Friday, December 31, 2004

Twenty Minutes Short

Happy New Years Eve!

I went out this morning for 1.5 hours and now I'm exhausted and want to go back to sleep. Unfortunately, that means I'm going to be missing a gorgeous day. It's 54 degrees and sunny! At the end of December! In Chicago! Unreal.

Anyway, it's been such an off morning.

I finally got to sleep last night at 5, and tossed and turned for an hour or so before I finally woke up. By the time I finally got out of bed at 8:30, I found myself so disoriented because my clock has always been 15 minutes fast and it was on time. Late!

After I drove Alvin to work, I drove down to the school, thinking I could pick up my homework assignments. After all, class starts on Monday, and usually there's stuff due for the first day. First, the exit I would normally take off the highway is closed, sending me through a questionable neighborhood. Second, the school is closed! I couldn't get in with my ID card. If people need assignments for Monday, and the school is closed Friday and Saturday, you expect anyone who didn't stay in Chicago to trek to the school on Sunday? All of them? That's just dumb.

So then I went to the bookstore and spent $230 on heavy books that I probably don't really want to keep. And 50 cents on the meter, where every quarter is supposed to buy you 30 minutes, but my 50 cents bought me 40 minutes.

Drove home, thinking about what a beautiful day it was and how I really wanted to take a nap. And about how all the little things were weird this morning. Maybe a nap will restart the day.

What are my plans for the rest of the day? Nap, find something to eat for lunch, clean up a little bit, shower, pack, pick Alvin up from work, go out to the suburbs and have a fun NYE. Oh, and write my 2004 reflection and resolutions. And probably post stuff I wrote yesterday at the airport that I haven't posted online yet. And if it's early enough, watch part of a movie. And do some work. Yeah.... right. :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Sadness and Loss

RIP, Jerry Orbach.

It's so sad. :( And to me it's so shocking, even though I knew he had cancer, probably because I watch so much Law & Order, so it's like I've seen him every day. He will be missed. Briscoe was my favorite.

There's just so much sadness and loss at the end of this year, and it's incredibly sad. I haven't even come to grips with the scale of loss from the tsunami in Asia, and that's probably why I haven't said anything about it. I can't get it out of my head, it keeps me up at night and I can't help being depressed over the whole thing - and there's absolutely nothing I can really do to help. (Of course, I'm planning to donate money, but while helping, it doesn't really feel like I'm doing anything...) Before Sunday, it seemed almost unfathomable that anything like this could actually happen. But now, we know all too well that it has.

I've never been to any of those countries in Asia, but I had been thinking about going to the beaches in Thailand during the month after the bar. I can't believe a place like Phuket can just be basically gone in an instant. My head hasn't been able to wrap itself around the devastation, despite the pictures and the news and the images. It's just so incredibly sad.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all! :)

I just watched the second half of Elf, which put me in a very Christmas-y spirit. It's so much fun. I need to wait for the DVD to go cheaper so I can buy it.

Anyway, keeping with the theme of Christmas, the AP has reported recently on the different types of parkers, just in time for the crush of shoppers on mall parking lots. I read this article on CNN a few days ago, but haven't been posting too much, so I'm posting about it now. What type of parker are you?

There's 4 types:
Search and destroyers roam the aisles, cruising endlessly for the perfect spot. Lay and wait parkers position themselves at the end of an aisle and wait for a space to open up in what they start to believe is their territory. Stalkers, the most predatory, slowly follow shoppers leaving the store back to their parking spot.

The three methods risk situations that can lead to stress or conflict. In Hrynyk's case, he was lucky he didn't run into another search and destroyer waiting for the same spot, said Ray Palermo, a spokesman for Response Insurance.

"It's not like road-rage, but it can cause a lot of stress, nevertheless," he said.

The favored method is to see it and take it, where shoppers don't care how far they have to walk. The company said it's less stressful and helps drivers save the most time.

Even the AAA likes this option. On its list of tips for surviving holiday driving, the automobile association advises people to "play the outfield. Outlying areas have more spaces, lighter traffic and a lower risk of collision."

I'm a see it and take it parker. I get so frustrated going up and down aisles looking for parking, and would much rather just park far away and walk. Keeps me sane. :) Anyway, what type are you?

Time to sleep or else Santa won't bring any presents. ;-) Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve Dinner

Every Christmas Eve, we usually have some sort of fish or seafood dinner. I don't know if it's a Catholic tradition or an Italian tradition, but it's sort of a Christmas Eve tradition we've always followed. Recently it's usually been some sort of broiled or baked salmon or cod with vegetables, but today we put an Asian twist on the tradition and had sushi. It's fish, so it qualifies! :) Yum!

The rolls we got from AKA Sushi:

Dynomite roll (yellowtail inside, crab meat outside), spicy salmon roll, Mexican roll (tuna, avocado, tempura flakes), tuna lover roll (tuna inside and out and topped with tempura crunch).

Phoenix roll (yellowtail & scallion in spicy sauce) and an eel/mango roll.

Yummy yummy yummy!

Thursday, December 23, 2004


Wow, that was one crazy weather day.

Went out to Manhattan to take my grandmother to the doctor, and of course, it's the worst weather day of the week. Pouring rain, 40-60 mph winds... my jeans were soaked from my waist to the ends, my socks could be wringed out and my sneakers were holding lots of water. My jacket was soaked through to the inside, I didn't have a hood, my umbrella must have blown out twenty times in addition to the times when it pushed me in the reverse direction down the street or pushed me from behind so I went flying down the sidewalk.

Getting to the bus to go home was a horribly drenching experience from which I recovered by downing Haribo gummy bears like happy pills. It was the worst part of the storm when we were traveling. And walking around all day in the rain was such a tiring workout! I was so hungry by the time we got home that I ate so much moo shu chicken... and now my legs feel like they're going to give out, I'm bundled up with a case of the chills, and I'm exhausted and it's not even midnight.

I just heard on the TV weather report that there were "squall lines." Well that's no surprise considering how bad the curtains of rain were. I'm so tired that I think I might head to bed soon. Tired!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Cuisine Mode

Check it out: the cuisine mode on this camera would be great for me! Optimizing photo conditions for indoor photography? Yes!

The site's author writes, "It seems that the rage in Japan these days is photographing your restaurant meal before chowing down." Yay! Sounds like me. :) Maybe it's time for a trip to Japan - I guess I wouldn't look out of place snapping photos before eating. In the alternative, I can just play a Japanese tourist in America... and it would all make sense. ;-)

Would write more, but it's late and I need to sleep. Especially if I'm going to make it to Gap Body in the morning to get some of the $1.99 Christmas underwear. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Week in Review

Here's my week in review for 12/13-12/19. (Of course, I just wrote 11/13, showing my inability to know today's date.) If you want to see more pictures, go to the photoblog. I've actually updated it, and put some additional pictures there to make this entry a little shorter. But due to my constant inability to edit cut content, there's only a few more pictures there than here. But you should still check it out. Sometime over break, I'll add all the pictures I've been meaning to add all along. I'll let you know. Or you can just check it out. :)

Anyway, back to the week in review.

On Monday, Amy and Perry came to visit Chicago. I've seen Amy more in the past 2 months than I did the entire time since graduation before that (3 v. zero), so I'm glad she's in Iowa this year. ;-) Anyway, Monday was a slow day, just hanging out and then we went to dinner at Cafe Iberico. (For more information on any of the food mentioned in here, for information on the establishments or photographs of the food, please see this post.)

I've missed how much fun college used to be:

Here's me and Alvin, looking normal :)

We decided to do lots of sightseeing on Tuesday. I'm glad Perry reminded me that some of the museums were free on Tuesday, because that gave us a lot of free entertainment ("getting cultured for free!") and because I haven't been to that many museums. Before Tuesday, I'd only been to the Field Museum (school gala) and the aquarium.

After having brunch at the West Egg Cafe, our first stop was the Adler Planetarium, where we played computer games about gravity, made craters in the sand by shooting tiny glass balls, rode in the Atwood sphere, and didn't go to any of the shows because they weren't free.

The planetarium, the aquarium and the Field Museum are all located on Museum Campus, this area near Soldier Field that juts out into the lake. One of the great things about Museum Campus is the beautiful view of the Chicago skyline.

It's beautiful... but it was cold. Perry and Amy were lucky to visit on what was probably the coldest day in Chicago so far this season. What luck. (Of course, as I'm writing this, it's colder in NYC than it was that day in Chicago - no negative wind chills that day!)

