Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Giant Frog and the Undersea Government

(Today's post courtesy of Isaac)

Chapter 1

Once upon a time there was a giant frog, and she found a nest and laid her egg. But one day when the frog went for a swim to look for food, the government flew over the egg sac and saw that it was an egg. They had a giant claw that they could use to bring it back to the government and they used it to take it back to the government to see what was inside. They made it hatch and found a baby frog.

They had a frog of their own to fight its mother. They raised it, made it fearsome, and trained it very well. It could almost destroy anything.

Chapter 2

When the frog was alive they put it in the great big undersea water convention to lower the mom there, and then it would release the frog from the cage, and then they would kill the mom because the mom almost destroyed the government. But the mom survived, and then she made a comeback by destroying the ship, the government and the baby frog.

Chapter 3

The baby frog denied to eat its own lunch. The mom got to raise her own baby the way she liked it to be.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Doggie Blues.

After my joyous post about how Che had recovered, the vet told my mom that his blood levels were not what they should be, and that he has terminal kidney failure. She gave him until Christmas to live. My mom brought him home with a bunch of medicine and an IV that we were supposed to give him under his skin every 12 hours. This weekend was horrible!

I bawled all weekend and held him and slept with him, and when I had to hold him still for the IV he cried.

But it seems like he's doing fine now. I don't know how it is with kidney failure, but he is eating and drinking (and peeing) like normal. He's even running around attacking Shadow. So I'm hoping that a miracle occurred. We're getting a second opinion today.

Please, if you believe in a benevolent universe, send healthy doggie vibes his way. I can't stand the thought of losing him!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Be glad you're not a potato.

I loves me some potatoes! Thanksgiving has always been about potatoes for me. I never liked poultry, so I'd always load up on carbs. Potatoes, stuffing, rolls, and then a side of dill pickles. My mouth is watering just typing this!

Today is a happy day for me. Masud has been here since Saturday morning at 2 a.m., and it's nice to have our family back together. I had a happy moment this morning when I saw three toothbrushes in the holder. Last night, my mom, Masud and Isaac drove down to Madison and we all went to eat (with Gina and the Raj) at my friend Said's restaurant. I had some good naan, dal and aloo matter, while the carnivores ate spicy lamb curry. After dinner, we went to Trader Joe's to pick up some of their awesome french fried onions for the green bean casserole. Mmmmmm.

My poor dog Che was sick over the weekend and nearly died. We decided that he must have eaten something poisonous because he was vomiting and pooping like crazy. We had to take him to thedoggie ER on Sunday for a subcutaneous saline injection, which probably saved his life, and he's been in the Montello vet's hospital since Monday morning. We weren't sure if he had an obstruction or what, but finally yesterday he ate his breakfast and was able to keep it down. The vet said he could come home today. I have no idea how much it will cost this time, but I'm just so glad he's okay!

And I got a 57 on my hard stats test. I have never done that bad on a test in my LIFE! I guess past performance is not an indication the present.

This will probably be my last post for a while. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! (But don't forget that we're celebrating the beginning of a horrible genocide of the Native American people...let's use this holiday to learn from our past and prevent more atrocities in the future!!! Soapbox out.)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Give me stuff.

This year on December 20, I will cross a major milestone. It is a big birthday for yours truly, the big 3-0. I remember thinking that 30-somethings were very, very old, and now here I am, turning 30, still in school, and living with my parents. I guess I'm not too freaked out about it, though. I've seen enough hip old folks that I know I don't have to give up my Chucks or stop putting bumper stickers on my car now that I'm "grown". And I have Page to keep me in line - she always tells me if I'm too old for this or that. For example, I wanted to wear wrist warmers, but she informed me that it would not be appropriate for someone my age. (I tried not to let it hurt.)

Anyway, in the tradition of my good friend TKP, I have a gift request. I need some fresh tunes, so please burn me a copy of your favorite play list, CD, or a bunch of music you think I haven't heard before. I have pretty broad musical taste, but tend to shudder when I hear the steel guitar, so no country (unless it's Dixie Chicks).

