Monday, January 31, 2005

McSweeney Share

Aaron and I were just talking about this. It deserves a reprisal. It's the funniest thing EVER!



E-mail Addresses It Would Be Really Annoying to Give Out Over the Phone.

BY MICHAEL WARD
  • MikeUnderscore2004@yahoo.com
  • MikeAtYahooDotCom@hotmail.com
  • Mike_WardAllOneWord@yahoo.com
  • AAAAAThatsSixAs@yahoo.com
  • One1TheFirstJustTheNumberTheSecondSpelledOut@hotmail.com

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Fun, Sexy Abby is a Quizoholic

Hello, my name is Abby, and I'm a Quiz-oholic.

You Are Fun Sexy
You're funny, quirky, cute, and sassy. Guys always have a great time with you, and that alone is sexy. You've got an upbeat, optimistic spirit that totally shines through. Any guy would be crazy to turn you down!



What Kind of Sexy Are You? Take This Quiz :-)

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Update: (1:38pm) OK. You know what the problem is with this quiz (besides the obvious fact that it's crap)? It assumes that everyone is some kind of sexy. Surely that isn't the case. Certainly there are people who just aren't sexy at all. I'm not saying. I'm just saying.

On the Road Again

The boy drives 3+ hours round-trip from Nashville to see me almost every single week. I've had the idea for this gift for a while, but I only just acted on it yesterday. I did a little research and found this, which is a nearly-perfect example of the gift I hoped to give. I'm starting with the 15-day freebie, then if it all goes to plan, I'll sign up for real. This guy seems to like it. I wish someone would work out that the real improvement over all of this would be the ability to download these things online as MP3s, although then I would hope for more than 2 at a time. That's probably a violation of something or another, and they'd probably make you buy the things then. Maybe MP3s that stopped working after a certain period of time? There are a few MP3s on the site, but they are no better than the ones you can get here. Anyway, the boy has now filled his "bookshelf," and the first two are on the way.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Blog So I'll Read It / Ice Cream Update

I completely agree with this woman about how best to write killer blog posts. Especially the part about white space and keeping the posts short. I know there are days when one must ramble, but don't expect anyone but your closest friends to read those long posts. Even your closest friends won't read those if they are having a busy day. I'm just saying.

Another thought I'd like to add is that it's important not to blog too often. More than 2-3 blog posts on a single blog in a day, and I shift into super-skim mode. Give your posts a little time to sink in before you start adding more.

---

Ice cream adventure update: Tonight Aaron and I made Baci Ice Cream (as in chocolate hazelnut ice cream), and it wasn't nearly as good as the Cheesecake Ice Cream of last weekend. A whole bottle of Nutella and a candy bar and a half of 70% cocoa chocolate, and it just wasn't that good. Go figure!

Memphis filmmaker's flick sets Sundance record

From KnoxNews:
'Hustle & Flow' snatched up for $16 million

By JOHN BEIFUSS, Scripps Howard News Service
January 29, 2005

PARK CITY, Utah - Craig Brewer's "Hustle & Flow," the low-budget independent movie shot last summer on the inner-city streets of Memphis, was snapped up this month in a Sundance Film Festival-record deal worth $16 million.

"This is historic, not just for Memphis but for independent filmmaking," said Brewer, the 33-year-old writer-director...
I hope you know to use Bug Me Not by now.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Smoking Mickeys

Apparently Smoking Mickeys are very punk rock. I know one of them. Does that make me punk rock by proxy?

I'm a Golden God

I can't stay away from the stupid quizzes. It's the Psychologist in me... I have a contant need to assess. I think I said that before. Anyway, here are my results from the latest:

20 Questions to a Better Personality

Wackiness: 56/100
Rationality: 66/100
Constructiveness: 56/100
Leadership: 60/100
  • You are a WRCL--Wacky Rational Constructive Leader. This makes you a Golden God.
  • You think fast and have a smart mouth, and you are a hoot to your friends and razorwire to your enemies. You hold a grudge like a brass ring. You crackle.
  • Although you have a leader's personality, you often choose not to lead, as leaders stray too far from their audience. You probably weren't very popular in high school--the joke's on them!
  • You may be a rock star.
  • Of the 83110 people who have taken this quiz since tracking began (8/17/2004), 7 % are this type.
Hmm... I wasn't unpopular in high school, but I wasn't prom queen either. I don't hold terrible grudges. What does that mean: to hold a grudge like a brass ring? I mean, how is that related to crackling? I do think fast. I do have a smart mouth. I definitely am a leader who isn't always into leading because it's lonely when you're a leader. That part is definitely true about me. And no question about my rock star status! Hee hee.

