About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!

About Me
Columbus, OH
Political Score:
Temp @ JPMorgan Chase
Ohio State University
Political Science, International Studies
High School: Home Educated
Reading, standing in line for things, writing, research

About My Family
My mom is a
lawyer in Pickerington; my stepdad and dad are computer guys, and my stepmom (who works with my dad) is an engineer. My sisters are, in order of age, a photographer, an artist, and a person too young to have her own website. My brothers are, in order of age, living up north, and again, a person too young to have a website. At some point soon I'll be collecting links for my aunts, uncle, and cousins. ^_^

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Star Wars: Episode 3 Line (Hollywood)
My Star Wars Line page

NaNoWriMo 2007:
My Novel: Cipere Lumen

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2006:
My Novel: The Manatee Conspiracy

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2005:
My Novel: Beyond the Cliffs of Kefira

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Participant

NaNoWriMo 2004:
My Novel: sul Okyar tir taTz'ileea

National Novel Writing Month

Tuesday, August 31, 2004
This really makes me mad:  
This story (warning: NOT for the faint of heart), which I wouldn't have even heard of if I hadn't been on Roger Simon's blog looking for convention coverage (!), is completely... I can't even come up with the right adjective. Incomprehensible would be one, particularly since I'm a news junkie, I've been reading the paper every day, I'm constantly reading news-related blogs, and I haven't seen anything about it. I wrote a letter to the local paper, mostly because I was really annoyed and researching things like the email of the managing editor of a local paper makes me feel better (I doubt anything will come of it). Grr.


Convention thoughts (day one)  
So, I've been reading the convention transcripts (not just the main speeches, mind you, but all of them). It's interesting so far; the speeches seem quite short (and the transcriptionists need editors). I figure that no one in particular is going to have noticed what our governor, Bob Taft (yes, he's related to that other Taft, but he doesn't look anything like him ^_^) said, so I thought I'd put it here:

"Good afternoon. My name is Bob Taft, and I am the Governor of the great State of Ohio. Today I stand before you as the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association. It is my honor and privilege to share the stage and podium that our President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, will address you from in a mere four nights. This convention is truly democracy at work and a shining example of liberty and the American way. The Republican Governors Association is hard at work spreading and practicing the values and policies of our party in States across the country. We currently have Republican governors is 28 States, and as their Chairman, I proudly announce to you that we are strong and growing stronger! Republican governors represent nearly 60 percent of our country, from California and Hawaii, to Massachusetts and Florida. Thank you for your support of these dedicated leaders, many of whom will address you in the coming days.

This year we have 11 races, and with your efforts we will continue to grow our majority.

Our candidates have been working tirelessly to put themselves in a position to win in November, in fact many of them are still in their home States pounding the pavement today.

The Republican Governors Association is working closely with all of our candidates and believes that their vision, ideas and leadership will carry the day on November second. Thank you for your support. "

For what it's worth, the states where governorships are in play are Utah, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, Montana, North Dakota, Indiana, North Carolina, Washington, Delaware, and West Virginia (courtesey of MyDD.Com).

In a related note, there are a lot of candidates for such-and-such position speaking, at least from my perspective. Some have causes that frankly seem hopeless (defeating Tom Daschle), and others seem to be there as a nod to local party types (there's candidates for Congress from Puerto Rico and Washington, DC -- the DC guy used to work for NASCAR), in the same vein as the trick at the DNC convention (conveniently held while I packed all my stuff up in California, and had no place to be but right in front of the television) of having John Glenn tip the scales with Ohio's delegates for John Kerry (the state in front of Ohio yielded the floor for that one). It's a little bizarre, especially because unlike the national speaker types (including most of those doing various place-keeping functions, and the minor celebrity moment types), these guys are talking local issues. I mean, really local issues, like Pennsylvania's health care system. The national speakers' line seems to be pretty pure -- all the war on terror, all the time. The national security issue is obviously a strong suit for the Republican party, both in a traditional sense and in a "hey, our guy's been in charge of this here war thing" sense. Not to mention that John Kerry, when he talks about war, prefers to talk about the one that ended seven years before I was born, and many liberal activists come across as, well, kind of frivilous/airheadish when discussing matters of war, peace, and so on.

