Thursday, December 28, 2006

Heading into 2007

I am definitely NOT the type of person to make serious New Year's resolutions. Ha, yeah right, it's just another To-Do list to fail and ignore, only it's more serious and makes you feel worse when you don't make it happen. I even avoid goal lists. When I was in college, some career or life counselor or something said "make a list of short-term and long-term goals." Yeah right, I forgot them about a day after I write them down, though thinking back I do believe that "get into grad school" and "go back to Kenya" were two things on my long-term goal lists that I managed to accomplish, so not too badly done, I suppose. Ha. Seriously though, it's just setting yourself up for disappointment, or once you finish the goals you've written down, you sit there and say "what next?"

This year, however, I do think I need to make some life adjustments. Not too too many, but a few. Here are long-term goals:

1. take vitamins
2. go to gym more to get Dr. Wood off my back, and to get in shape for vacation
(the woman harasses me about exercise! I'm not sure why but she keeps saying "your family heart history" which is somewhat of a valid concern, but the one person in my family who had a heart attack had a diabetes-related heart attack. Of course, they could've had adult onset diabetes from being slightly overweight. grr ok, Dr. Wood is right)
3. eat less junk
I think I'm doing ok right now. I'd give myself a B
4. be more generous with self and time
(example: bring bird food to Foster Parrots to cut Karen and Mark some slack, when signing up to conduct alumnae interviews, contact the prospectives first, don't let them come to you, help out family more. what they need help with, I don't exactly know, but they must need something, so I'll do it. yeah.)
5. See friends more
It's hard to do while working and in school, but it would be so cool to schedule special friend time. This will include boyfriend especially when he starts school, although that might make things a tad easier. Though I do envision us having dates where we go to the library and do work, LOL
6. get out of debt.
which really should be number 1, it's that out of control
7. become a more dedicated student
I won't lie, I could've handled this semester better than I did. Not necessarily studying-wise, but communication and time-management-wise, so there.

hmm I think that's enough

short term goals:

1. organize craft shiznit so I can find a home for my NEW sewing machine
2. donate old clothes to that charity where they give your clothes to women going on job interviews....I forget what it's called, but this is important.
3. send school supplies to Kenya - if I ever hear word of Mboya again, that is
4. put cd's on iTunes.
5. fix the frickin' bedspread that kills my soul
6. get rid of crap in room that is bogging down life and soul, especially stuff lurking in desk, like PENS THAT DON'T WRITE ANYMORE
7. ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm what else? clean fish tank and bird cages? no, that's dumb, that's a chore, not a project. OH SCRAPBOOK to get rid of scrapbooking things that are taking over my life. I have a rubbermaid full of scrapbooking crap under my bed. It would serve me far better being full of things I don't need in my room or want to store, sitting in storage. YES, that's an important goal.
8. I'm running out of goals here. I actually have a list in green marker at home. I can't remember everything, but I think I have the essentials.

Yup, this is basically the kind of things I do for resolutions. Sort of half-assed things that I'd probably do anyways, even if I didn'twrite them down. Eh well, at least now they are on the internet for any internet-trolling person to find.

So anyways, this will probably be it from me til 2007. I'm heading to New York (which I respect and where I do not find any single person any ruder, nicer, straighter, gayer, blacker, whiter, asshole-y or sweeter than any person in any other city in the US, North America, Western Hemisphere, Earth, World, Solar System, etc etc etc - this is my attempt to be nicer after the post I wrote and the comment I wrote, the comment being bitchy, I admit) for the New Year. Jam and I are going to a swanky party, and I am sooooo excited. It'll be the first New Year's since 99-00 where I'm actually doing something fun! New Year's Eve 1999 was at the Millenium Ball in Hanover, and it was great, all naive and sh*t before we had any concept of all that lay in front of us. Since then, I've had the following New Year's Eves: parent's house - Chinese food and movies, them falling asleep before midnight x 3, party at UNH where I didn't know anyone, had mono, and was abandoned by the a$$hole I pseudo-dated for 10 seconds - it was pure hell and misery, thank God he decided to "break up" with me the next day, Going to Outback with Amy and Ryno and getting so drunk I fell asleep in the back of my sister's Taurus for a few hours, going to the Border Cafe and wandering around Boston only to fall asleep in a Harvard dorm, but that was OK because Amy, Jam, and Rach were there, so that was actually an adventure. So yeah, it hasn't been a New Year's rockin' eve for a long time, and I am looking forward to this one.

