Friday, February 29, 2008

Hesitant, but Optimistic, Reluctantly Breathing a Sigh of Relief

Agreement Brings Joy, Relief to Kenya

And to all of us, who care so much. Phew.

Staying In, Trying Not to Hurt Ourselves

What a week it has been.

On Saturday, my grandparents found one of their best friends and neighbor dead in his house. Honestly, it sounds like he just sort of fell asleep in front of the TV and never woke up, probably never even realized what happened. Needless to say, it was a shock and it hit my grandparents very hard, especially given the fact that this is their second close friend to die since the beginning of the year, and this was sudden and completely unexpected. Since my sister and I have known him since we were born, we went to the wake on Tuesday.

Since then a minor course of small but stressful disasters have occurred. Yesterday alone I found out I got a "C" on my bio exam (not a big disaster, but scary nonetheless, as anything less than a B- will keep me from graduating), my aunt went to the ER with a massive hematoma on her abdomen (she is ok, broken blood vessel, long story, very freaky, but she's fine) my father broke on of his front-ish teeth when he sneezed of all things (he saved the piece, the dentist put it back on!) and I have had a pain in my side like someone is stabbing me in the back and it's coming out the other end and I've stressed about it all week but haven't said anything due to the fact that there's drama all around. I am ok but think it's definitely something. I'm going to the doctor's on Monday though and will get the word. It might even be nothing but stress and overtiredness and not eating well (ha ha enough!) which I hope it is. I was so full of self-pity this morning I bought myself a bagel. I swore off them after New Year's (carb-o-licious. I've dropped 10 lbs so it must be working!) and have had 2 since, and today I was like "sh*t. I earned this. With regular cream cheese too, not the lite dammit!" It tasted great. I'm thinking I can't have anything too serious wrong with me if I'm still eating, plus the pain has become more focused (a possible sign of: appendicitis, ovarian cyst, ectopic pregnancy, lord spare me all) so I'm going to go through the day and just deal with live, LOL. And get over myself. Though admittedly, I'm staying in this weekend with some old movies again. I feel like a bad penny in the luck department, so it might be safer not to go out, LOL.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Trend I Don't Really Like and An Epiphany

First the trend:

So the much talked about professor was back today for his final showing in my academic career. And he kissed my ass. Kind of a lot. And it was incredibly ridiculous. I decided to be nice back, to laugh at his jokes, and to smile appreciatively when he said to me "good point!" Honestly though, I don't really like how this has panned out - this is the third or fourth time I've been offended one week just to have the person be a kissass the next. I appreciate people getting the vibe that they've been rude, unfair, or offensive and made a person (me) feel bad, but wouldn't it have been easier to just have started on a respectful level? I know that this is, to a certain degree, how the real world works, one must gain the admiration of one's peers by proving they are worthy - I have even played this game from time to time - HOWEVER, never did I go into a situations with 1. a pre-conceived lack of respect 2. the assumption that a person is not intelligent 3. the assumption that a person will not get the job done. I believe those are things that come with time, not the other way around. Oh well.

The Epiphany:

My back has hurt for over a week now. Not too too bad, pretty much a nagging pain that a couple aleve every so often knocks out. First I wondered how I hurt my back, and then, in my grand hypochondriac style, I began to think of all of the horrible fatal things that my sore back could be indicating. It's a warning sign of great destruction yet to come!! Today I wore heels to work because I thought I'd be seeing patients, and in my rush to get off to class, I didn't change my shoes and have twice become victim to this university's impeccably waxed floors, the second time far more embarrassing than the first given the fact that I was in the lobby of the library and fell like, ON this woman with vibrant blue eyeliner who made a bigger deal of my wiping out than I did. Red-faced I tromped down the stairs to hide on the ground floor of the library and of course, my back became aggravated once again. Then I thought "duh, you just took the digger of a lifetime, no wonder your freakin' back hurts. How many times a day do you fall? At least once, right? Well there you have it." I'm really glad I don't have some tragic disease, but sometimes I do wonder if my inherent klutziness will prove near-fatal. I hope not!!

Of course I did have these babies on. Perhaps I will wear hiking boots to the dinner party...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Yes We Can

Holy.Crap. I hadn't seen this. A lot of people will probably mock this video for a billion reasons.: it's unrealistic, it's rehearsed, they don't like Obama for a million valid (just cause I like him doesn't mean I expect everyone else to!) and invalid reasons alike...and I know I'm biased because this is probably the first politician in which I've ever believed (to the point where Jam was like "you should seriously work for the Obama campaign. I know you don't have time, but seriously..." ) but watch the video and try not to be inspired. Try. TRY!

For the original speech, not remixed, click here

The Great Unknown

The other night to help me fall asleep, I was trying to come up with things that not many people (if anyone) knew about me. Not like, dark, depressing, or freakish things. Just like little factoids that are slightly amusing. I've come up with five. They're pretty random, and I'm pretty bored so here they are.

