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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Random Bits From Philadelphia

Are all cities blessed with as much weird random stuff as Philly? Some fun recent examples:

Yesterday on my walk home across the south Street Bridge (you know, the one with the giant holes that allow you to look down and see the yummy yummy Schuylkill beneath you) I saw a middle-aged German-looking man had pulled his bike over into one of the sort of lookout recesses on the bridge and was drinking a can of Beast. Just hangin' out. As he didn't seem to be carrying any beer, I have no idea where the can of beast came from.

Sunday evening, driving back from ghetto Pathmark. I was driving down Carpenter and stopped at a stop sign when three guys on HORSES turn from 24th to carpenter and gallop down the street. Not cops either - just random dudes on horseback in the middle of the city. I should mention that this is not my first weird Philly equine sighting: in the fall, I was walking home across the bridge when I saw some middle-aged black guy riding a horse across towards Penn. Not a cop or anything, just some dude on a horse. I don't get it.

A guy carrying a huge stepladder while riding his bike. I was really impressed with that one.

My block was closed most of Saturday afternoon so some kid could have a birthday party, with SpongeBob and a clown and a party jumper (didn't know those things were still in style). Except, they didn't actually shut the street down, not in any official and city-sanctioned way. They just tied used car lot-like streamer things across both ends of the street so nobody could get in or out. Apparently this happens all the time, and without any warning to neighbors who might have to, say, go to Ikea.

A very into drugs/drinking/fun boy that sort of resembles Peter Murphy and has lived here for 15 years and DJs and tags and such telling you he's a Republican. What is up with me and the Republicans lately?

And I have to be in the burbs again tomorrow. Except this time, at nine in the morning so we can carpool to fucking Baltimore for an informal conference. I am so not excited. Watch, I'll find more Republicans.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I'm Not Ready For This

Saturday night went to my friend's wife's nursing school graduation party with Juan and Anderson. It was in the suburbs. We weren't warned that there were going to be actual grownups there. And children. Like, people's parents/in-laws and little mini humans toddling about and adult conversations about things like knocking out walls to build a deck. Huh? I don't even get to paint where I live, let alone make capital improvements. So the three of us are there, in the corner like good little isolationist antisocial neuroscience pod people occasionally realizing we're talking about inappropriate things, like drinking and sex and how much Bush sucks (I think it may have been the only time in my tenure at Penn at an event with Penn people that Republicans may have been the majority...burbs I guess) and stopping since we were getting sidelong glances. Yeah.

As we walked out, stunned, we were just...how did that happen? How are people ready for that sort of life now? We're thinking about starting a pool on when they have their first kid...I'm betting less than two years. Since they're already stable and married and in the burbs and voting Republican. I need to go be irresponsible some more to get this dirty feeling off my skin.

In other news, no Timwatch in the foreseeable future since NBC is not one of the channels I get. Jesus and Univision yes, but no NBC. I'm already in withrawal and pretty pissed, since I hear Dean was on yesterday getting all verbally abusive on Tom DeLay's fat Texas ass. I did, however, get furniture and I've started to put it together. Though I'll need help doing the armoire I think. Since it has a good foot on me and all. And I have a couch! And the landlord promised that I'd have an actual working fridge today, so I can go replace the ice cream that first made me cry and then melted without even getting all eaten by me. My life is so hard.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Worst Grad Student Ever

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my prelim and I still haven't had my thesis committee meeting. Oops. At least I've gotten people to agree to be on it, I just can't be bothered to try and get us all into the same room. Plus, I have no data. I am still doing work, it just never goes anywhere. Some data would be really, really nice considering the SBN meeting is in a month and my n is still two. That does not exactly make for a convincing poster. I keep trying to do actual work and nothing seems to go well. I am so sick of science right now, but I don't want to do anything else either. Inertia.

In other news...getting fed up with crushboy. I saw him yesterday at a bar (I was there with other people) and we didn't really talk. I should mention that I drunken texted him last Friday about going out, and when he begged off to do work I sent him a pissy text" screw you dance floor" and then made out with some guy there. Oops. So I met another boy out last night after crushboy left. Except I might have yet another science crush. This is exhausting. And I really need a couch.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

But Ice Cream is Supposed to Make You Stop Crying

I've moved, except for a few little things left at the old place. I feel like poo physically despite having actually hired movers. I think it is all the dust and cat hair that had been lurking under the furniture for eons getting all up in my lungs. Ow.

