Thursday, December 30, 2010

And then I woke up happy. :)

I love breaking up. I'm not sure what that says about me or my relationships, but I really love breaking up. There are moments of loneliness, for sure, but beyond those, I have been overcome with the wonderful and tremendous sense of freedom.
This wasn't even much of a break-up, really, but the feelings are the same to me. I was hardcore smitten with this boy. We flirted constantly in person, by email, and over texts. Many times I got tired and frustrated and wanted to break off our friendship just to be free of the anxiety that accompanied our relationship. It's been going on for almost a year. And now it's finally over. I don't even have to be friends with him anymore, and that makes me so happy. In my way, I did love him, and I wish him well, but I won't let him be in my life anymore.
I was sad for a day. And now it's over and I feel energetic and excited. This has been such a hard year for me. Among the years in my short but difficult life, this one takes the cake. But it's over. I don't know how next year is going to be different. I don't know how I'm going to fix the problems that have been consuming me. I'm not sure how I'm going to replace my car or find a new home or anything else. But it'll figure itself out, and in the meantime, I am free of one thing that has been stressing me out. He's gone, and forever, and I am free. Free of him and free of myself. I feel like running. And laughing. And crying tears of joy. The stress of waiting and hoping and wondering is gone. All gone!
I know it won't be perfect and I will likely still have moments. But I am better. So far, I have always been better alone than with any other person. I am not terribly young - I am turning 29 in a few months, and I live in a culture which is extremely marriage-centric. But today I don't care that I'm old and unmarried. Today, I am happy about it. Today, I am watching movies with no romantic plot whatsoever. Today, I am washing him out of my hair, and sending him on his way. :D

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I spoke too soon.

It actually managed to get worse. Wow. Truly, honestly, awesomely bad. The year still has 2 1/2 days with which to beat me around some more. I may spend them hiding in my flannel sheets.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My year, in brief.

At the end of January, my gall bladder almost burst. It was removed. Since then, everything I eat makes me sick. My semester was a wash because I was recovering for 6 weeks. Thesis progress = nonexistent. I was wait-listed for my dream program. And then formally rejected on my birthday. Turned out to be a good thing, because I haven't graduated yet. I was rejected from TFA. I was thrown out of my apartment. I was wait-listed for CLS, and eventually accepted...but had to shell out about $1500 to change around flight plans in order to make it there. I went to Germany as part of a research team to present a paper about grammar prescriptions and the COCA. I went to Spain to visit my sister and beautiful niece. I saw Gibraltar and Cadiz and the Alhambra. I planted a garden and then abandoned it to weeds. I got thoroughly smitten with a boy who will never ask me out. I lived in India. I walked on the roof of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. I worshipped with the Sikhs and Hindus. I saw the Taj Mahal and got bitten by an Indian dog. I had rabies treatments. I got a tan that had not yet faded completely. I got jaded and wounded and learned a bit of Punjabi. I came face to face with a cobra. I was mugged. I rode trains across the country. I went on 14 plane rides across the entire world. My school messed up my financial aid until December, so once again, thesis progress = nonexistent. I got into a car accident. I got depressed, and then undepressed, and then depressed. I cried a lot. I spent a lot of time in bed, recovering from one thing or another. I rode in rickshaws. I bargained. I was largely unemployed. I lost 40 lbs, not all of it on purpose. I lost 2.5 pant sizes and had to buy a whole new wardrobe. I became a mac person. I was not asked out once. And my car just stranded me in 8 inches of snow on the side of the road. This year has been wonderful and horrible. I've seen amazing things and been broken hearted. I've been amazed sometimes and helpless and hopeless at other times. It's been a roller coaster, but mostly not a good one. I wish I was the sort of superstitious person who believed that the turn of the calendar could make things magically different, but I'm not.
When 2010 started, I made one wish: May this year be better than last year. It was and it also really wasn't, but I'm not making the mistake of making that wish again.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 5: A letter to your crush.

Dear You-
I am smitten. I am tired of the endless flirting. Make a move already. I won't say no.
Sincerely,
Kalliope.

Day 4: A Photo taken 10 years ago.

I think this is the first photo I've put on my blog. I just load them all on facebook and call it a day.

So, here I am, a Junior in High School. My hair was much longer, my skin was not yet clear, and I had no idea what to do with make-up. I really don't think I look particularly different than I do now. That's a terrible necklace to be wearing in a photo. I wonder what was on it... I would also not be caught dead wearing a hair stick, but luckily my hair is much to short for such things. Earrings also would not have killed me.

That's all I have to say about it.

Day 3: Favorite Movie

Day 2 is dumb. Nobody wants to read a bulleted list of my day or what I ate or anything so inane and juvenile.

However, I have many a favorite movie. I'm a bit of an addict, actually, and will probably have to do favorites by genre. My embarrassingly large dvd collection is organized alphabetically by genre, actually. Also, bear in mind that these are favorites of the moment.

Action: Inglorious Basterds
Period Piece: Pride and Prejudice
Contemporary: No favorite
Musicals: Hairspray. Or Sweeney Todd
Indie: All of the above. Except I Heart Huckabees. What a piece of crap.
Family: Up!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 1: Introduce yourself

I am a bitch. I am a fierce friend. I am a protector. I am neurotic. I am a feminist. I am Betty Freakin' Crocker. I am opinionated. I am a caregiver. I am an advocate. I am a graduate student. I am a woman's college alumna, and proud of it. I am a bibliophile. I am old-fashioned and forward-thinking. I have pale skin and dark hair. I am tall and strong. I am a survivor.

I love cleaning. I hate cleaning up after other people. I love cooking. I hate parties. I love reading. I love travelling. I love learning. I love movies. I hate making mistakes. I hate crowds. I love my family. I love Christmas ornaments, but won't shop in December, even for groceries.

I can tat and knit and sew and read construction plans and run a table saw and fix my own car. I write thank-you notes. I study languages. I used to study mathematics. I organize my embarrassingly large DVD collection alphabetically by genre.

My eyes change colors. My mother is one of my best friends. My sisters are amazing. My life has been hard, but my spirit has not been broken. My faith is important to me.

I want to be settled. I want to find the motivation to finish my degree. I want to find peace. I want to stop moving. I want to find a place to be.

Starting Over.

So, it's been a bad year. At times, *really* bad. So, I'm starting over. I'm kicking myself in the pants and getting going. I'm going to do something a bit out of character: I'm adopting a blog schedule. I've made fun of this in the past, but I need some meaningless short-term goals. Just something to do. And this, I think, ought to be brainless enough. Actually, many of these are insipid, so I will likely skip around. I mean, check out day 6. Seriously? I don't think so.

