Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yes, really 4 whole hours:

Be aware: Wednesdays will definitely be "tough" for me from now until the middle of December.

Tough, as in "time consuming"

time consuming= (13 hours) 9am-5pm at work & 6pm-10pm in class

I signed up for this, I know. I'm just stating the obvious because I experienced it for the first time yesterday and everything hit me like a ton o' bricks. That's one damn long day! Now realize that I am at work until 9pm the night before (Tuesday) and have class at 9am (Thursday).

So last night in Film class (seems like a good bunch of people, yay!) we discussed our general syllabus and class assignments (10 in-class screenings, journals, papers, exams) for a couple hours and then we started talking about Mise en scène--which literally means "putting into the scene".

We looked at examples from THE FIRM, doesn't Memphis look so lovely on the big screen? After this I believe the entire class wanted to JUST watch The Firm. I know I'll have to watch it again soon--because it's fabulous.

Then we got to our (class chosen) actual screening of MODERN TIMES (1936) which I know I've seen bits and pieces of it before but I do not remember the entire film. It's in black and white. It's a silent film (aside from some voice heard over radios, etc.) and it was also written, produced, directed by and stars Charlie Chaplin.

Good stuff...was this really done in 1936? It didn't take long to not even notice that it was a) black and white and b) "silent". And of course there were good examples of Mise en scène (the whole point of watching this classic). I officially get to "journal" about this for class so I will save you from that for now.

Now I get to go to....WORK...and I haven't even talked about Bio II yet!


p.s. Way to go ANDY RODDICK et al!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Parking, Biology & Tennis:

First and foremost: Parking. I really would like to know exactly how many students are enrolled on this campus because it's gotta 1.2 million (could be an exaggeration) because there seemed to be that many cars looking for a parking space before 9am this morning.

1) Apparently all 1.2 million students have their classes before 9am.
a) I would personally like to meet all the brave souls in class before 9am,
b) sorry y'all, but I might be hoping you decide to sleep in Thursday

The Bio II class: Decent. Everyone seems to be friendly enough (and about 3 were in my previous Bio class). I actually chatted and sat with the girl who sat directly behind me during the month of June. We had a conversation about one guy from our other class. Funny.

2) We both overheard the same exchange between he and our professor.
a) We both remember it clearly,
b) He has no clue...and never will

A gamble: Big money. Or at least I hope to save some $$. I have now officially ordered TWO required textbooks via I thought about it...but never actually did it until yesterday and today.

3) Fly like an eagle.
a) Artforms (8th edition) will make it before my next class ($20 saved)
b) my Lab manual might not make it before my next lab ($23 saved)

U.S. Open Tennis: duh! The next 13 days my classwork will have tennis in New York to compete with for my undivided attention (not exactly, don't fret). Last night I got to watch Serena Williams win her first match. I was impressed by her opponent (good attempt) as well as Serena's wardrobe malfunction (her handling of it).

4) Players I have seen play in person (so they become my favorites)
a) Haas, Murray, & the Williams sisters won their first matches yesterday
b) Andy Roddick plays tonight

And now I get to go to work for the next 7 hours!


IT has finally happened:

I'm 95% sure that I'm the oldest student in my Monday night class.

Art Appreciation.

I'm definitely not older than the professor, so that's a good thing. I think I am going to like him, he's both abrupt and knowledgeable about the subject. He means business (was a Marine), but is very laid back (is an artist). Our syllabus didn't include a bunch of test dates and due dates. This really scared all the little children (think Chef from South Park--he really says some funny things).

I think he had me when he answered a "What is your definition of Art" question with a quote from Georgia O'Keeffe. Gold!

I am NOT happy about the location of this class. We are in a glorified trailer (which does include a bathroom and controlled temperatures) BUT it does NOT include enough seating to accommodate all the students signed up for the class. THAT is pathetic, in my humble opinion. So I will be rushing like a madwoman (not to be ON TIME) but to get a SEAT every Monday night.

Plus a lotta bodies in a little space makes the temperature rise, good for Winter but not good for Summer.

