Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Need to Get My Head Examined

On Sunday I was talking with the girls and mentioned that I was feeling a little bit like I wasn't sure if I wanted to take any classes this winter semester. They all got the most shocked look on their faces and railed on me.

"You can't quit!"
"Just buck up and take your classes. We all want to quit, but we don't"
"If you quit we'll all quit."

I knew they were right. I'm so close to graduating with my BA in art. I really need to stick with it and get this thing done.

I'm currently signed up for 3 classes. I know I can only take 2 on campus to have the tuition-waiver because of being an employee. I've been trying to decide which class to drop.

#1. Digital Illustration - a retake from probably the most talented digital illustrator in the industry. He hasn't taught this for a while. I know people all over the country would love to take this class from him, and here he is right in my own backyard. I'm taking the class. No question. The only thing is whether I'll be taking it for credit (which I don't need since I've already taken the class once), or for audit. I'm swinging toward audit.

#2. Creative Perspective - I've been looking forward to taking this class for over a year. It is only taught in winter, so if I miss it now I'll have to wait another year. I love the teacher. I had Media Experimentation last year from him. He's professional, extremely talented (he designed for Dreamworks before teaching here), and fair. I'm not going to miss this opportunity.

#3. Online Religion - I need this one for graduation. It's an upper division class and a religion class. I need both, so I'd be killing two birds with one stone. But I can't take 3 classes through the college. I'll probably end up dropping this unless I audit the first and then take these other 2. That would still mean I'd have to do the work for all three.

I'm an idiot. I need to have my head examined. I don't know what I was thinking, but yesterday when I opened up my e-mail there was a reminder about the online class registration for LVS. I took digital photography from them last fall and loved it. And its SO CHEAP!!! $25.00 for a 6 week class. I really wasn't going to even look at the classes, but right before I clicked delete I noticed they had a new class. Illustrator 2.0 and 3.0. I use Illustrator at work all the time and I am always trying to figure out how to do stuff.

Before I could talk myself out of it I signed up. Excuse me while I go bang my head against the wall.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Let it Stop, Let it Stop, Let it Stop

My titles seem to be reprises of Christmas songs.

I'm getting a bit sick of the snow, though.
Oh sure, it looks so pretty. The trees are all frosted and serene. All the ugly dead grass is covered up in the sparkling white stuff. And cold weather has never bothered me. But I'm getting pretty dang tired of shovelling the stuff. I hurt my back a few days ago trying to lift more in my shovel than I should have. I've been very careful since then. Mike borrowed a snow blower and we've been taking turns with it trying to catch up. I worked for over 2 hours, all the while the snow continued to fall. By the time I finished there was another couple of inches blanketing our very long 200 foot driveway. I quit anyway. I was tired. This morning our neighbor brought over a bobcat and scooped out some more snow. He actually did more harm than good, though. The heavy bobcat combined with the chains on his tires caused the layer of snow already on our driveway to be broken up. It was a mess when we tried to go to church this morning. We almost got stuck in the driveway. At church we asked that very nice neighbor if he wouldn't mind coming over one more time and scooping away the sloppy mess. He came. It looked great. And now there's more snow predicted for tonight. If the dang stuff would just fall on the trees and the fields it wouldn't be so bad. Just keep off the roads. Is that too much to ask?
I guess I'll go to bed so that I can be rested up for another marathon session of snow shovelling tomorrow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

"The Weather Outside is Frightful"

We're having a blizzard. It's snowing and blowing. I wisely brought home some work with me yesterday so that I could stay home in my jammies and punch the time clock from my humble abode.

They didn't cancel school. I let Andy take my 4-wheel drive Explorer lecturing him all the way out the door, "now just because you have a big heavy vehicle, and just because you have 4-wheel drive does not mean you can drive like a maniac. You still need to go about 25 miles per hour. TOP SPEED! And DON'T tailgate. And drive defensively.........."

Well, you get the picture. Still, I'm going to be a nervous wreck until he comes home and shows me an undented car. They get out for Christmas break this morning at 11:30 so I shouldn't have long to wait.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Online Heaven, umm, I mean shopping

No lines.
If this place doesn't have it.....click, click click, that place DOES.
No carrying boxes out to the car.
**Ring, Ring** Open the front door and a nice man hands you your packages.
No crowds.
Often times cheaper than retail,
if you know where to look
and I know where to look.
Christmas shopping done early!
Yes! Now I can watch a movie with my kids, go make a snowman, whatever my little heart fancies.
I LOVE online shopping.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Excuse Me While I Throw a Tantrum


Okay, I feel better now.

