Monday, December 30, 2002

Hooray for dinner parties!

Last night was great fun! I had and over for dinner. Last minute plans are always the most fun! I have found that I love very much to cook, and have resolved to do it more often. In addition to the tasty curry-chicken-potato-rice-and-chickpea dish, we roasted marshmallows on my parents' new outdoor fireplace (better known as the large metal cage....OF FIRE!!!). It was an enjoyable experience.

Here is said recipe, it's from Food and Wine Magazine, originally.

(makes 4 servings)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 whole chicken legs, separated into drumsticks and thighs (we just used
chicken thighs)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
one 19-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 pound medium red potatoes (about 4) peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Steamed rice, for serving

1)In a large skillet, heat the oil. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add half of the chicken to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken

2) Add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until just browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, water, chickpeas and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the chicken pieces and any juices. Nestle in the potatoes andbring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, turning the chicken and potatoes once, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Spoon the curry onto a platter and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve at once with steamed rice.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Christmas-y Goodness, part III

I found out this morning what was in the big, mysterious box, and it wasn't a sweater.

It was a digital camera! Talk about unexpected ^_^ It was a great surprise. Also, as a Christmas gift to the world, I gave my site a major overhaul. I did it very late, though, and was quite exhausted when it was all uploaded, so I did not have the energy to double check for mishaps. Perhaps I'll have time for that tomorrow. Anyhow, here it is!

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Christmas-y Goodness, Part II

I came home tonight in a great snow. Big, gigantor-flaked snow that makes you giddy and disoriented to walk through, I love it!

Anyway, I was finishing wrapping a few pieces of glass and putting them under the tree, when I noticed a rather large box with my name on it! This has me totally baffled, I have *no* idea what it could be. I didn't even really ask for anything this year, I was so busy this term that I couldn't think of anything I wanted...anything I *needed* even, just gift certificates when i was pressed to come up with something.

(I like gift certificates, because if I get money as a gift, it goes straight to the bank. It's a result of habit, and having too many options to buy something and not being able to settle. I suppose, in the long run, it's a good thing, hehe).

So this Christmas I am experiencing some of the excited curiosity that I held when I was younger. It's great, just the sensation. I mean, it could end up being a sweater in a big box, but I would still be greatful that it inspired such childlike giddiness in me for this next day, it's a feeling a really miss around the Christmas season.

Family celebrations start tonight, have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Christmas-y goodness

Being home on break, I was afraid the lonely bug would get to me, but it has been sufficiently squashed this weekend. Some old high school friends came over for some catching up and fun and games, and tonight Dave and I kidnapped each other to go see Spirited Away.

I have many a piece of glass to wrap up tomorrow (it seems that 30-60% of fall term glass ends up as Christmas presents, of the rest, most is snatched up by my parents as soon as I unpack them, leaving 1-2% in my personal collection x_x).

Unfortunately, I found a set of pieces I intend to give away that I forgot to sign! Dooooh!!!!!! >_< If only I had an engraver. I'm trying to think of something else I can use to sign them, because I'd like to wrap tomorrow.

At any rate, the Christmas busy-week begins tomorrow, after that I'll find another lull in activity. If all goes well, I'll have my big site re-vamp finished and up after Christmas. We shall see. Have loverly holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 19, 2002


No Christmas tree is too tough for our little Choppi!

It's actually a vivid reminder of when we first found her, we had to brave the treacherous branches of a huge evergreen bush outside the dining hall to reach her.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Oh, bloody hell

By the end of finals week, I was fully rested and fully recovered, and a good thing too, for yesterday I got an email from an old high school aquaintance whom I hadn't heard from since graduation. It seems her aunt was having a difficult pregnancy; they needed O negative blood and she found out from another friend that was my blood type, and asked if I could donate.

That was no problem (although I must say, it did kinda creep me out that old highschool friends know my blood type), so I put aside my Saturday plans to go donate. Us O- kids have to stick together.

Blood donations are somewhat up in the air for me, they can either be problem-free or really really bad, so it always makes me slightly nervous. One thing that puzzles me is how much the finger prick bothers me. It shouldn't, logically, as I cut myself on a regular basis working with glass, it shouldn't be any big deal at all. Strange.

Anyway, this time the donation went well, but I am always flustered at how slow it takes me. Perhaps it's low blood pressure or low pulse, but two people sat down after me and finished several minutes before I was even close! Not fair!! Still, I was thankful that there were no problems this time.

And yet, a good donation does not get me off the hook, it still drains a lot out of me (ha ha!). Even after a good donation, I'm generally reduced to a shivering mass of protoplasm, unable to use the arm I gave out of for several hours. That doesn't matter, though, as I fell asleep for at least 6. This is also quite unfair, especially when there are people like Nate, who can hop in, donate a pint, then go out and play a game of Ultimate Frisbee right away.

My dad suggested I look into apherisis, since I have such a problem with the donation affecting me, because you don't lose any blood volume. He gives platelets quite regularly, so perhaps I'll check that out.

At any rate, I'm still a bit drained and woosy, so I think I'll go sleep for another day and a half. I am on break, afterall.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Sweet Irony

Finals week is *supposed* to be a time of stress and worry for the average college student, I suppose, but this year it's been quite the opposite for me. In fact, I've not been under less pressure the entire year than this week, how strange! I suppose it is because I get to sit still for once. No rush, no worries, no jam-packed schedules, just one spread out week to study quietly and take some tests.

I think I've spent more time in my own room these past few days than I have collectively over the entire term! At least, that's what it *feels* like. My final painting critique was Sunday, and we cleaned the studio, and the glass 1 kids cleaned the glass studio on Monday. So, no art responsibilities. The one act plays are over, so no drama responsibilities. No comp sci projects, no work in the slide library, no glass blowing slots, just all this blank, free time. I have never been so pleased to sit and study, with plenty of time to stretch and take little breaks.

