Thursday, November 30, 2006

How to go out...

I feel like I should have some special post for the LAST. DAY. OF. NABLOPOMO! But I don't.

I already feel sad that I won't have a post to read everyday (at least from the participants whose blogs I read). I imagine on certain days I'll miss scrambling to find something to write about.

But on days like today, with a migraine on its way (numb hands, funny vision) I'm happy that I won't have to blog.

For right now though, know that I am not quitting the blog (as far as I can see).
Oh, and thanks for your advice about the credit card. I'm hesitant to cancel it for two reasons:
1)I know a cancelled card isn't the best on a credit report...
2)It is my card with the highest limit....(about 3 times higher than any of my others) and so I feel like I should keep it around in case of emergency... I'm not sure yet - but either way, thanks for giving me something to chew on.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I absolutely HATE dealing with credit card customer service people. I am frustrated.

One of my credit cards had a late payment last month and so I got charged $20 for it (um, yeah - does that seem a little steep? I wouldn't know, but it seems steep to me). I have NEVER been late on a payment and had the card for YEARS. I called them up a few weeks ago, explained that it had to be the fault of the mail - that I was a long time customer who always paid in full and never had been late. They agreed to reverse the charge but my credit history will forever be tainted by my one late payment (I'm not too worried about that anyway - oh well). So, I paid my next bill (subtracting the now reversed late payment) ON TIME (like usual).

I just got my next bill and it shows that I have a finance charge because I didn't pay in full. BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T REVERSE THE LATE CHARGE. I talked to a manager tonight and he seemed to think I must be stupid - I must be the kind of person who doesn't pay bills on time and expects the fee to be reversed. I explained that if he looked at my history I had never once been late and it must have been the USPS that caused it. AND that a previous lady HAD told me she'd reverse the payment. He got all smug and assy and told me I should have paid my bill in full (me interrupting "I DID.") and that I have other payment options -it seems there is blatant discrimination against sending real mail ("and please leave 7-10 days for it to get here on time" Like I don't know that). I HATED HIM. So now I am never using the card again. Never. And I'm going to write a mean email to someone to vent some of this rage.

I apologize for the angry nature of this post but that's how I feel and probably will for the next few hours of the day that I'm awake.

Last day of NaBloPoMo tomorrow...ya'll going to miss me?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cocoa and sewage...

Sometimes I forget that I live in Chicago. I'll be walking down the street, idly looking around and I'll suddenly see a big hulking thing in the distance and think, what the hell is that? Halfway through the thought I'll snap out of it, metaphorically smack myself and think, "you DUMBASS. That's the Sears Tower." Yeah. I'm smart.

But I do love this city. I love that on certain days, if the wind is just right, you can smell the roasting beans and Chicago smells like brownies or hot cocoa. I love public transportation (OK, specifically of the L variety. I don't love the bus). I love the access to plays, symphony, art, animals and just all around culture. I love the views (at almost all times).

Of course, there are things I don't love. Like when you walk down a street and there a random pocket of sewage smell. Or when you get on an L train that smells dirty...or like pee. I don't love huge crowds...although I can handle some crowding.

It is interesting the most of my impressions of the city are through my nose...huh....

***Totally unrelated: Do you ever just look in the mirror and think, Wow, I am sloppy? For the past 5+ weeks I just have looked and felt sloppy. I think this sloppy feeling is in direct correlation with the length of my hair. The longer it gets, the less I do with it, the sloppier it looks. I remember, back in the good old days, I used to blow dry every day...a year ago. Now I just let it go...I have become a sloppy student. IThis may also be due to my total lack of concern as far as work clothes go - I found a grease stain on my sweatshirt (noticeable - on the boob) last Friday...and yet I wear that sweatshirt to work everyday still. Sloppy.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Content and dreaming I have been...

A mish-mosh of things today...

When my nose runs, I frequently employ a sort of crude method for keeping the snot in its correct place (ie in a kleenex). Basically I shove a kleenex in my nostril and just let it hang there. I think more people do this than admit it (and I mean, I only do it in private or with my family and friends around). And if you don't do it, then you are missing out on a perfect nose-running combatant. You should try it before you knock it.

Today I saw a lady with a piece of plastic hanging from her nostril. At first I was sure I must be mistaken and so, talked myself out of what I had seen. But I somehow passed the same lady again, and there again was the plastic (a good 5-10 minutes later). from a delivered newspaper. It was strange...and I couldn't help but wonder if she just liked things shoved up her nose or in fact, was preventing a nose run...

I went to the grocery store and managed to forget the two things I needed (soap and cottage cheese) and come away with things I didn't need (donuts). Sigh.

For some reason whenever I speak to "authority figures" I feel like crying. A month back when I was having problems with homework and I met with the prof to help me - felt like crying. Today, when asking my boss for fewer hours next quarter (something that I knew wouldn't be a problem - he always says "You're a student first, an employee second") I felt like crying. Both were possibly the kindest, gentlest authority figures I've known in the recent past and yet...cry-y. Makes NO sense. Don't worry, I did not cry in either case.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Watching Mona try to figure out how to get on to the mantel to eat my lovely tinsel tree. She is meowing every other second as some sort of plea to let her eat the tinsel tree. I'll let you all know if she ever uses her brain effectively and realizes that the speaker - to the radiator - to the mantel is a perfect access path. I feel like cat injury is in the making here....

And now I'll meme:

[ RED ]
1. Closest red thing to you? Red & gray striped socks

2. Has anyone ever cheated on you in a relationship? Errrm, my relationship past is quite limited and as far as I

3. Last thing to make you angry? Huh...I don't think I've been angry in a group I guess.

4. Are you a fan of romance? Well sure. I probably wouldn't be the best recipient of cheesy romantic gestures, but otherwise, yes.

