valiant_queene: (Winter)
Hahaha! It's over. The live nativity scene is finally over. I no longer have to sit in 20 degree weather for hours at a time, turning music and lights on and off and on and off again. The donkey from the innkeeper and his wife's scene tried to make a break out of the park so that was all sorts of fun. And I haven't defrosted in twenty-four hours, so I'm still really cold. I am so sleepy, and I am so sorry that I have been slightly absent for a few days.

And now I'm sitting here with my Chinese food that I can't smell because I now have a cold. Wasn't it just peachy keen of this cold to wait until my last day of work before winter break to floor me and then kick me when I'm down?!

*sighs* I'm so exhausted, and I'm probably going to sleep right through the end of the world tomorrow. XD But I successfully managed to make it through four days of this nativity.

The Hobbit

Dec. 14th, 2012 11:11 am
valiant_queene: unknown maker (Eowyn and Faramir)
I should probably preface this post by saying that I am a huge Tolkien nerd. I mean, really, really huge Tolkien nerd. I've read The Hobbit once a year for 15 years now, and The Lord of the Rings not quite as often. I've read a lot of the other books that his son put together of his notes on the world of Middle-Earth. Yes, I have even read The Silmarillion. Twice.

That being said, I loved the movie. I bought my tickets to a midnight showing over a month ago, and I had been counting down the hours since then. And I got there early last night, suffered through the previews, and completely fell in love.

Yes, there are discrepancies with the book, large and small. Yes, the movie had a very different feel to it from the trilogy. But that's because it is different from the trilogy. The Hobbit was, and is, a children's book. The Lord of the Rings is many things, but a children's book is not one of them.

I adored how so many little things were inserted to tie it into the The Lord of the Rings. The soundtrack was goose bump producing, as usual. The actors were all fantastic. The cinematography was breathtaking. It was all so very, very wonderful.

I'd recommend it to anyone, although I will warn fans of The Lord of the Rings that The Hobbit does have a slightly more cartoonish feel to it.

I have to go to work in a few minutes, otherwise this post would have been much longer than it is. XD

NaNoWriMo

Nov. 27th, 2012 10:31 pm
valiant_queene: (NaNoWriMo)
TODAY'S WORD COUNT: 442
TOTAL WORD COUNT: 12390

In other news, the performance went well tonight with "The Twelve Days After Christmas." I'm a first soprano that hasn't practiced in a very long while so I felt my voice wavering a lot as I reached the notes up in the stratosphere, but not overly noticeably to the audience apparently.

And it felt like someone had taken my stomach and put it on one of those taffy pulling machines, but I managed to power through that case of severe stage fright. YAY!

Anime Club

Oct. 22nd, 2012 07:24 pm
valiant_queene: (Default)
So, part of my responsibilities include walking some of the kids two blocks down to the local library so they can have fun with the Anime Club that meets up every other Monday. Today was their Halloween party, and it was actually more fun than I thought it would be.

First, the kids had a pumpkin decorating contest. The finished pumpkins were named Taco, Sally, and Eduardo. (Eduardo won).

Then, they all had a mummy wrapping competition where each team wrapped up one of their members in rolls and rolls of toilet paper. Two of the mummies were kinda straggly looking, but the last was, by far, the neatest and tidiest little mummy I've ever seen. XD

After that, was the costume contest. The winner was the person who made the rest of the kids scream the loudest. Not fantastic news for my headache. But the finalists were Batman, Rose Tyler (complete with an itty bitty sonic screwdriver XD), and Susan Death from Discworld. I had a really, really, REALLY difficult time deciding which costume to vote for. (Rose Tyler won).

Last, the kids watched an episode of something called "Soul Eater". Don't ask me. I have no idea.

And then I spent twenty minutes teaching all the kids different card games. All in all, fun times were had.
valiant_queene: (Default)
So, I've been mildly incommunicado for the past couple of days, ad I thought I'd explain why a little bit.

This weekend has been crazy as shit. And in the best possible way.

On Friday, my coworkers and I all attended a conference for after school program in our state. The workshops were all about things we can do to help the kids we're working with, identifying abuse, helping kids deal with unhealthy relationships, trying to encourage the kids into something more than crime or drugs or that kind of thing. And I was fascinated. There was so much for me to learn, and the workshop on encouraging kids of all ages to read more only solidified my desire to eventually become a librarian. I love books, and seeing how books can be used to help kids made me very happy.