Thanks to Mike at Half-Bakered for telling me about this time-waster. And speaking of Mike, if you're a Memphis Blogger, be sure to join us at Garibaldi's on Saturday at 7pm for the Blogger Bash. Details are on Mike's blog.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Hell Has Frozen Over

I stole this from a thread on Tribe. I've no idea if it's real or it's another made-up urban myth, but either way, someone wrote this, and it's brilliant!
The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" which is, of course, why I now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:
  1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
  2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.
So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that "it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you, and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct...leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."

Note: This student received the only "A."

Foodie Fun

Go bid Morgan Spurlock a big congratulations on his Oscar nomination for Supersize Me, then get a few healthy recipes from his girlfriend and vegan chef, Alex.

If you're feeling citrusy, check out this and this. Coincidentally, my two favorite foodie bloggers posted about citrus today. I think I need to go over to Easy-Way later today! :D

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Ice Cream Castles in the Air


Here are two of my new, very lovely ice cream sundae dishes filled with homemade cheesecake ice cream, covered with crushed Hob Nobs and chocolate syrup. Jealous?


Here they are the following morning, clean and drying in a sunbeam (yes, I said "sunbeam")

A Year Together



In celebration of almost a year together, Aaron got inspired and did this. It's about the coolest thing I've ever seen.

I Think This Job Has Been Filled

People on Tribe sure are funny sometimes:
Seeking talented orator with experience in selling hard-to-describe ideas. No Sales! You will be spreading subliminal messages to americans that will produce positive, happy thoughts. Dot.com experience a plus.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I Miss My Friends: Karaoke = Love

OK, sometimes I really miss my friends. And I especially miss going to karaoke with my friends. Scott and Michelle better start scouting karaoke bars in Boston now!


Karaoke in SF1


Karaoke in SF2


Karaoke in Bloomington 1


Karaoke in Bloomington 2

Monday, January 24, 2005

A Series of Random Thoughts From Me To You

A series of thoughts/content running through my mind today...
  • Tonight, at the end of my yoga class, my yoga teacher said, "Yay Yoga!" after the "Namaste." How much fun is that?!

  • The new Iron Chef America is highly enjoyable, and I will be watching it regularly. Alton Brown is a perfect host for the show, and the "chairman" does a great over-the-top job. The irons chefs are good choices, too. I read a review of it before I saw it on another blog, and I agree with that person's opinion 100%.

  • Some people do really incredible things with Lego's.


  • Case in point: Escher's Relativity

  • After being inspired by this post on my favorite foodie blog, I decided to purchase a fondue pot. I did tons of research and obsessing and got a great deal on this one. I can't wait 'til it arrives. For a person with lactose-intolerance, I certainly put away the dairy (and leave little lactaid packets all over the place!).

  • Speaking of dairy, Aaron and I made the most amazing ice cream from scratch/by hand on Saturday night. It was Cheesecake Ice Cream from a recipe in Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson. It was seriously yummy. We put it in my new frosted ice cream sundae glasses and covered it with crushed Hob Nobs. YUM!!! I took some lovely pictures, but I'm having trouble transferring files from my camera right now. Given the high volume of pix I take, the repair should be happening very soon. But that ice cream. Oh... my... GOD!! So good.

  • You can now see what I'm listening to on my iTunes, when I'm actually listening to my iTunes. That may or may not be fun for you.

  • Oh, and my complete dissertation is due in less than a month. No big whoop.

Interesting Local Blog Readings for the Day Followed By a Mini-Rant

Here is an analysis of how not to be naive in Memphis (Abby says, "Be a liberal, just don't be an idiot."), and here is a sweet tribute to Johnny Carson. And for fun, here is the stupidest news story EVER about a local idiot, and here is a local blogger's analysis of that.

My parenthetical advice reminds me of a story. My friend Tyrone was supposed to be picked up in Boston by one of my ex's relatives. I get this call from Tyrone because the relative is really late. I answer the phone, and Tyrone wants to know if I've told the relative that he is black. I laughed my ass off. Of COURSE I told him that. Apparently, "good liberal" friends of Tyrone's think that somehow it's really respectful to not mention his skin color. What the hell?! If you ask me, being "colorblind" is about as stupid as it gets. "I don't see color" is bullshit, and it's misguided. What's more disrespectful than pretending not to see some very basic qualities of a person? Qualities that might relate to their worldview and their experience? I have to go to work now, so I'm not going to start my rant on the topic, but I assure you, the kids in my Muticulturalism class sure got an earful every semester. This liberal don't play that stupid game. Puh-leeeze!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Awfully Clever

It seems some pranksters in Germany have been putting little Bush flags in piles of dog poo. Hilarious! Click here for more lovely photos and here for an article.


