grad school, politics, knitting and other meanderings. And not enough time for any of it.



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knit me more time...
Monday, January 31, 2005
Miami details

I got to Miami on Thursday and met up with a couple SWSers in the Miami airport. The airport is removed from all public transportation (like Laguardia) and so you are at the mercy of the $26 round trip shuttle fare to the hotel. Way to kill my small budget!

I had a terrible time checking into the hotel- my name wasn't on the reservation for some reason (even though the person who reserved the room gave them my name) so they wouldn't let me check in until the person who reserved the room checked in. Someone from SWS let me go up to their room to hang out for a while. While I was in the bathroom I heard her on the phone with someone. When I got out she told me everything was fine- she called the general manager and raised some hell so they would let me check in. I went downstairs and the manager was waiting when I got off the elevator. He apologized so profusely for not letting me into my room and had someone check me in. She also apologized and apologized like I was some big, important person which made me totally uncomfortable.

When my other roommate arrived we decided to walk from the hotel to "downtown" Miami to find food. After walking around the very dirty and non-exciting downtown (filled with those flashy discount electronic/tourist shops a la Times Square) Miami, and only fining a Subway to eat at, I figured I was done with the city. Yeah, the ocean was a couple blocks away but other than that nothing else was impressing. I also forgot in my last-minute packing to bring any sunglasses or sunscreen. So, I got some color (I am shocked I am not sunburned).

Friday was for committee meetings on "Feminist Transformation of the Academy" and such. In the afternoon we had free time and decided to walk to a park near the water. From the park we wandered further around Miami, found the corporate offices of Barcardi and visited the Barcardi museum, and then we stopped in a local grocery store for oranges (only $.10 each!).

Friday night was the big banquet- an especially fun time, actually. The hotel served bottles of wine to each table with dinner (always lubricates social interaction among sociologists very well) and I spent some time re-connecting with some of my favorite people who I knew from other meetings. The banquetgot a little silly- the new president of SWS had all the founding mothers and past presidents get up and stand in a kind of receiving line while everyone else went through the line hugging and thanking each of them. It was actually kind of nice- I suppose if you didn’t know them already hugging them would have been a little creepy. Later on, someone was awarded a "Sponge bob triangle pants" for wiping up slime like Larry Summers of Harvard with.

Saturday night a bunch of us went to South Beach for dinner and drinks. I didn't think I would like it- I thought it would be very snooty, upper-class, and expensive. Some of the restaurants and people were indeed like that, but there was a such a wide mix of people just drinking and hanging out that I felt pretty comfortable and actually had a blast. I might have gotten pretty wasted along with everyone else and I might have even danced (shocking, I know). We walked on the beach- I honestly have to say I forgot the Atlantic ocean could be warm. I walked around with one wonderful new friend (the kind of person you connect with instantly and don’t ever have to explain yourself to and wonder why you weren't always friends with) and we ended up finding Versace’s house (so beautiful!) where Versace was shot and killed (I didn't even know he was dead). We also found some very ritzy hotels with intense security and wondered who was staying there.

So, all in all it was a wonderful weekend- I also have some funny little things to post- overheard conversations and strange incidents, but I'll save that for another time and get back to work.

posted by knit wit | 1/31/2005 01:16:00 PM


I'll post details about my trip to Miami for the SWS meeting later on today when I am more awake. I slept about 12 hours last night- to give you an idea why... 11pm Saturday: got back to the hotel after an evening in South Beach 12am Sunday: still listening to my roommate yell at Delta airlines on the phone because her flight was cancelled and they couldn't fly her out until Tuesday. 1am Sunday: approx. time I fell asleep. 4:30am Sunday: got up 5am: airport shuttle to airport 6am: still in line at NW check in- checking in with eticket machine said "please see agent" 6:15am: talk to agent who sends me to Continental. The first leg of my trip (to Houstan) is through continental. 6:25am: fed up with the huge line at continental, I followed the lead of some guy who also thought that those with no bags to check should not be standing in line with those who do. We cut in the front to use the eticket machines that were not, for some reason, set off to the side. 6:30am: rushed through security 6:40am: on the plane 6:50am: plane takes off 20 minutes late. 8:35am: plane lands in Houston, George Bush International Aiport (do they have to keep saying that?) 8:40am: stewards ask people to remain seated as some of us have tight connections and need to get off first. No one pays attention. My next flight: 9:04 on a different airline. A nice elderly couple with a strong southern drawl helps me pass my lugguge down through the aisle and tells the crowd of clueless people I need to get off now. They were so sweet and I didn't even get to thank them! 8:45am-9:05am: ran through Houston airport like a crazy person with clogs on. Clogs are great for going through security and taking off your shoes but suck for running. They held the plane for me and rushed me onto it as I ran toward the gate. All the flights were full b/c of the weather in Atlanta so I doubt I would have been able to get another flight. I collapsed in my seat, exhausted and hungry. I think I got shinsplints- my shins and legs hurt so badly. I know I say I love to travel- but sometimes it really is a pain. But, after sleeping for 12 hours and after a wonderful weekend with the most wonderful people, I feel recharged and reinspired. Well, first I need to have some coffee. I'll post more details about my trip later on.

