grad school, politics, knitting and other meanderings. And not enough time for any of it.
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Tuesday, November 30, 2004
no more drafts
I finally (and kind of easily, actually) have a date and time for my thesis defense. Monday Dec. 13th at 10am. I emailed my advisor about it earler and suggested she might want to read some parts of my thesis again that I changed a lot since the last draft. Nope. She doesn't. She said she has said all she has to say about it*. She cc'd everyone on my committee so I guess that is the final word then.
Now all of a sudden, after months of cringing at the words "one more draft" I'd really like one more draft please. What if I get all freaked out in the next week, decide the thesis sucks and start cutting and changing it with reckless abandon? What if the last round of changes I made as per comments from the last draft was totally off track and crazy? And shouldn't I have someone spell and grammar check this thing before it goes out on its own to some room in Memorial Library? Everyone knows I suck at spelling. This is all very exciting yet completely torturous all at once.
This is the stuff that keeps me from falling back to sleep when my cat wakes me up at 3am. The thinking-about-how-much-everything-I-have-done-could-be-wrong thoughts.
*I wonder how true that really is considering there are articles to get out of this next semester.
posted by knit wit | 11/30/2004 06:41:00 PM
Monday, November 29, 2004
stop the semester now- I want off
I am exhausted. I spent literally 40 hours (and I wish I were kidding about that) working on my masters thesis this weekend. Then, I waited until 18 hours before my presentation today to begin working on that. But, the presentation went fine and is over now. And I am exhausted.
But, I have more work to do- reading sitting on my lap as I type. My job is crazy right now. I have a masters to defend although one of my committee members is very busy. The 13th might be the date. But, before that happens I need to finish this draft- and again I find the literature review is killing me.
This is that time of the semester when you have to really to pull everything together and get a lot done with the goal of making it to the holidays where (unless you're studying for a prelim) you get to relax, knit, drink and eat. Well that's really all I want to do right now. I want out right now.
Did I ever mention before that grad school (while I love it) does make me miserable? I was thinking that today while listening to "gray" by Ani Difranco on my walk down the hill. So, I love something that makes me generally miserable and stressed out- something that makes my eyes hurt, my neck ache, my jaw tight and my hair turn gray? Great.
posted by knit wit | 11/29/2004 09:14:00 PM
Saturday, November 27, 2004
5 minutes of the news was all it took
Just to remind readers: I haven't watched any TV news since 11/2. I've read the news online from various places but no TV news for me.
Well, I woke up this morning, turned on the TV, and out of habit (I used to be a total TV news junkie) I punched "61" in to the remote and found myself watching a CNN headline news. It wasn's so terrible- some crap about the holiday shopping season. Then came the report on the overturning of the Ukraine election. I found myself nearly in tears all over again while watching thousands of Ukraine people take their election anger to the streets. 5 days of solid protesting and mayhem and their election results are overturned.
Now, why couldn't we get our shit together and do that? There are enough complaints of voting fraud- some with very real evidence of fraud. Is our country too vast- our different interests too different to even be united against corrupt elections? What happened to our model democracy (if it ever was one) when we can't even insure that our elections are valid? Even our young, first time voters (as I have heard from TA friends) think the system is rigged. Instead Americans are storming Best Buy at 6am and flocking to malls in the millions.
It seems we just can't unite- even against the dark force of Bush&Co. I've seen so much bickering online about who's fault "loosing" is. People who should be united against the fascist neo-con agenda instead arguing over whether or not campaigning for months for the democratic candidate was a waste of time. Online discussions on smirkingchimp replaying the same crap about who would have been worse in office, a democrat or republican in office. Jeezem folks. Look around. Bush is pushing an agenda that is so anti-democracy, anti-woman, pro-war, anti-gay, anti-civil rights, pro-christian, pro-rich etc... As soon as the news awarded him a "mandate" he's been living it up with this crap. Somehow we all need to become one single force against this and I don't see it happening. Maybe we need a real leader. A Ghandi. A Martin Luther King Jr. Maybe it just isn't going to happen at all.