It's somewhat creepy, in a way. I was terribly worried, because my illness and the general busy nature of life kept building and building and building...I thought this week would kill me! Yet, it's worked the other way around, how ironic.

Anyway, I know there are plenty of people in quite the opposite case who are full of stress and pressure for finals, so I wish you all the best of luck!

Saturday, December 7, 2002


Thank you all for the kind words about Max, it really did mean a lot to me. I think I'll be okay, though going home for Christmas will be a bit tough, I have to look after Vivi now (he loved Max so much, poor thing).

In the meantime, there is some good news. For Christmas, my group of friends did a Secret Santa gift exchange. Brendan drew my name, and look what he got me!!

Isn't that awesome?? Of course, it just points to my other website right now, but now that I have a domain name, it means I'm going to have to get on the ball and make a decent site. Maybe that can be my Christmas break project.

Anyway, finals week ahead, wish me luck! And thanks again for the kind thoughts.

Wednesday, December 4, 2002


Last Friday night, when I was at home for break, my old cat, Max, climbed up into my bed to sit with me for awhile. It was no unusual thing, but he hadn't done it all break until then, so I sat and enjoyed a quiet, intimate moment with my cat, whom I've had since the 4th grade or so.

It was the next morning when he started to get sick. It was sudden, unexpected, and very very bad. We tended to him all day, wondering if perhaps it was a day bug as he has had once before in the past, and on Sunday he's looking *slightly* better. However, it was still an unsetting goodbye for me when I went back to school, he barely responded to my hand.

Back at school and full of school worries, and it lifts me a bit when my dad calls to say he's taken Max to the vet, and that he seems to be doing much better. I smile, I suppose it was just a bug.

Until yesterday. I got the message on my phone to call my dad "if it wasn't too late" around midnight, but those deeper senses urged me to call anyway. Max didn't get better afterall.

Losing a pet is always a cold, wrenching experience for me, especially when I'm trapped far from home when it happens. I wish I could have been there to comfort him, or at least to say goodbye. But maybe it was Max that was saying goodbye to me last week.

I am cold now and lonely, and the tasks of the week seem to be breaking my body down again. I suppose I am sick or pushing myself too hard, but I think I just miss my friend.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Home again

The first night of returning home for a break seems to have become grounded in routine, ritual almost.

Upon arriving, I first spend some time greeting my cats, who I miss terribly and who are always happy to see me.

I then proceed to gorge myself on buffalo wings (oohhh, if only Danville were to build a BW3, my life would be complete), and then take a nice loooooong bath and patiently digest. This is usually accompanied by plucking up a book I've read a thousand times or so, but still enjoy for the sheer fact that it's been so long since I had the opportunity or time to read for leisure.

Bedtime seems to always come around 10:00 that first night, as the previous few months rush to catch up with me in a matter of hours.

It is difficult, especially on short breaks, to reaccustom myself to resting. Every 7-15 minutes of every day, I mentally scan my schedule for the day ahead. I suppose it's conditioning from a busy college schedule, and a way of keeping on top of everything that needs to be finished between the time I wake up and the time I crash to sleep. On break, it is even more difficult to convince myself that there really is *nothing* that needs to be done, and sometimes I have give myself filler tasks to satiate the need to plan (*ping* laundry, update journal).

I need this break, I need to rest and let my body and mind knit themselves back into a functioning unit, but I have such a HARD TIME RELAXING! Sometimes I feel like I'm working as hard to chill out as when I'm busy, and I suppose that defeats the purpose.

Anyway, I must be off, I have to hurry up and rest! ^_^

Saturday, November 23, 2002


This weekend, I'm staying in bed most of the day, under the watchful eye of the drama department. The drama department, in spite of the amount of drama that goes on within, is a good group of people, and perhaps the best at taking care of one another. Perhaps it's just me, or perhaps it's a running trend among art majors, but I tend to neglect myself at times.

So, for the past two or three weeks, I shrugged off my drama friends' demands that I go to the wellness center, attributing consistent body pain to "just being sore" from glassblowing or some such, or maybe carrying one too many heavy things, who knows.

It wasn't until yesterday, when my bones felt like they were on fire, that the drama department took action and forced me to go to the wellness center (Matthew told me that he was calling up Sheldon to say that if I showed up to painting class that day, I was to be sent directly to the student health center, and Jeff made sure I didn't escape, and walked me over there. I went, got a check up, pulled out of my glass slot for the evening, and have since been watched over and mothered about by Brendan and D Flo and whomever else, to make sure I stay put and stay rested.

As such, I'm sitting and fretting about the work I should be getting done in the studio, but am getting some needed rest. I really think there should be a Drama Department to Art Department caretaker program, because I know *I* really have a tendency to shrug off potential threats of bodily harm. I don't even realize how bad it is, until Brendan says "when you're in too much pain to ride your bike there's something wrong, and it's not just lifting heavy things." No wonder there are starving artists, we probably just shrug it off until it's too late to do anything ^_^;;;

I suppose it works both ways, I tend to have a watchful motherly eye myself, just not for my own sake. Perhaps it's the entire college environment, to need to take care of each other, so it doesn't kill us all.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002


They grow up so fast! *sniff*

According to my brother, little Choppi is doing very well. She likes to run and slide on the wooden floors, and enjoys walking on the piano keys (to which D Flo exclaimed proudly "we taught her that!" when I told him).

She goes to the vet today, I wonder if my brother will put Chopin-Matisse down as her name?

