel is jazzed. Then I painted an ornament for a member of the MST3K discussion board I'm on, and he offered to trade me three episode DVDs for it. Last year was my first artistic commission, and this was the first time I've ever been compensated for one of my ornaments. I'm kind of excited about that.

New Year's was cool - I got invited to go to the church's singles event, which was my first singles anything. I'd heard rumors that the group was mostly re-single people, and as a 26-year-old I kind of would rather hang out with people my age than 40-something divorcees. But the improv troupe they brought in was kind of cool, and the stand-ups (Christian stand-ups with real LA credentials!) were hilarious. Then we rang in 2011 with noisemakers and the Cha-Cha Slide. That was interesting... Everybody was nice, and there seemed to be some people my age there - I think I'll keep going and see what happens. I mean, if I can't get a job, maybe I can get a boyfriend, right? :P

In royalty news, the Crown Princess of Denmark had her twins on Saturday - one boy and one girl. In Denmark, nobody knows a child's name until the mother speaks it at the christening, which isn't for about three months. So being an onomastic (one who likes names and what they mean) I get to play the guessing game until about March/April. Until then, some people are calling them Elvis and Shirley, after a joke Crown Prince Frederik made about naming the boy Elvis (since the twins share a birthday with Elvis Presley), and Shirley Bassey, another singer with a January 8th birthday, but I'm calling them Lilleprinsen ("Little Prince") and Lillepigen ("Little Girl"), after the nicknames the Danish press gave their older siblings Prince Christian and Princess Isabella. Regardless, it's a far sight happier news than what really covered the airwaves over the weekend. Also, I found a Swarovski crystal ring that resembles a certain famous British royal engagement ring at the mall and splurged on it for myself. It was only $25, so that's not too bad, and it has two more "diamonds" around the edge than Catherine's, so there. I love wearing it. It's so sparkly.

Finally, I am including a meme I snagged from [ profile] apple_pathways , which means you finally get to hear my voice!

Here's the meme: )

Mood boredMood bored
Music Always Something There to Remind Me - Naked Eyes
Tags: books, christmas, getting artsy, holidays, laptop, memes, mst3k, princess things/royal watching, update
middlegirl [userpic]

(German for "I'm bored." Why know bits of several languages if you don't use them?)

I was cruising through past entries because I have little better to do (I officially gave up on Big Brother tonight, since the one player I was still rooting for got evicted. The rest of the house is full of useless fools and catty people), and realized that half of my Epic Music Post Meme of Doom! from almost a year ago was still unidentified, and - not that you all were losing sleep over it - I should share the answer sheet, if for no other reason than to share my eclectic taste in music.

Here you go... )

Mood boredMood bored
Music After the Rain Has Fallen - Sting
Tags: memes, randomness is next to godliness, update
middlegirl [userpic]

I changed my layout! What do you think? I actually didn't really like my old one as soon as I got it up, because the colors looked so blah, but it took me this long to find a layout I loved. Now to tweak it to get the metadata they way I liked it before.

There really hasn't been a ton of things going on in my life, hence the lack of posting. I have recently, however, been thinking about redefining myself. Since I was in third grade, I've wanted to be a teacher. Writing was a hobby of mine, but now with the job situation (aka me still not having one to pay for credential programs and even if I could, the district is pink-slipping just about everybody this year OMG), I'm thinking of taking the Wendy Watson approach to life: I only temp/do whatever job I can get so I can write. In the meantime, I have started a book review blog so that I can a) indulge my love of books, b) give myself topics to write about, and c) keep myself in practice. I have been working on my book (bit by infinitesimal bit), but MacBeth is taking his homocidal tendencies out on my ability to be creative. But please come over and give it a look! (Yes it only has one review now, but I'm working on expanding the kinds of reviews I do and how to spread the word.)

Speaking of book reviews, I just got an advance copy of the next Quirk Classics book: Android Karenina! Based on Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, and, being Tolstoy, it's pretty dang long. I've got two and a half weeks to read it and come up with clever things to say about it!

As such, and the fact that I've got another book I'm in the middle of, I'd better get cracking!

middlegirl [userpic]

Just wanted to give you all the quickest of updates: I got home tonight. I'm both happy to be home and missing the quiet of life at the grandparents'. (Seriously, if I could get them to install wi-fi, I'd start looking for full-time work up there!) I had a great time, made great new friends, and got to do some great stuff. All in all, I'd say it was a great experience. :P

I've also got a new project: the room (especially the closet and bookshelf) are in drastic need of rearrangement and organization. And seeing as I took full advantage of two Hollywood Videos and a Suncoast that were closing down, I need to make room for a boatload of DVDs.

