Monthly Archives: March 2010

Update

Novel writing is still going – slowly. I’m two weeks into the project and am supposed to be halfway through the 50,000 word count. I’m currently at 8,300. Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me. I signed at contract at the beginning of the class saying I wouldn’t complain about writing a novel, but I would question whether or not it is possible to find any novelist who doesn’t complain about some parts of the writing process, especially when they only have a month to get it done. It takes me an exorbitant amount of time to even come up with 700 words per day, and I should be writing closer to 2,000. I have a few problems with this assignment, and one of them is time. Juggling all of my other classes while writing a novel is a struggle. I’m not always feeling creative everyday of the week and it seems that every time I sit down to write, my mind goes completely blank. Also, I am incredibly intimidated by the word count. After each sentence I compose, I almost immediately check the word count, hoping and praying that I will see the number jump up by a few hundred. I am always disappointed. It’s time that I put the pressure of the word count of  my head and just write; I feel I will be more successful that way. My plan for this weekend is to go home and get lots of work done, on both my novel and other schoolwork. Hopefully, I can remain productive and not get distracted as usual. Word fairy, please come and write my novel for me! AHH!

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Budget Cuts

Recently, the University of Maine has proposed massive budget cuts which would eliminate several majors including both the women’s studies and foreign language programs. As can be expected, people all over campus are outraged by this decision. Normally, I have an opinion on everything, but I can easily justify both sides of the issue. It’s true that the university needs to save money. The majors that have been put up for review have fewer than five graduates per year. Although I don’t necessarily believe that cutting specific programs is going to save the university money in the long run, I also believe it won’t take long for the administration to learn from their mistakes. By offering less programs, the university will be attracting fewer prospective students and be making less money when it comes down to the bottom line: student tuition. What is really ridiculous is how much money UMaine puts into their sports programs. According to the UMaine payroll, Men’s hockey coach Tim Whitehead rakes in an impressive $160,000 a year, as well as receiving $64,480 in benefits. Jack Cosgrove, the head football coach, earns 140,000 a year for his efforts to bring the team to some sort of glory, which so far has been a complete failure. These men should step up and show the university system that they are willing to take a pay cut in order to fund the academic programs. We aren’t going to college to have the best sports team in the nation, we’re going to school to further our education and gain skills that will help us in the workplace. If the university wants to fund sports, they should invest in the NHL.

Three Wolf Moon

Some of you may be aware of the massively popular three wolf moon t-shirt. The shirt is black, has a moon, and three wolves howling up towards it. Like most shirts with animals printed on them, this piece of work is delightfully tacky. For months now, my roommate and I have been drooling over them. Currently, we both own eagle sweatshirts (purchased at Goodwill), and our appetite for clothing emblazoned with wild animals could not be quenched until we can proudly wear the three wolf moon shirts around campus. Last night, Amazon.com went from being just a friendly acquaintance to our very best friend. We should be expecting the shirts sometime around the end of the week, and I have already planned multiple functions I can wear this shirt to. The process of ordering the shirt was probably one of the best shopping experiences I have ever dealt with. Out of pure curiosity, I read the reviews. According to the majority of the 1,718 reviews, this shirt attracts lots of attractive, straight females. This worries me, as I am a straight female, but it didn’t cause me not to buy the shirt either. Probably my favorite review was from B. Govern, who proclaimed, “This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that’s when the magic happened. After checking to ensure that the shirt would properly cover my girth, I walked from my trailer to Wal-Mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women. The women knew from the wolves on my shirt that I, like a wolf, am a mysterious loner who knows how to ‘howl at the moon’ from time to time (if you catch my drift!). The women that approached me wanted to know if I would be their boyfriend and/or give them money for something they called mehth. I told them no, because they didn’t have enough teeth, and frankly a man with a wolf-shirt shouldn’t settle for the first thing that comes to him.” With no doubt, this story was embellished dramatically, but still does not make it any less entertaining. I also can’t forget the video made about the stud-like qualities of this garment.

Ridiculous is my middle name, and three wolf moon is now mine. Awesome.

Regrets

I might be lying slightly when I say I regret nothing. There are some things I regret, but I regret none of the lessons I have learned through making bad decisions.  Because of this, I have come to the conclusion that some  people are just meant to learn things the hard way and I most certainly am one of them. You can tell me numerous times that something I’m doing is wrong, but I won’t realize it until I get myself into a stupid predicament and engage in something thoughtless. That’s when I’ll finally get it. I speak from experience, and I have recently done something VERY stupid. I regret it, yes. I know I did it for all of the wrong reasons and it’s definitely biting me in the butt. I did learn a lesson though. I honestly don’t know if I would take it back though. It was time that I learned and I totally got what I deserved. There were much worse ways I could have had this lesson shoved in my face. Maybe this is a turning point for me making bad decisions/always having to learn things the hard way. I sure hope so because I honestly can’t deal with the guilt I’m going through now ever again. I apologize for sounding emo.