Tuesday, November 19, 2002


D Flo is an awesome composer, and since I feel like showing off other people's stuff today, I figured a plug was in order. Now, I used to play the piano (still wish I did), so I have the inklings of musical know-how, but the thought of *creating* a piece of music is infinately perplexing to me (and the thought of how he mulls about in the music lab composing day and night like a phantom is infinately+1 perplexing to me).

Anyway, here's an impressive Sonata he wrote, and I can't for the life of me remember who is performing it! Pity, too, I wanted to give her kudos (D Flo likes to write pieces that will make the fingers of any normal pianist shrivel and fall off, so anyone who can play one of his works has my admiration). Crank it up, it was recorded in an open room, so the volume's somewhat low. So, with a little title addition by me...

Sonata #1 in D Flo Minor

I feel rather lucky that he said he would write a score for the cartoon I will create for this year's student film festival. Muahaha!

Stay tuned for further showing off of other people's stuff...

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Free at last

The completion of a good show always brings a wave of intense satisfaction, spiced up with some other emotions that I haven't classified yet.

Then there's strike.

Collectively destroying a creation that has taken months of hard work to build within the span of a few hours is always somewhat tingly. It's like Tibetan sand mandalas, only the destruction process takes much more physical labor than the wind whisking it away, and as such, the crew is by that time too exhausted to experience any meditative catharsis.

It didn't help, I suppose, that I spent most of this last show curled up in a corner of the booth, crawling to my chair now and then for this or that light cue. It was the culmination of about a week and a half of peculiar body pain, which has been attributed to everything from carrying too heavy of a backpack to other people's stress. Nevertheless, Jeff was kind to me in my strike duties, and afterwards while picking whether to come in the next day from 12-2 or 2-4 to finish up, Matthew and Squirt shooed me into the "not at all" pile.

So, no cast party for me, but I was instead rewarded with a long-needed recovery sleep of 12 hours exactly. As I woke up, the unusual body pain had been converted to a normal soreness that one tends to feel after a heavy workout (granted, I was half-awake at 10, and had trouble rolling over and opening and closing my hands, but 4 more hours of sleep processed that away). Of course, it does feel like my latissimus dorsi is going to suddenly snap away from my ribs with every movement, but it's not the sharp, throbbing pain that it has been for the past week.

Today, then, begins the "Day of 10000 things to do to catch up with myself," starting *sniff sniff* with cleaning my room and doing my laundry.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Will Johnston Can't Pronounce Silent E's...

Opening night was a success! The actors were wonderful, the tech ran smoothly, and there was much laughter from the audience (the play is hilarious, but makes you feel terrible later. Our drama department favors those sorts, I've been hoping for a comedy, and got one, but not without a slap of socio-political depressive seriousness to go along with it).

I did have one minor crisis. 5 or 10 minutes after the house had opened before the start of the play, I was fiddling to plug in a snake light so that I could see what I was doing up in the booth. By accident, I turned off the power strip...which the lightboard was plugged into. The whole plot went black, and Lyle (sound board op) and I exchanged glances of terror. Frantically, I got the board back up and running, and light back on the stage. Phew! It was good that it happened early, I think there were only a few people in the house by that time.

Otherwise, things went wonderfully! Looks like I may survive the Week of Hell afterall!

Aforementioned Week of Hell...

Saturday, November 9, 2002

And so...

Well, it turns out that no kittens plummetted, though the comp sci kitten may have been bashed about a bit while being dragged back up. I talked to Dr. Shannon and she said that if I don't turn in my lab on time, it's not the end of the world. It's fine, I guess, I'm doing well in that class, one poor lab grade won't kill me.

To people entering college soon: Talk to your professors often.

In other news, I think the going-ons wore me a bit thin, and I was a little down today. Jeff was a great comfort, though, in my wonders about identity and social place. He told me that I have a better sense of myself than most everyone here, and that was a startling compliment to me. It gave me lots to think about and cheered me a bit. Go Electrician Solidarity!

It was also a cheer-up that Tommy ran around outside with me tonight(morning). The weather was beautiful, the first real autumn day stuck in after a long span of early winter.

All and all, I think I'll survive the play next week.

Friday, November 8, 2002

Oy! Decisions

I hate it when things get so busy that you *have* to sacrifice one responsibility for another. It's unpleasant, and is similar to having to choose which kitten you let plummet to its doom, since you can't hold onto all of them as you struggle to drag them back up the cliff.

The predicament: my comp sci lab, I have to finish it. Options for the sacrifice...

1) Just don't do it.
--theoretically, I could just turn in my lab unfinished and move on with my life. But, I've already missed a second lab which Dr. Shannon has graciously let me make up on my own, I shouldn't take that for granted.

2) Bail on Jeff
--the big reason I can't finish the lab is because I have to rush over to the theatre right after class and help hang and focus lights. No way I can bail, judging from last night's run through, we have oodles to change and fix, and cue-to-cue is at 6. We'll be working like ants, and I can't leave Jeff hangin.

3) Painting
--this would be the easiest thing to do, just slip out of painting an hour early. It's tempting, but my need to work on this current project and my devotion to Sheldon keeps me from doing it.

4) Lunch
--this is starting to look like the best option. That's strange, too, because normally I'm the first person to give up higher responsibilites to satisfy a need on the base of Maslow's triangle. However, it might have to be done, and that would not be pleasant.

5) Bail on weekly glass studio cleaning
--and face the wrath of DH and Ken? No way

Stay tuned for updates

Thursday, November 7, 2002


Sheldon (of painting professor fame) is awesome.

Our painting class trecked down to the Speed Museum in Louisville to see an exhibition on 18th/19th century French painters, which was pretty good. Anyway, there's this one little Cézanne that's in the permanent collection there. It's a small thing, of some apples and a plate, not terribly exciting to the average passer-by-er, but Sheldon can go on and on and on and on about it for almost an hour....and does so each time we make a trip to the Speed.