Our second stop was the Shedd Aquarium. Alvin and I love the aquarium - the fish are so cute! And so funny... last time, one of the big fish was yawning at us, and the otters were swimming so playfully and fun. This time, there was a paddlefish that wouldn't shut its mouth, some little baby turtles that looked like they were all kissing, and of course, more fawning over the cute little clownfish.

At the aquarium, you can see fish in the exhibits (aww, just like Nemo!)...

... and in the gift shop!

After the aquarium, we took a cab to the Art Institute, which was also free, but unfortunately it was already closed. So we walked down to Millennium Park, and I got my first glimpse of the Jellybean at night!

On the west side of the Bean, you can see the ice skating rink at Millennium Park... pretty!

Keeping with the culture theme, our next stop was the Museum of Contemporary Art. I officially love the MCA. They have this great China exhibit right now with some really interesting work, and also this exhibit called Correction, which really made me think. If you're in Chicago, the MCA is free on Tuesdays from 5 to 8 (thanks, Marshall Fields!), so you should check it out. :)

Then we went for dinner at Kamehachi. (Again, see food post if you want more.)

Amy, Sam and Perry:

Trekked home in the cold, had some hot chocolate, played on the PS2 and watched the Princess Bride. Woohoo!

Amy had to leave after lunch on Wednesday, but Perry and I braved the wind to go to Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier. Every year, LaSalle Bank sponsors the event and they turn the festival hall at Navy Pier into this big magically decorated wonderland. The games are great for kids and the atmosphere really got you into the Christmas mood.

View from the entrance:

My favorite part was the Santas Around the World exhibit where they talked about different Christmas traditions:

And in second place where the trees decorated by various consulates:

In the regular part of Navy Pier, Santa has set up shop... but when he's on break, the carolers take over!

Snowflakes are pretty. :)

After running errands and before yoga on Thursday, I went for a walk to soak in the holiday spirit of the Magnificent Mile. The trees were lit in the Festival of Lights back in November, and they frame the street in rows of twinkling lights. Here's some pictures:

On Friday, Alvin and I went to lunch at Joy Yee's (again, see here) because I was craving bubble tea. At night, we went to a potluck in the South Loop to celebrate the marriage of one of Alvin's frisbee teammates. It was fun, but unfortunately, we had to leave early because I had to pack for my early morning flight.

Saturday was a wasted day. I raced to the airport for my 8 am flight on no sleep, was knocked out on the plane, got home, had lunch, took a 3 hour nap, went to Brooklyn and had dinner, slept for another hour or so, got home, blogged and went to sleep. Woohoo, productivity!

Sunday was a mega-shopping day for Christmas presents at the mall in Jersey, capped off with a visit to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Here's a shot of my parents with all the food - Louisiana Chicken Pasta, Angel Hair with Shrimp, and Stuffed Chicken Tortillas. You can sort of see my Georgia Peach drink too. :)

Came home and watched Desperate Housewives and Boston Legal. DH is great. :)

And thus ended a fun-filled and exciting week! Yay!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Sights and Sounds

Some things I saw yesterday in the middle of my shopping spree on my first full day in the Tri-State area for break:
  • A truck where the guy painted an American flag on the back window and underneath it, wrote, "WTC - FDNY - NYPD = WAR!!!" I was so disgusted, because I think it's more probable than not that the guy who wrote that was talking about the war in Iraq, not Afghanistan.
  • A girl with a button on her coat that was blue with an American flag that said, "Support President Bush and our troops." Troops, yes, but I don't think it's a certainty that Bush must go along with that troop support.
  • More of those car ribbons - everywhere.
I did a lot of shopping yesterday. I've got some more gift stuff to do this week, but at least I'm jumpstarted on my Christmas shopping way. Off to run some errands/write some cards.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Yummy Eats

I thought about titling this post "Good Eats" but I didn't want to get in trouble with the Food Network, since I love them so much. (Not that this has ever stopped me before, but "Yummy Eats" isn't a bad title either, since it's accurate.)

Here's pictures of some of the yummy food I've eaten over the past week. I know I could have saved this for the week in review, but I didn't want that post to get too too too long.

Ever since exams have ended, I've been treating myself to (and have been treated to) some yummy treats. On Saturday, right after exams ended, Alvin and I hit Chipotle for a quick dinner and then had some good food at the holiday party. Sunday brought a trip to Silver Spoon for some great Thai and Japanese food; I posted some pictures in last week's week in review (linked).

Two of my college friends came to visit from out of town from Monday to Wednesday, so there was much dining indulgence to be had. (I'll talk more about this in the upcoming week in review, but this post is all about the food.) Monday, Perry and I hit Burrito Beach for lunch where I had their baja chipotle chicken but in a salad bowl. Yum.

For dinner, we all went to Cafe Iberico in River North. It's a tapas place that's always crowded, and the line on weekends can go down the street. It's almost impossible to get a table. Since we went on a Monday night, it wasn't so bad, but considering that it was a Monday after 8 pm, the place was packed. We even had to wait a few minutes for a table! We split 8 tapas.

Here's the beef skewers and "special" potatoes:

The "special" potatoes again, along with the patatas bravas, the mushrooms and the tortilla espanola (one of my favorites):

We also got the baked goat cheese which was yummy, a tuna/carrots/peas salad, and some chicken/ham croquettes. My favorite tapas at Iberico so far are the goat cheese, the patatas bravas and the tortilla espanola.

On Tuesday, we went for brunch at the West Egg Cafe near my apartment before going out for our day of sightseeing. This cafe gets really crowded, especially for Sunday brunch, and the food's pretty good. I got a turkey burger, which was a really good price considering the fact that you get a side salad, a fruit cup and breakfast potatoes with it:

Everyone else got breakfast - eggs, corned beef hash, biscuits and gravy... What can I say, I like lunch food a lot more.

I'm not sure anyone really cares what I've been eating. But I'm posting it anyway. It's an addiction.

We went for dinner to Kamehachi, a sushi restaurant in Streeterville. After starting with seaweed salad, check out this yummy plate of sushi:

I don't know the names of all the rolls, but they were really good and much more affordable than I had thought Kamehachi was. I love beautiful sushi rolls; it's like great art.

Wednesday, we went back to the West Egg Cafe for lunch where I toyed with the idea of getting a turkey burger again, but instead went for a cold turkey & cheese sandwich with avocado and sprouts. Not bad, but I'm more partial to the turkey burger. For dinner, Alvin and I went with his brother and sister-in-law to Aroma on Randolph for some good Thai food. I think Silver Spoon is better, but this was pretty good. I really liked the flavor of this ground chicken and string beans dish, until a jalapeno pepper (I think that's the type) numbed and burned my tongue. Oops.

Thursday was healthy: home-prepared lunch and salad for dinner. Woohoo!

On Friday, I was really craving bubble tea so Alvin took me to Joy Yee's to feed my addiction. I've had some trouble getting bubble tea in the past - last time they had closed up about a minute before scheduled, so I couldn't get any drinks. The time before that, they ran out of tapioca. At least the third time it worked out.

Here's our seaweed salad appetizer - so much for a good price:

Mmmmm.... peach!

Alvin got lychee, because I ordered peach before he had a chance... you can see his Hainanese chicken in the background:

I got Thai basil chicken fried rice (and finished it for breakfast before getting on the plane):

And then today, I finally got a Wendy's fix and had dinner at Wing Shing in Brooklyn. Mmm good Chinese food.

Mmm mmm good.

Early Morning Flight Story

I posted a while back about my sleeplessness before taking trips. I don't know what it is, but I'll always be up late doing something the night before flying somewhere or driving on a long trip. It's not that packing itself really takes me that long; I'm just slow and manage to do 10,000 other things inbetween writing my packing list and packing the last item. It's rare that I get much sleep before sunrise.

So I thought I'd try a new system: since I'm always up anyway, why not just take an early morning flight and sleep on the way? After all, wouldn't it be easier to get to the airport in the morning and have the whole day ahead of you once you land?

I tried that this time. I got a great price for my flight ($175!) and booked an 8 am flight out of Chicago. (I wouldn't do an early morning going to Chicago from home since I rely upon people to take me to the airport and public transportation isn't as accessible (or at all). I was hoping to take the train this time to the airport, but since I ended up flying on a Saturday morning, Alvin drove me. But at least he was opening at work, so he had to be awake anyway. Maybe just a little earlier than he would have had to have been otherwise. And I'm grateful.) :)

We ended up getting to O'Hare at 7:15 am, and boarding time was supposed to be 7:25. The airport was packed! It was so early on a Saturday morning - what were all these people doing there?? I thought Saturdays were supposed to be empty days for flying! But my flight was full.

Since I was running late, I was worried I wouldn't be able to put my carry-on in the overhead bin. I hate it when airlines require me to gate-check baggage. I get really angry...

