Thursday, December 30, 2010

three very important pictures

Have I told you about Tesla the cat? I'm not sure. I adopted him back in the beginning of December. He's cute, spoiled, and wants all doors open and people to be nearby. He really likes my siblings.

So, pictures of the newest brother, as promised: Jacob, born December 27th, here with Josiah.

And with all the siblings crowding around (Jeremiah's leg is in the top right corner - that counts, right?).

I have a list of goals that I want to have accomplished by the end of winter break. Halfway through: am I halfway through the goals? Ehm. No. Oops. Have I been taking pictures regularly? Nope. Sewing? Art-ing? Nah. Guess I should get on that.

P.S. Anyone remember, back in April sometime, I bought myself a couple of pretty flowers and pots and tried to keep them alive? I had four or five. Three or four died, but my succulent cactus thingy is still growing healthily (except it's kinda leggy right now from the cold). I'm proud. Right now, it's leaning to one side to reach the sunlight better, so I'll probably spin the pot around so it can straighten itself out.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

appreciate... games?

I haven't been around for a while. This is because 1) I've completed several video games in the past two weeks, and 2) we have a new addition to the family, a little brother named Jacob. Photos sure to come later, possibly even later tonight. But now is a Reverb10 post. I'll do these 'til I finish them (at least the ones I'm going to do, several of them I have kept my responses in my own personal journal).

Here we go.

Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

Hm. I think now is a good time to point out how difficult that is. A year is so long, and my priorities and perspectives have changed several times in that time period. I started out teaching, I'm not too sure what happened to my summer, and before fall had truly started, I was at university. Earlier this year, I most appreciated family. I connected with them and did everything with them, something I hadn't really done since I had started working and going to school at the end of 2007. (So long ago?! I'm so old!) Later, starting late summer and continuing on through the year, I find I appreciated solitude and silence most, something that's fairly hard to get around my house. And on campus. I show gratitude for that by staying up late, absorbing as much solitude and silence as I can manage before falling asleep. :D

And playing video games.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


When it comes to aspirations, it's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen. What's the next step?

How apt: my last post was about the changes I want to see, things I want out of my life and new things I want in. The next step?

I know. Something novel. I'll stop blogging right now, and instead of writing all about what I could do... I'm going to clean my room. Right now.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

11 things

what are eleven things your life doesn't need in 2011? how will you go about eliminating them, and how will getting rid of those things change your life?

  1. clutter. I admit: I'm not the neatest, most organized person in the world. I tend to be caught up in whatever thoughts are running through my head at the time, and I often just set things down, anywhere, and they stay there. On a good day, my room is full of little piles of half-sorted things: textbooks here, books I'm reading there, stack of random papers I'm not really sure what to do with, clothes I need to hang. On a bad day... there are no stacks. It can get pretty bad. I can eliminate clutter by 1) being more mindful of my surroundings (I usually don't even notice that things are messy), 2) having few things - giving away the things I don't use or are in excess, and 3) setting aside a bit of time each day to just clean up. I think it would lead to a better state of mind, since I'm in my room a lot, and the motivation to do other things - it's impossible to paint or be creative on a messy desk, with supplies in unknown locations.
  2. not-natural beauty products. Sounds a bit specific, but I've been slowly trying to weed out the artificial and chemical products from my daily use. So far I've switched face wash and some of my makeup, and I want to continue to basically get rid of everything that isn't natural. This may seem extreme, but I really just don't want the chemicals on my face and body.
  3. unhealthy foods. Goes along with the previous one - and this will be hard. I'm definitely one for cookies, snacks, and processed foods (yum). By choosing healthier options - fruit instead of sweets, water instead of soda, for example - hopefully I can slowly get myself into the habit of eating right.
  4. stress. Don't need it. Most of the stress in my life is my own fault - I'm worried about an assignment because I didn't start it days ago, when I should have. I'm late to a class because I stayed up too long playing games. My actions (or inactions) or thoughtlessness causes familial strife. Those kinds of things, I just need to stop it. Or start it. Which leads me to...
  5. procrastination. Ah, yeah. If there's anything I need less of, it's this. How do I eliminate procrastination? Other than just doing it? Any suggestions?
  6. more craft supplies. :D But, the paper is just so pretty! And look at that drawing pen... I must hold myself back. By just not going into Hobby Lobby!
  7. Stumbleupon. Okay, I won't say I'm going to cut out SU completely, because it's awesome. Just not as much. Maybe I can set myself a time limit of when I can use it, after I finish my stuff for the night. Goodbye, procrastination.

I can't really think of anything else I don't need. So let me finish the list with things I do need.

