Sunday, December 11, 2016

Howdy, folks!

Life continues apace.

Sorry for my long absence, but this semester has been hectic.  I applied for May graduation in early October, and although I await confirmation from the Registrar, I am reasonably confident of that date for finally finishing this degree.  I'm sure I'll have more to say on that subject as the time draws nigh.  I worry that I shan't sleep for the months of April or May-- I will be in full terrier mode at that point, I expect.  I'll sleep-- lightly, occasionally-- on top of the covers with Praline, ready to spring into action at any moment.  That, or I'll be wrung out and simply too tired to spaz.  At least I have no 8 or 9 AM classes in the Spring, which makes me more happy than I can convey.  I am more the type to get up at the crack of noon, so 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00 AM classes this semester have been major factors in how tiring this session has been.

My music minor is going well.  It's good to sing classical repertoire again, and I happened into the most superb voice teacher.  I've made so many startling breakthroughs vocally, with his brilliant guidance.  It's a sort of alchemy, finding the teacher who can unravel the intricacies of how you produce sound, then strip away the unnecessary and the bits that are just plain wrong.  Singing is much easier than ever before, actually, but I'm battling decades-old bad habits.  I will participate in some opera scenes in the Spring, so that should be interesting.

I have two finals to take this week, and then the semester is completed.  I expect to finish with my highest grade tally in many years, which will be a robust boost for my GPA. 

In early October, I broke my phone, and a friend generously gave me an older phone they no longer use. One reason I haven't posted as frequently-- particularly the puppy posts-- is that the new old phone does not let me post onto blogger, for some reason.  I hope to remedy this situation within the next month.

Other news: wow, the big election happened.  Frankly, I was so sick of the news cycles and the constant blaring about Trump, and most of the media's perpetual fawning over HRC.  I remember being sick of the election a full year before it even happened.  I'm still surprised at the outcome.  I haven't been a fan of Trump, but I think he will make a better president than she would have done.  It's ironic how most of the establishment politicos and media were in lockstep to oppose him-- that was probably the best thing they could have done for his campaign.  I looked at all the negative press he received, and saw their hand-fast with political leaders present and past, and I wondered how's come they can all agree to oppose Trump down to the point that they use identical criticisms for him, but they can't be bothered to do what we hire them to do and balance the budget, or something?  I wish all the best for our country, and I hope that Trump wins some people over by doing a splendid job as president.  I am impressed with some of the early news about cabinet choices, and I think his thank you tour has shown him to be a classier act than he was credited by his opponents.  He seems presidential and dignified, and I am pleased by that.

Irony moment: HRC campaign and DNC conspired to keep Bernie Sanders from getting the Dem nomination.  Bernie had a better chance of beating Trump than HRC ever did.  I hope the DNC savor the irony for a long while to come.  In the space of about 72 hours, the news cycle turned from crowing about the end of the Republican party, to a pants-soiling lament about the end of the Democratic party.  I think the takeaway from all of this is that it's hogwash, and that we need to mine the internet for news from a variety of sources, and throw out the incumbent in pretty much every election.  

As for people who say that we are a laughing stock around the world for our choice of Trump: I am unmoved, and un-intimidated.  We are Americans: people expect us to be a little wackadoodle.  Why change now?   There's a reason for the double- or triple-meaning in the name and term "Mickey Mouse."  I'll leave that there, for now.

I entered a short fiction competition this year and did quite well, though I did not make the finals.  There were about 2200 people in the competition, initially, and I made the semi-finals of 300.  I am satisfied with the final story I submitted, and the feedback I got in every round from judges was quite useful.  I learned this week that I didn't make the final of 40 writers, and I am glad that I don't have to write a story this weekend, in addition to studying for finals.

I'll try not to be so scarce around here.  I do expect the Spring semester will be hectic, but I hope it will be enjoyable, as well.  I have two classes with favorite faculty members, so I want to do well, and I know I will learn.