May 31, 2008

50 books in 2008 update

Last 6 books I've finished:
Have a Nice Doomsday, Nicholas Guyatt
Jesus Freaks, Don Lattin
Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (highly, highly recommend)
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Raymond Carver (love)
The Dracula Dossier, James Reese
This Common Secret, Susan Wicklund

Books waiting to be read:
Plotted, Shot and Painted, J. Cheryl Exum
Breathing for a Living, Laura Rothenberg
The House of God, Samuel Shem
Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush, Eric Boehlert
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco (on my reading list for 5+ years now... the day I finish this will be the day I get a real job)
God's Problem, Bart Ehrman
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, Louise Murphy
I also have Nick Hornby's How To Be Good waiting as standby. I've already read it but I know it's good.

Books I've started but haven't finished:
Shakespeare's Wife, Germaine Greer
The Veil Unveiled: The Hijab in Modern Culture, Faegheh Shirazi
The Call of the Weird, Louis Theroux

Most of the books waiting to be read are library books so I have to have somewhat quick turn around, or at least renew them. Some are from the U library and some are from the Minneapolis Public Library, so the non-U of M books need to be returned in about three weeks. I'm getting a lot of reading time in while I'm on the bus to and from work. It's about a 35-40 minute bus ride, so I get plenty of reading time.

Andrew comes home today!

May 27, 2008

Long overdue update!

Well, I've successfully handed in papers, moved out of my apartment, flown home to Wisconsin, enrolled at the University of Minnesota and returned to the Twin Cities for the summer... all in the past week.

It was my great grandma's 90th birthday party this past weekend, so I was able to see my extended family for the first time since Christmas, plus we all congregated at a bar with pictures of the pope. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

I wish I could have spent more time in Green Bay, but my summer class started today so I needed to be back. My mom got a cold this weekend, so I could have stayed at home with her to cook her soup and take care of her! We went to downtown DePere for the Memorial Day parade, which was fun. Kari says she wants to be a Civil War re-enactor after seeing them in the parade. I got sunburned.

Today was my first French class since high school. It was pretty good... A lot of stuff I remembered quickly and some I didn't. I looked up my instructor in the U directory and apparently she's not even a PhD student but a Masters candidate. I don't have any problems with her teaching the course or anything, it's just a little depressing that we're at the same education level and she's teaching a class. True, it's Beginning French, but still. She's getting paid to be there and I'm the one paying her. When do I get to start teaching classes? I think I'm going to put together a syllabus on Jesus movies for a teaching opportunity through the residential colleges at Yale. Non-professors apply to teach self-made seminars at the residential colleges, so I'm going to apply for that at the beginning of the year. I'm going to work on my syllabus over the summer and get feedback from the various advisors/professors I've worked with over the years. Take that, French instructor! Just kidding. She seems cool.

I told Kari that after one day of class, I can already tell the difference between MY schools and a public state-school education. hah, it's fun pretending to be elitist. This is the third university I've been enrolled at... lots of fun.

Andrew comes home on Saturday! yay! I'm excited. I miss him.

I've passed the halfway mark for my 50 book goal. I finished Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love before I left New Haven and The Dracula Dossier (soon-to-be-published) the other night. Now I'm 30 or so pages into Shakespeare's Wife by Germaine Greer, a book I've been wanting to read and one that Tessa highly recommended. Exciting. Now that I'm a U of M student, I'm going to get an ID card tomorrow so I can check books out of the library. When I told Kari, she said I was like the guy in Breakfast Club who gets a fake ID so he can vote. At least I'm not committing voter fraud.

May 19, 2008

I'm allergic to your face!

As I've been packing my apartment in the past few days, I've sneezed a couple times. I assumed it was from dusty books and things like that, but today as I was blowing my runny nose with threat of sneezing it occurred to me perhaps I'm allergic to something.

There was a few years/summers as a kid that I thought I was allergic to campfire smoke (I don't even know if you can be, but whatever), and I've taken allergy medicine before for something. Maybe I'm allergic to Connecticut summers. At least I'm not allergic to fragrances like Tessa's roommate.

Moving today. Yuck.

May 18, 2008

Have I been under the bus?

When did the phrase "throw under the bus" become popular? I've only noticed people using it in the past few years; I think first on Top Chef. How did I miss knowing this phrase before this point?

May 16, 2008

Whose house? My house, say what say what!

You know how I said I wanted to get my paper done by Thursday, Wednesday if I was doing really well? Wouldn't you know, I finished my paper on Wednesday. I think this is one of the first times I've set a deadline for myself and actually met it. Maybe not. I was pretty good at meeting my deadlines for my honors project. Anyway, first time this year. I feel like I've been plagued with procrastination since I've been at YDS, and this semester I've done really well with finishing my papers on time, if not early. And with that... I'm done for the semester. Halfway done with my masters. Holy crap, my friends.

Tessa's coming up tomorrow to celebrate with me before I leave the Eastern Time Zone for the summer. I mass emailed a bunch of friends, so hopefully some of them will be able to go out drinking tomorrow night. Other people with extended deadlines are finishing up around now too, so people are more free to be out late.