Well, I need to start unpacking what I need to get ready for bed, and clear off that bed so I can sleep. I've got a couple of hours' work at church tomorrow, and I'll need to look fabulous since everybody'll be excited to see me (I hope!).

Location Bedroom once more
Music Separate Ways - Journey
Tags: update
middlegirl [userpic]

So I found out that when there isn't anything for me to do at work (filing is done, phone's not ringing, etc.) that it's okay for me to surf the internet. Oh, if they knew what they had just given me permission to do! I still make it a point to do whatever is asked of me, and I figure the phones will really pick up starting in the next few weeks, so a little Facebooking/Twittering/Livejournaling is okay in the meantime.

Also, I just got confirmed today to receive an advance review copy of Quirk Classics' Dawn of the Dreadfuls, prequel to their comedy/horror mashup juggernaut Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. They put a call out to bloggers of all sizes (i.e., my little Livejournal is just as important to them as a big-time book review blog), and I made the cut! So on March 3, come back here for my first foray into professional(ish) writing. (That piece for the essay book is on hold, as the editor hasn't gotten back to me in a while. Boo.) I also mentioned to my contact at Quirk Books (makes me sound so "in the loop") that I was also looking forward to their next book, Android Karenina, and she offered to put me on the review list for that book, too! Add to that the fact that my friend Bethany is sending me her library's copy of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter because her boss at the library doesn't want it, and this is going to be a good year for freebies.

You should also come back and read my review on March 3 because after you read it, you can go to and enter to win a prize pack! More details to come, film at 11.

Not a lot of much consequence (apart from that) has happened this week, except for my paycheck finally clearing and my passing desperate need for a haircut, so I'll sign off for now.

Just had a fun idea for something to do, but I'll need to buy a better digital camera first. Tee hee. :D

Mood happyMood happy
Tags: update, work, writing
middlegirl [userpic]

Well, I've been here at my grandparents' house for 5 days, and life seems good so far. I don't get on the internet as often as I do at home, because a) there's no wi-fi, so I'm not on Eleanor (the laptop), and b) because their computer is so slow. (They have cable internet, so it's near to blazing fast - faster than the DSL we have at home - but they need a crapload of RAM. They only have 248 MB. That's roughly 1/8 the RAM Eleanor has. They also need a new sound card, but that's neither here nor there.) Anyway, the point of that is that I hope I'll be able to check in on the weekends, but I don't think I'll be able to do much around here during the week. I'm thinking I might type a post on Eleanor during the evenings and then copy and paste it on LJ from my grandparents' computer on the weekend. Hopefully I'll be able to buy a new camera soon, and then I can share pics of what life is like around here.

Work is good so far. They hired me as a receptionist to answer calls and make appointments for the tax preparers, but the calls haven't been coming in very much this week (I started Thursday), so Grandma has had me help her reconcile bank accounts for all these gas stations they do the books for. I was an English major. I love words. Numbers drive me crazy because they have to add up perfectly. Words allow for interpretation and play. I love the artistry of a well-crafted sentence. There is no artistry in numbers. So naturally this task is driving me up the wall, especially when I think I have everything plugged in correctly and I find out that the totals aren't matching, mostly because I forgot a step or hit a wrong number on the adding machine. When I get back to work on Monday I have to find out where I gained 4 cents and the last I looked, everything was matching up with the paperwork and it looks like I entered everything correctly, so who knows. Monday will also bring the "official" beginning of tax season, so the call volume should go up, which means more time with files and phones and less with those darned bank reconciliations. The best part is that I've already gotten paid! I guess they assume you'll work a full pay period and any differences will be made up in the next pay check.

Life living with my grandparents is still in the adjustment phase. I don't think of myself as a picky eater, but a lot of the things they suggest for lunch or dinner is just not up my alley. We'll just have to see what happens as the weeks go on. I've offered to cook every so often, and they liked the spaghetti I made for dinner Wednesday night, and some of the other dinner ideas have been met with interest. Other than that, it's a lot of PBS and Fox News. And the Weather Channel. After work is dinner, then Jeopardy and more Fox News, and then I usually head upstairs around 9 pm to take a shower and then I kick back in my room and watch Doctor Who and read until midnight, when I go to sleep. It's a simple life, and I'm not really complaining. I've got enough videos and books to keep me occupied at night, and I know I want to buy some more books while I'm here (Heat Wave by Richard Castle, for one). I'm also hoping to connect with my one cousin that's close to my age while I'm up here, and maybe she can show me some of the fun things that there are to do around here and get me out of the house that doesn't involve the mall or a restaurant, since that's about all the outside entertainment I know of around here so far.