The interesting thing, though, is every time he starts his Cézanne-athon blurb, I learn something new and different. Sheldon is an encyclopedia.

I like looking at paintings, but the lighting and atmosphere controls of museums leech my energy a leech. Which doesn't do well when you have to rush back to Danville to hang and focus lights until midnight. I haven't decided when I'm going to do my Comp Sci lab, I need a few extra hours in the day.

Speaking of plays, I think a certain pair of UK kids should wander down here next week to see Joe Egg. I'd feed you and everything ^_^

Saturday, November 2, 2002


I've never known anyone to get so panicky over ironing a shirt!

"Will you help me do this?"
"Yeah sure, it's easy, just take the iron and go chwoo chwoo chwoo and you're done."
"Okay okay...AHHH!! IT'S STEAMING!!"
"It's okay!! That's normal, that's okay."
"But what if it catches fire!"
"It won't..."
"AHH!! It's still wrinkled!!"
"Don't worry, just go over it again.."
"CALM DOWN!! It'll be fine.."
"Okay okay...phew...alright.....GAHHH!"

Anyway, dancing tonight, even though half the campus has the Centre plague. And I finally de-lazified myself and updated my site.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Tech Ninjas Unite!

Today, I believe, is the first day of a several-week building period, at the end of which I will explode. Not that it's a bad thing, it's just going to be very busy with the play and all, and I'll have to buckle down and be diligent with my work and painting.

Working a road show today. I love doing this, perhaps it's just me, but waking up at 7 in the morning to load in a show is good times for me. Depleting my body of all of its energy stores in order to construct a set which will only be torn down at the end of the night is somehow pleasant to me.

I love working them, though, partially because the people are always good to work with. They're always friendly and patient, because if it's your job to load in a show every day with a different group of people which you have to explain what to do over and over and over again, you have to be patient and friendly by default. They always end up being slightly loopy, too, which is just more fun. Working on electrics is my favorite, and believe it or not, I haven't had to use my crescent wrench *once* today.

I also visited Tony II (of England adventure fame) to bid him farewell. We discussed the interesting quirks of the States and his overall experience. I will miss him very much, but I'm sure I'll see him again. As long as I make a point to write it down ^_^

Well, off to be studious, and rest up for load out tonight.

Sunday, October 27, 2002


Mariah is a wise wise girl, and I couldn't help thinking about people I know and love when I read this little blurb by her (note, the second entry of the day). If anything, it's something I'll definately look upon frequently when I start playing the relationship game, because I know I'll have the potential to fall right into that trap...

*records the notes in her secret notebook and ponders them*

Saturday, October 26, 2002


This is Choppi, which is short for Chopin-Matisse Flora-Brown. D Flo and I found her outside the dining hall, and named it for our respective majors. She's a good little kitty, though terribly frail. Though we love her dearly, as responsible parents, we are letting my brother and sister-in-law adopt her (as the drunken debauchery of college life is no place for a growing kitten). It works out nicely, since my brother is a music person, and sister-in-law is an art person, the name still fits ^_^

A family portrait, as Choppi crushes my face.

Extended family portrait, with Uncle Brendan and Auntie Squirt.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Wednesday, October 23, 2002


I've figured it out! After some careful insights, I've discovered why there's so much drama going on this year than past years. Because this year I'm hanging out with frickin DRAMA people! DUUUUUUUUUUHH!! I mean last year, who did I hang out with? Chemists and physicists. Drama there? Nooooo. Freshman year? I hung out with political sorts. Drama there, but a different sort of drama than Drama drama, which is dramatic in an entirely different way.

Anyway, here's a comic series I'm keeping for myself, containing my biting social commentary about my social circle(which is about as biting as a toothless bunny). Commentary or no, we all make damn cute kittens.


Since I am only in my room at sparse, 15 minute intervals throughout the waking hours of the day, I rarely receive visitors. So it's nice to have Jen Wolford as a hallmate, who frequently leaves me friendly messages on the whiteboard on my door:

"Lisa likes to chase the hamsters...
and snuggle with them...
and play with them..
and give them a false sense of security...
and then
she makes little hamster gloves.

You are a sick person, Lisa."

My response is usually to draw a picture on her board, in this case, a smiling stick figure with dead hamsters on her hands ^_^ ::adds "BAMB" to her repetoire of sound effects::

Monday, October 21, 2002

Oh Wheeeeeeeeere is my Hairbrush?

I have misplaced my hairbrush, and thus have not brushed my hair in three days. Things are getting out of control.

In other news, today there was a large, inflato-bouncy slide erected on the lawn in front of our dining hall. It was significantly large, inflated, and bouncy (not to mention great fun). I think more colleges need large, inflato-bouncy slides on campus. If there were a permanent inflato-bouncy slide on campus, I believe student morale would skyrocket.

No word yet on the reason behind the presence of the structure, but who needs a reason! Too bad it was just for today.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

"And they, since they were not the one dead, turned to their affairs."

I whine a lot about how I've never been West, and how I'd like to go out there hiking and camping and seeing the sights and whatnot. However, I recently decided that I have no right to whine, because there are plenty of cool places in Kentucky that I've never visited.

Today, Jen and I drove out to Natural Bridge to do some hiking. It was a lovely day for it, cool and overcast, and the rain held off save a mild drizzle at the end of the day. The forest was gorgeous, there were many different ferns and mosses about, and I felt like a dinosaur, hehe. The bridge itself was very neat, and we listened to a lady give a schpeel about how it was weathered and wind eroded. Very interesting.

I took a few photos, but as I am impatient, I'll provide a few I found on the net.

There were many other equally fascinating rock formations, with incredible slopes and patterns due to erosion. Jen commented how interesting it was the formations seemed the result of some violent action, when in fact it had taken a few bizillion years to create them.

