Friday, April 25, 2008

It's a boy!!!

Now Melanie and Kevin have to think of baby boy names and try again later on to have a girl. I requested a girl since they're more fun to dress, but I'll take a boy too.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

To post or not to post...

As finals approach very quickly, like road runner quickly, I have to write more papers that I really want to. So, I'd like to say that I might not post for about a week, but knowing myself I will probably post about every little thing that happens just to procrastinate. It's up in the air, but be forewarned, I might not post for a little while.

Anyway, my high school friends and I started an AA for shoppers support group. My friend Shanna and I are horrible at saving money so our friend Melanie, who is great at saving, is helping us manage our money. We started on Monday, and neither of us has spent any money yet. Whenever we get the urge to spend we IM or text each other to prevent each other from buying. Shanna is saving way more money than I am because she eats out a lot. She's been making breakfast and lunch for herself and she's saving loads of mu-lah. I don't really spend much during the week since I'm at work and school most of the time and use our Crock Pot everyday. It's the weekends that kill me. That's when I go out and "de-stress" shop. We've allotted ourselves certain amounts of money for our necessities. Mine is about $910 a month for groceries, rent, and gas. To be realistic we've given ourselves small amounts of spending money. When I say a little, I mean a little. I'm only giving myself $50 a month! It's difficult because of Christopher and Ed's birthdays and Ed's graduation, but I'll make due. Melanie said that I can spend a little extra for presents, but not to go overboard.

I've agreed to only buy one pair of shoes every six months as part of the support group. My eyes almost popped out of my head when Melanie said that. Also, I've been putting off a haircut, but I'm going to bite the bullet and go get one which means that it is to come out of my extra money. I have to save so that I can buy my herb transplants in May. They're only about $2 each, but I want to buy all the ones that I managed to kill. Instead of buying a new timer for the coffee pot (the one that we have doesn't work) I'm going to use that money to buy myself some plants and just wake up a little early to push the power switch. Ed suggested that I put the pot in the bedroom so that I can roll over in bed and push it, but the machine leaks a little and I don't want it to ruin our furniture. Plus, having a coffee machine in the bedroom is kind of weird. It'd smell good though...but the idea of sweet smelling herb transplants sounds better.

Speaking of herbs, my plants are doing pretty well. I can't wait to go get transplants though. It's instant gratification. I got a tomato plant today from my coworker. So I'm going to plant that tomorrow I think. I'm very excited.

With all of the money that I plan on saving I am going to direct deposit $10 a month into my ING account that is dubbed the "Emmy Fund, Lasik Fund, and Oh Crap Fund". Since the one savings account has three uses, I want to open three separate funds. If I start with putting $10 in the combined fund, eventually I can open the others. Right now, the fund is primarily the Emmy Fund in case something happens to her, but I really want Lasik soon so I have to save.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I've been wanting salad lately and saw a cooking show on tv today showing how to make an antipasto. It looked so good. It's a good thing that I saw it before I went grocery shopping. I tried it out tonight so that I can m it for my class on Wednesday. I found a recipe on and got this Antipasto recipe off. It's awesome. Family, I know you all like antipasto from Buca, I thought that you could try this out. It makes a lot and is very tasty.

For the pasta I sauted some mushrooms and spinach to combine it with our left over meatball sandwich sauce. Yummy!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Vegetables are coming!

My cauliflower, which I always want to call cabbage for some reason, is doing really well. Today Edward and I saw that Brussels Sprouts are starting to pop up too! After I watered them, they really started stretching their little leaves. Within the first hour after I watered them there were little seedlings coming up all down the row! So exciting!

Friday, April 18, 2008

I got the job at the Y

Even though I'm already an employee at the Y, I needed to go in for an interview this morning for the Assistant Summer Camp Director. The Child Care Director apparently liked me and my answers to the scenarios that she gave me. I don't really feel like typing out our entire interview, but it doesn't matter. I got it! I think I was the only one up for the job since my friend had asked for me, but I guess I'll never know. So now I can stay at the Y and get my two years of experience at one place as well as have the schedule flexibility for the summer and winter. My friend's only concern was my trips home. Since we worked together last summer he knows that I like to go home. I told them way ahead of time that I needed a week off for Melanie's baby shower and they seemed to be fine with it. Yay!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Herbs: Day 31

Well, I've killed Oregano, but my transplant Rosemary is growing pretty well. I've decided just to go with transplants from now on. My Basil is going okay, but if those poop out too I'm definitely going for transplants with those as well. I called the local nursery today and they said that they would have lots of herbs by Mother's Day, so I'll have to wait until then.

On the up and up, my cauliflower sprouted! There are lots of them, so I'm hoping that at least 1 lives so that I can say I grew cauliflower successfully.

Picture Post

These are the cinnamon rolls that I made for class yesterday. Everyone really liked them, but when I tried them they were a little dry compared to the ones I made during Thanksgiving.

Before baking

After baking

My Cauliflower buds! I counted about 13 of them this morning after I watered them, but by the end of the day there were much more. I was so happy!

