Merry Christmas

Ah it is Dec 24th and Christmas has arrived. Finally. I bought all the presents and braved the crowds in the mall. The last of the Christmas cards went out today. One all the way to Australia. I guess it'll arrive by midsummer. :)

Christmas ham is done and ready to eat. I really wanted to make some more fudge and some Christmas buns, but right now it feels like way too much work. Probably because it's in the middle of the night.

Ah... time to go have a taste of that ham and drink some Santa soda. :)

Christmas greetings to all!



It's Christmas!

Tomorrow I'm going shopping. I admit defeat. I have to go. I promised myself I would never EVER go shopping on a Saturday. Why? Because everyone else seems to get the same idea. I'm not that fond of large crowds of people. Especially not large crowds of people frantically searching for the perfect gift. You know, the one we all know doesn't exist within a reasonable budget.

There are lines also. To the registers. Where I'll have to wait my turn. Ugh! I'm not the most patient person in the world. I think I have to be a bit more zen about lines. Maybe I can read one of those books I will buy someone for Christmas while standing in that line? A couple of hundred pages polished off in an hour. Not entirely impossible. It all depends on how good the book is.

I have gotten a couple of Christmas gifts already. It seems like much of Christmas is celebrated before Christmas or after Christmas rather than on the big day doesn't it? Anyway, I got some very nice gifts from friend S. She gave me an ornamental cross to hang on wall or put in bookshelf (yeah right, we all know there isn't any room in any of my bookshelves), a seriously cute little teddy bear with scarf and hat and there are holes for the ears in the hat. Very soft and cuddly. Me like soft and cuddly. :) I also got a trinket box with an angel reading a book. Very thoughtful and appropriate. I am happy! Thank you S!

I also got a gift from friend J. We had a fun evening eating pizza at my favourite restaurant. Thank you for feeding me J!

I've gotten stamps from Heather which I used on Christmas cards. I probably should scan those before sending them off right? I still haven't read the book though. There seems to be precious little time left for reading lately. The time I don't spend fretting over what is to come I spend sleeping. No wonder I get headaches due to stress...

I know it sounds like I'm terribly materialistic thanking everyone for the gifts I got, but it's just that I'm so happy I have friends that care it's silly. I mean, for many years I didn't have any friends so having several is amazing and I feel blessed every day.

Oh well, it'll all be good by Christmas. I'll just have to figure out what gifts to get people. Any suggestions?

Ta Ta!



Mobile terriers

Now you all wonder what a mobile terrier is and if not all terriers are mobile most of the time. Well yes, this is just another kind of terrier and it is not a dog.

A day not long ago I happened to enter a mobile phone store. You know the little hole-in-the-wall shops where they try to sell you a mobile phone. Anyway, I went with friend J because she needed to get her phone fixed (no, I am still not talking about dogs. Get your mind out of the gutter and pay attention! :))

So we went into this tiny space where there are three salespeople and exactly zero customers. One of the salespeople lights up like a Christmas tree, bounces up to me and asks if I want a new phone too.

And here's the dialogue that followed.

Salesperson in a bouncy voice: Do you want a new phone too?!?

Me: NO! (I figured that if I tried to use a firm voice and clear message sales person would understand the meaning of "no" just like children and dogs do. I was wrong.)

Salesperson not deterred but still bouncy: But are you sure?!?

Me: I am NOT getting a new phone. I am happy with the one I have thank you very much. (See? I already lost my patience)

Salesperson: But if you would get one, what kind of phone would you want?!? One with an mp3-player?!? One with a really good camera?!?

Me: No! If I was to get a new phone, which I am not, I don't want one with an mp3-player nor a camera. I would want a phone that is good for calling people. And maybe text messages. That is all. But I am NOT getting a new phone. I have Christmas presents to buy first.

Salesperson still not deterred but more bouncy than ever: So you want one that stands rough handling?!?

I felt my eyes doing a mental roll by that time. What part of "no" is so hard to understand?

Me: No! I do NOT want a phone that stands rough handling. If I would get a new phone it will be for calling people and sending text messages!

Now salesperson looks at me as if I just sprouted a new head. Apparently one has to have a phone that does just about everything. Well, if I could wish I'd wish my phone to be a gourmet cook and happy to clean windows. How's that for a phone? I'd even be willing to pay for it.

Fortunately friend J had almost finished her dealings with another one of the salespeople so I took refuge behind her when bouncy salesperson took out a calculator to calculate how much I would save from getting a new phone and how much I could talk and the benefits. I almost wish there had been a representative from Guiness world records there because I fled from that shop so fast that light would seem sluggish in comparison.

Ah yes, the terrier. I was just getting to that. In my mind a terrier is a stubborn, energetic and eager kind of dog. Much like the salesperson. However, terriers are also cute and trainable...



Seven Bookish Things About Me

Heather tagged me yesterday with this so I will try to do it. I know I'm bad at these tag-thingys but I'm working on it. :)

Rules stated I'd link to her blog, and I have, in the link list. I have just not gotten around to learn how to link in text. Anyway...

Seven bookish things about me:

1. I hate typos! If there's typos in the book I'm reading I start to think that the author is sloppy doing research also and therefore the book isn't trustworthy. This is especially important when reading textbooks or other works that isn't fiction. I do correct typos in books.

2. I hate translations! I recently read a novel by favourite author Jill Shalvis where the translator had mistaken one word for another. My guess is that it was the English "shocked" that can actually be translated into two words one meaning shocked as astonished or surprised and one meaning shocked as in outraged. This was so not fun to read. Anyway, a book, any book, loses part of its content in translation, that's just how it is so if I understand the original language I will read the book in original form.

3. I do not write in books. Anyone who writes in books violate the book. If you want to write something, find a piece of paper not attached to a spine!

4. When moving I try to put all books in the same direction. I hate it when people put books upside down in the box/bag. That is not just me being silly, it saves time when it comes to unpacking when one has as many books as I do. Also, when packing books you do NOT put them with the spine down so all the pages stick up. Stuff will fall in between the pages and ruin the book. Likewise you do NOT pack the book with the spine up and the pages down, something will press the book down and ruin it. Preferably books are packed in stacks in paper bags with a piece of junkmail on top of it. You know, the kind with the glossy pages. That way if it's raining the day you move, the books will not get wet nor stained.

5. Despise my books and I throw you out. I once knew a person who disdainfully told me I had a lot of books. That acquaintance did not last long. You got to respect a person's hobbies.

6. Like Heather I rarely borrow books from the library. I find it much cheaper to buy the books I want myself without having to bother with fees for being late.

7. I probably will always have twice as many books as I have shelf-space. That is just the way it is. I just need to accept that. And get more shelves to put books in. And get more books.

Bonus: Books do NOT belong on the floor. They are not for walking on. You do not walk on your friends eh? Maybe for a few minutes while you answer the phone or the door, but not longterm.

Um... don't know who to tag. Let me think about that for a while.



It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I absolutely love Christmas so when Heather sent me a seriously cute little gingerbreadmanstamp I knew I had to start making my Christmas cards. After running myself ragged trying to find gingerbreaddough-colored paper to make the gingerbredmen out of I got down to business. Here are the fruits of my labour so far.

Gingerbreadmen on parade!

Gingerbreadmen in the making. Unfortunately the picture doesn't show their glittery buttons too good. Oh well, it's like with everything, it looks good in real life.

Runaway gingerbreadmen!

All cards were made using the gingerbreadmanstamp which I stamped on brown cardstock in black ink. Using a scalpel (no Heather, you are not allowed near the scalpel!) I cut out the gingerbreadmen. I figured I could use the "holes" too so I cut out a dough-shaped piece of paper and glued it to black cardstock. White crayon was good to make "flour" on the men and the dough. Glitterglue in assorted colours and a white pen decorated the men.

I have one exam and three keywords to write so making more cards is strictly off limits right now. If I can keep myself from it that is... :) I am still tired from the two exams last week. Oh well, I'll catch up on my sleep when I get old.

Ta ta for now!



Things I have done

I nabbed this from Heather's blog. Thought it would be fun.

Highlight the ones you've done.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink

02. Swam with wild dolphins

03. Climbed a mountain (it was a very small iceberg)

04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive

05. Been inside the Great Pyramid

06. Held a tarantula

07. Taken a candlelit bath

08. Said I love you and meant it (I tell my family and friends all the time. No point in waiting until they're dead right?)

