Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Games High Schoolers Play

It's Tuesday, so it must be that day that I repost something from the now defunct MySpace blog! Today's revisit to the past is from October 23, 2006.  

Today I ended up covering the girls' softball team.  Mostly freshmen, but there were a few sophomores, a couple juniors, and one senior.  I didn't have to do much--just monitor things.  They're getting in condition for the season which won't start until next year.

So, they finish up with their running, stretching, sit-ups, and push-ups, and they have five extra minutes.  What do you think they did with that time?  No, you're wrong.  They sat down for a game of duck-duck-goose.  I'm not kidding.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Twitter Help?

I've been on Twitter for nearly a month, and I still have no idea what I'm doing. According to my home page, I've only tweeted 21 times. Probably because I have nothing to say.

Anyway, this isn't a woe-is-me post, this is an asking-for-help post. There are some things that puzzle me, and so I thought I'd ask "the experts":

  1. What is #FF and/or #WW?
  2. How do you get those nifty shortened URLs for links? 
  3. What are Lists? How are they used?  
  4. How often to you tweet? How often should you tweet?  
  5. What is TweetDeck?  
There were other questions. I know there were. I just can't think of them now.

Please help. If you can answer any of the questions, I'd greatly appreciate it.  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Viewing the Wildlife

A couple nights ago, I went to lock up the house as I normally do before retiring. That's when I spotted it. That big white stripe along its back made it stand out even in the dark. I stood and stared as the thing meandered down the street, along the curb, away from my perch.


At least I was one story up, so I was in no real danger. It wasn't as safe as the time I spied a skunk crossing the street in front of my moving car (I swerved and missed). But it was better than that one very early New Year's sighting.

I prefer catching the squirrels running along the power lines. At least it's been a couple years since I last had a skunk sighting.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thinking About It

Before I sit down to write anything, I think about it. A lot.

I've spent the better part of today pondering what I'm going to blog about. Not continuously, but here and there over the course of the day. I was going to give it up as lost (since nothing was coming to me), but I didn't post yesterday, so I figured I should put something up today.

About then, it occurred to me that this thinking I do is part of how I write.

Last week, I got a couple comments about how I must be some combination of a plotter and a pantster since I don't follow my short draft very closely. I disagree. Just because my writing rarely goes according to plan doesn't make me any less of a plotter, I think.

I spend a lot of time figuring out my stories before I even start writing them. I spend a lot of time planning my blog topics before I even get online. I can't stare at a blank screen and put down the first thought that comes into my head. I have to have something in my head, a place to start, before I start.

I may diverge from the plan once I get started, but I can't start anything without something to start with.

That's just how I'm wired.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

IMing Old School

It's Repost Tuesday (the day where I repost something from my now defunct blog on MySpace), and since there was a big earthquake in Virginia, I thought that maybe I should find an old (and hopefully funny) earthquake story. There wasn't one. And then I realized that this would probably be in poor taste.

Turns out, I don't actually have an earthquake post from then, anyway. (Although, I have plenty on this blog in the archives.) So, this post from March 29, 2007, will have to do.

I doubt I was the only one who did this. You're in class, and you're supposed to be quiet. So, you and your friend pass a note back and forth, having a written conversation. Just like IMing, only with pen and paper. It wasn't just me, right?

Well, I know it wasn't just me, because they still do it. The class was supposed to be reading a short story and answering questions about it. Mostly, they talked. So, it was rather curious that two students ended up doing the back-and-forth note thing.

I acquired the note. And now I'm typing it out for you as well (leaving their spelling, grammar, and punctuation as much as possible). I can't be the only one to enjoy this. (Names have been changed to protect...well, just to be careful, okay.)

Her: Hi.

Him: Hi, h...ready to unleash hell on me...

Her: What the hell are you talking about?

Him: Michael was talking to me once about you.

Her: about what?

Him: you, stuff like you know stuff...

Her: like what stuff?

Him: oooo you know stuff anyways how life hows your softball going anything new interesting?

Her: TELL ME what stuff, things like that bug me!

