Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blogging Month Comes to an End

Well, I think we can all fairly say that I failed Blogging Month this year. Ah well!

Even though this year didn't go exactly as planned with regards to Blogging Month, I'm a little glad that it didn't. It means that I was more focused on University and going out with friends than making sure I was home everyday to write a blog post. That's more than I can say for last year. Last year I didn't focus nearly enough on University work.

Tonight is Pub Quiz night and I haven't been going all that often this year so I'm probably going to end up there tonight. I won't buy anything though because I spent 35 pounds on a new memory foam mattress topper. I was tired of feeling the springs and waking up with back pains. Hopefully that's all over now, but we'll see.

Tomorrow starts some real working on my part since I've taken Monday, Tuesday, and today of this week off when I wasn't suppose to. I was going to stay on campus after the film viewing for English today and get some work done, but there was a strike today which meant that I didn't have to go on to campus as the viewing was cancelled. And since I had to wait in until my mattress topper came in, I didn't do a whole lot of work. I need one day where I'm completely focused to get me back into the swing of working after a week of rest. But tonight I shall spend with friends.

We haven't won the pub quiz in a long time, so let's hope tonight is the night!

What I've learned from this month is that I don't really post enough on this blog. So, I am going to try and start posting once a week. I'm thinking about taking an idea from my dog blog which was a stolen idea. It's Worldess Wednesday. That's where all I do is post a picture. I'm thinking it could work. Or maybe every Friday or Sunday I'll post a litte something abou the previous week. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Committee Meetings

Last year I was the First Year Rep. on the AURA committee. I decided that I liked it so much that I wanted to be a part of the committee again this year. Well, really, I wanted to see what it was like to do something on the committee. You see, First Year Rep. is really there just to break ties in votes and since we don't do many votes I just sat around a lot last year. This year, I do actually get to do something.

I am the Secretary. This means I write down the minutes for our sometimes pointless committee meetings. I take note of votes and what the President says needs to get done. I'm also in charge of the email list (which I really should update soon...). This year, the secretary also had a new job added to it. I got to make sure that everyone signed a liability sheet. It basically said that if any member went a little nuts a threw a chair out of a window we, the society, would not be responsible and the member would have to find a way to pay the damage. Simple. And yet it was a bit of a pill to do this year because we ran out of sheets and had to take names on a computer spread sheet and then track them down. Luckily, I have tracked down most of them.

Anyway, the committee this year is made up of a lot of my friends. So, while the University has gotten something stuck up it's ass butt and decided to close the Hub on weekends, the committee meetings aren't all the bad. Sure, we have to make sure to have lunch before/bring one with us because the library cafe is usually out of sandwiches by Sunday afternoons, but at least we can all sort of sit around and make jokes. I guess, if we get done early, we don't have to sit around feeling awkward until games start at 2pm. It's a nice feeling to spend an hour a week with friends. Even if we are talking about Christmas Meals and Society Hoodies.

Right-o, on to apparently what I've started as a description of all my characters.

My third character was for a very short game that only lasted a week. Her name was Florence (or Flo). She had a lioness named Zenyatta as an animal companion. Flo was smart and a hopeless romantic. Zenyatta was there to make sure that she stayed out of trouble. It didn't always work. I liked Flo and Zenyatta, but like I said, the game only lasted a week so I never truly got emotionally attached to them.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"Lady Date"

This is what my friend Marlene called tonight. We went to see "My Week with Marilyn" together. We had asked some others as well, but as we were the only ones who could make it she dubbed the night a "lady date".

A little bit about Marlene. She might be the funniest person I know. And she doesn't even try. It's just who she is. I also think I annoy her a little, but I think that I annoy everyone to some degree. You see, I talk a lot...and I have really strong opinions about some things. I think I can be a tiresome person to be around because I don't like it when you cut me off especially when I'm in the middle of a rant. Marlene, even I do annoy her, doesn't do that. Nor does she show that she's annoyed at me (so this is all, really, just speculation on my part). I, of course, thinks this causes me to talk more and more when I'm around her alone because there's no one there to tell me to shut up. For that, I am grateful to her.

She talks too and I think we both need that. Amy isn't home all that much and Lisa isn't the most talkative person in the world, so when we're together we do tend to talk. Just to get it out. Haha!

Anyway, walking home this evening we saw two drunken men mooning anyone who would watch and who then proceeded to call us "fucking ginger". Then we passed an old man who said "woobedoo" to Marlene. After we parted ways I saw a pretzel massacre on the sidewalk. Those poor pretzels. Saturday nights in a city huh?