And just my luck, I picked the wrong security line.

It was to the point where I was resting on my jacket in one of those plastic bins watching people move quickly through the other lines while I was at a standstill. Why did I make such a poor choice??

This choice of security lines slowed me up so much that I didn't get to run to the restroom on the way to the flight since I was so worried about the carry-on situation. There were indeed a lot of people at the gate. And after boarding, I was right to be worried. I got the last spot in the bin above my seat, and I was the first to board for my row section.

I'm getting ahead of myself in the story-telling. (Although, it's quite likely that no one's even reading this far, because this is quite a long post.)

Anyway, first class boarded and then elite boarded. They got to walk over a special rug that said Elite. Woohoo. Then they closed off that section and opened the regular boarding section without any special rug.

Let me just say that I think this is dumb. Of course, if you're elite, you love the fact that you can board early and there's never really a problem with your carry-ons. But getting to walk on a special rug? Give me a break. If I flew enough miles to get elite status, would walking over a special rug really be on my list of priorities for things I want as a reward for being elite? I also have issues with the whole elite thing in general; I think calling the program "elite status" is just a turn-off. Way to give a superiority complex to some people who really don't need even bigger heads. (I'm not saying everyone with elite status has a big ego, but there were definitely some of them today.) And was the thing that attracted these wonderful people to Continental's elite program the stupid rug they get to walk over?! The rug thing is just dumb...

So I finally was on the plane, in my seat, and forced myself to go to sleep so I wouldn't have to think about having to go to the bathroom. I woke up a few times, one time to drink water, but otherwise, was pretty passed out for the whole flight, even in the bright sunlight.

All in all, the flight experience wasn't too bad. It was crowded. I think ATA has more legroom (especially in the exit rows - the Continental exit rows are like regular rows instead of more room!). The elite status thing bothers me like a bad attitude (could also be lingering because of my last experience with Continental, where I suspected I was bumped off my confirmed flight because of an elite person). The security line sucked. But other than that, it was pretty okay.

We landed and were pulled in to Terminal C instead of Terminal A. A is usually Continental for Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas, and C is everything else. [I suspect that the flight attendant was kind of tired, because he was like, all connections other than Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas are in Terminal C. And he repeated it like 3 times. But who would have a connection back to Chicago?] I was surprised, and as we pulled in, couldn't remember if I had ever been in Terminal C before. Everything was so shiny and new! I walked around looking for a bathroom and when I finally found one in the next concourse of gates, it hit me.

I'd been here before. Everything was starting to look familiar. This was the same concourse that I'd been in last August when I wasn't allowed to go to Pittsburgh. Sigh.

Anyway, I finally found the bathroom. I took the monorail to meet my mom. Got Wendy's on the way home (mmm, chicken nuggets and Wild Mountain Chicken sandwich). Slept for 3 hours after watching part of Mean Girls again. Went out to Brooklyn for dinner with my grandparents and my aunt and uncle. Food was yummy, but I was too tired to play with my camera for pictures. Went back to my grandparents' house and fell asleep again, probably for an hour or so. Which explains why I'm still up now, chomping on pretzels and drinking some really really good apple - peach - passion fruit juice from Costco while blogging.

Going to do some more computer stuff (maybe picture sorting) to get more tired, and then it's off to sleepyland. Woohoo - I'm not setting the alarm!! Yay! How was your Saturday?

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Return Status

Back in New York.

Really tired. Just took a 3 hour nap. Whee.

Brain not processing much more than that, so I'll write more later. Let's just say that my flight was full, I raced to the airport, there were issues with the whole flying experience, but in all, it was about a million times better than my last experience with Continental. Which I was reminded of when I landed.

Off to dinner in Brooklyn.

Mean Girls

It's almost an hour before I need to be almost ready to go to the airport. And I'm still awake! Yay! That was the goal... I was getting worried because the past couple of days I was so tired around 2 and couldn't function. But I got in a mini-power nap around 7, so it's all better. I think this paragraph must sound a little crazy. But oh well. I'm packing now. Wheee.

I watched Mean Girls instead of packing before, but it was definitely worth it. I thought the movie was hilarious, and I really enjoyed it. I can't believe I bought it the day after Thanksgiving, but haven't gotten around to watching it until now because of exams. It's pretty funny. Special features are running now as I pack. Hehe. When they're done, I'll just replay the movie again until I have to leave. :)

Back to gathering things to pack up and away! I have a bunch of posts I want to write: Sony customer service, "Good Eats", museum redux... but now that I've committed them to the "posts I want to write", I wonder if they'll ever get done. Especially because of my Christmas card workload.

Anyway, like I said before, back to packing!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Apprentice 2.15

So it's finally over. Kelly's hired, Jen's fired. Phew.

This season was so terrible that I'm not planning to buy the DVDs unless there's something spectacular on them. And for a TV show where I've watched just about all the episodes, that's something. (As a point of reference, for this season, I am planning for DVDs for Alias 4, 24 4, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Amazing Race 6 whenever they come out.) And this 3 hour final episode was ridiculous - way too long and "Trumpified."

I couldn't stand Jen. She was bitchy, and attacked on a personal level rather than on a business level. She did the bare minimum to get by and then took all the credit for it. Her method of debating was yelling and shrieking. Every time she started yelling, it made me sick.

Kelly was arrogant and I wasn't his biggest fan either. But compared to Jen, I liked one a whole lot more than the other. At least we saw evidence that he actually did something during the competition. Sure, Jen could have been edited negatively, but the editors couldn't make up the actual footage of things she did and said.

It seems like a lot of people who didn't like Jen before all of a sudden like her (or feel bad for her) because of both the audience interviews tonight and her live boardroom performance. Yeah, it must have sucked for her that the audience members interviewed all glowed about Kelly, but that doesn't make me feel bad for her when their opinion was formed based on the things she did and how she acted. And since I didn't like her, I actually thought it was really funny.

And people saying she rocked the live boardroom performance? It was all exaggeration, stretching, puffing. She lied, or stretched the truth, about so much stuff. She rose to the top of her law firm? Last I heard, she wasn't a partner at Clifford Chance, just an associate. (I know, I know, partnership track lengths and such - but she shouldn't say she's at the "top" of the firm if she's really not.) Harvard Law is unmatched? According to who? Has she ever heard of Yale Law? Stanford Law? No way is HLS unmatched. She was the president of her sorority? Oh yay. And it goes on and on. She sounds like Trump... (my show gets the highest ratings, I own Thursday night, I'm the biggest real estate developer in NY, blah blah blah puff puff puff).

So I'm glad Kelly won. If it couldn't be Kevin, Andy or Sandy (besides Elizabeth and Pamela, they're the only people I still remotely like), I guess Kelly will do. (What was Sandy wearing?!)

I can't believe Season 3 is starting so soon. They're clearly going for the Millionaire approach, of overairing the show and running it into the ground. Oh well. I wonder if Season 3 will be any better than Season 2.

Productivity II

And in the time since the last entry, I've watched last Thursday's episode of The O.C. and copied a lot of pictures. Like I said before, soooo productive.

But I'm going to go run some errands now like I was supposed to do about 3-4 hours ago. Better late than never?


Hmm. At 3:30 this morning, I wrote, "Tomorrow will be an extra-productive day."

What have I done so far?
  • Eaten a vegetable burger for breakfast.
  • Eaten peanut noodles for lunch.
  • Tried 3 different methods of file transfer to try to copy pictures from one computer to the other.
  • Talked to my mom on the phone.
  • Contemplated going out.
  • Thought about what to do for dinner.
  • Listened to some music.
I've been soooo productive, don't you agree?

Almost Christmas

Season's greetings from some cuddly critters at the Shedd Aquarium gift shop!

Today was a little bit of a wake-up call for me. Similar to the Sunday before exams when it hit me just how close exams were, it has just hit me today how close Christmas is. I know I've mentioned before that I have a bad habit of not realizing what date it is, so I guess this should come as no surprise, especially when you add on the fact that exams took up most of my consciousness for awhile.

I haven't written or sent any Christmas cards yet. I haven't bought the bulk of my Christmas gifts, and in some cases, even thought about what I'm planning to buy. I haven't done the preparatory work required before buying certain planned gifts online. I have a lot to do - and fast! Online shipping deadlines have either past or are quickly approaching. I guess I know what I'll be up to for the next couple of days!

I also have a lot of posts I want to write. :) We'll see how that goes.

