Okay, these bears are harder to deafeat than I anticipated...


Back Again...
                                        ...While I've been gone my President remained my President, I had the highest GPAs in both my department and my major last school year, Star Wars was sold to Disney, I developed an obsession with roller coasters, and I am totally looking forward to Christmas for once.

      So, tomorrow is my hatching/spawning/birth day. I'll be...older. This Thursday my husband is taking me to the Twilight movie marathon which ends with the midnight release of Breaking Dawn pt.2. Friday I am heading to Washington DC with my cuddle-bunny and some friends. This is only my second trip to DC. The first was a couple of weeks ago and involved a trip to the State Department for a multi-national conference. This time, though, it's all for fun!
      I've been tutoring at ECSU for two weeks now and I absolutely love it. I've been offered loads of post-grad opportunities this semester. I have registered for my next (spring) and final semester at ECSU. As it turns out, I need three credits to graduate, but I'll be taking a full 18hour load instead. As such, I expect to be quite happily busy since I will also still be working at in the library at COA and at ECSU as a tutor again. I've decided I'll be applying to ECU and ODU for fall grad school. ECU really seems like the better fit, and I'm crazy excited about it. I've decided to pursue British Literatures as Cultural Studies. It cover all things British Isles including the Brit founded colonies of Australia, India, Canada, and America. Never a dull moment there, eh?
      As for my bizarrely happy longing for Christmas, I'm going to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, VA on the 1st of December. It won't be the only time this time though. Jackson and I will have extra company and have opted to pay for Santa's Fireside Feast. Last year my biggest complaints all stemmed from hunger (not a happy hungry bloke at all!) but this time I'll be well fed going in to things. On top of that, we'll be going to Colonial Williamsburg for the actual Holiday again. I've made quite certain that the hotel we are staying at has a fridge and microwave in the room, and that it has an attached restaurant which will be open. We will also be attending at least one tavern feast on Christmas day. I also planned absolutely nothing to occupy our time there this year, so no dashing about or complaints about dashing about from the hubby this year.
      Anyway, I've got a paper to write, so0 tootles!

Spring Schedule at ECSU:

Research Methods in Literature
English Literature of the 18th Century
Creative Writting Poetry
Technical Writting
French 201
Hindi 101

I am also learning to type without looking at the keyboard.

Yay 2012!


The planet made it through another year. Not a bad year for me (though some certainly attempted to make it unpleasant) and hopefully not a bad one for you either. This new year is off to an excellent start, which gives me the highest of hopes that it may trump all my other years by the time it ends. I've just begun a new semester at ECSU, I have very little in my life that is truely irritating, I am eating healthier and enjoying doing so, I am actually learning oodles of nifty bits about life, the universe, and everything, and I have lots of opportunities to go super-cool places where I can absorb centuries of awesomness.

I started my new semester at ECSU today. I am taking six classes (they wouldn't let me take more because they can't charge you for anything exceeding 18 credit hours); 3.5 of which I had today, including Advanced Grammar, French I, Literary Criticism, and Creative Writing: The Short Story--that was the half a class that only qualifies as a .5 because it's online. Amusingly, I have a feeling Literary Criticism will become my favorite of the semester. If I ever get around to writing about any of the books I'm reading here, you'll understand why.

I have made three new years resolutions for 2012:
  •  Make/eat a bento box lunch 4 days a week
  • Write something/anything for at least 30mins a day 5 days a week
  • Read at least 1 non-academic book a month

So, I've been making Bento...


I've taken up Bento as a hobby. A bento is a Japanese lunch box featuring small amounts of a variety of intricately arranged foods. The more popular bentos of this age are made to be cute, a quality derived from using things like tiny cookie cutter style veggie cutters for carrots, cucumbers, and the like. As illustrated by this image which is borrowed from Just Bento.

As you can see, bento can be ridiculously cute ^_^
BTW, this bento by Delphine.

Bento is more than food, it's an art form, a method of meditation, and a way to show special someones how much you care about them. This is a much more common practice in Japan where the degree of sentimentality attached to bento making has been employed quite effectively in commercials. This one I made me cry. Scroll about halfway down the page on Just Bento then go back and read it. Makiko Itoh does an incredible job of explaining the difference between a lunch box and a bento.

