Tuesday, February 24, 2009

born under a bad sign

got to work this morning. spilled coffee all over my desk. now my mouse is all sticky. can't bear to tell the rest.

(it's like a blues song, right? the worst part is i lost all my coffee.)

lost all my coffee. too lazy to get more. this day is even worse. than the day before.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

woe to me

i'm in a state. for real. relationship troubles abound re: thesis and data. we're essentially in a menage a trois of convenience that isn't so convenient. when you spend 12-16 hours locked in a small, hot room with two significant others that are constantly making you feel bad about yourself, you quickly realize that all you want is to breathe the sweet air of freedom.

and i also realized after rereading my last post that i am a super huge nerd. getting excited over a clear explanation of the mortgage crisis... i guess i have to explain that it was really satisfactory to FINALLY understand it after going through an entire semester of an international political economy seminar and not having a fucking clue. i didn't even know what questions were appropriate. for example, it makes you look really smart to ask "what is money?" (clue: money= trust), but asking "what is a bond?" (a piece of paper? your solemn word? a contract? what?) makes you sound intellectually disadvantaged. yes, i asked BOTH questions, but only the second one out loud.

all i knew was that the bundesbank said that it was every persons responsibility to pay their mortgage in order to do their part to avoid global economic collapse. turns out the germans have been saying this since...well, forever. too bad no one made that video ten years ago.

point? it just felt good to finally understand.

also, i am in the oh-not-so-fun time where i get to hear back from phd programs. based on internet research i think my long shot school has started sending acceptance emails. of which i fully anticipate NOT to get one. i HATE rejection letters. even when you're fully expecting it. i also hate the inertia of not being able to make firm plans.

also, after consulting webmd i think i might have developed angina as a result of emotional distress. my heart hurts.

look, it's my (pity) party. i'll gripe if i want to.

WAHHHH! back to work.

Friday, February 20, 2009

and the banks went crazy with leverage

so in case you were wondering exactly how this economic apocalypse befell us, here is a simplified account courtesy of cluster flock. with pictures. it is awesome.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

thanks to andrew for alerting me to this little slice of heaven (even though he refuses to read my blog).

Monday, February 16, 2009

bitter, party of one....

for all those of you out there who read my blog and wonder "gee, smart. funny. hour-glass figure. she seems like a catch. i wonder what it's like to date her?"
hint: i'm the bitter half...
(thanks passive-agressive notes.com)

Saturday, February 14, 2009


a very happy valentine's day to all five of my faithful readers.

i will be spending this special day with my data and my thesis. we have one of those tilda swinton-style group relationship kinda things.

as you all know, data and i have had a rough year. we broke up. we made up. and broke up again. and then reconciled just in time for valentine's day. i am trying harder to listen to what data is saying and not misinterpret data's intentions. and data is trying to... well...honestly, i don't know what data is trying to do.

ok, so everything is not fine with us. we speak different languages. data is from mars, i am from venus. but i can't get away from you data. no matter how hard i try.

and then there's poor thesis stuck in the middle. hating it when data and i fight, because thesis knows that it can never be complete without data.

love ( or the blind ambition that forces you into a shotgun wedding of convenience with data analysis) makes you do crazy things.

happy fucking valentine's day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

tic toc goes the biological clock

here's the deal. any way i write this it's going to come out sounding lame. believe me, i say this in full awareness of how cliched the approaching thirty with no children conversation is.

but here goes...
lately my subconscious has been inundating my waking self with thoughts of babies. i have dreams about them. they stare at me in public places. they grab at me in the supermarket. and i have to say that it's really getting me down.

i don't even want kids. not that i don't love my friends children. i so do. indeed, if thought that any child of mine would be half as cool as the kids my friends have, i would have one tomorrow. however, it's not the kid i worry about so much as my own inability to think of anyone other than myself 99.9% of the time.

but i know that the only reason i am even stressing this for myself is due to the biological impetus to see to the survival of the human species, which quite frankly, might not be worth preserving. basically, it's just one big trick your mind plays on you to make you think you want children. which has transcended into societal norms that have converged expectations on the idea of a specific life path.

grow up.
fall in love.
get married.
have children.

let me just tell you, from the perspective of someone whose life path has veered dramatically off this course, that it feels really bad. even though i know on one level (the sane level) that i haven't done anything wrong, i can't all together shake the feeling that somewhere along the way i fucked it all up and now am living some deviant lifestyle. when you are socialized into this pattern and then things don't work out the way that you perhaps assumed they would, you are left feeling like you did something wrong.

choices were made, though not always by me. sometimes i was only left with dealing with the nuclear winter-esque fallout of other people's choices that inherently limited my own. that's what happens when you foolishly marry your fortune with another's. and all this compounded has left me with the sneaking suspicion that in terms of romantic love, that bird has definitely flown. and yet, like fox mulder, i too want to believe.

at this point i am reminded of a passage from sartre's the words...

