Nicole
Between the 6th and now, several things have happened. However, the whole deal about the mistaken identity of the cat, the trap, and something that Shawn, Kiera, and Jenni will all get a kick out of is too large of a story to go here and (once it concludes as it is still ongoing), it will be written and go up in The Profile. Yes, I'm sure many of you are now going "What?" I know. You'll just have to wait. Don't worry, you'll find out.

My computer was set up, you knew that, but about a day after mom and dad came back from the grocery store and I was presented with the tiny bit of metal and plastic I needed in order to give life to The Magic Box (yeah, that's what I called it when setting it up - I was in a hurry and just went with it. If you think it's lame, bite me). So yay for that. However, upon waking it up I was greeted to the same sound I received the last two times I started my computer up from scratch while still at school. Weed eater motor. Yeah - start up the comp and it sounds like a weed eater. Wtf? Well those were my thoughts, so two days after completion, it had to be unplugged again and taken in to the makers of it, along with dad's computer (the front USB port didn't work and never has) and my original speakers (not the white ones that in no way matched my computer). According to the boys, my speakers were fine (in which case I don't know why one of them just decided to stop working on me. Bastard), and I don't kow what the deal was with the comp, but it doesn't sound like it's starting up an engine and about to race out of my room on wheels anymore. It's an improvement.

So the electronics department of my room is finally in full swing.

Dad is back on the Atkins' Diet. Oh shoot me now. Before he actually wasn't like I thought he was, which meant no cookies and junk in the house still (hence the Nugget supplement), but things weren't ridiculously exclusive. How so? Dairy Queen Blizzards. I rest my case. But now he's on the diet, and in truth some things haven't changed that much, except now the Blizzards are out the window. *twitch* I had to get some more Nuggets today. I decided to go with dark chocolate. Better for you. I need to be careful of the wrappers though. My stomach was being kind of a bitch tonight and so I ate more than I really would have preferred to (I was seriously hungry and ate about 4 even though normally I only need 1 to shake the junkie craving). So there's a wrapper next to me and since the Internet is in no way linked to my computer I'm not in my room. Leaving it for dad to see will bring about bad, well, no - annoying things, I'ms ure. There's no cable in sight - Stacey suggested that when I have income pouring in we should get cable and I'd pay for it. I guess it's a good plan - after all, I'd be on that shit 24/7, and definitely on AIM more. I don't get on AIM much here because this stuff is slow, which means after an hour or so I want to get the hell out of here. Already my eyes are getting annoyed with the shitty light in here.

Blah blah blah.

Speaking of Stacey, her birthday was the 18th (huzzah!) and my plan, as was mentioned, was to go down that weekend and hang out with her that week. Bzzt! Wrong. The lovely Isuzu had an oil leak and didn't get fixed until late, which meant Chris's mom went on to new and different things since we'd cancelled out. However, there was a chance we were going to get back into it, but she'd already scheduled different stuff, so we were screwed and that means no visit to Stacey for me. And the bus options pretty much blow, as do the train options. I've checked before.

Writing goodies - see other blog.

Working out is going well, though I need to do some more arm workouts to tone up and some sit-ups if I want my nice tummy back. Something Sandra would like - the U of I stadium is now filled with U of I football players who happen to be practicing (many times with shirts off) while we backpack up and down the stairs. I've got 25lbs. in my pack (which is about 1/5 of my bodyweight), and the fun part is that this amazes both the coaches and the players. Occasionally I can see them staring up at one of us. Not sure why it's so awesome. I think it's the fact that we've got rather large looking packs. I guess to those who don't know much about hiking and all that jazz it looks pretty awesome. Ironically here I am, "God, they're still working out in this 90 degree weather and it's 12 o'clock? Screw that nonsense." The really weird thing is that now I'm out of college - so the guys who were so recently on my level if not older than me suddenly seem so much younger than me. Like I'm looking at some strange version of high school. Adding to that, just recently they painted some of the railings red. So now they're all red and white. ... Shouldn't they be orange and blue or something? Haha - it's my stadium now. My colors. Sha-zam.

A few final notes before I sign off I guess:

Jenni - I hear Kaleb is now out and about, so when did this happen? I must know...
Sandra - mom and I are watching all the Sex in the City DVDs. They make me think of you sometimes, hehe. By the way, you win the gold prize for calling - makes me feel special. ^_^
Derek - you made Superhero status in case you never heard. You've joined the ranks of Katie and Sandra. Why? Brian Regan (I had a spiderweb moment today) and Mitch Hedberg, that's why.
Shawn & Kiera - just wait until you see the newest story...

And I'm done.

MOOSEN!
Nicole
My room.

"Or as I like to call it, the Death Star. It is not yet operational."

Not quite.

The good news is this; with careful nudges and a new internet connection, the desk Stacey brought up is now in my room, computer all set up (albeit the printer), and my notebook sitting open, pencil on top, already with new stuff in it. Not much, but something. There are, however, a few problems.

