Oh ... Really?

Category: Midlife College Adventures

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Braggin’ Time

We briefly interrupt this mind-melting pre-midterm study session for a moment of bragging ...

My program was chosen by our professor to use as an excellent example of how to do that particular program. Yes ... MY program. The one I had to go upload in the dead of a dark and rainy night at the local Krystal while the Rent-a-cop was creeping me out with his zombie stare. Yeah, that one. She put it into a Power Point file and put it up on our class web site.


I hope my essay went over half as well. My thesis: "The Epic of Gilgamesh: the First Literary Hero and a Hero for All Time" and gave evidence by comparing Luke Skywalker in the (real) Star Wars epic, stating they both followed the Hero's Journey as described by Joseph Campbell. It was a tough choice of which modern hero to use - I also considered LotR's Frodo and the children of Chronicles of Narnia, but Luke makes a neater hero package.

Re: Questions emailed about the previous post ... Yes! I PUNCHED a LLAMA! 9 days! I love chocolate, anything decadent and indulgent, and my favorite color is purple ... or green with pictures of dead presidents! Or consult my Amazon Wish List over yonder! :coolgrin:

Now playing on Radio Paradise: Pink Floyd - Sheep
What are YOU doing to Save Internet Radio?

Posted by LissaKay on 03/21/07 at 10:55 PM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Comcast is teh eeeevil!

I am seriously hatin' on Comcast right now ... seriously. Bad Comcast! Bad!

So, I get home around 8:30 tonight ... sit down to check email, make a few calls, chill a little ... 'cause you know, I rock and got my programming assignment done like way early. I was feelin' pretty darn good, having knocked out some serious sweat at the gym, looking forward to a nice hot shower after a yummy salad or something. All I had to do was upload that assignment, you know, and the evening was mine all mine!

But noooooo!

My phone service is also dependent on the cable being there too. So I had to use my cell phone to call Comcast ... and try to fix dinner. Over 30 minutes on hold. Then, of course, all they can say is there is an outage, no they don't know when it will be back, and they apologize for my inconvenience.

So, here I sit ... at friggin Krystals using their wifi service. I just got my program uploaded. Thank goodness I have a thumb drive for work, I was able to easily transfer the file from my desktop to my laptop. But this place smells bad. The Rent-a-Cop is creeping me out. The music is on my nerves.

But ... I am done, I am going home and I am going to get that hot shower now!

Posted by LissaKay on 03/15/07 at 11:55 PM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

In the Zone

I now know what that means ... from a geeky perspective.

I have a C++ program due this week, the first one since before spring break. So, I sat down tonight to work on it. Three hours later, I look up and it's almost 1am. But! I am done! With two days to spare! (My "school days" consist of the time between getting off work at 5:00 and whenever I go to bed minus time at the gym, grocery shopping, cleaning house, tending to kids, etc.) I so proud of myself! I think I am getting the hang of it!

Something kinda weird ... one of the schools here in Oak Ridge had a seminar on web safety and keeping kids safe online and at Myspace (a creation of the very devil himself!) and, well ... I dunno. What do you think of this? Workshop for Parents. My good buddy at AtomicTumor was likewise listed. We are not the only bloggers in Oak Ridge ... indeed, there is a thriving on and offline community of bloggers here. AT is quite well known in the blogging world. I gained two new regular visitors recently, and my readership doubled. I had three kids go through that school, AT's are still too young - in grade school and pre-school. AT blogs about local stuff, as well as personal, and is a most excellent writer. I post a lot of personal whining and griping. We work at the same place, but in different departments. Our two previous jobs were also at the same companies.

Like I said ... weird. AT said it would have been fun to go to that seminar totally incognito. I agree. It would have also been fun to participate and share our online knowledge and experience with parents. What blogger doesn't like to talk about blogging?

Oy vey. It's late.

Posted by LissaKay on 03/14/07 at 01:49 AM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

To Be ... Or Not to Be ...

That is the question
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd.

~Wm. Shakespeare - "Hamlet" Act III: Scene 1

Yes, I just read Hamlet. Again. I also wrote a short essay. What comment is the play Hamlet making about the theme of appearance versus reality? A very interesting theme to explore. As I did, I realized how much I can identify with Hamlet. Isn't that sad?

Or maybe I am just stupid because I take people at face value, and assume the best. No matter how many times I have been slapped in the face, stabbed in the back or left standing by the way going "WTF?" I just don't learn.

I am bewildered by evil ... I don't understand why people can do evil, mean things. I don't understand why people betray each other and either try to hurt others for no reason, or don't care that they do, in the pursuit of their own desires, or to cover for their own mistakes and shortcomings.

