9/4/17 Chronicles

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  Monday 8/28/17

David woke me up about 6:30 (not on purpose) and then Brandy kept me awake.  We always close off the master bathroom because, before, she was peeing in there every chance she got.  The doors to that area are very noisy to open and shut, so he often does wake me up when he opens or closes them.  Usually I can get back to sleep. This morning, Brandy was being very hyper (more than usual), so I got up after letting her out, and I had breakfast, etc. I never did go back to sleep, and I was exhausted all day. It was actually not a great day...

I was sick a lot from the usual stuff. I did manage to take Brandy for a short walk, but it didn't seem to tire her out any. When I left for school, I gave her a new toy, hoping it would keep her from chewing up anything else. It did work, so that's good.

When we were out on our walk, she got pretty scared by the garbage truck! Poor baby.

After I left, I realized I had left my wallet at home, so that was very irritating.

My bag was heavier than usual because I had my music for my voice lessons as well as my laptop, notebook, and laptop power cord.

I got a soda at Reynolds, and then I went over to Overstreet. I took David his spare glasses that he'd asked for. I went to class early. I had been sick a lot, so I wasn't feeling well, so I really had trouble staying awake. Also, the Wi-Fi was not working well, so that didn't help.

David left me $10 to get lunch, but Chick-Fil-A has raised their prices, so mine came out to $10.53. They said it was OK, though, and that was very nice of them. They know me there, since I go often.  They raised their prices over the summer, too. Now, I asked one of the ladies that works there if they had free refills, and she said they did, so I said, "Oh, good, then I'll hang on to my cup and come back later. Thanks!"  Now, she should have told me this, but apparently once you leave the room, you can't get a refill.  So when I came back later, I was very annoyed to have walked all that way for nothing, carrying my heavy bag.

me with pianoAfter I ate lunch, I went to Brinson to warm up my voice and then to my first voice lesson. I met my new teacher, Jaimee. I believe she's the first voice teacher I've had that's younger than I am.  She's very nice and seems smart. She's working on finishing her second Master's in Vocal Performance.  We hit it off very well. We're going to mostly work on technique, so that should be good. I really need that. She has some great ideas. One of them is to keep a practice journal. Every time I practice, I write down what I did, what needs to be improved and what went well.  This forces you to practice, so that's great.

After that, I went to the library awhile, and then I had an interview at the campus paper, The Bray, at 5pm. I had already spoken with the editor and given her all of my information, but we had a nice chat. The professor that oversees the paper was there, too, but he doesn't have much to do with the actual hiring or running of the paper. They both seem fine. I hope I get it, or I'm going to feel bad...

We stopped at McDonald's on the way home. Brandy was still very energetic when we got home, but at least she didn't make any messes.  After dinner, I took her on another walk. I need to spend more time training her, but time has been tough so far. Also, she's really getting annoying about nipping at my heels.

To top off my bad day, I found that Brandy did pee on the hallway rug. It's possible that she did that after we came back, when she was super excited to see us, so that doesn't count (it's involuntary), but I don't know for sure.

  Tuesday 8/29/17

I got pretty decent sleep for a change...

I bought Brandy some bully sticks online because they were not any more expensive than the ones at Wal-Mart. I gave her one today, along with a new toy, and that helped her pass the time when she was all by herself.

I was still a little sick off and on today, but not too bad.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I don't have to go in to school until about noon. I got up around 9, had breakfast, and fed Brandy. Then we went for a walk again. It was all fine. I got to my class a little early, so I went upstairs to the music practice room and practiced my breathing exercises and warm-ups a little. I didn't have a ton of energy, though.

When I got to class, I was chatting with some of the other students. Apparently we had an assignment due! I had written it down, but just the title and not "assignment," so I didn't realize I had to do an assignment when I looked at it later. I was supposed to go to the campus website and download this assignment. I completely forgot. But it turned out okay because the professor had asked questions about our new camera, which I hadn't gotten yet. I wasn't the only one, so we can turn it in on Thursday. Whew!

I've just been feeling completely overwhelmed with everything today. Too much I need to work on and haven't been. Too much work on my site, too. UGH.