Night is always a tricky time. It's hard to judge when it's safe to walk home and when it's not. Generally on weekends I make the cut off a little sooner because I don't want a repeat of what happened my first night back. Tonight, I started out a little nervous walking home because it was half past nine when we left the cinema and I knew it would take a least half an hour to get home. But when we parted ways I was able to really feel the night air and I relaxed almost instantly. It's the end of November, so we should be getting snow, but we haven't had a single flake yet. And tonight was actually too warm for a jacket. I walked home in just my sweater and let the light breeze soothe my nerves.

It's nights like tonight when walking home alone is the best. I wasn't concentrated on getting home as fast as I could to warm up. Instead I concentrated on the past week. I was able to think. It was nice. There's no other way to describe it, but Aberdeen gave me such a nice night that I was able to think.And when I got home, there was a gorgeous view of some very white clouds against an almost indigo sky. Beautiful. I am in a very good mood, which I hop rolls over to tomorrow.

On to the roleplaying part:

The character I made before Angie (so that would make this my 4th character) was Mysha Snow. The game was based on George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. For those of you who haven't read them I highly recommend them. The first book, "A Game of Thrones", is now a series on HBO. Anyway, Mysha Snow is really Mysha Stark heir to Winterfell, but she was captured by Braavosi sellswords when she was three at the orders of her uncle her killed her mother and father and now she must prove that she is truly a Stark. Unfortuantely, the game ended. I think it was because of the wrong GM for the game thing. I'm still rather proud of Mysha though. I hope she did prove that her uncle is a murdering bastard and reclaimed the seat. I like to think she did.

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Friends

With only five days left of November I think it's time that I start my next theme. I'll still be doing a little bit of the teacher thing, but I wanted to get this started before the end of the month. This theme is Roleplaying/Friends.

Now, making real good friends is not something that I do often. I am very friendly and when I'm forced to do work in a group or be around other people I think I make good impressions and make people like me. But I don't immediately add them to my facebook list of friends, get their cell numbers, and try and meet up for coffee every weekend. That takes time. I wish that I made friends easier than I do because then I would have...oh goodness. I was about to say back up friends which makes me sound like horrible, horrible person. I guess what I mean is that if I had a different group of friends I wouldn't have to worry about not having anything to do Saturday because all of my friends have roleplaying games. That, and I would probably have more of a guy pool to work with. Oh, there I go sounding like a horrible person again.

Not that I don't love my friends. My friends are kind of awesome. Really awesome to be honest. Friendships to last a life time I guess. *smile* We're all sort of nerdy and really geeky and I like that about us. Hey, anyone who wants to pretend that they are an elf in their spare time is a friend of mine.

I think what I'm trying to say is that even though I don't have many good friends, the few that I do hang out with are pretty darn awesome and I'm kind of really glad I joined the roleplaying society. Even if I got some weird looks last year at the Fresher's Fayre when I went over to the stall to sign up.

To end this hopefully flattering post about my friends, I wanted to share the most recent character I created. She is for my Friday night Vampire of the Masquerade game (yes, I'll be heading off soon). Her name is Angelina Sophia Beaureguarde or Angie for short. She's a member of the Brujah clan which means, basically, she's really stubborn. Brujah's are also, traditionally, fighters and Angie lives up to that. She was political science major before being turned so she's also really smart. I think she's the character that I've put the most thought into. I really, really like her.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers in the States. This is my second Thanksgiving I've spent not in the US. Now, I don't know how many of you know my feelings on thanksgiving but I hate it. As a holiday I think it's a ridiculous premis and the traditional celebrations just lead to more cases of heart disease and type two diabetes. And yet, I'm homesick just like I was last year.

I guess it's that when you grow up with something you get use to it and when it's taken away from you you realise how very far away from home you are. I have my ups and downs with my parents, all four of them, but that still doesn't mean that I don't miss them terribly. I guess right now I'm just glad that I made the decision to go home even for just a little over winter break.

I didn't go to class today. Not because I thought I should honour thanksgiving, but because I couldn't. I know that sounds weird, but I rarely skip class (I can think of two English lectures this semester) and today I just didn't want to do it. Homesick hits me pretty hard especially when you see status updates all day about the homemade food people are going to be eating later today and all you can think about is how you don't really want to cook tonight but you will because otherwise you won't have milk in the morning and just what to do about the mattress cover that seems to have squished to the point of uselessness (I'm fairly boney so spring mattresses and me don't really get along unless there's a buffer between the two of us to help sort out our differences). 