  1. reflection. More time set aside to reflection and prayer. Often I procrastinate, rush to finish assignments, and go to bed late. No time for meditation. Giving myself time to unwind and reflect will keep me in a better, more peaceful state of mind.
  2. spontaneity. I like doing random things. But sometimes, being busy or tired makes me want to shun anything that deviates from a schedule I have in my head. Things like impromptu air soft wars with my siblings, going out barefoot, dressing like a gypsy, getting a picnic together for lunch one day - I can do that.
  3. creativity. Like reflection, I need to set aside time each week (more realistic than each day, during the school year) to be creative. I miss not letting ideas flow where they will.
  4. cake! Didn't I just say I needed to eat more healthily? Well yeah, but cake... cake is healthy. And I haven't been making homemade cakes in, man, five months? Way too long. Let the cake making continue.

if you read it to the end of this wall of text... good job. You get an imaginary cake.

Monday, December 20, 2010


what was the last thing you made? what materials did you use? is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

I like making things. I make things all the time; to ask "what was the last thing I made" is really super broad and vague. I made a quesadilla earlier this afternoon, I made my sister a cup of tea for her sore throat a few minutes ago. Last week I painted a version of my atom painting. I've been, in an ongoing sort of way, making a mess of my room for the past several weeks. As for the materials, most of those are pretty obvious - you don't need me to tell you that I used hot water and a tea bag for tea, do you?

There are a lot of things I want to make. I want to finish my quilt, for starters. I want to embroider a sequence, for the fun of it. I want to make a red dress. I want to make a mark on the world - but who has the time for bold endeavors and earth-shaking actions?
I also want to make a cake and some other decadent dessert. I'm pretty sure that an awesome cake could change the world.

Friday, December 17, 2010

i wonder.

Yesterday marked the end of my fall semester.
I'm still waiting for some of the final grades to be posted, but it looks like I did as good (or better) than I planned. Apparently, my body actually listened to me a couple of weeks ago. See, right before the third set of midterms, I felt like I was starting to get sick. "Don't get sick, tiph," I said, "because I have these midterms. And after that I have finals. You're not allowed to get sick until after finals. Then you can get sick all you want." I got home from my last final and fell asleep. Today, all I've really wanted to do is sleep (and eat, I'm also exceptionally hungry).

Today, I should have written out my short-term winter-break goals, but I kindasortamaybeplayedBraidalldayinstead. It's an addictive puzzle game I picked up from the Humble Indie Bundle (round two). There's something like three days left for that, so I urge you to support your indie devs and charities. I actually already owned Machinarium and have played through it several times, and I would actually recommend the bundle for that game alone (it's great: beautiful artwork, awesome puzzles), but yeah. I personally wish I could afford to give more (initiatives like these are definitely on my Support List), but hey, give what you can and have fun with the games.

So, I'm still doing Reverb10's month of reflection, though as I mentioned in the first post, it'll be more like a "month-ish of reflection-y posts basically whenever I feel like posting them." My problem is, I get so wordy. Maybe if I start using a really tiny font, it won't look like so much text and no one will care.

Also, I will be skipping a couple of days of reflection on things that I would rather keep in my own private journal. Some things I'm just not going to put online.

how did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

In the beginning of the year, I took pictures. I tried to find magic in things I saw and capture that. I sewed and painted and drew things. I visited museums and parks regularly with my siblings. I read good books. Later in the year, I took up mountain biking and yoga. In the fall, when I began a semester at a university, life created wonder for me, and I didn't really have to do much to find it. I met people without trying to, people who became important in my life, did random things and sometimes (once) I dressed up as a gypsy. I think that "cultivating wonder" is one of those things that became habit for me when I was a little girl, taking forever to wash dishes because I was imagining stories in the soap bubbles. Thankfully, I've never quite been able to drop that habit, even though I have tried once or twice (silly me).

Oh, the most recent thing I've done to cultivate wonder? Get a kitten. That's pretty wondrous.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Starting earlier today, I'm participating in Reverb 10's month of reflection.

writing. what do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing, and can you eliminate it?

Eesh. I do so many things every day that don't contribute to my writing - in the past four months, my writing has slowly and surely shut down to nothingness. I haven't sat down to write a piece of fiction in possibly over a year, with maybe one exception that I just now thought of. I love writing, I really do. But for me, when I write fiction, it takes all of me, and that means I'm mentally separate from other things that I should probably think about (like, in the past several months, classes). Of course, I have tried to keep up my blog as an exercise for me and as an incentive to keep me writing something, anything. Has it worked? Sorta. I also started and completed one journal for the summer/beginning of fall, and since then my journaling has gone way down the tube even though I have lots of fascinating things that not only do I want to remember, but I want to write them down just for the sake of writing them down.

