Nothing but Flowers
Friday, August 29, 2003
Oh, Kevin Millar
I knew the "green monster" was a bad mascot. So here's the new one
Red Wine for Long Life
They just keep finding more reasons why it's good for you. Now apparently red wine molecules mimic the life-extending effects of caloric restriction which of course begs the question: as a red-wine wino, why am I not skinny?? Ah well, at least I'll live a long time.
It also helps explain my grandfather. He's close to 100 years old and still has his glass of red wine every day.
Let me get this straigh, according to MTV, Justin Timberlake is better than Johnny Cash?
I hate waiting to leave. The shuttle is picking me up 2 hours before my flight, which I think is a little excessive, but hey. And so now I'm packed, the aparment is clean, and I'm full of nervous energy and wondering what I forgot to pack and what I haven't done.
My cousin took Thrasher out in DC. Apparently they had lots of fun. She says it's too bad that he's going off to school (I think he leaves today). But she's impressed that a "Harvard grad on his way to Yale law wasn't pretentious at all". I'm pretty excited that he actually contacted her. I think any other time I've asked a relative to meet a friend who is new in town it has fallen through for some reason. Now I owe him one, but that's ok.
I got my bid results for fall: 40000 Operations Management: Business Process Fundamentals - Dan Adelman and 42001 Competitive Strategy - Marianne Bertrand. I had Prof Bertrand for Micro, and she's great so that's exciting. I'm not sure that two case-based courses is a good idea for fall, so I may try to swap 40000 for Investments. I'm also told that Strategy is a time-intensive course, which makes me nervous. I'm now at the point where I've taken all the foundation and breadth requirements and have to actually chose a concentration and electives, which makes it harder to figure out which courses to take since there are so many more choices. Both classes have in-class case-based finals. ewwwwww. Also, 40000 meets on Mondays, which is often a day that I'm needed at work later for meetings. So I dunno. I wasn't charged any points, and I will be if I switch, so I have incentive to stay in the ones I got. Clearly my bids on the schedules I wanted weren't high enough, and I can't afford to lose points if I want to take ethics on campus in the winter or decision making in the spring (both with well-loved teachers who happen to have Nobels).
Ran into Ellisa Pichulik at Guthries on Wednesday. Hadn't seen her since the day we turned in our BA papers together. Ah, yesterday. Neither of us could get into the poli sci office so Margo, along for moral support, had to do it for us. It's very odd to see someone who you weren't friends with but didn't dislike and never really thought about. Apparently we've lived in the same neighborhood all year. She's hoping we'll run into each other more often.
My brother is planning a trip to Chicago to visit me. YAY! I'm hoping he'll come when we can see a Cubs game. I'll probably take him to see TMLMTBGB too.
Okay, gotta finish fretting and panicking.
Thursday, August 28, 2003
Bride's mom says she hit stripper but not for the reasons you'd expect.
I leave tomorrow. YAY!!!
Don't expect many posts between now and Sept. 12. When I'm not out of the country I'll be in the wilds of Maine, where internet service comes via modem (and sporadically at that). But don't give up on me entirely--I may find a way.
Please forgive everything I said about the red sox last week. Evidently there's hope for us yet. YAY!!!! Especially if the Yankees keep getting their butts kicked. Oh wait, we'll have to do the kicking this weekend...everybody pray.
and if they get Merloni back I will do quite a dance.
but in private. before the airport express bus picks me up at 9 tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
The secret to beating the 1700-word limit?
I think my paper is beginning to read like something out of the NSA's code book.
I've already eliminated the adjectives and adverbs. I'm at 1,696 words. And I only have one question left to answer!
No, it won't be a 4 word answer. I have to cut more.
Oh, and I'm still out of black ink. WHICH I FOROGT. So, um, I dunno where I'm printing this paper before I send it fed ex to my prof. (that's the requisite delivery method. She needs the signed honor code pledge and a bunch of other stuff too so emailing it isn't really an option).
I'm trying to decide if printing in dark blue or maroon is worse than losing a minimum of an hour of macro-study time while acquiring black ink.
Oh, and the fact that Two Towers came out on DVD today is just adding insult to injury in the stifiling heat of my apartment.
And I figured out how to add Subject headers to my blog entries. I think.
I've never had to write a final paper or study for a final exam in 90+ degr. F before.
It's not conducive to productivity.
Links for the day (when I say work is sloooooooowwww I mean work is slllllloooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww)
Many of you may have seen these already, but hey...
I steal music off the internet apparel & goods
The New way to get rid of people
as if it weren't already the best car
can you trust a poll done by taco bell?
Thaw Ted Williams!
Ideas the Pentagon Wishes it Never Had (one of these "ideas" was the best man at my parents' wedding)
I want to be a stressed out bureaucrat
Pictures of chicago...
Skyline at Night
skyline from museum
I guess I should explain a little bit about Showtunes for those of you not in Chicago.
showtunes are, of course, my favorite kind of music. Nothing better than a good musical to kick any mood. Emphasis on good. There are lots of bad musicals out there, which unfortunately colors too many opinions.
