Hades should be pretty!

Lately, I discovered The Webcomic List, which lists all of the webomics that are updated each day. So I’ve been going through and checking them all, to see if there are any that I’m interested in. I’m relatively picky about the drawing style, so I usually only manage to find one or two a day, even though I look at a ton of different sites.

Today I found MYth, (which read right to left). It’s a super cute style, and it’s about Greek mythology! There are three stories so far, and yeah the myths are kinda iffy, but it’s still really really cute. I loved it. The first story is Hades and Persephone, which isn’t quite the true myth … at all … buuuuuuuuuuut I’ll let it go. Read it cause it’s adorable, not cause its correct.

So then later I was on deviantart, and browsing for Hades, trying to see what other people thought he would look like (and ignoring the large number of Disney Hades fanarts) I was surprised to see so many ones that made him look like a demon! He’s a god! He should be pretty!! And by pretty I mean devilishly, devastatingly handsome and sexy. (Apollo, on the other hand, is pretty. Pretty-boy. Like Orlando Bloom as Paris in Troy) After all, Hades is still one of the Greek gods, his brothers are Zeus and Poseidon! And Zeus is a man-whore so he’s gotta at least be attractive. As a swan… um …

Anyway.

Hades should be attractive, not all demon-y looking.

On another note, I was having some troubles at work the other day. I made a scene of a Roman portico using 3DS Max, and then used Vue 8.0 to make trees. Well, Vue automatically decided to make it a sun, and made the sun GINORMOUS, so it looked like a giant blob. Then there was a light in the building that was shining so brightly that it went through the building and made stripes on the ground.

So I rendered it out and saved the image. (Yes, I know the building is awful, just ignore that, thanks)

We managed to fix the sun, and then when I opened the file today the racing stripes were miraculously gone, so I quickly finished it and rendered out a new image, sans-blob so that I could actually use it before the stripes came back. I’m still fairly certain that they will.

The computer has been going SO SLOWLY lately, and we don’t know what’s wrong with it, but whenever I tried to rush it, the whole computer would freeze and the screen would start flashing at me and try to give me a seizure. So I just let it do its thing and looked up webcomics.

I also got put into a new office yesterday, which was STIFLING. My fan broke today, but I think they managed to turn the temperature down, so it wasn’t so bad. In fact, I got kinda chilly, which was much more familiar, considering how cold the rest of the building is.

Anyway, I think that’s enough ramblings for tonight!! My roommates moving in tomorrow, so I should probably clean off her bed … it makes such a nice shelf, though.

Published in: on August 27, 2010 at 10:09 pm  Comments (2)  
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Books!

One of my professors gave my class a summer reading assignment. Since I had to go buy the book, I used it as an excuse to buy a couple of other books that I wanted to read for fun. I mean, I had to get over $25 for free shipping so …

One of the books that I got for fun is by Rick Riordan. He’s the author who wrote the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I absolutely love those books. I have a penchant for young adult books, and tend to read them a lot. I used to work in my middle school library, so I got to read all of their books, and the ones that I found interesting were all young adult books. The Percy Jackson books are soo much better than the movie could ever hope to be. Yes, it’s aimed at a younger audience than many people my age really want to deal with, but it’s actually really well-writting and funny. Percy is really sarcastic (even though he’s only 11 in the first book) and the books are really enjoyable to read. And since they’re young adult, I can read them really quickly.

The best part about the Percy Jackson series, however, is that it stays true to the myths. The whole point of the series is that Percy Jackson finds out he’s the son of a Greek god, so he goes to a camp where all the other campers are also demigods, like him, and he ends up meeting most of the gods and goddesses and having to go on epic quests and have all sorts of adventures. But the details from myths are all accurate, which is AWESOME!! A book series pertaining to Classics that’s actually right? Yeah!

That was one of my biggest problems with the movie, actually. They changed the storyline to make it better for the movie, which normally I would be ok with, but they put Persephone in Hades on the summer solstice!!! No! The whole myth of Persephone is that she was kidnapped by Hades, and while she was in the Underworld she ate 6 pomegranate seeds, so she is required to spend six months of the year there. During those six months, her mother, Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, mourns for her daughter and won’t let anything grow, which is why we have winter. SHE IS NOT THERE IN THE SUMMER. Ahem.

Anyway, the new Rick Riordan book that I got is called Red Pyramid, and it’s a similar concept, but all of the myths that are used are the ancient Egyptian myths. I am soo excited about this. I always loved ancient Egypt, and since I loved the Percy Jackson series, I should enjoy this one, too.