1. I once ate a raw clam to impress two guys. One I was dating, one I thought was hot. LOL, so wrong. I don't think it really worked, but now I can say casually, "yes, I have eaten a raw clam, yes it did taste like the sea. Refreshing!" I have since learned an easier way to impress a man - tackle him in a lounge, make out with him the whole night, and claim him as your own. It's lasted nearly three years, LOL, which is more than I can say for the two-month mistake that was the above!

2. When I was a kid I once wrapped my entire body in medical tape. I don't know why. I just started to and then I couldn't stop. Of course when I had covered everything but my head I just sort of looked in the mirror, thought "cool" and then ripped it all off. Why? I don't know. Probably just more bored than I am now.

3. The most fun I had doing my science project was NOT studying the microscopic effects of pool water on hair. Hell now. It was stabbing my finger with a pin, squeezing blood onto a glass slide and watching the cells slowly clot under the microscope. It was awesome.

4. The only parts of my body that truly piss me off are my thighs. This is no great secret. The secret is that when I'm looking in the mirror, whether in a department store dressing room or in the privacy of my own home, I will squish all the inner thigh fat together and like, move it around to the back. Then I'll think "if I can only get my thighs to look like this (squish thigh fat to back of leg) then I would be totally satisfied." Normally I think people who do this, and are totally serious, are kind of sad. And I think it's actually kind of sad that I do it. I wish I could be one of those people who totally loved myself as I am. Although then I might be really annoying. Besides, have I ever truly done anything about my thigh fat? Um, No. I let it hang.

5. Sometimes, at work or school, I will go to the ladies room just so I can have 5 minutes of peace and quiet. I admit it. I wipe down the seat (yeah ok it's kind of gross, but the doctor on Oprah said that whole "if you sit you'll catch something" is a myth unless the seat is wet. ew ew ew. anyways) and just sit there. Sometimes I'll even close my eyes for a few. Not like a suspiciously long time, but just long enough so that I no longer hear the drone of my coworkers or the idiotic buzz of undergraduates who don't even remember the Hubble Telescope because they were too young!

Well that's it for me on this dull Monday morning. My coworkers are staring at my typing. Time for a bathroom break.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Movies again!

After doing my little movie analysis I decided that in terms of viewing, I am sorely lacking in the old movie category. I think that (maybe) for a person my age I've done pretty well with some of the older "classics" but I still have a lot to see. This weekend's snowy weather has made me want to hunker down with some oldies and craft. Of course I have a pile of work to do and my room is disgusting (it needs to be vacuumed something fierce) but I am determined to have a "fun day" tomorrow (a day in which I do nothing responsible or school- or work-related) with perhaps a sewing machine and lots of tea.

Here's what I picked up at the library: All About Eve, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Wuthering Heights (1939), The Apartment, and though I've seen it a million times The African Queen. Yay! I am contemplating a Netflix subscription so I can really start to fill in the gaps in my movie knowledge, though you really can't beat the library and how it's free.

Sigh. Back to Biology. Wasps. Ugh*

*even though I am bitter about bio and wasps (perhaps because a bee that looked very much like the one above stung me 5 times on the bottom of the foot when I was a kid?), check out this guy's photos. I found the pic above here, and the rest of his photos are amazing! I guess that's why I'm truly a scientists; while I hate the professor studying them, and I hate reading about all the boring sh*t they do, I look at these pictures and still marvel and the wonder of wasps and all of their bug friends. Cool.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Photo Contest!

Dear Graduate Student:

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and the School of Engineering are accepting submissions for the 2nd annual Graduate Student Life Photo Contest. The contest is open to all arts, sciences, and engineering graduate students, who are invited to submit photos they have taken which convey graduate student life.

I wonder if they had this sort of thing in mind? Maybe I should enter this photo, though it's nearly a year old and title it

"Life at Graduate School: The Point at Which I Realized That is Was Breaking My Willpower, Sucking Out My Soul and Replacing It in My Body with A Black Cloud of Doom, Making Me An Insomniac, Making Me Question My Intelligence, and Still Costing Me $50,000"

Hmm. I don't think I would win.
Ah well.
The good news? The last time graduate school did that (above) to me, was the day I took this picture. April 27, 2007. Because I am a badass now and I don't let it make me cry. Duh.

Hell Piss Boring

Work is killing my soul today. KILLING.SOUL.MY. UGH!

It's probably because everyone was in a foul mood and not speaking. Clearly I missed something while at class yesterday. Weird. I mean, I don't really care. I'm sure at least one of my coworker's wants me to care and ask about it. I've got other fish to fry, though, b*tches!

Hmm. So the highlight of my day has been Rachel sending me a dinosaur cartoon. That and having Jamaal demand an MS Paint depiction of someone, which was rather hilarious. Other than that it's been a drag. I called the optometrist 3 times and got all pissy that he didn't pick up, thinking as I listened to his voicemail a 3rd time "jerk, you're only closed on Wednesdays.....wait a sec....Oh." I felt *dumb*

What else what else.

Well. Today is an exciting week because I have no school on Thursday. Hooray! I am hoping to get some serious work done because then I could do fun things over the weekend! I'm not sure what, but I do have a Red Sox Knitting swap to see to, two wedding gifts and a birthday quilt I should be working on. There's always crafting. Though my true secret desire is to watch movies. All weekend. How lazy is that??!

