Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Worst Nightmare (continued)

Well, readers--it looks like a computer funeral is in the works at Rambling Shan's house. TJ tried to load my hard drive into his computer last night to see if he could recover any files. After about 20 minutes the computer told him that the drive was not formatted (computer speak for: you're SCREWED).

So, he called a data recovery service. They said they would be happy to try to get files off my hard drive--I would just need to send them a $100 deposit and then (depending on the amount of information they could recover) the final charge would be between $800-$2400. Considering that is more than I paid for my computer, I said no thanks, and then proceeded to have a mini breakdown at the thought of losing all of our digital wedding pictures and such.

Husband to the rescue! TJ did find all of our wedding pictures, pictures of the dogs, family, and our vacations on an old hard drive from my old computer. He also said there are some documents on there as well, so I will be weeding through those tonight. Looks like super heroes don't always have to wear capes. Thanks, babe!

I just spent the last hour and a half downloading documents from my graduate portfolio onto my computer here at work so I at least have some of those major assignments. I have an email into the university to see if they have the rest of my stuff on their server somewhere. I am waiting on them to see what they have to say.

TJ says I will most likely need two new hard drives and a copy of Windows XP. Just what I wanted to spend $250 on--software that I didn't know I even needed. So long digital camera (that was going to be a graduation present to myself)--hello new computer crap. I can't wait.

I guess I have learned my lesson. I also didn't realize how much I was on my computer until I couldn't be on it last night. Weird how something can become such a part of your routine, you know? Maybe it is a blessing in disguise...I may see that in a few years, but, for now, this is just a pain in the ass thing that I need to have fixed.

Yoga will be so great tomorrow--hopefully I can meditate all this stress away and thing happy thoughts about my computer again.

Until then, I am disconnected from cyber space at home. I may have to break down and hook up the laptop tonight--I hate to think of how many emails are waiting for me. Until I can access again, have a great day!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My Worst Nightmare

I woke up this morning (slowly, since it was after a long weekend) thinking that my biggest problems of the day were going to be (in no particular order):

  1. I lost my favorite lip gloss
  2. I need to get my hair trimmed and I can't find the time
  3. I need a new yoga mat (mine is doing a stupid curl that needs to go away)
  4. I need to make an appointment for the dogs at the vet (they are due for shots and nail trims).

So, as I got dressed thinking those were the biggest problems of the day I thought I could make it through. After all, the lip gloss was $2.00, I can squeeze in a hair cut tomorrow afternoon, I found a yoga mat on clearance at, and I can most likely get the dogs into the vet on Saturday. Crisis averted.

As I finished getting ready (holding onto the naive belief that I had solved my biggest problems) I wandered into my office to turn on my computer to check email and my other morning websites (Myspace, blogger, . As I waited for my computer to start up I went about my morning routine (feeding the dogs, giving them their medicine, getting my coffee, etc.) And then it happened.

A blue screen with the words "FATAL ERROR" emblazoned across the top., no, no, no, no...this was NOT HAPPENING...

I did the only thing I could do. I woke TJ up (he is my resident computer expert) and he wandered into my office and sat down, took one look at it and proclaimed that he had no idea what was wrong, but he was pretty sure that the hard drive had crashed. Crashed--as in died. As in took all my documents, pictures and files with it--crashed!

I will admit I am the world's worst when it comes to backing things up--well, I used to be okay (when I had two drives in my PC), but now I only have one so I haven't backed up in about 6 months. That means all my graduate school work could be gone. All my pictures from my wedding could be gone. All of the pictures we have taken of the dogs over the years could be gone. Gone--as in vanished for all eternity, don't pass GO, don't collect $200 GONE. The documents I don't care so much about. Is it a bummer--sure it is. Is it the end of the world? Nah--grad school is over (Thank GOD) and I can type new documents.

The pictures, however, are irreplaceable. As much as I love my digital camera, this is the downfall. At least with film I would still have copies and the negatives. With digital, I got nada.

TJ said he is going to try to look at it tonight and he has a plan of attack. I can only hope that some things can be salvaged--if not, I am big fat SCREWED.

As I sit here (on my work PC since my home one decided to take a vacation), I can't help but be reminded of a Sex and the City episode where Carrie's laptop crashed (the infamous "sad mac" episode). At the time I thought that episode was humorous and I was thinking "man, is she had only backed everything up she wouldn't have lost all her work." I laughed when she took it to the tech place and all they got off her hard drive was something that looked like it was written in computer code. I laughed because it wasn't happening to me.

I'm not laughing now.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Looks like I am slowly turning my blog into my own personal movie review station.

I want to start off my saying that I have wanted to see this movie since it was in theaters, but, because it was a foreign film I knew I would have a hard time convincing TJ to go. He is not a subtitle kind of guy. The trailer intrigued me. Honestly I knew nothing of the plot (strange that I would want to see a movie based solely on effects--that seems to go against my very English teacher nature).

