Sunday, July 29, 2007

6:00 a.m.

First of all, a multitude of thanks for everyone who stopped by to leave a comment and cheer me on over the course of the day. Those comments kept me going just as much as pledges from sponsors. The pledges gave me the reason, but the comments gave me the will. spending most of the day with a headset strapped to my face, interfering with my drinking and making mush of my words was at times overwhelming, but in the end it was doable. Granted, I miss being able to type, but this has proven itself over the past 24 hours to be a capable and painless alternative to using my hands. Which is a heartening thought for me. Pain may prevent me from being able to post in a manner I'm used to, but it isn't preventing me from posting. This means that it is manageable. (Actually, I'm thinking about this as part of my theme for next year. I'm definitely going to give myself enough time to hunt down a reputable fibromyalgia research foundation.)

I signed up to do this 20 minutes before the deadline on Friday, made one phone call to a family member to secure my initial pledge, threw the blog together before bed, and then dove on in today. I really had no idea what to expect. One post every 30 minutes doesn't seem like much initially, but I didn't take into account the time it takes to write and edit these posts. I have basically spent the last 24 hours living in 15-minute cycles. My house is cleaner than it has been in a month, and I'm exhausted, but I haven't missed a post. They are all here, in order, for your perusal.

I am glad that what started out as a vague idea did manage to turn into a cohesive theme that made sense with the charity I chose. I borrowed more on picture posts and Internet memes than I would have liked, but I still think that for a first-time Blogathon this is an amazing success. I met my goal of $500 by 10 PM, and an extra $15 well before the end.

What does this mean? All of you helped me earn 206 books for the First Book charity! That's nine books per hour, or $22.50, which is so much better than I expected to do when I signed up for this yesterday. My only regret is being unable to sponsor as many people as I would have liked-- I have seen some amazing work here today and have felt terrible being unable to contribute to the causes these Bloggers are supporting.

At this point I am definitely planning on doing this again next year, and a little bird told me that Maddo is also interested in participating. I know enough now to plan ahead and get good sponsorship ahead of time, a solid theme, and a better schedule for posting so I don't end up resorting to lolcat when I'm tired.

Now all I have left to do is enjoy a celebratory chocolate croissant, make my bed, which I forgot to do earlier, and slide blissfully into sleep. I hope that all of my fellow A-schedule posters are planning on doing something similar, especially the monitors, who have all put in an incredible amount of work for this event. I spent all day spying on the monitor blogs, and I cannot fathom how they managed their time so well -- I was having a hard enough time with just this blog!

For those of you on the B-schedule, best of luck! I will be checking back in when I wake up to cheer you guys on. I urge all of you to stick it out until the end if at all possible, because it is a very rewarding experience, and the sense of satisfaction you'll receive at the end will be well worth the effort.

5:30 a.m.

I forgot to add one book into my little horror blog post a couple hours back. Parasite Rex is a nonfiction work that compiles a list of some of the most bizarre parasites currently known to science. I dealt with this book briefly in one of my classes at Uni, but tracked down a copy for myself afterward out of sheer morbid fascination.

I am a Biology major. And parasites terrify me.

Two truths, no lie. Are you really surprised? Certain STDs actually make you want to have sex more to perpetuate the spread. How is that not terrifying?

5:00 a.m.

I'm checking in to say that I'm still here. I'm starting to get my thoughts together for what is going to be a rather hefty final post, so I lost track of time.

The sun is starting to come up again. It's a good thing I have no trouble sleeping during daylight.

4:30 a.m.


4:00 a.m.

I think the genre of historical fiction is often under-appreciated. I stumbled upon the Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George several years ago, and after the first few chapters was awed by the sheer scope of the work. Authors who write historical fictions must be patient enough to do all the research necessary for a biography, and yet clever enough to not just present the reader with a list of facts -- rather, they must tell a story with them.

I'm not necessarily saying that historical fiction is superior to a biography. One should not be used in place of the other, after all. Writers of historical fiction must supply motives, which are often based purely on guesswork and unsupportable by fact. I am saying, however, that I think using historical fiction as a testing ground for an era or topic before diving on into the history books is perfectly acceptable.

For example, I recently realized that I know almost nothing on the French Revolution. I read A Tale of Two Cities in high school, but that was about it. So I bought a historical fiction centering around Marie Antionette to see if my interest went beyond the basic.

We shall see. =)

3:30 a.m.