But that's not answering the question; the question was what keeps me from writing. Well, you know, life. I go to school, I commute (which takes about 3 hours each day), I have homework and sleep and, probably the only thing I can cut out, really, is the internet. At the same time, in order to write anything proper, I need to be in my own atmosphere, my own zone that I haven't been in for a while just because of the demands of school and life in general. I don't know how long it will take me to find, all over again, that place where my characters live. Can I do it? Yeah. The question, really, is will I keep myself away from the quick-and-easy instant gratification of the internet and let myself just be, just think and explore.

Sounds like a good New Year's Resolution to me.

Monday, December 6, 2010

one word

Starting today, I'm going to participate in Reverb 10's month of reflection over the past year. It's an online initiative and annual event that includes daily writing prompts to get you to think about the past year and set preliminary goals for the new one. It began on December 1st, but I'm going to catch up and/or go over. Check out the site, and leave me a link to your blog if you decide to participate.

one word. Encapsulate 2010 in one word.

Only one? Not even a sentence, a compound, pregnant sentence with semi-colons and an avalanche of commas? No. Okay.


Odd word to pick - I mean, I could have easily chosen joy or contentment or newness.
Google says oriented means "adjusted or located in relation to surroundings or circumstances." Which feels right: my year has been spent orienting and reorienting myself around new circumstances, sometimes huge and life-changing (like at the beginning of the year, when my mom underwent surgery to donate one of her kidneys to my brother Joshua, who had had both of his nonfunctional kidneys removed the month prior). Some things were not so big, like learning how to homeschool two middle-schoolers from my own curriculum and overseeing two other children in elementary school with a preset curriculum. Most recently has been my shift back into school, and getting used to an actual university and all that it implies. Shifting degrees slightly, adding a few more fields of study: I have declared my major in Mechanical Engineering Technology (a mech tech!) and minors in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Business Spanish.
This past summer I relearned how to ride a bike, a few days ago I adopted a kitten we named Tesla.

The past year has felt like a fluid motion of shifting, changing, working with new things and new people and - I think most importantly - staying content throughout. Because life is beautiful.

The second part of the prompt asks what word I would like to capture 2011 if I were to do this a year from now. Probably "stable." As much as I love new and exciting things (and this next semester will likely prove to be both really exciting and super busy), I'd like everything to maintain a certain level of stability, to know - at least in the limited way that life allows - what to expect. How much do I really believe that 2011 will be stable? Not much at all.

And here's a picture of Tesla.

Admit it, he's way adorable.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

night kite

A lot of my days have looked like this lately. I spent large amounts of hours on chemistry exam studying, which is just ridiculous. I came out of it with a nice B, so go me?

My first day of Thanksgiving break was today, and I celebrated by sleeping in til 9, not doing anything most of the day, and not even thinking about homework (except for a little bit). I also went to the park with the kids (to fly kites, but we got there about ten minutes before sundown... what's with the 5:20 lights-out these days?) Besides that? Not much. I actually planned to use my camera today, but alas, my phone was more handy. And that app, well... I'm a sucker for the polaroid feature. You know this already, I'm sure.

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? So far, two of my desserts are completed for Turkey Day... I'm sure I'll be running around like a freak tomorrow, hands (and possibly face) covered in flour. At least I have pie. I hope you guys all have pie, too.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

queen of clumsy

It's my lunch-and-homework time. I finished lunch a while ago, but the homework part is far from complete.

But, I admit it. I wanted a tiny break (just a teeny tiny one) and opened the StumbleUpon toolbar (since I'm on Chrome, it's more like an add-on), and clicked. Apparently, even SU thinks I shouldn't be messing around, because this website came up.

Good job, Internet.

Math and lots of math. The most frustrating part of midterms is the fact that in addition to studying for those tests, I have all of my other responsibilities as well. There is no homework break for the test. I still have 60 calculus problems due on the day of my chem exam. I happen to have two midterms on Thanksgiving week.

Also, I am the queen of clumsy. Not only did I manage to smash my thumb yesterday (ow, still hurts, don't wanna bend it, etc), I also found the the time to fall over in class. With my desk. Onto someone else. I'm not sure how I do these things, really. It's a desk. You sit in it, and it doesn't do anything unexpected - and I fell over in it. Sigh.

Chemistry awaits.

But wait, Hyperbole and a Half has a hilarious new post up about her silly dogs. It has pictures. It is hilarious. Hilariously hilarious.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

queen of fake polaroid

I'm cold.
I shouldn't be cold, because I'm sitting in a building, but apparently everyone at this university thinks students need to be kept chilled at or below 60 F. Like we're fruit that might spoil in the heat or something. Or maybe it's a conspiracy to keep us all as uncomfortable as possible. It isn't working; a guy at the table across from me is asleep on his backpack.

