August 23, 2008

Capitalization Makes Everything More Important!

I am currently Reading some Academic Documents for purposes I will not Reveal in order to protect the Innocently Irritated. I'm pretty sure the Section I'm looking at is not from My Institution, so I feel Justified in mocking It.

I believe that my favorite part is where the Writers capitalize Certain Words that the Writers believe to be Important in order to give them Emphasis they do not deserve. For example, the word "Reviewers" should not be capitalized unless that is the Proper Name of a group of People, which I Doubt. In addition, if I am giving someone Feedback, there is no reason to assume that it is so important that it Needs to be Treated like a Proper Name. Also, if I have Strategies and plans, then either both are proper names of some copyrighted phrase and they should both be capitalized, or neither of them should be Capitalized. In any case, capitalization of proper names should be Consistent.

I must say that I am enjoying this Academic Work because it is Teaching me new and interesting Guidelines for the Capitalization Rules, if for no other reason than that it Proves what I've always Believed to be True. Academic Organizations that are in charge of Regulation have really Nothing Better to do than trademark Key Terms and then use them to Create a sense of Importance that they do not deserve.

I'm glad to know that the Future is in such Capable Hands. Such Innovation is Key to a Successful Future.

Posted by LoWriter at 12:25 PM | Comments (6)

August 12, 2008

Apparently, One Pound and Bigger Pants Make All the Difference

So, I have been losing weight slowly since February. I'll lose a couple of pounds, and then I'll plateau. Then I'll lose a few more and plateau. Then I'll gain two and lose three and plateau and so forth. But the general trend has been the tune of 32 pounds as of this week.

I have to say that I was disappointed all spring and summer with the sluggish crawl of my weight loss, especially when my husband-to-be dropped some weight in what seemed like a weekend and everybody noticed him but didn't notice me. (Please understand that I am not bitter--I am very proud of my man. He worked very hard.)

So I told myself what I've always told myself. The next time I lose weight, it's going to be healthy, or I'm not going to do it. And not even thinking about the weight loss so much as the health factor of the meals and activities in my day is about the healthiest way I can lose weight. And if my body wants to fight me every step of the way and take six years to do it, then that's the way it has to be. It's nobody's fault but my own that my metabolism is shot to hell.

So, even when I went down a pants size and no one noticed, I told myself that was just fine. I finally got over my month and a half slump after my vacation and was able to lose two more pounds: one two weeks ago and one over the weekend. And even though my capris and some of my shirts are to big for me, I've been wearing them because I don't really feel like buying new clothes. I just have a brief layover in this size; I'm not planning to tour the city and buy a T-shirt to remember it by.

And apparently, that last pound was a doozy because everybody I've seen in the last two days has been complimenting me on how good I am looking. Even if I just saw them two weeks ago. That or they only noticed because I went from my smaller jeans to my too-big dress pants yesterday because that is all I have that I didn't wear out on my way up to my old size.

So, in any case, it's very rewarding to have people finally notice. It's still a little weird, though, that one pound can make so much difference.

Just a few musings. My flammable entry from yesterday is much better. Feel free to read that instead. ;)

Posted by LoWriter at 12:47 PM | Comments (4)

August 11, 2008

Nothing but Flammable!

So, around where I work, there is a lovely little trail. It has a name, which I will leave off because I don't want to identify where I work. Suffice it to say that it is a named trail that goes through the woods, around the sports fields, and then back into the woods. At three spots on this trail, there are little sign boards with little painted frames and little ledges above them. The first two have things on them, and the third maybe had something on it at one point, but whatever it was was so drastically faded that it appeared to be nothing. The third one is just before the trail dips back into the woods.

As I rounded the little bend just before the third sign today on my lunch break walk, I heard some people talking, but I didn't think anything of it because there were people working on something unidentifiable (by me, anyway) in the middle of the fields (possibly the sprinkler system?). As I came around and the sign came into view, I noticed something unusual.

Namely, that it was on fire.

Now, I have had experience with fire because of the one weekend of my life when I got to experience every aspect of emergency and law enforcement. (It's not as exciting as it sounds--a haybale starte on fire.) So, I knew that people on the other end of a cell phone call have a tendancy to freak out if you yell that something is on fire. So, I calmly called the main line for the school, which patched me through to Security, whom I calmly told that the sign was on fire after identifying myself as an employee of the college.

"Well, is it a big fire?" they said, bordering on frantic.

"No, I wouldn't say so. You could put it out if you had a bucket of water," I responded calmly, not wanting them to call the fire department for a small sign fire.

"Well, did someone set the fire?" he said accusingly, which threw me a little. Aside from the fact that I am a fine, upstanding employee of said institution and have been for over five years, I am quite afraid of fire, and therfore would never play with it on my lunch break.

"Well, I don't know. I just came around the bend, and it was on fire," I said a little testily.