09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped

11. Visited Paris

12. Watched a lightning storm at sea

13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise

14. Seen the Northern Lights

15. Gone to a huge sports game

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa

17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables

18. Touched an iceberg

19. Slept under the stars

20. Changed a baby's diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon

22. Watched a meteor shower

23. Gotten drunk on champagne

24. Given more than you can afford to charity

25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope (a bit disappointing really, but fun to have done)

26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (in the middle of class once...)

27. Had a food fight (I was very little then)

28. Bet on a winning horse

29. Asked out a stranger

30. Had a snowball fight (I live at the North Pole...)

31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb

33. Seen a total eclipse (but I wasn't supposed to be looking at it)

34. Ridden a roller coaster (I LOVE roller coasters!)

35. Hit a home run

36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking

37. Adopted an accent for an entire day

38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (that happens fairly often actually)

39. Had two hard drives for your computer

40. Visited all 50 states

41. Taken care of someone who was too drunk

42. Had amazing friends (I have them. All of my friends are amazing. I don't socialize with un-amazing people)

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

44. Watched wild whales

45. Stolen a sign

46. Backpacked in Europe

47. Taken a road-trip

48. Gone rock climbing

49. Midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving

51. Visited Ireland

52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love

53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them

54. Visited Japan

55. Milked a cow

56. Alphabetized your CDs. (Why? I don't have that many. Now books...)

57. Pretended to be a superhero

58. Sung karaoke (Every chance I get!)

59. Lounged around in bed all day

60. Posed nude in front of strangers

61. Gone scuba diving

62. Kissed in the rain (any volunteers?)

63. Played in the mud

64. Played in the rain

65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China

67. Started a business

68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken

69. Toured ancient sites

70. Taken a martial arts class

71. Played a Computer game for more than 6 hours straight

72. Gotten married

73. Been in a movie

74. Crashed a party

75. Gotten divorced

76. Gone without food for 5 days

77. Made cookies from scratch (how else do you make cookies?)

78. Won first prize in a costume contest

79. Ridden a gondola in Venice

80. Gotten a tattoo (Nope. Never. Ever!)

81. Rafted the Snake River

82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"

83. Got flowers for no reason

84. Performed on stage

85. Been to Las Vegas

86. Recorded music

87. Eaten shark

88. Had a one-night stand

89. Gone to Thailand

90. Bought a house

91. Been in a combat zone (but it hadn't been one in ages. We went to Napoleon's old battlefield at Austerlitz when on class trip to Czech Republic.)

92. Buried one/both of your parents

93. Been on a cruise ship

94. Spoken more than one language fluently

95. Performed in Rocky Horror

96. Raised children

97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour

99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country

100. Picked up and moved to another city (several times)

101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge

102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking

103. Had plastic surgery

104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived

105. Wrote articles for a large publication

106. Lost over 100 pounds (and gained them again and am now losing them again)

107. Held someone while they were having a flashback

108. Piloted an airplane (both a glider plane and one with an engine)

109. Petted a stingray

110. Broken some one's heart (how should I know? I think so though)

111. Helped an animal give birth

112. Won money on a T.V. game show

113. Broken a bone

114. Gone on an African photo safari

115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced (OUCH! Not happening!)

116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (does air rifle count? If so, I am quite good at it.)

117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild

118. Ridden a horse

119. Had major surgery

120. Had a snake as a pet

121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours

123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states (Since I have been in several foreign countries, but no US states I guess that would be a yes.)

124. Visited all 7 continents

125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days (Nope, just two-day trips)

126. Eaten kangaroo meat

127. Eaten sushi (I would do it again too. If someone would join me)

128. Had your picture in the newspaper

129. Changed some one's mind about something you care deeply about

130. Gone back to school (I seem to be doing that a lot...)

131. Para sailed

132. Petted a cockroach

133. Eaten fried green tomatoes

134. Read The Iliad (parts of it so far)

135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school and read something by them (Arthur Conan Doyle)

136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

137. Skipped all your school reunions (give me one good reason to attend)

138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language (several times actually. It seems to happen in foreign countries)

139. Been elected to public office

140. Written your own computer language

141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream (last week I thought so. I still do. I love it at uni.)

142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care

143. Built your own PC from parts

144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you

145. Had a booth at a street fair (but it wasn't my own booth, it was a lottery for an organization and I volunteered. Come to think of it, it wasn't a street fair either. It was indoors.)

146. Dyed your hair (Yep, several times)

147. Been a DJ

148. Shaved your head (no, but I thought about it)

149. Caused a car accident

150. Saved some one's life

It was fun!!




I knew I should've never tried this... :)

You Are Spaghetti with Pesto

Compared to most people, you have complex tastes. You're a bit of a walking contradiction.

You like a little bit of everything, even if the things you like don't go together.

You aren't picky at all. You can find something to like about almost anything.

You don't judge on appearances alone. You like to experience something before you judge it.

And this one was fun... And probably true also. :)

You Are Strawberry Cake

Fresh, sassy, and romantic.

You're a total flirt, who never would turn down a sugary treat.

Occasionally you're a bit moody - but you usually stay sweet!

Now what is it with me and pesto?

Pesto Pizza

Adventurous and hedonistic.

You live for new experiences and tastes

And you're not the type to have your pizza the same way twice.

If they can put it on pizza, you're up for trying it!

He he he...

You Are a Powdered Devil's Food Donut

A total sweetheart on the outside, you love to fool people with your innocent image.

On the inside you're a little darker, richer, and more complex.

You're a hedonist who demands more than one pleasure at a time.

Decadent and daring, you test the limits of human indulgence.

Those were fun! Now on to more important things. Like laundry.

Ta ta for now!



Crazy week

It's been a seriously crazy week. Just started new class. It was Mon-Wed all day. More than all day. 10 hrs of cramming in lectures. Statistics mostly. Could be interesting when I know more about it. Got off to a bad start on Monday, but that wasn't school-related. It did however affect my mood a bit. Oh well, I will probably survive. Tuesday was statistics day. Looked at graphs and diagrams all day. Felt like a rag when I got home and stumbled into bed. Who knew it was so tiring to just sit on behind and not do anything but listen?

I got new book yesterday, that was fun. I had a coupon, half price off on paperback novel of my choice. I think I spent 30 mins in bookstore to choose. And that was the bookstore on campus with limited options. I do not even dare to guess how long it would've taken me in a full fledged bookstore.

Today I worked a bit on assignment 1 and then went to pharmacy to get a wrist support. Wrists hurt because of too much time spent online so I got me one of those fancy supports that one can use on both hands. That's always nice. Can't afford to buy two of them. That and the fact that the hand is basically useless when having support on. It's good for me anyway. It helps. Being a behaviour scientist I have to ask if it's the support itself or the fact that wearing it makes me remember to be more careful that does the trick.

Card of the day will be one that Heather inspired with her striped card a couple of weeks ago. It lacks sentiment so far, because I do not yet know who will get it or when. There are space left for one though. Recognize the coloured paper Heather? :)

And one seriously pink one from when I had a pink-ish kind of day. I had fun with scalpel trying to cut out all those circles. It doesn't show very well in picture but the edge of the card is bubbly too.


Recent cards

Blue cardstock. Textured paper, brads, flowers and bow from Panduro. Ribbon, stamps and sentiment card from Heather. Or rather, I traced the outlines from one of the ones she sent me on paper I already had because it wasn't the right colour. The round stamp is clear and the word is a wooden one. Ink is Ballet Blue from Stampin'Up. Also from Heather.

This is the most recent card. I just finished it an hour ago or so. I got so inspired from the first card I made. I just love the Ballet Blue ink from Stampin'Up!
Anyway, here's the specs: Blue cardstock as above. Patterned paper and brads from Panduro. Leaves, ribbon and the blue square from Heather. The white square I got from printer. :) I just love the way the blue leaves makes the card look so much more sophisticated and expensive. :)

Christmas Cards

For this one I thought I'd think outside the box for a change. Black cardstock. Greyish paper. White patterned paper, black flower, silver brad and silver glitter gel from Panduro.

Red cardstock (do not know from where, I found it in a moving box a month or so ago). Stamps and ink from Panduro. Stamp coloured with felt tip pens. Sentiment hand drawn with silver glitter gel from Panduro.

Cards again

I once wrote a story about a tulip. Very romantic, very tragic. Very funny.:) Anyway, the same yellow cardstock as usual. Both patterned papers from Panduro. Tulip hand drawn by me. Ribbon woven into card holds it together. The ribbon is moss green. It didn't scan that well. Also from Heather.