I tried to purchase my text BEFORE class but the lines were too long. I should've known better. This turned out to be a good thing, because I was able to find it online and save about $20. Also, parking was a nightmare. Seemingly all the lots were full. But I did officially find out I can park in employee spaces really close to our "Modular" after 5 pm.

Day 2 brings Biology II with the same professor who taught Biology I. At least I know what to expect.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

not exactly soap-on-a-rope:

Confession: Hello, my name is Janet and I love soap. REALLY love soap!

Almost exactly a year ago I got a lovely gift in the mail: Soap, glorious soap! Yes. Soap. It was "Apple Butter" soap to be exact: thick, honeyed apple-butter, lightly spiced with summer-sweet clover and cinnamon to be exact made by Villainess™ aka Brooke Stant.

This started my obsession.

If you've already started drooling, don't be embarrassed. I wanted to eat the stuff as soon as I unwrapped it and the fragrance hit my nose. It was honest to goodness APPLE BUTTER! I quickly jumped into the shower and lathered up. It was pure magic, I didn't want to leave the confines of my little happy domain. Silky smooth lather was everywhere from a little 3.5oz of beautiful handmade goodness. And you can only imagine the smell...I was hooked.

As soon as I was able to pull myself from the shower I hopped online and ordered enough handmade AND sometimes limited edition soap to keep me "clean" for years. Really, years (I'm a bit embarrassed to say).

Guess what everyone got from me last Christmas? Soap.

Guess how many bars I've gifted over the last year? Too many to count.

What's the big deal? Soap is soap is...not exactly! According to the website: This formula is an indulgent blend of delicate vegetable oils, and exotic unrefined butters. We've taken the luxury a step further with gratuitous additions like Chocolate, Tussah Noil "Peace" Silk, Honey, Cucumber, Volcanic Clay, and a wealth of organic goodies. Hint: DO NOT let a bar sit in standing water, it has so much good stuff in it, you don't want it to melt away too fast.

The names! The smell! The absolutely yummy feeling from BAR soap. I haven't used anything liquid or "foaming" to bathe in, in...almost a year.

Some of my favorites:
Silk & Cyanide featuring crushed almonds and oats for gentle exfoliation
Crushed complete with raspberry bits and dark chocolate and sandalwood
Villainess "the scent" with soothing pitch black Australian clay
Absinthe with pulverized cucumber, it smells exactly like green, green grass

But you have to keep on top of the madness. Our Villainess™ is crafty and comes up with brand new stuff faster than you can possibly use it all! There are at least 24 signature scents (yes, TWENTY-FOUR) while several rotate throughout the seasons. HINT: I cut chunks off of my bars so I can try different ones more frequently.

And I haven't EVEN mentioned the other bath products available yet: Smooch, Mud, and Whipped! You'll have to check those out as well (admittedly I love the soap the best, though)!

OH! And guess WHERE this stuff is manufactured? Waverly, TN! Brooke recently moved from Nashville to Waverly...but she takes orders/ships worldwide!

Seriously. Check it out.


I'm currently using: Gernade Lemon-lime soda sweetened with grenadine and a single maraschino cherry.

Friday, August 24, 2007

In case you didn't know:

Three of my favorite documentaries:

1) Spellbound This documentary presents the intense, real-life experience of the National Spelling Bee as seen through the eyes of eight young spellers. We share in their private lives as they train for and compete in this ultimate intellectual showdown. Within these stories, we discover not only their idiosyncrasies, their obsessive study habits and their sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes inspiring family dynamics, but also the story of America itself. *

2) Wordplay From the masters who create the mind-bending diversions to the tense competition at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, Patrick Creadon's documentary reveals a fascinating look at the addictive pastime. Creadon captures New York Times editor Will Shortz working with crossword puzzle builders, talks to celebrity solvers -- including Bill Clinton and Ken Burns -- and presents an intimate look at the national tournament and its competitors.*

3) Word Wars Follow four "word nerds" through their fastidious preparations and smaller tournaments that lead to the national championship Scrabble tournament in San Diego in 2002. These men are highly motivated (obsessed, even) and are not above uttering a few four-letter words when the going gets tough.*

In case you didn't know, the answer to the question is: Yes, absolutely!


*all synopses from Netflix

Friday, August 17, 2007

Elvis + Coffee = LOVE!