posted by knit wit | 1/31/2005 07:13:00 AM

Wednesday, January 26, 2005
time, time, time what has become of me?

3:25 is when my seminar is! That's right- 3:25pm until 5:25pm. No- I am doing it again. I planned on blogging about how I went to my seminar at 3:25 instead of the actual class time of 2:25. That's right- 1 hour late. And I sat down- not understanding why everyone was already deep in conversation until I saw my syllabus and it said 2:25-5:25. So, why then even in the beginning of this blog post do I insist again on the time of the course being 3:25? What the hell is wrong with me. ehem- Let's start this post again- 2:25 is when my seminar is! That's right- 2:25pm until 5:25pm. Why I kept insisting all day today that the class began at 3:25, I don't know. At 3pm I even stopped by the TA office to say hi to people and sit for a couple minutes. Then, I walked in late to my seminar and felt like shit for a while. I think it is time to set that annoying alarm on my palm pilot. I also screwed something up at work this week (involving the incorrect grant application being loaded onto the server for only a few hours but enough time to make everyone I work for panic). It was a major momentary lapse of reason for me when I made the mistake- I have no idea what I was thinking. This is not the only such incident- lately I forget everything. I need to start writing myself post-it notes insisting things like: "Remember lunch", "bring book to school", "go to the bank", or "print readings for class". Writing post-its isn't so bad, but what I am more worried about is the time lapse issue. I never used be late for anything- I'd do whatever it took to get to work a few minutes early or be at the bus stop nice and early. I wake up with plenty of time before I need to make the bus. I drink my coffee. I read the news, blogs etc... take a shower, eat something and head out the door on time. Instead I get sidetracked. Let's say I have 5 minutes before I have to leave. 10 minutes later I have checked the weather channel and changed my shoes and have missed the bus. It's like I have no sense of time. If I told you how many buses I tried to make every morning but didn't, it would be embarrassing. It is a joke now with Jo- she'll ask what bus I am taking to school and when I answer she'll laugh and say "yeah right". Changing topics now... I am leaving for Miami tomorrow and I just packed. I packed way more clothing than I need for a 3 day conference, but in this very cold winter, I seem to have forgotten what 80 degrees feels like, so I packed a variety of clothes. Its a conference for feminist sociologists and I just can't wait to be there. Anyway- I know it was just 6 weeks ago that I was dying to leave Madison- and again, here I am dying to leave Madison. Its not so much Madison itself- I need a break from things like work, and group blogs I should refrain from posting in for a while b/c I just get irritated. I will miss my usual blog reads though! I won't be blogging from the airport or hotel or anything as that just costs money so I'll fill you in on my first time among palm trees when I get back (that's right folks, I've never seen a palm tree).

posted by knit wit | 1/26/2005 09:52:00 PM

Tuesday, January 25, 2005
most loathsome

this is really terrible- but fitting for the times and oh so freakin' funny*. I think #50 should be further up the list. I totally do not agree with #44, but that's okay- the punishment is funny enough. #25, #40 and #41 are just right on. And I love #18, #19 and especially #15. I would have moved #6 to #1. *I found this wonderful list on the wonderful witty FidgetyBudgie!