When I heard it was coming out on video, I knew I had to see it, so I placed it in our Q at I placed it there a week before it came out and I moved it to space number one as soon as I could so that it would get here ASAP. Unfortunately, it seemed that everyone had that idea because it immediately was given the "very long wait" label (which means I would have to wait up to 6 weeks for it to get here). I waited a few weeks and got restless (although it did go from "very long wait" to "long wait"), so yesterday I took The Prestige back to Blockbuster and exchanged it for the only copy of Pan's Labyrinth that they had. (I love the Total Access thing--movies come by mail, you get them and then you can exchange them at the store for nothing--fantastic!).

I finally got the opportunity to watch it last night and it was worth the wait. It is a Spanish film with subtitles (which did not bother me in the least, although the guy at Blockbuster said many people put it back after hearing that)...and the effects were everything that I had hoped they would be. Turned out that the story was pretty good, too.

A girl (Ofelia) comes to a mill in Spain to live with her mom and her new step dad (who is an EVIL Spanish captain). The mill is next to an old labyrinth that intrigues her from the beginning (since she is into fairy tales and fables). One night a fairy visits her and takes her to the labyrinth where she meets a faun (Pan) who tells her she is the reincarnated spirit of the princess of the underworld and to prove that she has three tasks to complete. Between the tasks and dealing with her evil step dad and her sick mother she has quit a road ahead of her. I will admit that I watched some of it between partway opened fingers. Back off--I was alone, it was dark, and some of it was just downright this, for example:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I really did enjoy this film. The story was moving and the character depth was evident. Even the faun who appears a bit menacing at first:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Grows on you as you find he really seems to care about Ofelia:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The soundtrack added to the film and it was never distracting. Too often films use too much music or music that is too loud. This was not the case here. The music was calm and yet mysterious all at the same time.

I do recommend this film to anyone. If you are going to watch it, be aware that it is a foreign film. I don't think that the dubbed English version would retain the charm of the original. (If you have ever seen the dubbed version of Life is Beautiful you know what I am talking about). I will own this film solely to have it because I do think it is one of the best works to come out of the last few years. Films don't have to have explosions and blatant nudity or foul language to be entertaining, and Pan's Labyrinth proves that hands down.

If you have seen it, I would like your thoughts, too. Let me know.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Prestige

TJ and I saw this movie last night. All I can say is "wow." I really enjoyed it. It was about two magicians in turn of the century London who always were trying to outdo the other (sometimes with disastrous results). It was told sort of in three parts at once--past (twice) and present. It was one of those that you try to piece together the whole time and, when you do, your like "Oh my this really happening?" I finally got it with like 10 minutes to go--and I was floored. I don't know if I breathed or blinked for the last part at all. Really--just when I thought I had it all something else came up. It was well written film and Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale were amazing. Let's not forget Michael Caine and a small role by David Bowie (yes, that David Bowie--I didn't even recognize him).

Although TJ didn't like it as much as I did I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a mystery type movie. Be prepared to devote all your attention to it, though--if you miss one minute you miss a lot. If you haven't seen it yet--what are you waiting for? Go, now, to Blockbuster to get it! :-)

If you have seen it, write your review here and let me know what you think. Don't spoil the ending for those who haven't see it, would ruin the experience.

Enjoy what's left of your long weekend.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Visual DNA

As I was surfing through my friends' Myspace pages I came across something very cool--Visual DNA. You complete a series of statements with pictures and at the end the site gives you your visual DNA personality profile. Mine was pretty accurate. Now I'm sure it is most likely like horoscopes (you know--so general that it fits nearly everyone), but it was still a cool thing to do and gave me a chance to really think about some of my answers. Here is my visual DNA:

You can get your own at What are you? Did your visual DNA match your personality? Was it way off? Let me know--I'd love to see what you thought. Enjoy!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Teenagers (Part I)

No, not mine (since I don't have any)...

As anyone who knows me already knows, I teach freshmen...well, teach is a relative term. For many I babysit 8 hours a day. Anyway, I digress.

We decided at the start of this semester that the kids would be working to earn a "work ethic certificate" that would gain them entrance into our freshman field day (read: day for them to do whatever they want outside). We told them they had to get 14/20 points to go. That really isn't asking much. So, the deadline comes about and nearly half my kids don't even turn in their papers...and they asked "can I have extra time?" Uh, HELLO! It is a WORK ETHIC certificate...duh.

Anywho, today was the day. We held our RAP auction in the morning for all kids (which was awesome, by the way) and then, after lunch, we called the kids who earned the certificate (hereafter known as the good kids) up to leave the auditorium and the other kids (hereafter known as the bad kids) had to stay in the auditorium and do work for three hours. Let me tell you...they were PISSED that they didn't get to go. I mean, not to brag about how awesome the day was, but we have a DJ (outside), Mr. Softie came to give the kids ice cream, they had free drinks, and entire field to run around in...for over two hours. It was amazing (hot, but amazing). The kids on the field were well behaved, everyone was having a great time and they really seemed to enjoy the free time (and so did we--we had just about as much fun as they did).