We pondered going to Red River Gorge afterwards, but were pretty tired, so decided to save that for another day (the area is surprisingly close to my college). Next adventure we'll probably go to Mammoth Cave. Seeing all those rock formations reminded me of how much I love caves, and how long it's been since I've been in one.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

I saw a dead person today...

My dad was late picking me up to go home for fall break. He was held up by a terrible accident, an SUV toppled and completely flattened, the firemen scrambling to get the survivors out. "How horrible!" I thought idley, as one does.

When we were driving back we approached the accident site, the traffic creeping along due to downed power lines. My dad, keeping his eyes on the road, commented "It was right over there, it was horrible, I wouldn't be surprised if someone died."

"Oh..there's a dead person right there.." I stammered before I realized how silly that sounded, my eyes locked on the site as we rolled past. Logic had tried hopelessly at first,ah, it's just someone sitting there, because you don't see dead bodies, you just don't. But it was fleeting, as my eyes floated on the corpse with a puzzled sort of strain, the same sort of gaze the police and ambulance crew had as they stood there, one of them taking photos.

It could've very well been an old man fallen asleep in an easy chair, his head lulled back in a gruesome sort of snore, except for the more graphic parts, I suppose. They had to cut away the entire car to get to him, so he was sprawled there in the seat with a ravaged carcass of metal twisted behind him.

We rolled past, slowly.

"Someone won't be coming home from work tonight," my dad sighed solemnly.
"Mmm." I agreed, unable to rip my eyes from the dead man until we were well out of range.

I turned back with a shudder, my mind full and numb. I still have that icy chill in the pit of my stomach. Such is mortality and the things we take for granted.

Falling for the first time..

I don't like finishing tests first. It's almost as bad as finishing tests last x_x

I'm sitting down in the basement of Olin, 30 minutes before Comp Sci lab starts, mulling about how bad I feel for dashing out of that Calculus test so early. I know how it feels to be right in the middle of a fairly difficult test, working away, when someone gets up and turns theirs in. Panic! I must be doing something wrong! I'll never finish in time! AHHH!!! I have no desire to make anyone feel like that.

So when I finish a test early I sit and wait and kick my legs, and do some checking (which is a good way to stifle my impatience and catch those ridiculous mistakes I make). Generally, I wait for someone else to turn in their test first, because turning in a test second isn't so bad ^_^ But I am terribly fidgety and impatient, so up and off I went.

..but I didn't want to talk about that today. I want to talk about autumn. I like it, it's my favorite season, and I think I've figured out why I appreciate it so much. Autumn is very sneaky and fleeting around here, so when you catch it, you appreciate it all the more.

I don't know if it's the small region or the whole state, but weather here is a jumble of extremes. Sure, if you take the average all year, it *looks* like we have all four seasons. But really, the "fall" season consists of these days...Summer, summer, summer, winter, summer summer, winter, summer, winter winter winter, summer winter, fall, winter winter winter. It's bounce back and forth, and if one day happens to land on fall, it's rather lucky.

Sometimes it's not even an entire day. It'll be winter in the morning, then walking to lunch you pause and look about and sniff and notice that it's autumn. Later that afternoon, it may turn to summer again, then bounce back and forth until it's winter at night. Sometimes there are patches of night time which are autumn, and I find those particularly pleasant. One day you may look up and notice all the leaves have changed, then the next day they've all fallen.

Sneaky sneaky autumn, makes it all the more precious.

Friday, October 11, 2002

A comic not about Halo

Inspired by the hectic auditioning process I mentioned last time. It is rather random and inside-jokish, and I wasn't even sure if the people *in* the comic would get it. No matter, I can always say it was an exercise in dramatic shading and foreshortening ^_^

Consequently, the stars *did* like it. I've never had someone read one of my comics three times right in a row and laugh out loud each time. It is, perhaps, the most gratifying sensation one can experience.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

The day is mine!

Tonight, I wrenched myself awake from a pleasant nap to walk through the pouring rain to a figure study session, all on my own accord! It is perhaps the most accomplished I've felt all year.

In other news...
Me: I don't know if I should try out for a part in the one act plays for the directing class, I don't know if I have time for another chunk ripped out of my schedule.
D Flo: Wanna be my stage manager instead?
Me: Durr...uhh...okay O.o

Good thinking, self, being an SM will be a lot less busy than an actress ¬_¬ No matter, though, it should be fun! I've never been a stage manager before, and even though it's just for the small one-act plays, it should be an experience.

After a rather hectic audition, D Flo cast Tommy, Katie, and Jeff (yes, Jeff. You remember Jeff, don't you? The one who juggles flaming sticks? Yeah, that one).

So, through an interesting twist of fate, I work under Jeff for the big play, and he works under me for the one acts. We're each other's boss, how strange!

Lot's of rain lately, but things are still good. Fall break next weekend, no plans yet. And thanks again for the input on my big decision.

Monday, October 7, 2002

Have you ever had to make up your mind?

I have a big decision to make, so let's make it.

The situation:
I am currently listed as an art major and computer science minor. My plans up to this point have been to go on and double major in both, since I can get in the comp sci classes okay. Well, I could've, until Dr. Bitensky decided to try and put together a winter term trip to Morocco...

The decision
Do I go ahead and get my comp sci major, or do i settle for a minor and study abroad in Morocco for the short winter term next year?

The gut responses
-mmm...but a comp sci major would help for my future career
-I might be going to Germany next year, would that be too much abroad time?
-would I disappoint my parents or would they be all for me adventuring off?