Well that was 5 minutes of the news for me. I've flipped the channel to "Message in a Bottle" while I finish my coffee. I don't care about the movie but I love that it was filmed at my favorite beach in Maine. And soon I'll go back to working on the very difficult and perhaps finally final draft of my masters thesis.
[I'll post pics of our Thanksgiving dinner as soon as I load them onto the computer.]
posted by knit wit | 11/27/2004 07:56:00 AM
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
There is now a warrant** out for my thesis defense. I am very happy and nervous all at once. I still have to rework the thesis slightly- one more draft as my advisor told me. But, I have very explicit comments so hopefully this weekend I will be able to pull it off.
But, let's set that aside, because tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I love Thanksgiving for a few reasons: (1) cooking (2) eating (3) Jo and I don't spend Christmas together, so we love to make a big deal about Thanksgiving (and also New Years).
We'll spend all day cooking and eating and drinking and then we get to enjoy leftovers which are truly one of my favorite things. We also watch the movie A Christmas Story a couple times, try to ignore the irritating Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and also watch the Twilight Zone marathon.
Here are the food & drink plans for tomorrow:
* potato stuffing (a family favorite).
* sweet potatoes
* candied carrots [edit: we nixed these in favor of a new dish- baked pears with olive oil, walnuts and blue cheese- I'll let you know how they come out!]
* broccoli and cheese
* turkey (for Jo, not for me)
* crescent rolls
* apple pie with vanilla ice cream
* egg nog and spiced rum
**A warrant is what you need to file for in our dept before you can defend. I told Jo I had a warrent on the phone today and she was concerned, thinking I had done something to bring on another kind of warrant.
posted by knit wit | 11/24/2004 05:21:00 PM
Monday, November 22, 2004
the apple gods are with me
One of the reasons why last week was so crappy was because my laptop died. Yes, my beloved ibook's video card crashed. So, I sent it in to apple for repair. It was mailed out on Friday and I got an email this morning letting me know that they had received my ibook at the repair center.
After spending a lazy weekend watching movies on TV and the Food Network, I have spent all day today stressing out about a some things: (1) the tons of comments I received on my latest masters thesis draft, (2) how to get the thesis defended by the end of the semester, (3) how to work on the *final* masters thesis at home this week without my lovely ibook, (4) how to make a presentation in Keynote and run it on my ibook a week from today, and (5) how to start working on my seminar paper that needs to be done soon enough.
The prospect of working extra at school on my work PC and then working at school over the holiday weekend doesn't work for this home-body. BUT just as I was complaining about how much I miss my laptop and how much of an inconvience it is to be without it this week, I got an email from apple. My ibook was not only received today, but it was fixed today, and shipped out today, and I can expect it tomorrow!! And I was just reading this weekend in a Consumer Reports about apple's top notch repair service- whew.
Ok. Maybe things will start to look up a little now...?
[To post this I am using my very old clamshell ibook. She is tired, doesn't have much ram nor hard drive space. She really shouldn't even be running OSX and can barely handle the web browser. She's a great computer for Jo to check email on during the day but that's about it. I'm not trusting her for any major work.]
posted by knit wit | 11/22/2004 09:36:00 PM
Sunday, November 21, 2004
classic Knit Wit comedy
Unfortunately for me incidents like these from my weekend of dogsitting for my advisor are all too common (not unfortunate for you though as you'll probably get a good laugh out of them).
1) I broke a glass while washing it in the sink. I don't know how it happened- I don't think I dropped it but regardless it smashed and cut my hand in like 6 different places. Bleeding all over the place (which then I had to clean up), it took me a while to locate bandaids. They have stopped bleeding now that I have 4 bandaids on, but they are still nasty and painful and the bandaids make it hard to type.
