Thursday, August 31, 2006

did you ever notice

how things that you've put off forever start to seem a lot less daunting once you actually start them? I don't mean, once you've gotten a good way in, but as soon as you sit down and begin to work on it, it suddenly seems so much more manageable? And it's not because of some realization that it's easier or less work than you had originally imagined... it just feels better... stress that you didn't realize you had goes away...

Eye exams

So, my glasses kind of broke today. I went to get my eyes checked and get new glasses and I am confronted anew with the pressure and stress that comes along with saying which is better, "number one or number two?" You know what I'm talking about: you're sitting in the chair with this huge machine over your face (which smells kind of funny and makes you wonder whose face was in it last and how they clean it), and the doctor goes from one lens to the other, asking which one makes the little illegible letters on the lighted sign on the other side of the room more clear.

I'm often not entirely sure if number one or number two is better. I make a random guess. I'm sure that inside, the doctor is laughing at me because, in fact, they are the same and this is some funny experiment to see if people, under pressure, will come up with an answer or a preference when the two options are identical. Or what if the doctor asks "1 or 2?," I pick 1, then he does another set that's exactly the same lenses (but I don't know this) and this time I pick 2. I look like an idiot.

Oh, and why in the world is there a "high prescription fee" for glasses if you have particularly bad eyes? That's just stupid.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I'm on notice!

My friend Sarah (whose livejournal I would link to if she hadn't deleted everything from it!) informs me that Stephen Colbert has put me On Notice. She sent me the following picture from his show the other night.

I'm actually not sure where she got it, or I would send you the link so you could have Stephen put other people on notice.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I hate CSA and sociological abstracts.

Actually, I love them. They make finding what I need a lot easier than, you know, flipping through journal articles. However, I want to punch them in their (metaphorical) faces when, after spending two hours going through and marking useful-looking citations, when I come back to get them (I left the page open, not like I navigated away from or closed the list), it says that I have been logged out and I need to log back on.

Of course, the problem is that I had never had a username for that website, I was never logged on. I was on campus, so I was using it through the university. grr. When it gave me the logged out message, I quickly clicked back hoping to see my list, unharmed. No such luck. Just another message telling me to "re"login.

Grr. Of course, rather than starting going through all of my searches again, I am here ranting about it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

despite my wimpiness...

...I managed to lose 3-4 lbs. this week. Why 3-4 and not some exact number, you ask? Well, I have yet to buy a scale, so I'm relying on the one in the fitness room at my apartments, and it's a balance scale rather than a digital one, and I'm never sure I've got the measurement exactly right.

Anyway, this week I have been slacking off my working out. I stopped going at night because it would give me a wonderful adrenaline rush that simply wouldn't let me get to sleep. To fix this, I determined that I would start to go in the morning. However, not particularly being a morning person, my grand plans would be crushed every morning as I pressed the snooze button over and over again for an hour before actually getting up.

In addition, I've hardly been eating healthily. Between pizza (tonight) and chow mien with spring rolls (like 3 times this week) as well as way too many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (easier than cooking), I'm really pleasantly surprised at the loss.

Tonight, I decided to go ahead and work out (mostly out of guilt brought on by aforementioned pizza). It was wonderful. I always put off working out, and when I do I get such an endorphin high. Which, of course, means that I will not be getting to sleep soon. Which sucks, because I need to get up early and do work tomorrow!

More on emergency contraception later.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I am getting organized.

I figure beginning grad school is as good a time as any to really overhaul my organizational system. Of course, I say "system" as if there is anything systematic about my present system of keeping track of things to do. Mostly it consists of remembering things, and when memory fails, looking it up (usually in an email).

But no longer. Despite my initial frustration about not being able to forward my U of A email to my Gmail account, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. Rather than check two email addresses, I decided to send them both to Outlook. Now I get all my email at once and get notified when new mail arrives.

In addition to using Outlook to get my mail, I've decided to use its "calendar" and "tasks" functions as well. I am determined to get (relatively) organized, and this seems as good a method as any. As far back as I can remember, I start every school year with a new paper calendar, determined to write down everything, every homework due, every midterm, every final, every appointment, and so on. This usually lasts about two weeks (at a maximum).

It is my hope that this will last longer than that. I am fairly optimistic about it, too. Perhaps the fact that it's on the computer will make it easier to remember to write things down when they occur. Who knows. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 21, 2006

It's easy to forget how red a state Arizona actually is...

...until you read something like this (scroll down a bit). Yes, the Arizona state legislature has passed a law requiring that every public classroom display a flag as well as copies of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Not only that, the flags must be at least 2 ft. by 3 ft. and have been made in the U.S.

So, I'm in the office...

