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tis the season to really ask myself... [Nov. 25th, 2005|08:05 pm]
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

am i spiteful above all else?
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(no subject) [Oct. 6th, 2005|01:19 am]
[mood |calmcalm]

it's sometime past 1am and I am sitting on the third floor at the MSU main library working away at my homework and such.

This past week has been incredibly busy (ok, no, more like the entire semester) But just this week I had a huge paper due (tomorrow, hence - i'm here) a midterm this past tuesday, a quiz, as well as plenty (and i mean PLENTY) of reading. Due to football, my saturdays have been devoted mostly to games and recovering from those games leaving me not much time on Sunday to accomplish as much as i hope (consider running errands and such). To catch up I pulled an all-nighter Monday-Tuesday, slept Tues-Wed because I work Wednesdays, and now I'm pulling another all-nighter Wed-Thur and hopefully i'll get to sleep tomorrow. I have an 8:30am and right after that I work until my next class (a 3-5), so it'll be a long one. As for classes - the course load is rough. Not only is there tons of reading but it's not all simple, especially the U-Plann stuff - it's so theoretical sometimes or the way they analyize statistics get so wordy! same with my sociology class. I think I won't really feel all caught-up until the semester is officially over. The other day Julie was telling me about how she had to read 40 pages for some class and on top of other homework she wanted to finish, it would keep her quite busy for the day. jeez, if i had only 40 pages to read I would be rejoicing or, better yet, in bed right now!
--feel free to stop here--

What I'm working on right now is a statistical analysis for the city of Ann Arbor and I have to incorporate that into a paper analyzing their land use. it's TONS of work but i can't lie - I LOVE it! I know it's keeping me up right now and sifting through all the data to pull what i need gets to be somewhat tedious but I really really love this stuff! The data itself is all mundane and straight forward but when applied to policy and urban growth models it all really comes alive. I also really appreciated checking out the drafts for the different regions of AA's Master Plan. They're in the process of updating but they have the drafts posted, which makes it very convenient to refer to if need be. The assignment isn't "long" at all: it's 3 pages and a table representing the select data our prof asked for. But there's so much more than just turning on autopilot and following her guidelines - I'm really enjoying exploring the questions, the options, the alternatives, and examing the current situation. I also love the fact that both the city and the U.S. census post tract maps (divides the city into sections, maps out land use). I thought I would have a hard time finding those but it proved to be quite easy. This is my little break to wake myself up. I was slowly nodding off staring at my excel sheet covered in numbers and varying formats. In truth, I love geographical analysis. I was talking about it with my boss who was a GEO major here (Yes, yes - the hot one) and he was telling me about the funner/good/bad upper-level GEO courses (the ones i get to choose from) and because we were right at work, he found stuff off of the internet and just showed me how to explore new features on our ArcGIS9 mapping software. I'm not incredibly excited about my Geographic Information course next semester but I can't wait to get to Advanced Remote Sensing and Digital Cartography. What I'm NOT so excited about is Digital Terrain Analysis because I *fear* it'll turn into earth science, which i hate.

It's quickly approaching 2am and I have to start my paper already (took me about 10 hours to gather all of my data for one chart alone) but i fgure 3 pages won't be so difficult to spit out now that I've collected and organized my stats. i supposed we'll see... Although I didn't want to feed my starbucks addiction, I think a drink is definitely in order for tomorrow before my 8am to ensure I make it through class awake (or at least with eyes open - i can settle for that).

I might drive home tomorrow night because I'm in desperate need of a new pair of contacts (which are conveniently sitting at home on my bed) because i've been wearing these for the past 5 weeks + (yes - EWW - i know)

so my agenda (with hopes of finishing by 7:00a) include:

- write 3page paper
- read chapter 6 (about 30 pages) of Policy book
- take notes on Sociology readings (two 12-pg articles)

then at 7 i hope i walk my butt back home, shower, and head out to starbucks :) then class and... yeah. I guess i feel better having listed them because now they seem more do-able.

