grad school, politics, knitting and other meanderings. And not enough time for any of it.
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Thursday, September 30, 2004
"d-day" or something...
Today is the first debate. I'll watch it, but I'll skip the commentary like I did for the conventions. I don't know how it will go. I hope that Kerry does something to really mess with schrub early on- steps out of bounds a little and shakes things up. Then, hopefully schrub will get caught off guard and start acting like the idiot that he is. I hope he is non-sensical. I hope he smirks a lot and makes up new words that sound silly. I hope Kerry keeps things simple and calls bush on some of his shit.
But I think it will just be all smoke and mirrors. Neither will step out of bounds. There will be lots of dancing around the major blunders bush has made. Maybe I am wrong. When Diane Sawyer interviewed Kerry yesterday Kerry seemed the most angry and "I'm not taking any shit" than I have ever seen him. I hope he keeps that up.
I also have a statistics exam today. I will probably not do so well. I used to think that that made me stupid somehow, but now I know it doesn't matter. I just need to not get a C in the end. Like I said in my last post, from studying last night I know that I understand the stuff. It is just the memorizing that will kill me. I could see blanking on the test and giving Reba hope of not getting the worst grade. I could see doing okay on it. I'm going to head into school and study some more.
We have a wonderful friend (Ed) visiting today from NY that we haven't seen in a very long time (3 years or 4?). It will be wonderful to see him again. We'll probably order food and eat at home while watching the debates.
off to memorize some equations that sound like "y given x equals sum of the y hat i's x i's over blah blah blahs". Yuck.
posted by knit wit | 9/30/2004 08:31:00 AM
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
I have a stats test tomorrow. I should be studying more. I feel like I understand the stuff pretty well but I loath having to memorize shit. Shit that a) if I ever need I will look up and b) most sociologists use the computer for. So, my stubborness about blindly memorizing leaves today for that task. I ought to be taking this more seriously, I guess. But I am just really motivated to finish my thesis right now and thus stats is not my chosen priority.
I have to head in to work now. I actually like my new job- its not so difficult or stressful and I guess I have it as long as I want. It's cool today so I'll where my knitted hoodie down to school.
posted by knit wit | 9/29/2004 07:25:00 AM
Saturday, September 25, 2004
Now I fear what I thought was a flair up of allergies, was actually the beginning of a yucky fall cold. Aside from being stuffed up, I have been freezing cold all day. A chill like no other. I've been wearing 2 shirts and a sweater and I am still cold. I bought some wonderful mint chocolate chip ice cream yesterday and this evening it was the last thing I felt like eating. I had some hot chai instead.
I know it is probably silly, but I still have to call my mom when I don't feel good. Somehow complaining to her about not feeling good makes me feel better. Yup- and I am 27 years old.
posted by knit wit | 9/25/2004 10:37:00 PM
I love that it is like fall today. Now I have to finish my orange cardigan so that I can start wearing it! But, my allergies are bad. I can't really smell anything even though I did take an allegra. Oh well.
This past week was a whirlwind of busy and more busy. Mostly just getting the hang of my new job. But, nothing seems to want to slow down. A thesis to finish, stats test this week and the inevitable mounds of work ahead. So, why have I spent until 2:30pm today doing nothing?
I am also filled with nervousness about the election. And this week I met other people who, like me, are loosing sleep, feeling a little insane/depressed/nervous and having crazy election dreams. I am worried that I'll be immobilized with depression and anger if Bush ends up in office again. So, I am trying to go on blind optimism (but this is increasingly hard). Because this week, probably because I spent some time making survey phone calls of Wisconsin union folk for the election, I was feeling pretty good about Kerry pulling ahead in the end. You kn0w, all the shit about the young people not being polled, new voters not being polled blah blah blah. So that should make this and especially this irrelevant, right? Good god I hope so.
And then all fair elections aside, I worry about the October Surprise (you can read about this all over the web, but this site is devoted completely to it). I worry about not whether it will happen, but what it will be. I think they already have bin Laden and they will just drag him out. Yeah, that would secure a win for Bush but it wouldn't be as terrible as what I really think is a possibility. A terrorist attack on US soil. Because Bush is making us less safe, this is really very likely. This is also likely b/c the terrorist want Bush to win again, because he has been their greatest recruiting tool ever (and I do mean tool). I hope this won't happen, but I see it as being a real possibility.
