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.