But in other news - i can't run for a LONG LONG time because I've absolutely demolished my hip. in the extended version you'd hear all the good details about loosing a meal or two from too much ibuprofen and straining my knee in the process of balance myself as i walk. But that'll take too long. The jist of it would be that if you have pain DON'T IGNORE IT and run on it for six weeks
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taking my all-nighter study break ;p [Oct. 4th, 2005|12:17 am]
Write 20 things people don't know about you and then tag 5 people to do the same!

1) I get girl crushes, but not in the romantic sense
2) I think my voice and mannierisms are annoying (to others)
3) I am super-PRO-affirmitive action
4) I **AUTOMATICALLY**NO EXCEPTIONS** loose respect for people if they A. don't give blood, B. don't recycle, or C. don't want to walk ever (and i don't mean out of laziness)
5) I have walked to/from every place that I have ever worked at least once
6) I am convinced that being single for life just might be closer to the truth than cynicism would have me believe
7) in terms of nutrition, the #1 thing i look for in my food is Fiber content
8) A night mid-June was the first time in my life I was closest to considering suicide - not like i was about to pull it off but i was closest to having the capacity to do it than ever before, with two containers of loricet/hydrocodine on my nightstand. that was also the most recent night I have cried ridiculously hard to a point of headache, that i could remember since like the past century
9) I never really liked my mother until we moved to the United States
10) I would give up Michigan to gain the world
11) The three-sentence rule... maybe you know it, maybe you don't ;p
12) When I have a crush, it means i've gotten to know the person and i've fallen pretty hard - ie: they don't come around too often
13) In terms of rights, i believe you should be able to get an abortion every day of your life (assuming it was possible to get pregnant like that) if you want one
14) I can't drive with my knees
15) I still think Beth Whitefoot was one of the most influential people I've ever met
16) in terms of social/emotional compatablitiy, Greg Fret was my most compatible boyfriend
17) I don't believe there's such a thing as a life plan to stay single til 30 or have kids by 25 - i think it'll fall outside of your plans and it just might hit you when you least expect it. Planning for stuff like that seems as predictable as planning for a whale to beach
18) I also loose respect for people who are unwilling to TRY new food
19) I'm afraid of lake water. not the sea. just lakes.
20) For the first time in my life, there isn't ONE person that knows everything about me
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i haven't said a word [Sep. 29th, 2005|11:26 pm]
[mood |thoughtfuli think i pissed somebody off]

but i'm all talked out
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i have NOT been tagged - but i AM at work taking a break from staring at excel ;p [Sep. 22nd, 2005|01:31 pm]
1. Seven things I plan to do before I die

*get out of Michigan
*get a boater's license
*make a major donation to art in public schools
*speak fluent french
*..then pick up italiano
*lasik surgery
*buy a house (more than one let's hope)

2. Seven things I can do

*read music
*be happy for my friends' choices
*read and write
*make a great cheesecake
*run in heels
*run faster than you

3. Seven things I can't do

*vote in the United States
*make key lime pie (albit many many a tries)
*hurt an animal (on purpose - i have however accidentally stepped on my puppy's paws before - i know! i'm going to hell!)
*open up those plastic bags for produce at grocery stores
*the splits
*apologize for something i don't feel bad/sorry for (unless i made myself lie..)
*change the oil in my car (but i really want to learn!)