It was warm and sunny and springtime outside. Of course I had to make a card with teacups. Green cardstock, stamps and ink from Panduro. Purple ribbon and sentiment from Heather.

More cards!

I finally managed to scan more cards. They weren't pink though. These are a couple of months old. I just have been seriously lazy. :)

Yellow cardstock, green patterned paper from Panduro Hobby scrap collection. Stamp also from Panduro.

I had just bought some eyelets and played around with. Yellow cardstock with patterned paper from Panduro Hobby. Blue paper from a multicolored block of paper. You know the small cubes you jot on when on the phone or writing shopping lists.

Both of these cards were made from sketch challenge sketches at Split Coast Stampers

Since I'm still new to this pictures in blog thingy I will settle for two for now and see how it works out.

Ta ta for now!



E-assignment 4 - Free format

It's been a ditzy sort of day so this will be a ditzy short story. I do hope I can bring a smile to your day. /N

The Spatula

“Oh great!”

The smoke detector went off again. Smoke filled the sorry excuse for a kitchen I had when I opened the door to the oven. I sent up a silent prayer to the powers that be that nobody had called the fire department on me... again. Last time they had let me off with a warning. This time there would be a fine. What can I say, I love to bake. I’m just not good at it yet. I shut the smoke detector up by throwing my spatula at it. That’ll teach it to not beep at false alarms!

You know those non-stick teflon muffin trays? Well, let’s say, they’re not non-stick. Last time I baked I had to pry the charcoal remains of my attempt to make chocolate muffins from the so-called non-stick tray with a chisel. Good thing I have a toolbox.

No sirens so far... Almost too good to be true. Not that I mind talking to a handsome firefighter, but the fine? Not so fine. But it seems to me I’m clear now. If the fire department doesn’t have better response time than this, it’s no use calling them at all. Maybe I’d better get rid of the latest disaster. Carrot cakes aren’t supposed to look like someone threw up in a barbecue right? At least the picture in the cookbook doesn’t look anything remotely like the result I got. Now, where did I put the potholders?

Yikes! The potholders! Yellow flames flared up from the potholder caught on fire. Soon the curtains would go up in flames and everything. More smoke filled the little apartment. I heard sirens in the distance drawing nearer. Then nothing.

When I woke up I was dangling upside down. And moving.

“Hey! What’s going on?” I coughed.

I noticed my spatula beside the phone and grabbed it as I passed by the table. I started to whack whatever it was that was carrying me. All I could see was a pair of legs dressed in seriously dirty yellow pants and a pair of booted feet.

The “whatever” did not stop until it had carried me out of the building and dropped me unceremoniously into a waiting ambulance. The spatula was gently removed from my hand.
The doors to the ambulance closed and all I remember from the drive to the hospital was the oxygen mask I didn’t want to wear and coughing. Lots of coughing.

Apparently one of my neighbours had called the fire department from the beeping of the smoke detector. Probably to teach me a lesson. And it did. I had to stay at the hospital for two days due to smoke inhalation. With no cell phone and no internet connection. Not even a cute doctor. What I did get was two visitors.

First to see me was my best friend. We giggled. Well, she giggled, I coughed. She told me that just about everything I owned, including my books had turned to ashes, but that I was welcome to stay at her place until I could get somewhere else to live. It wasn’t even a request, it was an order.

Day two I had almost worn out the remote control to the tv by channel surfing. Nothing good on anyway, except a couple of cooking shows. I threw a pillow at the tv for those. I had laid down for a nap when I heard giggling in the hallway outside my door. Giggling? Okay, no more sulking. I gotta know what this is about.

I hauled my butt out of bed. Trying to straighten the, uglier than just about anything, hospital thingy they make you wear, I made my way to the door. I peeked out. The giggling seemed to emanate from the nurses station around the corner down the hall. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it had certainly not harmed me any. Not yet anyway and you’re supposed to be quite safe in a hospital. Right?

I checked behind me to make sure nobody saw my behind and skulked to the corner and peeked around it. A seriously handsome man with a bunch of flowers and a bag leaned against the counter. So that’s what the nurse on duty was giggling about. Well, heck, I would probably be giggling too. Or mumbling gibberish and acting like a fool in general. Like usual.

In an attempt to sneak around the corner without actually being noticed I stepped on the hem of the hospital gown and toppled over a nearby table sending a potted plant straight into a wall. So much for sneaking... I probably wouldn’t be a very good spy. On the other hand, maybe I would be. Nobody would ever think of clumsy me as a spy.

The nurse came running to check on me of course. That was her job. She tried to help me up. No good. Legs wouldn’t keep steady. I was probably still weak from smoke inhalation. The handsome stranger had dropped both flowers and bag and come over. Suddenly I found myself dangling upside down again.

“Hey! What’s going on? Put me down! My butt is showing in this gown!”

“It looks good from my point of view” he said. “Where do you want her?” he asked the stunned nurse.

“Well, room 14... It is actually her you’re looking for.”

What? A stranger, and handsome at that, looking for me? Why? A foggy memory of dangling upside down entered my brain. Nah! This isn’t happening. Seriously?

He put me down on my bed and went to fetch his stuff while the nurse checked me for damages. There were none, thankfully. I would probably get a bruise or two in a couple of days, but nothing serious.

He came back into the room, put the flowers in a vase and sat down on a chair.

“Hello, I’m Zack.” He extended his hand in greeting. “I believe I have something of yours.” He reached into the bag and hauled out my spatula.

I closed my eyes. This isn’t happening. It can’t be happening. I had spanked a firefighter saving my life with a plastic spatula. Of all the stupid things to do...

“I have something else for you. He’s a bit singed, but probably happy to see you anyway. I was looking for you in your bed first and found him. I figured he was some well-loved childhood memento you wanted to keep.”

He pulled out my old, scruffy, stuffed dog from the bag. I hugged my most precious possession and realized that everything would be okay. I had my friends, I had my dog and maybe even a new man-friend if I read the sparkling blue eyes right....


New card!

I made this card about a month or so ago. It has been sitting on top of scanner waiting to be scanned in. Today I decided to send it off to friend who I thought needed it so of course I needed to scan it first to save the image. Ah well. 'nuff said. Here's the card:

Ok, so it looks a bit crooked, but that's only me not good with scanner. I promise it was ruler straight when I made it. So I made it from light blue cardstock which I sponged with "Garden Green" from Stampin' Up (Thank you again Heather!) to make it more green. I used an ordinary kitchen sponge which I cut some holes in to make it more patterened. Second layer is from a green scrap kit I got from friend for b-day. Very nice. Thank you H for that one! Oval was white from the goodie bags Heather sent me and covering that is some light green vellum also from those goodie bags. The flower is fabric and bought in a kit along with the buttons. The tiny brad was from another kit. All from Panduro Hobby. Last but not least. The text is ordinary felt pen, the kind you buy for kids as are the "stitches" along the border since I am not allowed to use the sewing machine at home.

Was that enough info?

Next up will probably be from my very pink collection. LOL!

Ta ta for now!




What Your Taste in Chocolate Says About You

You are sophisticated, modern, and high class.

Your taste is refined, but you are not picky.

You are often the first to try something new.

You are mellow, spiritual, and philosophical.

You are a true humanitarian. You enjoy helping people.

Your heart can be too open at times. You sometimes over-extend yourself.

You love new adventures and activities. You enjoy living a full life, even if it is chaotic.

You feel lost when things are quiet. You rather not think... you prefer to just do!


No more cookies!

Ok, it's official. I am throwing out the cookies. I can't have them at home. If there are cookies around I will eat them. I will do as Dr Phil says and create a failproof environment. No more cookies at home.

Oh and let's see if this works... Yay! It did! I now know how to put pics in my blog! :)
This is a card I made a couple of months ago. I haven't scanned the latest creations yet. That I will leave to another day when it's not in the middle of the night and I have school tomorrow.
Ta ta for now!



Today I made the most delicious chocolate chip cookies. YUM!

Ok, I know I am a weightwatcher and I know it's not good eating gigantic cookies when trying to lose weight, but once in a while... And then I found this great recipe in the newspaper.

I read in newspaper online (not the same as the one mentioned above) that it was leftie day today. Yay for all us left handed people! Celebrate! There was also a poll. Do you think lefties have special talents? Heck yes! Why not? There's got to be some benefits to being a leftie. I mean, look at the world, it's made for righties. Not too long ago writing with left hand was prohibited here. You had to learn how to write with your right hand. Thankfully that was all over by the time I started my journey through the public school system. I know how to do it, but it looks like a five-year-old wrote the letters. Anyway, I had to learn how to cut with scissors with right hand. When I do my cross-stitching I am a rightie. Also crocheting and knitting are the right way. Not right as in correct, but right as in opposite left. Most likely because the people that taught me are righties.