The cold hard facts
-Bitensky needs at least 25 students to express interest in the trip before he can get it okayed
-the trip will cost me $2800
-I've already been abroad once in my college career so far
-I will have no trouble finishing my art major, it's practically finished already, but I need to take comp sci every term from here on out to get a major.
-missing the winter term next year would not affect my ability to get my comp sci minor

The pluses and minuses
-It's Morocco. How many other times in my life am I going to get to go to Morocco?
-I would be missing my major by like one class. Having two majors definately would've been an advantage

Other possibilities
-this may not even be an issue, he could not get enough interest and the trip could never happen
-hey, there's always that 5th year senior option ^_^
-maybe I could talk to my professors and arrange something where I could pull both off!

Current Actions
-I need to talk to my parents about this, i've already emailed my brother to ask his opinion.
-I need to talk to my comp sci professor, because those will be the missed classes concerned
-I'll talk to Sheldon, because Sheldon can fix anything (yay Sheldon!)
-I'll ask for input, from YOU GUYS!!

The decision is looking in favor of Morocco, but that may be because I'm still experiencing some residual excitement and day dreaming about the idea. So, what say you?

Friday, October 4, 2002

The moral of today's story is..

Today I learned several things..

1) Regardless of how miserable and rainy the day is, if you refuse to refer to it as a "bad day" and instead just call it a "wet day", it gets better quickly.

2) the 3x4 ft panel I'm making for this year's extended figure study is a helluva lot bigger than the 2x3 ft one I did last year, and it's intimidating me. This will be the biggest painting I've ever done.

3) Tony II, of England adventure fame, said that I am "the deepest of the bunch" and that I have "a lot of interesting things rattling around up there (points to head)." Tony is wise and a good mentor, it flatters me that he has so much faith in me.

4) The days go by quickly, so you must milk them for all they're worth. Every day, even the bad ones, even the dull ones. Make it the best time of your life each moment.

I'm going home for the weekend, I miss my cats.

Tuesday, October 1, 2002

When you swim in the sea and an eel bites your knee...

Sometimes I find it amusing that love is perhaps the thing I value the most, and yet there is a whole subset of love which I have yet to investigate. I wonder if that's allowed? Anyhow, I take notes and take notes and take notes, and even still there are things I just don't get. Crazy people! No matter.

In other news, we caught a big praying mantis in the hot shop tonight, and before taking it outside I ran it back to the office to show D.H. He was very excited, and upon the buggy's release he informed me that it was the happiest part of his day. It's nice to know you possess the ability to cheer someone up, especially someone as rageful and sardonic as D.H.

Friday, September 27, 2002

Typin with the left hand tonight.

I burned the crap out of my hand today in glass. The first time was when I grabbed the pipe too far on the wrong end where the metal was still hot. The second was when I accidentally bumped my thumb against the hot glass itself. And yet I kept working, I *had* to finish the piece. I would be as the great artists, sacrificing my body for my art, for my creation. And through the experience I learned an important lesson...

...Sacrificing your body for your art is STUPID!! Stupid stupid dumb dumb dumb.

::lathers aloe all over her fingers and whimpers incredulously::

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Casualties of Drama

Friendship is very important to me, and I suppose that can be said true for most people. Keary told me once that I take my friendships very seriously, and I guess that's true as well.

So when your friend walks through the door looking so wounded that they seem to cringe with each step, the only thing I really want to do is hover about and nurse their injuries and shower them in comfort and wish that they were very small, so I could stick them in my pocket and protect them from the world. And, I suppose, I do my best...but it's rather difficult when the source of pain is so muddled and confusing that you really don't know what you can do to help it.

It's as if your friend has some horrible disease, cirrhosis of the liver, perhaps, only you don't know they have it. Or perhaps, you know they have it, but don't know what cirrhosis of the liver is, or don't understand it or how it works. So the only thing you can do is comfort them and care for them and wipe the blood from them, but you can see that it's something inside of them which is causing them great suffering. But you don't know how, or what exactly, and you don't understand how to fix it.

So you sit and wait and hover about and hope that *they* understand it and know what to do. Altogether, it makes you feel a bit on the helpless side.

I am fortunate and grateful to have as many wonderful friends as I do, I suppose I need to make it a point to tell them how important they are to me. I'll have to do that today, or soon.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Electricity Eeeeelec-tricity.

Crew meeting today. I work for Jeff, who can juggle flaming sticks, in electrics. I used to be afraid of Jeff, he was one of those sorts who I couldn't tell if they were joking or really seriously angry about something, but I've come to learn that he's harmless. Mostly harmless.

I like working in electrics, hanging and focusing lights is great fun! This year, I'm board op (trained monkey) which is something I've never done before. It means I'll have to donate a week of my life to the theatre department, but I think I have my schedule under control, it'll all be good. And I have plenty of practice pushing buttons, I knew Halo would be good for something!

Speaking of which, Squirt has joined the Krew. I need to draw her up. It's very strange, I never really hang out with her, but she's lots of fun. Weird how that is.

I love you Brendan!

Sunday, September 22, 2002


Flora makes the best frickin spaghetti on the face of the earth. If the Olympians ran out of ambrosia, they would eat D Flo's spaghetti. If pasta was a society, then his spaghetti would be God. I plan on obtaining the recipe soon ::dons ninja garb and backflips out the window.

Drama, Colored Pencils, and Road Trips

This has probably been the craziest, messiest, drama-filled schoolyear yet, and it's only a few weeks into the year! Madness, all the time. It's terrible, but every time I feel a little sad or lonely or confused, I just look up and around and say "Ye gods! I'm glad I don't have to deal with *their* problems!" O.o Ultimately, I'm trying to do my best to keep out of the fray and provide relief, comic or otherwise, for those involved.

I'm also getting back into my art swing, slowly, and I did the unimaginable and picked up some colored pencils. I'm terrible with them, very sloppy and impatient, but I took my time with this and it turned out better than normal. Next up, I want to give these markers I try, they've been laying around untouched for years.