Day 1: Introduce yourself
Day 2: A bulleted list of everything that happened in your day
Day 3: Your favorite movie
Day 4: A photo of you taken over 10 years ago
Day 5: A letter to your crush
Day 6: A list of what you ate today
Day 7: A youtube video you find funny
Day 8: A photo of you taken recently
Day 9: List some of your favorite blogs
Day 10: A letter to a person who has caused you pain
Day 11: Share your favorite recipe(s)
Day 12: Self portrait
Day 13: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 14: A song from your childhood
Day 15: A letter to someone you wish you could meet
Day 16: Provide pictures of 5 celebrity crushes
Day 17: A photo that makes you sad
Day 18: Set or share a goal
Day 19: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 20: A letter to someone that changed your life
Day 21: Your favorite television program
Day 22: A photo that makes you happy
Day 23: Share one of your favorite tunes
Day 24: Time to face morph
Day 25: Someone you judged by their first impression
Day 26: Favorite books
Day 27: A talent of yours
Day 28: Favorite places to shop
Day 29: Your favorite color
Day 30: The friendliest person you knew for only 1 day
Day 31: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 32: A photo you took
Day 33: What you're craving right now
Day 34: Your favorite quote
Day 35: A letter to an ex
Day 36: Some hobbies of yours
Day 37: A song that you like to dance to
Day 38: A photo of your parents
Day 39: Zodiac sign and do you think it fits your personality
Day 40: A deceased person you wish you could talk to
Day 41: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 42: A bad habit you have
Day 43: A picture of your favorite place in the world
Day 44: Something that fascinates you and why
Day 45: A letter to yourself a year ago
Day 46: Photos of personal things in your life (pets, family, house, etc)
Day 47: Birthday wish list
Day 48: A photo of you right now
Day 49: Hopes, dreams, and plans for the next 365 days
Day 50: A letter to your reflection in the mirror

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dear Lord-

Please encourage my university to process my financial aid before I run out of toilet paper.

Amen.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Letting the ball drop.

It's been a few weeks, and things have not improved. I'd really like a do-over on this entire year.

I am not okay. I'm not acting like myself at all. I don't feel like me.

I'm still jobless. Still essentially homeless. My car still needs work, which doesn't much matter, as I have nothing for gas. I feel so trapped. At this point I'm debating whether I should pay rent for next month, or just pack up and drive off somewhere and just see how far Stew will get me before he breaks down or we run out of gas.

I'm so loaded down with stress and sorrow that I can't breathe.

And no, I don't want to talk to you about it. I don't want to hear another person say that they wished they could help. I don't want help. I just want to be able to say that I am not okay. I'm tired of lying about it.

As a result, I'm letting the ball drop on a number of things because I lack the ability to do anything about them and I lack the desire to fight. I'm too tired and I can't breathe and there's nothing I can do about any of it anyway.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Screwed With My Pants On

Oh BYU, seriously? SERIOUSLY???

Here's the deal: I've been unemployed since April. Not a problem, because I ended up in India on scholarship with no expenses. Buuut, BYU was still charging me for health insurance, even though I had better insurance through my sponsoring organization.
Still, they put my account on hold for non-payment.
Fine. My loans are coming in soon, right?
Right?
I did my part 3 1/2 weeks ago. Someone at the bank just has to hit "enter" and my problems will go away.
Cause I also have to add one class.
And my application for full-time status needs to be processed. Which can't happen until after I've added the class. Which can't happen until the loans process.

So, we've just been waiting on the loans. Last week, FinAid office at BYU assured me that I've done everything I'm supposed to do. And they've done everything THEY'RE supposed to do. And that we were just waiting on the bank.

Right.
So, today I got an email from my department secretary. She'd gotten an email from student employment services saying that she'd have to terminate my job because I'm not enrolled in any classes. Seriously.

Which means that the idiots in charge who last week told me that everything would be fine went and deleted my classes for nonpayment of tuition...
So my classes are deleted. BUT the bank processed the loans today. So there's ANOTHER hold on my account, because they got their damn money today and have no idea WHAT THE FUCK to do with it!

SERIOUSLY???

So, I'm without credit hours, without loans, and apparently being fired from my job.
Fuck my life.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So, it's been a while....

I've realized that I haven't posted a blog in a month. Well done me. I'm home now, and adjusting to jet lag, culture shock, and a western wardrobe. As India was full of food I can't eat, I lost 20 pounds while I was there. Lucky for me, I have, as I think all women in the world do, a fat wardrobe and a skinny wardrobe. I am currently in my (relatively) skinny wardrobe. I am about where I was my Junior year in college, I think. It's been a while, thanks to my pesky digestive disorder.

It's nice being able to eat again. I have insulin intolerance and am not supposed to eat anything that will make my body produce insulin. The problem with that is that ever meal in India is bread, rice, potato, and legume. I am not supposed to consume any of these things, and so lost 2 lbs per week. Sure.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Concerning my Verbal Prowess.

Or not.
When I was first learning how to read and speak Punjabi, we were given a list of questions to ask each other. One of them was "Are you a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian?" I am non-veg. Of course. Those who know about my ridiculous dietary restrictions would laugh out loud if I said I was giving up meat, as it's one of about 3 things I CAN eat.
Anyway, someone asked me this question... I think it was my Auntie-Ji. The word for non-vegetarian is "masahari." Masa means flesh. Hari is eater. I replied to her question that I was a "masihari." A Masi is your mother's sister.

I am an Aunt-eater.
Bwahahaha!!!

Growing Together.

We're taking this week off of classes, in light of our loss. Yesterday we went to Gurudwara and then went to the rose garden in town and played together at the park there. We taught our teachers how to play Duck Duck Goose and the Down by the Banks game. We played on the swings and the see-saw and had a good time being together.
Today, we're going to the rock garden. Tomorrow we're taking an overnight trip into the mountains to a Gurudwara that Ajeet had wanted to visit. Friday night we're going to a Punjabi comedy show, and on Saturday we're going to a sitar concert, or something like that. We're keeping ourselves busy and together. It'll be good.

Concerning the Cobra.

So, I neglected to write about a really unique experience that I had while on the long, horrible train to Varanasi. Trains in India are not like trains in the US. First class India would be well below the American cheap seats. And then they have cheap seats...and standing room only. Ewww.
Anyway, another interesting difference is that there are always people walking up and down the aisles of the train, some selling tea or chips, many people begging for a few rupees, handicapped people, etc. The train is a busy, busy place.
When I was travelling through Uttar Pradesh, which is a state generally looked down upon by people from other states, I had a most unique and un-Punjab like experience. A man walked down the train playing some sort of instrument. It looked to be made of natural products, perhaps a gourd or something. He stopped near my seat and sat down and played for a little while. After a few minutes, he pulled out this basket for tips to go into. And that is what you were supposed to do.... except there wasn't only money in that basket.
Oh no.
The man lifted off the top of the basket and a flared, hissing cobra popped up. And THEN the man pushed the basket RIGHT UP TO MY FACE waiting for his tip! And THEN it LOOKED AT ME!!!!! AAAAHHHHH!!!!!