I'm heading back to Green Bay in less than a week, on the 21st. Whoo! I have to pack my apartment and move before then, but it's doable. I'm still figuring out how to move my stuff, but some friends offered to help and to let me use their cars. I'm still trying to figure out the large furniture, but I think it's just the futon, desk and bed that's too big to fit in a car. Maybe this chair, too, but it's getting pretty beat up. I love it, but it kills the back sometimes. I've used it since my sophomore year and it's stayed in pretty good condition that whole time. When I moved from Minneapolis to Green Bay at the end of last summer, we didn't have an enclosed trailer so it got rained on, unfortunately. I think that's why the leather is ripping a lot more.

I didn't get that internship I applied for, unfortunately, which majorly blows. When they called me, I was working on my paper and it pretty much stagnated any work I was doing. I don't know if the thought of going through the whole job search process was demoralizing or what, but it just felt really shitty to have to start all over again. Anyway, I hadn't seriously considered it before then, but I decided to take language classes at the U for the summer. I mean, I'm going to have to take French classes eventually for my PhD so this just means I don't have to take any next year. It's going to cost less at the U than at Yale, so it does make sense to take it now. I sent Kari the relevant information and had her run over to the French department to get the necessary signatures, so I should be a-ok registration wise.

I'm going to get a part time job so there's some cash flow this summer, and since there's people living in the Catholic house over the summer plus the 8 tenets for the fall, the rent is ridiculously cheap - between $200 and $250. So it seems like everything is going to work out for the summer... it's just kind of ironic that I spent so much time on the internships, between applying and interviewing for a different department, waiting for them to make a decision, and then interviewing for another department and waiting for that decision... I mean, I sent in my application before I went to Ireland, back in February. And then after they shot me down, it was pretty much a couple of hours later I knew what I was going to do. My registration form was to the French department less than 24 hours after they called.

For any students having trouble selling back textbooks, I highly recommend Abebooks Buyback. They'll buyback your books and pay for shipping, too. They don't take all books, but I had really good luck with mine. I'm sending in two boxes worth of books and making $50 bucks off of it. Not too shabby, I have to say. Plus I'm sending them off in the weird shaped boxes that will be awkward for moving. Anyway, I'm making money and getting rid of some of my stuff. Win-win, in my opinion. If only they took DVDs... I want to sell the ones I don't watch anymore and cut down on my DVD collection.

I've really enjoyed posting at Female Impersonator, the feminist blog I mentioned awhile back. Anyway, if you want to read what I've been writing, here are some of the ones I've enjoyed writing/been proud of: Are Sex and the City incompatible? and How to save money by looking like Barbie. Some of the things I've written have been linked to by much bigger feminist blogs, so that's pretty exciting. My friend Lisa says it's like I have a cool feminist internet persona. I don't know if I'd call it that, but it is cool.

Anyway, huzzah to me for being done with school! Huzzah for Tessa! Huzzah for $50 just by pulling books off my shelves! Huzzah for summer classes! (I'm probably going to regret this one).

May 11, 2008

School's out for ... someone that's not me.

Well, finals week is over so that means that finals are over. Except for people like me, who have papers due much later than everyone else. A blessing and a curse, let me tell you. It's nice that I didn't have to rush to get my paper done this week, but at the same time, having a deadline so far in the future (May 24) makes it hard for me to actually be productive now. I need to be productive now, since I'm flying home in 10 days and I need to pack and move my apartment by then. When I look around my apartment, I'm like "yeah, I don't have that much stuff!" but then I remembered moving here and all of the things I've acquired since then (thank you, YDS bookstore).

As finals end and people are more free to have fun, I'm kind of sad that I won't be around for the summer. I like New Haven and I like all of the people I'm living with next year - plus the current roommates who will be in the catholic house for the summer. I spent this weekend pretending I was done with work, which was nice but now I have to start writing my paper. Friday was Community Dinner, which I'm actually going to be coordinating next year, so I went early and helped set up. It was a ton of fun, mostly because after the dinner, some people still around started dancing and we had an impromptu dance party. True, much of it was fueled by the keg and wine from dinner (not to mention the beer run before the liquor stores closed), but it was so much fun. There were maybe 15 or 20 people still left, and some more came when they heard the music from the common room. I felt like shit the next morning (and afternoon) - but let me tell you, div schoolers know how to dance.

Then yesterday I went out with some friends for Chinese food and then to the bar (a really loud screamo band was playing. yuck). They'll all be around for the summer, working or taking classes or some of my friends are going to Israel for awhile, but they'll all be here having fun. I suppose I'm going to have just as much fun in MSP, but it makes me sad nonetheless. But Andrew's not in New Haven, or Kari or Mom or Amy and Drew. Plus I promised Nat I'd come visit her in Nebraska over the summer and it's a lot shorter drive from MSP than New Haven.

I'm going to go eat some leftover Chinese now... Procrastinate a little more before I get my work done. I'm self-imposing a deadline of Thursday, hopefully Wednesday. Tessa is probably coming down on Friday, so I want to hang out with her and I want to start packing. Bacher out!