posted by knit wit | 1/25/2005 08:09:00 PM

musical funk

I don't mean funk music, but that I am in a musical funk. I love all the music I listen to but none of it is really hitting the spot right now. I've actually been in such a funk for a couple months now. I have the same half a dozen itunes playlists that I've been listening to on my ipod but they just aren't doing anything for me. They're the usual mix of Ani Difranco, Indigo Girls, Dar William, PJ Harvey, Bjork, Tori Amos (and some Annie Lennox, REM, Cat Stevens and Simon & Garfunkel). I have the new REM album and I listen to it a lot but it is kind of depressing- a wonderful album that is a throw back to the older REM (although not a great as Automatic for the People). At the end of last semester I listened to all Pink Floyd while I was writing (Meddle, Wish You Were Here, Animals and the Dark Side of the Moon). I also love Led Zeppelin, ABBA, Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Janis Joplin and others, but I haven't felt much like listening to any of those. There just isn't any *new* music I like. Honestly, Ani Difranco's last 2 albums have been disappointments (there only a couple songs on each that I like- her peak, I am sad to say, might have been Revelling/Reckoning). I tried to get into the new U2, but couldn't. I used to run the music department at Borders, so I listened to all kinds of *pop* music and liked some of it (Lauren Hill for example, or the first Macy Grey album). But, there is more pop music that I don't like- for example, if I hear that "run through the halls of my high school" song again I'll run. And don't recommend the White Stripes. I don't like *dance* music (although I can appreciate when it is done well). Every lesbian I have know has tried to get me into Melissa Ferrick, and it just isn't happening. I wish, wish, wish, there was a new Fiona Apple album as I think she is one of the most talented songwriters to come out in a long time. There actually is a new album, but Epic won't release it as it doesn't have a "hit song" and isn't "commercial enough"- which is exactly why I loath most pop music. Is it just that the music I listen to is so dated that the artists just don't come out with much anymore- or loose their steam with new albums? (the Indigo Girls would be an exception to this- I love their most recent albums). Is there some wonderful new artist/band that I don't know about? The lyrics must be complex and well-written, and not trite. The music must be very good as well. Any recommendations, blog readers? Or should I just take my usual music and mix it up again in itunes?

posted by knit wit | 1/25/2005 06:40:00 AM

Monday, January 24, 2005
a mystery

Yesterday, I developed (very quickly) some kind of red, puffy, rash on my face. It was very strange, because I had just rubbed my eyes, but I hadn't touched anything that would specifically make me have an allergic reaction. I think it has to be something I touched because I had red, puffy fingerprints above my eyes- I must have rubbed something on me. I've had such reactions to anything (soap, shampoo etc...) with peppermint oil. I quickly took a benedryl which always knocks me out, forgetting that I had already taken a 24-hour claritin (antihistamine) the night before. So, the double dose of antihistamine really knocked me out. I think I slept 14 hours (instead of accomplishing anything useful). I keep going over in my head everything I did and touched before my face became red and puffy and nothing makes sense. Here's a snapshot of the moments leading up the rash.
  • I cleaned off our car- first with the shovel and then with the little scraper-thingy.
  • We went to get lunch and ran some errands. I washed my hands when I got home.
  • We have the same soap in the bathroom and kitchen that we have always had.
  • I put on some lotion- same lotion I've used for a while.
  • I used my ibook for a little while, then brought a book into the living room.
  • I knit for a little while (acrylic yarn I have knit with before)
  • I took off my glasses and rubbed my eyes- instanty burning and stinging ensued.
So, I used nothing new and I can't imagine what actually brought on an allergic reaction. I wish I knew, because I'd really like to avoid whatever it is in the future.

posted by knit wit | 1/24/2005 07:48:00 AM

Sunday, January 23, 2005

So, I took this quiz online to find out how old you act. I scored an age of 37- 10 years older than I actually am. As far as internet quizes go, this one is only mildly interesting I guess in that it wasted a few minutes of my day. Thirtysomething at heart?
30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!
you can take the quiz here:What Age Do You Act?

posted by knit wit | 1/23/2005 10:23:00 AM

Saturday, January 22, 2005
snowed in

We are truly snowed in this morning. I called the city (because they never plow our street) and they told me they started plowing small streets around 7am and it would take 10-12 hours to get everyone plowed out! In the mean time, I tried to move our car out of the driveway so that they could plow the driveway decently, and now my car is very stuck on the side of the road. We wanted to run all kinds of errands today- but we aren't going anywhere until they plow! I was supposed to take the visiting professor to the aiport this morning but she called very early and insisted that she take a cab because of the snow. Now that I know picking her up would have been impossible, it is for the best. I went back to sleep after she called and woke up remembering that she had told me I could "call her anytime about my research". Huh? I thought it must have been a dream but Jo could hear both sides of the phone call and told me it wasn't. Jeez. Now that is just insane. So, her visit went just so wonderfully- I feel newly inspired/motivated to work. Anything that does that is always welcome. But, I think I'll make hot chocolate and watch some tv for a while first. Maybe we'll even make a snowperson later!

