25 Years Ago(-ish), I Started College

Around 25 years ago, in late August 1992, I started college (erm, university for you British English speakers out there). It’s a right-of-passage many Americans go through every year when they’re 18, and I’m sure there are many stories about how that first year went for a great many people. Maybe my experience was unique, but I’m pretty sure it’s not.

What I can tell you is I remember my Mom crying when I started college at Northern Illinois University. My excitement due to my freedom was tempered by how upset she was. Being the very anxious person I was and continue to be, I wondered if I’d made the right choice. As an aside: my counselor keeps telling me I do things to please other people instead of myself, and I’m not living my life authentically if I keep doing this. On the other side of this argument, I stayed at college because it was what I wanted, even though it did hurt my mother initially (and maybe it was more of a, “Oh my God, my oldest son is 18 and leaving home and I can’t protect him any more”, which I understand but I’ve never been through so I can’t compare that experience to my own experiences).

Sorry. I digress. You should be used to that by now if you read any of my blogs.

Read 25 Years Ago(-ish), I Started College

A Happier New Year, 2017 Style

When another New Year rolls around, quite a few of us make resolutions to make this year different from the last.  We’re going to lose weight, or stop drinking so much, or run three times a week.  How often we stick to these resolutions really depends on our outlook and our drive to make such a significant change in our lives.
Read A Happier New Year, 2017 Style

Happy New Year… Nearly a Month Late!

Happy New Year… nearly a month late.

I have to admit that after I posted my Christmas decoration blog, I was facing burn out with all the tasks to complete at work (results, diplomas, international examinations, graduation, et cetera) and once we hit the Christmas break, I vowed I wouldn’t do anything I didn’t want to do and just relax.  It worked pretty much, which, for me, is no small feat.

Christmas came and went too fast for us.  Noel wasn’t well most of the break, so that meant we really didn’t do much.  To be honest, that was fine by me because I spent the time doing stupid silly things like playing Sims 3 (which ended up being more stressful than not because the damned newest expansion pack, Seasons, doesn’t work very well on pretty much everyone’s computers) and being a little creative.

The New Year hit me rather hard.  I admit, I cried.  I was glad to see the end of 2012, which had been such a roller coaster of a year for me, tacked on to the end of 2011 like the false ending of, well, a roller coaster you think is going to stop but it picks up again for another final lot of thrilling and scary spins.  I missed Jenah.  Some of my friendships seem to be getting more and more distant, and it’s hard enough to try to make friends in Christchurch as is.  I was homesick.  But I was finally feeling emotionally slightly better.

2013 arrived, and, at first, it felt no different from 2012.  There was still that apprehension about work with the Targeted Review of Qualifications (TRoQ) and our upcoming External Evaluation and Review (EER), all through NZQA, plus the looming threat of whether we’d get enough students to meet our funding requirements.  No pressure.  No pressure at all.

I don’t know why, but something came over me to say that life is not all about work.  I seem to be going back to that message all the time.  My parents and grandparents instilled in me the value of working hard in the job you are in to be successful, but this wave of longing to expand my horizons, almost to the level of panic, rushed over me.  And then I felt suddenly positive and creative and raring to go with that.

One of the creative ideas I have been toying with is creating my own Star Trek movie using CGI.  I have seen some excellent ones and some not-so-good ones, and it irks me that some of the not-so-good ones act like they are better than Aliens.  I’m not that great with the whole CGI thing but I do have a sharp image in my mind about settings.  It would obviously not involve the characters established in the movies and TV shows, so part of the challenge would be to set up new characters the viewers would care about.  And I was also thinking of cobbling together some of my ideas and characters in my fan fiction universe to accomplish the movie (although only a featured starship, one of the enemies, and a region of space would show up with a few cameos from some of the other characters).  I have been thinking of a good piece of drama.  Sure, there could be a few phaser blasts here or there, but a character drama really is what has made some Star Trek episodes and movies great in the past.  Plus, whoever helps me with the CGI won’t die from establishing too many special effects shots!

