25 April 2010

Birthdays and Blogger Tag

How now, gentle readers! And may you be well. And how goes it with me? Methinks it is like a weasel.

Pardon me. I am just really excited! This week my school hosted a Shakespeare festival in honor of the Bard's 446th birthday (April 23rd.) As a tragedy geek, I adore Shakespeare--he is one of my favorite writers--so I was pleased to see all of the fuss being made over him, even if most of my classmates could not care less. Tis tough to be an English major in these wanton times...

At school, we had a sonnet writing contest (I placed second!), a film series (I watched Olivier's Othello, which was wonderful, but I missed Brando's Julius Caesar because I had to work. How soon my sorrow has destroyed my face. :( ), and Friday we had a birthday party for Will, complete with cake and costumed faculty and students roaming the hallways. I didn't have a class that morning, so I spent an hour watching the festivities and, of course, partaking in the cake.

I honored the Bard by watching my friend Daniel masquerade as a peasant while I shouted at him to act like Dennis (He refused. He's oppressing me...); being subjected to the boastings of Falstaff, the ravings of Hamlet, and the proselytizing of Friar Lawrence (as played by my World Lit. professor. My professor being my professor, his sermon was out of one of Nietzsche's works); and sitting next to my friend Boyd as he, contrarion trivia nerd that he is, heckled everyone by pointing out historical anachronisms in their portrayals. I think he was just mad because I am a fellow trivia nerd and guessed the identity of more characters than he did, so he felt that he had to distinguish himself somehow else. *nerd victory dance* Ahem. Anyway, how did you celebrate Will's birthday?

Also, on the Blogger Playgound, which, if it's anything like the playgrounds I frequented in elementary school, means I am the strange girl who walks around talking to herself at recess, I was tagged four times for the Seven Things series.

Penguins tagged me to list seven things that should not exist:
1. Traffic jams
2. High heels
3. Jerks
4. The little fringy things on the edges of notebook paper
5. Comprehensive finals
6. Typos
7. Fake cheese (an utter abomination)

Feathery tagged me to list seven things I wished I could have unlimited amount of:
1. Books
2. Bookshelves
3. Powdered donuts
4. Time
5. Nonfringed college-ruled notebook paper
6. Money to tour Europe to my heart's content
7. Cheese

Sky tagged me to list seven things I do when someone really annoys me:
1. glare
2. roll my eyes
3. If on online forums, lecture them while cramming every SAT word I know into my sentences and snidely pointing out logical fallacies in their argument
4. If driving and being tailgated, slam on my brakes
5. grin
6. stare blankly
7. employ brutal sarcasm

Spammy tagged me to list seven things that I have read in a book that were really awesome:
1. the ending of Rebecca (The whole book is an exercise of brilliant foreshadowing. Tis why it's my favorite.)
2. the ending of Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
3. The creature's abandonment speech in Frankenstein, in which he chastises Victor for creating him and then rejecting him. It makes me cry every time I read it...
4. The ending of Of Mice and Men. Another one that makes me sob uncontrollably.
5. Terry Pratchett's Discworld (the whole alternative universe)
6. Faulkner's stream of consciousness technique
7. Poe's "The Raven." I love the alliteration. *poetry geeks out*

I tag Jourdie, Lauren, Serena, and Math is a Plentiful Harvest. I was going to force, I mean, ask the folks I tagged to list their seven favorite Shakespearean plays or characters, but upon noticing my own character list contained Iago and Lady Macbeth (DO NOT JUDGE ME!), I instead task you with naming your favorite fictional villains. Muahahahahaha If I had a highly stylized moustache, I would be twirling it with my finger right now.

And with that, my work here is done. Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow. :D

18 April 2010

Two Days in the Life of Zella Kate: Part Two

Now here is a typical Thursday. Again, I am just posting whatever happened on the day in question...no matter how embarrassing.

