February 7th, 2012

Well More than Enough

So, the first thing on my mind right now is obviously St. Clair tonight. Overall, another decent class, but some of the details are different than the past couple weeks. For one, we got our first test / quiz. Not terribly hard, but I'm pretty sure I gave an incorrect example of classical conditioning, and was more or less guessing when I answered the question about research methods, not to mention we were supposed to give both disadvantages and advantages to our two chosen methods, but I couldn't think of any advantages. I honestly don't think I did bad, but it's too early to say I did good. Secondly, there was apparently only one person in the class who got all the answers to last week's in-class assignment right, and it wasn't me, so we went over the differences between classical and operant conditioning again, and I think I understand a bit better now. Third and final, our first assignment. We've been tasked with researching a culture other than our own, and told to contrast and compare facial expressions and gestures between the two. I didn't necessarily pick Sweden, but that's what I've fallen into, and my night's work can be seen here. The problem is that even though I have a fair amount of information there, the entirety of it comes from only two sites, neither of which are scholarly, and we were told to use at least two scholarly resources. The problem with that is that I am unable to access said resources. Maybe it's because they aren't available off-campus, but the link I'm trying to access clearly appears to be, so for now, I just sent an email off to the new address I found. I tried two others earlier, one of which was listed on the page I couldn't log in from, but both times my message immediately bounced back. If that's still the same tomorrow night, I'll just try using this, and tell the teacher that hey, I couldn't access the site we were recommended to use.

In equally frustrating news, there's also something concerning George to write about. I woke up this afternoon to find an email from him saying that he had the day off, so I immediately wrote him a reply, telling him that I was awake, so if he could respond to me so I would know he was there was well, we could make plans for later at night, but in the end, I just went downstairs for the phone, and called him. That was all of a minute at most, but we still agreed that I would give him a call from work, after I'd finished writing my notes following coming back from St. Clair, so he could drive down, pick me up, and we could come back here to take care of things. I was genuinely excited about that, and as such jumped up and went out into the TV room to ask Mom if we could go out to Food Basics, because I wanted to get the stuff needed to make a cheesecake pie. I did, and it's in the basement fridge right now, just needing to be topped with pie filling, but that would indicate that George doesn't have it, which itself would indicate that there was a problem, which there was. Just before I left for St. Clair, I received another email from him saying that he had to cancel, because his work needed him to start at 7 in the morning. Was I upset? Kind of, in an extremely annoyed sense, and I still am, because I don't like talking to people - even him - online just for the hell of it, which is to say that I've been talking to him for the past couple days more as a means to make arrangements for him to come over here. I can see how that might sound selfish, but just... I did then respond to ask if he might be able to come over on Thursday instead, but as yet, I haven't heard back from him. Or Brandon, which is unsettling, because I'd really like to know that he knows I bought those tickets for him. It would be equally nice to know that they've been shipped out, and I can expect them within the next two days, as I'm pretty sure he leaves on Wednesday, but at this point, I have too much on my mind to really be able to give that proper consideration. I didn't think I'd respond so negatively to a simple assignment to write a report, but there's something about being held to a deadline for something that I don't normally do that I dislike. It could certainly be worse though. I've done some research, and know what I need to do next (look for information given in an academic context), instead of, say, still wondering which culture I'm going to research.

Otherwise though, I am tired, and it is late (or early), and I can't go to bed with books in the way, which is altogether not a good combination. My laptop isn't helping either, however, because it feels like everything is so cluttered. Two instances of Google Chrome open with approximately 25 tabs open between them, Firefox with 27 tabs open, a majority of which are also open in Google Chrome, but I don't want to lose should Windows decide it doesn't like my wireless card again a chat window from when I was talking with Xion open (it worries me that both he and Chris have a status of "Unavailable" right now, because since I've added him, Chris has always always always been online), and KMPlayer from an episode of Fringe I was watching but paused when I decided it was time to work on my research, and... surely other odds and ends as well. Until being told about our assignment, my plan for tonight was to work on cleaning my desktop up when I came home, since George would no longer be over, but instead of doing that, I now have more files than I started with. All around fantastic, but I figure I'll have enough time between now and when I leave for Toronto to clean all of that up, and I've decided that when I go there, I'll bring my notebook with all of my notes, to type up on my laptop on Monday night, during the time I'd normally be at St. Clair, and then I'll just use that from then on. I can still take pictures of the slides, but although I thought it would work better to write stuff out by hand at first, I'm now realizing that there are more detriments than there are benefits. I get distracted too easily by grammatically incorrect bits of text, or things that are worded in such a way that their meaning is ambiguous instead of explicit, and with my laptop, it would be much easier to correct those as I go. Right now though, I'm going to bed, because it's after 7, so hopefully tomorrow brings answers to everything that I'm currently waiting on. Responses from Brandon and George, at least. Those are definitely the most distracting~