Oh yes - so I was right about the vag-fearing professor. I am starting to believe he hates more than the word "vagina" it seems he dislikes most of those who possess one, me in particular. I got my email to him read aloud in class (the one where I said that WD Hamilton was a genius but perhaps crazy since his last wishes were to have his body brought to Brazil, laid out in the forest in such a way that it would serve as fodder for the dung beetles of the Amazon) then was told that my calling Hamilton crazy was incredibly offensive because without Hamilton we wouldn't have xyz theories, blah blah blah blah. He was on a roll so I interrupted him. He may not like me, but dammit, he will listen to my defense. I said "Oh you misunderstood my email (which btw was like, two sentences!) completely, I was not referring to WD Hamilton as a whole when I called him crazy, nor was I arguing the fact that he was a genius, because clearly, he is. Instead, I was suggesting that the way in which he wanted his body disposed was a little unusual and I couldn't personally decide if that was really cool of him, or crazy, which is why I concluded my email with "it's something to think about." He just sat there and shook his head back and forth like I was wrong. ABOUT MY OWN DAMN OPINION!! Ugh, this guy is such a d*ckhead! My God! Then he proceeded to call me "you" throughout the whole class while he referred to everyone by name. And there are 10 of us in the class, so it's not like he doesn't know my name. Never have I encountered anyone quite so offensive or disrespectful, though my stats prof from Smith comes close, though at least she wasn't a misogynistic bastard, you know? I mean this guy pissed me off with his blatant sexist teaching methods last semester, but I thought "hey, Al, you're being a bit sensitive, why don't you give this guy another chance?" hence the Hamilton joke....

You wanna know something secret though? It's kind of satisfying knowing he spent a good chunk of the weekend stressing about my email (so he says. He lies though.) I hope he did. I hope it bugs him to see me in class staring at him. Tee hee. I hope I can find him when I'm accepting my diploma. I might wink at him. Because now I'm so past the anger stage where I would've wanted to flip him off, or burn the book that he edited (which he handed out to us for free in class yesterday. Oh, be still my heart, Phil, you shouldn't have). Ha. Jerkstore. NEVER MESS WITH A SMITHIE! GRRR! Ok, well at the very least, don't be a sexist prick. We don't like that, and it will come back to bite you in the ass. He'll get bit. He will. Hmm. Or maybe his bees will all turn on him at once? That would be even worse, though almost poetic.

Sigh. I should get back to work. Look at me here, wishing bad things on people!!! I was going to give up bad thoughts for Lent too. Too late. Eh well.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


So Jam picked me up at the bus stop yesterday, a real treat. We chatted all the way back to his apartment. He parked the car and we walked upstairs. He said "go get your present, it's on the bed."
My Valentine's present, to make up for the flowers. It's a box of soaps from Lush that smell so ridiculously delicious, I wanted to bathe that very moment.
I felt like kind of a jerk for complaining about the flowers. Except for the fact that someone is enjoying them right now and it's soooo funny how they have someone else's flowers blah blah. Ha. They'll never have my soap. And because of that, they'll probably never smell as good either.
Thank you Jamaaaaaaal :D

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Note About Movies followed by a Recommendation

So I saw that AOL had a link to their Top 25 Romance Movie. Naturally being an ENORMOUS sap I had to check out their ratings. Actually I mostly I got the names of some older films that I have to check out as well.

They start their list with #25 Sleepless in Seattle. Love that movie! Then there's The Notebook. Honestly, sometimes I don't even watch the end. Because at heart, I am a teen girl, LOL. 22 is Amelie, another favorite of mine. I love foreign films in general and I love the quirkiness of Amelie, though I do love Audrey Tautou's performance in a much stranger, darker not really love but sort of love story, Dirty Pretty Things. 20. Jerry Maguire. Tom Cruise. Heh. 18. Atonement. Which was amazing(ly sad). Amazing though. Good stuff. Not a light fluffy romance though. 17. Lady and the Tramp. Awrrr. 15. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind a movie I saw but don't remember but remembered that I quite liked it. Hmm, maybe I should see it again. 11. The Princess Bride. So I heard ALL about this movie and how it was great and funny blah blah BLAH and refused to see it. Then in college I saw it during a movie weekend my house had. And I learned it IS funny and pretty great! "The six-fingered man!" 10. Ghost. It made me want to learn to make clay vases for like, 5 minutes. 7. Moonstruck. I.Love.This.Movie. *smack* SNAP OUT OF IT. Plus having been to the Met a couple times helps, you get a feel for everything that's happening. Plus the movie is hands down ridiculous and hardly believable: "He took my hand! He took my bride!" eh well, still love it. 6. The Way We Were. ha ha about this AOL says "Because she wants it to work out so badly, so do we" Oh how true, because Hubell is such a little bastard (ok not always. but like 50% of the time!). 5. Gone With The Wind. Ahh the so un-PC classic that is one of my favorite all-time movies. "Scarlett, you need to be kissed. Often, and by someone who knows how." Sign me up, Rhett!!! 4. An Affair to Remember. Cary.Grant. OMG. "Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories...we've already missed the spring." "If you can paint, I can walk, anything can happen, don't you think?" Tissues please??! Seriously though, I was thinking about the beauty of this movie the other day - it's the subtlety. Sure I love to see people rolling in the sheets every once in a while, heh, but this movie wasn't about that. The romance seemed truer because it wasn't in your face...the scene where the characters are on the stairwell on the ship and all you see are their legs? Love it. 3. Wuthering Heights. Haven't seen this '39 version, saw the Ralph Fiennes one (ugh) and the PBS one (good). It's dark, it's twisted, it's perverse, I LOVE IT. 2. Titanic. Which was awesome. In 1997. Now I think of it and kind of laugh. Oh well. Leo and Kate. 1. Casablanca. LOVED IT when I finally saw it in 11th grade. Oh classic. Ingrid Bergman can do no wrong in my eyes as it is (Notorious, Spellbound, Anastasia, Inn of the Sixth Happiness) and this film is IT.

