Backs a little sore…

The Haunted House is up!!!!!!! Honestly, I wanted to help more, but I’ve done what I could, offering my limited carpentry skills, etc. Overall, It looks really awesome, and I’m really impressed with everyone in the Pop Culture Club. I mean they have truly done soooo much during the last two days, and it’s all in the name of school spirit, and community spirit. Don’t get me wrong, there was some complaining (myself included) about unfinished homework, and sometimes people were a little short with each other. But we all still found the time to laugh, and we somehow found the time to get the major construction

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completed. The rest all falls into place tomorrow night, when the final black lights are in place, and the first victims walk through. My back hurts a little bit, but it was worth it. Well, it’s time for me to tackle some of that unfinished homework. See you at the Haunted House!

“Karnevil of Karniage”

Wow, it’s almost Christmas! Well, actually it isn’t, but you wouldn’t know that if you’ve been shopping in any stores lately.  It’s a bit much I think.  We have not even had the chance to enjoy Halloween, and eat tons of candy that we normally wouldn’t, because all the stores have what seems to be thousands of bags of miniature Snickers on sale (which I wish they didn’t, because I can’t stop buying them).  Okay, back to the Christmas thing.  So, in the store, just behind the Count Dracula costume is an Angle sitting atop a Christmas tree in the next isle. No wonder kids are so impatient these days! I really think we rush things too much.  Honestly, I haven’t even had time to start panicking about the papers I’m going to have to write in December, and now the stores are putting pressure on me!   Okay, I’m done complaining about mass consumerism. 

On a lighter note, the Pop Culture Club on the Venice Campus is extremely busy putting together their spectacular annual Haunted House.  Last year they raised over $1500.00, and they are sure to top that figure this year. I’ve been helping them out as much as I can, so I know a small bit about the details.  It’s going to be really good, and that’s all I can say.   The details are below.  Hope to see you there!

7-10 p.m., Monday-Thursday, Oct. 25 – Oct. 28, and at 7 – 11:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 29, at the Lakeside Pavilion at SCF Venice, 8000 S. Tamiami Trail.

The event, Karnevil of Karnage, is a twisted and distorted view of carnivals, featuring a maze of gore and blackness with surprises around every corner.

A percentage of the proceeds will benefit Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, a nonprofit agency in Sarasota that serves victims of domestic and sexual violence and promotes a violence-free community through awareness and education.

Tickets are $3. For more information, contact Pop Culture Club adviser Michelle Flynn at 941-408-1476. Maps and directions are online at

The above information can be found on the SCF website:

Pick It Up!!!!!!!

I’m starting to get really annoyed.  I know, not the greatest way to start off of a blog, but I can’t help it.  Today, after leaving class, I picked up ANOTHER piece of trash.  Often, if I see something in the parking lot, like a soda can, or an empty fast food bag, etc, I’ll pick it up and throw it away.  I’m not doing it to make myself feel better.  I’m doing it because it’s just the right thing to do.  And so, for some reason, this semester the campus is filled with trash. 

Student Union: people actually just leave the plates and cups they used for lunch on the table. Counting the number of times I’ve picked up another person’s dirty lunch dishes would be impossible. Today, someone left an empty iced coffee cup in the hallway in building 800.  Seriously? SERIOUSLY? It is that hard to pick up one’s own trash?  We’re adults.  Let’s pick it up, throw it out, and keep movin’, because believe it or not, this semester’s almost over!

Ramble On…..

Okay, I can’t seem to get caught up!  It seems as though each time I think I can take a break, put my feet up, channel surf, and hopefully catch up with John Stewart, I feel the “get back to work” bully rapping his (could be her, I’ve never checked) knuckles on the back of my head.  But the reality is, I am caught up, I’m just trying to keep ahead. I know—I’m not making sense.  Okay, in a nutshell, I’m drinking way too much coffee! In fact, most people who see me on campus would think something was wrong with me if I did not have my trusty coffee mug in my right hand.  I even carry and extra stash of instant coffee in my backpack (for emergencies). I ramble—sorry.