posted by knit wit | 1/22/2005 11:14:00 AM

Friday, January 21, 2005

there's nothing like setting yourself up to be dissappointed by meeting personally someone who's work you admire tremendously, and then being wonderfully surprised when they are nice, ask you questions, want to talk about your research and experiences and even admit to not knowing what the hell discourse analysis is either. and when i asked her if she had anything specific she would like me to say when i introduce her tomorrow she asked "will the boys be there" and i said "i hope so" and she said "they better be". i'll try to get rid of my headache (probably from a few nights of too little sleep) now with some coffee.

posted by knit wit | 1/21/2005 07:33:00 AM

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Knit Wit and her blog are officially in mourning today.

posted by knit wit | 1/20/2005 01:28:00 AM

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
human intelligence

in the interest of keeping my blog chipper, and up-beat in its usual sarcastic and boring kind of way- this from fidgetybudgie ought to make you smile...

posted by knit wit | 1/18/2005 10:39:00 PM

hazy shade of winter

At the end of the summer, the first day of classes seems more exciting. Today was just irritating. Maybe because I haven't bought new notebooks yet, or because my books for my class haven't shipped yet from amazon? Maybe because I have been working every day since 12/29 anyway and I love campus so much more without thousands of undergrads running around (without hats, talking on their cells in 10 degree weather!). So, today was just another day at work. Maybe tomorrow I'll buy a new notebook before trudging up the hill for my first seminar meeting. I have been very melancholy lately. I had a sad dream last night that everyone I knew was going out to dinner and doing other fun things and I had to watch all the fun from that outsider vantage point that I always have in dreams. Anyway, that's just a silly junior high-type of dream- but I am struck lately by how lonely I am here. I have a few good friends scattered around the nyc area but it is hard to keep in touch all the time. I am so grateful to have a partner I love hanging out with but it isn't the same as the margarita-buddy I used to love to laugh with on Saturday nights. It must be grad school- everyone is stressed out, everyone works all the time, and everyone else is a complete and utter tool. Or maybe I have just been listening to the melancholy new R.E.M. album too much. Or maybe it is the bitter cold I always purport to love so much? It could be the impending coronation of King W. I ought to be thrilled this week- I am introducing my favorite feminist theorist on Friday. Instead, I have to still finish my conference paper submission. And I'll listen to R.E.M. while I work.

posted by knit wit | 1/18/2005 08:18:00 PM

the privileged speak

In the news today is an article about some remarks made by the president of Harvard about women in science and math. This comes after I spent all of last week and this weekend reading the work of my favorite theorist, Dorothy Smith (more online info here and here). Lawrence H. Summers, speaking Friday at a conference, questioned how great a role discrimination plays in keeping female scientists and engineers from advancing at elite universities. "Here was this economist lecturing pompously (to) this room full of the country's most accomplished scholars on women's issues in science and engineering, and he kept saying things we had refuted in the first half of the day," said Denton, the outgoing dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Washington. "It's possible I made some reference to innate differences," he said. He said people "would prefer to believe" that the differences in performance between the sexes are due to social factors, "but these are things that need to be studied." Oh my god! Social factors? Someone ought to study that!!

posted by knit wit | 1/18/2005 08:03:00 AM

Sunday, January 16, 2005
because he's hiding.

Excuse me, blog readers, while my blog continues on it's political bend. I actually had a dream last night that some anonymous blog reader wanted to know why I didn't blog about knitting much. My guilt for whatever mundane thing always ends up in dreams. I didn't answer in the dream, but I will answer here: Very Little Time To Knit, folks. I did knit some wonderful holiday presents- I am almost done knitting the last one. I did finish a scarf for myself to match a hat (all in Noro) and I am wearing it right now to keep me warm. Okay so the knitting out of the way- on to some politics. These are some highlights from a Washington Post interview with King Georgie (found here): The Post: In Iraq, there's been a steady stream of surprises. We weren't welcomed as liberators, as Vice President Cheney had talked about. We haven't found the weapons of mass destruction as predicted. The postwar process hasn't gone as well as some had hoped. Why hasn't anyone been held accountable, either through firings or demotions, for what some people see as mistakes or misjudgments? THE PRESIDENT: Well, we had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 election. And the American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me, for which I'm grateful.

. . .

The Post: Why do you think [Osama] bin Laden has not been caught? THE PRESIDENT: Because he's hiding. . . .

The Post: Now a parochial question for The Post in D.C. THE PRESIDENT: I'm trying to stay concentrated. The Post: What's that? THE PRESIDENT: I'm just trying to stay concentrated. You've got a whole -- The Post: . . . I've got to ask you at least a couple domestic questions. Your answers are short, though. THE PRESIDENT: A lot shorter than usual.

. . .

