Friday, December 22, 2006


Wooo... I loved my break! I had so much more free time - I didn't realize how much time I spent just hanging around on the computer until I cut it out completely. Quite a bit of my "vacation" was spent shoveling snow, though, because the blizzard started early Wednesday morning and we got about 2 1/2 feet of snow (now that deserves its own separate post - pics included). I also got to go see Eragon, make my own Christmas stocking, read a few books, and just hang around with the family a lot. Not a super eventful vacation, but it was what I needed. I feel recharged again!

With that said... it's nice being back online again. Hoorah for the internet!

Friday, December 15, 2006

End of the semester... now it's time for a break.

I hate the computer.

Truth be told, I'd much rather be hiking, or biking, or reading - or even just laying on my bed, staring at the ceiling! I hate living my life bound to a machine, staring endlessly into an animated screen. I do like being able to keep in touch with friends via email or IM, but right now, I'm just sick of the computer in general. Or not even the computer itself; I hate the feeling of having to always be "connected", knowing what's happening and keeping up with everything. Over the semester, that was all I did - sometimes I spent as much as 12+ hours a day on the computer. I can't deal with that. I feel like, if I have to stare at a computer screen any longer, I'm going to go absolutely sane.

So, starting at midnight tonight, I'm unplugging. Over the next week, I'm going to turn my internet off, not going to check my e-mail, not going to IM, not going to watch stuff on youtube or look things up on Google. I may use my computer to write, for a few hours a day - but apart from that, I'm getting off.

Talk to you all in a week!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

There's no such thing as "Dead Week"

Not in Sam's world, anyway. While it seems like all the state universities have a really, really easy week in the week leading up to finals week... my community college is doing the exact opposite. I have two papers to write, a speech to give, a presentation to give... all before finals start on Wednesday. And that's not including all the studying that needs to happen between then and now.

Is anybody else in the same boat, or is it just my community college?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A movie review.... maybe I should do this more often, it's fun!

Just got done watching the newest version of "Count of Monte Cristo" and I LOVE IT.

Since I'm sure that most people know the story (even if they haven't read the book), I won't go into enormous detail. Edmond Dantes, sailor on the verge of becoming captain, is betrayed and sent to Chateau D'If. After a number of years, he escapes, with one thought in mind: revenge.

This movie didn't get the most fantastic reviews, but guess what? I'm not into technicalities. And most of what I think disagrees with quite a few reviewers. SO!

I liked - well, took a wicked, fiendish delight in - the duels. They were too short, and not enough of them, but when there were duels, they were good. Dantes (Jim Caviezal) was excellent, in my opinion - intense, angry, passionate... but cold and reserved when he needed to be. Oh, and the jailer in Chateau D'If looks like Marilyn Manson. And he's such a creep that it's a pleasure to hate him. Mondego could have been a little better... since the screenwriter decided to stray from the book and make Mondego and Dantes friends, I would've liked to see Mondego be a bit more likeable in the beginning. Richard Harris as Abbe Faria gave his typical brilliant performance, giving his character a bit of a humorous twist, which was a pleasant shift from Dantes' depression.

Overall, excellent. Could've had a little more action, a little less narrative... but I'm thrilled as is. It *technically* stretches believability a few times, but manages to make the hard-to-believe believable. And isn't that the whole point of a movie - to suspend reality and transport the watcher into the world of the movie, where anything can happen?

I say A-

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"Roamin' " Catholics?

The Mass holds a "special" place in Catholicism. Mass is not just a place where Catholics gather to worship - far from it! It is not like a Protestant church service (no matter what denomination). During the holy Mass, we unite ourselves with the Church, we offer our entire selves to God wholly and without reserve, but most importantly we unite ourselves with Christ through the Holy Eucharist. Mass is the most sacred thing that we have on this earth.

The Mass is not about this.

Halloween costumes?.... Did I hear drums? Tambourines?..... A minister of the Holy Eucharist dressed up as a devil?.... While I'm sure that these people have the best intentions, THIS IS WRONG. The Mass should be treated with reverence, as the holy place that it is; it's not a joke, or a social gathering.