Stay tuned, for in 2007 my first 100 posts or so will be from the book Amy gave me for Christmas "No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog" by Maggie Mason of Mighty Girl and Mighty Goods. I'll admit, I'm not an avid reader of either blog 1. I'm not allowed on Mighty Goods, because I would want to buy waaaaay to much stuff it's THAT fabulous and 2. I didn't connect Mighty Girl and Mighty Goods. Amy knew about both the whole time, plus Dooce posted something about the book a while back, so Ame bought it for me. I'm looking forward to posting from the ideas in the book because it will give me something to post about other than my hatred for my coworkers, bitchy NYC posts (LOL), and dumb people I see on the subway. Right on.

Have a safe and happy new year all! See you in '07, Year of the Pig!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Oh dear lord!

So I definitely did NOT bring you days 6-12 of Christmas, probably because I was too busy crafting. Suffice it to say that I made a crap ton of homemade gifties, enough to fill days 1-12 of Christmas, but I did not get to post all of them, including the 11th hour washcloths I made for a cousin who "might" show up to Christmas dinner and then stood us up! Oh well, I think that means my great auntie will get some mason-dixon pattern cotton washcloths and some organic all-natural green tea soap from Trader Joe's!

Anyways, I had the most wonderful Christmas. I said to Jamaal last night that my family and I truly live the good life. My dad always says stuff like 'I never took you to Disney World a second time (oh yeah, it makes me so sad - can you read the sarcasm?!!) or I didn't do XYZ.' I know that he justs wants to give us all that he can, especially since he is the man amonst 3 women, the "provider" but anyone looking in on our extended family of 10 last night would clearly see it - we are living the good life. We have so much compared to so many people - yet we still have a closeness and appreciation for each other. In my opinion, none of us take what we have for granted either. Maybe I have my moments where I complain about things I want but don't have, but you have to step back and think "I don't need that. I have everything I really need right here - food, clothing, shelter, a job, my health, my family. I have a good life."

That being said I can't post pictures of my Christmas presents because I didn't get the digital camera I asked for for Christmas (and yes, I am pausing to cackle at myself.) Why didn't I get a digital camera? Because

I GOT A SEWING MACHINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111111111111oneoneoneoneone

I didn't ask for one because I thought it would be much too expensive of a request. I knew that digital cameras, simple point and shoots, had come down in price considerably, and knowing that my mom and grandpa combined could earth up a bargain for a decent camera and probably share the cost, I put that on there as my "big" request. When my mother announced that I couldn't open one of my presents because it was from both my parents and grandparents and I had to wait til my grandparents arrived so they could see me open it I thought "ha - digital camera!" When my mother hauled a rather huge box into the living room I thought "what on EARTH?" I opened it to reveal a Husqvarna box. I thought "Husqvarna makes power tools......(allow split second to think and reason) and......SEWING MACHINES OH MY GOD!" I ripped the box open and there it was, a beautiful new machine, not too advanced, but not a kiddie machine, a bona fide sewing machine. I was so surprised I could barely speak. The look on my face must've been hilarious. Then my grandparents, parents and sister each gave me a gift certificate to the local (good and indepently owned) fabric shop, Saftler's.

