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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

end-of-year Tag

Here's an original tag by the author of "Oh crud!", "The Whoops Factor revisited", "One, Two, Go!...and there's just one thing", " 'Hysterical Laughter' is my favorite quote", "CRUNCH is the new normal", "For the Win!", "Nom-nom", and other sundry works of genius: in short, none other than Bethie.

Please feel creepily compelled to steal this tag.
Remember: Bethany knows where you live and she may hunt you down, and POUNCE....and then ship you off on a freight train to Detroit.....


Funniest moment: good grief, one can't really choose, can one? Likely something to do with the movie:

- "Ahem! Audience, quiet please, we are about to make a major mistake!" (Joseph)

-"Dallan, stop talking on two! That's Bethany's job!" (Sophie)

-Adriel's enthused gestures in the background: "Sorry! I was explaining something!"

-Phillip trying to whip around in the climbing-out-the-window scene, when Eva enters, and catching his pistol on the table while his vest pops up in the back :D

-The Key Episode (hehe Eva! :P )

-of course, the oar snapping off when Eva tries to push off from shore, while the crew struggles helplessly in the blackberry vines

-"You're trying to make it look like I actually LIKE her or something!" (Joseph)

then there were other priceless moments at rehearsals for Top Hats:

-Eva's impersonation of the 'dozen bored dancers', combined with my mention of "we'll cut out the 'charming little pieces' line"

-Dallan's infatuated grin, chin on hands, whilst gazing at me across the table on stage

Other funnies:
"Zesty mint flavored fake blood! And Tic-Tacs..."
"Here's an opportunity to sound lame, let's not take it"
"There is rain puddled right under my sleeping bag." "Well you'll have a water-bed!"
"Oh right, I'm supposed to act shot now!"

classic Epic Times: surreptitiously handing off stage weapons before Top Hats, the Hazelnut Incident, 46 hours without sleep during NaNo whilst blasting music successively louder, swimming in a mountain lake, filming a scene after midnight, seeing a bison walk down the road towards us, trying to prop up the tent for the movie with a twig, white-balancing with the back side of a sheet of music for the score for the film using the light from a candle!

FIRST: program successfully written and compiled, mp3 player, Macintosh (LOVELOVELOVE), film shown at film fest, feature-film accepted to film fest, time to read Hitchhiker's, play directed, all-nighter, theatre audition, time at public school, time liking math, BIG birthday party, physical manifestation of anger on unrelated inanimate object, novel almost completed, friend's novel published, song to mean something personally, standing ovation, tip for a waiter out of own pocket, really nice pocket knife, time in semi-finals at robotics regionals

Most nostalgic songs: the entire soundtrack for Road to Freedom!

Best group hug: at the end of my birthday party, or maybe after filming the ball scene.

Favorite memory: TOO MANY!! birthday party, premiere of Road to Freedom, cast interviews day, RenFaire, Halloween weekend.....

Major Hits: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Eddie (laptop), raw tofu, trenchcoat, Gaelic Storm, folk dance, Montana, C++, goats, robotics, t-shirts, ivy, blogging.

2009 in review!

Here goes for the epic review of the year 2009!

January--April: I, with a mostly-highschool-aged cast and crew from C-town filmed the epic movie 'Road to Freedom'. I wrote the script in the fall of '08, but we wound up adjusting lines down to the last shoot :P
Historical costumes (Revolutionary War-era), an elaborate plot, lots of sets, and other such things made this truly a 'life-work', hehe.

Huge amounts of good times, and memories of unrestrained hoots of laughter as actors tried to remember their lines, the oar snapped, the lamp went up in a blaze of light, the camera was forgotten, the candles burned down over many-hour shoots, people forwent important engagements in order to get to the shoot, the hapless boom-rigger let the microphone droop into the actor's face, the long-suffering actors 'died' again and again as the Director grew ever pickier, the actress tried to remember which costume she ought to be wearing, the cameraman climbed on top of a podium with the $1000 camera to get the best shot, the dancers rehearsed their dances (to their own humming, sometimes), people dragged themselves to shoots whilst on the verge of death, the cast and crew battled rain, cold and hail (and irritating sun) to film the outdoor shoots, actors spilt root-beer over their costumes ("I thought it was EMPTY!"), and other pleasing little adventures occurred.

February: half the cast including myself came down with flu, we filmed the first major scenes of the movie, I 'pulled a Bethie' and added in a 24-hour fast-film competition with the local film festival, and participated in robotics competition (├╝ber-geek-out).