So all these are great and all, some even freakin' brilliant, but then I was like "wait. if we are doing romance, and including sappy favorites such as Titanic and The Notebook, where is my Meryl Streep representation? Where is Out of Africa, one of the most romantic movies I've ever seen where Robert Redford washes her hair on the banks of the Mara with hippos in the background? WHERE IS IT?

Have no fear, they have a Fan Favorites list. Excellent.
25. Love Actually. How cute. 24. Somewhere in Time. THANK YOU. This is so cheesy, but it's a classic. Christopher Reeve in all his glory and Jane Seymour looking hot and weird time travel? YES. 23. When Harry Met Sally. I love this movie, even if the Billy Crystal sex scene creeps me out. The end rocks though. 21. To Catch a Thief. Ah Cary Grant again, and Grace Kelly. And Alfred Hitchcock! Fabulous. Oh that fireworks scene....19. Before Sunrise/Before Sunset. My friend told me about these movies and how they were incredibly romantic and amazing because they were one long conversation *yawn* I thought. Then I saw them. And bought them. "Baby. You're gonna miss that plane" 17. Pretty Woman. Yup. Gotta love the hooker with the heart of gold line. 15. Dirty Dancing!!! She's like the wind.....though the last scene always left me wondering...if "Baby's going to Mount Holyoke in the fall" where does that leave Johnny? Ahh if she had only chosen Smith...11. Out of Africa. THANK YOU PEOPLE. I do think this is my favorite movie ever, and it is not because my dear friend David Livingstone Otieno makes a split-second appearance as an extra. Or because I've been to Kenya twice, and am deeply and spiritually in love with the place and its people (ok it is kind of why I love this movie) This movie is plain and simple beautiful for so many reasons, cinematically, musically....and as my friend pointed out once the beauty in it is that the love Karen has for Denys is the romantic love, but her love for Farah, is the true love, and while I totally bawl during Denys's funeral scene, it is the moment she tells Farah they must part that really gets me. Sigh. 9. The African Queen!!!!! I adore this movie. I adore Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, and they make such a pair in this film. 7. Now Voyager. Never has an eyebrow wax made such a profound difference in a woman's life. "Don't let's ask for the moon, we have the stars" Oh honey. 6. The Bridges of Madison County. Yes, people mock it. I don't care. I love it. Robert paints a nice picture of Africa when asked about his favorite place: Well, it's the obvious choice, but I think I'd have to say Africa. It's another world. Not just the people and the cultures but the land, the colors you see at dawns and dusks -- and the life there. It charges every molecule of air. It's tangible--the moment to moment of life and death, the cohabitation of man and beast, of beast and beast, who'll survive, who won't--and there's no judgment about it. No right or wrong or impose morality. It's just life. It's a voyeur's paradise. 5. Sliding Doors. This is such a great and random movie. Heh. "Remember what the Monty Python boys say: No one expects the Spanish Inquisition." 4. The Sound of Music. As Amy once said "This movie has everything! Singing, Nazis, Music, Nazis, Nuns, Nazis, Romance....Nazis!!!!!" Even though I know they backlit the gazebo scene because Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer were giggling, it still makes me swoony. Ha, and I hated that scene as a kid, funny.

So I'm continuing this post from the LimoLiner. Believe it. Ok, so maybe you don't know what exactly the LimoLiner is....we-ell it is a "luxury" bus and I only put "luxury" in quotes because a true luxury bus would have an on-board masseuse, LOL. Seriously though, this bus is amazing. In the almost 3 years Jam and I have been dating, I've tried every mode of BOS-NYC transportation available except flying - because seriously? WHY FLY? It's a pain in the ass as it is and by today's security standards, I imagine it takes a good chunk out of your day, showing up at least an hour early to the airport to get screened, delays, blah blah blah. I'm sure there are people who would contest that, but flying is just not for me. So that left me with 1. Greyhound bus, driving myself and taking the Metro North in (parking is difficult by Jam) 3. Regional Service Amtrak 4. Acela Express. I've tried them all, and frankly, they all suck. Greyhound, cheap super-cheap but super slow, crowded, cramped, uncomfortable, and frankly, unsanitary. Driving myself? Awesome, but increasingly expensive given the price of gas, I worry about leaving my car at the Metro North (though most stations are in rich white neighborhoods, so it's not like my Subaru amidst the flock of BMW's, Jags and Mercedes will be jacked, LOL. I also get drowsy at the wheel. No good. As far as Amtrak goes, it's over-priced, especially compared to the rest of the nation, which is annoying, it's rarely on time, it's only slightly more comfortable than the train, and someone obnoxious still sits with me....all of this frustration led me somewhere good though.

