Saturday, November 26, 2011 | By: Brianna

Account for Yourself!

I hate Accounting.  For real.  Like a lot.

When I first started the classes for my business minor, I was only taking one business class at the time.  It was Accounting.  That class wasn't too bad.  It was very basic, methodical, and I could handle it because the book walked me through everything really simply and patted me on the head when I was right.  So it really wasn't too bad.  It might have helped that I had a friend in that class who wasn't an Accounting major.

This year, I'm taking three business classes at one time.  That means three out of the total four classes that I'm taking this semester...are business classes.  Aside from the crushing depression that I feel every time I enter one of those classrooms because I just feel creatively stifled (aside from the poetry writing, but that's a way of coping, right?)'s just generally awful.  The material's horrible.

But the reason I hate this Accounting class is because without fail I always feel stupider when I leave it.  I don't understand why you have to do so many complicated calculations to figure out how much money you have when you can really just go out to your bank vault and count the bills.  I realize this would be a problem mostly because it's the accountants who do the calculations because they're never actually allowed to touch other people's money so it would be a problem if the bill-counting was standardized, but whatever.

[I was going to put an Accounting cartoon here, but it was copyrighted...]

I understood Accounting last year.

This year...not so much.  I don't understand why I have to know about standard costs and statements of cash flows, and I don't understand how I'm supposed to know all this.

There's one kid in my class who sounds like he was born with all of this stamped on his brain matter.  He raises his hand and has intelligent sounding conversations with our professor in the middle of class which leaves me to stare out the window longingly but also leaves me feeling like I'm inadequate.  Not that I want to be adequate when it comes to Accounting because it's so damn frustrating.  And counter intuitive (I swear that was one word...).  And I don't want to sacrifice a piece of my soul so I can be good at something that would so obviously crush whatever spirit I have left.

I say all this because I have a test on Tuesday.  I'm sitting at home (at my real home home where I grew up home) staring at this Accounting book in misery, trying to figure out how I'm supposed to study for this.  Am I supposed to just memorize things?  Is that going to be the easiest way for an English major to figure out what's going on?  Or close?  I really have no motivation to study.  Aside from my GPA.  It'd be nice if my GPA would stay where it is.  That's really my only motivation for doing anything vaguely business related...because now I realize that if I screw up, my GPA will suffer.  Which is great.  Though not really.

It also doesn't help that this is a test the week before Finals.  Because my professor is a sadist.  I'm convinced.

What's my test on, you ask?
It's on chapters 9, 11, 12, and 13 in the devil book, I Accounting book: Introduction to Managerial Accounting.
So that means...
Chapter 9 -- Standard Costs
Chapter 11 -- Relevant Costs for Decision Making
Chapter 12 -- Capital Budgeting Decisions
Chapter 13 -- "How Well Am I Doing?" Statement of Cash Flows
I love when my Accounting book tries to be cute.  It's really quite endearing.  I especially enjoy when it tries to be "hip" and use direct quotes from supposedly real people in its chapter titles.  It's really adorable.  I can't get enough of it.

So...cheerful post next time?  Alright.

"Account no man happy till he dies."
- Euripides
Friday, November 25, 2011 | By: Brianna


"Please sir, I want s'more."
"S'more?  But how can you have s'more when you haven't had any?"

Today I thought I'd write about the Oxford English Dictionary's word of the day.  As you may or may not have guessed, the word of the day is "s'more."

From the entry in the OED, I've learned that the word "s'more" is actually chiefly in the plural, which is something that I find to be true, but interesting because I hadn't thought of it before (thank you, OED, for getting me to think!).  Sure, you can eat a s'more, but more than likely you'll be making s'moreS.

Thank you, Google, for the lovely picture!  I wish the marshmallow was a bit more well-done...
For those who aren't familiar with this particular delicious snack (all my readers who are actually aliens.  That's why they don't subscribe, it's because they don't have blogs in outer space, just the Internet.), a s'more is a marshmallow based deliciousness.  The most common way of making a s'more is to poke a marshmallow with a stick and hold it over the flames of an open campfire.  Preferably at night so the only light is provided by the glow of the campfire.  You toast your marshmallow to the appropriate darkness (I enjoy lighting mine on fire and watching the outside blacken because it's only good if the marshmallow's charred properly.) and ask a friend for help because usually it's a little difficult to do this step on your own.  You've got a graham cracker with a piece of chocolate on top of it, and you put the marshmallow on top of the chocolate before sandwiching it with the other half of the cracker.  Then you have to pull the stick out of the marshmallow and you've got a s'more.

