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Saturday Blogging of Life: Chapter 3

As my imaginary audience may notice, I have changed my title to "Saturday" as none of my posts seemed to be ending up on Friday. Honestly, when I get back from school, I tend to laze and watch something with the family. Saturday is my recollection day of what I need to get done.

Speaking of which, this weekend was once more filled with a trip to the school for the same research project as last time. We already did the presentation portion on Thursday, during which cookies and coffee were being served (while pancakes were being freshly made just upstairs to help out students preparing for finals and the like...mmm, pancakes...), and today we had to work on the paper that's due on Tuesday.

Believe me when I say that writing scientific papers are not easy to do, especially with a <1000 word-limit. Four hours working and we managed to get 561 words. Well, at least afterwards, one of my group members took all three of us out for a simple dinner at a sausage restaurant. Apparently, they make their sausages themselves and have their own recipes and whatnot, so I was pretty eager to try the bratwurst—for I love bratwurst—and was a bit disappointed in the flavor. I think that's okay, since the food was free.

Speaking of long hours working, I seem to be on a roll. Friday is the ideal day to go home early, right? That's what I thought. But then, even with my graduate student mentor gone sick from the lab, I decided to take on my synthesis through the next step.

Big mistake on my part. I hadn't even done that step myself, and it had a lot of parts that could have gone wrong (I am still hoping it did not go wrong, I won't know if I did it right until I go back into the lab), and some potential for danger. I only got through it mainly because of my fellow undergraduate researcher whom had been doing his experiment at the same time and was familiar with the reaction...then he broke a piece of glassware that I was going to use that just so happened to be around $200...and then he ruined his own experiment from being distracted with mine. I just had to keep saying sorry, this poor guy had wanted to get out fast just like me, and luck was definitely not with him that day. It even turns out, that was the first time he had broken anything in a lab!

But, as it turns out, the experiment he had to set-up once more, which is a pain to do by the way, he managed to make it much cleaner and nicer than the previous one and finished up pretty quickly. As a result, he left at about 3 p.m., whereas I had to stay to do all the other parts of my reaction on tentatively-scribbled-notes and poor memory before I finished at 5:20. Even the graduate students were going home at that point, so I would not have been able to stay any longer than that. Such a tiring day.

And let's not forget my all-nighter on Tuesday night! This week was so hectic and filled with important deadlines, that I did not even bother thinking about the consequences if I missed any of them, because I just did them, one-by-one. If you happened to be curious, Tuesday night was spent doing research and organization to make a "discussion" on a real chemistry article, due on Wednesday, March 13 at 5:00 p.m. by e-mail. Needless to say, I was in the class for which the paper was due and could barely keep my eyes open! If I look at my notes for that day, I see scribble lines and unfinished words or structures, that is how exhausted I was.

Even now, I am falling asleep as I write this post, so I'll be stopping with this, and wish everyone a good weekend!

P.S. Wow, I can't believe I wrote all of this last night and did not bother to post before falling asleep in front of my computer. Now it's not even Saturday. Fail.
  • Current Music
    "Walking On Broken Glass" by Annie Lennox
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Friday Blogging of Life: Chapter 2

Uhhh...Friday?

Considering both this and the first post were both done on Saturdays, I may think about changing the title to "Saturday Blogging of Life" instead.

Now, for a Saturday, I have actually been pretty busy. Usually, I am of the sort that likes to take the first day away of the weekend easy and slow, never even getting dressed all day, and just all around relaxing. Today, however, was not destined to be as such. Near the end of the quarter, others can imagine that the projects and studying starts piling up rapidly to the point that you are metaphorically drowning in your school work.

I really think I'm being cheated with the one week spring break before going into another intensive quarter of classes. They could have given us two, at least!

Well, onto likely more interesting matters. Anyone heard of Critique Circle? It's a website where you can post stories and chapters and other members will give a critique when it is up for review, and you do the same for others. Mine is currently up from March 6-12, and I was one of the last on the list in the batch to get a critique.

The person, thankfully I would say, tore into my chapter (this is the third or fourth draft of the first chapter) on my run-on sentences and grammar and word choice and this and that. He also made a note a couple of times that the plot was going too slow.