When it comes to cutting things with knife it's a bit complicated. When I cut something like a slice of bread from a loaf I hold the knife in my left hand. Everyone thinks it looks funny. Even me when I see other lefties. Probably because I'm not used to seeing it. But when I peel cucumber with a knife I hold knife in right hand and cucumber in left hand. I have to switch when slicing it though. Very strange situation indeed.

Where was I going with this? Ah yes, cookies! I strayed off the topic here a while.

The recipe said there should be 16 cookies. I have no idea how big those people make their cookies, but I kinda like it when the cookie does not become a full meal. I thought I made gigantic cookies and I got 18 out of the batch. Next time I will make at least 32 cookies. They are huge! You know the cookies they sell in the coffee shops? The big ones? The ones that are bigger than the plate you put them on? Well, these are almost the same size. They would be if one took a rolling pin to them because my cookies are thicker than the ones bought in the cafés.

It was good that the oven baked potatoes took a while to get ready because I would not have the space in tummy to eat them otherwise. We were supposed to eat shrimp today but the shrimp was not good. They tasted kinda funny and was all dry and crumbling. Ok, I am no experts on shrimp, but crumbling? So I followed my instincts and try to think of it in terms of "I avoided food poisoning" rather than "money down the drain".

Now, what to do with the rest of the cookies? Can't eat them all myself now can I? I can just picture it, Nina bloating up like a hippo... That so ain't gonna happen!

Bedtime! Z-time! Tomorrow my friends I will learn how to put pictures of my latest creations on blog.

Ta ta for now!



E-assignment 3: Poetry

This was one of the harder tasks really. I am not used to write poetry at all. Especially not poetry with restraints like haikus, sonnets and such. I tried to have some fun with it. Here's my attempt at it.

1) Limerick

There once was a man from Fairfax
He overdosed daily on cheese snacks.
Cheez doodles are great!
Twelve packets he ate
And now he’s addicted to ex-lax...

And for those of you who does not know what ex-lax is, it's a brand of laxatives sold in the U.S.

2) Haiku

Pruned to perfection
Festive in tinsel and lights
Soon needless, needle-less

I do know I have one syllable too many, but when I googled haiku poems several websites said that the poetry and the content was more important than the form.

3) Free format

I do not read books,
I experience them.
All senses on alert
reacting to the plot.
My mind is focused
on the text alone.
Transforming it
into a movie in my head.
My ears are straining
to hear the bad guys approaching.
My eyes see landscapes
so beautiful it almost hurts.
The sweet taste of the hero’s last kiss
still lingers on my tongue.
My fingers desperately cling
to the silky mane of a galloping horse.
The smell of death chokes me
in the ancient catacombs.
Within the covers of a book
I am a hero, a warrior,
a villain, a magician,
a queen, a mistress...
I fight the battles,
I solve the mysteries,
I feel the pain and the love.
So if I’m not easy to talk to when I’m reading,
blame not me, blame the author.



Jumping from one subject to another...

Have you ever thought about time? How nothing seems to take the time you think it will take to accomplish?

When working with computers they always said that it would take the time you thought it would take times two and then some. This could probably be applied to everyday life also. Just think about the time you think it will take to cook dinner. There is no way, no how that it will take 40 mins to cook a stew. Unless you're a professional chef that is. For us mere mortals it will take no less than at least an hour. Probably more. I look at the preparation time specified in the recipe and add about half as much to get a fair estimate. The recipe makers are optimists. It's not only them though. Just about everyone is an optimist when it comes to time.

Like now when I have a slight problem with comp. I did not think it was that big of a deal, but it turned out to be harder to fix than I thought. And take a LOT more time of course. Apparently I have to wipe entire harddrive clean (don't ask me what the proper term is in computerish) and start over again. Yeah right... If this comp doesn't work properly soon either it or I will need professional help.

Another example is bookshelves. Since I love bookshelves this example comes naturally to me. Assembling a bookshelf will take about three times the time specified in the instructions if you do it for the first time. Nothing will work on the first try. This is just the way it is. I have now assembled and dissembled bookshelves so much I have no need for the instructions. I know them by heart. If it took me and a friend about 45 mins the first time I do it by myself in 15 mins now.

Another funny thing about cookbooks and recipes is that the finished dish or cake or cookie or whatever you're making never looks like the picture in the book. It just doesn't happen. I mean, I know that the food on the pic is cold (steam from hot food fogs up the lens of the camera) and styled and presented in flattering lighting. I know all this but I always get disappointed when the dish I made looks more like a bowl of dog food than the delicious meal presented in the picture. And no, the food does not look better cold. I tried that too. But it usually tastes good.

I have found one cookbook (with cake recipes) where the end result actually looks like the picture. I was truly amazed. Now, is that because I'm a great baker or is it because the recipe was simple enough and not styled up so much in the picture? In lack of evidence leaning one way or the other I will say I'm a great baker and take it as a compliment. :)

I wonder if I can trade a cake for some help with comp...


Nina (who really thought that writing this post would take longer than it really did)



A friend gave me this wonderful tool called freewriting. Thanks Heather! I got an e-mail about writing. It's a very good thing having friends who write who can give tips and hints on what to do and how to do it when writing gets tough.

I had trouble getting my short story for class completed on time (yes, second draft was handed in on time, just ask teacher). It felt like butting heads with a brick wall. You can't possibly win a head butting match with a brick wall unless you're a wrecking ball, so I figured I would try something I read in an e-mail about. Freewriting. I had tried it once before in another writing class but it didn't work for me back then so it doesn't count.

For those who doesn't know what it is, freewriting is when you start with a blank document in Word or whatever your pet word processing program might be or even a blank paper if you want to write by hand, but it seems a bit of a waste of paper to do it that way. One wants to be environmentally friendly and all that right?

I'm getting off the track here. Please don't do that to me. I have a hard time getting on the track from the start as it is.

Anyway, take that blank document or paper and just write anything on it. You can write "I don't know what to write" like 20 times if you like but keep writing! It's the feeling of fingers moving across keyboard, stroking keys or pen rasping across paper forming words that tricks the brain into action. That is my theory and I'm sticking to it. It works!! Lo and behold! It works! I had no idea how to deal with a short story halfway written. By the end of the freewriting I had filled two pages with text. None of it of much use to me, but it was there. I had written it. I had proved that I could write. I could even spell! And it only took about five or ten minutes. I learned several things during those minutes.

I do know how to write.
I do know how to spell.
I do know a thing or two about grammar.
I know how to assemble very long sentences that might or might not make sense in the end. (no news there...)
I do not know how to make proper paragraphs (still haven't learned that Heather despite years of... um... reminding... :) )
And last but not least... I learned that if I put the main storyline or plot into a list I do know where it will end and how to get there. The rest is just stuffing. Important stuffing, but still stuffing. Oh and that's where voice comes in. But that's another post.

Of course, I printed it with my last nine pages of paper, which reminds me that I have to go buy more paper for printer tomorrow, but I managed to forget it at home when it was due. Oh well, I guess I can't be perfect every day. :)

So I will end with this question. Why isn't freewriting taught in every writing class? In every school? At every level?

Ta Ta For Now!



E-assignment 2 - Dialogues

I had so much fun creating these dialogues. I hope you will enjoy reading them. I look forward to any and all comments. /Nina

1) Two office workers who know but dislike each other are trapped in a lift/an elevator with a sales representative who they've never met before but who they're both immediately attracted to. Help is on its way.