Then the end of the day came and I popped in to check on the bad kids--and boy, were they BAD. They had trashed the auditorium, refused to do work, were throwing things at one another and refused to behave. I found out that nearly 25 of them had been written up already (much to the distaste of our in school suspension teacher), but it still wasn't good enough. As I walked out I heard "this isn't fair" "this is cruel" "this sucks." You know does. But you put yourself in that situation so I have ZERO sympathy. ZERO.

And, to top it all off, bad kids were sneaking out of the auditorium to hang out with the good kids. Why? Because somewhere in the last few years many kids have developed this sense of entitlement that I can't understand. (I was eating candy in class the other day and this kid said "well, if you get to, then so do I." I was like "excuse me?" I would have never said things like that). Anyway, the bad kids really felt that they had the right (and were entitled to) attend field day. Their punishment? A day of in school suspension. (whoopideedoo!) Like they care--that means they don't have to be in class for a day. Why is that punishment?

Overall, today was great. I did realize that I really like some of the kids that I have--they are nice and funny and respectful. I also realized how much I don't like the other kids that I have. They are rude, disrespectful, mean, angry and have a sense of entitlement. I'll be glad when that half goes. Wait--what am I saying--they'll fail and I will see them again! Lucky me!

Will I be sad to see some of the kids go on June 5th? Sure. But, there are other kids that have opened up and shown me their true personalities over the course of the last nine months and I will really miss them. Too often they leave their freshman year and I never see them again--they forget me (although they say they won't) and I rarely, if ever, get thanked for any work that I do for them. But, if I were in this for glory, I would be in the wrong place.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to take a shower--I need to wash the "field day" off. Enjoy your Friday!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My Addiction

As I sit here enjoying my morning cup of coffee, I think about the fact that it is my one true addiction. I like chocolate, but I don't have to have it everyday. I like pasta, but I can do without it for a few weeks at a time. I enjoy a glass of wine every now and then but not all the time (which is good because that would lead to an entirely new post and an intervention or something of that nature).

Coffee, however, I cannot live without. I have to have it each morning. I'm not sure if it really wakes me up or if it is just the ritual that I am tied to, but, all I know for sure is that if I try to go a day without it I am a grumpy person indeed (more so than I already am for those of you who are like "so what's the difference?")

So, I have shared with you my one true addiction. What's yours? What one thing (or many things) can you absolutely not live without (even for a day)?

Friday, May 11, 2007

To Yoga or Not to Yoga

A few weeks ago I decided that I was going to start taking Yoga classes. Why? Because I was watching the movie The Next Best Thing and I thought "what the hell--I'll do Yoga." I mentioned to a couple girls at work and they decided they wanted to go, too. Beginner classes are Thursdays at 6:15, so we readied ourselves to go. Unfortunately, Julie's daughter was sick, so she had to miss. Leann and I headed out today not knowing what to expect.

Let me just say that it was interesting...a good interesting. First off, I will tell you right now that there are parts of my body that will hurt tomorrow that I didn't know could hurt. Second of all, it was incredibly relaxing. There was ten minutes of quiet time at the end of class where the lights go out, calm music plays and you just breathe. I had no idea how relaxed I was until the instructor told us to roll over on our side. My brain was saying "roll over" and my body was totally having none of that. I actually felt a little lighter (if that makes any sense) after we left. Both of us were amazed at how relaxed we actually felt. Third (and lastly)--I wish the place wasn't so close to Subway--every time I did a deep breath in through my nose I smelled food.

We were both bad at it and I realized that I have zero balance and little flexibility, but we are going back. We both also realized that we often forgot to breath (since we were concentrating on not falling on our asses). It is something worth pursuing, I think. I'm glad that I went (even more glad that I didn't have to go alone) and I am looking forward to next week. At least I say that now--if I can move tomorrow :-)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Things That Annoy You

I am sick today so I am in a bad mood. Being sick annoys me because I don't really have time for it...taking time off work for me is super hard. This annoyance led me to think about all the other things that bug the piss out of me. Here is my short list:

George Bush (sorry for you fans, but he annoys me), loud chewers, Britney Spears, The Office, kids throwing temper tantrums in public, rain, people who keep their turn signals on long after they have turned, Charles Dickens (the man rambles forever--I guess that's what happens when you get paid by the word), emptying the dishwasher, clutter, loud cell phone talkers, bass so loud it shakes my car, slow drivers, construction, fog, tags sticking out of peoples' shirts, the word "phenomenal" (long story), arrogant people, severe weather interruptions during my favorite show, dog hair, algebra, back-talk, bad hair days, rude people, the war in Iraq, the Chicago Bears (as a Packers' fan, I have to include this), the length of baseball season, small minded people, the price of gas, spam (not the "meat"), dishonest people, bad service, stupid charges on my cell phone bill, Sanjaya, hiccups, close-talkers, people who talk through movies, made up holidays, and power outages.

Okay, so not so short (but not nearly everything I could have listed)...what about you all? What annoys you?