5. Have you ever been in love? Mmm, not really.

6. Do you have a temper? Slow to ignite but long-lasting. I'm a grudge holder.

1. Closest green thing to you? The green lights in a Christmas strand - I'm a multi-colored girl all the way.

2. Do you care about the environment? Yeah.

3. Are you jealous of anyone right now? Nah.

4. Are you a lucky person? I can be. But I also have bad luck too (like everyone). It's a neutralizing thing.

5. Do you always want what you can't have? Sometimes yes.

6. Are you Irish? No I am not.

1. Last purple thing you saw? The purply pink lights in the strand of Christmas lights.

2. Like being treated to expensive things? Sure. Who doesn't?

3. Do you like mysterious things? I like mysterious a point. At some point you just want to know them, right?

4. Favourite type of chocolate? Dark, all the way.

5. Ever met anyone in royalty? No. And I think this question is phrased poorly. You're not IN royalty. You ARE royalty. So it should be: Ever met anyone royal? Right?

6. Are you creative? In ways. I like playing with paper and knitting and such. But I can't creatively cook at all.

7. Are you lonely? Sometimes, sure. Mostly no.

1. Closest yellow thing to you? A big yellow flashlight.

2. The happiest time(s) of your life? Holidays!

3. Favourite holiday? I like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween.

4. Are you a coward? Sure.

5. Do you burn or tan? Sun has no noticeable effect on me even after long periods of time.

6. Do you want children? No.

7. What makes you happy? Lots and lots.

[ BLUE ]
1. Closest blue thing to you? Box for a humidifier filter - set there to remind me to reorder.

2. Are you good at calming people down? I believe so - in the right situation.

3. Do you like the ocean? I think it is amazing to look at, fun to watch other people battle but not a place I want to be.

4. What was the last thing that made you cry? Hmmm, I don't remember, a movie maybe?

5. Are you a logical thinker? In some aspects - as far as logic problems go I tend to get frustrated and give up.

6. Can you sleep easily? My family would have you believe no (I can't FALL asleep easily). But in the right situation, yes.

7. Do you prefer the beach or the woods? Beach.

[ PINK ]
1. Closest pink thing to you? Boku's nose.

2. Do you like sweet things? Um, yes is an understatement. If it was healthy, I would eat sweets all day, every day. Donuts, cake, cookies, cupcakes, yes please!

3. Like play-fighting? I think everyone does.

4. Are you sensitive? Can be.

5. Do you like punk music? Not really.

6. What is your favourite flower? Iris!

7. Does someone have a crush on you? This is a silly question I think - usually if someone is crushing on you, you don't necessarily know.

1. Closest orange thing to you? The publish button on blogger.

2. Do you like to burn things? I don't mind burning a candle, but I don't get joy from burning things that shouldn't be burned.

3. Dress up for Halloween? No.

4. Are you usually a warm-hearted person? Eerrr, I want to say yes, but I think in some situations, no.

5. Do you prefer the single life or the security of a relationship? Isn't everyone going to just answer what their current predicament is?

6. What would your super power be? Two places at once.

1. Closest white thing to you? Kleenex.

2. Would you say you're innocent? I can be naive but I'm no innocent.

3. Always try to keep the peace? Generally, yes.

4. How do you imagine your wedding? One big, fun party.

5. Do you like to play in the snow? I don't mind a frolic in the snow or a sledding episode.

6. Are you afraid of going to the doctors or dentist? No, I got over that when I started going to the doctor every 3-4 months.

7. Do you have Attention Deficit Disorder(A.D.D)? No.


1. Closest black thing to you? The cap to a pen.

2. Ever enjoy hurting people? No.

3. Are you sophisticated or silly? Definitely silly. Although compared to some, my level of sophistication is OK.

5. Do you have a lot of secrets? Hmm, not really.

6. What is your favourite colour(s)? I like red a lot and I like blue.

7. Does the colour you wear affect your mood? I hope not, since most of my work clothes are really bland and neutral.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Day of cleaning...

I have been mindlessly cleaning this apartment all day now and haven't been thinking much (besides stuff like, hmm, it says don't mix cleaning products, does that mean if there is some accidentally left behind and a tiny bit mixes I'm going to inhale it and die?). When you spend all day not thinking, it's hard to think up real content for a post. Add to that the fact that my stomach has been acting up all afternoon (a normal reaction for me after Chinese food) and you have a pretty boring post in the works here.

It's been sort of amazingly awesome to just have a whole day to devote to the apartment. To not have to worry about a group project or homework. So happy! And right now the bathroom is fairly gleaming, my bedroom has finally had a floor cleaning and the kitchen table is noticeably wood!

Soon enough (next weekend? Part of this week?) I'll be pulling out all of the Christmas decorations and making it merry here...

Sorry for a fairly boring post. I think I'll probably meme you tomorrow...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Always a bridesmaid...

You know the saying...always a bridesmaid, never a bride. I briefly looked up the etymology of the phrase online and it comes from a song (Why Am I Always a Bridesmaid) and it's supposed to mean something along the lines of: Frequently second-best. I was totally sidetracked from my original intention for this post by the song (which I find hilarious), so I'll post the words at the very bottom and get back to it..

This next time around will be my fourth engagement as a bridesmaid. And I must say, I'm just as excited about it (if not more so - no offense other brides & grooms - but this is the friend I've had since we were 11...long time). I'm always a little confused by the people that complain about being a bridesmaid. How could you not be happy to be involved in such an important day for someone you love? (I know it happens...people get asked to be in weddings for people they aren't that close to. And obviously when that happens it sort of is an exceptional circumstance, so maybe a little complaining is OK).

It's not often that we get to celebrate in such a way - where we just take a day, get dressed up and celebrate two people (political side rant: in my opinion ANY two people who want a marriage should have one). So how could you complain about the thing? Sure, it costs quite a bit of money to be in a wedding, but what better way is there to spend your money than on your closest friends? None. none.

I'm fairly sure I'll be a bridesmaid again (There is every possibility that I will be a bridesmaid 4 more times yet...or 0). And for each of those times I'll be just as happy and honored as I am now.