May 1st: we filmed the ball scene for the movie, which involved about a dozen extras in addition to most of the cast and several crew members. As the Director (me) was one of the dancers, another facet of interest was added to the few days of craziness in preparation for the epic scene.
The scene took seven or eight hours to film, although most of the cast peeled off earlier than that: the insane crew of about six people gave a standing ovation to each of the others as they left......Without aid of caffeine, in fact on the effects of adrenaline only, I managed to bounce with energy throughout the whole grueling shoot. We wound up with a group hug and (at least on my part) a profound sense of 'freedom!" hehe.

I finished up editing in May, and on June 6th about a hundred people were treated to the world premiere of Road to Freedom.

Middle of June: I became part of the blogging world!!

At the end of June we went off on our road trip to Montana and Wyoming, coinciding with my 'style change' to Western.
Various incidents on this trip have been posted about at length here on the blog, for your reading enjoyment :)

Of course we have a few ongoing things, like folk dance, 4-H, and the continuing Education Saga. In September (two days after school starting), I registered at the local high school for a few classes, to the eternal surprise of the die-hard homeschooling part of me.

At the end of the summer I embarked on yet another theatre business project: 'Two Top Hats and a Spy', as written by my compatriots. Rehearsals for that took all the fall through Nov. 21st. It was my first time being director of a theatre production rather than a film, hehe. We produced a very nice show positively imbued with 1930s atmosphere.

In November I was crazy enough to participate in National Novel Writing Month: 50,000 words in 30 days. Note: do not attempt to do NaNo in the same month that you have a show! It tends towards insanity. I got within about a thousand words of my goal: my stats page showed an exponential growth in the last few days of the month: I pulled a few all nighters (46 hours without sleep, I do believe). A snapshot of me at the end of November would feature me tapping madly at laptop as 1930s French swing music played on iTunes (a holdover from Top Hats).

In December, with my life returning to sanity, I decided to go for the gusto and add in another class at CHS: Advanced Algebra, in hopes of being able to transfer to College Algebra by the next semester. The catch being that I had missed 3/4 of the semester-long class! This resulted in some classic geek-out moments, like a few days when I was trying to work through the math book (to catch up) at the rate of four hours a day.

I also auditioned for Romeo and Juliet at C, and got a part as a dancer in the ball scene. Plans to participate in robotics in between rehearsals are still looming large for the new year.

Somewhere in the fall I decided that computer programming would be a good thing to acquire, and promptly got a few imposing volumes out from the library. Have not gotten very far with that, but programming remains one of my favorite hobbies.

The second style change came (subtly) in the fall, and Bethie now sports a rather darker image with overtones of extreme geekery. Trench coat and lots of important stuff in pockets.

Ongoing projects include trying ever harder to make people laugh, attempting to become still more geeky, mostly failing to rendezvous with buddies, and taking pride in keeping everyone guessing about what is actually going on in my head.

Monday, December 28, 2009

in which we race madly about

Woke up far too early this morning....could not get back to sleep...then there was a noise outside as of a cat squalling, or maybe the death-shriek of a mouse....THEN I became hungry and came downstairs to find that despite the dark it was nearly 7.

Perhaps slightly hysterically funny from lack of sleep, I engaged in a hysterically funny chat with a buddy which had me laughing aloud (alone in darkened kitchen) at points. This started the day off right, as it were. I then contended with the ridiculous cold (getting hay for the goats). I made a pretty sight: sweats, trouser (pant? hmm) legs rolled up, feet encased in battered Crocs, trenchcoat over all, flying out around me as I beat a hasty retreat from the driveway from whence I had intended to stage a 'nice brisk walk round the neighborhood' before discovering that my nose would freeze off.

OH YES....trenchcoat...I finally got one...heHEE....definitely adds to the image! :)

Spent the day doing math sporadically, and doing some housework on Eddie. Such a sweet computer (proud smile on my parental face). Organizing files is so much cleaner and easier than doing so on WIndows.