I started sputtering trying to get him to take the snake AWAY FROM MY FACE.
dzaw ji! nehi ji! dzaw ji!
Please go away!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Upon Reflection.

So, a while ago, I wrote a blog about how fun it was to fear for one's life in a speeding rickshaw. After the events of today, I fear that it was in incredibly bad taste. One of my classmates, Ajeet, was killed in a rickshaw accident this morning on the way to school. Or yesterday. The details are not clear to me yet. He was tall and thin and had kind, sparkly, crinkly eyes and a warm smile.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

4 weeks and counting....

Back from Shimla. It was beautiful. Now I have 3 weeks of classes left before finals/presentation week, and then I'll be heading back to the states.
I was pickpocketed on my way to Shimla. The bastard took everything I had with me except for 10 rupees (about a quarter). I had half of my 2nd term allotment with me, so.... that was harsh. Still, I had a nice time there. It was beautiful, and I will be posting pictures tomorrow probably.

I'm really looking forward to being home again. I miss talking to my people. :( Yup. I've just about had enough of all of this travel.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Finally back.

Really fast update. Amritsar was amazing. We came back Sunday, had 2 days of classes, and the left again for our 5 day break. I went to Varanasi with Irma (India Roommate). She had a blast. I was in hell. The whole city is narrow and crowded and noisy and stinky and gross. I haven't had a worse time since I got here. If I manage to get home without have contracted Hepatitis, Black Lung, or head lice, it will be a miracle.
We got stuck in Lucknow on the way back and ended up returning to Chandigarh 3 days later than planned, and only with the assistance of Institute people. It took 2 motor Rickshaws, 1 train, 2 bicycle rickshaws, 1 plane, 1 un-airconditioned bus and 3 long taxi rides to get home.
I'll be heading back to the states in one month. I have many problems to deal with when I get home, so I'm both looking forward to it and also not. I'm regretting having come because I feel like I've neglected a lot. I HAVE neglected a lot.
Anyway, there's nothing I can do about any of it now and from here. I'm tired and I'm frustrated.

This weekend I'm going to Shimla, up in the Himalayas. At some point, I still need to make it to Agra. Also at some point, I need to learn how to speak Panjabi. :(

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Concerning Fabulous Trips

I just got back from Amritsar. I have haggled in the marketplaces. I have seen the Golden Temple. I have walked on its roof. I have bathed in the holy waters there. It was amazing. I'm in the process of trying to upload photos on to Facebook.

Today I am going to Varanasi. I am so excited for my trip.

School is getting easier. I finally earned a Kalliope-type grade on an exam, which made me happy. I haven't wanted to cry in over a week, other than on the bus ride to Amritsar, during which I had a sad epiphany that my life plan is probably not going to go the way I want it to. Big surprise, right? Whatever. I'm in India. I'm doing awesome things. This summer is far more awesome than I could have imagined.

I'll be offline for a week. Having awesomeness.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Concerning Monsoon

So, Saturday monsoon hit in full force. On a 3 minute walk from a tailor to my house, I got drenched. Of course, my shirt was white. Well thought-out, there. Well done. Anyway, before I reached the house my clothing was see-through and I was wading through 2 inches of water on the streets. I got home dripping wet, ran upstairs, hung my clothes to dry, and took a bucket bath. Then I flopped on my bed to do some light reading and roommate went in to take a bath.

30 minutes later, Kerna opened my door with a shocked look on her face. I looked at her, then looked down. The bottoms of her pants were up around her knees and she was standing in ANOTHER 2 inches of water. In the hallway. Looking around my room, I realized that it was flooded. The whole upstairs of the house was flooded. Water was rushing in from the balcony because the drains were clogged. Kerna noticed because in addition to filling the bedrooms with water, the crazy stuff was also rushing down the stairs and flooding the first floor. Oh Jeez.

Kerna, Roommate and I spend the better part of an hour scraping water out of the bedrooms into the hallway, and then back onto the balcony so that it could all run out the newly unclogged drains.

I will admit that of all the things I envisioned happening while I was in India, de-flooding my 2nd story bedroom was not anticipated.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Concerning Travel

Next Saturday I am going to Amritsar to see the Golden Temple, the center of the Sikh religion. While there, I will be traveling to the Pakistani border to see a sunset ceremony during which the two countries blare music at each other, open the gates between the countries, and salute each other. Sure. The weekend after that is my long break (which will mean that the program is half over), and I will be going to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Apparently, you haven't lived until you've seen it at sunrise. I'm living.

I also plan on seeing Jaipur, Dehli (pronounced "dili"), and taking a train to the base of the Himalayas.

::sigh::

Pictures will be on facebook. :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Concerning Pink

To continue with the whole "dukandaars are obsessed with pink" thing (dukandaar means shopkeeper), I have learned a very valuable phrase:

kion ehe gulaabi he? Menu gulaabi nehii pasaand he.
Why is this pink? I do not like pink.

Oh yeah. That's going to come in handy. :D

Monday, June 28, 2010

Concerning Paani

Paani means water. Water has been a bit of an issue lately. Monsoon has started. It's not raining every day or anything. A few hours before the rain hits, we get a violet windstorm. That's interesting. Then the rain comes an drenches everything. Of course, this post is not really about monsoon.

It's about faucets. At this point, I'm pretty used to the electricity going out randomly. I'm used to one part of the house having power and not another. I'm used to one wall in my room having power and not another. I'm used to classes held in the dark. I am NOT used to the water deciding to go on strike in the middle of toothbrushing. I am NOT used to my bathwater being cloudy. I really don't know how I feel about this. My host father made a joke about it yesterday. Sort-of. He just said, regarding the water, Well, that's India.

Indeed.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Concerning Breakfast and Bargaining.

Bargaining starts first thing in the morning around here. When Aunti-ji rings the bell for breakfast, you have to put your game face on. She is a serious roti-pusher. That woman will have you eating 4 normal-sized helpings and then 2 full desserts. And she's so crafty at it. She will ask you the same question 4 or 5 times, hoping to catch you off guard and get you to agree to more food. She will make a deal with you: take half. Only half. She will pout and make silly faces. She will guilt you into eating her out of house and home.

She rather reminds me of the rickshaw drivers, actually. 150 rupees. Absolutely not! I NEVER pay that much to be driven across town (about 3 dollars). No more than 60. Okay, he says: 100 rupees. No, I say. Did you not hear me? I won't pay that high a cost. I could maybe go up to 70, but you're really pushing me here.