I Love My Sister

I love my sister. When we were younger, we used to fight horribly but now I would honestly consider Erin one of my best friends. After seven years of being an only child, I was less than thrilled about the birth of my sister once I realized how much attention a newborn requires. Although it might be hard to believe, I was even more of an attention hog as a youngster than I am now (I’ll find something to blame that on later.) Needless to say, for probably the first 9 years of my sister’s life we fought and didn’t get along. As we’ve both gotten older, we’ve gone through a lot of interesting situations and circumstances together which has only drawn us closer. When I was younger, the age difference between the two of us used to be really obvious and cause a lot of conflict. Clearly, a 17-year-old didn’t want to be playing dolls with a 10-year-old. Now we share many similar interests, including  enjoying many of the same favorite musical acts and television shows. I don’t always show it, but I love my sister. She’s a witty, smart, beautiful (sorry for that heinously cliché word, Erin) young lady that I am more than lucky to call my sibling. Our relationship will only continue to grow stronger as the future unravels.

Inner Battles

I have numerous pet peeves, immaturity being one of the greatest ones. As I find myself personally battling against immaturity, it feels only slightly hypocritical to criticize those who seek petty actions to combat their feelings of anger and sadness. I honestly believe that is our innermost instinct to turn to childish ways to end conflict. It’s obviously the easiest thing for us to accomplish, “so easy a child can do it.” Right? At the moment, I want nothing more than to stomp my feet and seek revenge in as brutal and cruel a way as possible. Is that mature? No. Would it make me feel better about myself? Probably not. Is it all I can think about? Yes. I know it’s stupid and I know I shouldn’t even be thinking about it, but somewhere inside of me there is a sick satisfaction in seeing the ones who have hurt you the most be hurt in return. Nothing drastic, of course. Just a simple, “I told you so” kind of kicker that makes them re-think everything they’ve ever done to you. As I increasingly think about matters of this situation, it sounds sillier and sillier. Why waste so much time on something that you’ll reap few, if any, benefits from? By plotting revenge, the only thing that is really taking place is a reflection on the negative which eats away at your soul. I promise I will get through this rough spot in my life and rise to be the most positive and mature person ever. Eventually.

Kudos

Today I was reading the Maine Campus and found this gem of an editorial. I honestly couldn’t agree anymore with the author, Jonathan Zappala. This needed to be published and for the benefit of others, I am re-posting it.

Dem’s health care reform bill violates our constitutional rights (Maine Campus, 3.25.10)

Adolf Hitler never received more than 44 percent of the popular vote in Germany, yet he still became chancellor. He was a socialist and used backroom deals with German leaders to come to power. The current health care reform bill is also socialist, and to the surprise of many in the Democratic Party, it is also unpopular.

Last Thursday, a Fox News poll showed 55 percent of Americans are opposed to the bill, and 35 percent are for it. These poll numbers are despite the fact that most network news shows lean toward support of the bill.

Over eight months, Congress has been playing games with releasing what is in the bills, having meetings behind closed doors – which President Obama promised several times would be on C-SPAN – and seeking to pass bills with reconciliation and Slaughter Rule procedures that were not intended for sweeping legislation such as this.

The same Fox News poll shows only 31 percent of Americans think the House of Representatives and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi were playing by the rules in passing the bill, which might explain why Congress’ approval ratings continue to be low.

Pelosi did it by the book in the end, but not without kickbacks to buy off votes and an executive order “limiting abortion” that really means nothing. Back in October, she was asked by a reporter for CNSNews.com, “Where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?” She brushed off the question without answering it by asking the reporter twice if he was serious before moving onto a different reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, later issued a statement saying it was ” not a serious question.”

Pelosi and her spokesman are wrong; this is the  most important question in the entire health care debate. The current bill mandates every American buy health insurance or get on Medicaid if they meet the requirements. If they don’t, they must pay fines to the IRS, which has been granted the power to enforce the mandate. But the Constitution does not give enumerated or implied power to the federal government to make a person buy something, let alone enforce this with a fine. This would give a requirement to be an American citizen, and it is unconstitutional to have to buy something to be a citizen.

Democrats are quick to point out we have to buy car insurance if we wish to drive. But that is only if we have a driver’s license and vehicle and drive on public roads. Someone who does not have or do these cannot be stopped by a police officer while they are walking down the street and be fined if they do not show proof of car insurance.

After President Obama signs this bill into law, it should be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Arguments can be made that it violates Fifth Amendment protections and treats states unequally.

If I have it all wrong, and President Obama’s plan is going to make things better in America, I would like to know why it has to be done with backdoor deal-making like the Louisiana Purchase and Cornhusker Kickback. If it is good for us and we should want this, why couldn’t we have known earlier what was in it?

Secret socialist deals that were supposed to be good for the people led to the rise of Nazi Germany and other totalitarian governments in the world’s history. If our elected representatives will vote for the removal of liberties, I am glad the Constitution still stands in the way to protect them