Off to sleep... I've done nothing tonight and have plenty to do. Tomorrow will be an extra-productive day. ;-)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Charmed to a Tear

I'm such a sap. The Charmed episode that was just on TNT was Piper and Leo's wedding and I cried through the entire ceremony, especially the vows. I'm not talking about tearing up; I mean all-out crying. To Charmed!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Day and Night

The phrase of the day was "getting cultured for free." A lot of Chicago museums have free admission on Tuesdays, so it was easy to get some good sightseeing in. We went to the planetarium, the aquarium and the contemporary art museum, and attempted to go to the Art Institute (it was already closed). I'll write about them and post more pictures in either separate entries or the week in review entry next weekend.

For now, here's a look at the view of the Chicago skyline from Museum Campus. Museum Campus is an area of Chicago south of downtown on the lake, near Soldier Field. It's the home of the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. And now I can say I've been to all 3! Although I haven't seen the new Jackie Kennedy exhibit at the Field Museum. It costs $25 to go to the Field Museum to see that. So expensive!

Here's the way the skyline looked when we got to Museum Campus after lunch:

Here's the skyline when we left Museum Campus (although the sky was actually a much darker blue):

Pretty skyline. :)

Judge For Sale

Check out the story of the Manhattan Housing Court judge who was posted on eBay. I know that I shouldn't laugh about it because I'd be so pissed if I were him, but I can't help but think it's really funny.

Some amusing excerpts:

"The eBay advertisement, titled "Judge for Sale," showed a picture of Judge Klein sitting in a courtroom and grinning at the camera, and then listed a number of accusations criticizing the way the judge dispenses justice. Free worldwide shipping was even included."

Hee. Free shipping.

"Strange things have surfaced before on eBay, some getting sold, others eventually getting pulled: a grilled cheese sandwich with an image of the Virgin Mary burned into it; a ghost; a vote from Ohio; even the Internet itself."

I think I missed the story about the vote from Ohio.

Mr. Durzy also said Judge Klein was listed under the wrong category, maybe a small thing, but another violation nonetheless. Ms. Schoenberg listed her advertisement under the heading "Sporting Goods, Archery, Arrows, Shafts.""

Hee. The fact that the eBay guy even made this remark is funny in itself.

But I mean, the guy does have a right to be frustrated... what can you do when thousands of people have seen you "for sale" on the internet? It definitely destroys any respect a lot of litigants may have for you when they come before you in court, even if it's not your fault.

""Judges are ill equipped to fight eBay," he said, clearly frustrated yesterday afternoon, before the advertisement had been pulled. "How do I fight eBay?"

We're All Smart

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well. An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly. You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view. A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Piled On

The only problem with sleeping in on a Sunday is that you're not tired Sunday night and can't get to bed early to get a decent night's rest. As a result, you might end up with a "case of the Mondays" if you have to go to work or school. Hee.

Anyway, here's a funny link I was sending around on IM earlier today. It's what happens in China when Pizza Hut only allows you one trip to the salad bar with a medium-sized bowl: Salad Bar Hacking from Boing Boing. I'm not sure how I got the link to it; I think it must have been through LTHForum or Chowhound. But it's very amusing.

Oh, and by the way, it's 28 degrees outside with a wind chill of 15 and it's supposedly snowing (I haven't looked out the window yet). Winter's definitely here. Night. :)

Week in Review

Alright, so this one is going to be a week in review about more than a week. I don't think this Saturday-Friday thing is working out. I think this one is going to be Saturday-Sunday, just because it seems like a more natural breaking point. I think that, as of today, I will revise the week in review idea so that it works on the more natural Monday-Sunday. Decision made.

In the last week in review, I said my week was unexciting. This week wasn't much better, but at least I can blame it on exams. It also seems a little silly to write a week in review when I've posted so much about my activities the past week, but I'm trying to keep a steady column going. So here you go, my past 9 days:

Saturday: Classes ended Friday, so "reading period" started on Saturday. My task for the day was to start outlining network industries (since, unlike some other more studious people, I didn't outline at all before classes ended), and it progressed slowly. It's hard to get into study mode. It's not a switch that just goes on and off. [I originally posted about Alvin's cooking here, but then we talked about it and realized he cooked those dishes on Sunday. Oops.]

Various movies were on during the day (I don't remember exactly what I watched). Alvin went off to a friend's party and I kept trying to get into uber-focused study mode. In the process, I watched and commented on Princess Bride (forgot about this one until I reread my blog) and VH1's 20 Most Awesomely Bad Songs of 2004, and then watched Austin Powers, an episode of Ellen (forgot about this one too!), Clueless and episodes 5-8 of Season 1 of The O.C. Not sure what time I finally got to sleep, but it was late. And I didn't even finish half the slides.

Sunday: Made progress on network industries. Nothing on TV that night. I posted a lot of Bluefly pictures with commentary. (Search for 12/5 entries if you're curious.) Alvin cooked a yummy dinner while I got some work done:

Monday: Worked on network industries, set up my new printer, took a long study break and then finally got to work on securities. Took a break for pilates, and then went back to work. Tried to watch Two and a Half Men, but it was preempted for the scary fire. Did more work. Blah blah blah. Exciting exciting exciting.

Tuesday: Learned securities from E&E. Watched TNT's Primetime in the Daytime (the usual Angel, Charmed, L&O lineup). Indulged in The Amazing Race and SVU. Wouldn't sleep until I finished going through the content (not questions) in E&E.

Wednesday: Forced to study for corporate finance. All day, suffered under a general feeling of helplessness about the exam. Outlined with the radio (I hate how they play the same songs every day all day) and took a break for Lost. Didn't get to sleep until late, which was bad because the exam was at 9 am.

Thursday: We're supposed to get to our exams 15 minutes early, but I made it in with about 10 minutes until the exam start. (I wasn't last! Phew!) It was a terribly painful exam about which I knew little. (I still intend to post the exam reflections on the blog, so I'll hold off from talking about it.) I really hope I passed. Came home and after taking a long TV break to recover from the pain (Angel, Charmed, Law and Order, Survivor, Apprentice), went back to studying for network industries. (Since, you know, you're supposed to watch TV for 5 hours the day before an exam.)

Friday: Got up on the late side (but within the range I set for myself), did some last minute studying for network industries, and went to school for the exam. Since I can't arrive anywhere on time, I got there next to last and luckily got a seat since there weren't many left. Another exam about which I felt terrible when it was over. Drove back in the rain and wind in the dark with clueless drivers (quite a dangerous situation). Watched Lord of the Rings instead of studying for securities. Too exhausted to put in good study time, and was glad Tuesday was so productive.

Saturday: Got up late, had a small lunch (too small because my stomach was growling for the whole last hour of the exam and I couldn't tell how loud it was because my earplugs were in and I was getting really humiliated about it, but I couldn't eat more at the time because I was running late) and went to school for the securities exam. Our room was almost all 3Ls and you could feel the apathy in the room. Oh, the third coming of senioritis.

When the exam was finally over, I didn't feel exhiliration. I felt weary relief. I was glad it was over, but I couldn't even work up the energy to cheer. Headed home in the dark. Went to Chipotle for dinner (yum). Then got ready for Trey and Sally's holiday party at an apartment upstairs in the building:

I love how when Alvin takes the self-pictures, it almost looks as if someone else is taking them because of the distance he can get with his long arms.

Anyway, the party was lots of fun. Had good conversations, sold people on TV shows and dividend credit cards, watched the boys play Goldeneye, ate a lot of artichoke dip, and imbibed a lot of vodka. Mmm, vodka. Nothing makes you feel better about taking terrible exams than nice nice vodka. No, I'm not an alcoholic. And I only got buzzed. Besides, it's not like we had to drive home or anything. Nice short elevator ride. ;-)

Sunday/Today: Slept in, dreaming about Iceland. Did some cleaning during the day, watched Ghostbusters on TNT (I don't know why that movie makes me happy), which was followed by Jumanji (which I also always watch on TV). Went out to dinner - it was cold outside! Really windy and really cold. The windchill had to be in the 20s (I think it was). Brrr. We went to this new place that I really wanted to try, Silver Spoon. It's owned by the same people as Spoon Thai, which is this great authentic Thai place I've always wanted to try but is kind of far away. Silver Spoon is within walking distance and I definitely wanted to try it before going away for break. Unlike the original Spoon, it's a mix of Thai and Japanese food. There was so much on the menu I wanted to try, so we got a bunch of random stuff. Here's what we got:

Started with a yellowtail & scallion roll and a spicy moonlight roll (spicy tuna roll topped with crunchies). Mmm yummy. I love yellowtail.