The second book that I bought is by James Rollins, who is my favorite author. He writes action-adventure type novels, and they always have some sort of archaeological aspect to them. They’re also usually kinda weird. For instance, the last one I read, Subterranean, involved a group of people who had children by parthenogenesis, so they were all biologically the same exact person, and their cells were shaped like buckyballs, which means they could make themselves invisible. Not one of his more believable stories.

Most of his other ones are better, though. He has a series about the Sigma Force, which is a special ops team, and they’re pretty awesome. I really love his books, and I hope this new one is good.

Also, James Rollins friended me on facebook. He friended me. I’m very proud of that fact. (I became a fan of his page, and then he friended me. Still cool.)

Finally, the last book is the one required for my course. The book is A Murder on the Appian Way by Steven Saylor, and it’s surprisingly good. I was kinda worried that it would be terrible and I’d be forced to plow my way through it. It’s a murder mystery that revolves around the death of Clodius. Many people thought that Milo killed him, but Cicero defended Milo in his speech, Pro Milone, which I have to read for my Roman Oratory class (hence the summer assignment). Saylor’s book is really good, though, at least as far as I’ve gotten, and I would definately recommend it to anyone who is interested in ancient Rome. He’s got other books in the same series, and I’m kinda tempted to read those, as well.

First though, I have to finish all the new books that I have. I guess I’ll just have to wait until I have a big paper due. I’ll suddenly get the urge to read a book or clean my room or something, anything to put off the actual paper. That’s the way it always works, isn’t it?

Published in: on August 24, 2010 at 10:52 pm  Comments (1)  
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Headachy

I have had a headache almost every day for over a month now. I was in Belize for four weeks earlier this summer, and was totally fine there, despite being dehydrated and overheated and barely getting enough sleep. But then I got home, and I have had a headache almost every day since. It’s not really the same headache. It goes away sometimes. There are even some days when I don’t have a headache. And then there are the days that my head hurts so much that I go home after work and sleep for two or three hours, only to wake up and still have the headache. And then, because I took a nap, I can’t get to sleep at night, so I’m even more tired the next day, and my headache is worse. I haven’t seen a doctor or anything about it, because I really dislike going to doctors. It’s so far out of my way, and I’d have to take time out from when I’m usually working, which means either working less or working later, neither of which I really want to do. Also, since the headache isn’t terrible every day, I usually just deal with it. There’s only a day or two a week when it’s really unbearable, and so far I’ve only missed one day of work for it.

I’m also fairly certain I know why I’ve been getting headaches, and there are multiple reasons. First of all, I need new contacts. I have astygmatism in both eyes, but I don’t wear astygmatism contacts because they don’t come in colors. Complete stupid vanity on my part, but I want my damn colored contacts. I’m due for an appointment, and I know I need to up my prescription, because I have been having trouble seeing things in the distance. This really hit me today when I went to the library that I used to work at, and I couldn’t see down the aisles and read the signs! Just a year ago, I could read those signs, and today they were completely fuzzy and I could only read the ones closest to me. Very depressing.

I wasn’t home long enough this summer to get into the eye doctors, so I have to wait until winter break before I can go and get new contacts. Not pleased about this, but I guess there’s nothing really that I can do about it.

The second thing that I’m sure is not helping my head is the fact that I’m on my computer all day. My work is all on the computer, so I’m looking at my computer all day. And whenever I take a break, I’m using my laptop looking at stuff online. Then I get home, and I usually keep looking at stuff online, reading blogs and such, because I have nothing else to do. It’s mindless and entertaining, and keeps me busy until it’s time for bed. There’s stuff I should be doing, but I never want to. I’m supposed to be doing work for a professor, which involves editing images in photoshop, but after working all day, I’m always tired and headachy and I don’t want to have to concentrate on anything, especially not on a computer. I feel bad about not getting any work done, but I just can’t do it! I also have some things I should be reading, like a book that is required for one of my classes that I’m supposed to finish before the semester starts (it’s actually pretty good so far: Murder on the Appian Way by Steven Saylor, a Roman murder mystery). Or, I could be looking up grad schools or studying for the GRE or working on my personal statement or a million other things. Instead, I read blogs and webcomics until I can’t keep my eyes open any more, and then I go to bed.

I get a little reprieve on the weekends, because I usually go to a lake, where I don’t have computer access, but the past few weekends I haven’t even had a chance to sleep in at all, so I’m not catching up on any of the sleep that I feel like I’ve been missing.

