Spring Cleaning and Party in the Boonies

Day Twenty-eight/ Twenty-nine:

On Saturday was my day dedicated to cleaning my room. If you have seen the other pictures I uploaded in previous posts, you can see that there was room for major improvement. I spent over 4 hours cleaning my room and unfortunately the room is still messy in a couple of areas. My dad walked in saying, “Wow, your room is so clean!” I think he means clean compared to my sister’s pigsty. Her dirty clothes cover the floor and have replaced the carpet you can see in my room.

junk litters the floor of my room

BEFORE cleaning

What I find interesting is how much garbage was in my room. I found tags from clothes, gum wrappers, kleenex, and even an energy bar from when I was on the swim team almost 2 years ago. I filled a whole trash bag of junk, and I’m glad to say that’s less stuff I will have to go through the next time I feel the urge to clean.

Actually, most of my time cleaning was me throwing stuff onto my bed I wanted to keep, which turned literally into a mountain, which my dad said I would have to sleep on the couch if I didn’t clean it off. I was able to sleep in my bed that night, after I threw everything back on the floor. I did organize in the process with what I thought I should keep, and what ended up to be something useless like a dried out marker or pen out of ink.

the room is now semi-clean

AFTER cleaning, wow my room is officially semi-clean

My cousin had her birthday on Sunday, and this year was her first birthday. Dressed in a frilly pink tutu with matching pink ballerina slippers, she was ready to stroll around the house looking super adorable. Now you might be looking up at the title and see “Party in the Boonies.” When I mean “boonies” I just mean the outskirts of town. You probably have had a friend or relative live in one of the boonies locations. The windy streets, sometimes unpaved, and heavily forested and spaced out houses add to the scenery while taking you away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

Even though I don’t like “boonies,” no street lights kinda gives me the creeps, my cousin’s house is beautiful. It reminds me of a wooden cottage on the lake with a little private beach. My sister referred to it as the “Twilight” house, but she only said that since there were so many windows to look out on the scenery. Of course the rain would have to make everything soaked for her birthday, though she didn’t really seem to mind since the whole party was inside. The party was short and the food was pretty decent. My cousin’s mom loves to be fancy, so the cupcakes and food display looked like something off of Food Network. Though the food I had to go back for seconds was the strawberry rhubarb pie and the chocolate brownies her grandma made.

a pink cutie eats a cupcake

My second cousin with her daddy. She's so adorable! 🙂

During the party, my sister and I went downstairs to the living room where we found the other (much younger) kids playing with the toys and their Nintendo DS consoles. Actually since I asked the 2 boys on the couch, they were playing with the latest and greatest Nintendo 3DS. I was wondering if I should get one of those, but personally I’m sad that I would not be able to play my older DS games on that handheld. So here I am at a birthday party playing with my DSi trying to create some mini-games. I was really trying to get some footage for a scholarship video I was working on. 🙂

After we left, my dad got us lost on the windy road with the night quickly approaching on this no-street-lamp road. He was driving too fast as usual and had completely missed the turn. My mom was afraid he was going to hit a deer since they were just hanging out on the side of the road. Luckily we found our way back to the city. I was in the back seat eating the second slice of pie when I found out we were going out to dinner.

Pulling into an Arby’s, I ate two French dips with au jus along with a couple of curly fries. After devouring a meal for two, my dad pulled into a Dairy Queen for dessert. Where his buy one get one free coupon meant I was stuck with a large, (and large in calories) double fudge cookie dough blizzard. The guy making it even flipped it over, which surprised me since I haven’t seen that in a long time. 🙂 After I had finished “dinner/dessert” I was ready to explode.

Note to self: Next time I eat French dips, have someone eating the other one. 😛

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Funky Shui Mood

Day Twenty-six/Twenty-seven:

I’m in charge of the educational department of the Student Activities events, although I could definitely say my first event did not run as well as Lunar New Year the day before. We were celebrating Trivia Day with a “jeopardy/minutiae” style PowerPoint presentation. I was provided a template from my club adviser and  started working on the presentation. I created a presentation for Jeopardy and then Double Jeopardy. I sent a sample to my club which received some great feedback. Some of the pictures were too much of a dead-give away for the answers, and I was able to catch the mistakes on a few spelling errors for the answers.