Plus there's the number of libertarian-minded people, like myself, who'd probalby be undecided, ambivalent, or protest-vote minded were it not for Sept. 11th and the war on terror. Like Glenn Reynolds, it's pretty much the deal-breaking issue for me; unlike in 2000 I can't really vote for a libertarian in good conscience (it helps that this time, the difference between Bush -- who seemed really airheadish in 2000 -- and his opponent is rather clearer). You certainly won't find me exploring my politicality (not a word, but still) with the whole "hanging out with the Republicans, volunteering for the Democrats, working with the libertarians, and seeking refuge from the constant chaos with the Greens" thing that I did last time.

(it has come to my attention, through my oh-so-observant ability to actually READ the top of each page, that a lot of this stuff is the prepared remarks, and there's a lot more junk that people said that I don't have in front of me -- dang it, where are the actual TRANSCRIPTS???)

Anyway. I liked the comment from the Hispanics Across America leader, Ferdnando Mateo, "In the next four, he will remain a leader of deep conviction and compassion and courage." It's kind of annoying to me that the Bush administration doesn't match a lot of my policy stands, because as a leader, Bush tends to match my desired tone, in a way that Clinton, Gore, and Kerry just... don't. I guess it's just an emotional response (I tend to disregard feelery stuff in elections; I think it was all the Poli Sci classes), but still.

Oh, wow. In the background, I have CNN playing the convention. The reaction to McCain's "disingenuous filmmaker" comment is a little excessive. I guess the mild annoyance and irritation and disrespect I have for Michael Moore is somewhat lower than that experienced by the vocal majority of Republican National Convention attendees. Yeesh. McCain handled it well, though. I don't much care for him in general, but he makes a good first day speaker, I think.

The Burlingame remarks aren't on the convention website's speech list; I definitely need real transcripts. Why, C-SPAN, do you fail your people in time of need?

The emotional angle I think was done well. I'm afraid I'm a little too much of a rational creature to be as moved as normal people are, particularly "in the moment" and while trying to analyze things. But I don't think it was overdone, and I do think that the tone they struck was appropriately reverent without being schmaltzy (admittedly, I'm not actually watching, just listening).

Rudy Giuliani is a much better speaker in person than his speech transcript would indicate. I think they did a good job of writing something he'd deliver well. He also does a good job ad-libbing and working the crowd. After seeing Ed Koch, obviously, it seemed like almost any former NY mayor could do a better job of talking at the Republican Convention, but then again, they could all do a better job than me, too -- that's not the measure of how well he did (can you tell it's almost 4am? I really need to get a better sleep schedule). In any case, he deserves the anchor spot of this lineup; he's much better than McCain (and not just because I like him better) both in terms of crowd relations AND as a substantive speaker.

Overall, a decent first night, I think. I'll probably blog more about it in some less chaotic form tomorrow.


I found them,  
And it wasn't easy! When you search for "2004 republican national convention speech transcripts" you'd think you'd get, you know, transcripts. Oh, no, my friend, not so. You get Ronald Regan's 1980 transcripts, you get video from the convention, you get a ton of stuff about the Democratic National Convention (this year and years going back to 1992), but transcripts of the convention that's going on right now? Afraid not.

Fortunately, where tradition fails us, logic does not. Go to GOPConvention.Org and suprisingly enough, they have all the transcripts. In the "news\speeches" subdirectory, no less. Hmph. Fortunately I am resourceful, but sheesh. You'd think these things wouldn't be so hard.

Anyway, I'm going to read now.


My LJ  
Is where I'm going to be posting all my creative stuff from now on. I'll link to new stories and whatnot from here, but I think the format there works better. Incidentally, all you Latin lovers (no, no, not like that -- I mean the folks who really enjoy and understand the linguistic kind of Latin) take note of the title. I meant it to say "I seek understanding" but I'm having some brain freezes regarding grammar and conjugation, and I didn't bother declining the noun. The place is here.


Oh, yeah...  
I forgot to mention that I'm using this site to keep tabs on what's going on during the convention, when I can't actually be watching on C-SPAN. I haven't had the opportunity to read through the speeches for today yet, and I have an interview at Cracker Barrel tomorrow so it might take a day to absorb stuff. Cause I know you guys are dying to know what I think.