Saturday, I drove with my family to Cedar City which hosts a Shakespearean Festival twice a year. Mostly, the festival is plays and a lot of the ones performed are Shakespeare's. However, their fall season usually has other things in addition to a play by the Bard. So I saw 'Les Miserables' in the afternoon, then had dinner at the Pastry Pub (which is a-MA-zing), and then saw 'Stones in His Pockets' in the evening. And I thoroughly loved all of it. I try to go every year because it's always so fantastic.

Today was pretty much spent driving home, and now I'm curled up in my chair getting ready to catch up on all the lovely fics that have been updated!
valiant_queene: (Default)
Welp. I haven't posted in a while, and I really don't have a good reason beyond I wasn't really feeling like putting my job woes out there on the internet for the world to see. Apparently, a degree in Creative Writing means employers take one look at my resume and think "oh, she just wants to be a writer, we should go with this other less-qualified applicant."

*frustrated screaming*

Finally, finally I got a job, (another temp) as an after school youth leader at one of the local middle schools. I started today. Of course, I was actually half-way hired over two weeks ago, but it took the supervisor two weeks to actually hire me and then get me in to do all my paperwork and take the picture for my ID. And I didn't really get a job description until today. Actually, I still don't have a complete job description, but was just thrown into the deep end.

Grrrr! Anyway, apparently on Mondays I help supervise the pottery class for these kids that stay after school. I made myself a tiny pencil, because it was really boring for two and a half hours. Tomorrow we're going bowling. o_O

Insomnia

Aug. 1st, 2012 10:00 pm
valiant_queene: (Default)
Just noticed that I actually haven't updated this in a while. Heh heh. Oops. And I cannot get to sleep so, time to update.

No real changes, I suppose. I've been applying for jobs right and left, trying to gain some form of employment since my last one was a temp position that finished in April. I have managed a little bit of content writing for a couple computer programs coming out, but other than that, there's nothing on the job horizon yet.

Melete has moved in with her boyfriend of nine months. I'm happy for her. I really am. I just, *sighs* I wish that she knew what she wants out of life besides a boyfriend. She has never been without a boyfriend. And it frustrates me a little that she seems to be incapable of finding her own identity outside of a guy. But oh well. She's happy, and at the moment that's all that really matters.

Mneme and I spent the day watching movies and making Nutella cookies and me listening to her complaining about her job. She's pretty much working as a grunt in a clothing store, and while I feel bad for her, I'm a little relieved that my money straits are not yet so dire that I am desperate enough for a job to go into retail.

Oh well. Life could be worse I suppose.
valiant_queene: (Avengers)
So, I saw The Avengers yesterday. I wanted to post something about it then, but if I had, it would have been comprised completely of exclamation points and capslocked gibberish.

Confession time. My top twenty-five favorites movies are Disney movies, 50s musicals, and black and white films. Except for the fact that I have a small weakness for superhero films. Especially Marvel.

So, when The Avengers came out on Friday I was excited. I mean I was supersonic squealing, jumping up and down in my chair excited. I've enjoyed all the past Avenger movies, except for any of the Hulk movies which I should see I suppose.

Captain America (LOVED IT!)
Iron Man (loved it)
Thor (so wonderfully awful it made me laugh)
Iron Man 2 (enjoyed it, but not quite as much as the first)

To have all of these in one movie? I was giddy with joy. But also slightly hesitant, because I didn't want it to fail to meet my expectations.

It didn't fail. It blew them out of the water. Everything about it was wonderful. It made me laugh. It made me cry (and the last time I cried at a movie was the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, actually Deathly Hallows now that I think about it, but before that was Fellowship). It made me clap out loud in the theater at the end. It made me squeal in fright (which bugged the heck out of Melete, I can tell you).

Anyway, long story short. If you enjoyed any of the Marvel movies above, The Avengers is worth a see. Also, if you do see it, stay through the credits. There are two clips (THANOS! OMG) that are worth watching.
valiant_queene: (Default)
*happy happy joy joy happy happy joy joy happy happy joy joy joy*

It's here!!!!! It's finally here!

Behold the first journal post made from Arthur II. *weeps with giddy joy*

I officially have a laptop that works. It's sleek and pretty and fast and red and it works!