Last night I knit, and we watched a slew of news shows. NOW with Bill Moyers was wonderful and thoroughly depressing, although not surprising (if you missed it, read about it here). So, the debates are a sham. God forbid a presidential candidate actually answer real, spur of the moment questions, or worse yet, god forbid they interact and debate with each other.
posted by knit wit | 9/25/2004 02:21:00 PM
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
There is a cost for caring about politics so much- it tends to make me a combination of worried and/or depressed. I fear that Bush will rig a way to win the election (a terrorist attack and the sheeple will all vote for him out of fear despite how McCain and everyone else on their side is arguing they have been successfully keeping us safe) and that come Nov. 3rd I will be depressed. We'll have to all rise up and start impeachment proceedings or something. I also fear that even those fighting against Bush right now will role over and become sheeple and stop fighting after Nov. 3rd if Bush gets in again. These are the things I think of late at night.
Anyway... according to this article on CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/09/18/bush.iraq/index.html)
(too lazy and running late to post the link) Bush is "pleased" with how things are in Iraq. Apparently that means pleased with the beheadings, pleased with our troops dying, pleased with Iraqis dying. Great.
And who is voting for this guy? Damn sheeple.
posted by knit wit | 9/22/2004 06:55:00 AM
Monday, September 20, 2004
I am (painfully slowly it seems) getting in to the swing of the school semester. This past weekend was a busy one- work and not really much else. Here's what the weekend looked like:
1 home cooked dinner with friends
1 story told of how I dislocated my jaw
tons of wonderful Indian food (it put that east side Indian restuarant to shame)
1 slightly awkward conversation with prof about how you can look up faculty salaries online
1 grad student campaign fundraising party not attended
1 great movie watched with Jo (Taking Lives)
2 trips to the mall
2 trips to the mall for the entire 2004 year
12 pairs of various kinds of clogs tried on (approx.)
1 pair of birkenstock clogs purchased
1990 the last time I owned a pair of birks
1 hour spent going over the stats in my masters thesis with a statistically-minded grad student
16 hours spent going over my advisor's comments and working on draft #5 (approx.)
4 times my advisor commented "let's talk stats!" in dratft #4
2 hours spent knitting (too few, too few)
1 hour knitting while watching "Dead Like Me" Sunday night
1 sociology department potluck not attended
12+ ackward coversations with socially inept people avoided (by not attending)
just thought you might might be curious...
posted by knit wit | 9/20/2004 08:07:00 PM
Sunday, September 19, 2004
the 10 year reunion email
I got an email about my 10 year reunion today. Interesting. There are only few people that I graduated with that I would really love to know how they are (and they are probably the people not likely to come back for a reunion). And the majority of them, I am only mildly interested in (curious, is perhaps a better word).
I was really a totally different person in HS (thank god). So, going through the stupid "profile" thing on classmates.com I felt an overwhelming need to assert my new self through the inane profile questions. I only answered a few- that I have a partner, and that I am in Madison WI. Then, I put as my "life profile" what I am doing in Madison, WI. So there, people who thought I was nothing but a "cream puff" (they used to say- "nice, but not much inside"). I definitely have a "see how well I am doing" attitude with people from my HS which is probably pretty universal.
I also looked through some other people's profiles. The only questions people really answered where the first 2 (pretty lame) questions: 1) what are your political beliefs and 2) what kind of pets do you have. Many people were "conservative" (yikes) and many said of their political views "it depends on the issue" (yikes). And many have cats. And fish. Interesting.
But, I am from a small HS, with a pretty hardcore alumni association. Everyone comes back from reunions so I will attend (as long as Jony comes along otherwise there is no way in hell).
posted by knit wit | 9/19/2004 10:56:00 AM
Saturday, September 18, 2004
On Wednesday Jo and I went to the Kerry/Edwards rally here in Madison. It was our first campaign rally (we've been to our share of protests against various things... but no rallies), and it was quite the experience. I love Kerry in person so much better than the clips they keep showing on the news, and standing up front with all different kinds of union folk was great. Here's some pictures...
This picture does not adequately show the thousands of people at the rally. It was huge, and if there were a fire or some other kind of emergency, those of us up front would have a really hard time getting out!
Let me tell you about the excruciating diversity in this photo. Someone from the campaign came out on stage before Kerry and selected people from the crowd to be on the risers on the stage behind Kerry. Wow. I have never seen such a perfectly diverse group of people. Every single age, race and ethnic background (and lots of union people) and combinations there of was on display. And since I watched this process of selected diversity, I've noticed that behind Bush at his rallies are mostly white, middle-aged Americans. Maybe he has just gave up on diversity.