Since midnight I have experienced the joy of listening to the party next door. I got to listen to everyone arrive, greet each other, and head for the beer. An hour later, I got to smell them as they passed round the pot. After that, it was the drunken brawls. And now, we are to the sick "oh God, why did I mix alcohol and pot in that order it's time to go puke my guts out in the shrubbery!"

I must say, it has painted a rather odd soundtrack for the last stretch of my blogging.

3:00 a.m.

I would like to take this time to say a formal thank you to all of my sponsors who decided to donate to me today.

I went into this knowing that my uncle was going to sponsor me for $20 an hour, but having total strangers take an interest in my blog and donate money out of pocket was very heartening. I'm going through this now as much out of respect for my sponsors as for the charity I am fund-raising for.

Much love to:
Just a Geek/Ceru, who had to retire early for life reasons.
MissMeliss, who is not blogging this go-round, but has still been active.
Kathy, my monitor, without whom I would surely be asleep in my tea mug.
And lastly, my long-time friends Mike and Madeline, who are really just suckers for lolrats.

2:30 p.m.

Fun fact: The entirety of the word "pronunciation" in my title was created by the letters b, o, and k from the cover of The Nose Book.

2 a.m.

I realized while I was in the shower that my love of reading has actually had a physical impact on me as well. When I was little, I used to read for hours at a time lying on my side in bed. Once my eyesight started getting worse, this meant that one eye was taking more strain than the other. That is why today my eyesight in my right eye is a full step worse than my eyesight in my left.

What can I say? I am clearly hard-core!

I am also pleased to report that the shower has made me feel much better. In fact, I am now alert enough to consider taking my medicine, so that my aches will go away completely. And, now that this post is done, I'm off to the kitchen to make another batch of homemade chicken strips!

1:30 a.m.

This is where it really gets hard. All my real life friends have gone to bed, so I have no more guaranteed comments to keep me going. I'm starting to get a sleepiness headache, and my entire body aches because I've been off my meds. Unfortunately, the medicine causes drowsiness, and I am so close to the end that I don't want to risk it.

Don't worry, as a frequent night shift worker I know my limits, and I will not push myself to illness. I just need to vent a little bit to make myself feel better. If I quit now I wouldn't be able to sleep anyway, because my next-door neighbors are having another party, just like the one that kept me from sleeping last night. How dare they get in the way of my fundraising?

I am posting early so I can go take a shower. Heat helps the discomfort, and if I eat something with protein my headache will likely go way.

Hope everyone else is hanging in there!

1:00 a.m.

One thing I used books for very frequently when I was little was a source of comfort. If I had a bad day at school, I would come home and dive into pay book for a while. If I was having family issues, I would do the same. For me, books were always a cure-all. Even last night, when I was trying to unwind so I could get a good sleep in before the Blogathon, I picked up a book to unwind and make myself feel better.

My all time "feel better book" is a Ring of Endless Light, which I already discussed in a post below. Another that is less known, but definitely worth the read, is titled Kitchen. It's written by a Japanese author, but between her prose and the translator's prowess the English version is a real treat. It's short enough to read in one sitting, but that does not mean it's light reading. Like A Ring of Engless Light, one of its main themes is coming to terms with death. I think one of the reasons why I like both of these books so much that they conclude in the end that death is not depressing. It is tragic, but we can move on.

My third feel-better book is Weetzie Bat. This is a short, whimsical, modern fairy tale set in California, with unnatural characters and a surreal plot. But doesn't mean that they live inhuman lives -- over the course of the novel the characters come to terms with issues surrounding homosexuality, polyamorism, and (of course) death.

It looks like I learned a little bit about myself tonight. I have never actually sat down and thought out what my comfort books were and why, but it doesn't really surprise me that the books I turned to have positive messages dealing with death. I lost my mother when I was 12, 2 years after losing my grandmother, so death and coping has been a part of my life for some time.

I am curious what books all of you out there turn to for comfort. I don't necessarily need the why, since that can be deeply personal, but titles would be amazing.

Five hours to go! Let's get commenting and keep each other going.

12:30 a.m.

My lolcat book in question:Up next: A serious post. I have vowed to keep it together for the night. Thanks for letting me have my fun. =)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

12:00 a.m.

I have content to post. Really, I do. Unfortunately, I no longer have the brain power necessary to articulate everything that is in my head. This of course means that the rest of this next post will be entirely in lolcat (or, if you prefer, in lolrat).
O hai. I has a book! Cover say "You no take my sekrit!" Maincat disapproves of elevators. Womancat say "It is dangerous to go alone-- take phone!" Seriouscat disapproves of Maincat. Maincat say "I can has embassy call pls?" Seriouscat is too serious to notice Maincat's pls. Maincat find invisible clue: "My pokemans, let me show you them!" Seriouscat suspect Maincat, but it is rly Ceilingcat. Because Ceilingcat was in ur barn, watchin u masturbate.
What book did my brain make me tell you about in lolcat? Which cat corresponds to which character? And how much will I hate myself for this in the morning?