Yesterday we spent a grueling few hours shopping for t-shirts and such, then came home. Daddy stated that he was going to town (other direction from shops) and I became noticeably excited. "Are we going to the CO-OP?!" "Do we need to go to the Library!" "Borders!!"
One knows one lives in a small town when the big excitement for the whole WEEK is going to the grocery store, library and Borders Books.
I spent a long time in Borders poring over the programming books...nice big thick ones....IN the trenchcoat of course :)

Aaaand I promised fun stuff coming up on the blog....eventually...hehe :)

About 4 pm I noticed that Fiona-goat was very, very much in heat. This precipitated a lot of frenzied phoning about, racing to and fro, and finally packing her and Starlight into the car (on the back seat on a tarp) to take them down to the buck in Alpine. Long exhausting drive in terrible fog. However we really do know that at least Fiona is in heat so yay! Such is the life of the goat-herd.
Goats have such marvelous timing, what with the fog tonight, possibility of snow tomorrow morning, dentist appointment tomorrow AM, and my dad trying to get to a movie tonight (which he did get to). Busybusy.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

first final farewell to 2009! (i.e., there will be more!)

Okay folks, we're going to have some fun stuff going on here at the blog in the final days of 2009 (I just have to figure out what it'll be ;)

First off we have a tag off of Facebook. Feel free to take it! I'm probably notnot going to tag anybody though :)
Later in the week expect an epic-sized post recapping this year's major events according to me ;), hopefully polls, and other fun stuff: feel free to make suggestions!!


Stayed single this whole year?

Were you involved in something you'll never forget?
Good grief yes. Filming 'Road to Freedom' was the biggest...also doing NaNoWriMo! Learning programming! Going to public school... Robotics! Trip to Montana! June 1st, 2009!

Dyed your hair?
Yes actually, henna :)


Do you hate anyone?
(trying to think: ) I don't believe so.

Do you have any regrets when it comes to your friendships?
Maybe one or two, nothing major

Did you have a cake?
yes i had to MAKE it! (carrot) but for my party Eva baked me one :)

Did you have a party?
HECK YEAH!! Epic party-in-grass-seed-field-
at-night! Dancing! Music! Food! 'A nice vintage' (sparkling cider, lol)! Frisbee! Glowsticks! Skipping, 5-in-a-row! Group hugs! Siamsa! "We're-dancing-on-the-cups!"

Did you get any presents?
Yes ;)

Oh, really now? Really?

Did you change at all this year?
Yes, several times.

Did you change your style?
twice at least! Three times!

Were you in school?

Did you drive?
Yeah. Right into the flowerbed, hehe

Did you own a car?

Would you change anything about yourself now?
Hmm. I don't think so. (ain't I modest?)

Was 2009 a good year?
Oh yes!

Do you think 2010 will top 2009?

Kissed in the rain?
No, sadly.

Had your heart broken?
Ergh...I don't think so. Beat up a lot, though :)

Painted a picture?

Wrote a poem?
OH YES!! Best poem I ever wrote, and only one other person has read it. ' . '

Told someone you were busy when you weren't?
No..not yet....

Lied about how old you were?
Yep! RenFaire, I was trying to buy a knife >:-)

IN 2009 I...
Broke a promise?
Maybe...I don't think so..


Hid a secret?
Oh yes.

Pretended to be happy?
Dear me yes!

Slept under the stars?
Does camping count? Because I did a lot of that...

Kept your new years resolution?
I don't think I made any last year!

Forgot your new years resolution?
No :P

Met someone who changed your life?
Yes. Meh. Lots.

Sat home all day doing nothing?
Sadly yes.

Pretended to be sick?
No. I don't need to PRETEND! hehe

Lost something expensive?
Thankfully no!

Learned something new about yourself?

Tried something you normally wouldn't try and liked it?
Well I will try almost anything so does that count?

Made a change in your life?

Found out who your true friends were?
I think so....through THEATRE BUSINESS of course! :)

Met great people?
SO MANY!!! I think half of my close friends I met in the past year-ish. I LOVE YOU PEEPS! <3

Stayed up til sunrise?
Natch! NaNo! 46 hours without sleep!

Cried over the silliest thing?
not really silly...haven't cried in a while....and I was enraged at the time, wanted to punch something (and DID)

Had friends who were drifting away from you?
It started before 2009. But yeah. Not many thank goodness!

Had a high cell phone bill?
only during theatre business....

Spent most of your money on food?
a good bit...try buying a chunk of raw tofu for dinner in town! :P

Gotten sick?
Flu twice, a cold, and flu-ish in the summer...

Liked more than 5 people at the same time?
No! :)

Would you start this year over again?
Hmm....knowing what all would happen? Yes, but it would be a lot of work! As in, hundreds of hours of filming and editing!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!...and the big robotics post!