May 8, 2008

I have the caffeine tolerance of a small rodent

Last night at 3 AM I realized just how much caffeine affects me. I had two cups of tea in the morning before my job interview (which went off really well!) at noon, and then two cups of coffee between 4 and 7. I'd say I had stopped drinking the coffee around 6 or 6:30, if anything, having small tastes of my cold coffee by then.

So assuming I stopped drinking my coffee at 6:30, I didn't fall asleep until 3 or 3:30. That's 9 hours. What the heck. I know I can't drink soda after 6 or 7 because it'll keep me up until 2ish, but afternoon coffee? Seriously.

I didn't even get any work done from being up that late. I'm at a point in my paper where I have to take a look at what I've written and I have to figure out how I want to structure the rest of my paper so it fits in the exam guidelines. I didn't want to start that, only to get sleepy and have to stop in the middle. I'm planning on getting this done today so once I finish this post, I'm being productive until I either finish this paper or die of natural causes.

Even crazier, I woke up at 8 this morning without my alarm. I lay in bed with my eyes closed for the next hour trying to sleep until my alarm at 9. What is with that?

May 5, 2008

Computer failure! And how to hopefully avoid the lost-file freakout

As the school year is winding down and finals week has begun, my mind always tries to think of the worst case scenario, just so when that doesn't happen, I'm excited.

One of my Finals '08 Worst Case Scenario is a computer failure - a complete loss of everything on my hard drive. I'm not going to lie... My laptop is pretty much my life. It's got homework, old homework, bank statements, music, pictures, internets... everything. It's beginning to show physical signs of wear - there's a worn out spot from where my hand sits on the computer, some worn out spots from where I pick up my laptop, the keys I use a lot are a little worn down (plus the right side of my space bar... I only space with my right hand). My laptop is only two years old so the internal stuff should be working fine. It's just physically showing my love.

Anyway, as I internally semi-freak out about that, I'm looking into new ways of backing up my hard-drive. In the past I've burned discs, but that often takes a lot of discs and a lot of time. Plus, if everything in my apartment gets burned up, that doesn't really help me much.

I'm thinking about investing in an external hard drive and backing up my info there. Just from a little bit of searching, those tend to be $100+ (which I won't be able to afford until I start my summer job... but I'm not planning on doing anything until after finals anyway). Does anyone use these and are they any good?

Another option I've come across is Mozy Online Backup, which for a monthly fee of $5 backups everything over the internet. I'm kind of leaning towards this one, personally. Actually, I just noticed they have a free 2GB service. I'm going to try this out in the meantime to test it out. If anyone is interested in testing it out too, here's a referral link that gets both of us extra storage space.

So this was meant to be a post asking for advice on backing up files, and now I'm telling you to test out this Mozy site. A bit of a turn-around... but that's ok. I'm still interested in what people use and how effective it is. It has to be financially smart, as well. I'm not wasting money on something I'll hardly ever use.

Time to write a paper about 25th Hour. Bacher out.

And my lost necklace and lost Daily Show tickets were the only two disappointments of the weekend (apart from it raining and being cloudy). Thanks for cheering me up, friends, mom and Andrew!

May 2, 2008

Crappy day.

These past 24 hours haven't been the best of my life, to be honest.

I saw the Daily Show had tickets available for their taping in St. Paul during the Republican National Convention in early September. I'll be back at school by then, so I sent links around to my friends in the Cities, to Andrew, to Kari. They had two days open so I thought they'd have a great chance to get tickets. I get a message from Andrew a few hours later asking me if I had reserved tickets. Yeah, they were already all booked by then. Damn it! I should have just reserved some and not forwarded links. I felt really bad about it since I saw there were two days available, but I didn't think to. Anyway, I reserved tickets for the regular taping in New York the weekend of Andrew's fall break, so hopefully he'll be able to come out and visit me and we can go then. It's the first weekend in May and already I've reserved tickets for late October. Crazy.

Second disappointment was this morning when I was getting ready, I accidentally knocked my amber cross off the ledge into my sink, where it broke into two pieces and fell down the drain. I would have tried to fish it out but it was already broken and I was going to be late for work. I got that in high school in Lithuania... I've had it for a really long time and I'd been meaning to get a new string for it. And now it's gone forever. I feel really bad about that too.

Apart from that, life has been just regular. So regular + bad things = crappy day. I'm just going to hole up in my apartment and do nothing all weekend. I'm going to see if I can wear my sweatpants all weekend long. I think I can do it. I have a paper due on Friday that I should start, but that can wait still. I usually don't get down about stuff, but those things separately blow and together just are super, super lame.

Oh yeah! Plus last night I had a dream that my whole family ended up dying and my parents died and Kari died and I don't know if Erich killed them, but then I knew I had to leave our house (I knew it was our house but it wasn't our actual house, if you know what I mean), but I could go and it was sad but then Erich died too... I don't know. It was kinda upsetting.

I wouldn't say that I'm depressed about this stuff, but I'm not happy about it either. I don't know. Maybe I'm just ready for the semester to be over. Maybe it needs to stop raining! It was sunny out last week and I was in a good mood. Now it's rained and been cloudy the past few days. That's it... It's the weather's fault.