The LimoLiner.

So the LimoLiner is great, and actually quite luxurious in comparison to other modes of transportation. It IS $89 each way but here is what you get: an assigned seat, which, if you plan far enough ahead, could be a single seat, leather reclining seats (ahhh), a meal, drink, snacks and magazines, a power outlet (my phone and computer are both charging right now), a movie or two, a CLEAN bathroom, and a ride without any dumb rest area stops that eat up all your time because the 400 lb man just had to wait in the Burger King line and everyone on the bus is waiting for him to come back so we can leave (this has happened to me AND Jamaal). Oh yeah, there's that whole wireless internet connection deal. Awesome. I'm actually supposed to be writing a paper right now, hee, but I felt the need to write about this instead so other people can enjoy their Boston/New York experience.
*the woman across the aisle is making quite a show of typing faster than me. Ok, so there are annoying people on this bus, they're everywhere! At least she's quiet!!*

Here is a busted pic of me on the LimoLiner. Sexy. You know you love it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Day After

So Valentine's Day was kind of sucky - ha and not for all the cliche reasons, either, LOL. Not like "Oh I'm single and everyone around me has someone and is getting presents" or anything - though Jamaal, my love, did send flowers, but to the wrong office. They are sadly long gone and I was very bitter. I mean the poor guy tried, absolutely, but I was bitter that they went somewhere that was pretty much the point of no return. I handled it not maturely either, LOL, sighing as I saw women carrying their roses and proFlowers boxes on the commuter rail, thinking about some jerk down the street who has MY FLOWERS on their desk. RRR". Sigh. Though I must be grateful, Grandma and Grandpa did send me $10 in a card, which is totally awesome. I guess a lot of people might scoff at $10 in this day and age, but to me money is money, and 10 bucks is gonna cover my eyebrow wax today, so I was grateful.

Anywho, so Valentine's Day blew, but I couldn't exact fill this space with yet another "I hate my teacher/my life/my school/my job post" because that would suck. Instead, I am going to give you something positive about a professor. I'm taking Plant Physiology (snooze, I know!) and the professor is quirky as hell. I love it. I find him hilarious, and not in the "oh you're a plant biologist who is so nerdy and awkward that stuff you don't mean to be funny actually is" This guy is legit funny as hell. So funny I started writing down quotes. Here you go (and if you had a crap Valentine's Day or just a crap Thursday in general, hopefully this'll be funny):

"Sure we could probably control the planet!!! Push it towards the sun, then pull it away....then we'll make a critical mistake and throw it off it's axis and go spinning out of control through space.....BYE!! See you out at Alpha Centauri!!!!!" *dead silence from class* "We-ell. OK. Got a little too excited about that."

"The water moves through the apoplast, but is then hindered by the Casparian strip. Or band. You know some people say band.....this is Valentine's Day, we will say STRIP!!"

"So trees, actually, they expand at night. Many did not believe this, but Native Americans, THEY knew!!! Tie an enemy to a tree at daytime and they'll be dead by night. The tree kills them... slowly...botanically"

"So you should put your Valentine Flowers (boooooo) in a 50% water 50% sprite solution because flowers love the sugar. I mean you could use that stuff they give you. Hey? Have you ever tasted those food crystals they give you with cut flowers? You know, cut the packet open, lick your finger, dip it in the powder and taste it? You know, the old cocaine trick? Yeah, well that powder taste like sweet tarts!!! Cause of the sugar!!!"

Or maybe the slightly dangerous blue dye?

I decided yesterday that regardless of the grade I receive in this class, even if it's the one that keeps me from graduating, this professor is going to get a rave review!!

