Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Life and Weightloss

There are a few things on my mind today, so I'll outline first.  1. I'm going to be blogging about losing weight (I know!  The horror!), even though I'm sure there are like a bajillion blogs out there about people trying to slim down.  The bottom line is, I think it will help me actually commit and lose the weight.  So bear with me, or not.  I'm not even sure anyone reads this blog, so it can just be for me.  2. I'll give you a little update about what I'm up to.  3. I'm going to talk a little about my novel, but really, if you hate hearing about peoples' novels, feel free to skip that part because I often find it annoying myself.  But, if I'm going to talk about me and what I'm doing, well I'm going to talk about the novel.

And, we're off!  I guess I'll talk about the book and other things I'm up to first.  So, I started this book last summer and got pretty far (at least for me) until the steam started running out.  Once I started the fall semester, though, my progress came to a standstill and I probably wrote less than a few pages the entire school year.  Now, I've started working again, but I'm kind of doing it randomly, just picking out separate scenes and working on them independently.  I actually think this is easier because I was having a lot of trouble with the section I had gotten to in the book and hopefully I can write out the major scenes and connect them together at the end.  

Now, when I started the book, I was writing in 3rd person, but I think I've decided to write in 1st person now because it was sounding impersonal.  I've never written a novel before, so I'm really trying to get into this character and make her unique.  I don't want her to be generic, and I want her to have her own failings, weaknesses, disturbing past, etc., just like any real person.  The other problem I'm having right now is that I want the book to mean something.  I want it to make people think or give them insight or affect them in a real way.  I don't want it to just turn out to be some generic novel with flat characters and no real, deep meaning behind it.  I don't want it to be like one of those best seller's factory line novels.  (You know how some authors do it when they're really successful - pumping out books every few months like there's no tomorrow). So it has to be special and it has to mean something.  I might even cross over into gritty.  I just want it to be real and not apologize for it.  I think I should try to explore this idea of lies and deception.  Maybe I should do a study on pathological liars and people who successfully hoodwink people into trusting them.

Alright, that was a lot about the book.  Well, other than that, I finished up a little ipod pouch for my boyfriend and I'm working on a ribbed hat for him, too.  I'm not sure if I mentioned this on here, but I've recently been crocheting quite a bit and I've already made a scarf and an ipod pouch for myself.  After I'm done with my current projects, I'd like to make myself a make-up bag, as well.  I'll try to post pics of my projects when I can.

Other than that, I'm planning on starting a peacock painting.  I've done some sketches, but still need to make some tweaks before starting out.  I like to paint more cartoon-y or at least less realistically.  I'm guessing if I gave it enough time I would do fine with more realistic paintings, but I think it would detract from the fun of it.  I find  is surprisingly relaxing.  Ahhh...

So, the weight loss thing.  I'm not really sure what I'm going to do yet.  I think I'll outline my goals and my plans and then write out my progress each day (or every few days) - like, what I'm eating and what exercising I've done.  However, this post is a little long already, so I think I'll start this out another day.

<3 Christen

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Clumsiness and Comics

    So far, today has been a bad luck day.  Fortunately, I don't believe in luck, just clumsiness.  The first thing was not my fault:  a rogue shampoo bottle leaped off of the shower shelf and fell on my big toe.  Next, I cut myself with the razor, then I spilled a bottle of foundation (at least not the whole thing), and lastly, I just spilled my boyfriend's drink everywhere (including on myself).  

    Nevertheless, I've decided that I'm going to look at the bright side of things!  First of all, I didn't break my toe.  I didn't even get a bruise.  My cut didn't bleed.  I didn't spill the whole bottle of foundation, and was able to mostly scrub it out.  Also, at least my boyfriend had a cup full of melted ice and not something stainy like grape juice or Hawaiian punch.  So there.  I'm not going to let my day of clumsiness get me down.  I'll just have to focus harder on not spilling anything else today.

    In other news, I've discovered a new webcomic:  Savage Chickens.  I'm pretty much addicted to webcomics.  Actually, I don't think I've ever spoken of my love for webcomics on here, so I'll list my favorites which I check every day, plus some other ones I'm working through the archives on.  Check them out; they're all really funny! 

    (These are listed in the order that I read them every day.  However, not all of them update every day.)

    xkcd - updates Mon, Wed, Fri

    Cyanide & Happiness - updates every day (Can be a little shocking, but very funny)

    Bug - updates Mon-Fri

    Amazing Super Powers - updates Mon, Wed, Fri (Might not be to everyone's taste)

    Robot Beach - updates Mon, Wed, Fri

    Sinfest - usually updates every day (This is one of my very favorite comics!)

    Ones I'm still working through the archive on:

    Space Base 8 - updates Mon, Wed, Fri

    Road Apples Almanac - updates Mon, Wed, Fri (Very creative story on this one)

    Slither and Friends - updates Mon, Wed, Fri

    Other than that, you may have noticed that I've changed the layout of the blog a little.  I moved the blog posts over to the left for better flow.  Enjoy!

