Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Confused Kitty

I have a lot of reading to do this semester and my favorite place to read is sitting on the downstairs couch. The light is best there and it's pretty comfortable, but more importantly my dog and cat often join me, one on each side of the couch.

Today while I was eating lunch the dog got up on the cat's side of the couch. We have a towel there for the cat to sit on and the dog decided to sit on the towel. It wasn't a problem until I sat down to finish my reading for class today. As usual, the cat came over to sit on the couch with me—and she noticed the dog in her "spot." Twice she jumped up on her usual side and kept finding the dog there. So she tried to find another spot—the other side of the couch, the top—eventually settling on the arm for a little while, where she sometimes sits. In the meantime the dog stretched herself over my lap, making it very difficult to read. (Of course I didn't move her; she was all settled and snuggled in, after all.)

Thankfully the dog and cat have had some experience living in close quarters together and neither is too fazed anymore when the other one gets too close. When we moved from California to North Carolina they spent five-and-a-half days together in my car: The dog stayed in her seatbelt in the back and the cat roamed around. (The cat used to travel between Oregon and California with me so she's an old hand at long car rides.) I think the uniqueness of that event changed their dynamic; the dog still teases the cat once in a while but not nearly as much as she used to. (Age may have something to do with that, too, since they're both older now, but I'm gonna stick with the drive-across-the-country theory myself.)

I'm happy to report that today's couch story does have a happy ending for the cat. Eventually the dog got tired of balancing on my lap and rolled off the couch to go lie on the floor. (I think she heard a squirrel outside, too; she had to go to the window to check it out.) As soon as the dog left the cat promptly came over (seriously, it took less than a minute), settled in her spot on the towel, purred and went to sleep while I finished my reading. My cat's world had been restored.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Change in Plans

Another Friday, another post—anyone besides me sensing a pattern here? I really think I'm lulled into a false sense of security on Fridays about how much I need to do... especially right after a Thursday when I've had something important due (which probably means I stayed up late Wednesday working on it and still rushed to finish before the deadline on Thursday) and I feel like I need a rest. Since I never have anything actually due on Fridays I seem to think I can "relax" and not be as productive as I should be. Assignments for my online class are usually due on Sunday so I do have that to contend with, but since Saturday comes before Sunday it seems to provide a buffer for Friday.

This week I registered for spring semester. When I started my program last January I wasn't sure how long the program would take; eventually I decided on 2.5 years, so graduating in spring 2011. If you go full-time it's designed to be a two-year program, but starting in the spring throws things off because of when the required classes are offered. In particular, a course called "capstone project" is offered only in the spring, and it's designed to be the last class you take before you graduate. (The capstone project is in place of a master's thesis; as the name implies it's really just a semester-long project, not a real thesis.) It's also recommended that you take the capstone project course alone if you possibly can since it requires a lot of work. I'd be done with the majority of my classes in spring 2010 so I decided I'd start looking for a job starting in summer 2010, then just take the two classes I had left (one class in fall 2010 and the capstone project in spring 2011) while working full-time. They're both evening classes and plenty of people do the program while working so that was my plan.

Until about a week ago. While thinking about what courses I need to take next semester my plan of waiting until May 2011 to graduate started sounding a lot less appealing than doing the program in two years and graduating in fall 2010 (Dec. 2010). The only way for spring starters like me to do that, though, is to take the capstone project course the semester before you graduate—so you still have at least one course to take afterward (the required class only offered in the fall) and possibly other courses, too, depending on how much you've done up until then. To make a long story short (or maybe it's too late for that—oh well) I've decided to do it that way and take the capstone project course next semester in order to graduate in Dec. 2010 instead of May 2011. It means I'll put off my job search for six months longer than I'd planned but that's a relatively minor detail for us at this point. (When I went into this we expected I'd be out of the workforce for two full years.) It also means I won't be taking the capstone project course on its own and will be taking another required class with it, but since it'll only be two classes instead of the three I'm taking this semester that still sounds like a huge relief to me right now. I'll need to take two classes instead of just one in fall 2010 but that's ok, too, since I won't be trying to work at a full-time job then.

