Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Epic Fail

So, NaNoWriMo is officially over and I failed horribly. The last time I posted any kind of word count update was the beginning of November and I had under 2,000 words. It predicted that I'd be done with my novel in April. That was the beginning of the month though....I have no idea what it would predict if I looked at it now. Probably November of NEXT year. lol.

But I'm not really disappointed that I didn't finish...just that I didn't look at the winner page ahead of time. You get all kinds of cool stuff as a winner of NaNoWriMo...you get your manuscript published for free by a random, generic publishing company (just one copy of it of course) and a whole bunch of special offers on cool stuff!! If I had known that I would have cheated...no lie! I mean seriously how mnay of those people ACTUALLY wrote 50,000 words?! I am curious to know. 

But anyway. I did have a really cool idea and I will probably keep working on it and maybe next year during NaNoWriMo I'll finish it for good and win. I'll keep you updated on that.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Clean Bill of Health!!

Today I took Caramel to the vet! This is the first time we've been to the vet together. Now, I've taken my guinea pigs to the vet when they were sick, but I've never taken them for a well visit. So this was kind of a new experience for me.

It went a lot better than expected. I was not sure how Caramel was going to react. She does not like to be handled at all...or well, she only likes it if SHE initiates it and not me. She'll hop into my lap or hop over to be pet...but she does not like to be lifted up out of the air and she won't let me put her in my lap to be pet...she wants to be the one who says when she sits in my lap and when she doesn't.

I got her this cute little fabric carrier and put a garbage bag and towel on my car seat and put a towel and some lettuce in the carrier with her. She seemed to enjoy the car ride. Then we got to the vet and I filled out paperwork and then the vet saw her. She got weighed and her nails were clipped and her ears were cleaned. Then the vet let Caramel run around the office for awhile. Of course we had a hard time picking her back up when it was time to go, but she really enjoyed running around for a bit.

Overall, the vet said she was very healthy, but a little overweight. She said I should let her run around in a bunny proof room instead of restricing her to a small area with a pen. Once in a while she needs to run around...not hop...run. So my mom and I let her out in the hallway. We used a little card table to block her from running into the living room and we used the pen to block the way into the dinning room. Then we closed all of the bedroom doors. She had the whole hallway to just hop around and run around in. And boy can she run! Sometimes she just races up and down the hallway! She goes so fast we can't video it!

The vet said we should also get new food for her. She asked what I use and said she was familiar with the brand and knew that it had a lot of alfalfa in it. She said alfalfa is what contributes to obesity in rabbits and other small animals...also she said it can give her bladder stones which I knew because my brother's guinea pig, Cocoa, had bladder stones one time. I just didn't know her food had alfalfa in it. I didn't even think to read the ingredients. So I bought her pellets that were made with timothy hay instead. At first she was a little disappointed because it did not have all the extra stuff she likes like seeds and stuff. But she does like it. And we kept the other food and give it to her as a treat once in a while.

And finally, the vet said she was in heat. She strongly suggested that I consider spaying Caramel. She said that bunnies live longer, healthier lives when they are fixed. Also, female bunnies are prone to getting uterine cancer later in life if they are not spayed. So spaying it is. She goes to have her surgery sometime in January so that she is better able to handle the anesthesia.

So that was our adventure together at the vet. It went well! And I seem to be doing most things correctly!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Lunge, Parry, Riposte

So yesterday (the 14th) Mike and I went to a fencing tournament which we hadn't done for a very long time. The last tournament we went to together was sometime in October. We went to the tournament on Saturday (neither of us did well) and then Sunday we went to the Steelers game. But that was October.

Yesterday we went to an open tournament which in fencing terms means that anyone who was old enough to could participate. In order to participate in some tournaments that are "sanctioned" which means they were approved by the United States Fencing Association you have to be older than 13 years old. Also, at sanctioned tournaments it is possible to earn your rating which is really just an award for doing well at that particular tournament. Everyone is a U (or Unrated) until they do well enough. It's kind of confusing, but it depends on how many people go to the tournament and how many rated fencers there are, but some people as low ranked as 20 something-th could walk away with some sort of rating. They are letter ratings starting at A as the highest and E as the lowest (lowest above U anyway). Some tournaments are restricted, for instance, some tournaments only let E rated fencers and under participate (so E's and Unrated fencers) while some, like the one yesterday are open to anyone regardless of rating. So we had some A rated fencers and Us and Es etc.

