31 May 2009


Go here to enter to win a free copy of "The Night Gardener" by George Pelecanos.

28 May 2009

My Life These Days

Monday and Friday: 7:00-3:30 Work
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 8:00-4:30 Work; 5:10-7:50 Calc I

Sixteen weeks worth of Calc I in six weeks.

Some school better fucking accept me. If I don't get my PhD after this hellacious term, I'ma be pissed.

Yes, I did CHOOSE to do it this way, but I have my reasons, mostly having to do with the maintenance of my sanity. I don't think I can stand to work this job three more years, so I've accelerated my pre-PhD schedule. I'll do Calc I this summer, Calc II and III next academic year, Linear Algebra next summer, and then use the following year to re-take the GRE and apply to as many schools as I can afford.

I have a good handle on which schools I'm DEFINITELY applying to, but I still need to figure out a few "safety schools." Speaking of, is there even such a thing as a safety school when it comes to PhDs???? I mean, I've already got the "I have no chance in hell, but let's give this Asian female thing a ride and see where it takes us" schools picked out, but something tells me I also need to be a bit realistic, too.

On to bed. Big midterm this Tuesday. Am still exhausted from weekend.

Promise to get back to updating re: race weekend soon.

26 May 2009

The Race That Wasn't: Part I

Friday: I worked slightly more than half a day, then went home to pack. I’d been amassing a Pile o’ Stuff to pack this weekend, but had yet to do important things like, say, retrieve my luggage from basement storage. Things packed, I then settled in to wait for my ride to the airport. The flight itself was uneventful, although there was a scare while I was waiting to board when I went to pull out my laptop, only to discover that I’d left it at security. I ran back and got it from a TSA agent who was only slightly appalled that I was so grateful I (a) started crying as soon as I saw it, and (b) offered her a tip for noticing it was left on the belt and safely storing it for me. This would be the first of several crying jags during this three-day mini-vacation. [cue scary foreshadowing music]

I arrived at the airport a bit early, although we took off exactly on time and had no delays in the air. How is this possible you ask? Because the Philadelphia airport is SO notorious for its late departures that some airlines are now scheduling waiting-on-tarmac time INTO their flight time. Since my flight had no waiting-on-tarmac time, we got to the destination about 25 minutes early.

It was nice to see Sara, who was kind enough to make the 90 minute trip to the airport (yes, there are closer airports, but this one was cheaper BY FAR to fly into than the closer ones). We went straight from the airport to a sushi restaurant, where good sushi was enjoyed. While I was tempted by the notion of sake infused with pineapple and ginger, I resisted since it was served warm, rather than cold.

When we got to her place, I declared myself exhausted (it was past midnight at this point, and I had woken up at 5:30 a.m. for work). So to relax before going to bed, I worked on some calculus problems. Go derivatives!!!!

Saturday: I slept in (until 7:30 a.m.). We went to two different LYSes. One of them, I bought nothing but roving (some for a gift for Brook; although if she doesn’t want, I’ll be FORCED to keep it for myself - ha!). I bought three skeins of yarn at the other one, after delivering a mini-lecture on how H1N1 flu virus is NOT a deadly evil.

Then back to the airport to pick up my mom. There was some confusion when she was told to meet us at baggage claim, and was waiting for us at the bag check station, but when I spotted a woman wandering around in Michael Waltrip blue and yellow, I broke into a run and damn near tackled the poor woman! I hadn’t seen my mom since Christmas break, and it was SOOOO good to see her - especially for something as exciting at the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway!!!! Whooo!

Then to a grocery store for tailgating stuffs, except Mom decided to not take a bunch of stuff, and she would buy us food at the track. With her Sjogren’s, it’s sometimes easier for her to just pay for the convenience than to do a lot of walking and expend a lot of energy. And, although we’ve never been to an LMS race, we have done SEVERAL years at Kansas Speedway, and we knew a lot of walking would be involved. And, if you’re me, sometimes some running and sometimes some jumping up and down (my inner four-year-old tends to come out at the mention of harem members - it’s endearing. No, really, it is.)

Next, we arrived at Sara’s place to settle in for the evening - supper, watching the Nationwide race, and programming the scanners. Mom was bitterly disappointed when Mike Bliss won the rain-shortened NNS race. [cue more scary foreshadowing music] “I don’t want Mike Bliss to win because then I’ll have to listen to his squeaky voice during the interview.”

We debate about what time to go to the race. Mom and I are used to waking up somewhere in the neighbourhood of 4:30-5:00 a.m. and leaving no later than 5:30 a.m. for race day. Sara didn’t want to get up that early, and since she was the one hosting us and driving, we deferred to her and decided to shoot for an 8:00 a.m. leaving, with leaving no later than 8:30 a.m.

Will post about Sunday later when I'm not supposed to be finishing supper and going to bed.

15 May 2009

Wow - WHAT just happened????

Yesterday, I went downstairs to Mahogany Hall (where all the VIPs' offices are) to pick up our paycheques.

By the time I left, I had somehow been signed up to participate on Temple's Dragon Boat team. I'm still not sure how that happened.

Not sure what a dragon boat is? Check it out here.