Grades came out today. I received the grade I expected. Not an "A", and let's just leave it at that.
I wasn't the most talented student in the class and I guess talent counts for a lot more than
a. getting your work done on time.
b. turning it in in the proper format, matted, and on time.
c. following directions, and not creating my own version because "my way is better".
d. accepting the professor's critiques and working on my pieces more to incorporate those critiques graciously and without argument.

"Someone" in class got an "A". And this person didn't quite get the memo on the above rules.

Life isn't fair.
And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Just to make things clear:
My hair stylist - Superwoman
Me - Not

Lurkers, I know you're there. I see you. No use hiding. I won't bite.

Now onto other items......

Yesterday Abby got her wisdom teeth out. She's a real trooper when it comes to all things medical. Doesn't necessarily enjoy them, but doesn't whine about it either. She had to have a heart procedure done on the one year anniversary of 9/11. That was kind of a creepy day for me. We had to drive to Salt Lake City to have the procedure done at the University of Utah Medical Center. We stayed in a motel the night before. I think it was a Marriott. Anyway we had to get up very early that morning to drive to the hospital. Our car was in an underground parking garage. There was a bag pipe playing Amazing Grace in the garage. It echoed and sounded eery and mournful. Then we went to the hospital and had to sit and wait while Abby was in surgery. The TV in the waiting room was showing a tribute to all the people who had died in 9/11. I remember them showing picture after picture and reading their names, and my baby was back there having her heart operated on. It was just kind of a surreal day.

And through it all Abby never complained, never acted like she was being picked on, and was just a model patient. Just like yesterday. Today her cheeks are a bit swollen, but she's doing well. It's a good thing to have behind her.

Superwoman and Not

I saw superwoman on Saturday.

I received a phone call on Saturday morning.
"Hi Linda? This is Stephanie. I know I'm supposed to cut your hair at 11:00 this morning, but I'm running a little behind. Could you possibly come at noon?"

.....ummmm, I'd forgotten about my hair cut.......
"Sure Stephanie, noon would not be a problem."

So that gives me enough time to finish what I was doing and make a quick trip to the store before I arrive for my haircut.

When I walked in I saw Stephanie. She is beautiful. She's tall with perfectly coifed hair (of course) and always dressed like she just stepped off a runway. The model kind, not the airport kind.

Oh, and she's 9 months pregnant.

She came over and said she'd be right with me. Then I watched as she finished coloring one gals hair, instructed another gal on something, and then went back to styling on a third. Another gal who works there came over and asked me if it was all right if she washed my hair instead of Stephanie. Sure, I didn't care who did it. It's just a wash.

When I was washed and prepped Stephanie took over. We chatted a little bit. She has an amazing memory. It doesn't matter what I tell her --- SHE REMEMBERS! She asked me how I've been. I told her I had been extremely busy. A lady at work had to have surgery and I was doing both her job and my job. She said, "another one?" Oh yeah, I had told her about the first surgery fill-in that I did. I'd forgotten.

After a bit she told me she'd be right back and went over to help a gal pick out hair color. Then she instructed her "assistant" on how to mix up the color. Then she was back with me.

As she's working around me her bulging tummy kept bumping into me. Then the phone rang and another customer wanted to schedule with Stephanie. Stephanie said she could book for Tuesday, but she might not be there because of having the baby. I asked her how much longer she had.

"Well, I'm due on the 30th, but I'm already dialated to 3 and I'm 80% effaced."

I just stared at this wonder of a woman.

And hoped she'd finish my hair before her baby dropped onto the floor.

Its a puzzlement

It puzzles me. I can blog every day for a month and my readership shoots up to 2, or maybe 3 people. I can stay away, thinking I will be missed and then I peek back in and see that, um, no. Haven't been missed. My brother blogs rarely. He hasn't said a peep since May. I know for a fact if he opened up his blog and typed "boo" he would have 10 people comment. "Are you having a nightmare" "Is everything okay" "I'm so glad to see you are blogging again." and on and on. Other people are the same way. Nothing, nothing, nothing.....and then they blog. Within hours there are comments on there. 2, 3, 4, or more. Sometimes I think I should just disable all comments. That way I can pretend people really would like to say "hey" or "hi" or "just checking in with you", but alas, they are unable. sigh I'm just confused.

Friday, December 12, 2008

How Fun!

I found this website this morning.
Click on the link and then at the end of the link address type an "=" sign and then your name or something else fun and watch the penguin write it in the snow. How fun is that!