The Post: Will you talk to Senate Democrats about your [Social Security] privatization plan? THE PRESIDENT: You mean, the personal savings accounts? The Post: Yes, exactly. Scott has been -- THE PRESIDENT: We don't want to be editorializing, at least in the questions. The Post: You used partial privatization yourself last year, sir. THE PRESIDENT: Yes? The Post: Yes, three times in one sentence. We had to figure this out, because we're in an argument with the RNC about how we should actually word this. [Post staff writer] Mike Allen, the industrious Mike Allen, found it. THE PRESIDENT: Allen did what now? The Post: You used partial privatization. THE PRESIDENT: I did, personally? The Post: Right. THE PRESIDENT: When? The Post: To describe it. THE PRESIDENT: When, when was it? The Post: Mike said it was right around the election. THE PRESIDENT: Seriously? The Post: It was right around the election. We'll send it over. THE PRESIDENT: I'm surprised. Maybe I did. It's amazing what happens when you're tired. Anyway, your question was? I'm sorry for interrupting.

posted by knit wit | 1/16/2005 08:31:00 PM


Having nothing better to do while drinking my coffee, I took the nerd quiz that Nina and Ang & Katy took. I scored 77, or "mid-level nerd". I'm actually surprised I scored that high considering the quiz measures the typical science/math/computer kind of nerdiness. I guess a geek quiz would be different. If it included measures like having books alphabetized, taking pride in how large your library is in Endnote, thinking of the weekend as a time to get work done, or discussing sociological theory while drinking beer and eating pizza with a fellow grad student, I think I would score higher.

posted by knit wit | 1/16/2005 08:22:00 AM

Saturday, January 15, 2005
something smells like onions

Question: Having so many things to do this weekend, what have I been doing? Answer: Reading news from all over the internet, and then blogging about it. [well, not really all day, just when I can't concentrate on whatever I am doing. So, let's say 40% of the time.] I've been coming across some news stories that I would expect to see in the onion. But, no, as much as I might hope that they are satire, they're real news stories. My last post about "gay sex bombs" is one example. Another is this news headline: Bush has declared today "National Sanctity of Human Life Day". Yet another that I really, really wish were a joke is "Congress killed measures to ban U.S. use of torture". This article "What the First Lady Will Wear" I wish were from the onion, but sadly, it is not. Highlights of this incredible piece of journalism include: "Laura Bush has made her choice. Ending weeks of speculation on Seventh Avenue about what she would wear on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, Mrs. Bush said Monday that Oscar de la Renta would design her inaugural ball gown, a dress that for a time at least will be the most scrutinized in the country." "Mrs. Bush appears to be displaying a growing awareness that her power is entrenched. She has gone from being just folks to being a bit imperial, assuming a bit more of a queenly role" [ahhh- I'm glad she is feeling imperial and queenly for the coronation of King George] But just in case you were worried that Laura's dress might be too daring- have no fear: "There is nothing intimidating about Laura's ball gown. To judge from the sketches released by the White House on Monday, it has a reassuringly familiar look, reminiscent in spirit and in silhouette of the gowns James Galanos designed for Nancy Reagan in the 1980's." Whew. Back to Nancy Reagan and everything is fine again.

posted by knit wit | 1/15/2005 10:53:00 PM

gay sex bombs?

I thought what Randi Rhodes was laughing about yesterday was a joke. Really, I thought it was a very funny joke. Well, it turns out it isn't a joke at all.

posted by knit wit | 1/15/2005 09:32:00 AM

Friday, January 14, 2005
so let me get this straight-

1) The search for WMDs is over in Iraq. There were none. (I am so very shocked and surprised!) Sorry 1336 US soldiers and thousands of Iraqi's who died. But don't worry- Bush would have still invaded knowing what he knows now- there's nothing like spreading US imperialism by occupying other countries. No weapons, no threat folks. Who feels safer now? 2) And there's nothing like having terrorists someplace where they weren't before. I just saw on CNN that a new report that the place for the next generation of terrorists is Iraq. They weren't there before. That's right- they weren't there before (I hope blog readers know that). But, they're in Iraq now. BushCo. has successfully created another batch of terrorists pissed off at the US. Way to go Operation Iraqi Freedom! I still haven't been watching much of the news- too busy! But, I did here some "coronation music" from the upcoming coronation of King George. It made me cry all over again and it has been a while since I cried over politics. Ugh- I truly can't believe we have to suffer another 4 years of growing fascism. Someone tell me it is a nightmare.