The little girl going potty and then getting ready to do her little dirt kick.

Today was such a nice day I sat outside on our deck for hours reading Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady by Florence King, which is a hilarious book by the way, and actually got a little burnt! So this evening I took out all of my summer stuff and put away my winter clothes. Look how many tank tops I have! It's a little scary to tell you the truth. How many white tank tops does a person really need?

Look at our awesome meatball sandwiches. They were sooooo good. I gave them an A+ in the new Better Homes and Gardens slow cooker book I got last week. 4/4 recipes have received A's so far. I highly recommend this book if you're a Crock Pot fan.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Look how freakin' awesome my new Harry Potter robes are!!! My mom sewed these up for me and then expressed them over here so that I could wear them tonight for my HP Fanfiction presentation. I'm so ready for conventions now.

Thank you Mommy!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

You know you have a close relationship with your mom if...

You call her to ask her one question and then end up talking to her for an hour and forty five minutes about everything under the sun.

...This is why neither of us get anything done.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fanfiction presentation

For my Information Age class I'm doing a Harry Potter fanfiction presentation. I'm pasting my presentation notes here so that you all can see what consumed my life for a good two years as well as made me decide to be a writer.

Just a note: I put my penname as well as the site that I posted to, but don't bother going to look for my stories. I've been red-flagged and they took my stories off the site.


Ah, the lovely world of fanfiction! Can you hear the little clicks of budding writers’ keyboards as they frantically develop their own stories? When it comes to filling the void in between book releases and the completion of the series, Harry Potter (HP) fans have found an alternative outlet for HP fulfillment.

What is Fanfiction?
I think that HollyLime, a The Leaky Cauldron forum member, puts it the best in her fantastic essay “Modern Genre Theory Examines the World of Harry Potter Fanfiction”:

“Fanfiction is the creative product of a distinctive, fan community and is typically posted on sites devoted to fanfiction. Each site organizes its library of fanfiction into very important groupings that act as organizers and labels for the individual stories. These are typically referred to by the users as ‘the genres’. Common examples include romance, humor, angst, crossover, alternative universe or adventure” (HollyLime 2).

If you think back to the beginning of the semester (I know, it feels like it was years ago) you will recall that Henry Jenkins also describes the world of fanfiction in Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. He uses it in the context of spoiling Survivor, but the same general theory applies.

“While spoiling tries to anticipate how they will react to the incidents depicted in the series, the fan fiction takes this one step further, trying to imagine how they would respond confronting challenges and dilemmas that they never faced in real life” (Jenkins 39).

To the already reeling imaginations of Potter fans, fanfiction allows obsessive readers to continue their love for the boy wizard as well as to venture into their own fantasies for the adored boy. Scores of people across the globe find that fanfiction is a useful outlet for reliving their glorious Harry filled days. Fanfiction is specific to its personal fandom and cannot be generalized throughout the masses of fanfiction readers. While this is true to the HP community, fanfiction allows readers to constantly have new adventures and romances to follow and enjoy.

As an imagination-developing tool fanfiction is a good way for young and old hopeful writers to try their hands at full-length stories. With the characters already developed, fanfiction poses as a useful tool for writers to start with without the need to develop their own backstory and character descriptions. Of course, this means that readers of fanfiction must be active in the canon of the stories.

The Network in fanfiction

Fanfiction creates a network of people who can relate to one another. The network within the fandom becomes essential in the growth of individual writers. Not only are the writers able to converse with people who have similar interests as they do, they are also receiving positive feedback from their readers. “Writing was seen as a way to have fun, exercise one’s imagination, and avoid boredom. Rhiannon also characterized it as ‘stress relief’. What they were less likely to say explicitly, but what seemed clear to us, was that fanfiction writing also helped to develop and solidify relationships with various friends, online or otherwise” (Chandler-Olcott & Mahar 560). For the average fanfiction writer the fanfic world becomes their haven where they can be part of the “popular” crowd. Hidden by pennames and a computer screen, fanfiction networks feel safe for writers. Scrutiny can be taken at a distance and are taken as constructive pointers.

Playing by the rules
Rules within the fanfiction world apply as if it were a giant workshopping community. Most sites discourage “flaming” or destructive and useless feedback. Many sites will moderate these comments and not post them at all. Although this shields writers from the true feelings of their readers, it helps writers become more confident with themselves and their writing.