I'm not the first person in the program to take the capstone project early and I won't be the last; plenty of people do it so there's definitely a precedence. Now I have to come up with a project a year earlier than I thought I would—YIKES! I talked to my advisor yesterday and found out I'm going to have to turn in a short proposal for my project this semester, probably by Thanksgiving—DOUBLE YIKES! I've had some vague ideas of possibilities for a while but having to think about them concretely now is an entirely different matter. I'd really like to do something Web-related if I can. Redesigning a Web site is a common project; anyone out there have a Web site they'd like created or redesigned? I did one as a semester project for a class last semester (the class was on Web design) that probably would have been a good candidate for a capstone project; that was then, this is now. Apparently my project doesn't have to be "real" (related to an organization that actually needs whatever I do) and I can make it up out of thin air, but I'd really like it to be something real (related to an organization somewhere) if I possibly can. So I'll be giving it some thought. And hoping for a revelation, which is welcome to come any time now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Hubby!

Today is my husband's birthday. Happy Birthday, hubby!

I promised I'd make him a pecan pie for his birthday. Ta da...

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Forcing of the Twitter

I joined Twitter this week. I'd been thinking about doing it for a while; not for personal reasons but because one of these days I'm going to need to look for a job again and I know employers sometimes use it to communicate with applicants. I've also heard of social media-related jobs only being posted on Twitter and Facebook (or posted in those places first) and I figure that could potentially be useful. However, that's not why I signed up right now. My reason was much simpler: I had to for an assignment for my social media class. There you have it.

So I'm on Twitter now and I have to say I'm really not sure what all the hubbub is about. I'm "following" (as it's called) a few people that I knew had Twitter accounts and I'll be following some organizations for the class assignment, but honestly when I think about going out and finding lots of people to follow and trying to get people to follow me I'm really not all that inspired. First, I live in the dark ages when it comes to cell phones (I don't have a smartphone, Internet access, or use texting) so I won't be doing the mobile thing with Twitter and that makes it just another Web site to check. I have no desire to know what any celebrity is doing at any particular moment; in fact I can't really think of ANY individual that I'd like to know what they're doing ALL the time. I tried to think of some organizations I'd like to follow outside of the class assignment but so far even there I've come up empty. One organization I thought of was K-LOVE, the radio station I listen to; I think they do more with Facebook than Twitter but still, they're there. I looked at their Twitter page but while I like listening to the station and hearing their stories on the radio I'm really not into following artists and all that so I'm not sure what following them on Twitter would accomplish.

Maybe in the future I'll find more use for Twitter as a communication tool. For now it seems like a lot of people use it just to toot their own horn... I already use this blog for that!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Day Off

I took yesterday afternoon off from schoolwork. Here's what I did instead:
  • Two loads of laundry
  • Swept and washed the bathroom floors
  • Vacuumed the house
  • Vacuumed the stairs (a separate task from vacuuming the house as far as I'm concerned)
  • Took out the trash
  • Washed my car, including washing all the windows inside and out (first time I'd washed it since April—it was time)
If none of that sounds like a very good day off you won't get any arguments from me.

I could really use a real day off. Unfortunately, I feel like I'm barely keeping up as it is and if I take a whole day off—really take it off—I'm afraid I'll fall behind so fast it would make your head spin. (Or make mine spin, which is probably more important in this case.) This Thursday and Friday are fall break at NC State which, as far as I can tell, won't mean a whole lot to me. It means the two classes I have on Thursday evening won't meet so I'll get a break from that. I'm planning on using the time to do some group work I need to do for one class, though, so I'll be going to school for that instead. (So I won't even save a trip to school this week.) One of the classes isn't meeting on Tuesday evening, either, since the professor is out-of-state this week presenting at a conference. So I get a slight break due to that, too. I'll still have to go to campus on Tuesday for the other class, though, so I'll still be making that trip to school. No rest for the weary.

Hopefully with the break in those two classes this week—and actually not having anything due during the week (until next Sunday for my online class, that is)—I'll FINALLY have a chance to catch up on some things and maybe even get a little ahead. (If I do it'll be short-lived, I'm sure, but every little bit helps.) Getting some things done around the house would help a lot, too; as much as I hate cleaning and doing it yesterday was hardly relaxing it was a good start. Hubby said he'd vacuum my car this week, too; I'm pretty sure it hasn't been vacuumed since we moved to North Carolina over two years ago so having that done will be really nice.

The reality is I probably won't have a real day off until the semester is done in December. So I have a question for all of you: What do you do for fun on a real day off? Maybe you'll inspire me—or at least give me some ideas for December!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Hubby and I were married 5 years ago today. Happy Anniversary, hubby!

Hubby replaced the wallpaper on my computer with this picture so it greeted me when I turned on the computer this morning. We had calla lilies at our wedding.