Showtunes night at Sidetrack is an event to be experienced. Technically, the bar universally acknowledged as Chicagoland's best gay video bar/club plays exclusively showtunes at several times: Sunday from 4-9pm, Fridays from 5-9pm and, as the coup de grace, Mondays from 8pm to close.
It's just brilliant.
Last night, for example, I sang along to the following songs (as a representative sample, in no particular order)
Also, as you all know, "sang" may overstate my musical talent. I'm not sure many people would call the Time Warp dancing either, but that was fun too.
Cell Block Tango
All That Jazz
You're the One that I want
Brotherhood of Man
Into the Woods
Not living without you (about which someone in the back screamed "THIS SONG IS SO GOOD IT MAKES YOU GAY! Which I haven't actually found to be true, but hey).
I'm still here
Also songs from Rent, Oklahoma, Titanic, Full Monty, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweet Charity, Cabaret, Little Mermaid, Lion King...
The Liza/Judy duet with both of them in those awful dresses...
The Martha Steward Clips...
The Lawrence v. Texas Brand New Day homage
The Mommie Dearest clips with Mamma Mia in the back...
And so much more....
Ann Marie lost some fag-hag cred by not knowing who Pattie LuPone was (neither by sight nor name) but regained it later on...not that I really know how.
See, it isn't the alcohol, it's knowing that the song from Titanic makes more sense when you insert (knowing the tune helps here) "you're gonna die you're gonna die you're gonna die you're gonna die AB-oard that SHIP! on the maiden voyage! on the maiden voyage! glug glug glug glug glug glug...
Last night was particularly memorable for the ice-throwing fight I got into with Bill-the-best-bartender-in-Chicagoland. Unforutnately it turned to his side when he pulled out the fountain sprayer.
oh. I'm just remembering that they played "My Body" from The Life. Oh dear...I never behave well during that song. And I did the Time Warp. Also not a good sign (too many flashbacks to living in wieler and watching that damn movie with Fefe every night)...
okay. I'll stop blabbering now that you are sufficiently bored.
Monday, August 25, 2003
The birth of Sophia Elizabeth Cattallani late Saturday night makes me a step-aunt! Despite my step-father's fears that his first grandchild will have to, by virtue of her initials, be an SEC lawyer, and family jokes about her parents (one a psychiatrist the other a therapist) influence on her psyche, baby Sophie is a joy for all. Apparently she is as cute as one could hope, totally healthy, happy, etc. YAY!
Someone remind me that should I ever, foolishly, decide that I need more degrees, I must go to a school with semesters. On Wednesday I take my 4th set of final exams in less than a year. The 9-week summer quarter, though only one-week shorter, feels so much more intense then the rest of the year. Maybe because we had less than a week between spring quarter finals and first week of summer, maybe because macro was so boring...I dunno. All I know is that I won't be reading Paul Krugman's articles for some time, and once I am done with my Macro textbook I will be VERY happy.
Also, it's not the equations, it's the graphs. algebra I can do. I SUCK at visualization, always have. That's even what they told me when they tested me for learning disabilities (turned out I was just unhappy, not dyslexic or ADHD. geeeeee...), which has of course made it a self-fulfilling prophecy. I do jigsaw puzzles out of spite, but actually with no sense whatsoever of what the picture will look like. I also really can't read plans all that well. It's one of the many many reasons I suck as a designer. So being given questions that tell me to explain the effect of a tax cut graphically...I'd rather do the damn algebra. Once I derive the freakin' equation I can plot the graph and trace it, but they never give us enough numbers for that kind of mathematical accuracy, we're just supposed to figure out which curve shifts or moves which way. Yeah, I can't do that. For the midterm we only had one graphical model, and we're allowed a page of notes. the only notes I brought were term definitions and lots and lots of graphs and what any shock would do. Unfortunatetely we have way more models now, and more shocks...so I'm kinda screwed...
Furthermore, someone at the GSB has the sobig.f virus. Since I only use macs, my computer(s) are untouched. This has not prevented me, however, from receiving approximately a gabazillion (somewhere between a billion and a zillion, I think) emails with one of the following subjects:
Re: Thank You
Re: My Details
Re: Your application
Re: Wicked Screen Saver
Re: That Movie
and an (because I have a mac) unreadable application that, were I to be stupid enough to open, would wrec havoc on my computer. Now, any email from email@example.com that has the subject "re: your application" or "re: details" I am likely to open--it's too likely a subject! I've applied to enough classes/conferences/etc. that need to send me details...Furthermore, often such emails contain a max of one line of text, something like "see attached announcement for details about our upcoming event". Which means I totally understand why/how it keeps spreading. but several people who are allowed to post to the all-student listhosts have gotten the damn virus...and I can't filter anything from a gsb address as junk, for obvious reasons.
Actually, I have to confess that before I started getting warnings about the virus I had twice tried to open what I no know was a virus attachment. Thank god for Steve Jobs. But in my defense, my apple-loyalty has in the past made gsb emails turn into attachments when others saw them as plain email text.