Him: I bet it does doesn't that just fries your pickles lol ahhaha....but I don't know should I tell you

Her: Stop being a butt head!!! tell me!

Him: ok you know little things like...he breaths really hard and goes goddamed....and like when he looks at you doesn't it just feel loving? I could see the twinklz in his eyes 2 souls fighting to be together but never really feeling each other desires!

Her: Wow you are...wow.
You know what, I'll make a deal with you. If he really likes me, and he tells me that, then may be we can start talking but just talking.

Him: excellent!!!!

Her: but you Winston as you can not do anything to effect him.

Him: OK....but if accidents happen that I have no control off then ok...

Her: NO! NO! NO! you have to keep your mouth closed, and keep all of your little signs to your self too!!

Unfortunately, here is where they ran out of paper. So, we may never know what transpired after this. Ah, the joys of subbing.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jumping On In

I've been debating this all day. Actually, I've been debating this since April. Am I going to jump in and do Rachael's Third Writers' Platform-Building Campaign?

Yeah, I'm in.

The last one was fun. The best part was discovering all these interesting blogs. Some of them are now a regular part of my day. Blogs that I wouldn't have stumbled upon otherwise.

The list closes on August 31st. Come on. Join me.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Short Draft

As a writer, I'm a plotter. I have to know how the story is going to end before I can even think about beginning it. But, I can't outline.

I tried. I would sit down and try to bullet point each of the main plot points, but I couldn't get it right. I had a good idea of how the story was supposed to go in my head. Putting it down in written form was impossible.  

Eventually, I figured out the answer for me. I write what I call the short draft.  

As I'm plotting out the story, I write out a sort of summary or synopsis. Kind of what I want to happen in the story. I can work on this for weeks (a couple, anyway) until I have a cohesive story. Some sections I sort of skip over, while others I write out in some detail. The thing can end up being about 6000 words.

It's not a novel by any means, but once I'm done with the thing, I have an idea of where I'm going. I then take that document and turn each paragraph into a bullet point. As I write my first draft, I check off paragraphs as I write them into the story.  

So, I guess I do write an outline, sort of.  

Then, somewhere around chapter 3, I find that I deviate from my short draft. I start to go off on weird tangents. I add characters. I take out scenes that I thought would work. I rearrange events.  

Yeah, kind of like battle plans not surviving contact with the enemy, my "outline" doesn't survive contact with the actual writing.  

Ah well. I think this still qualifies me as a plotter.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cozy Redesign

Sometimes I can't leave well enough alone.

It all started when I got a nook for Christmas. It needed a cover, and being the knitter that I am, I had to make it one.

nook cozy on side

But as I used it, I found that it needed something to keep it from sliding off when I carried it around with me. So, I made a slight modification.

It was the best I could do under the circumstances. That is, it was the best I could do without starting over.

It has bugged me for several months now. The only way to give it a proper closure was to start over. Because of the way I put the thing together, I had to start with the flap. It wasn't something I could add on later.

Last month, I finally got around to revamping my pattern, and I kind of like how the thing turned out...

And I just finished (as in last night) a replacement for the one I made for my own nook...

New Nook Cozy

Which means that I am yet again between projects. Oh no.

What color cozy should I knit next? It's time to head to the yarn store, but I'm out of ideas. Help!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Guess I'm It

Michael Offutt passed along a meme to me with the comment that he's a bit sick of my reposts. So, Michael, I'm doing this on a Tuesday just for you...

1. Are you a rutabaga?  
Um, no. Not the last time I checked.

2. Who is your current crush?  
Ooh, this is a hard one. I have a few to choose from, but then I would be all sorts of embarrassed to admit this on the blog. In public. For everyone to read. So, I'm going to plead the 5th.

3. Upload a heartwarming picture that makes you smile.
I'm more into funny than heartwarming, but let me see if I can find something. I'll give myself five minutes and post the first thing I find that fits the topic...

4. When was the last time you ate a vine-ripened tomato?  
I have no idea if I ever have. I only consume tomatoes in ketchup and marinara sauce. And I buy these pre-made.