This is not the first time that I have heard this opinion. Honestly, I wanted to take a more steady pace in the first chapter, start out peaceful, since there is no law in book-writing that says you absolutely have to start out action-packed or doing something dreadfully important. It is sad to say that people no longer seem able to hold their attention spans past the first page if something interesting is not happening. But, well, if I want readers to read, then I have to concede on some things.

My only problem was was that I did not know how to change my gradual chapter to have a significant hook that would appeal to the audience. So, when waiting for the bus today to school for my group project work, I pulled out my notebook that holds my story details like characters and places and wrote at the top "Changes to the Story".

Now, you might call me crazy for the next part, but I actually did do this. Instead of just trying to write ideas down, I decided to use a writing technique that I was told about (by Piers Anthony, many years ago when I would e-mail him for advice and talk to him about how much I loved his work) where if you struggle with dialogue, take a piece of paper and have the characters just talk as you would imagine people talking, and even asking each other what the other would say next. However, I slightly altered it so that instead of it being the characters talking for the sake of dialogue, I decided to have a conversation with myself to find ideas.

A conversation with myself...No, I did not create a split-personality for myself this morning.

I suppose one would call it personifying the two sides of a person's self that noticeably comes out when you have to make a hard decision.

Example: You want to buy a game console, maybe an XBox, but have not only heard it is not as good as Wii and you are nigh-on broke; what do you do to make a choice?

If you really think about it, your more emotional, instinctive side is going to disregard all of these reasons and go with the gut-feeling——you really want that XBox. That side is telling you to get it no matter what. Now, your more logical, thought-through side is going to keep saying you cannot afford it and that it may not even be worth it anyway in order to dissuade the emotional side of you from doing something stupid and unfavorable.

In my case, my emotional side was stubborn in wanting to keep my original chapter set-up, whereas the logical side said that that just does not work these days, and would then provide me with alternative ideas, to which I would reject or consider.

I identified my real "self" as the emotional one, seeing as one can probably relates more to their desires and feelings than logical detachment. It did become amusing, though, when at one point I said to my other self that the last idea they offered totally ruined one of the major scenes in the chapter; "she" (and I use this hesitantly as it still feels odd and gives too much credence to my other self as an individual being) replied, "Apparently it's too slow. What do you want me to do about it?", the "it" being the plot.

I had not anticipated there would be that much sass involved, but it turns out that this method worked. I found a way to change the chapter while retaining important elements while captivating the audience...I hope.

To finish this longer-than-usual post, I have managed to get my dad to watch "One Piece" in exchange for watching "Exosquad". A fairly good trade, as both are amusing shows. Though I am still a bigger fan of "One Piece".

Note: I just watched "Wreck-It Ralph" and it was awesome! Highly recommended.
  • Current Music
    "When Can I See You Again?" by Owl City (in Wreck-It Ralph)
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Friday Blogging of Life: Chapter 1

Monkey.

Yes, I said "monkey". This is actually what I was called yesterday. When I told my mom upon arriving at home yesterday from school, she became offended and immediately demanded "Who?!"

Well, let's just say you can count on arrogant, think-they-know-everything, chemistry graduate students in a research lab to assign their adorable juniors nicknames.

I have been called many names, along with "Beast", "Warlock" (I am a girl, no doubt about that, there is a long story behind this one), and any number of variations upon my name, but never "Monkey". After calling me such an affronting name, I almost demanded that if I am a monkey, then I want my banana, but held my tongue. I can only hope he does not make that a habit. He may be tall, dark, and handsome for a chemist, but I do not consider being called a hairy, 2-foot-tall, large-eared, tree-climbing animal flattering in the least.

I could definitely go for a lion, though.

Now that I have gotten that bit of my day off of my mind, on to the rest of my day and week.

Let's start with Merlin, that hit BBC TV show that you've seen in commercials watching SciFi but might not have bothered to watch...my dad decided to start watching it online, and a few episodes in he was hooked. He liked it so much, he went on eBay, found the first four seasons on DVD new selling for only $35 (mind you, these usually sell that much per season), and bought them. Well, then let's pop them into the DVD player and watch with the family and, as it always turns out, Dad was right again.