I'm hyper concsious of advertising right now, as I am working on my marketing final.
Current least favorite: walking along the pedestrian pass over hubbard street (as I do to get from class to the el) there are a series of banners for Lakeshore Fitness Club (sport club? gym? lakefront? something like that)
they read as follows...
"If the only set you know is your TV"
"If the only iron you pump is on your clothes"
"if the only spin cycle you know is on your washer"
"come to the club where chicago works out!"
you have to picture the really annoying graphics at the bottom to get the full idea...
and the current Aquafina campagin sucks: Gigantic billboard by my home (okay, near Wrigley field. Same dif)
"Pure Wrigley [change font&size] go cubs-holy cow-the ivy-blue w white L-homers on waveland-$40 parking (easy out)-red line to addison-more stupid phrases about the cubs-cubs win!-cubs win!-[font change] Pure Aquafina"
I mean. Really. Thank god I chose sides in the Coke/Pepsi war long ago.
I have no motivation to study for my exam or do my final case write-up. Which is really unfortunate because I need to do well on these finals to get good grades in these classes...but somehow, eh.
You know, if I had ever gotten a B in college I would have FREAKED. okay, I did get one. and I FREAKED about it. it was also the quarter before I went on leave, which explains some of the freaking (and some of the not studying). Now, in grad school, I am happy with my B's.
Part of this is that there are no + or - grades at the GSB, and all classes are curved to a 3.25 So I can feel the same about a B at the gsb as I did about an A- in college: damn happy. I'm not going to be the curve buster in the class, few students get Ds, few get As, I'm happy with the Bs. And yet the little voice in my head hears my dad telling me (about 15 years ago, I should note) that he would never expect any of his children to get anything less than straight A's.
It should be noted that no one should think that my college academic record is something to be entirely proud of. I spent hours every day at the library and literally drove myself crazy studying. I never had a steady relationship, and drove many of my friends away from me. I was also just a teeny bit self-destructive. I think I would probably have been happier if I had gotten a couple more B's.
Wouldn't you think that at my advanced age (I was, after all, born in the '70s) I should be able to shrug off the ghosts of my past?
Yeah right. Just like I'll be able to forgive my mom for saying "that baseball person who was on your brother's soccer team in grade school...Steinbrenner?" No. No. No mom, Epstein. Theo Epstein. VERY VERY different.
Perhaps Theo Steinbrenner and "that Magic Jordan fellow" should get together and shoot the shit.
Showtunes tonight. Yippee!
I should study, but I'll be out of town (on my way to IRELAND!!!!!!!) next week, and then the school year starts...yeah. I need one more summer revel at showtunes. It's not like I'll fail. and I only need c's to graduate.
(could someone please go back in time and show my college-self this post? it would do her a lot of good)
The cat is being whiny. At moment's like these she is "the" cat or "Margo's" cat. When she's cute and cuddly she's "my" cat. I need to pay attention to her now.
Saturday, August 23, 2003
Can't we all just get along?
now back to my usual babble...
BTW, I'm listening to "Fame". Sometimes you just gotta do what you just gotta do.
I'm doing laundry as I write this. Or, rather, I will be making occaisional trips to the laundry room to feed quarters (in $1 incriments), clothes, and soap into the hungry machines. It's at that embarassing point where I have nothing left to wear...I went to class today in a pair of khakis that looked like I slept in them and have splashes of easter egg-colored paint (from A funny thing happened.......) on them. I was wearing just an old blue tank top when I remembered my hatred for the gleacher center AC. So I grabbed the first long-sleeved shirt I could find: one of Marph's blue and white striped men's shirts with holes in it that I wouldn't let her take to LA and she wouldn't let me get rid of. Not my most sheveld look for a class with the CEO's of tomorrow.
Laundry in the building was something I thought I HAD TO HAVE in an apartment. I didn't look at any apartments that didn't have laundry rooms. I am beginning to think this may have been a mistake.
Oh, as a side note, this may be a long post, due to my inability to do anything substantive while I have to go downstairs every half hour.
See, if I didn't have laundry in the building I would have to go to a laundraumat. Duh. Many of them are open 24 hours, or at least late-night, unlike the one in my building which you can't use--for fear of the neighbors above--after 9pm. Which means I have to laundry on Saturdays, which means I don't do laundry very often.
Additionally, there is a nice launder-bar on Southport. Think of that. How perfect? Launder bar. You go, dump your clothes in the industrial sized machines, then go sit at the bar. Have a drink, put laundry in the dryer. Plus it is just far enough a way to justify driving, which would mean no hauling load after load of laundry up and down 2 flights of stairs, through two sets of gates, two sets of doors, and around a corner. Convenient for all. (Obviously I wouldn't get drunk. Then I couldn't drive home.)
But since I have laundry in the building, going to a laundramat would be stupid.