This is sad...  
And I feel bad for Steven Den Beste. He's one of my favorite online authors, alongside James Lileks (this is opposed to favorite bloggers -- I don't categorize Lileks or Den Beste alongside Glenn Reynolds or Frank J., because they're doing something clearly different, I think). But if I got this kind of email every two days, I'd stop writing, too, I think. And stuff like this is just so unproductive that if I regularly encountered it, I'd probably take a year off of the internet. It's really regrettable that he's taking what amounts to an indefinite leave of absence from writing, because I felt that what he was writing was insightful and informative and also (more importantly) because at one time he really got a lot out of it.

At the same time that I mourn his absence from the online world, though, I also admire his ability to step back and say "no more." Sometimes there are things that take more out of you than they give back, and it can take a lot of guts (and energy) to actually walk away from them. I can say with growing certainty that I stayed at Disneyland about eight months longer than was probably healthy for me or them; the level of bitterness and disenchantment (partially for objectively valid reasons, and partially due to withdrawal) would have been a lot lower if I had quit sooner, and I'd probably be a lot more likely to actually want to step foot inside the Happiest Place on Earth (and spend money on Disney stuff in the future) if I had. At this point the likelihood of me going to Disneyland to enjoy myself is approximately the same as the likelihood of me going to a Southern Baptist Convention anti-Mormon rally for the fellowship and spiritually uplifting feelings. I hope that Den Beste is stepping away early enough that he'll think about writing again, in six months or a year or whatever, and not want to blow up his computer.

And I hope that the work he's already done will stay online, because I thought it was very valuable (and educational). The internet would feel like a less interesting place without his posts.

Meanwhile, as long as the site is up at all, it'll stay on my blog roll. That way when I go through looking for dead sites and URL changes, I'll be able to see if he's come back yet. Hope to see you again soon, Steve.


Sunday, August 29, 2004
I've been watching the Olympic closing ceremonies...  
And I am somewhat annoyed by the time delay (once I realized that it's like, 3am in Great Britain right now, everything was ruined ^_^), but that's not why I'm thinking or blogging about them. You see, I just got to the last bit of it, where the host country of the next Olympics (Summer 2008, I mean) gets to showcase itself for a few minutes, to let everyone know what exciting culture the IOC officials partook of -- I mean, that we can expect to see even more televised displays of, next time.

And it occurred to me that it's Beijing, China.

Now, okay, sure, I know it's impolitic to think "egregious human rights violations" when someone says "China," but let's face facts here, I was 8 when those students stood in front of tanks, and it seems to me that not much has changed. Doesn't anyone in totalitarian countries ever think about how the exposure and press focus on their country might be, oh I don't know, bad for business, when they decide they want to invite the Olympics and its attendant world media representatives in? Doesn't anyone feel concerned that maybe by letting so many foreigners in, with their satellite trucks and cell phones and cameras and SUVs and so forth, that maybe news of the outside world will get in (imagine the coffee shop conversations [amongst the employees; even if they won't let their citizenry associate with reporters and athletes, SOMEONE will have to run the athlete's village and surrounding establishments] -- "I hear they're allowed to access blogs in their country... and even publish to Blogger without being arrested!") and news of just how "splendid" life is outside the special economic zones? What about those nosy NGOs that might try to make a mess of things? I know I'd be concerned, if I were a dictator.

Then again, if I were a dictator, I'd also probably be really fearful of joining the UN Commission on Human Rights, or UNICEF (as you can see, the Chinese have a firm commitment to public health), or signing a set of accords like Kyoto. Of course, all those fears would prove utterly unfounded, as the UN is pretty much a dictator's happy playground of fun "let's all call the US nasty names day" events and "issuing condemnations of Israel for daring to exist" committees, and it's not like there are high expectations for honesty, integrity, tolerance, or free market/free expression values in Olympic host countries (for crying out loud, they let HITLER host the darned thing).

