Monday, December 31, 2007

Katie's 12 days of Xmas

On the 12th day of Xmas my true love gave to me...

12 deep fried poori
11 loads of laundry
10 Xmas cookies
9 journal articles
8 DVD rentals
7 days without email
6 late late bedtimes
5 pledges to go to the gym
4 international phone calls
3 tums antacids
2 seminar papers

and my very last ever stats exam!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007


I have a small bruise on my right forearm from playing too much Guitar Hero. I must have a problem with my technique, because I don't think real rock stars bruise the inside of their forearms while strumming.

I found this hilarious!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Post X-Mas Post

I have been sleeping 12-14 hours every night. During the semester, I averaged 5-6. Today I had to run for the bus and my legs felt like lead. My body is becoming one with the bed/couch/chair, whatever I happen to be near. I think this means I should probably start going to the gym.

My birthday party was super fun on Friday. The DomNem and I sang Brandy by Looking Glass. I think it might have sounded horrible, but it was fun anyway. Masud said that Gina sounded good. He didn't say anything about my performance.

We all went back to my apartment and played Wii games until midnight. I think there was some pizza and ice cream involved at some point, but the details are blurry. Thanks to everyone who came out and celebrated with me (and bought me drinks!)!

Masud has been here for over a week now, and he was a real help to me as I finished my paper last week. It's awesome having a co-parent around. And my sister and her boyfriend came to visit on Thursday. They brought three extra Wii remotes and we had an awesome time playing the Wii. I heart my family.

X-mas with the fam was really, really fun. We had laid back food (excellent choice) and opened presents around the table. I got some awesome stuff including Weeds seasons 1 and 2 on DVD and this rad book full of stickers that say provocative political things. Page, Andy and I had a DDR tournament. I think Andy won. Cheater.

Isaac got Guitar Hero III and Mario Galaxy from Santa. (I'm so conflicted about the whole Santa thing. Will Isaac hate me when he realizes the truth?) So far, in our house, I'm the best at guitar hero. That's not saying much.

Yesterday, which was the real Xmas day, Hob came over and we had a South Asian cooking day. My apartment reeks, but it was worth it. Hob made his signature shrimp dish, Masud made lamb biriyani and I made fried eggplant and salad. It was really good and we all ate too much and then went to bed.

Today I'm back at work. I still have one paper to write, but I'll start on it tomorrow.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Birthday musings...

I am 31 today. To commemorate, I will list some significant events from the past year:

  1. My brother got married. It was a cool wedding.
  2. My brother also knocked up his wife, like, right away.
  3. I moved to Madison.
  4. I got accepted to the Sociology PhD program at Madison.
  5. I discovered some great TV shows, including Weeds, the BBC version of the Office, and Arrested Development. (yes, i consider these significant!)
  6. I made some really awesome new friends and became even closer to old ones (you know who you are!)
  7. I developed an affinity for grapefruit.
  8. I finished taking stats classes FOREVER.
  9. I read about 5,789,345,213 pages of scholarly information.
  10. I discovered graphic novels.
  11. I started riding my bike again.
  12. I finally started to say semi-cogent stuff in class.
  13. I started seeing a therapist so I could work on getting over my silly self esteem issues that prevent me from saying semi-cogent stuff in class.
  14. I developed an aversion to watching the news and now get all my information from the Onion.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

2008 is upon us...

and with it, the onslaught of political ads on TV. Oh, wait, that's already been happening for a year.

Maybe this video will help you decide whom to vote for.

(Yes, it's 11:30 p.m., and I'm supposed to be writing my paper. It's the Internet's fault.)

What I'm working on...

  1. Classes are done, but I still have to work and we have to finish our annual report before xmas.
  2. I have about 7 pages of notes for paper #1. I need to finish this by Thursday (although it's due on Saturday) because I have some big BD celebration plans and don't want to have a paper hanging over my head.
  3. Masud is visiting for the next two weeks, so he's trying his hand at full-time parenting/housework while I spend my days in the library. Sometimes I have to help, of course.
  4. I still need to get some xmas presents.
  5. Tomorrow is the 2nd Annual White Elephant Party at DomNem's house. Last year was so fun (I remember laughing really hard) and I'm looking forward to it.
  6. Whoa...I really need to wrap xmas presents. Our family xmas is going to be early this year, so I gotta get crackin'!
  7. I have some kind of stomach problem - either from stress or a bug or those funky Russian dumplings that I ate last night on State ain't pretty though.

Ick. I shouldn't have made a list. Obviously the paper is my number 1 concern right now, and I better quit procrastinating. No more Facebook! I mean it!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The really horrible morning that actually turned out okay in the end.

With this post, I will be revealing my ineptitude at balancing parenting/work/grad school, but a confession might be cathartic. This morning was so stressful, I just need to release it into cyberspace.

12:00 a.m. - (It actually began last night.) Isaac and I had been playing games all evening as it had been declared NO TV, NO HOMEWORK Night. I looked up and cursed my bad parenting skills.

Isaac has been having some bully trouble at school, and yesterday his teacher told me that she caught Isaac hitting the bully. Long story short, I'm glad Isaac stood up for himself, but I'm trying to be a pacifist and teach him the same, so I had to think of a way to reinforce the importance of respecting others. I decided to have a no-TV quiet night so he could think about what would have been a better solution. Instead of watching TV after supper/homework, we played games. Games are fun and Isaac is finally moving beyond the cry-and-throw-a-fit-when-I-lose phase, so it's actually really fun for me, too. Somehow we played games until midnight.