4. Seven things that attract me to the opposite sex.

*sense of humor
*the way they treat others
*the way they treat me
*having interests outside of the codifications of school, work, or family
*styles of communicating
*lust for life

5. Seven things I say most.

*'settle down'
*'ready, set, go'
*'iced venti non-fat three-pump extra shot mocha, please"
*'MUH-LAY-nah - like Alaina with an M'
*'we really need to get together soon'
*'i'm about to expire in... (filled in with appropriate time)'

6. Seven celebrity crushes:

*Michael Owen ***N-U!!**
*brad whitford (west wing)
*guy pierce
*bill clinton
*benicio del toro
*john edwards (nice suits, adorable smile!)
*george clooney "aaah Clooney! Clooney's like a chanel suite - he'll never go out of style" SATC

7. Tag 7 people

*tracey nowinski
*anyone else who's bored at work
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not a nudge - i need a push like i'm jumping out of a burning plane ~ [Sep. 20th, 2005|12:08 am]
[mood |curiouscurious]


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i actually filled this out back in August but on notepad... [Sep. 12th, 2005|10:35 pm]
- 10 years ago (1995): i don't remember doing much before the 5th grade....

- 5 years ago (2000): well, exactly 5 years ago today at this time i was getting home from bandcamp (sunday afternoon) after my first ever summer at Metamora and band camp performance - aah, what a way to start the season.... =)

- 1 year ago: getting ready to move back into West Holden - probably working at the Grill

- Tomorrow: appointment with the toothman, changing the oil in the Focus, heading out to state, buying carpet, building my bed, setting up my room, moving stuff into it, calling Whitey to help me with all of that ;p

- 5 snacks I enjoy: nectarines, yogurt, cheesy poufs (i can go through a whole bag if no one takes them away from me), grapes and cheese, nuts

- 5 bands/artists that I know the lyrics to most of their songs: bryan adams (yeah, baby), queen, nirvana, beatles, pink floyd

- 5 things I would do with a $100,000,000: (buy) four green cards and a family vacation

- 5 locations I would like to run away to: zanzibar, varna, easter island, figi, new zealand/australia

- 5 bad habits I have: verbal pauses, over-analyzing, raking my hands through my hair, staring off with a stupid expression on my face, lighting up when drinking

- 5 things I like doing: swimming, laughing, dancing, driving, walking

- 5 things I will never wear: a black purse. not satchel, or tote - PURSE (consider it a sign i've given up on life), floods, cap-sleeves, tapered pants, swastika

- 5 T.V. shows I like: CHEERS! seinfield, apprentice, desperate housewives, JAY LENO

- 5 people I'd like to meet: j.d. salinger, coco chanel, alexander hamilton, toqueville, my mom's brother

- 5 biggest joys at the moment: carmy-pooh (always), running with a good mix on the mp3 player, having legs, knowing what i want, enjoying cheap water and gas

- 5 favorite toys: Carmen, the focus, my laptop, my mp3 player, a soccer ball

- 5 tagged (Your turn.): julie, steven, tracey, erin, mike (whenever...)
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(no subject) [Sep. 7th, 2005|08:21 pm]
10 Favorites...
Favorite Color: orange
Favorite Food: peas and yogurt, raw fish, yogurt
Favorite Band/Singer: Queen
Favorite Song: *current* Two Step - Dave Matthews Band
Favorite Movie: Billy Elliot, The Nightmare Before Christmas
Favorite Sport: soccer
Favorite Season: all of them but winter/spring "slush season"
Favorite Day Of the Week: wednesday
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: butter pecan and praline pecan
Favorite time of the day: 6am

9 Currents...
Current Mood: bored out of my mind (in class)
Current Taste: nothing
Current Clothes: new jeans, old tank top, flip flops
Current Desktop Picture: standard "msu computer" gray
Current Toenail Color: au naturel
Current Time: 8:05
Current Surroundings: brojects
Current Annoyance(s): that class hasn't ended yet, feeling bloated :\
Current Thought: should i go lift after class or just go pass out?