Anyway, I have decided to make a pumpkin praline pie and the dough for the crust is sitting in my refridgerator. I have most of the ingrediants I need for baking tomorrow except the pumpkin puree. Apparently, pumpkin pie is not as big a thing here as it is back home. It's a good thing that I know exactly where to get pumkpin puree tomorrow after class. If my roleplaying game is on tomorrow then I'll take it along and invite everyone to partake in the great American tradition of eating. I thought about making some sweet potato souffle, but didn't feel like I'd have the time with the pie as well. Too bad though. The souffle calls for rum and I always feel like a big ol' grown up when I buy alcohol in the gorcery store.

Right-o, I wanted to talk a little bit about one of my English lecturers before I head off to sleep. He reminds me a lot of a mix between my junior and senior English teachers. He obviously has passion for what he does, but some of the things he says just...well the don't go over my head in the same sense as high school. I guess, I understand completely what he's saying, but what I don't get is why he says it in relation to what he said before it. It's like his slideshows are a outline of an essay, but not a finished product. By which I mean that they are organized to a point, but get a little lost here and there. He's an interesting guy to listen to and I don't mind him as a lecturer. I just kind of wish he would slow down and stop pacing from time to time.

I guess since I have nothing else to say on the subject it's that time of the post where I say all the things I'm thankful for right? Well...I'm thankful for my parents (biological and step), my brother, my friends, my four legged members of the family, and this cozy bed I get to sleep in even if the springs do leave sores on my hips every now and again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Guess I Really Failed...

Well, I think that I really failed this year. That's two days that I've missed a post. Ah, well. Last night I decided to fall asleep at half past nine because I hadn't had any sleep for the past few days. Had to make a choice and I wasn't thinking clearly so I chose sleep.

I'm still going to try to post everyday, but I'm not going to stay up really late posting anymore. I think sleep is probably the better way to go. I'm also still going to try to keep up with the theme thing. I'm not going to try and finish the picture thing because I honestly don't know what else to take pictures of.

Tomorrow, a post about some teachers soon my next theme.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Posters in Univeristy?

Right, this semester I have two psychology courses. One is a theory course and the other is a methods course. I enjoy them both, but for different reasons. I won't go into those reason now as it would take a while to explain. They just appeal to different parts of the learning or my brain or something like that.

Anyway. for the theory course we only have two tutorials for the whole semester. One was back in week 3 and one is this next week in week 9. That's a plus definitely, the teacher and what they are having us do is definitely not.

Week 3 I walked into the tutorial with some serious stomach issues. I sat in the back, which I don't normally do, with my head on the desk, also something that I don't normally do, trying hard not to lose everything I had eaten that morning. Needless to say, I wasn't paying all that close attention which caused me to miss my tutor's name. After class I caught up with him to ask him his name just in case I needed it and he was not particularly nice to me. In fact, he was a little rude. He has proceeded to stay rude towards me. He seems like one of those guys who doesn't think anyone is near as smart as him so he feels the need to patronize everyone he comes across. I don't like being patronized. I hate it in fact.

What I hate even more is that he split us into groups to create posters for the next tutorial. Yes, posters. I thought I was a second year University student, not a third grader. *Sigh* It's truly annoying. I would feel better getting up in front of the class giving a presentation about it than presenting a poster. It feels a little demeaning to be honest.

Ah well, I've gotta do it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Aberdeen: Part 6 (The Shopping Town)

You'll have to excuse these pictures. They aren't very good and I didn't get many of the best places in town. There is a pretty nice cemetery and I little park and quite a few statues. Unfortunately, my journey today didn't take me near any of those. I had to go get some supplies for the poster we're making in Psychology (because we're apparently in 3rd grade) and pillows which meant going to Union Square and Bon Accord. Union Square is an indoor mall though the hobby store is one of the stores that has a front on the street. Bon Accord is an indoor mall as well, but it's also got some outdoor shops. I am lounging on my new pillows and am quite happy since I've been sleeping with just one since those darn hooligans took my bag of pillows back on my first night back.

A small side alley. The stairs to the left lead up to the main street (Union Street). I prefer to take the smaller roads during the day because there are less people which means less hassle.
The outside of part of Bon Accord. Usually there are street performers in this little outdoor area.

This is a little road in between one part of the Bon Accord and the other. I actually quite like this little street. It leads to two very nerdy stores and to the pub we frequent on Wednesday Nights.

George Street. George Street leads straight from Bon Accord to my flat. There are building that are pretty on George Street but they are usually overshadowed by the smell of hobo piss and vomit. This street doesn't really sell Aberdeen does it? It's really not that bad during the week. 
Yep, these aren't too good nor do I think they show off the true beauty of Aberdeen. Most of the people here think I'm crazy for saying things like this, but I think that Aberdeen really is very pretty. I guess it's because you don't really find towns like this in the States. Except for maybe on the East coast. But I live on the West coast so...yeah, don't really see towns like this.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Language and Cognition

Well, I spent a lot of time this morning trying to figure out what to post today. I was either going to talk about my other psychology lecturer or go into town and take some pictures. I decided to leave that until tomorrow as I actually have a reason to go into town tomorrow afternoon. That left me with my Friday Psychology lecturer. I didn't know what I was going to say because this is only the second week I've had her. Glad I chose her now.

