Thursday, April 30, 2009

And it only took four ciritical papers this time

I'm about a third of the way through reading the Beloved critical articles for the M.A. Exam Part 2 next Monday. And I hit my limit, which is sad because I still have eight articles to go.

How do I know I hit my limit? When I have to reach for the dictionary to define words I already know. When I have a cracktastic idea that will not let go.

The cracktastic idea this time: I want someone to go all literary critical theory on one of my fanfics. Take the most extreme Freudian position possible. Or Lacan. Or ... okay I already forgot most of the major movements. Why do I want to see this happen? Because I can remember most of the stuff that churned in my brain, and proving or disproving patriarchal family models based on Oedipal theory was not one of them. The problem of domination was not one of them. Greek tragedy and resisting it wasn't one of them.

If none of them above make any sense to you whatsoever, thank the deity of your choice that you managed to skip literary criticism. But I honestly just want to see it from the other side of the curtain. Because deep down, I think this is all bunk any way when it comes to creation of the works analyzed. I think it has a purpose in helping people understand the work better or perhaps understanding the genre and stereotypes to break away from them. But I'm driven to hair pulling when I find one of these scholar positing so finitely "Morrison was creating an African-American feminist maternal dialogue to combat the white, patriarchal system that oppresses us to this day." You don't know that (but you sure wrote a damn long paper on the subject)! What if Morrison's inspirational thought was just exploring what about slavery would make a mother kill her child, which she has said there was a true case that sparked Sethe, and what if the child comes back as a ghost or something else?

Well, if you do want to psychoanalyze one of my works be prepared for me to laugh hysterically or congratulate you for getting into a character's headspace. Because the only agenda I have is seeing if I can make the plot and theme work and make readers happy.

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The BookWorm

Number Crunching #155

Actually figured 12/13/2009

Quicken Cash Flow = 785.23
STEF Total = 214.77

April Budget Meeting

Reconciling Quicken with bank statements: Done.
Reconciling last month’s budget: Not going to try to figure this one out because I didn’t make a budget. I know I didn’t do good because I got $75.00 in Overdraft fees.

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The BookWorm

Monday, April 13, 2009

Computer Crash Update

I put in the hard drive and the sound card all by myself, and they worked. Yes, that is an accomplishment for me since I have always been afraid I’d blow it up if I messed with any computer innards. Dad did have to come and help me because I messed up the settings and lost my D hard drive in the process. So I ended up having to install Windows XP twice.

So now I’m currently waiting to get the back up restored from Mozy so I can finish loading up all the programs. I did try just copying the program files that I had saved so I wouldn’t have to reinstall everything again, but Windows XP’s menus didn’t recognize programs that way. So back to reinstalling :p. The new hard drive has a 160 GB, so it should be a long time before I put so much on it, it won’t function. Though I am seriously considering if how I have My Documents set up is the most efficient way to do it. I have 80 GB on the D drive, and I was using that as internal back-up storage and 150 GB on the external hard drive that I wanted to be a backup for things I would have normally burned to a CD but now fear losing forever. The rough idea I have is that XP will continue running really smoothly if all I have on the C drive is it and other program files. I have no idea if that is actually true.

And it is so good to have sound again! But I discovered a hiccup that I haven’t figured out how to solve yet. I saved 5 YouTube fanvids before the soundcard crapped out on me with recovering from the February crash: 4 in a format that runs in QuickTime and 1 with RealPlayer. Despite reinstalling the latest free RealPlayer and seeing that the file is there and nothing appears wrong with it, it refuses to play. The program says it’s playing but the clip indicator doesn’t move, there’s no sound or video. The QuickTime vids play just fine, but the sound is practically non-existent. I have to turn the player’s volume control to max, XP’s volume control to max, and then the speaker’s volume control to max before I can hear a whisper of the music. I had to stop experimenting with it in order to reinstall programs, so I haven’t tested files that I didn’t save from YouTube or if resaving them in a different format would help. I also need to buy a couple of speaker extension cords; I can give myself surround sound now. :D

I spent a few hours rearranging the computer equipment on the desk and tidying up the cords. This is my second attempt to get all the stupid cords off the floor so I can vacuum under my desk without fear of sucking up one of the cords and causing expensive and painful damage. First attempt was with some nice clips that attach to furniture and walls with a sticky back. They open and close easily to allow you get to the cord in question without much hassle. I thought I had put enough of those up to bear the weight, but I figured wrong. All of them had detached from the desk.