This is a shameless request for all of you to break the law by pirating music. It's my small attempt at a revolution - I the proletariat am hereby rejecting the bourgeois notion of "intellectual property"!!!

Email me if you need my address, because I'm too scared to post it online. Some deranged Republican (oops! that's a redundant phrase!) might want to hurt me.

And I'm giving you PLENTY of advanced notice. I need tunes to get me through the horrible paper-writing/project-finishing/final exam period that is to come, so send them soon!

Yes, I am a demanding friend. (Those of you who responded that we are "Cordial" on the survey last week don't have to send me stuff.)

The results are in!!

I'm so glad you guys took my survey! Here are the results, as promised. The only one that surprised me was B. Which three of you feel that we're only CORDIAL! And who's the joker who put "fakey polite"????

1. About our relationship.

A. How long have you known me? (n=23, one skipped)

Ten years or more: 34.8% (n=8)
Five to nine years: 8.7% (n=2)
One to five years: 17.4% (n=4)
Less than one year: 34.8% (n=8)
You have no idea who I am: 4.3% (n=1)

B. Would you say we are: (n=23, one skipped)

BFF’s? 26.1% (n=6)
Pretty good buds? 30.4% (n=7)
Casual friends/work buddies? 26.1% (n=6)
Cordial? 13% (n=3)
Fakey polite? 4.3% (n=1)

C. Ten years from now, how do you see our relationship?

We’ll be closer than ever! 45.5% (n=10)
It could go either way… 27.3% (n=6)
There won’t be any change. 31.8% (n=7)
I won’t even be on your email list. 0%
If you see me in public, you’ll probably stick a fork in my eye! 0% (Thank GOD!)

2. About me.

D. I am a: (n=22, two skipped)

Vegan 4.5% (n=1)
Vegetarian 45.5% (n=10)
Omnivore 18.2% (n=4)
Nothing! I cheat! 36/4% (n=8)

*I say I’m a vegetarian, but I cheat about twice a year!!!

E.Many years ago, I went to a psychic and paid five dollars. The psychic told me:
(n=22, two skipped)

That I was an airhead. 13.6% (n=3)
That I would travel the world. 59.1% (n=13)
That I would hold public office. 13.6% (n=3)
That I had a ghost in my house. 13.6% (n=3)

*The psychic actually told me that I was an airhead! She also said that I would have my butt pinched by a guy wearing a uniform in a bar while listening to country music. I wanted a refund.

F. What is my favorite thing about being a mom? (HINT: I like all of these things, but what is my FAVORITE? (n=22, 2 skipped)

I get to watch cartoons. 4.5% (n=1)
I can enjoy poop jokes. 50% (n=11)
I get to eat lots of candy. 31.8% (n=7)
I get to play with legos. 13.6% (n=3)

*It’s definitely about the poop jokes, people. The candy is a close second.

3. Your opinion about me.

G. Do you think I am: (n=22, two skipped)

More like my mom (creative, intuitive, flakey) 68.2% (n=15)
More like my dad (stoic, methodical, safe) 31.8% (n=7)

*I probably AM more like my mom, but I do have a lot of my dad in me, too. I think I offended my mom by calling her flakey. I say, THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH FLAKEY! THE WORLD NEEDS FLAKEY PEOPLE LIKE US TO MAKE IT FUN!!!

H. Where will I end up living? (n=22, two skipped)

Montello (The Wilderness) 4.5% (n=1)
Some big city somewhere. 13.6% (n=3)
Nowhere! I’ll always be on the move! 45.5% (n=10)
Other 36.4% (n=8)
• Where your heart leads you, I hope.
• Dhaka
• Dhaka!
• Heaven
• Why not ARGENTINA?
• Madison, Wisconsin
• Dhaka
• In your own world!

*I hope I don’t end up living nowhere, although with my track record, it seems like endless moving is in my future. I hope I can have a home base somewhere in the Midwest and travel a lot. Dhaka is definitely on the list, people!!!