1:45 a.m. - I finally go to bed (Isaac was asleep by 12:15)
6:00 a.m. - Alarm and snooze (repeat 3 x).
6:45 a.m. - I'm UP, I'm UP. Oh crap, I'm up.
7:00 a.m. - Isaac, dude, get up. Isaac. Get up. Isaac? Isaaaaaaaaaaaaac, get up. OK five more minutes.

The late bedtime set the stage for an terrific (terrifying) morning. The gravitational pull of our soft, warm bed was almost too much, but I managed to get myself up after hitting snooze three times. Isaac was even more deeply enveloped in the dreamworld, so I had to carry him (still asleep) to the couch and use my emergency technique of putting on a movie to wake him up. Usually TV is not allowed at all in the morning, but drastic times, etc. etc.

7:30 a.m. - I have to take a shower but should get Isaac moving, too.

Isaac woke up but was not in a good mood. I plopped down his Carnation Instant Breakfast (the only thing I can get him to eat in the morning - and at least it has all those "essential vitamins and minerals") and hopped in the shower. The water was cold because I was probably the last person in the entire complex to take a shower this morning. By the time I got out it was 7:45, Isaac has not eaten his breakfast, brushed his teeth or gotten dressed, and it's time to panic.

7:50 a.m. - Go outside (no time to blow dry) and start the car so that it will be warm enough to drive Isaac to school.

Isaac and I usually walk to school but I really needed to go to the bank, and I thought this morning would be a good, efficient time to do it, so I went outside (with wet hair that promptly froze) and started the car. The car has a problem - I have to hold down the gas pedal for a while until it heats up or else it will shut off. So I sat out in the car - FREEZING - until I felt that it was warm enough. I then rocked the car back and forth to try to dislodge it from the snow and ice that had accumulated over the past week. After another 10 minutes, I managed to get it out and parked it kind of in front of some other cars in the parking lot. I figured I'd just run in and get Isaac and we'd be out of there. The universe laughed at me.

8:24 a.m. - CRAP! I didn't pack Isaac's lunch yet! OK, I am now resigned to getting a tardy slip from the office.

Isaac's school starts at 8:35. He's not dressed, nor has he brushed his teeth. Where is his backpack? Why is he whining? Lunch...what to pack....the kid doesn't eat anything I send except for the yogurt. OK yogurt, carrots, peanut butter sandwich. Is that enough? Throw in a fruit roll up. Done. Wait, he needs a morning snack...find the goldfish crackers, find a container, where's the backpack. Isaac get dressed NOW! Yes, you can get dressed in front of the TV just do it QUICK!

8:36 a.m. - We're out the door. As we approach the car, I can tell that it's not running. Get in, turn the key click click. Battery is dead. We're already late, battery is dead, I'm parked in the middle of the lot, totally blocking other people from getting out.

8:38 a.m. - Try the key again. Still not working.

8:39 a.m. - Call DomNem.

Can you come and let me use that fancy jumpbox that you were talking about the other day? Oh you're paper is due at 10 and you're still proofing it? Hob can bring it over before he goes to work. OK call me back.

8:45 a.m. - Call DomNem again.

Hob is already doing a favor for another friend this morning. OK I'll walk to school with Isaac, you finish your paper, email it to me and I'll proof it while you drive over.

8:57 a.m. - Get a tardy slip for Isaac.

On the way to school, Isaac made it known that this morning's events were less than ideal. He asked me to promise to never let this happen again. I suddenly felt my crabbiness overflow and didn't do a good job of being patient with my child. Once we got to the schoolyard, I had a flash of one of us dying before we got to see each other again, and I didn't want to have our last conversation be a crabby one. So I took five minutes to make sure we were okay.

9:15 a.m. - Back home, thaw frozen face skin, eat breakfast, wait for DomNem.

9:47 a.m. - DomNem arrives, I'm already almost done proofing her paper. We print it. We go out to charge the battery.

If I was making a car battery or a jumpbox, I'd try to put prominent markings indicating which were the positive or negative charging points. As it was, the jumpbox had one red and one black clamp, and the battery had one red and one black wire coming out. We thought maybe they were color coded, but nope, they weren't. Philosopher G to the rescue! He told us what to clip where, and by golly it worked!

10:00 a.m. - Follow DomNem to her house to drop off her car.

10:15 a.m. - Drop DomNem off on campus.

10:30 a.m. - Bank

I arrived at work at 1:00, 4 hours late. I guess I'll survive, but GOD I need a break!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Please excuse the use of onomatopoeia, but it's totally warranted this time.

I have taken my last ever (that-is-if-I-did-well-enough-to-get-a-B-and-I-think-I-did) statistics (or sadistics, as I have heard it called) examination!

Of course, I'm sure you'll hear me complain about statistics in the future, because they are not gone from my life. Next semester I have a methods course that is rumored to be HARD. I also have to write a big paper next summer that will include my very own statistical analysis. Yikes, so scary.

But for tonight, I'm done, and now I can get going on my papers.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The plot thickens... the mucus in my nose.

Today during my last development theory class, i felt my body slowly start heating up...then I started coughing...then the headache...

I've succumbed to something. And it's the WORST possible time to be sick.

Can't somebody cure the common cold already? Seriously, this is ridiculous.

I'm screwed.

Here were my goals:

Goals: Finish reading the book that I'm presenting on, do the practice exams for stats at least twice, do my stats homework, and have a fleshy outline for one paper.
Here is what I actually did:
  1. Read half of the book, but I took really detailed notes. Meant to finish it last night but fell asleep while rubbing Isaac's back.
  2. Did ONE practice exam ONCE and didn't even look at the homework.
  3. Reconceptualized my paper, but didn't make the scribbly notes into a "fleshy outline".
  4. Watched the movie Crash (finally). What a great movie once I realized that they were trying to show every possible racial dynamic in LA and I gave up trying to believe the plot was realistic. Highly recommended. Warning: you might hate Sandra Bullock after watching because she plays a racist jerk.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

While procrastinating...