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride? Quite happily, thanks....

And now, the song that sparked the saying:

Why am I always a bridesmaid,
Never the blushing bride?
Ding! Dong! Wedding bells
Always ring for other gals.
But one fine day -
Please let it be soon -
I shall wake up in the morning
On my own honeymoon.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

What's a Budgen?...

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays...any excuse to get together with family and eat delicious food is fine by me. Plus, this is one of my favorite times of year (weather-wise). So I hope your Thanksgiving is full of food and love.

I think for the rest of my life, I will always think of London during November. And especially on Thanksgiving. The first (and so far only) Thanksgiving I've spent without any family I was living abroad (in London) for a semester. I had 3 of my close friends visiting (one from her abroad program in Cork, Ireland and two from the US) and we decided to make a real meal. Surprisingly it all ended up being quite delicious (I still remember our mashed potatoes with fondness).

We had spent our day wandering around London and so, rather than actually cook a Turkey (which are hard to come by at your local Budgen's grocery store/convenience store) we bought a roast chicken. Canned gravy. Canned cranberry. Fresh mashed potatoes and homemade stuffing. And drinking all throughout the preparation. My English flatmates (3 actual, 6 in reality counting significant others) cleared out and my American flatmates (2) were not around. So the four of us just laughed and talked and had a real, thankful Thanksgiving.

To J, A and L (two of whom will probably never read this), we'll always have Thanksgiving in 20B Maynard....

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Anniversary...

Happy Anniversary to me! Today is the one year anniversary of my last day of work at the job that I hated. Hooray! Happy about that decision every single day.

I am quite brain-dead and exhausted so here is a list of things I am thankful for (in preparation for Thanksgiving):

My family (cats included, even fat old Allie)
My friends (who really are pretty much family)
My chance to go to school
My home
Chicago at Dusk
My new Christmas tree

Ok, I could go on forever, but it's about to get really flowery and cheesy...but I'm pretty much thankful for every day...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Three posts in one day....

It's a miracle.

Not a real post, just a little token of my love to all you HP fans out there...

Go ahead, eat it up.

And if you're a fan, and don't know about mugglenet, you should really check it out sometime...that's where I found your little present.

Some thoughts about NaBloPoMo...

I told you I would post twice today. I am HARDCORE. I've been thinking about blogs a lot lately because...well, I have to blog everyday....
  • The odds of winning one of the many, many wonderful prizes rises every day. I feel like people are dropping like flies.
  • And the fact that people are dropping like flies is not surprising to me. At first it was...but a lot of these people have far busier lives than I...I'm sure corralling kids is a lot trickier than say...sitting on the couch hating your group members. Either way, it's bully for me because I might actually win something fantastic.
  • And my last point for the evening is the unexpected size of my readership every day. It has not grown fantastically or anything, but it has been bigger than I ever have had before.* My average is around 45 visits a day. I don't think I know of more than 12ish people who openly read this blog. So who are you other people? Do I know you in real life? I have read many a blog that calls for the readers to "delurk" (you know, show yourselves openly) and they always fail miserably. So if you really want to stay anonymous, then post a comment AS anonymous and just tell me if you know me. I'm just curious in an almost purely statistical, nerdy way.
*Typing this made me realize that when I changed over my layout to blogger beta's new layout wizardy thingy I forgot to move over my site meter. So I lost quite a few days worth of data and therefore have no idea if people really are still reading this. I assume so...

PS - if you're one of the really techy blog readers who has a reader, my feed has changed with blogger moving to beta. It is now:
I think the old atom one will work for a time, but basically what is is doing is redirecting you to the one above...


Right now there is a marching band downstairs (on the street - I wonder if they are marching....I have no window) to celebrate the hopeful inclusion of the World's Largest Rubber Band Ball in the Guinness Book of World Records. That ball is downstairs in front of my building. I can now say I saw the World's Largest Rubber Band Ball (if it makes it in)...

The best part of it all is that the sponsor of the ball (yes, the ball has a corporate sponsor - I shit you not) was handing out very fun, rubber band ball circular calendars. And so, I now have one thing tacked to my cubicle.

I may blog again later. I just was astonished that the event (part of Chicago's Thanksgiving week festivities?) had a marching band.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Another sorry post...

I really like this meme, so thanks Starfish and Coffee!

1. Yourself: plain
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend: not
3. Your hair: long
4. Your mother: giggles
5. Your father: cool
6. Your favorite item: cats
7. Your dream last night: questionable
8. Your favorite drink: water
9. Your dream car: mine
10. The room you are in: favorite
11. Your ex: who?
12. Your fear: falling
13. What you want to be in 10 years: me
14. Who you hung out with last night: project
15. What you're not: spontaneous
16. Muffins: cupcakes!
17: One of your wish list items: Origami
18: Time: Fiveish
19. The last thing you did: unpacked
20. What you are wearing: clothes
21. Your favorite weather: chilly
22. Your favorite book: Harry
23. The last thing you ate: CareBear (ok, it's really two words, but so is fruit snack - i have no idea how to describe that in one word).
24. Your life: busy
25. Your mood: neutral
26. Your best friend (s): inspiring
27. What are you thinking about right now: Thanksgiving
28. Your car: delightful
29. What are you doing at the moment: relaxing
30. Your summer: short
31. Your relationship status: singleton
32. What is on your tv: addicts
33. What is the weather like: perfect
34. When is the last time you laughed: lunch

Easy enough and quick enough for even the scarcest blogger to complete.

I actually had real content planned for the day...but I just really like this meme!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday = no fun day...