Hope everyone had a nice Christmas! Yesterday was our third day to go into town for supplies food-wise, hehe. Delivered a few gifts on Wednesday, bought hay, etc. Christmas Eve was deeply foggy all day, and turned icy later which helped in the decision not to go to Midnight Mass, somthing I've always wanted to do. Went to an evening church service, opened a few presents and I went to bed late. Before going to bed I heard a couple of owls hooting at each other outside, and a third one maybe half a mile or so away :)

Woke up late also, to sunshine and the smell of bacon wafting upwards, a great rarity...natural bacon is rather pricey.

Had lunch at grandmother's house, outside in the sun at the 45th parallel! Good times.

Just spent an hour or so on the Autodesk website, being annoyed by the apparent impossibility of registering. Finally got that all straightened out, then found that their software is only compatible with Windows, I'd have to partition Eddie's hard drive to run Windows (which has to be BOUGHT of course!) in order to run the software (animation, helpful for robotics stuff). Rowr.

And about that robotics stuff: I keep promising an in-depth post on what exactly I am talking about when I wave terms like "build season", "regionals", "what on earth is a lugnut", "FIRST", "ship date", and "scouting" around in the aluminum-shaving-filled air.

Sooooo....FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) is a nationwide organization. They have several branches including Lego-league robotics competitions for middle schoolers (such as I helped with a few weeks ago) and FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) for high schoolers.
My dad is the team coach/leader for our team so I tend to get sucked into the madness :P

I went to a competition in CA at the age of 13 and sort of got hooked...this will be my third year on the team to some extent.

The kickoff (Jan. 9th at an early hour of the morning) consists of the teams from all over the state coming to La Sells auditorium (goaded by coffee) and watching a live streamed broadcast of the kickoff in New Hampshire (where the founder Dean Kamen has his lair). The stream tends to go down sometimes but that's all part of the fun, hehe. Role-call: all the teams that made it over the dangerous high mountain passes and such give rousing cheers and so on.

There we learn what this year's 'game' will be: whether our robot will have to be designed to herd balls, go up ramps, throw things, or etc. We also listen to a lot of inspiring speeches by Kamen and Woodie Flowers and all those folks as to why we do this, the benefit that engineering is to the world, "gracious professionalism", and how we are going to have the best season ever. Then we all head over to the other university building to collect the kit of parts: the "Kamen tote" and the "Flowers tote" (Woodie Flowers, another beloved founder) and pack the industrial-strength wheels and metal and motors into the van and head out to school for the first day of the build season: planning.

Please note that I am not mechanically-minded in the least. My role on the team has pretty much been confined to 'scout': at the 3-day competition in March I do the whole PR bit with the other teams, convincing them that our team would be a good partner (the games are always played in alliances of three teams)--teamwork is one of the big goals of FIRST. I also do random stuff like team buttons, graphics, etc. This year I'll hopefully be helping more with the build, you know, holding bits of metal whilst people drill them :) Also doing the work for Chairman's Award (animation, essay, etc), and more communications/facilitation stuff like figure out accommodations for the competition and so on.

Competition: AKA 'regionals'. AKA three days of insanity. WHOOHOO! Portland (2 hrs away) is our regional...50 scout to interview those fifty teams (ME)...'The Coliseum' in Portland is rented for the three days...we go up early Thursday morning. Thursday is more or less practice, repairing robots that have glitches, that sort. Some teams pack up the bot at the deadline and are still tinkering with it (saws, drilling, soldering, you know, light little adjustments :P ) on Thursday. Thu. is also scouting heaven, not too stressful: I try to get around to all the teams by Thursday night and have some form of database up and running, be it ever so humble (notebook, last year. Laptop this year, hopefully).
We spend the night in Portland usually but funding is an issue this year. We may have to commute from home (groan!) but I'm looking into an offer of free housing in Wilsonville (friendly robotics team/supportive town = :)

On Friday the intensity reaches a whole other level. There are three areas of concern: The field, where 6 robots (and attendant teams) compete at one time. In the stands we have much-maligned and under-appreciated but very-important scouts watching the teams and jotting things down on clipboards. Music blares louder each day. The pits are the third and most chaotic area: big, big conference room downstairs, full of 50 teams (an average of 20 people on each team), their robots, and whatever their 10x10 assigned homebase has been decked out with (clock, table, toolkit, etc). Noise, noise, noise. Announcer saying who's queuing up next, scouts and team members hurrying to and fro, horrible metallic screeching sounds (remember the last-minute repairs?). Usually several 'bots on their little carts (gotter save the wheels) being shuttled out to the field.