I also drink a lot of caffeinated soda. I’ve actually cut down on how much I drink, but it’s still a lot. Last week, for example, I would have 3 or 4 cans of soda a day. And the sad thing is, when I told this to my mom, even she was like, “oh that’s not too bad,” because I used to drink 6 or 8! There have been times when I would drink about 3 liters of soda each day, so cutting down to 3 cans, really isn’t bad. But it’s still not good.

This past week, I’ve tried to cut it down even more, to just two cans a day, in the hopes of then cutting down to one and then eventually quitting caffeine altogether. But I’ve been so tired, I just can’t do it! I haven’t had soda before 11 am almost all summer, and then this past week I’d have to have some as soon as I got to work at 9, just so that I could stay awake and get to work. I’d have a headache, which couldn’t be from lack of caffeine because it was too early, but if I had some soda I would wake up and the headache would go away for a little bit. So I’d have some soda.

Do you know how much it costs to drink that much soda? A lot, I assure you. And the soda machines just increased their prices this year, I’ve noticed, so if I can’t stop drinking it I’m going to be spending even more this year than I did last year.

All the soda I drink is probably also dehydrating me, and I’m sure that’s not helping my headache situation.

Basically I think I need to get new contacts, stop drinking soda completely, drink a ton of water each day, give up my computer and take a month long vacation from life. Maybe then my headache will go away completely.

Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 9:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

More grad school problems!!

So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about grad school. And by a lot I do actually mean a lot, not just yeah, I’ve thought about it a couple times. Because I think it’s kinda important. And I have no idea what I want to do!

I thought for a while about what I want to go into, and I emailed a bunch of people. Some of them emailed me back with helpful advice (the alums from my school were the most helpful) and others emailed back with “well if you have a specific question I’l answer it … maybe you should email so-and-so.” (I had already emailed so-and-so, but three people did tell me to go email him.)

One woman was extremely helpful, even though she made me question myself sooo many times. She sent me a link to several articles by grad students in archaeology/anthropology. I only read a few of them, but they were not encouraging. One person wrote about how terrible and stressful it was, but they’ve made it through. Another one dropped out after the worst three years of their life. Another article was about how hard it was to even get into grad school, and how lots of times there would be no real reason why you got rejected from a program. Like I said, not encouraging.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, she also mentioned the idea of going into museum studies, and that kinda threw me for a loop. After all, I think working in a museum would be a great job. And I would probably like the grad program for it as well. I think it would be fun to learn to preserve artifacts, and I’d like having to set up an exhibit, and I’d love being able to go through the museum archives!

But I’m also really interested in the archaeology. I loved working in the field. I enjoyed digging, and sifting through all the dirt looking for artifacts, and I even enjoyed washing the artifacts, because it was so cool to see a dirty clay-covered object become a pretty shiny lithic or piece or ceramic.

Only problem is, I don’t know if I’d like the program. I don’t know if I could survive a graduate program in anthropology or archaeology. I have never taken an anthropology course. Ever. If I get into an anthro program, where everyone else has an undergrad background in anthro, I will be so much behind everyone. And I will have to work sooo much harder to compensate for the fact that I don’t have that background. And I don’t know if I’d be able to do that. The person I talked to today suggested I either take an anthro course here, or at least just sit in on a few classes, to see what I think of it. I may try to do that.

Now, I know I am not a humanities person. Which is one of the reasons why I don’t want to go into Classical archaeology, because it’s humanities based. They focus more on the literature and the languages. I only want to read the writing to find out what the history is. Which, in terms of mesoamerica, means I want to read the stela to see who was ruling when, but I don’t want to read about their myths or stories.

That’s not to say that I don’t find mythology interesting. On the contrary, I do enjoy it. I enjoy reading about it or learning the myths in my spare time. But I don’t want to really focus on that. I’d much rather focus on the people. I want to know how people lived their daily lives, and I understand that I need to know some of the myths and rituals that were important to them, but I care more about their houses and shops and trade and alliances and marriages.

And that’s what I finally decided. I want to know how people in these ancient cultures lived. I want to know their daily routine. I want to learn their writing systems so that I can learn their histories. But I don’t care about the codices. I don’t care about their predictions and omens. I want to deal with the tangible lives of the people.

So I can see why the dirt archaeology is interesting to me, because I would be dealing with the villages and buildings and marketplaces that these people lived and worked in. And I can understand why the museum studies is interesting to me, because I would be taking care of, preserving, and showing off the artifacts that these people left behind.