Another challenge would be to build up my non-Star Trek writing.  The problem with this has been that I get so bogged down in consistency that I can’t seem to just write something down and worry about the nitty gritty later.  I did have a successful shot at writing a short story for an anthology I wanted to create, although it worries me because the supernatural angle seems to have been done a bit too much.  I want to make it as realistic as possible from several different characters’ viewpoints but hopefully leave the stories ambiguous in the readers’ minds as to whether or not the characters are reading supernatural things into everyday events.  In my mind, this could lead to starting my Masters in Creative Writing in 2014, because I need to have several stories built up in a portfolio before I apply.  The thing that worries me is I feel very devoid of ideas right now.  The same old ideas keep churning over in my head, and I’m trying to distance myself from anything that can be construed as autobiographical or semi-autobiographical to be honest.

Of course, in all this, I’m afraid I won’t do well enough or that the standard I set is too high and I can’t reach it or I’ll just plain burn out or lose interest before I finish.  And the biggest worry is rejection.  But then again, what do I have to lose if I don’t do it?

Just last week, I received some devastating news.  My cousin Greg, who was a year younger than me almost to the day, passed away suddenly.  It has rocked me to the core, and made me more apprehensive about my own destiny and my own life.  If the earthquakes have taught me anything, it’s that you don’t know what’s around the corner.  Do I work my butt off to get these things I listed above done, and hope my work somehow becomes a footnote in history, or do I just drift my aimlessly in life like a boat without a rudder and hope I’m remembered for good reasons when I go?

Yes, 2013 is going to be an interesting year indeed.

Stupid Foot

Okay, so my whole New Year resolution was to get back into shape, right? For those of you who don’t or didn’t know, in 2006, I got ill, and, as a result, I was on steroids and couldn’t do much of anything for several months, mainly because I was exhausted. Not mentally exhausted, just physically exhausted and pretty much unable to do anything moderately strenuous. Anyway, to cut a long story short (too late), I gained weight: something I haven’t been very happy with as of late.

Well, finally, after our last cruise, I finally feel 95% like me again. Not so tired any more, which is great, and so I feel I can finally focus on fitness again.

Noel and I went out a few days after our cruise and looked at treadmills. Smith City (a New Zealand version of let’s say maybe a sad K-Mart or wanna-be Sears) had a few treadmills but they all didn’t go up to the right speed for running and were somewhat shoddy in their construction. In addition, the guys there knew pretty much nothing about treadmills (a big problem for Smith City and another reason I dislike the place) and so, Noel and I thought we’d wait for another day. They told us to come back when this person who deals with them was in.

So, a few days later we went to Elite Fitness, where I had several years earlier bought the “Man Killer” (aka a stationary bicycle with a seat that would give any man and most women “Cycler’s tip”… it’s where your nether-regions go numb, and, according to my doctor, a very unhealthy thing to have happen to you). We got great service from the manager, and of course, being the queens we are, we chose the top Bowflex treadmill model. A little more than I wanted to pay but it has a built-in fan bitches. I gotta have that!

And it was on sale. And they would deliver it. So… I thought what the hell. You only live once and hey, debt is debt.

On that Wednesday, a nice young man (and I mean nice) delivered the treadmill. He set it up, made sure everything was working okay and then sadly left (after lingering for a little while… should have asked him if he wanted a cup of tea or something!).

So Noel and I have been faithfully using the treadmill. I’ve pretty much been using it every day since we got it (and if I haven’t, I’ve been going to gym). Hell, I’ve even got up at the crack of dawn and used it when I hadn’t eaten anything beforehand because that was supposed to be good for you.

And, to be honest, the weight has started to come off. Clothes fit a lot better, I’m feeling a lot better, and it’s been great…

Until I injured my foot.

I have no idea how or why I injured my foot. I don’t even know why it doesn’t hurt some of the time. But for some reason, the area between my big toe and the next toe in can hurt like hell or even just be sore some of the time. For no rhyme or reason!

Noel reckons it’s a bruise internally. I have to agree. Kent (my trainer) seems to think it could be a stress fracture. I thought about that for about 3.5 seconds before I thought it would definitely bruise or be swollen or something. But it seems okay.

Anyway, the whole point of this blog is to rant that here I am, finally making headway into getting back into my old routine and bang, injury.

Argh it fucks me off!