This is when the harried scout feels the insanity. Most teams have 5-8 scouts, or people who can become scouts at moment's notice. That is because most teams have 20 people or so: for the last two years we've had about 5. That's usually the driver down in the field, a human player chucking balls (last year), and so forth. My first year I was THE scout, the one-and-only scout added at the LAST minute because there were so few people. Frantic. We didn't really need the scouting info that year because we didn't do too fabulously but I came back last year resolved to do even better. Had more people to help thankfully: and our team did very well. More on that later.
Yes, by the end of Friday it is essential to have full tabs on every team there: in other words, did their bot break down? Or stall on the field (even worse)? Do they pull a lot of fouls? Do they have a fabulous human player? Are they scoring a lot in each game?
Friday night the scout with full info (laptop with program and info input) rendezvouses with the driver to plot strategy for the final day of competition.
Saturday morning everyone is unbelievably pumped: the first half of the day is qualifying matches for the semis and finals in the afternoon. Scouts firm up alliances: in the afternoon the top-ranked teams go on to finals and get to choose their alliance partners. Last year we were ranked very high all competition until late Saturday morning when we had a series of mishaps. We were still getting courted by a lot of teams, I was in contact with the top-ranked couple of teams and getting things lined up. For the top teams, Saturday lunchbreak is stressful beyond imagining: go over your notes one more time, rank your top 15 teams or so, in case you can't get your first pick; agonize one more time....send your team captain down to the field after lunch with a piece of paper with team names on it.....collapse helplessly in the bleachers.

Last year we were ranked about 16...barely missed being able to chose our partners. We were hoping and praying to get chosen by the top team but the selection process allows #1 to choose #2, and so on. We got picked by a lower-ranked team, who also selected a team that I'd marked down dismissively. Thus placed on a weak team, we nevertheless played in semi-finals, where we played several games. There was an issue with the floor, and static electricity interfering with our remote-controls. Our team had conniptions in the stands as all of the teams on our alliance, by a crazy fluke, stalled from the static, and the 2-minute match went on, and the judges did not call the match (it had been happening all morning and they'd had to keep replaying matches). Needless to say, we lost resoundingly. We were positively livid with panic as they proceeded to have a long interlude....finally announced a rematch!! (getting adrenaline just remembering...)

I think we tied that match...lost the next one...the aforementioned weak team bailed, their robot was down.....that surely has to be the saddest thing that can happen. We got eliminated fairly quickly but there was such a great sense of relief that at least we'd had our chance, the judges hadn't gone with that failed match.

Late Saturday afternoon are the awards, creativity in design and that sort, and of course first place awards for the winning three teams who go on to the nationals in Atlanta. We've never gone, but one year we went to another regional in CA and finished about 4th...very fun stuff :)

And then the first game-hint came out yesterday.

It is supposedly a hint as to what this year's game will consist of. Last year's hint was a picture of a fish, for a game played on a slippery surface ^_^ There are already pages of speculations on ChiefDelphi, the hang-out place for FIRSTies. There seems to be a consensus that the game this year may involve soccer balls, possibly on some sort of raised pathway. That CAD-designed pic is now my desktop on Eddie :)

So! There is the run-down on FIRST and why I will be insanely busy between Jan. 9th and Mar. 6.

Hmm, this really sounds like I'm insane, doesn't it? FIRST is complicated beyond belief at first glance....sounds like a cult to outsiders :)

EDIT: Come, join us in the madness!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

holiday fun-ness

Now don't pounce on me for not saying Christmas, because I hate Happy Holidays as a greeting; it's just that the whole season from Thanksgiving to New Year's is one big round of one festival after another.

Let's see: First things first. Auditions for Romeo and Juliet went well (my week has been very, very busy). On Monday I gave my monologue which went pretty well, and did the dance audition which was VERY easy. Tuesday did not go so well: we did read-throughs and I was given a very small part, so I figured I wouldn't get a large speaking part. Did not go to call-backs on Wednesday; that night, however, the cast list came out and I'm a dancer in the ball scene. Fun stuffs! Hopefully the rehearsal schedule won't be too evil, and I get a pretty dress and get to be pretty much involved. I'm back in theatre business, I'm so happy!