Our behavioural psychology was condensed from twelve weeks to six weeks because the lecturer is now off...someone doing some research. It's out of the UK anyway and would have made doing her lectures a little hard. So, last week we started in on the exciting path of memory & cognition and language & cognition. Friday's lecture is the language one.

Now, I decided last week that I like this new lecturer. She's fun and...slightly bubbly I guess. It helps that I've always been interested in language. But, I actually get what she's saying and understand it without much effort on my part so I'm able to just enjoy the lecture.

Today, we were talking about speech perception and how it should be hard but humans are pretty much amazing at doing this. Of course some times we can mishear certain sentences. Mondegreen is the technical term used to describe misheard song lyrics. There are several theories as to why we often mishear song lyrics which include that when people are singing a lot of the little aids we use to interpret these sounds are absent. She put this youtube video up and stated that it had no educational value, but she just had to share her new favourite mondegreen. I was in a fit of giggles. Good thing it was at the end of the lecture.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Neuropsychology Lecturer

Alright, I know I said that I was going to try and do two posts today for making up for the whole getting ill thing. But tonight is the last mad dash to get my essay done. It is currently 1,052 words which is just under the minimum limit. It's supposed to be 1,200 words plus or minus ten percent. So, it can be between 1,080 and 1,320 words. It also only happens to be two paragraphs instead of three. I was going to write a third one, but with my argument there really is nothing left to say, I've argued my point well and clearly, and if I add another 400 word paragraph I might go over. So, I'd rather keep it clear and concise than write another paragraph that doesn't add anything to the overall argument. I'm going to think a little more tonight about what I could write and if something comes to me that looks like it might work with my essay then I'll happily put it in.

Oh, but hey, I'm suppose to be telling you about one of my psychology lecturers.

This one is not my favourite lecturers, but he's also not my least favourite. He's right there in the middle. Here are what I think are his main problems. He has interesting things to say (it's neuropsychology after all), but I don't think he conveys it well. Or, rather, he conveys it well when he's speaking but he doesn't really utilize the powerpoint. So I think that the powerpoint is a little distracting at times. I also think he goes a little too fast and a little too slow. He sort of just glazes over some things and then takes his time with other things. It's the things he just speeds through that I don't ever end up having notes for because I just can't type that quickly. I don't dislike him, but I also don't like him. I definitely go to all of his lectures because if I don't I know I'm not going to understand what his slides are saying.

It doesn't help that it's something that it's hard for me to wrap my mind around. If it weren't something that I could easily just get, then it wouldn't be a problem. Ah well. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Erin is Ill

I was going to post up a little more about my teachers and which ones are fun and which aren't but I have a terrible headach so...not tonight. I'll try and do two tomorrow to catch up as I'm not really counting this as a post.

For now though...sleep.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The First English Lecturer

Right, well, as I suspected I didn't do anything but hide in the library and work all day. This means I don't have any pictures for you.

Because I didn't want to delay it again and not have enough time to do my other weekly topics what I thought I would do is start this week's topic now and finish up "My Aberdeen" along with the next posts. So, it would have writing on this week's topic but pictures for "My Aberdeen." Sound good? I hope so, cause that's what I'm doing.

This week's theme I though could be teachers. I wanted to tell you of some teachers I'm really enjoying right now, ones that I'm not at all, and maybe start up a discussion about what makes a teacher good. Plain and simple and yet I realised that I really haven't talked to you much about my teachers (or my classes really). I figured now was as good a time as any to start.

So, today I wanted to talk to you about one of my English lecturers. She also happens to be my tutor for my tutorial sessions. So far, she's my favourite lecturer for this Shakespeare course. Her lectures are always fairly...epic is the only word. She utilizes the powerpoint instead of either reading off of it or puppy absolutley nothing of importance on it and just speaking to us. I find myself vastly interested in her lectures even though she's lectured on my not so favourite plays.

As a tutor, I am one happy bunny. Last year my tutors were really nice people but I didn't really enjoy the tutorial and I didn't really see the point in going. My first tutor was really nice, but didn't really know how to spark us into conversation. My second tutor really just gave us mini lectures which weren't all that fun. This lecturer/tutor sparks us into conversation, gives relative information when needed but mostly allows us to talk, and in general is just great.