It still seems like a dream that it even happened. I don't even know where to start either! Well, I actually do - I either have to find an inexpensive sewing table (I could kick myself for not buying a yard sale desk I saw months ago - it was $50 and perfect for sewing, but I told myself it wasn't "meant to be" unless it was there after my 3rd pass by the house. of course it wasn't. Grrr) or reinforce the fifth hand table I'm using as a craft table. Though I'm trying to be a better financial planner, depending on things I might be able to swing something, especially if it's from IKEA.... Then I'm probably going to put my gift certificates towards a beginning quilting class, which will enable me to better use these two books I received for Christmas. Oh goodness, I feel an addiction starting! Hooray! Now I can tackle my existing projects, use up my scrap fabric....make presents! It's like a new world, which I know sounds positively dorky, but seriously, sewing is one of my most relaxing hobbies, and to know that I have my very own machine that I can use every single day if I so desire is one of the greatest things I can think of. Meanwhile, I am saving my pennies for an affordable point and shoot (love this one) so I can combine my love of sewing with photography, though I'm not in any hurry to buy a digital point and shoot, though I do have enough cashmoney in the bank. hmmmm....... :)

So yes, Christmas was great and I feel so blessed, which is what I would feel even if I hadn't received a sewing machine because I got a bunch of great gifts - a basic cookbook published by the food network that's perfect for me, two fabulous page a day calendars (my aunt and mom didn't communicate on that one, but who doesn't love page a days?) one stitch and bitch and one origami, some girlie stocking stuffers, like pastel post-its, burts bees stuff, nail files, polish and correction stick, gum and a pink scotch tape dispenser, and Whole Foods cookies - ok moment for how the stockings are my favorite part! - a GORGEOUS necklace from my sister, a black pearl!, a painted martini glass, some sewing accessories, a bathrobe from a great aunt.....and some cross stitch counters that are really pretty but I don't know how to use from my mom's best friend. I will figure those out though! It was a great great day, with good food and family and lots of laughs - especially since my dad got a chainsaw for his birthday (DEC 19th) and my aunt and uncle gave him the whole safety helmet with face shield and ear protection for Christmas (thank God, because that man is the man who gave me my genetically predisposed klutziness and if he didn't get the safety gear, I'd make sure he wasn't using his chainsaw). He was very excited by this gift, and he proceeded, throughout the night, to put on the helmet and walk around the house holding an imaginary chainsaw, complete with sound effects. The humor was amplified by the three cosmos I consumed too. Heh.

So yes, Merry Christmas to all! I hope everyone had a wonderful and peaceful day!

Friday, December 22, 2006

6th day of christmas!

The 6th day of Christmas - hmm I am behind, aren't I?

Maybe I won't get to 12 homemade things - although I am giving myself a break here, I've made over 12 homemade things: 5 cloths, 1 scarf, 5 tissue holders, a tea cozy, 2 prs red felt booties, 9 snowmen ornaments yet to be posted, and I still have 4 things I'm trying to finish, which brings me tooooooooo 27 things. Ha, I'm in the clear ;)

So the sixth day of Christmas, a gift I made for EE:

1 fabu tea cozy

I found it at, and it's a design by Kristen Nicholas, whose blog I adore - she's a crafter who lives on a farm in Western Mass. I love Western Mass and have since my first year at Smith, though Northampton is probably not as far west as her farm, but still, for me it's "west." I love it that you're only a 2 hour drive from Boston but it almost feels like another world. You just don't tend to see that much green space in the suburbs, but if you know where to go in Western Mass, you can find the sprawling fields and orchards of farm country. It's how I imagine Massachusetts in the early days, when farmers were tilling up those huge rocks from the soil and building stone walls to mark their property lines. But I digress.

Anyways, so I made this tea cozy - it was my first adventure in felting too. I loved it! See I tend to mess things up in the washer and dryer, usually stuff that's not my own, ironically enough (which I note, is why I stopped being nice and doing other people's laundry for them. I can only listen to my mother screaming at me because I shrank a pair of her underwear so many times.) When it came to felting I was wary - I figured I'd shrink whatever I was making and then need to "undo" it and not be able to undo it, but luckily, everything worked out. Pictured with it is a vintage teapot I found last minute on eBay. I had one all picked out when some WHORE outbid me at the last minute, but this one is nearly as good and the same color, so there. I also got my friend some special singer's tea. Ok, it's not actually FOR singer's, but I googled "tea for opera singers" and clicked on all the links until I found a recommendation - it was this tea I had heard of but had no idea where to buy it, besides online, and it was too late for that, so I gave it up as a wash. Then lo and behold, I'm in Whole Foods on unrelated business and HARK! Yogi Tea, Sore Throat Remedy with "slippery elm bark" and "mullein." To me, that sounds like some crapass tasting tea, but hey, if EE is trying to sing and her throats jacked up and this stuff helps, that's the important thing! I like how the cozy has an "aura" in this picture (a bad lighting aura, LOL). As if it's magical - a magical tea cozy - what powers would it have? Ah yes, it would make the tea magically when you covered the teapot. Brilliant.