For those of you who aren't Catholics and have never attended Mass... that sort of thing does not represent us, and it is not what we are about.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

update needed, but not happening just yet.

I know, I need to update... blame school! I have six tests spread out evenly over the next two weeks (it was seven yesterday, but I got the PSAT out of the way this morning) and I'm sick again. So yeah, I'll try to update sometime soon, but right now things are just too chaotic.

Random thought: True, I know the PSAT is being taken across the USA on this exact day by me and half a zillion other students... but it'd be really nice if we didn't have to wait until December to get our test scores back.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Random: things to do in an elevator

Some of these are weird, but a few of them are hilarious. Thanks to Kloude for the original post (and for the extra ones on the end).

1) When there’s only one other person in the elevator, tap them on the shoulder and then pretend it wasn’t you.
2) Push the buttons and pretend they give you a shock. Smile, and go back for more.
3) Ask if you can push the button for other people, but push the wrong ones.
4) Call the Psychic Hotline from your cell phone and ask if they know what floor you're on.
5) Hold the doors open and say your waiting for a friend. After a while, let the doors close, and say, “Hi, Chinel. How’s your day been?”
6) Drop a pen and wait until someone goes to pick it up, then scream, “That’s mine!”
7)Move your desk into the elevator and whenever anyone gets on, ask if they have an apointment.
8) Lay down the twister mat and ask people if they would like to play.
9) Leave a box in the corner with a wind up clock in it, and when someone gets on, ask them if they can hear ticking.
10) Pretend you are a flight attendant and review emergency procedures and exits with the passengers.
11) Ask, “Did you feel that?”
12) Stand really close to someone, sniffing them occasionally.
13) When the doors close, announce to the others, “It’s okay, don’t panic, they open again!”
14) Swat at flies that don’t exist.
15) Tell people that you can see their aura.
16) Call out, “Group Hug!” and then enforce it.
17) Grimace painfully while smacking your forehead and muttering, “Shut up, all of you, just shut up!”
18) Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside, ask, “Got enough air in there?”
19) Stand silently and motionless in the corner, facing the wall, without getting off.
20) Stare at another passenger for a while, then announce in horror, “You're one of THEM!” and back away slowly.
21) Wear a puppet on your hand and use it to talk to the other passengers
22) Listen to the elevator walls with your stethoscope.
23) Make explosion noises when anyone presses a button.
24) Stare, grinning at another passenger for a while, then announce, “I have new socks on”.
25) Draw a little square on the floor with chalk and announce to the other passengers, “This is MY personal space.”
26) Pretend you are a ghosthunter and check everyone's belongings to see if they are possessed. If someone asks why, reply with, “The ghost of Benjamin Franklin has been trying to learn how to control elevators.” If they respond to that, tell them you are Ben Franklin.
27) When alone in the elevator and then someone else walks in, pick a part of the ceiling to stare at and look at it like, "We're all gonna die."

Friday, September 22, 2006

And life is good!

O-K! So by now I've gotten my grades back in all my classes, and while they aren't awesome, they're not bad, either!


Speech: First test, and I got an A! 23 out of 25, to be exact. My first speech (Narrative) also got a high B, so there's nothing to complain about there.

English: For my first portfolio (included 3 different summaries, revision, outling, notes, workshop notes, and 1 final draft), I got an A!!! Wow... I was totally not expecting that. English is the class I like the least - and so far, it's the class I'm doing the best in. Go figure.

Macro: I LOVE MACRO!!!! For the first homework, I got a perfect score, plus bonus points (33 out of 30). For my first paper, 25 of 25. And for the first two tests, I got a 25 of 30 in one and a 26 of 30 in the second. YES!

Sociology: Just got my first test back - 86%. Not bad, considering that it had four essay questions!