I know this because I'm a Girl Scout.  And we're pros when it comes to making s'mores.  And other things too, but s'mores are the most important of camping staples.
Wikipedia actually attributes the creation of the s'more to the Girl Scouts, which is interesting.  Although it says that the first reference of the word appeared in 1927 when OED claims it first appeared in 1934.  I'm not going to say anything about the reliability of either of these sources, but I'm a personal fan of the OED...

I personally haven't had a s'more in a while because we didn't eat them at camp the last time I went.  It's only now that I realize how disappointed I am about this.

A couple summers ago I wrote a stage adaptation of the story "The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage."  Yes. Sausage.  And I actually wrote that the Sausage cooked homemade marshmallows and the three friends ate s'mores all the time.  It was either s'mores or sauer kraut, because the Sausage was German.  Mostly because I really wanted my actor to wear lederhosen.  Unfortunately that didn't happen, but it was still a really good story.

So homemade marshmallows.  They're good.  When the recipe says to use a "sauce pan," that's not the same thing as a "frying pan."  And gelatin is weird.

This is relevant, I promise.  Just go to 3:26 and watch...

"You're killing me, Smalls!  These are s'mores stuff.  Now pay attention.  First you take the graham.  You stick the chocolate on the graham.  Then, you roast the mallow.  When the mallow's flaming, you stick it on the chocolate.  Then you cover it with the other end.  Then, you stuff.  Kind of messy, but good!"
Saturday, November 19, 2011 | By: Brianna

Senior Moment

Q:  So you're a senior, eh?

A:  Yeah, what's it to you?

Q:  So that means you have to do all sorts of senior-y things?

A:  A tad more specific than that, but yeah.

So I have to write a paper for my Senior Seminar class.  This paper has to be about 18-20 pages long.  And I've never written a paper that long before.  So that would be hurdle number one.  I'm also writing about Margaret Atwood's Lady Oracle.  For a professor that I've written really horrible papers for in past classes I've been in.  And when I say those papers were horrible, I'm not kidding.  I'm so totally not kidding.  Lots of not kidding-ness.

I wrote about 10 pages for my rough draft.  I got that back a little while ago, and it's sat in my backpack for about a week, maybe more.  It took forever to write originally.  Anyway, I took a clean copy of it and went through it on my own and marked it up and then added in the marks from my professor.  So now I have a master copy with all the edits that I need to make.  All my comments are in happy orange and my professor's are in pink, so it's a really happy draft.  But that doesn't really matter.  Because despite all the pretty colors, there's a LOT of them.  (I know that sentence didn't make sense, we're just going to leave that alone for now.)  There are a LOT of pretty colors all bleeding on my paper, and this creates the problem for a lot of work for Brianna.  A lot of work for Brianna during a weekend when she's going to have a friend staying with her.  And Brianna's going to want to hang out.

So that leaves Brianna here.  Blogging instead of writing her paper.  Because that's definitely the smartest thing to do at this precise moment.  Yup.  Awesome.

My paper file is open on my desktop, it's right there.  Draft 1.  Yup, there it is.  It's staring at me.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | By: Brianna

Remember Remember...

My November bulletin board
On a note completely unrelated to The Future...I'm required to make a bulletin board each month for my job. I have to cover this gigantic mammoth sized bulletin board with information and fun things.  I'm trying to keep my boards related to British things because my hall theme is Harry Potter...  So for November, I made a board about Guy Fawkes Night.  Mostly because I really enjoy V for Vendetta and I wanted an excuse to learn more about where it came form originally.

The board includes:
- The Conspirators (of The Gunpowder Plot)
- The Plot (reasons behind it, etc.)
- Impressions on Pop Culture (which gave me an excuse to talk about V for Vendetta)
- Lasting Impressions (Bonfire Night, etc.)
- Comics and pictures featuring Guy Fawkes or related things

What do you want?

I honestly don't know.

I have no idea what I want to eat for breakfast let alone what I want to do with my life.

So if I had to pick?  If I absolutely had to pick something because the rest of my life depended on it?  Would I be able to answer?  Would I be able to come up with something?  Let's see.

