Thursday, 31 May 2007

Script Frenzy Eve

...It's the 31st of May.

...That means tomorrow is the 1st of June.

ARGHHH! Script Frenzy! Am I prepared? No. Have I thought about it? No. Do I have any idea of plot, character, setting, title? No.

Tomorrow I'm going to be pretty busy for much of the day; then for the weekend Dan and I are going to Wellington; and if that weren't enough, exams are in a week, and Dan's birthday is in two days! Have I got him a present yet, or even had time to start looking for one? You guessed it... no.

I would like to repeat one statement, for the record: Arghhh!

Ooh, although Dan and Jo and I are going to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie in the Embassy Theatre on the weekend, which should be fantastic... from all reports the movie's great.

And that reminds me: I got an A+ today! Again! I rock. It was for the same paper as I got the other A+ for... which is funny, cos I didn't think I'd done this assignment particularly brilliantly... but I guess I fulfilled the essay requirements, so that's all good.

I realised something today, which I should have realised long ago: out of all of my assignments, the lowest I've got for a first-year paper has been an A-; but the two second-year assignments I've got back (from two different papers) have got a B+ and a B. Clearly, I need to raise my work a notch to meet second-year requirements; considering I'm doing at least one third-year paper next semester, I really need to raise my standards. I don't want to be a C student again.

But for some reason, the knowledge that I'm going to have to start doing better, makes me feel better rather than worse, and look forward to next semester. I like a challenge, especially a realistic one.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

101 in 1001

Start date: 24 May 2007
End date: 18 February 2010

The aim of the game (found here): Complete 101 preset tasks over 1001 days.
Tasks must be: specific (unambiguous); realistic; represent some effort; and have a result that is either measurable or clearly defined.

60 tasks down, 41 to go.
    Lexicological — writing
  1. Complete a crossword a week for twelve weeks. (12/12)
  2. Write a book review for Chaff.
  3. Write a feature for Chaff — no personal hobby-horses.
  4. Write a column for Chaff for twelve weeks.
  5. Enter the Sunday Star-Times short story competition.
  6. Enter the BNZ short story competition. (Complete: 27.06.2008)
  7. Get two NaNoWriMo novels self-published through CreateSpace.
  8. Get a short story published in Takahe.
  9. Complete Script Frenzy. (Complete: 20056 words)
  10. Write a non-fantasy NaNoWriMo novel. (Complete: 30.11.2007)
  11. Finish a first draft of 100,000+ words.
  12. Query a novel with a publisher/agent.

  13. Mental/Educational — scholarly, reading, linguistics
  14. Read all Jane Austen novels/novellas.
  15. Read all books in the BBC Top 100 list (33/100).
  16. Read/sell/give away all my books. (135 left)
  17. Complete a French or Russian course.
  18. Complete my Russian textbook. (6/90)
  19. Read all of the short stories that Jo gave me in Russian.
  20. Include a word from SPBoW in a Chaff article.
  21. Learn to swim. Swim the length of a swimming pool.
  22. Hand in an assignment at least three days early.
  23. A semester with no late assignments.
  24. Get an "A" grade for a paper. (Complete: Sem 1 2007)
  25. Graduate with a double major.

  26. Domestic — home life
  27. Sort out my Unsorted folder. (2771/4005 files sorted)
  28. Have bought all of my music. (Complete: 05.11.2007)
  29. Reinstall Windows.
  30. Download my diaryland entries. (417/417: 06.06.2007)
  31. Back up Personal folder.
  32. Single-handedly change a tyre.
  33. Mow a lawn.
  34. Help finish painting Dan's house.
  35. Sort out boxes of papers and random junk in my room.
  36. Keep my desk and floor tidy and clear for a week.
  37. Move out of Joy's.
  38. Get a cat from the SPCA.(Complete)

  39. Personal — just for me
  40. Get a manicure.
  41. Get a facial.
  42. Get a massage.
  43. Get a tattoo.
  44. See a professional stage-show.
  45. Go to a live concert of a really good artist or band.
  46. Go indoor rock-climbing again — and get to the top again!
  47. Complete massage course.
  48. Transplant roses, rhododendrons and chrysanthemum.
  49. Not cry for four consecutive weeks.
  50. **** ****** *********.
  51. Go overseas. Australia doesn't count.

  52. Creative — arts and crafts
  53. Bake a Russian "bird's milk" cake — птичье молоко.
  54. Bake biscuits by myself.
  55. Cook a roast by myself.
  56. Make jam!
  57. Make a large shirt into a skirt or smaller top for me.
  58. Complete ceramics course.
  59. Complete belly-dancing course. (Complete: 18.06.2007)
  60. Make sushi.
  61. Make spring rolls.
  62. Knit something wearable.
  63. Mend my black trousers = sewing = arghhh!
  64. Sew button onto white work shirt.