*happy dance*
valiant_queene: (Default)
I am so sorry that I haven't been very consistent with responding to people at the moment. I appear to have managed to fix my internet connection on my computer for now so I should be better about it until my new computer gets delivered sometime the end of this week, beginning of next.
valiant_queene: (Default)
I am going shopping for a new laptop on Wednesday y'all! YAY! *happy dance*

My laptop, my lovely Arthur (Yes, I named my computer, so what? My iPods are Galahad and Perceval, my phone is Tristan, and my external hard drive is Merlin :P), has been with me since the beginning of fall 2004. Surviving puppies, cats, dropping, more puppies, water spills, more dropping, finally he has reached the end of his helpful lifespan. His injuries are many and severe.

Keyboard does not work.
Disk drive has fallen out. Literally, fallen out. I now have a rectangular hole in the side of my computer.
Internet has been screwy for weeks. Turns on, turns off, tries to connect to an internet provider when I had the laptop in Michigan.
Has to be constantly on a fan otherwise it overheats in ten minutes and shuts down.
Has no battery. Well, that's not true. There is still a battery in there, it's just so dead it registers as "No Battery."
Mouse keys are stuck.
SD card reader works only when it wants to.
Catches viruses like the new kid in day care.

So farewell to my laptop. We've had a good run.


It's taken me three hours to get my internet up long enough to post this entry. *head desk*
valiant_queene: (Default)
So, this entry needs a little backstory.

Sometimes, when working at these schools,  we have big empty classrooms to work in, which is nice. At other times, however, we are forced to work in tiny teacher prep areas which are rooms about five feet by ten feet. It's a little frustrating.

However, there are good parts to working in the small areas. Less chance of having other students distracting the student I'm trying to test, and the prep areas sometimes have inspirational messages for teachers taped to the walls. I mention this because there was one that I saw this week that really struck a chord with me and I wanted to share.

It's a quote from a book called Teacher and Child by an Israeli teacher named Haim Ginott:

"I have come to a frightening conclusion.
I am the decisive element in the classroom.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
As a teacher I possess tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis
will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or de-humanized."

Updates

Mar. 2nd, 2012 08:19 pm
valiant_queene: (Default)
It has been a while since my last post, so I thought that now would be a good time to post a few updates about what's going on in my life now. Also, this is going to be kind of an exercise in identifying some positive things that are happening to me.

I started my new part time job in the middle of February. I am an assistant tester, administering a test to see how well school children (kindergarteners through seniors in high school) who have a different language spoken in their homes to see how well they are learning English as a second (or third) language. It's been fascinating and also a little boring. For one thing, it's giving the same test over and over (and over and over and over) again. On the other hand, to see all these different students who speak so many different languages (Arabic, Bosnian, Vietnamese, Samoan, Spanish, Portuguese) and to see that sometimes they speak something that you don't expect. Like the adorable blonde haired blue eyed boy in third grade who speaks Chinese.

I also have an on again off again part time job assisting a local artist who speaks English as a second language. She's Iranian American and I help her with her correspondence and grant writing and other things where her unfamiliarity with the English language is a hindrance.

I've made some headway on my NaNoWriMo novel with editing it and writing more. It's probably never going to see the light of day, but it's invigorating to know that I really can accomplish something of this magnitude. I'm also planning on finally sending some poetry out for publication in the next few weeks so we'll see how that goes.

So, anyway. That's where I'm at. And now, I feel much better about my life so my bad mood can go screw itself.

Employment

Dec. 20th, 2011 05:11 pm
valiant_queene: (Default)
I have a job! True it is only part time, and it doesn't start until the middle of January, but still! Employment! YAY! *happy dance*

And it's related to my English degree! I'm going to be working with the local school district to assist in administering a test to kindergartners through seniors in high school who are learning English as a second language to gauge their progress.
valiant_queene: (NaNoWriMo)
SATURDAY'S WORD COUNT (11/26): 519
TOTAL WORD COUNT: 43802

*laughs nervously* So, not so much a great day for my word count, but it is for the best of reasons.

