Tuesday, December 27, 2005

merry christmas, etc.

Christmas was really nice this year. I didn't get into any arguments with either of my parents, which in years past has been quite a damper on the occasion. but sunday went off without a hitch and I had lots of fun at my aunt and uncle's house with my mom's side of the family and also at home with my dad and brother (and the dog). the weather stayed nice and we had the stereotypical 80-something degree los angeles christmas.

monday I met up with an old friend from high school that I hadn't really talked to since graduation. it was so nice to catch up and see how she is doing. we gossiped a bit about some people from high school, who was getting married, who was pregnant, and so on. it was pretty interesting (and a bit scary). neither of us could imagine having kids right now. when I got back from seeing her, I broke open the yearbook and reminisced some more about the good old days of high school. things were so different back then, and a lot simpler in many ways. but I definitely wouldn't trade it for what I have now: independence and opportunity and choices to make. the other thing I looked up when I got back was myspace. this was how we were re-acquainted and I wanted to see who else I could find on there. well, what do you know but about 36 girls from my class are on there (it was an all-girls school) which makes up about one quarter of our whole class. the problem is that I'm getting sort of addicted to looking at everyone's profiles and seeing what they are up to. it has been quite interesting to say the least. the one I just saw (and hence promoted me to blog this right away) is that my ex-boyfriend is getting married to someone that was in my class! what?! all I can say is, wow, I hope he's no longer crazy (for her sake). I don't even think they knew each other in high school. that is sooo weird.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

back in the valley again

after recovering from a version of the common cold over the weekend (when I also attended a fabulous holiday party at russ and amy's), I cleaned my apartment monday and prepared to leave for the holidays (yes, I am celebrating more than one thing during these two weeks, give me a break). yesterday I left sunny phoenix and drove the 400 miles to los angeles (which was actually sunnier and warmer - how did that happen?). I made the whole trip in about five and half hours (with a short stop to eat a sandwich) and on only one tank of gas. that's right folks, my car is awesome (I got about 38 miles/gallon). anyway, the trip wasn't as bad as I was expecting and it was sort of nice to be back home. the soundtrack of the trip: broken social scene (a new canadian band - very good; it was different and interesting), wilco - kicking television (a new 2-disc live cd of a concert they did in chicago a little while ago - very excellent, wilco is amazing as always), and white stripes - get behind me satan (which I've had for a while but hadn't listened to in a couple months - helped with the traffic situation when I got into LA). no sooner had I gotten home, though, and my step-dad and I got into a "discussion" about the whole intelligent design thing. he has this thing where he doesn't listen to other people, so it's kind of hard to talk to him about anything, but this was totally ridiculous. anyway, luckily my brother showed up and interrupted us before it got really ugly.

today my mom and I had our first shopping day. we actually got a lot accomplished and didn't get into any fights or disagreements (normally shopping isn't such a good mother-daughter activity for us). so that was good. I only have a few things left to buy before christmas. then I drove down to LA to have dinner with marla. it should've only taken about half an hour, but of course, the traffic was completely ridiculous and it took almost an hour and a half. such is life (in LA, at least). the 405 was like a parking lot from the getty all the way to my exit at wilshire. that is basically four miles and it took me half an hour. but, when I got to marla's apartment, none of that mattered. it was really good to see her again and we had a really nice dinner and visit. her apartment is super cute and so close to so many things. she is really lucky to have found it. we caught up on all the happenings of our friends and what is going on in our lives. her experiences with teach for america are really interesting to me and the things I'm doing at school. she was definitely interested in hearing about how education researchers think about the program and I was interested in hearing her take on the same issues. it all makes a lot of sense now and it's really good to hear about it from all the sides. anyway, after that, I hung out with my brother and we watched 'crash' which is a really excellent movie. you should all go see that right now (it's on dvd).

Saturday, December 17, 2005

end of the semester

so I survived another semester of graduate school. phew. this one wasn't nearly as bad as the first two, even though I was probably busier this time. the classes I took were actually interesting to me and will be helpful when I start to write my dissertation (whenever that may be). also, I was working on a big research project which was interesting to say the least.
there has been lots of drama in my office in the last few weeks and I'm still not entirely sure what is going on. basically, what it comes down to, is that I'm going to need to find a new advisor sometime next semester. she will probably be leaving here, and furthermore, I don't think she would be able to help me do the kind of research I want to do. so that will be another change to deal with next semester, along with a new job on the project that's funding me and three classes to top it off.

my plans for winter break: I am staying here in phoenix a couple more days. on monday or tuesday I will be driving to see my parents in los angeles. sometime after christmas, probably around the 29th or 30th, I am driving down to san diego to hang with some friends and spend new years down there. then I will be back here on the 2nd. so if you are going to be in any of these places when I will, make sure to give me a call so we can hang out. :)

an update on my dad: he is home from the hospital and doing fine. they found a couple things wrong, but they are both treatable with antibiotics and he should be back to normal soon. so that's a big relief. thank you all for your support last week.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I am a master at the art of time suckage

[quoting Reality Bites, quite an excellent post-college movie]

so, I've decided maybe the only thing that I am really truly good at is procrastination. I mean, really, I had two final papers due yesterday. and did I work on them over the weekend? not really. I thought about them a little bit, but didn't do any real work (i.e. typing up stuff) on them. what an idiot. so I worked on them on monday and tuesday, finishing the last paper a half hour before it was due (and believe me, that was not as close as I have been on other assignments). the thing is, maybe they're not great papers, but I think they were alright, and I got everything in there that I needed to. so, even though I procrastinate, I always finish things. and see, that is the key to good procrastination. if you don't actually finish it, then really you are a slacker and not a procrastinator. that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I am an excellent procrastinator and have honed my skills over my years in college and now in grad school. I feel that I could teach a whole class on how to effectively procrastinate. but perhaps it is not a skill that everyone can master. maybe it is some innate talent that I was born with. hmm. something to think about.

the other thing that was stressing me out yesterday was that my brother called me around lunch time and told me that my dad was in the hospital. he had been not feeling well lately, had some stomach pains, and on monday night, it got worse and he passed out a few times and was puking up blood. very bad. so, he took him to the emergency room and the doctors are looking into it. as of right now, they have determined that he has an ulcer, but they're still not sure why he was passing out so they're keeping him in the hospital for another day or two I guess. I really hope everything will turn out fine. it's just hard being so far away. I can't just go see him in the hospital like my brother can. but at least anthony (my brother) is calling me a lot and letting me know what is going on. that helps a bit. so, please pray for my dad and keep him in your thoughts.