Maybe I relate better to Ophelia?

Or maybe I should just put down the literature book and go to bed ... To sleep, perchance to dream ... Where I can go back to obsessing over the anachronism* in Stephen King's The Drawing of the Three** ...

It's Driving. Me. INSANE!

*There were no paramedics in 1959! There were no trauma centers either! Or a good understanding of shock-trauma and the Golden Hour!
Odetta would have died ... deader than dammit!

**Yes, I KNOW it's a novel ... a fantasy novel at that. But still! Mr King should know better!

Posted by LissaKay on 03/13/07 at 01:53 AM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Burning the Midnight Oil

With midterms upon me, I find myself wondering why the hell I am putting myself through this. It's certainly become quite a challenge. Sleep has become a precious commodity.

My house was a mess ... until my daughter got herself in a spot of trouble. She is now finding redemption in a mop bucket. Big doin's this weekend ... her 17th birthday and she wants to go to a wrestling show. She's working her little fanny off so that she can have that privilege back. I am getting a clean house.

Radio Paradise
I have rediscovered an old friend ... Radio Paradise is keeping me company while I try to cram information into my brain. I used to listen all the time, but wandered away from it ... no idea what insanity prevailed there. There is no way to adequately describe the mix of music they play, other than awesome. It is DJ-mixed, based on listener ratings. Some alternative, some world, some rock (classic, thank you very much). Their web site has a lively and active community. I haven't had time to check out their forums, so I can't pass along any recommendations one way or the other. Check out these tunes though ... you will thank me later.
128k MP3
64k/20k Windows Media
128k MP3 Firewall
More listening options here

Now, it's back to the books ... one more chapter to go. One exam tomorrow night, one Friday, a regular quiz Sunday and then it will be SPRING BREAK! Yay!

Posted by LissaKay on 03/01/07 at 01:39 AM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Friday, February 23, 2007

Gahhh! What day is it?!

Hello world!

I am seriously behind in ... everything. I have one class that is kicking my butt ... C++ programming. It just hasn't been clicking for me. For the last four days, I have been working on a project that didn't make one bit of sense to me ... until the very last minute. I have been spending every waking minute, and quite a few that should have been sleeping minutes, and hours, working on this thing. It was due at 11pm tonight. I was still sweating it at 10 ... but somehow a miracle happened and it all just rolled right on out.

So, I owe some emails, calls and follow up comments. I will get to you. Midterms start next week though.

It is sleep time now though.

Posted by LissaKay on 02/23/07 at 01:19 AM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hello World!

Hello? Yes, Hi! Hi there! There is a world still out there! I'm poking my head out briefly as I have somehow managed to achieve a free evening ... so to speak. By that, I mean I have time away from books and the gym so that I can go to the grocery store, wash dishes, sweep and mop the kitchen, clean the cat boxes, vacuum dust and do some laundry! Go me!

I think I have managed to get a grip on this school thing ... scheduling study time and assignments and doing the quizzes. If it weren't for Google Calendar, I would be totally lost though! I seem to be doing fairly well ... good grades on everything so far, and I am not struggling terribly to understand most of it. That could change though ...

I am encountering some pretty shocked responses when I tell people that I am working full time while going to school full time ... and doing it online no less. Honestly, I don't think what I am doing is all that incredible ... is it? Instead of spending this time reading about politics, the latest and greatest in technology and reading books, I am putting that time and effort into earning a degree. But it is very different from my other journeys through the halls of knowledge!

Amidst all this, I am finding time to work out at the gym, usually in the evenings. I had let myself go to the point where my weight was starting to cause health problems, and had already caused me some significant back troubles. I am not seeing a lot of progress yet, I had gotten really bad out of shape, but it is getting a little easier each time. I have to remember that I am no longer 20-something and able to just go and give it hell. But I think I am down a few pounds, and my resting heart rate is below 70 for the first time ever. I am working really hard not to eat fatty stuff ... being the good little Irish-Italian lass that I am, I do need my pasta and potatoes. Low-carb diets would never work for me, and in the past, I have literally melted off the pounds just by keeping my fat intake down. So, I am eating lots of chicken, rice, veggies, fish and using low-fat alternatives for mayo and cheese. And plenty of water!

Off to the store, now and then back to the books! Oedipus awaits!

Oh, and to everyone I care about ... please, do NOT screw around with tooth infections, abscesses and dental problems! Take the flippin' antibiotics and call the doc or go to the ER right away if there's any unusual pain or symptoms after a procedure! I lost one friend recently, possibly due to a tooth abscess that turned septic, and I just found out that another friend had a very close call with sepsis, and was in the CCU for a time.