I began making bento yesterday and have since gone on a bit of a shopping spree on Amazon.com for some crazy nifty bento gear. I have rice molds, egg molds, veggie cutters, silicon treat cups (for cute separators), and super fab egg molds shaped like a bunny and a bear. I'm also heading up to the Fortune Supermarket in Va Beach to gather other tidbits like miso, azuki beans (red bean), chopsticks in a case, a real bento box, and any other little accessories that leap off the shelves into my sticky mitts for purchase.

So far I've made five bento. I've learned it can be very time consuming until you start to get into the habit of a couple hours of prep work. The cool thing is that the couple hours of prep needed to really streamline the daily bento beat can be done once a week. Wash your veggies, cut them into the shapes, lengths, and styles you envision yourself using over the week and pop them into storage containers with water. Make sure there is enough water to cover the pieces and toss the lot into the fridge. Onions, peppers, and whatnot can be cut and loaded into a water free container for quick cooking later. Cook your rice and use Saran or cling wrap to form them into balls. You Tube it if you can't figure out how. Let them cool a bit on the counter or what have you and then stash them into a freezer bag, cling wrap and all, to be used a later date. When you need to tuck a ball into a bento, either leave it frozen or slip it into the microwave for about 1-2 minutes (depending on size). To properly nuke it, so it doesn't dry out or turn into a rock on you, leave it in the cling wrap while heating. The sparkly little ice crystals on the inside will keep it deliciously moist. You can also boil your eggs about three days worth at a time, but really, two days is tastier.

I've also discovered the more variety you provide, the more interesting and palatable the meal will seem. Toy with the possibilities for texture, flavour, appearance, and even scent to offer the most memorable bento. Have fun with it and remember to share your efforts with others when you can.

These are the first five I've made, in order:

Once again I have proven my absolute slackertudiness! (it is a word if I so will it!)


So, updates first...

I have completed yet another semester (at ECSU this time though) with a 4.0 again. I can only hope, at this point, that the demands of educational awesomeness will eventually require enough effort on my part to keep me awake. I don't have high hopes. Next semester should be better. I have French and two creative writing classes. For now, I have three weeks of Christmas vacation to dawdle through. I will be spending Christmas Eve, Day, and Boxing Day enjoying all that Colonial Williamsburg has to offer. Yay! It's exciting to escape everything for a change. I've never been a fan of Christmas, but with all the pressure being removed by the simple act of removing my self and my cuddle-bug (husband) from the pressure-cooker pot of expectation, I have certainly become merrier than anyone imagined I was ever really capable of. Beyond that, I've taken up Bento, Archery, and a distopian book obsession. *LOL, spellcheck doesn't recognize the word "distopian" yet.

BTW, found this nifty review site for YA books...if you're into that genre...which I naturally am as I hope to become a writer of such. Anyway: HERE

From the last post:

I, in my super awesome geekitudiness...


would like to say I am stoked beyond all reason about the upcoming release of ANONYMOUS...
see trailer here:  http://www.anonymous-movie.com/  ...if your mouth is not seriously agape imediately afterward, then...well, you just don't get it. Furthermore, I have more to express my excitement about:

The release of Breaking Dawn pt1 on November 18th! It is only five days beyond my hatching day, and it is all I want for my gift. See trailer here: http://www.breakingdawn-themovie.com/ and you'll totally understand.

The release of the final book for Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle on November 8th.  For more info, click here:  www.shurtugal.com/

Busch Gardens' Howl O' Scream is about to begin! For more info, click here:  http://howloscream.com/williamsburg/homepage.aspx

The ECHNA Ghost Walk in Elizabeth City NC is almost here! For more info, click here:  http://www.historicghostwalk.org/

Oh, and my Creative writing professor said I have "a natural writing ability". ^___________^

Pottermore is bloody well AMAZING!!!


Okay, so I must say, at first I was less than dazzled by the experience. I had been waiting since the second day of the "Magical Quill Challenge" for my welcome email, and was so very far beyond just excited that I  had really built up some unbelievably magical experience in my mind by the time I received it, and was almost disappointed in the reality. However, I have found that the site greatly improves as you navigate it. It could use music though!

There are loads of new tidbits about characters, production, publication, set design, creatures, bits and bobs......and on and on....that is completely new for the hopeful and increasingly happy explorer. It really becomes exciting when you finally make it to Diagon Alley! Once there you will be able to purchase school supplies and even a beasty. The graphics from here on are truly magical and the information offered is staggering in detail. (From here, there be spoilers)

I've recieved my "Welcome" email for Pottermore!


Yeah, exactly that....more to follow............