Hey all. So, as predicted, my one group member has completely and entirely welched (did you know that this could also be welshed? And is therefore derogatory to the poor citizens of Wales?). I'm totally embroiled in my group project, doing 800 parts that weren't originally mine as well as fixing up my parts. Boooo. Therefore you'll have to be satisfied with this meme (randomly stolen from here, after a google search for "find a meme". I didn't even read all the questions...ok, I maybe read one of them...):

  2. It might be nice to have a FIRST house. So, assuming my first house is a fabulous, vintage (but refurbished) second house would be in....Florida. Or Arizona.
  4. First thing that popped into my head: my winter hat (see picture). I've had that hat for years now. I'm hoping to eventually have the skills (starting December 1) to make lots and lots of winter hats so that I have variety.
  6. can't remember at all. Maybe the new Dashboard CD (which I'm neutral about).
  8. Well it varies. When I have to work at 9, 7:20. When I have nowhere to be, I usually manage to sleep in until about 8 or 8:30.
  10. This one is a tie...either the microwave (my primary cooking instrument) or my rice cooker (because it makes perfect rice).
  12. Easy. Piano.
  14. Red.
  16. Sports car. To be honest, I think it would be fun to have an attractive, sporty hybrid though.
  18. No but I do sometimes consider reincarnation. When I am having a day where I don't believe in reincarnation I believe that it just ends. So enjoy it while you can kids...
  20. Silly question - Harry Potter (if I had to pick just one...probably Goblet of Fire).
  22. Fall.
  24. Only one. Between my butt dimples, just a single, small word: hope. I have been considering sprucing it up (don't worry, no plans to do so).
  26. To be in two places at once. And that other part of me would be able to be or do whatever I want with no monetary restrictions.
  28. No, can you?
  30. Huh...this is a rough one. Maybe my grandpa.
  32. Lots of cat hair. A few cat toys. A towel (they like to sleep directly under my head...I don't ask questions, I just oblige and leave the towel there).
  34. Probably Saturday.
  36. I prefer a cheeseburger. Have to have the cheese. I tried sushi once (OK, not really since there was no fish on it - it was just a cucumber roll and it was not to my liking).
  38. Do you really respond to a meme? I think what this question is really asking is - who is most likely to post this meme? Probably someone who is also NaBloPoMo'ing. So my sister. Or Dad.
  40. I already told you that. Click the link provided above.
  42. Iris. Hands down. So weirdly pretty. I like the colorful ones best - purples, yellows and reds.
  44. Right now...I like cottage cheese a lot (eaten with anything I can find in the house). And out of the past few days, the favorite meal has been Indian delivery. I love a Thanksgiving dinner though and I can't wait. Turkey and stuffing, yum!
  46. The ones I'm in right now? A hideous tank top (it says HeartBreaker) and some surf board boxer shorts. The radiator heat in my apartment makes the temperature in here oscillate I have a blanket. When it tends towards cold I cover myself with blanket. When it gets roaringly hot I discard the blanket.
  48. The one I eat every day: granola bar. But for a real breakfast I really like all of these equally: pancakes, french toast, belgian waffle.
  50. Yes. I like the people. The work is boring though and has nothing to do with my future career (you know, when I'm an adult....25 isn't an adult, right?).
  52. I find this one really hard. I'd like work I could be proud of but a job that requires me to only work a few hours a day.
  54. 27. I don't know. It's a bit early to plan this.
  56. This kind of presumes a lot. A lot of questions in this meme started with IF. So why doesn't this one? If you have a partner, where..... But NOOOO. Blatant singleton discrimination.
  58. Lots of travel to places I've never been.

Blogger beta is giving me some serious issues due to my list (the numbering thing). Some bugs to work out still. Hopefully this posts successfully.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The pedagogical value of group work in grad school...

To start let me just say that I love the word pedagogy. And pedagogical is just an extra special, happy variation of it. I don't love it because of what it means, but because I just love to say the word. I do want to talk about the value of group work in grad school...but I also just threw the word pedagogy in because it's probably the only chance I'll have on this blog to use the word.

I suffered through a lot of group work as an undergrad. My program, Business Administration, was based around the fact that as a successful future administrator you need to work in a group. I met a lot of interesting, fun people in my groups and generally had an OK time. There were a few times where I, or myself and one other group member, ended up picking up the slack for the rest of the group. There is always a leech - which I do think is a valuable lesson for the work force. I found no reason, as an undergrad, to question the value of all the group work (the value of the projects themselves...well, that's another question entirely).

In grad school, well, I've found that it's an entirely different thing. My course is a software engineering course. I understand quite well that most programming and engineering of software (or websites) does involve a team. Therefore, once again, I understand the theory behind it. The reality of it is quite another story. There are students (like myself) who take pride in our schoolwork and genuinely want to get another degree. But then there is another category - a very large group - of students who are only in grad school because they are being paid to do so (either in tuition or in bonuses). And those students (generalizing here) could usually care less about their grade. And about their project. Add to that the fact that we all have daytime jobs (most of the bunch have 40 hour week jobs) and you come up with an almost impossible dynamic.

One of my group members was originally assigned a very easy, beginning of the project model. He secretly emailed another group member (who then ratted him out) to ask that group member to do his part. Now we assigned him another part...a harder part. And I haven't heard anything from him about it for a week. I (and one of my better group members) have sent numerous email requests for an update. I'm imagining that my next few days will be totally consumed with making up for useless group members so that the project is something I'm willing to turn in. Sure, again, a lesson in leeching. But at this point, we've all already learned that. I don't want (or need) the lesson again.

And probably again and again before I graduate...

Friday, November 17, 2006

That's completely mental...

I've decided that if they cut the joke shop out of Order of the Phoenix I'm going to be angry and disappointed (or joke shop in Half-Blood Prince?).

And, I sincerely hope that the next movie is just as funny as Goblet of Fire.

Oh, and...I'm just a little confused and disgruntled that the Harry Potter series didn't make the Time 100 (maybe the fact that it is unfinished hinders it at this point). I know it's a bit of a stretch for some people and that book snobs would shudder in dismay at this idea. But Rowling is a fantastic writer. I won't go into detail on why she's fantastic because I'll just sound stupid (English is my worst subject). But I can't help but think that any book I can read over and over again, cry every time, laugh every time...well, that's some really delightful writing.