And so it goes until you end up somewhere in the middle. This is very similar to every meal in my house. Lunches are served at the institute where I take my classes and is self-serve, for which I am grateful.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A note on shopping.

Shopping stresses me out in the best of times. Now picture me, anxiety disorder and all, in a crowded (CROWDED) market filled with staring people speaking loudly in a foreign language all trying to get my attention and sell me their crap. Oh my. Can't. Handle. I tried buying clothes at 3 different markets before I gave up on the crazy haggle-bazaar and finally went to a fixed-price market with 7 other girls in my program, who were also all shopping. Less attention on me.

Shopping here is crazy. You just walk up to a dukkandar (shopkeeper), and he will immediately start unfolding stuff and laying it all out in front of you. It can be intimidated. The colors are all very bright, for some reason I can't fathom, they really want me to wear pink, and they will really just keep pulling out stuff until you run away from them. It's intense. With the assistance of the other girls, I am now the proud owner of two custom-tailored suits, which I purchased (fabric and tailoring) for 1500 rupees, or about $30 total. One is dark turquoise with brushed gold embroidery, and the other is a lovely light green with tan embroidery. They are beautiful. Unfortunately, I can't really wear them yet, as the tailoring does not include this crazy belt-thing. For that, I must go back to the bazaar. Which really just means 'market.' Bummer.

A note about school.

It. Is. Hard. Seriously. Half of the teachers don't speak English. Almost at all. The orthography is totally foreign (no pun intended), but really, it isn't similar to anything I've done before. We are trying to learn reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the same time. This is not easy. The reading I can do pretty well, but the writing is very difficult. This is because there are 4 Ns, 4 Ds, 4 Ts, 4 Ps, 3 Ks, 2 Rs... And the list goes on. Many times each day, I hear "No, no, you are saying it 'K. It is not 'K.' It is 'K.'" Sure. That makes sense. The many duplicate sounds are particularly difficult for me. When I make an American T or D (alveolar), one of my teachers will tell me that I'm making it retroflex. Not exactly, Ravni-ji. You're correct in pointing out that I made an error, but allow me to explain HOW it was wrong....because you're not right.
Sigh. This same teacher took a class on English linguistics, but his IPA is a bit off. He asked me earlier in the week to explain to him how we make our Ts and Ds. Yeah. He has as much trouble with those as I have with this crazy Punjabi thing.

The worst class is Dictation. In this class, the teacher will read off a list of words, and we are supposed to spell them correctly. Riiiight. I don't think so. With so many duplicate sounds to choose from, how on earth can I possibly? If it's a word I already know, then my spelling is pretty good, but most of the time, it's words I've never heard before. I can really only tell the difference between the dental and retroflex stops by watching the mouth of the speaker. And between the aspirated and unaspirated of these same stops? Ha! Nothing but guessing, I swear. I'm not entirely convinced that it isn't a total waste of time. Maybe I'm meant to be learning how to tell the difference between the sounds, but so far, I just feel like a MR. F. Not to be confused with Mr. F, which is entirely different.

I like reading class. I can't understand most of what I read, and my brain keeps mixing languages and confused kona with iota...which is super fun. Otherwise, though, I'm quite good at the reading thing. Speaking makes me want to hyperventilate, but reading is almost like fun. Almost.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A note on the Bucket Bath.

So, in my house, there are 2 bedrooms let out to students, each with 2 inhabitants, and each with its own bathroom. One bedroom is small, but airy, with a shower. The other is large and sunny, and has what LOOKS like a shower. Guess which room I'm in?

I thought that we were just missing a shower curtain, but I soon learned that the shower head didn't work. Also, there isn't really a full wall, so it's clearly not a tub. So what could it be?

I started looking around, and as I did so, a picture began to form. In the bathing area was a plastic tub, a bucket, a pitcher, and a stool. Oh yeah. YOU put the pieces together.

Also, the temperature is the same no matter which faucet you turn on. There is also no predicting what the temperature will be. Sometimes it's quite warm. Sometimes it is almost cool. ALMOST. It is in general so hot in the bathroom that my shampoo is warm when it comes out of my pump bottle. I'm not sure yet if I like it. Right now, it kinda creeps me out.

Anyway, these are the joys of the bucket bath. Well, AND dodging the lizards that like to frolic in the bathroom.

A note on Electricity.

My posts from India may turn out to be a series of notes. Concerning electricity: around here, it seems to be pretty unpredictable. When I got to school this morning, it was out. It goes out regularly, but also randomly. Last night, when India Roommate was trying to do homework, it went out. Of course. The other night, in the middle of my bucket bath (separate posting), the lights went out. Sigh. They weren't kidding when they told us to bring flashlights. In fact, a transformer exploded while I was going by it the other day. No kidding.

The worst of it is when the AC goes out. Interestingly, there are 3 different power sources to the house, so it's likely that one part of my room will have electricity and another part will not. It took me a full week to figure out how to charge the battery on my computer AND time it properly with the electricity being on. I have also spent a few sleepless nights shvitzing away because the AC can't handle working at night. Luckily, though, monsoon seems to be upon us. Not sure what that'll do to the electricity, but it sure cuts the heat. It's amazing how much more comfortable the 90s are than the 110s. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Note on Rickshaws.

The rickshaw is an interesting thing. It is a small, 3-wheeled, motorized vehicle with no doors, no windows exactly, and no seat belts. It has open sides and the steering wheel is more of a steering stick. It's about the size of a smart car, with one driver sitting on a bench in the front and three people (or more) on a bench in the back. It has a top speed of approximately 50 miles per hour.

This is how I get to school every day. Oh yeah. I'm living dangerously.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ever closer.

I'm in DC, and we've just finished our pre-departure orientation. We were reminded that if we were going to be blogging about our experiences, we should be sure to mention that THIS BLOG WILL EXPRESS MY PERSONAL VIEWS ONLY AND DOES NOT REFLECT ANY POSITIONS HELD BY THE US DEPARTMENT OF STATE OR THE CRITICAL LANGUAGE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. That said, it was apparently tough going this year - only about 10% of applicants were accepted to the program. As you all know, I was an alternate. Either way, I'm here now, and am flying to India tomorrow afternoon. Well, first I'm flying to Chicago (horror of horrors), and THEN to India. We'll get there at 8:30p local time on Saturday, after a 15 hour flight. EEeeee! We'll stay in Delhi on Sunday and have more orientation. Monday (I think) we're bussing/flying to our respective cities, taking intake exams, etc. I think Wednesday we're moving in with our host families and starting classes. Not all of that has been explained yet, so we'll see.