posted by knit wit | 1/14/2005 03:09:00 PM

Thursday, January 13, 2005
Knit Wit meets George Bush Intercontinental Airport

I waited too long to get my ticket for the SWS meeting in Miami, Florida on the 27th. I was waiting for my loan check to come in, and of coure, the day the loan check came in, ticket prices went from being about $230 to being about $370. So, I looked around and found an unpublished cheaper airfare for $270. The meeting will reimburse me up to $300 so basically I am travelling for free. But, here is the hitch. On the way home from Miami, I leave at 6am which means I probably won't sleep at all the night before. Saturday night is the night to go out and eat and drink, which I will want to do. No problem, though, I'll sleep on the plane. And I'll have plenty of planes to sleep on on the way home. I fly from Miami to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas. I've never been to Texas. I've never been anywhere near Texas. I've also never been in a building named after a Bush family member. I'll be proudly sporting my anti-Bush button while I am there. I have a 3 hour layover in Bush's airport before I get on another plane to fly to Detroit. Detroit is my least favorite airport because they have lots of restaurants that serve nothing for vegetarian food but freakin' salads with yucky iceberg lettuce. Then, finally, I fly from Detroit to Madison. Yikes. How much more convoluted could my trip home be? Maybe they should also fly me to somewhere like Washington state before flying me back to Madison? The only bonus of all this travelling is the abundance of reading time and the many airline miles I'll wrack up.

posted by knit wit | 1/13/2005 09:45:00 AM

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
an impossible decision

I just got back from Big Brothers Big Sisters. I am getting matched with a new little sister and today I heard about 3 possible matches. I was matched before to someone but she was older (13-14) and kind of aged out of the program (she was wonderfully anti-institutional and protective of herself so she'll do fine). I remember this feeling from the last time I had to chose a little sister- I want to choose all of them. Basically, in this appointment, I sat down and heard everything about 3 girls, all 9-10 years old. Hearing about their daily struggles, school, families, and social lives is overwhelming. It really puts my difficulties in grad school in perspective. Here is a recap of the 3 I have to choose from. [I changed their names] Beth: Will be 10 in February. She has been matched before to a big sister who moved recently. Her mother struggles with depression, is on disability and is often in the hospital. Her older sister was adopted and has a history of sexual abuse. She is kind of caught in the middle of all of this. Before, she was in the program because she had a low self esteem and was struggling in school. Now, she loves school and is doing okay. She has become more outgoing and wants to be a lawyer. Anna: Lives with her mother and 8 sisters and brothers of various ages. They often have no phone, so making dates with Anna will be more difficult. Her teacher wrote on her form that Anna has "limited life experiences" and often comes to school tired and unable to concentrate. She loves reading, but isn't doing great in school. She has no behavior problems but her teacher called her "spunky". Her mother is "delayed" and receives disability, food stamps, but no child support from the father. Anna's big wishes in life are 1) to have a big sister 2) world peace 3) no poverty in the world and 4) for people of all races to get along. Her idol is Martin Luther King Junior. Rose: Lives with her grandmother, mother and 3 siblings. She loves doing girly things like hair and makeup. She doesn't do very well in school and freqently has behavioral issues. Her teacher said she needs a big sister who "won't take any crap" and that "once you get past Sandra's toughness she is a wonderfully sweet kid." Sandra's idol is her grandmother and she just started playing the violin. The only subject in school she likes is music. So, I am pretty sure I have decided on Anna, but it hard to even weigh the pros and cons of picking any of these girls. Beth has already been matched with a big, so she has had that experience and it has helped her. Sandra has behavioral issues, and while I have been working on not being so nice all the time, I don't know if I could deal well enough with that. There is also something about Anna that sounds wonderful and spunky. And the other girls will hopefully get big sisters soon. I have never used my blog to tell people to do anything (I don't think I have, anyway) but I'll just encourage readers to think about volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Near where you live there are hundreds of kids just like these girls who need someone to talk to and hang out with once a week. I know it seems impossible to find a couple spare hours a week, but when I did it last year, the couple hours I spent were worth it. The organization is also very cool- they take all kinds of volunteers (even gay and lesbian people as long as it is fine with the parent which surprisingly it usually is). With the Bush admin's "no child left behind" testing but no funding crap, cuts in Pell Grants, cuts in welfare etc... etc... it seems like the least we can do to help a kid out.

posted by knit wit | 1/11/2005 04:46:00 PM

Sunday, January 09, 2005
a busy month!