7:00 am: Just my standard routine: Scramble out of bed, brush hair, get dressed, eat cereal, brush teeth, clean my glasses (I remembered!), and wave farewell to the Chihuahuas, who are still not amused at my daily absences, which prevent me from petting them for several hours a day.

7:30 am: I pull out of my driveway. At least it's nice and sunny today. ^^ As I am driving on the dirt road I live on, I realize the road is being graded. This presents a small obstacle for my car, but I urge my trusty steed, erm, Honda Accord onward, and I get out without any trouble.

8:30 am: I arrive at school and check my e-mail and messages. I have an e-mail! Somebody does love me!

8:45 am: I don't have class for another two hours, but the fiction magazine I work on as a student editor needs money and name recognition, so we've been doing fundraisers. One fundraiser is selling copies of last year's volume to local businesses. The second is selling doughnuts and coffee on campus. I deliver the money from my door-to-door sales to my advisor, then walk across campus to join my best friend Renee in manning the doughnut fundraiser. She tells me there has been a rush early, which is unusual, but it's slow now. We chat about classes and other miscellaneous things.

9:25am: Renee leaves for her next class. I am left to run things solo, but nobody seems interested in coffee and doughnuts. Heathens. We have an editors' meeting this afternoon, so I reread all of the poetry submissions and a quirky, very postmodernist puppet play that I had mixed feelings about. I don't reread the short stories, because I have an easier time analyzing them and feel more comfortable with my initial assessment. Some of the poetry sounds better to me than it did. Some of it does not. When I first read the play, I thought it was bizarre and completely ludicrous. The second time I read it, I thought it was funny but weird. This third time, I think it's the best thing we have had submitted all year. Yeah, my mind works like that.

10:00am: I finish reading the submissions, in between chatting with a few people who did buy coffee and doughnuts. Now I start work on a couple of sonnets I am writing to enter a school contest. I have one written and am battling my way through the next one.

10:15am: Eeeep! I spy the guy who I am madly in love with walking my way... Ordinarily this would make my nerdy heart skip a beat, but I have to sneeze. I want him to stay away long enough for me to sneeze, then he's welcome to come talk to me. As is my luck, he has no intentions of obeying my thoughts. To make it worse, he is determined to apologize profusely for forgetting that he was supposed to meet me in the library and get notes from me yesterday. He keeps apologizing, and I keep telling him not to worry about it. (Honestly, I was wearing mismatched shoes that day. I was relieved when he didn't show.) Do you know how hard it is to effectively reassure someone who you are hopelessly (and secretly) in love with that you are not mad at him while trying not to sneeze and not be obvious in one's affections? Why do etiquette books not explain proper behaviour in these sorts of situations? To sneeze or not to sneeze? That is the question.

10:20am: He has ESP! He wanders off momentarily, then returns and starts chatting with me. Those sonnets can wait...

10:30am: My Prince Charming has left, and it's time to move all of the stuff from the fundraiser back to my advisor's office. This takes two trips to move everything up stairs and through two long hallways. When I take over the world, I will punish those who do not open doors for others by sawing their arms off with a butter knife. When I get to my advisor's office, I realize it is locked because he is in class. So I shlep all of the stuff back down the hall to my other advisor's office--who is also my lit. professor and the one who picked me to be an editor--and put the stuff in his office.

10:40 am: I go to the library and check my messages and online forums. Nothing much is going on, so I head off to class.

11:00 am: World Literature II: I love this class so much! Okay, I am an English major, so that is one of the reasons, but it's a fascinating class and my professor is brilliant at explaining things. We're doing one of my favorite works right now: Kafka's The Metamorphosis. We take a quiz over it, he hands our essays back (I have noticed that since I told him I was an English major he has been murdering my essays. I used to always make A+ on them. Now it's always an A-. :( ) and gives us our next assignment, then we discuss the text.

