Tuesday, October 31, 2006

V for Vendetta


Tonight we went to see V for Vendetta for some grad student night thing. It was a pretty good movie and I highly suggest it. I got confused sometimes because V spoke so quickly sometimes, but it is good. We went with our new friend Andile. He's from Swaziland in Southern Africa. I really like him. His stories about Swaziland are very interesting and sometimes funny. He said that pirating music and movies is perfectly legal there as well as forging results to tests. He's kind of quiet, but friendly once you get to know him a bit. He's one of Ed's classmates and they've been working for hours on end on some project. Since I sit in Ed's office to stay warm, I've been spending a lot of time with Andile. My cruise scrapbook is coming along well since I'm alway in there. Almost done!

More rooms


Here are some more rooms for the project. I edited the first interrogation room and added some things to make it a little stronger. The second interrogation room was inspired by a torture device that I saw in a museum in Prague. The contraption is fictional, but the idea of the saw is not. I looked up different types of blades to see which kind ripped and which sliced. The third are is one that I was trying out for taste. I thought that maybe I should get out of Azkaban and start writing lighter stuff, but after I managed to kill a squirrel in a bunch of logs I decided that Azkaban is probably the place for me. I actually was able to add echoes for this section though. Since I usually don't do echoes it was a nice little change. So here it all is.

Interrogation room #1

A tall wooden pole stands seemingly out of place at the far end of the
bright white room. Though the room is crisp and white, the pole looks
weather beaten and damp. A faint scent of sweat and urine lingers in the
quiet room. Small flecks of orange litter the floor beneath the poles
curved top. Upon closer inspection, a medium sized dark hook camouflages
itself at the pinnacle of the sinister looking pole. The rusted orange
screws of the hook cause the debris that is left on the floor, as if the
pole had been shaken, releasing the encrusted rust. The lone pole faces the
only exit to the northwest, allowing the interrogated to see the escape that
cannot be reached. Their inability to escape the feigned Hell is enough to make them crack. Freedom can only be won by answers.


Extended Descriptions

Pole Hook

The hook placed at the curvature of the pole serves as a torture tool. Do
not underestimate the simplicity of the hook. When chained to it, its victims are certain to die a tortured and painful death. In a traditional behind-the-back handcuff pose, the interrogated is hung by their wrists. Hours in this position will eventually dislocate the shoulders from the sockets. Only inches from the floor, the victim is helpless, and cannot support themselves. Once the shoulders have dislocated, the hook magically rises to prevent the victims from touching the floor.

White Walls Crisp Sweat Urine

Bewitched to beat the interrogated with rain, hail, and snow, the walls provide the interrogator with elemental torture. Frostbite and bruises take over the victims as they hang helplessly for days. The dreadful cold of the room freezes tears on the victim’s face as they hang in agony. Hollow howling of the wind masks the steady weeping that emits from the victim’s fragile body. Naturally, the built-up human excrement permeates the room. When the interrogation is complete, the room resumes its pristine appearance, though the smell lingers.

Hell Freedom Exit Northwest

Simply by placing the victim towards the exit, the desire to escape is enough to loosen the tongue. The combination of psychological and physical abuse complement each other to weaken the mind as well as the body.


Interrogation room #2

In the center of this dank room is a large metal contraption fastened to the bloodstained floor. From the rectangular frame, four chains hang from the contraption, two on top and bottom. Metal cuffs attached at the end of the chains each have a hinge to clasp around the victim’s wrists and ankles. A double handled saw hangs on two hooks implanted into wall of stone. Inch long teeth of the saw are designed to easily cut through human flesh. Hung head down and legs spread the interrogator and an assistant can carve their victims with ease. As the victim’s genitals are the first to be split in half, this technique is highly effective. On occasion when a stubborn victim is questioned, their screams of agony echo down the exits to the north, south, west, north and southeast.