Office worker 1: (to sales rep) Hi there! I don’t think we have met before. My name is...
Office worker 2: (interrupts) You really think she will care what your name is?
OW1: (annoyed) Was I talking to you? Do I look like I want to talk to you?
Sales rep: Guys... I am...
OW2: I am so grateful you’re not talking to me! My brain is too valuable to be contaminated by people like you.
OW1: People like me? At least I don’t work at the mail department!
OW2: What’s wrong with the mail department? It’s honest work it is! Be careful what you say, remember I can make your mail take the scenic route through Hwongazulu for an entire month!
OW1: Ha! You ought to remember who’s handling your paycheck!
OW2: Like working as a salary administrator is such an accomplishment!
OW1: It sure beats the mail department by three floors!
OW2: If you bothered to actually do some math you’d see that I make more money than you.
OW1: And what do you spend them on? A fancy European car! You can’t even be bothered to buy an American car, can you? Un-American is what you are!
OW2: (happy that the subject of cars came up) Hey! Leave my Mercedes out of this.
OW2 to sales rep: Did I tell you I have a Mercedes? A very reliable German car...
OW1: A car that will pollute the environment! I drive a Ford Flexifuel. Etanol is the future!
OW2: Didn’t you know? Scientists now say that etanol will pollute the environment more than gasoline.
OW1 (defeated in the car department tries a new angle): So... I haven’t seen you in the gym lately. Getting lazy are we? (pokes OW2 in the gut). I benchpress 225 lbs, how much do you?
OW2: (slightly jealous of that amount tries a new tactic) I haven’t had time to go to the gym since I have been renovating my house and brushed up my Shakespeare in the evenings.
OW1: Shakespeare eh? Well, I read him ages ago. I moved on to heavier works.
OW2: And what could that possibly be? The TV-guide?
OW1: Machiavelli, Homer...

The elevator starts to move again. Sales rep sighs a breath of relief when her phone rings.

- Hi honey! I’m fine. I’ve been stuck in an elevator for 45 minutes with Superman and Spiderman. Could you pick up the Batmobile from the garage and get Batboy from day care while I meet Batgirl? I promised her a girls’ night out, you know, shopping, dinner and a movie. I suspect we’ll catch a chick flick of some sort. (sales rep glances at the now defeated office workers and decides to gloat a little) Oh and honey? Remember our date later... when the kids are asleep. You and me in the batcave...

2) Scenario: At the North Pole in Santa’s house. Santa wants to revise the travel plans for Christmas with head-reindeer Rudolph. Mrs Claus knows that Rudolph is on a hot date with lady reindeer, Vixen, and wishes that Santa does not know about it yet.

Santa: (somewhat annoyed) Where is Rudolph? He’s late for our meeting.
Mrs Claus: (evasive) I... I don’t know dear. Would you look at that! Your nice red coat is all wrinkly. I will have to iron it.
Santa: He knows the meeting was tonight. We need to finalize the plans for Christmas. I have figured out a new route! Maybe I should give him a call.Where did I put my glasses? I can never see the numbers on these tiny new cell phones. Soon I will need a magnifying glass just to make a simple phone call!
Mrs Claus: (stalling)They probably are right where you left them dear. Have you seen your good boots?
Santa: (confused by change of subject) What about them?
Mrs Claus: Well, have you polished them? Are they ready for Christmas? I will not have you running all over the world in dirty boots! What will people think of us?!
Santa: I don’t think anyone notices my boots dear. All they’re interested in are presents.
Mrs Claus: I care!
Santa: (even more confused) Why do you care about my boots?
Mrs Claus: (exasperated by hubby’s ignorance of fashion statements) Because all the elves’ wifes will laugh at me if I let you go out in dirty boots. Now go polish them.
Santa: (losing patience) I do not have time for this! I have a meeting with Rudolph. Where is he?! Do you think anything has happened to him?
Mrs Claus: (still stalling Santa) Drats! Now I burned my finger on the iron. Could you get me some ice?
Santa: (fetching ice) Are you avoiding my question?
Mrs Claus: (desperatly improvising) Um... well... your belt!! Where is it? I know it was a tad short last year, have you gotten a new one yet?
Santa: You do know where Rudolph is!

(Rudolph tumbles through the door, leaving snowy hoofprints all over Mrs Claus squeaky clean wooden floor.)

Santa: (relieved) Ah Rudolph! There you are! Welcome! Have you thought about the new plans?
Mrs Claus: (trying to save the situation) But let the poor reindeer take a breath and sit down before you pelt him with questions dear. It is so good to see you Rudolph. Is everything allright? Your nose is rather... bright tonight. Would you like something to drink?
Rudolph: (out of breath like he has been running) I am so sorry I am late Santa. It was not my intention. And yes, I really would like something to drink Mrs Claus.
Santa: So what kept you? Emergency?
Rudolph: (not knowing what to tell Santa) Would you look at the mess I dragged in! Please, Mrs Claus, let me help you clean it up.
Mrs Claus: You’re such a nice reindeer Rudolph! I’ll get you a mop.

(Mrs Claus leaves room to get a mop to clean up the now melted snow)

Santa: (notices for the first time) Is that tinsel I see in you antlers?
Rudolph: (squirming) Um...Santa? There is something I have to tell you... I know it is bad timing and all but Vixen and me... we’re... um... friends.
Santa: Friends?
Rudolph: Well, yes. More than friends really. We’ve been seeing each other in secret for a couple of months now. Hence the tinsel. We were on a date.
Santa: (amused) Really?
Rudolph: (anxious) This will of course not affect our work schedule. I will lead and light the way and Vixen will be paired with Prancer as usual.
Santa: (rubs his hands with glee) This was joyous knews indeed! I knew there was something fishy going on. I thought you might be in trouble or something. You’re never late for a meeting and Mrs Claus even burned her finger on the iron! Probably on purpose at that. She never burns her finger. She knew, didn’t she? And of course this will not affect our schedule. Dancer and Prancer manage to work well together don’t they?
Rudolph: (relieved at Santa’s blessing) Yes, I came to her for advice what to do about my feelings for Vixen. Mrs Claus is very good at this.
Santa: (beaming with pride) I know, she’s been playing matchmaker for the elves for several centuries now and the divorce rate is almost non-existent.
Rudolph: (suddenly apprehensive) Eh... right...
Santa: (mockingly stern)You are planning on making an honest reindeer of Vixen right?
Rudolph: Um...
Santa: (excited) I will perform the ceremony myself and give a speech!
Rudolph: (getting a bad feeling) About the plans for Christmas...
Santa: (getting more excited about the prospect of a Christmas wedding) Ah the plans, well we have new, more important plans to make now! We’ll take the same route as last year, it worked didn’t it? Now, would you like to have the reception here or in the great hall?

3) Scenario: For me to know and you to guess. :)

Abby: Hey let’s go in here! They have these new cool jeans I saw on tv. You know, the ones Britney is wearing.
Jenny: Cool! I want those!
Caitlyn: Like you’re ever going to look like Britney.
Jenny: Like yuck! Who would want to look like her? She is so out.
Abby: At least she gets headlines. And those jeans are hot.
Caitlyn: (giggles) Speaking of hot... look who’s over there...
Abby: Quick! In here!
Jenny: Ouch! You hurt my arm!
Abby: It’s Alex! He can’t see us here! I look like a mess.
Caitlin: Nah, you look good.
Jenny: Yeah. Go talk to him.
Abby: (giggles) I can’t do that!
Caitlyn: Why not? Sooner or later you need to talk to him you know.
Abby: But I want him to hit on me. You know, take the initiative. I want to know if he likes me.
Jenny: All you gotta do is ask.
Caitlyn: Hey! Take a look at this!
Jenny: You can’t go in something like that! You’ll look like a nun.
Caitlyn: Hmm maybe you’re right. I need something with a tad higher slut-factor.
Jenny: (applies lip gloss) Not too much though. You don’t want Mark to think you’re easy.
Caitlyn: (looks around) Where did Abby disappear to?
Abby: Still here. That b**ch Michelle talked to Alex.
Jenny: Oh no!
Abby: (shows picture she took with cell phone camera of Michelle and Alex talking)
I’m gonna rip her ogling eyes out! Look here!
Caitlyn: Oh my god! What is she wearing?!
Jenny: You gotta be kidding me! Wearing something like that? She looks like she came straight from the funny farm!
Abby: I know! And still she managed to talk to him! What am I doing wrong?
Caitlyn: (arches eyebrow) Hiding maybe?
Abby: (wails) I am not pretty enough! And he is attracted to ugly girls! I have no reason to live anymore. (crumbles onto floor sobbing)
Jenny: Hey, come on. There’s gotta be something in here you can impress him with on Sat. Let’s go find the perfect outfit for you.
Caitlyn: Yeah, let’s go wear that VISA-card out!
Jenny: Speaking of VISA-cards... In home economics Mrs Baker said we needed to make a budget for a month. (rolls eyes)
Caitlyn: Yeah right... Like that would ever happen.
Jenny: Teachers are so lame. Except for Mr Hackberry. He’s nice. And cute.
Abby: You got the hots for the math teacher? He’s like a gazillion years old!
Jenny: Nah only like 30 or so.
Caitlyn: That’s gross!
Jenny: (blushes) I just think he’s cute! That’s all!
Abby: What about Sean then? He’s been ogling you for like a month now! You think he’s coming to the party on Saturday? Oh look! I found the perfect dress!
Caitlyn: That is so cool! I want one of those!
Abby: I saw it first! You can’t wear the same outfit as me! That’s so kindergarten!
Jenny: How about you flip a coin for it? Or get different colors?
Abby + Caitlin in unison: Deal!
Caitlyn: All we have to do now is find something for Jenny to wear. Oh and shoes of course. Can't get a dress without matching shoes.