12:20 pm: My class is over, but I stay behind to ask a question about an assignment. After he answers my question, he asks me what I think of this week's submissions for the journal. I tell him some were better than others, which he agrees with. Then I tell him that some of the cover letters caused me mental anguish with the misspellings. He acts like he's looking for something, but I can tell he's trying not to let me see him chuckling at my neuroticism. I may be crazy, but I am not blind. I know that he knows that I know he knows I am a grammar geek. And he's really no better about the cover letters himself.

12:30pm: My friend Renee and I always eat together, but she needs to buy her lunch first. I tag along as she drives to the nearby Dairy Queen. She tells me which classes she signed up for next semester. I am transferring, so I have no idea what I'll be taking. I tell her which classes to avoid at all costs. Then we drive back to school. The cafeteria is closed for renovation, so we sit in the hallway and eat.

1:30pm: OT Survey: I took this class, because I needed an elective and because, as a Jew, I thought the subject would be interesting. Um, no. Well, it is interesting, but the professor and I have clashed. I get along with him all right, I suppose, but I am not a fan of his lectures or tests. This is the only college class I've ever taken where I don't at least try to pay attention. Today I work more on my sonnets for awhile, in between jotting down a few notes.

2:45 pm: We get out of class early, so I head to the library, where our meetings are held, and wait for my fellow literary conspirators.

3:15 pm: Our editing meeting starts. We usually discuss, debate, and argue over submissions, then determine if they are rejected, accepted, or wait-listed. This week we all seem to be a bit more like-minded. There are no impassioned pleas for one story or poem to be rejected or accepted. There is no reminder that we, you know, have to publish something. We accept the play I adore so much and spend the rest of the time ridiculing some epicly bad writing. We like to sing the words aloud to each other to the tune of an imaginary thrash metal song and discuss writing our own collage poem by piecing together especially bad poetry lines... The meeting ends a little early, so we sit around and chat about other randomness. I have noticed that, though my professor is much harder on my essays after finding out I am an English major, he has taken me on as a protege of sorts and gives me good career advice, which he does post-meeting.

5:00pm: The meeting breaks up. I follow one of my advisors to his office to get more issues to sell door-to-door, before heading home.

6:05pm: I return home and find that I am the only one home. My grandparents are in town and my brother is at a friend's house. I heat up my dinner and eat in silence, surreptitiously tossing pieces of bread to my Chihuahuas. Afterwards, I start sorting through my copies of the magazine submissions to get ready for layout work, which starts next week.

7:00pm: I chat with my family.

7:10pm: I start in on my geology homework and my history homework--our test was postponed until Friday.

9:30pm: I am all finished, but I have a headache. *whines* I am going to soak my brain in the hot water in the shower and see if that helps.

10:15pm: It did help. Now I get online and play until bed! Well, actually, I don't play, per se. I answer e-mail, read my blogger dashboard, and chat on forums when I should be critiquing.

11:15pm: I really do have to go to bed now, so I log off and retire for the evening.

What are your Thursdays like? What plans do you have for taking over the world?

11 April 2010

Two Days in the Life of Zella Kate: Part One

I was going to submit this to Sparklife for their "Day in the Life of..." series, but apparently they didn't want anymore. So now you get to read about my schedule here. I adapted this based on two of my days this week. You get my unedited day, even some things I would prefer not to mention... Because I am in college, my Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule is very different from my Tuesday-Thursday schedule, so I'll have a separate installment for Thursday up as soon as I can.


6 am: I wake up, get dressed in something that sort of matches, run a brush through my hair, eat a half a bowl of Cornflakes (I am not hungry this early), brush my teeth, and wave goodbye to my Chihuahuas as I run out the door. One of my Chis glares at me as I abandon him, the other stares off into outer space.

6:30 am: I pull out of my driveway. I live in the middle of nowhere, so I have a long drive ahead of me. That's why I rely so heavily on music to keep me from falling asleep. I am now currently obsessed with Shinedown's debut album. Yes, I know it's seven years old. Don't judge me.