All I want is....

Today I am having one of those days. The kind of day where you just wake up wrong - unrefreshed and somewhat angry**. Where the day stretches before you like a vast tundra of unpleasantness. And everything that happens is some kind of insult to you (the man that cuts you off in the queue to walk down the L stairs, the coworker who doesn't ask if you want something from Dunkin Donuts, the smelly garbage truck blocking your walkway while emptying a smelly, dripping bar dumpster etc, etc). Any other day any of these things would be treated as nothing.

So today I'll just quick review Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I really liked this book. Like all of my reviews I won't say anything highly intelligent here, since I tend to read books for entertainment only. All I can say is that it engaged me and I read it quickly. In a side note I'll say that while I read Day of the Locust quickly, I did not enjoy that one. I guess the difference is that I feel like there was a kernel of truth in Things Fall Apart. In Day of the Locust I sort of felt like it was just a story (and a slightly boring one at that). I would recommend Things Fall Apart to anyone that wants a good read, a real read (this is not a fluffy book).

The completion of the title sentence is "cottage cheese and a Harry Potter movie". I think I'll do both while staring blankly at my schoolwork.

**The reason I woke up angry is that my darling cat, Mona, decided she was annoyed or playful or something at 6:30 am. She complained and moaned (cat speak) for literally 10 minutes straight. I can't figure out if she was just pissed because Boku and I were both still in bed or if she was chatting with her toy. Either way, I ended up yelling at her. Which didn't work (she's a cat, she doesn't listen). I did end up scaring Boku out of bed though (she stared at me wearily for a minute or two and then jumped ship) which did shut Mona up. No hard feelings though - Mona is currently warming my lap.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

You're having such a nice time...

On my walk home from my final tonight I drafted about 800 words worth of blog post. But then I got home and sat myself in front of the computer and pure exhaustion set in. I could try to recreate all the interesting (erm...that might be a stretch) ideas I had on the way home. But...well, I'm not going to.

I will say a few boring things here since I already feel like this is cheating the whole NaBloPoMo thing by just saying that my brain is empty. So let's bullet.
  • I had one moment of excitement today when I found out that my local knitting store is offering a ton of great classes in December and January. I think my skill set will be complete soon...(hats, mittens, socks).
  • My mind has been sort of full of school...but when I have a moment free, I've been thinking a lot about London. More on that later...
  • One more class to go...
Sorry to be so so dull.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Totally school related and booooring...

In about 5 hours I will be entirely done with one of my classes. Ok, more like 3 hours. The final project is due at midnight...I'll probably turn it in, at the latest, at 10. One class down...(to satisfy your curiosity class called: Internet Application Development).

I finish the second class tomorrow with an in-class final. This final is causing one of my least favorite school related maladies: test poo. If you don't know what that is....I'm not going to explain. Me and test poo have a long and icky history where we meet approximately twice a quarter. Anyhoo, this is the most boring class ever and I will be glad to have it done with (curiosity killer: Fundamentals of Distributed Systems).

My last class will not be done until Wednesday of next week. I have a group project due the day before Thanksgiving. And I have a final exam due on Monday. Yuck. (Class: Object Oriented Modeling)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Revisiting an old sore spot...

Recently I've had occasion to revisit my rage about the "girl with cats = spinster" stereotype. I finished some chick lit a few weeks ago that enraged me beyond my usual rage of this issue. Why? Because the lead character, in a depression after a bad break-up, keeps threatening everyone she'll get a cat. Eventually her family has an intervention - so she won't get a cat. I'm continually perplexed about this stupid, stupid stereotype. I agree that there are cat ladies - but there are cat ladies who have husbands. Are they cat men?

The reason this seems so nonsensical to me is that I imagine that these people think the woman is "filling a void" or replacing a boyfriend with an animal. And I just want to shake my head...what? Anyone who has ever had an animal knows that while it is a wonderful, enriching experience...your cat is still just a pet. You don't "transfer" your love on to a pet or love a pet instead of a human. That's just silly. My cats don't fill the void** supposedly created by my lack of a partner. They fill a part of my heart meant specifically for them - the "pet" portion of my heart.

I admit that my pet portion is disproportionately big. That can probably be attributed to my crazy Grandma (who was a pretty cool Grandma to a little kid) and her two dogs: Misty (lab shepherd mutt) and Princess (german shepherd). Almost definitely they/she influenced my adoration for animals. And I don't regret that for a second.

It just makes me crazy that I am sort of a walking joke (not meant in the meanest way) because I am a single woman who loves my cats.

And personally, I think those women with the tiny dogs in sweaters that they carry around are far scarier than cat owners. Treating your dog like it's your baby clearly shows a disconnect - that IS truly no longer your pet.

**Note: I absolutely, 100% do NOT have a void in my life because I am single. I agree that there is an empty slot somewhere (just where...I'm not sure) where it would be great to have a partner. But it's not a void. It's more empty car seat. It's nice to have a passenger, but if you don't it's not a gaping chasm in your car. It's just an empty seat - sure the passenger can change the feeling of the whole trip (in good ways and bad) but they aren't a necessity.

Monday, November 13, 2006

CTA makes my day...

Why am I absurdly excited about this? I have GOT to see that train. How have I not seen it before??? I've been here for two holiday seasons now...

What I am trying to tell myself...

The dreams last night....they were especially weird. One of them involved my being some sort of a demon (?) and my body repelling itself from water (ie: I tried to jump in a pond and my limbs and body flew every which way to avoid it - by the way Mom and sister, you were both there laughing at your demon relation. Nice of you). Here's my analysis of that one: um...I'm dry. Need to drink more water.