Happy Friday peeps.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Very Much Like a Bad Dream

Did I ever post about my Animal Behavior professor?? Oh that's right, I have. Anyways, he's back in my life I'm sorry to say. He's part of a team that's teaching my seminar and not only am I still bitter about 1. his misogynistic teaching style 2. the fact that it's his class that kept me from having an enjoyable semester and 3. the fact that I think he's an assh0le, but he's also assigned us over 100 pages of reading for Tuesday's class. Now normally 100 pages is no big deal to me, hell I read that in a book during an afternoon commute. But this is peer-reviewed scientific reading, centered around the soporific subject of kin-recognition systems and genetic reasoning for altruistic behavior....snooooooooooooooooze. What's more is that I have to write my response before I leave for New York, because on the way to/from NYC, I have to study for an exam on Tuesday. We're allowed one "pass" on a paper throughout the semester, and I can't tell you how tempted I am to use this week as my pass. Three things though: 1. the semester might get worse and there may be a point where I really need to skip out 2. I like the people doing the class presentation on Tuesday and I know this professor is going to be totally hard on them in a way that this week's professor was just NOT hard on me and my partner, so I want to help them out by giving them feedback that they could use for a presentation and 3. I want to really shove it up this guy's ass. FAR.UP.HIS.ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Not doing the paper would be too easy. I have to do it. I have to fit it in somewhere in this tangle of studying plants, getting a hair cut, going to the dentist, getting my nails done, taking a conference call, getting my annual review. I will write this paper. I will. And it will be f*cking brilliant. And a certain professor won't have a choice but to accept the fact that I'm smarter than he thought I was. RRRRrraaaa! Good thing I took care of Valentine's business last weekend!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Miserable Cities

So Forbes is out with it's list of most miserable cities, judged on an assortment of different criteria. Honestly I'm surprised Boston didn't get put on there since I hear a lot of complaints about it. I still can't get over one complaint I heard about a year ago from someone who had migrated from the East Coast to Chicago. She said "Oh my God, you Bostonians are all so neurotic. You're rushing and pushing and shoving and you never slow down and enjoy life." Ha we're rushing so we can fit all of life's pleasures into the short time we have, so we don't miss out. 'Cause you never know when an event/happening/celebrating may occur again. Need I bring up the 86-year hiatus the Red Sox took from winning the World Series?!
I guess the thing is that Forbes made their own Misery Measure based upon the Misery Index and Misery Score to judge/calculate these "miserable" cities based on commute time, crime, unemployment, taxes, etc. More of an internal measure rather than an outside judgment - I guess Bostonians are pretty ok then, but I still wonder what our score would be. Of course there are always outliers that could be bringing you the one in my office today. Heh. If you calculated her into the mix, we'd probably be the #1 most miserable city. HA!
Happy Tuesday Peeps.

Monday, February 11, 2008

My Blake Incacerated!

Amy Amy Amy
Amy Winehouse
There's so much I could say about our dear Amy and her mid-rehab performance telecast at last night Grammy's....but I think I might be brief on this one.

So word on the street is that people don't think Amy deserved a Grammy because she's "crazy" or a "mess" (like Natalie Cole, who, as Jamaal informed me, is no stranger to drugs herself - though perhaps that's why she said what she did). A lot of people are seeing her grammy wins as rewards for bad behavior. While I understand that train of thought here's my deal: she got the grammy awards cause she's a good singer (when not under the influence). Her album busted into mainstream and was catchy without being obnoxious, eclectic and soulful. It rocked. So she got awards. Cause she deserved them. Ok she's a HOT MESS...true...but how many other stars are we giving awards to who are closet drunks are mainlining heroin or snorting coke at the after parties? You can't hate on Amy just because she wears her problems on her sleeve.

That being said, stay in rehab honey. We'd like your talent around for a while. And your teeth, for that matter.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Doing Nothing

Sigh. I got sooooo distracted by the internet....I thought I was going to have this extremely productive weekend too. Ah well. It all started when I signed on to look for some bio articles and have instead sat here for the last hour and tooled around on flickr. I did find an old bruise photo. I guess I didn't really get how grotesque it was. Probably because it was on me and I could never really get a good look at it. I can't believe it's finally gone either. I'm trying to get back to donating platelets but I think that the staff at the donor center and I are collectively freaked out by the whole experience. I know I have a stellar count and all but I wouldn't be surprised if the apheresis techs never want to touch me again. Eh. We'll see. Maybe week after next I'll take a stroll over there and see what we can set up....

Friday, February 08, 2008

Other People's Procrastination

Soooo yet again I have another group project to accomplish for school. I figured by the time a biology major was in grad school group work would be a thing of the past, but I have more at Tufts than I ever had a Smith! It's crazy! Maybe it's the teaching style? Not sure. Anyways, I like to nip group projects in the bud. Get in, get 'em done, get out, so I figured if I was to run class on Tuesday afternoon with my partner, we'd meet this afternoon or maybe tomorrow and get the slides finished, firm up our discussion angles, then forget about everything til Tuesday.

Oh heck no.

Instead I get an email saying that the only time my partner has free is "9am-12pm Monday." This girl doesn't work, what the hell is she doing this weekend? I was irritated by this response at first, I won't lie, probably because of the week ahead which includes a visit to the dentist, the ophthalmologist, a conference call and a big deadline, as well as the schoolwork bit, then going to NYC on Saturday. Craziness! I finally concluded that I'd just have to meet with her on Monday, and would be required to burn a personal day because I had to go to the eye doctor's anyway. Whatev. So the irritation persisted until it dawned on me - because I'm running the discussion on Tuesday, I don't have to write a paper for class, and I've already done the reading. Which leaves me with the reading and paper for Thursday's class (always a pleasure because it's AWESOME -developing sustainable sexy) and some studying for a test on February 19th (because we must plan) I sat at my desk for a minute mulling this over, then wanted to do a backflip. Why? For the first time in forever, during a weekend, I will have FREE TIME!!!!!!!!


