Thursday, December 10, 2009

Books! I need more BOOKS!!!!!

Roommate and I went out to dinner tonight to celebrate our last day of school. After a not-so-good dinner, during which I found an unfortunate hair in my food, Roommate and I decided to walk around the mall to avoid the cold. One of the bookstores is going out of business, and so I was able to score a hardcover edition of Jeffrey Eugenides "Middlesex" for a mere six bucks. Sweet. Next, we found an awesome used books store, i.e. Andee Mecca. While there I picked up a Hebrew bible, and while checking out, Roommate jokingly asked if they were looking for any part-time workers. Apparently they are. ALSO fabulous: We're going to be paid in books. No joke. SO EXCITED!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Squeaky Wheel...

Always gets the grease. To be honest, I often don't stand up for myself. I let bad things happen. I let people and corporations screw me over.
But with HP, I stood up for myself. I yelled. I screamed. I called HP agents blind, deaf retards. I emailed HP corporate. I was NOT nice.
For my trouble, I was contacted by a very nice French HP service agent named Gilbert (Zhiil-bear). He offered me an extended warranty on my computer, extending through December of next year. He was funny. He was charming. I almost proposed marriage. He apologized profusely and made fun of the agents I had been dealing with. It was perfect. He has promised to monitor the progress of my computer, and call me after I get it back in order to make sure it's working properly. I'll still never buy another HP laptop, but this was a good first step at getting me to stop telling everyone else to avoid them, too.

Monday, November 23, 2009


No label today. I called back. Was assured YET AGAIN that the label would come...tomorrow. Never buy HP.

HP is trying to kill me.

So, you'll remember that two weeks ago, I called HP to request a box so that I could ship my computer in to their repair center. Here's how it went:

Nov 7. Initial contact. Extended warantee verified. Address changed. Box shipped to me.
Nov 13. No box delivered. Called HP back. No box sent. Wrong address on shipment. New box ordered. Promised delivered by Nov 17.
Nov 17. Box delivered to correct house. No return shipping label. Called HP. New label ordered. Promised delivery by Nov 20.
Nov 20. No label delivered. Called HP. Was informed that label delivered on Nov 17. Obviously not. Informed agent that label ORDERED on Nov 17. No new label had been ordered. Was informed that rather than waiting for new label, should take Lappy to Best Buy, as they could ship it for me without a label.
30 minutes later: At Best Buy WITH Lappy. Called HP. New agent informs me that Best Buy requires a shipping label in order to ship the box for me. I was given bad information, and I would have to wait for a new label to come in the mail. Threw tantrum in Best Buy. Got agent to agree to overnight new label to house. Guaranteed that it will arrive Nov. 21.
Nov 21. No label delivered. Called HP. New agent wonders why anyone would try to mail a label to me, and claims that normally, labels are emailed. Assured me I will be able to print out my own label and drop off the box with FedEx. Promises delivery of said emailed label within 16 hours. Will definitely have it by Nov 22.
Nov 22. No label emailed. Called HP. New agent wonders why last agent would offer to email label to me. Says that they don't do that. Was given bad information. Claims that the label which was guaranteed delivery on Nov 21 would actually be delivered on Nov 23.

I have threatened them with filing a complaint. I have suggested that they are perhaps dragging their feet, so that they don't have to fix my computer, as the warrantee expires in 7 days. Have also emailed HP headquarters with the details listed above and a list of the names of all of the agents with whom I have spoken regarding this matter. I have spoken to 8 different agents and at least 2 supervisors. My computer is still broken and sitting in a box in my living room awaiting shipment. It's been WEEKS!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Regarding Library Workers.

What is it about working in a library that makes people so damn self-righteous? I really don't understand. What about pushing carts around and filing books onto shelves makes you think you or your job is such a big deal? If you're an actually librarian, then yeah, sure. But guess what, moron? You're a student worker. Don't sass me.

Also, why do you walk around and talk to me with an attitude which would imply that you think your job will one day save the world? So for the record, if you shush me again, I will do exactly what I did this time: a stage whisper, which is actually much louder than my regular talking voice. Have fun with that, you petulant bitch.

Monday, November 9, 2009

MORE compy woes!

I got my computer back on Saturday with the assurance that it was working again. If by working, you mean turning on, then yeah, it's working. Unfortunately, it won't do anything besides turning off and on. It won't install any drivers. It won't install any programs. It won't remember that it has a wireless internet receiver. It is still a paperweight.


I called HP (finally) and asked what was going on, and what we could do to fix it. I got some unwelcome, and then some welcome, news. First of all, I purchased an extended warranty last summer. After a year of having Lappy, I wanted to ensure that it would remain in good working order until I graduated from this MA program. I have always had every intention of upgrading once I start a PhD program, and in the meantime, have been dealing with evil PCs and evil Windows. Anyway, I was given the opportunity of purchasing either a 2-year extended or a 3-year extended. Silly me, I thought that it meant 2 years from THAT time, rather than 2 years from the date of purchase. So, my very expensive extended warranty expired in September of this year, and my computer was no longer covered. Had I known that little bit of trickery, I would have purchased the 3-year. Unfortunately, the wording was completely ambiguous, and I am the dumb shit that got screwed over by the HP folks. Shocking.