Fanfic communities have a stream of resources for aspiring writers. Beta-readers, proofreaders, are one of the most valuable tools to the writing process of fanfic writers. This process of Beta-reading is much like having an invisible writing guardian angel. Readers volunteer to proofread writers’ work to help improve the narratives before they are posted onto the sites. Not only does this help the writer improve their storytelling skills and grammar, it makes the experience better for the writer’s fans. Yes, fans! One of the beauties of fanfiction is that the writers can gain their own following of readers. The encouragement that writer’s fans give motivates the writers to keep writing, even if they feel dry of ideas.
This is an example of one of the reviews I received back in the day:

October 9, 2005: The Struggle
By: Quotewhore7
“This is a wonderful, fantastic story!!! I love it! If you don't mind, I'll point out a few grammar mistakes. When someone says something, you put a comma before 'he said, he screamed, he whispered, etc." and the next word is not capitalized. Example: “Malfoy,” she said. You have the quite a lot, so I thought I'd point it out to you. :D I always try to help as best as I can, I hope you don't get mad. Also, perhaps it would be much easier to read if you spaced paragraphs. Love ya!”
--Football Girl (

There is definitely an extreme amount of fluff, but there are some good tips in this review. All of my stories were written in my pre-creative writing days and I had no idea how to structure my narratives. Football Girl’s tips helped me sort out all of my dialogue mistakes.

Artwork among the community

Out of the millions of stories to read how does fanfic reader know which one to choose? Pretty much all HP fanfiction sites require that the writer give some sort of summary. As a bonus, sometimes writers will create or have someone else create banners for their stories. These banners tend to be very colorful and sometimes have flashing images and scrolling banners. They can be extremely complex. In the writer’s account s/he can see how many times their story has been opened, “hits”, all the way down to which chapters have been read the most. Stories with banners, no matter how poorly made the banner is, get more attention than stories without them.

This is a banner I made for my story “In the Shadows”. You wouldn’t believe how long this little thing took me in Photoshop. I am definitely not a Photoshop guru.

HP Fanfiction sites

Harry Potter Fan Fiction (This is where I used to post to.)
The Sugar Quill
MuggleNet Fan Fiction

To the average person (not a fan) fanfiction can be ve alienating. Without knowing the canon, an outsider rarely has access to the backstory that the writers are building off of. Not only does the outsider not have the basic information of the fanfic, they are also lacking the passion and patience that is required for a fanfiction reader. Since a majority of the stories are written by young writers, the content as well as proper grammar and style can sometimes be messy. Fanfiction is written for small niches of readers who enjoy the expansion of their particular sect of canon. With the passion from the fans comes patience for said faults.

Rowling on fanfiction

In 2004 an article emerged on BBC News about Rowling’s reaction to fan fiction. Her representative, Christopher Little, r that she is flattered by the fan’s reactions, but reminds them that her stories are for kids. “A spokesman for Rowling's literary agent said she was ‘flattered people wanted to write their own stories’ based on her characters… He said ‘The books may be getting older, but they are still aimed at young children.’ ‘If young children were to stumble on Harry Potter in a an x-rated story, that would be a problem’” (Waters 2004).

Unfortunately for me, I was red flagged by because of my rated R fanfic. I was a little hurt and irritated when I first found out, but I had long since fell away from this particular part of fandom so I wasn’t too upset about it. Now that I’m older I’m glad that they did take off my story.

My first roast

I tried to make a roast today for dinner. It came out a little well done, but not bad for my first time.

I also made meatballs for our Thursday night dinner of Meatball Sandwiches during my Sunday prep. I think they look really nice and they smell awesome. I think that I will try to make these again for spaghetti and meatballs. You're probably saying, why is she posting pictures of meatballs of all things? Well surprisingly enough, I've never made meatballs either. I've only made meatloaf, which is very similar but aren't as cute and round.

These are my Red Lobster inspired garlic and cheese biscuits. We're eating them with leftover Shrimp Creole and couscous.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Garnet Hill Sheets

For Julie's birthday I ordered some stuff from this catalog called Garnet Hill. Now I get the catalog every month or so. The clothing is very expensive and not my taste, but the linens are so cute. I really want to get these two patterns in the duvet cover, but they're $80 each. Way more than I'm willing to pay. I ripped the pages out of the catalog and plan to go look for similar patterns elsewhere when I have money. I've been shopping like crazy lately because I've been stressed and shopping is my stress outlet. Hopefully I can find similar covers. I like our white one that Julie gave us, but now that the season is changing I feel like we need a little more Spring in our apartment.

I would like the nice cream colored one. The tan wouldn't be bad either, but the pinkish is a little too pinkish for me.

Friday, April 11, 2008

My stress relief shopping spree

Today I went to out on a shopping spree, if you will, for more shoes and found myself at Barnes and Noble. I did find a couple of pairs of shoes at Payless ShoeSource, but I think I might return them. I'm still on the fence because they really cute. The black pair are actually red, but the site didn't have a picture of them in red.

I also bought myself some cook books with the gift card that Mrs. Levie gave me for my birthday last year. I finally got out there and got stuff. The Good House Keeping book had a 30% off sticker on it so I thought that it was a good deal (originally $24.95). Anyway, so when I was checking out I noticed that my total came out a little bit too high. I asked the cashier about it and he had it fixed. Apparently the book went off sale, but they didn't take the stickers off. They honored their mistake and gave me $8.09 back. Yay! Go me! The manager even said that I had a good eye. I'm horrible at math, but when it has something to do with my hard earned money those little wheels in my head keep coming.

Thursday, April 10, 2008