Extended Descriptions

Metal Contraption Chains Rectangular Frame


The tall metal frame is screwed into the stone floor to prevent the narrow structure from crashing to the ground. Two chains adorned with cuffs are affixed to each
corner of the rectangle. When interrogated, the victim is hung face down in a forced spread-eagle position. Suspended two inches in the air, the victim is unable to move. Placing the saw between the victim’s legs the interrogator proceeds with the questioning. The feel of the cold blade is enough to make the victim oblige. Being able to see the bloodstained stones, the interrogated does not question the interrogators intentions.

Double Handled Saw Teeth

This tool resembles a Two-man saw often used by lumberjacks to fell trees. About one metre long, the chisel-edged blades are designed to rip wood cells from one another. With wooden handles on each end, two people are needed to operate the tool. Sharp enough to cut down a tree, this instrument can easily slice through human flesh and bone. Sticky with old blood, the teeth are beginning to rust do to lack of proper cleaning. If the victim is lucky enough to live through the interrogation, tetanus will ensure a painful death.

Fallen Tree Area

Green moss covers the flaking brown bark of the decaying logs. Sharp broken trunks erect three feet high where the tops had snapped. The break was most likely caused by last winter’s heavy snowfall. Thin broken limbs lay serenely in horizontal lines while their thicker counterparts stick firmly into the soft earth. The jumbled mass looks like a giant-sized game of Pickup Sticks. Large enough to make a clearing of its own, the clump of logs provides a miniature habitat for small animals and insects. Seedlings sprout around their decaying elders, hoping to become full-fledged trees in years to come.

Extended Descriptions

Seedlings Full-Fledged

Tiny, one branched saplings poke out from the logs’ protection. Reaching desperately towards the sun, the small trees grow slowly in the forest’s darkness.

Broken Limbs Thin

The thin leaf bearing limbs snapped unceremoniously upon contact with the ground. The once green leaves and needles quickly turned to compost, fertilizing the soil for future life.

Thick Trunks Logs Decay Pickup Sticks


The larger parts of the trees stuck firmly into the ground when it broke from the less than sturdy trunks. Jagged edges of both the logs and matching trunks protrude in dangerous angles. Although beautiful, the sharp logs and trunks proved to be deadly to a squirrel who was unfortunate enough to loose its balance and be skewered. Tiny skeletons of those who met a similar fate can be found around the logs.

Echoes

12 11 1 A small breeze breaks its way through the forest’s dense foliage.

12 11 2 A beetle scurries through the dense forest of moss. The plush peat mutes the insect’s soft footfall.


In the little virtual office that the Project gave me there is an awesome description. They also put in an echo that says "Allison rawks!" and "The owner of this office writes glorious rooms that live in our nightmares." I was pretty stoked about that one. Hahah. They also left me a rose which was sweet. This is what my room "looks" like. I'm probably going to change it, but I just thought that this was a great bit of descriptive writing. Some of these writers are seriously amazing. I hope to call myself the same some day.

My office

This round, stone chamber is roughly twenty paces in diameter. Where the
floor isn't concealed by rich, blood-red rugs as soft as plush velvet, the
fine, ebony floorboards, polished to an ice-smooth finish, are visible. The
gently curving dry-stone walls are crafted of precisely-fitted grey marble;
the gleaming expanse is softened by night-black brocade hangings woven
though with silver thread, each showing the night sky in a different season,
the moon-phase varying to mimic the true moon. The domed ceiling overhead
appears to be formed of the purest crystal, though the eternal, moonless
night it reveals owes little to the time or season of the mundane world.
Ebony furniture, carved with subtle thorn motifs and inlaid with sanguine
garnets to resemble rose petals or perhaps droplets of blood, graces the
space with its improbably-graceful curves. Light is provided by blown-glass
orbs filled with softly-luminescent fluid, floating at shoulder height
throughout the space. They avoid obstacles with ease, dimming to darkness
whenever anyone glances above at the display of velvet sky and diamond
stars. The only visible exit is a spiral staircase in the center of the
floor, each downward-leading tread inlaid with constellations in silver wire
and cabochon-gut gems.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Woo Hoo!


