Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Birthday, fires, and other stuff

Well what a week last week was. First of all, the county was in a huge panic cause some nasty wildfires started last Sunday (21st). Actually there were 3 major fires: one was in our area, one was up near Malibu, and one was near the U.S.-Mexico border. Then there were little fires that sprung up from those. Thousands of people were evacuated, including some people at my work. I didn't go to school all week cause school was closed, and even went into work on Thursday (I would've normally been off) so I could get that Sunday (28th) off, as it was my birthday that day.

Yes, I have had my birthday, so I am now TWENTY-THREE. Scary.

(sorry left for a bit and went to YouTube. I'm back though)

Anyway, on my birthday I went to church with my parents (at their church) and then we went to this place called the Elephant Bar for lunch. Then we came home and opened presents. My parents got me a PRINTER, which I do very much need for use with my laptop. To go with it, I got a black/white printer cartridge and a ream of printer paper. I also got a new pair of PJ's, a set of scrunchies (useful for work), and a $15 Itunes gift card (which I can make some use of even though I don't have an iPod).

After this we went to a place called Clay n' Latte (which did not quite live up to its name since its latte machine was broken that day), where you pick out ceramics and paint them. I picked out a little castle thing where the castle is the top for a little trinket box, my mom picked out a similar sort of box but where the top was a crown, and my dad picked out a huge bowl. We had fun doing this.

Afterwards, we went to the movie theater in the same shopping center and saw Dan in Real Life, that new movie with Steve Carell. I have not seen much of his work, but he was really funny. Plus the movie had that guy who plays the dad on Frasier, and he's always excellent and fun to watch.

After this, we went home, and unfortunately got into a heavy discussion about my health insurance and stuff which kinda dampened things. My mom said later that I need to take care of myself -- small things like getting my room clean so it can stay clean -- before worrying about huge stuff like saving for a car. I told Heather the next day this sounded like therapy talk, but it was true and I knew it. Anyway, I felt better later cause we had my cake, and if there's one things sweets can do, it's making you feel better. I ordered the cake from work and Heather decorated it, even suggesting some elements that weren't part of the original design in the book but which she thought would look nice, asking my permission first of course (I was actually at work when she was making it).

I'll probably try to post a picture if I can get my mom to send me one of the pictures she took of the cake with her digital camera, but here's basically what it looked like: it was a double-layered round cake with an edible image on it of the Lord of the Rings movie cast inside the Ring. Heather airbrushed the sides a golden orange to make it match and did a twig-like border with leaves (some icing, some sugar) in place of the not-so-impressive dark blue border the original picture in the book had. Then she did the writing in brown to match the new border (I'd put light blue for the writing color on the original order, assuming I was going to have a dark blue border). It actually looked way better than the book's picture this way, and the twigs and leaves were very season-appropriate, plus the twigs gave that kind of fantasy-forest feel.

I also got a cupcake (which I meant to bring for lunch today but I forgot) from Tori (my department manager). It's one of our new "shavings" cupcakes that is filled with donut filling. They put white shavings on it and then decorated it with a cool candle (all twisty) and three of these Harry Potter rings we got in during the summer (cause of the Order of the Phoenix movie) -- one each of Ron, Harry, and Hermione. It was unexpected and yet cool that she thought of me, and even cooler that they (Heather was in on this too, obviously) remembered that I like Harry Potter. Of course, Heather knows this anyway so she probably came up with the idea, plus rings work really well for decorating cupcakes.

We had a bit of a tense atmosphere yesterday at work because the Health Department was supposed to show up for an inspection. We were more or less prepared, since we've been cleaning the department for this on and off since last Thursday, including a mondo cleaning day on Sunday when I was off. But then they NEVER CAME. Kind of a waste, all our efforts then. Heather said it would be worth it, the cleaning that is, even if they didn't come, cause she was able to clean at least some of the shelves above her decorating table, which did need to be done anyway. Actually, I think a lot of cleaning jobs around the department that never (or at least rarely) get done cause of our skeleton crew got done this weekend, like we cleaned these drains last Thursday that pretty much never get cleaned as far as I know.

I did do some work on my room on Sunday night, which basically consisted of picking up on the floor some and cleaning off my desktop. I also disconnected the old desktop computer that's been taking up space on my desk (after checking it to make sure there weren't things on there that shouldn't be on there when we get rid of it...using only the keyboard, I might add, since someone apparently took my mouse...using a desktop computer without a mouse is very tricky, let me tell ya...good thing I remembered some keyboard shortcuts) and got it out of the way. Once this was gone, there was enough space on my desk for my laptop, my little letter tray where I keep important papers, and my new printer (which is pretty small, but then I don't need anything that big). I haven't had a chance to hook the printer up yet, but I may do so tonight.

While working on my room, I listened to the first MuggleCast after their 12-hour live show (I'm gonna catch up on that later), and it was kinda funny since they were pretending Andrew Sims (the main host) was there, but you could totally tell it was just co-host Jamie Lawrence pretending to be Andrew. The slight accent in "Andrew's" voice was a dead giveaway (Jamie is a Brit). They also sorta made fun of newsman Micah Tannenbaum for having not seen the Order of the Phoenix movie yet.