My stomach ulcers are acting up again. Stress and all that. It'll be fine, though, right? I worry too much and I overthink everything. At least, that's what they all tell me. I'm suspending my cell phone service while I'm there. I'll have a local phone, but I'm not giving any of you the number because I don't want to pay international rates. I'm sure you don't, either.

Crazy Roommate has created a "Kalliope's in India" FB support group. Seriously. What a person.

I was planning on taking sleeping pills on the airplane, but know that I know we're getting there in the evening, that may be a bad idea. Hmmmm.

I am looking forward to my new, Indian wardrobe. That'll be fun, I think. The language learning will be intense, but I tend to do best when I'm pushed to my breaking point. Of course, I always hope it doesn't come to that, but it generally does. I will miss so many people. 10 weeks isn't a lifetime, though, and I'll be back soon enough. Contact will need to be through email, FB message, or you can post here. I'll be online, but not everyday, as India has an electricity shortage (rolling blackouts, etc). Just be patient about my speed in getting back to you. Pictures will be posted on FB, as I don't actually know how to post pics here. I'm sure I could figure it out if I gave it 5 minutes, but I just never have. Meh. Maybe I'll give it a go if I have nothing better to do.

Tomorrow it is, then. You may not hear from me for a few days, but I'm sure you'll not die of suspense. Wish me luck and pray for my continued sanity. ;)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

On the way....

At the SLC airport waiting to board my flight to DC. Am having dinner with a sister tonight, orientating all day tomorrow, and flying to India on Friday. Blaaargh. I'm pretty anxious about the whole thing, and not so much in the good way. I mean, I'm excited, of course, but I'm also fairly terrified. I've never shied away from new people or strange places. I mean, I'm in Utah. Still, this is all-new, and all by myself. My flight is boarding, so I should probably sign off. But just so you all know, I'm on my way. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Back for 2 short days.

I'm back in Utah, but only until early Wednesday morning. My flight to DC is at 6am, which I think is particularly cruel. I have a lot to do between now and then and haven't slept in a week. Of course.
Anyway, Germany was great - very European and picturesque. I visited Wetzlar, Marburg and Frankfurt. Spain was hot and typically Mediterranean. We had day trips to Rota, Cadiz, Granada, and Gibraltar. I'm posting photo albums on FB. Well, trying to, at any rate. An error keeps occurring, so I'll have to futz with that later on. I also have to redo my medical information form, as the a-hole who filled it out failed to mention one important detail: he was not actually qualified to fill it out. Awesome.
My niece is so stinkin cute! She smiles and giggles all day. I already miss her so much.
Also - I have a tan. How very unexpected. Four days in Spain and I've taken on a golden hue. Here's the thing: I do not tan. I burn. Boy, do I burn. If they gave awards for burn-ability, I would be right at the top of that list. I'm really not sure how it happened - I wore sunscreen, a hat, a scarf and sunglasses - seriously. Still, better than being a lobster, I suppose. Maybe I won't burn so badly when I get to India. Which will be Saturday. Yeesh!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So behind.

I can't even begin to catch up here. I've been in Europe for 1 week. I attended a conference on corpus linguistics, toured Wetzlar, Marburg, and took a sunset boat tour down the Rhine. I searched in vain for tacky memorabilia. Now I'm in Spain. Yesterday I went to the gypsy market in Rota and bought several souvenirs and an embarrassing amount of garlic stuffed olives.
Today we are taking the ferry to Cadiz, where Roman ruins were recently discovered beneath the current city. I'm excited. Tomorrow we are going to tour Alhambra, Saturday we're driving down to Gibraltar, and then early Sunday morning, I fly home. EARLY Wednesday morning, I'm off to DC. Friday morning, I'm off to India. I will be in 4 different time zones within a week.
I haven't slept in a few days, which doesn't really help me appreciate all of the loveliness around me. I just sleep better when I have a schedule and my own space. Exhausting myself with sight-seeing doesn't seem to do the trick. Oh well. I'm enjoying what I'm getting to see in any case. I don't need sleep. Sleep is for the weak. Not really. I'd love to sleep. I'm just not very good at it.
On a sad, girly note, things were progressing so nicely with MR. F, and now I'm out of the country for 3 months. Boo. When I come back, he'll probably be dating Bland. If you don't watch Arrested Development, these two jokes are lost on you. Quelle dommage.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Travel plans - check.

I have finally changed and finalized all of my flight plans. Next Wednesday, I am flying to Germany. I will arrive Thursday and stay there until the following Tuesday. That Tuesday, 1 June, I will fly to Spain to see my dear sister and her beautiful 4 month old daughter. I will be there until 6 June, when I will fly back to the states. On 9 June, I fly to DC for India orientation. We fly to India on 12 June and arrive on 13 June. I will be in India until 21 or 22 August.

My head hurts just thinking about it.
The end.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Scamming Update.

I got an irate email from my scammer this morning demanding that I wire the $ today or face legal recourse. Sure. Whatever.
See, I had already sent the emails from "paypal" onto the real Paypal fraud detection department. They confirmed my suspicions. Phishing. Go me. Screw you scammers and your stupid fake emails with atrocious grammar. I am not that dumb. I am not dumb enough to wire $500 of my own cash to a "pickup agent" with an address in London. I don't think so. Not that dumb.
I also filled out a form with the FBI fraud service, giving them all 3 email addresses that were used, the name and address of the "pickup agent", etc. I feel righteous, in an annoying way. I hope they catch you. That is all.
In the meantime, still trying to sell the car. ::sigh::

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blah Blah Blah.

I got all of my paperwork together (finally) and sent it all in to the Indian embassy. It seems that every single piece of it was a total ordeal. Still, it's in. I won't have it back in time to go to Austria, which is fine - I had to change my tickets anyway. If all goes well, I'll have my visa back my a week from Monday. I have one tiny hiccup in the paperwork - I don't actually have a utility in my name. So, we switched one in the house to my name, but of course I don't have a bill yet. So, the utility company faxed me a printout of my account information - name, address, account number - for inclusion in my packet of documents. I sure hope they accept it.
Assuming they do, I'll get my passport in just enough time to board a plane for Germany for the conference, which starts a week Tuesday. For safety, I'll probably change my ticket to Wednesday and miss the first day of the conference. I'll be there for a week, fly to Spain, meet the niece, visit Gibraltar and Alhambra, fly home, unpack, re-pack, and fly out 3 days after I get back.
In order to help fund all of this loveliness, I've put my car on the market. Trouble is, I'm pretty sure someone just tried to scam me. It all sounded fine at first - the person wanted to pay for the car via paypal and had arranged for someone else to pick it up. Fine. Whatever.
Then she "transferred" more money than I'd been asking for the car into my paypal account, and asked me to withdraw the extra and wire it via western union to the pick-up person. Huh. THEN I got an email, which I've forwarded on to paypal's fraud department, because it indicated that the money for the car wouldn't be credited to my account until after they'd gotten confirmation that I'd wired money to this third party. Riiiight. AND the grammar was REALLY bad. I don't think so, Tim. Do I look stupid or something? Do people actually fall for this kind of stupid crap???
So, yeah. Car not sold yet. Still, I only listed it 24 hours ago, and I've had 5 inquiries. Trying to stay hopeful.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Squat toilets.