So I have another local coffee (my beloved boc) to rave about! A dear friend gave me a 12oz bag of Lamberts Coffee as a "thank you" for helping with her baby shower a month ago. The flavor: Buttermoon ("secret blend of sweet nut and a hint of rich caramel")...oh holy Elvis, it's some great stuff!

Yes, I've been drinking coffee despite the record setting temperatures...but I've been adding ice cubes to the mix.

Now that Elvis week is coming to a close, I am a bit sadden. I did get to watch some great shows yesterday--especially on TvLand. Ed Sullivan's Rock & Roll Classics: Elvis AND Elvis by the Presleys had me completely glued to the set. What an amazing man.


I even "won" a little competition based on Elvis with the prize of COFFEE! ELVIS coffee (Elvis's Last Jelly Donut" from Cafe Francisco) 1 love + 1 love = a cup o' happiness.

WOO! I might even give over the fact I have to work this Saturday.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Because I have nothing better to do:

(except work and sweat)

I was visiting my favorite 'New Mother' this evening and we found ourselves (while watching her wee little baby make funny 'almost asleep' faces) having a glorious conversation about one of our absolute favorite subjects: BOOKS.

(yes, nerds are usually found in pairs)

She talked about the book she is currently reading (this one, it was a gift from me) and returned the last one she read (this one). Then I borrowed one from her: The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl. Has anyone read it?

Since I haven't read Dante's Inferno I decided to brush up some in order the "get" the book. I just started looking over it online, but I know enough already to tell you I deserve to be permanently placed in the second circle of Hell. (look it up, you'll know my greatest personal sin--I'll be super impressed!)

So I'm studying over one of the greatest works of world literature so I'll be able to read and understand a more contemporary piece. Did I mention I was NOT IN an actual CLASS right now (they start on the 27th). I applaud myself for having such lofty literary goals.

Back to some Elvis Love:

Strangest Elvis Sighting: I was running (walking briskly) to the appropriate gate at the Atlanta/Hartsfield airport when I came upon an Elvis Impersonator (he was cute!) entertaining fellow travellers. It was the weekend before Elvis Week cira the year 2000. I was returning from North Carolina and waiting to board my returning flight to Memphis. Guess who else was on my plane? Elvis flys first class, just in case you had your doubts. I saw him as I walked to the back of the plane.

Coolest Elvis "wall" Moment: I was standing in line on August 15, waiting for my opportunity to pay tribute to the man, when I started reading messages on "the wall" (you know the one I'm talking about--it's completely covered in handwritten declarations of love). Guess what I noticed immediately when I started reading? The message I had left about 2 weeks before when I toured Graceland with a large group. My own little message lasted THAT long.

We've been listening to Elvis at work and I've been hunting down the Collector's cards at various Mapco locations around the city. Thanks Commercial Appeal, you've helped make my week complete!


Saturday, August 11, 2007

he's still the King:

I know some will consider it a sickness.

I still don't know why I have SO MANY Elvis CDs myself, but it's around this time of year I have to take them out and covet. I feel no shame to bring on the Elvis Love.

At work, a few weeks ago my boss began quizzing me on a few Elvis facts he picked up in a book he was reading (no, not a book about The King, but the book featured a character who apparently loved him enough to know quite a few little things). Guess what? I pretty much knocked all of the answers off the top of my head.

He laughed. I simply asked, "What? Everyone knows that!" But he said, "No, no they don't."

Maybe my Elvis knowledge is more than most, but I still beg to differ.

I've read somewhere that 1/3 of all Elvis fans weren't even born when he passed away. Oddly enough, I was born 38 weeks after Aug 16, 1977--so I was in utero. So technically I fit into this category as well.

Elvis CDs in my Collection: at least 30
Graceland Visits: 3
Vigil Appearances: 1 (very sad)

My Favorites:
Photos/Book: Elvis at 21: New York to Memphis
Movies: G.I. Blues (although I really don't like the movies)
Lullaby: Hawaiian Sunset (from Blue Hawaii)
70s era Song: Suspicious Minds
60s era Song: One Night
50s era Song: Such A Night
Movie Song: Wooden Heart/Pocketful of Rainbows (from GI Blues)
"Special": The 1968 Comeback Special
song About Elvis: Elvis is Everywhere by Mojo Nixon

And that's about the sound of it.