8 Firsts...
First Best Friend: oh wow, i forgot the names of the first two... first BESTEST friend: Stacy Ann Lee Howe
First Kiss: this guy named Rick, my brother's 7th grade locker partner's cousin. yeah.
First Screen Name: ragegrrrl
First Pet: Norman, little bichon, he just passed away last year (in Bulgaria)
First Piercing: ears
First Crush: Ryan Cannon. Yep. Pat's older brother.
First Music:
First Car: 2000 Hyundai Sonata, RIP!! *car accident night before graduation*

7 Lasts...
Last Cigarette: welcome weekend
Last Drink: water water
Last Car Ride: parnell drove me to class (yes, i'm lazy)
Last Kiss: Carmy-pooh
Last Movie Seen: Old School
Last Phone Call: Christian
Last CD Played: Queen

6 Have You Evers....
Dated One Of Your Best Friends: yes
Have You Ever Broken the Law: yes
Been Arrested: no
Skinny Dipped: yes
Been on TV: yes
Kissed Someone you didnt know: yes

5 Things....
You're Wearing: new pants, new underwear, new bra, contacts, wrist watch
You've Done Today: drove a lot, went to work, put on make-up, made a phone call i wasn't expecting to make, ate cereal for breakfast lunch and dinner ...no commas necessary...
You Can Hear Right Now: the TA talking, the fan behind me, the fan to my left, my own typing, my stomach - it's either saying "feed me" or "i look like this because you keep feeding me!!"
You Do When You're Bored: pick up magazines, google, make to-do lists, text message Chris White, update my livejournal because my TA is talking...

4 Places You've Been...
1. Ikea
2. Downtown Birmingham
3. Parmenter's 4. the bathroom (hey - when you gotta go, you gotta go)

3 People You Can Tell Anything To.
1. Erin
2. Julie
3. Meghan

2 Choices...
1. Black or White: now see THIS is what starts racism!
2. Hot or Cold: cold

1 Thing You Want to Do Before you die: loose the paranoia
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distracted [Sep. 7th, 2005|11:32 am]
[mood |tired dazed]
[music |typing]

1. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what's the first thing you look at? my expression, then i check my hair and look for obvious blemishes

2. How much cash do you have on you? about $11

3. What's a word that rhymes with "TEST"? BEST

4. Favorite plant? i'm a sucker for lillies - stargazer or asiatic but also calla, as well as bamboo ;p

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? Christian

6. What is your main ring tone on your phone? the t*mobile medley in EVERY commercial

7. What shirt are you wearing? white cotton 3/4-sleeve v-neck from the Gap

8. Do you "label" yourself? of course - perfectly practical

9. Name brand of your shoes currently wearing? black t-strap franco sarto pumps

10. Bright or Dark Room? bright lights of my cubicle

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? AAHH lindsay - it only figures that my favorite people somehow end up far away

12. Do you know what an 8-track is? yes

13. What were you doing at midnight last night? showering

14. What did your last text message you recieved on your cell phone say? "Hey im really sorry i didnt call you last night i ended up in aa i would like to hang out with you today if you are free though!?"

15. Do you ever click on Pop-ups or banners? no

16. What's a saying that you say a lot? "brilliant"

17. Who told you they loved you last? carmen - hey, "told" just implies communication in MY book!

18. Last furry thing you touched? my little twinkie when she was telling me she loved me

19. How many hours a week do you work? 20-24 i'll be honest it'd be a lot less if not for my hot boss

20. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed? about 3 disposable cameras (i sense they're old, too...)

21.Favorite age you have been so far? this one!! 16/17 was pretty cool, too

22. Your worst enemy? slow people at the self check-out at meijer

23. What is your current desk top picture? Michael Owen - #10 baby!

24. What was the last thing you said to someone? "sorry to interrupt - here you go"

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to erase all of your regrets, what would you choose? the money