And I start cleaning. It seriously needs it--sticky stuff on the walls, a few stickers, and dust everywhere. I've been scrubbing for over 30 minutes.

And I just now realized that I am cleaning the wrong desk. I thought I had claimed this one, but turns out it was the one next to me. Ah well.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

It just hit me: I'm in grad school.

How awesome is that?

I start school tomorrow!

The beginning of the semester is always the best part. It's full of optimism and excitement; its spirit has not yet been crushed.

As much as I love it here...

It was wonderful to talk to college friends today. I really miss you guys. I promise to keep in touch better than I have been.

How much work did I get done today?

Not a whole lot.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Why I suck.

Yesterday, we got keys to the department and our office. I went to check and make sure mine worked. I didn't think the key to the office was working. I tried and tried and it wouldn't open the door. Turns out, I was turning it the wrong way.

Today, with my grand ambitions to go sit outside and work, I walked down to a cafe on University, only to find that there were no wireless networks available (or so I thought). So I went to the student union, where I knew there was wireless access and encountered the same problem. I just now realized: I had the wireless turned off on the computer. Doh!

I love having a laptop again.

Today, I'm totally about to go sit at a coffee shop and get my work done.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Why am I a boring person?

And how do I become an interesting person?

...or at least seem to be an interesting person...? ideas?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I hate long lines.

Today, I waited almost an hour in the Parking and Transportation office in order to change out my parking permit from a garage all the way across campus to the one right beside my apartment building (turns out they have some reserved for apartment residents).

The line actually went outside of the building. There are seven little windows at which customers can take care of their business. There are at least ten employees out front and visible. Only three of the windows are open. Why?

I was about to add: "And why do all the undergrads bring their parents with them to get parking tickets? The line was as long as it was because half of the people in it were not actually getting permits themselves." But then I remembered that my mom had gone with me to get my permit.

Sorry this is not a very interesting post.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

In case you care...

I just made the tastiest mixed berry smoothie. Frozen berries + nonfat vanilla yogurt + ice + water = what I am eating for the rest of my life. I used to make this with bananas and a dash of splenda for sweetener. Little did I realize how much those ingredients were holding back the absolute tastiness of this drink.

Tales of the navigationally illiterate.

Yeah, there's nothing like taking a courtesy shuttle from the car dealership and not knowing where in the world you live. "Umm... it's somewhere near the University of Arizona... yeah, I'm pretty sure it's past that street. Oh, turn in here!" Turns out, "here" was not at all where I needed to be (though it was off of the correct street). But, it was definitely within walking distance, and I wasn't about to get back in and say, "oops, sorry, my mistake. Could you take me down a little bit further?" I guess I'll have to walk back out there when he comes to pick me up.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Meet Oliver.

He is my new computer. I know have Internet access. The world is right again.

This prolonged absence from regular contact with the Internets has impressed upon me how much I rely on the world wide web for everyday tasks.

Who needs a phone book? A map? Just look up whatever you need on Google, then use Google maps (or mapquest, or yahoo maps) to give you directions. I found out that I'm not very good at maps. Sad, really, considering I was once a fourth grade champion in the "Maps, Graphs, and Charts" competition. Ahh well.

And, I've become very proficient at text messaging on my phone, something I had heretofore been reluctant to engage in. I mean, really, what's the point of spending forever typing a single sentence? You can't have a real conversation that way. Can you? Turns out, it's a much more effective tool for communication when your fingers learn how to use the buttons you've got. And when you figure out how to turn on the predictive text.

And--why read the newspaper or even watch TV news? When you've got the NY Times online,, and the various political bloggers to keep you informed, paper-and-ink newspapers seem kind of useless. But, if I gained one thing during my extended Internet fast, it's that there is a real appeal to the feel of newsprint in between your fingers, the black ink that it sometimes leaves. You find so many more interesting articles that you would never think to click the link for online.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings about my time without a computer. I have one now, and he's lovely. I hope to update much more frequently now. Cross your fingers!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I'm in Tucson.

I've finally arrived in Tucson, though I won't get a computer until early next week. I'm sitting in the Student Union writing this at the moment.

The drive here was absolutley beautiful, with all the mountains on all sides. When I can figure out how, I'll post some of the pictures I took with my phone.

As happy as I am to be here, and as excited as I am about school starting, I wish I were back in Denison at the moment. I hate being so far away when awful things happen. *Hugs* to Jason and his family.

My apartment is small but cute, and you'll get pictures of that about the same time that you get pictures from the drive up here.

I'm sorry this is a pathetically short post. But--I promise that when I get a computer, I will begin to blog regularly again. Now, I can't promise that it will be good or interesting--but it will be there.

Bye for now. I'm gonna go check out the library!