4 More Years of Shit
...the police say they are completely baffled as to who is to blame... "We have sent out extra patrols to try to catch whoever is doing this in the act," said police spokesman Reiner Kuechler, "but frankly, we don't know what we would do if we caught them red handed." Legal experts say there is no law against using faeces [sic] as a flag stand and the federal constitution is vague on the issue.
Bwahahaha!!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Pass the Barf Bag, Mr. President

OMG! OK *this* is about the scariest thing I've ever seen:


Make it stop!

Seriously. I always say that the thing that represents evil most to me is Applebee's. Why? Because it, to me, represents the destruction of culture as we know it, the acceptance of mediocrity and tasteless, overprocessed, chemically-enhanced pseudo-foods. Deeming the food at a place like Applebee's acceptable is to swear off what matters in this world. I know that seems harsh, but I am completely serious. It all relates to my MSG allergy. I have gotten really sick at these kinds of places: the kinds of places that have so many locations that they have to rely on precooked, frozen ingredients, laden with chemicals that give me migraines and make me puke. And this is our culture? This is what we have to offer to the world as "American"? This is what we have to offer to our children? Is there any wonder that obesity in childen has grown (no pun intended) to epic and epidemic proportions?

And now this evil food trend is in the White House? My stars. Would the Dems have done this? It's reprehensible? It's lacking in style and grace and everything that matters. I am one seriously offended foodie.

Is it going to get any better? What or who will turn this all around?

Here's a related link: The Swift Report

---

Update 1:22pm, same day: It was a joke! But oh so scarily real. I fell for it, and it was easy to fall for. In my world, the unfathomable is, sadly, often real. I still stand by my rant, but I guess the world hasn't gone quite as far to hell in a handbasket as I'd thought... at least not in this arena!

Friday, January 21, 2005

This and That

Today on the web, I learned that…

I am the same height as Hitler, James Dean, Christian Slater, Catherine Zeta Jones, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Billy Crystal, Al Roker, and Ben Stiller… an apparently, Dom DeLuise and Bess Myerson (whoever that is) are both 5’12”!!

Veronica Lake and Judy Garland were both 4’11”. Edith Piaf was 4'8"!

I also learned (from taking the quiz, What's Your High School Stereotype?) that I am a loner, which just doesn’t seem right:


You scored as Loner.

Punk/Rebel


50%

Drama nerd


50%

Loner


50%

Ghetto gangsta


31%

Goth


31%

Geek


19%

Stoner


19%

Prep/Jock/Cheerleader


13%

What's Your High School Stereotype?
created with QuizFarm.com

I guess the thing is that I am kind of many things. Sort of explains my social pattern in high school. I had lots of friends in high school, but not many of them were friends with each other. It's always sort of been that way, and I like that.

Today was a good day. Aaron is here, and we got lots done. It's the first really productive day in a while. I needed it, and I need some more. Yesterday wiped me out. I had to make two different calls to Child Protective services to make reports. It's one of the really hard parts of my job.

Now, it's Friday night, and I want something tasty to eat. Aaron? What do you want? I think we need to locate some chocolate or something. :D

Anti-War *IS* Pro-Troops

To me, there's nothing more pro-troops than being against the war. I hate to think of all these fairly young Americans over in a place we shouldn't be, experiencing all this trauma for no good reason. I really hate it. I'm a sap. That Queer Eye last week with the soldier about to be shipped over to Iraq just broke my heart. Here he is, totally in love with his wife, with a new child, and he's got to go risk it all because W has this need to avenge his father. Unbelievable. I just saw this. I have some G-mail invites. I'm going to share. At the very least, the poor kids over there should have contact with their friends and family. I know they can't really talk about the details of what's going on, but they can at least keep communication with people, so they don't have to feel all alone and isolated in the middle of the desert with noone there to show they care besides other people going through the same wretched thing. How can their psyches not fall apart? G-mail is a little thing. It might make a little difference, so I'm doing it.
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Update: They don't need any more donations, which is good. It means people have been generous. Maybe go here instead.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Forty-five More Years to Go!