7:30 am: I pull into my school parking lot. As I look at myself in the rear view mirror, I realize I forgot to clean my glasses. Ewww. When I get out of my car, I run into a very creepy dude who has been annoying me for a couple of days. I consider beating him over the head with my ginormous backpack, but he's really not worth the jail time. I glare at him, instead. This seems to work. I haven't seen him since. ^^ After vanquishing the jerk, I scramble to the library to check my messages and e-mail. I have no messages. Nobody loves me.

8:00 am: Wes. Civ. II.: This is one of my absolute favorite classes. Granted, I am a European history major, but the main reason I love this class is my amazing professor--Dr. Allen. He is an eighty year old retired air force office, but if you think that means he's really stern and stuffy, you are wrong. He's hilarious (in a very politically incorrect manner...) and is one of the best professors I have ever had. I would have killed to make sure I got this class. We aren't doing a lecture today. He gives us a test review for Wednesday. His test are all essay questions, so I take notes and plot which four questions I plan to answer.

9:00 am: Walking and Jogging: I walk across campus to the gym for my PE class. This class bores the crap out of me. I love to walk. I just don't see the point in a class for it. I also dread the psychopathic wacko who has deemed me her "walking buddy". She's snide and condescending. When I walk in the gym, I see she's nowhere to be seen. How thoughtless of her... *sarcasm hand is raised* Just to be sure, I beat a retreat to walk in the great outdoors, to further shield myself.

9:30 am: My thirty minutes are up, so I head back to the school library. Since I don't have a test to worry about, I piddle on the internet.

10:00 am: World Religions: Yay! I love this class so much! One reason is I love studying religions, another is that this is also taught by another of my favorite professors--Mr. Hall. He has a great sense of humor and ensures that his lectures are easy to understand. Right now we're just starting the section on Judaism, which makes me happy, because I am Jewish. After class, I chat with Mr. Hall about horror movies and Judaism. Our conversations are always very random...

11:00 am: General Geology: I don't mind this class, per se. I was going to take chemistry with another professor, who is another of my favorites. That didn't fit my schedule, so I took geology instead. I am not the world's biggest rock fan, but my professor is a nice guy who is very enthusiastic about his subject. His tests are fairly straightforward too. I just dread labs. Rock identification baffles me. Today we just have a lecture over earthquakes. Yay!

12:20 pm: My class is over so I return to the library to briefly check my e-mail and assorted websites. What do you mean I have an online obsession?

12:45 pm: Catching up with my blogger dashboard took longer than anticipated, so I am running a little later than I had hoped. I quickly eat my lunch--turkey sandwich, chips, Hershey's bar, and lemonade.

12:55 pm: I managed to eat without getting anything on my shirt (a small miracle, indeed). I drive off from school and head to work. I need to be there in an hour.

1:45 pm: I drive up at work in one piece after achieving Nascar worthy speeds on the freeway. I need to cash my paycheck from last week, but I don't have time to walk up the street to the bank. Just as well. I never can figure out which way to open the door. I imagine the tellers place bets when they see me coming. "10-1 she'll push rather than pull!" "5-1!" "3-1!"

1:50 pm: I sign in for my shift at the local public library where I work. I have worked here for nearly two years and love my job very much. Today is not too busy. I spend most of it processing new books in, brainstorming ideas for our upcoming summer program with my boss, finding some books on RV travel for a family, and wondering what to dress Harold--our 24 inch porcelain goose mascot--in next. He's still in his Easter bunny outfit. Easter is over. Would it be too early to put him in an Uncle Sam outfit? Hmm...My coworker Darcie and I take Harold's outfits very seriously. He will be the best-dressed goose in the country. I already have his next Halloween costume planned. ^^

5:00 pm: My work day is over, so I wave good-bye to my coworkers and drive home.

5:30 pm: I come home and eat dinner and chat with my family. They ask me how my day was. I ask how their day was.

6:00 pm: After eating, I retreat to my dungeon, I mean, room to study. I have a history test and a geology test, plus I need to read some Kafka for literature. I start with my geology homework.

7:00 pm: I call some of my relatives.