In other, more awesome news, I downloaded a couple of camera apps for my phone, which basically does a bunch of ridiculously awesome vintage shots. Yes, I'll admit it - I have fallen and continue to fall for the awesomeness of the vintage toy camera look. In my defense, the pictures from my phone look kinda bad anyway, so why not just make it awesome by adding warm tones and soft focus? Yeah? Yeah. So, Internet - you might get pictures from me, but they're gonna be cliche and pretty.

You will be glad to know that I followed through (so far) on my own advice and have stayed away from StumbleUpon and other internety ways. I may or may not have fallen asleep at 9 last night, which kinda kept me from being on the computer at all anyway, but hey. It counts. It totally counts.

I woke up to this. Yes, those are my chemistry books. They keep me from feeling lonely on these cold, dark wintry nights. That and I just fell asleep unexpectedly. Books are not good bedmates. They have sharp corners. (That turtle is real.)

I smell the smell of sodium-filled lunches all around me being unwrapped and reheated. I have grapes, goldfish, and an oatmeal creme pie for lunch, so I'm not one to talk.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

this post has pictures, isn't that novel?

I'm just going to stop announcing updates, because they never happen. Except for when they do, which is rare, so it's sorta a moot point, right?

It's hard for me to believe that I haven't really updated my Flickr since August. The beginning of August. This is largely due to this awesome thing called Studying, and Life In General. But either way, I really, really miss taking pictures. I really, really miss blogging. I really, really miss being able to sit at home and do nothing but drink tea and embroider tongue-in-cheek little thingies. And painting. And drawing in my sketchbook. I would say, "I know, I'll totally start doing all of those things," but I know that I won't. Do you know why I will not? Because right now, I have 60 Calculus 2 problems waiting for me in the folder next to my wrist. On Tuesday I have a humanities essay due. On Wednesday, a chemistry quiz. In a week, midterms; a week and a half after that, finals.

(most days, i just want to do this when i get home.)

Still, a girl has to have some down time, and I'm going to try to translate that into actual creativity and not just mindless web surfing as much as possible. Clicking the "Stumble!" button when tired is so much easier than thinking about what sort of monster would look cute as a project. I miss my monster projects.

I also miss trips to the park.

Now that the silly daylight savings has ruined the evening's light (why would I want the sun to come up before 7, anyway? Sheesh), making it anywhere while it's still daylight after I come home from school is nigh impossible. Once I get home, I want to eat, sleep, and be Mary*. With the sun setting at a whopping 5:27 (that was today's sunset, and it isn't getting any better), park evenings just aren't feasible.

(this is what i see all the time now. All. The. Time.)

Sadly, the semester is coming to a close within the next couple of weeks. Happily, the semester is coming to a close within the next couple of weeks. Scarily, I will have a month off and then an entire NEW semester and such to get used to. Change can be fun, but it can also be annoying. Once I've fallen into a routine, the year is like Hahahaha, time to do something different now!! Isn't that a funny trick?

No. No it is not.

See you guys around. I think.

*Yeah, I don't know either.

Monday, November 1, 2010

short and sweet

I've not had time for much of anything.
Life is good.
I am now 21.
I have successfully completed Round 2 of midterms.
Please enjoy the quick digital drawing. How I love my tablet.

Expect a more update-y post later this week.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

c-c-c-combo breaker

I'm going to make this quick, because it's almost 1am on a Wednesday night, and everyone knows that the Thursday monster gets an early start to its chaos and stupidness. Thursdays and I used to be best buds, but it went and conspired with Physics to make my day really awful. In addition to that, on Thursdays everyone tries to go to work earlier, and this messes with my morning trek to university and I have to sit in traffic.

I've left a few projects unfinished, like my Super Awesome Fantastic quilt that is pretty much finished except for the parts that aren't finished, and also my room is not exactly the model of neatness at the moment. Some weekend when I have hours of nothing to do, I'll probably think about doing one of those two things and then take a nap instead. Just sayin'.

Recently I've done something that I thought I would never ever do: get into the college spirit. Everyone's doing it, I would think. Therefore I should not do it. But it's a little infectious.

In other news, it's time for me to go to bed. I know, I know, I neglect this space so much - well, I'll be back. Now that I have a bit of a routine I have things to blog about, and I'm sure you guys are dying to hear about trigonometric substitution and integral curves. No? Your loss.

p.s. I'm not exactly sure which combo the title is breaking.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

breaking things

I think this is the third week of the school. Maybe the fourth - I'm not really sure (it kinda all blurs together). Unfortunately, the classes I have are really uninteresting to relate. There's only so much one can talk about the derivative of hyperbolic sine, ya know?