I. Give one reason why we’re friends: (n=20, four skipped.)

• your beautiful bubbly openness to the world
• Fulbright!
• Great minds think alike!
• I like your blog.
• your mother
• sense of humor, common sense
• Hey, I just met you
• We both have hearts for Bangladesh
• because we're cool!
• Shit, there's not enough room for all I want to write.... Anyhow, I think one reason is that we're a lot alike! Of course, Rob might have something do to with it too...
• I love your warmth and compassion.
• soul mates
• Are we friends? ;oP because you are a great friend, and me too :o), also becuase you love Economics ;o)
• because we get to enjoy a similar wonderful torture
• husband? owan-peesh...
• We are kindred spirits!
• You are always doing something new and interesting and you are gentle except to Republicans
• The poop jokes!
• You are such a freak, Katie! I can't believe it!

J. Last question: If I were a benevolent dictator, my first decree would be what?
(n=22, two skipped)

That dill pickles are the national food. 27.3% (n=6)
That the male birth control pill is now available. 13.6% (n=3)
That fat people are more attractive than skinny people. 22.7% (n=5)
That mullet haircuts are banned. 0%
That it’s perfectly okay for people to make up bogus
surveys at work and email them to their friends. 13.6% (n=3)
Other: 22.7% (n=5)
• that people lighten up a little - including the dictator herself.
• all of the above
• Everyone will get along , or else no cheesecakes
• The US shall delcare an indefinite "War on Statistics"
• All of the above!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A survey.

I made up a survey about myself. Arrogant, I know, but it is helping me to put off studying! Point your little clicker at this and take the damn thing, already! I'll post results in a week!

My new plan.

I am going to move my bedtime back to 8:00 p.m. I understand that this makes me a senior citizen, but there is no help for it. I am simiply exhausted.

Last night, I tried to implement the plan. Unfortunately, I started trying at 7:58 p.m. (I had to watch the last part of The Biggest Loser!) I had managed to get Isaac in the tub and washed his hair during commercial breaks, but I didn't do my Pre-Sleep Checklist Routine.

1. Locate cell phone and plug into charger (12 minutes)
2. Empty contents of lunch bag and place in sink for washing (1 minute)
3. Figure out what books/folders need to be taken to school tomorrow, and then prioritize based on the weight of my book bag, the relative soreness of shoulder muscles from carrying the book bag, and the scale of laziness. (7 minutes)
4. Decide what to wear the next day and put everything in the bathroom so I don't have to run into the bedroom sopping wet in a towel when it's freezing. (6.2 minutes)
5. Make sure Isaac did his homework. Check his backpack for notes from teacher. Write an excuse note if he didn't do his homework. (4 minutes)
6. Feed the cat so she doesn't harrass me all night (3 minutes)
7. Get Isaac to come into the bathroom and brush while I floss (so that he sees good dental habits being modeled) (12 minutes)
8. Finally get into bed.
9. Remember that I didn't change the finch's water and cover them for the night and get out of bed again to do that (5 mintues)
10. Water the hermit crabs (30 seconds)
11. Wipe up the dog pee I stepped in (2 minutes)
12. Get back into bed. It's now 8:51 and I have to read a few chapters from "the Magic Tree House: Midnight on the Moon" for Isaac's effing Book It! thing. (25 minutes)
13. Isaac isn't sleepy, and neither am I, so I read aloud from the Communist Manifesto. (7 minutes)
14. Isaac's fast asleep, and dad comes in with the dogs. They want to play but I force them to go to sleep by yelling. (12 minutes)
15. I finally, blissfully, drift away into sleep around 10 p.m., two hours past my deadline. I have to get up in 5 1/2 hours. But the dogs wake me up at 1 a.m. barking at a phantom...

So apparently this means that I need to start getting ready for bed at 7 p.m. Since I get home at 6 p.m. when I ride the van, I'll have exactly one hour to eat, interact with my family, and do some homework (yeah, right!) before I have to get in my p.j.'s and start the checklist. This leaves little time for things like watching Family Guy, which I enjoy! Oh well, there are always bootleg DVD's from the Desh.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New Boots

Rob and Lisa's adorable dog Riley is so pumped about his new boots!