...I found an intriguing debate happening on this post.

If you don't already do so, you should really check out Big W.'s blog. I can't wait to read her first book.

(Maybe it's all the gender theory readings I've been doing lately, but is it amazing how anonymous uses gender to insult Big W (by making derogatory comments about her mothering skills and work choices).

Progress Update

Confession: I didn't do any work last night. Instead, I may or may not have carefully opened Isaac's Santa gift (Guitar Hero III) and played a little while eating cheese curds and chatting with DomNem who made a spontaneous visit.

I got a late start this morning, and since I had some laundry to do, I decided not to go to the library. I have been doing really well with studying, but I'm pretty far away from a first draft of my theory section. I'm hoping I'll be able to finish it today.

That leaves tomorrow for all my stats studying AND reading that book and making up discussion questions. Augh.

Plus, I have to wrap the Santa present so I don't play it anymore.

I'm taking a 15 minute lunch break (veggie hot dogs anyone?) and then it's back to theory until 6:00 p.m.

Friday, December 07, 2007

My Plan for the Weekend:

What's left of Friday:
5:00 p.m. - One hour cleaning binge.
6:00 p.m. - Take some car-less friends to the grocery store.
8:00 p.m. - Domestic responsibilities fulfilled, I will sit down in front of my computer and write the theory section of one of my papers. I will not get up until it's finished. Except if I have to pee. No checking my email or facebook. I mean it!

8:00 a.m. - ride bus to campus library to study the following:

  • Statistics. Final exam is on Thursday. After Thursday (if I don't flunk), I won't have to take a stats class ever again in my LIFE. Maybe.
  • Read a book that I am leading discussion for on Wed. (and write discussion questions)
  • Read some more books and take notes for the papers I'm writing.
12:00 p.m. - lunch break on State Street. Anyone wanna join me?
1:00 p.m. - Back to the library.
6:00 p.m. - Head home and put on my Xmas party dress so I can attend the annual Rural Sociology holiday party with Famous Mike.

I'd like to pretend that I will come home and study more, but in reality I'll probably watch a movie and go to bed. Lame.

8:00 a.m. - Up and at 'em - more reading, more stats studying, more paper writing until Isaac comes back from the Wilderness.

Goals: Finish reading the book that I'm presenting on, do the practice exams for stats at least twice, do my stats homework, and have a fleshy outline for one paper.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

An assignment.

Three posts in one day? Katie must need to procrastinate!

But first, a confession: Sometimes I stick a non-textbook into my pile of textbooks that I need for class and when they are all put on the same bill, it's like I didn't really waste money, because the bill is a textbook bill and those don't count.

Today I had to buy three books for class, and because the prof orders the books through a great local bookstore, I perused the shelves. I have recently heard of Miranda July and am enjoying her book of short stories, so I was thrilled to find this new book.

It inspired me to give assignments on my blog (also good preparation for academe). Here's your first assignment:

Write a paragraph about what you think I do. You can email it to me or post it in the comments. If you email it, let me know if you want it to remain unpublished or anonymous. If you want, I'll write a paragraph for you about what you do in return.

Please do this! It will be fun! I won't be mad if you have no idea what I'm doing, because really, I have no idea what I'm doing myself. Perhaps it will bring clarity. And I'll be grateful.

Some albums I've been enjoying:

  1. Kenna: New Sacred Cow
  2. The High Fidelity Soundtrack
  3. The Beta Band (self-titled), also Heroes to Zeros and Hot Shots II
  4. Man Man: Six Demon Bag
  5. Cake: B-Sides and Rarities
  6. My friend Jorge's album: Son del Centro
  7. My friend Andrew's album: The Gilded Bats (Isaac likes it because I let him sing along to the line "Susie got up and she kicked my ass!")
  8. The Royal Tenenbaums Soundtrack

Some gross things.

  1. My right knee. Some of the skin is rotting and falling off.
  2. The guy who picked his nose all the way from Eagle Heights to campus on the 80 bus. He was really digging in, very slow and thorough. Good job, buddy.
  3. The ice on the sidewalks. (OK that's not gross, just annoying.)
  4. The youtube video I watched this weekend because my friend told me not to. (Seriously, if somebody says, "Whatever you do, don't watch this video!" wouldn't you be overwhelmed with curiosity? It's like when God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit. He totally knew they would eat the fruit!) If you ask me what it was, I'll tell you and you won't be able to resist watching it. But it's so gross. Just take my word for it.
  5. The soup in my fridge. Not good.
  6. The palak paneer that spilled in the back seat of my car last night.
  7. Isaac's thermos full of dal and rice that he left in his locker for a few weeks. It's sitting on my counter because I'm scared to open it.
  8. My fish tank. I need to clean it, but the thought of finding three separate containers for the betta fish to hang out in while I clean it is overwhelming. Will they kill each other if they are in a cup together for 20 minutes?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Productivity is good.

There is a huge ice storm raging outside. My friend Hob picked me up this morning with all my books, electronics and other miscellaneous paraphernalia, and I spent the day with him at DomNem's house. I study here because if I'm at home, I will inevitably crawl into my soft bed and sleep. There is just enough activity at DomNem's house to keep me alert.