On the day of the event, I printed out the copy of slides with the notes with the answers. The fliers had not been specific so I wasn’t sure where in the library we were holding the event. I eventually found what I needed to set-up and was ready on time for the event. The rented laptop set up with my PowerPoint was ready to be started. Sadly though there wasn’t anyone that attended outside the Student Activities group. So I had 2 presentations for 2 members since Katrina was keeping score, and I was running through the slides and checking the answers.

a kitchen display of chocolate delights

Nutella finds its way into my breakfast and desserts occasionally. ♥

This served as a learning experience, because I noticed that the advertising for this event was very non-existent. Sure we had posted a flier in the “live calendar” I had created, and provided mini-fliers up in the office; however, a big red flag was when the librarian didn’t even know we were holding an event in the library. The next educational event I’m in charge of, I’ll make sure to get the word out. I could also add the factor of the snow making everyone confused on what the day the event was rescheduled to. In the end, my educational presentation had no flaws or mistakes when it came to the event.

a cup of hot chocolate with an english muffin suprise

My favorite dessert. Hot chocolate with mini marshmallows and an english muffin with white chocolate chips

I recently checked out a book on Funky Shui (a funky/fun version of feng shui). The book really was interesting how they could design any room in the house to have an interesting collection of bright colors and random objects. If I was to funky shui my house, my grandma would probably feel uncomfortable with all the bright and crazy colors and mismatched chairs and tables. Now I’m not saying that Funky Shui is just a ridiculous amount of chaos, but it helps organize this chaos into a collector’s paradise. For example, they said to promote good “foodju” the fridge should be covered with pictures of kids and good report cards. They also had an ingenious way to display your kid’s artwork. By adding a golden frame to the art and placing it on an easel, your kid’s creative display turns into a masterpiece. If you would want to read more from the book, checkout Decorating with Funky Shui: How to Lighten Up, Loosen Up, and Have Fun Decorating Your Home by Jennifer O’Neil and Kitty O’Neil.

For T.G.I.F, I was able to watch 2 volumes of Peach Girl with my sister and still have enough time to finish up all my classwork and submit it off. I completed the position paper AND the research proposal and outline before my deadline. I celebrated by watching some Erin’s Challenge (Japanese school girl skits) on my phone and worked on updating this blog. It was a long Friday, but a much appreciated one. 🙂

Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year!

Day Twenty-five

a golden buddha is surrounded by lovely vases and live plants

This was the beautiful display inside the restaurant that catered the food

I realize that many people celebrated Chinese/Lunar New year over the weekend and Monday, but due to the weather the party at the school was rescheduled. Also, we needed to make sure we had power for the food. Forgetting to plan for the unexpected, at the last minute I was required to tag along with a friend who was in charge of the event. We needed to pick up some serving trays, run some last minute errands, set up in the cafeteria and get the food. It was a mad dash and we had everything ready a little after our start time. It was similar to a test run since one of the members of the club at the school will be graduating soon, so we will have to make sure we can run events without her.

bright red envelopes with candy referred to as Lucky Candy

Beautiful bright red envelopes filled with "lucky candy"

Note to self: Don’t forget that PLAN B! 

many trays of Chinese food is displayed

Here's the display of food we provided at the event. Makes me hungry just looking at the picture again.

Set-up was a little tricky. First, I forgot that the table cloth must go on the table before you put all the stuff on the table. At least the food wasn’t in the trays yet. Then when you need to ask Facilities for something, I got to have a list in my mind, since I made 3 or 4 times. The guy was probably glad that I stopped bugging him after the fourth run in. The decorations were simplistic, but we were really just trying to get our “free Chinese food” in a corner so that the students would have easy access to it. We hung a “Happy New Year” banner with some decorations bought earlier at Party City.

a plate of chicken, rice, and a fortune cookie are displayed on a golden plate

I know this is horrible presentation skills, but it didn't make the food any less delicious. 🙂

By the time the food arrived I was starved, since I had only managed to chug down my Instant Breakfast earlier. I filled my golden (plastic) plate twice in the hour and half I was there. I also made sure to grab a plate of rice and chicken before I left. We had fried rice (I think it was steamed though), beef fried rice, chicken chow mein, General Tao’s chicken, sweet and sour chicken and beef vegetable. I personally was grabbing a heap full of sweet and sour chicken (my favorite Chinese food dish), a few pieces of the spicy GT chicken, and beef fried rice. We had over fifty students and staff that came and dined on the food. Pretty sweet. 😀

a second plate of Chinese food is displayed

Here's round 2, got way more rice to balance the spicy GT chicken.