History: Okay, so when my teacher first handed back my test, the first thing I saw was "75%". It didn't really surprise me, because that was a test where we'd covered NONE of the question topics during class (and it was ridiculously detailed, too). I'd done all the reading for that class, and I was still guessing on a lot of the answers. BUT.... after looking at the test a few times, I couldn't figure out his grading system. I got 60 points on the essay questions (best possible score) but I only got 15 on the multiple-choice, which I didn't understand because I'd gotten 25 right. So I asked him after class how he was grading, and he just stared at my test for a while, then said "OH! I MISCOUNTED!" Result: I NOW HAVE AN 85%!!!! JOY! Not only that, but I also got my first history quiz back, and had a 100!!! And that quiz was all essay questions... wow... I think I'm still in shock.


Whoo. So yeah, not the greatest grades in the world, but hey - I don't have any Cs!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Random - essay questions

Is it just me, or are "essay questions" a student's worst nightmare come to life?

I have two tests tomorrow. Both of which are going to be long, hard, and have at least 4 or 5 essay questions ON TOP OF 50-some-odd multiple choice. I have fifty minutes for each test. Joy.
I am not a verbal learner; logical, but not verbal. Basically, verbal learners can articulate well and find it easy to express themselves in both speaking and writing. After taking the learning styles quiz (required for Macroecon), I found out that my "verbal learning skills" are nil. No wonder essay questions are hard! Give me a multiple choice and an "Explain your answer." and I'm fine. Ask me to compare, contrast, and analyze?.................... You can fill in the blank.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

School update

Let it suffice to say.... school is taking over my life! School and Kodi, actually. Can't leave out the Kodester!

Speech: Okay, I don't like the fact that it's at seven in the morning. But, so far, I've only showed up late for one class - and even then, it was only five minutes. But this class is totally worth getting up at six every morning. My speech teacher is great; she's interesting, helpful, and all around awesome. And our speech assignments are fun, too.

English: TAKE IT AWAY!!! I can't wait until this class is over and done with. Then it's NO MORE ENGLISH FOR ME!!! So far, we've had to write three summaries, and two logs. That's not including smaller assignments. But it isn't really the amount of homework that bugs me - it's the fact that NONE of the reading for this class could remotely qualify as "interesting". It's a definite challenge to write an interesting summary of an article that isn't interesting in the least.

Macro: Awesome. Complicated, but extremely interesting, and there's lots of numbers! I work well with numbers - not necessarily with remembering statistics, but I like calculating. And it's just... well, interesting! I can apply it to everything and say "now I know how this works!"

Sociology: Cool, but hard. A lot of memorization that needs to happen, but it's all very interesting. I dislike the fact that I have to interview people for this class, though... it's a shy person's worst nightmare.

History: I LOVE THIS CLASS!!! The instructor is a really cool guy who's teaching just because, well, he likes to teach and he loves history. Everything is interesting, and very easily understood. The projects are fun, too, and it's not that much work. There are "pop" quizzes in this class, but we always know that they're going to be within a week of the actual test... so they aren't exactly "pop" quizzes, which is cool.

And, last but not least: Pipe Organ(!): very neat. By far my favorite class! I really like my teacher; fun, but extremely nitpicky and a total perfectionist. I love it!
I think I'm starting to get the hang of making music with my feet, rather than just fumbling around. Very handy when you're playing the organ. I'm figuring out all the different stops now, too... it's taking me long enough. Though it doesn't help that all the stops on the organ are labeled in German...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

First day of school!

First day is over! I found all my classrooms no problem, met the teachers, even began in some of the books... yada yada. My seven am class is going to be a pain some days (gotta love getting up at 5:45 in the morning!), but it's totally worth it. Anyways... here's what my classes are like! ---

Speech: I love this class already! And, ironically, I'm the only person who's not just taking it because they have to. I'm really looking forward to learning how to write and actually present a speech (for me, it's the actual presenting that's the hard part). The teacher's great - she's really clear, easy to follow and work with, and her lectures keep your attention. Which is a good thing at seven in the morning!