So maybe the whole 'happy lantern people/Cirque du Soleil miniature gymnast/innocent toddler singing' thing makes sense after all. Don't worry, China, be happy; this whole thing will just allow you to further sugarcoat your regime with even more gooey feelery nonsense and pseudo-capitalist veneer. Everything is working according to the plan.

And on the plus side for those of uswho aren't on the side of tyranny, NBC's incredibly irritating coverage policies (gotta love that "what, of course we're not doing live internet broadcasting -- and oh, you're blocked from watching the BBC's coverage? So very sorry about that folks, really we are" bit) might be done after 2008, as that's when their contract expires.


Saturday, August 28, 2004
Girly nonsense...  
Here I present to you, in the wee hours of the morning, my official ranking of the Fellowship (that is to say, the Fellowship of the Ring, in the Lord of the Rings -- just visit Peter or TORn, if you're confused) members, in order of general spiffiness.

First, the characters. This is a movie ranking, not a book ranking (I'll rank the book characters after I re-read the book, which will be around Christmas)

  1. Samwise Gamgee
  2. Aragorn
  3. Gandalf
  4. Gimli
  5. Merry
  6. Boromir
  7. Pippin
  8. Frodo
  9. Legolas

And, my ranking of the actors, based strictly on their work in the movie and what I've seen of them at conventions, in appearances, etc., directly relating to the movie:

  1. Sean Astin
  2. Dominic Monaghan
  3. Viggo Mortenson
  4. Billy Boyd
  5. Ian McKellan
  6. Elijah Wood
  7. John Rhys-Davies
  8. Sean Bean
  9. Orlando Bloom

I should point out that the only one I don't really like much at all is Orlando Bloom. Yes, he's pretty, but he comes off as rather obnoxious. I haven't liked him, or Legolas, since I saw the actors' commentaries for Fellowship. Though I still like him as Will Turner (like I said, this is all about this movie). And, this doesn't take into account my appreciation for Andy Serkis and Ian Holm, nor my fierce attachment to Faramir and Eomer, nor my intense and irrational intolerance for all things Liv Tyler (that's not just this movie, I disliked her in that Aerosmith video AND Armageddon). We're talking Fellowship members only, today.

Anyway, there's your girly nonsense for the month.


The Internet is too small sometimes...  
Okay, sure, it was bound to happen. A guy goes to Wil Wheaton's book signing. He writes a post about it, and mentions it in Wil's comments. He does some people-watcher report stuff in the post, because Wil was late (I hate the 5 too) and there wasn't anything better to do. And chaos ensues.

This is why I don't like writing up stuff about people at places I go to. I live in fear they'll actually read it. Even though these people didn't seem to mind, it's still vaguely creepy to read.

On a random note, I really need a signed first edition of that book. WHY didn't I go to Mysterious Galaxy while I was in San Diego for Comic-Con... at least I can hope they didn't have the book then. Anyway, yeah. Arrgh.


A few changes...  
Which are mostly stylistic, I admit. I decided to make the number of days posted on the main page higher (I average about one or two posts per day, so 15 works better than 7), I added a disclaimer, a BLAP statement of my own, and a Creative Commons license. I also signed up for Google AdSense a few days ago but didn't post about it. And, I cleaned up the sidebar a little bit, adding some stuff so you can click and ICQ or IM me right away and re-arranging some other things. A few things got deleted -- everything that's been coming up "Page not found", excluding GeoURL (because I really like them) and stuff in the BlogRoll (because I'm lazy). Oh, and the resume link, because I need to remember to put up a new resume where you actually CAN see it, and I have to find a place for it first. Oif.