11:30 p.m.


11:00 p.m.

Sarah: ohhh yeah, I was wondering when I should be coming over tomorrow? (plus I need directions/an address/location area thingy)
Wren: want to do 1 till whenever in teh afternoon?
Sarah: sure!
Wren: sounds good. Just go to Comic House, but drive half a blog past and hang a right into the alley before Alder.
Sarah: "half a blog".. I like that
Wren: OH GOD.
Sarah: xD
Sarah: ^^ YAY!
Wren: no!
Sarah: it means you are passionate about your blogathon! The blogger gods will be pleased
Wren: will they give me my hands back?!

10:30 p.m.

You know how some people have an obsession with roller coasters, or skydiving, or cliff jumping? I have an obsession with scary books. Unfortunately, after what I put myself through over the years, few books qualify as "scary."

Has anyone ever read It, by Stephen King?I did, when I was 12. It scared me so much that I couldn't sleep, so I just kept reading, and ended up staying awake for three days straight finishing it. I can honestly say to this day that is one of the most terrifying things that I have ever read. I don't know why exactly. Perhaps it is my fear of clowns, or my vivid imagination that to this day makes me afraid of the monster under the bed, but that that book struck a chord in me. I'm not actually a huge fan of Stephen King, especially since none of his books have ever scared me as much as this one did. I liked this one so much I tracked down a first edition hardcover, and I have a semi serious goal of getting it signed one day.

Horror movies have never scared me either, but suspense movies will keep me up forever. I can handle gore, and boogiemen jumping out at me, but if I have to wait?

I'd better have a movie buddy.

10:00 p.m.

The beginning to one of my favorite scenes of Zorro, the Gay Blade. If you're tired, I suggest yelling "HERE I AAAM!" to yourself at random intervals.

9:30 p.m.

Awww, thanks guys! Mike and Maddo both ended up donating, so I am now at $510 for First Book! The Brick is happy, too. His thanks are far cuter than mine. Observe:

I am off to do a happy dance to Pink Floyd's Coming Back to Life.

Also, I just got a mention on the front page, and I swear my voice dictation program makes me sound like I don't speak English. I'm probably slurring and then not proofreading properly because of the tired. Here is what it should have said:
My tip for surviving the Blogathon: "Raid your housemate's/mothers/own makeup case and do the most intricate tribal designs possible on your face and arms using lipstick, eyeliner, glitter, and mascara. Make sure to do your hair crazy too, perhaps with lots of tiny pigtails strewn about. Set up a fort in a dark room, and take sequences of pictures of you in the fort. Later, stage a one-person raid and destroy the entire edifice. Post the aftermath for a triumphant Blogathon finale!"

Dear blog gods: Please to be giving me functional hands again, kthx.

9:00 p.m.

I just need $5 and I will have reached my pledge goal for First Book!

8:30 p.m.

Okay, I think I feel a bit of a second wind coming on!

I've been a bit jumpy at sounds in the kitchen today because of something that happened to me yesterday. I was in my room, innocently setting up this blog for the Blogathon, when I heard a sound like someone making a sandwich in the kitchen. A perfectly normal noise from our house, since my flatmate subsists on sandwiches, but he is out of town...

"Maybe one of the rats has escaped,"I mused to myself. I had just gotten them a new cage, and the bars in it were much bigger, so it was vaguely possible that they might have managed to squeeze out of it. I walk out into the living room and check their cage. The both are sitting there on the top floor looking at me and going "wut." I ponder this for a moment, put some laundry in the washing machine, and return to my blog.

Two minutes later, the noise resumes. This time I leave the room more quietly, so when I enter the kitchen I actually see the culprit.

There is a baby squirrel standing on my kitchen counter with a piece of bread in his mouth. He sees me, and his tail darts up into an exclamation point of fear before he takes a flying leap off the counter and runs for my patio doors. Unfortunately, the patio doors are closed (I still have no idea how he got in the house). I managed to open one for him, and he runs out, but drops his piece of bread. I stare at the bread for a moment, and then I figure "what the heck he earned it"and tossed it out after him.

Then, of course, I took a picture of him eating the bread.

8:00 p.m.