I am going to die at 80. When are you? Click here to find out!
Someone please tell me why I take these stupid quizzes!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

More Whining For Your Entertainment

I've written an official letter to the program supervisor officially complaining about the sad lack of a usable computer in my cubicle in the school administration building. I'm under the impression that it's completely out of his hands and that there is nothing I can do. I'm afraid this may be another case like the health insurance. I'll do all this legwork to make things right (like shmoozing the big donors at the Christmas party) so that I end up helping the people who come here next year instead of helping myself. I mean, it's something, but it's... well... non-optimal. I'd kind of like my efforts to help me, too!

It's a shame, really, because this internship is all kind of excellent. The supervisors, the organization of everything... it's superb. It's just that this one little day-to-day detail just isn't as it should be, and it's this constant irritant.

Aaron has been kind enough to lend me a laptop he has, but it's a little bitty one that gets really hot really fast. I have to cart it to and fro. I need a computer that can live there in my office. It's amazing to me that people expect that I can get by without a computer. My supervisor doesn't use a computer. I'm not really sure how that works. Never done it. Maybe I'm spoiled, but if that's the case, then so be it. I don't think I am. I'm just technologically skilled, and I do better work when I have my whole toolkit available.

I've been browsing around online looking at deals on refurbs. I know eBay is an option, too. Gah! These stupid things... somet of them are using Windows 98. HELLO!!!! It's 2005! Windows 98 is SEVEN YEARS OLD!!!! It just makes me really angry that I'm here, considering dropping a few hundred out of my big $15K for the year on equipment they should have provided for me. I'll get on, get a real mouse to put there with it, so I don't kill myself with carpal tunnel on a touchpad, and I'll keep it locked in my cubicle.

I still won't be hooked up to the printer or the Internet (it's all protected somehow so plugging in doesn't seem to work - plus, every site I'd want to visit is blocked). No, they won't hook me up to these things. They only support computers they provide. No, they won't give me any scoring software. Again, that's only for their computers. But at least if I have a cheap laptop with a decent-sized screen, I'll be able to have it there to work on... so I can, like, DO MY JOB! At least some of it... not the printing out things I write part. Not the checking my e-mail part. Not the utilizing online resources part. Not the scoring protocols part. But the writing report part... that, I will be able to do. Man, the more I write, the more I realize this still isn't really a very good option.

Grrr. I get so angry when I think about it. Hey, at least I have a phone now. That's something.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A Map of My Little Part of the Blogosphere


My Blogmap

Now I bet you want one, too. Go here and have a ball. I'm a Firefox user, but I had to use stinky ole Internet Explorer to get this little sucker to work. Yes, I know my map is small and hard to read, but you can easily reproduce it on the site if you want. You're more likely to want to do your own. :D

Warmth

It's been really cold here. Jeep has taken to sleeping on top of the TiVo. Good girl!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Local Tsunami Benefit

I'm subscribed to The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog on Bloglines, and an announcement for a Memphis tsunami fund-raiser came across the wire tonight. I think I might just go!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Dissertating and Noshing in Nashville

Hello world! I'm blogging to you live from Nashville, Tennessee. Aaron is always visiting me in Memphis, but in celebration of Dr. King, there is a 3-day weekend (Yes, I know it's really supposed to be a day of service, but services... I offer a lot of them in my daily life these days, so it seems OK). I had originally thought I would go to the Civil Rights Museum today, because I'm a member, and it seemed like a good thing to do since I live in Memphis; but my supervisor in the schools assures me that heading down there on MLK Day is a real mistake. It's overcrowded and a bit too much to take. That, and finding out that my dissertation director was going to be here this weekend, too, meant it was a perfect time to come and visit; so I called the petsitter, and left town Friday for the dull drive from there to here.

I met with Sam yesterday at a local Starbuck's for about an hour. The really difficult thing about my dissertation is this: I began with what I felt was a really well-designed project, but I had a LOT of trouble getting good participation from parents and teachers, regardless of how much checking and chasing around I did. See, I was stupid. I picked as my participants, disorganized sixth graders. They are very affected by the homes in which they live, by hormones, my motivational stuff. They are difficult, and the reasons they can't get their homework done are SOOOOO complex. Anyway, I had to simplify and simplify and simplify to get the project design such that it could actually happen. Now I am left writing the sections where I have a rationale for doing what I did (simple: I wanted to finish my dissertation) and I discuss limitation and how it cold have been better. Oh, I know. The people could have actually done the really easy things I asked of them. So, the intervention results aren't what I had hoped. The study's intervention was not a success, but that doesn't mean the dissertation won't be a success. The aim of the dissertation, especially for someone not going into research as a field, is to show that you understand how to do a study and how to analyze results. Doing a study that works isn't the point. So anyway, I have enough feedback now that I think I can finish writing this sucker really quickly. I'm going to try and send Sam a complete first draft in the first third of February.