I got my camera in the mail today. I haven't had a chance yet to look at it, though.

Class was fine, though, and it sounds like most of our time is going to be spent on the photos we take.  It's very cold in that building, and most of us were falling asleep and/or sneezing because of that. I forgot to bring my sweater again. It never fails, though. If I bring the sweater, I'm not cold. If I don't, I freeze. :( I hate carrying it around for nothing. I have enough to carry!

I had a conference call interview right after class with Al Michaels and the other NBC Sunday Night Football broadcasters. I sat and listened in Reynolds. I forgot to bring my headphones, so I just sat with my phone to my ear for a half an hour. Then I went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch again. David had a meeting, so he couldn't take me home until about 4:30. I went to the library. I had brought some magazines in case I got bored, but I ran into James, who was in my Internet Communications class last semester, so we chatted for a while about school and his plans for the future. He's a very nice kid.

I was very tired all day, and especially after I got home. I took a little nap, in fact.  David came home, and I made him dinner. Then Brandy and I went for our usual walk around 7:30.

I did a lot of work on my site and did the dishes. I need to do laundry and more school work. I ended up staying up until almost 1, and I was so tired! I watched TV as well, of course.

  Wednesday 8/30/17

The alarm was set for 8am.  Brandy had awakened me a few other times before that, but I got back to sleep. I set the alarm for 8:15, but I didn't get back to sleep because the power went out twice, and every time the power comes back on, it makes our land line phone beep! So I just got up after that. It was raining all day. We're getting the tail end of Hurricane Harvey, but it's just a tropical depression now. We'll probably have a few days of rain and hopefully, no more power outages!

I couldn't take Brandy for her morning walk because of the rain. Christina picked me up at 11, and I went to Reynolds again for my morning soda. I went in the front door, which is unusual for me, but it was the shortest path between her car and the building, and it was raining. I did have my umbrella, at least! It's kind of a pain to carry it, though, with all my stuff. I usually have my large red computer bag stuffed with my laptop and notebook, and other stuff, plus my purse, and sometimes a soda or water as well. I need to get one of those umbrellas that you wear on your head (Naw, not really, too dorky-looking).

Anyway, I went to the bookstore in Reynolds and got some snacks...as I approached the coffee counter, I was shocked to see a long line. I was disappointed. I thought all these people were in line for coffee, since it was raining. Turns out, they were in line for the cafeteria next to the coffee place. Whew!

I just learned something new. I always thought that the dorms had their own cafeterias for the students because that's the way it was in most of the other colleges we've been too. However, they were much larger colleges!  They don't have their own, just the cafeteria in Reynolds (nicknamed "The Caf"), plus the coffee place there, the Chick-Fil-A and the burger place. I had no idea!

After I got my soda, I went to my classroom and set up my laptop, got out my notebook, etc. The classes were fine. They're so much better when I've had some sleep! I chatted with Professor Reppert after class, too, about how I applied to The Bray. They're supposed to let us know today.

I went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch after that, and then I went to the car to wait for David, so he could take me home. It wasn't raining too hard at first, but then it did, so naturally I had to use the restroom after that! He was later than he said he would be.  So I left to go back to Overstreet to use the restroom, and he then came out, too.

I wanted to take a nap when I got home, but instead, I just watched TV and lounged around. I'd gotten quite a bit of work done for my site earlier in the day.

I called around to some different plumbers. Only one answered the phone, and they're coming by either tomorrow or Friday in the afternoon. They charge $95 an hour. UGH. I left messages for the other two and they never called me back. fries

I had posted a few weeks ago on our local Facebook groups about needing someone to weed and clean up the yard, and other yard work, and I had many replies. This one woman, Chemeka, said her dad did that for a living, so she gave me his number. We've been playing phone tag, but I finally got him today. He's coming over tomorrow to give me an estimate.

I did work a little bit with training Brandy today and will continue that. I also started the laundry!