    <3 Christen

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    A Change of Heart

    I think I need to go in a new direction with this blog.  Since I started, I've pretty much written about political and social issues, but to be honest, I'm not super interested in writing about that stuff all the time anymore.  I'm not getting the paper while I'm at home (and probably won't next year, since I'm going to a branch campus) and I'm not watching political shows, either.

    I think what I need to do is get back to the heart of this blog - why I started it in the first place.  The blog is supposed to be all about how writing things out is the best kind of therapy.  So maybe it's time to make this blog more personal and write about my actual life!

    I guess I could start somewhere a bit obvious.  If you've read this blog before, you may have noticed that it originally stated on the homepage that I was an aspiring therapist.  That is now gone because I've changed directions and am going back to school next year to get a degree in computer technology!  I know, it's a big change.  I had been so sure about wanting to be a therapist for a really long time, but I had a change of heart this past year.  The thing is, I'm really not that great with talking to people.  It seems like an odd career choice for someone who has felt socially awkward her whole life, right?  Well, the thing is that when I got into the one-on-one counselling situation, everything changed for me.  I just relaxed, got down to business, listened, and let those wheels in my brain spin.  

    I have to admit, counseling was very fun for me when I was at Johnson.  Once I got to Kent, however, it was like reality striking.  I was ready to go to grad school for 5-7 years to get a fancy doctorate for a while.  Then I realized that was a huge waste and was going to get my master's in counseling.  The problem is, counselors don't make much!  However, I am willing to do what I love for less money.  I think the most important thing is that you love what you do.  The thing is, I lost my enthusiasm for psychology and counseling!  Somewhere along the way, reality struck me hard and I realized this job was going to be taxing, emotionally draining, stressful, rarely fruitful, and I decided it wasn't worth it.  I can't imagine going in every day to try to help broken people and not feeling broken myself!

    So, I was searching for other options and came across this computer program at Kent Ashtabula.  The concentration is Internet and Multimedia and I'm hoping now to become a web developer/ web designer.  It's a way different field than psychology, I know.  I'm a little scared that I won't fit into the field, besides already knowing the psych field so well!  But the thing is, I have always been interested in creating web pages.  When I was younger, I spent hours and hours planning and working on web pages.  And, as you can see, I'm obviously still into it, since I have two blogs!

    I think this job will fit me better.  I think it's going to be a good mix of problem-solving, technical work, and creativity.  I love that I'm going to be able to (hopefully!) be creative in my job every day.  In my spare time, I'm always painting, drawing, writing, crocheting, and just expressing my creativity.  And I love love love solving puzzles!  I've recently found a great site with a bunch of matrix puzzles:  www.puzzlersparadise.com.  Plus, I love doing cross-words, hidden object games, sudoku, word puzzles, and more.  As far as the technical side, I've had a web design course before, and I kind of like the coding.  The other elements are more fun, of course, but I wouldn't mind doing that every day.  Another plus for this job is that I can possibly work from home in the future.  We'll have to see if that would be a good or bad thing!

    Well, I think this post is already pretty long.  I'm going to try to write on here more often and write about my life more.  I'm thinking most of my life is a little boring to blog about, but I'll try to find interesting things to talk about!  Hopefully I still have some readers or maybe people who stumble on this site will find it interesting.  I'm thinking a mix of personal posts and issues posts will work out best.  Oh!  I almost forgot.  I'm writing this post on my new laptop and it is fantastic!!  Yeah, I'm pretty sure I made a great decision!  Love love love it!!

    Thanks for reading!

    Christen <3

    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    It's on the Way!

    I found out yesterday that my new laptop has already shipped.  It's actually coming in from Shanghai, so hopefully it won't be stuck in customs for a long time.  The estimated ship date is June 2nd - next Thursday.  Needless to say, I'm really excited about it.  Unfortunately for my boyfriend James, I had been complaining about it quite a bit since I ordered it last week.  I can't help it; three weeks is a long time to wait!  Luckily, though, I only have to wait about four more days!!

    Other than that, we went to Geneva on the Lake today.  I wrote a little about on the Design Destination blog.  We mostly walked around and looked inside all of the cool shops.  They had some pretty amazing stuff there.  We also got some amazingly good cherry maple smoked turkey jerky and Dairy Queen.  YUM!

    I'll let you know when my computer gets here!  Here's looking forward to my first post on the new laptop!!

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Computer Update

    I ordered my new laptop last Wednesday!  It should be built by June 3, and then I have about another week until I get it.  I seriously cannot wait!  I've been checking on it pretty much every day...  Anyway, I'll let you know which one I chose... *drumroll*

    Sooo... I got the quad!  Yes, I'm very excited about it.  I did A LOT of research before I made my decision, and I finally decided after consulting a computer genius friend.  I had actually given up on the mac and was trying to decide between the quad and a similar dual core model, but in the end the quad was a better deal.

    Well, you've already got the specs, except I did decide on the better graphics card and the larger-capacity battery.  I wasn't able to get the LightScribe feature, however, but the good news is that I was able to get it in steel grey instead of dark umber (brown is not exactly what I imagined for my new computer).  So anywho, I really just want to post the picture of it online for you to see in the new color.  I'm so excited!