English comp: Not my favorite class, but I'll survive. The teacher for this class is a serious stickler - she's an extremely precise, extremely focused, extremely strict. She's already got every single day of class planned out. None of my other teachers, not even for macro, are anywhere near that organized. In my opinion, the precision/focus/strictness is a good thing, but it makes her a little harder to work with. And, just to contrast her to my other teachers - she's the only teacher that's going to quiz us on the syllabus. And she's the only teacher that gave us homework.

Macro: Definitely going to be my most challenging class. My teacher's a bit disorganized, and his lectures aren't exactly exciting, but the material covered is going to be really neat to learn. First class was pretty slow, but I have a feeling that it'll get tougher - soon.

Sociology: This class is going to be so much fun! I'll have a lot of work to do, but it'll be fun to do. And the teacher's awesome! He's an outgoing, easygoing kind of guy, really easy to work with, and his lectures aren't necessarily straight out of the book. Matter of fact, he likes to ramble and go off on a tangent! So, while it's all technically on-topic, it's not just fact, fact, fact.

History: Okay, as a norm, I like doing "history" on my own - reading books, looking at timelines, researching, etc. Apart from that, I usually hate history. Every single history textbook I've read has been awful. But this history class is great! My book isn't fantastic, but the teacher takes everything and makes it really interesting.

So overall... first day went well! I still have one more class to sign up for (organ), but it's at CSU, not the junior college, so classes haven't started yet. Tomorrow should be interesting - I get to start riding my bike to school. And I have to bike to my organ lesson, on the other end of town... oh, joy. We'll see how that goes.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Fundamental Rules of Cycling... for dummies.

Rule Number 1) When going down a steep hill, ride the brakes, especially on a curve.
Rule Number 2) When going down said hill, avoid any patches of loose gravel.
Rule Number 3) Stay away from metal signposts.

With that said - GUESS WHAT I JUST DID...

Let's just say... 30 mph descents + sharp curves + loose gravel on the curve + metal signs don't go very well together. Need I elaborate?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Summer... break?!

Wow! New word in my vocabulary! I get to have a summer break... a real one. No schoolwork, minimal chores, no cross-country moves, nothing! I get to do almost whatever I feel like for the next month... play with my dog, ride my bike, write, read, or whatever! I'M FREE!!!
The reason for this unexpected privilege? Starting August 21st, I'm going to be a full-time college student! I'm taking five classes at my local junior college - Macroeconomics, English composition 1, sociology, US history, and speech. And that's not even including math and music at home! Basically, I'm way behind on my schoolwork (getting strep and having surgery killed a few months right there) so I decided to knock off some college credit and my highschool subjects at the same time. This way, it's also going to be easier for me to catch up, because college classes actually count for more credit than high school classes do.
Depending on how this semester goes, I'll figure out what classes to enroll in next semester. I'm hoping to take biology, and some literature of some kind, but I'm not really sure yet. They have several classes that look like fun - creative writing, celtic literature, metalworking... etc.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Pictures of me and mountains... I like mountains

This is Rocky Mountain National Park... just one hour from our house. We took this photo halfway up a trail that started down in that meadow, and we still had about three miles to go before we got to the end of the trail. What a view...

See that big rock in the background (it's called Arthur's Rock)? We've hiked to the top several times. It's simply awesome. For his sixth birthday, Francis wanted to hike to the top of it... despite the fact that it's an 800 foot elevation gain. And he made it to the top!

This is what it looks like from the top of Arthur's Rock.

I love hiking... but what you can't see in that pic is that I'm hot, tired, and having a very hard time smiling. The temp was at least 100 that day, if not more. And the trail started down at that little house in the background. *pant*

This is where I broke the speed limit - WHILE RIDING MY MOUNTAIN BIKE!!! (see below) There's a very steep hill (steep for me, anyways) that's pretty easy to coast down... I hit at least 30 mph, and the speed limit was only 25. It was SWEET! Who needs roller coasters?