I've been wanting to try banana blossom salad for awhile. I really like it! Funny thing was that it was on some menus and not on others at the restaurant, and it's not on the take-out menu. But I would totally try to order it if I were getting delivery. It had great flavor, and it wasn't like the feeling you get sometimes with some dishes at some restaurants, where flavorful means shaking the spices on top. It was really really good.

Also got pad taley - a mix of seafood. There were so many types of seafood in there that I don't even know if I tried one of each. I love the fishballs though. Yum. :)

Alvin's seat faced this display card where they showed all this sorbet served in frozen fruit, and after looking at it for the whole dinner, he really wanted to get the peach sorbet.

And even though it was cold, he ate the frozen fruit! We took a cab back home because it was so cold and so windy out. Dinner at Silver Spoon was excellent (even though I keep wanting to spell spoon as "sppon"). Definitely going back.

Came back and watched the 3 hour Survivor finale (Chris was my 2nd choice to win out of the F4, I really wanted Eliza to win). Cleaned some more. Blogging finally. Going to get sleep again tonight... I'm so excited! :) But for now, I'm going to check in on the TWoP Survivor forums. I wonder what the "big twist" is for Palau.

There's my week! What did you do this week?

Dreaming in Iceland

I've taken a break from blogging for over 24 hours! Can you believe it? :)

Now, back to our regular scheduled programming - notes on last night's dream and then a long-overdue week in review (in the next post).

I had a long and involved dream last night. (Could that be because I actually allowed myself to get a full night's rest? Even though I woke up every hour from seven to noon? I guess the body's really not used to more than 5 hours of sleep, excepting that seven hour binge the night before the securities exam.) I remember a bunch of different parts to it, except that they all happened within the same general context and are not all that coherent when strung together.

Anyway, it seems I was on a spontaneous trip to Iceland. I'm not sure if I won the trip or if I found a cheap fare and booked it, but whatever it was, I wasn't packed because it was a sudden trip where I decided to go to Iceland by myself. I think the flight was supposed to be at 7 pm to Reykjavik and I was so worried I was going to be late.

For some reason, a bunch of different people were seeing me off at the airport. I think my parents were there. And I think Alvin was driving me to the airport. But we weren't in Chicago. I think we were in NY, but it didn't look like NY. It was cloudy outside. And I think I was supposed to be there for a 7 pm flight, but it was really really late and I was technically too late to make it. Only thing was, I had a boarding pass in my hand for a layover going NY to Cincinnati. (See, no coherence to the dream.)

But I got to the airport and found out the flight was delayed by 3 hours, so I was able to make it. And we were waiting in some nice lounge too. But I remember that I was frantic about trying to get everything together for the trip. It must have been really spontaneous because I don't know if I had even gone home or had a change of clothes or anything.

While at the airport, I remember worrying about my digital camera and how I was going to get any pictures taken during my sightseeing in Iceland because I only had one memory card and hadn't brought my charger! And I was all worried about what I was going to do and how I was going to save my pictures. And then all of a sudden, I had a bag with a laptop in it and was not really worried about saving the pictures, but was kind of confused because in the dream segment just before, my bag didn't have a laptop. It was weird.

I remember meeting other people who were going to be on the flight to Iceland. I don't remember much else about them, but we were all hanging out in this lounge. It was bizarre.

And then somewhere along the way, I was checking my blog and people were having conversations with one another in the comments, like everyone I knew. There were like 3 posts and I don't know what they were about or if they had anything to do with Iceland, but they had 24, 50 and 25 comments to them! I think I woke up thinking I had lots of comments, but I hadn't written any recent posts yesterday so that wasn't possible. And no one comments a lot, really, so this isn't possible at all.

I also remember being in the airport terminal and thinking I should buy a guidebook for Iceland so I could see what I wanted to do, besides the ice bar from the Amazing Race.

I guess it must have been a really spontaneous trip to Iceland. But I don't know why I was by myself. Or why if it were so spontaneous, people would be meeting me at the airport to see me off to Iceland. Or how I got a spontaneous trip to Iceland. Or how I actually got to rest and relax in a nice airport lounge.

What do you think this means?

Saturday, December 11, 2004


You know how I said that exhaustion was catching up to me?

Guess who has an exam at 2 pm but shut off all her alarms in her sleep and was jolted awake (thankfully) by something in her subconscious at 11:24 am.

Yeah.... not good.

But on the bright side, this 7.5-7.7 hours of sleep is the most I've had in about 2 weeks. If I didn't feel so bad about missing studying time, it would feel pretty darn good.

Okay, back to cramming about exemptions and getting ready for lunch. Maybe this time I won't be the next-to-last person into the exam room because I actually leave on time. Ha.

Sweet Sixteen

Since returning home from my last exam (~6 pm), I have:
  • Opened a 14 lb. box of books from my "short" 3 day bar review course.
  • Received a holiday greeting card from my law firm. (aww!)
  • Checked my email.
  • Cleaned out my school email inbox so that it is now down below 17,400.
  • Written some posts.
  • Continued to think that I should write a post-exam post for each of the past 2 exams and been too lazy to do so.
  • Talked to my mom on the phone, mostly about the Apprentice and how we don't like Jen.
  • Lots of IMs.
  • Watched Lord of the Rings.
  • Got through the first half of securities reg before my eyes started to glaze over and I got really bored.
  • Watched the DUI video twice. (thanks Katie!)
  • Ordered in Thai food.
  • Listened to the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban soundtrack 3 times.
  • Searched Amazon for movie soundtracks and played around with my wish list.
  • Tried to find bowls on that matched the ones on the opening page ad, but couldn't find them.
  • Ate many many Sweet Tart Hearts.
  • Hit my head on the wall. (see here)
  • Pondered Christmas gifts.
  • Contemplated using rule book as a pillow.
What I have not done but should have done:
  • Finished my outline for securities reg.
  • Done the practice questions from E&E on securities reg.
  • Figured out the second half of the course for securities reg.
  • Become friends with my rule book.
  • Looked at a past exam.
  • Prepared enough for the exam.
And now I'm so sleepy. I got 5.5 hours of sleep last night, but the night before was barely restful for barely 3 hours. I guess it's catching up to me. So much so that I am calling it quits on the outline for tonight and am going to go to sleep with it still containing a lot of blank spots. (I don't do that sort of thing; I have an odd requirement that I need to finish stuff before I sleep because I'm incapable of working in the morning.) It's 3 finals in 3 days, what am I going to do, fight the exhaustion?

Freedom and fun... only 16 hours away!

Friday, December 10, 2004


I just leaned back quickly while sitting on the futon, and whacked my head hard against the wall. Intelligent. Whatever brain cells were still alive and working on securities have probably been knocked out. Oh well. It actually kind of hurts. :(

I've decided listening to Harry Potter music will be good for working. (So I'm listening to this.) Maybe if I feel like I'm at Hogwarts instead, I'll want to get my work done? Yeah, I doubt it too. I'd rather play Quidditch. ;-) But I think that while listening to this, I'm actually going to start daydreaming about playing with a fantastic orchestra. Uh oh...

The Ring

Watching "Lord of the Rings" on TNT really doesn't help you study securities regulation.

Would be why I'm still doing the rules in the first unit. :)

Almost Halfway Home

Time to go to Exam #2...

In about 4 hours, this will all be over and I can move on to the home stretch: cramming for Exam #3!!

Wish me luck with this one. I think the concepts are beyond my meager brain capacity. Hehe. But I will still do the best that I can. :)

Woohoo! Almost to the halfway point! Would it be bad if I cheered halfway through the exam because I reached my exam-taking halfway point? Yeah, probably. :)

Hot Dell

I turned on my old Dell to go through my notes files for this class that were taken on that laptop, and within 5 minutes, the computer was burning hot to the touch. I remember that when I did significant work on the Dell, not only would I be dripping in sweat from the heat of the computer, but my fingertips would even feel slightly burned. I think it's abnormally hot. The Vaio will get warm sometimes on the bottom, but I haven't yet (knock on wood) felt burning heat coming through the keys to my fingertips to the point where it hurts. And was the Dell fan on to cool it down? No.

Okay, time to format the chart over lunch and then print. Woohoo! I'm so tired...

Poor Little Fingers

My fingers are so worn out and my fingertips are so sore. I'm making so many typos in my chart. It's clear I've been typing all day for 4 days straight. And I haven't even had the 2 intense typing exams yet! Boo!

5.5 hours of sleep and I'm still tired. What's up with that? :)

Okay, back to shared ice delivery systems.