I can definitely say our Chinese/Lunar New Year was a success.

a fortune lys next to my chopsticks

I brought my own travel size chopsticks to the event and placed the fortune I received

Focus and Guidance

Day Twenty-four/Twenty-five:

After the snow made the roads difficult and then the fallen trees knocked out power, I had officially lost a week of time for school. This week has been a little rushed with my playfulness in the snow leading me to not finishing my position paper by the original deadline. Luckily, my professor was able to move the deadline since some of the students (who had not been as lucky as I was) had no power so they couldn’t even log on to submit their work. So instead of focusing on 1 assignment I had 2, which wasn’t too bad since I had already started the position paper. I was writing about how successful diets do not come from diet regimens but from eating regular portioned meals and daily exercise. But, don’t take my word as a fitness expert, especially since I gorge myself on my favorite dinners and have been less active after graduating high school.

a large pile of dirty snow at the bus stop

Well I guess you could say it's more of a hill than a mountain. Still I defeated Mt. Dirt Snow that day.

The snow was mainly cleared by the time campus was reopened, though standing at the bus stop was a little difficult. Instead of pushing the snow away, they piled it all at the bus stop. So as I boarded the bus I had to climb Mt. Dirt Snow. Well more like Dirt Snow Hill.

The next morning on my way to class I noticed that the bus driver was unsure of whether she was going the right way or not. She even asked the riders if we knew if this was the place where she was suppose to turn. You could say a bunch of the riders got off at the next stop. Luckily, I have ridden the route over 100 times so I was able to help her for the majority of her route. She was very grateful since it was her first time driving the bus by herself.

Class was interesting since we tried to fit almost 2 classes into one. My dad joked that class should have been doubled so we could cover everything, but I told him that wouldn’t work since the room is only reserved for our class for those couple of hours.

a messy desk holds the crabitat for the pet hermit crabs

The crabitat (crab habitat) is currently needs reorganizing. Inside the tank, the hermit crabs are very comfortable with their mutli-colored sand and heating electric blanket.

I was kinda oblivious to how fast these days went by. I had started a new routine where I’d wake up an hour earlier and power up the Wii Fit Plus to hear the balance board complain how I hadn’t seen her in a couple of days (she’s very needy). I also started modifying the “My Routine” to have a workout that would give me enough time to start and finish without making me late to catch the bus. I’m still working on my time management as a new college student. I was exhausted after the first day I tried this. Sitting at home for a week really wasn’t a smart plan, but I kept at it. 🙂

a messy room is utter chaos

I don't know how I find anything in this clutter. Time for cleaning!

I planned to get back on track since the professor was not going to extend this week’s work, which I could understand. So I refocused myself in class and starting working on the research proposal while finishing the position paper. I felt accomplished at the end of class.

Hello Mr./Ms./Mrs. So-and-So

me holding my "happy" cup

Added an effect from a phone pic...I'm holding a cup with the character "Ureshii" or "Happy"

Day Twenty-three:

Over the many bus rides I’ve taken in my life, I have met almost every type of bus rider imaginable. From the young to the old, I’ve experienced quite an amount of pleasant as well as uncomfortable rides. Those who are commuters, I hope this post will give you a chuckle if you remember that one time you were riding public transportation.

Men. The stinky, the too-much cologne, the haven’t-showered-so-I-smell-your-BO……the skinny, the chubby, the 2-seater who tries to fit his butt in a 1-seat and fails……the business man, the grungy scruffy man, the laid back rule breaker who brings food on the bus, the college student, the high school student……the cursor, the shouter, the complainer, the guy who stares in one direction…..
the male riders come in all shapes and forms, but aren’t preferably my favorite passenger to sit by or have sat by me.

Women are not much better than men. The teenager with the short skirt, the slender model-like types, the perfume wearers and make-up appliers while the bus is in motion…..the mothers with kids who…ride in strollers, stand on seats, make faces at other passengers, babble, scream……the girls who hold their boyfriend’s hands, the girls who chat with their best friend in another language, the business woman, the woman carrying her bags of groceries, the woman shouting on her phone, the woman who uses her bag to make sure no one sits by her…….
the female riders come in all shapes and forms, and usually are decent people to have sat by me.