2) I did some laundry while dogsitting. From my time doing laundry in shadey laundry mats in NY I usually put all my socks and underwear/bras in a pillowcase and then sort them when I get home. So, as a habit and I did the same while doing laundry at their house this morning. While putting away the laundry this evening at home I realized, much to my horror, that I had left the pillowcase of stuff at their house. It was 7:45pm and I knew that my advisor's husband was getting in on an earlier flight and then picking up my advisor at the airport at 8:15. So I drove to their house quickly hoping that (a) he hadn't noticed the pillowcase and that (b) they wouldn't be home yet. I must have just missed him but he did place the pillowcase on the top of the washer (where I am sure I didn't leave it). So I took it and left them a note saying I had stopped by for laundry I forgot.
Jeez. I'm going to make myself some tea and go to bed. Someone wake me up with a nice hot cup of coffee when this freakin' semester is over.
posted by knit wit | 11/21/2004 08:51:00 PM
Saturday, November 20, 2004
the best present ever
I know everyone out there has been wonderding what to get me for the holidays. Well, forget the usual ideas. Sure, yarn or Lush would be wonderful gifts, but check out this. That's what I want- to belong to the microbrew beer of the month club. The poeple I am dogsitting for this weekend belong to it and there are boxes and boxes of some very incredible and interesting microbrew beers. I checked out the website though and it is very expensive so it doesn't look like I'll be signing myself up anytime soon. Some day.
posted by knit wit | 11/20/2004 10:00:00 AM
Friday, November 19, 2004
So how well do you think you know me?
posted by knit wit | 11/19/2004 01:14:00 PM
Thursday, November 18, 2004
there's more to life than this
What a crappy week. This week has been pretty terrible for so many different reasons I won't even bother listing them all here. It would be boring for the reader, I am sure.
Anyway. If I had the freedom that extra money provides people, I would fly to NYC for the weekend. I'd laugh about all of this over a few margaritas with Mimi. I'd hang out with Jony in New Jersey. I'd spend some time getting lost in the Strand and wandering around the East Village. I'd have a beer at Chumley's in the middle of the afternoon. Oh jeez, that sounds really wonderful. And now I feel even more bleak.
Instead I'll be dog sitting and doing laundry.
I'll keep listening to Bjork and trying to remember that there really is more to life than this.
posted by knit wit | 11/18/2004 10:25:00 AM
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
wonderful time of the semester
This is that wonderful time of the semester where all I want to do is running screaming from grad school and never look back.
I've been up since 5:30am writing. My eyes are puffy and tired from so much last minute work. I wonder why I procrastinate. I mean I know I procrastinate, I fully embrace the fact that it is my usual work style, but it sure doesn't make days like like this any easier.
Its days like this that make me remember someone I grew up with- Smarty Davis (named changed). From 3rd grade on, I remember how Smarty always had her work done far ahead of time, having gone above and beyond the actual assignment with posters and models and shit. She was always also the trendiest- which in 3rd grade meant stir-up pants, huge shirts and charm necklaces. Actually, through high school she was exactly the same (although fashion changed). How freakin' irritating.
posted by knit wit | 11/16/2004 08:13:00 AM
Sunday, November 14, 2004
a cold bath
things that make me grumpy:
1) not having hot water
2) and thus, not being able to take a nice hot shower in the morning
4) and also, stats exams
5) literature reviews
And since this weekend is all about 1-5, I am not having a very thrilling and/or fun weekend. We don't have hot water and it won't get fixed until Monday morning. I have no problem going without a shower if it is for 1 day, or for many days if I'm camping (camping, by the way is what I would love to be doing right now), but going 2 days without a shower for no reason is just a little too much uncleanliness. So, I decided to take a bath this morning- the old fashioned way of pouring hot water into a tub of cold water. Well, it turns out this doesn't work so great and takes and incredibly long time. I ended up getting the water mildly not-cold and got in, figuring it couldn't be worse than swimming in the ocean off the coast of Maine in June. Ugh. It was pretty cold- but when I got out my clothes felt nice and warm.
Now on to 3, 4 & 5. I am trying not to be too worried about the stats exam- I actually (dare I admit this) thought that dummy variables were kind of interesting and they made much more sense to me than everything else we have "learned" so far. The literature review (also due Tuesday) is not so much fun to write but I have 5 pages already and tons of notes. I managed to copy/paste some stuff from my masters thesis lit review which helped out.
