Miscellaneous

Ends of holidays always end up being more productive than the rest of it, don´t they?

I´m halfway through a really fun read by Sophie Kinsella, “Twenties Girl”, which I found at a second hand shop last year and had forgotten all about it. I know it´s kind of difficult not to like Sophie Kinsella books, but this one is particularly cute. The main character is one of those annoyingly obsessed female characters who keep on dreaming about their exes, eventhough they aren´t all that great to begin with and are no longer interested – I always wish I could shake them and yell “Have you no self respect, woman?!?”. Luckily, her great-aunt´s  ghost – yup, she wrote a ghost story -, in all her 1920´s glory, is kind of stalking her to find a necklace (and later, go on a date with a, quote, delicious man, unquote) and she´s reaally fun and doesn´t hesitate to voice whatever is on her mind — I´ve found my heroine!!

I´ll quote her later, it´s too good.

Meanwhile, I am slowly crawling with/in Python on the Udacity courses. Have I mentioned I´m absolutely loving both courses? Very impressed with Professor Evans, from CS101 (“How to build a search engine” or something). I had a really good time in Unit 1. And then I got the guts to try CS373, which demands all that Python I neglected over the holidays. It was brutal. Really. But slowly they all began functioning. Not elegant in the very least, mind you, and I´d stare in shock at the much shorter answers prof Thrun gave afterwards, but at least they work. Then I spent all my Sunday afternoon staring in despair at the homework programming assignment. Bloody matrixes. Now it seems to be working. Some bits to sort out. Wednesday.

And all this is being blurted out by yours truly because she chose to believe the official university calendar, as opposed to word of mouth, and bumped into a shut door, at 8am, sleepy and hungry. I love this library. Classes begin tomorrow, so technically I´m still on holiday :)

Have a good week! (;

(more on miscellaneous here)

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Spreading the Meg Cabot fever

I’ve started what? 3 or 4 books over this last month and completed zero. Which means not only moping for me, but no reviews for a blog that was supposed to be all review-y and push me to read more. Fail.

But this weekend I went out with my little cousin, which is a rare feat, I’m saddened to say, and we wound up in the bookshop. I asked her what she liked to read and she pointed me to some cutesy graphic novels, which I’m found of too, but what about non-picture books? Any favourites? Apparently not.

So I pick up “All American Girl”, by Meg Cabot, and ask her to read the first chapter – a countdown of all 10 reasons why the main character, Samantha, hates her sister. There are several countdowns throughout the book and they all start at 10 and culminate in the first, main reason. I don’t know why, but I remember I thought that was so awesome – and tried repeating that in my journals, but always failed. Planning was not my thing. Ironically, that’s what my cousin first commented, with a glowing look. The I’ve Discovered Meg Cabot look.

I’ve converted another one.

When I was about 10 or 11, I found one of the Princess Diaries books at my school’s library, and proceeded to read it. I read several of them, all out of order because the library didn’t have them all and the missing ones weren’t always readily available at the bookshop. I devoured them. When I found out about the other Meg Cabot books, I devoured them too.

It was a quick, funny read. I had a great time with them.

And when the time came that I’d read all of the translated ones (it took forever for them to translate, at the time), I started reading the originals. That’s how I found out I could read in English. Meg Cabot was really good for that, because it’s mostly diary style, with very colloquial language so you feel like the characters are talking to you, which is very very good if your English isn’t all that grand (I was 13), but they aren’t kids books, so you get to improve quite a bit. I always thought I owed to Meg Cabot most of my English abilities.

When she finally came to Brazil, I was 16 going on 17 – my Meg Cabot-loving friends and I went to see her at a book signing/talk. We had no tickets because it was in another town, the line was huge, everything was a mess, but we somehow managed to get in, listen to her speak, with gleaming little girls eyes, and then got 6 books signed through nice people on the queue and a lot of persistence to get a photo. We talked to equally enthusiastic people. We laughed hysterically. We stared in disbelief whenever something worked. It was a magic day.

And now, maybe, my little cousin will get that too, with her friends.

My edition, gift from mom, 2004. ;)

City’s font identity

I bumped into this while go through my Bulk mail (why does Gmail insist on keeping stuff from me?), through Good.is . I’d loove if my city took this up.

Around the world, only a few hundred people make a living as fulltime typeface designers. Two of them happen to live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, population 167,000, where they’ve embarked on an ambitious project to distill the city’s artistic and entrepreneurial spirit into a font called Chatype. The goal is to help the city and its businesses forge a distinct and cohesive identity through custom typeface, sending a visual message to the world that Chattanooga—a rapidly growing city in the midst of a creative renaissance—is “more than just your average Southern town.” (#)

 

Images from Chatype.com

Too old, too young

I was looking up on Goodreads some of the promising books from this blog (heart-covered books for the year, in honor of Valentines Day), and though I added three of them to my list (how can I resist a book called The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, featuring British love interest?) I was kind of bummed about the amount of highschool-set stories. Doesn’t it sound kind of iffy to read about them when you’re finally out of there? Not that any of them remotely looked like my highschool, but still… I think I’d like to read some chick flicks set in college. Even if they wouldn’t look like my college either. Heck, I’m even settling for sororities. Just as long as the main character isn’t 17.

I’m saying this full aware I’ll read more of them in the near-future. But asking for recommendations nonetheless. Care to help me?

It’s just a bit weird to realise all my books are either about highschool students or married/soon-to-be-married/divorced women in their mid 20s or early 30s. What about awkwardly transitioning 19 year olds still living with their parents? Too young to be reading about divorcees!

(Picture from here, gotta love Leeds Castle)

Why I’m not fond of hospitals

A bit on the verge of madness, so let’s embrace it, shall we?