I'm also trying to decide whether to commit to the "natural" style of capitalization in my headlines, or go back to the "all-caps" style I had before. Now that I've enabled the earlier posts on the main page, you can see for yourselves what each one is like. Tell me what you think. I'll probably go back and edit all the titles for the last couple of months, if I decide to go to all-caps, to restore some consistency.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004
I'm trying to strike a balance amongst all the different stuff I'm supposed to keep track of. Finding a job. Making money to go to California (in December, and again for the Star Wars line in April) and Washington, DC (in February, for the Foreign Service exam). Studying for the Foreign Service exam. Setting up my room. Getting involved with the local political scene. Making friends at church (and getting just plain back to active status, both in a spiritual sense and in a "actually going to church every week" sense). Figuring out how to get places in Ohio (and how to avoid the insane traffic jams that are the direct result of SOMEONE putting BOTH ways of getting into town from our house under construction -- reducing everyone in the area to one lane in each direction). Planning to go to this reunion for some of my longest-standing online buddies in October. Keeping in touch with my friends and family in California. Actually making some bold steps towards An Actual Career Of Some Kind. Making a firm committment towards an actual career of some kind. Getting this degree thing sorted out with Ohio State. Starting to pay off my student loans. Making sure that everyone who needs my address has it, and everyone who wants money from me has told me and I'm working with them, and everyone who has money that's supposed to be mine ALSO is being worked with.

And then there's that blog/internet presence/creativity thing. Not to mention veg time, without which I will go insane (or more importantly, I'll just not do ANYTHING about the stuff in that paragraph above, and instead will over-veg for a few weeks until things get Certifiably Horrible). In any event, things are a little bit nuts for me right now, and I have a million ideas about how to solve each thing, and I'm sort of trying to implement all of those million ideas at once (you can guess how much attention any one goal is getting right about now).

So, priorities. Stuff I can take care of now vs. later. Stuff that will hurt me the most if I don't take care of it. Stuff that just can't not get finished in the next two weeks, and stuff that can wait until after Christmas. Blogging and creative stuff is going on a back burner. In the summer kitchen. On the vacation property. To put it another way, I'll be blogging a few times a week, when I can, and it'll be just as much a veg activity as playing The Sims or re-learning the violin stuff I learned in 4th grade. ^_^ If you're worried whether or not I'm still alive, PLEASE take this as an invitation to email or call me, or even send me a real live snail-mail letter. Okay? Okay. I'll post again when I get the chance. And things will hopefully start getting organized soon.


Monday, August 23, 2004
SiteMeter fixed at last...  
And it was all my fault to begin with. It seems that the last time my template was lost and restored, I restored using a saved template that didn't have my SiteMeter counter on it; so for the last six months I've thought I had a traffic level of, well, nothing at all. Sigh.

Anyway, I know that traffic has decreased since the insane (for me) high of last October (thanks to all the hits off of the California Insider blog, whose California Recall debate questions I answered), due primarily to a complete and utter lack of attention from yours truly, but this should more accurately reflect reality. The thing already counted my "hey, is this thing working?" check.

Thanks to the folks at Blogger User Support (at YahooGroups), most notably carrollagolden and John Bailo, for bringing up a similar problem (that would be the former) and mentioning that part of the solution would be in the required HTML for the counter (the latter), which is what made me realize that something was missing from my blog. ^_^ Anyway, the group has helped a number of times with issues I've had on the blog, and that makes me happy.

Now, all you people come and look at my blog, so I can see my stats go up and be happy.


Strengthening the Good...  
Has selected the first micro-charity to spotlight: the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice's Hurricane Charley fund. They're a charitable foundation that does all kinds of different things for the local community. They take donations, set up investments, and then use the proceeds to make improvements. It's kind of like the scholarship I had in college (the Grace High Washburn one), where the donor made a one-time donation and then every year the foundation sent out payments to the university for selected students.

Anyway, they've set up a special Hurricane Charley fund, and are going to match each dollar donated, up to $100,000. For the specifics on the charity, go to the Strengthen the Good post about it. They are doing PayPal, as well as credit card (online) and check (by mail) donations, though PayPal will be through the STG website and isn't tax-deductible.

I've looked through the foundation's website, and they seem to be exactly what the STG site is looking for. You can check it out for yourself at the link above (they're linked to the foundation). Even if you can't afford to donate, at least help publicize the site, please (that's the whole point of the STG network). There you go!