I can honestly say I have run into most of the types of commuters I can possibly encounter on a regular basis.

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a lit up green dragon at Garden d'Lights

A dragon made out of lights at the Garden d'Lights

Last night I was hunting for my extra stash of mechanical pencils (I use pencils frequently to take notes and write little reminders of my weekly assignments). I thought I had placed them in one area, but each little hiding place I looked left me empty-handed. I didn’t give up. I looked through the drawers of my desk, under my bed, and in my “lairs” which are sections of my room that have so much garbage and junk I really should clean out those areas.

What I did find was some old memories that I had forgotten I had. Random yearbooks from my elementary, middle and high schools, more Fullmetal Alchemist otaku items (I’ll expand on this in the future), even a CD with pictures of me back when I was in fifth grade. I guess I was so distracted by the memorabilia, I forgot what I had been tearing my room apart for in the first place. I did find the pack of mechanical pencils, surprisingly in one of the “lairs.” Sadly, my messy room looked more like a tornado had blown through with all the papers and garbage all over the floor. I haven’t made much progress on cleaning my room.

a chalk sketch of the Garden d'Lights dragon

Here's a quick chalk sketch of the Garden d'Lights dragon. This was done on the black board for "What did you do over the holidays"

Today will be a busy week for me since my class is catching up by doubling up this week since class was cancelled due to the storm.

I’ll expand more on the Fullmetal Alchemist otaku box and the memory items later this week.

To be continued…….

 

Assessing the 2012 Resolutions

Day Twenty-one/Twenty-two:

Here we are in the second to last weekend of the first month of the new year. I’m sitting on my bed looking at the New Year’s resolutions I posted on the bathroom and my bedroom doors. I’ve been trying to keep track of if I’ve been straying or not from the resolutions. Sadly, I am one of those who make the effort, but forget to stay on track. I divided the resolutions into categories, so I wouldn’t have some obscene goal that would be difficult to complete by the time we kiss 2012 goodbye. Exercise, diet, relaxation, college, and professional/work life are my categories. I’ve been focused in college and relaxation (maybe a little too much relaxation), but have not been going any farther in my goal to eat healthier and become more independent.

little fortunes from fortune cookies

"Others appreciate your good sense of humor." "Tell those you love that you do." ~Small fortunes I got the last time I had Chinese food.

Did I word my goals incorrectly? Did I forget to consider what my class schedule would be? Maybe I’m not prioritizing what’s important to me.

I’ve maintained my high GPA in my English class, and turned every assignment and posted in each discussion by the deadline. I’ve made sure to get the amount of sleep I need to avoid waking up with bags under my eyes. I’ve even become more organized by learning more about what programs I should be using on my computer. I think what I’m missing though would be to find someone who could help me stay accountable for my distractions and when I fail to meet the mark.

Life is similar to a computer or video game. The player represents the good guy (or in some cases the bad guy) that must avoid the obstacles, win the prizes, and get to the check point when its time to end the day. There will be the opponents to defeat, the mistakes that will cost something, and of course the grand prize for winning the game. Like my analogy? I just got back a video game evaluation paper with a score of 98/100. 😀

a red sunset with hundreds of birds flocking to it

I felt like I was in a scene of "The Birds" when I was waiting for a bus once

Today I got what you could say would be a “free pass.” Due to the storm making participating in classes difficult, the paper which was due originally tonight was given an optional extension for a couple of days. I’m glad because I was having trouble with the thesis and getting the paper started. We were suppose to post what we thought our thesis would be, and comment on some other classmates’ thesis on points of contention in a discussion thread. Sadly, my post only got 1 response, which was vaguely an argument. More like a “I agree with you…..good post.” Not much information to go off from.

I’m looking back at these resolutions I made the week before the ball dropped and the fireworks were launched. The headings are bolded, the goals are in bulleted lists, I even chose a pretty cursive font for the “New Year’s Resolutions 2012” title. To add something to the list I included 2 pictures on the side. A Japanese daruma (see my very first post), along with a lucky cat. I’ve always liked these cultural items, but I’ve never own one before.

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Its dark outside, but the lights in the house make me feel like it’s still afternoon. I can’t believe how quick the days have been going due to the traveling conditions being difficult with the snow and all. While sitting in my room this weekend, I’ve noticed that my room is a pit.

a little brown hermit crab in a bright orange/white spotted shell

I'm pretty sure this hermit crab is who we call KP. This was before he switched into the red shell with an octopus on it when we introduced him to some new hermit crabs.