While I was wracking my brains to come up with a solution that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, I mentioned the problem to my mother. “I use zip ties on your father’s stuff. Otherwise, we couldn’t walk around his desk.”

“That would bundle them together, but not get them off the floor.”

“Then just tack them up.” That’s when she showed me the zip ties she had. Whenever I need to make a bundle, I have a zip-tie machine that can fit around just about any size object and then cuts the plastic tie close so I don’t have any dangly bits. Mom had a package of all the same size ties that you don’t use in the machine, and they also had a built-in loop at one end. I pulled out the horde of cup hooks I ended up with for some reason of another, and hung the bundled wires from the desk with the cup hooks. That took hours to accomplish on Saturday. Plus I installed a new shelf in the bathroom cabinet and my body still hasn’t forgiven me for all the twisting into unusual positions.

Yeah, not a lot of writing or tax work got done this weekend. Which means once I finish reinstalling programs tonight, I have to finish the taxes and send them away. I’m not freaked out about the deadline because I always e-file (and I still have another month before state taxes are due), but this is just bad form. I thought not doing them until March was bad, but this takes the cake. Writing, not even taking longhand notes was simply because I had a computer in pieces and was rearranging the office for updated function (and something new to look at until I can afford my built-in idea) and the living room is still mostly filled with stuff I need to finish dealing with and get rid of. But oddly enough I didn’t need to escape any of it. I’m going to try to get back into the grove today while at work, since I can’t do anything with taxes until I get home.

Next up is replacing the computer’s backup battery, which should probably happen ASAP. After that, I can probably wait a while before getting a DVD burner, new video card, and the Dazzler set-up to burn my VHS tapes to DVDs.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Computer Crash

The home computer has started the "I can't reboot cycle" again, so I'm breaking down and buying a new hard drive and sound card now. I have to finish my taxes this weekend. But if you're wondering why I've suddenly gone silent, it's because the computer is in pieces.

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The BookWorm

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Nothing Like Waking Up on Time

There's also nothing like waking up before the alarm clock to cramps. Unproductive cramps, soon discovered as one stumbled out of the bedroom to the bathroom, takes painkillers, and mutters about the warning system really isn't necessary, crawl back into bed pressing down on stomach to make the pain stop, and then the alarm goes off.

Guess which wake up I have this morning?

though after the Aleve kicked in, I don't have any complaints. I exercises, I finished the Beloved reading hour, and got a crap load of printing done so I can edit BMFM: Turbo.

Verdicts from the meetings: Faulkner paper has to be completely rewritten, but I have a better grasp of where and what to explore. the topic may expand to Faulkner's use of sexuality, which may give me the opportunity to explore other characters I actually like. And we set up actual deadlines I can worked with for a Fall submission and graduation.

If I pass the second shot at the graduate exam on May 4th.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Hot Bod Countdown 1

First full week, and I screwed up on Tuesday by oversleeping and missing the workout. But I did get Thursday’s and remembered pushups. I got three of them, full on the floor! And I mean real pushups, not the girly version done on your knees.

Total points possible for 4/4/09 = 154
Total points earned for 4/4/09 = 94

3/25/2009 Starting weight = 199 (doctor’s office scale)
Week 0.5 Avg. Weight = 196.75 (home scale)
Week 1 Avg. Weight = 195.94

So onto the next week’s progress.

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The BookWorm

Kindra's Personal Score Badge

Friday, April 03, 2009

Number Crunching 154

Quicken Cash Flow = 306.37
STEF Total = 214.77
Amount Available to Spend = 62.91

Enter receipts into Quicken: Done.
Reconcile Quicken to online accounts: Done.
Add totals to spreadsheet: Done.
What did I accomplish during the week? I’ve caught up and stayed on target! I got Number Crunching #153 and #154 wrote and posted on time.
Plans for next week:>
  1. Handover the budgeted contributions for Linda’s retirement party

  2. Move cap and gown savings to where I can’t spend it.

  3. For the love of all that is holy, FINISH DOING TAXES

  4. Try out once a month cooking
    • Plan out the meals with what I already have in pantry.
    • Grocery shopping after I get my first paycheck for April.
    • Have to clean kitchen and fridge before I can cook

  5. Dispute the overdraft charge on the Demco 4/3/09 payment

Read Free!
The BookWorm