Okay, so I'm a total dork, but I just got off Project Legilimensia. One of my editors and another guy came in to the room just tell me that they liked my room!

Convo:

Kaya <99> exclaims 'by the way, this room is great!'

Jack <99> says 'yes, nicole and mira showed me it last night'

Jack <99> says 'i was very impressed'

Kaya <99> nods at Jack <99>.

Kaya <99> exclaims 'yes, this room totally sambas!'

Jack <99> says 'and even made me shudder which is a very good thing for dark writing =P'

Kaya <99> says 'so that's what I came to tell you, Allison, my sweet. That you basically, totally, and absolutely samba'

How exciting is that?! This room bumped me up a level, got me off probabtion (I totally forgot that I was on it) and got me my own personal office on the site! Cool huh? This is some of the best recognition I've gotten ever! And no, I wasn't in trouble, I was on probation as a new member. Ya Hooo! So anyways, if you haven't read the room I'm talking about, it's about three or four posts down.

This was awesome too:

Jack <99> says 'then you're officially a better writer than i ever was/am and will be =P'

Thursday, October 26, 2006

this artist is amazing

For all you Harry Potter fans or just fans of nice drawings you should check out this woman's site. Her drawings are amazing. I was so blown away. These characters don't look like the movie actors, which I think is a good thing since Emma Watson (Hermione) is way to pretty in the movie. Hermione is supposed to be nerdy and not care about how she looks. During the Yule Ball there was supposed to be this huge transformation, but Emma is so gosh darn pretty that there wasn't a huge difference. As a side note, she was wearing blue-ish robes in the book, not a pink gown.


http://www.artdungeon.net/

I still haven't figured out how to do the link thing. Everytime I do the link icon at the top of my page nothing shows up when I go to view my post. I don't know what's wrong with it so you'll have to copy paste.

The boys and girls club

Well today I managed to get my butt outside and down to the local Boys and Girls club. I volunteered to teach kids to scrapbook. It was a lot of fun, but they were using PASTE!! It was so messy and all the paper was ripply and soggy. The guy who lead it with me said that he would get stick glue for next week. Although no one is going to get stuff from me, I did find out that a few of the kid's parent’s scrapbook. I didn't want to be like "hey kid, let your parents know they can buy stuff from me." I didn't want to be a total sleaze ball.

The club was like a mad house. There were kids running around and screaming everywhere. I don't know how those people work there everyday. I only volunteered for an hour and a half and it was so loud I thought that I was going to loose my mind. The kids were so sweet though. All of them are into the ghetto talk already. I just want to correct them left and right. All in all it was a lot of fun and the time just flew by. The kids were so excited to get to have their own scrapbooks and paper.

Today was just a big volunteering day for me I guess. I went to the local YMCA to meet the kids and start up their newsletter. After all the kids heard that it'll be really good for their college apps they all wanted to be part of it. It was quite nice to see how they all wanted to volunteer and to know that they all want to go to college.

The lady who is in charge of the group told me that she could give me a ride home so that I wouldn't have to take the bus by myself at night. Well, I guess she went to lunch or something with her daughter who dropped her off at work after. So neither of us had a ride home. When her daughter came to get her I guess she didn't know that she had to give me a ride too. Her car was full so I had to go home with the daughter and the lady had to find another way to get home. Then when we were driving home I almost had a heart attack because this group of people was in the middle of the street and that lady driving wasn't slowing down. I had to tell her to stop, but she didn't. She then proceeded to say how stupid people are to be walking in the middle of the street so slowly. I don't know how she got her license, but when I took driver's ed, pedestrians had the right of way. She also failed to notice that one of the guys had a cane. I thought we were going to plow right through these guys. So not only was the ride awkward because we didn't know each other and the YMCA lady wasn't there, but she nearly mowed over three people. At the end of the ride she said that she could give me a ride anytime that I needed one since we live near each other. I don't think I ever want to ride with her again. I really need my car.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Finally a new Project Leglimensia room