I started going through my camera and figuring it out. I bought a "bundle," so it's not just the camera and lens, and battery, but also some other lenses, some filters, a bag, and other stuff. I read through the manual a little while I charged the battery. I also did an assignment for the photography class. We just had to read some stuff and answer a few questions.  It's a bit confusing right now with all of the terms and learning all about the camera.

One new thing I noticed about nowadays in college, as opposed to 30 years ago. Okay, we know everything is digital, and online etc. but you know what? Every time a professor assigns something, I have to print it out! In the old days, the professor printed it out and then passed it out in class. That's not an improvement...at least not for the student. Maybe it is for the professor! I know college has expenses, but I didn't expect to have to buy so much paper and ink.  Books and other supplies are bad enough.

At least my voice teacher did offer to print out her syllabus and other things.... she's a Masters student, so she probably remembers a little bit more about what it was like to be a poor student.  Not that I'm poor, but I'm just saying...

I'm sure that taking photos will be fun, but I hate learning software or anything new like that. I stayed up until about 1am.

Brandy has had two little accidents this week, but both times, I should have been watching her better or making sure she went out regularly. It's so hard to remember these things when so much else is going on.

  Thursday 8/31/17

I got up about 9. I was sick a lot today, so it wasn't much fun (my usual problems). I didn't take Brandy for a walk, and she seemed to have a lot more energy than usual.  Thankfully, I didn't have to go in to school until noon. I even cleaned up the kitchen a little and did the dishes, so it wouldn't look quite so bad later when the plumber comes by.

The camera battery was charged, so I put it in the camera and started experimenting a little with it. I started reading through the book that came with it about how to use the settings. It's very complicated.  It took me quite a while just to figure out how to put the camera strap on! It wasn't easy The book didn't really say how to do it, and there was only one picture, that wasn't helpful at all!

I had breakfast and slowly got ready for school... I was feeling very tired and not in the best mood. I took the camera to school, along with my regular bags, in case we needed it. Later on, I asked the professor if we should bring it, and he said we should. Brinson was not nearly as cold today as it was on Monday or Tuesday. Of course, because I brought a sweater!

There's another older white lady in my photography class (I can't remember any of their names) who sits behind me. She's some kind of art major, and she's full time, so she lugs a ton of stuff around. I feel kind of bad for her. I remember, back when I was a student the first time, how hard it was to carry books and other things around. I wonder why colleges don't have lockers the way high schools do? Is it because they think we all live in dorms and have time to run home between classes to get books and supplies? Because we don't.  Or maybe they think we can just keep everything in our cars.  Lockers would be really handy.  For us older students, it's even harder to carry around so much stuff. We're not in our 20's, so we don't have as much physical strength or energy.  They should give us lockers, or offices, or something!

Today she had one of those big bags on wheels. Similar to the one I used last semester, only much bigger. Yet she was still carrying a lot of stuff as well. She'd been sick, too, so I really felt bad for her.  She was nice to me on Tuesday and lent me her pencil and her notes.

There's another white girl that sits near her with purple hair (another art student, I think) and she always wears a superhero T-shirt.  There's a kid near me, African-American guy, very thin, polite and soft-spoken. I chat with him, and he's kind enough to chat back, even though I'm sure that talking to someone about 40 years older than him is the last thing he wants to do!

Mostly we all talk about the cameras! I feel bad for these kids, having to spend $400 on one. I know that a lot of them are not wealthy. They have financial aid, jobs or student loans. The woman behind me told me that a friend of hers bought hers for her, as a loan.  See, this is why I never took an art class in college, even though I really wanted to. The supplies were really expensive. I could barely afford to eat, let alone buy books. I got a lot of my text books at the library, sometimes the wrong edition. We didn't take out too many student loans and lived very cheap.  SAU is one of the most affordable universities in the country, so I figure that many of the students don't have a ton of money.

The class was interesting, but I was a little bit lost because I hadn't had much time yet to study or read. I hope to catch up this weekend.  One good bit of news: No class next Tuesday! So I have a four day weekend. That will be handy for catching up.  We do have an assignment due on Tuesday, but he said to leave it on his door. I will see if I can get David to take me in briefly on Monday, so I can turn it in then.