Current contents of my fridge (segue? bah!): remnants of a gallon of milk, 2 cases of diet coke, 6 cans of coke, 6-pack of beer, tofu labeled "use by August 11", mushrooms that are soft and smelly, tomatoes I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to keep from rotting, half an onion, peanut butter, two pieces of bread, an empty brita filter, and moldy cottage cheese. I'm about to throw most of this out. Location of the Star of India menu? unknown. This is very very sad. lunch/dinner tonight will therefore either be cereal or frozen organic-vegan enchilada. I could order from one of the 50 million other places that deliver, but I had been counting on cooking or ordering Indian. I'd go shopping, but there's the laundy factor: if I don't keep moving it from one machine to another someone else in the building will get there first.
It has been observed, more than once, that I am well on my way to being a U of C lifer. This is partly coincidence--I was offered a job right when I needed it and when all my friends were unemployed, and then that job made grad school tuition much lower so I'm stuck until I graduate. But here are some resons why I love the U of C. I imagine I will add to this list sporadically in time to come...
1) Where else are you equally likely to find students at a frat party as at a coffee shop discussing plato?
2) Only at the U of C would a student walk up to another and say "I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but notice: you look an awful lot like Wittgenstein".
3) Hell does freeze over
4) The entire student body is so post-modern it hurts.
5) Everyone has read Foucault.
6) It's in the best city in the country.
7) It's "where the end of the world began"
On the other hand, those are the exact reasons why the school also drives me nuts, so hey.
I had my LAST MACRO CLASS EVER today. Remind me: I am a wimpy GSB student. I have no need to take heavily quantitative classes ever again. If you find me in corporate finance, shoot me. I should stick to nice, friendly classes like "power and leadership" "advanced marketing" "the employment relationship" "business ethics" and other things that require papers and discussion as opposed to math and exams.
I could now indulge a long discussion about the macroeconomic roots of the Great Depression with enormous, meticulous, mathematical detail. I don't think I will often be called upon to do this when I am trying to balance the budget at some poor non-profit arts institute.
I'm taking Investments next quarter, but that seems reasonable. It will be heavily quant, I'll struggle with it as much as I with accounting, micro and macro, but at least it seems (now anyway) slightly more relevant.
I find out Friday what classes I got for fall. I bid on classes with Nobel winners...cross your fingers for me!
In my Marketing class on Wednesday I overheard someone petitioning the professor to raise his grade on one of the cases. Not his groups' grade, just his. He wanted to include something that didn't get included...etc.etc. the REALLY annoying thing is that this group got a 13/15, the highest grade in the class. My group got a 12. Which pissed me off. a lot.
Both my finals are Wednesday. Which will make the rest of this weekend fun and interesting. I have to *mail* my marketing final to my professor in Madison, WI at some point during the day Wednesday. In fact, it has to be fed-exed. Which is, I might add, a huge pain. It's also a write-up limited to 1700 words. I've only skimmed the case and already I have about 3000 words worth of recommendations..I just have to figure out which ones are total BS and which ones are really worth something. Which would be why she limits us.
Okay, I'll stop boring you all now. For the moment.
Thursday, August 21, 2003
Jonathan Abarbanel, theater contributer to WBEZ (also, I'm sad to admit, playwright, respected critic, and former literary manager of a respected Chicago theater company) is uniquely capable of driving me insane. Occaisionally he gets me so riled I debate calling NPR and screaming about getting my membership fee (charged to my credit card every single month) back. Or threatening not to renew unless they get someone who isn't so damn offensive.
Of course, I've never done this.
This morning he attempted what I assume was satire. Except, it didn't work. At all. He was taking about the new law Governor Blagojevich signed that makes it a felony to disrupt a sporting event or performance. The basic point of this law is to send fans who jump the fence at US Cellular Field (you know the one, it used to be comiskey) to jail for a long time. But Mr. Abarbanel decided to "satirize" and went off on some tangent about ushers escorting patrons whose cell phones rang out of the theater. Then the ushers would apply some coercion--donate to our theater or we'll call the police and you'll be charged with a felony. Etc. I can't even write about it clearly he makes me so mad.
I haven't read any of his plays. I've never _read_ a review he wrote. But every time I hear him on the radio (which is about once every 2 weeks) I WANT TO SCREAM. His reviews are insipid. Sometimes even offensive. and they always make me think "gee, the NPR listernship probably thinks this guy is respected in the theater community, and he really seems to know what he's talking about".
Now, I certainly don't know everyone in Chicago theater. There are approximately 94 non-profit theater companies in Chicago, and 3 or 4 commercial ones. I've only worked for 6 or 7 of these. I have limited daily interaction with the cognoscenti, stuck as I am at UT. But I have never met an actual theater professional who professes any respect for Mr. Abarbanel's reviews or commentary.
This is not merely an illustration of the typical tension between artist and critic. Other critics are respected. Their opinions matter. Getting "Critics Choice" in the Reader brings artists and non-artists alike to shows.
(although, lets face it, most of us only see the shows our friends are in. Or designed. Or directed. Occaisional exceptions, like last years remarkable Terrrible Tragedy of Peter Pan courtesy of the House Theatre--which I think/hope EVERYONE saw--come about because the praise is so widespread and word-of-mouth so amazing. Hell, because of that production members of House Theatre are hot commodities all around the city and even people I know at Steppenwolf want to go out of their way to help those guys. but I digress).