Luckily for all of you people, however, I broke my hands yesterday! Yes, I did just say hands, and no, it was not a typo. Though it could have been. I mean, my hands are broken. I'm not entirely a typing champion at the moment. But, in my glory days.....


Hands. When used to fend off blows and deliver punches, hands - especially if they're mine - tend to break. Now I'm sporting a fracture in my right hand (on the bone that corresponds to my ring finger), a formerly dislocated left ring and pinkie fingers, and quite possibly a fractured knuckle around there too. Of course I didn't go to the doctor, don't be ridiculous. Yes, I put a splint/brace on my hands... a day later. Hey, when the adrenaline's pumping, pain doesn't exist.

I'll take two Adrenalines now, please.

I need to do my calculus before I fall asleep. And typing is getting tedious.

Until next time (and hopefully a new-injury-free post).

p.s. I didn't say this specifically, but to clarify: I was sparring on campus Monday. The only thing I hurt was my hands.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

so that's where you've been

It's been a while. It feels like it's been even longer because this past week has been completely insane. Why, might you ask? Because this week was the first week of classes, very important classes like Calculus and chemistry and Physics. (Please take note that while Calculus and Physics are capitalized, chemistry is not. This is because chemistry isn't important, and the other too are. As a matter of fact, chemistry is stupid and not fun at all. Just sayin'.)

Right now I'm sitting outside the main part of the campus, looking around while typing these very words. I have a huge list of things that need to be done within the next two days, along with a very, very ugly picture. The list is boring and you can't see the picture.

My schedule is busy and interesting and this silly bee won't leave me alone.

I feel like I'm moving into that part of life that is really hard to blog about. I mean, I can talk about natural logarithms and how I always mix up tangents and secants, or I could talk about the strange sights I see while sitting on a sidewalk bench, or I could even tell you about how the university's wireless network is unreliable and I wore rainboots today. But I can only tell all of that once, and then it's back to the small things that I find super interesting but are hard to relate. You know.

So if my blogging because scarcely more than nonexistent, please remember that I am taking 18 hours of coursework this semester and the number of Calculus assignments is beyond ridiculous.

My poor, poor camera. She feels so abandoned.
Even my journal has been left blank as of late. No time, and no news. Nothing I can quantify. There will be more, though. Well, maybe not more time, but I'm assuming that life will bring new things. For now, physics calls!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

i am the girl without hands

My sister and I have this saying we use whenever things aren't looking too hot and life could clearly be going a little better: "It all works out when you get your hands chopped off."

We've derived this line from the Grimm's fairy tale of The Girl Without Hands. (It's not very long - you should read it.) In the story, the girl of the title gets her hands chopped off by her father, and a long string of alternate good and bad fortune befall her until, finally, it all works out. We don't do with cliched phrases around here. We make up our own.

Wednesday night, my family and I trekked up to San Antonio to go on our last summer vacation before school starts up again. That night, I realized that I had forgotten my phone charger (me: let's go baaaaaaack). Never to fear, though, because Thursday, while partaking of Fun and Amusement at an amusement park, my wallet and phone was quietly stolen from our vehicle.

It solved the problem of not being able to charge my phone quite nicely.

My wallet contained my drivers license, my student ID, a Starbucks gift card, and a credit card. Oh, and school starts Monday. No drivers license and no student ID on the first day of school? Awesome. Most upsetting - except for the loss of my phone, I mean - was the loss of the wallet itself, a vintage, purple-and-white checkered Vans number that used to be my mom's.

Dear Thieves:
You may keep my Starbucks gift card. You may sell my phone. You may have both of my IDs and my credit card, even though they are useless to you now and just an inconvenience for me. But please? Could I have my wallet back?


Fast forward a few days, and it's Saturday. I won't get my phone before Monday evening and I get to wait in line at the DMV for an indefinite period of time to get my license again.
But I have insurance on my (now gone) phone and I was running out of space anyway. I bought a freakishly cool, retro wallet AND the thieves were nice enough to not steal my purse (I like my purse). Shopping for a wallet at Whole Earth Provisions also earned me a hat. I don't know what kind of hat, but it is a hat. Generally speaking, one wears it on one's head.

And regardless of whether or not my stuff was stolen, university starts this Monday (so stoked) and my computer is still in my possession. The truck wasn't harmed in any way in the taking of this wallet and I have a really cool shirt to wear Monday. See? It all works out when you get your hands chopped off.

P.S. Apologies to those of you whose grammatical sensibilities have been offended by my slang on this post. Generally speaking, I try to keep my slang to a minimum bordering on the "a little much" side, and my words as nationally neutral as possible, but I did no such thing on this post. That's just what happens when you spend four days in San Antonio. (Not really.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

gibberish, maps, and the french.

A couple of people took the bait from last post and commented.