This was basically our view of everything for the first 10 minutes that Kerry was out on stage (at least, I think he was on stage). Lots of screaming and a wall of signage.
And here is a shot of (hopefully) the next president...
posted by knit wit | 9/18/2004 10:55:00 AM
Monday, September 13, 2004
I just sent off to my supervisor the database I have been working on since January. I think it is really awesome, but I also think it somehow isn't enough. I have the disease where I think anything I could possible do won't be enough. What is enough anyway? Who defines that crap? I guess I'll find out how the database went over at my meeting tomorrow...
On the way home today I was thinking about something very true that Ang said about me. I am not "game". You know, like "game" to do some things. I think this is very true of me in some ways. She also said I was like a 94 year old woman (she said it in a very loving Ang-like way). I guess that could also be partially true. So, I think when I am 94 I will irritate everyone by acting like I am 27. As I walked down Bascom today I made a little list in my head of things I am not game for, and also things I am game for.
Things I am not game for:
- Karaoke (sorry sociology folks)
- Costume parties
- football games
- block parties
- swimming/pool parties
- clubbing (although this was not true 8 years ago)
- the mall, shopping in general
- most concerts
- getting a manicure or pedicure
I am sure I will come up with more later... Does this make me an old fart at 27?
Things I am game for:
- watching movies
- knitting groups
- yarn store outings
- trips to the bookstore
- dinner with friends
- having a beer at Mickey's
- picnics with Jo
posted by knit wit | 9/13/2004 07:42:00 PM
Sunday, September 12, 2004
I watched some of NOW with Bill Moyers this morning. I couldn't watch much of it b/c it was just too disgusting. I didn't know that before Bush went in to that Florida elementary school he was told about the first plane. And then, when reading "My Pet Goat" he found out about the second plane, and then sat there for 7 minutes. Yeah, sit there. While everyone I know in the nyc area is freaking out, trying to find their husbands and pick their children up from school. Yeah, sit there. While they shut down the entire nyc highway/public transportation system and phone system and we are all stranded and stuck, wondering when the wounded from the WTC would arrive at our hospitals (they never did) and wondering how people would get home from the city. Yeah, sit there a*#hole. Like the cars that sat for days at LIRR stations because no one was coming back to pick them up.
So, I had to turn the show off b/c it clearly made me angry. I have to say this much. It is thoroughly disgusting to me that all Bush has to stand on for re-election is 9.11. Doesn't that sicken anyone else? All he has is a tragedy, and happening to be there for it. I believe fully that not only did they drop the ball on 9.11 (by ignoring warnings and responding on that day totally inadequately), I believe that they dropped the ball on purpose. Because it works for them and they are milking it for all it is worth. They have since been able to rule on people's fears and some inane notion of "fighting a war on terror" and they drag 9.11 up whenever they need people to remember the fear. And let me say to Cheney that the fact we haven't been attacked since 9.11 is your dumb luck. Because all the freakin' billions that you are spending in Iraq is doing nothing to keep us safer at home.
So, let me talk to Bush. I have some things I would like to say to him. Better yet, show me someone who is voting for this total f*ck up and I'll have a word or two with them. I just don't understand.
posted by knit wit | 9/12/2004 09:39:00 AM
Friday, September 10, 2004
First of all, I would like to wish my sister a happy birthday. She turns 19 tomorrow. I don't know when she got to be so old. My mom and I were reminiscing online tonight (instant messanger style) about the day Maryann was born. I remember very little. I guess my brother lost his blanket (a crisis I am sure) and I have a vague memory of visiting my mom and new sister in the hospital. In England maternity wards are one huge room with a lot of mothers and newborn babies. I remember that, and I remember the nice midwife who came over to our house after mom came home (which was the same day I think) and took care of mom, Maryann and my brother and I. So, happy birthday Maryann!!
And then there is another significant event attached to tomorrow. I haven't watched TV today b/c of ongoing tributes. It seems like it all happened 10 years ago, or maybe just last year. For some reason this year I remember the smell of the WTC in the days after 9.11 more than ever before. A very specific smell that is hard to place- a mixture of concrete, burning paper, and electricity. I also remember the sheer panic like it was yesterday, and I don't need TV tributes and documentaries to assist my memory of that. So I am not going to watch TV this weekend. I have a lot of reading to do anyway.
posted by knit wit | 9/10/2004 10:17:00 PM
Thursday, September 09, 2004
Yes, folks, it seems I have achieved tuition remission. Holy Crap. How many obstacles had to be thrown in my way, how many times did I have to cry in public, and how many times did people have to keep kicking me while I was already down, before someone just punched that into a computer?