Saturday, August 21, 2004
Laura's Stuff  
I added Laura's DeviantArt website (which has her gallery of sketches and projects) to the "Rest of the Line" section of the sidebar, and her Black Pen store to the "Worthy Causes" section. She has a second store (linked from the Black Pen) called BlueMoon; that one has a shirt and bag that says exactly what half the people at Comic-Con would like to say, but are afraid to ("I'm an Artist. Pay me.") Anyway, check them out. She's my sister, and the art is good. ^_^


It's a social life, not a science experiment...  
Which is what I try to remember when I go to things like the thing tonight (a church dance for young single adults, or YSAs). Which I went to, of course. It was weird, on multiple levels -- I haven't been to that building since December, 2001 (maybe even earlier than that, like July), and EVERYTHING in the campus area has changed since I was attending full-time at Ohio State. The Chik-Fil-A is long gone, replaced with under-construction-ish junk. Same with a used CD store and a music store and a coffee shop and a lot of other places I never went into but liked to walk by. It's all part of the Gateway Project, which was started my junior year. I have to go back to the campus area during daylight/sunny hours (it was a dark and stormy night today) to really find out how much has changed. It makes me sad, though. Come to think of it, I'm not sure whether the law school is still there. Heh.

Anyway, it was also weird because I didn't know anyone there. I mostly attended that ward regularly in 1997-1999; all but a few of the folks I knew as a freshman are LONG gone. Most people in the ward now probably don't remember when OSU's star quarterback, Joe Germaine, went to our church. And none of them know me, since I stopped attending when most of them were still in high school (and yet, I'm AT MOST two or three years older than most of the freshmen/sophomores -- the average freshman at OSU is like, 19.8 years old, and we have bazillions of returned missionaries who are 21 or 22 when they get home). Some of them probably THINK they know who I am, since I look a lot like my sister (if you discount my height, hair, and facial birthmark), but that's another issue altogether.

So I was sitting outside the church, trying to decide what time it was likely to officially start (in retrospect, I think the official time was 8:00pm -- I got there at 8:25, and sat in my car until 8:58), and realized that I was rather severely overdressed, at least for an "early" person. Most of the people who arrive on time (that is, within the first two hours of the event starting), know what's going on -- and tonight was a "Stoplight" dance, meaning that you were supposed to wear a t-shirt that was red, yellow, or green, depending on your personal and relationship boundaries (if I'd known, I would have gone with a yellow-green -- green was defined as "hit on me" and yellow was defined as "be cautious"), and so everyone was in t-shirts and jeans instead of the usual dressy stuff. It was okay, because as the evening progressed more people who dressed up showed up (some got creative, and had yellow, green, or red nylons), and I looked cute. Nonetheless, I hate not conforming. It draws undue attention. I considered going home, but decided that would be lame, and pressed forward. Unfortunately, I waited so long to go in that the rain had REALLY started, and I came in wet. Fortunately, not THAT wet; it wasn't a disaster.

The next part is the part I always hate, when it comes to how I personally deal with these situations. In terms of comfort, I was at a 2 out of 10 -- and at that point, I fall into Mission Critical Analysis and Tactical Planning Mode. I spent thirty minutes walking around, reading every piece of writing on the walls, and attempting to observe the behavior of the participants (who was dancing, who they were dancing with, what color their shirt was, etc.) I identified everyone who was trying to help, the folks who seemed more content to play foosball or pool in the next room over, the folks who were glued to their chairs, etc. At 9:35 I made myself promise that I'd spend a FULL HOUR in the dance room before leaving, but decided that trying to convince myself to be more proactive would be... beyond pointless. I might humor my friends in these situations, but I don't tend to be able to push myself into really breaching my comfort zone.

Anyway, at like, 9:40, a guy named Adam (if you're reading, Adam -- hi!), who is majoring in Finance, asked me to dance. Which was swell, as I haven't danced with a guy at a dance since, well, probably late 2000. I deliberately exclude in this all gay men, married men, and relatives (sorry guys, but you don't count). I'm not sure that excluding them is necessary, though.

In any case, after that I was approached for conversation by a girl named Amy, and then by another girl, and she introduced me to a third girl whose name I never got (sigh), and then the second girl introduced me to some guys, and then she and I had a serious conversation about the advantages of ambiguous black shirts (and skirts, and grey tights -- hey, I like my dark colors) in a situation like this. She encouraged me to test the ability of black to serve as red, yellow AND green at various times, but I declined. We later played pool, after I was coerced into dancing to "Cotton Eye Joe" AND "YMCA" (the second far more regrettable than the first -- at least "Cotton Eye Joe" was a learning experience).