So now I don’t know what path I want to take. I’m kinda thinking … and it may be crazy … that I’ll try to get a MA or certificate in museum studies, and then if I still want to pursue archaeology, I’ll go get my PhD in archaeology. I think that could work.

I have one major problem with the archaeology. I do not want to teach. Ever. To anyone. I don’t want to be a professor. I don’t want to have to give lectures. I don’t want to speak in front of people. And this is a problem. Because I’ll never be able to completely avoid giving talks or lectures, especially if I want to continue in archaeology. Even if I’m working in a museum, I may need to give lectures or presentations of my exhibits. And while it is possible to be an archaeologist working through a museum, and therefore not a professor, that is rare. But I want it!

So now my job is to keep looking up grad programs and find one that I want to do, that I’ m able to do, and hope that they’ll take me!

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 10:31 pm  Comments (2)  
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To Publish or Not to Publish: A pretty stupid question

Yesterday I moved into my apartment at school (well, moved into a different one, I’ve been here since July 1). So I’ve got stuff everywhere. I was unpacking for a little while today, got the kitchen all settled and put all of my clothes away, and then I got really bored and decided to stop for the night. So instead of going to bed, which I’d like to do, I figured I would do something productive and useful.

Last semester, I did an independent study on Mayan hieroglyphs. My professor absolutely loved my paper and says it was the best I’ve ever done (not really saying much). I find that kinda confusing because I finished it at about 1:30 in the morning the night after it was officially due and I was just rushing to get everything typed so I could go to bed. But he really liked it, so that’s good. In fact, he liked it so much, that he told me I could maybe think about publishing it. It would need to be worked on a bit he said, yes, but he’d be willing to help me with that. Then he gave me a binder of papers published by past students and told me to read them.

So today, after I gave up on packing, I sat down and started reading the articles. I got about halfway through the first paragraph of the first article and then just started skimming. Way too tired to actually concentrate on anything. But I did manage to see that these papers are a lot better than mine.

Now, would it be awesome to publish a paper? Of course it would be awesome!! And it would look great when applying to grad school! Do I think I can do it? Hell, no. I can’t even imagine how much work I would have to put into that paper to get it up to publishable quality. I know how well I can write, and it’s not very well at all.

On the other hand, my professor actually liked it. So maybe it’s better than I thought. Maybe some journal will agree with him and actually like my paper. I can’t decide. Is it worthwhile to rework my whole paper and attempt to publish it? Get it out there and have people tear it to pieces, finding every little hole in my logic and argument?

Sigh. I don’t want to.

Yes, of course I want to be published. I just don’t want to have to go through the whole process. Sigh.

On another note, I really need to hang up some posters.

Published in: on August 11, 2010 at 11:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Archaeology v. Museum Studies

As a follow up to my last post, I want to say that I never did figure out how to make a toga. I bought one instead (and a Roman military uniform) which was much easier and much nicer than anything I could have done. So naturally, when I had gotten the outfits I couldn’t get them to do what I wanted to. I just wanted my character to wear the clothes, and have the clothes actually fit to his body. I spent a long time trying to move the clothes in such a way that they would look as though they were fitting on the figure, and couldn’t get it to work. Finally I found out that if I just click “conform to” in the drop-down menu, I can get it to automatically conform to my figure, and I don’t have to do any more work. Really super easy. Just took me at least an hour to figure it out.

(current music: from Dr. Horrible’s sing-along blog)

This happens a lot actually. I struggle with something in Poser, and then once I figure it out its super easy. But it takes me forever to figure out. I had started watching some tutorials, but they weren’t helpful at all, so I stopped watching them and just went at the program hoping I’d figure it out. And I sorta am … I guess. But so I can’t figure out if I actually like Poser or not. Because in some ways it’s really nice (like it has pre-made people!! and they’re easy to move and pose!!) but it other ways it’s just awful, and I hate it. Granted, that may happen less often if I actually knew what I was doing, but I’m not that worried about it. Basically, I’ve decided that Poser is awesome as a reference for artists, and if you need to make 3d people very quickly, but I’m not sure about anything else.

(current music: Lady Gaga, Disco Heaven)

However, I’ve also been having other things to worry about besides work. I’m going to be a senior next year, which means I need to figure out what I’m doing after I graduate. I’m planning on going to grad school (if I can get in!), and I’ve decided to go for archaeology. I’m not going for Classics because I really can’t stand Greek (not the best major for me, I know, but Latin is very nice!). So I want to focus on the Maya area, because 1) it’s awesome, 2) it’s still being excavated, and 3) I like the glyphs. 