5. Name one habit that causes other people to plot your demise.  
Reposting stuff from my ancient MySpace blog? Yeah, that's a bit of a list. I guess you should ask that question of these other people.

6. What is the weirdest, most disgusting job you've ever had to do?  
I don't really do disgusting. And weird compared to what? I guess I'll go with changing the nephew's poopy diapers while babysitting. (Unless I come up with something after I post this. I probably will.)

7. Where da muffin top at?  
I passed muffin top several years back.

8. What author introduced you to your genre?  
Anne McCaffrey

9. Describe yourself using obscure Latin words.  
Latin? Really? I went to public school. I don't know no Latin. (Except for carpe diem, but that doesn't apply.)

Then I'm to tag some others. The thing is, I'm always the last to get these things, and everyone else has probably already done it. But, I guess I can tag Heather, who has kind of abandoned her blog, but maybe if I ask really nicely, she'll do one last post. Please? (If anyone hasn't been tagged for this meme yet, consider yourself tagged.)

Monday, August 15, 2011


I want this:

Budapest Nights

More specifically, I want to make this.

It's crocheted. I'm more of a knitter, but I think I can do this. I might even be tempted to buy the book (Crochet It. Love It. Wear It!) just for this pattern.

But I don't think I ever will make this.

It's not the length. It's not the sheer size of the project. Once I've finished it, I doubt I'll ever wear it (and I'll end up gifting it to my sister-in-law). See, I'm never cold enough to warrant such an item in my wardrobe.

But I can still dream about it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Teenage Wishes Part 16

There was this questionnaire called "The Wishes You'd Like to Come True". It was the assignment for a class at the continuation high school. I thought some of the answers were genius (or at least comedy gold), so I started "borrowing" them for my blog. (First post here. If you haven't been following this strand, you can see the rest of the posts here.)

Today is the last one. I promise. (Unless I run across this being used as a lesson plan again, but I kind of doubt it.)

As before, the spelling and capitalization have been copied directly from the students' papers. And this is from 2007 (this might be a factor in some of the answers).

The question: "The famous person I'd like to be. Why?"

  • none. because if I were to be famous I would want to be famous by my name only.
  • Tinkerbell. cause shes pretty.
  • I don't know. because their alot of people who I'd like to be.
  • Capone. Cool guy.
  • Parris Hilton. I love her lifestyle.
  • Oscar De La Hoya. Because he got 25 million dollers for losing.
  • Chris Brown. I love that boy and he is fine.
  • Vin Diesal. Vin Diesal is buff.  
This concludes the Teenage Wishes posts. Which was your favorite question? If I were to encounter this questionnaire again, what question would you like to see included? (I could always ask them to put a couple more answers on the back.)  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Teenage Wishes Part 15

There was this questionnaire called "The Wishes You'd Like to Come True". It was the assignment for a class at the continuation high school. I thought some of the answers were genius (or at least comedy gold), so I started "borrowing" them for my blog. (First post here. If you haven't been following this strand, you can see the rest of the posts here.)

I'm just about done with this. I don't know why I never posted the rest of these, but it has since become vital to me that I finish these off. As before, this was from 2007, and the spelling and capitalization have been copied directly from the students' papers.

Today's question: "The animal I'd like to be. Why?"

  • Dog. Because the girls say Imma dog.
  • Falcon. Because their killers.
  • bear. because they live in the forrest and nobody bother them.
  • panda. I think there just purreist thing.
  • A Donkey. Just want to.
  • A very cute chihuahua. Because how can you look at a chihuahua and not smile.
  • Lion. I'd rule the jungle! fun!
  • a dog. because my dogs have a good life well the way my mother treats them like kings.
I'm impressed that the student spelled chihuahua correctly. I know I couldn't do it without spell check.  

What animal would you want to be? For me it's a toss up between something in the feline family or some sort of bird. But that might change tomorrow.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Teenage Wishes Part 14

There was this questionnaire called "The Wishes You'd Like to Come True". It was the assignment for a class at the continuation high school. I thought some of the answers were genius (or at least comedy gold), so I started "borrowing" them for my blog. (First post here. If you haven't been following this strand, you can see the rest of the posts here.)