However, they've apparently been having issues with my model of computer, and so for certain problems, there is a special warranty which extends through the end of November. Yup. Lappy broke a mere 3 weeks before I would have been left royally screwed.

Still, I have to send my computer into HP service and repair, where it will be for about 2 weeks.

It is to be hoped that when my Crappy Lappy returns to me, it will finally be in good working order.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Compy woes.

My laptop imploded last night. I went to boot it up didn't. It seems to have forgotten that it has an operating system, and it certainly won't do anything without it.

I was so upset last night. I went out to my car and screamed like a Banshee. My thesis is on that computer. All my data. The many papers I've written in grad school. Everything. I have a paper due in 22 hours. It's on my lappy. I spent most of the morning re-typing all of that data into Roommate's computer so I can re-write the stupid thing. I don't know when I'll get the computer back from the computer geniuses that are trying to get it going without deleting any of my important files.

It has been a *really* bad 24 hours.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A little more crazy...

I had a bizarre memory flashback yesterday. It was so weird, in fact, that I had to call my sister in Spain to verify that my crazy brain hadn't just made the whole thing up.

I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately, even with the efforts of my medical doctor, anti-anxiety pills, and sleeping pills. Even with all of the drugs and efforts to stay on a schedule and keep to a routine, I'm just not sleeping long enough or well enough. I lay awake for hours, wake up regularly, and wake up for keeps a good two hours before I need to get up, unable to so much as snooze. I often have bouts of insomnia, normally lasting a couple of weeks. This, however, has lasted since mid-September. I haven't slept in almost 2 months. It's been heinous.

So, back to the memory: I remembered that when I was younger and shared a room with Spain Sister, I used to lie on my bed (and by bad, what I mean is mattress on the floor) facing the wall and tap tap tap on the wall until I fell asleep. I would tap out a pattern repeatedly with my fingernail. When our separate twin beds were traded in for a shared queen, I apparently started doing my crazy tapping on the headboard.

I have no idea how to explain any of this, and as I mentioned, I had to call Spain Sister to verify. And since I'm such a crazy and I've had such trouble sleeping, I decided to try it out last night. I took my anti-anxiety, but not my sleeping pill, because I didn't want to taint the results significantly. While I was trying to fall asleep, I tried tapping on the wall, but my bed is facing the wrong way. I was pretty sure that the cathartic effect I was aiming for could be reached through any repetitive white noise, so I tried scratching on my sheets instead. It totally worked. For all of the crazy, I will say, I have not slept so solidly in at least six weeks. I still woke up two hours early, but it's still a good start. But crazy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I hate my program right now. Haaate. I hate how the politics work. Here's what's pissing me off today:
The University mandates that grad student get paid a certain dollar amount for our work as teaching assistants. Undergraduates get paid a third less. In this financial crunch, in order to get to HAVE TAs, certain professors are hiring undergrads because the department is not willing to pay for grad students.
Undergrads teaching undergrads. GREAT idea.
In REAL programs, intro classes are taught by grad students anyway, but NO, not here. So, nobody will hire grad students because we cost too much (which we don't control), so undergrads are getting the jobs which are intended for grad students. We are also not allowed to teach any classes, so there are just no jobs left for us.
Assholes. I'm mad at the department for being cheap. I'm mad at the undergrads for getting hired for our jobs. I'm mad at the professors for choosing undergrads over grads. I'm fucking pissed. They love their undergrads and the play favorites; meanwhile, the grad students don't get work, and therefore don't get necessary experience. We truly are the red-headed bastard step-children of BYU.
Undergrads get job after job after job. Meanwhile, I've been TAing 2 courses for the price of one for a whole year, getting screwed with my pants on by the department because I need work.

Grad students ought to be the offered TA jobs first. Period. We're the ones going on to pursue PhDs and eventually work as professors (probably). We need the work and we need the experience. If there are no grad students willing or qualified to TA a course, it should THEN be offered to undergrads.

I hate my department. I hate Utah. I hate BYU. HAAAATE.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recollections of a Past Life.

I am an unabashed bibliophile. For those unacquainted with the term, allow me to enlighten you with my deteriorating knowledge of Greek, which is, none the less, sufficient to parse out the meaning of this term. Biblios - book. Yes, Bible really does just mean 'book.' Phileo - to love. Bibliophile - a lover of books. That's me. I'm obsessed. I love reading more than just about anything else. I rarely enjoy going out with friends, although I often enjoy having dinner parties in my own home. I'm a homebody, I freely admit, and I'd rather spend my time reading a book than almost anything else that could present itself.

