condiments no nuts

The Quarter of INSANITY!

It's kind of like the cliffs of insanity, but you can't climb it with a rope. So although it's not really an excuse, this is why I haven't updated in a while. A little over two weeks ago, my family made the trek back up to Western to move me in for another exciting year of school. My last exciting year of school sadly, thanks to the Running Start program. I will be graduating this spring. The drive was a little stressful as instead of doing it all in one shot and then relaxing, we did one night with my dad's mom and stepdad and one night with his dad and stepmom. And while I love my grandparents and am glad for the chance to see them, I do not travel well. Something in my internal system freaks out and I have to eat mild foods like toast or noodles the whole trip until I get settled.

Plus, the stress was high between us on the drive. We take two cars when we move me, because that's the only way all my stuff fits. Now, before we left Federal Way that Sunday, Mom asked if we should fill up the cars. Dad said, "Nah, we have enough gas to make it at least most of the way." So off we went. We got stuck in some Seattle traffic, but as traffic goes it wasn't as terrible as it could have been. We lost Dad and Meg in the traffic (they were in one car with Meghan's friend Megan, while Mom and I were in my car with me driving) but that was okay because I knew exactly how to get there and hey, we had cell phones if we needed to stop. Right outside of Seattle, Meg calls Mom and says they're stopping for gas and the bathroom (because my sister has the bladder of a puppy). We decide to stop as well since breakfast wasn't sitting quite well with Mom and she needed the restroom as well. So Mom asks for the stop and directions to where they are.

Turns out Dad took the most complicated exit EVER. It was the exit for the ferry and had like three different branches and twisted around. We did manage to find them, but having uncertain directions handed to you in real time in not a very good way to drive. Because who knows if you can get back once you take that wrong turn? Now Dad, also doesn't do well in stressful situations which makes him a terrible partner on the Amazing Race. If he'd been in my place, he would have freaked out. As it was, he and Mom argued when we finally stopped. And then because it was a complicated exit, we needed to follow him and the GPS back to the freeway. Then when we were almost there, we hit this insane rain storm. Like "drive 50 in a 70 because you can't see" kind of storm. Needless to say, the move was not smooth or stressless.

But I got moved in alright and got back into the school routine. Our info fair went well, drawing in lots of interest from people for Browncoats and at least 12 new people showed up to our first meeting. Yay! But  then there is the insanity part of the quarter. Oh yes, the trip up should have been a sign (as should have been the financial aid mishaps). For you see, I decided to take 19 credits this quarter. I took 20 one of the quarters last year and was fine (I even had extra free time) so I figured this would be no big deal. But I didn't count on the fact that I took two writing classes that previous quarter and this quarter I took two lit courses. Fun lit courses to be sure, Children's Lit and Young Adult Lit. but still time consuming classes a lot of work to them.

Plus I'm taking the second year of Greek which focuses on vocabulary and while I like Diane, I don't love her the way I loved Byron (loved his teaching style, not loved him in a school-girl crush way). And she's changed the way it's all pronounced, so half the time i don't even recognize the words I really know. Probably won't take this again next quarter, but I like Alyssa and I won't see her if I don't take this class, so I'll stick it out for this quarter.

Aside from tons of reading, not much is happening in my life right now. I've seen Will again and it looks like while we'll never be close friends probably, we can laugh and be civil to each other. This quarter is going to be rough, but I am enjoying it. Come on, I get to read picture books and Harry Potter as assignments; I think I'm good. Be sure to check out my blog www.wouldbewritercantcook.blogspot.com. I'm going to try posting a book review video once a week.

Stay sharp people
Bella
condiments no nuts

Busy, busy, busy

Ugh, I do not want to pack another single item. But I do *hangs head*. I leave for my university on Friday. Move-in is on Sunday, but we're doing the grandparent pilgrimage on the way (Dad's mom and stepdad Friday night in Tenino and his dad and stepmom on Saturday). Which means I have to pack up all my crap this week. A daunting task, especially considering in nine months I just have to lug it all home again. But I pretty much have everything that can be packed (except my books) packed. Most of what's left I can't pack until Friday. Besides, I'm exhausted so no more packing today!

I did have some drama with my financial aid this week (not the week to have it since there's very little time before school begins making it high stress with few things happening to expend the restless energy on. Yay.) I didn't realize I hadn't had my parents file the application for their loan for the 2010-2011 school year. Which led to frantic completion of the form, panicky phone calls and a dash to Kinko's to fax the form. Then they further tried to kill me by saying that there was no power and the fax wouldn't go through for and couple of days. Noooooooooooo! Luckily, the form is there now. It'll take five business days to process and everything should be fine. I may even be able to receive the aid right when it's supposed to release. In any case, I'm glad I've already bought my books.