I did want to share something that made me feel really good today.  As I was leaving campus I noticed a small group of students.  I noticed them because they were being very loud.  But they weren’t just joking around.  They were having a heated debate about some heavy social issues.  The specifics of their discussion really don’t matter.  What does matter is that they were discussing topics of a social nature.  And to be honest, it’s not something I’ve been seeing very much of these days.  It’s college, and that’s what all this secondary education is supposed to do for us, right?  It’s supposed to make us think.  It’s supposed to make us really look at what’s going on around us. It’s supposed to make see that y=mx+b is more than just an equation.  It’s actually just one tiny little variable in the grand matrix: y=life. So for today, it was working.  People are thinking, and sharing ideas.

As for my fellow blogger Neil…sorry the sleep monster got ya.  I’m in constant fear of doing that myself. That’s why I don’t sleep, or maybe it’s the coffee keeping me up.

“It’s Only Ten Cents”

I’m in the library, and I need and I need to make a copy. It jams, and it’s not the first time. No big deal, right? I ask someone to help me. The student aide fixes the paper jam, and I swipe my card one more time. Yup, it’s jammed again.

Normally, this wouldn’t bug me. But today, for some reason, it did. I wanted to if I could get a refund. So I asked the student aide.

“No,” she said, “it’s only

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10 cents.”

I really started thinking about this ten cents…because it truly is more than just ten cents to a great many students. In fact, I know of students who can’t afford to buy lunch. I know of students who have walked to school, because they couldn’t afford the bus. Is it really just 10 cents?

So I did some investigating….Yes, students can get a refund if they experience issues with printing or photo copying. There is actually a form available in the library. It gets forwarded to the Bradenton Campus. I don’t know how long the refund takes, but at least you can get it back. And so I wonder….how many students know about this? And the student aide did not do anything wrong, she just didn’t know. Why? Because, it’s only ten cents, right?

I think that all too often we sometimes accept things as they are, because of the seemingly tiny scale of what they are. But I think that kind of thinking begins to nourish a much broader and all encompassing ideology of looking past the small things, regardless of the principle involved. I’m reminded of a great short story by Irwin Shaw “The Dry Rock.” I read it in Junior High School, and I highly recommend it.

It’s the small things that often keep us going, and it’s the small things, that if ignored, become BIG things that are difficult to fix.

Maybe we should sweat the small stuff after all.

Money in Minutes

Okay, I don’t know if anyone actually reads the newspaper anymore, but if they do they may have read the article in yesterday’s Herald Tribune. This article, “Debit Card is raising questions on campus,” by Ylan Q. Mui, addressed the topic of the Higher One Refund Card.

In a nutshell, some students across the country have begun to express their dissatisfaction with the fees associated with using the Higher One Card for student refunds. Some of the fees include a .50 cent charge for using the card as a debit rather than using it as credit (which accrues no fee). I’m not going to recap the entire article (but I will include a link to it at the end of this blog). Here’s my advice. You always (in most cases) have options. With any kind of financial offer you should carefully examine the details. In my case, I opted to have any refunds I receive go directly to my own bank account. This is information is available, and while the option is not that easy to see right away, it is there. There

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and minuses. Having my money deposited to my personal bank account takes a few more days, and I don’t have the money “in minutes” as Higher One advertises. Regardless of what you prefer, this is an important article, and every student should be aware of it. The “fine” print is always “fine” for a reason. The bottom line, most of the time

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the only person looking out for us is ourselves. Personally, I have the tendency to be an extremely trusting person, and for the most part I’ve never had any major problems living my life in this fashion. But I’ll tell you when I’m not so “trusting:” money matters. Having the money in “minutes” can sometimes mean that you’ll have less to show for it in the long run. Fifty cents here and there adds up. So please read the article, and decided for yourself what option is best for you.

The article originated at The Washington Post, by Ylan Q. Mui, and was printed in Monday’s Herald Tribune:

A Lesson in Prevention

Let’s get reacquainted, shall we? I found it necessary to take a brief hiatus, but I’m back and ready to fill you in on a few little details.

What happened to me was not, actually, the mid-semester crunch, but more appropriately a household scare that could happen to any one of us, so I’m here to fill you in on my dilemma so you won’t make the same mistake.

We all watch shock-journalism shows like “Dateline,” right? So by this point in our adult lives, we should all have a fairly universal idea of “right and wrong.” We teach our children about “stranger danger,” and what to do and not to do in certain situations. Let me recap last Tuesday morning for you and tell me what you think.

