Saturday, October 29, 2005

Weird night

Marsha and I had just come back from babysitting her friend's three kids (who were absolutely fun to be with!) on Thursday night around 11 PM. Marsha dropped me off and I started watching my soaps. Around 1130, I heard one of the loudest explosions I have ever heard in my life, followed by a flickering of my electricity. All of the people in my apt. complex (and neighboring apt. complexes too) ran out of their apts. and across the street to see what happened. I, of course, was one of them. There is a big hill near my complex, and it turned out that some wicked drunk kid had gone down the hill at full speed, and veered off the road, hit a pole, and the power box of the complex across the street (which was why the power was out across the street too!). Four police cars came, and I swear that there were over 100 people looking at this accident (complete with their digital cameras and video recorders). I didn't bring my camera initially, but ran back to get it b/c this accident was so bad.

Well, here are some pics. This first one is the scene with people around it.
The second is the actual accident. This kid really did a number on the power supply box.

The third is the kid MISERABLY MISERABLY MISERABLY failing the sobriety test. The cop asked him to walk the straight line and he kept falling over and people around me were just shaking their heads. The cop also asked the kid to put his finger on his nose, and he was falling backwards. He will have a hefty bill for the power supply thing and his truck!! Message of the day: PLEASE do not drink and drive. : /

Thursday, October 27, 2005

One of the most stressful weeks of my entire life... is over

I am officially done with my doctoral prelims, and I really don't know how to describe that feeling. On one hand, I am SO physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted, and I have never felt like this in my life. I have taken 16 hours of exams over the past 4 days, which covered around 12 classes that I have taken toward my Ph.D. I sat in a tiny little room in Dodd Hall just me, the computer, my snacks, and a paper and pen from 9-1 this past Monday through today. My brain could not POSSIBLY hold any more scholastic information. I feel like I want to go home and watch 10 episodes of Maury Povich to bring me back down to reality and out of the bubble that is college. I feel that getting a Ph.D. is half about having the stamina to do it. My major professor said the same thing once. She understood (obviously) the stress, exhaustion, and even depression I have felt over the past week. Don't worry-it's not a bad depression, just a depression over how much work I had to do. It's really hard to describe if you haven't been through it. It's a bit overwhelming.

On the other hand, I am overjoyed at having these exams done that I have been worrying about for the past YEAR. Now comes the orals in the spring (most likely, unless they are going to be in December), and then I finally get to work on my dissertation. I think anyone that says a Ph.D. is not worth doing I am going to kick in the teeth. ; ) I just can't feel too much happiness right now b/c I am so tired. There are bags under my eyes too. haha

So that has been my life for the past however many weeks now. Studying studying studying. I finally get to relax and take a while off. Mikey is coming down next weekend and I cannot wait! The new Zorro movie is coming out too, and I cannot wait for that and to see Antonio again. Today is also my Grandma Wickham's b'day. She died in 1992, and would have been 95 this year. : ( Hi grandma. She's the one who got me hooked on my soaps 23 years ago.

One other thing I find interesting: I saw on Fox during one of the World Series games that the chances of the Red Sox and White Sox repeating their titles back to back like they did in 1917 and 1918 was 1 in a billion or something like that. And now it happened. Life is weird. Wonder if Nostradamus predicted that. hahahaha

Sunday, October 23, 2005

After the 2 AM hour

One of my favorite things about living so close to campus, to bars (not to mention one of the most popular clubs in town too), and to the student population is that I get woken up at anytime after 2 AM when the kids start spilling out of the bars. (I hope you can sense the sarcasm in my voice). Normally I would actually think it's kind of funny and just a typical Saturday night in Tally, but since my doctoral prelims last for 4 days this week and I want to get as much rest as possible so I can study and be coherent, I was annoyed. I go out too mind you, but this weekend has been dedicated to staying home and studying. After all, these are the biggest exams of my life.

So, around 230 or so I awake to shouts of guys outside yelling at each other. "Get the (expletive) out of my way" "I didn't (expletive) do that" amidst shouts of a girl yelling "stop stop!". Obviously there was some fight going on that was started at the bar and carried out in a drunken stupor outside my apt. complex. Follow that with jinging keys, car engines starting (great, they are driving drunk too), loud bass, and tires screaching, and it makes for an interesting night. Add that in with police and fire truck sirens going off around town, and I had a great night of sleep. : /

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Tales from afar

Well this week has been the week of foreign travel stories. My mom is back from Peru and had an incredible time, which I am not surprised about. : ) She took lots of pics, and bought some great souvenirs for me that I requested (I especially wanted postcards to add to my foreign postcard collection). She said she ate some llama, octopus, squid, and tried guinea pig. All were disgusting. She is like me though-I would try it just to say I tried it (except for the gross seafood), and because I was in a foreign country. I remember in Espana I tried pig's intestines, but that was not as bad as guinea pig.