This weekend has been wonderfully productive. After slothing around for a few weeks, I finally feel re-charged. I don't know how clear it was to blog readers, but the end of last semester really almost drained the life out of me (actually the entire year kind of fried my brain). I hope the multiple lows of last year were just for 2004 and that 2005 will really be better. Anyway, I cleaned my desk at home as it really suffered from the craziness of last semester. Some might think this is just another way of procrastinating- not working on the book review until my desk was clean, but I really could not have sat down and accomplished anything with a messy desk. It's organized now- books are alphabetical again and all is right with this little corner of the world. Speaking of books- we went to Half Price Books yesterday and I made a few great purchases. They didn't have any of the many, many books I need for this semester's courses, but they did have some other books that I needed for the prelim and in general. I ended up purchasing this, this, this, and this, all for 5 bucks each! And they all have no marks whatsoever in them. Jo also picked up a dvd box set of some 50 great old movies for $15. We truly love Half Price Books. I just looked at our calendar and realized what a very busy month this is chalking up to be! Here's some of what is going on...
  • Jo is going to NYC to visit friends this Thursday for about 2 weeks.
  • While she's away, I'll be finishing the book review I should have written last summer. This time the procrastination was really ridiculous- its a great book and I would have spared some stress dreams if I had just gotten this written last year.
  • And I'll be working on throwing together something to submit for the ASA conference.
  • Oh yeah, and classes begin. I'll probably wind up spending like 300 bucks on books for only one class. Yikes.
  • My favorite sociologist, Dorothy Smith, is coming to speak on the 21st. I am introducing her at her talk, which I am very nervous about, and I am interviewing her with a friend of mine. We haven't even started working on that yet. They also asked me to pick her up at the airport. Needless to say, I am excited beyond belief. Like I explained to Jo, it is like her getting to meet her idol Kate Bush.
  • When Jo gets home from NY, I am going to Miami, Florida for the winter meeting of Sociologists for Women in Society. I just looked at the website for the hoteland discovered it is 2 blocks from the beach! I've never been to Florida and the most I know of the Atlantic is the cold waters off the rocky coast of Maine, so this should be very interesting. I love the beach, but only really at night. I burn so easily that going to the beach to swim/sunbathe during the day sound terrible. It is about 80 degrees in Florida this time of the year which should be quite a shock to the system! Should I bring sandals or will my pale, white feet blind everyone? I am also slightly nervous about being the only one there at the meeting from my school- even my advisor won't be there. I've met other people who will hopefully be there, but otherwise I'll just need to be really friendly and social or I'll be bored as hell. Thank god everyone wears name tags b/c I am so terrible at remembering names.
Update on shoveling: Our landlord came by yesterday and is now going to pay us to shovel, since no one else wants to do it. We're happy b/c we really like shoveling anyway and getting money off the rent is always nice.

posted by knit wit | 1/09/2005 09:43:00 AM

Friday, January 07, 2005
drop kick me*

One of the things that never ceases to amaze me about grad school is that all in one day you can go from being drop kicked and crying in the TA office (don't ask- just know it had to do with stats again), to feeling like everything is okay and there are bountiful academic opportunities ahead of you by the end of the same day. That jerking back and forth that drives me nuts, but I can't complain about feeling okay about everything right now. I also can't complain about the wine that is making me wonderfully light-headed. I don't usually like wine, but we got a big bottle for New Years and are still working on finishing it off. The light-headed, jittery feeling could also have to do with the 4 different inhaler-type allergy medications I just took. I went to the doctor today and found out I probably have indoor allergies. I also found out a person isn't supposed to have a runny nose and cough for months at a time. I'll find out what exactly I am allergic to later. Don't laugh- but cats are a possibility. Not having cats is clearly not an option. Can you mix this stuff with wine? Hey, why the hell not. I also had a couple other mishaps today- I was late to a meeting where I was presenting some research I did for the dean. I parked illegally and got a ticket. When I opened my mouth to present my research in the meeting, the tool that I work with (who was only there to set up the damn laptop) began to speak- explaining everything like he had done the work. I was quite proud of myself for interupting him and taking the damned thing over. From the low points of crying again in 7110, getting the parking ticket and running into a meeting late, the high point of the day would have to be when my advisor used the word "f*cking" in conversation (not in an angry way at all); "fill out the f*cking application Knit Wit..." I cracked up- and still do when I think about it. I know faculty are people too- but it is easy to forget that. *the title of this post pays homage to my favorite line from Nunsense. Back in my lighting design days, I lit a summer theatre production of Nunsense and watched the show probably 50 times over the course of the summer. The cast was great- I miss the hell out of those girls. My favorite line that always cracked me up was "drop kick me jesus through the goal post of life".