First Draft Interrogatio Tabulatus Cell:

A tall wooden pole stands seemingly out of place at the far end of the bright white room. Though the room is crisp and white, the poll looks weather beaten and damp. A faint scent of sweat and urine lingers in the quiet room. Small flecks of orange litter the floor beneath the pole’s curved top. Upon closer inspection, a medium sized dark hook camouflages itself at the pinnacle of the sinister looking pole. The rusted orange screws of the hook cause the debris left on the floor, as if the pole had been shaken, releasing the encrusted rust. The lone pole faces the only exit to the northwest, allowing the interrogated to see the escape that cannot be reached.

Extended Descriptions:

Pole Hook: The hook placed at the curvature of the pole serves as a torture tool. Do not underestimate the simplicity of the hook. When chained to it, its victims are certain to die a tortured and painful death. In a traditional behind the back handcuff pose, the interrogated is hung by the wrists. Hours in this position will eventually dislocate the shoulders from the sockets. Only inches from the floor, the victim is helpless and cannot support him or herself.

White Walls Crisp Sweat Urine: Bewitched to beat the interrogated with rain, hail, and snow the walls provide the interrogator with elemental torture. Frostbite and bruises take over the victims as they hang helplessly for days. Naturally, the build up human excrement permeates the room. When the interrogation is complete the room resumes its pristine appearance.


Okay, so this isn't really my idea, well it sort of is. I got this idea from the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz. We saw poles like this in the camp in the same area as the shooting range. Jews would be hung with their arms behind their backs from hooks until they died. I had a really hard time writing this even though I had actually seen the object I'm trying to describe. This is partially because the image in my head is very painful. In order for me to put imagery into a piece, I of course, have to imagine it. So imagining someone hanging by their limbs till their death isn't something I like to think about right before bed.

I know that I did not do the scene justice, but I'm working on it. I've asked my editors for ideas. I'm hoping that since they weren't actually standing right in front of the pole, that they would be slightly desensitized to it and can come up with some way to describe it for others to see what I see in my head. Does that make sense? That's what writers do right? Tell you what's in their heads with their words?

This idea is actually one that I used to get the Project Leglimensia job in the first place. It was much easier to describe then because I actually used Harry on the pole. They wanted dark and sinister, so I gave them dark and sinister.


To help you understand what I'm trying to describe, the picture below shows the gates that were used to enclose the victims. The pole looks very similar to this, but with a hook at the top to hang someone from. The pole was much smaller. Probably about six feet tall or so.

collegerecruiters.com post

Well, since my last post quite a bit has happened. Along with trying to get my little scrapbooking business up and running, my computer had to be sent in to repair. Turns out, it did not take the seven days that Apple told me, it took 14. Of course with my computer luck, more problems ensued after I got it back. Computers do not tend to like me much.

I went to the local YMCA to try to get a scrapbooking program started. That did not turn out as well as I hoped. The woman I talked to was very pleasant and excited about scrapbooking, but did not realize that it does get expensive. Her program had 150+ kids in it so that was not going to work out well for either of us. Something good did happen out of this though. The coordinator also runs a Black and Latino program, which sounds like it's taking off. After she found out that I graduated with an English degree, she was interested to know if I would like to help with getting a bi-weekly newsletter running. I was ecstatic to say the least. Although it would be on a volunteer basis, I see this as a great experience building opportunity for my future editing career. She said that she wanted me to work as an editor for all the high school kids who would be writing it! I was very excited. We sat for a good hour thinking of all the segments and articles that we could do. I would be the one helping them get it all together and teach them how to report and write well. On top of that, she said that there are a lot of volunteers and they might be interested in scrapbooking. I also expect to meet a lot of new friends, as I do not have to many out here yet. It does get a little lonely sometimes.