Here's what I accomplished today:

  1. Read 4 articles on immigration theory.
  2. Skimmed a book I read last semester that was assigned for another class.
  3. Took notes on all readings for use in my upcoming papers.
  4. Downloaded some journal articles for papers.
That's not too shabby. I think I'll be able to spend a guilt free night at the Overture Center watching RENT. We bought the tickets a long time back, fully aware that this would be a difficult time in the semester to engage in leisure activities, but I'm glad we did it. It should be great, despite the ice storm.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


  • The wound on my right knee is green. Does that mean I'm going to lose my leg?
  • I really hate Comic Sans font. Everyone should stop using it.
  • Even though I failed my last stats test, I'm still getting a B. That's awesome.
  • This weekend I'm finally going to see Rent. I can't wait.
  • It's really cold outside. Isaac said we should go back to the Desh where it never gets cold like this.
  • I am starting my end of semester research papers this week. The topics:
    • Development Strategies and the Rise of the Gendered Division of Labor in Bangaldesh.
    • Social Contacts and Job Outcomes in the Bangladeshi Labor Market.
  • My mom is the best mom in the world and I'm so grateful that she's mine. She came yesterday, picked Isaac up from school, let me stay on campus until 9:00 p.m. so I could study, did my laundry, vacuumed, cooked, cleaned Isaac's disaster room, cleaned my bathroom, and cleaned my refrigerator. She probably did other stuff, too, but I haven't noticed yet. I couldn't do this without her, and I'm so lucky.
  • Should we get Isaac an electric guitar or a ukulele for Christmas? Electric guitar pros: definite cool factor, easier on the fingers cuz the strings are not as hard to press, and they are definitely cool. Cons: expensive, need an amp, won't sound cool immediately. Ukulele pros: cheap, small enough that he can hold it without difficulty, cool because it's a little unusual, can transition to electric later when I'm convinced that he really wants to learn. Cons: not nearly as cool as the electric guitar.
  • Seriously, my knee is green. Can I please get some freakin' sympathy in the comments? C'mon people, do I have to beg?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving in pictures.

This pink book was really good.

Abby = the cutest baby in the universe.

Abby's competition in the oven, and some dude with a Packers jersey on. Who let him in?

The awesomest Xmas tree in the history of Xmas.

It's not a holiday without eating dead things.


I fell down.
I'm so glad nobody saw me do it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

End violence against women.

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Violence against women is one of the biggest reasons for suffering violence in the world today.

You can speak out against violence against women.

2nd grade homework

I have such a hard time helping Isaac with his homework. He has to make sentences out of "core words" and sometimes the sentences have to have a specific number of words. Let's see how you do:

Use the following words in a sentence:

other some which

their there were

these some would

It took me forever to help him find a satisfactory sentence for each. Let's see what you come up with.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thoughts before I head out for the holiday...

  • Isaac has a new friend (whom I'll call Big A.). Big A. was visiting the other night and Isaac offered him a GoGurt. "Sorry, Big A., all I've got left is pink." Big A. responded, "That's okay, it doesn't threaten my masculinity." He's 7. I'm so proud of myself for calmly saying, "That's awesome, Big A." (when what I really wanted to do was laugh really loud.)
  • I have been very silent about the horrible cyclone that hit Bangladesh last week. It's bad. You might not have heard about it because the media has been quiet despite the fact that recent estimates put the number of dead at 10,000 plus. Sadly, the worst is yet to come with the damage of crops, loss of livelihoods, and ruined homes of more than a million people...right at the beginning of Bangladesh's winter season. It ain't good.
  • On a lighter note, Masud is visiting and we've enjoyed hearing about his business trip to Asia. No fair. I wanna go to China so bad.
  • I think I got a C on my last stats exam. I'm waiting for the prof. to send out the curve info.
  • I might start a new blog. Potential titles: "Don't Read This Blog, It's Nerdy." or "Katie Attempts the Dialectic". I've been reading so much lately that I'm worried I'm no longer processing it, so perhaps posting a reflective essay on each book I read would help me to latch on. I'll keep this blog, of course, because I need some place to post silly pictures of myself!
  • My Thanksgiving plans include an indoor water park, an hour long massage that I'm paying way too much money for, a quiet dinner with the fam, and about 25 hours of homework catching up that I need to do. Fun.
  • I hope that Isaac asks Santa for Guitar Hero III for the Wii this year. He'll probably want something dumb like Legos or something. Sheesh. I am definitely trying to influence him though. Wait a minute, since I'm Santa, maybe I should just buy Guitar Hero? Is that horrible?
  • Last night I got 8 full hours of sleep, and today I really REALLY understood the lecture in stats class, even though it was about algorithms, which I NEVER understand. Could it be??
  • It's past midnight. I'm going to bed now. Cat'cha on the flip side, yo.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bangin' Bangs

Sometimes I get a haircut that I just really like. Today was such a day. How cute am I?

Check out my rockin' bangs! They're almost halfway back my head!

*Yeah, yeah, I'm getting back to work now. Sigh.

Friday, November 16, 2007


  • Sometimes I love heavy metal.
  • I had a stats test yesterday and got done early. I thought it might be a good sign, but today at lab I realized it might not be.
  • I think the stress is getting to me and I don't care that much about my grade. Those of you who know me might be wondering if need to be psychoanalyzed.
  • Isaac has reached the prime Lego phase, and it rocks. I will be putting together the Mars Mission Battle Station for the next five hours. (Those of you who might be wondering, Isaac is the primary builder and I'm the assistant. Yes, Rajas, I'm talking to YOU.)
  • The Battle Station comes with humans and aliens, and I think the humans are supposed to capture the aliens and put them in these tube things in order to be "tested". I don't think that's very nice, so we're making up a different story.
  • I bought a fake white xmas tree today.
  • I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving.
  • They are selling mint M&Ms for xmas. Does anybody remember Royals? Do they still make those? They had little crowns on them and were green and brown. Mmmmmm.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Modest Mouse and Man Man

I heart these women: Charity, moi, Heather and Gina.