I went to Chick-Fil-A after class. I just got a salad and a milkshake. I was very stressed out, so I felt like a shake. It was very good. David took me home. The lawn care guy called me, and he's coming tomorrow instead.

The plumber came a little bit later to look at the water heater. We figured out that it's in the garage in a little closet. There were some boxes and things that we had to move to get to it.  He then left for a while and brought something back. Apparently he had to light the water heater Grilleworksbecause the pilot light had gone out.  He also tested it to make sure there were no leaks.  Then he also looked at a few other things I asked him to look at. This company charges $80 an hour, so that was better than the other one that charges $95.  Our guest bathroom toilet had a leak before, and it looked like it was still sometimes leaking. He said that it is not set in there right and needs to be put back on and sealed better. He showed me that it rocks a little, which explains the leak and the marks around it on the floor. That will cost another $80, but it's not urgent, so we'll wait on that. Also, the back master bathroom toilet, when you flush it, you have to put the handle back up or it will just run. Apparently that one just needs a new handle. At least now we know! And I have hot water back in my kitchen. Yay!

David brought home Burger King for dinner, and I also had some wine. It was that kind of day. I had tried to nap a little but couldn't. I rested, though, and that was good. I even felt guilty for spending so much time resting, so I got up and did a little bit of straightening up the master bedroom and bathroom. We did our usual evening walk. Brandy was very good, aside from being a little hyper this morning.

I had bought these two baby gates to use to keep Brandy out of various rooms, and they've really come in handy. I'm moving one of them to the bedroom to keep her out of the master bathroom. We have a door there, but it's really loud and wakes one of us up if the other one of us uses it. So hopefully that will solve that problem.

I got admitted into the school paper, so that's awesome! I won't be using my real name, though, for various reasons. I hope it'll be fun. I will be doing interviews and reviews, and perhaps other stuff.

I finished the laundry tonight, did some work on my site, and wrote up an article for the paper. I was tired, but I had trouble getting to sleep. Too much weighing on my brain...all the work I have to do. I didn't get to sleep until after 3am.

  Friday 9/1/17

I was very tired when the alarm went off at 8, so I set it for 8:45. I was still pretty tired, but I got up. I didn't do much of anything, aside from feeding myself and Brandy. I just had a leftover salad from yesterday.

The dog trainer said that Brandy should be eating Iams or any good dog food that has meat as the first ingredient. She's not too fond of dry cereal, though, so I usually add in something wet, like part of a can of wet food, or some meat, or cheese, etc. I sometimes add an egg, or some chicken broth.  Spoiled mutt!

I got to school and picked up my Diet Pepsi as usual before heading to my classes. Then I had lunch at the Grille Works, which is a hamburger place next to Chick-Fil-A. It was a nice change of pace, but I have no idea if they're gluten free or not.

After I got home, I made a milk shake from my strawberry-blueberry sugar free ice cream. It was great! I tried to take a nap after that, but I wasn't sleepy enough.

I did find some relaxing dog music playlists on YouTube, so maybe I'll use those in the future, when I leave Brandy alone.

I'll probably go to bed really early tonight...so tired still!

I did a lot of work the rest of the day. We went to the Japanese restaurant, Tokyo, for dinner. I just had a little bit.

I also did my vocal exercises and worked on my song, and then I tried recording another song. My voice was kind of shot, so I'm going to have to re-do it later.

I did a lot of work, and then my computer was having problems. Well, earlier, when I was at school, the battery ran out again, after about 2 1/2 hours.  So I sent Dell an email. They sent me a reply, and I updated the bios, as they asked, but then the other things they asked, I couldn't do. So I called them. A very nice man helped me, but it took hours, and eventually I got tired. I'll call him back again if I still have problems.

  Saturday 9/2/17

I got up about 8am because the gardening guy, Mark, said he'd be here between 8:30 and 9. Well, of course he came later than that, but it's okay. He seemed very nice and did a pretty good job weeding the whole place, and fast. He'll be mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges from now on, regularly, too. I'll have to fire the other guy who does it. Too bad, they're nice guys! But they charge more.