Along with my unexpected foot forward for my editing career, I had my first Get Together last week. I was so nervous and stressed out that I broke out in pimples. The whole thing went pretty well for my first presentation. I just cannot wait for all this to be over and to have a loyal clienttell base. My leader said that the first year would be the hardest, but to try to work hard. I think that when I come back from the holidays and have a full-time job, I will be a little more at ease. With a steady income I don't think that I'll be so anxious to get clients. Hopefully since I will not be stressing out about it I will be able to get clients with a snap. Wishful thinking, but it will be easier when I'm not feeling so pressured.

Besides all this, with all of my scheming to get jobs from home I've been taken by two scams. Well one scam and one "job" that is pretty much a scam in my eyes. I found a posting on Craigslist for a typist. The ad said that they needed someone to type up ads and that people would give me their information to type up. I thought that it was a legitimate ad, but I had my dad and boyfriend check it out too. After they thought it was okay, I sent in my $14 and got my training information. Well, that was a bust. What they wanted me to do was send out the same kind of ad that I responded to. I was not going to trick people into something that I fell for. I tried to contest the purchase, but that did not work. I deleted the information and have sworn off 'from home' jobs forever. I was not going to lead people to fall for dirty tricks. So now, I'm just going to have to find a job outside of the home. For now it is hard because I'm going out of town for a month and a half and do not have a car. At least I know that the scrapbooking is not a scam. Lesson learned: do not fall for easy money.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Trying to catch up on the news

Did you know that The Goodwill Store sells new shoes?! I was so stoked. I got a pair of cute Mary Jane type shoes for $4.99! They still had the elastic thing on them and no dirt or scratches on the bottom. I was blown away. I saw some really cute shoes that Target had, but they were really uncomfortable. They had a whole bunch, which leads me to believe that Target and Walmart type stores sell all their overstock to Goodwill. These were the cheapest Xhilaration (Target) shoe's I've ever bought. On top of that I got an Express sweater for $4.49. How awesome is that? The sweater probably cost the original owner like $50+. All I have to do is wash it and that's it! It's a nice heavy sweater, which I'm in need of because it's getting seriously cold here. The end of this week as well as next week is supposed to be in the 40's and 50's high. Wow, right now weather.com says that it's 50 degrees but feels like 47. I've never seen it where the "feels like" is actually different than the actual temperature. Many, you have to love California just for that. Anyways, I've been looking in Goodwill for a heavy winter coat. They have a ton there, but it seems like everyone who gives stuff to the store was a billion pounds. Everything is so super big. So I'm guessing that I'll have to go to a regular store and get a nice pea coat or something. I was hoping to get one at an inexpensive price though. I tried on a nice toggle buttoned J.Crew jacket that was a Petite Small, but I was still swimming in it. Old Navy here I come! Delia's is having a sale on all their cute outerwear stuff, but I don't have the money right now to be spending $80 on a jacket from them. I can guarantee that Old Navy has them cheaper. They might not be as cute or stylish, but they serve the same purpose.

I've decided to get an extended warrantee on my computer. After having to send it in and get a new power cord it cost almost $500 in total. So after that, I'm willing to spend the $350 or whatever to get the extended warrantee. It's a good thing that the laptop was still under the year warrantee otherwise I wouldn't have been able to afford that. Phew! I think I can still get the student discount too. Or at least have Ed to do it for me or something. My year is up on Oct. 23rd, but since I bought the computer in California their law says that my warrantee is extended for the time that Apple had my computer. They had it for 14 days so I have until November! Woo Hoo! So now I don't have to scramble around to transfer money to get this. After seeing how much this year warrantee has helped me, I'm convinced that I need this extended plan. What's cool is that they decided that my battery did qualify for the exploding battery thing so they replaced it. I'm glad I sent it in now because when I called them when all that was happening, they said that my model didn't qualify. Plus, they changed my keyboard! So I have a brand new battery and keyboard. Yippee! It doesn't really make up for all the documents I lost, but that's my fault. I feel like Carrie from Sex and the City when her computer crashed and she lost a bunch of stuff. She got a zip drive after that. I'm going to have to start backing up my stuff too. Right now I'm not too worried about it since I have nothing on here.