Happy Birthday to Me!

Yay! It is my birthday! Or rather, it was, it ended half an hour ago. Well, some parts of the world still have hours left on the day so I'll just keep celebrating until I fall soundly asleep. :)

I had such a nice day today. I woke up, went to store to pick up puréed carrots in the baby food isle. No, I do not have a baby. Yet. I do however have a recipe for carrot cake that requires puréed carrots so I had to get some baby food. I did not know that the baby food jars are so small. I had to buy two of them. Good thing they're not that expensive. At least not to me since I do not buy them every day. I guess that parents to small children might think they are a tad heavily priced.

Anyway, I made carrot cake. It was good. I will save that recipe for another day. Did you know that if you don't eat something for a long time it will taste that much better when you know you're getting a limited amount of it? It's true! Imagine you're eating chocolate every day. After a couple of days it is not as good as it was the first day, but if you're restricting your intake of chocolate the amount you do eat will taste better than if you ate it every day with not limitations. Oh and I know, lots of fancy words there. Sorry. It was scientist-Nina who came out to play with vocabulary. :)

I got seriously cool stuff from Mom. Five books, an iron pot to make casseroles in and some way cool craft stuff. A corner punch and a border punch. Now I can make fancy corners and borders on my cards. Yay! Now, if watching too much tv makes your eyes square, what does too much reading do to them?

So if anyone needs me I will be in one of my new books with a "do not disturb"-toe tag. :)

Pizza for dinner and more carrot cake for dessert. I think I used up all the WW-points I have for an entire month. Ah well, I only have b-day once a year. I'll make it up to body next week. Lots of spinach and broccoli. Broccoli is a very nice veggie. I like it and it is very healthy. Lots of vitamins and anti-oxidants and whatnots that are good for body. I do like spinach also. It makes me strong like Popeye. I read it somewhere. It is scientifically proved that it will increase the... uh...something in the muscles making body stronger. Not certain what amount it will take to make body stronger though so it is best to eat lots of spinach.

Ah back to writing short story and reading all my books. Does excessive reading count as a valid excuse for not having a first draft finished on Thursday? :)

Ta ta for now!



Stupidity of the Week

My friends, you all know how I feel about stupidity of any kind. It has to be fought high and low and in any way possible.

This week it was a particular stupidity that stood out from the crowd of ordinary stupidities I come across every day. It was a woman (or so I think considering it was in a women's magazine and the letter was signed "hostess") who figured that "it is impossible to invite someone for something to eat now when I have to consider allergies and other dietary preferences (vegans, weightwatchers, vegetarians and so on)". And lo and behold, her guests had the audacity to tell her what they did or did not prefer to eat. The horror!! Idiotic, intolerant idiocy! That is what it is.

What's wrong with you woman!? Of course they need to tell you!! People can die from eating the wrong food stupid! I know! I have been there! I do know how it feels like to not be able to draw a proper breath. Apparently this woman hasn't. Sigh. I am truly grateful that I never had a dinner invitation from this woman. It will be very empty around her table if she kills off all her guests...

I can not speak for vegans, vegetarians or people with dietary preferences out of religious beliefs, but I can tell you as a weightwatcher that when I dine with friends, at their homes, I am not that picky. I am blessed with friends who think my welfare is important hand have the good manners to ask me if there is something I can't eat or something that I simply want to avoid at this time. Most are curious about the program and want to learn more. I am not on a strict diet of any sort, I am weightwatching and eating healthy is not going to kill anyone.

Come to think of it, isn't that the very purpose of inviting friends over for dinner? To make guests feel welcome and taken care of so that everyone has a good time? Besides, it isn't that hard to cook for a weightwatcher or a muslim or a vegan. It just requires a bit of thinking. Perhaps that is the problem for this woman, lack of brains. Of all the stupid things I have heard and read this week, this was the worst.

I am getting off that soapbox now before I rant and rave myself to a stroke.

Ta ta for now!




I do not aspire to be a poet or anything but I had been writing a whole day so I wasn't surprised when inspiration hit me. Now I will inflict my most recent collection of words upon you my friends.


The strong verbs dash headlong into sentences
The weak verbs hobble along
propped up by the adverbs
The colourful adjectives display their superlatives
like peacocks prance around showing off their feathers.
The reliable nouns keep everything in order.
The prepositions know where everyone is
The conjunctions mediate between arrogant main clauses
and submissive dependent clauses.
They all work together
as a team
to tell my story

That's all for now!



1st Assignment Creative Writing

“How do you fit in a full-grown race horse into a normal-sized car?”

All 153 students woke up to listen to my reply. A needle dropped on the floor would generate a magnificient boom. Being a professor in physics isn’t easy when questions like this arise. Every semester there is a student living in the delusion that he is the next Jerry Seinfeld. Everyone expected a lecture on time-space warps and other dimensions. Ah well... here we go.

“Well, fitting a full-grown race horse into a normal-sized car is not as a gargantuan task as it might appear at first glance. There are a couple of things to consider before you try to stuff the poor animal into your vehicle.

“First and foremost you have to make sure that the horse in question is a fully emancipated horse, or that the horse has a completely filled out form of consent from its owner. This is crucial if you do not wish to be apprehended by the police for theft.

“Before you seat the beast into your car it is necessary to check that the elephants in the back seat use the seat belts. Seat belts are mandatory and will protect you and the horse if the elephants would panic due to a mouse on the run from the sooty boa constrictor, currently wrapped around the exhaust pipe.

“Now, if you have successfully seated the horse in the car and checked everyones seat belt you’re almost ready to go. The last thing you have to check is the giraffe in the trunk. The usually mellow giraffes tend to become cranky if they get a crick in the neck from lack of stretching space. The best way to accomodate a giraffe in the trunk is to saw a hole through the lid of the trunk for it to stick its head up. This will make your car look somewhat similar to a submarine with a giraffe’s neck and head for a periscope. It looks ridiculous, but it will save you from cranky giraffes which makes it worth the damage to your car.

“Did that answer your question?”

I smiled at the gaping students. Another semester, another bunch of students thinking that the professor had lost her mind. Maybe they were right.
After the lecture I gathered up my notes as the janitor, who had heard the joke many times, swept the floor. I realized that there was only one sane person in this room and it wasn’t me.


Reading Romance

An interesting thing happened a couple of weeks ago. The student office had spring cleaning I guess and gave away books for free. Now, anyone who knows me can guess my reaction. It was like Yay!! Gimme!!!

Most of the books and other texts that were given away were textbooks and university booklets and essays and such, but some were romance novels. I was fascinated. What can romance novels possibly have been doing at a university? Then it hit me. Maybe romance novels aren't as put down as I think they are. Or someone put private books on that table as well as uni property. They were old novels. I swiped four of them.

Yes, I like to read romance novels. I am very aware that they do not in any way reflect the real world. But then again, I like to read fantasy novels and sci-fi also. They don't reflect the real world either. They are however not as frowned upon as romance novels. I wonder why.

I know a couple of authors of romance novels. They are highly educated, skilled women who works hard to write their novels. It is not easy to write a romance novel. Everyone who thinks so is very welcome to try. Besides being hard to write, they are even harder to sell. As any manuscript is since there are so many trying. Only a few do it well.

The sad thing is that the romance novels lose quite a lot in translation. They're better in English. Too bad they're not available here. Very good thing to have American friends sending books and stuff once in a while.

Anyway, as I was saying, romance novels are just as good as any other genre. Just because they aren't sold in any bookstores doesn't mean they're not litterature. And just because they're not hardcover doesn't mean they're not books.

I am not going to apologize for reading romance novels, nor will I apologize for reading fantasy or sci-fi. I will not apologize for reading Shakespeare, Doyle or Foucault. That is for certain. I read whatever I want. I am a highly educated woman. I am neither stupid or uneducated. I still will read romance novels. Mainly because I like them. Just like in fantasy and sci-fi. It's a matter of taste, not class.

In the words of friend Heather: With reading decreasing more and more one should applaud every effort to read there is.