This question worries me a little: "The way in which I'd like to die and at what age. Why?" It's a strange one, but these answers are interesting anyway. Reminder: these answers are from 2007, and the spelling and capitalization are directly copied from the students' papers.

  • asleep at age 55. I don't want to feel anything when I die and don't want to grow old.
  • Shot and I don't know. Because its better than any other way.
  • Sleeping & 88. Because I don't want paint & 88 because I cant do much.
  • I would like to die flying off a cliff in a hotboxed car at the age of 87. Cause that'd be awesome.
  • Get shot at least 100-250 times from the neck down. So I could die like the movies but still look good when I'm in my casket.
  • In my sleep at age 60. Because its less painful (what they say...) and 60 is a lucky number.
  • 25 shot by a guy that feels I'm a treat (threat?). because that's the best way for a guy like me to go out. 
  • I wanna die by a drug overdose in my late 70's early 80's. Because nobody will know how I died.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Teenage Wishes Part 13

There was this questionnaire called "The Wishes You'd Like to Come True". It was the assignment for a class at the continuation high school. I thought some of the answers were genius (or at least comedy gold), so I started "borrowing" them for my blog. (First post here. If you haven't been following this strand, you can see the rest of the posts here.)

Today's question: "The time in history I'd like to have lived. Why?"

  • In the 50's. because I like how they dress.
  • late '80s early 90s. gas would be cheaper, to go rip up the road.
  • Early 1900's. so I can see the beginning of our country.
  • um 1845. Because I want to dress like them.
  • 1980. Because of the beggininning of metal.
  • 1950's. because alot of thing went on by that time.
  • 1970's. cause there are a lot of partys.
  • 05's. So I won't mess up my grades.
  • The early 1900's. because they all wore dressy clothes.
  • The 70's. So I could own all the muscle cars of the mid to late 60's instead of a honda.
  • 2006. Because it was fun.
  • When Troy happened with achillies. So I can kill people with arrows.
  • 70's. Because I would have enjoyed living the livestyle of the hippies.
  • 1980's. They dressed tight.
  • 1960's. So I can have met Marilyn Monroe.
  • In the old west times. So I could run around with a gun and hourse.  
Note: these answers are from 2007, and the spelling and capitalization are copied directly from the students' papers.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

Teenage Wishes Part 12

There was a questionnaire called "The Wishes You'd Like to Come True" given to students at the continuation high school one day when I was subbing (in 2007). Some of the answers were too good to keep to myself, so I've been posting them here.

I've been doing this for a while. The other questions and answers to this questionnaire can be found here.

Today, I'm posting two questions. First: "The number of children I'd like to raise. Why?"

  • 16. Because the girl I'm talking to wonna have 16 kids.
  • 2. 1 to be a rebel, 1 to be a child prodigy.
  • 2. Me & my sister were only 2.
  • 2.329. Because 3's just too much.
  • 3 or 5. Because 3 is my favorite number and 5 because I want twins then 3 kids.
  • 5-8. Cause I'd like to start my own tribe.
  • 1. Because my mom has 3.
And the second question: "The person I'd choose as my best friend. Why?"  
  • myself. Because you can't trust nobody.
  • Jessica Alba. She's hot.
  • Will Ferral. Because he is halarious.
  • Bill Gates. He has money.
  • Winnie the pooh. He is very loyal.  
As before, the spelling and capitalization is theirs. 

I have four questions left before I exhaust this thread. And two of those questions have so few answers that I might combine them into one post. Now I need to keep an eye out for this as a lesson plan again in the future.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Teenage Wishes Part 11

There was this questionnaire called "The Wishes You'd Like to Come True". It was the assignment for a class at the continuation high school. I thought some of the answers were genius (or at least comedy gold), so I started "borrowing" them for my blog. (First post here. If you haven't been following this strand, you can see the rest of the posts here.)