Example: http://www.star28.net/penguin_tebe.swf?msg=Mitchowl

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kitty Tail, um, I mean Tale

On Monday I got a frantic call from my mother. She said there was a kitten under her house. She didn't know what to do. She, along with everyone else, knows that I am the "Animal Lady". I told her I would send my daughter Joni over to see what she could do. I was stuck at work.

While waiting for Joni to come my sister climbed down under the house to try and get the kitten. You have to remember that it is COLD here! It was below zero a couple of days ago. And it was dirty and cramped under the house. I'm quite impressed that my sister made the trek, not once but TWICE. On the first trip she discovered that it was stuck down a long pipe. The pipe was too long for her to reach down, so she climbed out and got a towel. After climbing back under the house she dangled the towel down the pipe and the kitten grabbed on. It was then pretty simple to haul it up.

The kitten was very little. It was probably 4-5 weeks old. It was not very happy, and it stunk pretty badly. My mom kept it until Joni showed up and then Joni brought it home with her. The poor little thing was dirty, hungry and it's eyes kept gunking up so badly that it's eyes were glued shut. Joni used her awesome nursing skills and cared for it lovingly. She bathed it (with a little help from me), fed it every few hours, cleaned it's eyes, played with it and cuddled it.

Oscar was extremely interested and wanted a closer look, but we just didn't trust him too much. One chomp and the cat would be gone. Mike made a call to the local cat shelter and we made arrangements to take the kitten there.

This place is called Four Paws and it is awesome. They have a house, very nice inside, that is set up for the cats. The cats have the run of the place. There are cat beds, pillows, caves, posts, toys, and of course food water and litter boxes all over the house. And Joni said it was very clean! It didn't smell at all, and there were cats all over. They were calm, well adjusted and very socialized. Four Paws adopts out a lot of cats. They had a sectioned off place for the younger cats and a cage for the tiny kittens. Our little rescued kitty went into the cage where he was very happy to have some playmates.

The wonderful lady at Four Paws thought there would not be a problem with our little kitty being adopted. It was cute, tiny, and it is right before Christmas. All the ingredients for a quick adoption.

The thing that was kind of sad for Joni to see was all of the unwanted cats. 95% of them were full-grown black cats. It was a sea of black. Why aren't the black ones chosen? I wish I knew. Joni and I were trying to figure that out. Maybe they need really cool names, like "Panthro", "Destroyer", or "Steve McQueen". Can you think of any cool black cat names?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The End

Over 100 sketches - DONE

Sunday, December 7, 2008

93 and counting.....

My digital illustration class is winding down this week. I am working on my final project. It is posted on my other blog ready for the critique on Tuesday. Then on Thursday, the last day of class I have to hand in my digital sketchbook. There needs to be 100 sketches in there by then. ONE HUNDRED!!! I'm very glad I started doing these back in September when we heard about the assignment. I'm up to 93. Only a few more to go. And it's been a good thing. I can definitely see the improvement. My sketches last September are pretty awful. Here's one. UGLY!

And here's one I did recently. The one above took me an hour, the snail took me about 20 minutes. And I like it so much better.

And this one I did tonight. It took me about 10 minutes. I should be able to get my 100 done with plenty of time to spare.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Science Nerd Alert

This is fascinating.
There is a cellular slime mold called Dictyostelium, which has one of the more remarkable life cycles in nature. Individual cells of Dictyostelium roam the forest floor as free-living amoebas, but if food supplies turn scarce, they congregate in huge masses and assemble themselves by the thousands into a much larger multicelled organism that looks and acts like a slug. The slug creeps about for a while, then settles down and metamorphoses into something that looks more like a fungus. The blob of cells sprouts a thin stalk that projects upward perhaps a quarter of an inch. Then other cells of the slug climb up the stalk and organize themselves into a ball balanced on top. The outer cells harden into a shell; the inner cells shrivel into dustlike spores. Eventually the shell cracks open and the spores are scattered to the wind. Spores that land in wet places change into amoebas and slither off to begin the cycle anew.

From Life Itself by Boyce Rensberger, Nigel Orme

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pulled 3 Ways

I love my job.
Great people to work with.
Great hours.
Great benefits.

The Dean's secretary had to have surgery.
They asked me to cover her job and my job.
Sure, anything to help out. Besides, it's only for a month.

Our department secretary's Dad died on Thanksgiving night.
Very sad, and I've covered for her job before, so
I'll cover for her, too.

So far so good.
I run upstairs to deliver messages and take care of issues.
I run downstairs to sort mail, deliver messages and take care of issues.
I forward everyone's phones to where ever I happen to be.

Thank heavens for Diet Pepsi and caffeine.