So, assuming I can get all of my paperwork together, I'm going to be spending 10 weeks in a land of squat toilets where toilet paper is seen as unhygienic. Huh. That will probably be worthy of a blog or two. ;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

You're kidding me, right?

Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

Blargh. So, I was informed today that if I cancel my trip to Germany, I will have to refund my school the cost of the ticket. So, if I change my ticket, it will cost me almost $1000. If I cancel the trip, it will cost me almost $1000. Seriously. There is apparently no winning at this. Either way, I'm screwed with my pants on. I'm not entirely sure what to do at this point. To be honest, I don't have the money either way. Not that that matters in real life. :'(

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ya give a little, ya get a little.

Well, after trying to work out the airfare thing, I've decided that it's just not possible. I have a timing conflict with my two planned trips: I'm meant to be coming home from one on the same day that I MUST start the other. I called the trip planning people to see about changing my return flight from Germany so that I have a few days before I have to leave for India. No such luck. It can not be done without wiping out my whole bank account and then some. Oh well. So, I am backing out of that trip and just going to India. I will miss presenting at the conference, but my name will still be on the research and the paper. I won't see Austria, Germany, Spain, or France. I will see India for 10 glorious weeks. I won't see my niece. That's the killer for me. Everyone else in the family will meet her in July when her parents are bringing her stateside. Not me. :( I will be about as far away on the globe as it is possible to get. Almost.

I'm sad that it can't work both ways. No one gets to have it all, though, right? India is an amazing opportunity and I would be incredibly stupid to pass it up. The only thing I'm really losing is snuggle time with Isobel. Steep price, but an opportunity like 10 weeks in India for free doesn't come around every day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Looking up? Or at least far away...

Yesterday I got some exciting and also terrifying news. Someone dropped out of the India program. I'm in. Seriously. I'm going to Chandigarh, India for 2 1/2 months this summer, from June 9th until August 22. I can't believe it. Not even a little bit. Holy freakin' cow.

I am flying to India in 4 week, and am going to spend 10 whole fabulous weeks learning Punjabi. I can't believe it. I'm excited and scared, all at the same time.

The program is sponsored by the US State Department. Each summer they give grants/scholarships to about 500 college students and they send us overseas to one of 26 locations to study 13 different "critical languages". So, I will be in Chandigarh with about 20 other students learning either beginning, intermediate, or advanced level Punjabi. I, obviously, will be in the beginning category. I wish the scholarship people would send out a list of things I need vs. things I definitely don't need. I have questions, you know? Should I bring my own school supplies, or will they be provided? Should I bring and English-Punjabi dictionary? (did you know there was such a thing? Me neither...) Should I get a phrase book? How much time should I spend learning a few basics? WHICH DIALECT WILL WE BE LEARNING????

So many questions. I have to replan my Germany trip, because right now, I'm scheduled to come back from Europe the same day that I need to be in WDC for the pre-departure orientation. The plan is to cut out Austria before hand, so I have more time to plan and organize, and cut out Paris afterwards. I'll do the conference in Germany, then fly to Spain to visit Jess and Isobel, and fly home directly from there. I'll be home for 2-3 days, turn around, and fly right out for the India program.

Aaaahhhhh! So much to do!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The story of my year...

On the 8th, my birthday, I got my official rejection notice from Northwestern. On the 16th, the deadline for notification for Critical Language Scholarship program alternates passed with no notification for me. Today, the 19th, I got my official rejection from Teach for America. Jee-zuhs.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Blogger

Also, if anyone's interested, a friend of mine invited me to be a contributing writer on a new blog she's created with some other overly-educated women, most of whom I don't actually know. I've liked what they've had to say, and so maybe others will, too. Here's the address:

http://feministintercourses.org

Recap.

Last week was quite... umm, interesting. Actually, this whole years has been interesting so far. Surgery in January, followed by weeks of sickiness, waitlisted and NU, waitlisted for CLS, huge medical bills that I can't afford, being thrown out of my apartment at the end of the month so my landlord can remodel... AND. I have received the final word from NU - officially rejected. On my birthday.
So, I'm out of ideas. I'm practically finished with this stupid degree and have no idea where to go or what to do now that it's over. I'll hear back from TFA in 9 days, but honestly, I've lost my confidence in my ability to get accepted to things. And if I don't get into to TFA, I'll be *really* lost.
I do seem to have a home, though. In PG, with my friend and hairdresser, for $50 less than I'm paying now, and in a house with a kitchen which is larger than my current living room. Yup. Small miracles.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Worst birthday EVER.

I got an email from my landlord this morning. She wants to remodel, and so has asked me to be out of the house by May 1. I don't know where to go. I don't know what to do. Right now I'm busy trying not to hyperventilate. In the meantime, I need to start packing. :'(

Monday, April 5, 2010

Doctor, Doctor.

In addition to providing me with much-needed hormone therapy, the doctor at the health center also gave me an ugly number: 2-3 hours.

See, my stupid body does not digest food. It forgot how at some point in my early 20s. As such, it stores everything, and I easily gain weight even when I'm eating healthier foods and smaller portions than my skinny counterparts. Seriously. So, since I can't turn calories into energy and just end up storing them, the number I'm given is 2-3. Hours. While a normal person can burn a healthy amount of calories in 30 minutes of exercise per day... I have to exercise 2-3 HOURS per day. Today was the first day. I'm starting with 2 hours, 3 times per week and am going to build up from there. I used my inhalor before I left, and miraculously haven't had any breathing problems. I feel pretty good. However, a lifetime of planning my days around 3 hour gym sessions does NOT make me happy.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Warning: TMI!

I'm out of birth control. I have this family friend (a midwife) who has been supplying me with fabulous birth control for two years. Now I'm out, and I didn't really feel good asking for more free hormone-swag, so this morning I went to the health center. Ugh.
The health center here requires a pelvic exam for birth control consultations. Plus, I'm 27, almost 28, and have only had 1 pap smear. Ugh. I really just went in for a discussion of birth control options and a new prescription. Easy, right? Nooooooo! As unprepared as I was, I was instructed to strip down and spread'em. THEN, doctor-lady used uncomfortably large tools. Oww.
At the end of it, though, I have new birth control - Jolessa, the generic for Seasonique (my old one). This new one is only $60/3 months, rather than $140/3 months. I can handle that. I have to go back for blood tests, but those are a lot less uncomfortable than pelvic exams.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

NEXT!

