(I wrote this last Spring, recently rediscovered it in an old journal. I don’t even remember writing it.)

Sometimes, it is like my thoughts are billiard balls. All spread out on a table. They rattle against each other and knock off the walls. I never know where they are going, or which one I should follow. Every time I turn my head, I can feel them rattling, clanking, colliding. Sometimes, it seems like one is going somewhere, on a journey, able to escape the chaotic cacophony.

I think the cacophony may be the source of their memories. And energy. (Are memories energy?) For when a thought escapes and begins down a path, I feel it fading nearly immediately. Sometimes I let it go. It runs itself dry, and vanishes, leaving only a misty spray in its place. A vapor.

More often I cannot stand the thought of losing it. I gently push it back into the cacophony. It seems to be restored temporarily.

Sometimes, I wonder, if I shake my head hard enough, I can get a thought energetic enough to travel forever. Or even just a bit longer than the rest. But no matter how hard I shake, they do what they want.

Sometimes there is one that I wish I could free. One that I would give anything to see go on its path. But even this wishing saps it of energy. It fades far too fast for me to do anything.

I wonder, sometimes, what would happen if they stopped moving. Can they stop? Is it their motion that gives them substance?

It seems like utter chaos in there; usually I discern no pattern. It seems to be a rock tumbler. But without the tumble. They move their own ways.

Yet somehow, ten years later, as I try and trace back the way I came to be where I am, I put an order to the chaos. Does it even make any sense? Is it my imagination putting the randomness to a pattern?

Though it doesn’t always feel random. Sometimes there are lines instead of balls. The lines are easier to follow. I feel them everywhere I go, everything that happens let them shift into another way. Some times they bend. They rarely cross in my view. Perhaps they are ashamed, embarrassed to have approached another, so stay away from my sight. I can rarely discern anything from their patterns.

But sometimes, they scream within my mind. Their force shakes me, and I can see nothing else within.

Have you ever woken up screaming in your sleep? It is a shattering feeling. You are distraught, panicked, terrified, horrified, but have no idea why.

When I was little, I believed that if I screamed loud enough, I could stop the world. Literally. Everything would just freeze. All the noise, all the chaos, all the motion. I imagined this happening, yet I could never see myself in these day dreams. Like the effort it took to stop the world would somehow drain me of my existence. I never thought about this when I was young. I do now.

I never tried it. It was just my hidden card, my last resort, my secret weapon. The thought of using it was both comforting and frightening. Comforting, as I knew it was there if I needed it, and nothing in the world could stop me from using it. Frightening, as I feared if I ever used it, I would not be able to start the world back up again. Or what would become of me.

Perhaps I’d have found myself waking up, screaming, one level higher, shaking with fear and bewildered as to what it was that scared me so. Perhaps not.

I once had a dream about a mirror. I looked into it, and I saw someone who was not me. She looked like me, in a way, but I knew far too clearly she wasn’t me. I had a feeling that she had made everything possible here. She looked so happy and certain. She told me her name, but when I awoke, it was gone. I felt a great sense of peace.

The balls roll on, echoing within my hollow mind. Will they ever coalesce into clarity? Or have they done so already but did I forget it so that the next time they formed, it would be just as sweet, just as miraculous. An island in the ocean of my mind.

Sometimes, it scares me the places my thoughts wander off to.

Sometimes, I wonder if there is anyone left who thinks about these things as much as I do. Sometimes I wonder if I am completely out of my mind. Sometimes, I wonder if that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

So I’ve been chilling over my break and doing a few things here and there before summer semester starts up. My knitting is coming along nicely. I’ve probably got about 20 inches on the scarf so far. I want to make it 4 ft long, so I’ll keep going at it. It is very satisfying to work on.

I find myself missing the rigor of CSE 335 from fall semester. That was one awesome course! I’ve done a bit of software design for work, and also on my own for some projects, so I’m still going at it, but I think I’ll try to take at least one course with Dr. Owen next year, as 335 was just too awesome.

So, I have several options. I’m not sure what he is teaching, yet. I know that I do want to take Networking with McKinley. That will be fall semester. Then capstone, either in the fall or spring. Probably spring. Then again, if I get it over with in the fall… I can take two courses with Owen in the spring! Or possibly one. That’s all I’d really need.

Exciting news: I have been selected as a Google Lime scholar for 2013!! This is a huge honor, and I am absolutely thrilled that I got it. I get to go to a retreat for scholars in July in New York City for 4 days. This will be totally awesome! I can’t wait.

Work is going well. The rename of my project resulted in some stuff breaking, but last day I worked I got it all restored to the point it was at before. Now it is time to test my project and work with my supervisor to get it working with the other programs already created. I’m very proud of what I accomplished this year at work.

