succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Bah. Just spent the past 3 hours grading final exams and now am desperately avoiding getting back to studying. At 11:30 on a Saturday night. Wow, I am so cool. Yes, this is an incredibly boring post. But I'll do anything to postpone cracking my theory notebook for another 5 minutes. Including watching Lord of the Rings on network television. With commercial breaks. For the third time in two days. Ok, clearly I have not had time to watch a 4+ hour movie in it's entirety 3 times, but I've clicked over to tnt to catch snippets of it three times in two days. Which is just sad. I miss those early undergrad years when some masochistic part of me actually got a kick out of the manic adrenaline rush of finals week. Can't we just be cyborgs already so I could just plug an adapter into my usb port and magically understand exponential, scale, and location families?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Dear Media,

Why is it that I, with absolutely no inside connections or special knowledge, have been aware for months that soldiers in Iraq are fighting without adequate armor, on their bodies or their humvees, and yet you only seem aware of this problem after a brave solider questioned Rumsfeld on tape? And yet, I'm the one who doesn't support our troops because I question the validity of this war? Maybe next time you could, um, you know, do your job a little better.


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

aw, shucks. (e-mail from three students)

we love you, you are our hero. we wouldnt have ever gone to lab if it wasnt for you"

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Things that make my day bright

The boy called tonight and as soon as I said hello his first words were a very earnest, "I'm so sorry," (for not calling for a week and skipping out on my (fabulous) party this past Friday night). Turns out he's been sick for days and feels horrible (both from still being sick and for not calling me for a week). But he wants to see me and we'll hopefully work something out this weekend and thankfully that little part of the back of my brain that was occupying itself with a virtual daisy petal (he likes me, he likes me not, he likes me...) can shut the hell up and go back to concentrating on reasonable things like almost sure convergance and what effect clustering and stratifying have on the variance of a finite sample.

Also, it's my birthday, and there has been such an outpouring of love from the people who matter in my life. The department did a little celebration thing this afternoon with cake and everything, the bios kids took me out to lunch (mmmm...veggie sushi), people called and sent e-mails and whatnot, and I had dinner and drinks with a few of "my boys." (it's so nice to have boys again, I've really missed the sort of comraderie I used to have with the DUs) So thanks to everyone, please forgive me if I'm tardy in sending personal responses to your much appreciated thoughtful messages. One more thing - I hate to single one person out for recognition, but I have to mention Jochen's present, because it really is brilliant - the Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure. I sat on my floor laughing for ages, then told the next three people with whom I spoke on the phone about it. It's a wild-haired woman in pajamas with a cat in her pocket and wrapped around her neck and comes with six other cat figurines and a list of questions on the back to determine if you might be a crazy cat lady and this creepy quote from Drew Barrymore, "If I die before my cat, I want a little of my ashes put in his food so I can live inside him." Also, Mom left a cute voicemail wishing "the perfect daughter" a happy birthday and she hopes I'm out having fun, with my Dad yelling in the background, "hey hey! not too much fun!"
People sometimes tease me or marvel at how happy I am in general, but how can one not be when life is so grand?

Monday, December 06, 2004

Since one will turn to any distraction during finals week (can we just talk for a moment about how many Lifetime movies I've managed to watch in the past 48 hours?) and since I seem completely incapable of actually studying my notes or solving problems or doing anything else even remotely productive, and since I would really rather be in the Keys than here right now, I'm posting this. Also, my parents have stayed here
Plan ahead if you want to stay at the Lightbourn Inn, whose 10 rooms seem to sell out year round. The owners, Scott Fuhriman and Kelly Summers, have gathered the collections of a traveling lifetime in this handsome 1903 family house. Because the inn is on Route 1, there's enough road noise to make poolside rooms preferable. 907 Truman Avenue (800-352-6011; 305-296-5152). Doubles from $98 to $298, including a lavish breakfast buffet.

and highly recommend it. They love the two drag queens who run the place.

Also, I've been meaning to post this for ages, but my brain is too full and mushy from finals to say anything interesting about it at the moment. So I'll just leave you with this (for those who don't click the link, this is excerpted from the regular column of an extremely liberal thinker/writer in our extremely liberal free A&E "rag" called Creative Loafing):

I've warmed you up with a little literary napalm. But what I'm going to write next isn't easy. It's the sort of thing journalists aren't comfortable acknowledging. Here it goes ...

I testify that I am a Christian. I have been ever since I came forward at a Billy Graham revival when I was 8 years old. I later fell from grace and had a lot of dark years I'll have to account for on Judgment Day. My life did not turn around until, 14 years ago, I got down on my knees and prayed. That's something I do every day now. I prefer small churches to the show palaces; Christ said to pray in private. I've felt called to be a minister, but figure I'd get to do less preaching than with this gig.

These are the sorts of "confessions" that liberals don't make often enough. It's like admitting to smoking while a student at the public health school or coming out of the closet to your southern baptist parents. I'm guilty of it too - I love discussing religion in this abstract, not-me, sort of way, but get squeamish when others confess their own personal religion, much less feel comfortable going into the details of mine. But in the spirit of things, while I'm not entirely comfortable with the Christian label, I will offer this "confession" - I talk to a vague higher power that I refer to as God pretty much on a daily basis. I feel very close to "it" (for lack of a better gender-neutral term) and feel that my life is enriched due to this relationship.

Comments working again

Sorry, comments went down for a bit, seem to be up again. The deleted comment on the post below is just me testing out the newly-working-again comments, not regretting some response to Sid and Steve or anything. :-)