The second one involved the end of the world (or the end of my world) due to a war and an enemy aircraft. I managed to "escape" with two boys from my high school (one of whom was my friend a long time ago and one of whom is still a sort of acquaintance thingy). We escaped to a mall where we all went our separate ways to buy the thing we always wanted. I ended up in a puppy store. Not surprising (except it would have been a nice twist if I wanted to spend my last day on earth having hot sex or something...but no. Puppies instead). My analysis: I'm a sucker for animals and I somewhere deep down will always want a dog/puppy. I will have to get one some day....

Sorry about the dream post. My brain is so taken up with finals/website crap that it's useless for other stuff.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Toooot and a letter...

No I am not gaseous. Just tooting my own horn a little as my final project is pretty damn cool. I'm such a nerd. The whole process of creating a website just excites me. I have always been the type of person who likes to build things up from nothing and then just appreciate the end product. I still love Legos. Yes, I am a 25-year old woman that still loves Legos. I should be ashamed, but I'm not. I should qualify that most of the Legos I've loved recently have been of the Harry Potter variety. Lego has done some amazing crap with the Harry Potter series....all kinds of secret nooks and hidden doors. I would recommend HP Legos to any lover of the books or Lego nerd. Weirdly I feel a little apprehensive about putting my Lego love on the web. All you judgers out there - there's nothing wrong with a little joy in a simple thing (be it toy, book, knitting or website creation).

A letter:

Dear Food Network,

I love your challenges. I love your competitions. But I frequently find myself watching Iron Chef and thinking: what about the picky eaters? Or the vegetarians? Or the dietary restriction crowd? I would find it endlessly entertaining to see an Iron Chef or some kind of challenge for picky eaters...or just using the ingredient chicken. Or cheese, yes, cheese! Sure, the chefs can do great things with nice cuts of meat or fish. But what about making them compete vegetarian style? Let's see some thinking outside the box (you can do better than venison. You can do better than "superstars" Iron Chef...although this is compelling and I will probably tune in).


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Testing 1, 2....

Earlier today I decided to move to "blogger beta." There are still some problems with it, so we'll see what happens. After I chose to "migrate" I got this message that it could take a while and I had quite a few moments of panic about whether or not it'd be done before midnight and I would keep my NaBloPoMo streak going.

I think panic is the theme for this weekend. Let's have a really boring post now about the ways I've panicked since yesterday:
  1. Blogger migration.
  2. Problems with my shopping cart (see last post). My code is word for word the same as the Professor's example and his works while mine doesn't. ANGER. FRUSTRATION. PANIC. Will be "starting over" later this afternoon. Since the databases are done and I understand how the code should look (after typing it 100+ times) starting over isn't really that scary. But I hate when problems are unexplainable/impossible to locate.
  3. Boku (cat, in case you're new around here) has a very pink eye. And she's sort of "favoring" it, as in not keeping it completely open. The idea of going to the vet again causes untold pain and panic. Especially since I skipped her booster shot and am a terrible cat owner. Just what I want...panic over taking cat to the vet AND being scolded when at the vet. Will wait a few days and hope the pink eye goes away.
Other than that...having a fine time with the homework and weekend. I only have one in-class final on Thursday which I'll prepare for on Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

I'll try to think of something interesting to say for tomorrow. I'm not making any promises though.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Busy, busy, busy....

I've been busy for the last two hours coding a store for my buttons. Sounds exciting...except it's actually my final project for one of my classes and it won't technically be functional. Basically it will be an "honor system" site. It'll have a shopping cart, a checkout and my stock numbers will be decreased by every purchase. But I don't have any credit card functionality and it's hosted on my school's server. So...just a fun practice web site...nothing more. Right now I'm already about half-way done. I have everything put together on the site except the login and checkout pages and the shopping cart functionality. Sounds like a lot, but the background stuff took awhile (all databases have been created).

In other news I have read two Time 100 books since...what was it, last Friday? Yeah, I don't know how I did it either. Fast reads. I think I'll save those reviews for some really sad days where I can't think of anything else to say.

And back to the grind...a not-so-fun weekend ahead involving coding, design scenarios, a horrible group meeting and a design class diagram. Sounds nerdy, eh?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The way this blog leans...


And content-wise: personal.

I think I have to just embrace the fact that this is a personal blog and will never be anything else. I just really admire people who talk politics, feminism or even craft blogs. It feels like those blogs have such a bigger point (even the craft blogs - to help people craft!). Maybe in the future I'll start shoot-off blogs or just new blogs all together. But for now, this is just about me. And I guess I just need to accept that most of these posts will be self-centered. And so, lets truly embrace that now:

My boobs look awesome. The other day I mentioned the appointment with a "bra fit specialist". And my bra size was WAY off (way). Now I'm happy in my new bra. I can't believe how many attractive, fun bras they have for people with big boobs at the bra fit place. When I looked at the website before we went there I was like....oh no...they have like 5 bra styles. They're going to tell me my boobs are huge (which they did) and then I'm not going to be able to find any bras.

Not so.

I do think I have to return one of the bras I got (let's be I feel serious yearning to go back to the store and go on a crazy bra buying spree. Totally addicting). Anyway, the bra makes my boobs look awesome, but after wearing it for a while, the seam was right across a sensitive area, and I was seriously overly sensitive. Too bad's a cute bra.

I was going to throw a little contest - see who could guess my real bra size. But I thought better of that idea - that could be seriously damaging to the self-esteem - what if you think I'm a 38M or something? So true bra sizes going up here. If you know me personally and can't stand the curiosity, email me and I'll tell you just how big these puppies are!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Paring down...

I have something like 7 ideas for how I want to blog today and I have no idea which is the right way to go. So first let me say that I finally think I am curious about politics and maybe, just maybe I'll be able to follow along with most of what's going down in DC. Maybe.

Moving on...I think that I may have reached the utopia point with my mixture of concerts. In the past month I've seen two concerts that I would not have gone to without a nudge in the right direction (read: free concert ticket). I saw James Taylor and Barbra Streisand. I probably know their music equally (not well). I went to both of these concerts with an open mind. I wound up a little bit bored at both, but bored in a good way. Bored in the "I wish I was right where I am with the addition of a book" way. I don't regret going to either and I feel like I gained something from both (putting what I gained into words is proving harder than my homework from this past weekend so...not gonna do it).