I am going to try to resurrect this weekend by making a butternut squash & pumpkin soup with leeks, onions and cream cheese. I can't wait to start cooking it but I'll work for a few more hours first. I envision eating it all week for lunch over rice. Yummy. It better turn out good- I have never made it before!
posted by knit wit | 11/14/2004 11:35:00 AM
Thursday, November 11, 2004
i shouldn't have gone back to sleep...
My alarm went off at the usual time this morning (6:30am) but for some reason instead of getting up I just turned it off and got back into bed and went to sleep. Jeez. I don't know what I was thinking but now it is 8am and I am just now starting to drinking my coffee. Sleeping in just makes feel like the day is already gaining speed ahead of me.
I went to the dentist yesterday and after an hour and a half of keeping my mouth open my jaw and neck are sore. It's better this morning than last night- last night was terrible. This is one of the reasons why I hate the dentist and try to avoid going. An other reason would be that after getting my teeth cleaned my teeth have like a "phantom scrapping" feeling- like someone is still scrapping and tugging at them. Ugh.
This week has gone by insanely fast and this weekend I am going to have tons and tons of work to do. Hopefully I'll get comments on my latest thesis draft. Hopefully I won't have to write many more drafts of it... (*crossing fingers*).
Knitting News!! I finished my orange cardigan this past weekend but reknit the collar last night to make it a little longer. It looks freaking beautiful!! I can't wait to start wearing it! Just a little more blocking... and sewing on the buttons. This has been my longest knitting project ever (I started it back in April but I have also knit other things in the meantime).
posted by knit wit | 11/11/2004 08:04:00 AM
Saturday, November 06, 2004
back to the mundane joys of life
Today was wonderfully mundane. I woke up with a terrible stiff neck and headache so I spent the morning making it go away with traction (a truly wonderful thing) and heat. I haven't had pain like that in a while but I am sure it is from the stress of this sucky week and the dentist appointment I had yesterday. Nothing like some drilling to make my jaw muscles go in the spasm. I really do hate the dentist.
We went and picked up our vegetables and went to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy Jo a new pillow. We walked out with a new pillow and a new set of cookware- our old set was kind of crappy and the new ones were a great deal. The shiny new cookware prompted me to make omelets for lunch and a saute in my new 15 inch saute pan for dinner. I made a mystery sauté with some kind of mysterious green leafy vegetable. We got 3 different kinds of green leafy vegetables today and all that we recognized was the spinach. I googled pictures of the other ones and still couldn't figure out what was what. So, whatever it was it was yummy.
And I have been working on the old masters thesis. I didn't have the spirit to work on it at all this week. Trouble is it mentions Bush a lot- and I just haven't even wanted to go there. But, today I am working away at it. Crunching yet more numbers. Hoping it won't need to be rewritten 20 more times. I always know that in the end everything takes longer than I think it will, but it is the tricking myself into thinking it should be finished sooner that motivates me to work on it. Does that make sense? Whatever works.
Don't worry though about all this "mundane-ness". I am still collecting information on voter fraud (such as this) and I am still spending way too much time on political forums (I think this makes up for the news I am not watching). I bought some black ribbon today. I tied a piece around my wrist and it will stay there for 4 years. I'm going to mourn and I'm going to fight back.
posted by knit wit | 11/06/2004 09:10:00 PM
Thursday, November 04, 2004
the stolen election and the media
While we are all picking up the pieces and trying to plan our attact, I think there are 2 huge systems we need to target.
1) OUR VOTING SYSTEM. This election was stolen. The fact that every state/district/county has different ways of voting, different procedures and different ways of dealing with registration and such is being taken advantage of and it needs to change. We need the SAME voting machines all over the country. We need the same registration guidelines everywhere. We need non-US/UN officials making sure everything works out. This is really ridiculous already. Why couldn't we fight it this time? Because black blox voting in Florida and Ohio meant their weren't any votes to count let alone recount. And I wonder how Rove knew last week they would "win" by 52% of the vote.