On Sam's recommendation, Aaron and I went to Bound'ry, which was completely wonderful. We had an hour wait around a bit of a scene, and the bar area was packed, but it was soooo worth the wait. It was a fascinating and ecclectic menu, and we got a table in the corner by the fireplace. Seriously tasty and awfully romantic, too. I took several "food porn" pictures which I'll share when I'm back at the home computer.

Eek! Better get moving... although today is going to be all about working on a job application for next year and some counseling reportst that are a litttle late. When Aaron gets back from working the Jumbotron at the Vandy game, we're going to do a little shopping (work clothes quotient still a little low) and then he's making me dinner! So much to do, so little time.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

What Can't Google Do?

I'm actually here tonight working on my dissertation, and I came across yet another Google: Google Print. Is there anything Google can't do? One day soon, I really think that visual Googling will happen.
You take a picture of something, send it to our servers, and we either provide you with more information or link you to the place that will. Let's say you're standing in front of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. You take a snapshot with your cameraphone and instantly receive an audio-visual narrative about the painting. Then you step out of the Louvre and see a cafe. Should you go in? Take a shot from the other side of the street and a restaurant guide will appear on your phone. You sit down inside, but perhaps your French is a little rusty. You take a picture of the menu and a dictionary comes up to translate. There is a huge variety of people in these kinds of situations, from stamp collectors, to people who want to check their skin melanoma, to police officers who need to identify the person in front of them.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MYNXIE!

Today is Mynx's birthday. She's one of the sweetest online friends I've made. And she's got STYLE. Check out her lovely photoshoppery of herself today...


Lovely Mynxie

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Smoooochie's Poem

So speaking of overblogging tonight, my dear friend Smoooochie wrote this and dedicated it to her Tribe friends (as in, a fine bunch of HEAVY Internet users). You might see a little of yourself in it:
wired version 4.0

One addiction. Really that’s it. O.K. soooo, really it’s at least three or maybe just two. I admit it. Three right now.

(password …is it this one?)

I’m an addict disguised as a geek. A hardcore internet addict with a constant need for continuous connection. Did I mention the caffeine issue?

(yesssss, send me the link)

How much RAM do you have? Does your cell have T9? These are qualifiers, Bub. If you have less than 20 gig on that thing then get to steppin’.

(IneedaCokeIneedaCoke)

You know, five hours of sleep is just not enough. Fuck. I know this, but I was blogging.

(Google.. Image …Monkey …)

Yeah, my DSL was down last night so I went over to Starfuckingfucks

(venti americano with wifi, please)

Are you LAUGHING? You think this itch is funny? Put down that cigarette before you burn yourself and listen to meeeee. It’s not funny, this info junkie feenin’ for another, a little connectivity and caffeination, fix. Hold on. I gotta text message.

(hmmm …I’m loved)

I have a list of needs: an iPod, a pocket PC, a Bluetooth adapter and headset. This is serious. Did you SEE that new PDA?

(Ineedacoffeebad,bad,bad)

Dial up? Should I sneer or simply walk away? I don’t have time for that. Veruca needs it NOW, dammit! Did you just say I should “log off?” Is the implication here that I should “unplug.” This ain’t the motherfuckinG Matrix.

(Was that my phone?)

You don’t even speak the language so have another drink and hear what I’m saying. Modern day addiction to wires, wireless, techie talk and in-for-ma-tion. Junkie to a junkie, I’m just sayin’.
Speaking of... I need to sleep.

PICTURES!

Well, today I went a bit nuts. I blogged twice tonight, then I ended up posting a million pictures - all from the same day, January 5th. I spent that day with Sunitha, Ashwyn, Elizabeth, and Aaron. It was a fun day, and I got some great pictures. I'm sure it will be the only time I actually see the ducks arrive in the fountain at 11am and then leave again at 5pm. If you see both of those events in the same day, you KNOW you've really partied!


The only people there besides us were the cops.


A rainy and lonely night on Beale Street


The ducks on their way back up. Check out the paparazzi! Might as well be Brad and Jennifer!


Swine! Taken at the Center for Southern Folklore Shop on Main Street.


A notorious brothel I wrote about a while back


Outside the Arcade Restaurant. Inside, we sat in the Elvis Booth!


From this angle, the Lorraine Hotel doesn't look like a national landmark. It just looks... well... regular.


Remember that Parking Can Be Fun!


The most fun elevator doors in the most fun parking garage in all of Memphis


A beautiful building - taken from atop the most fun parking garage in town.