I had a meeting with her today about my essay and she sort of just too the stress and threw it off of my shoudlers. She was friendly while still holding this massive authority. At the some time she was accommodating. I've never seen something like it.

Needless to say, I like her. She's one of the good ones that really make it interesting for me to sit and read Henry IV. I'm pretty glad that she's grading my essay.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Aberdeen: Part 5 (More of the Campus)

Well finally, as promised, here are a few more pictures of the campus. Unfortunately Aberdeen doesn't seem to be lightening up on the weather front. It also doesn't appear that it will be lightening up any time soon. My hair hasn't been thanking the weather any. You see, my hair tends to poof up when it comes into contact with water...especially water in the air. But, I'm getting sidetracked.  
This is the building that I have been spending most of my time in for the past few weeks. This is William and Guild and it houses the Psychology department's office.

This is the pathway from William and Guild to the other parts of campus. That building is the back side of Edward Wright. I just happened to think that this looked pretty today.

A nice, simple alleyway. There are a few of these on campus and for some reason, they make me really happy.
William and Guild, from that picture, may not look very big or imposing. But this morning, on my way out of one of those Psychological tests that I'm required to do for course credit, I got a little lost on my way out. Yeah...I'm not that directionally adept, but even if that's true it's still impressive that I managed to get lost in the little part of the building I was in.

What will tomorrow bring? Well, I actually have no idea. I'm not doing much tomorrow except hiding away in the library writing my essay. Perhaps some of the Taylor Building or...I don't know. Some pictures of a park if I decide to get off my lazy rear end and go for a jog. I think I might have to. I've been doing nothing but eating sweets for the past few days.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Aberdeen: Part 4 (My Walls)

Right, well. I wasn't on campus during light hours like I thought I would be. I didn't end up being on campus until it was dark and wet and just plain icky. So, no pictures of that today. Today was actually quite boring if I may be honest. Meant to do some work on my essay...didn't and went to a game. That's when I realised I haven't shown you the inside of my flat. 

Well, I didn't want to walk around the whole flat and take pictures as, really, it isn't all that interesting. But I thought you might like to see my room. Or, rather, the walls of my room. (I have neglected the floors for about a week and mean to straighten up tomorrow or Tuesday). 

I'm still trying to figure out what else to put on my walls because they are still fairly bare as you will shortly see.   

The wall over my bed has a Dr. Who? poster and a small mirror. I'm thinking about getting a new, bigger mirror.

In the corner you can see the pictures of Freya and Rocco. Hopefully, I'll have one of Hilly to add to that soon.
One of my walls next to my bookcase (yes, in that door is a bookcase) is my Animal (from the Muppets) poster and my GDB calender. 
The bit of the wall over my radiator and next to my desk has my cork board and a small scroll that says, "LOVE". Still thinking of what to actually put over my desk.
So, there you have my walls. If by the end of the week I am out of pictures I'll take a picture each of the other rooms in the flat, but that's a last resort.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Little Late

Sorry guys, I know this is a little late, but I've been really busy all day and am still at a friend's house. This almost means that there won't be any pictures tonight of Aberdeen. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to put some up of the rest of the campus.

For now, I thought I would tell you a funny story. I went into town today to put some money on my phone. The systems had just started to refresh themselves so I ended up having to wait. While waiting a father came in with his young son. This boy was on one of those child leashes. He tried to run away, but of course the leash caught him .The noise this boy made was hilarious! It was like he was saying something like, "Darn! Foiled again!" or " Curses! Why can't I get more than two feet away from this guy!?" Funniest thing I've seen all day.

Yes...I am boring.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Postponed My Aberdeen

For today, I wanted to postpone my picture of Aberdeen for a day to post about Veteran's Day. I wanted to thank all of them out there especially the one's in my life. 
That's my granddaddy Ed on the right and my Grandmother on the right. My Grandfather Ed and Grandmother are both buried in Arlington cemetary. I miss them.

My grandfather Charles and Me and Hilly (now my forever dog) this past summer at Crater Lake.

Freya (my first Guide Dog puppy) and her handler. I don't know if he counts as a veteran actually, but I believe he does. He used to fly helicopters. *smile*
You guys are great! Thanks for everything you've done.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Aberdeen: Part 3 (the New Library)

I know, I know. I said I was going to get you pictures of the city centre at night. Unfortunately, I didn't end up going into town last night. But I do have some pretty pictures of the new library for you. It isn't even technically done yet, but it's done to the point where we can use it.

The outside of the library. Yeah, I know it looks like a blue and white Zebra. I personally am not a fan of the modern architecture being plunked down in the middle of all the old buildings, but oh well.  