The weekend wasn't dull at all, and I haven't heard much on the enviro-theatre crew's trip to Tennessee (except a phone call saying "We're in Gatlinburg!!", when they were certainly *not* supposed to be 5 hours away, and another one later saying "We're in North Carolina!!" O.o;;; They got home safely, so all is well).

I also got an extension for my comp sci project, which I now have completely under control. A good weekend, but over much too quickly, as always.

(starfallz-you still up for that sock?)

Friday, September 20, 2002

Wanted: One Sock

So I was going through my sock drawer, looking for a sock without a mate. I need a sock to cut up and transform into a protective forearm covering for glass, and you know how there's ALWAYS that sock in the drawer with the missing pair. Well, not today, every sock was perfectly mated, the first time in nearly a lifetime. What the hell is up with that?? Fates playing games with me again.

Anyway, I need a sock. So if anyone out there has an interesting sock with a lost mate, but just *can't* throw it away, I can give it a good home and a noble job protecting my arm from the heat radiated by molten glass.

The only qualifications, it has to be 100% cotton, as any polyester will melt and adhere to my flesh, which is generally considered a bad thing. It also has to be long enough to cover most if not all of my forearm, so long socks are good. And if it's an interesting or cool lookin sock, that's a bonus.

In return, I'll make you a little sumpin-sumpin in glass, like a cup or a little animal or something. Any takers?

::sits against the wall with a sign, "Will blow glass for socks"::

Thursday, September 19, 2002

I hate leading zeros

Ultimately, I suppose it's been a good week. Discounting a few things, of course, like the fact that I did not finish my comp sci project that's due tomorrow. When I have to make a decision between pulling an all-nighter to get something done and not getting it done, I opt for sleep, it's more important. No worries here.

Meanwhile, Kay, the hard core grad assistant at the studio who happens to be my glass partner, convinced me that instead of dividing up 4 3-hour slots to half an hour each, we should each take 2 slots and work the whole 3 hours. My first long slot is tomorrow, we'll see how it turns out x_x

This weekend has potential to be very nice or rather dull. A large chunk of my friends, namely Sam, Will, Meghan, and Flora are going to be off to some enviro-theatre conference, while Ken and Evan go to Louisville.

I'm trying my hardest to convince Brendan to have a sketchbook party with me Saturday night, since we'll be the only ones about. Brendan is my hero.

Friday, even he will be gone, so I'll be all by myself. No worries, though, i need some time to myself to get some things done, me-time is always nice to have. So it seems the weekend will balance on the thing line between pleasant, calming rest or boredom, we'll see what happens.

Meanwhile, Ken has joined the fray.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Will Johnston Doesn't Believe in Binomial Nomenclature...

Tonight we had auditions for Shenanigans, the improv troupe of which I belong to here at my college. It was a great bunch of people, very talented, very witty, and a million times better than last year's audition lot. Until this I've never been in a position where I had to take part in the casting process of something, and it's quite tough!

Narrowing it down was a tough call, and we let many people go to "simmah in da pot" for a year, in hopes that they'll try out again next year when all the Shenanigans seniors graduate this year.

They were good. Better than me by far, and sometimes I *still* wonder why I've been kept in the group up to this point. I don't consider myself particularly quick-witted, all of my humor comes in 10 minute blocks at the very least. Granted, I've had my moments, I was particularly proud of my 1 minute speech on Polly Theism, but I just don't know. Perhaps I'm good to play off of? I don't know.

So, our goal is to beef up our performance frequency, and after this year the infamous Will Johnston will turn the project over to D Flo, and then we'll have to find capable hands to leave it in after we graduate...

...after we graduate. Good God, I'm graduating next year.

::runs to the bathroom to hurl::

How pecuuuuuliar

Someone asked me through another person why I had them blocked on ICQ, and I said "What? I don't have ICQ!!"

That must mean there's actually another Wertle out there! Multiple Wertles! How exciting! I've never met another Wertle before. I wonder who they could be?

Tuesday, September 17, 2002


Why are packaged foods so much less appetizing when they're smashed? I mean, there's really nothing wrong with them, they're still in their sanitary little plastic wrapping, and at most suffer from some mild pre-mastication. But when I pulled the squished oatmeal pie out of the bottom of my backpack I instinctively grimaced with an "Ewww, yuck."

Of course, after some reflection, I went ahead and ate it, and it was still as tasty as it would have been without my calculus book sitting on top of it for most of the day. And yet, I've also been known to eat potato chips that had fallen on the floor of the glass studio, or chase a kiwi down a flight or two of stairs before I caught up with it to eat it.

It could just be me.

Meanwhile, plasma grenades suck.

Special thanks to Brendan for being a walking, talking onomatopoeia thesaurus

Monday, September 16, 2002

Numbing War Movies and Cartoons

I've often pondered the cartoons of my youth, and their inexplicable ability to parody the most unlikely movies to be seen by a child in my age group. Specifically, how Animaniacs, Eek! The Cat, *and* Tazmania all managed to do spoofs of Apocalypse Now, so well that though I've never seen the movie, I can give a decent rundown of the plot, characters, and general spectacle.

Now let's think about this a minute. Apocalypse Now? WHAT?? Looking back, I find it strange that these cartoons chose to entertain the youth of my generation by making fun of a serious, dramatic, bloody Vietnam war movie. In that case, why did I find these particular cartoons so funny? I'd never seen the movie, afterall. Was Apocalypse Now so ingrained in the culture at the time that I just sort of soaked it up through osmosis, or did I piece it together after seeing multiple parodies that they were making fun of *something*, and apparently doing it well, so it should be funny.