So my concert mixture now includes an overwhelming amount of DMB mixed with a dash of Barbra, Justin Timberlake, Paul McCartney, Keane, James Taylor, Death Cab and Puff Daddy (and many more <-- sing that like the birthday song). And the symphony. Can't get much more diverse (maybe if I had some country, jazz or...?)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I keep coming up with totally inappropriate names for this post (most of them involving the word tit, which I ABHOR. It's like any other word that you have a weird aversion to...I have a friend who hates to hear the word panties. And another who hates to hear pubic hair. Not because they don't wear panties or don't have pubic hair....just because the word makes them feel weirdly icky). Either way, it has to be said that I'm going to a "bra fit specialist" later and I'm totally obsessed with the idea. Hence the tit.

And now, some bulletudes of crap:

  • This morning, when I did my morning wake-up nose blowing, I was convinced for about 1.5 seconds that I had just blown a silverfish bug out of my nose. There was a grey bug like thing in my kleenex. For all of those 1.5 seconds I felt totally disgusted and wanted to burn the inside of my nose to ensure cleanliness. I realized at second number 2 that it was just a very strange shaped and weirdly colored bogey.
  • There is a boy in one of my classes who is so hairy that every week I boggle at the extent of his ape-liness. His hair is DARK. And his hands...well, they are ape-like. I think he could braid the hair on his knuckles into the hair on the back of his hand. I am continually transfixed by it - not in a good way.
  • Yesterday a man told me I was charming. I recommend to anyone: always push the "door open" button for people getting on elevators (especially if you're the only one in it). Why?'d want someone to do that for you. And it can lead to a friendly chat about that moment where you panic because you just can't find the door open button - even though you want to push it - where is it??? And then an old man will call you charming because he was so engrossed in your conversation about the door open button that he forgot to choose the floor he needed.

Sorry about my forgetting to post a button yesterday. I'm at work or I'd post them both now. And I have a late night ahead, so you might just get 3 buttons tomorrow. I wonder how many perverts will find this site because of my dirty language in paragraph one? Probably way too many.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Do you hear what I hear...

One of my "cube-mates" is already listening to Christmas music. There is a Chicago-land radio station (93.9 "The Lite") that broadcasts only Christmas music. As my cube-mate and I discussed, it usually starts 2 days before Thanksgiving. Not so anymore. I guess this year it started on November 1. She also said that they play Christmas music for a few days in July (Christmas in July). I clearly sit next to a Christmas music aficionado.

My sister and Mom are probably cackling with glee. Those two being the Christmas music lovers whereas I really could do without it. Maybe listening to Christmas music for two months straight will reform me. Or maybe it will drive me batty. Either way, whenever cube-mate is here...I'll be tuning in.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Saturday was perfect - I had fun, I was productive, I cleaned! I felt refreshed...after a day of mostly work with just the right amount of play.

Today started well. Went out for breakfast. Stopped for some groceries. Saw some Pocket Puppies (oh my, there was the cutest, ugliest little dog in there with a pink sweater on. I believe it was some variation on a Brussels Griffon. Just thinking about its tiny, cute-ugliness makes me smile. And I'm in a crappy mood). And then I came home and had to start the homework that is due tomorrow.

I am tense. I hate it. And I can't (or won't?) finish it. I can hardly begin because this homework entirely builds off of the last homework which I clearly didn't understand.

And that is my Sunday. And hopefully, hopefully this is the last bitching post of November. Because I hate these posts. No one enjoys them...least of all me. So, I'll see you tomorrow with a fresh, happy mood (hopefully).

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Knit 5, purl 5...

So...this summer I learned to knit. I have only completed one project since my introduction to knitting - a baby blanket. I ended up giving it to baby cousin E far before I expected to (in fact, the weekend I brought it home to clean it/weave in the ends was the weekend I gave it away. Without ever having washed it. E was only a few days old - I hadn't expected to see her for at least another week or two). Either way, I told you that whole boring story to explain why I only have one picture of the blanket.

And why that picture is not necessarily close enough to see the actual pattern/what I made. Ah well...either way, that blanket took me FOREVER and I was quite proud of it as a first project. Note: pink ribbon is just my way of wrapping the present for E.

My current project is also taking a long time - but only because I now have school. Which takes up a lot of my time. But, here's a picture of my scarf-in-progress:

Pattern from Knitty. My first foray into lace. I've done about 20 repetitions of the pattern (out of a total of 30 - 40 to make the scarf the length I want). Probably 2 of those repetitions were almost total disasters. Out of 20, on my first lace project...I'd say that is pretty great. And I was aware of the disasters as they were happening (ie: uh - oh, I have 30 stitches instead of 31) so I recovered as gracefully as possible.

I have 8,000 different things I want to make...I want to start making socks. And hats (hats!!). But I don't have the skill set I'm going to have to take another class (at my favorite
knitting store ever). And with school, my time is so short that I don't think I'll be taking a class any time soon. Sad. But next up on the project list:
  • Repeat of this scarf for a friend who requested it
  • Functional scarf for the brother
  • Harry Potter scarf for me
  • Another blanket for another baby cousin due in April (much, much more time to finish it this time!)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Book quest update...

I was going to use today to update you on my progress knitting (my newest hobby). But I have to take pictures, then work with those pictures and blah blah blah...feel too lazy for that. So come back tomorrow to see my work-in-progress scarf and the baby blanket that was already given away. So quest update.

I should probably explain the book quest since there are tons of new people stopping by this blog (Welcome NaBloPoMo randomizers! Other readers, for a fun time/to find new and exciting blogs go randomize). Basically Time Magazine put out a list of the 100 best English language novels since 1923. I am going to read all of them (along with A and M, my partners in craziness). Add to this list the 30 books you should read before you die (chosen by librarians) and you get a list of 122 books (there is some overlap and we decided not to include the Bible. It just wasn't going to happen). So far I've read 42 (exactly 80 left).