An Interesting Sort of Dream

I remember when I used to have nights like that all the time - go to sleep, and wake up feeling not only completely rested, but like I'm waking up to a different space and time, which, in this case, was largely because of what I dreamt about. I was, well, not in Toronto that I could tell, but was with Dan, and we were talking about what we wanted to do that day. My brain presumably picked up on him inviting me to the party / furmeet in a couple weeks back in December, because he asked me if I wanted to go to another furry event with him, but didn't say specifically where or what it was. I also have no memories of the dream from being at that actual event, but then as we were heading back home, I got the feeling that we had just been at MFF. Weird, right? In spite of not currently wanting to go to another one of those in real life, I seem to recall having enjoyed myself in the dream, and was glad that I'd gone along with Dan's proposal, because nothing else we could've done would've been as much of an experience as going there was. On our way back home though (for the current part, we were just walking to a destination), we had a third person with us, who was Xion, as far as I know, except that in the dream, I only knew him as somebody I met at the convention, and had become friends with. I told him about how prior to going there, Dan and I didn't have any plans for that day, so I said yes when he asked if I wanted to go to a furry event, only to then find out that we had to travel three hours away. Literally, it was as if in the dream, Toronto and the hotel we only three hours apart, and I'm almost certain we were able to take some form of public transportation such that you'd find in Toronto from one to the other. I do remember seeing the subway in my mind, and I want to say that the longer part of the trip was taking the subway from the apartment to as close to the hotel as it would go, and walking the rest of the way, because we were. Nothing terribly unusual or unfamiliar, unlike actually being at MFF though. The still image in my mind right now is of the three of us walking up a path behind some apartment buildings, really much like going out to Subway for supper with Xion and Chris was when we went to Wonderland last year. I didn't know exactly where we were then, in terms of our surroundings and all, but did feel a strong sensation of exploration, curiosity, and safety, because the other two seemed to know where we were going, and it didn't feel unsafe to just follow them. Getting back to the dream, though, the next memory I have is of us being at the other end of the trip again - back near the apartment - except that as almost always seems to happen when I have dreams about being there, the apartment wasn't as I remember it. Trying to place it to something I saw in real life recently, it was like a brown-bricked version of the apartment seen in the "Wallflower" episode of Fringe, except that we approached it from off to the side instead of from the front as in that episode, and I am positive that in one of the windows on the ground floor, I saw a lit sign for EB Games. Unfortunately, the dream ended there, but as we were walking up to the apartment, the lesser-known Xion asked me what attracted Dan and I to MFF, and I told him essentially what I wrote above - that Dan had asked me if I wanted to go to a furry event with him, and I agreed. Then, smiling out of amusement, I added that until we got on the train / method of transportation, I didn't know that it would take us three hours to get there. Seriously, if it took only three hours maximum to get there in real life, and it was possible to get there by what I see as conventional means (public transportation, more or less), that would be amazing. Well, moreso than that, being in a central location instead of off to one side would be better, but much as I like fantasizing about these things, it's also improper of me to think about how much better it would be to go to events that I previously said I no longer had interest in.

Still continuing with that though, as noted, waking up was also different than normal. I think I woke up two times before I actually woke up, but can only remember one of them, however, it was during that one that I woke up simultaneously feeling rested and relaxed, and more tired than when I had gone to bed, which I've never felt before, kind of like my body was rested, but my mind was still in the middle of sorting everything from the past day out. I know I went back to sleep fairly quickly after that, but then when the point of waking up to stay awake came, it was like, well, as if my body and mind were slightly out of sync again, because in waking up, it felt for a moment like I was literally in the dream setting, because there was a distinct feeling of pulling out / coming-to. I suppose it could make sense if hiding under my blanket made it so that I couldn't breathe, and thus actually passed out for a bit, but I don't feel anything else that I would imagine is associated with that right now. A very very slight headache, frustration about needing to hear from George, and anxiety over the report I have to write, but nothing that can't be explained naturally. Up until I wrote this, it was as if something was tugging on my heart the further memories of that dream slipped away. It's not actually special, in that it was just a dream, I want to say, but sometimes that happens - sometimes I have dreams that seem more meaningful than just being something that happens when I go to sleep. Another good thing about that dream / sleep, aside from it giving me something interesting and satisfying to write about, is that I feel more calm and focused than when I went to bed. Not enough to see a clear path to finishing this report in such a way that would guarantee me decent marks - I know that I want to contact the teacher to ask if she'd accept results from Google Scholar as scholarly resources first, once I finish this - but for the moment, today feels like a fresh start, almost exactly like how I felt / feel the day after coming home from London or Toronto, except that the feeling hasn't been quite as strong in recent trips to the latter. What's even more good news is that Brandon's concert tickets came in today, and he actually responded to my email to say that he works tonight, so I'll just bring them in to there, but that's about where it ends. I'm not particularly excited for work tonight, only because I don't yet see anything different between it and closing over the past weekend, and am in the same place as yesterday regarding cleaning up my desktop - I know it needs to be done, but feel that concentrating on that would be a distraction from what I should be working on, although what I didn't mention last night is that if I can find all of the drivers I would need, I might revert to Windows XP at some point, just for something new. It's nearly 5pm though, and I'd like to get an answer from our teacher about resources before the end of the night, as well as that I would like to eat something because I am hungry, so it's time I went to take care of those. Maybe she'll have responded by the time I come back up here~