In my class, I had study abroad day on Wed., and I invited some students I have been advising for years in to speak about their overseas experiences. One student just went to Vietnam (his pics were incredible-house boats, open air markets, Ho Chi Minh City, etc.) and said that he tried dog. He showed my class one pic with 3 plates of different colored meat, and the class said "those 3 plates are all dog?" and he said " yeah, different kind of dog". He was the only person who tried it on the trip.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Peruvian Landslide

My mom is in Peru right now with one of her best friends Gail and her husband Archie. (Which I am a little jealous about since I have never been there, but she is getting me tons of souvenirs that I requested, so that is great). Well, I was supposed to call her this past Thursday at 11 my time (10 theirs). I didn't end up talking to her until 1245 AM my time (after calling 3 times and bugging the hotel receptionist guy and asking him questions in Spanish) because the train that was coming back from Machu Picchu was late. There was a landslide, and apparently the rocks and things blocked the road that the train takes. They all got back safe and sound though. She told me later that local people were banging on the train doors and trying to get on to get back to their villages (for those who don't know, MP is a very remote place and hard to get to-it's amazing that people even settled up there 14,000 feet high I think). The story was even on CNN. I LOVE having stories when traveling!! It's like the one time my knee got caught in the metro train in Madrid and the train started moving and I thought I was going to die and get smooshed between the train and the wall.... or when our boat ran out of gas in the middle of a canal coming back from Tortuguero, Costa Rica. There's just something that happens in me when something bad happens abroad-I don't worry and I feel like it is this one big adventure. Or a movie scene. I hope my mom got some pictures. Erin suggested that she contact the Post-Standard in Syracuse to tell her story. That would be neat to have her story published.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Random thoughts for today

I guess I'll just list the recent events-I don't really have creative energy today to come up with a good post:

1. I dyed my hair black on Sunday (from dark brown) and I LOVE it. Absolutely love it. I think it's going to become a permanent thing. I only did the temporary Clairol Natural Instincts # 36 Midnight - Neutral Black thing that washes out in 28 shampoos in case it came out where I didn't like it, but I do. : ) My class liked it too and noticed right away.
2. I went to Curves last night as usual on Mondays, and the fitness technician Shelby took my monthly measurements. I lost 1.4% body fat, so I must be doing something right. I also won a Curves breast cancer shirt in a drawing they had.
3. Today is my friend Marsha's b'day and she is 30. She thinks it's a good age to be-I might need to take notes on how she is dealing with turning 30, because in 2 years I will be doing the same thing, and I don't know if I am going to have the same reaction. Turning 25 was hard enough for me (knowing that I wouldn't be able to check off the 18-24 age group on surveys anymore really threw me for a loop).
4. My mom is in Peru right now, and she's getting me lots of souvenirs to put on my international shelf.
5. On Sat night, Costa Rica beat the US 3-0 to win a bid to the 2006 Copa Mundial. Felicitaciones! When I go again in May, I'll have to get some gear to wear back in the States.
6. The Yanks' season is done. I don't have much more to say about that other than I guess my team will be the Cardinals. I want to see Pujols get a World Series ring.
7. The weather here has been amazing-upper 80s-90 every day and partly cloudy to mostly sunny. This is one time of the year when I am glad to be in FL and not NY.
8. Speaking of weather, I always remember growing up in NY and having to worry about trick-or-treating in the snow. It is just so nice here for kids not having to worry about picking out a cute little princess costume or a Batman costume and having to put a sweater over it. One year in high school, a bunch of friends (including the Spanish foreign exchange student Ruben!) and I dressed up as a deck of cards (we made them out of cardboard and painted on the designs). It snowed/sleeted/rained and our costumes were ruined, and we were freezing. I remember that the paint ran. Looking back, it was kinda funny, but then it wasn't, right Benner and everyone that went with us that year?

