Sunday, October 30, 2005

another silly sunday

that feels like monday cause so many things have gone so squirrely . . .     I started the day by coloring my tired ol' grey roots. Unfortunately, my Hudson's bargain box of Clairol Nice 'n Easy was way too dark. I look more like my mother than ever I did before! Guess I'll just pass it off as a trick or treat prank.     Ate some breakfast and pulled out the Buddhism book I need to read before class on Tuesday. I spent ALL DAY yesterday (save 3 hours I went out to grocery shop, etc.) working on my data analysis project that is already one week overdue. And then... I just don't believe it... after all that, the last procedure I tried to run locked up SPSS and I lost all the data results. Fortunately, I have the information and graphs already placed into the project document, but my output file will have to be totally recreated -- I will need some of the information again. So, this morning, with only a couple of hours before I had to be at work, I just couldn't get myself motivated to mess with statistics. Buddhism seemed so much more appropriate for the moment.     But, of course, reading made me sleepy. So I headed to the bed for a quick nap before leaving for work at 1pm. At about 12:20pm, my co-worker called... major brain fart: I was supposed to start work at noon!     When I tried to clock in, seems I forgot to clock out on Wednesday--at least I think that's the last day I worked. I am so SCREWED UP some days and this week I've had more of those days than not. Then there's the Spanish test tomorrow night and lots of online "homework" to do before midnight tonight. I just can't seem to get caught up.     Did I mention that I finished knitting the blue and red Lamb's Pride Hat? I did. But not with Lamb's Pride. I like the pattern. I thought I had a link on the KniTibet pattern page, but it's not there. Thank goodness for Google, so I could find it again quickly to include the link.     I'm trying not to start anything until my new needles comes and I can continue on the Stripes Go Round pattern with the Alpaca & Silk yarn I bought from there... especially since I really don't have time to knit anyway. But there's just something about knowing you have something on the needles that you can grab for just a couple of moments to de-stress, or even escape.     Enough prattling... LC

Sunday, October 23, 2005

circles of life

    Over the last couple of weeks, I spent a good amount of time researching graduate schools online. I'll need a fully on-line MLIS (Masters of Library Science) program. I'd like one without out-of-state fees. I want it to have a wide selection of elective classes available.     I looked at about a dozen or so, narrowing to a handful within the last week. I know you are supposed to apply to several, but there's always some big "con" (as in list of pro's and con's) for all but one. That one would be Texas Women's University. So, I think -- at least until I have additional information about these things -- I will only apply there and pray for scholarship award and waived out-of-state tuition. If I am not accepted, I think I shall just stay at USM and chance not being getting hired because my graduate work would be from there. The out-of-state fees are just too high to justify (at my age), and the schools with lower tuitions just don't have a program with enough variety to suit me.     As for the circle... TWU appears to be in Denton, TX, and closely affiliated with North Texas State University. This is about 50 miles north of where I lived during the late 70's and where my ex-husband went to college. LC

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

healing kitty & mommy

Nero update: he's getting around much better, though I think he still has some fluid. He started throwing up the Keplex, so he didn't get the full dose he was supposed to get. He also got VERY good at getting away from us, though we tried something different every time the medicine needed to be given to him. Cleaning up that regurgitated medicine wasn't any more pleasant when it was a cat than when it was a child.     A couple of nights ago, I finished knitting one hank of the alpaca/silk yarn. It only measured about 5 inches of 'fabric.' I have to knit 14 inches before starting the sleeves, so I don't think I am going to have enough yarn. Have emailed the shop to see if they can send me another hank. I really want to make three-quarter sleeves anyway, so I need it. Also want to get a longer length circular set of size two. What I have are too short and the join is aggravating. I always have to be pushing the stitches up over the hump. I do love working with the yarn though, it is yummy. It would probably look better in a stitch pattern. I wonder how I could work that in without having to start all over. If anyone has an idea, please let me know.     Oh! And by the way, if you don't leave a valid email when you make a comment, I can't reply to you except on the comment link.     I must be acclimating to the southern autumn weather more than I thought. I have been getting so cold on campus. It's not really the outside environment but the A/C in the buildings. So, I try to remember to keep a sweater with me.     The weather really has turned beautiful lately. The house A/C is turned off and the windows are open. Not so great for my allergies, but the air is nice. I just wish I could sleep more comfortably and better. "The insomnia researcher can't sleep."     I tried (formal) meditation for the third time tonight. It was a totally different experience than the first time. (Second time was guided imagery, not concentration meditation, like the other two times.) But the 'scientist' part of me wants to pull out all those journal articles I copied last term for the sleep/consciousness/meditation project I never got around to writing. I can not recall what they documented as far as brain wave patterns compared to sleep stages. I seem to remember a similarity to the pattern between wakefulness and stage one sleep -- just can't say for sure without checking. What about 'microsleeps' and meditation -- at least for those unskilled/unpracticed at it. So little time, so much research to read!     And speaking of, I have a test in Psychology of Learning tomorrow, laters taters, LC