Part of me thinks I really rushed into the new place thing, since I've noticed that it is sorely lacking both counter space and electrical outlets, two things that are integral to my lifestyle. And general places to store my piles of crap. But the floors are really, really nice and there are high ceilings and the yard is huge (if scarily overgrown and jungle-like). So I'll get some damn furniture and see what happens.

Except now that I'm all moved, the whole reality of the breakup thing has (finally) hit me. I mean, I really am alone, and catless. I went to the ghetto Pathmark yesterday since I had no food and there was buy one get one ice cream. And then I realized: I can pick my own ice cream flavors without regard to a certain someone's perverse enjoyment of ice cream with peanut butter in it. Which should have made me happy, but instead it ended with me crying in the ice cream section. Pathmark employees do not know what to do with a girl crying in frozen foods. Just the feeling that I'd messed up another relationship (even if it was mutual and all), the sudden crushing feeling that I'd be alone forever. Some very cruel voice saying, "No one will ever love you again." I guess I didn't really get over this yet, what with us still living together post-breakup and all. So, wham...right there in Pathmark.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Another Data-less Abstract

So gold star to me for not only submitting my SfN abstract, but having it basically done by yesterday afternoon, a full 24 hours before the actual electronic submission deadline. Plus, I have become master of the prospective abstract: reading it, people would have no idea that it was basically speculative crap based on an n of two. Hell yeah. The meeting is six months away, hopefully labby things will be working by then. Of course, I did the SBN abstract three months ahead, thinking I'd have data and that meeting is in six weeks and...I so don't. Oops. At least I won't have any TA-ing to distract me: just moving, trying to have a life, and that whole "summer" thing that always makes being in the windowless lab 70 hours a week an awful lot harder. Though it might almost be worse if we had windows in the lab (or my office): then I'd know what I was missing.

Future Jewish Husband called again, he is coming in for alumni weekend and wants to see me. And I suck because I have no desire to see him, no real time to see him, but I said yes anyway. Though if he is wearing pleated pants again, I'll stop taking his calls. I am just so not attracted to him and I don't want to lead him on or anything. And he is interesting and all, I just have no desire to ever ever have anything to do with him in the naked way. Thank God he lives in NYC so it really isn't much of an issue.

Went to happy hour again yesterday, then post with Juan and Anderson, again. Except I made it home early and not crazy drunk. This going out thing is getting really expensive but if I don't do it and I live alone, I'll become a crazy hermit and nobody wants that. Still nothing from crushboy, I think I'm going to give up, at least for now. There is no way in hell I am going to call him. Plus, I learned that he went out with a few people on Tuesday and didn't call me so...screw that. I really hate my tendency to get all obsessed with someone, feel crushed for a bit, then move on to a new obsession. Methinks there must be a more productive way to spend my energy.

Going out again tomorrow though, with Suzanne since she's leaving the lab (and got a job for $36K, lucky girl) so more debauchery with the labbies. And hopefully finding some new boys to fixate on for a bit. Or karaoke, whatever.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Timwatch 5/8

I'm getting the feeling that Tim really doesn't like John Bolton and is rooting for him to not be UN ambassador. Tim usually manages to come of relatively neutral (except in the Hillary/Lazio debate in 2000 where he totally let Lazio off the hook for violating the rules and that pussy Oval Office interview this year, though maybe he was drugged by the Secret Service), but I can totally see through him on the Bolton thing. My theory is that since Tim worked for the fabulous Patrick Moynihan, the late former NY senator and UN ambassador, this whole sending the biggest asshole ever to the UN must be grating. Since Moynihan, along with his bowtied awesomeness, was one heck of a UN supporter.

And what is up with Mary Matalin's face? Was she always that pointy? Carville isn't exactly attractive, but at least you get the idea that he's just sort of naturally squinchy-faced. Honestly, they both get on my nerves. Shut up, assholes! I don't care about how you're all the political odd couple, if you want to fight about politics, do it off my TV.

In life-type news, I'm a bit annoyed with the ex. He went out last night, which it totally cool since I enjoy him not being here but...he got drunk and came home - loudly - at 4 am. Then he admitted he drove home, was too hung over to even have coffee, and proceeded to hurl all morning. I should mention that he is the loudest.puker.ever. It just echoes through the house, even the cat freaked out. Obviously he just isn't very practiced. We live on a super narrow, winding little street where people park their cars in very selfish places. I can hardly drive it, let alone park, when I'm sober. Yet he makes it through so trashed he spends the next morning hurling and not drinking coffee? Really, there is no excuse to drive drunk, especially in this city. Cabs are plentiful and cheap, the trolleys are 24 hours, there are buses and subways...just no reason. And he didn't see a problem. Note to self: avoid driving in the middle of the night on weekends, even sober. And as a PSA: if you see a blue new bug driving around Naval Square a little too carefully at a time when people are likely to be drunk, be aware that it is probably my drunken ex and you should watch out.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Perhaps I Should Cut Back on the Drinking