I have decided that "attending live entertainment events" is one of my favorite things, and I hereby resolve to do it more often, despite the fact that it's expensive and time consuming. I had so much fun last night at the Modest Mouse concert at the Orpheum. Check out the smile on my mug.

Modest Mouse is not my favorite band, but it's part of the genre that I enjoy. The real treat for me was watching one of the opening acts called Man Man. This band was great. There were six (I think) members, and each of them had their own instrument as well as supplementary percussion items. The drummer was a total spaz and I had a crush on him by the end of the first number. He sat right in front across from the lead singer, and they actually synchronized their movements. The lead singer beat the crap out of his keyboard that he often played with one hand while hitting a snare drum with his other hand. They used goose calls, pots and pans, Tibetan prayer bowls, water bottles, tin boxes, and a ton of other weird stuff for their percussion. AND there was a dude playing the xylophone. Nothing cooler than the xylophone. Except maybe the banjo, which features prominently in much of Modest Mouse's music.

Today I'm tired, a little deaf, and my neck and shoulders hurt from all the head bobbing, but it was so much fun and I can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thursday Threesome

  1. If housework is like stringing beads on a string with no knot in the end, then graduate school is like trying to gather beads in a bag with a huge hole in the bottom.
  2. The more I learn, the less hopeful I am about the human race.
  3. I want a cupcake.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I got a...

*(After curve.)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Watch out for this scary ninja.

FreeThought Post

via Domestic Nemesis.

Slow internet sucks. I am so tired and would love to be like one of the little squirrels outside that gets to hibernate all winter long. If Hershey bars were good for me, would I still love them so? I don't like buffet-style dinners because I always overeat. My cholesterol went down, and my triglycerides dropped by over 50%. I don't know how I will finish all of my work this weekend. I shouldn't be writing this post, I should be sleeping. I just watched Ocean's Thirteen and there was a gross hotel room...I'm in a hotel room right now. What if there are germs in my bed? Ewww. I'm really excited to see Modest Mouse next weekend.

The end.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I'm overwhelmed.

Here's a link to tide you over until I can type out the profound theses that are floating around in my head. Floating theses. Sounds like feces. Anyway...

Listen to the sound this frog makes.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Were you aware that it's Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

Me neither. Until I heard the story of Nadine.

This is unacceptable. Why are human beings so violent towards one another? This has to stop before we destroy ourselves.

  • Learn about V-Day.
  • Read about domestic violence. (I'm reading this book right now and if anyone wants to borrow it when I'm done, please let me know.)
  • If you are on Facebook, join the group "Justice for Nadine".
  • Read why thousands have joined in support of Nadine.

We must stop ignoring this problem.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Graffiti from campus.

This was a really awesome piece but the campus maintenance people scrubbed it off with acid. There have been several "Harold and the Purple Crayon" drawings near Bascom. My favorite was just a long squiggly line with a boat on it and "Harold understands." In purple spray paint, of course.

More graffiti from campus.

The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.

I like this slogan but it was suspiciously close to a "Ron Paul '08" stencil,
which made me like it much less.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

From my cell phone.

Coolest Sisters Ever.

Ben, 408's not the same, dude.

Isaac and Isabel, even their names sound good together.

If you look carefully, you can find rad stickers and stencils all over the UWM campus. I've started taking pictures with my cell phone.

Some pictures of cute things.

Che sleeping on Shadow's back. Abby laughing. Tobias Belfield Metcalf.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Internet Pet Peeves

Two things just happened that really annoyed me. I am filling out an online application for a fellowship and I ended up having to fill out the "personal information" section twice because I put my SSN in with HYPHENS and the form wouldn't accept it. An error message popped up informing me of the invalid entry, but then the stupid form erased all my other information!

  • Pet Peeve #1: fields for numbers that usually have punctuation (like phone numbers, SSNs, etc.) should be flexible enough to handle them WITH OR WITHOUT PUNCTUATION!
  • Pet Peeve #2: if there is a mistake in the form, do NOT erase the entire form. Cuz that's just dumb.
Then, another annoying thing happened. As I was requesting transcripts online (at the nominal feel of $300,000 each), I put in my credit card info, and only after it was accepted was I informed that there would be an additional $2.50 service charge for ordering over the internet. OK, fine. But then another screen popped up with this stupid consent form that I have to print, sign and send in before they will send my transcript. Where is the convenience in that? It would have been easier for me to just send a signed note to the registrar's office requesting the transcript, and I would have avoided the stupid $2.50 fee.
  • Pet Peeve #3: stupid fees and stupid forms.
That is all.

Monday, October 15, 2007

KT Zaman, Rock Star

I don't know how it got started, but somehow I created the notion in my son's head that I used to be a kick ass rock star. He believes the tale and thinks it's cool. Over the past few years, the myth has grown as more and more specifics are added to the story. Tonight we watched "School of Rock" and Isaac decided that he wants to learn to play guitar (oh yes!) and he wants me to teach him how to be a rock star. He also wants to learn one of my "songs" and he wanted to know if I have any friends who are famous rock stars.

Have I gone too far? Is this beyond the benign lies of childhood like Santa Clause? Because I don't wanna crush his belief that his mom was an awesome rocker. When he finally realizes that it was all a lie, will he hate me?

I must see this as soon as possible.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Excuses for not posting.