The biggest issue actually isn't all that big because there exists a very simple solution to the problem. The surge protector is sitting right next to an outlet, ready to rock and roll. However, as we all know, surge protectors have three-prong plugs, and the outlet is old, lame, and thus has only two. And so my computer, though looking pretty on the desk, can't be turned on simply because I can't plug it in. I need a converter (or whatever they're really called) to enable me to finish the job, but we're out here, so I need to go find a new one. Not all bad because I need to get my hands on a nice desk lamp too. It's times like these that I miss Bloomington because everything you needed was right up the road, a bus ride/friend's car (haha) away, whereas here, if you can't get it at IGA or our lame-ass Wal-Mart, you have to drive 20-30 minutes to get to Champaign to get it. Oh sigh.

The other problem isn't really all that major, it's just a little frustrating. As many of you know, I don't have a super-awesome connection here. It's just dial-up. Old school, slow-as-a-freaking-sloth-on-a-bad-day dial-up. Okay, so it's really not that bad, but it doesn't exactly hold much of a candle to the zippiness we had at school. Our dial-up is about $13, which is (understandably) why my parents are reluctant to get rid of it. What with mom working at Walgreens now and dad still at U of I (excuse me while I throw up) grad school, money is a big tight (so they say: they tend to say that all the time and then just the other night we went out to eat, see a movie, and then get dessert afterwards. I'm not going to complain about that, but if money was so tight, shouldn't we not be doing that kind of thing?), so going cable/DSL for however much isn't all that appealing. Okay, I'll bite. So with a new mission (as dad always calls them), I went downstairs to his near-bachelor apartment style basement, hopped onto his laptop, and put the info for the internet connection on this computer on there, so now even the idea of a wireless dial-up network (which, as that doesn't exist, would lead to wireless internet which leads to something nice and fast) is out the window, as he can now get online downstairs (though it cuts off anyone getting online up here) there is no need for any network or internet change at all. Too bad for me, as I could have easily skipped onto the wireless network with my comp. But as much as that sucks, I can live without it. I have just enough patience for dial-up, and the only thing (for me) a faster connection is good for is video, audio, and downloading.

*3 days, a few workouts, several cookies, and a partridge in a pear tree later...*

I began this blog on Sunday. I was interrupted by a brief hiking trip to Allerton Park and never got back to finishing this until, um, now, because I'm lazy and forgetful.

Where was I? Oh, yes, the not yet operational Death Star room.

Wal-Mart didn't have what I needed. Go figure. There are still several things I need to do, like hang up my shadow boxes of seashells (instead of having them laying all over - they're pretty cute, which I had a digital camera to show you guys), and sell a bunch of junk to get it out of my way so I can put other objects elsewhere. About the desk lamp, well that was taken care of too. I'm the hand-me-down receiver of just about anything. During my life I've gotten things from Stacey, mom, even Ashley (who is my younger sister - hand me ups?), and dad. Different people mean different categories of stuff. And I'm not just talking clothes here. I'm talking CDs, jewelry, hiking/camping equipment, furniture, blah blah blah. I'm selling some of Stacey's stuff at the garage sale because it's too good to throw away, she doesn't want it, and neither do I. Sha-zam. Oh, right, I digress; the desk lamp. I used to have one, it was a bad purchase because it was virtually useless after freshman year when the bunkbeds went out the window. So I gave it to Stacey. Dad has a desk lamp downstairs. It's kind of small, but I think it might work since I mentioned "I need a desk lamp" and he offered it up, claiming he didn't use it a lot anyway. Good times (if it works).

Little lights on the horizon include a trip to Target since they have a CD of piano music I've been hunting for for a long time now, finding a converter for my computer/surge protector plug, and hopefully a trip to Stacey's for about a week. Dad happens to be planning a 3 day camping/climbing (haha, maybe) trip because the parents of a kid named Chris, a kid he used to work with who has RAD (I'll explain in a second), want to go camping with him again like last year - only this time I'm getting dragged along. But since it's southern Illinois we camp at, that means I'm basically next door to Stacey and can be dumped off at the end of the trip to leech off her for a while (muwahahaha).

Now you all know I don't mind camping. However this time of year things are getting hot, the rain still randomly shows up, and Illinois sucks when it comes to the woods because of the happy abundance of ticks, flies, and mosquitoes. Oh joy. Bug spray my ass up. I hate ticks - they're Satan's work, I swear. Aside from the impending threat of Lyme, West Nile, and other bug-carrier diseases, RAD means Reactive Attachment Disorder. You can look it up for the details, but in short, this kid is the type that, if not taught right to control his behavior and whatnot, will be the next serial killer on the evening news. Goody, goody. According to dad, Chris is okay with other people (and I guess he's getting better), so it's not like I have to worry about him coming after me or anything.

How awesome is that? But it's really not all bad like it may sound, hanging out here at home. I mean, if I really wanted I could just shut myself up in my room and I doubt I'd get bothered.

I think I'm going to write today, even though I reeeelly wish my computer were up and running because I'm starting to go through the beginnings of withdrawl from my music. Radio stations here totally blow, and I only have a handful of CDs, most of which I've listened to about a gazillion times as it is.

"What the hell is an aluminum falcon??"