I go up to a 7th floor study room whenever I'm feeling upset or stressed. Not only is it where Psychology is so the books are handy, but the view is great. Especially when you're not having the best of weeks. I went up there this afternoon to just relax a little. I think it's beautiful.

The view from the 7th floor study room.
There are a few problems with the new library. For one, the cafe downstairs is really ugly. They say that they are going to leave the concrete walls just as they are. I'm hoping they don't. For another, it's about ten times the size of the old library but doesn't hold all of the books. This means that if you want a book that is in storage you end up having to wait two days for them to be able to get it to you. By that point, I just don't think it's worth it. But, otherwise it's pretty ok.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Aberdeen: Part 2 (Bits of the Neighbourhood)

This morning I went to the closest grocery store for the much needed soy milk and bread and thought I would take some pictures on my way home when I entered what I consider "my neighbourhood". I live in the "Great Northern Road" area of Aberdeen. Lisa and I live in the slightly nicer bit. It's not living in high society or anything, but it's not too bad either. I start considering it my neighbourhood once I pass a traffic light. I don't know why, but I have a theory that it's because it's the way I come home from campus when it's late do I know the area really well.

Unfortunately this morning is a little grey. I wish it was sunny for you guys because Aberdeen can actually be quite pretty when it's not completely gloomy.

Right after the traffic light.
A bus stop on the street I use to get home.
Aberdeen is really grey isn't it? Grey skies, grey sidewalks, grey buildings...
Over to the right you can see the local convenience store. It's like a minute walk from my flat but I only go there in emergencies because it's actually pretty expensive.
After the convenience store I turn onto my street.

Not very exciting I know. But hopefully tomorrow will be! I'll be taking some pictures of the City Centre at night tonight!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Aberdeen: Part 1 (The Gardens)

I thought I would start off this week's theme of "Aberdeen" by showing you where I live. Now, my first plan was to walk around my neighbourhood and take pictures, but the weather had other plans for today. So, I'll cover my neighbourhood tomorrow and just show you the outside of my flat. Now, I originally took a photo of the building and then realised how depressing it looked. So, imagine an all white building that houses four flats. Basically, what I have for you are pictures of our yards.

Our back yard. We have the closest gravel bit and the whole grass bit up until half way through the drying green. Notice the grass is all the same length. I fixed it. *smile*

This is the front garden. It's basically all ours to maintain. I need to trim this grass when possible it just isn't all that unruly like the grass in the back garden.

The fact that we have a front and back yard is really what sold me on the flat when we were viewing it. I like having yards to take care of even if I'm not the best at it. It also has grass and gravel which is great for Guide Dogs.

Also, I don't know if I've posted this before but I'll do it again anyway. You see that line of hedges in the front garden? That's our responsibility to trim. There's one lone bush on the other side of the pathway leading to the front doors. Now, it wasn't very well trimmed and at night I kept running into an overhanging branch. It was little so it wasn't hurting me or anything, but it was annoying as all hell. So the first day I tried to mow the lawn to find out that we needed an extension cord I decided to trim that hedge a little thinking the hedges were our responsibility. I started trimming it and this old lady comes out form next door and says that I don't touch that hedge and that it was the upper flat tennants' responsibility. It was an odd experience which led me to make sure what parts of the garden were ours to maintain. I honestly don't think the upstairs people would mind if I trimmed their one hedge, but you know, that lady sure thought so. At least I got that overhanging branch beforehand.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Turn in Day Jitters

Today has not been a great day. This morning I arose from my bed with a feeling of dread. I didn't know what I had forgotten, but I knew that there was something that I forgot to the night before. I walked toward my door to go to into the bathroom and take my retainers out when I passed by a note on my cork board. What did this note say?

SAQs due Sunday by midnight!

I almost began banging my head on the door. I felt so stupid. When I crawled into bed last night I knew I had to do something and as soon as my head hit the pillows I remembered and went, "alright, time to get up and do them. It'll only take 20 minutes." I didn't get up. I fell asleep. Shoot!

On top of that I turned in my report today and did a presentation on it. Stressed? Yes, very much so. The report I'm sure is a 17-19 so I'm good on that and the presentation didn't seem to go too bad. So, my stress level is a little down and tonight I get to play boardgames tonight (it's my treat).

Tomorrow starts a new theme for blogging month. I haven't shown you a lot of Aberdeen or my campus, so that's what I'm going to do. It's going to be a mostly picture week, but I don't think there should be much complaint there.


Oh gosh! I can't believed that I've already failed! I got home last night around eleven and decided that the best thing for me to do was the get a good night's sleep and then finish the report in the morning. I would go down to campus early and finish it before my class. So when I got home I just washed my face and fell into bed. I was pretty tired so I'm not beating myself up over the whole thing, but still...I can't believe it.