They changed the speed limit! The evilness of it... killjoys. Yes, that's the steep hill that I love. And believe me, it feels much steeper when you're riding your bike up, and not just looking at a pic. My legs are sore, just looking at it.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Okay... if you haven't seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this won't make any sense at all. So ---

A few days ago, my family and I were out hiking. Along the trail, we passed a really high cliff, and there were tons of swallows flying everywhere. Tons of them.
My dad looked up for a few minutes, and finally said, "Woooow.... just look at all those swallows!"
My younger sister just shrugged and said, "Good thing they aren't all carrying coconuts!"

I'm not needle-phobic!

Well, I survived tonsillectomy with my insanity intact! And flourishing. *evil grin* If any of you have sensitive stomachs, you don't have to read on. I now know that I have absolutely no needle-phobia whatsoever.

Mom and I got to the surgery center at seven-twenty in the morning - I was wondering if I would actually need anesthetic, because I was falling asleep anyway. Okay, so I got there, signed in, waited for just 3 minutes (I love it when they're quick!) and then went through this big long questionnare from my nurse determining that I was the healthiest kid she'd ever met, except for my tonsils. Then I had to change into one of those crazy hospital gowns... bleh... it looked like an XXL ancient Roman toga.

Getting my IV inserted was cool! I even leaned over so I could see better... my nurse couldn't believe it. She had to give me something to numb my hand first (a "number"). Just a really quick prick, and it was done... the number was this liquid that made a big lump inside my vein. It was really neat, because I could feel a little "sting" as the number spread, and then the area would go totally numb. After about a minute, she took the numbing needle out and got the IV (a much bigger needle) and just put it in, really quick. I didn't feel anything at all, so apparently the number worked!

Let's see... okay, so then I waited for about twenty minutes, until the surgeon and anesthesiologest (sp?) came to take me to the operating room. I had a really interesting conversation with them... my surgeon looked a lot like Dr. Richard Feynman, and he talked like him, too.

I actually remember the operating room! Or at least, the first few minutes of it. I now know what it feels like to go under anesthesia. All of the sudden the room just started fading out, and my focus got really weird (far away objects were clear, near objects were blurry) and I just had the time to ask the doc "You just gave me the anesthesia, right?" The doc kinda chuckled and said "Yup."
Then I blacked out.

Next thing I remember, the anesthesia was sloooooooooooowly wearing off, I was as tired as heck, and my throat hurt. My doctor was saying... "She'll prob'ly wake up in about five-ten minutes". Now, since I was too tired to open both eyes, but I just had to prove him wrong, I managed to keep one eye open. Hah, I was awake, and I was gonna stay that way!

Don't remember much else... getting dressed was a fuzzy blur (but I know I did it by myself! I wasn't going to let anybody help me, lol) and so was walking to the car... but, walking to the car, I had a nurse helping me. I was too uncoordinated to tell her I could do it by myself, which was probably a good thing.

So now... I'm stuck either in bed, on the couch, or at the comp, drinking ice water like there's no tomorrow. My diet consists of ice cream and popsicles, washed down with more ice water. Random note: my painkiller meds (Codine, or Kodine, or something like that) taste like the Communion wine at Mass. I wasn't expecting that.

So... a week or three of taking it easy, and I'm back to my rambunctious self! I can't believe how much I'm supposed to take it easy. No weights, no running, no biking, no volleyball, no contortioning, or anything, for at least two weeks! Now that is annoying. I'm already bored. But at least I'm allowed to write. Dad suggested that now would be a good time to do schoolwork... I ignored that comment. Schoolwork? Nein danke!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Trip to Rocky

First of all - Rocky Mountain National Park is awesome! There aren't adequate words to describe it.

RMNP is only about an hour from our house, but the drive is hard. It's twisty, narrow mountain roads the whole way - but the scenery is gorgeous. The road follows the Big Thompson River through a deep ravine most of the way, and you're surrounded by hills, boulders, and sometimes aspen/pine forest.