2) THE CORPORATE MEDIA. Why aren't you hearing anything in the news about widespread voter fraud? Why is no one in the news questioning the how the visibly high voter turn out didn't actually produce a very large number of votes? Why are the irregularities in democratic and minority districts not being questioned? Not to mention the fact that the media has been behind Bush every step of the way since 9/12/01. Misinformation and a lack of real journalism means that the media is working for them and not for us.
So here are 2 alternative media links for you to enjoy:
posted by knit wit | 11/04/2004 11:51:00 AM
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
another stage of grief
After getting off the phone with my mom (Happy Birthday Mom!!) and yelling furiously to my parents about how Kerry let us down, didn't fight, gave up, wimped out etc... I went online to the political forum I have been living on/by for the last 48 hours. I found this posting:
Yes, I needed to be reminded it is not about the distination but about the journey. Thank you kingfisher for reminding me.
posted by knit wit | 11/03/2004 08:55:00 PM
now i am really angry
I actually stopped crying. I stopped crying when Jo squirted me (by accident) with the garden hose while rinsing the leaves off our stoop. I got drenched and we just started laughing and laughing. Then we got into the car, went to the recycling center and listened to Air America.
So, alas, I haven't sworn off all politics- I have been hanging out on the democratic underground forum and Jo and I listened to the wonderful Randi Rhodes this afternoon.
Rove/Bush Co is so good at what they do- they STOLE this election in so many ways. So many ways that people know about but have little means of tracing. Kerry, instead of fighting like he promised for each vote to be counted has given up. Meanwhile, on the internet and radio the picture is becoming clearer and clearer. The election was stolen- Ohio and Florida would probably have gone to Kerry if it weren't for a combination of the following specifically planned tackets:
*provisional ballots in known democratic/minority districts
*black box (computer) balloting in select democratic districts- No receipts (which is something the repugs fought for in Ohio) means no tracing it.
*in other minority areas districts got the old "punch card" ballots which don't read the votes all the time unless you run them through multiple times.
*voting machines starting out in the negative for Kerry before voting began in the millions
and SO MUCH MORE you can read about HERE
Just know this was carefully orchestrated and that the media has done everything they can to turn attention away from voter fraud and let Bush just take over.
So, what is left? Well, we have 4 more years of Bush and that makes my heart want to break in two. That means illegal abortion, more wars, more trashing of the environment, no rights for gay people, more fear mongering, no school funding, the patriot act will become perminent and even extended. We have 4 more years of lies and deceit. 4 mores years of the very folks being in power who knew they couldn't even trust as to vote, who gave up on democracy. And even though Kerry did really win, somewhere around 40% of this country cast their vote for Bush. And you know what? They can have the smirkychimpster. They can have bunnypants. They can continue to be misled and misinformed. And you know what- they'll be a draft and they can send their kids to war. Or maybe then they'll start fleeing the country en masse instead of sending their kids to war. They wanted them, they can have him. And let Bush screw up so badly that they will know the truth sometime in the future.
posted by knit wit | 11/03/2004 04:52:00 PM
here's what I am doing
I'm burned- I am angry. I guess I shouldn't have cared so much. I'll go back to living a "normal", quiet little life now. Maybe I'll crawl out of this hole in a few days. I don't know. Picture me with my hands over my ears going "I can't hear you, naaa naaa naaa".
1. getting rid of cable.
2. de-programming air america from my car radio
3. cancelling my subscriptions to mother jones and the nation
4. getting rid of my bookmarks to political websites
5. listening to music about mundane shit (you know, those cheesey Indigo Girls love songs), instead of politcally charged music.
6. throwing out all my Kerry/Edwards shit. thanks for leading me to believe you wouldn't give up.
7. maybe I'll stop studying the media- carework seems like an interesting field.