Guess where I took this...


View of the Mississippi from the top of the Peabody Hotel


Everyone's Favorite Hotel Ducks

Free WiFi in Memphis

Must do much work tomorrow. I have a meeting in Nashville with my dissertation director this Saturday, and I don't have anything to say, really. I need to recall the plot enough to make use of the meeting. I'm thinking that after having lunch with intern applicants, I'll head to one of the free WiFi spots in town that isn't a hotel:
BTW, I found some great pictures of Memphis while on my webby WiFi search. Although, I must say I got some pretty great ones of my own the other day. Maybe I'll post a few here.

HOORAY!!!

I'm so freakin' excited! I have set my dissertation defense date. I'm not at all ready, but with a date, I know exactly how much I have to do and by when. The date is May 12th. Friday the 13th just wasn't going to be the day I defended my dissertation. I'm not usually superstitious, but why take chances on something so important? Why am I so excited? Is it because I love the idea of defending my dissertation? HELL NO!!! It's because the 13th is my friend Sunitha's birthday, and she's tha shizzle, and she'll only be living in this country until August, and I'll get to see her and have a kickin' time.


Correction

Whoops! Yesterday, my post about School Psychology was missing an important link. Click on the word "hot" to see what in the world I was talking about! Here's a snippet:
The booming school psychology field is an attractive option for students seeking diverse jobs and promising pay, psychologists say. The field offers jobs in a variety of settings, from assisting adult learners to helping children overcome academic or social difficulty... The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that school psychology will be among the five fastest growing doctoral-level occupations through 2012.
w00t!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Wondering What I Do?

Apparently, my field is "hot"!! But I guess I already knew that. I still wanted to share. Read here to learn more about my smoldering field.

If you want to know more, read this.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Winding Down is Hard

I know! Instead of winding down from a long day, I'll watch more tsunami TV and read about potential earthquakes in Memphis! How's that for an idea?!

Real Life

I feel horrible that I'm here, prepared to whine a little about my present life stressors. I just went to see if my free iPod is happening, too. Silly stuff in the face ot things. Because after the iPod click and before Blogger, I read some of one volunteer's experience in Phuket. Yes, the images are graphic, but some of the text is more graphic. It's unthinkable. I've not been talking too much about the tsunami, but I have my TiVo set to record shows with "tsunami" in the name, and some of them have been just fascinating, especially the two I've seen on Discovery Channels.

Anyway, I did still come here to talk about my life. It's my stress, and I'm trying not to compare it to other people's stress, because it still matters to me. In the last few days, I've been looking at a lot of schedules. Here's what I've decided...

My plan is to complete my dissertation very, very soon! My goal is to defend it before the end of Spring semester so that I can have my degree conferred before I finish my internship. That means that my last day of internship is also the day I will be completely done with my doctorate. Yay! But it's going to mean some MAD writing, which is going to be hard.

Today, I had my review with my primary supervisor. She said lots of great things about me, which was nice to hear. Her main critiques of me were my Time Management and the fact that I think too much! Yes, I think too much. Not a big surprise. These two go together. I tend to go into too much detail and do too much research when I'm writing reports. No question, and it's been a goal of mine to try and get reports out faster, and to generally be more efficient. Efficiency isn't always my strong suit. I'm more into being thorough, and there just isn't time for that. I'm not the best workhorse. I'm more of a... I don't know... I'm more into quality than speed when it comes to assessment. It sounds all good, but I need to learn the other way, too.

One thing that is very difficult for me regarding my major in the schools is that I don't have a computer at my desk. If I want to type at work, I either have to use a Windows 98 piece of shit out in the hallway, the laptop with a monitor that is sometimes located on the other side of the building (away from all my reference books and in a very noisy area), or I use the laptop that Aaron leant me. It's very portable, but it's very small, and it's no place to work for long periods. The other problem is how very distracting it is there. I'm in an open cubicle next to the conference room. People are always in there, people stop by to say hello. I need a door! I need a little quiet. Working in those kinds of conditions isn't at all easy for me. Oh I do try, but I need some focus when I write, and at my office, I don't get it. So far, I've done most of my writing at home, but I think she wants to lay eyes on me more. It's frustrating because I never get any writing done there. I either have to not live up to her lay-eyes-on-me expectation, or I have to be there and work WAY less efficiently. It's not good for poor little ADD me. Also, she's a luddite and just doesn't get why it would be hard for me to work in these conditions with this kind of crappy technology. (Speaking of luddites, I got a sample file from another person who works with me today that didn't have tabs in it! Even the centered title was moved to the middle with a series of spaces. UNREAL!)