Just my two Euros...

Ta ta for now!



Summer holidays

Yay! The summer holidays have started! I've had final exam and the last corrections made to last essay handed in yesterday. Today it was warm and sunny so I decided to take the day off and engage in some of my favourite activities.

I have only two weeks of summer holidays so I'd better enjoy every minute of them. I sat in front of tv and watched some of my favourite daytime tv-shows like Rachael Ray, Oprah, Dr Phil and Ellen. Yes, I do like them and I admit I do watch them. Not every day. I don't have time to sit down every day to watch tv all day long, but sometimes I just let the tv run all day long. And please don't bother me with that old "you need to be outside when it's sunny"-garbage. No I do NOT need to be outside, in fact, I could stay indoors all summer long if it suits me. I'll go outside when it pleases me.

I was good today though. Read a bit in new course book. I did tell you I'm taking a class in the summertime too right? That's why my summer holidays are just two weeks. Next class starts in mid-June. So I started to read Edith Wharton's "The Age of Innocense". So far it is a very good novel. And cheap. Lord knows all books bought for uni studies are outrageously expensive but this one wasn't. I was thrilled! I love books! I would love to live in a library! Don't get me started on that subject...

Anyway, so far I like the novel. The language itself is enough to keep me reading. You know me, grammar geek no 1. It's almost poetry. Very fitting for the setting of the novel. It was just like "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon that we read in another class. The language itself is such a crucial part of the story. I guess most people doesn't realize this. I know I didn't pay any attention to this before taking my classes in English. Now I will pay more attention to it when writing my own. I've talked to a lot of talented authors and a lot of people in the writing community and the single most important piece of advice they give is to find my own voice and style of writing. However, the voice of the author cannot override the voice of the story. It would be seriouly strange if one of, let's say, Jane Austen's characters would suddenly say "yo dude!" right? Or if a rap star suddenly thee-d and thou-d everyone.

So that is what I learned today. And what the word "accrued" means. Thanks Pet!

I did realize something too. I'm very fond of the word "however" suddenly. Please don't be annoyed with me. It's just a phase.

Ta ta for now!




I'm the ultimate grammar geek. I realized that a couple of years ago when I couldn't stand the typos in one of my favourite novels anymore and started to correct them. I very rarely write in books. That is a hideous crime and should be harshly punished! You don't destroy books in that manner! Ok, must breathe...

Anyway, being a collector of words I was delighted when friend Heather published a list of words I didn't know on her blog today. Yay! I learned something new. My desire for knowledge was satisfied for today. Tomorrow, well that is a whole other issue.

I discovered the wonder of words quite early in life. Do you remember when you first started to read by yourself? At first it was slow and the more pictures there were in the book, the better it was. And then you realized you were reading silently to yourself in a book with little or no pictures at all. And suddenly, there was this amazing insight. It is fun to read! There are millions of books out there just waiting for me to read! What an amazing feeling that was. I realized then I would never be alone again.

Books are our friends.

Now, can you imagine what kind of self restraint was needed for me not to buy a book when I realized one of the stores in town had a booksale on paperbacks. More than 50% off. That took some serious talking to self. Something like this:

"I want one of them!! I want this one and this one and this..."

"No, I can't have any books today!"

"Why not? Look! There's another one! And they're cheap!"

"Because I just bought train tickets and can't afford to buy books."

"But... I want books!!!" (this is where inner self threw itself on the floor and had a temper tantrum so better self had to carry it out of the store)

About the same thing happened at the craft store. Guess if inner self sulked... All the way home...

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every second of it. :)

Ta ta for now!



Exam day

I'm a bit tired today. I had an exam. Not a big one, a small one. It didn't take very long. I hope I passed it. I also got second draft of essay back. There are parts of it that needs changing. There are also parts I know I want to rephrase before handing in the final draft for grading.

That was it for that class basically. I started the blog as a tool for learning English in class. I'm still having fun though so I guess I'll keep it running for a little while longer.

Spring semester is almost over. I have passed all the exams I have taken so far. Only one left. I can't say that I know that I will pass the last one, but there is good hope for it. During summer I am going to attend yet another English class. I know, I simply can't get enough of English classes. :) This one will be in creative writing. It sounds like a lot of fun. I'll have to get back to you on that one later.

I watched a show on tv earlier tonight about hoarders. I think I might be a hoarder. Not of things but of information and academic merits. Just the other day a friend said that I am like a badger, always digging up information I don't need. I just love Wikipedia!! I know, it's not always reliable information, but if you're not using it for anything other than just a bit of fun or as a starting point in further studies (of more academically approved sources) then I don't see the harm.

I think it might be time to go to bed before I start rambling worse...

Ta ta for now!!



It is not as bad as it sounds. I promise!

It all started when a friend bestowed a copy of Janet Evanovich's "One for the Money" on me. Anyone even remotely familiar with Ms Evanovich's novels will know who Rex is. This sparked an interest in getting a hamster for myself. However, being a student and allergic to cats and dogs and horses I didn't think a hamster would be such a great idea. I still haven't got one. I will one day.

A friend of mine recently bought a hamster. I haven't seen the little bugger yet, but I hope I will soon. This purchase inspired me to do a bit of research about hamsters. I had no idea there were that many different kinds of hamsters and there are hamsters with pedigrees also. Apparently there is a whole world out there of hamster shows and breeding I had no idea existed. Of course there are a gazillion different doohdahs you can get for your hamster. My favourite so far is a little car with a wheel inside of it. You know, like Fred Flintstone had to run to get his car moving the hamster has to run to get it's car moving. The hamster ball also looks really fun for a hamster. At least that is what friend tells me. She says her hamster has a ball in the ball (yes, that pun was intended).

Anyway, with the almost limitless options of colour, fur type, eye colour and ear colour I have to decide what kind of hamster I want before I go out and buy one. I read somewhere that it's better to buy from a certified breeder than from a pet store. I wouldn't know about this. I do know that the hamsters I found pictures of online are way cute and I want every single one of them.

Once I saw a charcoal grey hamster in a pet store. Very dark. Very cute. I want one of those. Black or dark grey. And with lots of fur sticking out in all directions. That's how my dream hamster would look. I have seen light colored ones that are way too cute also. Ah... when I get a job... I will have a hamster one day! And that hamster will have a little car to run around in!

Ta ta for now!




I figured I could look for a necklace to wish for my b-day (which is coming up in about a month and a half for anyone interested...). I made the mistake of googling "jewelry". I had no idea there were that many online shops selling jewelery of all kinds and prices. This is big business indeed.

This jewelery-googling made me think about what we use the Internet for. We have Facebook and MySpace to look for old friends and new acquaintances. We have online shops and even stores selling just about everything you can imagine if you have the dough to pay for shipping. We have online matchmaking sites to hook you up with Mr Right/Mrs Right or whatever you are looking for. We have games with thousands of players so you can live the life of your choice online. There's even a game named "Second Life" which probably isn't percieved as a game for those who use it, but it certainly isn't real.

I think that we will use the Internet more and more in our daily lives. When the Internet was first constructed it was for the explicit purpose of exchanging scientific information. Nobody could even try to predict that in 2008 one can order food online from ones grocery store. So this is my prediction. In the next five years the Internet will expand to encompass more and more people in the third world. There will be more and more business online and less actual stores. People will get used to the idea of not actually touching the item for sale before purchasing it. In the next ten or so years we will have evolved the Internet to become a global community where our avatars wander digital streets, go into digital shops, paying bills online and have coffee with our friends' avatars. There will be voice activated and eye movement will determine what we see from which angle. People will not have to go to the office to conduct work. Everything is digital and accessible from any computer around the world. All business meetings will take place online. We have gloves and goggles and headphones on to see, hear and interact with our digital surroundings. The digital world is percieved as to be real in 3D.

In 50 years we will have abandoned computers altogether. Since we have ruined the earth so much we will have to work hard to even get anything to eat so nobody will have time to sit in front of comps. Or we will have become fat, lazy people only living online not in the real world. I have no idea really, but the simple truth is that we are heading for a major disaster if we don't do anything very very fast to save the earth. Perhaps it is already too late to do anything. Maybe we're already doomed.

All this because of a googled necklace...

Ta ta for now!



Pet Peeves

A friend (Heather) published a list of pet peeves. Very interesting reading indeed. Some I agree with, some I don't. Probably because I've never had encountered that problem. Anyway, this reminded me of a refrigerator magnet I saw in a shop the other day. It read something like this:

If it's open, close it.
If it's on the floor, pick it up.
If it's dirty, clean it.
If it's hungry, feed it.
If it's sad, hug it.

