A 2 page paper

For one of my classes, I had to attend a public government meeting. I found one with a topic that I felt strongly about, and took notes at the meeting. The meeting was supposed to be an hour long, but, because I wasn’t the only one feeling strongly about the topic, the meeting went on for 3 and a half hours. I had a lot of notes.

I started writing the assigned 2-3 page paper, without the notes, just answering the prompt questions that were assigned. An hour later, I realized that I had 7 pages written! Oh my goodness. I had better start cutting.

I ended up spending an hour cutting and found myself with 8 pages. So much for cutting out pages. I spent another 6 hours cutting out paragraphs and descriptions and my own opinions to get down to 4.5 pages. Cut some more.

I ended up with a 3 page paper with 2 lines on the 4th page with the bibliography. Not bad for a rambler like me.

I turned it in, then realized I didn’t quite answer one of the questions, but I hope it’s good enough to pass the assignment.

Bobbing for Apples in the Garage

Molly hangs out with me in the garage while I do my homework, school meetings and other Zoom meetings. She is generally quiet, but once in a while, she wants to play. She gets bored.

She got a new ball recently. It would light up with a bump, so when we threw it, it would flash when it bounced. This lasted about a minute. Molly chewed it until the light stopped lighting up. It still works as a fetching toy, though.

On one recent toss, Molly’s ball landed in her water bowl. She looked at me. I wasn’t getting it. It was wet. She wasn’t getting it. It was wet. She tried to get it, but she couldn’t get it without getting herself and the floor wet. It looked like the puppy version of bobbing for apples.

Finally, she got it! She was kind enough to bring it to me. I absentmindedly grabbed it from her. The ball released the rest of the water that was inside it. So, now I was wet, too. I threw it and the final bits of water flew out. So much for keeping the floor dry.

Facts about the California State Flower

California state flower

When I was taking a course on California history last semester, I had to look up facts about California. One of the things that I found was information on the state flower. The above linked article shows some interesting facts about the flower and why it was chosen. It also tells us different names that the flower is called and how far it has traveled. There’s so much to learn about the state, and the flower is just a small part of it.

California state flower - The California Poppy


When school started, so did the number of zoom meetings on my calendar. Eye strain and fatigue are problems, especially after reading and writing for each of the classes is accomplished.

One of my instructors started a 20/20/20 portion to the class meetings. Every 20 minutes, stare for 20 seconds at something that is at least 20 feet away. This seems to help a lot with eye strain and tension. He says it’s best to do it if you are looking at something beautiful, like a tree or the ocean. I end up looking at whatever is across the garage, since that’s where I usually do most of my classes.

It’s worth trying. I may have to paint something to hang 20 feet away, so I have something interesting to look at when I am staring.

Modern Day Playing Hooky

Modern day playing hooky

The above linked article is interesting, but it refers to the girl in it as a modern-day Ferris Bueller. I don’t think I would go that far. This child needs a handler, like Ferris did, but she’s just outsmarting the system, not running around town.

The girl figured out a way to lock herself out of Zoom, basically making it so that she can’t attend classes. It took many adults and a great deal of time to figure out what she was doing to get out of classes. She is a smart kid with some guts to outsmart the local adults. I assume at this point that she has someone watching her, or they have figured out a workaround.

Last week in review

Last week was a long week at work. I spent longer hours there than usual. This normally isn’t a problem, but it was also the first week of school. This week took a lot of planning. On three different days, I had to do three of my classes at work before heading home.

I decided that I needed a reset so I managed to get a pedicure and made an appointment to get the oil in my car changed. I caught up on homework and made an appointment to meet with the TA of one of my more difficult classes.

I think that this semester will be good. I am trying to get myself organized and learn what is expected for my classes. There is a lot of reading for them, but it’s doable if I organize my time well.

I’m glad that I got blog posts written ahead of time and I have alerted my bookclubs that I’m not going to make some of the meetings. Now I just need to stay on top of things and keep a tight calendar. So far, it’s going OK.

Review Requests

I am asked to review books from time to time. I usually enjoy this. Sometimes, though, the author has a deadline. I really and truly understand this. If I am unsure about being able to hit the deadline, I let the author know before I accept the task. After that, it’s the author or publishing company’s call if they want me to do the review or not.

Recently, I was asked to read a 5 book series with a due date in 3 weeks. I don’t start school again until the day before the due date, so I accepted. 3 weeks is pushing it a little, but I’ll give it a shot.

A week has gone by already, and I haven’t received the material. How do they expect me to get it read and written if they don’t send it? This isn’t the first time this has happened. It’s just the first time with this particular author. It’s hard to meet deadlines if no one else is meeting them.

Double booking myself

As many of you know, I live by my calendar. If it isn’t on the calendar, it probably doesn’t happen.

My phone had broken, and the replacement phone hadn’t come in yet, so I didn’t have my calendar readily available for a couple of days. I knew generally about what was coming up, but not really specifically.

I needed to get new tires on one car and oil changes on two. I scheduled one car’s oil change and the tire change for the same day and time so my daughter could drive her car in while I drove the other. I worked around her schedule, forgetting to look at my own.

I ended up doing a Zoom meeting for school at the auto repair place while trying to juggle the cars.

I managed this one by the skin of my teeth, but I did. It caused unnecessary anxiety, and I’m hoping to not try this one again. Less stress and anxiety this year, I hope.


I watched this as part of the film noir program at The Roxie theater late in 2020. I think this was one of the weirdest movies I’ve watched. It’s a well-known movie by movie historians, but it really wasn’t for me.

It was a silent film and it bounced between reality and dreams. It was hard to follow at some points, but I worked my way through the movie. Nope, I didn’t like it, but I’m also not a big horror fan.

Wrapping up 2020

As 2020 comes to an end, here are my thoughts on the things I’ve accomplished.

I attempted a post every day, but I fell a little short at the beginning of the Fall semester. I think I came pretty close, though.

I attempted to post What Are You Reading every Wednesday. I missed a couple, but I came close. This was because once we started sheltering in place, I lost my internal calendar and had no idea what day of the week it was a lot.

I attended online bookclubs when I could. I didn’t finish a lot of the books, but I got to know a lot of the people. I also found out that Inky loves Zoom meetings and usually will sit happily on or near me during them.

I came nowhere near the health and exercise goals this year. It didn’t help that the gym and pool areas were closed.

I exceeded my reading goal of 100 books. When I set the goal, I was expecting to read and review several children’s books, so 100 wasn’t as high as I made it seem. I read 101 books as of December 20, but many of them were read before I hit my slump in March. I managed to get back to it and finish up the year.

I think I did fairly well, all things considered, but I could have done better. Next years goals are set, but I didn’t aim too high. I wanted achievable but not too easy. They’ll be published tomorrow.