WHAT TO DO?!!?!????!?!?!??!?!?!!!!!

Naturally the list is long, and I know I won't be able to do half the stuff on it, but the possibility is sooo seductive right now. One thing that must be done and cannot be avoided is a major cleaning of my room. On the surface it's much more organized than normal, but deep down, it's kind of gross. Dusty and such. Plus the bird cages needed to be sterilized practically. Oh - did I mention that Lucy's brush with death is over? Yeah! I practically had her little birdie memorial written for this blog, but she decided to live and has been back to her mischievous and destructive ways for a week and a half now. I know she won't live as long as my other birds because she still has fatty tumors, but they've regressed a bit for the time being and I couldn't be more delighted because watching her suffer was so sad. I've been looking at some ways to help with the tumors and hopefully we'll be working on those from now on (mandatory outside the cage playtime, for one. which makes me nervous because Lucy overdoes everything. For example, when I let her out of her cage, she doesn't just hang out like Lily, she does like, a zillion suicidal loops around the room then hits a wall, falls, gets up, and flies up to a curtain road out of reach and mocks me. Not cool.) So yes, clean up it is, followed by some filing and taxes, of course. Then I think I'll update my flickr account. Miraculously I am keeping up with the 365 day challenge 100%, I'm just a month behind on flickr! Then I have to be sure to send the results of this year's Focus on Feeders (a little backyard bird count, super fun) to Mass Audubon. There'll be laundry and exercise too. I still think this might leave me with almost a whole Sunday free. I'm giddy thinking about it. I'll have to finish the wee sweater I'm making for Jam's coworker's baby (a couple years ago everyone was having boys, now I'm inundated with girls!) and I think starting wedding gifts may be in order too. I've designed two wedding cross stitch samplers that will be pillows when they're finished. They're probably going to be two of the most amazing things I've ever cross stitched and I'm pleased about this because they're for really special people :) yay! Also, a certain person told me that if I spend all this time making her bday gift and don' t focus on school and/or make myself ill doing it she will be really mad. Tee hee, EE you can't get mad if I use an unexpected bonus free day to get started, can you?

Sigh. I've really rambled in this post, forgive me. I just haven't felt carefree in a long while. I kind of love it. It's ironic too, cause I still have a crapload of school stuff too!!

Oh, and an update. I'm also very happy because I've now heard from all three of my Kenyan friends who are no longer on staff at the study abroad program. I knew the staffers were safe, but worried a great deal about Maraka, Mboya and Salaash. Maraka was the one person I hadn't heard from, but out of everyone, he's actually the one I'd worry about the least. Ahem, this is Maraka:
Ok no, he doesn't normally pack an AK-47. Usually he is more like this:
Which is still somewhat intimidating. Basically he is this hulking Turkana man who doesn't take bullsh*t. So I wouldn't mess with him, but given Kenya's tenuous state, it seemed no one was safe. Naturally it was a relief to hear from him, and he actually didn't ask me for money, LOL, not like the other two! Ah well, what can you do? Maraka is the only one that has a steady job, but he told me he had to move his family out closer to him because they were in Northern Kenya, where the status quo is generally dodgy, not counting election strife. He also has to send his nephews to school. I feel bad for him because like the 60% of the population that's employed (unemployment in Kenya, last I checked was around 40% could be worse now) he has these immense responsibilities which include supporting the rest of his family. He tells me this is why he hasn't married......although sometimes I wonder what he's holding out for, because his email said "call me any time love, maraka" rrrrrrright. LOL. Luckily this does not threaten Jamaal. Perhaps the 7,180.5 miles between here and Kenya helps, LOL. My point: my "people" (yes I think of them as my people) are safe. Thank goodness.

Well I've rambled on enough. I think I might check and see if my boss is around. Maybe sneak out early. There's a new palm pilot waiting for me at home, just wanting to organize my life. yay!

Happy weekend all.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

*so irritating*

The way my new coworker clears her throat drives me absolutely insane. And she clears it every 5 minutes. She starts out with the low rumble that goes progressively higher til she ends the process with this high-pitched 'mmmmmm' It almost sounds disapproving. Sometimes I want to offer her a cough drop. Or a spittoon. Just get it up and out already.

oooh I am such a bad person...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

An Energizing Meme

Ok so maybe it won't be particularly energizing, but I'm hoping that it will get the internet out of my system and I'll be able to write my response paper!!

1. How old will you turn in 2008?
The big 26

2. Do you think you'll be married by then?
ha ha nope and I don't think, I know, lol.

3. What do you look forward to most in the next 3 months?
Let's see....I'm looking forward to getting one step closer the finishing grad school, visiting Ja
m in NY, taking the day off on my bday and doing something really fun with Amy, seeing friends and family etc. Oh, yeah, and Jam and I are celebrating 3 years together at the end of March and we *might* go away. That'd be fun.