  65. Social — friends and family
  66. Use all seven letters in Scrabble! (Complete: 20.06.2007)
  67. Learn to play chess and beat Dan. (lost 1/1 game so far)
  68. Get a nice frame-able photo of me and Dan.
  69. Get a nice framed photo of my family.
  70. Go out on the town at least six times in four months.
  71. Visit Mum and Dad twice (Christmas doesn't count).
  72. Go for a walk with Dan twice a week for eight weeks.
  73. Play a game of cricket with my little brother.
  74. Have a "date night" with Dan every week for twelve weeks.
  75. Write four letters to Grandma and Granddad.
  76. **** ** ****** *** **** * **** ****.
  77. Start on family tree: at least 200 individuals .

  78. Physical — health and fitness
  79. Go skiing.
  80. Stepper — 3-5 times a week, for eight consecutive weeks.
  81. Skip 100 times in a row with skipping-rope.
  82. Start yoga again — twenty minutes a week for eight weeks.
  83. Use the Wii Fit for thirty minutes a day for eight weeks.
  84. Join gym — burn 1000 calories a week for eight weeks. (8/8)
  85. Have confidence/legs/tan to start wearing shorts to gym.
  86. Eat red meat weekly for eight weeks. (Complete: 11.07.2007)
  87. [Raw fruit] a day keeps the doctor away; 56 days.
  88. Finish that plaque-fighting stuff my dentist gave me.
  89. Brush teeth three times a day for 56 days.
  90. Get an eye exam/contact lenses.

  91. Professional/Societal/Financial — job, society and moolah
  92. Write a letter to my MP.
  93. Get a part-time job while studying.
  94. (Complete: 27.05.2008)
  95. Once graduated, get good, full-time, ongoing job.
  96. Do ten phone/support shifts at Youthline.
  97. Take a call at Youthline.
  98. Donate fifty good-condition items to a charity (e.g. Red Cross).
  99. Sponsor Francis for twelve consecutive months. (12/12)
  100. Send four letters and one photo to Francis. (1/5)
  101. Send my sponsored child a present on his birthday.
  102. Once graduated, start monthly donation to another charity too.
  103. Once graduated, double current savings scheme.
  104. Have $x in savings account.

  105. Material — possessions (complete)
  106. Buy/get installed a car CD head unit. (Complete: 04.07.2007)
  107. Sell my motorbike. (Complete: 27.05.2008)
  108. Buy a new pair of shoes.
  109. Purchase Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
  110. Buy and frame a nice painting.

  111. Celebrate by going somewhere nice for dinner. (Not official goal, but it better happen.)
It took me about a week to write up 101 goals. Some of them are quite small and won't involve too much effort, as I don't want to overcommit myself. Some are things that I would probably do anyway (e.g. graduate) but are still significant goals. And others are big things that I want to do but probably wouldn't have got around to (e.g. go overseas). Hopefully, having these set tasks to work towards will help me accomplish every goal.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007


I don't think I've mentioned this previously; Chaff is the Massey student magazine, and a few weeks ago I walked nervously into the Chaff office to offer the editor my literary services.

We decided that I'll start slow by doing the occasional movie review; so a couple weeks ago, armed with a complimentary double pass, Shaz and I marched off to a screening of Shooter, which I subsequently wrote a review of and rather tentatively sent it in.

Yesterday, I eagerly grabbed my copy of Chaff and looked inside the front page. List of contributors: My name amongst the gloried others. Thumbing through the pages, and there it is: My movie review, with a few shots of the movie, and my name in small bold letters at the end.

It's not pride I feel; Chaff were pretty desperate for new blood, so far as I can tell; and it wasn't a particularly well-written review. But seeing my name in print — it's a good feeling. This is something I've wanted to do for a while, and now I'm doing it. Even if I just start with the occasional movie review — that's fine. Building my way up. Start small. Et cetera.

And on the bus home, seeing four or five students on my bus flipping through their copies of Chaff, I strain my neck to see which page they're on... and earlier, at my tutorial, seeing one guy actually reading the first couple of paragraphs of my review, and then the last paragraph, before flipping on to another page. I don't like that guy, and I think it's pretty rude to openly read a magazine in full view of your tutor... but still.

Today, I sent Chaff another piece: a feature article on Script Frenzy. Big step; I'm quite nervous. And the editor hasn't replied yet, so I don't know what he thinks of it.

I'm hoping it'll get some students interested in Script Frenzy; it'd be nice to have an advance on our current total of eleven NZ members. Writing the article started as me just trying to interest potential participants; but now I'm more excited about my article as an article. As me, Ruth, getting an unpaid feature article in a (frankly) quite retarded student magazine.