3109 Minutes

I just checked the properties of my outline/chart, and the file has been worked on for 3,109 minutes. Something about that statistic sounds pathetic. Especially when you consider the fact that I'm not done yet. (And something about it makes me want to sing it to a tune from Rent, but not enough syllables to the numbers.) I still have to try to get some stuff from my notes in the chart tomorrow morning and then finish formatting it. I don't even know how many hours that adds up to. Anyone want to do the math for me? I'm blissfully mathematically incompetent post-exam today.

Off to sleep. Half an hour after the bedtime I set for myself, but at least it's only half an hour. Things could be much worse.

Spongebob Melts

Spongebob is getting a lot of press lately.

First there were the spongenappings.

Now there are the spongemeltings.

Burger King has all of these inflatable Spongebobs that keep getting stolen - and now they're melting.

In Norwich, Connecticut, a 50 lb. 9' x 9' Spongebob melted into the rooftop heating system air ducts. The Burger King reported it stolen because the maintenance people didn't tell them it melted and was cleaned up. Since Burger King is offering a burger bucks reward "good for a year's supply of whoppers," I wonder if the maintenance people fessed up and got their reward.

But should you know where any missing inflatable Spongebobs are, tell Burger King Corporation! You get the reward - it's to "anyone providing information leading to the safe return of missing SpongeBob SquarePants inflatables."

Poor Spongebob. Thieves, melting... all he wants to do is live in his pineapple under the sea and make people laugh! :)

Bell Atlantic

Wheee. Price cap regulation. Don't you wish you were me.

At least when I finish this reading, I'll be 76% through the readings. Home stretch, baby!

I think my dad's first cell phone was Bell Atlantic. (The reading is a Bell Atlantic case; it's not completely random.) Were they still around then? I have no recollection.

*slaps self* Hello?! The case I'm reading is from 1996. So yes, Bell Atlantic was still around in the 1990s.

Maybe I'd get more done if I didn't write short useless posts every 10 minutes. (Of course the long Apprentice post was not short, but that's the exception placed between this one and "Ballerina Me.")

Note to self: constantly refreshing your Statcounter will not make it increase. Remember that other day - if you keep looking, no one will visit! Bah!

Bell Bell Bell Bell Atlantic. Woohoo!

Apprentice 2.14

I'm bored with telecommunications. So I'll blog about The Apprentice, writing this post piece by piece inbetween taking notes from court cases and FCC orders.

First and foremost, Kevin got screwed. (And I'm not just saying that out of school loyalty.) He was completely qualified to be in the Final 2. And I think it was some version of political correctness and PR that kept him out of F2. Plain wrong.

I was hoping for a Sandy/Kevin F2, because they are two people I would actually want to deal with in real life, despite already knowing the offshore betting scheme that had the high bets on a Kelly/Jen F2. A Kelly/Jen F2 was reasonably predictable at the time the bets were made, also for PC/PR reasons.

What PC/PR reasons? Trump had one white guy and one black guy last year. He wasn't going to do the same thing again. (Especially were he to prefer Kelly over Kevin... think of the uproar - 2 years in a row!) There was definitely going to be a woman in the F2 this year. And from the early episodes, all indications were that the only competent woman was Jen. Even though in her pre-bitch episodes, all she did was fly under the radar.

So yeah, in my opinion, Kevin got screwed. I'm okay with Kelly being there, ego and all, because I do feel that he does in some way deserve it (even if I think he's arrogant). But with the way the two girls were fighting after Kevin was already fired... it was just so wrong. Sure, Sandy should have known more information about the Trump organization going into a situation like this, but that didn't give Jen the right to act all elitist and tell Sandy and everyone else that she couldn't hack it at the same good schools she did.

So many things tonight made me even more disgusted by Jen. There was the school thing: it's one thing to say that she didn't choose to continue her education; it's completely different to say that she doesn't have the brains to be able to do it. The first is fact; the second is just bitchy and personal. I hate it when people act all elitist about schools, but that played right into what Trump wanted to see. Ugh. And her going on and on about moving to San Francisco as such a big risk, despite the fact that her bio says that she was heavily recruited during law school? (I mean, she went to HLS, c'mon, of course she was recruited.) She had the job before she went there. Big risk there. Puh-leeze.

There's one thing I do wonder. They must have gotten her bio info from her and her bio on Yahoo says that she's a securities litigator. Yet all through the episode, she was talking about her dealwork and the transactions she had responsibility for as a first year associate. That's transactional. So unless the bio writers think litigator = lawyer, I'm extremely confused.

But confusion aside, I can't stand her and want her off my TV.

But maybe Trump deserves Jen. She can shriek at others in front of him every day if he wants her to be his Apprentice, so maybe if he chooses her, he deserves it. But I don't want to see her smug satisfied face if she's chosen.

So I have to root for Kelly. Sigh.

The cast of Apprentice 2 really has nothing on the cast of the original. If it's any sign how I feel about this season (some people are saying the show has already jumped the shark - in S2!), I don't think I'll be buying the DVDs unless they're dirt cheap or there's something really compelling in them or there's some other reason to get them. The season itself isn't doing it for me the way Season 1 did. I think it's both the cast and Trump's decisions. Oh well.

Like someone was saying on the forums, thank goodness for The Amazing Race. 6 seasons, still improving and still the same high quality it was from the start. Thanks Jerry Bruckheimer. You and Phil show DT how it's done. :)

Ballerina Me

I just did ballet leaps back and forth across my living room, and on the first few leaps all I could hear from my legs were various cracking noises. How depressing. At least there was no cracking during the 50 jumping jacks...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Made of Wax

I've had this article open in my browser all day, intending to share it, but I haven't had the energy to write. By now, you've all probably already heard about it.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in London has completed their celebrity nativity, which will be on display until January 3rd. Here's the who's who of the wax display:

Shepherds: Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Grant, Graham Norton
Joseph: David Beckham
Virgin Mary: Victoria Adams (former Spice Girl)
Angel: Kylie Minogue
3 Wise Men: George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Duke of Edinburgh

Interesting combination of people and some random choices. Not sure I really need to say anything about the nativity thing; I just think it's interesting what they put together. And of course, the Bush joke speaks for itself.

Back to telecommunications.

Slumberly Challenged

Wow, it would have felt nice to have, you know, actually slept last night.

Even for the 3 or so hours I was actually physically in the bed. Would have been nice to have felt like I actually slept during that time.

Instead, at 6:45-7 am, when the alarms hit a melodic crescendo, I felt like I had just gotten into bed and barely had time to close my eyes, much less sleep a wink, and I was required to get up and face the monstrosity that we like to call corporate finance. If I slept at all, it was extremely unrestful.

My fingertips are sore from typing so much over the past few days. Every night, I intend to calculate how many hours of my life the past few days have been spent over laptop screen and keyboard, but my mathematical skills are usually lacking in the early morning. My face was almost numb to the touch upon waking up; it's that odd sensation when you know you should be feeling something a lot more but it's almost like there's a barrier between you and your face and so you don't feel too much. And my eyes... oh, forget that... they're utterly exhausted from the visual workouts Word likes to impose upon them. The heat has made my skin feel so dry that it's coming off my temples and my brain would like a little more hydration, please.

It's 8 am, the time I am supposed to be leaving for the exam, but I'm still sitting in front of the computer (do I do anything else nowadays?) eating a veggie burger, trying to work up the resolve to pack up and go down to school to tackle bonds and rates and values and yields and variances and options and pricing and markets and capital and betas and risk and efficiency and all that good stuff. Remind me to never take finance again in the future? (I don't think I have that option, but still. Please?)

Sun's up... time's running low... that's the sign I've got to go. :)

See you on the other side of noon.

Unit Unit

[sing-song voice] Guess who's still u-up! [/sing-song voice]


You can break CF up into 5 major units according to Day 1's notes. By the time I got to Unit 4, my eyes were glazing over, my brain had clearly reached capacity and the sentences ceased to make any sense whatsoever. None of the slides seemed like they were important, even though they were, as I kept flipping pages and making astounding progress. But I didn't know what was on them, so 10 pages later, I found myself utterly confused. Not that the slides would help a whole lot, I don't think. There are lots of gaps and too few explanations.

Unit 5 was an adventure. No. Clue. Whatsoever. Decided to try to learn it from old practice exams instead because the text, the slides, nothing was making any sense. Made a little bit of progress but not enough. I figured it was one of those moments when you're in trouble if you do or don't go forward: if I hadn't learned any steps to the question, it would surely be on the test. Now that I have, chances are that the question will be different from all the past exams we've had. I actually hope there's a question just like it on the test, because I have a feeling I'll be answering it the same way as the past exams regardless.