Back to the rant. He makes me almost as angry as the Red Sox. Almost as sick of the system as when Mayor Daley bulldozed the airport. UGHHH
Thank you for listening. Please resume your normal activity.
It happens Every Goddamn Year.
Yankees Are Rolling; Red Sox Are Reeling
My theory is that one day, if not this year than next year FOR SURE, my two favorite baseball teams (The Red Sox and the Cubs) will meet in a world series. And all of baseball will end.
Neither team can win. During the 127th inning of game 7, baseball will just spontaneously combust.
All of a sudden. This will trigger a chain reaction: the Democrats will gain control of all three branches of government. Everyone in the country will get a raise and 4 weeks paid vacation a year.
National interest in blow-em-up movies with no plot will be replaced by a renewed appreciation for artists from Albee to ... (um, searching for a z...) Zarathustra. Funding for the arts will increase ten-fold.
But really, the Red Sox still have some hope.
Slate Magazine's daily godsend Today's Paper's always provides me with a useful summary of what the major papers have to say about the world. And sometimes my brother writes for them, so I like to read it.
Anyway. This morning I learned that:
"Following on the success of this summer's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the Post's Style section brainstorms some potential spin-offs, such as, "Straight Eye for the Queer Guy: Gay man dons Dockers, eats fast food, watches football and starts scratching." Or, "Lesbian Eye for the Straight Girl: Girly-girl really, really improves her softball game."
heee. A quick breeze over to the Washington Post reveals some others gems
"Conservative Eye for the Liberal Guy. Republican campaign operatives school flailing Democrat in how to win an election."
"Vegan Eye for the Ted Nugent Guy. Rock star/hunting enthusiast learns to appreciate tofu casserole surprise."
"Queer Eye for the Queer Guy. In which we address the hitherto-unmentioned problem of gay guys who are fat and slobby, too."
I grew up liking the Washington Post best because of its extensive comics section. Now I have to say it is gems like that that keep it at the top of my "best newspaper" rankings.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Yesterday I couldn't be bothered to find the remote control to my TV. So (among other things) I watched two straight hours of
Murder She Wrote. Eventually I switched from A&E to Bravo and caught three episodes of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy the new Boy Meets Boy and a rerun of West Wing. I had completely forgotten that Moira Kelly was on the 99-00 season! It was quite a revelation.
I was hard pressed this morning to explain to Garth and his friends what was so great about Queer Eye. They were dissmissing it as way too wholesome.
My friends from NY seem a little amazed that my commute to work is 12 miles and yet all within the city of Chicago. Not even extreme parts of the city either.
Someone also asked me why I chose to live up North instead of in Hyde Park. I think you have to have lived in Hyde Park for 4 years to understand the real need to move to the northside upon graduation. Although there are a fair number of people who stay in HP forever, but I'm not quite of their temperment.
In other news, I may get to keep "my" dining room table after all. Which is very exciting. I'm now regretting dissassembling it last weekend, but I think reassembling it is a much better option than having to actually purchase a dining room table that matches the rest of my furniture so well. I'm going to call its true owner, in response to her message saying she was thinking about letting me keep it, and offer to buy it. Which is, I think, the adult thing to do.
I thought, with drama camp over and all, I was done with crazy parents (except for the 2 who still owe me money). Nope. The most talkative crazy parent just stopped by the office to say hi. She brought the kids too. Oi.
Having my boss out of town for 6 weeks has its pros and cons. Here's the list so far:
-No one knows (or cares) when I get to work.
-I can make decisions without running them by her.
-I can surf the web (or post to this blog) during slow times without feeling guilty.
-There is no danger of the Dixie Chicks being blasted at decibels to kill small children from her office.
-Traffic to the suite is drastically reduced.
-I need her approval (take that in several ways, please).
-I have to explain to people that she really won't be back until Sept. 22nd.
-I had no one to call in sick to. Which meant no one knew where I was yesterday. (I sent an email to co-workers, but none of them were in my building except Chloe, who didn't come in until the afternoon. Reasonably, since she's part-time).
-When I need her to make decisions, she's harder to reach.
-I have to send way more email.
-my workload is slightly increased since people who have questions for her ask me instead.
I'll keep updating this if I come up with more.
Finally, planning parties is really fun. Maybe I should switch careers. This sentiment may seem odd coming from me since I so rarely have parties, but planning and organizing parties is totally different from actually hosting them. And, come to think of it, a lot of what I do at work is event management of some sort or another anyway...hmmm...
I've just realized that my friend who moved to LA is now officially 'people'. As in, "I'll have my people call your people." She's someone's people!! Or, one of someone's people. And gets to talk to celebrities (or at least their 'people'). Hee. I find this endlessly amusing.
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
ugh. home sick from work.
The problems with taking the day off from work because you are sick are, in my view, as follows:
1) It makes it harder to justify taking a personal day later in the week, as I planned to this Friday.
2) Actually being sick makes it impossible to do anything useful. Like, for example, homework.