Anyways, yesterday was my first Get Together for Creative Memories. I was so stressed and nervous during the week that a huge pimple popped up. The Get Together went well even though I only had two people. The both seem really interested so I'm hopeful. Hopefully they'll get me some business. I might actually start making money now. Hehe.

In the time that my computer was gone, I found out that we actually get TV! We have a crappy little TV with an antenna, but it works and gets me Sex and the City and Veronica Mars. I've been planted in front of the tube every night now.

Oh, I'm also going to start volunteering with the local YMCA as an editor for a new newsletter that the Black and Latino group is doing. I originally went to get scrapbooking clients, but that didn't work out so well. I was so excited when the woman said that they were starting a newsletter and needed "experienced" people to run and edit it. Think of how great this will look on my resume!!! I was like, Oh My God, this is going to help me get experience for the publishing industry! If this newsletter gets the recognition that we hope, this will be an awesome reference. I'm also looking forward to presenting the scrapbooking stuff and making new friends. Ed and I are doing very well here, but we both miss having friends around 24/7. I guess we got spoiled at the Grecian where everyone lived within 10 feet...well Tim, Rattan and Alan did anyways.

I've also taken up baking and cooking because it's so cold here. I listen to Mugglecast podcast and cook. Come to think of it, I need to send cookies to Austin and Alex before the batter goes bad. Note to self: bake and send cookies. The last couple of nights I made homemade pierogies that actually tasted good.

Tonight we're going to a women's hockey game and a swim/diving meet tomorrow. We've been really into hockey lately. It's so exciting!! Men's hockey is very stimulating. All the fights and cheering is awesome. I dare say that it's more exciting than Cal games. There is so much more action. I have a video of when RPI scored. You can't really see the puck to well, but you hear screaming and I started jumping up and down so the camera was all over the place. I don't know how I could post that. If anyone knows how, let me know and I'll stick it up. Here are some pictures of us at the RPI vs. York game.






I'm posting pictures of my awesomely acquired sweater and shoes as well as this gigantic bug that crawled up the wall right next to me. It was soooo gross.



Tuesday, October 17, 2006

back up and running

I finally got my computer back! The bad thing is that Apple reformatted it so now everything is gone. It took me a while just to figure out my username for this. Turns out that it's case sensitive so when I put in the name that I thought I used it didn't find me because I used a capital. What a pain.

Anyways, now that it's been so long I can't remember everything that's been going on here. On Saturday we went to a hockey game that was incredibly intense. We ended up tying with Boston University. They're like 3rd in the nation and we tied with them! Go Red! And on top of that Cal beat Washington State. Go Bears!

After we were at the game, we went home and I sucessfully baked home made snickerdoodles. I'm becoming a little miss homemaker. My cooking skills have improved immensely. It's a good thing Edward isn't too picky. Then we went to a midnight showing a the UPAC, a college run movie thing, of Ice Age 2. It was really good. That squirel is incredibly funny. You really start to feel sorry for the guy.

Hmm, what else? The scrapbooking thing is going okay I guess. It's really hard not knowing anyone around here. I have my first big get together on Thursday that I'm a little nervous about. I'm sure it'll go fine, but I'm nervouse none the less.

Oh and it's been super cold here. I'll look outside and think it's warm because the sun is out, but it's freezing. Buffalo actually is covered in 2 feet of snow already. I'm glad that we're not in Western New York.

Okay well I think this is it for now since I can't really think of anything else to say.