Okay, time to head back downstairs and see how I can help get dinner going, since it should be dinner time soon and I'm getting hungry. I miss being able to read everybody's daily adventures, and I hope you're all doing well. :-)

Mood hungryLocation Office, Grandparents' House, Martinez, East Bay, CA
Mood hungry
Tags: grandparental units, update
middlegirl [userpic]

Never got much higher than 40 degrees today. In fact it's 40 right now. Hopefully this hard freeze/cold snap of DOOM will be over tonight so tomorrow will be a little more bearable. *checks* Never mind. The nighttime lows for the next two nights are still predicted to be below freezing. Thank goodness the highs are predicted to get up into the 50s the rest of the week. Boo about the possibility of rain, though - my Newgen girls are coming over Friday night, and we were going to drive down to see a local house with Christmas lights cued to music - if you want to see them too.

Finished the ornaments a few days ago, and delivered them yesterday. The high school ministry admin loved them so much. I'm really glad that she's happy with them.

Lost out on another job today. I was covering the phones for Mom at church this morning, and got called up by the office manager. She told me that they had decided to hire the person they had brought in to temp the position (admin to the missions pastor). I had kind of figured that they wouldn't go with me, and that they'd hire Katie instead, seeing as she's already been trained to an extent. Mary told me that I was fairly overqualified (a story I seem to be hearing a lot of lately), but she knew some people who she thought might be interested in me, and she asked for permission to give them my resume. Like I'm going to say no!

So the Christmas season continues undaunted, but I feel kind of left out. I don't want to think about what I want for Christmas, because I don't know how I'm going to do Christmas for anybody else. It sounds kind of lame, but the opposite sounds selfish. Maybe I can make scones for some people; butter is kind of expensive, but I know that Grandma likes them, and maybe I can wash the windows for Mom and Dad... provided it gets warm enough to do it soon. It'll have to be Christmas Great Depression style, because that's about all I can afford to do. Dear God, I want a job for Christmas. (Nope, I never really believed in Santa when I was little. It helps that people in costumes scared the living daylights out of me when I was a kid. If I couldn't see their face, nothing doing.)

Music Grant's Advent Calendar Video Podcast Day 8 -
Tags: christmas, holidays, job hunt, update
middlegirl [userpic]

After an near-to-all-nighter, I managed to finish the first batch of ornaments last weekend. So yesterday I sat down and cranked out six from the second batch, which are now hanging in the garage after getting paint penned today. Now that I'm making masking tape stencils for everything, and I found a wider brush for painting the crosses, I'm getting the acrylic phase done much quicker. I ended up combining the two paints for a better look: acrylic as a primer, because it sticks to the glass better, and paint pen on the top because it covers better.

The fumes aren't bothering me as much any more, which is good... unless of course they've killed the fume-detecting part of my brain, which would be bad. Either way I'm not coughing as much anymore, which means that it was probably more remnants of that cold instead of the paint.

So, anyway, that's the extent of the ornament update for now. It's been nice to spread them all out, because like right now, I get whole days where I don't even want to look at orange paint. Burnout, thy name is Robyn.

Mood contentMood content
Music Back to the 80s - Aqua
Tags: christmas, getting artsy, holidays, update
middlegirl [userpic]

Joel loves the ornament design! He said that while it might have been sketchy before, now it's official that I am awesome. :P

I now have 36 ornaments sitting on my floor waiting for paint. However, I need to figure out where I'm going to hang them to dry before I do anything with the ornaments directly. In order to do what I've thought of, I need to find this mythical ball of yarn that is hanging out somewhere in the house. Mom said "on the bookshelf," but we have a lot of bookshelves in this house and in the garage (fairly odd for a family that doesn't read a lot, save me and Mom).

Update: Mom showed me where the yarn was, and I got it hung pretty fast. Now to actually get started on these ornaments. I have three packages of 12 to do, and a week to do each one (until I get to the end, when I only have to do 6. Perfect timing for Thanksgiving weekend). I think I'll crank up the tunes and practice...

Music That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings
Tags: christmas, getting artsy, holidays, update
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