One such comment, from a certain James, says,

"ror sen pude sonehat raridatoso wipec meyuni vat mam vetel tira webe datag soneke widoh sesecat tetuceter detirewad dal fedirefo dalel soder hel cadifas mar tuwerom raveye seseto wesen tew sanurum noda yetadeyofe kerafer rihe sarew hirawahete secono mibu"

Well, James, I tend to agree with the general sentiment, but I certainly can't commend you on your grammar or punctuation.

Someone Else says,

"Ah, that was refreshing."

But was it a frozen-lemonade refreshing, or a I-just-remembered-something refreshing? All these questions!

After spending much of the day with an awesome friend, I am now memorizing the bus routes that go throughout my university. By "memorizing" I mean "becoming frustrated at the lack of map-making skill of these bus route map-makers." I figure that if I want to go somewhere on campus, I can 1) walk, or 2) find a shuttle station and wait for a bus to come. The buses all go in circles anyway. When I was a kid, maps were drawn to scale. Hmph.

Tomorrow is a Wake Up Early For Fun day, so that means tonight is a Go To Sleep Before Midnight day. Ridiculous? I know! But it's true. With my parking permit purchased and all business concluded, I bid thee adieu.

Unless you don't like the French, and then just bye, okay.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

what's the opposite of an infomercial?

Dear Sharpies,

Would you like an explanation as to why I have not posted in exactly 14 days?
Would you like proof that I have done something productive with my life recently?
Are you dying of Photo Starvation?
Is your brain withering from lack of Tiph Sarcasm?
Are we finished asking questions yet?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, have I got a product for you! Act now to receive a free (FREE!) blog post from tiph of Sharpie Chronicles! Simply write intelligible nonsense in the comment box below, hit submit, and you will get your very own Sharpie Chronicles blogpost*!

But hurry, this offer will only last for the next ten days!
As an added bonus, tiph will even post a sketchbook page (just pay shipping & handling!)

* Blog posts not available in all states. Void where prohibited. Limit one blog post per day. No comment necessary to be receive a blog post. Commenting does not increase your chances of receiving a blog post. Retail value of blog post: $0.00. Chances of receiving blog post: one in five kabillion.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


I have all but abandoned this blog, lately.

There has been a lot on my mind, on my calendar, and on my desk. I want to apologize to all my friends who I have not emailed in way, way too long. Sometimes I lose track of time, and then I look at the time stamp and see, Whoa! That's from two months ago! And I still haven't responded!!
I've become lax with the general social courtesies and just plain cultivating friendships. I will do better! And if I still haven't emailed you by Tuesday, you have permission to smack me.

Someone with a "Restricted" number keeps calling me. When I answer, they hang up. When I don't answer, they leave a voice message of high-pitched giggling. Not even lying. Sadly, you can't blacklist an "unknown" number. Gaahh.

All that said, today was absolutely brilliant. I admit I was getting frustrated with just about everything this past week, so I packed a lunch, grabbed my camera, notebook, and calculus papers, and headed to the park.

It was surprisingly cool for the middle of summer, and there was a lovely breeze throughout the time I was there. Best yet: there was no one at the park except for me. At one point, a family of four rode their bikes around the trail, but I only heard them for a while and they left fairly quickly. I left feeling very refreshed and un-annoyed.

And now, so I can perpetuate that un-annoyance, I will get a good night's rest.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

speak in myths

Imagine this:

A room at the end of hall, past the Indian statue and the double doors, the walls all made of glass. Mismatched furniture reside in a haphazard semblance of disorder; a loveseat being the biggest item. It happens to also be the softest and most comfortable, so you sit cross-legged facing the east wall. The rest of the house is dark. The room is dark. The world would be dark but for the violent flashes of lightning that rip the sky every few seconds. Notebook on your lap, but no light with which to write. You might flick on the lamp, but the lightning would be diminished by the false illumination. So instead, you sit,  waiting until you're too tired to watch or the show is over, whichever  comes first. Maybe you sing softly to yourself in a haunting, fitting tune. Maybe you close your eyes and watch the now-orange lightning through the safety of your eyelids. Now, count the seconds between lightning and thunder. Now, create  a myth about the mysterious lights flashing from the sky.

Maybe you do all of these things. Maybe none. Maybe you're home, not a rain cloud in sight. Maybe you pulled out your cell to blog about the electric storm going on right outside your glass house because to not seemed like a crime.

That's what I did.

Monday, July 12, 2010

warning: photos. also: snakes.

There are many days when I really just don't feel like blogging.

Today is not one of those days.

I would be hard-pressed to give an accurate and complete description of what has transpired in the past week or so, but I know it included a medical false alarm for one brother, a too-high-sugar-level for another brother, an 8-hour fever for me, and a whole lot of Wii Fit playing by most of the family. I won't describe any of the Wii Fit game-playing here, because talking about riding a Segway around a city to pop balloons that come up from the ground because evil moles are blowing them from their holes gets sorta ridiculous.