Other than that, my life's been pretty quiet. Watched the finale of True Blood last Monday and oh my god, the producers are trying to kill their viewers. Can't believe we don't get any more until next summer. Got a first day of school outfit, as well as a winter coat. My old one was too big and about five or six years old. I also finally got to put more money on my Lavamus account and download new music. Yippee! That's pretty much it though.

Stay sharp people
Bella
condiments no nuts

Random Update from Guilt

I always tell myself, "I'm going to post more! I swear I'll pay more attention to this." And then maybe I'm good for a post or two until my intentions fall by the wayside. I almost have a legitimate excuse this time since I have a blog now and between that and the journal I keep (one that exists outside the computer) I feel like I don't have anything to say. But I am going to try and post more. *Raises right hand* I swear.

I've been a little bored lately, just waiting for school to start again (which doesn't happen for another two weeks). I've watched more TV than I care to admit, read fourteen books since I returned from London (I actually read two books and started a third in the course of about 48 hours, sleep included), and logged countless games of Bejeweled via Facebook. I did finally get to chapter 4 in the first novel of the trilogy I'm writing, which is great. But I'm going to have to log some serious writing time to finish it before November so that I can work on the second book for NaNoWriMo. Because if I start the second one before the first is complete, I just know there's going to be some major plot twist I never saw coming in that first book that screws up everything I write in the future.

Last time I mentioned I got contacts. They still give me problems sometimes when they're in (just feels like I have an eyelash in my eye) but I can get them in and out in a single try now. And the prescription has stopped making me dizzy. The adjustment time is even getting faster when I switch from contacts to my glasses. I find it hard to recognize myself now though. I look a little different in contacts, but then when I put the glasses on, I look a little different too.

I do feel very proud of myself though. I am slowly sucking my family into my brand of geekery. Well, I don't have to pull Dad very far since he's been reading my books since I was 13. But I finally got Mom hooked on a paranormal romance series. It's the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost. I have worked for probably three years to make this happen. I got her to read Twilight, but those don't really count as real paranormal books. Not like what I wanted to get her into.

Then last night, I got my whole family to watch A Very Potter Musical with me! (I had taken the YouTube videos and burned them to a DVD. I still have to go back and find either a different burner or buy the professional version so I don't get the green disclaimer screen that pops up between every video, but I'm close!) And they liked it! They sat and watched the entire 2 hours and 45 minutes and laughed and had fun. It was great! Next stop, A Very Potter Sequel.

Stay Sharp People
Bella
writer

Hi Again and New Blog

Hey everyone, I'm back from London. Actually been back for about two weeks now and I had an absolutely marvelous time. I cannot believe how quickly it went or how much I grew personally while i was there. If a month could change my life, I wonder what a semester would have done? If you want to read more about my trip, you can go to www.ashleighslondonsummer.blogspot.com.

The last two weeks have been pretty chill. I checked out twelve books from the library and I'm slowly working my way through those. Okay, not exactly slowly since I finish another book about every three days, but it feels slow. My parents rented a storage unit for all the crap in our house (well, the major crap like the desks we don't use and the Christmas decorations) so my room is fully my own again. Still a mess, but the mess is all mine. I also sent my desk to storage because a) I never really use it and b) I want to buy a third bookcase to put in there so my current bookcases can become a little more orderly. Right now pretty much every shelf is two lines deep with books.

I also recently started a new blog called Diary of a Would-Be Writer (And Mildly Deadly Cook). That last part almost sounds like I'm a ninja, but it actually means that you eat what I cook at your own peril. I'm not sure exactly what it's about or how often it'll be updated, but I found that I loved writing the one in London. So there you go. Have fun with it.

I swear, there will be some book reviews soon. I have read a ton of books (94 this year and counting) and have reviews I just haven't posted yet. I'll try to get them up in the next day or so. It's not like I have a whole lot of other stuff keeping me from it.

Stay Sharp People
Bella
writer

London Blog

So I am finally in London! Yes, I am here and while I'm feeling a little sick (which meant I couldn't go to London today. Dang it!) I'm pretty settled. I had plane issues and it took around 36 hours from the time I got up Tuesday to the time I arrived at the dorm on Wednesday. If you want to read about these issues and more of my exciting summer in London, I started a blog. It's called London: The Epic Adventure and can be found at www.ashleighslondonsummer.blogspot.com. I'll be updating it fairly regularly during my stay here.

Stay Sharp People
Bella

  • Current Music
    The chirping of birds, which has been nonstop since 3am
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    ,
penguin wave

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god

This is the chant going through my head right now. I leave for London tomorrow morning and I am a bit of a twisted mess. I'm excited and nervous and wired and panicked and ecstatic. It's all wrapped up into a ball of emotion I'm trying to keep under control so I don't get sick. My doctor did give me a mild tranquilizer if I flip out too badly and get sick on the trip. We did a test run of these and found that it actually takes 2 pills to really affect me. And then I get loopy; not sleepy, just loopy. It was funny to watch yesterday and felt like what happens when I stay up too late. Mom thinks I should just take 1.5 when on the plane.