Anyway, at the tournament yesterday because of the lack of high rated fencers, we had to place in the top 8 to get a rating. I placed 21st out of 37 fencers after the pool portion of the tournament (you are broken down into small groups of fencers and you have to fence everyone in that group). Then I won my first Direct Elimination bout (it is exactly as it sounds...you lose and you are done fencing for the day)....against the 9th place person!!! I was so excited!! I ended up moving to the top 16 bracket of the elimation portion. Then I fenced this kid that I've fenced before...and he's really good. He's been fencing as long as I have and he's been really working hard at it. Well the last time I fenced him he clobbered me 15-3. But this time....I really fought for those ponts..I wasn't going down without a fight. I ended up losing 15-8. If I had won, I'd have my E rating right now. Oh well. In the end, I improved to 16th place out of 37 fencers and I felt really good about how I did! I know it wasn't a rating like I wanted, but I did my best and I know that I am getting closer to my rating every time I go to a tournament.

Anyway, aside from doing really well, the other really cool thing about the tournament was that it was at the college I attended this last five years. My old fencing club hosted it. They had such a great tournament for having been the first ever open tournament they did (in the past we had restricted the types of fencers so it wasn't so overwhelming since we were a pretty new club). And then on top of that the directors they had hired remembered me from when I was the President and they all congratulated me on the success of my club and commented on how well it was run. They said I did a great job preparing my successors!

Also, several of the curernt fencers complained about the new officers being terrible which kind of made me sad since I picked one of them (the one they've been complaining the most about). They are all really worried about the two officers that will take over for the current President and Vice President. But it is out of my hands (which is not easy for me to say believe me). As long as they last the year under the regime I chose, then my job is over. Then the success or failure of the club is no longer linked to me and anything I have or have not done.

But several of last year's rookie fencers hugged me and said: "I miss you as President!!" That made up for it and that was pretty much the best part of the day! That and my boyfriend did pretty well in epee (a different type of weapon than what I fence...which is foil) and did better than most of his club even though they've been really stingy about giving him practice time on epee.

So it was great to get back into competing again since it had been over a month since I had done a tournament.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

(More than) Twelve Angry Men (and Women)

So yeah, I got called in for jury duty today. I think it would have been a pretty cool experience had they actually needed me. I was kind of worked up about the fact that I  hadn't told my boss so I was stressing out about whether or not she'd be angry, but once I called and told her and she didn't flip out, I actually got kind of interested in it.

I went in to the court house at 8:30 in the morning and waited like twenty minutes. Then we watched a really short video (it was kind of clever actually...and quippy if that's a word) and talked about what was going to happen that day. Then she gave us our juror numbers and put us in numerical order. In all it lasted about 1/2 hour...then we went on break for like another twenty minutes. When she came back she told us that the defendant and the judge had agreeded to a bench trial instead of a trial by jury. We never even got to find out what the case was.

My mom said that I get paid for jury duty. Which is true....I get paid....$9. Jury duty is not worth $9. I'm not saying it'd be worth $100, but I mean I was expecting like $50...just enough that not showing up for work would have seemed worthwhile. I mean, I guess if I had called in and said I'd be serving on the jury and then showed them the paper I got, I'd get my day's wages plus $9 for doing nothing, but it wasn't worth lying about.

I wouldn't have minded going all the way out there for nothing, but this morning I got called in for a sub job! Now, I don't mind doing my civic duty, but it was kind of annoying that I couldn't take the job. Sub jobs come up so infrequently that I try to take them when I can. And if I had gone down there and actually served on the jury then it would have seemed worth it. But we weren't needed and I lost valuable classroom experience. That school probably won't call me for another month.

That being said....the people at the catholic school where I'm trying to teach Spanish seem interested in me. We haven't talked much, but they asked for my contact information and such. So....we'll have to see how that goes...

I am really really hoping that I get the Spanish thing.....I DESPISE subbing!!! I really do. I can't stand not knowing what I'll be doing the next day. And it sucks that I can't make plans for during the day since it is possible that I may end up rescheduling so that I can take the sub job. And I HATE getting a call the next day at 6:00 in the morning! Who can go back to sleep after that? I'd much rather be just working at the nursing home until I found a teaching position.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another Day Another Dollar

Well, another day subbing for me. I went in at 11...I'm not sure why I've been subbing only a half a day lately...the full day sub jobs must all be taken already. I'm not sure why this particular teacher left all of a sudden and it seemed like the kids had no idea either. This time I was subbing for a high school social studies teacher. It was pretty easy...the AP Euro kids were just supposed to work on an essay (which none of them did) and the kids in American Cultures had a test. So pretty much I got to just hang out and read and make sure no one cheated. Then, randomly, around 1:30....the teacher came back! Now, why would you do that? Why would you cheat the sub out of work...even if it is a half a day. He had to know that I was probably just starting out as a teacher and would not only need the money, but also the classroom experience!! How lame!!