Alrighty then, moving right along.

Voila. I painted.

Cotton-lined graphics tablet sleeve with freehand machine-embroidered tree and "love."
I have a bunch of variations of this sort of thing: laptop sleeve, cell phone sleeve, notebook sleeve, etc. It's not meant to be a bag, just something to protect your stuff when you stick it into a bag you already have.

I'll make you one. Just drop me a line in the comments or my email.
I promise it won't cost an arm and a leg. :D

This skirt used to be a dress, but I cut the straps off and used the elastic back as my waistband and thus converted into a lovely skirt with pockets.

This dress, I lengthened. That bottom piece wasn't there - I sewed it on and freehand machine-embroidered wavy lines on it.

Snake pictures!

Along with the tons of rain, humidity, mosquitoes, and raccoons that appear in the summer in our part of Texas, we also experience an influx of snakes. It's nice to have dogs around to alert us when snakes are present, and our puppies did just that the other day.

A really terrifying picture next (don't look if you're squeamish or don't like snakes).

Sorry 'bout the piece of grass in his face. My mom shot it with a BB gun while I took pictures (from a safe distance with a telephoto lens, duh).

And that is the end.

Friday, July 2, 2010

please wipe your feet at the door. you also might need a change of clothes.

Sometimes I feel like I live in Australia.
Mind you, I don't mean there are a lot of scorpions and poisonous snakes running around, or that everyone near me says "mate" and "g'day" and other cliche Australian things. Sadly, I don't raise sheep or fly biplanes or surf like Australians. Actually, I'm referring to the weather.

Let's get this straight, because it's slightly complicated (not really). In Australia, because everything is upside-down and backwards (people walk on their heads, for example), their "cold months" are roughly during America's "warm months." It is currently 2:18 pm in Sydney, Australia, and it has reached a grand 57 F. So no, I don't mean that here in Texas, we're having our cold months. We are not.

While the rest of the world (read: the US) is going to the beach, swimming in pools, wearing small articles of clothing, and doing the Summer Thing, Australia is cold. They're wearing scarves. It's still okay to wear boots. Wearing jeans will not give you a heat rash.

And this is where it ties in: In my lovely city, the best and often-times the only way to do anything outdoors is to do it during the winter. We get one or two very cold days out of the year; being so close to the Gulf and the Equator, we have mild winters. In November, before it drops to (gasp!) 55 F, we go to the beach, because now we can actually stand on the sand without forming blisters on our feet. We go to the zoo. We do Outside Things.

In the summer, it's so hot, we stay inside, reading books and making quilts and playing board games and generally doing those kinds of things that people who don't live in southern Texas and Australia do during the winter months. Does that make any sense?

Today, I was reminded of another reason why we always stay inside during the winter.

I always wondered how the Weather People measured rain in inches. What do they do, find a puddle and stick a ruler in it? Catch a raindrop and see how long it is? Make it stand against a wall so the meteorologist can mark down its height with a pencil?

I don't know how many inches it rained, but the yard held about a foot or more of water.

See my poor truck? I had to move it to higher ground.

Of course, we put on our wellies (what I call them), rainboots (what Beth calls them), and muddy boots (what everyone else calls them), and stomped in puddles. Thankfully, having a large family means that nothing is ever as normal as it should be.

Yes, that is Melody rowing a wading pool in our front yard. What of it?

Jeremiah sported these giant poots:

Poots. Pant-boots. Duh.

The brave elven princess crossed the river to save her kingdom.

After we finished rowing, wading through the small lake that overtook our yard, watching bugs walk on water and/or swim, and other dangerous things, we went inside to do Rainy Day Things. I brought out my 1000 piece puzzle I had completed and demolished two years ago, we played Gin Rummy and Cranium Whoonu, I made bread, and we had pizza for dinner. And I'm reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It's really amusing to imagine Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes, and I think I will keep it up throughout the book. :D

Here's to a less-rainy day tomorrow!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

this is not as short as it seems. especially if it doesn't seem short.

This is one of those let'sseehowmanythingsIcansayinaslittletimeaspossible.

If you're still reading, it might interest you to know that I actually forgot the colander story. (If this sounds like nonsense to you: it is. I, in a comment somewhere around here, proclaimed that I don't believe in colanders.) I'm sure what happened is that someone (possibly and probably my mother) asked to find a colander, and because it was less than convenient at the time I decided it offended my deep religious beliefs Against Colanders. Or, you know, something similar.

So why the blogging silence and now the purportedly quick post?

This is me reorganizing my room. Again. That picture shows the only clean part of it right now.