4. Do you like to say "I told you so?"
No. I hate saying it cause I hate hearing it. I do think it though!

5. Who was the last person to call you?
An unknown # from the San Diego area code. sweet.

6. Do you prefer call or text?
Depends- if answering/asking quick question texting is better.

7. Do you have any pets?
1 cockatiel, 2 parakeets, 9 fish

8. What were you doing at 1:30 am?
Driving. Ugh.

9. What were you doing at 3:00 am?

10. When is the last time you saw your mum?
Um 10 minutes ago.

11. What is your mood?
Sleepy but pretty relaxed.

12. How many houses have you lived in?
3 Not counting semester abroad:
344 Union Street, Holbrook
Hubbard House, @ Smith
Deborah Road, here.

13. How many city/towns have you lived in?

14. Do you prefer shoes, socks or bare feet?
Bare feet whenever possible/allowed

15. Are you a social person?
I try to be at parties, out and about, but am content being solitary every so often

16. What was the last thing you ate?

17. What's your favorite color?
I think green...

18. What are you doing for your next birthday?
NOT WORKING. Beyond that not sure, as the Spanish art exhibit won't be at the museum yet. We'll see...

19. What is your favorite TV show?

Shows: Lost, Grey's Anatomy, ANTM, Pushing Daisies, Ugly Betty, Gossip Girl

20. What kind of jelly do you like on your PB & J sandwich?

21. Do you like coffee?

22. What are you listening to?
Rilo Kiley's "I Never" and Lily interjecting with a chirp

23. Do you have an iPod?
Yes, a (Product) Red Nano, I love it.

24. How do you feel about the last person you kissed?
Tee hee. Very good, it was Jamaal!!

25. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed?
Umm I guess mostly on the right.

26. Do you know how to play poker?

Not really!!

27. What are you thinking about right now?
How I really should be doing my response paper....

28. Any plans for this weekend?
SUPERBOWL SUNDAY IS TOMORROW! I am going to swing by to see my friend's new baby (even though I've seen her twice. Can't.get.enough. and then going to the g'rents cause they've got the biggest tv!

29. Have you cut your hair this week?
No but I wanted to.

30. Last picture you took?
Last night's daily pic. No no, it was with my cell at the library today, so I could remember the names of 2 books I saw that I thought my dad would really enjoy.

31. Are you a tease?
I don't think so, but ask Jamaal.

32. Have you ever been in an ambulance?
Not for a ride, just to see what kind of setup they had going on.

33. Do you prefer an ocean or pool?
Ocean, except for the pool that's right in my backyard :)

34. Do you smile often?
I try

35. What color are your bed sheets?
boring gray

36. What is your favorite thing to spend money on?
hahahhaha um clothes, shoes, nail polish, purses, and crafty stuff.

37. Do you wear any jewelry 24/7?
No, I have too many favorite things!

38. Have you heard a rumor about yourself this week?

ha ha I don't think so....

39. Who is the funniest person you know?
Amy, my sister, is pretty frickin' hilarious. I am lucky though because I know a LOT of funny people!

40. What happened to question #40?

You mean this one?

41. Where do you want to go to college?
Dude, I'm getting my second degree, I have no plans to go to another. Though secretly, if I ever want/decide to get it, I'd like to get a PhD from an Ivy. Cause I'm a snob like that.

42. Who was the last person to make you cry?
Dude, it was totally myself. I made myself cry like 4 times this week lol.

43. Do you shut off the water while you brush your teeth?


44. Do you wish you were with someone right now?
Of course, but it's better I'm not so I do my homework!!

45. Are you mad about anything?
errrrmmm.....let me think.....nope.

46. Last person to IM you?
Uhhhhh. Oh! It was Alex! Hi Alex!!!

47. What are you doing besides this?
Trying to stay awake again. Gonna go do some conservation biology.

perfect baby girl Alexa. 123 awrrrrr..

Friday, February 01, 2008

Why I haven't posted, eaten, slept, etc

My oldest friend in the world (on right, who would kill me for putting up this pic because she looks not so like herself and was nowhere near this heavy, only gaining 20 lbs with her pregnancy!!) had this beautiful baby girl on Tuesday. Doesn't she look fetching in the arms of her aunt? I believe that's an Austen quote, lol. She is beautiful and impossibly small and makes all the bad hectic tiredness in the world go away. Seriously, my sister and I sat for two hours in a small hospital room just to hang out with this little one. Of course this led to several past 12 am nights as I tried to finish the schoolwork I had put off for hospital visits. And seeing Atonement, ha ha.

Anyways, tonight my sister and I are having a big-ish party at our house and there's a ton to do here at work before I go home and do a ton more to set up. Things are looking a bit brighter this week though, and even my birdie Lucy has taken a turn for the better, now playing, singing, eating and trying to kill her mate Charlie Brown by preening him innocently and then attacking him. She's practically back to normal, a literal miracle in the world of bird sickness. I never would have predicted that! Who would've thought?!

Sigh. There is nothing like a fresh new baby to put life in perspective...and to have someone knew to knit for!!!!