8. Pealing the stickers off my volvo.
posted by knit wit | 11/03/2004 11:23:00 AM
"Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always." - Gandhi
posted by knit wit | 11/03/2004 10:49:00 AM
I don't want to talk about it
And we are cancelling cable.
posted by knit wit | 11/03/2004 10:45:00 AM
Let me just say that if you have given up or are a repug being all smug this morning DON'T post to my blog with ANY crap like "told you so" or "just give up". Just don't do it. If you voted for Nader in Wisconsin, or Bush anywhere, I don't want to talk to you.
where I am at this morning:
* hung over (last beer around 2am)
* I am sad and ANGRY that our voting is so full of fraud- Rove is behind it and it sickens me.
* My TV is OFF. The mainstream news is just pulling for Bush making it look like he won. So, the media is not fooling me.
* I was too optimistic. I admit it, okay? I underestimated the willingness of Rove/Bush Co. to swing this their way. I should have known they wouldn't give up so easily. It was too much to hope for a real, honest election.
* Maybe it is not good to care so much- to invest so much in something. But, I just can't help it. I could build a pillow fort in my living room and hide from the world like a friend of mine used to do in college.
giving me hope: (from the democraticunderground and other websites)
* Bush is ahead by 130,000 votes in Ohio but there are 230,000 provisional ballots
* Florida is too close to call for Kerry. 1 million absentee ballots not counted yet. Voting fraud being reported.
* major voting machine problems in Iowa, Nevada and Wisconsin.
* votes are missing folks. MASSIVE voter turnout recorded everywhere yet the final numbers show not much of an increase in turnout from 2000. As I kept saying last night, something isn't adding up.
* people are fighting this- they are not giving up hope and I'll try not to too.
But, I am also thinking of moving to Canada or England or Sweden or New Zealand. They need feminist sociologists too- right? Even though I don't want to give up on this country. Maybe through an election isn't a realistic way for us to take this country back- maybe we need a media and consumer revolution.
Maybe the mass of blue states- upper midwest, new england, NY, Penn etc... could all join Canada. Let them have their religious, moral, facist country. Let them have more wars. Let them have a draft. Let them discriminate against people they don't like. Let them be ignorant and misinformed.
We even experienced some voter fraud here in Wisconsin yesterday- it is under investigation and I will post about it later.
As Wellstone used to say:
never give up, never give up, never give up, never give up, never give up
posted by knit wit | 11/03/2004 09:32:00 AM
Monday, November 01, 2004
I'm nervous, okay?
So today I have been home being nervous. Actually, I should say first that I believe it will be a landslide for Kerry, but the voter suppression scares the fuck out of me. I listened to Randi Rhodes for a while on Air America this afternoon but her honesty even scared me. So, I did all the reading for my class tomorrow. I haven't worked on my thesis since early this past weekend. I actually watched most of a football game (the Packers beating the Redskins) on Sunday (for those of you who know me this is highly strange). I watched a couple spooky movies with my monster girl as well. And I've been knitting like crazy.
I am just filled with anxiety. I can't concentrate on anything- I tried and it just doesn't work. The news keeps saying "the race is tied" and republicans on the news are suffering from delusions. Some pundits on Hardball actually sounded positive for Kerry but no one on the news seems capable of admitting that the high voter turn out they are predicting is great for Kerry.
I can't wait to cast my vote tomorrow- to fire Bush myself. I can't wait for this to be over. Please, no more years of Bush. Please, no more years of Bush. Please, no more years of Bush.
I'll go back to the Democratic Underground now.
PS: I also must mention the lovely blogger dinner I went to Saturday night with fellow bloggers. Wonderful food and fun. I unfortunately left and drove through downtown Madison just as the the 75,000 students started to arrive for the halloween party/riots. I was stuck in traffic of cars and people, with guys in tights running around my car. I locked my doors. I was afraid. There was partying going on around me like I have never seen before. Thank goodness I spent my formative driving years in and around nyc b/c I pulled out some crazy and effective NY driving moves and got out of there fast. Then, I got flicked off by a guy in an SUV with a Bush sticker. I flicked him off back and he stuck his tongue out at me. It was hilarious.
posted by knit wit | 11/01/2004 08:24:00 PM