14 May 2009

I am a Lucky Girl, Indeed

Last week on Ravelry, I was one of the co-stars of a Giant Train Wreck. This train wreck spanned three boards and five threads. One of the boards was The Mod Squad, which is for the moderators of different boards to discuss issues, brainstorm, commiserate, etc.

One of those threads turned into a discussion about candy. One post was about Aero bars, which I have never heard of. So Ria was sweet enough to send me two of them. They are GOOOOOOD. Then another post mentioned Pop Rocks Candy Bars. SOOOO GOOOOOD. A little party in my mouth. I may be addicted. Melissa was sweet enough to also include several really adorable stitch markers in her package. Thanks!!! I love them!!!!

Last week, I sent out a plea for the issue of Sports Illustrated that featured Kansas City Royal Zack Greinke (the ONLY Royal to ever be featured on the cover of SI alone - as in, not the team winning the World Series, etc.). Vicki was kind enough to send it to me. And she included an extra little surprise in there - two Aero bars (one of them a variety that Ria hadn't sent me)!!!

And I had the pleasure of my Rav mail box being flooded with PMs from people supporting me and trying to help me out.

So - in the past week, I got five candy bars, five stitch markers, and a magazine. All from knitters, two of whom I have never met, one of whom I only "met" online last week because of the Great Train Wreck. And that doesn't begin to measure the fun I've had getting to know new people and reading their blogs.

That other guy in the Great Train Wreck - what did he get? As far as I know, he got several new nicknames (none of them flattering), several Phantom Disagreers, and the distinction of being a Grade A Tool. Bravo.

12 May 2009

Great Strides, Part III

When Kate found out that I was going to try to help her (in my own little way) try to fundraise, she asked if adding some context to the story would help. I told her that if she felt comfortable doing so, explaining why this story is so personal could only help.

The following is what she sent me:
The joke in my family is that my Uncle Jay, despite his mere 46 years, is actually 97 years old in cystic fibrosis (CF) years. That is, my uncle has outlived his own life expectancy (13 years at the time he was born) and has outlived the life expectancy of a child born today with CF (32 years). While the joke helps us make light of this genetic disorder my family carries, it also understates the struggle my uncle faces with a disease that will ultimately claim his life. This same disease took the life of his older brother Johnny, who never made it past 13 and who never benefited from the progress made by Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) and the CF community. This summer, I witnessed this progress first-hand. After a culture of Jay's lung fluid came back positive for a nearly always fatal bacteria, Jay immediately began an aersolized lung antibiotic. This innovative $4000/month treatment wasn't available 5 years ago, which would have subjected Jay to a most uncertain future. Today, he is healthy and continues to defy the odds. Although to me he may be Superman, without the CFF and the funds raised through Great Strides, he might have been another uncle I never knew. I am grateful for all the support and hope that you can help me Add Tomorrows Every Day!

Please go here to make your donation. And remember that if you mention my name in the comments, you will receive a drawing entry for every five dollars you donate.

The prize is the winner's CHOICE of EITHER a $20 Visa Gift Card OR a $20 KnitPicks gift card, so as to include non-knitters in the fun.

11 May 2009

Great Strides, Part II

I blogged earlier today about my good friend Kate and her fund-raising for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I spoke to Kate just now, and she has graciously permitted me to make this offer (inspired by the amazing, inspiring, awesome Jen and her MS Walk fundraising efforts).

If you donate to Kate's Great Strides team by going to this page, I will give you a drawing entry for every five dollars you donate. What's the drawing for? A $20 gift card to KnitPicks!

Just be sure to mention my name in the comments so Kate and I will know who has earned how many drawing entries.

ETA: I have decided to make the prize the winner's CHOICE of EITHER a $20 Visa Gift Card OR a $20 KnitPicks gift card, so as to include non-knitters in the fun.

Great Strides

My friend Kate is once again participating in the Great Strides walk, which benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Please consider making a donation to her team. You can donate easily and securely at this page.

Thank you.

My Rainbow

Your rainbow is intensely shaded orange, brown, and gray.


What is says about you: You are an elegant person. You appreciate the roughness of nature. You feel closer to people when you understand their imperfections. Others are amazed at how you don't give up.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

02 May 2009

Cracking my shit up

On 03 October 2007, I posted the following to my blog:

An open letter to open-wheel drivers

If you wanted to drive stock cars, you shouldn't have been such a NASCAR snob when you chose to drive the open-wheeled cars.

You don't belong here, you can't drive here, and you are NOT welcome here.

See how we treat Juan Problem? Hear all the boos he gets? Expect nothing better when you transition... even if your wife is Ashley Judd.

Leave us the fuck alone. You are WAY out of your league in the stock cars.


Today (02 May 2009, for the record), I received the following reply to my post:

Subject: Please, help me, brothers!!!
Huh! I want to download program X-Rumer 5.07 Palladium free. Have you any download link???
I'm so need this magic program! It's can break captchas automatically! Activate accounts via email automatically too! Absolutely great software! Help me!
And did you hear news - price for XRumer 5.0 Palladium will grow up to $540 after 15 may 2009... And XRumer 2.9 and 3.0 - too old versions, it's cant break modern catpchas and cant break modern anti-bot protections. But XRumer 5.0 Palladium CAN!!!!
So help me for download this great soft for free! Thanks!


Yes, I realise I'm being spammed, but it's still cracking me up to no end.