I want to be happy.  This has to be the broadest thing that I could ever think of, but there it is.  My ultimate goal in life is to find happiness and retain it.  It'd also be really nice if the people around me could also be happy.  I'm concerned about the people around me for all the obvious reasons in addition to the fact that I love them a lot.

I want to be able to have fun and not have to hide it.  I'm convinced that people get to a certain age and then they're not allowed to admit that they're having fun.  I like to think that they're not allowed to admit it because the alternative is that they're just not having fun at all, which is way too depressing to think about.  If anyone can tell me what age you have to be to be ashamed of admitting when you're having fun, I would really like to know because I'm concerned that I'm reaching that age, and in order to be taken seriously in "the real world," I might just have to renounce my ability to show when I'm having a good time.

I want adventures but I want safety.  Sometimes I'm daring, but more often than not, I play it safe.  I don't take risks.  I don't walk the edge.  I walk squarely in the middle and I get out of people's way when they come running towards me.  The adventures I have are under strictly controlled circumstances because I don't do spontaneity.  But at the same time, I want that.  So I'm conflicted there.  I want to explore, but I want to have the luxury of keeping a map in my pocket so I can consult it if I get lost.  I want to learn new things about where I'm at, but I want to have some place to call home so I can go back when I'm lonely.

I want to read.  For fun.  All the time.  I want to read everything I can get my hands on, even the dry and boring books because then I'll have something to complain about.  I want to read poetry out loud on street corners and draw the stares of tourists but it wouldn't matter.  Mostly because I would be having fun.  (See above.)

I want to write awful fragments of stories and random lines of poetry that never make sense together.  I want to write them all down, shuffle them up and hide them away in my writing box.  I want to keep them secret.  (Though I realize writing about them here kind of negates that secret bit.  Oh well.)

I want to fall in love.  I want to be able to open up to someone and trust them not to run away, but if they do, I want a broken heart.  I would want to feel the loss.

I want to feel.  I want to help people.  I want to do something worthwhile.  I want to make an impression.  I want to make my family proud.  I want to get so mad that I yell in public places.  I want to make a scene.  I want to walk until I'm completely exhausted.  I want to re-read my favorite books eight billion times.  I want to read Shakespeare aloud.  Somewhere.  I want to go everywhere and nowhere.

I want to live.

"With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future.  I live now."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sunday, November 6, 2011 | By: Brianna


"That's a good omen."

"It must be an omen."

"Bad omen."

Omens.  Based on the Oxford English Dictionary, and the random quotes that I put above, I've learned that "omen," is a really sort of ambiguous word.  It can mean whatever you need it to mean.  Okay, you probably couldn't replace "kerfuffle" with "omen," but you know what I mean.  When something has "prophetic significance," it can be an omen.  Which is interesting.  How many other words have that fluidity?  Sure, you can have a good dog and you can have a bad dog, but it doesn't hold the same sort of significance that "omen" does.  We know that an omen is something that happens that is supposed to predict good or evil happening, but the word has to be modified by an adjective.  Otherwise, it's just a "I'm not really sure if this is a good or bad thing" omen.  Which works too.

It's probably a matter of interpretation.

I also learned a little bit about "omen-animals," which is to say that I learned that they exist.  They're animals whose behavior or body parts are used in methods of divination.  Which is pretty cool.  And then there's also a specific entry for "omen-birds" which are probably different from regular omen-animals in some way, though I'm not really sure.  [This calls for more research.]

Thanks Google!  Oh Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet...surely a rock star pairing!
OH!  And this reminds me that I have Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's book, Good Omens, sitting on my bookshelf at school.  There it will sit until I move out.  I know it.  I've never read it, but it's on one of my immediate "READ ME" lists because of the fact that I own it.  [Actually, funny (not really funny) story, I went to Borders with a gift card that I discovered randomly in one of my purses, and I was all ready to spend this $15 I thought I had.  I bought Good Omens and Witch and Wizard because they were random, cheap, and I needed to own some Neil Gaiman.  I get to the register and the gift card only has a couple cents on it, and Borders hadn't started their "going out of business" sales.  Paid for them out of my birthday money.]  I'm really excited about reading it though because I have a friend who enjoyed it and was going to attend the Printer's Ball as a character from it...but that fell through.

So omens.  Definitely something that I could think more about.  Poetically?

Thank you to Sunday Scribblings for the prompt: Omen.