i'm sitting at MDOT and i was suposed to start a project but i got delayed so instead i started wasting time.
this week (or past three actually) have been extremely busy to say the least. from sun up til sun down i'm running around doing something somewhere. it's not bad but i feel like i have so many little things on my to-do list that i haven't been able to accomplish because i haven't had the moment to sit down and do them. like organize my school folders. currently all my classes are living out of one binder with me flipping through a stack of papers to find syllabuses depending on which class i'm in. it's funny though because as much as i talk about how busy i am i still work out. i rarely cut time from that. i feel like i really need that time to decompress. i think it's an excuse to engage myself with something while i'm alone and alone with my thoughts. it's as necessary as breathing and eating; i just need that hour to catch up to myself. Aside from that i have classes 8:30a-8 at night with a three hour break inbetween and then the days i don't have class, i work from 7:30 -5. i also have a random night class on two days that i go into work, so it becomes, work, dinner, class, work-out.
work is great. boss jokes and friends aside, i love this job and i like the work that i do. I never really get into it with the "what" i do because i work on various projects each with different focuses, so it's difficult to say i do one thing. often the projects i work on are just tiny fragments of bigger projects that have been in the works for months. MDOT also doesn't operate entirely on it's own, there's so much collaboration with private firms. My biggest project yet was probably an economic benefits analysis on highway 131 which runs N/S and goes through kalamazoo to grand rapids (and beyond in both directions). We were analzying commodity flows on a specific part of the highway to see if the traffic counts indicated if the highway needs to be expanded or not. aside from the nitty gritty computer work and inputting data into Transcad (transportation program - think mapquest+ArcGis+Excel... only smarter) there was so much data analysis that came from more than one source and we had to work on collaborating all the data accordingly so that we could get a sense of the most accurate representation. The work didn't come out of the blue, it was a direct assignment from the mayor of three rivers. So the direction flow went a little something like this: mayor - boss - favorite boss - me. It almost becomes personal because it's not just busy work or data entry - my mistakes become MDOT's mistakes. Also, striving for the numbers with the least possible margin of error becomes like a personal mission you just have to complete. The funniest part was that all of the information was marked "confidential" so we'd have to delete a lot off the server after we'd used it. And because this is gov-stuff once the assignment was passed out my boss looked at me and was like "ok, this is all confidential data so don't take it out of here or talk about it" yeah. right. 'cause all my friends at home are just dying to know how much agricultural byproducts are being trucked on 131!

Today I was supposed to get started on a NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) County Business Patterns and update the industry codes according to county and employees because the latest file is 2003. Apparently there was some problems with the file and it couldn't be pulled off the internet which in turn means i had to call the Census Bureau and ask them for the information we need. Because they don't have it finished, I have to wait until next week when they update their website to pull the info i need and start this. In the mean time, the other things I'm working on aren't quite as pertinent so I've taken this time to just update and figure out how many errands i can squeeze in between work and class (2 hours - very little when you consider driving, parking, etc.)

It's funny because when i first started working here and i told people i work for MDOT, they'd be like "oh, you drive a bus?" the question was so out of nowhere for me - i'd never related MDOT to CATA or SMART or anything. it would be like the equivalent of saying "i work at the mall" and getting "oh, you wash windows?" - what?! in my head i'd never put those two together.

i'm so tired. I almost wish there wasn't a game this weekend so i could have two days to catch up/relax/get ahead. now i feel like there's just one - in other words, no just "rest" day. and people wonder why i pull all-nighters...
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today [Aug. 31st, 2005|12:51 pm]
[mood |dorky ::working::]

i drove to work at 8:30 and parked at a 2 hour spot knowing i would be parked there longer.
at noon i walked out to my car to move it (to yet another 2-hr spot). wondering if i got a ticket, the second i turned on sycamore from shiawassee (NO i am not pocahontas, and YES, this is Lansing), i immediately looked down at my car to see if one of the pink folded envelopes had been stuffed in the crack of my driver's side door. SUCCESS! it wasn't! OH WAIT, spoke too soon... there was pink on my windshield right next to my wiper [boooo] Approaching my vehicle in no rush (shoot, they'd already fined me - might as well take my time), i reached my car shortly and went to reach for the ticket to find that ... it wasnt. a leaf had turned and fell on my windshield perfectly landing face-up on one of my wipers. what I thought i had been a curs by the city was really a blessing by the seasons

autumn is near =)
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