I went to bed without setting an alarm last night and slept in until 8:43am. I hate sleeping in and I need to get into a routine of waking up at 7am and having done a lot of constructive things by 8:43am. I'm having a hard time getting into the swing of school, and I think that is a combination of many different things. 1) Spending the summer working on my masters. So, now my body wants to have days off and that is not possible. 2) Freaking out about funding for the last 3 or so weeks and still not having a check in my hand. 3) Feeling more jaded about grad school then ever before (could that be for some of the above reasons?). 4) Having fun friends visit at the end of the summer and then seeing them leave. 5) I am sure there are more I just can't think of them.
Even my neat new notebooks aren't cutting it this semester. I have readings to read, a seminar to speak in (I get so freaked out about speaking in class it is ridiculous at this point). I have a book review to write by the end of the month, and the book is not read yet. I have a masters thesis on the precipice of being completed. And then there is also stats to study and stress out about. Oh, fun times will be had.
So, hopefully I'll get my check from UW tomorrow. I'll pay some bills, pay some people back. Maybe buy some new shoes. I finished my first sock last night, so I want some Birks to show the socks off with. I'll buy the rest of my school books and eventually I'll get back into the swing of things.
posted by knit wit | 9/09/2004 09:30:00 AM
Monday, September 06, 2004
check out this awesome news about Jo!
posted by knit wit | 9/06/2004 08:37:00 PM
Saturday, September 04, 2004
have you seen this billboard?
A couple weeks ago we were approached by someone who wanted to use our very political volvo in an advertisement for the Capital Times (refresh your memory here). The back of our volvo has now been in the Capital Times newspaper a few times (a friend of mine actually called because he recognized the car) and the other day, someone left us a framed picture of our car on a billboard somewhere in Madison. The problem is we don't know where the billboard is, and we would love to see it in person. If you've seen it, let me know!!
They did photoshop out a couple of bumberstickers, including our "Out of Iraq NOW". "Diversity is our strength" and "say I do to equal marriage rights". But, all in all, our volvo has reached local fame. Here's the billboard...
posted by knit wit | 9/04/2004 11:48:00 AM
Friday, September 03, 2004
Yup. Lies. His speech was lies and more lies. Some empty promises about nice sounding domestic stuff (none of which he'll follow through on or fund adequately), but his view of the world is truly frightening. War is peace. Peace is war. Invading other countries and imposing forms of government on them. Sick stuff really. I cried when Bush talked about defending marriage and everyone cheered. But, Kerry came back fighting last night. I hope he continues that through the next 2 months. He could do NOTHING in office and still be better than Bush. CNN should have had aired Jony and my speech commentary. It was great.
Jony is still here and it is great. She went to stats with me yesterday and then explained the class to me afterwards. I told her to move here so she could be my own personal stats tutor. She also looked over the stats in my masters thesis and showed me some of what I did wrong. It's just great having her around b/c we never run out of things to talk about and I never have to explain myself to her.
posted by knit wit | 9/03/2004 08:59:00 AM
Thursday, September 02, 2004
First Day of School
Jony is here visiting. I wish Jony was always within hanging out reach. I don't think we ever ran out of anything to talk about in our entire lives.
And the first day of school is today. I didn't get the PA position I applied for. So, I will be falling back on the promised PA although it is less money. The important thing now is to go to financial aid with some kind of appointment letter and beg them to put my tuition remission through so that I have have the refund so I am not broke any more. I am nervous about all of this, but with some work it should all go through this week.
Here's a little list to start the school semester:
Things I like about the beginning of school:
1) new notebooks, pens and pencils
2) shopping at staples for the above supplies
3) taking the bus. Other people might hate this, but with my ipod and knitting, bus trips to school are great.
4) more structure. I like the free for all of summer, but having to be someplace a bunch of times a week just feels better.
5) taking a seminar with a new prof hopefully will be good.
Things I don't really like about the beginning of school:
1) statistics class. yuck.
2) new grad students. yes I know I was one once, and I know I should be welcoming and shit, but I don't really care. That's just the space I'm in, ok?
3) sitting through boring talks. I'm sure (I hope) there will be some good talks, but there are bound to be some boring ones. the ones you can't leave because your advisor is giving everyone who does the evil eye.
4) inevitable prelim studying
Time to pack my backpack and make some coffee.
posted by knit wit | 9/02/2004 08:27:00 AM