I finally signed up for Facebook. For those of you who are not 'in the know', Facebook is sort of myspace for grownups, or at least for college students. It's got some nice features, but it has also made me feel very insecure about my friend networks. There is a big sidebar that lists all of my 'friends', and mine is a little skimpy. Some people have hundreds of friends, and I
have 12. In reality, of course, I have more than 12 friends, but in the Facebook World, I'm a hermit!

And, to add to my insecurity issues, I had to get weighed at the doctor's office on Monday. Let's just say that I've exceeded my normal standard deviation, and it's time
to reject the null hypothesis. (Yes, I had a stats test yesterday.) As much as I loathe physical exercise, I concede that if I don't want to end up using a crane to get out of bed, I better do something about it.

Oh, metabolism, why hast thou forsaken me?

Why is it so easy to commit to a diet in the morning, right after breakfast, but at night when I'm tired and hungry, ice cream andoreos sound like a great idea???

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I am totally procrastinating right now. I have one hour and 26 minutes to study for stats exam number two, but instead I'm blogging. I didn't study this weekend, either. Nor did I write any papers. I DID cook (gasp) and clean, and grocery shop, and spend quality time with my kid, but during my "free" time, I mostly sat around and though about how I should be doing my homework.

I also slept a lot.

Yesterday, I decided that since it's been a month since I got sick, and this sore throat seems to be getting worse instead of better, a trip to the doctor was called for. I went in and the doctor actually said, "Ewww" when he looked in my throat. That can't be good. So I've got strep, and I've probably been infecting innocent hundreds of people, and I'm probably on the edge of developing whatever terrible disease comes from strep when you don't treat it. But at least it's a good excuse for my apparent lack of motivation to do anything except sleep. I guess a raging infection IS good for something!

And Masud is coming home next weekend! He's driving up from Ohio on Friday, so we should see him sometime Saturday. I've been talking about it a lot, and Isaac thought that he was coming home for good. It was horrible to have to tell him that his Baba would leave again a week later. But a week is better than nothing!

Isaac is way cute with his front tooth missing. He's got a lisp.

Okay, I guess I've gotta study now. Anybody know what the difference between P-values and Alpha-values are?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

3 minute post

I have exactly 3 minutes before I have to pack up and skedaddle to catch the van pool, so here's a list:

1. The Stats Test: I didn't finish it, but I know I got a couple of answers correct. Last time, I wasn't even sure I wrote my name down right.

2. Cynthia Enloe: After the horrid stats test, I skipped stats class number 2 in order to see a lecture by Cynthia Enloe (read Bananas Beaches and Bases) on "Where are the women in the war in Iraq? Why does it matter?" It was like an hour and a half of brain massage. I love her, and I'm jealous that TKP gets to take classes with her at Clark U. in Worcester.

3. I'm sick again. Sore throat. Nothing that a little partying won't fix - I'm staying in Madison tomorrow for some much needed social reprieve.

4. Isaac's front top tooth is going to fall out soon. It's so loose that it flaps around when he talks and gives me the heeby-jeebies.

5. I'm way behind on my economics paper that needs to be 60+ pages before December 10th. Help me.

6. I've found two new blogs that are HILARIOUS. I happen to know these two people in real life, and I had no idea they were so funny! The first one will be particularily funny for moms (but everyone will enjoy it) and the second is just all-around entertaining. Lots of bodily-function humor in both. Enjoy!

(Whoops, I'm two minutes late for the van! I'll be crucified for sure!)

More election stuff.

While I'm still depressed about the whole gay marriage thing, I was really happy to hear that a Muslim has been elected to congress!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Why can't everyone agree with me?

I really hoped that Wisconsin would "Beat the Ban" on gay marriage and civil unions, but I guess it was too much to expect. I'm really sad though. I feel like the 60% of people who voted to ban gay marriage and civil unions are total bigots. I can't tolerate bigots. Does that make me a bigot against bigots?

We did get some good democrats in the governor's mansion, the senate and the house, though. I'm trying to be happy about that.

And Rumsfeld resigned!