1. Nothing too interesting has happened this week.
2. The leaves are changing colors, it's cooling down, and this is my favorite time of year.
3. I suddenly have so much reading to do that I think my eyeballs might shrivel up and fall out of my head.
4. Masud is visiting for the week and he stole my computer desk.
5. I got a C on my first stats exam and the shame has made me crawl under a rock.
6. I attended the Conference on South Asia and spent three days listening to presentations with titles like, "Disjuncture and Difference in Feminist Transnational Practices: Imagining Women through Law, Documentary Cinema and the State". Brain might explode.
7. Also at said conference, I bought five books: Unraveling the Garment Industry, Juki Girls - Good Girls, Explaining Growth in South Asia, Doing Development Research, and Urban Women in Contemporary India. I'm a book whore. I love them, I spend lots of money on them, and then have no time to read them.
8. I've been cooking. I made some really gross chocolate chip cookies (something went wrong). I think I'll return to frozen prepared foods for this week.

So I hope that I'll be able to return to regular posting soon, but don't hold your breath. Until then, here's a question for you to discuss in the comments: If academic writers presumably were forced to read thousands (and thousands) of pages of boring academic writing during their training, why do they make their own writing so boring? Is it part of the rite of passage of graduate school? If you plan to write a book, wouldn't you want to make it non-boring for your readers? Take this book I'm reading on transnational conflicts. Exciting title, right? But here's an actual sentence: "The intervention of agency at the level of the global system in the form of transnational functionaries from the US state and the IFIs liaised with agency at the local level in the form of ascendant transnational fractions." I had to read it four times just to understand it, and then I wanted to poke out my own eyes.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Hello from Packer Land.

I'm visiting my sister in Packer Land for the weekend. I have not seen a Packer yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Masud is visiting (yeah!) and he and Isaac went to the Wilderness for the weekend. I'm enjoying veggie tacos and content silences with my sister, and tomorrow I'm going to attend a baby shower for SunnyD in South Packer Land. I'm not sure how much I'll get done of my weekly ream of readings, but my soul is refreshed.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I have no business posting.

But I just had to tell you that I got yelled at this morning by the 3rd grader who was a crossing guard by the school. I was on my bike and didn't stop for the stop sign. He yelled, "Please STOP at the STOP SIGN. It's the LAW!!!!"

I am a horrible adult.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Interesting things from the Wilderness.

Fall has crept up on me this year and I wasn't prepared for the fall beauty this weekend in the Wilderness. The leaves are just turning, the soybeans are drying and the sky is so blue and sunny. Augh. I love love love Wisconsin.

Some quotes from the weekend:

"Never trust anyone who says their favorite Jolly Rancher is peach." ~ Page's partner Andrew (who's last name I still can't remember!)

"I'm so STOOKED about my new Transformer!" ~ Isaac, after purchasing the Star Wars Clone Pilot Starfighter Transformer. "Don't you mean STOKED?" I asked. "Nope, I made it into a new word, and I call it STOOKED."

"I'll be the water wings than save you if you start drowning in an open tab, when your judgment's on the brink." ~ The Postal Service, Give Up, Brand New Colony.

Water wings. Awesome.

Also, I learned both what this thing called "bluetooth" is and I also learned how to do it on my phone.

And I got to take a nap in the soft chair by the sunny window with two wonderful dogs in my lap.

This week is a doozy. Prepare for sporadic postings. Here's a reader poll to entertain you:

What is your favorite Jolly Rancher flavor and why? What is your least favorite JR flavor? Have you ever pulled out a filling while eating a JR? (I have. It's awesome.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I still have the same haircut!

My high school buddy Ray sent me this picture. L-R: Dewey, Leslie, Ray, your's truly, and Amanda.

I think this was from 10th grade. I remember feeling SO PROUD of how high and poofy my bangs were in this picture!

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Amazing Story of Fabulous Mike's Fabulous Shirt.

My friend Mike is really cool, and I don't think he knows it. That's part of what contributes to his coolness. He is in the Development Studies program with me, has been in the Peace Corps, speaks fluent Spanish, and is generally fun to hang out with. He's very droll.

A few weeks ago I noticed that Mike was wearing an unusual shirt. It was a short sleeved button down number that had these little flags all over it. And the collar was super wide. I remember thinking to myself, "Mike's shirt is rad." About a week after that, Mike came to a party at the Union and he was wearing the shirt. I decided to express my approval of the garment. That's when I heard the Amazing Story of Fabulous Mike's Fabulous Shirt.

It turns out that the shirt belonged to Mike's grandfather, who was actually in the secret service. It gets better. Mike's grandpa was a part of a US delegation to the founding meeting of the Alliance for Progress in 1961 in Punta del Este, Uruguay. He was the only Spanish speaking member of the delegation. Guess who he hung out with at the conference?

Way cool shirt, Mike. Way cool.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Crowd Anxiety

Apparently Badger football is a big deal. Two weekends in a row now, I've been nearly crushed by a crowd of people wearing red shirts near Randall Stadium. All I wanted to do was go to the coffee shop and read my articles.

Why can we mobilize people to watch a stupid game and yet we can't get a crowd that big to care about ending poverty?