So this is the plan. I defend the dissertation in May. I pass. Then my degree is conferred when my last requirement (the internship) is completed on August 19th. I know most people don't do this, but I've decided to attend the commencement ceremony in December instead of in May. I just don't want a big celebration when I'm not actually done. I'm allowed to "graduate" then, but I don't want that. My friends who went to graduation ceremonies when they weren't actually done were all cranky at their parties and kept saying, "I'm not really done." To add to that, I know my parents didn't get hotel reservations for May 2005 yet, and apparently, most of the hotels fill up a year in advance. December graduation will be more mellow, I think. And I'll actually have something to celebrate.

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On a completely unrelated note, my attention was directed to a new Memphis site today. Very amusing in parts, and also very sad, especially this. I've seen those apartments. I think are the ones across the street from Westside High School.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Squirrel Update

So I was on the phone a little while ago, and the squirrel cavalierly walks past the window with a large bundle of fall leaves in his mouth. I think he's making a nest under my floor. Details as they come in.

Rules, Deadlines, Announcements, Forms, Criteria, Guidelines

Ph.D. degrees in the School of Education are conferred by the University Graduate School. Submission of the completed dissertation and abstract to the University Graduate School as described under Submission of the Dissertation constitutes an application for conferral of the Ph.D. degree. The school district proposes to initiate or change areas checked below and/or Refuses to initiate or change areas checked below. Actions were proposed in the following areas: Identification/ Eligibility, Evaluation/ Re-Evaluation. Description of the action proposed or refused by the school system. The dissertation in its final form and the abstract must be submitted to the University Graduate School at least 30 days before the expected date of degree conferral. She was seen for psycho-educational evaluation on 10/3/2004 at Memphis High School. She appeared to understand the evaluation process. She communicated with the examiner appropriately within the context of the evaluation. The reference in M.G.L. c. 112, § 119(c) to "under the supervision of or in collaboration with a licensed psychologist, or one clearly eligible for licensure" shall not be met unless the applicant has been engaged in a formal relationship with the supervisor or collaborator which provided frequent and regularly scheduled individual or group contacts with the supervisor or collaborator. She was cooperative and her work efforts were good. She used her right hand to complete all paper and pencil tasks. She attended to instructions and attempted all tasks presented. No overt signs of frustration and/or anxiety were observed during the evaluation. These test results are considered to be a valid and reliable estimate of her current level of intellectual and academic functioning. Please note the following: The 30-day announcement deadline prior to the dissertation defense and the 30-day deadline prior to degree conferral are non-overlapping time periods, Research committees frequently require revisions and corrections after the dissertation defense. These revisions must be made before the dissertation is ready for binding and submission to the University Graduate School.
Just thought I'd share a little montage of my world. If you're still awake, then you get your Ph.D.! Congratulations!

A Few Amusing Gems

So I was clicking on that "Who Links to Me?" link over in the sidebar, and I came across two amusing posts on other people's blogs:
Today is a day for working on a ridiculously long to-do list. If I haven't called you or responded to your e-mail, please forgive me. I have some serious catching up to do, and when I'm caught up, I have to finish my whole dissertation. Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Nyanko Plate anyone?

I'm not really sure what a Nyanko Plate is, but, like Mini Driver, I'm pretty sure I require one! I was so distressed to learn that they are sold out. :(

Friday, January 07, 2005

Tsunamis and Squirrels

Regarding my query about the restaurant Tsunami in Memphis, it seems that they are holding a benefit this Sunday for $50 a head, and all the profits are going to tsunami relief. I guess they haven't folded.

Today, Aaron and I watched a special about tsunamis made before the recent tsunami. He and I both admitted that previously, neither of us had associated tsunamis with underwater earthquakes. I thought of them more as mythical large waves people liked to paint.

I'm working hard on a very long to-do list. The out-of-towners are gone, and so the weekend is going to mean doing lots of work. I feel like today is really my January first. I'm going to try to lose a little of the weight I gained over the holidays, and really get this dissertation FINISHED! I'm feeling a little motivated. I hope it lasts.


Maggie meets the squirrel that's living under her floor IRL

On another note, I have determined that the noise underneath my floor is, in fact, the same squirrel that hangs around the window and harrasses Maggie. I'm not really sure what to do about it, but man, it sounds freaky. Jeep was just in here attacking her own reflection on the wood floor. I imagine she thought it was what was making that scurrying noise.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Very Very Bad Thing

According to pseudorandom, as of today:
According to... the Chicago Sun-Times, the war in Iraq has cost $130 billion to date (per the Office of Management and Budget). Given that we invaded Iraq 20 March 2003, that comes to 656 days since the invasion, which in turn equals $198,730,732 per day.