Also, I am a horrid failure at Living Things.

That used to be a cactus. The weird green thing to the right was a dust-octopus I found under the bed. Normal people have dust-bunnies. I have dust-octopi. Oh yeah.

Sad face.

I would say that it's easier for me to take picture than write, but that's a total lie. I take pictures and decide to have a photo-only post but then I feel compelled to explain everything. This paragraph you just read... see what I mean?!

I also painted my toes red.

Made a card house:

Structure's a little... eh.

Made faces with our lunch.

Made faces with our faces (upside-down).

My recent "big" project. It is so, so beautiful. (It's a quilt.)

His name is Petey, though I randomly, accidentally, inexplicably call him Charlie every once in a while.


P.S. Summer listening: the Beatles, and the Mamas and the Papas. Not even lying. (My musical taste has changed so drastically from a year or so ago, it's insane.) Oh, and some Sherlock Holmes soundtrack.

ThethingthatcomesafterP.S. No art last week! Except for a greeting card I gave away! Gasp!

Sunday, June 27, 2010





Oh, I got new glasses today!

(They're a little on the over-sized possibly geek-glasses side. I am aware of this.)

Also, I found this lovely photo on my card when I imported my photos today...

It appears to be a bear thing stuck to an air vent. Evidently one or more of my siblings found this hilarious and decided to take pictures of it.

It kinda is hilarious. The bear looks like it's been tied to a rack or something and any second now someone's going to show up to question him. "Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?!??!?!? TELL MEEEEEE!!!!" Etc.


That is all.

(Disclaimer: no stuffed animals were harmed in the making of this post.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

longest post ever. alternate title: this blog is bipolar.

Mosquitoes are brutal. I had never known that before. Before today, mosquitoes always regarded me with absolute disgust, and I could (and did) go whole summers completely free of the scourge that is mosquitoes. Maybe there's a drought or something, because today - oh, today they paid me heed. (Is that sentence structurally sound? Can one pay heed? They heeded me? Needed me? Feeded on me??)

I had a simple plan: spray paint two lids to two jars that had boring and/or gross lids that needed a revamp before their introduction to Tiph's Room. One blue, one red. Simple. Spray the lid, let it dry. A good thing to note: I have never used spray paint before.

Surprisingly, it actually was straight-forward. I put a thingy of paper on the ground outside and pssht. pssht. psssssshhttt. Blue lid! Except... around the edges? Okay, that can be rectified. In hindsight, I should have known better. I picked up the lid, and - holding it up in the air - pssshht. pshtpshtpsht. Hooray! Blue fingers! Like I mentioned earlier - hindsight is 20/20, and all - I should have known better, but at this point I'm feeling good about Blue Lids and (oops, dropped it. Ew, now the lid is smudged. Sad face.) picked up the red lid and did the exact same thing with the red one. What does blue and red make? Purple? Noooo. It makes really sticky fingers. Spray paint doesn't really come off with soap and water, apparently, especially when it's dry. Hmm.

(At this point I went downstairs to figure out what to do about sticky red-and-blue fingers. Answer: paint thinner.)

You know what's ridiculous? That every. single. time. I try to say something is a fact on my blog, I go on (usually the very next day) to make myself a total liar. Case in point: yesterday I said that I had lost interest in the internet and photography. Today I spent a generous amount of time browsing Flickr, Youtube, and blogs (but not Facebook). I took pictures of everything I did today. It was ridiculous. I took a picture of oil in a pan because I thought it looked like a Power symbol.

Ha ha.

On that note, an example of what to not wear in the kitchen:

That is my sleeve. Does the picture speak for itself?

I randomly have tons of energy. All day long. And even though it's not remotely related, look at my sister's awesome paper plane. No, really. LOOK AT IT.

I will be mad if I find out that you closed your eyes.

Obligatory carrot cake pictures:

(I don't know why they're obligatory. They just are.)


Final thing (really): I reorganized Flickr with new sets and such. Not that it's necessarily important, but I thought it was cool.

P.S. Colander story to come tomorrow.

who i am!

Tiph used to be this weird hippie chick who sewed things and drank tea and rode bikes and wrote silly things. Then, college came along, and now she's this weird hippie chick with math in her brain and notebooks full of indefinite integrals. And hardly any time to write. This is her space. Thankfully, space is a vacuum and any complaints you may have cannot be heard.


Woo! You reached the End of the Page! You rock. Bored yet? If not, click the handy-dandy next button up there (it's there, right?), but otherwise, visit my Flickr page or my Etsy shop. Also, don't forget to subscribe to the blog before you go!

About a third of the credit for this template goes to The rest of that fraction goes to Tiph's incessant tinkering and exploding the CSS 'til it worked.

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