Yesterday was my final TFA interview. It went pretty well, I think. I don't remember doing or saying anything incredibly stupid...so, that's good.
I'll find out in 3 weeks whether I'm offered a position or not. We will see.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

::sigh::

I passed the phone interview, and so am up for the in-person interview, which will take place in slightly under 2 weeks. Trying not to stress about it too much.
Have other things to stress about, in any case.
I seem to be getting chucked out of my house. Yup. I should only be here in UT for a couple more months anyway, and the landlord wants to remodel. So, I must move for the 4th time in 3 years.

I'm just so damn tired. I'm not ready to be told that it'll be okay, because that just makes me feel like my concerns are not valid. So...don't. I'm tired. Tired of Utah. Tired of waiting. Tired of hoping and praying and tired of getting slapped in the face. I really can't take much more of it. I'm about ready to just give the hell up.

Monday, March 8, 2010

TFA Part Deux.

I've just finished my Teach For American Phone interview. I might vomit. It didn't go poorly or anything... I just get really nervous. About 20 minutes in, I caught sight of my hand, which was shaking uncontrollably. I hadn't even felt it moving because I was too busy trying to answer hard questions without stuttering or throwing up.
I think it went well. I think I might get invited to the in-person interview. I'll find out next Tuesday. I'm calming down. I actually scheduled 45 free minutes for myself for calm down time. Seriously. It's in my date book.
I think it was okay. We got through all of the questions. I think I answered them pretty well. Articulate, but not too snobby. We'll see. Next week.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Looking forward.

So, I've had my pity party. I got my not-good news this morning and had a full-on tantrum. But feeling sad and dejected isn't going to get me anywhere. Whether or not I get into NU or CLS or TFA, I will survive. I have alternate plans - half a dozen of them. If I don't get into CLS, I'll just move sooner. Fine. Whatever. If I don't get into NU or TFA, I'll take a year, go back to custom window treatments for money-making, study for the LSAT and apply to Law School. If I DO get into TFA, I'll do that for the requisite 2 years and either continue teaching or THEN go to law school.
There are worse things in the world than not getting into these things. I will be fine. I will not be homeless. I will not die of self-loathing. I will not die of rejection.
The truth is I've been spoiled. I'm not used to not being accepted to programs for which I've applied. I've ALWAYS been accepted. I don't really understand why I wasn't accepted to these things, as I consider myself to be an extremely well-qualified candidate. My GPA is awesome. I've worked with 4 different professors on various research projects and have organized and run 2 international conferences hosted by my university, and have been invited to do 2 more. They love me. I'm a hard worker and an excellent student.
So what? I haven't been accepted, but I have to remind myself that I haven't actually been rejected, either. I haven't been rejected by any of these people.
I passed the first round of TFA, and my phone interview is Monday. I had better buck up before then, or else I won't pass that round.
Whatever happens, I'll deal with it. I've been wait-listed at NU for 5 whole weeks. Still, no news may be good news. They still haven't said no. Go me!
If I pass all of the portions of the TFA process, I'll be offered a position by the end of the month.
People who WERE accepted in the first round of CLS have been asked to submit their decisions by April 16, so I'll know by then about that.
It'll work out. In the meantime, I'm going to Germany. I'm going to see Frankfurt, Giessen, and Marburg. I'm going to see my dear sister and her darling baby girl. I'm going to see Gibraltar. I'm going to shop in a gypsy market and buy tacky souvenirs. If I can swing it, I'm going to see Paris. It's expensive, so I'll be there long enough to eat a lot of bread and cheese and take some pictures of le tour Eiffel and le sacre coeur. It will be amazing. I'm so happy about it. I've been wanting to get out and do something for a long time now. I keep making plans to travel, and they keep getting pushed back and pushed back. No more.
I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work on this project, to co-author a paper or two, and to present at an international linguistics conference.
I have so much to be happy about. I'm too blessed to be hiding under my covers and pouting.

I know that I've been doing a lot more writing than normal, and I apologize for all of the irritating posts. My journaling is much the same way: I don't write for a month or more, and then all at once I write every day. It's odd. Still, the point is that I'm not wallowing in self-pity. I have not been declined to anything, and even if I do get declined to these things, I can take care of myself. As for as NU and CLS go, I can't do anything BUT wait, and so there's no point in freaking out about any of it. I CAN do something about TFA: I can prepare well and do my best on my interview - do everything in my power to ensure that I make it to the next round of interviews. So, that's what's next. :)

India Update.

::sigh::
I'm an "alternate."

I don't understand. Am I really so average?

Nobody wants me enough. NU doesn't want me enough. CLS doesn't want me enough. What the hell? I have an amazing aptitude for language learning. I've taken 12 language courses at the college level in 4 different languages, one of them an Indian Language. A Dravidian - Tamil. And Punjabi is Indo-European....so they're not actually related at all, but who else knows that?
I really thought that I was a shoo-in for that one. And yes, that is the appropriate spelling for that phrase. I googled it.

I'm going to crawl back under my covers now.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Germany Update.

Good news! The research team went through the money at our meeting today and calculated how much we would each have to contribute to the Germany trip considering different factors. This is what we have discovered: If we stay in a hostel, we save almost a hundred bucks. If we stay in the conference hotel or in one of the nearby hotels, we'll need to pay between $100 and $300, depending. So, two team members and I are opting for a hostel, while the other 4 team members are opting for a hotel. Whatev. If I'm spending time in Germany, I'm totally having the full American-20-something experience. So, the plan, still developing:
Day 1: Fly to Germany.
Day 2: Arrive in Germany; take train from Frankfurt to Giessen; register at conference.
Days 3-6: Conference in Giessen.
Day 7: Post-conference trip to Marburg.
Day 8: Train back to Frankfurt, flight to Spain to meet Niece.
Days 9-?: Hang out in Spain.
Days ?-?: Short jaunt to Paris, perhaps? Photos with le tour Eiffel?
Day ?: Back to Frankfurt, flight home.