In other news, I’m not currently planning to do an internship this summer. Instead, I will stay here and take classes, while living at (hopefully) Howland Cooperative. Howland is the most beautiful coop in the SHC, with gorgeous architecture and hard wood floors. The only thing that is a little odd about it is the shower room in the basement. Apparently everyone goes down there to shower, because on the 2nd and 3rd floor, there is no shower in the bathroom. My room will probably be on the second floor, so I’ll get to experience the joys of a co-ed shower room. That should be interesting. Summer is a great time on campus and I am really looking forward to getting back into the coops.

This morning I read a couple chapters from a book on C#. I want to make a to-do list type widget for Windows in C# over the next few weeks, so I’m brushing up and will do a bit of design for it today. It is fun to have a programming project to work on in my spare time!

This Saturday I’m going to a lunch at my adviser’s house. We have a get together at the end of the year (my women in computing group, that is) which I am really excited for. My adviser is so nice.

I haven’t been doing too much musically, lately, although I do plunk around on my classical guitar from time to time. I still plan to release my cello CD, but it is going to be rather delayed. I need to work up my repertoire again.

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So, winter break comes to an end today. I have to say this has been my one of my worse breaks. I was sick with the flu for most of it. Totally not cool. The last few days I’ve been healthy, which has been nice, though.

I did do some fun stuff over break, regardless. I read a lot about Java and made a couple toy programs. I read a little bit about C#. I worked part time. I learned a bit of German. I made progress on the scarf I am knitting. All good stuff.

Yesterday my parents and I went to my dorm and rearranged stuff a bit. We lofted the bed and moved the desk to be by it. The fridge and the dresser and now next to each on the wall by the door, and the hutch is up on the desk for this semester. With three of us, we made quick work of it, although as my Dad said at one point, “I’m doing my best to stay out of the way.” In such a tiny space, it was hard to have 3 people working on stuff, so my Dad mostly sat around. However, his help was invaluable when it came to lofting the bed, so I was glad he came along.

This morning, I need to pack up my stuff, and then I’ll probably head out to my dorm late morning or early afternoon. I will definitely take my classical guitar which I am learning to play, as well as a music stand for holding my method books. I am looking forward to being back in the dorm, surprisingly. Classes start Monday!

I am once again doing a fundraiser for my album, this time through Indiegogo. If you’d like to support me, you can make a donation here:

http://www.indiegogo.com/cello

Every little bit helps with this fundraiser. I will be eternally grateful for each and every donation. For real. Please help me out if you can!

I am working on five projects over winter break. In no particular order, they are: knitting a scarf, learning Java and writing a weight loss tracking program with it, learning C# and writing a goal setting program with it, learning German with Rosetta Stone, and of course, completing and releasing my CD.

The first four I have been making good progress on; however, my CD is a bit delayed as my dad came down with a nasty bug and now I seem to be getting it. I’ll wait until we are all done coughing to try to do any recording. So, those of you excited about my first CD will have to wait a bit longer than I anticipated. I still plan to finish it and release it before the end of winter break. Only 6-8 more songs to record!

Learning German has been a goal of mine for some time now. I wanted to take a class in it last year, but got too busy in my other classes to continue. I started taking it again this year, and the same thing happened. So, I finally just went ahead and got a Rosetta Stone course in it so I could learn at my own pace. I am very impressed with the interface and have learned to say many things in German. I am in the middle of unit 3 of level 1. There are five level of German, with 4 units per level. I can talk about people (Frau, Mann, Kinder, Famalie, Schwester, Bruder, Madchen, Younge, etc.), occupations (Lerner, Artz, etc), food (Apfel) and more. I try to study at least 3 times a week for a couple hours to keep increasing my vocabulary and grammar skills.

I am on chapter 7 of my Java book, and have found it to be very similar to C++, which is nice. It is actually easier to use than C++. I am glad my school taught us the harder of the two and left the easier one for us to learn on our own. Yeah for garbage collection! The weight loss program will have a GUI and take in weights and display a table and graphs, and have weight loss goals and rewards you can set. I’ve yet to plan it out fully, but I plan to make a UML in Visual Paradigm soon.

I am on chapter 4 of my C# book, and have also found it to be similar to C++, kind of a cross between Visual Basic and C++. Making a GUI program in Visual C# is like a gazillion times easier than making one in C++ with wxWidgets on Unix. I just need to familiarize myself with some of the library calls, get some experience, and I should be good. I also plan to make a UML for the goal setting program once I get closer to making it.

My scarf is coming along nicely! I try to do a few rows a day. It is a nice pretty green. I’m going to need some more yarn soon… Another trip to Michaels! I love knitting now that I know how. It is just so fun to be making something with my hands.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and thanks so much for reading! I really appreciate all the nice comments.