About a year ago I joined the appendicitis statistics, got in a hospital and a strange doctor had it skillfully and quickly removed. I’m pretty sure I’d never been so scared before. I think I’d watched “Awake” way too much.

I got lucky. No yelping in pain like they do in the movies. Just a very troubled month distributed with the symptoms – I’d never before been to the hospital and that month I went three times. On the third, sharp pain came and went and we ran to the hospital. The tests were pretty annoying and no-one knew how/felt like explaining me what they were – don’t you feel safer when someone takes a minute to try to explain just why the thing she’s injecting in your catheter will make you feel warm, but it’s okay?

But the thing that bugged me more than the actual surgery was how everyone was so damn light about it. Not my parents – no, they were worse than me. But the two guys who persistently poked my belly with the ultrasound thingie (which HURT, btw)? When Mom asked him for good news, he beamed “Oh, we can’t see too clearly, but we’re guessing it’s only the appendix.” Oh, just that? (You’re guessing???) Meaning there’s an easy way out of it? “Going under the knife.” With a smile. Yes. A smile. First time I wanted to tell someone to effe himself that day. Plus, I had mostly really nice nurses (I stayed overnight before and after the surgery, so I had a lot of different nurses), but they kept saying “You’re only taking an organ you don’t even use! Relax” and then I asked them if they had done it, “Oh no, I’ve never had any surgery” – not really helpful then, eh?

Mom says she was called to meet the surgeon afterwards (so he could say it all went well, though no-one cared to hint that) and his first words were “Your daughter is a very nervous girl”. Because I was really really nervous. There might have been tears involved. But do forgive me for not being entirely trusting of a doctor I’d just met (literally just shook hands with), appointed by another doctor who I only knew by name because her mother is friends with my mother, and whose only reassuring remarks to me were “You’ll like him. He’s tall, handsome and blond”. SERIOUSLY? That was supposed to make me feel confident about his cutting skills? Have you MET a non-fictional 18-year-old?

Plus, they were discussing football. I was being rolled in the O.R. and they were discussing football. I know I’ve watched several medical shows where they are all discussing something else while cutting away (Grey’s Anatomy is particularly scary), but come on! The only person who made eye contact in scary, cold, super-lighted room was the anesthesiologist. He was nice. And I’m guessing pretty good, since next thing I remember was staring at the ceiling of a different room. Never felt so much relief or confusion in my life. It was over. It worked! All was well. I had to check my bandages to be sure it had really happened. Kind of freaky.

Also, you know how you’re constantly aware of the stuff that’s happening with your body? Like your feet are cold, or something? I felt nothing while still groggy. Actually, I felt perfect. Which was both awesome and entirely mistaken since at that moment I had IVs and stitches and some other stuff which I still don’t know about on me. But it was good, my first visitor, my Uncle, seemed calmer with my happy self and spread the word to the family. Then evil nurses gave me evil – real – food which I promptly threw up and felt sick the rest of the day. Blessed be Layla, the nurse who was nice enough to wash my hair afterwards.

Next morning, before reluctantly discharging me, Blond Doctor came to my room and told me – in a not very pleasant tone – that I had to eat or he wouldn’t let me go home. Oh, also that I should be walking just fine right now. “Effe You” number two – I still regret not voicing it, maybe that’d have been a push for him to become a less detestable person. And then Bitchy Nurse made sure to tell him “She’s scared of doing anything, she’s scared of washing it with soap and getting it wet and blablabla”. I HAD ASKED HER ABOUT IT ‘CAUSE NO-ONE BOTHERED TO TELL ME ANYTHING. And, you know, my previous surgical experience was, er, ZERO. “Effe You” #3.

Instead of giving in to the cursing, I ate my cookies with what I think was a pretty good evil stare at both of them. He left instructions that I should walk out of there (ever tried to stand up from that flat hospital bed without using your stomach? Turns out you use it a lot and don’t even notice). And then Lovely Nurse noticed I hadn’t eaten much and was kind of too tall/heavy to be supported by her tiny person and brought in a wheel chair. I love her. We came back with cookies for her.

At home, getting up as slowly and grabby of the sofa arms as I wanted, I was muuch happier.

Anyway, thankfully all went well and after two days at home I felt okay enough to attend some of my classes. By the following week all was back to normal, stitches aside. The only recommendation was to avoid stairs. Blond Doctor went to the same university I go to – does he even remember it? All bathrooms are up or down some stairs, it’s unbelievable. As are libraries. Oh, and did I mention most of the classrooms we use are arena-like? But never mind that.

I don’t know why I decided to start babbling away about this. Maybe because every so often I still practice my evil stare just for Blonde Doctor. Maybe because I’m finding out being the non-hospitalized person isn’t better the hospitalized one.

Baah.

 

The multiplication of Stuff

So we get back home, safe and sound – and a little sleepy/burned/dehydrated. We get all bags out of the car. Drag our respective assortment of bags to our respective rooms. Only something seems off.

My bedroom has been a mess ever since, well, ever, but I’m blaming recent renewals (i.e. shelf that’s arriving in 3 weeks) for the aggravated mess of the last months. So it was already pretty messy when I left it.

But trying to stuff all the other messy stuff from my suitcase back  to it…. everything has multiplied! Or inflated! Something must have happened, ’cause it’s getting out of control messy. Even I‘m getting bothered by it. And Mom believed I was immune!

Must get some boxes.

Or a warehouse.

Or a dumpster.

Something to figure out tomorrow. Terribly sleepy. Just wanted to post this picture ;]

Chill song (love this band) – “Lay me down” by A Weather .

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