Let's see. Wednesday afternoon I went to another (unrelated) theatre meeting; came home and spent four or five hours baking yummy stuff for various social engagements this week. The power had gone out in part of our kitchen: phone, light above the sink but fortunatley not the stove. Probably mice, chewing through wires. My dad was not enthused about crawling under the house; "You know, whenever there's an earthquake you just know that there was somebody under their house fixing we need anything from the grocery store?" Hehe, that's a bit of a combination of his words with mine :)

Anyways, he and I managed to pretty much wreck the kitchen what with making cookies and pralines and Walnut Chocolates (ground walnuts mixed with powdered sugar, dipped in chocolate) and all sorts. There was an uncalled-for amount of hilarity :) As he spreads chocolate on the walnut-cake with a knife I ward off the waving knie-tip: "Almost poked me in the eye there!" "We're untrained, unskilled and dangerous." I was still up and cooking at ten PM...unheard-of.

Yesterday was bio and math and that sort....then off to goat 4-H club in the evening. I came down with a cold sadly; but it's not too bad. I'm going to a piano concert tonight, tomorrow is the first event of the local chapter of Improv Everywhere, (a tea on the sidewalk) and I need to do some Christmas shopping ;)

I'm really looking forward to sleeping in this vacation!! And rendezvousing with neglected friends :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm being eaten....

by algebra...the teacher was complimentary "There's some good work there, for not having had the class"....
I spent much of my Friday night working on algebra...particularly one problem which took me 45 minutes. Then on Saturday, with no snow in evidence but some very nasty driving conditions (read: solid sheet of ice on road) we got to the robotics meet at 11 AM. Believe me, the LEGO League robotics competition is a placid picnic compared to, say, the Portland FRC regionals! Fun though :) There was only one other person from our team, and only two other FRC (high school) teams there, but there was no shortage of help.
Me dad had planned to not stay any longer than necessary, but I decided I'd rather stay for 5 hours than go home and tackle the algebra! Most of the time I was working in the back rooms where the judges interview the teams on various aspects of their robot, teamwork and that sort. There were some other FRC peeps there, from Philomath mostly, and we had way too much fun in the intervals between groups of FLL kids coming to be judged.

I may have commented on this before, but geeks for the win!! At regionals in March I always notice how nice just about everyone a scout I come into contact with a LOT of people and they are sweet and nerdy and funny (good combination, by the way).

Hehe, this year I'm finally on something of an even footing: engineering stuff is still out of my league (what's a resistor?) but at least I am not so entirely clueless. C++ is the code used for a lot of the programming so that helps :)
Chatted with aforementioned awesome nerdy people....Hitchhiker's science....math ("fun when you understand it")....admiration for my stock of batteries in pocket, and little 9-volt flashlight (SO cool..robotics people are unfailingly intrigued). Way too many jokes and fun for volunteer hours ;)

Then last night I was eaten by the algebra homework that I had so thoughtfully left til the last; also memorized my twenty lines of Shakespeare for the audition today. That's in a few hours o_O

On the subject of geeks, geekery and nerds, neeks, beeks, brains, and other intelligent things: let's talk. I think most of us would admit that we have tendencies to one or the other. Girls are afraid (really? are we?) of being thought nerdy....intellectual..."guys don't like girls who are smarter than they are"....all that jazz.
Lads: weigh in! Are YOU secretly afraid of being thought nerdy? What about nerdy/geeky girls? I have it on good authority that geeky guys like geeky aware that 90% of the few crushes I have had have been on nerdy fear not, thou'rt not despised by the entire female population...just the despicable cheer-leading type....give me the good programmer over the football quarterback any day! ;)

Let's get a nice big happy forum going in the comments, folks! hehe...tales of geekery...

Friday, December 11, 2009

from the heart of the Frozen North!

As I speak we expect it so begin snowing any moment!
The weather has been amazingly cold for the past few days....I know 8 degrees and 20s/30s in day sounds mild for you hard-core Northerners, but it is unheard-of here!
The Mary's River is frozen over where it intersects with the Willamette, and that has NEVER happened before.

This morning it was clear and sunny, but when I came out after B block math class it had clouded over ominously and at the end of culinary there was an announcement that the winter formal dance tomorrow might be canceled. I'm not going to anything this weekend very crucial, so I'm all excited :) We stopped at the feed store to pick up some chicken feed and I've never seen it so busy.

Yesterday in math I managed to get myself into the wrong room for about half the class period...looong painful turned out okay fortunately. They all headed into the computer lab...I stayed behind to talk to teacher...then went to the computer lab where we had been the day BEFORE...wondered occasionally why the teacher never showed...they were in a different computer lab..there was another class there, but after two days I still didn't recognize the kids in my class darned FUN!'s really hard to come from homeschooling to large public school....oh wellz
Then today we had a test...there's a lot of review stuff right now, in prep for tests in sync with local community college which grants college credits....I've got SO much of the book left to work through...weekend plans include math, math and more math....