But at least I was able to get some litter and food for my bunny, call about this potential Spanish position and start on my story for NaNoWriMo. I have three diary entries written....but I'm not sure if the diary thing is going to work....it seems like it'd be pretty boring.....but I guess the point is just to write it and make it more interesting later....I'm thinking it might be interesting to start a new blog and make the posts the diary entries for my story. That way people can keep up with it and tell me what they think of it as I go. It might be fun......

So anyway...that's really it so far for me. I'll have to update tomorrow with word of how the phone call went to the school district. The lady in charge of the world language department at the PDE is going to call the school tomorrow and "sell me"...so to speak. She is going to request that they meet me and is going to put in a good word. After that we'll see how it goes. I'm hoping that by the end of the month I know for sure whether or not they want me....cuz they want to start the Spanish program in January! I'll need time to write up lessons...especially since I'd be doing the whole curriculum by myself...from scratch!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween...and now October is done...

So yeah, Halloween was pretty much amazing! I saw this costume last Halloween of a warrior goddess and I really wanted it, but it was so expensive so I didn't get it. But I splurged and got it this year. :-D I was so happy I did! I looked freakin' hot!! I almost got something to show off my new belly button ring, but that'll have to wait for next year when it heals a little better. My boyfriend went as the Dos Equis Guy from those commercials for that beer, Dos Equis. He looked great!

Anyway, I was really bummed out that I wasn't going to be able to go up to visit my boyfriend at his school (my alma mater) cuz they do Halloween so well up there, but I originally had to work. So, to make me feel better my boyfriend convinced me to hold a party at my place instead. Then, I got taken off the schedule at work! But I decided to hold my party anyway instead of canceling it and going up to my old school. That was the best decision ever! My party ended up being a blast! My boyfriend invited a bunch of his friends, my old roommate came by, and a bunch of friends from high school that I hadn't seen in FOREVER dropped by too! It was so exciting. We played beer pong and some other drinking games! It was great!! I have a feeling that the party I almost went to instead included playing rock band, not drinking games.

The next day my boyfriend and I went to celebrate my Uncle's birthday at a museum. Neither of us had ever been to a museum for a party before! It was a transportation museum...they had old cars, old horse buggies....and basically showed how transportation had changed over the years. My uncle is on the board of directors at the museum and owns a small portion of the museum. So they closed down the museum and we had a party in the party room and the museum was just for us to explore! No screaming kids on a field trip or anything like that! It was pretty neat and I think my boyfriend had a really great time.

That night, we went to a costume party at a bar that we found over the summer. We went there a lot for trivia nights and to watch the Steelers games on Sundays. They had a HUGE costume party....there were SO many people. And there was this DJ and he said that if you changed your facebook status to say that you were at "Pregame" (that's the name of the bar), then you would get a free round of toxic shooters. Neither of us had any idea what they were, but they were SOOO good so we got another round. LOL! There was a costume contest too, but we didn't win.

So then, October was over....it was so sad. Halloween is definitely my favorite holiday. I am sad it is over. I love to dress up. :-(

But now it is November...time for NaNoWriMo which I had heard about in high school before it became a really big event. Now there are millions of people that are doing it....I  kind of wish I had done it before it was so popular....cuz now I feel like a bandwagoner. But I've known about it for years, it's just that November is right around the time that the high school play would be doing dress rehearsals and would be consuming my life....so novels were not happening. Although, I write stuff regardless of what month it is. But I plan to interpret National Novel Writing Month as literally novel writing month. In other words, I think I'm just going to work on whatever novel floats my boat that day instead of trying to write a whole new novel in a month. I have so many started and I'm pretty sure I have nearly 50,000 words written of at least one of them, so I may get further on a few novels I've already started, but I don't imagine I'll finish anything, but you never know. I have two ideas that I plan to expand upon, but I have a feeling both ideas would make better short stories than novels....but we'll see how it goes. I'll keep everyone (all one of you) updated with how things are going.

And speaking of plays...I made the executive decision to drop out of It's a Wonderful Life. It's just too hard to work 8 hours a day and be in the play...especially since most of my 8 hours are during play practices. I think if my hours were less sporadic and more consistent, I'd be able to do it. And I have a Spanish class during practices too. So, yeah...that didn't work out....

Anyway, off to see what I can do about writing....