Friday, August 10, 2007

a little Top Ten:

I wish I would've done this weekly, but instead I have a compilation to present to you now.

For 10 weeks (that's actually 50 mornings altogether) this summer I spent ample time driving to class. It really wasn't a lot of "car" time because I live relatively close to campus, but nevertheless I made sure to listen to a lot of different music along the way. Even though I pride myself on liking loving all types of music, I noticed a little trend amongst my "listening habits".

So I want to offer up my top 10 songs from my morning drive rotation aka Janet's "Summer School 2007" Greatest:

01) Afraid by Nelly Furtado ft. Attitude I seemed to really listen to this especially on the mornings I was nervous, be it exam days or speech days. Something about the line "I'm a survivor/look how strong my mind is" really got me READY.

02) Belief by John Mayer I've seen John Mayer twice in concert and his guitar playing ability never fails to impress me. This song has the most hum-a-ble opening and it makes me want to pick up a guitar. Then I remember how easy he makes it look and change my mind.

03) Black Horse and a Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall Otherwise know as the song I really got sick of when it was on the radio every 2 minutes, but it's perfect when you're running late. No speeding. Just speeding along MENTALLY.

04) Give it to Me by Timbaland ft. Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake I could seriously listen to this about 10 times in a row and never get tired of it. Anything featuring Nelly AND JT is perfection.

05) Over my Head (Cable Car) by The Fray It's the perfect "everyone knows I'm in over my head, over my head" song to sing VERY LOUDLY along to...two classes in one session? OVER MY HEAD!

06) Big Wheel by Tori Amos She's back, after a horrible record the original alternative goddess REALLY came through on her latest. I don't understand HOW this song hasn't become a complete and total summer success. Everyone I play it for loves it!

07) Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen When in doubt, dance it out with the Boss a'la Courtney Cox style. There are not enough words. Brilliant.

08) Let Go by Frou Frou Garden State was such a wonderful flick and I thank Zach Braff everyday for his wonderful ability to take a moment and give it the perfect song. This is a prime example--besides there is beauty in the breakdown.

09) Remedy by The Black Crowes It includes one of my favorite moments in actual recorded history about three minutes into it...sometimes you can definitely over produce a song. This one has enough raw energy to last a lifetime.

and finally.....

10) One Night by Elvis Presley What good "southern" girl would go without mentioning The King? There are a ton o' songs I adore, but for some reason I was completely enthralled with this one for a while. Maybe it was the image of him sweating in black leather. Maybe? I think we have a winner!

Now I wanna know your favorite driving songs...and WHY?


Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Other Mother:

I finally FINALLY got to finish a book I started a couple weeks ago. Let me tell you right now that I should NOT have started it when I knew I had so much going on because it was hard to set aside.

The Other Mother by Gwendolen Gross is one of those stories you start and then NEVER put down until sadly, you have to because it's over. I had to split my reading time between college classes, studying for finals and even in the hospital room while my best friend was in labor. I finished it tonight in a comfortable chair, flanked by my own lovely "furry" child.

The story goes a little something like this: Thea and Amanda become neighbors then almost friends then maybe rivals then almost friends but always stay complex women over the course of a year spanning from September 2000 until September 2001 in a New Jersey suburb.

The book is divided into months and the different view points of Thea, a stay-at-home-mother of three and Amanda, a working-just-turned-mother. This works well and moves the plot along while giving a more complete story altogether. The writing is beautiful and very poetic at times and made me all but dream of the arrival of Autumn leaves and big, fat pumpkins.

I found myself rooting for various aspects of each woman and then being upset with them for their differences as well. They are both deep and well-developed and have both strengths as well as flaws. Nobody is perfect, and things aren't always as they seem.

If you like suspense-filled novels with complex women written poetically and true this is the book for you!


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

it's like a heatwave...

*insert Martha and the Vandellas here*

I'm hot.

Sorry Paris, but NOT THAT WAY.