Once again, I find out next week if I'll be going to India for half of the summer. If so, I'll leave for that program about a week after coming home from this trip. Sweet. :D

Fingers still crossed on NU, TFA, and India. Here's hoping!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Waiting, waiting, waiting. :(

While most of you have already heard me whine about all of this, I feel the need to also put my bitching out into the internet void.
I am sick of waiting. Due to sickness and hospital stay, I only managed to get one application in for one PhD program. This is not good. Of course, it's the only one that I want and the only program in the nation with my area of interest, so I guess it could be worse. I may have only been able to apply to a back up program. Eww. Instead, I have NO backups! Gah!
On the plus side, I wasn't rejected. Of course, I wasn't accepted, either. I was waitlisted by my dream program and have been waiting for 5 long weeks to hear any news. I know that they were applying for more funding and that if anyone else chose to go elsewhere, then I'd get their spot. 5 WEEKS! Really, Northwestern? I'm dying here! I want into your program SO badly! It would be amazing and I would be so happy and I would work hard and write papers and teach lectures and there would be utter bliss! I understand that the pool was extra large this year and that competition was fierce. I am honored that my file wasn't tossed in the round file on first glance. I'm proud to say that I was waitlisted at your institution, really. That's a heck of a lot more than most can say. But I'd be happier still and infinitely more proud if you would actually allow me to attend. I'm just saying... I'd work my butt off for you. Please contact me soon so that I can know how seriously I should pursue my Plan B.

Plan B: Teach for America. Don't tell them that they're my Plan B. I don't think it would go over too well. So, in the event that I am ultimately rejected from NU, I have applied to Teach for America, for which I would move to an inner-city or low-income area and be a school teacher for 2 years or so. Depending on the area, it is also possible to earn a Master's degree while doing this. Of course, I already have most of one. But then, why not two, right? I have passed the first round of cuts. On Monday, I have a phone interview. If I pass that, I will have an in-person interview the following week. If I pass that, they will make me an offer by the end of the month. Once again: nothing set in stone. Only waiting.

I'm waiting for more doctor's bills to make their way into my mailbox. This is a sad thing. I don't have a whole lot of money, and I don't make much per month. I have paid two or three bills of a few hundred dollars each and have received statements for others that should be coming. Hospital stays are so expensive. I got my statement from the hospital last week: $21000. Seriously. Insurance should pay 80%, which still leaves me with upwards of $4000. This is sad to me.

I should hear by late next week whether I've been accepted to the CLS program: Critical Language Scholarship. For this, the US department of state would pay for me to travel to India for 2 months to learn Punjabi. This would be awesome. But, waiting.

I also may be travelling to Germany to attend the ICAME 2010 conference in Giessen. If I do get to do that, I will also take the opportunity to meet Isobel, my new niece in Spain. I would get back from that in perfect time to go to India for the remainder of the summer. But I don't know how much contribution I will have to make for that, and what with the medical bills looming, if it's more than a few hundred, I won't be able to go at all.

::sigh::

The moral of the story is: waiting defies the laws of physics because it both sucks and blows at the same time.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I am a Mac.

That's right: I have crossed over to The Dark Side. Or rather, to the very white side. With my very generous income tax return, I replaced my bastard HP with a new, shiny MacBook. I love it. And also am confused by things. Such as: if you use the Command button to do the things that Control does on a PC, what exactly does the Control button do on the Mac?
I haven't figured it out yet.
I am also tempting Fate, or at least the Muses, who do not like to be tempted. I may be naming my Mac after Mnemosyne, Muse/Goddess of Memory. I hope she's not offended, as it is intended as a compliment. Either that or Snickerdoodle. Or Miss Merry Mac.
I just don't know. But I do know that she's shiny. :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Haiku and A Limerick.

Oh evil thesis
how you torture and demean
I will overcome


My thesis is quite diabolical
Achilles was very paradoxial
The man was a douche
He should have ferme-d his bouche
And I'm stuck writing crap hyperbolical.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On a happier note...

Our department secretary often emails us with job opportunities, research opportunities, and conference calls. Most of the time I ignore these emails, as they generally have little or nothing to do with my area of interest. Last Monday, though, we received an email about a job that was right up my alley. One of the professors in our department got funding to hire 1 graduate student and 4 undergraduates to compare usage in the Corpus of Contemporary American English to usage as prescribed in the Chicago Manual of Style. This job includes co-authoring a paper with the professor and presenting at an international conference on corpus linguistics, which is kinda my thing. I have been working with a different professor for almost two years on the development of the Corpus of Historical American English, helped him compile the forthcoming Frequency Dictionary of American English, based on data from the COCA, and also helped him organize and run the American Association of Corpus Linguistics Conference back in 2007. This project is a perfect segue between the work I've been doing and the work I want to do in my grown-up life. I've applied to a program in Forensic Linguistics, which is using language as evidence, etc., and this project would be a perfect bridge between compiling the data (which is what I've been doing) and transforming that data into meaningful conclusions about language usage.
I am SO FREAKING HAPPY!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Victim Blaming in Provo.

I got into a bit of an altercation on my way to school today. I was driving down the road, and was cut off my a douche in an Acura. I tooted my horn at him because I'm from the east and we do that there, and because I seriously almost hit him and I have no airbags in my very old car. To this, the driver of the Acura slowed down to a near stop in the road. Seriously. He was crawling. Just to piss me off. When it was safe, I went around him, flipped him a quick bird, and continued on my way. He sped up and started tailgating me...and FOLLOWING ME!! Rather than parking in the lot like I had planned, I left the lot and started taking multiple turns, trying to get rid of said douche. He kept following me. After a few minutes of erratic driving, I was stopped at a traffic light. He pulled up beside me and started verbally harassing me. I told him that I was calling the cops, and then he sped off.
I did call the cops. His assessment? I escalated the situation. I was being an aggressive driver and I brought it on myself. Seriously. So, warning, ladies: it's apparently acceptable for men to chase you down with their cars and verbally assault you. Just like when you wear a low-cut shirt, you're asking to be raped. Geniuses.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bra Color Postings.

So, as we've all heard and read by now, there was a thing going around on FB for women to post their bra colors for Breast Cancer awareness. Many people are up in arms over this. To these people I will say this: get off your damn high horse. So no money is being raised. So what?
I haven't lost a family member to breast cancer and so I don't think about it every day. So yeah, maybe taking 5 effing seconds to think about my bra color will get me thinking about my own breast health. What the hell is wrong with that? I have boobs. I have pretty bras. If I don't take care of my boobs, if I don't get regular examinations, I could lose one or both of them. I won't have my boobs anymore, and won't be wearing my pretty bras. Yeah. thinking about my bra color got me thinking about my boobs, which I think was kinda the point. It reminded me that I'm overdue for an exam.
The email I got didn't say anything about tricking boys or anything retarded like that. That was stupid, granted. But you know what? I was happy to see that my friends and family members were taking 5 seconds to think about breast health. So it's not going to change the world. That wasn't really the point. We can't all change the world and we don't all have the resources to make grand statements and gestures. We can all take a few minutes to think about our own health.
Get off your soapbox. Nobody got hurt. Get over it.