"Ok, I'll be out in one minute." I was halfway to the workers, but the officer told me to stay by the sign, so I turned back, especially given the fact that he seemed to believe that I was somehow involved and had, of course, decided to call him, anyway. It occurred to me that I had a water bottle in my hand and that maybe I could put the fire out. This did not go well because by this time, the fire was melting the very thick paint that coated the sign.

After several minutes, I could see the security van on the other side of the field. Now, keep in mind that there are only three signs on this trail. I waved my arms. The security van turned around and drove back into the woods. Never to be seen again until the fire was safely out.

By this time, the entire sign was ablaze, and I had had enough. I walked calmly across the field to the workers and said, "Hi, do you all have some water or something? Because that sign over there is on fire." They stared at me.

"What sign?"

"Uh, the one over there that is on fire? See the flames?"

They stared at each other for a minute, and then the older of the two finally saw it and yelled at the other one, "Take that and go put it out!" then said to me, "He's got a fire extinguisher, so he'll go put it out."

"Thanks!" I said, as I followed.

The younger guy put it out, and as I walked up to join him, he said, "Did someone set it?"

"Well, I assume so. I called Security but...." I shrugged. And then, the security van triumphantly drove across the field, apparently lured by the cloud from the fire extinguisher.

"Oh, did you get it out? Thanks so much there!" At this point, apparently the guy recognized me and went, "Oh, thanks! Thanks for letting us know!"

Thanks for letting you know??? If it hadn't been for me, it would still be on fire and you would still be driving around the woods looking for it.

In any case, the fire is out, and I am safe. And the arsonists escaped into the woods as far as anyone can tell. The woods which I then had to walk trhough back to campus. I think maybe I'll stay off the trail for awhile.

Posted by LoWriter at 05:24 PM | Comments (3)

August 08, 2008

So What've YOU Been Doing?

I have been very busy.

First, I went on a whirlwind trip across the country, which was awesome. It was a good choice to go even though for awhile there I thought it wasn't. Don't get me wrong; I'm glad to be home, but it was fun to go.

My youngest sister and I flew out to Boston. (We had a layover in Philly, which, whether or not it is ACTUALLY the city of brotherly love, neither of us every wants to see again. We spent about four or five hours in Boston before catching a bus to Portsmouth, NH, which is where the middle sister was doing her internship this summer. The next day, we went to Maine, where I got to see Longfellow's boyhood home, which was really cool. We also got to see Freeport, where everything has to be built in a house. We also went to an antique shop where I found a tea cup and saucer set that I really loved, so my middle sister got it for me for my birthday. We also went to a lighthouse, which I don't want to talk about. Suffice it to say that I never need to see another lighthouse again.

The next day we spent time in Portsmouth and we took a harbor cruise. We had really great crepes, which were very yummy. We also saw a submarine and ate ice cream.

The day after that, we packed up and drove through Vermont, which is lovely, and wound up in Niagara Falls. We had dinner and then went to see the falls at night. It was amazing. There are a few pics on my Facebook page if you are interested. The next day, we went to Cave of the Winds and then rode on the Maid of the Mist boat. These were a lot of fun. You had to wear full length ponchos, which was hilarious. Then we left and drove to Indiana for the night.

We had lunch the next day in Chicago, and then we drove all the way home. We got home at 9:30, and then I got up the next morning and went to work.

At which point 10 and Dr. G came into town! Hooray! We had a great girls' weekend, and they helped me start shopping for a wedding dress, which would have been an overwhelming task without them. 10 was nice enough to make appointments with a bunch of different places, and we went all over looking at dresses. All in all, it was a positive experience, and I was very nervous when we began. I am pretty large (though getting smaller--32 pounds lost since Feb.) (and I am ok with my size...I am losing weight in a healthy manner), so I was fairly sure that I would not find much. 10 saved the day, though, by doing research. I got to try on a ton of dresses. We ended the day at a well-known chain which will remain unnamed (but the name pretty much screams wedding) where we were insulted and bullied by a person we are referring to as "The Tanerexic." She was mean. And pushy. And she was apparently uncomfortable with my weight. And we totally needed booze by the time we were done with her. She argued with us about everything--from the fact that I don't like halter top dresses to the fact that I want a specific dress with a specific neckline for my bridesmaid dresses. It was very obnoxious. But she gave us a good laugh over drinks, so you can't beat that!

We also got to go to Bethel and shop and play Settlers of Catan and shop some more during our weekend of fun. They liked the fiance, so that was good! :) Well, Dr. G has met him and liked him before. It was great to have them both back in the Cities.

So, that is my life, folks. I suppose I should try to keep it shorter, but I know you were dying of suspense. Dying, I say. ;)

So what have YOU been doing all summer?

Posted by LoWriter at 10:36 PM | Comments (2)