Overall, I think the experience was beneficial, but I am reluctantly forced to conclude that I need to be more spontaneous in these situations, and more self-promoting, I guess you could say. I almost (though not really, in case anyone from the stake is reading this!) wish for the pressure of a Sadie Hawkins dance. I feel like I turned too much of the event into a chore, or observational exercise, than a pleasant excursion. In the past I've relied on a friend to force me into enjoying-things mode, now I have to try and do it for myself. Grr.

Incidentally, I want to say that I ADORE non-comogenic (or whatever it is) makeup, and astringent. I sit here in Mickey Mouse Americana slippers and random pajamas, with my hair tied up and my pores completely clear of toxic stuff. Normally within about six hours of putting on makeup, my face breaks out into a rash, with a few zits for fun. But I got some "Clean" makeup from CoverGirl, and took it all off with astringent, and put on moisturizer -- and I hardly even feel itchy!!! It's a miracle of modern science, I tell you. The dance gets a 7.5, the drive home (in the rain, in the dark, over freeways and streets I barely remember) gets a 2.25, but the makeup gets a 9.75 (I still can't find a tone that's right -- "Ivory" is too light, and "Natural Ivory," the next one up, is too dark!)

So ends the account of Sarah, on the occasion of her first YSA dance in three years. ^_^


Thursday, August 19, 2004
Job Hunting  
So. A bazillion people are all looking for jobs simultaneously here in Ohio. It's a sad state of affairs for me; the last time I went looking for a job here it took two days, and it only took that long because I didn't apply to a food service establishment until the second day. I'm going to see if the magic still holds, and apply at the same place I got a job at last time (the Easton Steak n'Shake), tomorrow. Today was frustrating, because I only had time to apply at three places: Cracker Barrel, TGI Friday's, and Kohl's. If I'd known that Kohl's was accepting applications from 8am to 8pm, I could have squeezed in Applebee's, or the Steak n'Shake near my house, but I figured they were a 9-5 operation (there's no phone number, just a trailer outside the construction site). Everyone other than Kohl's has asked that people apply between 2pm and 4pm, Tuesday through Thursday. And there's only so many jobs one can apply for in a two hour period. Today I got a late start (left the house at 1:55pm-ish); tomorrow I'm going to Easton Town Center first (aiming to leave at 10am), and will try to be back in Pickerington by 2pm to apply at Applebee's, the nearer Steak n'Shake, and Uno's (a bar/grill/pizza place).

I'm also, regrettably, going to start applying at what I would normally classify as "desperation" locations. You know what I mean. Minimum wage in Ohio is still $5.15, I believe (that's what's great about food service; you get paid $2.13/hour PLUS tips), so minimum wage type jobs are a lot less desirable than tipped jobs or temp jobs (I'll be blitzing the temp agencies on either Friday or Monday, depending on how tomorrow goes). Blech. I planned originally on applying to at least 100 locations; I don't want to have to get more photocopies of my resume done.

(incidentally, every application I fill out dramatically reduces my success rate -- before I moved to California, I'd never applied for a job that didn't result in getting hired for or at least offered a position; now I'm more like one out of two [I've applied at, in my estimation, 30 places, and worked at 12, including internships and the like], and today I added 10% to the "application" list and a big fat NOTHING to the "hired/job offer" list.) Stupid economy.


Monday, August 16, 2004
New Logo, New Link...  
So, I redesigned the logo, because the old one was swallowed in a combination of hard drive failure and MiamiHost.Net monthly wipes (I forgot to login, and of course I didn't get the reminder email because my email address changed, so I had to restart my account AGAIN). I'm trying out new looks; it's part of my preparations for eventually moving off of BlogSpot and onto my own, MT-powered site. Anyway, the color scheme is next up for alterations, after I get a set of images I like.

Meanwhile, I've joined the Strengthen The Good network, which will hopefully have a "micro-charity" to link to every third Monday of the month. Right now they're working on a Florida/hurricane related one; meantime the link (it's over there above the BlogRoll, or you could just click here), which goes to the front page, talks about specific charities and donation efforts in the region. It's good stuff, worthwhile, though it's almost all local stuff. Once things get straightened out, there will be information on assisting, long-distance.