This trip has also shown me what a light packer I am. I have one checked suitcase and a backpack (both made to survive a nuclear war) and my small purse. And that's all I need. The suitcase isn't stuffed and it even has a quilt that drapes over the sides of a twin bed. Plus my laptop and all my school supplies and a couple changes of clothes and two books are in the backpack. I don't know that there's a lot of room left over for souvenirs, but if I need to, I can get another carry-on and put the purse in my backpack.

In other news, my summer's been going good. Meg's puppy is almost fully potty trained. I have been able to sleep in my bed (my room's still not clean, but Mom promises it will be when I get back). I've mostly been reading and watching Joan of Arcadia with my family. That show makes me much less panicked about the fact that my books haven't arrived. Maybe I'm meant to go to a bookstore in London to buy them and I'll meet someone who'll be a great friend (or hot English boyfriend). Maybe I'll share with someone in class and we'll bond over studying late at night.  just know that I'm going to try and be open to all opportunities and not stay as a hermit in my room (which I will have all to myself, along with my own bathroom).

Oh and I almost forgot one of the biggest things: I learned how to cook! At least a little. Since the dorms in London have a shared kitchen area, Mom's been having me make dinner the last four nights and she's sending recipe cards with me. I feel so accomplished being about to make something that doesn't come from a box or consist mostly of bread.

Well, that's all for now. My next update shall be from London!
Stay Sharp People
Bella
plotting

Late Update, But An Update All The Same

Yes, I know I missed a week of blogging. But last week was madness. Tuesday was Meg's graduation, which was awesome. Now, I give it maybe a week before she's bored out of her mind. Also, her puppy is freaking adorable, which is the only thing saving her. She's a chihuahua-dachshund mix. And she loves to snuggle with me while I'm on my laptop. On Wednesday, Dad and I drove up to Western to move me out. I took my last final, turned in my keys and moved out the rest of my stuff.

I also broke up with Will while I was up there. We just didn't fit as a couple. It hurt a little, but it had to be done. And he was confused and hurt at first, but we've talked a couple of times since and it looks like we're going to be able to stay friends. Dad was really great on that day. He let me be alone in my head without badgering me with questions, even well-meaning ones.

Got home on Thursday and picked up ten books from the library. Oh yeah, I have stuff to read. I also finally got to finish Angels and Demons. Which I liked better than The Da Vinci Code. Now I want to watch the movie. Yesterday we finally caught the cat under our house and took her to the Human Society.

On a side note, no one should be allowed to simply give up their pet without real consequences. That pet is like your child. The excuse "my pet barks too much and annoys the neighbors" is not a valid excuse. There really is no valid excuse, except maybe I'm dying of medical disorder that leaves me an invalid. We have solved what should happen to owners who wish to no longer keep a pet. They take it to the Dog Farm, where they can leave the pet but they pay an upkeep fee every month until the pet is adopted or must be put to sleep. Maybe then people would really think about whether they want a pet or not.

Okay, back from the rant. Today was our June Family Dinner where we did Father's Day celebrating. We had awesome food. I love corn on the cob so much. It's amazing. Plus there was red velvet cake, which I couldn't eat, but which looked awesome and was quite tasty from the two bites I had of Mom's slice. I also had a mini-meltdown over not having my own space. Yes, I know this sounds petty, but something malfunctions with me if I don't have my own space. Even borrowed space doesn't really cut it. So Dad went in when we got home and cleared off my bed so I at least have that bit of solace now. I still have crap all over the place, but this is a good start and give me my own space where the dogs don't awaken me at six in the morning by raking their talons across my face (I've been sleeping on the floor in the living room because I couldn't deal with sharing Meg's queen-size bed.)

Well this is pretty much it for now. I'd like to say I'll have book reviews up soon, but who knows.

Stay Sharp People
Bella
ravenclaw room

"I'm okay!" *Stomp* "I'm still okay!"

I thought of Road to Eldorado when typing the title so there you go. I am still not dead. I am a very sucky poster apparently and I cannot believe it's been over two months since my last post. *Cringes* Sorry about the lack of updating. So it's been a pretty quiet Spring Quarter. Actually it's been a dead Spring Quarter. I have one class that actually has homework so I've been very bored. Don't get me wrong, i love having a little time for whatever I want to do, but I need to at least have something I should be working on. I read 17 books last month. 17. I love that I got to read but come on, give me something to do! I'm completely done with my classwork aside from revising my final story and taking the Mythology exam.