I have changed my clothes, had dinner, and am about to go wash my face and brush my teeth. I've had to switch from relaxing music to stuff with a good rock beat because this last hour has pretty much killed me.

There's no way I am giving up though, because I've stayed up much longer than this for work, and work isn't fun.

I've been taking a lot of pictures of the boys today, mostly because they've been running around being adorable all over my room, and once I get tired enough I think I'll start macroing some of them. Macros are best left done for when you're exhausted. After all, my brain basically speaks lolcat after 10 p.m.

What has everyone else been up to?I swear I'll post something with content again once I can get my brain to get rid of its cotton-like coating.

7:30 p.m.

Blogathon Meme 2007 activate!

1. What charity are you blogging for, and why?
I am blogging for First Book, for reasons I detail in my first post. Basically I love books, and think everyone should have at least one!

2. What’s been the hardest part of the Blogathon for you, so far?
In all honesty, I have been exhausted the entire time. I got very little sleep last night. Finding things to keep me alert has been a challenge.

3. Did you have a sponsorship goal? Have you met it?
My sponsorship goal was $500, and I am currently at $495! So close, guys! I just need one more $5 sponsorship. That's two books for a child in need, you know.

4. What’s been fun for you, so far?
Everything! Commenting, trying to think of ways to cheer everyone else on, sharing my thoughts with an exhausted community.

5. Have you met anyone new and cool?
A couple people, in fact! Just a Geek and I were chatting back and forth for a while, but she had to drop. Anyone else want to hang out? =)

6. Assuming it were possible, would you choose, right now, to time-travel back to the beginning of the Blogathon, with an unflagging supply of energy, or to the end, exhausted but finished?
Exhausted, but finished. I love the sense of exhausted success.

7. What have you been eating today?
Homemade pancakes, fruit salad, homemade chicken strips, pizza, and tea, tea tea.

8. So… whatcha wearing?
A tie-dye shirt I made in eigth grade, ratty old jeans, and my trusty Batman fleece blanket.

9. Quick! Three truths and a lie:
I'm not sure what my natural hair color is, my eyes change color, I sew a lot but hate to do it, and I love pie. Quick, which is the lie? XD

10. What do you most want, right this second?
I'd like that five dollar sponsorship. Or, a second wind. Either or, really.

7:00 p.m.

Hellooooo? What are you posting?

Here is some squee, courtesy of Tweaker, who would rather nap in my clean laundry, kthx. Please ignore the high-pitched "whee!"-- I am a little stir crazy!

6:30 p.m

This just in: Pizza is amazing.

6:00 p.m.

We are halfway through, and I've devised a little something to help spread the love and keep everyone going for the second half! If you read this post, choose either an e-coffee or an e-tea, find another blogathon blog, and pass one on. =)

The pictures are hosted at imageshack, so hotlinking is fine!


Choose one now and spread some caffeine to the needy.

5:30 p.m.

I'm taking this from the prompt on the main page at, since the memory is relevant to the theme of my blog.

My earliest memory is standing in the living room of my apartment. There is a recliner to my left and a recliner to my right,the seats of which are roughly at eye level with me. In front of me is a footrest about the same height of the recliners. Both of them are seventies orange and have a rough fabric. I have stretched a multi-colored pastel blanket which has been crocheted in a wave pattern and is slightly sparkly due to the silver threads interspersed in the yarn from the Ottoman to the recliner to my right, making a cave. I've taken two pillows from the couch behind me and put them inside.

I'm holding two books, which I was getting ready to put inside the cave as well, when one of my mother's schoolmates walks up. He is very tall, has shaggy blond hair, and a big smile.

"Would you like me to read one of those to you?"

And that is where the memory ends.

5:00 p.m.

We're almost to hour 12!

Maddo and I are currently entertaining ourselves by watching Disney movies and randomly pausing them to catch weird facial expressions. This is especially effective with Hercules. If you have it at home, I suggest you slap it on and pause while Zeus is instructing Hercules to "seek out Philoctetes." (I may screencap it and post it later.)

From then on, be creative, though Phil and Pegasus are always a good bet for giggles.

4:30 p.m.

Maddo is in the other room picking out a movie and letting the dye set, so I'll were waiting to see how hers turns out, I figured I would post pictures from past dye jobs!

Maddo is on the left, and I am on the right.

I don't like 7-up, but it was necessary for this picture.

Maddo with the fauxhawk I made her. Those aren't real's actually hair from the back of her head. >>

Burgandy clearly makes me emo... =/

And what better way to show off purple than in the snow? ^^