It's not even something I can really defend. I had my committee meeting yesterday for the Roleplaying Society and I was going to work on my report and blog posts in the 4 hours between meeting and my game but I went to the cinema instead. I know, I should have been working, but the movie was a lot of fun.

I had a post lined up about the stress of the night before, but I guess I'll leave you with, "I'm totally stressed and will get to campus very quickly to finish this darn thing."

I'll post again later this afternoon to make up for my lack of diligence.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sound Reactions

As a puppy raiser I have certain terms to describe a puppy's behaviour, thinking, status...well everything. One of the these terms is "sound reactive." Basically this is when I puppy becomes nervous, stressed, or scared when he/she hears sudden, loud noises. Obviously, this isn't used to describe a puppy who gets a little scared but recovers quickly and gets back to work. This is used to describe a puppy who shuts down when they hear a sudden, loud noise. I've often wondered why I am allowed to raise puppies as I am noise reactive.

Today is Bonfire Day. It's like the Fourth of July in that people shoot off fireworks. I for one hate fireworks. I mean I HATE them. I don't quite understand them and they cause me a great deal of stress. All they do is cause a great deal of noise and pollute our already sickly air.

I had to walk home this evening with fireworks going off all around me. It wasn't what I would call a good time. I kept jumping and turning around every time one went off near me. At least I wasn't walking through any neighbourhoods where they were shooting them off. The smoke usually sets off an asthma attack if I'm too close.

So, I've got the TV on loud and proud and I'm sitting here (alone) in comfy pants with a cup of hot chocolate whilst trying not to hear the pops and booms outside and forget the fact that I'm alone. (It's a Saturday night and I've got nothing to do except sit by myself and watch TV. Yeah, I'm cool.) 

At least I had fun last night.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Stress of Travelling

Not only is sitting in a little seat for hours on end a little stressful but planning the trip can be just as emotionally draining and exhausting.

For the past couple of weeks (since I left home in September really) I've been trying to make the decision about whether or not I should go home for Christmas. I've been considering the cost of a round trip ticket which is ridiculous and how much I would miss being home over the holidays. I was talking with my dad about the cost of the ticket and he said that he would pay for our (my brother's and my) tickets home this one time. So, that issue was quickly put into the "pros" column.

I don't think I would really mind staying here in Scotland for Christmas especially since Greg (that's my brother) would be coming over from Sweden for a few days. I could handle it.

But then, I think about Hilly. For those of you who don't know who Hilly is...well, she's my dog. Not the family dog or my parents' dog, but MY dog. Over the summer I finished raising Hilly for Guide Dogs for the Blind before it was decided that she hadn't made enough progress to continue on to be a Guide. When she was Career Changed (our fancy way of saying she failed Guide Dog Puppy Training) I jumped at the opportunity to make her a permanent part of my family. In short, she's my forever dog; my heart puppy. Unfortunately, bringing a dog with you to University is hard enough when you're just on the other side of the country let alone half way across the world. So, because I know that it was better for her, I left her with my dad and step-mom. I'll be honest, every time I think about not seeing her over this Christmas...I get sad enough to cry.

Now, I've been talking with my brother about what he wants to do and I made the decision that I would stay if he decided to stay so that he would have family. I was talking with him today and he said that he had decided to stay. He doesn't like flying and flying over for only 10 days and then turning around and flying back is stressful. So, I too decided that I would stay and we would spend Christmas together.

Then I found out that my father was getting excited about seeing both of us this Christmas. Way back in September I said that I wouldn't be able to come back for both Christmas and summer break because of the cost of the ticket...but my dad is now offering to pay for the ticket. And I would get to see Hilly and spend some time with some more puppies.

I really want to see Hilly again and if I wait until summer it will have gone almost a year without seeing her. This is getting so stressful! Shouldn't it just be as easy as saying "yes" or "no" and be done with it?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Sweet Tooth

Do any of you watch The Closer? I watch it occasionally and always enjoy it (in fact I don't know why I'm not recording it). The main character is Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson, played by Kyra Sedgwick. Deputy Chief Johnson runs the Priority Homicide department in the LAPD. I am sometimes reminded of me when I watch it.

You see, Brenda Johnson has this odd, little quirk. She keeps a drawer in her office desk full of different chocolaty snacks which she gorges on when she's stressed. I also have this bad habit. When I get stressed I tend to mindlessly eat different sweets without noticing until I get that stomach ache that tells me that I've had far too much sugar during the day and not enough fruits and vegetables.