Priorities. Sheesh.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Too busy... post. Here are some pictures instead.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bullet Update

  • Isaac participated in a Dog Walk this weekend to raise funds for a no-kill animal shelter. Mom took Che and Shad to get haircuts and worked with them for weeks on a "dance routine". The routine consisted of her playing music and holding small pieces of chicken up high enough so that they had to stand on their hind legs and hop around in order to get it. Unfortunately, the pressure of the spotlight was too much. They basically stood stiff on the stage with their tails between their legs while mom and Isaac danced! But Isaac won for raising the most money in his category! So thanks to DomNem, Hob, and Idadele for their generosity!!!
  • While Isaac was gallivanting in the wilderness with my mom, I read about 500 pages of theory, successfully resolved a domestic crisis, attended a birthday party for two friends, did laundry and grocery shopping!!
  • This week is jam packed. I've got something going on every single night. Isaac has started to realize what it means that summer is over - he has been sad about not being able to watch more than 2 hours of TV a day. I'm mourning the loss of internet time.
  • Speaking of internet time, I'm seriously cutting back on my browsing time each day. It's out of control. Although I can never give up
  • The Domestic Nemesis has been having problems with stinky things in her apartment. Read part one and part two.
  • Cake has a new CD out and their cover of War Pigs is excellent. If I had any money I'd buy it. Maybe Ding Ding will burn a copy for me. Pretty please?
  • Isaac and I are going to take Italian class together. His school PTO offers it, and the classes meet before school starts in the morning. The reason we are learning Italian is because Isaac has a friend who just moved here from Italy and she doesn't speak English yet, so he wants to learn Italian so he can talk to her. Awwww.
  • I'm way to busy to be blogging. That's all for now.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"Poverty", shame and feminism.

First read this. (Bitch Ph.D. complains about only having $1475 in left over money per month.)
And then this. (What Bitch Ph.D. thinks she should be ashamed of.)

Then read this. (WoC Ph.D. eloquently points out what she's ashamed of, and has some great insights about academe, poverty and feminism.)

Here's my shame list. Feel free to add yours in the comments.

What I'm ashamed of:

  • That I've ever said (and believed) that "I'm so poor!" even though my husband makes a decent salary, we have our basic needs met, and we're able to spend quite liberally on our wants. (And that I've seen real poverty extremely close up and still throw the word around flippantly.)
  • That I have the luxury to spend years and years pursuing my education and some people struggle to graduate from high school, and I whine about how hard it is.
  • That I don't always confront people when they tell racist/sexist jokes.
  • That I'm studying "development", which is a discipline that arose from colonialism and is arguably a tool used by world powers to control the resources of "developing" countries.
  • That I am considering going into academe rather than applied work because I want to have the security of a contract, health insurance and retirement benefits even though I know that I'll be sacrificing a little (a lot) of my ability to affect real change in the world.
  • That despite my relatively privileged upbringing, I pretend to be qualified to advocate for the rights of the oppressed.
  • I still hold subconscious beliefs that are racist, sexist, elitist, and although I try to recognize them and change, sometimes they slip out and hurt people that I love.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Graduate school has made me brilliant.

I'm such a good planner. I knew that in the weeks to come, I'll be crazy busy and won't be able to remember things like when to return movies to Blockbuster or the library. So I decided that we'll only rent on Fridays, and that way I'll know that if it's Friday, I probably have something due at one of those places. It's working great.

Except for one thing.

Today I got everyone in the car and we drove over to Blockbuster and I realized that I left the movies sitting on the couch at home.

Again I rock.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Notes on the first day of class.


My school was really fun because it was awesome. My teacher's name is Mrs. Schulte, and she is amazing. First I went outside to play, and then I came in and then I learned some more and then I had lunch for ten minutes and then I went outside for a shorter time and then I did gym and then I did computer and then done. I made a new friend who helped me with my puzzle thing, but I don't exactly know her name yet. I also helped some other kids do their puzzles and find their snacks.


The gates of heaven opened and a chorus of angels began to sing when my new stats professor went over the sum of squared residuals the least squares theory in class today. I understood every word. I even understood why we take n-1 degrees of freedom! It's because we used the data to calculate the sum of squares, so one of our values is not independent!

I really can't explain to you what a relief it is to have a good teacher.

A secondary note on socks:

Isaac sighed with relief when he put on socks this morning. He needed to wear socks so that we could wear our matching chucks on the first day of school. He actually said, "Ahhh, socks." I, on the other hand, am a sock-hater. My toes feel suffocated and crowded when they have a sock covering them. I love wearing flip flops and wish I could wear them year round! And I can never EVER sleep with socks on. It drives me wild.

Reader poll: In the winter, do you sleep with socks on or off?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Taste of Madison

Masud with a chunk of meat. Eww. Dead food.

Nothing tastes better than a good ice cream cone on a hot day.

It was hot, and there were too many people, but the Taste of Madison was fun anyway. I had a falafel and a custard sundae, and Isaac had two chocolate cones, a piece of pizza and breadsticks. Mom and Masud ate weird meat things. We all shared the best part - the double vanilla cheesecake from Lombardinos. WOW. Best cheesecake ever. EVER.

Then we came home and collapsed from overeating. It was great.

Friday, August 31, 2007

An argument with Pickle Hater.

It all started when I made fun of people who like rap music. Pickle Hater informed me that she likes 50 Cent and Eminem. I didn't believe her, because I thought she was normal. She seems normal.

Here I am, saying that I didn't believe her.

Are you kidding me?

"What's wrong with rap?"

She calls her husband who verifies that she does indeed like 50 Cent and Eminem.

And we try to look mad at each other and pose for a picture to document our fight, but we both laughed at the last moment.

It's ok H - you hate pickles and you enjoy bad music, but we can still be friends.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Chucks

Monday, August 27, 2007

Friends Rock.

Today I was in a funk because I left the oven on all night after making Isaac's chicken strips, and I think I left the back burner on too. God knows how long that was on. The last time I remember using it was last Friday at supper time. We were gone all weekend. Maybe I should just order takeout every night.

But my buddy G. came to the rescue! We went out for lunch and coffee, and she cheered me right up. She's good at commiserating but not letting me wallow too much in my bad mood. After spending a few hours with her, I'm actually ready to tackle the rest of my week. Better than beer, that girl.