That said, I'm quite picky about my reading material. I don't like purpose-less fiction. I don't read for the purpose of escaping my life or anything like that. I rarely enjoy fiction, and when I do read it, it must be either a classical piece, such as Jane Austen or George Eliot; extremely accurate historical fiction; or something thought-provoking, such as the works of Ayn Rand, Jeffrey Eugenides, or Margaret Atwood. More than that, though, I tend to read nonfiction, in the form of specific types of biographies, including, but not limited to, A.J. Jacobs and Bill Bryson, and sociological or historical works such as Jared Diamond's books : Guns, Germs, and Steel; Collapse; and The Third Chimpanzee. I love books that educate me or make me question my established understanding of the world. I love books!

Top Reads, in no particular order:
1. Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid's Tale
2. Margaret Atwood: The Edible Woman
3. Bill Bryson: The Mother Tongue
4. Bill Bryson: A Short History of Nearly Everything
5. Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs and Steel
6. Jared Diamond: Collapse
7. Jared Diamond: The Third Chimpanzee
8. Barbara Kingsolver: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
9. Julia Child: My Life in France
10. A.J. Jacobs: The Know-It-All
11. A.J. Jacobs: The Year of Living Biblically
12. A.J. Jacobs: The Guinea Pig Diaries
13. Jane Austen: Persuasion
14. Michael Pollan: The Omnivore's Dilemma
15. Eric Schlosser: Fast Food Nation

As is obvious from the list, I'm not much for fiction, but I am very interested in food production. I am always concerned as to where my food came from, as I don't care to poison my person with unnecessary chemicals. The details of the industrial food chain seriously gross me out. If a apple came from New Zealand, I'd rather not eat it. I love farmer's markets and I'm a big proponent for supporting the local economy. I won't eat at a restaurant unless it is locally-owned. I believe that stimulating and supporting the local economy will benefit the national economy. However, pouring money into national chains does not support the local economy. The money I spend there, for the most part, travels far away, probably to California, to stimulate and benefit the economy there. No thank-you.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Regarding the Name of the Blog.

The name of my blog is "Things I overheard while talking to myself." This title has a dual purpose. Number one, it's a shout-out to one of my favorite actors, and if we ever met, I'm sure he'd be one of my favorite people, Alan Alda. It's the name of his autobiography that was published a couple of years ago. Now, while I haven't yet had time to read his book, I love the title. It made me laugh out loud. Second....I really do talk to myself. Rather a lot. When I was a kid, I would occasionally catch my father talking to himself, and when I asked him about it, he would invariably answer that talking to himself was the only way he could have an intelligent conversation. Hmmm. I'm not so sure how I feel about that.
So yeah, I talk to myself. Sometimes out loud. Often in my car or when I'm home alone. When I'm trying to get to sleep, I tell myself to shut up. Seriously. What do I talk about? I rehearse conversations I intend to have with people. I rehash conversations I've already had with people. I don't hear voices or anything, other than my own. I had a friend a few years ago who was schizophrenic. She heard some other voice - a man's voice. What I experience is nothing like that. It's my own voice and even when I'm rehearsing or rehashing conversations, I control what is said...out loud or not.
One time, when I lived in Philly, I was in my car, driving around, as I often did, and was going over something in my head. Then, I started saying "my" half of the conversation out loud, but quietly. When I looked in the rearview, I remembered that I had a kid in the car - Ben, who was looking at me like I was some kind of crazy person.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I'm as bad at blogging as I am at journalling. Still, I'm starting afresh. I've had and dropped two blogs so far: and

Yup. I'm bad at blogging. I dropped the first one because I was starting a new part of my life, and I had a blog-stalker: an ex that couldn't understand that I didn't want him reading my blog and I DEFINITELY didn't want him commenting on it. Stupid stalkers.

I seem to have dropped the second one because it was supposed to be an anonymous festering pool of guilt-free snarkiness, but everyone kept asking me if I blogged, and I kept giving out addresses, and, well, there's a lot I can't really say on it any more. So, I'm giving up on the author-free snark-blog. Back to regular blogging. Plus, I've decided that I like this website more than livejournal, and so here I am again, starting another new journal.


So, for an update:
I'm in a never-ending MA program in Linguistics at BYU. It wouldn't be so never-ending if I could get around to writing a thesis. I've done all of the coursework, and have been through three different thesis topics. Go me.
If I ever manage to finish this degree, I hope to pursue a PhD in Linguistics with an emphasis on language and the law, also called Forensic Linguistics.

I just finished organizing and running a Linguistics conference, for the Linuistic Association of the Southwest. It was busy and crazy and awesome. I love being overly busy and on the edge of going crazy...not really sure why, but I'm pretty sure the stress'll kill me one of these days.