Okay, off to play Minesweeper until my eyes get sufficiently tired that I'll knock out the moment my head hits the pillow. Well, I'll be doing that after everything else is closed up for the night. We're going to have fun in the morning tomorrow! Woohoo!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Pathetic Progress

Time to update this post:

Class 1:
Review of notes - 0%
Review of slides - 36%
Review of text - 10%
Review of problem sets - 0%
Review of old exams - 0%
Amount of grade exam worth - 50% (Other exams are 100%.)

Class 2:
Review of notes - 3.7%
Review of slides - 100%
Review of text - 60%
Review of old exams - 0%

Class 3:
Review of notes - 0%
Review of text - maybe 50%
Review of study guide - 100% of information; 0% of practice questions.
Review of old exams - 0%

Oh, don't I look pathetic.

Correlation to Panic

Alright, it's after 6 pm and I'm only in Class 6. This does not bode well for tonight! That is like 26% through the course, before doing problems. And most of the stuff in the very beginning was stuff I vaguely understood! Agh! I knew I woke up too late.

Don't panic, don't panic, don't panic.

But wheeee, covariance and correlation coefficients just flew right over my head.



Yes, the subject line is intentionally misspelled.

I'm only up to growing annuities and perpetuities (slow!) but it has occurred to me that on every line, I have misspelled some variation of the word "grow" (grow, grows, growing).

I wonder why:
  • Too tired and can't spell correctly?
  • Fingers too tired from typing for 3 days straight with 5 hours sleep breaks?
  • Eye strain and just can't see what I'm typing?
  • Brain getting full and fried and can't connect with fingers?
  • Fingers improperly programmed at typing variations of the word grow?
[Hmm. Sounds like a string of questions they ask at the beginning of an infomercial before trying to sell you on some miracle treatment. Maybe the sleep number bed would help me.]

All I know is that the more you look at a word, the weirder the shapes of the letters and configuration of the word looks. I'm having that problem with grow. Which now to me no longer looks like it sounds like grow ending in "oh" but grow ending in "oww." Like "brow" from "eyebrow." Hmm.

I went to add in a line above, and then every time I put my cursor in the last paragraph, it would blink there, but then when I started typing it would go back to where I added the line above and type there... even though the cursor was in the last paragraph. Strange.

Annuities and Mostaccioli

I looked at my "schedule" and it looks like I'm studying a lot and that I'm a great student.


So not true.

The only reason why I'm putting in so many full days of just studying is because I'm trying to learn 3 full classes in the 4 full days leading up to exams and then the 2 half days between exams. It's my own fault for the lightbulb not going off in my head that exams were approaching quickly until Sunday morning.


I'm on day 2 of CF, so 8.7% complete with the course. I need to learn the course and then do practice exams. Must work hard.

But I want more baked mostaccioli instead... Alvin made yummy baked mostaccioli last night and I want more...

*slaps hand* Must work. Almost day with day 2. Back to annuities I go.


Here is my proposed schedule for now until Saturday afternoon. Of course, with breaks for the usual: bathroom, eating, blogging, sanity.

(CF = corporate finance; NI = network industries; Sec = securities)

1:30-2 pm: Get settled, eat lunch, figure out CF study strategy.
2-7 pm: Study CF slides and textbook. Ideally I will be insanely productive, but more realistically, I would like to be halfway through (that would be slides/assignment for day 12).
7-8 pm: Sanity break to watch Lost.
8-10 pm: Study more for CF.
11-12 or 1 am: Study more for CF, get ready to sleep.
1 am: Sleep time goal.

Tomorrow (Thursday... I almost wrote Friday)
7 am: Wake-up time.
7-8 am: Get ready for the exam, pack bag, eat breakfast.
8 am: Leave for the school (bleh).
8:30 am: Be in exam seat and prepare workspace.
9 am - 12 noon: CF EXAM (AGH AGH AGH)
12 - 1 pm: Lunch and/or sanity break.
1 - 4 pm: Study NI with classmate (tentative hours).
4 - 6 pm: Either studying NI, driving home or regaining sanity.
6 - 7 pm: Study NI, set tape for The OC.
7 - 8 pm: Study NI (probably charting when studying at home) during Survivor.
8 - 9 pm: Study NI during Apprentice.
9 - 10:30 pm: More charting until done! (I think I can make it!! I must...)
10:30 - ?: Relax and study time (maybe study some Sec if I have time).
2 am: Goal for latest bedtime - sleep!

9:30 - 10 am: Goal wake-up time.
10 - noon: Study or relax or eat brunch and get ready for school.
Noon - 1 pm: Something...
1 pm: Leave for school (bleh).
1:30 pm: Get to school by this time, set up workspace.
2 - 5 pm: NI EXAM (when done, more than halfway home... wheeee!)
5 - 6 pm: Get home and break time.
6- midnight: Dinner, sanity breaks, study Sec.
2 am: Goal for latest bedtime - sleep!

9:30 - 10 am: Goal wake-up time.
10 - 1 pm: Study, brunch, get ready for school, something.
1 pm: Must leave by this time to go to school (bleh).
1:30 pm: Be in seat and set up workspace.
2 - 5 pm: SEC EXAM


Freedom will get me through the days...

And in the 10 minutes I just wasted, I could have had lunch. Oh well.


Well, it's 1:30 pm and I know no more corporate finance than I did 12 hours ago.

When am I allowed to get scared for tomorrow's exam?

Why do I want to chart for my other 2 classes so much more?

Do I have a mental block against corporate finance or is it really just really really hard?

I think there were too many "really"s in that last question.

Why did I take finance when it hurts my brain?

Will I be able to finish it before tonight and actually get enough sleep to make it to the exam by start time?

Why must I take an exam in the morning when I'm on a sleep schedule that puts me to sleep around 4-5 am?

Why am I asking stupid questions in procrastination of starting from day one and present value?

Aghhhhhh. This is what I get for my inability to wake up.

Music Mania

The Ryan Cabrera song is on again. Lalalalalalalala. Too many times!

Every time I hear a Melissa Etheridge song, I think about high school. I'm not sure why. Maybe her songs were part of the group of songs that always played on the radio when I was in the shower, and I associate it with high school because of early morning showers in the dark with the radio blaring. Dunno.

It's past 3, and I was supposed to sleep at 3:30 (going with this sleep-an-hour-earlier-each-night-because-you-have-an-exam-at-9-am-on-Thursday thing). Oh well. Only 75% done with book. Need more progress.


Some words that Word has underlined as spelled wrong that are used all the time in law school (and are in my chart):

privity (suggested: privities)
foreseeability (suggested: foresee ability)
scienter (suggested: scanter)
rebuttable (suggested: rebut table)
unpurchased (suggested: uppercase)
offeror (suggested: offer or)
trier (suggested: truer)
rescissionary (suggested: recessionary)
offerees (suggested: offered)
dispositive (suggested: disparities)
allocative (suggested: locative)
appealable (suggested: appeasable)
reviewable (suggested: review able)

Only 65.6% done. Look what seeing the word foreseeability underlined in red made me do.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


"It is difficult to imagine, outside of a law school exam, a securities purchase or sale not involving jurisdictional means at some point in its formation or performance."

What are you trying to say, law school exams are completely unrealistic?

What a shocker!


On to the TV world, I am completely rooting for Kris and Jon to win The Amazing Race. And SVU was really good tonight. That must be why I'm only 61.7% finished with the book that was supposed to be done well before midnight.

Garbage Chutes

Alright, it's almost 8 pm and I'm only 56% through. Booooo.

Someone clogged the garbage chute in our building with a large piece of furniture. Judging from the tone of the notices left on the door of the garbage room, management is justifiably pissed. Makes me wonder who would have done that, since many of the people who have lived on my floors seem to have trouble getting small garbage bags down the chute, much less large pieces of furniture.

Inside my apartment smells much better than the hallway. The hallway reeks of disgusting stale cigarette smoke (I hate living on the same floor with heavy smokers), but the apartment has an aroma of yummy baking pasta.

Wheee. Back to the Exchange Act.


Just saw a commercial for Elixsure, "spill-resistant children's medicine." It's this children's cough medicine that sticks to the spoon when you turn the spoon upside down. Is that supposed to entice you to buy it? If it sticks to the spoon, what does it do to your child's insides?

I'm 47% done with the book. That sounds like progress, but if you consider the fact that I'm skipping all of the example and explanation pages, it's not much.

At least I remembered to watch Angel. ;-)


I just looked at an expiration date on a bottle and said, "10/04? Oh good, it's won't expire until later this year."

And people wonder why I can recite a list of everyone's birthdays accurately, but am inevitably late with cards and stuff. Maybe it's because I never know what today's date is. (Not really an excuse, but it's actually absolutely true...)

Bah. Only 40.36%. I need to move faster.