Next quarter should be very fun though, and a little less tedious. I get to take Studies in Young Adult Literature and an Editing and Publishing class. Hopefully, I will also get to take the Children's Literature class that I can't register for now because it is major restricted. Here's hoping it doesn't fill up and I can snag a spot. I'm excited to take YA Lit because I love YA. It's always been one of my favorite genres. Now, if there was a paranormal romance/urban fantasy class, I'd be all over that in a heartbeat.

I'm also gearing up for London this summer. Yes, I got into the program, have everything paid and worked out, and I leave the 28th of June! I can't believe I get to spend an entire month in London! I also joined the Facebook group for the trip and found some people who want to go to King's Cross with me and find Platform 9 3/4. We're also going to find a telephone booth and go to the Ministry of Magic. :D This summer is going to be absolutely amazing!

Within the past month I also started dating Will. We've been going out for five weeks and I really like him. He's a great guy and he seems to really care about me. Which is good because he's accrued various threats from people in my church and family of what will happen if he hurts me. We've each met the other's parents and my parents liked him (thought he was rather quiet, but nice) while his parents seemed to like me as well. This is the first time I've actually seriously dated someone. I had one and a half boyfriends in the past (I say half because I broke up with him after five days) but I didn't cared about them like I do Will. And he hasn't dated anyone before me. It's kind of nice. I don't know if we'll last, but I like what's happening now.

I promise to try and post a little more regularly. I'm going to aim for once a week.

Stay sharp people
Bella
inner demons

Writer's Block: Too scary!!

Was there something you were afraid of as a child that just seems silly to you now?

When I was a child there was a wild rabbit that lived in our backyard. my sister would tease me mercilessly over something she called "Witch Bunny". It was absurd but I had either dreams or visions of the wild rabbit in a witch's hat and tiny cape (purple and yellow with stars, because I don't do anything halfway) who tunneled up through the floor, which magically unknit itself to allow the bunny in and closed up like it was never there once Witch Bunny had emerged. Then the bunny would ignore my sister sleeping on the bottom bunk (no doubt an easier prey) and it would climb the ladder to the top bunk using it's tiny bunny paws. I never saw exactly what it did to be, but it scared the crap out of me for a good two or so years. Now it just makes me laugh hysterically when I think about how insane my vision was.
Buffy- read

Book Pimp and Getting Lost in My Head

I feel so terrible about not posting more recently. I got caught up at school (last final was on Monday and now I'm hanging out at home.) and just didn't have anything to say. Except I'm going to London for a month this summer! I found a study abroad program at Kingston University and somehow actually got the financing to go! I'm super excited and cannot believe I get to go. I've wanted to go to London forever and now I have the chance to be there for a month! And one of my first stops, when I get a chance to sight-see is going to be King's Cross Station, for Platform 9 3/4. As a Harry Potter fan, it would be blasphemy not to go. I just cannot wait for July.

In other news, I feel like the book pimp of my family. Or maybe a dealer would be more accurate. My family comes to me when they want something new to read. It started with my dad who, since I would leave my books in the bathroom, starting reading some of my books on a whim. Now he comes to me when he finishes a book and asks if I have anything else to read. This dealing has led me to scour ebay and used bookstores for the rest of the Kim Harrison series (we got him the first book for Christmas). And I'm actually running out of books to give him. He loves paranormal romance and urban fantasy as much as I do, but all the series I own, and that I find worthwhile, he's already read, or is close to finishing. Hopefully I'll find something before he finishes the Kim Harrison and Charlaine Harris series.
With my mom, I'm luring her in slowly, giving her the most engaging and wonderful books in the paranormal romance genre, without giving her something too dark right off the bat (like the Black Dagger Brotherhood for instance.) Right now she has my Jeaniene Frost books which she had to forcibly stop herself from reading during the school quarter since she got too sucked in to concentrate on homework. I think the mission is going well. And with my sister, I know I will never get her hooked on paranormal reads. Vamps, Weres, and Witches just aren't her thing. But I sucked her into reading another way. I gave her some of my cheesy teen romance books. And while she scoffs that these things would never happen, she keeps coming back and asking if I have any more. And she's not a big reader. I have a new book that's over 500 pages that I'm going to give her and seeing her finish that happily will mean I have successfully sucked her into reading.

Last, I wanted to ask if anyone has ever had the sensation of ending a book or TV show or movie and forgetting where they are for a moment? Like you got sucked in so far that you can't remember where in the real world you are. I didn't used to have it happen a ton, unless the book or show was really enthralling, but more and more recently I forget where I am. Not in a really bad way, but just an "Oh, that's right I'm here" sort of moment. I'm also wondering if maybe I should be worried about dementia later on.

Bella