Tomorrow morning I've got a robotics meet of sorts...actually it's for helping the local elementary-age kids with their lego-robotics competition....looks good on your application for the Chairman's Award. I shall have to post about robotics, because it it a large part of my and my dad's year, January through early March.

A note about the film of the play, and Road to Freedom: I am currently in limbo on the video of the play, the recording we got was very unsatisfactory and I'm trying to get hold of a better recording, if that goes through I might get them done by after Christmas break but with trying to catch up with algebra and such I really can't make any promises, and in January life gets slightly insane. Road to Freedom could go out at any time however. I'm sorry, I will need to charge for the copies, shipping and the rough cost of the DVD, shouldn't be too bad though. If you feel comfortable with giving out address, feel free to pop me an email (goatgirlbethie at gmail dot com) and we can work something out. I will try to post clips here eventually, but I imagine the upload times would be rather ghastly on my end, my DSL is slow.

Merry Christmas everyone, it is really beginning to feel like winter! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

definitely neeky

Oog. Brain fry.

Took my first class in Advanced Algebra today, muddled through as best I could and came home and spent four hours solid, going through the book from the beginning. I have a definite love/hate relationship with math!

The couch by the fireplace, and adjoining table, is covered with nerdy/geeky/neeky books: Algebra 2 (from school), Algebra 2 which I checked out from the public library over the weekend, biology textbook, beginning programming book (thick), programming book by the developer of C++ himself (also from the weekend library trip), biology and math notebooks, Eddie (okay, computer not book, but it's got my bio. notes and the notoriously buggy compiler Xcode on it), bio definitions in lil binder, Hitchhiker's book 4. dad said I couldn't really be a geek, I don't look geeky

Weather continues very cold and dry. Was down to about 11 F last night.

Folk dance on Sunday night was AWESOME, I do wish we had it more often than every two weeks.

The blog needs a Christmas header/ TIME...

Listening/watching rerun of Bill Cosby show, absorbing the humor from the other room :)

"Now mind you, I'm very cool. I don't know what I'm doing; but I'm very cool."

Friday, December 4, 2009

coooollld weather!

Was so terribly thrilled at biology class yesterday to be able to offer two AA batteries for the camera so that we could take pictures of our cell models. Preparedness for the win! The Boy Scouts' motto should have been mine: "Be prepared": after all, everyone knows that girls always carry quantities of random crud in their purses! I have a purse, and it has a large stash of stuff: blue tape, gloves, hand warmers, and a secondary stash of all the stuff in my pockets. But with my pockets alone I could subsist for a looong time. Might have to resort to eating the band aids, but whatever.
culinary. we didn't cook, did book work, watched video (REALLY boring, haha) etc. My team (four peeps all told) always sits together, back row, and the lads (two boys and two girls) are rather exuberant, shall we say? Katie and I try to squelch them at intervals...anyways, Nate had a rubber-band...he and Katie, who is older, have a love/hate relationship, he asks me if I have a rubber band and of course I did, in me pocket....he said he wasn't going to shoot it...i forked it over...he took aim and i promptly snatched it back....Katie and I exchanged was hysterical. there was pencil-stabbing going on, mostly without the teacher's noticing. I wound up confiscating his final rubber-band..i love those things...

At school today I went over the whole school and part of the grounds, hunting up math teachers. I had previously decided to, if possible, join the College Algebra/Trig class which is in the spring term. To the office to sign up, then off to find the teacher. Found that I likely wouldn't be able to do it after all, so it was back to the office and off across the school to hunt up the Advanced Alg. teacher. FInally found him on the other side of campus overseeing the delivery of some oranges for one of the sports teams.
As it stands, it looks like I'll be starting for the tail-end of the Advanced Alg. class, through the end of the term, and then (hopefully) going on to College Alg. GULP!! but just think...College Credit!!

other stuff:
my dad thought he was growing a goji berry (little asian thing) last year...he planted the seeds..nursed them up from the soil...tendered them through the rigors of life..only one survived. I kept saying it looked like a hot pepper September it developed little hot peppers....clearly identifiable as the Bolivian Rainbow he'd had in the pot the year before.

bread is epic in our house.
my dad has always been a connoisseur. he used to drive up to Portland to buy good stuff. wonder bread or equiv. is not allowed in the house. of course he's tried to make it but no luck. last Christmas we got a book on artisan bread in 5 mins. a day and all heck broke loose. the recipe requires a really wet dough that sits about menacing people for a few days before being baked. it then has to be put on a baking stone (the pursuit of which item down isles of Bed Bath and Beyond is a whole other chapter). and let to would crawl eerily forth...down the side of the pan...into the sink...into the woodstove...he'd usually get it in the oven around 10 pm, it was quite exciting....and always the wondering, would it turn out??

hum-ty-hum....made a header for Carpe Diem....took a walk...struggled against the freezing weather. There were places in the shade that never thawed today.