Just a note to the obnoxious [son of a] bitch that has been following me around the blogosphere, leaving snarky notes, sending hateful emails and generally being evil: I will not go into detail for the reasons why I could not be there, but when I have a family crisis, that will take precedent over everything. Two months of stalking and harassment is plenty. Get a life and stay out of mine. Get it? Got it? Good. Now go to hell.

Posted by LissaKay on 01/28/07 at 08:03 PM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Saturday, January 20, 2007


OK ... this is not working out like I thought it would. I am too distractable and there is too much to do around the house for me to be able to concentrate on school work!

I settled in to try to participate in the online discussion of the essays we wrote for World Lit. Easy enough, eh? Right ...

As I pondered my contribution, I looked over and saw a pile of mail that had gathered during the past week ... so I sorted through it, filing away some of it, tossing the rest. Cool! A coupon for laundry detergent! Oh yeah ... I needed to get some laundry started. So I trudge back to the bedroom and started sorting dirty clothes into piles. Oops! I'm supposed to be writing for school! Back to the computer .... quick check on email ... someone on the KnitTalk list has a question about a knit stitch, so I looked it up real quick and posted back an answer. Might as well check the feed reader ... 30 minutes later, looked in the World Lit discussion. Well, I'll be damned ... someone else posted the same idea I was thinking about posting. Back to square one ... well, while I ponder, I can get cracking on that laundry .... but first, I need something to eat. Gotta wash some of those dishes too. And tidy the kitchen some. Eww! The floor is disgusting! Get the broom, and the mop.

An hour later, the floor is clean, I have eaten and a load of laundry has been washed and is in the dryer. But I still haven't made any progress on the discussion post ... and I still have a programming assignment to do. Oy! And I still need to change the bed sheets ...

So, I make a deal with myself ... get the bed done, write the discussion post ... and I will treat myself to dinner out at Panera where they have wifi and I can do the programming assignment from there. Good deal. Motivation and all that.

While changing the bed, I decide I am in need of a new blanket. So, my To-Do list expands to include a visit to Walmart to shop for a new blanket. I need a book bag too. And shower cleaner, so I can clean the bathroom tomorrow ... while I am supposed to be doing the DataComm assignment, and reading for the next World Lit essay.

But I fulfilled my goals and here I sit at Panera. I am ready to go on that programming assignment ... right after I eat. And the people are more interesting to watch than learning about C++ ... and ya'll keep blogging and emailing!

But at least I did get it done, eventually.

Added: Oh yeah, any plumbing experts out there? My washer drain tube goes into a PVC pipe that comes up from the floor, about 3 feet. Apparently, my washer drains faster than this thing can handle, so it backs up and overflows. I have to sit with the washer during the drain and spin times so I can stop the washer before it flows over. I know this stop-start, stop-start thing can't be good for the washer. I have poured drain cleaner down there, but I don't really think it's clogged up. It just started doing this a while ago, and is a major pain in the butt. What can I do to fix this?

Posted by LissaKay on 01/20/07 at 10:05 PM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I am freaking out ... seriously

Just what in the world ever posessed me to think that going back to school would be a good thing, and that I would be able to handle it and work and two nuttier than a shithouse rat kids?!? Oh. My. God. I surely have lost my ever-loving mind ....

This has been a nightmare of epic proportions. I should have quit when the first bit of fecal matter was flung at the propellers. But it is par for my course that if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. I am the living, breathing, walking, talking epitome of Murphy's Law, so I just forge ahead ... mumbling to myself that it has to get better, it just has to.

Oh no. Nuh uh. Not me! I am the Master of Disaster! Captain Chaos!

Classes started this week. First thing out of the gate ... the books for two of my classes are MIA. Of course, those two classes have assignments due already. I got one of the books at the library tonight after work. Now I am trying to read Gilgamesh, then I have to write an essay: Compare and contrast the character of Gilgamesh with one character who is being held out as a hero in the Old Testament. In your thesis, make a statement about how each character reflects a characteristic which is valued by his culture and have it turned in by 9am tomorrow.

Tomorrow, people! Then a quiz in Statistics Friday! Aaauuuuggghhhh!!!

And we won't even get into how my kids are bound and determined to drive me batshit crazy!

UPDATE: W00T! *struts around proudly* I stayed up ALL NIGHT doing the reading assignment, then writing what I thought was the most retarded essay EVAR! Stand back! I got 4 out of 4 points! W00T! W00T! W00T!

OK. I am not getting cocky. Really. Gotta get back to the books so I can ace my first programming quiz ...

Posted by LissaKay on 01/17/07 at 10:45 PM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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