It's hard to determine after the fact. Kinda like how I got most of my understanding of pop culture through Muppet Babies. That's how I knew what Star Wars was, afterall. It was a fundamental truth of life at the time, I never questioned where it came from, it was just *there*, and I'm certain that I knew all the basics of Star Wars before I ever saw any of the movies. Muppet Babies was definately an educational show ^_^

It's interesting enough to think about this and look at current cartoons, and then try and deduce how this generation's youth is soaking it all up. I also get to see things from a new perspective, I get most of the things being poked fun at. Now that I think about it, I can't remember how my parents reacted to the Apocalypse Now parodies, it was something I just didn't pay attention to.

Saturday, September 14, 2002


I told you the plastic mullet would show up sooner or later

No more slacker

I finally managed to get my page updated, and I got that caption contest up there as promised! take a look!

Meanwhile, I finally got some comic inspiration...even if it did come from Halo.

As for tonight, a double birthday party is in order, we'll see what happens ¬_¬

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Facial Feedback Hypothesis

Since I alone make up the painting III class this term, I'm being bombarded with independent projects left and right. Whereas the painting II kids are doing an extended self portrait, I have chosen to do an extended self portrait smiling.

You see, anyone who's tried a self portrait knows that their default expression is "concentration," and it just so happens that my "concentration" face is also the same as my "demonic possession going to eat your soul" face. This is a hinderance because, in spite of what anyone may tell you, I'm not a demonic soul-eater from day to day.

So I thought, dammit, I'm going to make a portrait of myself smiling for once, maybe I'll have an easier time making it look like me. It seemed just the challenge (painting someone smiling is rather difficult to pull off). Well, after a rough, preliminary painting sketch tonight, I've found that not only am I more recognizable, but smiling the whole time also has beneficial side effects. I'M IN SUCH A GOOD MOOD!!!

Here I was dreading and whining having to go paint tonight, and instead, I'm all cheerful and skipping-round like. This project is going to be the most enjoyable one yet. Hooray for loosely proven psychological hypotheses! Hooray!


The other day they cut down a tree on campus, because it was sick or something, and as I was walking by the broken up pieces, I noticed them covered in flies. Like some rotting animal carcass. How pecuuuliar...

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

I'm going to the store and I'm going to buy...

The Wednesday-Thursday block is an important time for me. I have no classes after lunch on Wednesdays, no blow slots Wednesday nights, and no classes Thursday. Thus, I have a huge block of free time that is perfect for getting homework and projects finished. I had it all scheduled out, down to the hour, from after dinner until dinner tomorrow. First I would paint, then Calculus for an hour or so, then start early on my Comp Sci project due next week, then plan in my glass sketchbook.

I began my schedule by promptly dropping the whole thing and playing Halo all day.

However, the day was not totally unproductive. After a few rousing battles, the Halo Crew (or Krew, as Brendan puts it) made a trip to Walmart (with a brief stop by the pet store to get crickets for Ken's frog). I'd been needing to go anyhow. We bought, among other usual grocery items, a plastic mullet. I'm sure that'll be popping up more than once.

The moral of the story is: I'm a slacker. I'll have to be extra diligent tomorrow to make up for all the crap I didn't get done.

Aforementioned Halo Krew:

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

WHO'S HALO MASTER NOW?? Well...still Ken, BUT...

Halo Stats:
-I won, I actually won! I can't believe it! I beat Ken and D Flo, blam blam dead boom win!! Wooooooowoo! Of course, they punished me by not letting me have the big screen on top anymore and by ganging up on me as much as possible. Punks.

Morg--I totally empathize about the move/aim synchronization thing. It took me FOREVER to get it down, and I still get confused sometimes!

In today's news, I had to sacrifice a pair of pants. You see, it is physically impossible to step into the painting studio without getting paint on you, and I need a new pair of painting pants. My other painting pants are a pair of jeans which I've had for 6 years, barely held together by weak threads, homemade patches, and the unholy powers of all the dark clerics in the land. So it's time to doom another pair to a life of being consumed by paint day after day.

I had two pairs as candidates, both of which I use in glassblowing, so they're a little rugged, but nothing I can't keep clean. On the one hand, I have the green pants, and I love the green pants. They're my favorite green pants (at one time, I would've followed up with "they're my only green pants," but this is no longer true). On the other hand, I have the black pants, which I also love, but which I also use as tech ninja pants. You can't dash around behind stage like a good tech ninja with luminous splotches of white gesso all over your clothes.

So, after much turmoil, I've decided to condemn the green pants, as I noticed I got a little sliver of gesso on them already. No worries, though, they will still be loved, just not wearable outside the context of the art barn.

Said green pants..

By the way, thanks for the welcomes, all!

Monday, September 9, 2002

Dun dun dun

Well, here I am! Special thanks to Synnabar for hookin me up, and to those who suggested, peer pressured, or used idle threats to convince me to start a journal.

In recent news, I have a nasty burn on my forearm from glassblowing, my partner accidentally bumped the steel jacks I was using, and one of the blades smacked my forearm. Ouch! No worries though. Another day, another battle scar.

I think I'm finally recovering from the Centre Plague, which seems to run rampant at the beginning of each year. I'm in the coughing/sneezing phase, and thanks to Kim providing me with tasty tea and sudafed, and for the Rhodes Hall crew for letting me turn their living quarters into a health spa, I'm on the mend.

Current Halo stats:
-Ken still reigns as undisputed champion
-I beat D Flo once, and I'll never let him forget it
-Brendan still yells at me for looking at his part of the screen, a technique I developed in my Mario Kart days and still think is a perfectly legitimate survival skill in first-person shooters.
-I'm getting better. No, really! I promise!

I think that's a reasonable first post. Stay tuned for more bite-sized pieces of life!