** My heart also goes out to the Pakistanis and everyone that was devastated by this earthquake that has now killed over 40,000. I got an email from a fellow humanities grad student today who is from Pakistan that said she knows of kids that were killed when their school collapsed on top of them.

Until next time...

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Animal Kingdom

Animals are fascinating. I hate science and all of that (but I actually liked chemistry because it was math), but when there are stories of creatures in the wild like the ones I have read lately, it really makes you realize that after so much research, we still don't know a lot about animals!

For example, my frog. Let me preface this by saying that my pet frog is 19 years old. He may be older because I bought him when I was in 4th grade, and obviously he was living before that. His name is Eon Abner Fritz (yes, I was in 4th grade when I named him), and he is cute. He has a little mole on his right side, and cute little eyes and hands. My mom takes care of him for me in NY because I refuse to put him on a plane to bring him to FL for fear he may die from the altitude. I have looked up the lifespan of an African Water Frog, and it said 5 years. I wonder why Eon has lived so long?! I love to play with him and let him jump around on my hand.

Two stories I have read recently have to do with sharks, gators, and snakes. El Mundo (Espana) reported that scientists have tracked a Great White named Nicole from South Africa on its migration to Australia and back for 9 months. The main point of the article was that by tracking her with a GPS transmitter, the scientists have realized that populations of Great Whites might have even less numbers than thought before since now we know that they migrate to and from South Africa and Aus., rather than just staying around those areas; the 2 biggest known populations are on these coasts, and now we know that they are interconnected. The migration was 11,100 kilometers (roughly 6,897.2202338 miles). If you don't know Spanish, you can still look at the pictures in the article.

The other story was in the Miami Herald (that I read courtesy of Marsha) about a snake that was eating a gator whole in the Everglades. This is one of the craziest pics I have ever seen. Apparently the snake just blew up trying to eat the gator (snout first too). Can you imagine what the gator was thinking? Or the snake? Why did he get himself into that mess? Marsha and I had a long conversation about this. Scientists are trying to figure out what lead the snake and the gator to fight. Wow.

One last thing to add: my coworker Mike gets these silly totally useless facts every day on this free website full of stuff. Here is what he emailed me the other day: There is a substantial wild population of golden hamsters living in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Scientists speculate that all the domesticated golden hamsters in the world descended from a single female with twelve babies, which were dug from a burrow in Syria back in 1930. How neat!

I always talk about how interesting people are, but animals are too.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


(Disclaimer: Post idea courtesy of Jessie)
If you read this, even if we do not speak often, comment with one memory of me.
It can be anything you want, good or bad (it better not be bad though!!).
Just as long as it happened.
Then post this on your blog/livejournal to see what other people remember about you.
Mil gracias!

Monday, October 03, 2005

People suck: Edition # 2

This weekend was the FSU vs. Syracuse game. I have divided loyalties, and maybe I was a sell-out, but I decided to root for SU. I wore an SU tank top and FSU beads. When people asked me why I did that, I said, well, I have been a fan of SU for longer than FSU. I still showed my support for my school though by wearing the beads. SU needed more fans though. : )

I have to say that the comment of the day was said by a stranger walking up the stairs near where we were sitting. Someone was just standing on the stairs and the stranger in question was saying "excuse me" and they wouldn't move. So, the stranger says "I guess 'excuse me' is a lost art these days". Hum. I agree! That is the problem with people: there are no manners!

After the game I took these pictures. I know that everyone has seen stadiums and outsides of stadiums after game days, but I just had to put these on my blog. When I go to games or the movies, I always bring my garbage to the trash can afterwards. What is SO hard about that? People even made a nice little setup on that first picture and were nice enough to arrange the beer bottles in a nice little circle on the lamppost instead of on the ground. Gee thanks. I saw on the news that the people that clean up our stadium are the Army ROTC students too. Kudos to them for doing this on a Sunday from 9-12 after every game day! Poor kids.

My dad was in town for the game, and we went to Wal-mart over the weekend too. Another thing I can't stand is how people cannot return the shopping carts to the places in the parking lots. There were shopping carts literally 15 feet away from where you can return the carts, and people were too LAZY to walk the extra 10 seconds and place the cart nicely into the thing. Is it THAT hard? I know my brother would appreciate this post because he used to be a shopping cart person at our local grocery store way back when and he used to say how much of a pain people were. Maybe I am just pointing out the obvious, but if people really took time to care, this world would be a much neater and nicer place.