3) You fall behind in work, making the rest of the week more hectic, delaying recovery (this last should be less of a problem given how slow things are around UT in late August).
What I had planned to do with a personal day on Friday:
2) homework/exam studying
3) run errands (dry cleaning, shopping, etc)
4) address invitations
5) catch up on non-required reading WHILE LYING IN THE SUN
6) clean my apartment
7) cook real food, as opposed to heating frozen food
8) Take a long walk by the lake
What I will likely manage to do today:
1) lie in bed
2) blow my nose (a lot)
3) play playstation
4) read magazines
5) drink tea
6) read people's blogs, write this half-assed post
7) feel sorry for myself
It's already noon and I've accomplished only #1 and #2, and a little of #6 from today's goals. Oh, and a lot of #7 as well, let's be real.
But I have high hopes for the afternoon and evening.
Monday, August 18, 2003
Air conditioning is either one of the best modern inventions or one of the worst. I can't decide. Without it it is too damn hot. With it it is too damn cold. And currently I have the sniffles and a runny nose and sore throat, which I blame entirely on air conditioning.
Is it just me, or does this sound like one of those sci-fi horror stories where computers become smarter than humans and take over the world?
The city of chicago claims that Lake Shore Drive Reconstruction is on schedule and nearly complete. My morning commute would dispute that. Sure, a lot has been accomplished. And it's much better than it was in June. But I'm not holding my breath for the things they say will be done by the end of September.
Any story with the headline Teens Gone Wild should be much more exciting. Even if it's in the trade paper read by 100% of Chicago area Theater Professionals No one around here is bitter that, once again, according to this publication The University of Chicago doesn't have a theater program.
We've decided this year Chloe gets to call and complain. Clearly I was ineffective last year, even though they promised to print a correction and ammendment. I mean, what the hell.
That's my justifiable anger for the morning.
Saturday, August 16, 2003
Some observations from my Macro class this afternoon:
1) taking Saturday classes sucks. You would think that after I was subjected to Saturday classes at Hotchkiss I would have learned better. But no, for the second quarter in a row I somewhat willingly have endured classes from 1-4 on Saturday afternoons.
2) I am amazed by the students in the evening program. Not only do they take classes from 9am-4pm every Saturday all year, they also live outside of Chicago. That's right: they fly or drive to Chicago every weekend for the pleasure of subjecting themselves to a Saturday inside window-less classrooms.
3) Window-less classrooms. My 4th quarter is drawing to a close. I am more than 1/3 through the academic requirements for an MBA from The University of Chicago and this is just now beginning to bother me. I know windows would be distracting (lecture on macro vs. view of the Chicago skyline or river. hmmmm) and would distort the AV, but it's beginning to make me feel like I go to school in a box. It's a clear design choice: all the lounges, study rooms, libraries and cafes have windows, the classrooms do not.
4) In today's class of 51 people there were 10 women, and 20 people who were not born in the US. This seems to be the demographic of most of my classes. The official statistics reported in Business Week indicate it is 26% female and 24% international students, however. It also says 46% are married, which seems slightly lower than I've noticed. I am also the only person in either of my classes this quarter born after 1976. Since I was at enrollment the 3rd youngest person in my program, this should not surprise me.
5) The woman sitting next to me in class is 7 months pregnant. And she has a toddler at home who was sick all last night. Then she got on a plane at 6am to come to class (see pt. #2). I'm impressed when I manage to do all my reading, and she's way ahead of me in terms of comprehension.
6) I knew that enrolling in b-school would mean relearning the statithics Mith Marthall thaught me. I expected it would mean I had to learn about derivitaves (both mathematical and financial). I knew my basic algebra and geometry skills would be useful. I have completely forgotten everything I ever learned about logs. So there was a large part of class today where I was copying things down without the slightest clue where they came from.
7) appropos to nothing, in the middle of class today someone raised his hand. When called upon he said "so this means that Germany could have done it even without the Marshall plan?" My professor seemed to understand where the comment came from and went into great detail. The rest of us, with our vague recollections of the Marshall plan and absolutely no sense of how it fit into the equations on the board, wondered if that would be on the exam.
8) This same student later argued that the technological growth during the cold war was greater than that as a result of WWII. It took several exasperating minutes to get him to admit than when you looked at the time frames involved his point was a) meaningless and b) irrellevant
9) Someone actually tried to argue that the relative slowdown in growth rates after 1973 is due in part to the fact that women are less efficient workers. The professor quickly diffused that and moved on, but...um...yeah.
10) My favorite part of class was when Prof. said "these are good questions you all are asking. You should just understand that we macroeconomists don't actually know any of the answers."
will that be on the exam?
11) I've felt like an outsider in this whole b-school thing from the beginning. I work for a theater, for fucks sake. I want to work at non-profits. I will single handedly drive down the post-graduation starting salay of my cohort (Chicago GSB grads typically start with 6-digit salaries). And I'm not a finance geek. I managed to get through undergrad at the U of C without ever taking an econ class. So I'm more than an anomoly, I'm kind of a fish out of water. But, um, it's been a year, so that excuse doesn't really hold. The letter from the dean congratulating me on getting honors (top 15% of the school) means I actually am on the inside, I suppose.