I spent half of the morning and the entire afternoon helping my grandparents clean out their basement, which resulted in me gaining many, many books I did not own, which include:

Voltaire
Sigmund Freud
Arthur C. Clarke
Jules Verne
Oscar Wilde
Martin Luther
John Steinbeck
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Robert Jordan
Bullfinch's Mythology
The Epic of Gilgamesh

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Add to this the fact that I have now been promised that the signed (signed!) record of Nat King Cole (cue joyous hypersonic fangirl squees) is to be willed to me. This is because my grandparents are two of the coolest people I know. More than that, I got to learn more about both of them. For instance, my grandmother took fencing lessons in high school. That's right. Fencing lessons. Also, my grandfather was in the Air Force, until he broke his leg, the medical doctor allowed it to heal crookedly, hence it had to be broken again so it would heal properly, and he was given an honorable discharge.

I also spent the whole evening with friends who were in town for Thanksgiving from Las Vegas. YAY!
valiant_queene: (NaNoWriMo)
SATURDAY'S WORD COUNT (11/19): 1817
TOTAL WORD COUNT: 33580

I taught my second Boy Scout Merit Badge Class this morning, which was kind of fun.

I spent a lot of the afternoon cleaning the house, shoveling the driveway, and putting away groceries, which was not fun.

I need sleep.
valiant_queene: (NaNoWriMo)
MONDAY'S WORD COUNT (11/14): 1717
TOTAL WORD COUNT: 25233

I owe, I owe. To find work off I go. *hums*

Cut for Money Woes )

Anyway, I have officially passed the halfway point on my novel and part of me is totally excited, because I am so close to finally finishing something so epic as a novel, and also completely terrified because I don't want to lose interest and never finish this.
valiant_queene: (NaNoWriMo)
TUESDAY'S WORD COUNT (11/8): 1386
TOTAL WORD COUNT: 14712

Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day with yucky illness and too many errands.

Random Story Time. I work best when there's background noise. For instance, yesterday's epic nearly 3k sprint was mostly written while Mneme watched "The Dark Knight" which I did not enjoy, regardless of Gary Oldman's superb acting (per usual) and whoever played Harvey Dent (who I clearly need to figure out who and watch something else with him in it).

So, today I was watching old episodes of Burn Notice (which I love) and White Collar (which I also love). Only, a couple of these episodes have something in common that I had never noticed before. Was watching Burn Notice  and saw the bad guy come on screen and thought to self, "Harry Dresden, why are you being a bad guy with a gun and an Irish accent?" Then, was watching White Collar and saw the bad guy, then thought "Harry Dresden, why are you being a bad guy with a gun? Again."

See, if you can't tell, I have a really hard time separating actors from the characters they play.

Additional example to prove this is, in every screenplay I have tried to write (four) there is always a major villain or one of those slimy yet infinitely charmingly guys written with the prayer of  "*invoking various deities* if this ever gets filmed, please, please, please let Tim Curry want to play this role" going through my head.

He also pops up occasionally in the novels I attempt to write.

And yes. I do realize that this journal entry is about 250 words I could have put towards NaNoWriMo. Respectfully, shut up.
valiant_queene: (NaNoWriMo)
SATURDAY'S WORD COUNT (11/5): 1580
TOTAL WORD COUNT: 8501

Today wasn't the best day for writing because I had to teach a Scout Merit Badge class all morning. So, that was fun.

Also, my cousin showed me this video and I was compelled to share it with ya'll. Enjoy.

valiant_queene: (NaNoWriMo)
THURSDAY'S WORD COUNT (11/3): 1815
TOTAL WORD COUNT: 5162

So, Melete kept in contact with psychotic-ex-boyfriend because she pitied him and finally his behavior has finally gotten to her and she had her cellphone number changed. Apparently, yesterday he threatened her in some way so she stopped accepting his calls and texts. This morning, he called her to inquire if they were "not talking anymore" and that he had "wanted to remain friends."

No shit, Sherlock. You threatened her.

Of course, then, my brilliant</sarcasm> sister decided to let him know that no, once he threatened her there was no chance for any kind of friendship to continue.

Then, he responded with that if she wasn't his friend, she was his enemy (yeah, he went there) and he was "going to destroy her." So, she got her phone number changed and she's on house arrest. Again. *sighs*

Oh, OH! And, she's dating again. She didn't even wait two weeks before she had a new, steady boyfriend with whom she spends all her time. Could someone please tell me why she is so stupid sometimes? She can be brilliant, but when it comes to guys, her brain completely shuts down.

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