7:15 pm: I return to my homework, which means I start studying for history and then read Kafka's The Metamorphosis. I know I will be quizzed on it tomorrow in literature, so I better have the details fresh in my mind.

9:00 pm: Now that my homework is done, I really want to tear into the Dennis Lehane novel I picked up at the library. Alas, I cannot. I work as a student editor on my college's literary journal, so I have some poems to read for an upcoming meeting. Some of them impress me; some of them, well, do not so impress me. I make notes in the margins about what I like (and do not like) and why.

10:00 pm: All of my homework and school responsibilities are done, so that means I can get on my laptop. Yay! I catch up with my e-mail, write for my blog, and work on a critique of someone else's novel chapter.

12:00 am: I am now sleepy and barely able to keep my eyes open. It is time for me to log off and go to bed.

Part Two will be up next week!

What's a typical Monday like for you? Tell me all about it in the comments! :)

05 April 2010

I Have Fallen In Love...

Like most infatuations, this one took me completely by surprise. One minute I was minding my own business, skipping through life without a care in the world; the next I was online stalking my newest obsession. (Not that I do this frequently... *cough*) And what is this object of affection? Who is this charming stranger who has captured my heart? What? You think it's a guy? Pshaw! I'm talking about guinea pigs!

You see...my good friend Scott and I recently stumbled upon the topic of guinea pigs while chatting with each other. It's a long story, but he asked me to be a guinea pig by answering a question. I agreed, then looked the little rodents up on the internet as fodder for future sarcasm. ^^ And while I was scrolling through a Wikipedia article, I saw this:

Is that not the most adorable guinea pig you've ever laid eyes on? Just look at him ...or her! That gorgeous hair! That cute little chin! That, erm, mysterious little face!

So I spent the next couple of hours staring at guinea pig pictures and reading about guinea pigs, rather than searching an online database for material on a John Donne project, which is saying something because I adore John Donne.

I discovered that guinea pigs are low maintenance pets that are affectionate and fairly even-tempered (which reassures me, after the traumatic experience I had as a toddler with a vicious hamster named Boo-boo. Evil Boo-boo...). And did I mention they were cute? And come in long-haired varieties that put most Pekingese to shame? *skips through blogspot humming and singing about guinea pigs*

I knew that my family would not warm to my new found infatuation, so I had to be stealthy about this. The next morning at breakfast, I looked up from my scrambled eggs and said,

"I want a hairy guinea pig."

My announcement must have been more cryptic than I had intended, for I got no response. That or my grandparents and older brother are used to my, ah, eccentricities and pretended that they didn't hear me. So I repeated myself. My grandma had caught me looking at guinea pigs on the internet the night before, and being an intelligent and perceptive soul, she knew this was inevitable. She sighed and asked me exactly where would I put one and who would take care of it when I was at school and work. I didn't have a valid answer to either question, but I told her that I thought the name Gordon or Glenda would be appropriate, depending on said guinea pig's gender. She muttered some profanity under her breath.

Nobody else was willing to broach the guinea pig topic with me (I can't imagine why), but I have since decided that a more appropriate guinea pig name would be either Brando (after my favorite actor), Moist von Lipwig (from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series), Floyd (after my favorite band, Pink Floyd), or Anton Chigurh (after Javier Bardem's character in No Country for Old Men.)

*sigh* Logical, rational Zella knows that she doesn't need a guinea pig. I have two adorable, spoiled Chihuahuas who hate other pets with a passion. And I am way too busy to care for another pet, even one that is famously easy to care for. And in five months I am moving away to a dorm that only allows fish as pets and will be stuck living there for the next couple of years. I also despise people who buy pets on a whim and then realize they aren't able to care for said pet and punish the pet for it. So I am not getting a guinea pig anytime soon. But emotional, impulsive Zella wants a guinea pig because, because...well, just because...look at them!

So...ever had a guinea pig? Know something I need to know about them? Have an obsession that outside forces are stifling? Have any name suggestions? ^^ Tell me all about it in the comments.