Another Friday, another Mad Mex happy hour, and another night where I get drunk with scientists, we all get silly and spill way too much stuff, and it is still light out. Yikes. I'm worried that I may be spilling too many hints about crushboy to my friends, since I don't want the whole department to know I'm interested. I like to gossip about other people, not be the subject of some sort of scandal. Plus, Kate knows and her tongue gets just as loose as mine after a 22oz margarita.

Though much thanks to Juan (and Anderson) for confirming my hotness at Bob and Barbara's, where I did manage to avoid the citywide special, thank God. I mentioned having a bit of a crush on someone (silly Anderson, of course he is tall, skinny, and dark-haired!) when Juan basically said that obviously I should just make out with him, I was too hot to get rejected. Which cracked me up, since obviously he doesn't get the crazy self-doubt I always get about these things. Especially since it is a rather delicate situation.

Of course, I didn't quite get un-hungover until 3 this afternoon, so I still haven't done any packing. Must. Pack. Stuff. Leave. House. Start. Sexy. New. Life.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

So long, Undergrads!

Yes! I have finished my TA duties! I have graded everything, answered innumerable whiny emails, graded more stuff, met with them, cajoled them, cursed them, and caculated their final homework, lab, and participation grades! Lo, I never thought this horrible life-consuming TA-ship would be over, but dear God, I believe it is!

Some of my kids did very, very well. Some of mine did okay. And a few are Very Special Students. Except, now they're Idiots Who Got Ds and Fs in a Required Class That They Waited Until Their Last Semester to Take. And I have no more sympathy for those kids. I begged them to get help, I offered to meet with them, I told them that there were tutors if they didn't want to meet with me, I told them to go to review sessions and meet with the professors...but they didn't and now they're screwed. And I feel a (tiny) bit guilty, but I'm sort of glad they're getting bitch-slapped. To my Very Special students: you can't coast on your parents' money or your looks or football forever, kids. Frankly, I'm surprised and a bit disappointed that you've managed to make it this far, at an Ivy League school no less. Who let you in here, anyway? Yeah, and now your evil shrewy TA who got a fucking Pell Grant (have you even heard of that?) to go to a public school, who tried to help you, is very sorry but it is too late and there is nothing she can (or will) do for you.

But, to my good kids, the ones with a sense of humor and who actually came for help (even though sometimes you really didn't need it): thanks. I expected to hate all of you, but it has been really great to learn that there are some really fun undergrads at this school. And to those of you who said/wrote to me to thank me, it really does mean a lot that you noticed how hard I worked and I wish you all the best of luck. Even though you're basically all premeds.

Yikes, now I'll actually have to do lab stuff all the time again. Uh oh.

Monday, May 02, 2005

I'm happy to report that the monthlong Meet the Press Popefest seems to finally be over! Good thing, too, since I got so sick of it I actually stopped watching Tim. Pretty hard core.

So, yay Tim for standing up to that Prick, Andy Card (Bush's chief of staff). I always get so excited when Tim doesn't let pols pull shit like not actually answering any questions. You could totally tell Tim was getting pissed at all the dodging, and poor Card could only try to parrot the admin's lines and think of creative ways to avoid answering actual questions, and not totally sell out Tom Delay but not defend him too much either. The man must be some sort of acrobat. The second half was way less exciting - "can Democrats and Republicans agree on Social Security?" Um, no. That's why there are two parties, silly. Though it was mighty clever of Bush/his aides to redo SS as welfare so the Dems can't object too much but the program will surely die! Really, I do respect that level of deviousness.

In life news...pancakes and beer were mad fun, though crushboy begged off. I suppose that's fair, considering he is in the middle of prelims and I remember how wretched that was. Though in retrospect, it doesn't seem so bad, considering I have to do an abstract for SFN, a poster for SBN, have a thesis committee meeting (and find one more person the be on it, thanks Gary), and MOVE within the next six weeks. Oh, and grade the 251 final and calculate all my kids' final grades and read their lab writeups. And, you know, get some actual data for the abstract/poster. So prelim? Ha! At least crushboy had the courtesy to call and say he wasn't coming for pancakes and beer and sound a little bit down about it. This whole process is way to drawn out for my liking.

So here's to the reintroduction of yeast and grains and especially booze into my diet. Yum.