My other friend got a dvd I converted from VHS. I can post about it because both Rach and Melu got this gift but I didn't want to say anything until they had both opened it. I was very excited about this one too. When we went to Kenya last January I took my parent's VHS-C video camera with me. I was going to lug a bulky second-hand one there, but then they offered theirs instead, which was awesome. I taped a lot of footage, mostly of us acting stupid, and wound up with about 2 1/2 hours of tape. We watched the tapes at Melu's house one weekend and it was so fun, and I thought "they should have copies of this to show their families if they want." I researched a place that would convert tapes to dvd over the internet and found I know you can take tapes to your local photostore, but what the place near me charges for conversion is highway robbery, so I decided to try and seek a more economical way to do this, because the movie was longer than 2 hours and would require 2 dvd's, plus I wanted 3 copies. Nettapes was great. I converted my VHS-C to VHS (for my own reasons, they accept VHS-C tapes) and then overnighted the VHS tape to them - I had my stuff in about a week! My wonderful sister then made cover inserts and disc labels using my pictures. All in all, I was very very excited about the gift, plus now it'll be so much easier to show the tapes to my family, no dragging out the converter and having to change tapes every 20 minutes.

Anyways, it's high time I get cracking on some work. Lots of maintenance things to do before the holiday. More later!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

let's see now

The third and fourth and fifth day of Christmas I made a gift not for me:

5 tissue holders:

1 Thank You scrapbook:

5 washcloths for coworkers:

2 pairs of red felt booties

and a scarf that Jamaal can now seeeeeeee!

Yes, life has been busy. No one really came through for me on that take-home exam. It's not like I've never been let down when it comes to a group project, but to be shafted on the last day it could be done after being strung along for a week was really crappy, I won't lie. I managed to do a good deal on my own and turn it in more or less on time, which is more than I can say of my partners. I only have one project left for the class, and I won't lie, I haven't done a ton of work for it because I felt screwed over last time. The girl I'm working with has said time and time again that she's handling a major part of our project, the mathematical evaluation end, and if it's not done by tomorrow, her portion of the presentation (of which I am in charge) will contain blank slides. I hate to be a hardass because I'm not like that, but I'm at the point where I need to protect my own grade. That's life.

On a happier note, by 10 am tomorrow I will have completed my first semester of graduate school. PERIOD. I am really looking forward to next semester where I'll have the chance to move on and prove myself to my professors, which is great, because I feel like I need to show them exactly why they accepted me into the program.

Hell, I'm simply looking forward to this week and weekend - the festivities seem to start tomorrow after work - dinner with friends and gift exchanging (so excited) and then a relaxed day at work Friday, major crafting til Sunday, then CHRISTMAS EVE, where Jamaal's gorgeous, and I repeat gorgeous Christmas gift he gave me will be revealed to the world (per his orders - no one sees til Christmas!....Eve!) And then....duhn duhn duhhhhn CHRISTMAS DAY! I love it, I love watching my family open gifts and we have some real winners this year (me to my sister, my sister and I to our parents. eeeeek!!) so yes, let the fun times begin! well. at 1oam tomorrow, that is!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


my ecological modeling final is due in 23 hours and 14 minutes.
my partners have not emailed me.
I cannot do the exam without their help.
I am sooo dead.

12 Days of Christmas

I love how I've posted twice in December and it's already mid-month, whereas NaBloPoMo resulted in a daily post. Ahh the differences between November and December!