posted by knit wit | 1/07/2005 09:00:00 PM

Wednesday, January 05, 2005
shoveling snow

I really love the snow- I love how it changes how the world is lit. I love how it makes everything quiet. I even love driving in the snow- I love fishtailing around a corner. I am seriously a nut about snow. I even love shoveling snow- but not, however, when I have a cold/sinus infection/allergies (whatever the fuck is making me congested for months and months). We live in a small apartment building with 5 other apartments. All the other tenants are nice people- we say hi and wave and have conversations every now and then. It is in all of our leases that everyone must share the shoveling. Last year Jo and I shoveled the first couple snow storms with no help so we mentioned it to the landlord and he called everyone reminding them that everyone needs to shovel. Of course, I don't think it snowed after that. Today with my cough and such, Jo and I decided not to be first people to shovel. Other tenants came home from work, walked their dogs, and settled down for the night, and by 9pm, no one had shoveled. There is quite a bit to shovel- and if it isn't done soon after it snows then everyone walks on it and it ices over. So, we got our shovel out of storage, and like the too nice people we are, shoveled everything. Why is it that people can not take turns doing things? One of the other tenants saw us shoveling and waved. She is under the strange impression that we are the apartment managers and perhaps she thinks this extends to shoveling. During the summer she knocked on the door to complain about construction noise from across the street and I told her we were not the managers and couldn't/wouldn't do anything about it. Soon after that, she knocked on our back door late at night (very loudly, I remember) to tell us that there was an unknown car in the parking lot. I asked her what she expected me to do about it- and she said again that we were the apartment managers. I told her we were not and that she could leave a note on the car if she wanted to. I wonder how many times will we have to tell her we are not the apartment managers. I wonder what everyone else's excuse is.

posted by knit wit | 1/05/2005 09:44:00 PM

Saturday, January 01, 2005
way to back peddle

I just turned on the news (I started watching the news again while in Maine). Way to do some serious back peddling about the original 35 million dollar donation from the Bush Admin. Sure, that was just "for initial dollar amount just to survey the damage." Sure. Maybe they should have just watched CNN to survey the damage and given more that they spend in 4 hours occupying Iraq in the first place!!

posted by knit wit | 1/01/2005 09:17:00 AM

no new years resolutions for me

Nope. Not this year. In the past I made new years resolutions- the usual things that really apply to any time of the year (not procrastinating, writing more, reading more, knitting more, more yoga, etc... are always relevant). This year I am not filled with so much hope for the new year. Sorry to sound glum but that's just the way it is. With the past year's events; the election, the "war" in Iraq, the recent tsunami disaster (to name a few) my usual hopeful spirit is dampened. Even the christmas songs about world peace and hope didn't move me this season. Instead of new years resolutions when the ball fell (11pm central time), I had lingering questions. Major Questions- the kind that keep me up sometimes at night. Some of them don't have answers- and some are too complex and huge to even ponder for too long.
  • why people don't understand that we aren't at war in Iraq- that we are occupying their country. And those rebels and insurgents are really fighting for their country not to be occupied any more by a foreign power.
  • why it doesn't bother the hell out of people that during this holiday season we needed food drives for soldiers' families. shouldn't soldiers who are risking their lives (regardless of what they are risking their lives for) be paid enough to make it so that their families can afford food? doesn't this make anyone angry that their families need donated cans of food to feed their families??
  • why the hell there are people who have gone back to Sri Lanka to finish their vacation on the beach when so many people there need help with basic needs and 1 out of every 3 people in that country died. How could someone vacation on the same beach and ignore the continued suffering in the towns behind them?
  • why poor people in this country voted for Bush. I know there are reasons and that this was one of the biggest, most successful snow-jobs in history, but it still shocks me to see, for example, so many people who can barely afford christmas shopping at walmart with Bush/Cheney stickers on their cars.
  • when will people see what a total shmuck Bush is? When will they get it? Will it ever happen? It is so horrible that we are going to have another 4 years of him- like with a movie that I rented and is torture to watch, I want to check Internet Movie Database to see what the end is so that I am prepared- so that I can keep watching.
okay. the list could go on but I guess I'll stop. Seriously, though. It is a new year. I guess there is a little hope it could be better than the last year. I'll hang on to that and spend today knitting, watching more of the Twilight Zone marathon, and eating left overs from last night's new year's dinner. All that work I have to do in 2005 (before 1/18/05 to be exact), well, I'll start that tomorrow.

posted by knit wit | 1/01/2005 08:38:00 AM

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