Since we last discussed the book quest I have read 4 books (i think...). Right now I don't think I'll review all 4 but...maybe when I run out of things to say in late November I'll be revisiting those books...

Last night I finished Mrs. Dalloway. I also read To the Lighthouse some time ago for the quest, so I feel familiar with Virginia Woolf. I've decided that her writing is just not for me. She writes beautifully and sometimes I did find myself appreciating a sentence for its artistry. But in all, I found myself bored with the book. I got lost in some of the sentences and had to read them over. I got lost in the imagery and had to go back and figure out who was saying what. This could be attributed to my speed reading. But even when reading slow I found myself/my brain somewhere else. I just wasn't involved - and for me, I judge a book by my involvement with the characters. So eh, not a winner.

Next up: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I am about 30 pages in already and am enjoying it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The 25th annual Katie _ _ _ bir-er-thday...

Title sung to the tune of "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." You know you've all seen the commercial. And, in order to make that work, you have to pronounce each syllable in the last name. Which is why three blanks...

So. Happy Birthday to me. In honor of (as Katy says) being a quarter of a century old, I will now do two birthday memes for your pleasure.

The first stolen from this blog. (must warn: this first one is tough based on my lack of memory. My available memory goes back about...5 years)
  1. What is your favorite birthday cake?
    Well, at least this one is easy. My mom has made us some kick ass decorated cakes over the years (I remember a ghost maybe?). But for most of my life we had the yellow Duncan Hines (I think this company is right...but again, bad memory) cake with the chocolate frosting. My mom makes it to perfection. It is delicious. Had some just a week or two ago for my brother's birthday.
  2. What has been the best gift you have ever received?
    Now here I get a little confused. I believe I received some Dots last year. And possibly a vacation to Disney (that was pretty damn good). But I always get presents I like. No bests here, all attempts appreciated and enjoyed.
  3. How did you spend your favorite birthday?
    I'm sure I was young and running around in a grey cat Halloween costume (afterall, with a birthday 2 days after Halloween, the 2 blend together). In recent years I've spent a lot of time on planes on my birthday (not sure why) and moving to this here apartment. Today I go to work and school. I'm not one of those people that treats my birthday like a holiday. It's just a day of the week...where I get older (much like every other day). I do enjoy the fact that the snail mail virtually FLOODS in. At no other time (besides maybe Christmas) do all of my friends feel they are obligated to send me mail. AND I LOVE IT.
  4. Do you make birthday wishes?
    Um. This one is a strain on the memory. Not in recent years. But I haven't blown candles out in YEARS.
  5. Has a wish ever come true?
    Doesn't this question assume you said yes to #4? Which I only kind of did. So....sure, maybe long ago my wish for a barbie...or a cabbage patch kid with styleable hair...but I don't make wishes much anymore.

And the second, which I find much more interesting, is sprinkled all over the internet, but copied from here.

  1. Go to Wikipedia.
  2. In the search box, type your birth month and day (but not year).
  3. List three events that happened on your birthday.
  4. List two important birthdays and one interesting death.
  5. One holiday or observance (if any).
Interesting November 2 events:
  • In 1889 North and South Dakota were officially given statedom (States 39 & 40)
  • Wah, wah, wah....1939...Mussolini creates/proclaims the Rome-Berlin Axis. Axis Powers alliance created. On my birthday. Bbbboooo.
  • I cannot believe this is listed in Wikipedia as a significant event..and for the sheer stupidity of it, I'll list it here: 1998 - WWF hardcore title awarded to Mankind.
Two important birthdays:
  • 1755 - Marie Antoinette, Queen of France
  • you pick: k.d. Lang ('61) vs. Nelly ('75). Honestly thought Nelly was younger, he sure has a baby face.
A death:
  • 1950 - George Bernard Shaw (he was 94!)
And, of course, my holiday observance:

It's the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). Your day (it says it's a Mexican and United States-ian holiday) to honor your dead ancestors. And send me a card.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

And off I go...

Yesterday, one of my college friends J, wrote a post about how people who have bugs are gross (of the bedbug and cockroach variety). I have had my paranoid moments with the bedbug thing (Chicago has recently had an influx of bedbugs). In my paranoia, I researched this extensively. The thing here is: you can be the cleanest person in the world and still get bedbugs. They can travel shortish distances (if your neighbor has out). If you happen to stay in a hotel that has them you can easily bring them home with you. It doesn't take much with the bedbugs. And while I was sure, in my paranoid moments, that I had them, I do not.

And the cockroaches. I want to confess that recently I've suspected I too have cockroaches. At first I was convinced they were just a beetley bug. I mean, if it was a cockroach it'd be the size of my finger, right? No. So I guess I'm gross. My mom is cringing at home wondering where she went wrong. But to be honest, I have NO IDEA where they are coming from. I've seen maybe 2 alive ones. 5 dead ones (cats, you rock!). They are about the size of...a longish pencil eraser. Not big. All in my bathroom upstairs. I've scoured that bathroom. I can't find any in there when I look.

I'll admit that my kitchen is sort of...messy. I'm not a tidy person. If I had ants or bugs in the kitchen I might shrug and say, "yeah well, i sucked at the kitchen." But the bathroom?

The thing is...they must be living in the walls. Which has nothing to do with my cleanliness. I live in an old building. It's not surprising. I'm honestly not even that grossed out by it. Maybe if I see swarms of them, yes. But all I can do is buy some roach motels and hope they carry the poison food into the walls with them.....

So with my first November post I proclaim to the world that I am gross. I have bugs.

UPDATE: I finally updated (mostly) my bloggy bloggertons. Small steps. I imagine that as soon as school is done I will begin changing the whole design of this blog.