Anyways, I'm in the midst of finals and Christmas crafting, a deadly combination. While I am waiting for my ecological modeling exam partners to email me so we can work on our takehome exam, I shall post. Actually, I'd love to do a real 12 days of Christmas post with my crafts. That'd be fun. So here goes, song and all.
One the first day of Christmas I made a gift that's not for meeeeeeee:

An unidentified project made with gray soft merino yarn to put under a secret person's tree:

On the second day of Christmas I made a gift that's not for meeeeeee (it's important to really warble to "meeee" part)

Two pairs of red felt jingle booties

And a project for under a person's treeeeeee!

I am going to try and keep up with this, but I may not be able to go in order :P Also excuse the marginal quality of the camera phone. Maybe if someone gets me a digital camera for Christmas, my blog photo quality will improve, but actually the camera phone is suiting me just fine for the time being :)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

taken tonight

I took these tonight - can't you just see the destruction plans twinkling in Lily's beady little eye? I noticed last night that instead of hissing at my wee rescued-from-Ann-Taylor-Loft's-Christmas-Eve-window-display tree, he stretched out for it. Of course he was trying to see if the needles were lettuce and if the electrical cord part of the twinkle lights was chewable, but I ignored that and thought "ahh he's in the spirit and wants to be a part of my holiday decorating. how sweet." I think he also enjoyed the bright colors of my new ornaments - all from the cake + pie and freshly cut sponsored ornament swap - I've received 6 out of 9 so far, all unique, all wonderful and displayed prominently in the front of rescued tree.
Lily also enjoyed his stocking, which he really hasn't had a chance to check out thus far - I thought he'd be afraid of it, but he cozied up to it...maybe he thought it was a girl cockatiel, heh.
In closing, I would just like to say F*CK wasting time talking to baby Jesus about genetics - we've got MUCH bigger fish to fry. Prayers please.

Failure is an option aka the post wherein I thank baby Jesus for answering my prayers

So I posted about my genetics failure.
I've also stressed about it to the point of making myself ill. And cried a bit too. Very pathetic, true, but up until today I pretty much thought that the continuation of my graduate career at Tufts depended solely on whether or not I passed genetics. Today I planned to withdraw from the class. THEN I GOT THIS EMAIL FROM MY ADVISOR:

We don't think there are any
consequences to your not passing except that you ultimately should know
the material.

Praise the LORD above! For once in my academic career, I have encountered a situation that is being handled in a completely sensible manner (perhaps I am saying this because the outcome is favorable, but I believe it's more than that. Oh, and ok, this is the second time someone's being sensible - thank you Marilyn, my Asian art and architecture prof whose last name I can't remember who allowed me to take my final a month late because I had mono. I have not forgotten you. Just your last name). So yeah, it seems like things are going to work out.

I have to make one admission though - I'm probably not going to invest a ton of study time into the final. This is not to say I'm going to blow it off, but last exam, I KILLED myself to try and pass and didn't. I fully intend to print off exam examples like I have for every other exam (yeah, this guy's exams are so hard, I still failed despite the fact that he had EXAMPLES of past exams posted on Blackboard! Unbelievable! I've never failed anything with a professor that did that. Ah well), and concentrate on the questions he asks there. I will also read the extra credit reading and answer the question (to my defense I get the extra credit on the exams right - which I think shows some effort!) and I'll go over the homework questions. I am not going to stay up into the wee hours of the night, however, hunched over book with highlighter, making flashcards, studying on the train. It's not worth it. I will memorize the genetic tests such as PCR and Southern blotting (for once the advantage of working at The Cancer Hospital makes itself known, I read PCR, FISH and blot analyses every single day, as well as metaphase counts, and I know how they WORK!) but there will be no effort to the point of a near-death experience, LOL. I'm focused on ecological modeling, the class where I have a chance of getting an A with flying colors, the class that after weeks of struggling I really really love. So there. HA
HA TO THE WORLD! And score :)
And Costa Rica, here we come :)