It's literally so hot I swear my brain is on "fry". But you already know how hot it is, you're living through this along with me. And I just looked at the forecast and according to the Weather Channel it's supposed to be over 100 degrees for the next SIX DAYS IN A ROW. That's the actual temperature, I'm not talking about the heat index, kids.

Wed 102°/Thu 104°/Fri 105°/Sat 102°/Sun 103°/Mon 102°

Rain chance? 0-20% throughout this heat spell.

We'll all become one big collective puddle before it's all over.

At least I don't have to worry about going to and from classes anymore because I finished my two finals today. *throw confetti here* Now I can sit back and relax and ONLY work full-time for the next 20 days. (And read and watch movies, I CAN NOT WAIT!)

I did some work on the calculator today (not required, but on my own!) and I figured out that over the last 5 weeks if I include time at school and time at work I've averaged a 54.5 "work week" AND that does NOT include homework (writing papers, speeches, etc.) No wonder I've felt like collapsing on a daily basis.

Remember, NEVER EVER let me take two classes during the same Summer Session AND work at the same time. I'm too old to do it!

Think cool thoughts. May we survive the heat.


Monday, August 6, 2007

another Manic Monday...

*insert the Bangles here*

So today was ALMOST my last day of double summer classes. ALMOST. And it wasn't too easy. I would say the Algebra exam I took might have been the most difficult for me thus far. I had to stop and redo a couple problems, but when I finished and looked at the clock--it was one of my "fastest" exams. Odd.

I had time to practice my persuasive speech before Oral Comm. Now this speech was required to be 7-9 minutes. I knew I wouldn't have a problem with that aspect--I've nearly run over time with my other speeches. I was extremely passionate about my topic: Global Warming/Crisis Climate/Being Green. It's something I've cared about for a long time. I did a lot of research for my speech as well. Everything seemed to be pointing toward grand success.


When I got in front of the class my brain froze. Everything seemed to jumble. I actually practiced this speech more than any other and then I froze....(and got REALLY REALLY close to running over time). It was overwhelming and frustrating to me, but I got a good response from my classmates. I know I did well as far as my works cited/key word outline is concerned. I worked really hard, but the actual speech is very blurry to me.

Oh Well. There's nothing I can do about it now except study, study, study for my two finals tomorrow. If I ever mention....or even entertain the thought of taking two college classes AND working during the same Summer Session, someone STOP ME!

At least someone is working for me tonight.


p.s. And Happy Birthday to my dear little J-Mo born yesterday morning. I can't wait to hold you in my arms. Love!

Thursday, August 2, 2007


So today in Algebra I was reintroduced to the Pythagorean Theorem:
(the formula to find the unknown side of a right triangle if the two other sides are known, usually known as a square plus b square equals c square)

Oddly enough Pythagoras has been all over my world lately:

1) obviously in Algebra (easy one there)

2) I turned on ACE OF CAKES this evening while taking a little break and guess what Geof (executive sous chef) was talking about while constructing the roof of the "carousel cake" for Asbury Park? The Pythagorean Theorem. SERIOUSLY! It was kinda HOT.

3) The book I am attempting to read (I had to stop because I have no time will all of these assignments due) has a character named Thea after Pythagoras' wife "Theano" (although I read that some say she was his daughter). Really, what are the odds?

And with that all said, I guess I have to get "back to it." If I have to fore go reading a really fabulous book, I definitely can't waste time writing blog entries either. *sigh*


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Final Count Down!

It's Wednesday night and I am trying to recover from:

(the first of the month equals lotsa prescriptions in the world of pharmacy and we have inventory tomorrow, fun times!)
(I was given study guides for both of my finals and I've hit panic mode,
which doesn't really suit me!)

First and foremost, the study guide for the Algebra Final (which is actually created by the department and NOT my professor)...really made my brain hurt. ESPECIALLY since it's multiple choice and for some reason, a multiple choice math exam does nothing but confuse me. Seeing ALL of the problems together from the "semester" is a bit overwhelming.

The Final for Oral Comm should be manageable BUT with another speech looming (there's actually a Final speech AND a Final Exam), I've become exceedingly nervous. I "know" what I want to do, but somehow everything is getting jumbled up and coming out incorrectly.

The only thing that can make me smile right now is the thought of Elvis Week:



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