At the moment my drawer is full of Fruit Pastilles, two different chocolate bars, and chocolate eclairs. Normally, the days after Halloween I could go out and buy really cheap bags of candy and keep my drawer stocked, but Halloween isn't terribly big here. Unfortunately this means that most of my comfort sweets are unavailable to me.

You see, you can get American sweets here but not in the small variety. What I could use right now is a big bag of Reece's Halloween candy. That, and a big bag of York Mints.

I know this isn't the healthiest of habits, but sinking my teeth into a Peanut Butter Cup or a patty of chocolate and mint is just lovely when I'm biting my nails and pulling my hair out.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Power of Shaving

November is not only National Blogging Month, but also "No Shave November." I personally have never participated in "No Shave November." And, seeing as I shaved last night, I don't think this year will be the year I start.

You might think that it's weird that I'm talking about shaving on a blog, but I find that shaving is a great way to relieve stress. That might be because when I shave, I do it right.

Last night, after working for three hours on m Psychology report only to feel like I was getting nowhere, I finally stumbled upon a journal article I could use. I read through it, jotted down a few quotes and points of interest to use in the report, then wrote down the full citation so I wouldn't have to do it later. At this point I was still feeling a little stressed. Three hours of work and thirty years of journal articles in two different Psychology journals and all I found was one article and a few quotes. So, I ran a bath.

Like I said, when I shave, I do it the right way. I ran a ridiculously hot bath and sunk into it all the while my skin shouting from the pain. It got over it quickly. I'm use to hot climates. I'm one of those people who needs a hot shower or hot bath to be happy and I don't quite understand people who don't. My flatmate is one of those people. Who take what I would consider cold showers and still think they're hot. I just don't get it. Hot water relaxes the muscles more so it takes away stress from them. Anyway, I sat there reading a book, a pleasure book mind you, not something for school, for about an hour. The water by this time was tepid. It's about this time when I start to shave because I know cool water is not too far away. I use a nice smelling soap or shaving cream (right now I'm working my way through Dove's Shower Cream because they've been on sale) and then slowly shave my legs. It allows me time to think and legitimately be by myself for just a while.

When I'm in my room, I'm consciously aware of my flatmate in the next room. But for some reason, when I'm in the bath, the rest of the world seems to melt away and all that exists is me and my hot water.

Again, it's a weird subject to talk about on a blog and you might be wondering why I'm sharing my shaving secrets with you. It's my personal belief that if anyone out there is tense or upset, then all they need is an hour a day to themselves. Truly to themselves. And I'm of the belief that people would be happier if they took a hot bath everyday.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

National Blogging Month

It's November once again. You all know what that means don't you? That's right! It's national blogging month and with national blogging month comes the challenge to write a post a day for the whole month. I did this last year, and I plan to do it again this year. However, this year I'm going to have a different theme a week to help guide my posts. This week's theme is going to be stress while in University because I've been experiencing a lot of it lately.

Let me tell you a quick story about yesterday's psychology tutorial. You might remember from last semester that in my Method's course I have to run experiments and then write a psychological report on the results. This year we did something similar to the PSE (picture superiority effect) this year in that we had to test recall involving different words. We were all put into groups and then presented four different things to test. My group was the last to be called upon and everyone else had taken the other subjects so our group said we'd take the last one which was "frequency/familiarity". Sounds simple right?

Well, you're wrong. Don't feel bad, I was wrong as well. When we said that's the one we'd take he said "just choose either frequency or familiarity", so we all just said that we'd do familiar versus unfamiliar words. He also said that they were basically the same thing so it didn't really matter. Simple right? Wrong again. We do the experiment and everything is going smoothly. We take the hypothesis that people were more likely to remember more familiar words and less unfamiliar words. I was feeling pretty confident about writing the report because I understood what I needed to do and how to do it.

Yesterday was the next tutorial after we had run the experiments and after we took a small quiz we were given some time to work on our reports. I had noticed that there weren't any journal articles put up on "MyAberdeen" involving any previous studies with familiar word recall, just frequent words. I asked if it would be alright if I used those journal articles for the background research we are suppose to do for the report and he said something along the lines of, "oh well, you should have done frequency, but I guess if you changed your hypothesis you could do it." I also could do it if we did a different experiment.

Long story short; yesterday I went from confident about what I was going to do to really confused and really stressed about what I should do. Neither of the journal articles online deal at all with an hypothesis that I can think of that deal with the experiment we did.

So what did I do yesterday to calm down. Went to bed at 8pm and cried. I just needed to sleep. Normally I would have done something like take a hot bath or read or play a computer game, but I honestly couldn't deal last night. Dealing a lot better today and I'm glad that I don't have class tomorrow so I can just relax and start working.

What do you do to relieve stress?