succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, May 22, 2004


On Wednesdays this guy runs a farmer's market type thing in the CDC parking lot where I work. So wed. mornings the cdc sends out an e-mail advertising for him and mentioning the 5 a day website about nutrition featuring recipes and other info. Well, as I currently have very little to do at work, I was reading through the recipes last week and printed out a few that sounded within my severely limited skill range. One of which is a marinade for grilling potatoes. So we cooked out tonight and I brought over the recipe and ingredients, and it's really simple. Just five ingredients mixed together and brushed onto potatoes as you grill them. But that still counts as cooking and is far more experimental than anything I've done in the kitchen that wasn't baking...perhaps ever. Anyway, so I try this thing out tonight and everyone wants to eat my shishkabobs and says how great they are and it's really interesting how different compliments are when they apply to something you normally don't do well. I mean, I'm still incredibly flattered whenever someone thinks I've done some particularly clever statistical thing, but, let's face it, I am in grad school for statistics, so it's somewhat accepted that I have some skill in the area. And since I wasn't even allowed to use the "nice" knives in my kitchen at home, anything more challenging than boiling water is considered a significant feat for me in the kitchen. So to get complimented on any dish, even a really simple one, is unheard of for me. And really, really nice. So it was a good night. In addition to my own personal victory, it was simply a lovely evening. Good people, good food, beautiful weather. Sitting outside, drinking, grilling. Then trivial pursuit and Fight Club (the movie, not a reenactment) afterwards. Now a quick snack, finishing up Primary Colors, and bed time without an alarm for the morning. What more can a gal ask for?

Fun websites

Go here and check out tons of cool t-shirt ideas for the Kerry campaign. You have to register to see 'em and vote for which ones actually get made, but they don't ask for anything more than an e-mail address.

Once I get my life back, I'm spending some portion of my summer doing this. Anyone in the Atlanta area who wants to join me or has ideas for signs, send 'em in. Mayhem begins sometime in June.

Well, it's been a good weekend so far. Soccer yesterday was great, Andy made dinner (which felt a little like taking my life in my hands, but it turned out ok, and was very nice of him), then drunken revelry at Sanna's lovely new apartment in Buckhead. Crashed on the fouton at the boys' new place (just like old times) and got to see old episodes of My So-Called Life thanks to some random cable channel they get. I would venture to say that the vast majority of women my age are or were in love with Jared Leto thanks to Jordan Catalano. Oh Jordan Catalano...mmmm...even though the drama of MSCL is a little weird now, I have to say I really think that show holds up. It successfully gets that I'm in high school and every tiny thing means the end of the world drama without tipping over the edge like dawson's creek or 90210. up this morning and hit Green Market at Piedmont Park for some fresh greens and a gorgeous loaf of bread, figuring I'll treat myself with a little boursin to go with it once I manage to get to krogers. Finally relented and turned on the AC for the first time today, since it was already about 80 degrees at 10 this morning. There's rumor of a cookout tonight and I think I'm going to be adventurous and actually try to make a marinade and some, actual cooking. Frightening. Right. Should go shopping so I can do the usual studying thing and get to be sociable again tonight. 13 days...

Friday, May 21, 2004

Why I love Nick Hornby

(Thanks to Amelia for pointing the way)

"I'm talking about the energy, the wistful yearning, the inexplicable exhilaration, the sporadic sense of invincibility, the hope that stings like chlorine. When I was younger, rock music articulated these feelings, and now that I'm older it stimulates them, but either way, rock 'n' roll was and remains necessary because: who doesn't need exhilaration and a sense of invincibility, even if it's only now and again?"


"In truth, I don't care whether the music sounds new or old: I just want it to have ambition and exuberance, a lack of self-consciousness, a recognition of the redemptive power of noise, an acknowledgment that emotional intelligence is sometimes best articulated through a great chord change, rather than a furrowed brow."

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Supid Diane Sawyer opening a story about yesterday's discovery of a rusty shell containing Sarin gas with the heading "Smoking Gun"? All the experts she interviewed admitted that, at most, this might indicate tens or hundreds of old shells lying around from a decade ago. Is that scary? Sure. Should our troops be prepared? Of course. Does this mean we've found weapons of mass destruction? Hell no. Liberal media my ass.
Also, Lynndie England quoted as saying they considered their treatment of prisoners in Iraq to be "sport" not punishment. Gross.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Feeling much better. Still sort of wish I'd made it to Lullwater for a jog, but here it is three hours later and I've marked everything off my to do list.

Bah. So it's 8 pm and I haven't started studying and I didn't go for a run and I didn't even work a full day today, so I have no excuse. The only things I've marked off my list today are 1) take out trash 2) go to work 3) lunch with the ladies. Number three was, obviously, lovely. Anna and I hung out with Rizwana all afternoon and oohed and ahhed over her wedding and honeymoon pictures and just chatted away until almost 5. So I got home about the same time as if I had worked a full day and promptly went to sleep on the couch. And now I'm totally unmotivated. 19 days out from test day seems dangerously early to be burned out. Am currently weighing how much more the rest of the week would suck if I just didn't do any studying at all today...then the other side of my brain kicks in with the reminder that I haven't really even done enough studying to rationalize taking a full day off...blah. So it looks like this blog is going to be all bitching about exams all the time. I'm sure that'll be super entertaining for the rest of you.

Sunday, May 16, 2004


Well...I have to admit. Today is a less good day. Up until this point, studying had been making me feel better. I was actually feeling like I might have the vaguest clue about what's going on, that I might have the slightest chance of actually being a statistician. But today has been full of frustration and my brain hurts and I feel like I haven't even accomplished anything on my "studying to do list." I know this will pass, but it's currently taking a moderate amount of self-restraint not to give the middle finger to all my notes and books. I am, after all, sitting outside at Caribou Coffee and it seems like that might be slightly socially inappropriate. Yesterday April said something along the lines of "you're smart and studious and a good student" and I sort of wish I could record that for days like today. I'll turn into Stuart Smalley - I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh-darnit, I will pass my qualifying exams.
Also, have been very tempted lately to re-take-up smoking, just until the exams. I find the occasional cigarette often provides the perfect length study break and I like pacing and smoking and gesturing with a cigarette when I'm stressed out. And yes, I realize these are all incredibly lame reasons to smoke, and as a public health student I should obviously know better. But then I start rationalizing that there's a finite amount of damage I could do to my body in 20 days. But then I think about my aunt's brother who just had part of his lung removed and it just seems like a bad idea. So these are my musings while avoiding generalized linear models, and I wish I didn't feel like this.
On the small bright side, I just made my spa day appointment, which does make me a little happier and gives me something tremendously great to look forward to. Also, it has started thundering a little, so perhaps we'll get a satisfying storm and I can go play in the rain. That should brighten my day a bit.