In other words, the total amount committed by the US government to date for tsunami relief -- $350,000,000 -- 42.27 hours of the cost of the war in Iraq. Just to put things in perspective.

They're Here! They're Here!

Help! Indians have attacked Memphis and are eating all of our barbecue! Hee hee! Well, all of the guests have arrived. Sunitha, Ashwyn, and Elizabeth arrived in Memphis last night at around 7:30pm, shortly followed by Aaron. The first order of business was getting some barbecue... OF COURSE! And today, the tourism begins with a trip to the Peabody to see the ducks. I have to go to work, but I will join them later for a mandatory trip to the National Civil Rights Museum. There's so much fun touristy stuff to do here, and now I have an excuse to do it! If only they'd arrived on a weekend, but I forgive them. Ashwyn has to go back to India on Saturday, so I am honored he chose to spend the end of his trip here in Bluff City!


CHOMP!


Lovely Dancing Pigs!


The Bar-B-Q Shop. Swoon! I mean, Swine!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Indelicate Tsunami Question

I wonder if the actual tsunami is having an effect on the local Pacific-Rim restaurant called Tsunami. If there is an effect, I wonder if it's positive or negative. Is the actual tsunami related to the fact that the restaurant's web site is down today? All I could find was the cached version. Hmmmm...

Dear Rave Boy,

Please will you STFU? Please oh please? I'll give you a cookie. I'll... NO! Screw that. Just SHUT UP! People live here! People are trying to live and do work! I went back to work today, and I have stuff to do! I can't write at work because I have no computer. Please just let me do it here. Please! PLEASE STOP!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Insomnia...

... would suck a lot more without Jeep, Maggie, Valerian, and Nigel Slater's Toast.

iPod Update #3

OK, one of the people who signed up can't complete their offer because most of the offers require a major credit card. It's the kind of deal where you do a free signup period, so even if you eventually cancel, you have to have the credit card at the beginning. So I'm still one person short. Anyone? Anyone?!

Tsunami Relief Pledges

I know it was for PR reasons, but I'm so glad the US has increased its donation to $350 million. Now, we're donating the second most of any nation (after Japan), we're donating 6th overall percentage-wise (because the US sucks up most of the world's resources). It's not purely magnanimous, but that whole a-country-the-size-of-Alabama-is-donating-three-times what-we-are thing was kind of getting to me.

I didn't want to have to apologize on behalf of my lame country yet again.

By the way, I finally made my personal donation. I donated $50 to the Red Cross via Amazon, and I make $15K a year. I challenge you to donate the same percentage as me. So if you make $40K, please donate $133, m'kay? These videos on CNN are heartbreaking. C'mon. Donate. It increases the good karma.

Getting My Stuff Done

I just wanted to post this today, so I don't have to waste time tomorrow posting it. See, tomorrow is when I start back to work, and I don't want anything like posting to get in the way of me getting my stuff done.

WAHOO! iPod Update #2

Yay! So I have my 5 people for the free iPod thing. Here's what it says by each of their names:
Joined, but offer not complete: This means that the person you referred has joined our site, but no credit for a completed offer has shown up. They may have completed an offer already, but it can take up to 15 or more days for credit to appear. If they havent completed an offer, you can encourage them to try any of our great online offers listed on the "Complete Offer" page.
Just make sure that if you're one of the 5 people, you "complete your offer." What that means is that you actually sign up for the thing you said you'd sign up for, even if you don't stay with it long-term. So you have to do your two full weeks with Blockbuster or get that credit card or whatever it is. If you're thinking of bailing, just let me know, and I'll try recruiting more people. Thanks so much, kind friends! :D

Al's Gonna Like This One


Hope you had your beans and greens this year. This is a "stove map" I made for the uninitiated for New Year's 2002. It's 3 years old, but it still works.

There were a few changes in this year's lineup. Sadly, I didn't make Tony's Fermented Black Beans this year, since I wasn't motivated to find an Asian grocery. The Christmas Pudding was left over that year from Christmas, and without the English husband, I don't tend to have Christmas Puddings left over any more! Instead of cornbread, I made this very yummy spoonbread, but I never mess with the beans and greens. Never ever ever! I need all the luck I can get!

(Darn that AJC for making me pay to get the archived article Mary Ann wrote a few years back about the yearly New Year's Day Beans 'n' Greens party.)