Before we'd been inside the park for five minutes we saw our first elk. Actually, three of them. They were grazing a few hundred yards away from the road, right along the border of a meadow. And - as if that weren't enough - there was a coyote too! It seemed like it was just wandering around aimlessly, since it would walk for fifty yards one way, then circle back, and then do it again. Then we realized that there were actually three coyotes, all circling the elk. I don't think they would have dared to attack, because coyotes are so small, but they looked like they wanted to. After about fifteen minutes one of the elk finally had enough and chased away the coyotes.

We didn't do much hiking (quarter mile, at most) but we went to a really scenic place. It was called an "alluvial fan" - a place where a flood had gone through, basically. There was a lot of branches piled up in places, and small boulders spread all over the place. Right above the fan (the place where the floodwaters spread out) was a waterfall. It was a really small one, but it was still breathtaking. Pics soon.

On the way back we saw a couple of bighorn sheep and a whole herd of elk, but we weren't allowed to stop. Saw two more coyotes on the way back.

Stopped by the Stanley Hotel on the way back, too. I haven't seen the movie or read the book, but it was interesting all the same. It was very majestic on the inside, with lots of fancy woodwork, spacious rooms, etc. Unfortunately, it was starting to rain outside and we needed to get home before the roads got slick, so we didn't get to explore as much as we'd have liked.

I think we're going back to Rocky in a few days or so, this time to do some more serious hiking. I'm hoping that we get to go on one of the more difficult trails, but Dad's not sure. I'd like to go up to Sky Pond, see the Lake of Glass, and do all that - but Dad gets altitude sickness, so maybe not. But I think that, no matter what we do, it'll be fun!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Kodi update


We've had Kodi for three whole weeks now, and he's almost three months old. Just in the three weeks that we've had him, he has doubled his weight (he was eight pounds at nine weeks, and now at twelve weeks he's sixteen pounds) and is very noticeably bigger. Here is what he looked like when we first got him:

And this is what he looks like now:

Yeah, it's not the greatest pic (he had just gotten up from a nap... tired pup) but it's the best one I have. Anywho... he sleeps better than any three month old puppy I've met (or had) yet. Last night I only had to take him outside once! Usually at this age, they can only go for about three hours at max. Maybe it's how hyper he is during the day... he hardly takes any naps, and he's always GO GO GO PLAY PLAY PLAY! - That is, when he isn't eating. He eats like a horse! Matter of fact... at the moment, he's sitting on my feet, begging for my food.

I'm starting to leash-train him now... at first I just walked him around the house, then yesterday he went all the way around the cul-de-sac, and this morning I took him a few blocks. He's great on the leash, except when other dogs start barking - then he gets scared and tries to bolt. I need to socialize him to other dogs a little bit more, get him used to it.

House-breaking.... bleh. Don't talk to me about house-breaking. Let's just say... he's still working on it. Starting to get it, but he's got a ways to go.

O-K! So, obviously, Kodi is taking up my life. But heck - what's wrong with that? Whoever said that a dog is man's best friend was absolutely correct. I can't go anywhere without Kodi following me. If he can't follow... he sits down, points his nose at the ceiling, and howls. And - typical me - I'm such a softy that I can't listen to it for more than two minutes.

I suppose I should post an update on moi, but I'm too dang lazy. Maybe tomorrow. Or the day after... I don't know. But soon!

So, til whenever -


Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Aaaah I have a new puppy! I am so thrilled! We brought Kodi home just two days ago from a rescue down in Aurora. Kodi is just nine weeks old, so he's only about eight pounds - but he'll get way bigger! He's a border collie/aussie shepherd mix, so he'll probably be about fifty-sixty pounds or so. Border collies and australian shepherds are very similar - born to herd, extremely smart, very hyper, and they love to be with their owners as much as possible. So, basically, he's a high-maintenance dog - but that's okay with me! I can't wait until he's old enough to go on hikes/runs with me, play frisbee, and all that. Anywho... I hope to get some pics up soon, because he's absolutely adorable!