I thought that was really good. I have to go buy that magnet...

There hasn't been a post in a while now. That's because I've had difficulties with internet connection from home and on top of that I have no less than three essays to write due on Monday. I'd better get started right? :)

Computers would be one of my pet peeves. Why can't a computer just work properly the first time around? And why can't the manual be at least something one can understand? No... Why should it? I figured it was close to a miracle when I got connection up and running on the second try with just one phone call to the supportteam. But then it failed again. Miserably. Phone again to supportteam. Nope, you've got too old whatever doohdahs it was. They knew how to fix it, but wouldn't tell me because it wasn't in their job description... *sigh* Ok, phone friend. This saint of a friend actually talked me through how to fix it. And now it works! Yay! And it wasn't because of old doohdahs.

Ta Ta for now!



Being an artist

It's a beautiful spring day here. The sun is shining and there's not cloud in sight. The temperature's been on the rise several days and reaches new high points every day. This is nice. If you're not allergic to pollen that is. Otherwise it's not that fun. If you live in an area where there's still snow it's not fun either.

I was talking to friend on phone yesterday. She's a very artistic lady. I wish I could express myeslf that way. In poems and pictures and such. My friend writes poems I want to frame and hang on the wall. Beautiful stuff. I've tried writing poems. It didn't work out that well. They were just so trivial and not very interesting to read at all. I've tried painting too, but that was just a disaster. I have a picture in my head I want to paint or draw, but it never comes out they way I want it to. This makes me very upset and usually I heave the whole thing away. I think I'll stick to making cards. Those turn out at least almost as I want them to.

Or maybe I should stick to reading instead. I'm pretty good at reading by now, having done it since I was like six years old. I've always been an avid reader. When they asked in class what we thought of when thinking of the word "library" I just had to say "Heaven" since I love books and I love libraries. That got a laugh out of the class. But I truly wish I had a library. Imagine a whole room full of books to read. New adventures to be part of.

The other day I printed out some of the card challenges on Split Coast Stampers (see link) where they challenge you to make a card of a particular design. You have to put the card elements in a particular order or use squares or circles. Fascinating! I tried making one such card. It turned out better than I thought. I got many new ideas. However, I'm a bit picky about what I do since cardstock is way expensive and I really want everything to be beautiful.

Ok, now I really got to go. I have two essays to write for next week and keywords to write and cards to make

Ta ta for now!!



Assignment 2 - Problem solving

Dogs should be banned from the city

Spring has arrived and with the melting of the snow we discover all the sins committed during the winter. There is dog poop everywhere! This is a problem. It’s not fun to get dog poop on my shoes, especially my new summer shoes. Right? So what can we do about this problem?

The authorities have put up special dog poop waste bins all around the city. Obviously they’re not used for their purpose since I still have to do zig-zag dance on the sidewalks to avoid the dog leftovers. This doesn’t seem to work. I am the first to admit that most dog owners are responsible people who brings poop bags with them to pick up after their darlings, but there are plenty who does not think that far ahead.

In Paris they have fines for people who doesn’t pick up their dog’s excrements. Now, that would work, if there was some way to determine which poop came from which dog. We don’t have the resources to send all the dog poop left in the streets for dna-analyzing. Not with the resources of the police and prosecutors strained as it is.

So my suggestion is that no dogs should be allowed in the city centre at any time. Of course there should be exceptions for guide dogs and other working dogs (police dogs, drug dogs and so forth) and dogs who live in the city centre, but not dogs that really has no business doing their business in the city centre. We banned cars from the city centre, you’re not allowed to drive on certain streets and in others you’re not allowed to drive at night. This could be the case for dogs too.

One could argue that dogs are a natural companions of humans and therefore should be allowed everywhere. That is true. Many people have testified about their faithful canine companions. However, I seriously doubt the dogs themselves find it very amusing to go shopping. They aren’t even allowed in shops or stores or restaurants. Now, if I was a dog I’d find it very tedious sitting outside a shop, tied up with no toys to chew on for hours on end. Maybe even forgotten by my owner. I’ve seen that happening. Imagine if it was a hot summer’s day also. Being tied up, sitting on hard, hot concrete with no shadow nor water available. That is just plain cruel. This is no way to treat your faithful companion, is it?

The way to enforce such a ban is to have every dog outfitted with a gps-chip. Most dogs are outfitted with chips as it is so it won’t be a major cost. Enter all dogs into a database. The Swedish Breeder’s Association has registers of all their member dogs already. Have a computer track all dogs at all times and if a dog is found on a street which is prohibited the computer makes a note of it and sends off an e-mail to the court and to the owner with a heavy fine. The fines would probably even finance the whole operation leaving no additional costs to the community.

Dogs have no business in the city centre. They’re in the way, they scare people and the owners leave the dog poop on the sidewalk. No, I think it’s time to ban dogs from the city centre. Dogs should have lots of space to run and toys to chew on and freedom to sniff whatever scent they want without having to fear dehydration, sun or broken glass in their paws. For me, the advantage would be no dog poop on my new summer shoes. It’s a win-win situation




I've made a mistake. I went to SplitCoastStampers to get some inspiration for making cards. Now my head hurts from way too many ideas forming in brain at the same time. Very much like when I go to craft store to look around to see what's new. Not a good idea if I don't have any money to buy stuff with.

Anyway, I managed to print out some sketch suggestions since I seem to lack the inspiration how to place my decor on the cards. Did that make any sort of sense?

I'm also royally annoyed with the country and the city I'm living in. We do not have all the great craft stuff the Americans have. We have what you might call a limited supply. Take wheels for example. There are no stamping wheels in the store! And the ink pads! They're hardly bigger than a postage stamp!! In fact, I've seen postage stamps bigger than my inkpads. I've got two now at least. One black and one red. I'm in the beginning of my stamping career so I don't own that much yet. And wouldn't you know, I found a really neat set of clear stamps in a magazine (thank you H!) with a jungle theme (yes, there is a giraffe in the set). Now, if I understand correctly I have to mount those stamps on an acrylic block of some sort before setting out to stamp. I did some checking and realized it was cheaper to order a whole set of different acrylic blocks from the same place that had the stamps than to go to craft store and buy a single block. Shipping was included in that tally. Isn't that interesting? Shows how the prices are ridiculous here when it's cheaper to buy a whole set from halfway around the world and ship it here than buying a single block (of the wrong size of course since the biggest one is too small and in this case, size matters) in the store down the street.

Time to breathe...

I think I'll go check out the special paper craft shop that's supposed to be somewhere outside the city. Maybe they'll have more reasonable prices. I doubt it, but one can dream...

Home! Cardmaking! Oh and thinking of assignment 2.

Ta Ta for now!



Why are top lists so popular?

Who has never compiled a top ten or a top five list of something? I think just about everyone has made a list or two in their lifetime. Why do we do this? And why do we feel the need to post them online? Here’s my top three list of why we make lists and post them online.

The top three list of why we make lists and post them online

3. We want to organize our minds. The world of today and the foreseeable future isn’t likely to become any less filled with information than it already is. The human brain isn’t equipped to deal with those kinds of information avalanches that sweeps through our world on a daily bases. We need to clear our heads and focus and bring some order to the chaos we perceive the world to be. This is an easy way of dealing with vast quantities of information.

2. We want to belong to a group. I keep getting back to my friend Maslow and his ladder of human needs. The need to belong to a group is very very powerful in humans and therefore we want to make sure that our priorities are the same, alas, we compare our lists. If your list is similar to my list we are alike and could belong to the same group of people with similar taste in music, film, how to raise kids, balloon colours or whatever tickles our imagination that day.

1. We simply cannot concentrate that long anymore. It’s not our fault we have the attention span of goldfish (the famous three seconds) so we put all the important things into lists and small chunks of information because nobody has the attention stamina to read through large bodies of text. Anyone, other than me, ever started to read a story in a magazine just to stop and look for a bullet list or something to capture the gist of the story to see if it’s worth digging through? The fear of missing something important by focusing on something else rears it’s ugly head and snaps it’s fangs at us and instead of whacking it over the head with yesterday’s rolled up paper we run faster from it and try to multi-task.

It can be fun compiling lists of different kinds too. You have to think a bit before putting the list on paper and then of course a bit more before posting it online because someone else is always going to question the order of the list and say you’re wrong because you never mentioned this or that and then you have found a new friend to argue the finer points in balloon colours or heavy metal drum solos with.