Every man has his natural place; its altitude is decided by neither pride nor value: childhood decides. Mine is a sixth floor in Paris, with a view overlooking the roofs. For a long time I suffocated in the valleys; the plains overwhelmed me: I crawled along the planet Mars, the heaviness crushed me. I had only to climb a molehill for joy to come rushing back: I would return to my symbolic sixth floor there I would once again breathe the rarefied air of belles-lettres; the Universe would rise in tiers at my feet and all things would humbly beg for a name; to name the thing was both to create and take it.

is it too much to hope that, in regard to love, i just haven't found my natural place? or am i dreaming the wrong dream? one that never really existed in the first place. because it seems to be oft repeated that the heaviness crushes me and i too am doomed to suffocate in the valleys.

and all the while...tic toc tic toc tic toc.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

the sting of technology

oh bill gates...you sure know how to make a point, unleashing a swarm of mosquitoes on attendees at a technology conference to drive home the urgent need for research to improve malaria drugs. not to belittle mr. gates' philanthropic undertakings (total respect in that area; calling attention to inane discrepancy between money spent researching cures for baldness v. malaria medication was proper), but i couldn't help but feel that the sting felt by techno geeks was probably much like the sting i feel in my soul during my daily battle with windows.

example. i am more than over excel AND word. make that ms office in general. it makes me want to throw my computer out the window, except 1.) i'm too lazy and 2.) then i won't have a computer. having to engage in an incessant war of all against all with auto-formatting makes a swarm of malaria spreading mosquitoes seem like a welcome diversion. how hard is it for word to just do as i command? WHEN AND IF I WANT YOU TO CHANGE TO YOUR DEFAULT FONT STYLE/SIZE, I WILL FUCKING TELL YOU SO!!! and on that note, who spaces things at 1.5? tell me that...

as for excel? fuck me... it shouldn't be so hard to make tables/graphs. seriously. or enter commands. there just has to be a better way to organize data. oh wait, there was, it was the older version of excel that i can no longer access...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

notes on the decline of western civilization

now for your what the fuck moment of the day, celeb gossip style. it seems in following with the trend in hollywood away from making original movies in favor of just poorly reworking classic movies, there's gonna be a remake of "bonnie and clyde". ordinarily this would be of little to no interest to anyone, especially myself, who, generally speaking, adamantly refuses to watch remakes of classics (case in point: sabrina, disturbia, psycho, etc). however...

despite the fact that i will in all likelihood not, on principle, see this film (if you can even elevate it to "film" status), it has brought a really delicious celebrity catfight our way. it seems that of all people to reprise the faye dunaway role, hilary duff has been tapped (which in itself speaks volumes to the esteem in which the producers hold this ill conceived project). to which dunaway reportedly commented (in all appropriateness), "couldn't they at least cast a real actress?" dunaway perhaps should have not vocalized this opinion. after all, sometimes the truth is so obvious that you don't really need to say it out loud. luckily for us, however, this is not the most interesting part of the story.

hilary duff, when asked about the dunaway critique repsonded with not only "I think that my fans that are going to go see the movie don't even know who she is," but also accused dunaway of being a hater, noting that "I might be mad if I looked like that now, too."

say what?

trust me, the fact that your fans don't even know who faye dunaway is only confirms the inanity of the entire project. a movie created for and marketed towards cinematic idiots. because if they were going for a decent remake, they would have indeed cast a real actress. and as far as appearances go, faye is almost 70. and i would have to say that not only does she look great for that age, i'm quite sure that she is comfortable in the fact that when she was hilary's age she was far more attractive. because she came from an era where generic appearance just wasn't enough. you had to have that intangible something. she had her own thing. her own style. she's a classic.

whatever duff is paying her publicist it isn't going to be nearly enough for all the damage control they are going to have to do following these remarks. which were made in an on set (tv show set, not bonnie and clyde set) interview when her handlers were clearly out to lunch. there's NO confusion over what was said. no misquote. just blatant disrespect.

not for nothing, but i would think that someone who's acting credits include "the lizzie mcguire movie," "a cinderella story," and "cheaper by the dozen 1 AND 2," might not have such an over inflated conception of self. not to mention her tragic cover of the gogo's "our lips are sealed," which proves her contribution to the degeneration of not one, but two art forms. although to be fair, i think that she is not utterly without talent, just incredible locked into a lucrative, yet uninteresting career trajectory. such is the curse of the disney kids. you get infinite success, but lose ANY and ALL credibility as an artist.

and besides, we've all seen mommie dearest (well maybe not YOU, hilary and fans) and i wouldn't want to fuck with faye dunaway.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

communication breakdown

given the utter lack of anything else to blog about, i have to draw attention to perhaps the best thing i've seen in the news since the tequila induced elopement of speidi a couple of months back. and that thing is a the city of birmingham in england where there is a battle of epic proportions being waged over the... APOSTROPHE.

see what had happened was... the man (read: city government) tried to lay a trip on proper grammar by removing the apostrophe from road signs. in case you're unclear on the implications of such a policy, "st. paul's square" would now read "st. pauls square." as one would anticipate, or not, the good people of birmingham aren't even about to stand for this erosion of decency. one citizen, and founding member of the Apostrophe Protection Society (no, you aren't hallucinating) puts it this way:

"This is setting a terrible example. If you don't have apostrophes, is there any point in full stops, or semi-colons, or question marks? Is there any point in punctuation at all?"
[as quoted at the Telegraph.co.uk; see link above]

eh? you might be tempted to ask, as i myself was, what the fuck?!? haven't you anything better to do with your time? but wait...not so fast... it struck me as i was reading this article that this is always what i loved about living in england. the consistent grounding in tradition. the complete inability to make abrupt and meaningful change, preferring a gradual evolution that allows plenty of time for adjustment. and the acceptance that some things, like grammar, are seemingly non-negotiable. there was something incredibly gratifying and inherently comforting about having that firm connection between the past, the present, and the future. it eases a tremendous amount of anxiety, let me tell you. tea in mid-afternoon. apostrophes where they are required. end of story.

only the british truly comprehend that if you let these things go, you're just sliding down a slippery slope to complete societal breakdown.
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