succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, April 30, 2005

A night of firsts. First Power hour ever (yes, apparently I'm a freshman in college all over again). First time tailgating. First Braves game. All in all, an excellent afternoon off from the stress and work that life has become.

On the way home Dancing Nancies came on and suddenly I'm in 9th grade again, at that walk/run that my gym did for some charity, with Jared telling me there's this band I have to listen to and sitting in his car while he plays Remember Two Things. No, Dancing Nancies isn't on that album, but that's jared's favorite song, and ten years later I still somehow manage to flash back to him whenever I hear it.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Thankfully, today was a better day. I'm not back in the manic stage, but at least I seem fairly well into the "I can do this" stage. And, big picture, I'm not too far off schedule (famous last words). Today I managed to finish about 2/3 of my linear models homework (due by the end of the day tomorrow), talk to my algorithms prof about the presentation I have to give next week (she says I'm on the right track), type up about a page of introduction/transition crap for the group report that's due in linear models next week, actually make progress (and understand and not freak out) on my giant neuro-imaging project, grade papers, tutor one of my students, discuss qualifying exam topics with one of my profs, AND go out for dinner and gelato with friends. Not bad for a day's work. Not bad at all.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Ech. I haven't stifled sobs from behind a locked bathroom stall door in years. (since halfway through my GRE, to be exact) Yesterday I was at the manic end of my stress spectrum. This is maximum stress level for me, and a place where I actually function quite well and rather enjoy. I spent a lot of time there during my Footlighters years. Anyway, it happens when more things must be done than can feasibly get done. Since luxuries like sleep are already out the window, one actually starts believing that there's time for everything - finish all my assignments and help friends tie up loose ends with theses and meet with my students to go over homework and hang out with friends? Sure! Bring it on! I'm like a heightened version of me and I multi-task and speak even faster than usual (bet you didn't think that was possible) and just get shit done. Unfortunately, today I slid back from that level just a tad, into the far less functioning stressed out and grumpy and nearly paralyzed by the sheer quantity of work to be done phase. And I'm sitting in the computer lab pounding my head against this assignment, and I'm mostly lost and my brain isn't in full working order as it's the end of the day, but nonetheless I'm plugging ahead since my To Do List dictates that I must get at least some of part B of this question done today. And I go into my office to ask Raj a question and he shows me his code and it becomes apparent just how totally clueless I am in this class at this moment and I immediately get sick to my stomach. I manage a few more minutes of snapping at my classmates back in the computer lab before taking cover in the restroom followed by a 'mental health break' outside. I'm better now, but I really, really hope that tomorrow I wake up back in the manic state.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Warning - Crazy Cat Lady entry

Cleo frequently uses a combination of the random stacks of things on the floor and this little plastic set of shelves I have along one wall in my pantry to jump up onto the top shelf of the wooden shelves installed permanently along the back wall of my pantry. But this weekend I had a new hot water heater installed and it's a little wider than my old one and so I had to move the shelving unit to the opposite wall and rearrange some other piles of things on the floor. Totally messing up Cleo's typical climbing pattern. So tonight she sits on the floor for a while, looking up at all the different shelves, then jumps on the first wooden one, walks over to the side next to the plastic shelves, jumps onto the third plastic shelf, over to the second wooden shelf, back over to the top plastic shelf and finally up onto the top wooden shelf, her usual favorite sleeping spot. Now, I know this is a lame story, but you have to admit that's some pretty damn complex problem solving for an animal with about 8 IQ points.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

A Community of Scholars

Yeah, that phrase makes me want to gag too. Nevertheless, I like that my group of friends consists of such a combination of talents and interests that whenever I run up against something I don't know, I have personal resources available. And likewise, that I can be a resource. I love that while working on this presentation I ran into some genetics terminology that I don't understand, so over beers last night I mentioned that I need a general explanation of gene transcription and four different people were able to chime in and loan me references. I love that mark called me last night with a probability question (even though I wasn't able to answer it). I love that while waiting for our respective hair appointments yesterday afternoon Kathy and I were going over the final model for her thesis. I love that Steve posted about Celestial currents and the instability of LaGrange points with a question about some simplifying assumptions in the problem and Smike was about to jump in with a choerent explanation. What can I say? I love being a nerd, surrounded by other nerdy types.

When I moved to Atlanta I had this Gone with the Wind moment (Ah will never be cold again!) and now here it is late April and I had to turn my heat on! Sure, if I were still in C-land we'd probably be enjoying a late spring blizzard right about now, but I've gotten spoiled, and when it's 50 degrees outside and 64 inside, I get annoyed!

Also, played a fantastic round of $25,000 pictionary last night. This group hasn't quite graduated to the likes of "Holidays that don't exist" or "Places clowns can hide" (or the infamous "Things that things" thanks Ken Gasch!) but we did have a pretty good time with "Places priests go to meet boys."