AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 5/18/2003 08:05:15 PM ----- BODY: MovingCheck out the new iteration of my diary: I know, the name's not so great, but I'll change it as soon as I feel like it's okay to spend $15 for a domain. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 5/16/2003 12:53:02 PM ----- BODY: Extra ClassesAll -- all -- of my classes are going to meet during WCAS Reading (and for some, even Finals) Week. What's with that?! I thought CAS classes weren't allowed to have required classes during Reading Week -- and I'm not in any Medill or Tech classes this quarter. I feel all kinds of cheated. But at least I will only have one final. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 5/13/2003 11:07:52 PM ----- BODY: BrokenI am broken. First, I had an intense swing dance class full of lifts and swings. I was sliding all around the floor and then twisting into odd-shaped pretzels. It left me tired. After that, I sat around the student center hoping against hope that residential college presidents would come pick up their fliers. One did. In fact, that dorm sent two people to pick them up. But that was the only one. No one came to help me post fliers around campus, though, so I spent an hour and a half walking four feet, crouching, placing, taping, standing and walking again. At this point I can no longer feel my middle and lower back. My room smells really bad, too. I swear it smells like burnt plastic, but I can't find the source of the odor. Scott says it smells like sour milk. However, I smelled the washed-out milk bottle and it didn't smell funny to me. I left my window open all afternoon to air it out, but it didn't help. It's as if something has died in here. I pre-registered for two classes today, the first time I've ever pre-registered for more than one and the first time I've pre-registered for one I wasn't already scheduled to take (like most journalism courses). Unfortunately, I couldn't sign up for the Asian and Middle East Studies classes I want to take. That's what comes from having an interdisciplinary major. The mailing list gave me the hope that I would be able to sign up for anything on the list, but I think it really meant to say "only the courses in the history department that meet the requirements." (And no, you smart alecks, the reason I couldn't registered for the sociology or English courses was not because I'd already signed up for two. I wasn't intending to pre-register for my second journalism course.) -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 5/13/2003 12:06:43 AM ----- BODY: EducationDo you ever think that this dorm we live in is just teeming with education? That we're surrounded constantly with brilliant minds absorbing and creating knowledge, weaving insight into insight in bold strokes of thought? Are you ever inspired by the knowledge that we live in an environment of learning, where the strokes of brilliance that will illuminate tomorrow are currently being nurtured? Of course, if you do, you probably then see someone watching Final Destruction 367: The Last Doom in the TV lounge and wonder what the heck you were thinking. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 5/10/2003 05:50:44 PM ----- BODY: ContinuedSorry, I got cut off yesterday by my shift ending. To continue the narrative ... The printing people harassed me with questions about the Communique -- did I have the pictures? Did I have the PageMaker file? Did I know what was wrong? Did I, did I, did I. Being that I am a work-study, not a professional designer, and that my design skills fall more toward the digital than the print, I had no idea what to tell them. I looked at the proof, and yes, the pictures looked awful, but what could I do? The Political Science Department doesn't give us any sort of professional-quality equipment for putting together the Communique. Even though they upped the print quality in order to use the publication as a promotional tool, they still have us rely upon my rather crappy digital camera for the pictures (and maybe it's me, or maybe the camera's been dropped one time too many, but I think the picture quality has gotten worse lately). I simply couldn't give them anything better than what we gave them, and the printing people didn't seem to get it. We made several attempts to contact editor Matt (who was in the shower), and once we got a hold of him, we tried to figure out what to do. In the end, we just collected every version of the pictures we had, converted them to the format the printer wanted, and burned them to a CD. I don't know that the pictures will help any, but there it is. It was the best I could do, and if the printing people give me any more crap ... well, I don't know what I'd do. I'm not exactly powerful here. But these people are driving us nuts -- they've already delayed publication for weeks and a great deal of the stuff in the Communique has become outdated. After that debacle, I decided to go back to the task that brought me to work on Friday in the first place -- fixing the scanner that has not worked from the moment I brought it downstairs. After searching fruitlessly through the support documentation and reinstalling the software again, I decided I would e-mail HP to ask for help. I wrote a long message on the page for a different product (ours wasn't listed) detailing my problems and then clicked the "Submit" button on the form ... and I got a page saying "Page Not Found." I nearly exploded. I went to another form and wrote a new message, saying, "I hate your company, I hate your scanner, and I hate your web site." At least it released some frustration. So much frustration. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 5/9/2003 04:56:23 PM ----- BODY: I have had the most irritating day. First, I had to go to Gothic Lit. That's painful enough in itself. Then around 1 p.m. I went to work, to be immediately assaulted by the printing company people who apparently found only just now -- just a week or two after it should have gone out -- that the pictures we sent them for the Communique were unacceptable. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 5/8/2003 08:03:23 PM ----- BODY: On the Other SideIt's nice to have my midterm crush out of the way. True, it was a very short one, relatively speaking (though my body disagrees after all the hours I forced it to stay awake). But by unfortunate chance it happened to land right in the middle of a good deal of other stuff I had going on. And by truly unfortunate chance I ended up in a class with a professor who believes 12-15 page take-home midterms are fun to write. I'm currently looking for a new text editor. TextEdit, the program that comes free with OS X, is certainly better than SimpleText (and it would be much better than AppleWorks, too, if it only let me turn on automatic curly quotes), but it's no good as an HTML editor for some reason. When I open up a page in TextEdit, instead of finding the plain code I expect I get all kinds of messed-up images and tables, as if TextEdit were an ill-conceived web browser. It's very frustrating if all I want to do is view code or make a very simple change, and I don't want to wait for Adobe GoLive to boot. Good news: Casey Newton, the former proprietor of newtonline, has apparently decided web sites aren't immature college habits after all and has launched a new site called newt : case. Casey Newton ... newt : case ... get it? PARC had a "fire" today. Fire in quotes because we only think it was a real fire this time; other than a few scattered reports of "haze" or "smelling smoke," no one I know of actually saw said fire. But something must have happened in the basement (that's where the indicator said the alarm went off) because just as I was printing my long-delayed "table tent" ad for RCB Field Day, piercingly loud sirens went off all through the building. (Strangely enough, just about everyone I think went out the front doors of the building instead of the purported "fire doors," even though it was the middle of the day and they were open. Shows what creatures of habit we are.) I dashed out my door, cursing -- then I went back into my room and grabbed a jacket -- then I dashed out my door again and went outside. Several people had neglected jackets and even shoes, figuring it was a drill and we'd be let back inside soon. However, we learned that was not the case when two University Police cars pulled up outside PARC, shortly followed by three -- three -- speeding fire trucks. Two fully geared fire fighters went into the building with two not fully geared UP officers, and after a while they came out and said we could go inside again. So in the end, nothing really happened, and for all that nothingness PARC will probably get slapped with some sort of fine. And more than likely, we'll never know why. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 5/7/2003 05:11:23 AM ----- BODY: Stupid PaperIt's 5 a.m. and I still have four (FOUR!) pages to write of this 12-15-page midterm. It makes me long for those lovely in-class midterms that never last more than an hour and a half and don't have steadily mounting requirements coming from the professor from hell. Challenging? Whatever. That's far too positive a description. She's irritatingly smug yet concurrently irritatingly encouraging (how does that happen? She tells us all we've done a wonderful job -- then gives us all C's). She gets all kinds of random ideas about how the projects we do could be SO ... MUCH ... BETTER! and then makes the new ideas a required part of the assignment (at least if you want to make up for that C). The class is early in the morning and too much work for too little credit. I hate it but I can't afford to drop it since I need to finish certain requirements before I graduate. I know, scary, graduation. But it creeps up on you a lot more quickly when you know you'll be missing a quarter next year. Terrific. I'm hearing the birds chirping now. I just wish I could e-mail this stupid midterm to the prof and then skip class tomorrow to sleep. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 5/4/2003 02:22:52 PM ----- BODY: Happy BirthdayHappy birthday, Kim! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 5/3/2003 03:40:50 AM ----- BODY: TeethMy teeth are too close together. I have an overbite, so the edges of my lower-jaw molars cut into my upper-jaw molars. This seems to concentrate the pressure and make it very uncomfortable to have my mouth shut. My lower jaw really feels squashed. I went to Osco today, to spend far too much money on personal care products like deodorant and toothpaste. The bulk of the bill came from a bottle of vitamins I bought. I went to Osco with the intent of getting an iron supplement, as I've been getting headaches and I know my mom usually attributes headaches combined with fatigue to low iron. However, all the iron supplements at Osco contained 200 to 300 percent of the daily dietary requirement for iron, and I didn't want to poison myself if my iron wasn't really that low. So I moved on to the multivitamins, which unfortunately almost all seemed to contain that evil mineral, zinc. See, I have a multivitamin already. It's currently sitting in the back of a drawer, and it's been sitting around my room since last year. Every time I take one of the pills, I get a violent stomachache that lasts about five to fifteen minutes. Sure, that's not terrible, but a multivitamin shouldn't be such a trial to take. Especially since that means I won't take it. So why do I blame zinc, you ask? Well, once upon a time, I had a little cold. Probably it was a big cold, but that sounds less poetic. Anyway, at this time zinc lozenges were all the rage for curing colds. It was a miracle breakthrough treatment, it seemed. Since my mom had some lozenges sitting around the house, I took one. Did it cure my cold? Far from it -- I felt as bad as if I'd suddenly come down with the flu for the whole day. All kinds of nausea. It was awful. I swore I'd never take zinc again. But alas, as fate would have it, vitamin makers consider zinc to be an essential nutrient. Almost every bottle had a full day's worth per serving -- it was sad. And the ones that didn't have zinc also didn't have iron. Lucky for me, as I was about to give up and buy children's chewable vitamins on the premise that they'd never made me sick before, I caught sight of a bottle marked "with iron." It turned out to be some sort of stress formula, which I considered an added bonus. Here at last was the remedy for what ailed me. Unfortunately, upon examining the label after purchase, I found it contains 833 percent of the daily recommended dose of DNA-deforming vitamin C. Guess you can't win them all. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 5/1/2003 07:16:20 PM ----- BODY: Busy Busy BusyI have been on the go since Monday. On the go meaning that almost all of my time has been scheduled away, taken out of my hands. Monday I had class, then I had to write a couple of short papers, then I had another (very long) class. Tuesday I had two classes, then I studied at Lisa's Cafe before heading to the fancy Domain Dinner that I was guilt-tripped into attending, and from there I went straight to my in-progress swing dance lesson. Wednesday I had class, then I worked on poli sci stuff all afternoon, and then I had an RCB meeting in the evening. This morning it took every ounce of willpower I had (and a looming midterm paper assignment) to pull myself out of bed for my first class of the day. I'm not sure why I really bother going to my Islam Studies class. On occasion the professor takes attendance, which counts toward part of the grade, but I'm sure he must have seen me fall asleep several times during today's lecture. For the past several classes it has been a great struggle staying awake. Not only is the material kind of dull, I just don't get enough sleep. It's not so much that I have too much to do -- rather, I often don't feel like sleeping at night (I only feel like that all day). By the time 2 a.m. rolls around, I've worked and socialized and Web surfed for so long that I'm finally truly awake. At that point it seems like no problem to stay up until 3 or 4. Wrong, wrong, wrong. At any rate, I've taken to drifting off in my Islam class. It's strange, since I really do find religion to be an interesting subject in general (I sometimes even check out Beliefnet to read about what different religions teach). However, this class is less about Islam than about mysticism, specifically Sufism. The mystical tradition doesn't have the same appeal to me as the theological tradition. To me, theology is like a good logic puzzle -- sort of analytical like a geometry proof -- whereas mysticism is like grade school literature class -- how does the story make you feel? (I always thought the questions in our literature textbooks were full of crap.) That's not to say mysticism has no value -- it just doesn't challenge my mind as much. (Except when I'm trying to figure out what al-Ghazali's actually saying, but mostly that's just boring.) It's like my theology classes in high school. I really liked my freshman year class, where we took an analytical look at the Hebrew Scriptures. The textbook they gave us was actually insightful, and I learned a whole new way of looking at the Bible. That made it all the more disappointing the next year when our class on the Christian Scriptures was a whole lot of "Jesus loves you!" Not that I'm denying that, but after doing so much critical textual analysis it was hard to accept nothing more than expounding upon "Love your neighbor as yourself." It's the same way now. There's only so many times I can hear "There is no god but God," and "There is no reality but God," before it really puts me to sleep. Britt might remember this method of sleeping from our fall quarter History of Modern Japan class. My eyes start to close, my head droops, and for a few seconds I'm completely unconscious, then -- UP! I remember where I am and jerk myself awake. But it doesn't last -- half a minute later my head falls again, and the process continues like this for however long the class lasts. Unlike in history class, though, I can't give up, slump behind the row in front of me and just sleep the whole time. Nonetheless, I don't remember anything the prof said in the last half of my Islam class this morning. I'm not kidding when I say I go unconscious -- I honestly get the same feeling of complete zoning out that I got when I fainted at work the day after my Thanksgiving food poisoning. I feel all warm and rested, and my mind is floating away somewhere, and more than anything I don't want to get up -- until I realize, wait, I'm not supposed to be doing this! Then I wake up confused, having completely missed what happened in the past couple of minutes (or God knows how long) and still not quite catching what's happening at the moment. But it doesn't matter since presently I'll fall asleep again. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/28/2003 06:29:21 PM ----- BODY: Sour MilkMy mouth tastes like sour milk. This is because I had milk with dinner. It wasn't sour when I drank it, but after sitting in my mouth so long it has become sour. Pop, pop, pop. No, I don't really have much to say. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/27/2003 03:07:37 PM ----- BODY: Pasta SaladLast night I made some pasta salad for dinner. I love pasta salad. It combines so many foods I like: pasta, cheese, pepperoni, cucumbers and Italian dressing. Yum. I also took Kathy, who wasn't feeling well, to the infirmary. It was very strange to be on the other side of that for once, being the person who just sits in the waiting room and picks up odd snatches of what the nurse says. I read a good deal of National Geographic, which this month featured the anniversary of the first successful attempt to reach the top of Mount Everest. I was surprised by how good the pictures were from 1953, and how little Edmund Hillary looked like he was living in the 50s. Anyway, the Searle people didn't really know what was wrong with Kathy (surprise, surprise), but she looks okay (aside from that fever). Now today I should really read that book I have to write a report on. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/26/2003 03:06:00 AM ----- BODY: Peace Flows Like a RiverAhh ... Quicken now works -- Google came to my rescue. Apparently all I had to do was delete the file it kept telling me it couldn't open. I wish everything was that simple. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/26/2003 02:49:46 AM ----- BODY: Finance FrustrationAHHHH! I finally decided to get my finances in order again, after losing my original Quicken records when my system software got corrupted. I boot up Quicken, create a new data file and attempt to enter a new account -- then kaboom! The program crashes. I register and update, I search and troubleshoot, I scream and cry, I reinstall -- nothing helps. Curse you, Intuit! Currently, Apple's Help program is crashing whenever I try to search the Quicken section. It's such a joy. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/25/2003 04:35:52 PM ----- BODY: CracklingBritt: dammit, my computer is making loud crackling i-want-to-crash noises Colleen: weird Colleen: i've never heard a computer crackle Britt: you should listen to mine sometime Colleen: i don't think it's supposed to do that Britt: yeah, it really doesn't sound all that healthy. but it's been doing it for months, and it's not dead yet... Colleen: give it time Britt: seriously -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/25/2003 03:49:08 PM ----- BODY: HungryMmm ... pepperoni pizza ... all crispy on top and soft in the middle ... yum ... I am hungry! Someone please bring me food! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/25/2003 02:51:40 AM ----- BODY: Design MusingsI found a picture that I plan to incorporate into my site's new design (whenever I get around to creating it). As I tried to fall asleep the other night, the idea for a design just came to me (a lovely blessing, as designing is hard work). I hope it works out as well in execution as in conception. Oftentimes what starts out great can fall victim to the limitations of HTML. By the way, I'm hoping to find a book to get me caught up on the latest version of HTML (and perhaps one on style sheets). I know, I know -- Web stuff changes too fast to make books all that useful generally. But I find it easier to learn from books, and when I'm working I prefer having a book open next to me to constantly switching windows. Also, I flow-charted a new version of RCB's site. Since I've always found it difficult to create an effective site navigational scheme, I decided to nose around Golive for helpful diagramming features. I think what I have planned now will be effective, though I'm still questioning whether I should bury committee pages under the Officers page or give Committees their own section. I know, fascinating. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/23/2003 02:44:42 AM ----- BODY: Help MeHelp! I know I'm staying up too late, but I don't want to sleep! I'm going to be terrifically tired tomorrow, but there's nothing I can do to stop that now, and thus it seems almost futile to go to bed. Yet I know I need to rest, as in my Islam class at 11 this morning I involuntarily nodded off countless times throughout the last hour. And tomorrow I have to be on the third floor of Deering Library by 10 a.m. Speaking of that, I haven't done any work whatsoever for that class tonight. I spent hours folding laundry, messing around with RCB's site (Nancy Anderson did not want people to be able to read our minutes), and generally doing nothing of my schoolwork. Since I've read the first three novels we're covering before, I'm getting into a bad habit of slacking off on my reading. The prof keeps mentioning an upcoming midterm ... maybe I should be reading ... If you talk to me tomorrow, remind me I need to go pick up the book I'm writing a report on from the library's circulation desk. I don't want them to send it back to Chicago before I read it. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/23/2003 01:52:38 AM ----- BODY: New ProgramI'm attempting to use a new program to update my diary right now. No, I haven't stopped using Blogger, but there are programs (Kung-Log for OS X, w.bloggar for Windows) that will allow you to update without having to actually use the stupid Blogger interface. Well, stupid mostly if you are wise and do not use Internet Explorer. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/21/2003 06:06:59 PM ----- BODY: untitledInstead of hectoring those who expressed any doubt about the difficulty of occupying Iraq, the conservatives should worry about their own self-parody: pandering to the base by blessing evangelical Christians who want to proselytize Muslims; protecting their interests by backing a shady expat puppet; pleasing their contributors by pre-emptively awarding rebuilding contracts to Halliburton and Bechtel; and swaggering like Goths as Iraq's cultural heritage goes up in flames. Is there NO education in this country? Who gave control of this nation to people who avidly subscribe to the philosophy of "if you've seen one artifact of the birth of civilization, you've seen them all"? And where is freedom of religion -- more, respect for others' religions -- when evangelical Christians are given tacit approval to convert all those "heathen" Muslims? (The people who, by the way, would agree that there's "only one God and one faith" -- while still believing people of other organized religions to be "people of the book.") Frustrating. Maureen Dowd's column -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/20/2003 05:41:06 PM ----- BODY: So did you know! Blogger has started making a new version of its site available to people setting up new blogs. This "New Blogger" (also known as Dano) actually works in all browsers. It doesn't work the same in all browsers -- if you're using something other than Internet Explorer or a Mozilla-based browser (that includes Netscape), it comes up with a "lo-fi" interface -- but it does actually work with no weird bugs. It's pretty nice. I actually don't think the more advanced interface has much advantage over the lo-fi, so I'll be happy once they start allowing people to migrate in a week or two and I can update this site in Safari nearly painlessly. What else? I updated my poli sci prof pages site with two new projects. The one for Karen Alter looks pretty much like Ian Hurd's but less complex. The one for Michael Loriaux is spiffy, though -- I got all experimental in my HTML and came up with something different with a minimum of frustration. I currently have about an hour and a half in which to throw together a report on the role of Gypsies in gothic literature. I want a vacation. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/18/2003 03:43:01 PM ----- BODY: Well, I have to express some reservations regarding my last entry. While Safari is a very nice browser, alas, it too has its faults. It has issues with rendering some pages (and with remembering my mom's magazine subscription). While it's nice to be able to visit the New York Times without crashing the browser and to be able to use JavaScript navigation menus, some of the new bugs are almost as irritating. Hopefully the people at Apple will figure this out soon. My ears are aching from running errands in the cold. Though my financial aid forms are turned in and I have almost all of the stuff for my scholarship application ready to go, I don't know that it was at all worth this throbbing. Poor me. Okay, time for me to set myself to designing Michael Loriaux's web site. Yuck, I just sneezed all over my face. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/17/2003 07:09:36 PM ----- BODY: Good news: Apple's Safari browser now supports tabs! No more crazy Camino crashes! Bad news: Blogger still only works in Internet Explorer. Curses! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/17/2003 03:11:43 AM ----- BODY: So if you shell out the fee for Blogger Pro, you can get access to a Mozilla-compatible site. It's not available to non-paying customers. That's just not fair. I looked through my site files a bit today, realizing again what a task it will be to convert it all to Adobe-compatible templates. I'd like to do some redesign work on the site, considering that at this point it's been so long since I coded the original pages and style sheet that I haven't a clue how it all comes together anymore. I really wish I had the time to learn to create better graphics, but time is hard to come by. As is sleep, not because I'm overworked necessarily but mostly because I'm too lazy to go to bed most nights. Yeah, I know that sounds weird, but once I'm settled in a nice, comfortable position, I'm loathe to get up and ready myself, but at the same time I can't sleep very well knowing I haven't brushed my teeth. Why can't resting count as sleeping? -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/15/2003 09:52:32 PM ----- BODY: Dooooo-da-doo-da-doo-da-doo-da-doo doo-doo-doo ... It's swing time! Bah-bah! Slow-slow quick-quick! Tonight Scott and I learned the basic jitterbug step, along with a few turns. It's kind of weird having to follow instead of lead, and I'm still working on the being-graceful thing, but at least we didn't end up as a giant pretzel (that's apparently been saved for next week). I haven't been able to get the song out of my head since the lesson ended, and I feel the need to get up and start bouncing around on the balls of my feet. (I would do that except that my feet are a bit sore at the moment.) I enjoyed the lesson, even though for a great part of it I could only breathe through my mouth (NOT conducive to exercise). Near the end, the large thing blocking my air passage finally dislodged itself, leading to a mad dash to the ladies room. Yuck. I found a new service that will host my site without ads for free (or $35 a year if I want more space) if I get my own domain name for $15. The caveat is that the index page must be updated regularly, so I'd have to rework the structure of this site a bit. If I get the time this weekend, I might give it a try. While the ads on this site never bother me since I have a pop-up blocker, I hear they can annoy you poor folks who haven't yet discovered the wonders of Mozilla. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/10/2003 03:55:20 PM ----- BODY: Mr. Wolfowitz's theme at the Senate hearing, which could be rendered in short as "Iraq for the Iraqis," was not new. But the deputy secretary's comments were significant in view of the Bush administration's lingering dissatisfaction with the United Nations and its apparent failure, at least in President Bush's view, to rise much beyond the level of an international debating society. Bush Administration Describes Secondary Role for U.N. in Iraq Much as the thought frightens me, part of me agrees with President Bush. Not in the same sense, fortunately, but nonetheless, he has something of a point in thinking the United Nations didn't "rise much beyond the level of an international debating society" in this conflict. Eighty or ninety percent of the world opposed going to war with Iraq -- wasn't that enough of a mandate for the United Nations to step up and do something to stop the United States? Is there nothing that could have been done to stop this from happening? Why does the rest of the world seemingly have no power? At any rate, what's done is done now. I just hope the United States will not try to impose an unwanted government on these people (again) and that the Iraqis will get a chance to benefit from what's happened. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/7/2003 11:35:26 PM ----- BODY: I will take advantage of my prerogative as the proprietor of this diary to razzle-dazzle you with an entry about colors. Colors, you say? Indeed, colors. For colors have so many meanings. Yellow is bright and welcoming. Orange is happy and vibrant. Purple is beautiful. Pink is soft and sweet. Blue is serene and cool. Red is passionate. I hate green. I'm still sick. My voice sounds husky. It's strange. The cold medicine only lasts for half of the time between recommended doses. Curse pseudoephedrine for raising one's heart rate or blood pressure or whatever it does. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/7/2003 03:11:08 AM ----- BODY: I have a great desire not to use Blogger anymore. That's not to say I have any particular desire to go back to updating manually. However, since Blogger simply will not work normally in any browser other than Internet Explorer (which I abhor), it's still a pain to update my site. I want a program that is both convenient and works! Is that so hard? In other news, PARConline died today. A new webmaster has been inaugurated, and with new webmasters come new web sites, no matter how good the previous one was, it seems. A few people have given me some last-rights sort of accolades for the site, but I'm afraid it just couldn't be saved. I feel sad because the design really can't be reused for another site, yet it can't continue on where it was. It feels like such a waste of my creative abilities in that way. Oh well. I took today's news as a prompting to get working on the Residential College Board site, my latest project. Currently the design is nothing special -- only something I copied from an Adobe template. However, it's at least better-looking and more functional than the previous site. The retreat I went to with the rest of the RCB this past weekend was good and bad. Good, in that I got to know the nice group of people I'll be working with for the next year; bad, in that this required enduring frustrating "team-building" activities. While my fellow RCB officers are a friendly, community-oriented bunch, the people in charge of the leadership school must be demons from hell. Well, maybe not literally. However, activities that artificially force one to include almost everyone in their execution (such as moving a golf ball from one tube to another through the use of five-person and six-person string-and-ring things) when they could be done in seconds alone are antithesis to my efficient being. It leads me to the very inefficient practice of tearing my hair out. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 4/1/2003 02:26:07 PM ----- BODY: About time this worked. The weather today is wonderful! I'm sorry for the recent paucity of updates. More will come soon, I promise. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/23/2003 11:10:08 PM ----- BODY: Now that the Academy Awards are over, it is time to tally up my score ... on the big awards: Best Supporting Actor Chris Cooper (Yup.) Best Supporting Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (Yup.) Best Actor Adrian Brody (I picked Daniel Day-Lewis, but I was glad Brody won.) Best Actress Nicole Kidman (Yup.) Best Director Roman Polanski (I picked Pedro Almodovar, and I was disappointed that at Polanski didn't come pick up the award -- now that would have been entertaining.) Best Picture Chicago (Yup.) Four for six, not bad. Overall I think I got 17 out of 24, which is pretty good -- I think about 71 percent. Yay for me. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/20/2003 09:02:21 PM ----- BODY: Sigh. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/18/2003 03:26:19 PM ----- BODY: America's president is such a hypocrite ... I'm certainly smelling the stench of oil for the first time in quite a while. I'm moving to Canada. *** President Bush, in a solemn White House address to the nation on Monday night, had given Mr. Hussein and his two sons 48 hours - until 8 p.m. Washington time on Wednesday - to leave Iraq for exile or face a United States-led military invasion. But both Mr. Hussein and his eldest son, Uday, brusquely turned down the suggestion today. ``The proposal should be that Bush leaves office in America, he and his family,'' Uday Hussein said today. Americans, he added, ``should not imagine that they will have a safe spot inside the land of Iraq or outside it.'' *** If Mr. Hussein failed to leave, President Bush warned on Monday night, the United States-led coalition was prepared to wage war ``at a time of our choosing.'' Even if Mr. Hussein fled, United States officials said, American troops would enter Iraq to ensure stability while a new government was formed and humanitarian needs were tended to. *** Canada, one of the closest United States allies, ended months of uncertainty by making clear that it would not join in a war lacking United Nations authorization. Spain, which stood firmly alongside the United States and Britain in the diplomatic effort to win United Nations authorization, will not send troops, though it will provide a medical support ship, and later humanitarian and reconstruction aid for Iraq. More than 80 percent of Spaniards oppose war, opinion polls show. In Copenhagen, an antiwar protester doused Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen with red paint, meant to symbolize blood, shortly before the Danish leader announced that the country would send a submarine, a corvette and elite troops. The Danish parliament narrowly approved the deployment. U.S. Poised to Strike After Hussein Rejects Ultimatum -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/17/2003 08:23:57 PM ----- BODY: What kind of idiot says "Don't destroy your oil wells" before saying "Don't use weapons of mass destruction"?! How is that supposed to convince people that the government is justified in overriding the objections of THE REST OF THE WORLD and claiming all peaceful and diplomatic efforts to resolve this conflict are exhausted? Yes, Saddam Hussein and his sons are atrocious men who have done abominable things. He's a heinous dictator who has been known to kill his own people. But honestly, there are worse dictators in the world (believe it or not) and bigger threats to this country. (North Korea, for example, fits both criteria.) While Saddam should be removed from power, the impetus for this should come from his own people first of all, and second, if he is to be removed through outside pressure, what's the problem with it just remaining pressure and not force? Personally, I wonder why the government feels the need to focus on a threat of yesterday when there are so many threats of today that they'd be far more justified in pursuing. And I'm sorry, but no matter how much warning you give and no matter how "smart" your weapons are, you can't save lives through military attacks. And no matter how often you tell people you're killing them for their own good, they're never going to believe you. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/17/2003 02:54:25 PM ----- BODY: What kind of country is this?! The United States makes me sick. When the rest of the Western world has finally moved beyond the days of imperialism and waving big sticks, like a child, America insists on making up for its lack of prowess. When all the world seeks peace, the United States spits on the promises it made to the world after World War II. Whatever happened to phrases like "the war to end all wars" and "never again," things we heard after those great conflicts? Where are the lessons of Vietnam? Are our memories so short? What kind of nation seeks "peace" by declaring war? Is political clout worth destroying more innocent lives than we lost on September 11? How much is an Iraqi or other Asian's life worth when compared to an American's now? Moreover, why doesn't the rest of the world have any backbone? There are millions -- billions more people in the world who oppose this war, far more than the relative handful in the United States. Even a majority of the U.S. population -- and the last number I read was 58 percent, and that appeared to be gathered by casting a very wide net by using a very open question -- that would only be less than 160 million people, likely not much greater than the religious minority in India, the next most populous nation in the world. And while yes, America has nuclear weapons, so do a great number of other countries, and honestly, you don't need all that many to destroy the world. Other countries need to stop acting scared of the United States and start looking to each other for help. What's to stop the collective power of more than five billion people from ousting America from the United Nations and from the world scene? The United States only has as much power as it's given through other countries' -- like Britain -- governmental cooperation. If the United States were isolated, it would have to give up its position on the world stage. It's time that "America says so" stopped meaning "right," and that can only happen when the world shows a united face and stands up to this kind of bullying. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/16/2003 05:15:25 PM ----- BODY: "Are weapons of mass destruction a needle that you can conceal in a head cover or in the scarf of an old woman that (U.N. weapons) inspectors cannot find?'' Saddam asked. "There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,'' he added, joking: "Well, give us time and the necessary means and we will produce any weapon they want and then we will invite them to come and destroy them.'' Hussein Warns of World War if U.S. Strikes -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/15/2003 01:35:04 PM ----- BODY: Hurray!!! My computer works again! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/14/2003 05:05:35 AM ----- BODY: I am two pages away from having completed my last major paper for the quarter. Notice it is about 5 a.m. I am dead tired. Despite not going into work once yet this week in order to devote all of my time to reading the book for this paper that I had put off until finishing the last paper, I still didn't get a full eight hours of sleep each day. I've been up until at least 5 a.m. almost every night this week, and I've been waking myself up around noon. Not terrible, but not conducive to not falling asleep in front of a very slow novel. (A 498-page slow novel, by the way.) Anyway, it's almost over (I hope). I don't know when I'm supposed to turn in this paper tomorrow, but I plan to hand it in whenever I can get into Kresge Hall in the morning. At least I think it goes to Kresge, as that's where her office is. God knows. In other news, I won my election for Residential College Board Vice President of Public Affairs. (Yes, I can hear you groaning.) I think it's the first contested election I have ever won. Every other leadership position I've had I've gotten through either being appointed or uncontested. (Sort of like how I ended up being the secretary -- I think -- of the Forensics Club but almost never heard about it because I never went to the pre-school day meetings.) At the very least, this news is affirming to me. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/12/2003 04:51:36 AM ----- BODY: "The day after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America, the French newspaper Le Monde proclaimed, 'We are all Americans!' " [Sen. Robert C. Byrd] said. "Eighteen months later, the United States and France are hurling insults at each other, and the French are leading the opposition to the war against Iraq. In country after country, the United States has seen the outpouring of compassion and support that followed Sept. 11 dissolve into anger and resentment at this administration's heavy-handed attempts to railroad the world into supporting a questionable war with Iraq." Never thought I'd ever respect a politician quite so much before Robert Byrd decided not to run for reelection. More freedom-fried insanity. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/12/2003 01:26:39 AM ----- BODY: Vive la ... freedom? Good God, I live in such a sad, sad nation. Who put these spoiled (not to mention ignorant) kids in charge? -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/10/2003 07:58:56 PM ----- BODY: One class down. I just finished my Newswriting final. Although it was a good class, I'm glad to have the six hours a week of labs behind me. Honestly, why can't we have a credit-hour system here so that I could take only three classes in quarters like this one but still earn appropriate credit for my work? My next task is to revise my blank verse poem. Hopefully I will accomplish this well before it gets to the "I'm going to have to skip work tomorrow" point. I'm rather behind in hours, and while I know I can put in plenty during finals week, I'd like to spread them out. Tomorrow, I want to get up early enough to turn in my poem and get the book I'm writing a paper on out of the library for me to read at work. (Sorry, Matt -- I'll work on my articles sometime before Spring Break.) -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/10/2003 04:43:25 AM ----- BODY: By the way, I did finish both my paper and my profile. Now, all I have left is studying for my final on Monday evening, revising my poem due Tuesday, reading a book and writing a paper on it by Friday, and writing a final essay for Thursday. Whatever happened to Reading Week being a time to relax!? -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/10/2003 04:41:14 AM ----- BODY: The changed the name of my browser from Chimera to Camino. I do not like this. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/8/2003 05:05:40 AM ----- BODY: Ahh! Today I woke up a bit before 7 a.m. to ready myself for the big interview with Alderman Kent. It went okay except for that whole being tired part. After that, I was on my feet until about 4 p.m. I nearly fell asleep at the dinner table. I got back, set my computer to update itself, and soon fell asleep. When I woke up, my computer was dead. Well, it was near death, anyway. The screen had gone blue, and it showed no signs of changing. It wasn't until six hours (and two attempts at clean installs) later that I finally got it to work again. It's now better in some ways (faster! the annoying script menu's dead!) but worse in others (all of my preferences need to be reset). Of course, the upshot of all of this is that I didn't start my alderman profile until about 3 a.m. To paraphrase: The computer is frustrating, I cry and weep, But I have final due dates to keep, And 900 words to go before I sleep, And 900 words to go before I sleep. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/5/2003 04:24:22 PM ----- BODY: The Axis of Just as Evil. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/4/2003 03:07:11 PM ----- BODY: I am so tired of my classes. I am sick of them all. I need something new, and I don't know where to find it. Scholarship can go take a long walk off a short pier. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/2/2003 02:00:29 AM ----- BODY: Ow, my head hurts. Not in that extremely painful kind of way, but in that dull achy kind of way, like how you feel right after waking up if you've been sleeping in an odd position. Which I was, of course. But it hasn't gone away, and I think it won't until I get some sleep. I'm loathe to stay up any longer tonight, but I have a lot to get done and if I don't do it now, who knows when I'll get around to it. Tonight Scott and I used the pasta pots for the second time, and this time we tried out the locking lid on the smaller one. We heated up some oil in it, then cooked a pound of ground chuck. Then, locking the lid, Scott dumped all the grease down the drain. It was pretty nifty. Unfortunately, we found after marveling at this phenomenon that we could not UNlock the locking lid. We almost twisted the handle off trying. I think we'd locked it a bit too tightly, and turning the handle just seemed to loosen the screw holding it on. We ended up sticking the whole thing in the fridge to cool off, hoping it might contract, and short of that, hoping we could then at least touch the lid. Eventually I managed to get the lid off by sticking a knife between and using it like a bottle opener. However, despite our difficulties, we produced a delicious meal of angel hair pasta with spicy meat sauce and garlic bread. Mmm ... aren't you jealous? -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/1/2003 03:21:06 AM ----- BODY: Program failed. Will try again later. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 3/1/2003 01:31:02 AM ----- BODY: Trying to make an application now. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/27/2003 02:40:42 PM ----- BODY: OK, I remembered the story ideas from yesterday, I think. One had to do with blogs and the other with death. I'm not entirely sure if either of these was the one I forgot, but oh well. I decided again today to just skip work and sleep in. I am beginning to see why the department doesn't like having people do one-hour shifts. At any rate, this means I'm two hours behind in working this week, and I'll have to make that up soon. No shirking my duties this quarter. I've been relatively healthy so far, so I should take advantage. Although my body these days doesn't seem to be agreeing with me on the amount of sleep it needs. I tell it seven hours should be sufficient, and it insists on more than eight. I really need to start getting to bed sooner. Especially since next quarter I'll again have class at 10 a.m. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/27/2003 02:57:28 AM ----- BODY: And nobody knows it but me. I know I've heard that in a song -- not just that car commercial. My poetry prof wrote on my paper that I got back today that I had talent as a poet. Albeit he said this in the context of "I expected better from a poet of your talent," but it's nice to know I have talent, anyway. Besides, the poem was only one-third of a grade lower than the last two, so it didn't hurt much, especially since I think I did pretty well in my presentantion last class. Yes, I had to be prompted for a line and hesitated near the end in my second poem, but it wasn't because I didn't know it but because I got progressively more nervous as I recited and thus started to panic and choke. You'd think that with all my poetry-reciting experience from forensics I'd be beyond stage fright, but I think forensics actually gave me stage fright by placing me among people who were better at it than me (or at least were thoroughly convinced they were). Oh well. I did a fabulous job with the first poem, "The Tyger," (one of my favorites), and I came back in the end with some insightful commentary, mostly just picked up from reading the textbook introduction, but a lot more than pretty much everyone else attempted. I know it sounds arrogant when I say that, but a lot of the performances and explanations were really just sad (which makes it all the worse that I got so nervous). Anyway, I've felt some literary inspiration ever since then today. I had an idea for a story earlier, but now I've realized I've forgotten it. That sucks. I should attempt to remember tonight and sketch it out. Today's classes just illustrated how very different the two types of writing I'm learning are. In one, language is transparent, simply a means to an end. In the other, language is opaque, an end in itself. I wonder if it's possible to synthesize the two. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/26/2003 02:14:16 AM ----- BODY: My diary is so boring. I need to come up with super life events to fill its pages. As I don't really have any super life events, I should make some up. Well, it's kind of late now, so maybe I'll make some up tomorrow. Look forward to that. I don't really want to write my articles. But gosh darn it, I should do it. It's what gets me paid. Britt sent in our apartment applications today. Hopefully this means the great apartment search is finally at an end. Well, the landlord of this place said he'd hold it for us a while ago, but I just don't want to commit to saying we have it until we sign a lease. I'm afraid I'll jinx it otherwise. And I'd hate to lose this place, as it's pretty close and just what we were looking for. Here's hoping! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/24/2003 04:13:10 PM ----- BODY: So is this a real quote? Attempting to calm a jittery nation bracing for the next terrorist attack, President Bush said there is no cause for alarm. "The Euclid fire appears to be an isolated incident unrelated to terrorism," Bush said. "But next time, we might not be so lucky. That is why we, as a nation, must do everything we can to drive out Saddam Hussein and his ilk. By confronting terrorism head-on, we can once again live in a nation where we don't jump every time a dryer buzzer goes off." Perhaps not, but it sure seems like it could be these days. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/22/2003 12:44:25 AM ----- BODY: I just got back from Clarke's, where I indulged in two small pancakes (with lots of butter and syrup) and a big bowl of oatmeal (although Scott ended up eating almost half to cool his mouth after attempting the Egg Skillet of Fire). I now feel so stuffed that I even changed into pajama pants to allow more room for digestion. Of course, knowing me, in an hour or so I'll probably have a hankering for pretzels. Mmm, pretzels ... You know, one thing I really don't like about AOL Instant Messenger for the Mac is that you can't seem to put in carriage returns. Pressing "return" or "shift-return" just sends the message. Anyone know how to get around this without turning off the enter-sends-message function entirely? -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/19/2003 11:47:02 PM ----- BODY: The hometown boy (sort of): EUCLID, OH—Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge assured the American people Monday that terrorism was "not likely a factor" in the fire that damaged a downtown Euclid laundromat Sunday afternoon. "At this time, there is nothing to suggest that yesterday's Sudsy Duds fire was the work of a terrorist group, al-Qaeda or otherwise," Ridge said. "The FBI is conducting a thorough investigation into the cause, but thus far, there is no evidence indicating that this was a terrorist strike against our nation." And what was with that duct tape thing, anyway? -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/19/2003 09:37:12 PM ----- BODY: Here's a sonnet I wrote for my poetry class. Perhaps I will post a revised version in the Writing section soon. Also I'll post my lament in quatrains once I replace the pronouns. The Civil Child With fist at hip and sword in hand, he stands But on his chest just seven buttons march. His lips still horde their baby fat, and strands Of hair escape his hat to form an arch. A sideways glance from eyes so proud betrays A fidgety thought -- and puggish nose retreats Beneath the apple cheeks, while ears find ways To fly away -- afraid of near-defeats? The little man, erect and short, with stripes Upon his shoulders, buckled belt around His waist, today he stands in wait for pipes To call him with the rats -- and hears the sound. But child of war, stay still beside the chair Let battle-breaking rumbles call elsewhere. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/19/2003 08:55:34 PM ----- BODY: Does anyone remember the Persian Gulf War? I don't mean the people who were adults at the time, but the people like me who were in second grade. I remember my teacher's friend, who was stationed over there, sending our class lots of stuff from Iraq at the time. At home, I have a picture from the local newspaper of a couple of my classmates posing with the stuff, one of them wearing that headdress that the male royals in Saudi Arabia wear (only this one was a red-and-white checkered fabric). There was money with Saddam Hussein's face on it, I think, and I'm pretty sure he sent us some of the food. It was fascinating stuff. I remember also that our teacher spearheaded a school rally of sorts toward what must have been the end of the conflict, as it's purpose was to meet her friend in person. My class marched in singing "I'm Proud to Be an American" and carrying a flag. I still remember the words, and it gets stuck in my head sometimes. Of course, I had no idea what the war was about, just that Iraq (and I didn't know quite where that was -- just "overseas") had invaded Kuwait (I believe I thought something along the lines of, "Who cares if they take such a stupid little country? I've never heard of it!"). I thought "Saddam" was Saddam Hussein's title as ruler -- Arabic for "king" or something. Here's something I just don't understand: "Bush tells UN council to display 'backbone.'" Irony, irony, irony. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/18/2003 06:05:14 PM ----- BODY: It boggles my mind how human beings are so capable -- nay, talented at -- misunderstanding each other. And beyond even that, the blindness exhibited by the world exists on such a massive scale so as not to be believed. Sometimes the parallels that can be drawn between humans and lemmings are frightening to contemplate. And irony abounds, as always. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/17/2003 03:52:02 AM ----- BODY: It's amazing how many different reactions a change in situation can produce, but it's still more amazing how some things are endlessly similar. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/14/2003 03:12:06 AM ----- BODY: At 3:30 Thursday, I was supposed to have my Islam and Gender class. I arrived a few minutes early, and I sauntered in, ready to make my usual beeline for the seat in the back left corner. However, I encountered upon entering the room a girl standing too close to the door, looking at a message written on the blackboard in the back, which everyone else in the class was also twisted around looking at. All it said was "Thursday: Class in the library video forum room." Now, we knew from the previous class that sometime in the future we might have to go to the forum room to watch a documentary for class, but it wasn't on the syllabus for that day, nor had it been mentioned on the obsessively updated Blackboard course information page my professor maintains. So we all stared at the message, attempting to determine if it was meant for us. After waiting for a few minutes after class should have started, we all set off for the library, confident that since our prof was never late for class (that's just me), she must be waiting for us at the library. We walked down the three flights of stairs to the basement exit, and we walked down the relatively short path to the library. It was like being transported back to grade school for a strange field trip. We arrived at the library and climbed the long staircase to the second floor. The class proceeded then down to the forum -- then stopped. At the back, I didn't know what was going on. I was too busy contemplating the fact that most of the people in this class seemed to know someone else in it whereas I knew no one (but I digress). Eventually we pushed our way forward, and I saw that the forum room was not in fact occupied by my impatiently waiting prof but instead by some sort of math or engineering class. Some other people checked the smaller video room as the rest of us stood gaping, with it slowly dawning on us that we had been greatly mistaken. After debating for a few minutes whether there were any other video theaters in the library (God knows there could be in that cavernous building -- I swear people live there), we headed back to our classroom. The climb back up the steep stairs was tortuous, especially knowing a potentially annoyed prof could be waiting at the other side. Though I didn't want to encounter any more stairs for a long time, I strongly wished that the prof still wouldn't be there so that I could go home and sleep until dinner. Alas, I was disappointed in this regard, as the prof had appeared in the classroom after all. She was conferencing with a student who'd shown up late, and apparently we caught them soon before they would have set out looking for us, likely passing us along the way. It seems she'd had nothing to do with the message on the board -- it was mere coincidence that an ambiguous message somewhat related to our class had shown up on the one day she has been late all quarter. Or was it? -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/14/2003 12:53:04 AM ----- BODY: It's officially Valentine's Day now. How things have changed. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/11/2003 08:25:45 PM ----- BODY: Do you ever contemplate the fact that there are now people walking around, people going about their daily lives without a thought to the bigger things in the world, that are even now marked for death? People who aren't sick, who aren't at all anticipating it, but who are a part of the random casualties statistics we talk about with a sense of unreality. It seems like we're handing down a death sentence simply by condemning their deaths. There are people walking around now, people marked "17" or "12,382," the numbers they are gifted of the half a million numbers who may perish. It gives such a sense of futility to life. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/9/2003 01:46:13 AM ----- BODY: Ow, my head hurts. I need to stop wearing my glasses so much. The frames are so heavy that they always give me a headache. At the moment I've taken them off, which means I have to sit with my nose to the screen to see what I'm typing. I need to dig up my old mini-notebook. Lately I find myself thinking stuff I wish I could jot down immediately to make sure I don't forget and then find I have nowhere t do that. Thus all those brilliant and fascinating insights I have into the world are lost in the ether. I know, it's unbearable to think about, all that wisdom, lost, but alas, such is its fate. Now I should go write a poem lamenting its loss. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/6/2003 02:50:33 PM ----- BODY: I've finished my second (and last for the quarter) midterm this afternoon. I can't really evaluate my performance this time. On the poetry midterm, I came out of it feeling like I'd done well and that I'd get a pretty good grade (and so it happened). But this time, I'm not really sure. Honestly, I just didn't understand what the class was getting at that well (I don't think most other people in the class do, either), so I'm not sure if what I wrote is going in the right direction or not. I think I probably wrote less than a lot of people, as I sat and stared at the page for several stretches as I tried to think my answers out. But in the end I just couldn't come up with anything more to say. So be it. We'll see how it went sometime next week. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/5/2003 01:49:37 AM ----- BODY: I'm already tired of my classes. Well, I'm mostly tired of Newswriting, since I'm currently working on coming up with questions to ask an alderman at a class "news conference." Situations in which I must take the initiative to ask questions are my weakest areas, and honestly, I'm not terribly interested in Evanston government. I don't know what to ask this guy. I should just give up, write eight stupid questions and move on with life. Alas, I always seem to have a problem with just getting things done so I can move on. I should start identifying the assignments I don't have a hope of doing well on and just finish them off as quickly as possible instead of procrastinating. Newswriting's not a bad class, actually. Or at least it hasn't been so. But it's six hours a week, twice what a normal class is. Since this is now the fifth week of the quarter, that means I've already put in enough time to have completed the class if it was normal. It's frustrating to know I still have so much more to go. Well, I should probably work or go to bed now. Or drop out of school and move to some deserted island. Yeah, that sounds good. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/4/2003 02:40:12 PM ----- BODY: I'm tired, and presently I'll probably take a nap, but at the moment I need some intellectual stimulation. Thus I converse with myself. I find I spend probably too much time reading web sites. Not my friends' sites, which take only a few minutes to peruse, but stupid sites that really only exist to waste my time. Lately I've taken to reading the New York Times a lot, the excuse being I need to keep up on current events for my Newswriting class (I still managed to miss a question and a half on the last quiz, though), but it's not the most satisfying reading. The Times has a kind of arrogant writing style, and I've heard recently about some disparities in its foreign coverage. I need to find a good news site, but I'm hesitant to rely on broadcast network sites (being that it's broadcast), and I don't want something that will give be slanted news. Oh well, I'll figure something out. All right, if I want to get any significant sleep I should go now. Wake me up in 45 minutes. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/4/2003 02:56:39 AM ----- BODY: Thanks for another compliment I received by e-mail recently, if that person's still reading this. It's been pretty cool getting to hear from other writers lately about my site. I'm not sure how they're finding out about it -- the increase of late makes me wonder if the address has been posted somewhere somewhat prominent -- but I'm glad to have the comments. It's especially interesting to participate in the writing give-and-take of ideas and work. It makes me feel like I'm part of the community. Now I should probably go to bed before my incoherence causes me to lose my place in that community. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 2/3/2003 02:47:27 PM ----- BODY: My poetry class this afternoon was canceled due to a day-long test of the library's alarm system. As my prof said, "I am certain we will get little learning done and suffer greatly." Probably an understatement. Being on the fifth floor of the almost unnavigable library as sirens go off around one most definitely seems enough to make one panic. Over the weekend I spent a great deal of time watching the coverage of the Columbia disaster. I've seen NASA officials go from shock to defensiveness, and I've seen the media treat the possibility of damaged tiles on the underside of the shuttle being the cause of the burn-up as a foregone conclusion. It seems to me that they pounced upon the easy answer there and are not fully exploring what must have been a complex chain reaction that destroyed the shuttle. At the same time, I'm disturbed by what NASA has been saying in the past few days about the possibility of shuttle repairs in space. While it's understandable that they wouldn't want to attempt a spacewalk to fix broken tiles because of the possibility of breaking more, it seems that by having no alternative method of repair -- or not even having an effective way to evaluate shuttle damage while in space -- the agency is putting its astronauts in an unacceptably risky situation. The way it stands, if several tiles were to fall off the shuttle or be damaged, neither NASA nor its astronauts could do anything about it. But what's most disturbing about the situation to me is that even if they knew there was damage, they apparently would still send the shuttle -- and its crew -- back down to Earth. Rather than transferring the astronauts to the space station (something they've poured a ton of resources into, perhaps to the neglect of the shuttle program) until another method of getting them home safely could be found, NASA seems to think it's okay to send them on a mission home that would most likely kill them. While I know that all astronauts accept a level of risk by blasting into space, it seems horribly wrong to send them on what amounts to a suicide mission. What does this say about the value of human life? Is it more worthwhile for the agency to ignore such a risk to its astronauts in order to do everything possible to bring back an expensive piece of equipment instead of letting it float unused in space? It saddens me to think that not that long ago these people were alive, excited about their mission and excited to soon be reunited with the families they'd never see again. It seems like such a great injustice that we can't simply roll back the clock just a few hours to help them somehow -- to at least give them a chance to say goodbye before they end up as charred remains scattered across Texas and Louisiana. Somehow it just seems impossible to not be able to go back just a little bit and stop something that so easily could have been stopped. When death happens so quickly, it's hard to comprehend that in one minute, someone was alive, and in the next, he or she is dead, and there's nothing that can be done to change that. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/31/2003 05:40:32 PM ----- BODY: Congratulations, Scott! (But I knew it would happen all along!) -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/29/2003 04:20:59 PM ----- BODY: I wish there were a more convenient way to post these entries. It seems very convenient at first, until ou realize it only works in Internet Explorer, which you've stopped using since it sucks. However, in order to update, you must boot up IE, which almost completely eliminates the covenience the new system was supposed to bring by eliminating the need to boot up a web design program. So frustrating. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/29/2003 04:13:46 PM ----- BODY: Finally, that "engimatic, elusive despot" will be brought to justice. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/25/2003 12:52:27 PM ----- BODY: Last night, the Internet stopped working here. Not just on my computer, but on every computer in PARC (and possibly on campus). It was terrible. I felt cut off, adrift, helpless -- well, frankly, I felt rather bored. I did miss my connection, and now, I'm quite glad it's back. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/24/2003 01:30:07 AM ----- BODY: Happy birthday, Britt! (Well, technically it was yesterday, but it's still her birthday in Pacific Time). I am still utterly disorganized. Hopefully I will remedy that this weekend. Britt's found a good new potential apartment. I hope it turns out to be what we want and that we can get it, since it seems to fit most of our conditions. I just changed my Teaching Media quarter to the winter to accomodate living off campus next year. I have a new Harry Potter calendar, with illustrations from the book Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Not my favorite of the series, but it's cute. I want some chips. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/22/2003 02:07:42 PM ----- BODY: I like tomato soup. And I like not having class until 6 p.m. Good stuff. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/22/2003 02:12:42 AM ----- BODY: Britt: but i'm hungry! Colleen: eat some cardboard. then you won't be. Britt: well, i'm sure there are things more edible than cardboard here Colleen: but none so quickly filling. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/21/2003 11:16:30 PM ----- BODY: "Freud viewed civilization as a war against sexuality. Civilization is sexual energy 'turned aside from its sexual goal and diverted towards other ends, no longer sexual and socially more valuable'. The Muslim theory views civilization as the outcome of satisfied sexual energy. Work is the result not of sexual frustration but of a contented and harmoniously lived sexuality." What do you think? -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/21/2003 06:01:30 PM ----- BODY: Northwestern has started an evil network spying program called NetReg. We had no choice in agreeing to this as the alternative was no Internet access. So now some NUIT spy will be watching all my net activity and I don't like this. However, what is worse is that this has somehow rendered Chimera, my open-source browser of choice, inoperable. Now not only do I have a spy on me, I have to use a Microsoft browser. What gives? -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/20/2003 03:59:59 PM ----- BODY: PARC won the IM floor hockey game last night! It is a miracle! For those who remember my entries of this time last year (see the list at the left for reference), PARC's IM floor hockey team, though scrappy, really sucked. We tried and tried, but we couldn't stand up to the ultracompetitive teams in our division. We almost never scored and never won. But this year, we've already bucked the trend and achieved a solid win. We beat another residential college 4-1 -- that's by three whole goals! Of course, the team wasn't as tough as the teams we played last year, but at the same time this year the floor was bigger and the number of people on the floor increased to six (thus decreasing the number of people we could keep off the floor to rest to three). Plus, the other team vastly outnumbered us -- they had to have had at least twice our number of players. But we scored early and then we held on throughout the rest of the game, and it all paid off. It was a glorious day in PARC history, finally topping our only other IM win (since I've been here, at least), in which the soccer team beat ROTC 0 to -1 (the ROTC team was penalized for arriving late). Now we can say for once that we are true athletes. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/18/2003 03:57:10 PM ----- BODY: I've been drinking a lot lately. No, not alcohol. I've been drinking all kinds of fortified juices, smoothies and milk. My vitamin C intake has shot up to about ten times the level it was last quarter from all the citrus juices I've taken in. I'm probably getting the full intake of vitamins A and B for the first time in my life. On top of that, by drinking milk again I'm getting a lot of calcium and vitamin D. Now I ask you -- is it possible to get sick from consuming too many vitamins and minerals?! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/17/2003 03:14:12 PM ----- BODY: Here is my life since this past Tuesday, told in poetic exercises: I left my books behind In a classroom for the weekend. My mind is like a blaring radio. The narration of my life turned up my mind's volume. Days are too short. A chill pervades the winter air I cringe and cover my wet hair A shiver shakes my shrinking bones I wish I had a warmer home Most of my work I did not Finish but most of my books were bought. I would write more But my leads call And now this poem Is terminated. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/14/2003 10:41:51 AM ----- BODY: I checked my site, and it appears that several entries are missing. I hope they will be published after I hit the "publish" button this time. If so, there are entries for the 10th and the 11th that you may not have read yet. Enjoy. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/11/2003 09:00:45 PM ----- BODY: Clearly, moving my site updating to Blogger has made me lazy when it comes to updating the rest of the site. Who knows when the many, many pictures I have sitting on my hard drive will see the light of day. But I do have a lot of stuff I should be doing but am not, and this remains my excuse for not doing something about the unupdated nature of my site. I finally figured out how to get the dorm mailing list to send out correctly from the new computer. However, I will be glad when I no longer have to handle the thing. It lost its novelty quite a while ago. As it is, I'm tired of handling messages for stupid campus events I'll never go to. We did in fact go apartment-hunting yesterday, and although nothing really jumped out at us (except for the extreme cold that persisted today), it was a good start. Hopefully we'll find something both nice and within our budget. Which reminds me that I ought to really figure out what said budget is. And finally, I'm again thinking of altering my academic plans. This time, I'm considering changing my planned second major from history to Asian studies, as Asian studies would basically be taking a variety of classes about the Middle East. I think I might enjoy this interdisciplinary approach. I'm still thinking I will also have a creative writing minor at this point, which would entail writing a long piece of fiction my senior year. This, I think, would be far more enjoyable than writing a thesis. But that's just me, right? -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/10/2003 02:38:33 AM ----- BODY: To the joy of all concerned, the sticky housing situation seems to have been sorted out. I thank Matt and Kim for the enthusiatic responses they left to my previous entry. I also thank Britt for avidly seeking out places to live in time to actually get them. Right now, everything is looking pretty good. For those of you who'd like to join in tomorrow's visit to a potential house and the off-campus housing office, we will be departing at 2 p.m. tomorrow. It feels pretty nice to be done for the week already. I like having Fridays off! Of course, starting next week I'll probably work on Friday mornings, but for now, I'm going to relish my extra day off and take advantage of it to finally get everything straightened up in my room. And after all that, I will go shopping at Whole Foods with Scott, where we will be buying ingredients to make grilled pork tenderloin with some sort of apple-molasses sauce, and then obviously we will cook it. Two nights of cooking in a row! Tonight we made burgers with Jackie and Scott M., who's visiting from law school. They were really quite excellent, and that's saying something from me, who generally can't stand homemade burgers. And after all that, Scott and I will go see the new Harry Potter movie (me for the second time). Yeah, I think he's hooked on Harry now, too. But who can help it? -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/8/2003 12:18:09 PM ----- BODY: I don't like having my routine interrupted. As much as this is unadventurous, and as much as it makes me suffer with boredom from time to time, I just don't like breaks in the regular. I come to expect certain things each day, and when they don't happen, I get upset. When routine refused to stay put, I miss the little things that bring joy to my day, which are replaced by big things I maybe don't like so much. I like to settle down and know what to expect and grow to love the time. Speaking of knowing what to expect, I don't for next year. Increasingly it looks like none of my friends here want to stay in the same place next year. Increasingly it looks like I'll be alone in my living arrangements and thus alone most of the time. I don't like this. I also don't like incoherent poems. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/7/2003 11:15:12 PM ----- BODY: I just churned out a pretty awful poem and now my head hurts. The assignment was to write a response poem to one of the selections in the contemporary American section of our course packet. Of course, "contemporary" means "incomprehensible" in poetry-speak. It's gotten to the point in literature where you can only be great if no one knows what in the world you mean. Same with the visual arts. While a good deal of this stuff may be profound, another sizable chunk is probably crap but everyone's afraid to admit it. I did learn something in my poetry class that got me thinking. (Unfortunately, I think I've forgotten all the ideas it prompted.) Everyone knows Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," right? I myself had to memorize it in eighth grade English. Apparently it's not the simple little poem about pretty trees it appears to be. Rather, it's about losing your soul to beauty. It's ironic, isn't it? Beauty touches the soul; the soul creates beauty. But once you give yourself over to beauty, you lose the one think that makes beauty possible. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 1/3/2003 11:59:11 AM ----- BODY: Yesterday I finally got my Mac web software -- Adobe GoLive -- in the mail. The program is pretty complex and definitely not similar to Dreamweaver, but hopefully I'll figure it out soon enough to make a dent into the web site work I need to do. I figured out how to make templates and how to set up a site, but I can't yet determine how one is supposed to design a page. Considering my work-study job involves designing web pages, this is kind of a problem, to say the least. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/31/2002 02:07:48 PM ----- BODY: The skin underneath my right eye itches. Perhaps it's dry. At any rate, it needs to be scratched, but I can hardly bring myself to do it. The skin there is so delicate that I'm sure I'll rip it off in an entirely too gruesome accident. And since my nails are overlong, the risk is even greater. But it itches! Tonight, it appears my family will be going to the Olive Garden for dinner, followed by some movie or another. This dinner continues my stretch of eating pasta dishes this week. I lobbied for spaghetti instead of leftovers a couple of nights back, and the next day I had one of those "Pasta Anytime" meals for lunch. For dinner then I made (from scratch!) chicken noodle soup, which had a whole box of ziti in it because Sam insisted he "couldn't see the noodles" when there was only half a box. (By the way, Sam hardly touched his soup for dinner, even though it was quite good despite being overnoodled and underveggied. But that's a sensitive issue and I'll not go there.) Last night, AMC had an Audrey Hepburn mini-marathon, showing Sabrina, Roman Holiday and the Backstory episode about the latter. It was wonderful! Sabrina is one of my favorite movies (even though I always wonder exactly how old Humphrey Bogart is supposed to be). I borrowed the fifty-foot cable we bought for the Xbox network adapter and brought my laptop out to the kitchen in order to have a clear view of the television, and I watched the whole thing. I only wish they had put on more Audrey Hepburn movies after Backstory instead of just repeating Sabrina. Scott told me yesterday what he was getting me for Christmas (he wanted approval before ordering), and now I'm even more excited to get back than I was already. I have to start thinking about how I'm going to fit all the Christmas presents I bought for everyone into my suitcase. I'm afraid I didn't consider space constrictions when shopping for presents I thought looked cool. But I'll figure it out somehow. Hurray for Christmas! And if I don't catch you -- Happy New Year! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/30/2002 12:17:46 PM ----- BODY: According to the quiz I found on Shannon's site, my New Year's resolution should be "to break stuff." If you understand this, let me know! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/29/2002 11:21:53 PM ----- BODY: I'm starting to run out of stuff to do. I mean, I have work-study stuff left -- I've only accumulated about seven hours of my target 20 to 30. But as I have to do that on my old and now a lot slower laptop (I removed the memory upgrade and installed it in my iBook), it's really an exercise in frustration. Dreamweaver crashed at least twice during the four hours I worked this evening, once just after I had saved a file I'd been working on for a long time. (Actually, that time my laptop went into one of its famous spontaneous restarts -- having saved the file just then was a great stroke of luck.) And the work I've been doing so far is really rather tedious. I've been reformatting a professor's old syllabi for his web site. It's all a matter of playing with line breaks, indents and text styles, and it's as boring as it sounds. I'd like to play the new Sims game we got for Christmas, but unfortunately it only can run on one of our computers. (I assume it could also work on the computer upstairs, but you can't run it when someone's playing it downstairs since you need the CD.) Alas, the boys want to play it, too, and so the Dell is almost constantly occupied by one of them during the day (and spare moments are taken by my mom). Thus I can't usually play it until late at night when they've gone to bed, but oftentimes Dan or Sean have friends over late at night these days. Dan and company especially like to take over the computer while here -- they use it for their God-awful "recording sessions." There's a reason the first two letters of their "band's" name stand for "no talent." That brings me to the NOISE that constantly pervades this house. If any of you ever wonder how I can stand to live next door to Laura, who likes to blare music through the walls all day, let me tell you that I consider that a respite. And I'm especially looking forward to it now, as the noise level has ratcheted up to levels unknown over this break. Between the new digital cable blaring from the family room, the always-running Xbox in the living room, the stupid Sims music from the Dell, that horrible new electronic drum machine Zach got for Christmas, Dan's friend playing guitar, the chatter of countless people who think they have the right to take over the house at all hours and many more annoyances, I can't believe that a) we haven't broken some noise pollution ordinance or b) I haven't gone deaf. AHHHH!!! I just can't take it anymore! And the worst part of the whole thing is that there's nowhere to escape to. The noise (especially from the stupid drums) penetrates the floor of my room. It's snowy and freezing outside. There's almost never a car available to me in a house of five drivers, and even if there was, there's nowhere for me to go. Even if I did feel like going downtown to the library or something, I'd not be allowed to stay for more than an hour or two, I'm sure, because I'd be roped into being chauffeur for one or more of my brothers. Getting myself away here just isn't worth the hassle. I just want to be alone! I just want some quiet! How is one supposed to sleep in a house with 24/7 noise, anyway? Why can't I go back now?! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/28/2002 09:26:32 PM ----- BODY: Today I went tubing, and good God was I cold. Despite wearing two pairs of socks and winter boots, I felt like my toes were going to fall off. But that's not even enough to describe the feeling in my fingers when my gloves got wet. Cold, cold, cold cold cold. I had hoped to write more, but my brain feels a little dull after not getting much sleep. Tomorrow I hope to sleep in! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/27/2002 01:47:46 PM ----- BODY: It's nice getting random compliments on the site. Thanks! It's family picture day. I'm wearing my new red blouse (as my mom has again insisted we all dress alike) and waiting for the call to the car. Hopefully I won't look as awful as in the last one. I've pretty much gotten the new computer set up. All of my old files are on it, and I've ripped all the CDs I brought with me. Today I'll try to transfer my old memory card to this laptop. I'm still waiting for Adobe GoLive to come in the mail (naturally, as I ordered it only yesterday), and once that gets here, my machine will be complete. Yesterday, I spent a great deal of money between books, GoLive and Christmas presents for school friends. But I'm calming down from that today, and now the major problem is how to get all this new stuff back to Chicago. Yikes! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/25/2002 08:21:49 PM ----- BODY: Snow, snow, snow everywhere! What better sign that Christmas is here? (Well, personally I could go for some sunshine, but let's be realistic.) A snowstorm hit Erie on Christmas Day, starting in the middle of the night (sometime while we were in Midnight Mass) and continuing through this morning and early afternoon. I began to fear people wouldn't be able to make it through the snow to our house for the big party at our house and then we'd be stuck with enough food for thirty (or a hundred) people and only eight to eat it. Fortunately, everyone pressed on and we had a full house today. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Christmas officially started last night with the first gift exchange. As there are six kids in this family, we decided several years ago that we just wouldn't attempt to buy each and every sibling a present as this could potentially take up our entire Christmas budgets. Thus, we do a Secret Santa exchange within the house. However, it seems that this year, only me and possibly Dan actually picked out and purchased the presents for our Secret Santas -- the rest came from my mom in the guise of sibling gifts. I guess it's not so bad -- the presents are usually nicer -- but it really seems to defeat the purpose. Oh well, it's Christmas, so why complain? After opening these and other presents, we played a round of Cranium, the gift I'd gotten Sam. In light of the experience of playing it today as well, I'd like to say that it is best played a) with only two teams, b) without a lot of background noise, and c) without any drunk people. When someone's not quite sober, it's rather difficult to get them to pay attention long enough to explain the rules. Eventually, we all got dressed up and went to Midnight Mass. This one is the real show -- the full choir, the pianist, and the brass band were all there, and all three priests plus a deacon and four altar servers (all female, by the way) led the celebration. There was enough incense to make you dizzy and enough volume to blow out your eardrums. It was almost like a rock concert. After a bit of last-minute present-wrapping, I collapsed into bed around 3 a.m. I tried to stay up for the end of the classic version of A Christmas Carol starring Alistair Sim, but I fell asleep as soon as Tiny Tim died. I was not pleased to be awakened at 8 a.m., but I figured I'd just get up and go since it was going to happen that way no matter what. I went downstairs and opened my few presents (with getting a new laptop, the present total shrinks significantly, naturally). I had a cinnamon bun, set up my iBook, then went upstairs and slept until 11:30. The rest of the afternoon was spent frantically cooking and preparing everything for the big Christmas bash. The potatoes took longer than expected and didn't brown sufficiently (we made them into a lovely casserole instead), the sweet potatoes didn't mash enough (there was no helping those), and the oven just didn't have enough room. But somehow, we managed to pull it off, and we provided the most enormous Christmas spread we've ever offered. (You all should have come to dinner -- we had enough for at least ten more people.) I got some nice presents this year, and, surprisingly, most came from my Christmas list. I got the new iBook, of course, plus The Others and Arsenic and Old Lace on DVD, three pairs of shoes, a web cam, a subscription to Archaeology magazine, and more. I also got two pairs of pajamas, which I didn't ask for, but they're nice. And I just bought the new Foo Fighters CD off of my brother Sean, who got three copies of it. Now I must start looking around for new software to clog my computer's hard drive with. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/25/2002 12:22:47 AM ----- BODY: Merry Christmas! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/24/2002 12:01:54 AM ----- BODY: I need to cook tomorrow! If you should see me online, remind me that I must: If I neglect to accomplish this stuff tomorrow, there will be problems. Scott called to inform me today that, despite a long initial flight delay in Cairo, he has made it back to this country just in time for the holidays -- although being in a predominantly Muslim country for a couple of weeks naturally doesn't put one in a Christmas frame of mind. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/23/2002 10:08:14 AM ----- BODY: I neglected to mention that I took the Sesame Street Muppet's Dark Secret quiz (I found the link on Shannon's site), and I turned out to be "The Count's Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder." I doubt anyone is surprised. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/23/2002 12:18:17 AM ----- BODY: Okay, the site is finally purple again. Enjoy the present for your eyes! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/22/2002 11:14:22 PM ----- BODY: I'm attempting the switch to the old design now. Give the page some time to come back to normal! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/22/2002 12:57:02 AM ----- BODY: A ridiculous IM conversation with Britt: Britt: you think it's impossible for me to accomplish *anything* tomorrow? Colleen: not unless your tv suddenly explodes Britt: but there are 4 of us in the house. other people will be using the tv for much of the day Colleen: the type or quality of programming doesn't generally seem to deter you Britt: hehe, true Colleen: look at it this way -- i have faith in your infinite capacity for laziness Colleen: it's sort of like infinite wisdom. but not. Britt: hehe Britt: that should be my motto -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/22/2002 12:39:43 AM ----- BODY: My head hurts. I've been playing too many video games. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/20/2002 06:20:54 PM ----- BODY: I almost slept through my brother Zach's school Christmas party. As I was supposed to be one of the "homeroom moms," that was not a good thing. True, I did get more sleep than I have in the past week, but waking up forty-five minutes before I'm supposed to show up in a classroom wasn't the best idea. I had half an hour to get myself and the party gear ready and then get out the door. I was the last party person to arrive -- that's including all sixteen classrooms. Oh well. At least the party didn't begin without me. Why did this happen? Because my mom had informed me that I was supposed to drive her to work again that day, so I didn't set an alarm since I figured she'd drag me out of bed at 8:30. However, she decided to foist that responsibility upon my brother, so I got no wakeup call. I only managed to get up when I did because me aunt stopped by to drop off some checks and show me her dog (who jumped up on my bed and licked me). Of course, despite sleeping "late," I did end up awake before 1 p.m., more than I can say on most weekends at school. Strange how time is so different here. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/19/2002 09:11:55 PM ----- BODY: My room is cold. We're not talking cold like when PARC's heat hasn't come on once the temperature drops in the fall. We're talking full-fledged, I-feel-like-I'm-living-in-my-refrigerator cold. I'm not exaggerating -- the rest of the house is pretty cold, but stepping into my room, the temperature drops about ten degrees. At least. Mine is the coldest room in the house. Why is this? I live in a room with two big windows that do not face the sun but do catch the wind. On top of that, the room right below mine is just the same -- and that just so happens to be the room the temperature control is in. Apparently, the rest of the house gets "hot" because the living room is unusually cold and causes the heat to come on too much. (I think this is a load of crap, by the way.) Thus the minimum temperature has to be set low in in there so the heat will come on less. And therefore, my room never gets heated beyond the minimum temperature to prevent hypothermia. It all really sucks because of how cold it gets at night. I have a sheet and a comforter on my bed, and last night I kicked off the sheet in my sleep. I started getting so cold -- despite my fleece socks and flannel pants -- that I actually woke up. Now, I had to get up early today to get to the madhouse that is Erie County Farms grocery store, and I had gone to bed early enough to guarantee eight hours of sleep, something I haven't gotten in a while. I did not appreciate the interruption. Now I'm tired and cranky and really annoyed about my stupid room. Argh. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/18/2002 03:48:45 PM ----- BODY: Now are the days of being Santa Claus. I've been shopping for presents, getting ordered ones in the mail, and wrapping them all up. Plus I've bought some of the stuff for Christmas dinner, and tomorrow I begin the search for a veal shank (which is a baby cow leg -- I hear all my vegetarian friends retching). I'm more concerned myself about the turkey, which my grandparents are going to fry and bring over for dinner. Yum, fried turkey! Many people (including meateaters) may think this is a very weird idea, but it's actually a great way to prepare turkey. You just stick the whole thing in hot oil for about 45 minutes, and it comes out completely cooked and very moist. Fried turkeys don't get the breast meat all dried out and overdone like roast turkeys do. Plus you can inject them with marinade, giving them even more flavor. And it's not even unhealthy -- the skin's the only part that is affected by the oil, and you can just take it off (though some people really seem to like fried skin -- umm, yuck). Tonight I'll make my first batch of cookies since coming home. Likely they will be snickerdoodles, and this weekend I'll make the frosted sugar cookies. I'm still debating making gingerbread men. After all, they're dangerous -- they do like to run ... By the way -- we went to the Apple Store in Buffalo today, and somebody came home with quite a nice Christmas present! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/16/2002 05:19:11 PM ----- BODY: I swear I've been trying to update, but Blogger is just not working right for me. I'll figure this out soon. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/12/2002 04:18:44 PM ----- BODY: I am almost ready to declare myself well. I think I'll hold off until after finals, but I'm almost as good as it gets. No swallowing pain (well, I haven't attempted anything beyond water and medicine yet, so we'll see). Scott informs me that he and buddy Joe are headed to Port Said today in order to enjoy fresh seafood while I am not around to plug my nose. And also to travel across the Suez Canal to Asia, but I think it's mostly the former. I have lots of studying to do today in order to prepare for my two finals (back to back, 9-11 and 12-2). I need to outline seven essays before 11 p.m. and go over notes for my class on Japanese history. Then, I need to throw myself upon the mercy of God so that I don't completely fail them both. Oh yeah, finals are fun! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/11/2002 05:00:20 AM ----- BODY: My throat seems to be getting better (let there be celebrations throughout the land!). It only stings a little, so I can swallow pretty easily. The new drug works wonders. Since my throat's feeling better, I've started to empty my fridge. Gone are the frozen apples (oops) and a little more of the ice cream that's made me turn down the fridge so low. The bread is gone, as is a little of the cheese, since I made a grilled cheese sandwich. I tried dipping it in ranch dressing for a change, and I decided it was okay but not my favorite. Should have gone with the mustard. Oh well. I finally disposed of all of my recyclables today. I hate not having a can in the lobby. I have to walk all the way across the building and out into the cold, wet stairwell every time I want to recycle cans and bottles. It's enough to make a somewhat lazy person like me almost want to give up the cause. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/10/2002 06:18:36 PM ----- BODY: The throat hurts, the computer sucks, the food makes me ill -- same old, same old. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/10/2002 04:26:29 AM ----- BODY: I hate my stupid ethernet port so much. It never works consistently, and I am constantly afraid of missing important communication. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/9/2002 04:18:25 PM ----- BODY: I have a wicked throat infection. My left tonsil has swollen to about twice its normal size. It's horrid and gross. Why is everything bad happening to me now? Is someone trying to test me? Because I'll break down quite willingly if it will end. Apparently what I have isn't strep throat, but some other sort of bacterial/viral infection (no, not mono). The doctor prescribed me some new, stronger antibiotics that are very expensive and that will cause me to cry if they do not cure me. I mean, the alternative treatment of drinking lots of fluids is highly unsuccessful since I cannot drink without putting myself in pain. Oh, it's all so sad. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/8/2002 10:45:54 PM ----- BODY: I'm done with all of my papers! Save for the unhappy fact that I will have to arise and walk to the anthropology department at around 9 a.m., the torture is done. I now have a leisurely week in which to prepare for my finals on Friday. Unfortunatly, I may very well be sick for much of that time. My throat still really hurts, although my temperature has gone down. Though that hasn't prevented me from having to go through several pairs of pajamas since Friday, as I seem to have night sweats or something. It's rather uncomfortable. But you know, I could really go for some French fries right now. Spicy curly fries ... good stuff. Especially since I've eaten next to nothing these past few days, through a combination of a weak stomach and a weird schedule. Not to mention that sore throat. Maybe I'll get some food after going to drop off my paper tomorrow. After all, I'd hate to add "starvation" to my list of woes. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/7/2002 11:36:58 PM ----- BODY: Ooooooooooohhhh. I feel so awful. Walking around for more than a couple of minutes makes me feel nauseous. My throat hurts, and gargling with salt water just substitutes one bad sensation for another. I'm tired and I get periodic body aches. I'm hot and cold. I just want to go home! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/7/2002 02:33:17 PM ----- BODY: I am sick. Sob! I went to the infirmary this morning, and they confirmed what my 101-degree temperature had clued me into -- that I am, yet again, at the mercy of disease. It's come at a horrible time, as I have a paper due Monday, and I didn't go to work at the poli sci office all last week. Plus I have finals Friday. And on top of all that, it's just been a terrible week in general, save last night's trip to the planetarium, and even that ended with me nearly freezing to death. Oh, and my internet disappeared last night. It came back eleven hours later, but I still don't think it's a good sign. My eyes hurt, and I still feel rather weak and trembly from my activity of this morning. Why me? -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/6/2002 10:35:32 PM ----- BODY: I. am. so. cold. Tonight PARC went to visit Adler Planetarium, a trip I organized for the dorm. It was great fun, as basically we had the run of the place with our admission, all shows and such for free. However, it is incredibly cold outside right now, and for the past day or two I've been starting to feel sick. It's not a nice combination. At the moment, the cold has still not evaporated from my body. Thus I think my brain is frozen and I can't think of anything more to say. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/6/2002 03:25:23 PM ----- BODY: I have internet again!!! -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/6/2002 12:24:37 AM ----- BODY: I keep thinking this whole paper thing ought to be over with, and thus I don't think I actually need to write anything tonight. I cannot express though how happy I will be when it is all over. I have never looked forward to going back home so much. Wish me luck. Send me some happy vibes so I will feel less glum. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/5/2002 06:54:28 PM ----- BODY: Well, I have three papers down, and only one more left this week (I'm choosing to block the memory of the one I have due on Monday at 9 a.m.). This is only a five-page one, so it shouldn't take so long, I hope. But I am incredibly exhausted from pushing myself so much the past few days. I never want to have to go through this again. The ethernet is still not up and running, either. I haven't heard from the person who was supposed to call about it yet. Figures. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/5/2002 05:50:37 AM ----- BODY: In the midst of paper three, and although it's progressing all right (I switched the topic to Zionism, a whole lot easier than existentialism, which I never really understood anyway), tonight has really been awful. To sum it up, my ethernet no longer works. The jack in my room this year has always been picky, and tonight of all nights it decided it hated me. I had to call the rescon, and while she promised to get someone to fix it, she cautioned that since it's near the end of the quarter, it could take a while. Thus, I'm sitting in the basement computer lab typing this, having dragged my computer around the building looking for a viable ethernet port. What really sucks is that since the battery doesn't work, I have to shut it down and restart it every time I move it. That wastes much more time than I would generally waste if I could surf around the internet as I wrote. It's so frustrating, especially considering how dependent I am on my technology. I just look forward to next quarter, when I'll have both a working jack and a working computer. Then my life will be good. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/4/2002 08:49:03 PM ----- BODY: I have finished paper two!!! It took me about three and a half hours, but it's done. My strategy this time was to reward myself with reading one article online for every paragraph I wrote. This cut down on my procrastination time a bit, I think, and I managed to churn out several long paragraphs. Now, it's off to get some food, and then back to the dorm to write the next paper. This one's going to take about six hours if I go at the same pace, so I'd prefer to be closer to my bed when I'm ready to collapse. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/4/2002 07:40:47 PM ----- BODY: I heard today on TV that a few key Democrats have released a statement calling for the party to rally around the center and return to the strength of the Clinton era. Apparently the Dems have moved too far to the left in the past couple of years ... do you get it? I don't. But I of course found solace in America's Finest News Source. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/4/2002 02:16:51 PM ----- BODY: I just read a very sweet weblog entry that, while in some ways a little corny, seems very much like what I want love to be. Not heavy and dramatic, but light, sweet and so good it's silly. I just said good bye to Scott, who's now off to Amsterdam, Luxembourg, France and Egypt for winter break. (I am very jealous of the Egypt, by the way.) I barely managed to get up and get dressed in time to see him off, but I did, and currently he's en route to O'Hare in a friend's car. At the moment, I don't feel up to doing work on my two papers due tomorrow. Instead, I'm going to drop off my first paper, then get some lunch at Norris, and finally go to the library and see if that environment is more conducive to paper-writing. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/4/2002 04:41:02 AM ----- BODY: People should leave me comments because a) I think that's a nifty function and b) I want to know who looks at my site. And who doesn't. Wink, wink. I will soon produce a long and extremely controversial entry to encourage commenting. When I finish all the paper-writing and other work, not only will the site finally go back to the original design, but it will also feature more links in the entries. I figure this will add more interest to the site. And cause me to lavish more time on it. I have several projects for when I get home, and I ought to start recording them. First, there's Christmas shopping. Second, I want to make a new web site. Not a personal one, but a hobby-based one. It should be much fun. Okay, I know what you're saying -- why am I not in bed, for crying out loud? So it's off to dreamland for me. Good night. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/4/2002 04:21:12 AM ----- BODY: 2638 words: Done with everything. That it took me an entire day to write this nine-page paper does not bode well for tomorrow, when I must write a ten-page one and a five-page one. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/4/2002 03:13:11 AM ----- BODY: 2622 words: I'm done with the writing. Thank God. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/4/2002 03:06:50 AM ----- BODY: 2,525 words: I can't believe it, either. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/4/2002 02:05:10 AM ----- BODY: 1859 words: Lincoln is president (celebrate, Emily!). Or was it Buchanan? Let's hope it was Lincoln because all Buchanans suck. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/4/2002 01:21:43 AM ----- BODY: 1492 words: I've either just discovered America or reached the point where I would have been done on the last paper. You decide. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/3/2002 11:54:43 PM ----- BODY: 881 words: How is it that I only have 881 words?! (incoherent muttered curses) -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/3/2002 11:19:54 PM ----- BODY: A conversation with Britt on writing papers: Britt: i may never get to work on this paper... Colleen: i may never finish this one Britt: well, at least you've started Colleen: started, yes. but that's not really the important part Britt: well, it's an important and necessary step Colleen: well, i suppose i could hand the paper in now, but it would be a little short. Britt: but you'd still get a grade on it... even if it's only a 50 or something, that's far better than never starting and getting a 0 Colleen: i suppose Colleen: but not much. it's still an F Britt: but it's halfway to an A+ Colleen: that's twisted logic Britt: so? i'm twisted. Colleen: it's also 75% of the way to a C, but you don't see me jumping up and down Britt: i'm just pointing out that someone who has started but not finished is far better off than someone who has not started. Colleen: so start. write "makiko's diary" on the page Britt: ok Colleen: so have you written "makiko's diary" on the page? Britt: yes Colleen: hey, you're halfway there now. you've started Britt: hehe Colleen: 50%, here you come! Colleen: ah, mediocrity 633 words. If this were the last paper, I'd really be halfway there. As it is, I intend to fill the first, oh, three or four pages with stupid background information, so it is sort of like I will then be writing the last paper over again. Note the "then." -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/3/2002 09:59:42 PM ----- BODY: I have 355 words so far (not including my outline), a little less than 10% of my paper completed. I'm trying to remind myself that last time it didn't take very long to write this paper, but that's really little comfort to me now. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/3/2002 05:42:00 PM ----- BODY: The paper has started, though it goes slowly. It's looking less and less likely that I'll get the second one done tonight. Ugh. I have one more paper than I am capable of producing. My hope is that once I finish gathering my evidence for this paper the actual writing will go fairly quickly, leaving me time to get at least a good start on the second paper. Otherwise, I'm done for. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/3/2002 02:12:15 PM ----- BODY: All right, I should be working. I should draft my papers and then determine if I must go to the library for additional information. But I'm still having trouble motivating myself to think. Maybe I need to actually write the papers at the library. It's generally easier to feel scholarly there. But of course then we run into the problem of having to go outside again ... -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/3/2002 04:28:37 AM ----- BODY: I feel pretty much like a failure when it comes to getting my papers done. Sure, I did make it to the library tonight, and I have done some research (which, if you think about it, is already more than I do for most papers, at least prior to the night before), but I didn't outline either of the ones I need to finish for Wednesday, nor did I even write a little of either. I basically gave up on thinking for the night the moment I stepped out of the library. Today, it seems, is going to be an awful day. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/2/2002 07:51:40 PM ----- BODY: I am going to go to the library. I am. I swear it. I'm going to put on my boots and coat and hat and gloves and I'm going to walk to the library. I'm not going to sit here and procrastinate. At least not forever. Well, maybe that's unlikely. I probably will sit here forever, and I'll probably keep on writing and writing these silly entries (goodness, I've posted a lot today) and just not moving. I'm never going to finish my papers. And what's awful about it all is that it's really getting to crunch time. I need to produce two big papers very, very soon. It's not a great situation. Maybe I'll post a running word count again. After I get back from the library, that is. Right, I'm going. Going. Now. Yeah. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/2/2002 04:06:05 PM ----- BODY: Ow. I burned my tongue on my chai latte. Ow. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/2/2002 02:55:28 PM ----- BODY: Realizing that many people may never see the completed entries if I don't keep at least two days' worth posted on the home page, I have made the appropriate adjustment. Don't expect the tweaks to stop here. Nor the commentary. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/2/2002 02:47:03 PM ----- BODY: Okay people, just to let you know the setup now: the day's posting will show up on the default page, but the rest of the week's postings are relegated to that week's archive page. In other words, it's just like it was before. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/2/2002 02:24:55 PM ----- BODY: This is a very buggy bit of software, and if it doesn't start posting consistently for me there's gonna be a reckonin'. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/2/2002 01:56:28 PM ----- BODY: I've had a horrible nightmare. First, I dreamed that my dad (only it didn't really seem to be my dad) sawed our van in half, not vertically but horizontally. Basically, he turned it into a convertible without the whole "converting" part. But what was truly frightening about it was the enormous, heavy blades he was using to do this. Enormous, heavy blades that were for a few, unwarned moments held about my and my brother Zach's heads. Of course, on top of this, we were greatly concerned about my dad's apparent insanity -- he'd just taken the top of our only car that could carry the whole family, and we don't exactly live in Florida. I think my intense worries about having to ride in that thing in the cold and snow were ironically justified when I awoke this morning to a great deal of snow having been dumped on the ground. The second nightmare concerned death in a more obvious sense. I was attending rituals in a tomb for a dead, newly mummified pharaoh (although it didn't appear to really be in ancient Egypt), and as the priest or whoever was in charge was droning on and on with incantations, the dead man suddenly awoke, opening his eyes and starting to sit up. The person next to the corpse pushed it back down as if forcing a child to sleep and the priest droned on, but I was horrified. The mummy stayed awake (for some reason I could see his eyes open through the bandages), and when I asked how it could possibly live through the process of mummification it told me that it wasn't really the soul that should be inhabiting that body, but a passing spirit taking up temporary residence. It seemed to have a lot of trouble breathing (perhaps due to a lack of lungs), and I asked it why. It then countered by asking, "What do you think the air is made of?" It suddenly dawned on me that the air must be full of supernatural essences, spirits looking for a body to inhabit, like this mummy. This realization seemed to make me feel vulnerable to such an invasion myself, and I began to breath in gasps like the mummy did. It tried to provide me with some metaphysical calm, but had I not awakened when I did, I probably would have started to hyperventilate. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/2/2002 02:41:34 AM ----- BODY: I am so lazy. I must complete four major papers this week -- the two biggest ones by Wednesday -- and what have I done since last Wednesday, when my vacation started? Sat around and amused myself. True, I read a bit of my book for a paper due Thursday, but that's really it. I have done no other research. The main problem is that I have to go to the library to do this other research. Going to the library means going outside, and it is cold outside. On top of that, I'd like to have my computer along to take notes on if I went to the library, and my stupid laptop has a problem with it's power system, meaning that it won't run off of a battery. Thus it must be shut down and restarted every time it is moved. Seriously irritating. Well, all I know at this point is that if I don't get myself into gear soon I'm not going to finish any of my work. And considering what a great percentage of my grade these papers count for, that's definitely not a good thing. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/1/2002 11:22:54 PM ----- BODY: I'm sitting around in Scott's room right now, waiting for my breadsticks to be delivered and watching Nick and Scott consume foreign beers. (Beer smells bad, by the way.) I much look forward to getting the breadsticks as I haven't had them in quite a long time now. Not since the beginning of the school year when the dining halls were closed. Breadsticks. Yum. For those reading this tonight and likely until I leave for winter break, this site is going to look pretty ... umm ... bright. Eventually I will switch back to the purple format, but for now I don't really feel like I have the time (or energy). I have to complete five or six papers in the next couple of weeks (depending on what you count as a "paper"), and I also have two finals. Ugh. Back to more pleasant topics. We made Mexican food this weekend. Mexican food is great because it is a) cheap and b) delicious!!! Yum! We had rice and refried beans and burritos. Very good. Well, the breadsticks are here. Catch you later. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/1/2002 10:30:52 PM ----- BODY: I just added a commenting feature. Again, I'm not sure if it'll work right immediately, but it's cool anyway. -------- AUTHOR: Colleen Fischer DATE: 12/1/2002 05:46:04 PM ----- BODY: Okay, I'm just setting this up, so it's going to look a little weird for a while. But I figured since I've been so lax in updating lately that I ought to expedite the process in hopes of encouraging myself to update more often. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be working all that well. --------