Tuesday morning, 8am:

Following a trip to my son’s bus stop, I found myself putting hot rollers in my hair in the privacy of my master bathroom when my dogs began barking out on my back lanai. I threw on some boxers and one of my boyfriend’s work shirts, half-convincing myself it must be my aforementioned boyfriend home early

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from work to surprise me. (I don’t get much company, if you can’t tell.)

I installed a new front door a few years ago, one of those fancy glass-fronted jobs, and as I arrived at the door, I had my finger on the deadbolt to unlock it, but at the last second I pulled the curtain aside to reveal a gentleman on the porch with a clipboard in his hand. He was turned around looking up at the ceiling, so I said through the glass window, “Can I help you?”

To make a long story short, he explains to me that he’s been sent by the power company to disconnect a surge protector I have on the side of my house, but that in order to begin work, he just needs my signature on his clipboard. I asked him who authorized the disconnect, and he said, “The homeowner did.” He flashed me his clipboard, which had a faxed or copied piece of paper in black and white with the FPL logo at the top and my name typed in, but it just didn’t feel right. This guy could’ve gotten my name from anywhere: the phone book, a piece of mail in my mailbox, anywhere.

I called FPL and while I was waiting on hold, the guy is still trying to convince me to open my door, telling me this time that if I could sign on this OTHER line if I wanted to decline the service. I flat-out told him that I was declining to sign ANYTHING, thank you very much, and that he could leave. I said since I hadn’t authorized anything with FPL, I would take care of the miscommunication myself.

Do you believe that, after I walked away from the front door, the guy still entered my side yard? I was incredibly skeeved out. The actual FPL (who I finally reached much, much later) confirmed that no one had been sent to my house, and told me to call the police.

So, what would you have done? Men? Women? Do you know what you would do if a stranger approached your door asking for a signature? Trust me when I tell you that you might feel like an idiot talking to someone through your door, but when you consider the alternative, suddenly you don’t feel so dumb. Now that the weather has cooled down, home invasions and scams like this are on the rise. Please be safe, keep your eyes peeled, occasionally glance at your neighbor’s house as well, and if you see something suspicious, report it. I’m not saying to call 911 at the drop of a hat, but remember that more often than not, people feel silly about reporting things to the police department, thinking they might be overreacting. Let the police decide that. You don’t have to dial 911, you can also report on the non-emergency number for your area, but stay alert this time of year, and be safe.

The Mid-Term Itch

There’s a mid-term virus going around campus. It’s a nasty bug. I’ve see it in people’s eyes, and I hear it in their voice. Most everybody seems to be walking around campus like robots. Gazing straight ahead, more than likely thinking about the next homework assignment, or paper that’s due. It’s not just students either. Some of my professor’s seem to be suffering a little from the mid-term itch as well. In fact, the other day, while talking with Dr. Ford, I had a feeling that although his eyes appeared to be looking right at me, he was not really seeing me. It was almost as if I had morphed into an ungraded paper, still waiting for him on his office desk. Thank God he didn’t have a pen on him. And FYI, professors HATE it when you ask them: “Did you grade my paper yet?” It probably doesn’t seem like it, but they have just as much work (if not more) than all of us.

Okay, it’s not really a virus. It’s just the middle of the semester, and honestly, things are getting hot and heavy, at least for me anyway. But I’m still above water, and ultimately very happy with the boat I’m sailing in right now. Unfortunately there’s no shot for this bug. If you catch it, suck it up, and keep going. It’s worth it.

It really is worth it, and I’ll tell you why. I just learned a few moments ago I’ve been accepted at USF. And to be honest with you I’m still amazed that I actually survived college algebra, with some of the little hair I have left. I can remember having to take pre-algebra, and wondering if I was ever going to reach the point when I could say: that’s it, only a few classes left! Well, I’m there. It’s incredibly exciting. And I’m currently working on losing the rest of my hair in statistics class. But I’m okay with it, because my graduation cap will hide the bald spot!

Well, I guess I’ll close with a paranormal activity update: sadly, nothing to report. But I know that ghost is in that bathroom. I just hope he washes his hands, its flu season!