Due Diligence

From Examples and Explanations:

"What is due diligence, besides something junior securities lawyers are told they will enjoy?"


I think over the summer I was told that it was a worthwhile exercise and necessary and useful, but I don't think anyone overenthusiastically told me I would enjoy it. Except maybe jokingly.

Almost 40% done with the book... 39.9%. It seems like I'm going much slower now that I actually have to take notes on this stuff and am eating clam chowder at the same time.


My life over the past few years would have been made so much easier (and neater) had I actually investigated all the table features of Word and come across "split cells." I only found the option by accident when trying to get to table properties and hitting the wrong key. Wow, my eyes are open to a whole new world.

I'm hungry, so I ate a potato from the potato salad container. (I'm showing such restraint; I've been known to finish a whole carton in one sitting for snack, so I'm being so good.) And I'm heating up Manhattan Clam Chowder. Yummy.

And one hour after the last post, I'm 38.3% done. I guess that's good? Off to work on Securities Act liability. I almost wrote "SA liability," because that's how it would show up in my outline. Yay for brain conditioning.

Need Earplugs

The radio stations have seriously played out this Ryan Cabrera song. It's on like every hour.

I was about to say the drilling noises had stopped, because they did, for half an hour. As I started typing this sentence, they started again. I think it's a conspiracy.

I'm 13.5% through the Examples and Explanations volume for this class. That doesn't sound too impressive, but I did that in about half an hour. Mostly because I've been just flipping through pages. But I'm sure my productivity will fall because of the stupid drilling noises. I hate drilling noises because they remind me of the dentist and give me chills down my spine. And hammering is just annoying. What did they do? Take a lunch break and now they're back torment me and impede my progress?

Argh. Why can't I find my earplugs?


I hate when drilling and hammering noises come loudly through the wall. It's extremely distracting and it gives me a headache. And it happens often during the week.

I also hate oversleeping. Sigh.


Words that I have realized I have trouble typing flawlessly when moving really quickly:


Unfortunately they come up all the time in this course. Oh well. Maybe I should add them to auto-correct with all the others.

More later.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Will I Ever Be Done

Ooh. I just heard a pretty song on the radio: Ingram Hill's "Will I Ever Make It Home." Very pretty.

I am floundering in securities work. I have no handle on how much progress I have made. Why not? A few reasons.
  1. We have a syllabus, but we didn't stick to it. So I can't measure it in terms of how much of the quarter I've done, because I have no idea.
  2. We have a syllabus with dates on it and class numbers, but not every class number has an assignment and some aren't even listed. So I can't measure it in terms of how many classes I've done, because I have no idea.
  3. We have a textbook that we jumped around, but I don't know the total number of pages we read this quarter. So I can't measure it in terms of pages, because I have no idea.
I don't like having no idea where I am! I like knowing what % I've finished. It makes me feel like I've accomplished something. I'm around page 150 in the textbook but I'm only on the readings assigned for Day 6. But I don't think we did them on Day 6. But it doesn't matter - because I can't calculate it regardless. Bah! I want my calculations! They make me happy and grounded.

Okay, enough griping. Back to investment contracts.

Scary High-Rise Fire

All of the network affiliates in Chicago have preempted regular programming for a huge news story. I turned on the TV for "Two and a Half Men," and on TV was a story about a high-rise fire in Chicago. I had heard about it on the radio, but the volume was low and I wasn't really paying attention to anything except the location.

It's at 135 S. LaSalle, the LaSalle Bank Building, on the 29th floor. Close-ups of some of the windows are really scary, showing a strong, blazing fire. I hope there's no one left in the building except for the firefighters, and that they're safe. It's a 5 alarm fire... how does a fire of this magnitude get started??

*shudder* What a frightening sight.

Post Pilates

Well, I did 3 hours of securities charting (I prefer "charting" to "outlining" since I'm not really outlining) and went 80 pages into the textbook. But I don't think I'm out of week one of the class. That's kind of sad.

Oh well.

Took a break for an hour to go to Pilates, now I'm back, dinner will be sooner or later, but I'm going to get to work on securities again. We were supposed to have read the textbook in a solid block from 1-245 (and then we skip around), so I have my work cut out for me.

I haven't watched any TV today. (Are you proud of me? Are you?) I was going to watch Angel and Charmed, but I lost track of time and missed Angel, and then didn't feel like turning on the TV just for Charmed. It's amazing. I really do have self-discipline.

Only in high-pressure, last-minute situations. ;-)


I'm so unmotivated and have been reading blogs instead of working. (I haven't checked them today until now!)

But now, before I really get to work (it's only 3 pm...), I have to share this Zap2it headline: "Relive Both of Britney's 2004 Marriages." (link goes to a year-end wrap-up)


More Pretty Blue Stuff

Before I go to do securities work, here's some pictures that you may or may not care about.

I think this one is pretty:

I don't like this style or the price ($629) so much... it reminds me of a horse saddle:

This one reminded me of Serendipity (the movie, not the restaurant)... "Yours says Prado! At least my fake says Prada!"

Not sure why, but I like this one (and yes, there's a bottom to go with it too...), I think it's the nicest one besides the basic black ones, there's some pretty bad other patterns there:

Okay, enough picture fun. Out of everything else I've said "ooh" to, it seems like they're all either beachwear or colored black or pink. I think I want to go to the beach.


Time check! It's almost 2 pm, about 2.4 hours after I posted the last entry with my things to do list. How have I done?
  1. Finish Collective Property Systems on Network Industries chart. - took a little longer than half an hour, but not that long
  2. Eat yogurt.
  3. Get dressed and go downstairs to pick up my printer. (Well, just not going to wear my home clothes which are incredibly comfy.) - Flying through these things to do, so easy!
  4. Bring printer back upstairs and set up. Change back into home clothes. - Nevermind. Step 4 took forever. I was in a frenzy running around the apartment looking for a USB cable for at least half an hour just so I could keep setting up the printer. Ended up stealing Alvin's USB printer cable. *shh* j/k. He already knows. Wow, that was such a waste of time. I looked at every electronic device I had that had USB, including my dusty dusty dusty scanner box. Ick.
  5. Eat a turkey & provolone sandwich while printing out documents for Securities - Doing the eating part now, but printing already done
  6. Take a shower - maybe I'll do that after getting some work done. I feel so unproductive from running around about the USB thing that I need to feel productive
  7. Set up Securities outline chart from textbook + syllabus.
  8. Either (a) Start reading E&E; (b) Fill in the rules sections of the outline chart; (c) Fill in case information from last year's Corporations chart; or (d) Start filling in chart information from notes and book.
It seems I've finished a lot of the non-work stuff. Hmm. Imagine that.

Yummy sandwich. :) I love the cajun turkey from the deli. ;-)


So I was supposed to move on to Class 3 today, but I think I'm going to do a little more of Class 2. But only about half an hour. Why? Because I want to. Because I don't usually start my studying until afternoon, and now that I'm actually awake before noon, I might as well take advantage of it. Because I hate stopping in the middle of a unit. Because I'd really like to finish one full page of the syllabus.

So here's my tentative plan for the time between now and 4 pm, when Angel comes on TNT (I'm not turning the TV on until it's time for Angel & Charmed):
  1. Finish Collective Property Systems on Network Industries chart.
  2. Eat yogurt.
  3. Get dressed and go downstairs to pick up my printer. (Well, just not going to wear my home clothes which are incredibly comfy.)
  4. Bring printer back upstairs and set up. Change back into home clothes.
  5. Eat a turkey & provolone sandwich while printing out documents for Securities.
  6. Take a shower.
  7. Set up Securities outline chart from textbook + syllabus.
  8. Either (a) Start reading E&E; (b) Fill in the rules sections of the outline chart; (c) Fill in case information from last year's Corporations chart; or (d) Start filling in chart information from notes and book.
That should take me up to Angel, Charmed, Pilates (if I can last through it in my tired state... maybe I'll take a mini-nap after Charmed), and dinner.

After dinner, it will be back to Securities. How will I do? How will I do? We'll see. :) You could, of course, comment and help motivate me so I don't lose my intense laser-sharp focus from yesterday. ;-)


I wish I had a scale so I could tell you how many pounds of paper my course packet for this class weighs. It's pretty heavy. But I'm 54.42% through the packet of readings! And now I can sleep! All of November and December are done - woohoo! Now, that sounds like an accomplishment.

So now this post and this post can be updated to say this:

Class 2:
Review of notes - 3.7%
Review of slides - 100%
Review of text - 54.42%
Review of old exams - 0%

Moving on to Class 3 tomorrow.

But for now - good night!