"There is no such thing as an omen.  Destiny does not send us heralds.  She is too wise or too cruel for that."
- Oscar Wilde
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | By: Brianna

A Letter to Conflicts

Dear Conflicting Events,

Hi, hello, I'm Brianna.  You probably know me already.  I'm over-involved.  But this isn't about me.

Anyway, I'd like to take a moment to congratulate you on the number of events that you're holding on campus!  Really, it's awesome that you've got so much going on!  There's movies, speakers, game shows (though I typed "shoes" the first time, game shoes...hmm...), dances,'ve literally got a sampling of just about everything that's good in life.  You've even got free food.  And what college student can pass up free food?  What human being can pass up free food for that matter?

With so much going on, it's a wonder that you keep it all straight.  There are Facebook events, flyers, there's the campus event calendar, the planner...sometimes I wonder about who's responsible for creating all of these things and I wonder if it's all the same person, because I notice some inconsistencies.  Especially in the student planner versus just about everything else.  I swear whoever puts together the planner gets a totally different calendar than everyone else.  Which probably doesn't do much for their self-esteem.  Which is sad and depressing.

My problem is that I have friends.  That's not really a bad problem to have, but it becomes a problem when my friends are involved in planning things.  Or organizing things.  Or performing in things.  You get the idea.  It's a problem because I have friends that are just as involved as I am.  So I'm obliged to go to their events.  And they're fun events, don't get me wrong, but there are also eight other events going on at the EXACT same time that I want to go to as well.  Which makes me want to be able to split myself off into eight separate parts so I can be at all places at once.

And though that would be really cool, part of me wonders if that's just a little too much like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.  Or cloning.

And I'm not really sure how people would react to that.

Plus I'm nice.  I like being there for people.  I like lending support.  And I like going to events.  I generally like people.  I say generally for a reason, but this post is not the time to explain that one.  But yes.  I generally like people, and people go to events, and I get to see them, and I have fun, and it's great.  But I inevitably have to say "no" to one person if I say "yes" to another.  And that pains me.  Because occasionally I'm a good person.  I don't really like disappointing people.  Not that I think that there are people out in the world who think, "Hm.  Who can I disappoint today?  I quite enjoy disappointing people..." but you understand what I'm saying.

Conflicting Events, can't you just create a wormhole so I can see into all the different events at the same time? That way I don't have to clone myself or split my soul or anything painful like that.  And everyone's happy!  Right?

Much love,
The Over-Involved One
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 | By: Brianna

Secret Secret

"Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead." - Benjamin Franklin

Okay.  So if you have a secret, you should keep it to yourself.  Simple enough.  Right?

But there's always the option that you can tell two dead people.  Which would be nice.  I can imagine myself going to a visitation and kneeling down next to the coffin and whispering in the ear of a corpse a particularly juicy secret about myself.  For me, I have to tell someone.  I have to tell my secrets or my news to someone.  So telling a corpse?  Might work.  But then I'd have to find a second corpse.  So I'd have to go all the way to the cemetery and find a name that I like and talk to the gravestone.  Which I wouldn't have too many qualms about, if it was light out.  That would be fine.  Dark and I are not friends.  Not usually.
So two people are dead, and they know.  Easy as pie.  Simple as that.  Problem solved.

But what if you tell two living people?  Is Benjamin Franklin suggesting that I kill those two people so my secret's safe?  This doesn't sound very generous on the part of that founding father of ours.  Well, one of the founding fathers.  Anyway.  Killing people doesn't sound like a very good way of keeping a secret, especially considering murder becomes a second secret.  And then I have to tell someone about that, and then it's just a long chain of murder and death and secrets and complications, and that's just messy.  And irritating, I'm sure.  Not that I've ever killed anyone before, but I would imagine it's both difficult and annoying.

Then there's the issue of the undead.  What if the people that I told secrets to (and then killed) or the corpses I confided in became zombies?  Or vampires?  What if these people could speak again?!  What then?!  Granted, zombies probably wouldn't be as articulate as vampires, and vampires probably wouldn't care about my trivial secrets when they have their own bloodthirsty vices to conceal, but what IF these people did care?  What if they rose from the dead with the express desire of sharing my secrets with the world?  What would happen then?  Well, if I follow Benjamin Franklin's advice, I should probably kill them.  And then there's another cycle of killing and death and secrets!

What I'm getting from this?  Either don't have secrets or don't tell them to anyone.  Good to know.  Thanks, Franklin!

"Secrets, secrets are no fun, unless they're shared with everyone!"