And now, a gratuitous Isaac-in-Nature shot.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Non Sequitur Post

1. I forgot to tell you the awesome news about our trip to Ohio. Masud ended up needing to go to St. Louis for a business trip and his boss agreed to let him come up and work from here. Originally, he planned to stay until Labor Day but then he found out that he needed to make another trip to a plant in WI on Sept. 6, so he gets to stay ANOTHER ADDITIONAL week!! It's almost gonna be like we're a real family again! And it's a good thing, too, since we won't see him again until Thanksgiving.

2. Whoever designed Transformers does not have children. Isaac loves them. I hate them. No matter how many times I follow the instructions to transform them, I can't remember the next time and have to meticulously follow the diagrams to change them from robot to car back to robot. Hours and hours have been wasted, my friends. He has this evil one that goes from scary alien-like robot to boombox, and it makes me sweat every time I have to change it. If you push too hard the stupid appendages fall off.

3. It's time for me to buy a new pair of Chucks.

4. There is some nasty sh*t going down in the Desh. Rezwan has been following the events and reporting where mainstream media has been shut down. The mobile network has been shut down by the government, the submarine internet cables cut, and a curfew ordered in response to student riots against the caretaker government. Just what they needed in addition to the horrible flooding!

5. Here is why I am having trouble letting Isaac sleep in his own bed...bedtime goofiness:

6. Back to school season is upon us. Yesterday Isaac and I went to his new school to register and find his classroom. Not to insult my alma matter (which Isaac was attending last year), but this school is going to be a huge improvement. They have over 60 countries represented by students, they host an international festival where students can wear clothes from their country and give presentations about their heritage, the classrooms are huge even though the teacher/student ratio is low, there is a climbing wall in the gym, and the school is within easy walking distance from our apartment. Isaac is stoked, and so am I!

7. New music: Feist, the Beta Band, and the new Smashing Pumpkins album. It's not bad even though James and D'Arcy are missing.

8. Just finished reading Promethea. Book 5 was super-deep, about the end of the world, which will actually just be enlightenment for all. Read it and be enlightened.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Last night I got some great news! Thanks to Rob and Lisa, a new little one will be joining our family sometime next year! She or he will probably have red hair like Rob and gorgeous huge eyes like Lisa. Thanks for choosing our family little baby! We can't wait to meet you!

The flooding continues.

If you can, please donate to help flood affected people. Donation link on the right.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend Report

1. Isaac has slept in his bed by himself three times. The first night, he fell asleep fine but then there was a thunderstorm. He was fine - but I was scared. So I went and grabbed him and brought him back to my bed. I couldn't help it. I slept like crap the other two nights because I'm not used to sleeping alone!

2. Masud is coming to Madison instead of us driving to Ohio. I'm really glad I don't have to drive, and he's flying so he doesn't have to drive either! We're both very grateful to his boss who lets him telecommute once in a while so we can be together.

3. It's been raining a LOT and we've had flash flood warnings here in Madison. I love gloomy, rainy days. They make me super-productive. Yesterday I finally tackled the huge scary beast that was my filing cabinet. Now at least I know where everything is! (I totally found Isaac's immunization records! They were scrunched in my "pets" folder.)

4. I had ice cream for dinner tonight. With hot fudge.

5. So much for productivity. I'm going to snuggle into bed and read a book now. It's 7:38, does that mean it's okay if I fall asleep for the night?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

At long last....

...I emailed my paper to my professor! My relief is great but short-lived. Now I am focusing on a few other deadlines and trying to prepare as much as I can for the upcoming semester. Isaac and I both start on September 4th. What happened to summer vacation? I thought that was one of the great parts of being back in school...summers off!

We're heading to Ohio on August 23 for a visit to the patriarch. Masud says his apartment is like an oven, so that should be fun! This will be our last visit until Thanksgiving. That's a long time, people. I'm still waiting for them to build the light rail line between Canton and Madison. Do you think it will happen?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Week of Productivity = No New Posts

I got a LOT done this week. Here are the updates (in no particular order):

1) Bangladesh is having really bad floods this year. Click on the link at the left to make a tax deductible donation to Nari Jibon (you can use your credit card!) and we'll make them into relief packets for flood affected families. We can make a packet for every $1.50 you send. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced already, and the biggest risk right now is water-borne illness. This is only the beginning, so be ready to hear about this more in the coming weeks.

2) I dyed my hair dark brown.

3) I finally went to the doctor who put me on niacin to lower my triglycerides.

4) Masud came to visit again! I love these little surprises!

5) I've revised my paper twice, and went to the writing center yesterday where I got some excellent suggestions for another revision. If you're in school, please see if you have a writing center. It's the greatest thing since Dippin' Dots.

6) Finished reading Harry Potter (finally!)

7) Got a bed for Isaac, managed to tie it to the roof of my Civic and haul it across town without incident. Except for the HUGE black bruise on my shoulder.

8) Got the 60,000 mile maintenance done on my Civic.

9) Spent hours looking for Isaac's immunization records so I can register him for school. I know I saw them when we moved, but have no idea where I put them. They are certainly not in the filing cabinet. In the end I gave up and asked his previous school to mail them.

10) Made a big mess of my apartment. See if you can identify the pictures that I posted...a great idea from Bitch PhD.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Well, Abby (the baby) was definitely the main attraction. She was on center stage the entire night. Watch out, mom and dad, this one's a party animal!

Now that I've had a housewarming party (or a birthday party, according to Ben), I can settle down and really finish my paper...After I'm done with Harry Potter, of course.