Now, if only I could figure out how to use SAS before my exam tomorrow. HELP!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Ahhh, welcome back to university life. At this point in the semester I always get a little burned out and start the major procrastination. I tried to head it off last week by planning out how many papers I have to write before the end of the semester, and then developing a time line for completion so I won't be all squished at the end. It totally backfired. It only served to solidify my subconscious desire to procrastinate, so much so that I got barely 1/4 of the homework done this weekend that I had hoped.

And I have an exam in my horrible class on Thursday!

Jeebus, I'm such a complainer.

I got an impromptu massage yesterday, though, so that was great.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here pictures of all of my pets...

Voldemort and Sauron, the evil hermits.

Fidget, the elderly betta.

Mert and Lert, society finches. They poop a LOT.

And you all know the adorable fur balls, Shadow and Che.

Pickles the cat has adamantly expressed her displeasure at being photographed. She's not really my cat anyway, so I left her out.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


As the season of materialism approaches and the ads for ridiculously expensive Christmas gifts for kids increase, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to "spoil" a child. As my favorite hippie-pediatrician Dr. Sears says, the term "spoiled" implies a gallon of milk that has been left to rot in the fridge. The more attention you give a child, the less likely they are to be spoiled.

I did the whole "attachment parenting" thing, which was met with great approval from my mother in law (extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, knowing what the kid wants before they say it, lots of holding and comforting). However, I have been criticized by people of both American and Bangladeshi cultures for spoiling Isaac. I'm told that I buy too many toys for Isaac, I overindulge him, and that I'm "creating a monster". This might be true - I'm definitely not a perfect parent. But here is my attempt at defending myself.

1. Most of the things that I buy for Isaac are very small ticket items - less than $5. Big ticket items are planned way in advance, and many times, Isaac has to save up his own money to help buy them. So, yes, if you are looking at the sheer volume of toys that he has, it's a lot, especially when it's crammed into a small apartment. But the dollar amount that I spend on him is way less than what it looks like.

2. I would argue that from what I've observed at Isaac's friend's houses, he does not have nearly as many toys as other kids his age. Other people have entire huge ROOMS for their kids' toys, and the kids have their own bedrooms! Isaac has half a closet and he sleeps with me.

3. I DO NOT buy EVERYTHING that Isaac asks for, and I RARELY buy things immediately when he asks for them.

4. Isaac understands that the things he gets are because he has earned them, either by behavior, school performance, or some other measurement.

5. Isaac does not have tantrums when I say "no". Aren't tantrums are a defining characteristic of so-called "spoiled" children? In fact, I deliberately say no and make him wait for certain things because I want him to learn restraint. Also, he understands the value of money. If I decide to get something for him, I tell him that it has to be under a certain dollar amount, and he gets it.

6. Isaac is an only child, therefore we can afford to buy him more than if he had siblings. Conversely, he does not have siblings (or friends living nearby) to play with in order to pass time, so the toys give him something to do.

7. MOST of his toys are things that we play with together. We build Bionicles, have dragon wars, battle our Pokemon decks, and we play Gameboy games together.

8. I admit that sometimes I buy things for Isaac to assuage my guilt. For example, a few weeks ago when I spent the night in Madison, I saw some Dragonball Z DVD's for only 5 bucks apiece in a storefront. I bought them specifically to give to Isaac because I knew he'd be happy and it made me feel less bad about spending the night away from him. But is that so horrible? HE didn't know that I was giving it to him to make myself feel better, he was just happy to get a new DVD.

So, what do you think? What does it mean to spoil a kid?

New camera toy...

I got this rad little device that can be held in front of the camera lense while taking a picture and it produces awesome pictures....

Thursday, November 02, 2006

IF crappyteacher THEN homicide;

I consider myself a pacifist. I don't like guns or violence, and definitely oppose war. But today in my evil stats-computing-programming class, I found myself thinking that my professor will surely be dead in 50 years. His body, which today is living and breathing and spewing forth frustration into my life, will be rotted down to the bone. I watched him walk around the room, and imagined his flesh slowly decaying and falling off his bones, his eyeballs falling out of the sockets, and his teeth rattling in his skull.

Has Halloween gotten to me? Am I really this morbid? Is SAS worth it?