(current music: A little priest, Sweeney Todd)

So I’ve decided to go into archaeology. But now I need to figure out where I want to go. So I talked with one of my Professors, and he gave me a list of emails of people he had as students or knows somehow and told me to email them and ask them for advice. So I’m sorta working on that. But I never know what to put in the emails! I don’t want to seem too forward by asking them for advice, since I’ve never met most of the people that I’m emailing. So I’ve been thinking I’d just ask them about their program, except four of them are from the same program, so that may not be as helpful as it would be if they were at different universities.

(current music: Stranded in the Jungle, Voodoo glow skulls; Hey there Delilah, Plain White T’s)

I wrote to one person and heard back already, which was great. She’s still a student, and gave me a ton of advice. She suggested I take a year off (I’d rather not if I can help it), she talked about whether I’d need a MA before a PhD, it was very helpful. But then she asked me what my research focus was, and I kinda got worried. She asked if I was just interested in the cultures, in which case maybe a degree in Art History or Museum Studies would be best, or if I was actually interested in archaeology for archaeology’s sake. And I don’t know!!

(current music: God is a DJ, Pink)

I’ve never really thought about trying to separate the culture aspect from the archaeology aspect. I mean, I like the archaeology, and I enjoyed doing it when I was in a field school, but I do really think that I would enjoy museum studies, as well. I’ve never actually taken any anthropology courses, cause I had originally planned on going to grad school for Classics, but now that’s a problem. What if I hate the anthropology? What if I really do just want to study the ancient culture and not worry about the actual archaeology? I don’t know!! I was so glad when I finally decided to do mesoamerican archaeology instead of Classical, I felt like I had accomplished something by making that decision. But now, I don’t know anymore.

(current music: death’s diary, Marc Almond)

This is really quite distressing. Because I’m not looking at Museum studies graduate programs, I’m only looking at archaeology. And if I do then decide that maybe I should be going into museum studies instead, I need to start all over!! Aaah!

Well, so those are my issues right now. There’s work, which isn’t going as well as it could, and taking a lot longer than it should. And then there’s the problem with grad schools, which I really need to figure out soon. I just wish someone could tell me exactly what would be the best thing for me to do, plan it all out for me, and then I can just follow along. Wouldn’t that be nice? Figure out what I want to do, so I don’t have to think about it. If anyone can read minds and wants to plan out my future, please let me know!

Published in: on August 8, 2010 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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How do you make a toga?

I recently learned how to do 3D modeling in 3D Studio Max (and by recently I mean about a month ago), and now I’ve been using it at work. I’m currently working on a project about the death of Caesar, so I’ve modelled a Roman bedroom, a street with a couple houses and a little shop, and the portico and curia of Pompey (which isn’t completely finished). They are going to be the backgrounds for our actors (it was filmed in front of a green screen). I had a lot of troubles with the curia, because I don’t precisely know what it is supposed to look like. There aren’t any images that I could find of the inside of the curia, so I’ve been basing my model on the curia in the forum of Augustus, and on the HBO series Rome. (And then I may have edited it a little so that it was easier to make …)

What I’ve been working on the past couple of days, though, is making a statue of Pompey the Great. Caesar died at the foot of his statue, so I need a model of it. And I had no idea how to make it. We bought the program Poser, which seems like an awesome program, only I have had a lot of trouble getting it to work. It was small things, like the fact that my computer apparently didn’t have flash, but then I couldn’t access the content libraries in the program, and I spent almost a whole day trying to figure out what was wrong. But I’ve got access now, and I can use pre-made figures (humans and animals, which is cool, even though I really don’t need a dinosaur for our Caesar show…) and model them into whatever poses I want. I edited the face to look more like a bust of Pompey the Great, only more attractive, and I can put that on my figure. Now my only problem is his clothes. I don’t want a naked statue. But I can’t figure out how to make clothing!!

I found a tutorial on youtube on how to make clothes in 3DS Max, and it seemed really easy, so I tried it, and naturally it didn’t work the way I wanted it to. By which I mean that it didn’t work at all. I tried it a few times, and could not get it to work. Very frustrating. So then I found another tutorial on how to make cloth in Poser. It worked one time when I tried it, and then I tried to change something, and never got it to work again.

I just don’t understand why my programs hate me so much! It looks so easy, and everyone else seems to get it to work just fine, but whenever I try to do it, nothing works. Sigh. If anyone has any ideas on how to make a toga in 3DS max or Poser, please let me know!!

Published in: on August 4, 2010 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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