||[Sep. 7th, 2005|11:32 am]
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...