Meanwhile, one of my favorite charities in the Columbus area (Project Open Hand) is still around, though right now their website isn't working (I'll call tomorrow and see if they've got a new URL). You ought to check them out, they do good stuff. This is the website of the church that hosts them, with contact and mission details. Oh, and the San Fransisco group is also around, though their mission is a little different nowadays.


Wednesday, August 11, 2004
More good news, the folks at www.boutell.com sent me my MapEdit key!!! I can make image maps again! Woohoo!


Happy Discovery  
I found my old version of WinAmp! And, it had some of my most favorite skins. I'm very excited; now I just need to get music to PLAY on this machine...


Wow, so recovering from a complete hard drive failure is quite possibly even LESS fun than one would think it to be. Oh, sure, there have been joyful moments -- finding an MP3 off a compact disk that my CD player won't play anymore, discovering that I really DID save MapEdit to CD, realizing that not all of my school records and papers are trapped on a drive whose little spinning motor doesn't spin anymore (otherwise known as my brand new 8.0mb paperweight). But there's a lot more headaches; I don't have my favorite programs (like WinAmp 2.0 with all those skins, some of which were made by my friends and are probably lost for all time), I don't have ANY of my recent playlists, a ton of my regularly used documents are gone, and a bunch of my programs (including MapEdit) are just the install files. That is to say, I paid to register them, and now they're crippled and/or useless. And that's not even counting all the Win 3.1x/95/98/Me stuff that doesn't want to work on Windows 2000, or the fact that I now don't have ANY version of publisher and a gazillion documents are useless.

Plus, I had to leave my speakers and microphone in California (actually, they had to get trashed; the wiring was destroyed). Combine that with the fact that my CDRW drive was no longer functioning (in it's place -- a 16x CD reader) and the fact that I don't have a good digital camera (an emergency 1.3mp $50 Target camera, though, I do have), and I feel like I'm some kind of bizarre blind and deaf and SLOW person. At least on my computer.

There have been a few upsides to my current position. I can reinstall a lot of programs I had to leave in Ohio in 2001, and some older programs my sisters have lying around. Plus, while I wait for things to reinstall and such, there's a treadmill. I thought I was HORRIBLY out of shape, because 3.0 mph was a ton of work, and then I realized that I was working so hard because I was trying to go faster than the treadmill was set for. My natural speed is actually more like 4.2mph (walking, not really breathing hard, still having shouting matches with CNN without difficulty); my goal is to get to 7.4 (which would definitely be running ^_^) and be able to do that for an hour at a stretch. Given how much I'm walking now (stuuuupid slow computer), I think I'll be there before the Star Wars line.

In other news, I'm still looking for a job. It's not really looking so much as fantasizing; I don't have a car yet exactly, and I won't pass the Ohio drivers' license vision test until I get new glasses. Caroline has the car most of the time during the day (My mom's is in Michigan and my stepfather's is at the airport), so I've got a really good idea of what opportunities are out there, and my resume is ready to go, but I can't actually apply for jobs (we're 4.3 miles from the nearest malls and restaraunts, and there's no bus line this far from the city). But I do have happy news on the job front, in one respect -- I passed the Foreign Service written exam! I'm going to be taking the oral exam in February, about twenty feet away from the office where I had my internship in 1999 (it's a former USIA building, which at the time was sharing space with a Hilton, I think, and was across the street from the Dept. of Education). I don't think the homefield advantage will be all that super, but there's a McDonald's on the first floor and I know how to get there on the subway, and I'll REALLY enjoy going back to my old digs. No one I know will be there, though; my internship involved working for a political appointee (Dr. Bader, Asst. Sec. of State for Educationl and Cultural Affairs), who's certainly been replaced by now.

Anyway, that's pretty much everything that's going on here. In case you have any interesting or fun files (Evil Overlord lists, computer joke lists, LDS quotes, whatever), pleeeeeease send them to me (lloannna@gmail.com). ANYTHING that might be considered interesting, send it my way. Please! It's driving me crazy, trying to remember all the places I've been online in the last 10 years and what I used to have.


Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.