Today I'm posting various answers to the question "The place I'd most like to go is _____. Why?"   
  • Amsterdam. because everything is legal.
  • my house. because it is cool.
  • Heaven. I want to see how it is up there.
  • Europe. Because theres a lot of people I know that have been there.
  • Chuck E. Chess. I've never been their.
  • Irland. So I can legally be drunk in public.
  • Japan. My true self is in that country, people think I'm Losing it when I say so but its not true.
  • Work. I get money when I work.
  • Egypt. My girl is egyption.
  • Fiji. Because the water is warm, clear, and shark infested.
  • A lakers playoffs game next year. Lakers are my favorite team and I have never been to an n.b.a game before.
  • Europe. I'd like to travel the earth before I die.
  • Where my girlfriend goes. cause I love her so much and I will do anything and everything that I can for her.
  • Amsterdam. Illegal for cops to search you.
As before, the spelling and capitalization is theirs. This was done in 2007, so I wonder if any of them got to where they wanted to go. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Teenage Wishes Part 10

Yesterday was the last repost in the Teenage Wishes strand. I looked through my archives for the next one, but it wasn't there.

There were ten questions in the questionnaire. It was titled "The Wishes You'd Like to Come True". A teacher at the continuation high school left this for her classes one day. I thought that some of the answers were comedy gold, so I copied them into my blog (keeping the students anonymous, of course). Then I subbed for that teacher again, and she left the questionnaire again, so I repeated the process. Almost.

The first time I had this questionnaire as part of the lesson plan (there were several worksheets due that day), I completed posting the best answers on the blog. The second time, I got two questions in, and never posted the rest.

I have no idea what happened. But knowing me, I knew I had the rest of the answers tucked away somewhere. After two days of searching (not continuously), I finally found them. So now, four years later, I can finish what I started.

The question: "The way I'd one day like to earn my living. Why?"

  • Getting a job. Because the things, do for money now anit good
  • doing anything I love. because I'd like my job if I got paid to do something I'd do for free.
  • drug councelr. because I like to help people that need help.
  • rockstart. so i can have groupies.
  • Working hard. feels good spending money that you earned.
  • is by selling shirts. Its easy money.
  • a longshoremen. That's the way my grandfather and other family members did.
I find some of these answers fascinating. Some of these answers make me scratch my head. Students surprise me in many different ways.  

The spelling and wording was theirs.  I wonder how many of them achieved their dreams. (This was from 2007, so all these students are at least 20 by now.)  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Teenage Wishes Part 9

I used to have a MySpace account. I started my blog there. But after I had a few too many technical difficulties, I moved the blog here. I have since closed the MySpace account. I hate to lose all of my blogs from that time, so from time to time I repost them here.

The previous posts from this questionnaire are here. This was originally posted on May 14, 2007.

Okay, so I went and looked up the last time I did this. It was the beginning of March when I finished it up the last time. "The Wishes You'd Like to Come True".

I explained the premise last time (in May 11th's blog), and I did way back when as well. So, today's question is: The thing I'd change about myself...Why?

~my shyness. so I can be able to make more friends.

~think before I do. because I don't make the best choices.

~My attitude. Because I have a really bad one.

~The shoes I walk in. It's pretty complicated to live the life I lead.

~nothing. because I was born this way.

~my attitude. I know I get angry pretty faster than others.

~Nothing. Because I'm perfect.

~I'm too nice. Because I will like to be not as nice.

~They way I treat my moms. Sometimes I make her mad sometimes.

~Is my height. Cause people discriminate, jus cause your smaller people disrespect you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

On Twitter

I finally went and did it. I got myself a Twitter account. And I have no idea what to do with it.

I guess we all have to start someplace. So, I have a question for all the Twitter experts out there. Well, more like three, actually.

Any good tips for the newbie? What should I know so as to not completely mess things up? Who should I follow (besides you, of course, because I'm definitely following you)?

I'd appreciate any help you can give me. The comments are open. Thanks in advance. (By the way, I'm @ZiziRho. I'm sure I'll figure the link thing eventually.)