The show is great! Highly amusing, with a splendid mixture of seriousness and comedy that if J.K. Rowling had been able to watch this while writing Harry Potter, the entertainment factor of our angst-filled, teen-wizard's chronicles would have doubled. So like with any other great show I get my hands on in DVD, I indulged, and indulged, and indulged...so much so, my mind became mush, and the parts that were still intact replayed the ever-so-handsome Arthur and Merlin's antics over and over again even while I was at school.

However, some Merlin fans (particularly the British) will look at this and go "Four seasons? Hah! There are five! And since you aren't British, you can't see them yet until they come out on DVD in April!" Well, as the internet is a wondrous thing, I soon remedied that problem and managed to watch all five seasons in the span of five days. Nice, right?

Luckily, after I got that out of my system and got to the end, I was now able to focus on things that I was supposed to, like say...school. Thank goodness I got back on track soon, because I will be the first to say that chemistry classes not paid attention to are secretly vicious and evil specters that come back to haunt you on exam day, and they instill that little voice in your head that wails "Oh, if only I had paid attention in class on that day, I would at least be able to get partial credit. Ohhhh~ Woe is me!"

Been there, done that, hate it. I know I have many sympathizers in this, and they're not always in chemistry.

Next quarter, I graduate. Yay!

Just...do wish me luck that I may survive until then.
  • Current Music
    "The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)" by The Tokens
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Beginning of Fall Quarter

Hey my few readers that I do have!

Yes, I know that I abandoned this journal after avidly updating everyday for nearly two weeks. I tend to become really distracted. I know, I know, not a very original excuse, but that's what I've got.

Yesterday was the first day of the new quarter at my university. Lots of free food given out this week in the square, which I would find amazing if not for the fact that most of it is that medicine-like vitamin water and energy drinks. Ick. Otherwise, I'm pretty satisfied with my schedule. Here it is:

MWThF 9:30-10:20 Physical Chemistry
MWF 10:30-11:20 Inorganic Chemistry
MW 12:30-1:50 Science, Magic and the Passage to Modernity
ThF 12:30-1:20 Science, Magic and the Passage to Modernity

I'm trying to work in another class, called Reading Prose Fiction MTWTh 8:30-9:20, but I will have to placed on the wait list and wait for someone to lose confidence in passing the class before I can slip in. And what do you think of that SMPTM class? I think 75% of the people joined because of the "Magic" portion. To many's disappointment, the course focuses on creating a rational understanding of the cosmos in a society filled with Greek gods.

Good news apart from actual learning! Got to sit next to an extremely attractive senior in inorganic chemistry, and even more eye candy is found in my Science and Magic quiz section, what with the TA being a cute European (probably German). Life is good.

On to some more scientific matters, there is quite the hubbub about neutrinos moving faster than the speed of light. This experiment performed by CERN, if proven true, would disprove most everything of the physics and chemistry established to this day based upon the condition that the speed of light is the fastest a particle can move. I'll go more into this when I have read up on some more of the articles. Until then, please bear through my daily prattles.
  • Current Mood
    calm calm
Hollow Ichigo

WordPress

You know how they say that "Reviews sell books?"

I have been going around and around to hopefully get a review for my book when it comes out one day. So that's why I went on Author Center, a very helpful site for authors to write, publish, and market their work. Using the marketing portion of the site, I found that the Internet, as always, is becoming more pivotal in what people purchase, including books. Blogs even, if commented on enough for a book, will draw the attention of a critic to review the book.

That's great and all, just need to build up the blog enough to get the number of comments needed. And that requires WordPress, the mother bad-boy of all blogging sites.

Today has been spent customizing and setting up this blog, to which further improvement will be made in the future. However, I must say it is exhausting! I wish I could just write my story and let the publishers do magnificent jobs of marketing it. But no, not even traditional publishers are advertising books as well as they used to, leaving more and more of it up to the author.

Grumble, grumble…back to homework I go.
  • Current Mood
    drained drained
Hollow Ichigo

Fridays

Everyone seems to love Fridays…I don't. Let me explain just my Fridays right now look like:

5:30 a.m. Wake up and get ready for school.
6:25 a.m. Get on first bus to school.
7:10 a.m. Get off of first bus and run onto second bus to school.
8:25 a.m. Get off of second bus and hurry to class.
8:30 a.m. Lecture section starts.
10:20 a.m. Lecture section ends.
10:50 a.m. Quiz section begins.
1:00 p.m. Quiz section ends.
1:32 p.m. Get on first bus back home.
2:55 p.m. Get off of first bus back home.
3:30 p.m. Get on second bus back home.
4:00 p.m. Get off of bus at work (which is on the way back home)
4:00 p.m. Clock in for work.
10:00 p.m. Close up at work.
10:15~10:45 p.m. Depending on where my parents are at how late they are, get picked up from work.
10:30-11:00 p.m. Based on previous one, get home.