David dropped Brandy and me off at the vet, so she could get her flu shot. There were quite a few dogs there, and Brandy was very excited. I was tired and had a hard time controlling her.  When they weighed her, they said she's 31 pounds now. No wonder I can't control her! She's gained 10 lbs. in the past month.  They all loved her, of course.  She was such a good girl while getting her shot. They also clipped her nails and expressed her behind. She was so happy that the vet had a hard time getting her wagging tail out of the way!  She charmed everyone, from the other dog owners to the staff.

I also picked up some more flea and tick, and heartworm, medicine. I got to chat with some nice locals about their dogs.  There were some horses outside, too.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I also had the gardening guy replant my Plumeria tree outside. It's lost all of its leaves, but it's still green, so I hope it's just gone dormant.

We took Brandy home, and after the lawn guy left, we went to lunch at Flying Burger. It was good as always. I have just been eating too much lately. We stopped briefly at Brookshire's as well.

I finally did have a nap after lunch. I've been exhausted.

The weather has been getting nicer. It hasn't been quite as hot or humid (varies by the day), and some nights I can turn off the a/c.  It's not quite so miserable.

We had our evening walk as always.  A bunch of kids down the road ran up to pet Brandy. She was thrilled!  We also ran into this old man and his little dog, Jasper, who kept barking at us.

I finished the laundry yesterday, and I've just been overwhelmed with all of the work I have to do! I did manage to clean off the couches and tables in the living room, at least.

David watched part of the Bama game, and then he watched part of the Padres game. They both won!

  Sunday 9/3/17

I woke up around 10:30. I finally got some good sleep. I had really good dreams, as well!

We went out to lunch at El Compadre, nearby, and it's always good. Then we did our grocery shopping at Wal-Mart.  Later on, we went back out so that David could buy some shoes at the Payless. I went to the Dollar store, which is near there. I kept seeing Star Wars posters all over and taking photos of them.

I started my photography assignment. I ran out of light, so I'm going to try it again tomorrow. I had a hard time understanding the assignment, at first, and also figuring out how to use the camera. I finally watched a tutorial that helped me quite a it. I need to watch some more.  Tomorrow I'll do that, and write my other assignment for another class. I did get quite a lot done today. I finally did the dishes, and I started the laundry again.

I really don't know why I have to take this digital photography class (it's a requirement for the Mass Comm degree). I can see, if I was planning to be a professional photographer, or photojournalist, or camera operator, but I'm not. Now that I have a really good camera, I don't understand why anyone would want to fool around learning all the special settings when you can just put it all on automatic. It's crazy. I mean, it's not like learning HTML, where you can still use the HTML editor, but it's helpful to know HTML in case something messes up. You can still take perfectly fine photographs with the automatic settings.  Only artists will really need all these manual settings.

Also, I'm surprised that digital cameras haven't made more technological strides by now. Why don't all good DSLR cameras have a smart device inside? From what I can tell, they just barely now have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. I should be able to take a good photo and then post that instantly to Instagram. I shouldn't have to first transfer it to my phone or tablet. I can edit my photos, take movies and edit them, right in my camera! So the rest doesn't seem like that big of a stretch.

Now, of course, really good smart phones have cameras, and some are pretty good. However, the photos you can take with the smart phones are not even as good as the cheapest digital point-and-shoot camera. I know because I have a really cheap $100 Fuji camera I got from Wal-Mart a few years ago, and the photos with that are excellent. Even better than the ones I took with an iPhone.  I don't have some great artists' eye, and even I can tell that the photos are much more crisp and clear on the digital camera.

I hope that one day we'll have ONE device (or perhaps one device multiple attachments?) that can fold out to have a large screen and keyboard when we want it to, and otherwise fold up to be a little phone, or a fantastic camera.

I made some more sugar free ice cream. I made it with white chocolate pudding and then added some gluten free chocolate covered pretzels. It's pretty good! It needs more chocolate, though.

I've just been very stressed out because of lack of time, and energy, and way too much to do. I don't know how I'm going to do this. Stay tuned!

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