The weather is getting very interesting....supposed to be low 20s tonight, looks like Sunday through Tuesday will be coldest, 18-19 at night and barely above freezing in the day...yowps!

Me: (talking about the upcoming cold) I bet the lake freezes.
My dad: Oh boy! We can fall into it!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Advent!

Hoo boy. Long post coming up.

First off: I did not win NaNo. :( 42,618 was the final count.

*A big than you to everybody who commented and supported the frenzied author during the time of need, you're the best!! :) *

The weekend was ghastly. I went for 46 hours without sleep.

My second all-nighter on Sunday night did not go well. I decided to hole up in the pantry because my room doesn't really have a door and my parents would probably have heard the tapping at the keyboard.

The parents did not go to bed til kind of late so I sat up in my room writing notes on paper. Then I snuck downstairs with the utmost furtiveness and ensconced myself in the pantry.
I soon learned that it is very very hard to use a laptop without any other light in the room. I ventured forth in search of a lamp; failed to find one (this was about 1 AM). FInally I absconded with an electric candle-thing which worked passably. I also learned that it is almost impossible to read pencil by the light of the little flashlight I had taped to a baseball cap, miner-like.

Went out to get carrots, cheese and bread, and of course more coffee. I have come to simply loathe coffee, chiefly after the first all-nighter.

I kept banging away at the keyboard, engaged in a lot of sprints and word-wars on the NaNo forums where a small group of nocturnal peeps attempted to up the lagging word-count.

As I gulped down more coffee I had an occasional qualm about how much caffeine one can ingest before effects set in.... o_0

Around 4 AM I was dead, absolutely dead. I think I may have been falling asleep for nanoseconds between words. I believe I was beginning to hallucinate slightly. I left the pantry to go to the bathroom or maybe get some more coffee, I forget which. In the hallway I encountered my mom. She did not see me at first (I was so disoriented that I had turned into the wall believing that the hallway ran the other direction). She did however see the light coming from the pantry which I had failed to turn off. FInally saw me and made me go back to bed.

I got four hours of sleep and faced the next day with renewed energy (sort of). Went through school in a daze. Wrote crazily all Monday.
Around 3:30 that afternoon I had a rather brilliant idea to have another character come into the story. This did not boost the word count as much as could have been hoped however.

I degenerated into having one of my characters reminisce over how she did NaNo one about ten pages out of that...every fifth word might have been spelled right.
Parents made me go to bed at 9:30 or so; truth be told, I was not unwilling, I was exhausted.

The story is maybe 75% complete at this point. I'm fairly happy with it, there were some rather nice scenes and quite a lot of side-splitting humor. I'm fairly attached to my characters. Won't have much time to work on it though :(

Other stuff: Yes, happy Advent! Can't believe it's so close to Christmas! The excitement is filtering through from Kendra, I think :P

Theatre news: I'm likely going to audition for Romeo and Juliet at CHS!!! I'm really excited. Auditions are December 14 and 15, the show is at the end of February. I'd love to have an acting part but I don't know if I can fit it i, I'd really like to do robotics at my dad's school and it's during the same time-window. Might be able to do tech or costuming or something though. I have to memorize some Shakespeare for the audition.

Weather: is awesome. COLD and sunny. It started to frost almost as soon as the sun went down yesterday, and there are rumors of impending snow at the end of the week! I love this weather, I ought to move to Montana or something :)

Hay bales: I had to move a 60-pounder today, and I had the brilliant idea of backing up to the trunk of the car (where it was) and rolling the bale onto my back, holding it by the strings.

Yahoo: I got yahoo IM, me address is bethie_forty_two :)

2012: Shardhana left a comment inquiring my views on 2012....a very thought-provoking subject, hehe. Let's just say I am attending "2013" ;) I don't believe it will be the end of the world, BUT I think there could certainly be unknown repercussions, for one thing I've heard about solar flares picking up then, who knows. I don't know if that could result in some form of EMP which might knock out power/communications, in which case we would be in rather epic trouble.
I'm not worrying about it too much. Would love to see the movie, though! :)