I’m adding “clean the lair” to my To Do List on the orange board.

Form of meditation tonight: After I finish the paper (I want to get it done so I can start this week’s work), I will start to clean my room. Wish me luck! 🙂

Not According to Schedule

Day Nineteen/Twenty:

Your given an assignment due at the end of the week. The logical thing would be to create a schedule to accomplish the assignment by the deadline right?
However, things do not always go as planned or “according to schedule.”

Marissa holds up a clump of frozen snow with 2 holes which looks like a mask

Frozen snow with 2 holes make a perfect mask. 😛

Do you need to use the Internet, but your internet connection dies?
Do you plan to read your textbook to prepare for the paper you need to write over the weekend, but find yourself becoming distracted very easily by games?

You are currently at the place that I was yesterday.

I was blessed to have power to keep the house warm and cook a hot meal for dinner, but you could say that I wasn’t in such a hurry to start a paper when I hadn’t even determined which debate and side I was going to write about.

*Technically I had to pick a topic from a section of The Omnivore’s Dilemma that I’m reading for class

gorgeous icicles along the gutter add to the winter scene

Drippingly gorgeous icicles along the gutter add to the snowy winter scene

I have been lucky to….(*knocks on wood*) have never lost power for a long amount of time during storms. I’m the one who will be the lit house in a neighborhood of darkness (this happened a couple of years ago). I heard on the news how much of my friends including the college campus had been left in the dark from the result of power outages. The snow had been piling up though and when it wasn’t snowing then it was raining which created a nice level of ice. I went out yesterday to check on my snow raccoon which was still standing with its head at its questioning angle. He looked like he had developed a fresh coat of snow that blew off the roof.

The branches on some of the trees in the backyard had not been so lucky today. I actually woke this morning to a branch that would have hit my window if the little tree soldiers didn’t shield the window. A narrow escape for Marissa.
The icicles you see were melted by the end of today. I’m glad because that means we’re warming up here.

The hermit crabs (I currently have 4 as pets) also decided to start chirping for some odd reason this morning.
Rewind. Did she just say “chirping?” Yes, chirping hermit crabs. Go to YouTube and type “chirping hermit crabs” I’m sure you’ll find some good videos.

 

Today I told myself I was going to sit down and prepare for my make-up class. Due to the snow storm my class was cancelled earlier in the week, and I wanted to make sure that I had finished

nutella spread on a slice of bread with a sprinkle of white chocolate chips

A slice of whole wheat bread with a spread of Nutella and white chocolate chips. Very healthy dessert. 😛

reading the chapters, lecture, and posted in the discussions before class. I opened my laptop, opened the online book, and started to read the final chapters of the section I had chosen last week.
By the end of the day I had finished the remaining chapters, taken notes on the “important highlights” of each section, and felt ready to face the make-up class.

a Japanese maple tree is covered with snow

Japanese maple tree outside covered with snow. Kirei ne! (Its beautiful!)

I checked my email and realized that the campus had now been out of power. Classes were cancelled, which meant the make-up class was also cancelled. I found out from a friend that my professor didn’t even have power at his house. To think that we have become so dependent on technology that when it begins to fail we are lost. No Facebook, phone signal, Internet to check email, or power for some of my friends; there was a major disconnection. Slowly the power is coming back to my friends, and the updated status of the lucky ones that were able to “check their news feeds” again were immediately “liked” by at least 5 people.

I hope that everyone is staying warm and if your power is out, I hope you will soon have it restored. Please be safe during the stormy conditions.

 

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me smiling with curly hair

The result of French braided hair. Super cute change from straight hair. 😀

 

 

 

I’ve been reading the comments and I received one on how my blog hasn’t been receiving too much traffic. Well to be honest, this project is simply a New Year’s resolution and even if the whole world doesn’t see it, the “Likes” I get on my random posts make this whole project worthwhile. I realize that my title may be a little misleading since “Marissa Meditation: relaxation techniques from a college student” rarely fits the titles of my posts. But don’t worry the mindless ramblings of a college student will start to add up to the big picture.

I’m creating a calendar that shows all my “meditation” techniques throughout this year.

So to all my readers/viewers/those who stumble upon a random blog post of mine, I enjoy the comments you send me. 🙂

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