Thursday, October 13, 2005


is defined as: incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs. For instance....     The oppressive heat of summer in the deep south is finally beginning to subside. And so, having become even more conscious of the cost of electricity lately, and wanting to enjoy the pleasantness of the weather change, we have had the windows and doors of our house open for the last week or so.    Saturday night, unfortunately, eithe dear husband left the screen door open or one of the cats was persistent enough at pawing (clawless, no less) at it to get it open. Late in the night, sounds of a cat fight disturbed my study time. As I tried to untangle myself from laptop, electric and network cords, books, pens and remote controls, Nero came streaking through the living room. Next arrived #2Son to say that the screen door was opened. I took just enough time to do a cat-count before going to the door. Brickle was missing. Backtracked to get a flashlight because I couldn't see outside. When I got to the door, there he sat, all hunched down. He refused to come in with either cajoling or ordering. Like ANY cat and ANY time would do what you told it to do. When he did finally come in he hissed and growled at me at #2Son, at Sasha, but especially at Nero. Sasha too was quite nasty-acting to him. I stayed up a good bit longer just to insure there wouldn't be any further fighting.     Sunday, Nero stayed hidden away all day in a chair pushed under the dining room table -- his favorite place to hide. It is dark and the other cats seem to leave him alone. Monday, dear husband said he saw him a bit more, but didn't think he was felling very good. We didn't worry too much, figuring perhaps he got real scared or had eaten something outside that made him sick. On Tuesday, dear husband said he thought Nero was feeling better. Then that later that night, after we got home from Hattiesburg, Nero was laying on his left side in the middle of the living room floor, and we saw the problem. He has several wounds, one of them a rather large, nasty-looking hole in his side, and a gash below it.     Now, we live in a small town with no all-night vet clinic, so we had to wait until morning to take him. Feeling very guilty as the good doctor shaved the hair away from the wounds (there were a few more than we could even see the night before), we watched as he tended to our little rescued feline. Nero was really very tolerant of all that was being done to him; Rodger rubbed his face to keep him calm (he likes that very much). But the cut made to let the abscess drain was more than he could stand. And so, Rodger got bit rather badly in the thumb.     Nero is much recovered today. The last 24 hours were nerve-wracking though, worrying about Nero being further attacked by the other two cats. Fortunately they only seemed to have hissed and growled at him. All seems pretty well today... thought Nero doesn't like Keplex liquid any more than my sons did as children!     So... we may have a lower electric bill this month, but we spent the savings at the vets. LC

Friday, October 07, 2005

taking time update

    There are so many things I need to post about. Most of it good, but not all... so, might as well get the worst over with first.     The trip to Tibet has been disapproved for 2006 by university officials. It's a long boring story (and has nothing to do with the hurricane), but that's the sum of it all. Even though many of us who signed up to go will graduate before May 2007, those involved could not change the decision of TPTB. If I am able to go next year, I will try again to organize a knitting effort. For those of you who have already knitted something, I encourage you to either send it along to the Tibet Village Project Coordinator, or donate to another worthy charity.     Without KniTibet on my creative mind, I turned to some new yarn I purchased a couple of weeks ago. I went with some friends from Jackson. They bought wool embroidery thread/yarn for a crewel work project. I mostly went along for the ride, only to discover that it was also a yarn shop. Rissa swears she told me -- and she probably did -- I still had a lovely time gazing and fondling all the wools and silks and other beautiful items. I finally settled on four hanks of Blue Sky Alpaca's Alpaca & Silk in a pale green. I swatched a few days later and was pleased to get the same gauge I did making the Stripes Go Round top this summer in the hemp yarn. And so, I began another one. I carry it with me at school, but get (or take) very little time to work on it. I have only got about one and three-quarter inches so far. At 256 stitches per round, it's slow going. But for me, knitting is about the 'journey,' not so much the finished project.     School is going well. (I apologize if I repeat myself.) I have four classes this term: Advanced Data Analysis, Psychology of Learning (not a class about human education, but animal learning theory), Buddhism, and Spanish. On top of these, I have to prepare (by mid November! Yikes!) a thesis proposal. And along the way, I'm working 15 hours a week in the library and taking care of all the paperwork to be sure my transfer credits are all processed properly and applied to my degree plan. To make up for the two weeks we lost due to Katrina, we have lost our two-day semester break and will have an extra week of classes in December. Finals are over just a few days before Christmas.     I know people probably want to know our Katrina stories. Honestly, I don't have the energy to 'tell' it all. Wonderful things have happened, and extremely aggravating things have happened. EVERYTHING seems to have changed so much. It is truly a defining moment in time for those of us who have lived through it. I will say that we were very fortunate, both during the storm and since. Not everything has been perfect, but complaining seems so petty in light of all that others have suffered and lost in comparison. We are happy to be alive and safe and still have our home, our cars, and our belongings. We haven't gone hungry -- thanks to generosity of so many volunteers and donors. We have been granted grace periods by all our creditors -- except, somewhat ironically, the homeowner policy holder. About the worst problem we are having to deal with right now is the same problem with which the rest of the country is also dealing: high gasoline prices and the resulting higher prices of everything else.     I should write more, but I should also either hit the books or get to bed. Monday will roll around way too soon. LC