I also worked on my thesis for World History Sunday night, since it's an online class and so work for it was not disturbed by the fires last week. I tried to post it yesterday morning, but the forum for it in the discussion board wasn't up yet, and then when I tried to post it after work, my computer was so slow I ended up posting it after the due time. Fortunately, I learned today that my teacher has extended the due date for the thesis to November 1st, so I am ok.

In fact, speaking of that class, the CD-ROM that came with my book got cracked recently, and so my computer won't read it, which is probably why I'm not getting full credit on my theses (I can't use sources from the CD-ROM like I'm supposed to). I finally got around to sending an e-mail out to all my fellow classmates (using the handy "Send E-Mail: All Student Users" feature on BlackBoard, where our class is hosted) the other night asking if I could make a copy of someone else's CD. This one gal responded within minutes, and I have been trying to stay in contact with her via e-mail. I e-mailed her this morning about possibly getting together today (short notice, I know, but I didn't read my e-mail today till right before Lit class), but she hasn't e-mailed back yet. So I am at campus still in case she decides to meet me here today. I still haven't gotten an e-mail from her yet. It's about 3:30 now, I'm gonna wait till 4 (the gal is supposed to have class here at 5) and if I don't hear from her, I'm gonna go home.

In my other classes, class work has had to be shifted due to school being closed last week cause of the fires. My midterm for Lit was shifted to today (was supposed to be last Tuesday) and fortunately I found this out enough in advance to prepare for the essay we had to write in-class for that. It took me almost all of the period, even with an outline, to write the essay, but I think I did well. The assignment that was supposed to be due in my U.S. history class last week (after a couple previous due date changes) had another due date change; it is now due this Thursday, BUT we now have the choice of either doing that one or skipping it and doing the next one, rather than having to do both. Not bad. I think I will probably go ahead and do this one since I printed out the information for it anyway. Also, our next test, which was scheduled for this Thursday, was postponed till the 8th (next Thursday).

I got a pleasant surprise for my birthday: the CD I ordered from Philosopherock, one of my favorite wizard rock bands, arrived a few days before my birthday, which was a nice treat. The CD is full of the band's usual "filk" songs (including some songs I've already heard via downloads from their site or their Myspace) and is called Hex Me Draco, One More Time (after one of the songs on it, a song by the same title spoofing the famous Britney song "Hit Me Baby, One More Time"). What songs the songs spoof vary; I can tell with some of them but not with others. Here's my guesses:

-Die, Die, Die : "Bye Bye Bye" by N*Sync
-Charms : No idea
-Eulogy, Book IV : "Skater Boy" by Avril Lavigne
-In My Cape : no idea
-Trapped in the Suburbs : no idea
-Eulogy, Book V : "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys
-Losing My Rememberall : no idea
-This Kiss : "This Kiss" by Faith Hill
-The Real Mad-Eye Moody : "The Real Slim Shady" by Eminem (according to someone on YouTube; I may need to confirm this)
-Hex Me Draco, One More Time : "...Baby One More Time" (sometimes called "Hit Me Baby One More Time") by Britney Spears
-Rita Skeeter : "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5
-Eulogy, Book VI : no idea
-Random Fandom : no idea

"Random Fandom" is just a ramble about the fandom in general but is very good; I also like "Trapped in the Suburbs" a lot out of the songs I hadn't heard prior to getting the CD.

Don't get me wrong, I am not becoming a wizard rock-obsessed maniac. I will most likely only order CD's for bands I really like. Right now there are only three I like that much: The Hermione Crookshanks Experience, Philosopherock, and DJ Luna Lovegood. I also like Harry and the Potters and Hollow Godric, but not as much (HaTP's song "Phoenix Tears" is very catchy, as is my favorite song of theirs right now, "Save Ginny Weasley," and Hollow Godric's Celtic, which is always a plus). The Hermione Crookshanks Experience posted some new songs recently on Myspace from her (it's one girl) new CD, How to Write With a Feather. I may order that CD, since her first one was sold out last I checked. And DJ Luna Lovegood has a new CD out called Yellowish, plus you can still order her (this band's one girl too) first CD.

Aside from Hex Me Draco, One More Time, I pre-ordered this CD Melissa from PotterCast has been pushing on said podcast called Jingle Spells. It's a Christmas CD featuring a lot of wizard rock bands, including (naturally) the grandfathers of wizard rock, the DeGeorge brothers (a.k.a. Harry and the Potters) and their friendly rivals Draco and the Malfoys, but also (yay) The Hermione Crookshanks Experience (singing a song about, I figure anyway, Hermione wanting one of Mrs. Weasley's sweaters, based on the preview I heard). I mainly pre-ordered it cause Melissa kept mentioning it (same reason I bought that Mugglenet "Book 7" book -- they kept promoting it on MuggleCast) but also cause the proceeds go to charity (Book Aid), and you can't beat that!

Okay it is now 4:10 as I write this.

Okay, no e-mail from that girl. And I'm tired and thirsty, so I'm gonna go home. I've gotta work on formulating my book review for World History into an actual paper, which involves sifting through all my notes. Oh I better go check out the book again before I forget. Oh good, it's not checked out. That's good (I figured someone else might be doing the same book and have it checked out). There's a part of my essay I can't really do cause I was having trouble finding stuff on it but may find stuff in this book I ordered on Saturday from the Barnes and Noble at my work. I assume, since it was supposed to take 3-4 days to come in, it will likely be in by today or tomorrow. I hate to have to buy a book, but I'm desperate.

All right, bye for now.

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