12) If my life is divided between work (say, 50 hours/wk), school (6 hours class, + homework), social activity/play, and sleep (c. 45 hours a week), am I dividing my time correctly? The average student claims to spend 10 hours/wk on homework, not counting studying for exams. There are 168 hours in a week. Subtracting time spent sleeping and at work and physically in class I have 67 hours left to allocate. I spend about an hour/day commuting, so down to 60 (allowing that I don't commute sundays, and it's actually a little more than 30 minutes each way, when you include parking). 10 hours/wk on homework means I spend 50 hours/wk playing. Really? I do? Lets see, time spent fooling around on the internet...too much... watching re-runs on TV...about an hour a day...reading...not enough...with my boyfriend...about right...with other friends...not enough...on the phone to friends out of town...not enough...paying bills...doing household chores...
I did that during class today. I suspect I was supposed to be learning about the Solow residual. Or yet one more reason why tax cuts are bad but increased spending is worse and all economic decisions should be left to the fed (it should be noted that when my prof. is in residence at chicago he works for the Fed).
See pt. #1 above
13) If I hear "and that's all there really is to it" one more time, I might scream. Especially since my prof always says this right after drawing some complicated graph that no one in the class understands.
Is it wrong of me to feel some sense of happiness at the news that Idi Amin died?
Friday, August 15, 2003
I was awoken by the Peapod delivery man this morning. Now, if you have not discovered peapod then you are spending far too much of your precious time in line at actual grocery stores. Except, of course, for the produce section. I can't yet bring myself to buy anything that needs to be touched before purchase from peapod.
Anyway, the peapod man totally called me on it. I buzzed him in and he laughed "oh, you're totally screwed aren't you?"
Such lip. It must have been the frantic way I told him to just dump everything in the front instead of carrying it to the kitchen.
Course, it was 8am and I was half-asleep and in my pajamas to let him in. Somehow the blinking of my gaydar made it a little better--at least I was ungroomed (my hair is FUNNY in the morning) and sleepy in front of someone who wasn't attracted to women. I'm sure I could turn this into biting commentary about socialization if I were wittier, but hey.
I unwittingly proved several theories of consumer behaivior with this order from peapod. Unwittingly is the odd part, since I placed the order Wednesday night after the marketing class where we were discussing these theories. hmmmmmmmmmmm...
but when diet coke is on sale how can you not buy 6 cases? Especially when you don't have to carry it anywhere?
I always think I'm saving money, but yet I look in the kitchen and aside from being re-stocked on my main staples (diet coke, red wine, rice krispies, milk, Amy's vegan frozen food ) it still looks like I don't shop. And I certainly can't see how I spent nearly $80 on food.
I try to remember the contents of my mom's fridge...lots of produce, so that has to wait until I get to the produce mart; lots of meat, which I don't eat; random things that look like they had been there since 1960...what else??
On a side note, my mother has a lot of new appliances, which I saw for the first time when I was visiting in July. The new fridge has drawers with digital temperture readings.
The air conditioner is totally automatic
As is the dishwasher (it "senses" what level to set, when to start, if there is soap, etc)
I find that a little scary. Soon our appliances will place our orders with peapod for us. On second thought, that might not be so bad...hmmm...
Yeah. SO. peapod. It rocks. Makes me feel lazy since I live 2 blocks from the supermarket, but then I couldn't buy 6 cases of diet coke at a time.
Tomorrow I lose my dining room table. "My" is of course a lie, though I do feel that 2 years of custody gives me some rights. I cleaned it off, so now there are piles of mail, magazines, and textbooks in little piles on the floor of my apartment instead of on the table. Somehow this is not an improvement.
Did you know that Americans are 3 times as likely to believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus as in evolution
in high school when they taught us about evolution the teacher was very careful to explain that some people don't believe in evolution, etc. etc. I remember the whole class giving him blank looks, we all grew up on Darwin.
also, I realize that the last post is indulgent. NPR was playing Berlioz this morning as part of "One score one Chicago". Which is a good idea destined to failure. Much like "One book one Chicago". Does anyone know what the book even is this year? I don't...
The movie of my childhood--and there will be one, of course, since I can not have suffered so much WASP-y angst in vain and my need for attention has yet to recede--will start with the sound of a needle being lowered onto a record and finding its groove, a few strains of music starting and then the swell of something dramatic, though I'm not sure what.
it will then cut to my father, drink in one hand the other conducting, wavering through the house explaining the beauty and depth of whatever the music is...
There will be a scene in a car, my brother sitting shotgun, my sister and I maintaining an uncomfortable distance in the back, my father continually boosting the volume on the woefully pathetic stereo of the VW Rabbit or the Nissan Maxima, depending how old we are at the time. Dad will be quizzing us: composer? symphony? movement? conductor? We must know the answer or the manic high may switch to manic low, or worse his driving will become erratic and scary. My siblings claim I was spared most of these quizzes, which may well be true, but I remember enough.