But — a feature article! *squeaks* Me!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

South Korea

In my last entry I didn't mention one of the things that's arguably foremost on my mind at the moment. Basically, Dad's potentially moving to South Korea for a year. Not Mum, not Sasha. Just Dad.

Dad's applied for a job, y'see. He's applied for a few jobs over the last year, and got a few short-term jobs; but the fact is that he's over the Fatal Fifty mark, and despite being an excellent teacher and having every relevant qualification, NZ employers aren't...employing him.

But this particular South Korean company do regular intakes of ESOL teachers for one-year positions, and Dad's interested. He would be leaving Mum and Sasha; but they don't want to uproot Sasha from school, and Mum needs to stay near Nana. Besides, Mum and Dad just bought a house in Dunedin — it would be ridiculous to up and move again so early, especially when he'd only be in Korea for a year. Neither of them want to do this, but it might be the best option.

To think I was upset when they moved to Dunedin, because I wouldn't be able to see them as often. Trips to the South Island I can occasionally afford. Korea... I'm guessing never.

I don't like the thought of Mum and Dad being apart for a year. And Sasha's turning 13 this year; that's an important/formative year for a father not to spend with his son, not to see him for a year when he's used to seeing him every day.

It's probably the best option. Dad would be earning again, working full-time at a job he loves, in a country he loves, with people he has a track record of getting on really well with.

Mum's thinking of coming up for a visit in June, and I was planning to take a trip down to Dunedin later in the year. But if I see Mum in June, and Dad won't even be there when I go down — what's the point?

The other thing is how soon it is: July. That's only a month away. If Dad goes then, I might not even see him again for more than a year. I don't think I'm that close to my Dad, but a year... I love him, he's so supportive, I care so much about him and I don't want not to see him or be able to talk to him for a year. A year. I don't like the thought of him being in a different country from the rest of us.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Sugar daddy

So how was my birthday, you ask?

Good, actually. Dan didn't un-invite his mates, so in the end he and his mates and I hung out, and I re-invited Darcy, Shaz, Ang and Jo, and good times were had by all.

I now have to do the age-old Show-and-Tell of birthday presents... the ones that most stood out were:

  • A car stereo from my mommy and daddy
  • A compilation of short stories by Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and the like — the original stories printed in Russian on the left-hand pages and the English translation on the right-hand; and with a rather helpful vocabulary list at the back! from the estimable Jo
  • The Devil's Dictionary, from Darcy: a dictionary of normal words... and definitions that suit its original title: The Cynic's Word Book. Example definition:
    History, noun. An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.
  • A white gold-and-diamond ring for my index finger from Dan — I'd drooled over it a few months ago but decided I couldn't afford it, and he got it for me! It has ten tiny diamonds side by side, and is so beautiful....
  • An mp3 player from Dan as well! It has video, radio, MS word capability, photos, motion-sensitive games (not dissimilar to the infamous WII!), and so forth... it interacts with my camera (that Dan bought me) and my computer and comes with three different USB cords so I can plug my USB drive etc into it... I love my mp3 player so much. It's so beautiful and shiny and new and functional!
The only problem I have now: Should I be calling Dan my boyfriend or my sugar daddy?

Tuesday, 8 May 2007


Shaz is so thoughtful. I had three assignments due in yesterday, so when she texted on Sunday to ask if I wanted to hang out, I regretfully had to say no. She then astonished me a couple hours later by turning up at Joy's place with a packet of Tic-tacs, a bag of chocolate peanuts, an Aero bar, a Mars bar, a Milk-and-cookies bar, and so on... "Study incentives," she explained, dumping the load of chocolate on the table in front of me. I'd just been craving chocolate, too!

That was really sweet and thoughtful of her. She's often like that — the last time I was sick, she heard I was sick and thoughtfully brought round the perfect meal — food not only guaranteed not to make the queasiest person feel sick, but nourishing and filling as well. She'd even remembered from some comment I must have made months ago, that Milk-and-cookies were my favourite white chocolate.

On a less happy note, my birthday thing is officially cancelled. Some people from Wellington can't come, some had anniversaries, some had their own birthdays, some had graduation parties, and some were going to have to make special trips to Palmy for it. It just wasn't worth it.

So I'm kind of gutted, even if it's not a major birthday or anything. Kylie even double-booked her evening and was planning to be in Wellington that night — although to be fair, as soon as she found out that my thing was the same night, she rescheduled her other evening. Oh well, now she can reschedule it back.

I feel bad for Dan — he'd just vacuumed and cleaned the entire kitchen and living room, cleaned the bar and tidied the study up in case anyone wanted to crash on his spare bed in there (it was going to be at his place). So, went to a lot of effort for nothing.

I'd still like to have something this weekend... all I want to do is hang out with my friends, really, even if we all just did dinner or something. But it's either a hassle or a no-go for everyone.

So, yeah. Screw that.