So exhausting! And then I work on Saturday and Sunday, so getting things done over the weekend is pretty limited in the other half of the day I am not there.

Well, time to get working.
  • Current Mood
    tired tired
Rin purple

Busy Mind!

My head has been filled with tons of ideas for my story, and I keep expanding the story more and more. Each one gives it more depth and tension and plenty of the elements that a story needs...at least in my own opinion, but I guess I am biased as the author. :P

So lots of car accidents here in Washington lately; I think the weather going back and forth between rainy and then in the moderate seventies is throwing everyone else off. There have been a number of semis involved, and I must say that I feel awful for the small cars that get into that kind of trouble.

On the topic of crashing cars, apparently, a drunken marine smashed into my parents' Expedition last night, and my dad did not let him go too quickly, choosing a good deal to say. Well, I don't know what he actually said, because when I questioned him, he responded that it made him tired thinking about it, so I'll just leave it to my and everyone else's imagination.

Back to brainstorming on the story, I have had to take notes on the things popping into my head (even when I was dozing in class earlier today, my waking thoughts transferred to my subconscious ones and gave me some material ^_^).

By the way, an older man on the bus next to me playing Muse "The Resistance" on repeat has gotten it stuck in my head, so that is the choice of music at the moment. O.o
  • Current Music
    "The Resistance" by Muse
Piper after bath on 3rd Day

Gathering Friends

I do believe at the moment that I am writing a blog to no one.......

Helloooo.......anyone out there?!

Haha. Now I'm just having too much fun. :)

Today was a lot of writing and going over many stories and trying to get friends here on LJ. For that, my eyes are anime sized from being peeled back as they have, while the rest of me sits comfy and warm on a bed all day. Why so contrasting?

Oh yes, it is still gloomy here, because, you know, that's the way Washington state is, even in the summer. Go figure. :P I don't mind, but I'm sure all those people on the verge of deciding whether to commit suicide or not are looking out their window for that last ray of hope in life, but nope! Big, dark gray clouds in the middle of summer. And that is partly why Seattle has the highest suicide rate in the U.S.

Well, I recently heard that Alaska was, but we've got a higher population density, so shove off! Just joking. >_<

I'll just go play with the kittens now...
  • Current Mood
    complacent complacent
Sesshy dream

Busy, busy, busy!

Ever have those days where you feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to do? And sometimes, you don't even have all that much to do, it just feels like it!

Yeah, it's one of those days. And now I'm sleepy. Damn…

Nothing particularly interesting to share today, though. I posted my first couple of paragraphs of my first chapter onto the writers_guild. Just need to finish an online Japanese chapter quiz, do the workbook homework, work on writing, and hopefully get enough sleep to wake up for tomorrow morning at 5:50 to catch the bus.

Meh!
  • Current Mood
    tired tired
Hollow Ichigo

Morning Blues

Okay, second day of seriously posting on this blog. O.o

Well, to start with, my left wrist is scratched up after giving one of our cats a bath yesterday. >_< At least she and all of her little kitties are clean now! Seeing fleas was really getting annoying. I've been up since 5:45 this morning, mainly writing, but now I have been sidetracked into formatting my journal page and everything, because I am unsatisfied with having left it as plain as it was. I really wish I could make a custom theme, though. Something cool like my mom's journal. It's REALLY COOL! Especially having that big picture of Aragorn like she does. If you want to see it, her user-name is slave_o_spike…

I do believe she is far quirkier than I could ever be.

Oh well. I just have work to look forward to in a little bit. Then come back and hit the homework some more. -__-

………Wait, I just checked with my parents, and I am working in the afternoon. *Insert swear word here* That kind of screws around with my schedule right there.

Well then, gotta go.
  • Current Mood
    cranky cranky