There will be a Christmas scene. Bach's Weihnachtsoratorium blaring through the house, blasting us out of bed. My father espousing that is couldn't be christmas without the Weihnachts! We all refrain from mentioning that it isn't Christmas, since we fairly early on decided that Christmas was with mom. Christmas with dad was the 23rd or 30th most years. But still, Weihnachtsoratorium throughout the house.
There will be scenes contrasting the silent elegance of my mother's home with the loud, busy chaos of my father's. The immaculately clean Boston house I grew up in, where dust could not be found and music is rarely heard (my mother, being deaf in one ear, finds it hard to hear with music in the background. This does not prevent her from loving going to the BSO or opera, or from playing the piano) versus the dirty, cluttered, music-filled house of my father's.
There will be a scene of my father's various boyfriends/housemates/friends/other random connections wandering in and out, occaisionally trying to get him to listen to Madonna or Chris Isacc, but Mozart will triumph.
At points the music will switch from records to CDs, with no stop at casettes (except for in the car) as my father embraced digital recordings long before CDs were popular or cheap. He always found the cheapest gas, only bought food that was on sale, scammed meals off friends, and never met a discount he didn't like, but music, somehow, was an exception.
I think it is not surprising that my sister married a lawyer who is at heart a singer and that my brother lives with a dancer. My friends remind me that I have always said my perfect man will take my to the symphony and apreciate Sondheim. Of course, my perfect man needs to be straight, which has made this quest a little harder.
This may explain why I was so enamoured of the boy who took me to see Itzhak Perlman play at Ravinia for our first date. any sort of relationship was doomed for other reasons, but he brought red wine and took me to listen to music under the stars.
My father is, I think, very proud to have raised three music snobs and two fag hags.
There will be another car scene. My brother introducing us to ani difranco because he so admired her finger-picking guitar playing. My 14-year old female identity will cling to the lyrics, my father will tolerate it briefly, but she too will ultimately lose out.
My brother's status as golden child was confirmed not when he chose to attend my father's alma mater (though that helped) but when he increased my father's knowledge of Dmitri Shostakovich
The movie of my childhood will clearly be very loud. And only watchable in surround sound.
Thursday, August 14, 2003
Camp was one of the best-worst movies I've seen in a while. It was really really terrible in that the plot faded in and out, characters came and went, and the adults were either non-entities or hearless assholes, but there were some GREAT moments.
I mean, any movie that involves a lot of Sondheim worship has to be good. Also a SONDHEIM CAMEO???!!!!! I gasped. I screamed. I nearly cried.
One of my favorite parts?
Vlad (the token straight boy, gesturing at a photo): Is that your father?
Michael (who went to his junior prom in drag):
Vlad: Who's that?
but the best scenes can not be described, they must be experienced. It is simply enough to say that they involve "Ladies Who Lunch", being poisoned with bleach, Dreamgirls, and...well, pretty much anything that was sung or danced was great.
Go. See it.
but make sure you go with people who won't mind when you say things like "no he did NOT!" loudly at the screen.
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Grrr. Last night, in what I thought was a fairly inspired move, I emailed the case write-up that is due today to myself so that should my partners not have any changes or feedback on the draft (even though it is more than a page over the, very strict, limit) I could put in final edits and print it out at the Gleacher Center right before class.
Except, being as stupid as I sometimes am, I attached the wrong file and sent myself my partners notes for the draft. Useful. In my defense, the document is called "alloy.doc" I'm sure the one I wanted was called alloy-HT.doc or something.
This means I have to go home, which is not exactly on my way to class. And it still needs final edits, which means I'll have to leave early. AND I'm out of black ink at home, which means I have to go home, edit it, re-email it to myself, and then print it out at school.
On the upside, the Cubs game last night was lots of fun. We had good seats (terrace row 214 for anyone who cares/knows) up behind home plate, and Zambroni pitched a complete game shutout. Always satisfying. Plus, it is so nice to leave the game and not have to think about finding a car or the train or bus but simply stumbling home two blocks.
Oh shit, now I'm late to a meeting with the registrar's office. They have to tell all of us departmental admins what they screwed up this quarter.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Okay, now I know how to link! I think. Here's hoping.
My current school: Chicago GSB
My former school/where I work: Chicago
Where I really work: UT
and, sometimes, I work with The Neo-Futurists
(shameless plug: you missed me doing tech for Tron and Lucky Yates but go see TML as often as possible.
Tonight I'm going to see the Cubs game. I live two blocks away from Wrigley Field but this will be my first game of the season. Sad.
Then I have to finish a marketing class case-write up on Alloy.com. My case partners have sent me drafts, I have combined and edited them, and now once I get some more feedback from them it'll be almost done.
Tomorrow I'm going to see camp, which I think is very exciting.
I decided it was time: I need a blog. I talk too much (sometimes to the cat, the car, or myself), I like to write, and well, everyone's doing it. If I had a clue what I was doing (or if the "help" button worked) I'd link to my friends blogs, or something funny, or whatever.
But I'll learn soon enough.