    Oh, it's so beautiful!  And I almost forgot, if you are in the market for a new computer, I learned something VERY handy.  Search google for coupons before you order your computer.  I actually saved 30% on my laptop!

    Other than that, please please please check out my new blog Design Destination.  I'm going to post a link for it on this blog soon.  I mentioned it in one of my earlier posts:  it's going to be all about design ideas and will maybe include some clothing, accessories, and other fabulous things like that.  My latest blog post was about Lady Sanctuaries - man caves for ladies.  Please check it out!!

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Technical Dilemma

    So I recently found out I'm going to be able to buy a laptop soon, but I don't know which one I want!  I think I've narrowed it down to two, but I'm open to other options.  I've looked at some Toshibas, but I don't like their style and I can get more for my money with an HP vs. a Dell.  So it's down to an HP or a MacBook Pro.  I want a laptop I can use for a little bit of gaming (online games, the Sims 3, downloadable games) as well as web design stuff for the program I'll be starting this fall.  I also like watching movies, listening to music, general web-surfing, photo-editing, possible video-editing, and general school-related stuff like powerpoint and word documents.  So I'm looking at high-performance laptops, and I will not be dissuaded from this (unless there is a very good argument otherwise).  I want something with a really good graphics card (although I'll admit I don't know much about them), something super fast, and if possible more portable.  I've been looking at 15 inch models, which I think will be fine, but I'm also willing to go with a 13 inch for more portability.  I really don't want anything bulky, so I don't want to go over 15.  Anyway, on with the pros and cons lists!

    HP Pavillion dv6t quad edition


    • 2nd generation Intel(R) Quad Core(TM) i7-2630QM (2.0 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache) w/ Turbo Boost up to 2.9 GHz
    • 1GB GDDR5 Radeon(TM) HD 6490M Graphics [HDMI, VGA]
    • 6GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
    • 640GB 7200RPM Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
    • FREE upgrade to Norton Internet Security(TM) 2011 - 15 month subscription
    • 6-cell Lithium-Ion Battery (standard size) - up to 5.5 hours of battery life
    • 15.6" High Definition HP BrightView LED Display (1366x768)
    • FREE blu-ray upgrade, plus Lightscribe SuperMulti DVD burner
    • webcam, mic, and fingerprint reader
    • weighs about 5.8 lbs

    So I really like this computer.  It has a quad core processor for crying out loud.  I'm willing to upgrade the processor, though, if that will make a big enough difference in performance.  The problem is, that's a lot of money and I want to make sure I'm getting my money's worth.  The battery life is really not fantastic and I've heard about problems with the keyboard and touchpad, although I have no problem with using a mouse.  This is such a hard decision!

    MacBook Pro 13 inch


    • 2.3GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5
    • 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM 2x2GB
    • 320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    • SuperDrive 8x (DVD+R DL/DVD+RW/CD-RW)
    • Backlit keyboard
    • Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • built-in battery (7 hours)
    • mic and camera
    • bluetooth included
    • weighs about 4.5 lbs

    The specs on the mac are nowhere near the level of the HP, but there are other important factors involved here:  I already know that the keyboard and touch pad are comfortable and easy to use.  Actually, the touch pad is pretty much amazing.  I also know that macs in general have less problems with crashing and get less viruses.  So, is it worth sacrificing that much power for more stability?  I have experience using this model, too; in fact, I'm using it to type this post!  So I already know I really like it.  It multi-tasks pretty well, it plays movies excellently, but I've yet to see if it handles the highest specs on my Sims 3 game.

    The other problem here is that there are several other HP models that could probably work.  For example, there are other dv6t models, such as the base (which comes in other colors) and the special edition.  There are also some ultra-portable options such as the dm3t, dv5t, and dm4x (an entertainment pc).  The first and third of those have a 7.75 and 8.0 battery life respectively on the 6-cell.  (All of the HPs can also come with over-sized 9-cell batteries).  The bigger, performance computers run about 5.75 hours on the 6-cell.

    So there are a lot of different factors here.  I really have no idea where to start in this decision.  Please help!

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Columns Galore

    So, I'm finally getting around to posting my columns from the paper last semester.  These are in no particular order, except I did put the government and media columns in order since they go together.  Also, these do not seem to be all of my column articles, so I will have to post the rest whenever I can get them from my computer, which will probably not be this summer due to internet snafus at home.  Anywho, here are the links:

    6 Reasons Not to Finish That Pesky Math Homework - websites to waste your time on

    Let's Keep it Civilized - disagreeing on religion

    Cheap and Easy: Halloween Edition - costume ideas you can make yourself

    Gender Identity: Normal or Disorder 

    Make Time for Things You Love 

    Can the Government Force You to be Healthy? - graphic images on cigarette packaging

    We Need a Media Invasion - solutions to the growing problem of youth smoking (goes w/ above)

    How to Love the Way You Look - loving your body the way it is

    Changing Gender Stereotypes - male gender stereotypes

    End of a Love Affair - how I fell out of love with politics

    You Have the Right to Remain... Totally Confused - religious stereotyping

    In other news, I'm starting a new blog about design, which will perhaps include clothing, shoes, and the like.  I'll post the link when I've decided on a name!